31 January 2018

.recipe: snooze tea.

A few years ago I found a curiosity to grow my knowledge about herbs and how to make delicious and beneficial tea blends. This lead me taking a herbal class a few years ago and learned how to make a yummy calm tea for the winter months. I loved the process of blending and drinking the tea. It's also a wonderful gift to give to loved ones! I have continued to try and experiment with herbs and tea blends then a few weeks ago I found a new herbal tea book that is overflowing with wonderful blends and recipes from PNW Herbalist Sarah Farr. I want to try all of these recipes but the first one I tried was snooze tea. It's a perfect tea for bedtime, the blend includes valerian and kava kava which are deeply relaxing herbs (note: some people do have different experiences with kava kava best to research more information if you have any medical concerns. And you shouldn't consume this tea if you are pregnant or breastfeed). 

If you need a little help to unwind and relax at night this might be a nice tea to try. Find the recipe and infusion instructions below!

Snooze Tea
Recipe by: Sarah Farr
from Healing Herbal Teas: Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Support

2 parts Valerian
1 part Kava
1 part Linden
1 part mint
1 part passionflower
0.25 part hops
0.25 part nutmeg

Hot: Pour 1.5 cups hot water over 1 to 2 tablespoons tea. Steep for 5 to 10 mins.

Cold: Combine 2 cups cold water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of tea in lidded jar. Shake the jar to make sure all the tea is saturated. Place in the refrigerator or cool place for at least 2 hours.

.a favorite place.

This is one of my favorite places, ever. Despite being only 30 minutes from where I grew up I didn't find this walk until a few years ago but now I try to visit every time I go home. It has all my favorite colors, plants and textures. This visit the fog was heavy and thick and slowly lightened up by the end of our walk which gave a deep vibrancy to the muted earth tones. I'm back east already but still holding this place near.

17 January 2018

.make time to visit.

I'm out west in the arid foothills of the cascade mountains, my hometown. I've been going on daily walks in my favorite places. I cherish so many corners of this place - the colors + textures and the knowing of a place so deeply. 

Three days ago I went on a hike and looked at a sagebrush I remembered collecting sage from years ago. Yesterday, I went on a hike and remembered my favorite patch of winter blooms from a visit last year. Today I walked next to the Columbia river and remembered hot summer days of kayaking thru inlets and that cove where the sparrows sit in the high trees and squak so loud it drowns out the sound of traffic that echoes of the empty field next to the trail. Maybe it's because I travel so much that there is such a richness to visit these dear places, again and again or maybe it's just the connection I have to here because it's the land that raised me. 

I'm so grateful for it - this land feeds me. It taught me how to have a relationship with land. I walk these special corners with such gratitude of the colors + textures + sounds. 

Do you have places you visit? Where are there? Are they places you've known forever or are they new? 

16 January 2018

.listen more.

I went for a walk today and as I started on the trail the path was so wet and muddy I had to walk really slow and almost turned around because I didn’t want to walk slow but I continued - slowly - and realized what a beautiful reminder to s l o w down - be intentional - listen to the moment. 

Today is MLK day, a few years ago I had the honor of visiting the Civil Rights Museum - the stories impacted me so much - it reminded me how important it is for us to tell our stories and even more important for me to listen. Whether these stories are screamed - spoken - softly said or whispered, just listen. 

To listen with openness. 
To listen with respect. 
To listen and hear what is being shared. 
To listen and honor these stories.

03 January 2018



To the New Year

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

27 December 2017

.Christmas in Maine.

I spent Christmas in Southern Coastal Maine this year. We had a small snow storm on Friday and bigger one on Christmas morning making for a very white and wintry holiday. This holiday was a nice mix of old and new traditions. I made a sausage egg bake for Christmas morning which is a traditional breakfast in my family after I joined in on the 6th annual sunrise hike, a new tradition for me. It was white out conditions with crazy winds and a thick layer of ice under the new snow but the group still managed to have the yankee swap at the top of the mountain.

I thought of all the places I've celebrated Christmas - in Coastal Ecuador and Central Malawi as a Peace Corps volunteer, Western Texas with my sister after leaving Midwifery school and before road tripping north, in the city rush of Boston with friends and this year in a small town in Southern Maine. December looks and feels so different in each of these landscapes. This year in Maine I noticed how the winter light feels more golden yellow and softer in a way. It still feels strange to walk along the snowy frozen beach and salt marshes, having grown up in the arid high desert the beach will forever hold the energy of summer. I went for several walks the past few days taking in the fresh snow, the new textures of the winter ocean and fell in love with the mystery of the frozen salt marshes. I'm so grateful to know all these places and to bring old traditions + new experiences into them.

Where did you celebrate the holidays? Do you have holiday traditionsI hope you had a beautiful holiday!

21 December 2017

.happy solstice.

Happy Solstice! A moment to celebrate the returning light and the beginning of the winter season. A moment to remember to slow down and embrace the season to turn inwards. I'm a summer person - I love the heat and the energy but this year I feel like I'm opening more and more to the gifts and beauty of winter. I have a favorite woodland near my house that I walk a few times a week and have found some beautiful young pine trees on these walks. Today I collected some to make pine needle vinegar. It's super simple, similar to balsamic vinegar and super high in vitamin C.

||Pine Needle Vinegar ||

Just collect white pine needles - enough to fill jar size of your choice. Then wash the needles and remove brown parts. Pour organic vinegar (I use ACV) over the needle to fill up the jar and cover with a plastic lid or I covered with wax paper and metal lid. Let set for 6 weeks and then enjoy! You can find more pine needle ideas here.

Winter's Cloak 
By Joyce Rupp
This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.
Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter's passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.
Let the dawns
Let me lie in the cave