Okay folks... things have not been too fun for me lately. Remember my five day headache last week... well it turns out it might not have been related to dehydration after all (although I still stand by my post regarding dehydration). Wednesday morning a rash turned up out of nowhere... it was fairly itchy at first and then the itch transformed into pain... it began to grow and has now turned into a very painful rash covering most of my torso. I went to my doctor and turns out it's more than likely Shingles! :( The doctor couldn't confirm the diagnosis because I don't fit the perfect description of Shingles (only on "one" side), however my research tells me that's exactly what it is. I don't like assuming anything so on Monday I'm going to try and schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get tested so I can know for sure that it is in fact Shingles. In the mean time I'm getting a jump start on herbal education in hopes that I can ease the pain I am feeling and I have already learned so much.
Chamomile is helps with blisters and has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It is also specifically recommended to aide in the recovery of Shingles... 1 cup of oatmeal and 1/4 pound of dried Chamomile in a cool bath and soak.
Plantain is an anti-inflammatory (thank goodness!)
And Comfrey speeds up the natural replacement of body cells so it will help prevent scarring.
So... I'm about to embark in my first attempt at using herbs to heal. This made me think about the Preparedness Challenge over at Homestead Revival. I truly believe it's incredibly important to know what herbs have certain powers to help heal and reduce pain. So many herbs that have these qualities grow wild right in our own backyards... and to be able to recognize these and use them to heal is a great gift to have. I can't wait to learn more and frankly I can't wait to reap the benefits as soon as possible!
So because of the way I was feeling this week I didn't go to the farm so I don't have any pictures to show you this week... BUT I did buy a dehydrator!! I was doing so much research on canning and I kept thinking about how much I needed to buy in order to can and then I came across drying certain foods! Well... What REALLY led me to it was the fact that I still have beets from the farm and I would like to make beet powder to add to my homemade skincare projects. Well in order to get beet root powder I need to dehydrate my beets! I looked for about a week on Craigslist and found one for $15!!! I'm going to try it out probably tonight so my beets can dry overnight... I'm so excited!!! Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!
After working on the farm last Friday morning I headed home feeling great... When I got home I made lunch for my son and myself, put him down for his nap and relaxed on the couch watching TV while he slept. As I was watching TV I started not feeling very well and out of nowhere an extremely painful headache just hit me like a ton of bricks. I've had some pretty bad headaches but none that had ever come on so quickly before. I took some Tylenol and tried to rest my head... eventually the excruciating pain began to slightly subside. We had plans that evening to go out with some friends and take our little ones swimming. I was feeling okay and we went ahead and got ready once my husband got home and met with our friends. While in the pool the headache reappeared... I tried my best to hide my pain but I wasn't too successful. Still I toughened it out while we were there and let the kiddos have a blast in the pool.
On the drive home I could barely stand it. By the time we got to our house I could barely walk upstairs to our bedroom because the pain was so bad. My husband asked me how much water I had to drink that day and it was then that I realized I had MAYBE two glasses... IF that. My husband being an EMT immediately said that was the underlying issue and went and gave me a huge glass of water. I drank it and eventually fell asleep still in pain. The next morning I opened my eyes only to realize that the horrible headache was still fully present. I have to be honest I became a tiny bit scared. By 10am Saturday morning I drank three large glasses of water and then is when I began to feel slightly better. The pain was gone but not completely... it was hovering over me threatening to come back again full force for the rest of the day but I filled up my water cup each time it was empty.
Yesterday and today were much better than Friday and Saturday but I'm still not 100% percent. I feel weak from the pain and exhausted as well... My husband informed me that what I experienced this weekend was more than likely Heat Exhaustion. You see... we are from the hot hot desert in Southern AZ so although here in the Midwest we are experiencing "Excessive Heat Warnings" it still does not compare to the heat I experienced my whole life in AZ... yes even with the humidity. The mistake I made was not drinking enough water while working my tush off on the farm that Friday morning... because I felt "fine". In fact the three hours I spent harvesting and weeding vegetables that morning I don't recall have one single sip of water till I got into my truck once all the work was done. Big Mistake!
My point is... take this heat seriously folks... no matter where you are. Drink Water! It is so important! As always, my mother is right... she always describes me as a flower in a flower pot and if that flower is not tended to and watered properly then it begins to wilt and become frail. She always told me that I was no different and that if I want to be strong and bright then I need to drink more water. Needless to say after my little experience this weekend, the second my cup is empty I am at the refrigerator filling it up again.
Remember how important it is to nourish your body by hydrating it... Do not wait until you're thirsty because that means you are already dehydrated. If you know you're going to have a hard working day in the heat... begin drinking your water BEFORE you begin your work... do not make the mistake of letting yourself wilt away.
So my husband really wants to make his own root beer... so here was his first attempt. It unfortunately was a fail. We opened it and it smelled awful!! The taste was not as bad as the smell but it certainly didn't taste like root beer. This was the recipe he used...
Recipe from Dave B. Fankhauser
1 cup table sugar
1 tablespoon McCormick Root Beer extract
1/4 teaspoon baking yeast
Fresh cool water
He added the sugar and yeast into the bottle with a funnel and shook it around to distribute the two together. He then added the extract and filled the bottle halfway with cool fresh water, swirled it to dissolve all ingredients, then he filled it the rest of the way leaving an inch of head space. He then inverted it a couple times to make sure all ingredients had dissolved. Afterwards he put the bottle in a dark cool place (the basement) for three or four days until it the bottle became very hard. Once it was hard he refrigerate overnight and the next day he cracked it open just a bit to release a bit of the gas and then it's ready to drink.
We're trying to figure out where we went wrong and we're thinking it might have been the sugar... we didn't have any table sugar (white refined sugar) so we used Sugar in the Raw... which personally I'm not quite sure why that would make such a drastic difference in anything... But we're going to try it again with plain 'ol sugar and see if that helps. If not then we may search out a different recipe... But either way this was a blast and I think my husband found a new passion!!!
My homemade lotion was a bit more successful... I followed a recipe from A Sonoma Garden which was extremely simple! It turned out great and my mother LOVES it!
1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax
1/4 cup olive oil
24-36 drops of essential oil
I omitted the essential oil for now as I practice different recipes to make sure I have the consistency that I want so I don't waste my essential oils since I don't have that much. Well let me tell you this one is definitely a winner! I'm still going to try out different recipes just to see and compare... and I think it would be even better if it was a bit more creamier so I have a few books coming from the library that I'm very excited to get... all about homemade skincare! But I highly recommend you give this one a try if you've been thinking about making your own lotion! Oh yeah... and in my next batch I'm considering adding a few drops of Vitamin E oil.
Okay... I want to do... well... everything. I want to learn more about herbs and make my own lotions, salves, tinctures, and teas, I want to begin canning and making my own preserves, I want to sew and crochet, bake breads... BLOG. You get the point. Well... when I get my free time either during nap time or bedtime I find myself switching from so many different tabs on so many different subjects on my computer and I'm constantly just having this flow of information casually float into my brain. I get wonderful ideas but I'd be surprised if I remember the next morning even a handful of them because of everything I'm trying to do at once. So I've decided to organize this ambition of mine and designate a day to a certain topic. I'm also thinking I'll add tabs to my control journal and put all my notes and ideas under the proper categories. Okay... I'm starting to sound a bit nerdy I know... BUT I CAN'T HELP IT! I'm LOVING all that I want to do and I don't want to miss a thing!
So here's sort of a draft of the schedule I'm thinking...
Tuesday: Baking (I'm talking more about research not the actual baking... I plan on baking every day really)
Thursday: Homemade skincare
Okay so this seems a bit excessive... But I'm still liking it. I think something like this will keep me from making a bad habit of being on the computer too much in one day. Once I'm finished researching one topic I won't continue on to the next one that pops inside my head. I'll have to say nope... today is a day only for this or that so since I'm done I'm done and I'll be able to do more around the house. Another idea just popped inside my head to put a time limit on my "research" because technically I could still research these topics individually all day long as well. So let's say...two hours? That way I'll be able to separate the two hours between nap time and bed time and I'll feel a sort of satisfaction being able to go back to and complete whatever thoughts I had in my head in the second hour that I wasn't able to complete in the first hour.
As I said this is my drafted version of my new schedule... I think it'll help! I'll make sure to post when I've got it down to science! Off to the farm with me now!
Hello everyone! Well we are back to a normal (and less chaotic) schedule! Phew! My whole world shifts out of balance when my husband has to travel... and that was even with my mom's help since she is still visiting!! It makes me laugh because I can't even remember how I survived the time he was gone for six months and our son was only an infant!!
Last night I was doing some research about old folklore and superstitions when it comes to the house and home... and I came across the Farmer's Almanac. Now I knew that the Almanac was something farmers followed back in the day... it told them when the best time was to plant specific items, when to harvest, and when to complete other tasks on the farm using mainly the phases of the moon. I came across two different websites... Almanac and Farmers Almanac and as I was perusing them I fell in love with what I was seeing and decided that the Almanac was something we would begin to follow as well... now and when we have our mini farm! For example... according to the Farmers Almanac... today is a great day to potty train, jar jams and jellies, wash wooden floors, plant below ground crops and more!
I absolutely love all things old and mysterious... and to me there's NOTHING more magickal than following the moon's phases and Mother Nature to guide you... especially when you are doing something that is in such harmony with those two things such as gardening and farming.
So check out the two websites above and you'll find some awesome information about gardening, farming, weather, recipes and more! I'm going to try and add "Best Days" to my sidebar because I just think it's so neat!!
Other Magickal Happenings
Made From Scratch
As I said... everything happens the way it's meant to! We were able to get a viewing of the farm house and although it was perfect on the outside on a beautiful acre that would have been ours and surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmland... the inside was not up to par. And we're not be spoiled either. There would have been TONS of work needed to make it liveable. So we decided against it and we are perfectly happy with our decision and we know an even greater opportunity will present itself soon!
I will be in and out probably sporadically this week because my husband is out of town and I usually blog while he is putting our little man to sleep. I'll pop in when I can! Everyone have a GREAT week!!
Okay so I am a TRUE believer that things happen for a reason... If there is ever something I want or want to happen I usually pray... not for it to happen, but that it's meant to happen. With that said... I'm about to share with you an exciting possibility that we are hoping is something that is meant to be a part of our future.
Today we spent time driving around the country surrounding where we live, as we like to do often and dream of our future. Well... we happened to come across a farmhouse for rent!!! We have yet to even speak with the owners but it really would be the perfect situation. It's on a little bit of land and it would give us the perfect opportunity to have a large garden and even some chickens!!! We left a message with the owners and hope we hear from them tomorrow.
Absolutely nothing could come of this... OR it could end up being our home for the next two to three years. Even as a rental this truly would be a dream come true. But even if it doesn't happen, I will not be too disappointed because I will believe that it was just something that for a very good reason was not meant to be... but here's hoping it IS meant to be ;).