Crazy Herb Lady

Yep, the Crazy Herb Lady strikes again.

I pulled a young friend to the “dark side” by kicking her settling-in-her-chest-coughing-head-ready-to-explode cold out in two days. I made up magnesium lotion for one friend and gave several other friends the recipe to make their own as they are too far away to deliver.

Last month I attended two different week-long sustainability, preparedness, homesteading, women’s health conferences. Without ever leaving the comfort of my living room. Yay!

So what new things have I been crafting since then you ask? Well, here’s my short list:

comfrey oil

bitters tincture – gentian root, angelica root, fennel seed

hormone and adrenal balancing tincture – vitex, schisandra berries, skullcap, dong quai

I’ve also been mixing up an anti-fatigue, adrenal support “elixir” every morning containing:

matcha tea

tulsi tea

maca

chaga mushroom powder

cocoa powder

hemp seed

unsweetened coconut

Six nights a week I make up a very strong herbal infusion to drink the next day. I use the following in a daily rotation skipping Sunday:

Linden flower

Raspberry Leaf

Red Clover Tops

Nettle leaf

Comfrey leaf

Oatstraw

My favorite herb providers love me right now.

I know the next question you are thinking is – “Do they work?”

Well, the tinctures are still brewing so I’ll have to let you know about those. The anti-fatigue elixir definitely helps. Most of the herbs in it are known as adaptagens meaning they will adapt to provide whatever your body needs at the moment. I’m wanting to add some powdered astragalus root and powdered ashwaganda and some powdered cordyceps mushrooms to it for even extra oomph. The herb infusions are more of a long-term support system than an immediate result kind of thing. But, shark-week is coming soon so we’ll see how the raspberry leaf and red clover tops do with that.

“Do they taste good?” People, this is medicine – it’s not SUPPOSED to taste good. Well, mostly. I do add some powdered or liquid stevia to my elixers and infusions, but in general those don’t taste bad. Now the tinctures? Well, the bitters are not supposed to be sweet, they are supposed to kick start your digestion. The other tinctures don’t usually taste too bad except that I don’t like the taste of vodka and that’s what I tincture with most of the time. But with tinctures I dilute then in a shot glass of water and then just slam then down so there’s not much time to taste them anyway.

I’m also trying to get rid of the extra carbs in my daily diet. Doing that will help with my fatigue issues as well, but it’s tough to cook two separate meals. Yeah, sometimes I cheat cuz I’m just lazy.

This crazy herb lady is very happy that God has provided the means to reboot our systems when they get out-of-whack. Now if can just get off my three different blood pressure meds. Sigh. But the crazy herb lady is also very cautious when dealing with necessary pharmaceuticals. I’ll get there no worries.

Have a great week my peeps!

 

New Directions

For awhile now I’ve been posting mostly about my granddaughters – Monster and Tiny.  Well, they have now moved to North Dakota with their mom and her new husband.  I’m really happy for their mom (and for them), but very sad for myself because now I don’t get to see them. The girls have been my life for 12 years.  They will always be a part of my life, but now it’s time to move on to other things.

What other things? Well, there’s a question.

I have a ton of interests. Too many really. I’m not really a Type A person, but I always seem to have a dozen different things going on at once. Right now, it’s time once again for Women’s Retreat. Then there’s getting seeds started for the garden in the greenhouse, getting the garden ready for planting in another couple of months, breeding my rabbits and getting ready for (hopefully) a gaggle of little fuzzballs, my step-son is coming out for a couple months to help his dad with projects that he can’t really physically do anymore, getting ready for my first trip to West Virginia this summer, sewing clothes for vacation, taking more herb courses, etc, etc. Sheesh, I need a nap just reading that.

So, I suppose I will just chronicle my days here – at least every so often. Some days are just routine going to work – coming home – doing dinner – lather, rinse, repeat. But, I do try to accomplish some of my goals each week.

Here’s something I’ve talked about before I think – meal planning.

I have a very finicky husband. Ugh. And I know he grew up the same way I did – “eat what’s on your plate or go hungry”. But, I got tired of him not eating what I would fix so I started coming home and asking him what he wanted that night. Bad idea. Mostly because he could rarely come up with an answer lol! So, I’m back to meal planning. But, I found a really cool way to do it.

If you are anything like me you probably have a dozen or more cookbooks and a bajillion recipes stored online and/or ripped out of magazines. I looooove cookbooks. My mom taught me to read cookbooks like they were novels.  But, sometimes that can be sensory overload when you are trying to meal plan.  So, I made a list of all the different meals we like – I aimed for 30 different main dishes.  Then, I wrote each main dish on a small post-it note. I actually used small colored post-it flags.  Those notes went into my planner on a laminated page so they would stick, but be easily moveable. I added some side dishes and a couple desserts to the post-it page as well.

Now on Sundays, I pull out my calendar and my bullet journal and my planner and start planning the next two weeks of meals.  You can do this every week or every month even.  I get paid every two weeks so that’s how I plan. First I look at my calendar to see what I have going on for the next two weeks.  Once a month I spend at the Union Hall for the general membership meeting. I never know how long that will last so I need to plan a crockpot meal for that night. I look on my post-it filled page and pick out something I can throw in the crockpot. That post-it is then moved to my meal planning page which is also laminated. Ok, one meal down 11 more to go.

Wait – what? Did I miscount? Nope. I rarely cook dinner on Sunday night. We eat lunch so late after church we just snack at night if we need anything.

Back to the post-it note meals. I try to mix up what I cook so I don’t do ground meat three nights in a row, and chicken only once a week. I decide what I will have time to cook on a given night, what we maybe haven’t had for a while, what I have an abundance of etc. I pull the appropriate post-it notes off and put them on the appropriate days on my meal planning page. Now, I take my bullet journal (I’ll show that in a later post) and record each days meals on the corresponding date.

One half to one hour of work and I have a major headache out of the way for the next two weeks. This method also helps me when it comes time to make my grocery list.

But what about all those recipes and cookbooks? Oh they still come in quite handy.  When I’m looking for something new to put into the rotation I’ll pull out my books and open up my online recipe program.

That’s it for now. I’m off to find a box for Matilda the rabbit to use for her soon-to-be babies.

 

 

My Next Step In Urban Farming

Ever since I was very young I have been totally taken with the idea of “living off the land”, being self-reliant, and every thing that those ideas encompass.  While also being able to regularly visit museums and libraries, attend the ballet and symphony, and mall-crawl.  Yep, I’m weird.  I freely admit it.

Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was told by the nefarious county animal control that she had to get rid of most of her animals – goats, chickens, rabbits. All of which were very well cared for and behind a privacy fence. Sigh.  I won’t even go into my opinions on trying to live and get-by and being regulated to death in the process. So, I get a phone call – “Can you take a rabbit? With a cage?”.  Ummm…….how many ways can I say “Heck yeah!!”

I am now the proud “MOM” to Matilda the rabbit.  Matilda will be bred again soon and hopefully produce an abundance of little fuzzballs that will be lovingly tended until it’s time for them to inhabit my freezer.  And/or canning jars.

Bleeding heart PETA supporters – keep your comments to yourself.

My next step is convincing the hubby that we actually DO have room for chickens and a coop.   And set up the worm farm under the rabbit cage. *evil laugh*

The garden has done reeeaaalllyyy well this year.  Well, at least some of the garden has done well.  Tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, turnips, all manner of peppers have exploded.  Beans, radishes, beets, spinach – not so much.  We even, finally, have watermelon and cantaloupe coming along. Happy dance.

That’s life in the big city for ya.  Lol.

Hope your week is going well!

p.s. Yes, I do have season tickets for the ballet this year.  Told ya I was weird.

Coming Up For Air

You know, when a so-called “friend” at work says “You should run for the Secretary/Treasurer position in the Union”, really….just run.  Argh!!  Two days a week I leave work four hours early and head over to the Union hall to pay bills, do the taxes, do the payroll, etc.  Then, once a month is the Executive Board meeting which I have to take notes at (and then transcribe them), and once a month is the Membership meeting which I also take notes for.  Then there’s monthly meetings with Management.  And disseminating information to my peers.  And strike-watch duties.  And informational picket duties.  And out-of-town training and National Convention.  Yeah, I was just supposed to write the checks.  Ha!

In other news, it’s also a bit scary when your church leadership realizes you can teach bible studies.  And head up Women’s Ministries.  And lead a Life Group.  And attend Leadership meetings once a month. And then you foolishly obey God and start going downtown once a month for Outreach.

SMH.

And let us not forget DAR.  Oh no.  Just because it’s on summer break, don’t think for a minute that the new Regent doesn’t have your email AND your phone number.

I did manage to fit in a vacation. Hallelujah! Grown-ups at Disney World.  Oh yeah.

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Hubby got to drive a race car while we were there.

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We also did Animal Kingdom and I saw my giraffes, elephants, and lions.  Oh my!

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Somewhere in the last seven months I did have opportunities to see my girls too. We had loads of fun at the various museums in town.

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And I finally got my girls up to Boulder to the Celestial Seasonings plant.  They looooove tea.  Yep, that’s my girls!

early 2015 pictures 035Oh! And did I mention the Women’s Retreat?

early 2015 pictures 057Our speaker was phenomenal.  She lived in Israel for several years and has a huge heart for Jews and the nation of Israel.  Not to mention being a brilliant bible teacher.

My very sweet hubby got me a brand-new monster computer that he will be setting up  this weekend.  Three, yes THREE terabytes of memory.  Happy dance!! Do you have any idea just how many pictures and just how much music I can store now?  *evil laugh*

Ok, that’s it for now.  Maaaaybe life will slow down a bit.  Yeah…..right.

Have a great weekend!!

 

Duly Elected and Sworn-In

Just in time for holiday festivities, I have been elected and sworn-in as the new Secretary/Treasurer for my local Union.

swearing in 006

Yep, I’m the short red-head in the middle lol.

So now, once a month this is my new spot for the evening……taking notes and giving financial report updates.

swearing in 002

It was actually quite flattering to be nominated and elected.  Still, my stealth-mode at work has failed.  Sigh.

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season so far.

Spending Some Time With The Girls

Once again life has reared it’s ugly head and kept me from updating here like I should.  I have been extremely busy with Tai Chi, Yoga, Life Groups, Women’s Retreat meetings, Online Classes and just life in general.  However, I have found time to spend with the girls.  And here is some of the proof….

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On Halloween night, the girls and I had a sleep-over at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Night at the Museum!!).  We had a blast!  Monster kept telling me all night long, “Nana this is so much fun!”. The museum staff did a great job with their crafts, ghoulish science experiments, physics tests, food, IMAX and special exhibits.  I have a feeling we will definitely be doing this again next year.

The “blue” pictures are due to the funky lighting the museum had going on in one section.  There are several pictures of the girls building with what looks like popsickle sticks.  They are not.  They are called Keva Planks.  Tiny did NOT want to stop playing with them.  They are little planks of wood that are so perfectly planed that they will stand up on their own and make the perfect building medium.  Hmmmm……she may be getting a bag of those for Christmas.  An architect or engineer in the family would be a good thing.

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I’ve also been replacing some of my winter herbal stock.  I’ve got wild cherry bark tincture, elderberry tincture, and more Double E tincture ready and waiting for the icky season.

That’s all for the moment.  I’ll try to do better keeping up-to-date.

Have a great weekend!!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Once again it only SEEMS like I fell off the edge of the planet.  Nope, just been major busy here.  So, to start off I will give you some pictures.

First up, a day at the Nature and Science Museum with the girls.

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Then, there was Tiny’s 6th birthday.  Yep, she’s 6!!!

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And here’s my funny story from Tiny’s birthday dinner.  We went to a really cool restaurant down in Lakewood.  You choose your entrée, but they bring out a nice variety of sides to serve family-style.  One of those sides is pickled beets.  Well, one of the waiters (we were a huge party) reached next to me to set down one of the bowls.  When he did that I felt something cold and wet hit my head.  I reached up and touched the spot and my had came away wet and pink.  Yep, he had dribbled beet juice in my hair.  Oh well, at least the color matched!  He was so apologetic, but really it was just funny.

I’ve also been busy going to two exercise classes a week.  Yep, me….exercise.  But, I’m really loving my yoga class.  Yes, I am a bit of a masochist to enjoy being twisted into a pretzel for an hour and a half each week.  But, it feels soooo good, once  you untwist lol.  I’ve also started taking Tai Chi.  That class is going much slower since it’s a beginners class, but in a few months I should be able to do the full Yang style 24 Form Short Form from start to finish.  Sigh, right now I feel like a squeaky tin man trying to do the forms.  I will get better!

D.A.R. has started up again for the year. I discovered one of the ladies is from my hometown of Spring!  Small world indeed. I have also been asked to start taking over the Chaplain duties for the chapter.  Wow, that made me feel good.

In other news, I happen to work in a Union shop and voting for new Union positions has begun.  I agreed to accept the nomination for Sec/Treasurer.  However!!  When the nomination ballot came around for me to sign and accept, I discovered I had been nominated not only for Sec/Treasurer, but also for President AND Vice-President.  Now, understand I have NOT been active in the Union in the last several years plus I generally try to keep a low-profile at work.  So who in blue-blazes has discovered who I am that they would nominate me for all THAT!?! Of course I have no idea and the nominations committee won’t tell me.  Needless to say, I only accepted the nomination for Sec/Treas., but wow that was flattering.

I dont’ have any pictures because it cut kind of ugly, but I made another batch of soap and discovered a much easier method than I had been using.  Instead of melting the fats and oils and then having to wait for them to cool down before adding the lye mixture, I added first the fats and then the oils to the lye mixture and let the heat from the lye melt everything down.  I got my soap to trace after only about ten minutes with the stick blender. So much easier.  I made a plain batch this time just to test everything out and like I said it cut ugly because of the container I used as a mold.  But, I plan on making another batch with some fragrance oils and essential oils. Yay!!

That’s it for the moment.  Hope everyone has a great week!

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