Visioning the future now

Today I ventured out to a local shop that carries beautiful notebooks and journals made from handcrafted paper and worn saris from India to buy a new dream journal (mine is full!!) and a notebook for visioning. Everytime I have driven by in the last 2 months it as been open but I haven't had time or energy to stop with two kids in tow. Today I made a special trip, but alas it was closed.

I still had time before picking L up from school, tho, so I went to our local Goodwill, hoping to find a nice journal: they only had one, purple and girly with a fancy woman on the cover and the words: "It's all about me! Me, me, me, me, Me, me, ME."

Well. That's not really, um, me.

But then I thought: hey, if you're going to have a notebook for visioning, a place where you write your desires and wants, a place where you work on crystallizing your visions and manifesting your dreams, if you really want it all to COME TRUE, then girl, you better get comfortable with the phrase: "it's all about me". Because this is ALL about you. OK. ok. So, I'll work on it ;)

If you haven't ever had a visioning notebook, it can take many forms... You may fill a binder with clear sheet protectors in which you stick photos and cuttings from magaines of things you want or ideas you like. It might be filled completely with affirmations. It might be filled with prayers for you and loved ones. It might be filled with drawings or sketches. Ideas. Inspirations.

You might not use a notebook, but instead create a vision board that you can post on your wall and look at every day. I have done that, and it is a lot of fun, too.

The key with all visioning is to be in the moment, to be full of joy and excitement, for your strong emotion is a strong factor in the success your dreaming.

Here, here, let's have a group cheer for the NOW!


Tasty tea from your backyard

This month I have been really enjoying the wild harvests of my yard -- stinging nettles cooked up like spinach, chive pancakes, and garlic mustard pestos. To accompany my foraged finds, I have been drinking Eastern White Pine tea, simply taking a handful of needles still attached to small branches which are freshly fallen to the ground and steeping them in boiling water for 15 minutes with a dash of honey or agave. The tea is delicious, nutritious, and not at all like pine-sol, I promise!
White Pine Bark is an old and trusted remedy for colds and flu. It loosens and expels phlegm from the respiratory tract, easing bronchitis and lung congestion, and its warming qualities stimulate circulation, which may ward off colds and flu before they settle in. The high content of nature's most powerful antioxidants (proanthocyanidins/PCSs/OPCs) in White Pine Bark have made it the focus of much attention in the area of combating free radicals, arteriosclerosis and strokes.

White Pine Bark is an excellent expectorant and is used to loosen and expel phlegm and mucous excretions from the respiratory system. The inner bark has been a longtime standard herbal remedy for coughs, whooping cough, croup, bronchitis, laryngitis and chest congestion due to colds.

As a warming and aromatic stimulant, White Pine Bark is said to increase circulation and further help to overcome or prevent the onset of colds and flu by raising circulatory action.
White Pine Bark contains the second highest source (the first is Grapeseed) of nature's most potent antioxidants, tannin compounds, called proanthocyanidins (also called OPCs for oligomeric procyanidins or PCOs for procyanidolic oligomers) that provide a high degree of antioxidant capacity, which fight free radical damage in the body. These compounds allow the body's cells to absorb vitamin C, which is helpful in protecting cells from the free radicals that can bind to and destroy cellular compounds. These qualities may be helpful in building the immune system and fighting invasive material and other infections. They are classified as flavonols, and the way in which these versatile healing compounds are distinct from flavonoids is their simple chemical structure, which allows them to be readily absorbed into the bloodstream. They work actively against fat-soluble and water-soluble oxidants, thus protecting the cells from damage, and their antioxidant activity is thought to have great potential in combating cellular damage caused by foreign infectious attack.
White Pine Bark's OPCs, which may also be derived from Grapeseed, Red Wine, Hops, Pomegranate and various other fruits, nuts and beans are believed to contribute to a lowered incidence of arteriosclerosis and coronary heart problems. White Pine Bark is also a source of resveratrol, which is thought to raise the levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs or “good” cholesterol) in the blood, while decreasing the low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) and thereby possibly helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It is also said to prevent fat in the bloodstream from sticking together and clogging the arteries, which is thought to promote better circulation of blood throughout the body, especially to the heart.
The inner bark of White Pine Bark (cambium) is the source of resveratrol, a polyphenolic phytoalexin, which is produced in plants that is reputed to have antifungal properties.

According to recent research (2008) from Peninsula Medical School, England, the resveratrol found in Pine Bark, Grape Skin and Red Wine can protect against cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes, claiming resveratrol's antioxidant effects are well documented. But the new research establishes the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure and the ability of resveratrol to protect against and mend that damage. Moreover, resveratrol could be used to block the damaging effect of glucose, which, in turn, might fight the often life threatening complications that accompany diabetes. It could well be the basis of effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damage caused by hyperglycemia in the future.

White Pine Bark is considered a diuretic, and as such, encourages the flow of urine, which is said to be very helpful in cases of urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Please note: Pregnant Women should probably avoid or limit their intake of White Pine, just to be safe.

(White Pine information found on herbalextractsplus.com)


Pretty Orbs in the Sacred Grove

My mother created a sacred grove on her property this winter, amongst some eastern white pines, a tamarack tree, and a hawthorn tree next to a babbling brook.

It is a wonderfull place to sit and enjoy a warm cup of tea in the morning or a cold beer at the end of the day after mucking out the horses' stalls. We housesat this past weekend for her and enjoyed the grove, and took some nice photos of nature spirits around the trees. See the big peach orb above?

Later that night I enjoyed a very fine tea steeped from the white pine needles (shown above with an orb on the left side) and a bit of local honey.