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. Do you ever run in to overly eccentric people time & time again? I’ve noticed that it happens in spurts. Today, I wondered if it was to help me improve my poker face… And then I wondered how often people get to work on their poker face around me.

2. Fall harvest has been so lovely lately! I’ve been putting together lots of tinctures, elixirs, tea blends, & all sorts of other happy herby products. It makes my heart sing. The kitchen table makes a great lab.

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3. Some amazing sunsets have been setting in my back yard. Breathtaking even. I always like to take a few moments to honor the power of such a bright star & the presence of the moon & sun together in the skies. It’s very centering to my soul.

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Sending centering thoughts your way.
Mae

Welcoming Fall With Real Food Ingredients

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I love everything there is about Fall: football, soccer, warming foods, scarves, boots, open windows all day, crisp mornings & evenings, running trails of freshly fallen leaves, the list could go on & on. With each change of season, I always make a welcoming spice blend to simmer on the stove & beckon seasonal changes to happily enter our home. This simple blend is my absolute favorite, & also happens to remind me of the potpourri blends my mom simmered constantly during my childhood.

My Ode to Fall Blend:
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups water

Mix ingredients in a small saucepan & simmer on low all day. Check water levels & add more as needed.

How do you welcome this beautiful season?

Happy Fall! May your toes be warm & your days be filled with joy,
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

Three Things Thursday

1. Parenting is hard. Not that this is new news, or anything, but it’s been especially difficult in our house the past few months. Today I was talking with a wise woman about things & she said, “When I learned to slow down & communicate with my children, parenting became so much easier.” Her words hit me like a Mac truck. Perspective is an important talent to have. How applicable is her wisdom to every facet of life?

2. We’ve had a sick one in the house this week. Herbs, herbs, & more herbs have gone into my little man & thankfully his fever broke without getting into the frighteningly high zone & he only missed one day of school. Germs are good until they aren’t, huh?

3. I needed to get out of the house today, so I went “pre-shopping” for school picture outfits. The kids have outgrown Carter’s, aren’t really Gymboree style wearers & H isn’t going to be sporting Justice clothing any time soon (or ever if i can help it). It makes me think the Amish are on to something.

Keep calm & sew rad clothes,
Mae

Happy Accidents in Herb Gardening

A quick walk out to the compost pile & herb beds this morning made me do a double take & pull a Joey from Blossom type “WHOA!!!” this morning. I love being an herbalist & seeing what pops up, a very dry June & very rainy July & August have certainly made for interesting herb gardening.

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In the compost pile I discovered some great pumpkin vines & baby walnut trees.

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Among the strawberry plants, a beautiful poke has begun to put off berries, which will make for some fun face painting & hopefully cloth dying for some crafty projects.

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My fennel has gone to seed & I’m telling myself that I’ll keep a closer eye on it to save the seeds to share & sell @ the farmers market. The mullein is putting on a tall, flowering show, too. I’ll gather the flowers & add them with garlic to make an ear oil.

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I was so happy to see my echinacea flowering & my goodness @ the sages, rosemary, lemon balm & mints!!! Off I go with tools to snip, dry & make into products for market.

It never ceases to amaze me that all of this grows in 2 small raised beds & a {very} neglected compost pile. Mother Nature is full of surprises.

Happy herb harvesting,
Mae

Do you garden on a small or large scale? What’s been the most surprising crop to pop up on your land?

Treating a Brown Recluse Bite with Herbs

Saturday my husband was bush hogging near the woods around his mom’s house & @ some point during the day, ended up being bitten by a brown recluse. Being the unconcerned soul he is, I didn’t know about it until Sunday night. Monday morning he was running a low grade fever, the site of the bite was swollen, full of fever & bright red. Thankfully we had a session on bites at herb school recently so I knew just what to do to draw out the poison.

{Disclaimer: I am an herbalist, not a medical doctor. This information is for educational purposes only, & is in no way meant to diagnose or treat any ailments. Amen.}

Once Brandon felt the bite was affecting him, & asked for help, I went into overdrive & pulled 2 herbs from my apothecary. Echinacea & Plantain. The echinacea I had in dried form, and the plantain I picked from the dog free section of our lawn.

Each hour, on the hour, I applied a poultice of the herbs. To poultice them, I had Brandon chew a tsp sized amount of plantain, mixed that well with the echinacea & placed them on the feverish area from the bite. Gauze was taped over the herbs and as the herbs pulled out the poison, the fever came with it. When the gauze went from being cool to warm to the touch, it was time to change out the poultice for a fresh batch.

Internally, I gave him a decoction of 1 Tsp echinacea & 1 Tsp of fresh plantain. To make a decoction (the Southern method of medicine making) simply low boil your herbs in a small sauce pan for 15-20 minutes uncovered, strain & ingest. The “grassy” taste of the plantain was easily balanced with a heaping spoonful of local raw honey to make it more palatable.

About twelve hours into treatment, Brandon’s fever finally broke & after 2 applications of the poultice & 2 cups of he herbal tea, his arm was looking significantly better. Twenty-four hours have now passed & the soreness has decreased & the site of the bite is drawing to a head. We will continue this treatment – backing down to every 3-4 hours until all of the fever is gone from his arm for at least a day.

It’s a crazy life & I’m thankful for the knowledge of herbs to be able to help support the craziness.

Tread softly,
Mae

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