Monday, August 17, 2015

School Time for Mom, too

Herbal medicine is the medicine of the home. It is used most effectively for the myriad non-emergency health problems that arise in everyday life:
  • simple first-aid situations
  • the bumps and bruises of life
  • headaches
  • colds and fevers and flu
  • coughs
  • aches and pains
  • chronic illnesses
But more important than “curing” illnesses, plants play a great role in preventing them. Rich in nutrients, herbs are the supreme preventing medicine, bolstering our  body’s ability to fight off pathogens that cause illness.

 Rosemary Gladstar nailed it square on. As a mom, I am always tending a cut, a bruise or blister, a fever, an upset stomach, name it. There are children here, as well as livestock. I am not a 'technically' a veterinarian, nor am I a papered medical physician. I am a MOM, and that means I am always expanding my 'medical knowledge base' to best tend to the medical needs of my family and my homestead. It's very poor judgement ot run off to a doctor for every little bit of upset and issue that arises. First off, the expense, even with insurance, is ridiculous. Secondly, it's a sad fact that antibiotics are extremely over-used in this country, for everything from a runny nose to a stuffy head to a backache.
As a society, we have effectively created our own doom by not using common sense (and even commonly used, proven methods of treatments of countless generations before us). We have an upset stomach, we run to the doctor. We have headache, we grab Tylenol. We have a minor cut, we run to the ER.  Of course these ailments need to be addressed, and sometimes they need the more skilled hands of medical facility and perhaps even prescription medicines. But we have sealed our fate by running to a doctor for everything under the sun and getting antibiotics prescribed "as a precaution" to be on the safe side.
That "safe side" is killing us in the form of "superbugs" that are resistant to those too-commonly prescribed medicines. What was once easily treated, is now mutated and out of control from our over-use of antibiotics.

No, I am not telling you to forget your doctor and treat yourself. Nor am I suggesting you grab a book and start learning a few self-medicating tips and techniques. I am not a doctor, I have no licensed medical knowledge, I do not diagnose or treat anything outside my own personal family

But, soapbox chatter aside, m.y post is about Back to School...for Mom. I am taking my herbal information to another level and getting a better, more thorough understanding of alternative medicines and treatment methods for myself and my family.
For a (very long) time now I've been one to grab something other than regular OTCs for my family. We have long been an alternative medicine family here. From the basics of herbal teas to using essential oils now, I am always reading on ways to rid ourselves of that WalMart pharmacy aisle. My knowledge has always come from friends who have used herbs longer than I have, countless blog posts and online articles from sources I enjoy, from herbal publications, and from scores of reference books I've collected. There is so much to learn, and it's been wonderful having the Internet available to follow trails of learning from documentation to medical study and so forth.


This season it's my turn to go back to school as it were, from home, with the use of online courses from reputable herbal medicine mentors. I started last week taking an online course from the Herbal Academy of New Emgland  and just getting into my first set of lessons, I'm learning things I didn't know in all these years. And I'm really enjoying it.
                     Back to our Roots

So much so, that as soon as I saw that ChristianHerbal had a series of 'classes' online in their webinar, I signed up for those as well! I've been smoking my printer all day grabbing the great articles, ebooks, and more offered with their webinar. So many in fact, I need to rethink my organization of them :-)  
 I may even need a bigger desk.
Or maybe even a whole dedicated mommy school room.

Oh pooh sticks, I may just have to take a trip to OfficeMax and get some supplies...binders, post-it notes, highlighters, pretty dividers and folders...

I'm excited. The possibilities of all I could absorb and put into practical use here for my family are huge. What do you think? Do you love learning about herbs and alternatives to traditional medicines? Have you taken any specialized classes, maybe at a local herb shop, or online? Do you have any favorite resources, reference books, bloggers, or websites? I'd love to connect with other moms who are taking back the knowledge of the generations before us to tend and maintain their health and the health of their families and homesteads!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Preparing for the new school term...

 I thought about using the title 'The End of Summer' on this post, but that would be lying. This is just the beginning of August, and this being the Deep South and all, there's still a whole lotta summer coming up the lane here. Honestly, we will cruise straight from summer heat and humidity into winter, without a skip or a hop in between to mark the passing.
 Despite what you may have heard, there really isn't any such thing as four seasons in the South. That's just a myth, a fairy tale if you will, the natives tell their children, generation after generation, to make them believe that there is an end to the blasting furnace heat of summer down here. It's all just fairy dust and pixie wings. True Story.
So, onward into August we go...our seasonal marker will be the starting of the new school term. Local schools will kick-off the year in a week or so. Us, we are getting back into the swing of books, unit studies, reading assignments, and all that jazz next week as well. We have had a lot of time off with just bits and pieces of anything resembling 'real school work' since the arrival of Liam back in early June. It's been life lessons, not textbooks, around here. Time to get back to the normalcy of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic...
My game plan for the new set of terms includes diving in to the Civil War...or, The War Between the States...or, The War of Northern Aggression...whichever you prefer to tag it. We have the usual books lined up (Across Five Aprils, With Lee in Virginia, and so on), and will visit some of the great Civil War sites here in Mississippi and Tennessee. I'm still working out ideas for projects and crafts to do. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Baby News...Liam is here with us every week day and we love it. It has definitely kept us off the regular schedule, but that's what babies do, right? We will get our routine back eventually. Might be schooling the text book end of things after lunch from now on. Daily life is a lesson, so it's not like we are missing anything playing with Liam. And time is flying by on that end...he is 2 months old already! Soon he will be joining us at the school table :-)

Around the Homestead...Dewey and Matt, as well as Chris and Amber, were able to make it home for Father's Day so we had a big cookout and spent the day playing pass the new grandson around :-) The only child missing here was Jen, still working/living back north. Dewey and Matt are just about finished up on the close-to-home job and it's looking like the next jobsite is Indianapolis. I'm not sure how that will work, having BOTH my menfolk gone from home over winter, but we'll manage. It is what it is, and you do what you have to, right? I'm hoping to get the hay and wood supply set in place before they head up there sometime next month, so that work is taken care of at least. Everything else will fall into place as we go, as usual.
We had a few goat losses this spring and early summer, losing our last matriarchs here and our beloved Blind Goat. It's sad losing them, but they were all reaching the age where we knew it was coming. With their loss, we are back to more males than females in the barn again, something I pray gets turned around with the next breeding. I really don't need so many boys out there, LOL
The addition is still a work-in-progress here. I sometimes wonder if it will always be in-progress... I have moved a few non-food items into the pantry and decided the shelving I had here is not going to work the best in there. The Queen, our cookstoove, hasn't made the move yet, so we need to get things together and get her out there and piped in so she's ready for winter use. Once the sink and counter are built out there, I can start moving things like the electric stove and refrigerator, table, etc. and we will put it to use. It is so close...I really want it in use before Thanksgiving this year. It's been so long in the works, time to kick it into gear and get it finished off already.

On the Business end of things...We have satellite internet out here finally. I broke down and made some calls, landing with Excede, and John and Tina Patton at ShimmerStarz over in Guntown. What a blessing to get with John and find out how encouraging he was that we could indeed get signal for some great service out here. I had called HughesNet (being the only "name" I knew of in satellite internet...) and the sales rep they sent out to give us an idea of service availability apparently wasn't in the mood to work. He pointed out a couple huge trees that would need removed before we "might" see some sort of signal, no promises. I have no problem cutting trees...we burn with wood so it's no loss on my part...but this tree was out of my pay grade in terms of dropping myself. I was a bit discouraged. I went ahead and called ShimmerStarz and Excede Satellite thinking it was a waste of time for us both, but you know, hope springs eternal...and I was going to exhaust every last path for internet before I threw in the towel. John came out, looked at the layout here and said not a problem. I got excited, but I tried to keep it real...there is a mountain in the way you know. Still, he came out a couple days later, installed the dish, and bingo, momma's got internet!
With that, I can finally get the cottage blog, Hands and Hearts Farm, updated with photos of our projects and sale items here. We have machine embroidered gifts, great little Wrist Pocket mini purses that have been a great selling item so far, crocheted items for baby and family like scarves, hats, potholders, dishcloths and more. 

We have herbal salves and lotions for life's aches and pains, and plenty of essential oils. 

I have several products from ItWorks as well (you know, those Crazy Wrap Things). It's not just about the Wraps though...there are Greens to mix into your favorite juice or water, to give your day a boost, facials and spa treatment products to tone and help bring your skin back to health many goodies I know you'd like to try. 

I have samples of just about everything, ready for dropping off so you can give them a test run yourself before you buy larger packs, bottles, oils, and more! Just leave me a note and I'll let you know what I have :-) No commitments, just good products. 

With this new internet, I can also keep this blog updated more and steer away from Facebook some more. I miss the blog and the blogging friends I followed here before. Facebook is nice, and it's quite handy, but I miss old school blogging. And with the menfolk gone with work again, a new grandbaby, schooling, and the daily tasks that consume our time here, I can better schedule our presence here via blog vs the instant (and often time-sucking venue) of Facebook.

I think that brings things up to date, so we can start off fresh with life on the homestead from here on out. And being a good steward of our time here, means more baby cuddle time. WIn-Win says Liam...



Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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