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New Year, New Direction

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Happy New Year!! I am very hopeful about this year! So many amazing things grew out of 2016. It was hard but there were changes I never would have expected. I grew spiritually into places I never thought I would venture into again. Faced my own judgements. Saw my shadows for what they are. I am stronger for it.
But 2017 I am dedicating myself to working on my physical side. I served in the USCG with flat feet. I signed a waiver to get in with them. During boot camp I had several stress fractures in my legs and feet. My feet have bothered me ever since. When I was grooming dogs a few years ago it got so bad I went to a podiatrist. He showed me X-rays and he was shocked at the "uniqueness" of my feet internally. His exact words were, "I don't even know why there is bone here." I have fallen into the bad pattern of "my feet hurt so I don't want to move, I don't move so I gain weight". It hit me hard this Christmas when my feet were hurting so much…

Solsticing with St. John's Wort

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Anyone who knows me knows my biggest plant ally is St. John's Wort! I still remember the first time I really met this plant. I was on a plant walk with my class at Appalachia School for Holistic Herbalism. There in the middle of the trail was this plant saying, "Look at me all sunny and shiny!" Our teacher, Mateo, taught us how when you crush the flowers and leaves it will stain your hands red.
Using the doctrine of signatures, when a plant looks like what it is good for, that staining shows us it may be used to treat bleeding and the blood. The pin hole dots on the leaves and flowers also signify the treatment of wounds. It is well known for this powerful healing of cuts, scraps, bites, and bruises. 
Lots of people use it for treatment of depression and SAD but I have found it is good for most nervous system issues. The beautiful, ruby red oil is excellent as a massage oil for pain and nerve damage. According to Matthew Wood in his book, The Book of Herbal Wisdom, Will…

Expanding Vision with Rue

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Rue (Ruta graveolens) has been speaking to me all spring. Inspiring me to learn how to heal and how to grow. As care taker of my garden she should definitely know about helping things grow and keeping those nagging pests like negative thoughts and beetles away!

She is feminine and lacy while at the same time very strong. Rue reminds me of Mother Mary in that she is doesn't take center stage with showy blooms but nurtures the rest of the garden so they can shine and strongly supports them. It is even said that adding some of her leaves to compost will help it break down faster to provide yummy nutrients to your soil even quicker.

Rue has been grown in gardens for a very long time due to its strong medicinal healing properties. It has been used for headaches, earaches, wounds, bruises, sprains, arthritis, relaxes smooth muscles, helps with women's trouble from delayed menstruation to use as a nervine during menopause, and to keep eyes sharp and clear. It was used by a lot of pa…

Finding Our Roots

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I took some time off from everything while we were in the big city. I felt oppressed and fearful there and it was hard to find inspiration and even a desire to come out of my hidy hole to play and chat with my plant family. Then we had an opportunity fall right in our laps which placed us right back in the mountains of NC that we LOVE so very much! We are laying down roots so we have called our new house Root House! 
I am still a bit overwhelmed with homeschooling our kids and trying to find time to dive head first into every topic that interests me (there are a lot of them), but I have been finding time where I can to go out and play. This weekend we went hiking and had so much fun creek stomping and digging roots! 

I set out for the hike with the intention of finding Yellow Root (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) and Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). I had almost used up all my Yellow Root tincture I had made a few years ago and needed to make some more. I didn't need any Bloodroot …

Cold and Flu Season for the Kiddos and You!

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It is almost that time of year mamas and papas! Usually once the kids go back to school it isn't long until they start sharing things. Nasty things.....GERMS!! Don't panic though. There are some natural things you can do to boost up their little bodies so they are better protected and to take care of them at home if they do get a bug. 
1. Stay away from too much sugar. I know I sound like an evil person especially with Halloween right around the corner, but how many of us have had kids get sick right after a big holiday like Halloween or Christmas when they have had extra yummies. It really slows down the immune system. Not just candy and junk food but juice is another thing to limit or eliminate.

2. Try to introduce some good bacteria. The gut health of our country isn't very good as a whole. It can be blamed on any number of things from the chemicals in our water, our over use of anti-bacterial EVERYTHING, our over use of antibiotics not only in our own bodies but in the …

Herbalist in the Big City

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Recently, we had a very sudden move out of state and to a very big city. It was a very complicated situation but very necessary for our family. We had to say goodbye to all our friends and family so quickly. I also had to leave behind my wonderful gardens. I hope that who ever moves in will love them just as much as we did. I was able to take quite a few of them with me. A couple didn't make the transition and so I left because I felt like they would be happier there. It was such a whirlwind! I didn't have time to think until we got here and got unpacked a little. Then everything started to sink in.


It has taken me some time to adjust to all the traffic, sirens, pollution warnings, and the cockroaches left by the previous tenants, but I am getting there slowly. More and more I am refocusing on the positives to living here and adapting to life in the big city.


We have an itty bitty front yard with tons of traffic. However, we have been blessed with an lovely green oasis from t…

Summer Solstice

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Today was a beautiful solstice day! I love to roll with the seasons so I like to celebrate each of them in some way. So today we all started in the gardens! It has been unusually hot here for the month of June but some nice thunderstorms in the evenings lately have been helping to keep the plants happy!
 We had so much fun relaxing together! My husband and I drinking coffee, while laughing at one of our dogs, watching the birds, and doing a little pruning and harvesting.
 The best part of the day was a short hike at Medoc Mountain. One of our favorite places to hike around here. It is always gorgeous out there!
 My oldest, that was recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease, loves to hike but since her flare up she has been very fearful to attempt it. She didn't want to come, but I told her I won't let this disease make her stop living her life so she had to go but we would go at her pace. She made it and was so proud of herself when she finished! I was proud of her too! 
 M…