I’m still treading water. I still feel the Monster gnawing away inside, but as I’ve said many times of depression: never underestimate the art of distraction. It can just lift you up and out of that hole, and you little knew how it happened. So, fighting away the Dark Thoughts, I’ve put my energy into learning more about herbs and plants, fussing over my own container garden, spending time with Hubby and Vesta, doing our family geneology, and learning about Norwegian culture, mythology and language. It’s been good to have distractions that don’t bring me down (like my crafts do to me sometimes), though I still feel that clenching grip of Time…but whatever. Time is ever clutching the throat of mortal creatures, I just gotta learn to deal.
Classes with Cynthia have been awesome, and I really would like to spend the time (ugh…there’s that ugly head again) posting all about the plants I’ve learned about, maybe printing up individual sheets with my photos and writing out any medicinal properties, important constituents, and folklore about each one. The nice thing about focusing on local plants only is that it forces you to narrow the focus a bit. I mean, there are billions of wonderful medicinal and edible plants! How to choose?! I’ve taken tons of photos on my iPhone, so I’d like to upload those soon. Maybe I can find a template to plop this all into, that would make things much easier. Gotta love templates! I’ve just spent some time this morning sorting through some of my dried herbs. I have loads! I really need to get my Etsy shop up and running and offer some items for sale. I’d love to learn to make tinctures, and I’m already hooked on salve-making. The other products I make are just a bit too risky to offer for sale because I can’t guarantee the preservation, so I make those just for me. I was going to offer things like Mouth Rinses, Bathing Salts and Sugar Scrubs, but the mouth rinse would need alcohol to preserve it which kills the good bacteria as well as the bad (not too healthy) and is also a prohibited substance to sell on Etsy. The Bathing Salts might be ok to sell, because I think most people would dump them into their bath and hopefully not get water into it, but the risk is there for sure. The sugar scrubs are very risky because your patrons are likely to introduce water into the product which can grow mold very fast. That’s the thing with making fresh and natural products, you have GOT to use them up rather quickly. Salves are great because the oils are naturally preservative, and I would probably use poplar buds in any salve for sale for its preservative properties. Man, I’m itching to witch in the kitchen!!
Hubby and I are taking Norwegian language classes together, and it’s really brought out something unexpected in both us: a desire to know more about our ancestry. I never used to care about genealogy, but now I’m changing my tune. There is something deep in our bones, I think, that draws us to use the knowledge of our ancestors. It’s like, the DNA calls out, and you can only ignore your roots for so long before you start to really wonder, “Who am I? Where did my people come from, and who are they?” This search has helped ease some of my longing for tradition, or at least feel as if I’m on my way to developing some strength in that area. It’s been interesting to learn more about my family roots, and I was thrilled to learn especially about my Norwegian lineage, learning what areas of Norway my peeps came from. We’re planning a trip to Norway this year to ring in both our 40th year of life, and also celebrate 20 years together 🙂 So it’s awesome to be able to find the little towns where our families are from and hopefully plan a visit to at least some of these areas. Hubby checked out a cool book on the basics of Norse mythology for me, and also a bunch of cookbooks that I’ve been furiously writing down the recipes to try. I tried one for super easy Cardamom Muffins and they were unbelievable! I’m shocked at how few ingredients the Norwegian’s use in their baking, and what delectable things are borne of them! People are always bringing in Norwegian treats to our language class, so we’ve tried things like Pepperkaker (Pepper cookies, my favorite), Blotkake (a scrumptious, creamy cake–check out this awesome Norwegian baking blog I just found…oh, and it looks like you’ll find everything here!! Here’s the Pepparkaker! And I just love her little MN state, piggy and gnome cookie cutouts! Where does one find those awesome little dandies?!)
In summary, things have been kind of tough, but I’m hanging in there by using my strategies. Things at work are looking a little less bleak, and planning for Norway has really brought us both fun and enjoyment. Now, it’s time for me to think about getting ready for one of my other exciting recreational activities: roller skating! WOOT!
Happy Saturn’s Day 🙂