Bee Petting: Autumn Edition

The cooler days mean sleepy bees. This one makes a vague suggestion of annoyance at the end by half-heartedly lifting one leg at me.

Yoga

It’s been a long time since I’ve done yoga, maybe fifteen years. I used to really like doing yoga, it suited me and I remember my little girls bending, folding and stretching with me occasionally.

I’ve talked before about how I battle with stress and the effects with which it comes. I work with herbs in my daily life and these help to keep me grounded. I try to get out into the forest every day. This also helps.

As I get older, I’ve been noticing my joints creaking (yikes!), my knees feel delicate and, in general, I feel less flexible and more achy. After some thought, it seemed like a great time to pick up yoga again. If not for anything else but to get more flexible and to spend some quiet time breathing. Sounds like a great idea, no?

Upon buying a proper yoga mat, I started my first day of a 31-day program online. No way was I going to march my old butt into a yoga studio. No one wants that….no one.

It feels super comfy at home in my pjs doing yoga. I’ve been yogaing and breathing every morning before work and it really seems to be helping my mental state. I get into to work with my body coursing with blood that is properly oxygenated, mental clarity and an appropriate sense of detachment from the intensity of other people’s issues that would’ve normally stuck to me like glue.

Just saying…seems to be a good decision. Knees feel better, too!

 

Here’s where I’ve been doing my yoga:

https://yogawithadriene.com

Nettles To The Rescue

Need an energy boost? Feeling dull due to the change in weather? Now is the perfect time to harvest these gorgeous plants!

Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are in their second growth right now. Catch them before their catkin-like flowers start to dangle. I harvest the top 10-15 cm of the plant and dry them in batches in my dehydrator. I absolutely love them fresh as well. During this change in season, and the stress of starting school again after a luxurious summer holiday, we make nettle tea each evening in order to have a strong brew ready in the morning. I fill our two large French presses 1/2 full of fresh nettles (or 1/3 full of dried), cover them with water that has just boiled and leave them overnight. In the morning, I press them and pour them into glass bottles to be drunk throughout the day. A great tonic, energizer, full of minerals and nutrients and an overall detoxifier!

The Design Process

Something that sets my herbal remedies apart is the connection they have with my daughter Rebekah. I began my herbalism journey in order to find a natural path of healing for her and her serious health issues (read more here) and she has partnered with me in designing my labels as well as illustrating all of the designs.

I wanted to share with you the design process. It is truly a delight to watch.

Step 1: We talk together about the remedy, its name, the ingredients and what it is for. She asks some questions, I give a few ideas and then she’s off to do a pencil mock-up.

 

Step 2: Once I’ve approved the designs and she’s made any necessary corrections, she moves on to inking the designs. Typically, she inks in the remedy titles first. I love this part, it’s like watching them come to life.

And more inking….

 

Step 3: Once the inking is done, she moves on to colouring. Using high-quality coloured pencils, she breathes life into the designs.

 

Step 4: Final look at the new batch of labels!

 

Step 5: My youngest daughter Roxie is also a valuable part of my herbal business. She is in charge of formatting and processing the digital images in order to get them ready to go to the printer.

Step 6: Rebekah then takes the digital images and gets them printed on waterproof, removable sticker paper.

Step 7: The mind-numbing task of cutting out the labels often goes as well to Rebekah. Binge watching a TV show goes well with this task.

Step 8: Filing away the pre-cut labels along with their ingredients stickers and keeping it all organised is super important.

Step 9: Affixing the labels on to new products. I am so proud of Rebekah and her designs!

The Wise Woman Way

These are the ways of our ancient grandmothers, the ancient ones who still live. These wise women are one with all life as they tread the ever-changing spiral. Every pain, every plant, every stone, every feeling, every problem is cherished as teacher: not teacher who grades, but teacher who guides. Night is loved for darkness and the stars. Day is loved for light and the sun. Uniqueness is our treasure, not normalcy. Our universe includes it all; it is ‘both/and,’ not ‘either/or.’ This is the Wise Woman way the world ‘round’
-Susan Weed
Photo credit: design-dautore.com

Bye Bye Bruise!

Day 1: Walking into the kitchen, I slipped and banged my wrist on the corner of the wall, hitting the bone in such a way that it took my breath away. I am using it as an opportunity to show the power of arnica in these situations. I applied my Bye Bye Bruise Salve which contains arnica-infused olive oil, beeswax, and rosemary, lavender and fennel essential oils. This salve has rubefacient, vulnerary and analgesic actions.
If put on directly after an injury, it is really helpful!

 

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Day 2: no pain and looking better

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Day 3: almost all gone!

 

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Day 4: wouldn’t even know it had happened!
This salve is a staple in our home first-aid kit.

Would you like to buy it directly from me? Shop here.

Making New Friends

On the way to Vienna, this little green buddy hopped a ride from České Budějovice. He stayed with me even on the subways in Vienna. I’m in my hotel room and he’s crawling around my head while I’m typing this.
 Update: He stayed with me for the whole day and then I released him on a happy bush outside our apartment in Vienna. I looked for him everyday, wondering if he’d like to score a ride back to Czech. He seems happy in his new country….