What ever is true….

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I had been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, so I have been keeping an on going list of 1,000 things that I am thankful for. But recently, while I was on a trip with my son and daughter, I purchased a handy, little book on Mindfulness and Relaxation exercises written by Dr. Arlene Unger. It had a very helpful and stretching recommendation to write a list from a-z just for that day with the first word corresponding with the letter of the alphabet.

Although this was an important and bonding trip for all of us, it also had it’s usual familial tensions!! The particular day that I wrote this list out, I was really dealing with a wide array of emotions. It was not at all difficult for me to list my son and daughter on the list or anything having to do with being together, but other aspects of the list took me more effort. It was a challenge and it forced me to give thanks to God for everything in my day and take the time to really ponder it all.

What a simple but profound routine to pull back and re focus on the positives of the day, and I see how it helped, particularly when my emotions could have run wild! The Bible says to think about what ever is; true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous or praiseworthy- meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) ❤

 

Summertime!

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good lookin’

So hush little baby don’t you cry….

That is the song I was singing while I started the post! I take voice lessons and  I just finished working on this piece but it happened to coincide with our children having their last day of school yesterday.

Summertime actually can make me a bit anxious with the change in schedule. I will not have the quiet mornings I have had through the school year, many of those mornings in which I take the time to blog. But I did get to take a quick vacation at this very beach in Destin, Florida! It is to date one of the most beautiful and fun beaches I have ever been to. Our son is in the Navy and our daughter, Hannah and I met up with him and spent a few days of Liberty with him.

It was a relationally worthwhile trip and I am very thankful that my two oldest children would want to spend that time with me. We laid on the beach and we played in the waves- it was great! It is easy for me to push myself continually and not rest or make time for recreation- but it is so important for us to do that for ourselves. In this instance, an unforgettable memory was built, which is even more important.

I created an After Sun Spray and took it on the trip, and it was good that I did! It was a mixture of Aloe Vera Juice and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). It felt fantastic on hot skin and smelled amazing as well as being very calming! Try it and let us know what you think!

So, Happy Summer and take time to enjoy the season, re creating and singing!!

What “Weeds” Do You Have In Your Back Yard?

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The other day, in Do The Next Thing, I touched on using local “weeds” for medicinal purposes. I found a great article about  Creeping Charlie written by Connie Korstens that goes into detail on that very subject!

Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

*Soothes inflamed mucous membranes

*Sinusitis

*used for inner and middle ear remedy

*tinnitus (ringing in the ears

*kidney and lung disorder

*head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes

*bronchitis and viral pneumonia

*cough remedy

*bladder infections

*indigestion

*may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)

*traditional cancer remedy

*Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

*Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

*Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

*Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

*Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea.

Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…

Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie. Place the plant material in a quart jar. Fill to top with boiling water. Cover jar and steep for one hour. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint

Reading this article re energizes me to gain some more knowledge on my back yard “weeds”! When our older children were younger, I often dug up dandy lion roots or clipped other leaves and flowers for medicinal teas. It is all right there, free for the taking! I went out side this morning and collected some of this lovely plant, and I am making this tea as I type!!

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What “weeds” do you have in your back yard? Identify them on the internet, or buy a book on the subject. I am right here, learning along, and becoming holistically healthier with you:-)

Do The Next Thing

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This pic was taken on the bike trail in our area. I have been purposely appreciating “the weeds” in my yard or along the side of the road. They are “weeds” because someone has called them “weeds” and told us that they are to be pulled out, not picked, and not looked at as a thing of beauty. But they are lovely- faithfully growing there at the edge of the trail, under the sun light as I ride my bike and move forward.

Yesterday at church, our pastor reminded us to continue to be faithful in everyday things. When you feel you have failed,  don’t know what to do next or you feel you are not where you are supposed to be, simply do the next thing and be faithful in it. If you have a job, show up, be faithful when no one is watching. If you are married, be love to your spouse. If you are a parent, be present and involved in your child’s life. If you are none of the above, get up and move and “bloom where you are planted”! Be beauty to yourself and to others.

In The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp says, “When nothing feels simple, simply do the next thing.” Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Reduce it, do the next thing, take the next step-be faithful in the small things. And look for the beauty and growth in the “weeds”.

Speaking of “weeds”, many of the wonderful properties we glean from our Infused Oils come from garden variety “weeds”!! Red Clover, Creeping Charlie, Yarrow, for example, all have amazing health properties.  I blend many of my Essential Oils into infused oils for added health benefits. I have taken local classes to identify helpful “weeds” that grow in our region. Does this interest you? Buy a book on the subject, or check out classes at your local parks! Learn, grow, flourish….simply do the next thing 🙂

Lettres, Ladies, and Libraries

 

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This past weekend Honest Aromas was a vendor at the Oil City Belles Lettres Club bazaar. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why the Belles Lettres started. I mean, I used to take my children to their building downtown to perform for the Jr. Schubert club, and my husband and I held formal youth group dinners there, but I was not sure what the ladies at the Belles Lettres actually did.

Well as it turns out, the founders of this club were amazing!

The Belles Lettres Club was formed for the purpose of studying literature and maintaining a library (the name Belles Lettres comes from a French phrase for fine writing, and is a general term for a type of well-crafted literature). An active member of Belles Lettres, Cora Hull Ramage, began corresponding with Andrew Carnegie of Pittsburgh. She requested that Mr. Carnegie donate money for a library. He agreed to donate $44,000 to build the library, provided that the citizens provide a site and guarantee $3,000 annually to maintain it.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Over his lifetime, Mr. Carnegie contributed an estimated 150 million dollars to nearly three thousand libraries in the United States and Great Britain. Oil City was fortunate to be one of the recipients, but the library hasn’t received any Carnegie money since.

CarnegieLibrary-300x199The women of the Belles Lettres Club went to work and raised over $11,000 to purchase the present site at the corner of Central Avenue and West Front Street.

On July 6, 1904, the Carnegie Library of Oil City opened its doors with five thousand books that were donated by the Belles Lettres Club.*

WOW! You go ladies!

 

*Information from http://www.oilcitylibrary.org/index.php/information/history/

Arrow Root, Healthy Tummies and Weight Loss.

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Here are some healthy ideas to help you continue on your health journey! As I told you a while ago, I have been on an ongoing detox to help re build my liver. Some of the recipes I have come across, include arrow root. As I started eating these recipes….I realized that it immediately increased my elimination! Since that is a definite benefit, especially while on a detox diet, I decided to check out this little wonder!

Here are some facts from Organic Facts;

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is not technically a plant in itself, but rather a type of starch that can be readily obtained from the roots of numerous different plants and rhizomes. This high nutrient density starch has been very valuable to a number of indigenous cultures dating back more than 7,000 years, but despite the fact that so many herbal remedies have been disproven or have gone out of use, arrowroot remains an important and effective remedy for many different health conditions. It can be used as a replacement in many foods, rather than flour or corn. Essentially arrowroot powder can be a healthier alternative to the more common cooking ingredients for breads, pastas, and cakes. Arrowroot is also gluten-free, which makes it all the more valuable today with the rising incidence of Celiac disease in many countries.

Stomach Concerns: Celiac disease seems to be the new global pandemic, and as the numbers continue to climb around the world, people are seeking gluten-free alternative to traditional starches and wheat. Arrowroot is a gluten-free substance, making it very popular in recent years, as it can prevent the gastrointestinal discomfort, pain, and danger that those handling a gluten intolerance must face every day.

Weight Loss Concerns: Arrowroot is extremely low in calories as compared to other starches like yams, potatoes, or cassava. For this reason, people trying to remain on a diet can get complex carbohydrates and a wealth of nutrients, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber, and eliminate the desire to snack between meals. Arrowroot fills you up and gives you the minerals and vitamins your body needs.

Digestion: Dietary fiber is one of the most important parts of our digestive process, as it helps move food through the bowels in an efficient manner, while also stimulating the uptake of nutrients. It can eliminate issues of constipation and diarrhea, and manage blood sugar levels to prevent the onset of diabetes. Finally, dietary fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol, further promoting cardiovascular health.

So, replacing flour with arrowroot would be one significant health benefit! Gut health is KEY to overall health. There are so many other benefits and it is a great thickener (can be used in place of eggs if your sensitive.)

Diet, Exercise, Mental health, Faith, Supplements and Aromatherapy all help support as we travel through this life…it is a holistic approach. I am right here with you walking it out and would love to hear from you today:-)

May You Always Have Tea Beside The Fire

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That quote is from the Irish Blessing printed inside my Celtic ceramic bread dish. Both sides of my family immigrated here from Ireland and I haven’t traveled there YeT, but my soul connects to my roots especially on weeks like this!

May you always have tea (water, food, clothing) beside the fire (shelter), and I would add; with a thankful heart. Top O’ the Mornin’ to ya, and Top O’ the week!