Tuesday, October 4, 2022

I'm Moving!

Z-man helping
 My daughter and son in law are building me a Grannie Flat in their back yard (!!)
So after 19 years here, I'm engaged in downsizing and purging for that move, which will be in stages!

During construction, I'll be mere yards away, in a back nook in their home! Able to watch over and bless the process at every stage! Deciding what to take with for that 3-6 months, what can go into short term storage! 

I've ordered my new mattress, but for the nonce, I'll borrow one of the kids bed, that fits in the space. 

My new room
Note to self: Wash the walls with a bit of salt and citrus Essential Oil in the walls to clear predecessor Chi.

Meanwhile, I've lived the longest in this  house on Galloway! So there's much accumulation of - stuff!! My daughter and her first 2 girls lived with me 17 years ago - and left some things in my garage (we've sorted that). 
That nest egg included things from my mom (who died the previous winter) and dad,  who's now been gone 30 years. And of course many things from my own 72 years circling the sun.

Having their help has been huge

I asked a new neighbor if he was intersted in buying my house - and his brother is! A realtor friend is overseeing the sale, and I have a week and 1/2 left to finish up! 

I've been sweeping the front porch and spritzing the door with cinnamon (thanks to tips from Amanda Gibby Peters) and have a virtual consultation scheduled later in the month with my BD twin Gwynne, who is a Feng Shui practioner! 

Partway through many of my moves, I often just want a backhoe at the end - and sometimes just brought junk along! On the weekend I thanked Mary and Matt for "being my backhoe BEFORE the very end!" 

Construction beginning

The stuff! The books! The plants!! 

We began moving the plants first - I had kept many in pots, and dug up others  .... I somehow found time to garden (rather than being going through stuff!) this summer ... and my grandson Z and I put in a little bed on their back garden, which he helps check and tend!

I've been listening to lots of podcasts and watching decluttering videos, and realize I'm 'motivational challenged and have problems wroth executive function - my dad would say, "Penny wise, pound foolish!" I can focus for hours on non-essentials!! But often delay important tasks. Procrastination often goes with this challenge getting motivated! And sticking to one task (they are a subset of ADHD!)

One clutter clearing champ, Cass, invites us to learn to "eat the Frog First!" Do that hard thing you don't want to do, 'cause you know you'll never want to!!

I'm assisting in a virtual creative class (scheduled months ago!) Last week we created glyphs / sigals - I used the non-repeating letters from 'Eat the Frog First' in creating this one - 

Eat The Frog First 

So - I'm eating the frog 🐸  and find its getting easier with practice. 

Some tips on dealing with the stuff - whether you're simply dethugging (and we all need to at times - toddy people have less stuff - who knew??) or preparing for a move! 

✔ have trash bags/ bins in every room, plus recycling, shredding, and areas for donations. 

✔ thank / bless the items as you bundle them up 

✔ it can help to start with things you're less attached to - and handle quickly! 

✔ Our brains release bonding hormones when stimulated by touch - have a friend hold up/ point to/ ask you about things! A good phrase is, 'it looks tired' ... another,  'close your eyes and think of the house you want to live in - does this fit?' 

✔ Choose what you want to keep and work on boxing those, let a helper bag/ box up donations (that helps keep me from rebonding!) If they want it, it's theirs!! Since we're dealing with family things, we have a box set aside for my son, and my daughter reclaims special items.  

Books for Matt to box

✔ Engage a friend or your kids to witness /go with you for the first donation drop!
✔ get yourself some flowers 💐 and/or favorite coffee ☕ on the way home! 

✔ If you can, have someone else handle some of the drop offs! Have a clear staging station, and just let them do it - go along occasionally if you want - up to you! The less disposal I'm copingwith, the easier sorting becomes 

In the past, those bags🎒 🛍 rumbled around in my car for months ... it's such a blessing to just set them on the porch for them to load up! 

✔ Selling? If you're good at it and have time .... or there's a garage sale you can tag into .... Matt is listing a few things on marketplace, and deals with those, I sold one of my old massage tables (don't judge!) to a friend who's taken Reiki from me.

When you need to do a donation run, set yourself up for success ✔ Have a system for when and how you'll bookend it with other errands, and where in your car you'll put them. 
✔ include a treat once a week - fresh flowers are great! Amanda Gibby Peters of Simple Shui has some great stories about it being a quick way to freshen Chi! Find her Simple Shui tips on Instagram.

✔ be good to you! Stay hydrated!! Have glasses of water, maybe with a bit of lemon and cucumber, stashed around. Schedule breaks - go on a little walk, sit down, take a bath or shower at the end of the day.
You've got this!! 💕 💐 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Happy mail

 Yay - that was quick!! 

I placed my order Sunday, and here it is! For most of my supplements,  buy off the shelf or order most from the office where I offer massage and Reiki sessions ... but needed more of the Niacinamide for my joints, and wanted to try a time release formula.

I discovered Niacinamide's use for arthritis this spring, as I was experiencing some pain and stiffness in my right hand, 

New Supplements!

In the 30s and 40s, Dr Kaufman had many of his patients with 'Wear and Tear' arthritis take several thousand milligrams in divided doses throughout the day, and found it to be an excellent control for the pain. It also helped rebuild collagen - often making joint surgery unnecessary! And then, cortisone became available and popular, and of course more lucrative for the industry - the vitamin B-3 in this form is 13c each, for 1000 mg! 

Niacinamide was the first mega-vitamin used for mental health, and is very supportive in that regard as well, especially for struggling teens. It's removed in milling and heat sensitive, so harder to get even in normal amounts from food. 

I take a B vitamin blend from Thorne daily as well, and liquid B-12.

I'm a Virgo, and true to form, have long been interested in health and ways to support that - I had a little book on yoga on HS, and began taking movement classes by the my late 20s  (ballet, and a few years after that, Tai Chi) My dad always had a garden, and we got whole raw milk from the dairy next door.  I continued gardening, eating whole foods, making my own bread and yogurt (still from raw milk), supplemented with vitamins and  minerals from my 20s.

In nature, vitamins A and D naturally occur together, and Cod Liver Oil (which i have to my kids!) is still a great source. This one's Icelandic. 

  In the PNW, we are above the 45th parallel, so most folks find taking a higher dose of D  helpful. Both of A and D support the immune and cardiovascular systems, enhance bone health and calcium metabolism. In one 40s study, toddlers who were low in Vitamin D, and beginning to show signs of rickets, would request spoonfuls of CLO, until the condition was corrected!

Though we're near the ocean, the PNW is a goiter belt, so iodine and seaweed can be very supportive of thyroid health,  metabolism, and immune function. I do eat and love seaweed - and discovered I felt better with supplemental iodine in my 20s! 

Boron is a trace mineral that's also a cofactor for magnesium metabolism, heart health, the parathyroid, is anti-inflammatory, and can prevent bone loss as we age! It supports health of nerves and immune function as well - - what's not to like? 

(I like this talk Dr Jorges Flecher gave to dentists at a conference on oral health on his own discovery of the importance of Boron) In the US, 23% of the population have some form of arthritis, and most of us get 0-3 mg of Boron daily; in areas getting 10-30 mg of dietary Boron daily, the arthritis rate drops to .5 % ! There's less Boron in arthritic joints than in 'normal' joints. 

Resveratol and NAC are new to my regime 

  Resveratol is found in red grapes (one of the reasons drinking Red wine is recommended - and whilst I live in the heart of wine county, I just don't drink much!) It is considered a longevity herb, its use can mimic fasting, and support healthy long life.  Some studies point to consuming it on alternate days - especially on days with higher fat intake, to be most beneficial. It also seems to support the health of our mitochondria, which are key to vitality.

NAC (N Acetyl L Cystine) is an antioxidant which supports health glutathione levels, immune, liver and respiratory function and energy production! It's advised to be sure to drink sufficient water whilst taking this one - 6-8 glasses. I've been having a pinch of sea salt before drinking water, to enhance absorption by the cells! 

Now,  to integrate these into my routine... 

Years ago, I read a lovely tome from our public library which detailed in a few pages each, cutting edge research on individual supplements. At the end of each chapter, the author asked the researcher, 'what supplements do you personally take?' 

Generally: a multi or B complex, vitamins C and E, many also took D and some minerals - and they EACH took whatever they were studying!! 

An MD studying longevity had the longest list of supplements and lifestyle supports like eating whole foods, and exercising daily!' 

I love the easy access lids (I only needed to swap out the Niacinamide top - I keep a few of the extras on hand.

I've recently taken up sprouting again, after seeing info on the enzymes in broccoli sprouts and their anti-carcenogenic effect on cells. I also discovered the Japanese morning exercises (< 10 minutes!) That are a great way to wake up the lymph and begin the day! 

Do you have a favorite supplement and movement routine? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Sea kale babies

Crambe maritima 

I'm beyond excited that my Crambe or Sea Kale root cuttings sprouted!! 

Sea kale in the garden

A 'formerly common denizen of single banks' in N Europe and the British isles,sea kale is a delightful perennial wonder!

In Living in a Wild Garden,  British author Roger Banks wrote,  'there are still odd clumps of it,  .... at first you think you are looking at a distant line of breakers till you realize that it is neither rough enough for such a sea to be running nor can you hear it... 

'Then through binoculars, you see that your breaking line of surf is still - still as the great wave of Hokusai's picture - and that the lace-like foam flung up on its rearing green crest is as dry as the 17th century master's woodcut. ... you realize you are witnessing the flowering of SeaKale, Crambe maritima. If only people wanted to lift up their hearts, there would be special excursions to see such a miracle and of only they cared for their palettes, there would be a local cottage industry cultivating it...'

Sea kale in bloom

- Like other Perennial vegetables, Crambe's strong root system gives these lovely kale relatives access to deep minerals.

Their seeds have a corky coating, which allows them to float off and inhabit new shores. 

In the past, I've tried growing from seed a few times, then read that root and stem cuttings are much easier to start, and was able to get a few pieces of root last fall! 

I simply tucked them in gallon pots of potting soil, putting a piece of garden fleece over each pot to keep slugs and other visitors out, and left then on my front porch over the winter.  

I was so excited to see each of the three cuttings beginning to leaf out. There was a nice root on the piece I just planted, and I'll give one to a friend who first introduced me to this long lived denizen of shingle banks!! 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Chrysanthemum Tea

 I have joined a Tai Chi class that meets thrice weekly in the park by my youngest grandkids' school. I've been doing Qigong in the park while my grandkids play a little while after their morning school time, then a friend invited me to join the group practice. 

It's been lovely to revisit the Yang Long form, which I first learned nearly 40 years ago, during my massage training. My mentor suggested Tai Chi as a life long practice, and way you learn good ergonomics. She was so right! 

A week or so ago, the friend who invited me brought me this lovely treat Tea Pot and flowering tea from Numi! I often steep tea in a glass tea cup with matching strainer - but this provides such an elegant experience! Each tea "ball" can be stepped several times, and I often as some of my own tea leaves for additional batches.

Tea pot and flowering tea
This little of year I'm often dreaming about new varieties for my garden, and was pleased to find Bo Jo Hua Chrysanthemum tea plants at my friend Melissa's Van Hevlingen Herb booth at the Farmers Market! She had two varieties, which bloom in the late fall like otter Mums. Bo Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum morifolium) doesn't set reliable seed, so is only available as plants - I'm excited to add these to my garden! 
I found several blog posts about these plants and the flowers, which support the liver, eye health, and are good for the heart, type 2 diabetes and easing headaches (Sage Garden Theory) on a Growing Tradition, Thomas recounted his search for the plants and success
Bo Jo Hua Chrysanthemum

Melissa said the plants bloom on Halloween, and into November. The flowers are first collected mid day, and dried then stored. I think they will be lovely to steep in the little round pot! 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Time for tea

 Each year around this time, my beautiful tea Camellia begins putting on new growth, and it's time to harvest the first flush of leaves! Last fall I pruned my Sochi Camellia, which increases the number of new leaves to harvest.

Over a decade ago, my friend Nikki and I began growing Sochi Camellia sinensis. The most northern tea, this variety grows in Sochi Russia near the Black Sea, and is well suited to our latitude at nearly 45° N. 
It is both aromatic and frost Hardy. While the flowers are small (about the size of a strawberry flower) its mature leaves are about the size of those on my ornamental Camellia. I dry some of the flowers in January which can be used for a light and fragrant tea. 

CODEX with tea Camellia blossom
Several years ago, Nikki invited me over for a tea party, both teaching me the process, and sharing afternoon tea from a previous harvest when finished. She sent me home with a basket of fresh leaves we pluckedfrom her bushes, which I augmented with leaves from my own for a second batch. 
It is such a satisfying process, and I'm always struck by the fragrance of the leaves as they dry. As this Camellia association article notes, few people realize that whenever they sit down with a cup of green, black or white tea, the brew comes from Camellia leaves! 
Camellia sinensis Sochi
High in antioxidants, especially catechins, green tea is preventative for cancers, lowers the risk of stroke, and helps control blood sugar. In Okinawa Japan, one of the "Blue Zones" for longevity, drinking several cups of green tea daily was common. They often added jasmine flowers and a bit of turmeric for shan-pien, "tea with a bit of scent."
Harvest - 24 hour rest

The leaves are resting in three baskets, and around 3:30 this afternoon, I'll begin the next steps of the process, which you can find here and here.

Do you grow herbs you use for herbal Tea? I have a number of those as well, and enjoy their medicinal qualities and varying flavors.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Snowdrop essence and Intention


Snowdrop Essence - set your intention!

Before enlightenment, 
Chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment
Chop wood, carry water 
Attention to the small
As we chart our course.

Spring is an excellent time to refresh and renew, body, mind, spirit and emotions. Many traditions invite spring fasts or cleanses, as a reset from less activity and heavier foods of winter.

As spring flowers begin to emerge, I eagerly awaited my Snowdrops' bloom! During the Angel Cafe in November, Sarah Estelle mentioned Snowdrop as part of a favorite trio for aligning with our divine feminine energy. It is also associated with poultry, innocence and simplicity. 
Snowdrop welcomes energy into our crown and into the heart, and provides impetus to "set intention and rewrite our future." I was delighted to find the clumps under one of my apple trees in bloom, and make Snowdrop essence on the weekend! 
I put some of the left over essence water into a couple of mister bottles, following Sarah Estelle's suggestion of using it this way each morning to help set intention. Like her mama, mine loved blooming spring bulbs.

When I lived in the Breitenbush community, I often gave myself the gift of a day off after  a workshop. It was so nourishing to have time for integration, introspection, logging insights, practicing new techniques, receiving bodywork, and soaking in the hot mineral water!  I was grateful for the organic vegetarian, meals and herbal tea that were our daily fare & often made myself a flower essence bouquet to support my process and integration. 
Snowdrop would be a wonderful addition to a workshop bouquet. Another of our spring beauties, Camas, helps integrate intuitive and logical processes, and harmonize methods of learning. Tea Camellia, the "Ancient One, rooted in timeless beginnings, brings stillness, connection to one's true self, and provides a mirror for self reflection."

At times, we may experience a mountaintop breakthrough, either in life, or during a workshop. We see new possibilities shining... It's so beautiful to have that reference point of being so completely present - then, how do we integrate and implement shifts?

It can help to remember our tools for grounding, centering, and to continue our favorite daily practices wherever we are! Selenite is a great travelling companion - sweep your aura, do self Reiki, smudge the room, ground yourself. Maybe have a favorite herbal tea and breathe the stream ...

Some of my favorites are Qigong, flower essences, doing a creative practice, music, prioritizing local organic fare - so fortunate to have a year round farmers market! And Dark chocolate is my favorite treat!)

Sending blessings of spring, and Snowdrop flower essence, to Rewrite your future!   

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Essence Cards

This fall I've been enjoying learning about, and beginning to do Neurographica. This way of creating helps "Balance the mind, inspire creativity, and explore different approaches to problem solving." 

The basics:

  • Think of your intention or conflict
  • Draw random lines (not an even zigzag!) 
  • Round the intersections -calms the neurons, reduces tension
  • Circles bring harmony (observe how your body feels as you draw, stood those intersections as wewel
  • Color - 3 or more colours, color in at least three segments with one color 

Through November I drew and colored a number gratitude cards, and some centered around handprints or leaves.

Neuro-Noodle Labyrinth

After seeing a friends Neurographic Christmas cards, I was inspired to some as well - In the 70s and 80s, I often drew our cards, and sets of paper dolls. A couple of those were printed in doll magazines. 

California Poppy - true gold in your heart

I've been creating essence bouquets for my grandkids, and began drawing essence cards - I did a few cards decades ago when I began creating my first essences and combining them into bouquets 💐 The first were larger (poppy and fuscia)

Fuscia - soul warmth
Using 5.5x8.5" mixed media paper, I began creating smaller cards - the #Neurolines interconnect if I draw before separating them ❤ I start with the circle for the flower cameo, then add the neurolines (on larger cards there's room for circles) I haven't colored any yet, and may print these! 
Essence cards
  • Forsythia – announce presence, golden trumpet, Gabriella
  • Hyssop – takes the strain off DNA, purify, release guilt 
  • Rosemary – liquid ambrosia, strengthen immune system, enhances memory
  • Violet – trust warmth of others, express own warmth, comfort in groups

  • Aster - illumination, sacred play, create time and space for creativity 
  • Borage  – optimism, seed of Hope · opens heart, comfort and courage, joy, illuminates your unique path  
  • Nettle (Sister Spinster) - align with personal truth, speak up in prickly situations, don't panic! 
  • Yarrow - strong, healthy boundaries, compassionate awareness, seals energy leaks, wholeness         
Drawing these cards is a sweet way to connect with the energy signatures. Do you have a favourite you'd like as a card? Let me know in the comments!