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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wildcrafting Wednesday #24

TheWoodwifesJournalWelcome to the 24nd edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday!  I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you and pooling our herbal ideas to make each of our homes and families more healthy!

Hosted by Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul,
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
and myself, here @ The Woodwife's Journal.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Liebster Blogger Award

I've just sent out a thank you post for all the support I've received since I started this blog on my 49th birthday in June of 2010.  It was a gift to myself that I hoped would give me some perspective on what my place is now that my not so little girls are more independent.  I'm still homeschooling my youngest, who is in 10th grade and my oldest, who graduated from homeschooling, is attending university as a junior.  I'm still figuring it out as I move toward graduating my last in 2 years.

Blogging can be tough going, and it means a lot when someone reaches out to let you know they appreciate what you're doing.

Last year, a fellow herb blogger, Sarah, paid me a very nice compliment.  It meant a lot to me because she is not a newcomer to the field of herbal medicine.  We found each other somehow (blogging is funny that way) and, as she said, we knew we were kindred spirits!  She's blogging about her passion for herbs @ Wellness the Natural Way.  The compliment she gave me was in the form of a blogger award called The Leibster Award.  This honor is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers as a way to bring a buzz of attention to their blog and increase their readership, to give their efforts a little recognition.  Share a little blogger love.

I googled "Liebster" and the translation from German that I found was "favorite translation."  How nice!

It is the duty of everyone who receives the Liebster Award to find 5 blogs that they admire, who have less than 200 followers, and pass the honor along.  It was tough to choose!  There are a lot of great blogs out there that I follow and enjoy.  Many of them don't display their followers so it's hard to know how many they have and I didn't have time to write to you all.  Others have more than 200 which eliminates them.  I've narrowed it down to five but I wish I could share with so many more.
One thing that I noticed as I perused blogs I follow to choose my five was the frequent use of the word "journey" in their descriptions.  We're all on a journey to find a better, more natural approach to sustainable lifestyles, pursuing our dreams and finding our way.  Our paths may be different but our goals are the same.  We are women who are making our way through life trying to make a better life for our families in one way or another.
Congratulations to the following bloggers!

Molly's Muses - a freelance photographer who love art and capturing people on film, Molly has a heart for the Lord and has done a wonderful work photographing little angels who's time on this earth is very short.

Herb Mother- after stepping away from the daily grind, Latisha's offering encouragement to embrace the crunchy lifestyle and experience the bounties of this earth.

Phytotherapy - besides being a Family Herbalist through Vintage Remedies, Megan describes herself as an Upscaler and Thrift Store Treasure Hunter. Check out her blog for ideas and recipes for natural cleaning, personal care and herbal remedies.

Methow Valley Herbs - Rosalee is an herbalist trainer, a licensed massage therapist, has mentored under some very well known herbalists, with inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayruveda, and  Western Herbalism.

Natural Health and Prevention - Jessica works to encourage good health through prevention and wellness techniques as a Holistic Wellness Practitioner.  She studies with Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health and East-West School of Herbal and Aromatic Studies.

Many thanks again to Sarah for sharing this award with me!  Please check out Sarah's blog @ Wellness the Natural Way and the featured blogs and let them know I sent you.

Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Many Thanks!

I've just got to say that my heart is filled with thankfulness for the awesomeness that filled my day yesterday.  When I started blogging in 2010, I put my "stock", my hopes, in my family, friends and acquaintances to help me get going.  An unfair expectation since many of them don't share my views on the virtues of herbs. But, a few of them did and I'm grateful to them for standing by me, being my field testers and supporters, as well as making me dig deeper to find answers and figure out where I'm going.
They kept me from giving up.
Thank you!

Over the past year, things which had been creeping up, began to move more steadily as more and more folks stopped by to read support me.  Folks I didn't know.  Folks from all over the globe.  Folks who are well known and respected in the blogging circles and herbalist sectors I've been learning so much about.  They reached out to give me a hand and I can't express my thanks enough.

Yesterday, I watched as an amazing thing happened here at The Woodwife's Journal.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the hits started coming in, the pageviews snowballed!
People from all over the world were stopping by to see what The Woodwife's Journal is all about.

I've been praying from the start of my blogging adventure, for guidance and help.  You see, I'm not especially computer savvy so each new thing I've done to make this blog work, I've learned by research or trial and error. By asking questions, some were answered and some were not.  It's been lots of time, work and study to put together helpful posts that folks might enjoy reading.
They're not professional, they're not cutting edge...but they are from where I live at this time in my life.
From my heart and my home.

I don't know if this trend will continue but what happened yesterday was truly a blessing to me.
Many, many thanks to all of you.

Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

There are so many learning opportunities out there.
Here are some of my favorites:

Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Free herbal ecourse.

Free herbal ecourse.

Wildcraft Board Game

A passion for organics

Friday, January 20, 2012

Letters from Home

20th of January, 2012

Dearest Friends,

My deepest desire is that this letter finds you all healthy and in good spirits. We are, at present, quite well and bearing the winter as bravely as can be expected.  Temperatures have dropped into the single digits only to reach highs in the 50's days later.

Winter continues to wet the land with a variety of precipitation, unable to decide on the proper temperature for it's assault on my little valley.  It is premature to hear any tiding of Spring's preparation to begin her journey from the deep south toward our home here in the north country.  As much as I long for the first signs of her return, I can't help but lose myself in the beauty of the white, frosty boughs and blanketed fields.  Almost as if they call to me to come out to play.  With sadness I realize I can no longer steel myself against the frigid temperatures as I did in my younger days.  Alas, I fear I shall do more admiring from the warmth of the fire than venturing into the wonderland itself.  I laugh aloud as I realize I won't be able to resist the call entirely and will take quick advantage of any warming that comes our way.

The post has just arrived bringing yet another beautifully illustrated seed catalogue for me to peruse.  The weather outside is quite blustery and I feel blessed to sit inside, by the fire, sipping spicy tulsi tisane, while I dream of spring gardens filled with bushy, aromatic herbs and colorful vegetables.  Neat, tidy rows of lettuce in yellows, greens and rosy reds.  Tall hollyhocks and sunflowers looming over the not so little girls who read in the solitude of houses walled by their lofty blooms.  Berries hanging sweetly from brambles and melons ripening on beds of straw.  Tall teepee's of pole beans hanging heavy with pods make for a quick hideaway from the sun's heat.

How quickly my mind has changed direction!
I must find more paper and begin to make lists and sketches of my thoughts before they are lost!

Have you made any garden plans this year?  Pray, tell me all about them in your next correspondence.  I long to hear from you.  Please inform me of all your adventures and the family's outings as I pine for stories from town.  Have you been to any evening parties since the holidays?  We've been much at home aside from the theater which often requires much of our time but we do enjoy it so!

I shall take the liberty of using names to portray our family and acquaintances from the meandering wit of our dear friend Lady Morewit, whose chronicles always bring me much delight.

Miss Indianna and her beau, Mr. Merritop, will be among the leads in the upcoming presentation of
The Importance of Being Ernest here in our small theater.
Miss Woodwise will have a leading role in her university production of The 39 Steps coming soon to the Tower.

Mr. Woodwise is making plans for a new smoke house to begin his adventure in charcuterie.  Alas, we were unable to harvest venison this past season so we may have to find another source of meat for the coming year.  Perhaps his new interest in traditional preservation will help stretch our pantry and coffers further.  We've plans for fresh trout fillets for this evenings meal with baked potatoes and greens.
Myself, I continue in my studies and preparations with many requests from neighboring families for herbal comfort in this cold and flu season.  I'm so blessed to be able to offer relief in my own small way.
In jest, they call me, The Woodwife because I find so much pleasure in gathering herbs from the fields and woodlands to garner their healing properties.  It makes me smile to think on it.

Bringing myself back from my reverie, I must bid you farewell for now.  May you also enjoy visions of what's to come as we march bravely on toward that first whisper of Spring.

Much herbal love from
our homestead to yours,

You can find some of my favorite sources for seeds and seedlings
Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page!
Hope you "Like" it!

Pin It

A passion for organics

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recently came across a couple gals who are trying to spread the bloggy love by creating a link-up to your home page so you can meet new folks.  Are you thirsty for new friends?  Check it out.

Obviously MARvelous

Be sure to check out my Facebook Page @!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wildcrafting Wednesday #23

TheWoodwifesJournalWelcome to the 23nd edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday!  I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you and pooling our herbal ideas to make each of our homes and families more healthy!

Hosted by Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul,
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
and myself, here @ The Woodwife's Journal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kombucha "Tanning" Project Followup

If you read the post on making your own kombucha a few weeks ago, you know that my daughter, home from college for Christmas break, decided to experiment with a kombucha SCOBY.

Here's what happened...
After allowing the culture to thicken to about 5/16",
she placed it on a wooden cutting board to dry. 
After about two weeks and a little extra heat,
the culture was like a piece of oilcloth.
She laced a piece of waxed linen cord through
holes she punctured around the edge of the SCOBY.

Then she used walnut ink to stain the center of the "hide."
(the design you see is the plate underneath)

After doing henna tattoos with her sister,
she decided to see how well the dried culture would accept the stain.
It worked well and she followed that with a light coating
of oil to add some water proofing.

Here's the finished product...a little drawstring bag.
Enough spark to further more experimenting!

When tanning a traditional animal hide there's a few more steps involved that soften the skin. Because this involves re-wetting the hide, she was a little unsure how to proceed.  So these are things to plan for next time!

More Updates...since life has been pretty busy for my daughter, graduated college, more plays, jobs and is now married, she hasn't done much tanning of kombucha SCOBYs or animal hides...the pouch shown above has become a bit gooey over time.

  Watch for her guest post on tanning animal hides...coming later this year. Right now, she's back at school with a full load, a college play to rehearse and a missions trip planned for spring.  Your prayerful support of the team and the folks in Kosovo is greatly appreciated. There are needs to be met before this can become a reality.  For more info, contact me by email.

Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another place you can find me.

When I started blogging a few years ago, I quickly found some awesome folks in the Pacific Northwest who have inspired me over and over again. and offer incredible opportunities for herbal study.

Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Once there, it won't be long until you come across an herbalist named Rosalee.
Rosalee de la Foret writes about her passion @ Methow Valley Herbs.

This link will take you to a page that tells about the services Rosalee offers as a holistic health practitioner. 

Here's a bit of info from Methow Valley Herbs that Rosalee's allowed me to share with you.

"Rosalee draws inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses tongue and pulse diagnosis and also uses patterns assessment using TCM organ systems.  She also has a strong base in western herbalism... 

Rooted in the Methow Valley, Rosalee conducts herbalism trainings nationally and regionally, and is the author of dozens of articles and several ebooks on herbal healing.  She is an herbal consultant for and  frequently contributes multimedia herbal education and moderates the forums at
Rosalee has a private herbal consultation practice and often does long distance consultations for those living across North America.

She is certified by the Institute of Structural Medicine, is a licensed massage therapist in Wanshington and has been privileged to be mentored by herbalists Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael Tierra, Paul Bergner and Kiva Rose."

Pretty impressive, huh?

Why am I writing about Rosalee today?
It's because I'm so excited!  She's decided to pull together a list of herbal blogs that share info from many different perspectives ~ Ayurveda, TCM, traditional Western Herbalism ~ written by professionals in the field and aspiring me!

Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wildcrafting Wednesday #22

TheWoodwifesJournalWelcome to the 22nd edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday!  I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you and pooling our herbal ideas to make each of our homes and families more healthy!

Hosted by Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul,
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
and myself, here @ The Woodwife's Journal.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Seed Catalog Dreaming...

As the holidays fade into our recent memories, are your thoughts turning to those beautiful seed catalogs that arrived with your Christmas cards in mid December when there was no time to peruse their overflowing pages?

I can think of no better way to spend a little cozy time than with a cup of tea and a stack of seed catalogs.
Well maybe I can but I won't talk about that here! Let's just say it's a good way to spend a little "me" time  during these early morning hours when I'm the only one awake.

Problem is, my meandering and dreaming often get carried away!
I have a few catalogs I look forward to because they offer beautiful, glossy pictures of the vegetables offered in their colorful pages, like Baker's Creek
 and Comstock.
There are others with simple formats, no pictures and lovely descriptions to guide my choices,
like Fedco seeds and trees.

Along with dreams of vegetables flowing from baskets and plants sporting all colors of perfect fruits, I like to plan an herb garden.  Or should I say plans to expand my herb garden?
One of my favorite sources for herb seeds is Mountain Rose Herbs.
They offer a great selection of medicinal herb seeds.

Time to get start my garden dreaming!

Be sure to check out my new Facebook Page
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wildcrafting Wednesday #21

TheWoodwifesJournalWelcome to the 21st edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday and the very first of 2012!  I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you and pooling our herbal ideas to make each of our homes and families more healthy!

Hosted by Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul,
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
and myself, here @ The Woodwife's Journal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Woodwife's Journal has a Fan Page!

As one of the improvements I'm planning for 2012, The Woodwife's Journal fanpage is now operational!
to see the page and hopefully "Like" it or you can click the box in the right margin.

Still working out the bugs but we're up and running!
Come join me for the journey!

Much herbal love,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Make Probiotic Kombucha at Home

Several years ago, I was introduced to an interesting beverage a friend had made from a crazy looking piece of leathery growth in a jar of sweet tea.  This drink is called kombucha.  Now you might ask why I'd be tempted to drink old tea with an obvious fungal problem and in reality, it's not a practice I'd adopt about just anything.  What caught my attention was the story they told me about kombucha tea.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Progressive Dinner

We had the most fun celebrating the New Year with a few of our friends!  We decided to do a progressive dinner.  If you're not familiar with this type of dinner, let me explain.  A group of friends, preferably about 4-5 homes between them, travel from one home to the next for each successive course in the meal.  Here's how that played out for us.

We started with appetizers at the country home of some good friends.  What a spread!  Beautiful as well as delicious!  Crab Rangoon, grapes dipped in white chocolate and nuts, pastry cups of brie and hot pepper jelly, shrimp, chocolate cheese spread, fruit and more!  I always enjoy spending time in their home because they have a big old farm house and so many interesting collections of vintage items from lanterns to toys to furnishings and children's books.

Next stop was our house for soup and salad. My friend and her family hosted this stop with us.  We had two hot soups - hearty chili and a spicy Portuguese Kale soup, vichyssoise and Caesar Salad (minus the chicken) with Crispy Flatbread.  We're kinda out of town in a rural area.  Our home is styled after an old farmhouse but lacks the quaintness of a truly vintage home.  I love to fill it with vintage items to try to capture quieter times of the past.  After the food, some of the crowd gathered around the Victrola and as guys will do, began to try to figure our exactly how it works and how old it is.  We had a century of technology at work.  While the record played and the younger guys tested the machine(1910), the older fellows used an iPhone (2011) to check out the manufacture date based on the serial number!

Third stop, hosted by two families of good friends, was the main course with 3 types of lasagna (traditional, seafood and pesto - yum!), veggies and marinated asparagus wrapped in prosciutto!  By this time I was stuffed!
Definitely a party house on the lake, it's an equally interesting home in a completely different genre.  Ultra modern filled with an eclectic mix of sculptures, glass and leather with fun things to see everywhere you look!  And one huge, comfy, leather chair that my husband is still talking about!   Awesome!

Last stop was with more good friends for dessert to bring in the new year!  Petits fours, tarts, nut rolls, cookies and my contribution, plum pudding!  We attempted to light it with a little brandy but I think it soaked in too quickly.  All this with champagne and sparkling juices to toast the stroke of midnight!  Another amazing lake house with a sprawling basement room looking out across the water!  Beautifully decorated with a huge Christmas tree, retro kitchen and large inviting furnishings.

My thanks to all for a lovely evening!  We had a great time together!
The start of a new tradition?
I hope so!

Much herbal love,

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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.