Friday, April 27, 2012

The Practicing Herbalist

An amazing book by Margi Flint.  I bought the book at the women's herbal conference in 2010.  I just had to have it.  I kept taking Margi's class over and over on how to read the body.  I looked at that section and put the book down.  Even after paying a hefty price for the book - it is a text book after all.  It is beautifully signed in calligraphy by the author.

And then I received the syllabus for my upcoming advanced herbal training.  I feel like I know nothing.  The more I study the more I know I need to study.  I've been reading even more herbal books of late to prepare for class.  The advanced herbal training is to become a practicing herbalist.  The second month's classes are taught by Margi.

I pulled out the book.  It is beautifully written.  There is so much information in an easy to read format.  Her illustrations throughout the book are a joy.  Her artwork is amazing.  It is definitely taking a prominent place on my resource shelf.

And next up - Plant Spirit Healing

Hubby's roommate at FDIC (fire department instructor's conference) studies herbs.  They had a wonderful talk about them while out there.  When they got back he dropped the book Plant Spirit Healing off for me to read.  It looks like I'm up for some really good conversation at the next fire department dinner.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vacation's Last Days

After hiking and biking the first three days of vacation youngest and I spent the day at the spa for her birthday present.  Massage, pedicures, facials, paraffin hand treatments and lunch.  Her toenails are now painted Vampsterdam and mine A roll in the Hague from the Holland Collection of OPI.  I just love the names.  Or you could call them so deep a purple it looks black and orange.  The beautiful woman doing my facial asked what I used for products on my skin - I told her I make everything myself.  Oh!  After examining my skin she told me to keep doing what I'm doing; that I have great skin.

While we were being pampered son was in a car accident.  A girl pulled out in front of him.  His car which was trying to hang on until we found a new one was totaled.  He has a scratch on his knee.  He was worried he would be in trouble.  I think he was greatly relieved when all I cared about was him.  So now we are back to driving him back and forth to work. :(  We keep looking for something in his price range.  He of course wants a truck. 

Friday I took the kids to the Higgins Armory Museum.  George Higgins was enthralled with King Arthur and knights when he was a child and started collecting armor as an adult.  This collection grew and fills four floors.  It was very interesting to learn the history and see the craftsmanship. We stopped for lunch on the way home and for dinner I made burgers and gravy cheese fries.

Saturday we did our own things.  Son went to PT with the marine recruiter.  Youngest read and read and read.....  her books arrived Friday that she ordered with her birthday money.  I cleaned, went to gym and then to a baby shower.

Hubby's plane was delayed  in Baltimore due to the weather and he arrived home after midnight from a very bumpy plane ride.  He was glad to be home.  It's good to have him home. 

Sunday I went to Sunday morning temple services.  It was the last one.  Temple is in transition.  I was disappointed that the regulars did not come.  I know one woman was very disappointed because she would be away and one is with a dying mother but the rest.....  And then one woman who I have never met before came with a friend.  She used to come years ago and wanted to come and offer gratitude for this place.  Nora took a deep breath, sat for a minute and gently said that people need to show up when a person/place is alive.  It's like those people that show up to a funeral that were not their during the life.  And what a lesson.  If you believe in something you need to show up even on days you don't feel like it.  If you and others stop showing up then what?    And as I thought about it - I'm a show up kind of person.  We were taught as kids to show up.  I was at family nights and events for my brother.  He was at events for me.  You show up to support those you love. 

Leaving temple I went to the Earth Day event in Hazardville put on by the CT Herb Association.  I visited with friends, met new people, came home with soap nuts and herb plants.  The rain started to come and is still here.  Yeah!  It's a good steady soak into the ground kind of rain.  A rain that Mama Earth needs in our corner of the globe.  Yeah!

Hubby took the kids to a gun show and then we spent the afternoon together.

And this morning the kids go back to school.  The only bad thing they said about vacation was that it was over.  ;)   I will be going grocery shopping and hubby will be handling the disposal of son's car. And tomorrow I go back to that place that pays me for crunching numbers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Burr Pond

It was a bit nippy in the AM compared to the last few days.  I'm not complaining it was still sunny and beautiful.  I picked up a book on 50 hikes to take in CT.  I decided an easy hike might be in store.  Son gets anxious about being late for work so we headed to Burr Pond State Park and walked the pond trail - three miles around the lake.  It was beautiful.  A boy scout for his Eagle project had posted signs along the way giving information on the different trees in the area.  We stopped to read those.  With hubby not there the hike was less of a race.  I pointed out different plants, we stopped to watch the woodpecker, son noticed the birds in the underbrush, we joked around and took pictures of the kids holding up the giant rock a glacier dropped years ago. 

We lounged in the afternoon. I headed to the gym.  Son headed to work.  Youngest played on her laptop.  I made buffalo chicken subs for dinner and even treated the kids to potato chips as a side.  Youngest and I watched dancing with the stars.  She has a "crush" on William Levy.  Maks or Tristan are more my type. That Irish brogue....

Today I'm off to the spa with youngest.  My diva tomboy wanted to spend the day there for her birthday.  I hope she enjoys it.  I know I will.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

spring break

Monday hubby and I took the kids hiking on the Lion's head trail in Salisbury.  What a beautiful view of the ponds and farms below.  The spring flowers were just starting to pop.  A woodpecker gave us quite a show.  A picnic lunch on the tailgate of the truck and tacos for dinner. 

Tuesday hubby left by 4:30 to meet the rest of the guys and head to the airport. Last night's tacos turned into Mexican omelets for breakfast.  Hubby texted to say they landed OK while we were out on the bike trail.  Sunny with a slight breeze the 10 plus miles felt good.  I treated the kids to ice cream after.  So, maybe that defeats the healthy theme of the week but it is vacation after all.  I then cleaned out the shed a little - hubby needs to be home for the reclaiming of the garden shed.  Or the kids need to be gone.My gardening shelves are cluttered with stuff not belonging to me.  That's all I'll say.  I did dig out my hanging baskets and planted the rest of the pansies.  I trimmed the last of the shrubs that needed a spring cut. And then I headed to gym to lift weights while son went to the dentist.  We met back up after and I took son and youngest to dinner before their fire meeting.

Today we off hiking again.  Son has to work later and youngest and I will catch up on Dancing with the Stars.  It's our little ritual.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthday for Youngest

Oldest son called to wish youngest a happy birthday at 7AM.  It was 4 AM at his place.  The baby was teething and he was awake.  I had him call back when his sister was awake.  Oldest called to wish her a happy birthday.  Then she called back when youngest was home.  Yeah!   Youngest finally got to talk to her sister and find out where everyone was living this week and this was a good thing - it was really bothering her.

Oldest had moved to grandma's about two months ago now because she was tired of picking up after her step brother.  Bio went with her.  And then bio decided to move back and get things in order to leave properly.  She is now looking for a job.  That way she can support herself when she moves.  And if she plans the move than she can take all her stuff with her.  Oldest didn't go back because step daddy threw her out.

Now, this is all oldest's version of the story (two parts woven together from what she told hubby and what she told her sister). 

What a great teaching opportunity.  I explained to youngest that when people have a fight, disagreement what have you that their are two sides to the story.  I said I'm sure oldest is telling the truth (her version anyway) but I'm sure LHNB has a version of the story as well.  And somewhere in the middle lies what really happened. 

Hubby was a little bent at first.  He was also a little proud that oldest stood up for herself.  And then I said let's play devil's advocate.  Oldest is not a pleasure to live with.  She moved out there.  Bio and her do not work.  He has been supporting both of them and he has been paying for her college classes.  Now, I'm not saying he's perfect by any stretch of the imagination but....  look at things from his perspective.  Hmm, you've got a point Kim. This conversation took place when youngest had headed off to blow her birthday money at Amazon.

So youngest's day started with pancakes.  They are her favorite and I surprised her.  It really is a labor of love because I don't like eating them and I hate cooking them.  She then came shopping with me and a friend for baby shower gifts and what have you.  Actually we shopped and she headed to the book store.  She had Ben & Jerry's for lunch.   For supper she got to pick the meal and we had lasagna, garlic bread and salad (me and hubby had salad) and for dessert a German Chocolate cake.  OMG was it good.

Bio sent her two cards.  The second one because she hadn't sent a gift in the first.  $20.00 cash.  Then gifts from grandparents and finally on Thursday she will get her day at the spa from us.  She took all her birthday money and bought books.  It took her less than 30 minutes to fill the shopping cart at Amazon.  I told her the thank you cards must be written before she is allowed to open the box when it arrives.

And as a side note - when I talked to oldest son he said all the clothes fit grand baby and that he loved the pirate book.  Yeah!!!  That means they are reading it to him.  Yeah!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


This week is spring break.  The kids are on vacation, hubby's on vacation and so am I.  Hubby is leaving Tuesday for the FDIC (Fire Department Instructor's Conference) in Indianapolis.  He'll be back Saturday.  Monday we are going hiking together and the rest of the week is up in the air.  I don't function very well when things are up in the air.

In between events are son's work schedule, a dentist appointment, fire department meetings and a baby shower.  I have one museum visit planned at the Higgins Armory Museum.  Son has a few air soft games planned.  And my diva tomboy and I are spending Thursday at the spa for her birthday present.  The kid's have gave me a list of dinners they'd like.  Food their Dad is not really keen on.  So, we're having buffalo chicken subs one night and gravy cheese fries another.  They also want pizza.  And I thought one night we would go to the Irish pub for dinner.  The trailer hitch is installed and once I pick up the bike rack we can hit the trails.

When I put it on paper it doesn't seem so up in the air.  Good!

And I started the week of vacation by firming up plans for my next trip.  I have been trying to coordinate a date to visit my girlfriend in upstate NY for months and months.  We finally nailed down a date that works for both of us and Hubby's work schedule.  I asked hubby about it and he said, "go - have a good time.  Don't worry about me and the kids."  Yeah!  So far all of our planning has been via phone tag.  This is pretty normal.  We have planned entire trips together before without talking until I arrived.  GF and I are on totally different work schedules and time frames. 

So, vacation this week.  Three weeks until advanced herbal classes start. Five weeks until my week end in NY.  Oh baby, life is good!!!!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Younger Self

When I see the future me - a week, a month, a year down the road she is active; kayaking, running, lifting weights, biking, hiking.  This is also the me of my twenties.  I'm not trying to regain my youth.  I cherish my age but I loved those activities and miss them.  Slowly as life got busy with work, school, owning a home and dating inactive people those things disappeared from my life.  I have been slowly reclaiming them. 

I've introduced the family to hiking and everyone enjoys it.  Last year's vacation was spent hiking many trails in the Virginia mountains.  This year we will be hiking in Maine at Baxter State Park.

I've been walking twice a week with a girlfriend and getting back into shape. It feels good.

I need to schedule an appointment to have the hitch put on my car for the bike rack.  Youngest loves to bike and we have plans to hit a lot of trails this summer.

I've missed lifting weights but there really isn't a gym near me.  Well, there wasn't until two weeks ago.  One opened up at the bottom of my hill - less than two miles away.  We paid for a family plan and it's already getting a lot of use.  I'm not in pain but I can feel some muscles that I haven't felt in years.  Yah, it feels good.

I've never been a runner but a lot of my friends at work run.  New Year's Day they all run the Chilly Chili Race.  My goal is to be there.  A 5k.  I can do it. 

The kayaking will have to wait a bit.  I'm saving my pennies for the investment.  Ah, soon .... though soon is a relative term. 

And this time, I'm not letting my love for the great outdoors and being fit slip away.  It's a part of me I don't want to miss anymore.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Fever

I switched my clothes over for the season during a snow storm.  My winter clothes were packed up and summer clothes unpacked.  My mid season clothes stay year round.  In New England it is often mid season.  I pulled everything out of the closet.  I sorted - ripped and stained in one pile, doesn't fit/will never wear in another pile and then I hung items back in the closet.  I then went through the tote of summer clothes.  A small pile of unusable clothes and a big pile of donatable clothes were packaged to go out. Clothes that haven't zipped in a while now zip.  I was a little excited.  Hubby just said Oh.  I then asked if there was a woman I could talk to.  Just like the silly soup commercial.  He feigned excitement after that. I then helped youngest go through her clothes.  A large pile of out grown clothes were bagged up for donation.  This left her with very little underwear and no shorts. 

I took youngest shopping yesterday morning - sales and coupons.  She now has plenty of underwear and a couple pairs of shorts.  We stopped and picked up some new pots for my house plants.  Too cold to garden outside I gardened inside repotting plants.  Ahhh!

Now, knee deep or pages deep in the middle of three books.  I set aside Autobiography of a Yogi for a little fluff.  Half way through that I set it down to dive into some herb reading before class.  now that I have the syllabus I can be more focused.  I'm now reading Margi Flint's Practicing Herbalist.  I love it!  It is so fun to read even though it is so practical and business oriented in the beginning. I'll get back to the other books in due time.  Our first teacher is Guido Mase.  He doesn't seem to have a book out but he does have a blog I've bookmarked and started reading. 

I spent the afternoon in a dream group lead by Susan Morgan.  It is amazing work.  Working with your dreams is essential and feedback from these powerful women..... beyond words.  My world is changing bit by bit and I'm loving it.