Tuesday, August 23, 2011

infusions and sexy garden stuff

Nourishing herbal infusions.
Today is Infusion Making Day. This morning I'm infusing 3 quarts of nettles and 1 quart of oatstraw. Both are great for what I need ~ feeding and nourishing my body, soothing the nerves. And so easy to make as outlined here. Susun Weed's videos are informative, vibrant and well worth watchin. She's a pip.

And now I leave you with some sexy garden photos Bennie took as I was weeding and then sowing another round of lettuces and chards. Yummy!
A Rose of Sharon with a bee.

Sage, sunflower and lemon balm.

A delicious Black Krim

A flashy zinnia hanging out with the squash.

A brilliant red Sweet Cherry pepper.

The only radishes we got this year.

Obiwan chillin' with the tomatoes.

A beauteous Martha Washington geranium.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

of journal ramblings

It's a collection of images drawn and in collage from the item that's been seeing the most creative action these days: My Journal. As a new one is being started, this bunch is from the old. Also included, but not pictured are ramblings with journal prompts from here. Sometimes it's easier to create in these small ways rather than trying to do The Masterpiece. At least this keeps my feet wet in what I enjoy doing without overwhelming myself with guilt over abandoning my craft.

Enjoy . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

the niftyness of synchronicity

In a rare moment, I was lazing about in bed longer than usual with the TV controls (and that indeed is very rare) when I bumped into a PBS showing of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's 3 Steps to Incredible Health along w/ the accompanying pledge drive goodies available. I know this veers wildly from Creativity, but sometimes one's creativity needs to focus on one's well-being. Otherwise the only creativity available might be the pushing up of one's daisies. My interest was instantly captured as he discussed ways to reduce a great many of America's over-indulgent maladies, hypertension being one of them, by simply eating right. I know this has been mentioned ad nauseum by so many, but coupled with Paul Pitchford's book noted in my previous post Dr. Fuhrman's information might give me more to work with.

There seems to be enough information to get started on Dr. Fuhrman's site without loading the Shopping Cart from the get-go. So I plan on checking things out there awhile before purchasing anything. Here is his essay on hypertension. And I clocked in at 97/73 this morning. No meds (third day and how liberating it is not to take anything) just drinking my Nettle infusion, having a little lemon water and eating mindfully.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Okay. Admittedly, the creativity levels have taken a bit of a down turn. My interest has been in the area of surfing the internet and my own bookcases for wide and varied subjects. It started with investigating the side affects of Micardis and Micardis HCT because I've been suffering swollen, blistered lips for about 3 weeks now. The only cure seems to be hydrocortisone (yielding yet another search ~ Is it okay to use this stuff on lips?) applied 3 to 4 times a day after meals and before bedtime. The findings regarding telmisartin (the generic name of Micardis) disturbed and annoyed me, including that of facial rashes, to a point where I am militant, Positively Militant, about getting off hypertension meds.

On to the next search: What healthy things can I do to reduce my blood pressure without making my body a slave the Great American Pharmaceutical Machine? And, besides all that, I'm one of the many uninsured citizens of this fine nation. So, my health is up to me. Susun Weed touts the many benefits of herbal infusions, Nettle, in particular. I like to cross reference my info, thus more searching into Nettle as well as referring to an old tome, Weed's Healing Wise. With all I've read, it sounds like I'm headed in a good direction. Nettle is not only diuretic in nature, but nourishing, providing calcium, magnesium, potassium and the B complex of vitamins. Micardis offers none of these and, if using the HCT variant, causes photosensitivity (for about 2 weeks, I thought I just had sun poisoning, but I'm not much of a sun bunny). Nettle infusion heals kidneys and neural pathways. I doubt telmisartin possesses those qualities.

Okay. What else? I need to lose weight. A woefully-admitted 30 lbs, in fact. This is a two-pronged effort (notice I did not use the word "attack") ~ Diet and Exercise. The dusty book on my sun room shelf with the best information is Paul Pitchford's Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. In his book, Pitchford marries Traditional Chinese Medicine theory with Western research on health and nutrition. If I'm understanding the reading I've done thus far, I'm suffering a Liver Heat Syndrome, one of the many physical signs including hypertension. In short, I have an angry Liver and I need to make it smile. Following the table are dietary suggestions for Liver Heat: eat less (duh!), eat less fats, discontinue (if possible and w/ medical supervision, of course) prescriptions to relieve the "stagnant and swollen liver." Eat raw foods to stimulate said liver. Eat foods that harmonize the liver: springtime foods, grains, vegetables, legumes and other complex carbs. And the crowning glory, bitter and sour foods to reduce liver excesses as quoted, "Perhaps the most powerful common remedy for quickly removing liver stagnation and the accompanying depression and indigestion is vinegar." However, as I have a Heat condition and vinegar can aggravate that condition further, lemon, lime or grapefruit would be better. This all requires that I Pay Attention and be Discriminating about what I eat. Says she who has ingested a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich for brunch. It was on oat-nut bread and using one of our eggs with farm-fresh cheddar cheese. Does that count? It's a start.

Now about the other prong of that Weight-Loss fork: Exercise. The all-out cardio-circuit-training-treadmill workout isn't my cup of tea. I like walking. I like yoga. A friend and physical trainer, suggested I add weight to lose weight ~ walk with a gallon jug of water in a backpack for the more intense work out. Right now, I think I have enough of my own weight to contend with walking down the hill a half mile and then walking back up that hill. So, I'll just walk and at least 3 times a week. Walking is cheap and doesn't need much in the way of equipment. Although, I am coveting and not so secretly, a pair of Vibram Jaya LR non-shoes; initiating another search into barefooting altogether. Another covetous item would be an elliptical ~ especially for those crazy winter days when walking in snow and ice is less than desirable. I want to lose weight, not a limb. Walking is a discipline I may gain benefit by strict adherence. My motto here might need to be: No slacking.

What matters most in all this researching is I have some modicum of control and certainly plenty of responsibility. I've spoken with my doctor and she agreed I could stop taking the Micardis ~ at least until I see her this Monday. Fine. Until then, I've continued making nettle and oatstraw infusions, drinking at least 2 cups of the nettle daily. I've walked this morning and I feel a little headache-y, but I suspect that's part of not taking the prescription medications. I suppose I could research a little bit into the detox headache issue, but I'd rather head to the studio and write and sketch in my journal or paint. These activities also reduce blood pressure, by golly!