Stepping Into Change

When I became a stay-at-home mom a few years ago, it was with the understanding that I would re-enter the working world once our youngest was settled into kindergarten. Four months into his kindergarten career, the little freckle faced, curly haired cutey is settled in. He has adjusted to the fact that he must do real work every school day & is well on his way to convincing the girls around him to finish tasks he feels are unnecessary: namely coloring & glueing.

Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a working mom. Actually, I began my career & became a mommy just ten days later. It’s what I refer to as a fake it till ya make it phase of life. {added to that: building a house & grad school, aka, formula for a breakdown}. Fast forward 7 years & I’ve tip-toed back into bits & pieces of my previous career. Instead of catching up on the latest gossip & news with the GMA crew, I’m up before the sun to squeeze in a workout & getting everyone ready between sips of coffee to head out to help instruct & guide the future leaders of America. Stepping into a surprisingly quick change has been nice. It’s added some new challenges to our lives, but has also added tiny bits of confidence that I lost several years ago.

So, as herb school closes & my business takes shape, it will be formed around weeks spent in the classroom, evenings of family time & consultations & weekends spent at festivals & craft shows. Do what you love, love what you do. Find peace with broken pieces of your past, pick them up, dust them off, learn to love them again & enjoy stepping onto blended paths of a happy mix of old & new.

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Happy new {work} week,
Mae

InstaFriday

Oh my, what a busy week! It seems as though October is always sneakily busy. This week has been overflowing with adventure…

Changing seasons mean growing children & having to raise the swings by a link or two.

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The corn in the field next door has been harvested & our favorite cows are now grazing through & sending us their greetings.

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Perfectly centering moments to think & celebrate nature on my favorite back road tunnel of trees.

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Tip-toeing back into the working world.

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My children doing incredibly odd things at their hair appointments. Seriously. Odd.

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Precious moments of savoring this fabulous fall weather, textures, colors & temps.

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If you’re on Instagram, you can find me @maeusa for more nature, herby, crafty & family adventure filled snapshots.

Happy Friday,
Mae

Monday Morning Recap {Bell Buckle Craft Fair}

Do you ever have moments in life when you sit back & know without the shadow of a doubt that you are on your path? Moments when all of the chips fall together & the years of hard work, uncertainty, learning & jumping in with both feet to a field that isn’t very popular are just right? I’m still riding a craft fair high this morning. As an herbalist, I never really know how my products are going to be viewed or received by people who wander into the booth. The tiny little apothecary bottles are filled with pieces of my heart. Much like sending your children off to school for the first time, putting out herbal products for public viewing & scrutiny is a big deal! Our little booth received so much love & encouragement this weekend from so many of you. Whether you texted or called, came in person to give hugs & ohh & ahh over the sights & smells, if you were a complete stranger who chatted & asked questions, or an online acquaintance who liked pictures & sent virtual love, I can’t thank you enough! Our time in Bell Buckle was wonderful & encouraging. It was a huge learning experience & full of laughter, fun & at times even delirium. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Tracey & I are excited for things to come. Our next big show will be December 1st at the Shabby Lane Shops Holiday Splendor Trunk Show at Murfreesboro’s Lane Agri-Park Community Center. For the next two Thursdays you can find us set up at the Farmers Market @ Beans Creek Winery in Manchester & Nov 3 I’ll be at Manchester’s Holiday Market @ the Ada Wright building (aka, the barn @ the boys’ ball field).

Until then it’s the mommy, wife & herbalist’s life… Not to shabby if you ask me. Enjoy a few snap shots from my phone. Real pics of the prep & weekend will come as soon as I sit down at the laptop.

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Happy Monday sweet friends,
Mae

Three Things Thursday

1. Today is a day in need of laughter & energy, one in which I could use some good ol’ sister + girlfriend time. Busy seasons are both welcome & difficult in the fact that my singular focus on business means extra time spent with the girls gets put on the back burner. This weekend is the big craft show & then I’m giving myself a week of coffee & lunch dates, a girls night out & getting super girly hosting a baby shower for a dear friend.

2. Do you ever get into a place of such creativity that your hands need to work in order for your mind & body to relax? That’s my usual mind frame as show times get close. I decided I’d try my hand at some hoop art. Those cross stitching lessons my mom, sister & I had in the 80’s certainly paid off this week! There is something so soothing in sitting down to rest mentally & physically while still being productive & getting out creative energy. Here is what I made, with design input from le petit artiste.

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3. Bell Buckle, Bell Buckle, Bell Buckle!!!! It’s at the forefront of my mind. It’s taking over my dreams. It’s surrounding me mentally, physically & emotionally. If you’re in Middle Tennessee this weekend, please come out to support the Webb School & so many amazing artists & crafters this weekend. The weather is going to be perfect. I’ll be on Maple Street next to the campus.

Happy crafting & dreams,
Mae

Combining Conventional + Holistic Medicine

Last Saturday I sat outside all day in cold, damp conditions & since then, I’ve been paying a hefty price for doing so. After throwing every conceivable herbal treatment at my system & neither seeing, nor feeling steady or consistent improvement, I knew it was time for allopathic assistance on Tuesday morning. A quick visit to the walk-in clinic revealed that I didn’t have strep & I was given a snot shot & prescription for a z-pack. My pride as an herbalist took a dent; it’s never easy for me to give in to conventional medicine, but obviously there are times that it is called for. This flu-type illness was certainly a case where combining traditional & modern day medicine was necessary.

How I use holistic medicine to assist in my recovery:

The symptoms: cold core & extremities, sore throat, white, coated tongue, dry mouth, ear ache, body aches & pains, excessive mucus production, very low energy, pale coloring, loss of voice, deep, hacking & productive cough, glassy eyes, healthy appetite, overly sensitive to stimulants such as coffee, caffeine or sugar, cravings for salt, excessive, cyclic thoughts.

What these symptoms tell me to look for in an herbal protocol: warming, fire building herbs, soothing & astringent herbs for the mucus membrane & lymphatic system, a mineral heavy, earthy diet, lots of water & rest. As a very fiery person, this flu had drained my fire & I was exhibiting very watery (mucus production + glassy eyes) & airy (cyclical thought patterns + being stuck in my own head) elements. By bringing in warming, bitter & salty herbs & foods, It will build back my internal fire & add earth to my current water/air constitution.

Herbs & foods I incorporated:
Elder & Sumac syrup: a traditional native remedy for cold & flu, this syrup is diaphoretic (sweat inducing), supportive for building the immune system, soothing to the mucus membrane, & helps bring down a fever (cooling). While I didn’t need the cooling aspect, it was very helpful in all the other areas. 1 TSP every hour & a half

Ginger & Echinacea tea: this warming, soothing, lymph combo is a favorite of mine. The most important thing to remember with echinacea (purple cone flower to you gardeners) is that in order for it to work in your system, it MUST be used early & heavily to act as an antibiotic. I didn’t have any tincture ready, so a tea of the stem & leaves had to do. A strong decoction taken every hour would have been best, but I didn’t have the energy. This is when tinctures are so handy to have around! {slaps hand for being ill prepared.}

Goldenseal tincture: The big guns came out to work, but I think I waited too long to incorporate this bitter, antibiotic medicine. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, after my husband’s suggestion thar I even thought to use goldenseal. It’s strong drying properties make it an obvious choice. It’s extremely bitter (digestive aid & liver support) taste make it rather unpleasant to get down.

Goldenrod bath: I was soooo achey that the pressure of the bed sheet & down comforter hurt. A good bath is always soothing to my body & soul. The added benefit of sweating out toxins & having my friend goldenrod to ease the body aches were great perks.

Chai tea + brandy: hello, my little friend! This oh-so-warming & soothing, not to mention delicious combo is a new favorite. When you get cold & sick call me. I’ll make us both some.

Water, water, and more water: support the lymph, flush toxins from the liver, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Chamomile: another digestive bitter & building herb to use as a tonic while healing. It’s all about comfort & support.

Rest: this is where I always mess things up. One day, maybe, history will quit repeating itself. When I get an inkling of energy, I feel like I have to check off the impossibly long lists my over-thoughtful mind has created immediately! {face plant} Things like cleaning bathrooms, cooking big dinners, doing all of the laundry & cleaning out my studio are examples of what no to do. Sigh. My downfall & more than likely the reason I’m still in bed an entire week later.

Whole foods: bone broth soups, root veggies, nutritive, healing, traditional soups & warm teas – I can’t get enough!

Probiotics & yogurt: dear antibiotics, you have wreaked havoc on my digestion. I don’t appreciate it in any way. After such violent medicines kill off any healthy bacteria along with the invaders that made me so ill, it’s so very, very important to add a good probiotic & plain yogurt cultures to help build back a healthy gut.

That’s about it from the sick bed. It’s nap time again. Do you combine healing methods? Anything you’d add to my protocol?

Happy napping,
Mae

Three Things Thursday

1.

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This post is brought to you by chai tea + brandy. For breakfast. It’s a good thing: warming, soothing to a sore throat & hacking cough, & opening up clogged ears. Also? It’s ridiculously quite yummy.

2. Last night my husband & I were having a very serious discussion about the over abundance of cop/killer/solve the crime shows in the dvr que. {Side note: Mommas let your babies play cops & robbers & shoot things & discover the play side of violence as children so their future wives aren’t constantly forced to watch violent things. M’kay?} When I told him his killing show interfered with the beards being back he gave me distant, blank look. How can he not get excited abut pretty rednecks who shoot things?!!

3. Speaking of rednecks, on a recent trip to the Smokies, my children’s inner redneck shined (shone?) like the top of the Chrystler building. They chose 2 souvenirs each: airbrushed t-shirts & camo hats. You can take the kids out of the country… However, today for school pictures they tapped into their more preppy side. Say cheese!

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Loosey goosey out,
Mae

P.S. I’m not responsible in any way for grammatical or spelling errors due to the haze hanging out in my head. And various things of that nature.

P.P.S. I ❤ Big Bird. ~and that's pretty much all of the political debate you'll see on Going Herbal. Now, I need a nap.