The Disease of Busyness and the Detox Bath

It has been over ten years since I was this sick.  I am an herbalist.  I make the most effective medicine I know of.  I eat well and try to exercise.  I don’t get sick!  My body means business this time.  It wants me to sit down and listen, and hasn’t really given me much choice in the matter.  I have been having colorful dreams (maybe because of all the valerian), and the theme is pretty clear.  Hit them brakes, Sister.

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For as long as I can remember, I do as much as possible in a day.  It is my worth.  No one else is going to do it.  It is my job.  It is normal.  To-do lists and packed days of…the same housework, the same chores.  What, just what, would happen if a client came over and the kitchen floor was dirty?  Would they think poorly of me?  That my house wasn’t sanitary?  That I wouldn’t be able to do a Medical Intuitive Reading properly because I haven’t dusted?

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I do things with such intensity.  The same intensity that I put into gardening, pursuing a new venture, getting the housework done, is the same intensity that I put into having a cup of tea, or reading a letter.  Fast.  Get it done, check it off my list.  Why?  Because I can’t remember what it is like to just move at a slower pace.  Most everything I think has to be done is self imposed.

November was a very trying month.  Actually, autumn, was very trying.  A lot of death and loss.  I got weakened from stress.  If I wasn’t going to stop the insanity, my body would make me.  There are so many things I do to try to prove that I am a good mom, prove that I am good at my gifts and my work, prove that I am a good wife, prove that I am a good friend, prove that I got this.  I am every woman.

The past few nights Doug checks to see if I am still breathing as I sleep.

I have missed December.  I have had to cancel numerous consultations, a sleepover with my granddaughter, two weeks out of my new granddaughter’s four weeks of life, zoo lights, Santa Claus with my girls.  I feel beaten and bruised from coughing.

Something’s gotta give.  Listen, friends, we have to start listening!  We don’t have to do everything to keep everyone from being disappointed.  We don’t have to work so hard.  To drink our tea so fast.  This intensity, drive hundreds of a miles in a week, prove that I am worthy, to-do list madness must stop.  I don’t remember how.

Balance…elusive word.  Choose what I want to do and give plenty of space in between for tea and a bit of reading.  What can go?  What should stay?  “Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else.”  I have been saying “no” to my peace of mind and my health as of late (or for decades).  I’m listening now.

The disease of busyness affects many of us.  I hope this will inspire some of you to put down the to-do list and re-evaluate.  We are worthy.  It’s time for us to settle down and smile now.

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Feel Better and Out With the Old Detox Bath

While bath is filling with nice, hot water, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of sea salt, a few drops of bubble bath or organic dish soap.  A few drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, and orange essential oils (or your choice, go easy on the “hot” oils).  A great drizzle of olive oil.  Light a candle, play some nice music.  Don’t rush.  This blend is very alkalizing and soothing to muscles and detoxes tissues.

 

Making and Cooking with Vanilla Salt

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Perhaps it’s from our visits to fine restaurants, or my lacking sense of smell that makes me desire everything to be uniquely and strongly flavored, or perhaps it is the overflowing creativity that I cannot seem to satisfy, or perhaps I am a natural born chef, who knows, anyway,  I must have fabulous oils, vinegars, and seasonings in my kitchen to cook with.  I have rarely to never repeated recipes in the twenty something years I have been cooking for myself, and there are no run of the mill meals here.

For instance, I used to make spaghetti.  Now I make pasta (sometimes homemade) with homemade spaghetti sauce made with thick tomatoes and colorful vegetables that are cooked down with wine and garlic until thick and fragrant.  Herbs from the garden in handfuls and smoked salt.  Then added to the pasta and baked with goat cheese and mozzarella.  Divine.

I used to grill trout.  Now I stuff it with lemon, sage, and rosemary.  Fry it in truffle oil after dredging it in cornmeal.  A white wine sauce to pour over after deboning.  Well, you get the picture.

In baking if a recipe calls for vanilla extract, I use three times more than it says and I use extract that I made.  I may substitute required oil in a recipe with an orange infused oil or perhaps a walnut infused oil.  If a recipe calls for salt in baking, I reach for the vanilla salt.  These slight variations elevate food from sustenance to gourmet with sensational flavors.  A basic recipe for pumpkin bread becomes amazing with vanilla and cinnamon extracts, and vanilla salt.

My friend Rodney and I hit the oil stores whenever we pass them.  There are not a lot so it is a treat to find one.  One day when we were in the Springs purchasing our oils for the next few months we came across the flavored salts.  I picked up a small container of black flecked sea salt, fragrant with vanilla beans and took it home.  It was on my grocery list to purchase more when I had an aha moment.  I had just emptied a quart of vanilla extract to sell at the market. (Read post here to see how to make your own vanilla extract.  You will never buy from the store again!)  There sat the beautiful vanilla beans.  In the past I would have cut them open and used them in baking then discarded them.  I cannot grow them and they are not cheap so I had to do something with them.  Eye to the list, eye to the vanilla bean, big bag of sea salt in the cupboard.  I simply placed the whole vanilla beans, sliced in half into the salt that I had poured into a canning jar shaking occasionally.  A few weeks later when removing the lid the smell of fresh, spicy vanilla came wafting up from the eight ounces of salt.  It cost me very little and I have plenty to add to baking dishes and a myriad of other meals (such as oatmeal, or goat cheese, or caramel to make salted caramel, or in jams, or salad dressing, or….)

Make your farmhouse kitchen a deliciously gourmet kitchen.  It’s easy and a fun way to eat after a long day of weeding rows of vegetables.