My Rite of Passage (girl talk)

I thought I’d write a little about the “rite of passage” I’m in. Yes, as it’s known “the change” or “menopause”. I was dreading this as much as I dread going to the dentist. As it turns out, if one has lived well and continues to do so, it’s not a big deal especially when compared to what I’ve been through with Lyme Disease. The hot flashes don’t even compare to the night sweats from Bab’s (Babesia- American Malaria). So, I’m the last person to complain about dressing in layers or throwing off the covers at night or turning down the thermostat. Bring it on! The only part I’m not cool with is the extra “natural” weight gain. Susun Weed talks about this being an added benefit to going through this change more smoothly. The extra ten pounds of “good” fat, good muscle and good bone will be your best ally. It’s finding that place of accepting a body that doesn’t look like a teenager any longer. It’s accepting the new me. The healthier me. So, I’ll continue walking and running and gardening and doing whatever I can, but learning to accept the new body that now houses the new me.

We’ve been eating organic farm fresh foods for awhile now, probably 10-15 yrs. My body isn’t full of preservatives and additives. I don’t eat sugar. I don’t eat whites of any kind except soy free chicken egg whites with the orange yolk. I eat lots of grassfed meat, raw dairy, raw ferments, and organic veggies, lots of good fats and some supp’s and herbs mostly for the Lyme. I don’t take Rx med’s unless my life depends on it; literally. I’ve been a “wise woman” for awhile using herbs and such. As a result not only am I finding healing from the wretched Lyme Disease, but I suppose I have assisted my body with this “passage”. I’m actually celebrating this time of life. It’s been 40 long yrs that I’ve lived out the curse…I’ve done my time. I’m looking forward to this phase of life. The kids are leaving home gradually, and we’ll retire soon. Like I’ve posted before, life is hard, but God is good.

Psalm 34:8

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Here are some good suggestions by Susun S. Weed; The Wise Woman of herbs. I found her site Menopause Metamorphosis. There she talks about many of the issues facing woman in this passage. I took note of some basic herbs and nutrition guides that will be of help to anyone.

1. Good Protein: raw yogurt (I do all raw), lentils, grassfed meat, soy free eggs, lots of raw dairy including cheeses.

2. Phytoestrogens: Nourishing herbal infusions, lentils, roots and seeds.

3. High Quality Fats: Help the thyroid and immune system. Herbal infusions. full fat raw yogurt, organic chocolate (see my recipe for guiltless chocolate), EVOO, raw butter, nuts and seeds.

Some of the herbs she listed are: Stinging Nettle, Oatstraw, Red Clover , and Comfrey.

A. Stinging Nettle: (Urtica dioica) builds energy and strengthens the adrenals, makes bones flexible, gives you healthy hair, and beautiful skin. 1 Cup of Nettle Infusion=500 mg Calcium, generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron and zinc. Excellent source of Vit A, D, E and K. And is a good source of B Vitamins.

(couldn’t find a pic of Oatstraw)

B. Oatstraw: (Avena sativa) reduces high cholesterol, increases libido, and strengthens the nerves. It has a generous 300 mg of Calcium, and plenty of minerals. Steroidal saponins nourish the pancreas and liver, improve the digestion and stabilize moods. And is a good source of B Vitamins.

C. Red Clover: (Trifolium pratense) is better than its cousin Soy. Red Clover contains 4 phytoestrogens compared to soy which has 1 (isoflavone). It in fact has 10x more phytoestrogens than soy “milk”, fewer calories, more calcium, and no added sugars! It is the world leading anti-cancer herb. It also improves memory. And is a good source of B Vitamins.

D. Comfrey: (Symphytum) leaf is free of the compound (PAs) found in the root that can damage the liver. It is also known as “knitbone” an ally to those with thin bones. Comfrey contains special proteins used in the formation of short-term memory cells. (that’s what I need) And it has a soothing mucilage that adds flexibility to joints, eyes, vagina, and the lungs.

Directions for making a Herbal Infusion

1 oz = 1 Cup

1 oz of Nettle leaf, Oatstraw, Red Clover, Comfrey or other herbs. Add to a Qt size jar and fill with boiling water. Allow to brew for at least 4 hrs or overnight. Strain and drink 1-2 cups/day.

Disclaimer: All information is for educational purposes only. If you need medical advice please seek it from a trained professional.

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Garden Work Day

Today was a work day for my husband and I. We got the other two raised beds filled and ready for planting. First we layered some newspaper on the grass and then our wonderful neighbor with a tractor used the bucket to fill them with dirt. I amended them with a bag of peat and leafgro each. I dug the holes for the split rail posts, hoping it will work well as a trellis. All that’s left is laying down some landscaping cloth so I can shovel pea gravel in the isles. We ran a new fence so the dogs wouldn’t walk on the beds. They were very unhappy to be left out. We worked long and hard today finishing with a few cabbage plants and some spinach seeds, mustard seeds, and mesclun. Our night time temps are still falling well below freezing so I covered everything with plastic so it doesn’t die if frost falls. I also amended my other four beds with some more leafgro and put a layer of straw on my potatoes. I planted 27 potatoes so there’s hardly any dirt left for hilling. I figured that straw will work fine since I’ve read of others doing it this way.

A view of my trellis and new beds.

New Cabbage Plants

More new plants

I’m going to keep the planter on the deck with some lettuce, kale and mustard greens for easy access to the greens for meals.

It was a very productive day and The Growing Challenge is helping me with motivation. I’m so thankful to God who is bringing healing from this wretched Lyme Disease. I have more and more energy every day. Yesterday I did have some claw marks on my right thigh; a sign of the “Cat Scratch Fever” being active. So, my feet are hurting pretty badly but with the grace given me, I can get through it. I’m grateful that tomorrow is a day of rest, because I’m going to need it badly.

Jewelweed is a Winner

Good new on the poison ivy scene. My hands have been the last thing to heal and that’s mostly between the fingers. Every night I go to bed and think it’s finally over! Then I wake up with a new spot or two on my fingers. My legs were left scared pretty badly and sooooo dry then I got a prickly rash. One important herbal med we keep on hand is tea tree oil. Since I was left pretty desperate with no where to turn, I went to my trusty herb medicine chest. I mixed it half & half with rubbing alcohol and sprayed it on several times a day and did so for 10 days. It dried things up very well. But it didn’t stop the spread. Then when I finally got out I bought some Jewelweed. Jewelweed works better for controlling the rash before it spreads. Yesterday I had a little spot on one finger and I applied the Jewelweed with a cotton ball, holding it on for a few minutes. This morning the spot was gone….I know you’re thinking, yeah, it’s just on the other hand. No, I don’t think so, I already had it on the other hand and it wasn’t completely dried up. The amazing thing about Jewelweed is that it grows in areas right next to Poison Ivy. So, I warn you if you are going to wildcraft Jewelweed, dress appropriately; long sleeves, gloves, long pants and boots! Jewelweed is a winner in my book along with our trustworthy Tea Tree Oil. Isn’t creation amazing! I do have two questions for God though and that is why He created snakes and poison ivy???

I know, I know…..did you notice…..I hope you did. I have been experiencing amazing healing and I learned how to do links! My brain isn’t full of cotton anymore or at least not today and my amazing daughter showed me how. I know you’re probably thinking duh! But if you find my post called “Confessions” you’ll understand more clearly. This is truly a milestone and I use them to mark my road to healing from Lyme Disease & Co.

That deserves another 🙂

Life is Hard But God is Good

Although my life has been marred by Lyme Disease and it’s many co-infections, I have found peace and rest in the arms of my Abba; Father God. Not every day is a good day. I struggle with the bad ones. But this one fact I hold on to and it directs my life; that God is good. I have found myself often quoting beloved Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.”

Today was an exceptionally good day. In fact since I believe old “Bab’s” as I like to call her (the malaria like infection) is dead, I feel like flying. So instead today I did something which I haven’t done in a long, long time. I ran! I love to run! I was training for a marathon in 2001, then this disease decided it was time to ravage my body. I haven’t walked in the last 7 yrs let alone run! But yesterday I bought some new shoes which only happens once in a blue moon. I still had my Christmas money from my “moms”, so I spent it on shoes. Would you like to see one pair? They are my favorite.

Running Shoes

Aren’t they beautiful?

You wouldn’t care about the others, they are just sandals.

 

My day started with my little run and just ended with my attempt to transplant my young seedlings after I mowed the lawn and cooked dinner and and and. They are looking mighty fine! I had a great idea to use all of those qt containers that our farm food comes in. I’ve been saving them for just such an occasion. My sweet tatters are amazing. They were nearly grown right into the glasses I started them in. If you click on the pics you will be able to see their beautiful leaves. They remind me of ivy. I’m not sure what to do with them after this stage, but I’m sure my dad can help. I do know they are climbers so I’ll need to get my trellis built soon.

Sweet Tatters Sweet Tatters Sweet Tatters

Dill Transplanted in Qt Cont Transplanted in Qt Cont

(If you click on the far right you can see the flowers outside!)

Here sits my little window garden. It has grown so much I’m just about out of space on this little old table. One of my secrets to the success I’ve had is there is a heater just below and it has kept them nice and warm as well as the south facing window they are in. I bought a couple plants yesterday; collards, kale, lettuce, and dill. I’ve got the dill inside and I’m hardening the others. I already transplanted all of the lettuce and a few of the kales and collard to a long window box to keep on the deck for greens. They won’t get big, but at the last minute they will make nice dinner greens. I’d say I’m doing pretty well with The Growing Challenge.

And with that my day ends with a big 8)

“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will continually be in my mouth! “

 

 

Foraging for Food

Since joining The Herb Mentor, I have been revisiting my past. I’ve been learning to identify different common backyard herbs. So, for the last few days I’ve been foraging for my lunch. Today I’m having Chickweed, Parsley, Watercress, and Dandelion with my soy free egg salad, eggs provided by Sycamore Spring Farm made with Sally Fallon‘s Mayo recipe from Nourishing Traditions. It’s absolutely delicious. It has that little bite to it from the bitter herbs that are nourishing my liver. You might be wondering why this reminds me of  my past. When my Gma was alive and came to our new home 22 yrs ago, she was delighted that we had Watercress growing wild. She was picking it and eating it and at the time I thought she was a little wacky. She’s the Granny who taught me to sing to the birds. It’s so funny how we hang on to those wacky things and they make us who we are. Here’s to Gma for her good taste in delicious Watercress and for teaching me all the wacky things that have made my life rich!!!!As far as The Growing Challenge, I think I’m coming along splendidly. I have had success for the first time in my life with starting seeds indoors. I’ve had a lot of help from my “friends” on the Organic Gardeners Yahoo grp. My sweet potatoes are sprouting like crazy. Now what? I’m sure my “friends” will tell me. My little Jalapeño looks great! My Tomatillos look a little skinny, but I think they’ll hang in there. Next week will mark the month of April….I’m not sure where time goes, but boy does it fly. So I will try to get my lettuces and spinach in on a nice sunny day the first week of April. I have no idea what week I should be on with this challenge, but I think I’m following it pretty well. I’m excited about all the new varieties that I chose and it was certainly a challenge just to start these babies indoors!

Sweet Potato Plants

An update on the poison ivy…I’m still itching and breaking out and today is day 8. I ordered some miracle Jewelweed Soap and Salve over the weekend from Alternative Nature Online. Some other “friends” on the Homeschool Homesteaders Yahoo grp suggested it, so I sure hope it arrives soon. But in the mean time, well, I sorta look like Michael Jackson …ahhhhhh……I’m wearing gloves around, sure wish I could do the “Thriller” dance. Now that would be fun! Have a sweet sunshiny day!You might remember how challenged I am with this machine. So all the bold items are found in my links…I just don’t know how to link them.

 

He Is Risen!!! Hallelujah!

lamb

He is risen! He is alive! This day marks the most important day in HIStory. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. It is because of His great love that He gave up His throne and came to live among us as a Godman. He came to bridge the gap between God and man. The gap called sin. He is the only true “Sin Eater”. He is the only one who can take our sins away. He who has the Son has the Life.

1John 4: 9 & 10
9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins.

Enduring Love

Today is my 26th wedding anniversary. I am more in love today then I was even yesterday. This man of mine is truly a gift from God. Before this disease began to really ravage my body I was a very capable woman. I worked harder than a team of horses. I was never afraid to jump right in and try something new. That’s funny my daughter is much like I was; strong and courageous. But, for the last 15 yrs my dear husband has carried me more than he has walked beside me. He has become more dear to me through this trial. Our love has grown stronger. He has shown me true compassion. He has shown me true selflessness. He has shown me true devotion. You think when you’re young that you will always be young and life will never touch you with hardships. But it does. One thing I’ve learned though on this journey with Lyme Disease is that no one, absolutely no one escapes pain. One of my favorite preachers says, “if you aren’t in a trial and you haven’t just come out of one, watch out cause there’s one comin”. How true that is. He also said that we have trials because God is using them to perfect us….to make us refined like pure gold. A goldsmith works the gold in the fire until all the impurities are gone. How does he know that the impurities are gone? He sees his own reflection. That’s what God is doing with my life….He is purifying me like gold until He looks at me and sees Jesus. I pray He will make me broken and poured out. A broken vessel of clay with a treasure of light inside. Shine on Jesus. So, today, I wish my sweet beloved husband a Happy Anniversary and am so thankful that he has chosen me to be with. Happy Anniversary Babe! 🙂

* This photo was taken by my daughter, you can find and purchase a copy at deviantART.