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

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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

InstaFriday

Holy smokes, is it Friday already?! These days are flying by & no matter how much I plan, I never seem to accomplish all that covers my beloved post it note lists. With craft show season quickly approaching {my 1st show is in 2 weeks!!!}, I’m spending a lot of time working in the studio, gathering herbs & drying them for herbal concoctions.

A little sample of our week:

Looking in antique shops for booth decor & storage.

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Items from the studio.

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Fresh, organic herbs from the garden.

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Thoroughly enjoying cool mornings for coffee breaks & yummy muffins.

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Have a fabulous weekend, all! What’s on your agenda for welcoming Fall?
Mae

Chamomile: Not Just a Sleepy Time Herbal Tea

Even before I got into herbs, I new that chamomile was a great tea to drink if you needed help falling asleep. {Thank you American television.} Modern medicine does a great job @ taking a symptom, finding one chemical component to make the symptom go away & then running it into the ground. As an herbalist, my job is to take several steps back from a symptom, listen to signals from clients, & look for patterns of dysfunction to help treat to assist the body in finding homeostasis. Balance & support are always my goals in herbal protocols.

A favorite herb that I keep on hand is Chamomile, known to the ancient Greeks as “ground apple.” This herb not only has sedative properties to help with sleep, but also acts as a whole body tonic to build strength during & after an illness. As a nervine, chamomile is wonderful to have on hand during emergencies to bring a calmness to situations, it helps ease menstrual cramps & has anti-biotic properties, & with the bitterness of this plant, chamomile is wonderful for digestive upset such as colic in babies & young children, & healing the intestinal walls in cases of Leaky Gut & Candida.

As with any physical problems, diet is ALWAYS number one in treating the body. If you can heal the gut, you can make a huge impact on physical symptoms, mental/emotional stress & body processes. Headaches, nervous tension, colds, allergies, autoimmune disease, and more can easily be maintained & controlled through the right individual diet & exercise plan. Chamomile works well in many of these situations to provide bodily support for digestion related pains (including headaches related to liver overload), easing physical & mental tension, lowering fevers with colds, easing the intensity of allergies due to mucus overload in the body & has a cumulative effect for auto immune symptoms.

Most recently in our house, I have used chamomile specifically for digestive upset & constipation, calming bad dreams (due to eating too close to bed time & stress), easing nervous energy & stress & seemingly unending cases of the whines {from both children & this momma}. Chamomile blends beautifully in juices, so the children don’t mind (and sometimes aren’t even aware of) taking it & is a pleasant tea to sip while snuggled up with a cozy blanket & good book.

There is no magic pill, food, formula or herb to heal any / all issues, but with the right food choices, regular exercise & body process support, chamomile is a great herbal friend – and not just for helping Grandmothers get to sleep.

May your sleep be sweet & your liver be happy,
Mae

InstaFriday

It’s been a FULL week in Hale. From a few good hours on the trails to gymnastics swim team, homework & house work, I’m more than excited to have an evening of no plans or scheduled activities. I’m slowly getting used to the overly quiet hours of a childless house, & have been planning more business things & securing booths for fall craft shows. Our busy season has kicked off with a bang!

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Happy Friday,
Mae

Three Things Thursday

1. Football is on television, I’m snuggled under a quilt & the smell of fall is almost in the air. That combination makes me absolutely giddy.

2. After school activities have started, which makes me a professional chauffeur. Two children, 3 sports, 5 days a week. This makes me really want to lobby for cloning. Agreed parents?

3. Due to Thing #2, there isn’t enough time in the week for me to have a booth at our amazing winery’s farmers market any more. {Insert pitiful face here.} However, I still have great crafty & herbal concoctions available & am happy to get them to those in need or want. Next week I’ve got a hot date with my Etsy page and the listing process.

What kind of schedule changes are happening in your house this fall?

Are you looking forward to football & hockey season? We’re big Vols, Titans & Preds fans here!

Happy days to you,
Mae