Monday, October 19, 2009

Pregnancy ~ a True Blessing

I love this photo here where I am pregnant with #2 Jasmine Milan

Yes here I am , gonna write about that ole pregnancy thang ;-) I thought yesterday to myself how pregnancy to me as a woman what is this ? I am a woman , I have the right to speak for women . I was a pregnant unwed teen I have the right to speak for them . I although a granny have had 5 homebirths I have the right to speak , in fact wow I was forerunner and one of those out cast when lay midwifery was real here in Canada and one did not need certification to be real . One 's credit came from ones community in which one belonged . A community which supported each other in life & death and all the inbetween . My midwife is my dear girl friend as well . I know her life her ups and downs as a real person . She is not God as some doctors seem to have become . As well as some now legalized midwives. She did in fact become legal . Yes the woman scourned is now teaching midwifery hired by our own gov. to do so . I beleive in the accredation of midwifery it leaves the door open for it being a profession rather than a calling . It leaves the door open for people to be unreliable midwives just as we have unreliable teachers or doctors . In lay midwifery a community midwife was exactly whom she was because this is her true being , her calling . Not all women within a community would have been midwives .

I have to say I honestly would be afraid to be pregant these days here in our province and have a homebirth with any midwife .I may invite my friend as a friend but I've a feeling we'd go it alone with family and friends .

Anyway I am now a granny and have not given birth in over 8 yrs ! Yes my baby is 8yo ! So this post I wish to be solely on pregnancy as birth will be a whole other post . Let me say I have been pregnant a total of 16 times so I am momma to 16 children . However I have had 6 healthy full term pregnancies and miscarriage shall be another post. Yes all of our 6 children were carried thru healthy pregnancy . I must say I have only experienced mild morning sickness which was usually aliviated with soda crakers . During pregnancy I believe there are so many aspects in which fall under the title of health . Being one who feels we connect with our child upon conception and perhaps who knows when does conception begin ,the conception of a soul I mean ;-)

So out from the beginning , creation , conception and before conception we must keep babies health in mind . Health shall be nutritional , spiritual , emotional , physical . Is it not so amazing and so true this is Mum and baby because we are one but also let us not push Dad aside . The health of Pop is a must too . Relationship with our partner being one as well is not to be taken lightly . Pregnancy is a shared experience for all involved ;-)

My dh read all the pregnancy books I did and in fact with his scientific mind I felt very much at eaze on a medical front with him present and involved . Beacuse of who I am I tend to view pregnancy from the more spiritual instinctive angle ;-)

In regards to nutrition I had a few books I truely loved as I mentioned in my previous post . I used herbs as part of that nutrition before conception , pregnancy and during the breastfeeding yrs. herbs such as red raspberry & red clover to strengthen uterus , stinging nettle to provide vitK , false unicorn & lobelia to prevent miscarriage and many more . I also discovered nutritional yeast when reading Birth by Raven Lang 2 T of this has apparently as much protein in it as a chunk of meat . I am not one who enjoys the grassy tasting teas so I often dilute them with my fav juices . I also drink liquid chlorophyll

I also trust the internal instinct very very much as well. Holy spirit guiding , perhaps ;-) during my 3rd pregnancy we were on a limited budget and struggling very much . I began having odd cravings . One was chewing ice constantly . It became a concern to me so I asked my midwife . She told me often women who are in need of iron or other minerals crave ice . So I made an effort to eat more iron rich foods. Cook more in our cast iron pans and , yes craving gone ! The other craving I had drove me crazy for about a week because I could not quite figure it out . I was craving earth ! Chalk perhaps ? Then it came to me one day kitty litter ! No I was not craving cat litter lol . It was clay ! kitty litter had the same scent and in fact is just a type of dried out form of clay . I told my midwife that my mother said she'd bring me some clay from her place . My midwife said she saw no reason why I couldn't try it . My mother brought me the clay and I dried it and would eat small little pieces . I also thought perhaps this was a lack of minerals again so began supplmenting . I later when traveling in Guatelmala discovered that in the markets there they sell mini crosses made out of clay . These are not decorations they are in fact made for people to purchase and eat . I also read later of women in others countries who eat earth or clay while pregnant . There is also the thought I also know in western medicine that this is somehow a phsycological disfunction . Which I think western medicine tends to label when they cannot accpet instinctual , primative practices which may actually be good for us ;-) anyway I think a woman in tune with her body will always be the best source of knowledge . I think I was once again just ahead of my time here because clay is poping up in the natural health industry all over the place .

Physically keeping ones body healthy is a must as well . Take nice walks ,cross country ski , do yoga , basically if you've been doing it already continue your practice . I've a cousin who is a taekwondo instructor . She practiced this throughout her pregnancies now I am aware vigorous exercise is not reccommned and one may need to modify your regular routine it is not nessecary to stop altogether . I really enjoyed in my early yrs of motherhood being with other preganant women and perhaps you would like to try joining a group of like minded mums . I loved the prenatal exercises I learned while in lamaze class with my first pregnancy .

How about that body ! lets talk stretch marks ! I have a confession . I never had them . Nope , not after a pregnancy . I have a few now however due to wieght gain from the peri faze ;-) My wieght gain during pregancy never ever exceeded 27lbs so I truely feel that had a big impact on skin stretching . I never have been an over eater . Keeping ones meals and small healthy snacks in balance helps . I also must say I began in my first pregancy to oil my body . This was out of instinct too . I used olive oil or coconut oil . Just oiling myself once out of the tub or shower . I think the art of massage also helps our skin .Our biggest organ stay healthy . Know of course I oil myself also with infused oils which also help my body heal. I also of course was planning to breastfeed all my babies. I began preparing for this as well beforehand by putting pure lanolin on my nipples during pregnancy . I don't know if this helped but I think it does because I've a friend who breastfed and she suffered terrible sore breasts .She did nothing during her pregnancies regarding nutrition or breasts etc. she suffered terrible wieght gain , horrid stretch marks etc. We all have our choices .What is most important we have healthy babies and they are loved but we cannot deny our part in our health .If we suffer poorly we need to be honest about our choices in diet etc.

It is beautiful how all these aspects fit together is it not . I was thinking of the physical and the oil massage how it in fact helped my body so much during pregnancy but it also played a huge role in the spiritual . While pregnant with our second child I would often have my first born help give me massage during the pergnancy . We had been using infant massage since her birth and as she grew continued this practice . I can honestly say as she was a very active beautiful child .Massage was a wonderful way to help calm her spirit especially for naps ;-) While we planned for baby to arrive we'd sit together on our family bed during the evening . We'd often have our story time . Pull out a deck of cards and she would help me massage my belly . We'd talk about pregnancy , birth and baby . I beleive having all family members connect with baby during the pregnancy is a must .

When Darlene our midwife would visit my dd would always take a listen with the fetoscope . Relationship with ones midwife is so important . Darlene often would stay for up to two hrs chatting having tea. She was always a friend not just a midwife and a member of our community . Our children would often play with hers when she'd visit and we grew to know her dh as well .I feel so blessed that Our Lord gave us such beautiful friends whom we connected with via the homebirth community .

Ok lets talk nesting ! Who cannot love nesting ! Is this not one the most wonderful spiritual & emotional helps for pregy ladies ;-) Preparing for the birth is fun and serious at the same time . We purchase a few items for mum like pads , drinks , make popcicles etc. We stock up on dettol for sterlizing the tub . preparing for a birth is a personal thing . Your may want candles , music , a camera etc. Each and every expereince will be different . I like to have these items avaliable so that they are easy to access if need be . A great tip for a plastic sheet under your sheets for the birth is to use your shower curatin or a vynal table cloth you can by those super cheap at the dollar store . Of course I absolutely love to prepare the items for baby . making new cloth diapers , buying diaper covers . Finding those real metal diaper pins ;-) . I never purchase already made recieving blankets but make our own . I like them to be big so I can wrap baby up tightly . Also you can find such amazing beautiful flannel patterns out there . I always preferred the little flannel nighteies as well instead of a sleeper for a new born , especially until the cord has fallen off. Being a fan of flannel I also like to have a nice clean flannel sheet ready for our family bed after the birth .This is just warmer for the new babe ;-) Little cotton baby socks are a must as well as a little cotton cap . Do not forget to have a good bar of laundry soap handy for those first few new born poops !

A big part of preparing for the birth is to also keep in mind our families. How to keep those other siblings involved and entertained . Having a list for friends to help deliver supers or take kids out for playdates really helps . I also always try and have a new gift for each sibling to celebrate the official Birthday . One yr a dear friend dropped off craft baskets for our older children .I thought this was a wonderful thought and could keep little hands busy while mum napped etc. Having older children is such a blessing our last baby was and still is an early riser to this day . It was such a gift when our eldest ds then 13yo would offer to take the new baby downstairs for an hour while we continued to sleep . Our then 17yo dd played with her 5yo brother the whole time during my labour .

I do not wish to write more about birth right now as that is a whole other wonderful post on its own .I hope to help in someway women know pregnancy never was nor is a burden like the lie often given and portrayed by our society . It is truely not . It is a blessing and a gift . Many blessings and gifts are work , can be difficult etc. however never a negative or a bad thing . I hope I've helped to portray the posative & good , how this is a beautiful and natural part of life to be cherished a beautiful blessing .

Later For now I must go tend to two beautiful boys who wish to start super with thier Mum .

My eldest dd took this picture she was 5yo and so excited about the new baby to come .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Let's Talk Baby

Baby Jasmine August 1986

That would be as in having , caring for ,raising those cute little sweetie pies ;-) I just could not resist posting a pic either of one of our own . She is now 23yo and has her very own sweetie pie . This pictuire was taken on our camping trip out west . It was late summer and mornings were cool already . My dear friend Sunshine had given me this beautiful wool sweater and cap for Jasmine . The bunny was a gift from her big sister and when I gave birth to another girl I knew she needed a Raggedy Anne dolly just like her big sister too .

Pregnant with our #6

I grew up believing a baby is a gift . A treasure so naturally when we began having our own I cherished this time in our lives. I have been blessed with very healthy pregnancies and children . I'm not sure if there is one reason for the " Why " we chose homebirth etc. For myself personally I think it is a combo of I always exposed to the natural via my mother and grandmother . I also came from a family which was always a part of the medical system . One of my major abusive people in my life " helped " women give birth . This person had a hatred for life , children and women so I cannot discount that being one of my major examples influenced my outlook on birth etc. and what not to do ;-)

I was quite young when I became pregnant at 17yo . Yet right from the start this baby was wanted , needed and loved . I had a friend who suggested a midwife . This concept seemed so foriegn to me . Yet my mother told me stories of her cousins etc. all born at home . Many women in the community helped with birthing by my Great Grandmother & aunties . My mother told me how my own grandmother almost lost her life while in hospital after giving birth to my mother . Hospitals have always been places to house the sick and back then one did not wish to stay long for a stay . My grandmother recieved an infection and was in hospital over 3 weeks .

A seed was planted in my head at 17yo to look for the best possible care for my child . My mother whom I was living with found a doctor who indeed helped with homebirths . Yet he said only for the second child . We then learned via his office that his patients could have access to what was called a birthing room . My mother also discoverd a group which was teaching something called Lamaze birthing method . I over the yrs became far closer to my own birthing style but for a 17yo it was a great exposure . To learn how my body was working , how baby was growing , and those exerices still helped me through all my pregnancies ;-) .

I will not post my dd whole birth story now as that can come another day saved just for that . I did have an extremly healthy pregnancy , short and quick delivery without any drugs . Back then IV was not manditory either so I drank a ton of cranberry juice & water . I also learned from my lamaze class that breastfeeding was my main & only option ;-)

I will say when she was born my mother placed a blanket over us so the light was not shining on her eyes . She opened her eyes up so wide . That first time I held one of my own I think will always be one of the most special days in my life .

My dd Natasha was born in spring and a lovely warm spring it was . It gave me plenty of opportunity to walk throughout our nieghbourhood discovering our world together . We lived in what was dubbed the " Granola belt " of the city . It is now so trendy etc. we can't affrod to live there but back then it had immigrant families , young low income families , hippies etc. My friend from school her mother had started up a food co-op for local and organic products to be sold . It was of course meant to help low income people have access to good healthy alternatives . It is now such a trendy expensive organic store no low income person could shop there . It is also no longer a co-op either .

Anyway within my little area there was a bookstore . Prairie Sky books . This has been there since I was a young teenager . I'd go in to browse buy incense etc. I then found a section on Birth / Parenting ! I bought my very first parenting book there at 18yo ! It was titled simply Birth by Raven Lang . It is still by far my most fav birthing book of all time . I also bought two other books that day which would help guide my parenting perspective etc. for the yrs to come . These books were Fredrick Leboyer 's Loving Hands a book on east Indian infant massage & a yoga for children book titled Be a Frog , a Bird , or a Tree

These books & people may seem so simple but I am so glad and know how blessed I am to have had this posative exposure at such a young age . I know so many teen young mums who are bossed around , told they have no options , no choice , control taken over by others etc. I know many welfare mums would no longer be if they were just given the message mothering is good and being a mother as a posative rather than a negative your bad attitude . Don't get me wrong all my mum friends were actually welfare mums at one time in thier lives . Only one remains all the rest never were drug users , all are highly intelligent , all have higher educations , all are working people, had homebirths , breastfed etc. In the end I always have been a simple plain person with extradordinary blessings ;-)

When my dh and I began our journey as new parents together it was pretty much a given we'd go the homebirth route . I and he had friends who had just had homebirth and with my first being such a quick wonderful labour I felt ready to try the expereince . Most of all as parents we felt this to be the most bestest safest choice health wise , spiritually , emotionally etc. for our baby . We also wanted the experience of pregnancy , birth & child rearing to be a posative one for the little blessings we already had . We felt it very importnat childen truely have a role in being a part of forming a relationship with thier sibling long before the birth .

So we got the ph. number of a wonderful lay midwife who of course 24 yrs later is my dear friend . This opened up a whole new world for us in regards to community , areas of health , nutrition , homeschooling etc. it was and is wonderful . I was referred to a book titled Spiritual Midwifery . This book is wonderful . Full of stories etc. but why I chose to read it for each and every pregnancy is for the medical references . It is a great refresher course for us in preparation of the birth .

I of course via friends found other materials to read and enjoy herbal books , parenting ,diet & pregnancy . There were many alternative mothering mags out there but my fav was of course The Compleat Mother . I began corresponding with the founder and editor Catherine Young and had several articles published . I still have many of the posters etc. she sent and have passed on all my teasured copies to my own dd who became a mother 4 yrs ago .

Breastfeeding was a given and yes I did and have tandumed nursed . I was even a mum who did not have to roll over to nurse with either breast ;-) We of course co-slept and wore our babies long before the term attachment parenting emerged . I always carried my babies from the time my mother gave me a scarf to strap my firstborn babe onto my body ;-) later on in MX I'd fit right in wearing a rebozo ;-)

This winter I hope to write posts specific to the topics of birth etc. but for now I thought this would be a nice taste of the possibilities to come .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

O Lemon Balm O Lemon Balm

I haven't a clue why but when I say lemon balm o tannenbaum comes into my head lol . Lemon balm is one herb I remember as a child . Must have been my Grandmother who used it because my mother certainly didn't use many herbs as remedies . This spring I ordered seeds to begin growing lemon balm . It did indeed grow ! One plant that is . We had a terrible ditructive spring and summer . Cold , cold and rain , rain plus slugs . I used the small plant for seasonbing fish actually . This was not my intended purpose however for growing the plant . No I wished to try it as an herbal remedy for cold/flue season . So in august I replanted lemon balm seeds and many came up . So I've now about 12 mini little plants growing under the plant light in the basement . I will have to purchase the dried variety for this winter I guess , I would like to try lemon balm as tea but also was thinking it'd also make a nice rub as well . I've never made a homemade rub for chest cold before . So this is an adventure I think is worth stepping into . I'm already ahead of myself thinking I want to order wintergreen plants as well come spring ;-)
Seems lemon balm is also used as a calming herb as well . This makes even more sence now to try it during these winter months cooped up inside we need things to calm the nerves at times

Saturday, September 12, 2009

That ole cold flu thing

Yes we are back ! I have been away from this blog in particular for sometime now ! Road trip to our dd28 wedding and then the flu kicking in etc. we've been busy . Yes we recieved the flu while on our trip so what better theme for the natural catholic then cold/ flu season .

Flu is a serious issue . People do loose life from the flu . We in our own community have lost people from the H1N1 virus . It is common amongst the aboriginal population and seems to focus on young people and young adults .

I suspect it was the flu I had back in july as my friends dd had it too . It hits some and leaves others behind .

Maybe this was so if my family members do contrct it I will be immune and be able to care for them prpoperly ? Who knows , fall is approaching and it is a must here in Canada we prepare for winter ! yes we have winter could be 5 even 8 months at times regardless what a calendar says lol . Below are some pics and I'm trying on all our blogs to take the time to put outclicks on the pics to information on a product , herb , saint etc.

As you know I love going to the first source of help for our health care Him ;-) it is then I often feel led to a wonderful saint . It seems very appropriate while getting ready for flu season and collecting herbs I'd be led to ST.Hildegard again . I love love harvesting . It is one of my most wonderful medatative times and get such enjoyment gathering , drying and preparing these herbs .

It is hard at times to keep in mind lets think local . With all the media , internet , tv & articles to forget we don't need it all . He gave us most everything we need in our own backyards ;-)

I have always gone to the first source myself for treatment . That is the plant , root , leaf etc. then tinctures , then if nessesary a regular north american western medicine route . Antibiotics saved our ds foot and many others I know have needed medical attention . I feel there is a time & place for all it is up to us to be responsible and try and discern the when the how the who the what .
The herbs hanging upove are my german or wild Chamomile this is an awesome tea and it is a most wonderful stomach aide for flues etc. I also bath in it . This plant seems so gentle and mild and german chamomile indeed does not even have the strong aroma of the other chamomiles . Yet don't be fooled we can testify that the herb which led to our ds sons recovery whilst in MX was indeed chamomile . His story is one of mircales of Our Lord's intercession . The shortened version is We were on route to hospital as he'd lost so much wieght and was delirious . He'd have needed an IV to rehydrate for sure . It was night we got lost . I felt we had to pull over this was a life/death situation . I felt drawn to one restaraunt out of all the businesses there . It runed out to be a cafe run by a retired university prof she had aa woman working there who was an american . They had a natropath friend they called right away . I told how his illness began really in ND when out trip first began and then just escalated . Our ds was sent home to rest with chamomile tea , instructions on how to begin a diet again for him and that was it he fully recovered . Non of the stomach pills etc. doctors along the way on our trip had helped .

We also dry and use a lot of wild mint . I am allergic to peppermint but for some reason not wild mint which is fine with me as our children do not like peppermint anyway .. far to spicey ;-) I am not even sure the variety we have as it has been in the family for so long it spreads thruoughout the garden very quickly .
I use wild mint in cooking and tea . It is very sweet and excellent in the Vietnamese salad Rolls this is how the authentic vietnamese make them
I of course also make many winter drinks as I am a beverage loving person ;-) for now I'll just stick to those which we use when not feeling at our best . One of the yummiest teas I like to make for cold and sore throat is ginger , lemon & garlic tea . Yes garlic ! It was my friend & midwife who taught me this one . I was making a ginger lemon tea and she told me they also add garlic . What a great way to get garlic into your children ! Of course I use alot of honey too .
Of course I also forget at times about which remedies have helped me and it was my dear friend Mary who dropped in yesterday for a visit said to me " do you have oregano oil ?" It was I who had given it to her a few yrs back and she says it works wonders . So I have my little bottle sitting now where I can remember . She also says it comes in capsules if you don't like the taste .it is hot !
Yes garlic again ! my dh loves to use garlic in his get well remedies .I'm one who does not like the heat thank you very much ;-) In fact dare I say it , I am not a lover of garlic lol . However I do realize the many many beefits of this plant . So I do use garlic chives , I cook with garlic and I do take garlic capsules. I also learned a great trick for eating raw garlic from my sister when in Guatemala . Spread a ton of cream cheese on bread and slice your raw garlic onto that ! It works it calms the spicey hotness down . So how does my dh most often use garlic for sinus infection or cold . Ok get this he chops it up fine fine and adds it to purified wtare in a dropper bottle lets it sit and soak up the garlic oil . He then sniffs droppers of this up his nose . Yes he does ! does it work ? well for him yes . I cannot fully verify this as I refuse to try it lol . I've a friend who learned as a child to snort saline solution up ones nose as well . It clears the sinus and salt cuts mucus big time . I would say maybe go with a netti pot if your brave enough ;-) Other cold & flu remedies we use are the white flower oil & Tiger balm . White flower oil is my fav .It is milder but works wonders on the chest and breathing . be sure to rub on both the front and back chest areas and the neck as well . My dh who gets migranes even uses tiger balm on his temples at times . I prefer the white tiger balm , while dh prefers the red .
As herbal teas go, the one I like to drink for myself during winter is rosehip tea it is very high in vit c plus I enjoy picking the hips in the fall ;-) This sort of takes the place of my cranberry juice from summer months.
As for vit c we also stock up on a big bottle along with vit d supplements & it is the one time of yr. I give our children a multi vit .
Also due to our many allergies and colds we also like to deal with the whole ear issue . For ear infection we use lobelia tincture & garlic oil . The debate is always out weather to put drops in kids ears or not but after having our second ds have constant bouts of ear infections I wanted an alternative to anitbiotic . He had one treatment of the herbal remedy at 3yo and not another ear infection until he was 14 or 15 yo ! so I go with what has worked and stick with it ;-) For ears I will never ever go without ear candles ever again ! these saved me during a big bad sinus infection . They do work and they do clean out your ears !
For winter and sinus issues another homeopathic treatment that works wonders is the hot /cold method . So having both ice packs & heating pads are a must around here . I am not that educated on this mehod but I beleive with the sinus it helps the sinuses release and contract and therefore helping them drain naturally .
I also like to at times due a facial steam and often add tea tree oil just a very small amount or a half a lemon really is nice too . I just heat a pot of water on the stove drop my lemon or oil into it , grab my towel and bend over the pot . I stop every now and then and massage my face to help loosen the sinus up .
As a person who suffers from arthritus this is also much worse come the cold and wintertime .
I found a huge relief when I stopped drinking coffee and I truely rarely need to take medical pain relief after drinking and bathing in my willow tea and herb bath. Willow is used as a natural remedy for arthritus . I also learned that my birch tea I have been drinking for uterine problems is also know to help with arthritus !
One last topic I should touch on is that of fever . I am one who does not suffer from this very often but dh and a few of our children do . When having small children this was always an issue . We have used tylonol when needed but often if the cause of fever is treated right away such as ear infection flu etc. then there has been little to no treatment needed for fever .
A tea I did have remarkable results with for little ones to help drop fever right away was red raspberry tea . I read this in Susun Weeds pregnancy herbal book back when we only had two children ! I brewed it up , cooled it with apple juice to make it yummy .
I'm sure I could find a ton more info to list here but think this is enough to spark ideas , keep you going for awhile ;-) and hopefully just by eating well , leading a healthy lifestyle we will all be quite healthy this cold/flu season .

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Brews

Yes I am a drinker & proud of it ;-) much of my daily intake is in liquid form . I could live on fruit and drink with the odd veggie thrown in here and there . Over the yrs my sensativity to alcohol turned into a down right allergic reaction unfortunately this does include wine at holy communion . Luckily for me there are many wonderful alternatives to the booze version .
Of course I love herbal teas however there are few grass like teas I am not found of so many yrs ago when making my lobelia tea to avoid miscarriage I began using apple juice in the mix. I got hung on juice the yr. I worked in our local organic food co-op . Pear juice from the Okanagan in BC was a fav of my grilfriend sunshine and I . I loved loved those mission san juan juices peach & coconut was my fav . One of my all time favorite iced teas is hibscus and rose hip . I use sugar or honey or other juices for sweeteners . Below are a few and the ingredients to get you thinking of the possibilities. My dh loves veggies juices but I am not found of drinking veggies so I do not have any in this post , I prefer to eat my veggies in crunchy form instead . Although back when I could handle alcohol a bit I loved a good ceasar with a yummy celery stick ;-) Lemon & Rose Drink

Start with lemons & rose petals quarter lemons after juicing & add to jug juice as many lemons as you like . For our jug 1 & 1/2 lemons are perfect Mix with your sweetener and let sit for a good 1/2hr if possible then add water & chill , serve with ice
I 've been drinking day lily tea it is so wonderful a flavour

This is jamaican sorrel which is also known as hibiscus . This version has alcohol but I omit it . I also do not use cloves only alspice . This is our fav drink when we visit our fav acrribean eatery
some ingredients for drinks are ginger ,wild mint , lemon , rose or any other flower , hibiscus , honey , cloves & black tea etc.
I just chop up ingredients and if it is a hot tea to steap add ingredients to a pot of boiling water and turn off heat . Let sit for a good 1/2hr and then strain . I let it then cool before adding to jug .

If preparing a cold drink right off it helps to chop or mash ingredients

Mix with your sweetener & let sit

Then add water & chill . Yumm Yumm

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

My supper

lol I just had to post this pic of my super it is so pretty and yes it was yummy Bowl of flowers johnny jump up , nastursium , rose & borage
I have saved some of these for breakfast as well . I truely love eating flowers but in morning they are one of the best flavours to first have on the tongue . Top off a salad with flowers , rice viniger , olive oil and a pinch of seasalt makes perfect .

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Bed of Flowers

Great Gramma's Shamrock
Yes anyone who knows me knows I love flowers . Especially the edible kind lol
my friends will also tell you that although I love love growing , eating , caring for many herbs & flowers I cannot grow a vegtable what so ever so if we ever become homesteaders my dh will have to do the veggies or we'll starve to death ;-)
I can remember always my grandmother & mother handing me a rose petal , violet or blueberry flowers . A few yrs ago for the first time ever which is actually odd considering all our trips to MX I tried squash blossom . Just raw fresh and cool in the morning for breakfast . It is heavenly ! Soft yet a hardy flavour too . Now I have yet to cook them as I'd have a hard time saving them till lunch time for cooking lol but if you want to try out a recipe or two I found this site
I am now making it a personal goal to try a new edible flower each summer . Last yr. it was marigolds . They come in different scents and flavours too ! Not all are tasty though so stick to the varities that are used in culinary purposes like lemon gem , yum yum . The yr. before last were pansies and johnny jump ups as we had planted pansies in our Mary garden in memory of great great Aunty Pansy . This yr. I hope to try day lily , I've absolutely no idea what type of flavour a lily would have but willing to try . I think I might try the day lily fritters . I found this and it is daylily recipes in pdf format !
I've been taking photos of flowers around the yard plus on our outings . Thought I'd share some beauty with You all ;-) Enjoy !
This is a lily which I planted in spring had no idea what colour it was until she opened this morning ;-)

These are wild rose petals I picked out at my mothers the wild rose scent is so much stronger then the tame rose.

These are off our bush here in our sacred heart garden . I dry them and use for bathing , baking , nibbling treats ;-)

The bees all abuzz in morning

Sacred Heart garden

this is our view coming up the drive to Gramma's cottage a field of daisies & butter cups what could be more lovely ! I am so tempted to send a cow into this field lol this is one lovely daisy These iris are my fav . There are many colours around the cottage but the white and purple are my fav as they not only look gorgeous but they smell the most wonderful lemoney citrusie smell

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Herbal Bath

If you haven't figured out I like baths yet well lol you either are here for the first time or not been paying attention ;-)
I love the art of herbal bathing . I am also interested in exploring the art of dry bathing as well but this focus is on my most wonderful tub .
I've mentioned before I love oils for the tub and afterwards. This also goes for my hair. I've read different herbs are good for different hairtypes as well for those with different colours. I read rosemary is nice for darker colourings so I tried it and it is absolutely heavnly. I also usually mix this up with lavender I find the two scents compliment each other. I rcently read spices can enhance ones colour like red with cinnamon and dark with nutmeg .
I use olive oil for my hair I prefer the heavy thick texture for my long hair . For skin though I use coconut and almond oils . I never had a stretch mark in my life and I like to think it came from a good supply of oil to my skin .
So where do the herbs come in . Well I use mostly trees in my bathing . Makes sence as this is what I have access to most often and there are many medicinal uses for trees be it root, leave or stem even sap is used for making sauves .
I am so blessed to have a really wonderful and wise spiritual director . One time I was questioning some thing or other and he said to me " well just ask  "
 lol the wise often are very plain and simple . Well I do that I pray in regards to my healing and I must say I am always blessed with the way when I am open to believing .
Remember our skin is our biggest organ so it makes sence we take in not only toxins this way but also the good stuff. So if my bones are achy from my arthritus not only does the warm bath help but the addition of willow in a tub and a glass of willow tea really work .
For purification juniper almost always does the job for me . Spruce and balsam help with healing and also really awaken the mind . Lately I've been using alot of comfrey as I've been fighting an infection and low immune lately.
I personally prefer to make my herbal tub by brewing up a pot of bath tea. I quite often am going to also drink the tea as well . I know some like to use the herbal bag right to the tub but I like the boiling water ,add the herbs and then let it steap just like a pot of tea. I then strain it off into the tub . Unless of course I am having a flower tub then I leave the petals in .There is nothing more soothing then having a tub with lavender buds and rose petals floating around .
If you really want to make a bath bag I just cut up pieces of old sheets and save them for dusting , first aide and such. Fill a piece of sheeting with your herbal mix and drop it into your boiling pot or like some do add right to your tub. I am thinking to do a thistle tub soon for cleansing and I will take care to strain this mixture well ;-)
So again nothing really over the top just a nice way in which Spirit teaches us how to use  beautiful gifts for thier real purpose . Again if you feel the need for  help remember just ask , I think you may be pleasantly surprised and perhaps also end up in a wonderful herbal tub like me ;-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We have a Winner !

Yes we do have a winner for our Father's day give away ! This time we have a local winner ! Our friends The Van Erds' a wonderful homeschool family and friends . Congrats to Marcel Van Erd we hope he will enjoy the iet,ms and our products . Aventure boy of course always has fun helping mum put together ietms and do the actual drawing of the winner . This time we used my toolbox ;-) I thought it fitting to honour ST. Joseph .

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