Holiday traps

I think for most of us, the holidays can be a big, stressful trap. It doesn’t matter who you are, the holidays have history, hopefully good, sometimes less so. Last year I felt pressure to make grand memories when all I wanted to do was mope and that left me feeling stressed and a little put out, even though it was all of my own making. This year I have consciously chosen to do less for Thanksgiving, and am trying to feel my way towards what works for the rest of this holiday season. And while my mom isn’t far from my thoughts this holiday season, I am trying to make space to feel sad as well as space to take pleasure in what this year has to offer. Continue reading

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In the News

I’m sure most of us are aware of the Dirty Dozen, the most pesticide-laden and fruits and vegetables as well as the Clean Fifteen, the fruits and vegetables you could get away with buying conventional. Did you know there is a list of food additives that is best to avoid also? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) now has a Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives that can clog up what we are eating. They include: Continue reading

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Bees: the workhorse of our garden

My mom was really interested in propolis the last few years of her life. So much so that she created her own Propolis Tincture as well as putting it in our Gum Protector for years. My parents kept bee hives for years  and my dad still does, for the benefits of the honey, bee pollen, and garden pollination. Propolis is a sticky substance that bees collect from the resin of trees while they are foraging for food. They use it to repair and disinfect their hive, to build panels, as an embalming tool for intruders it cannot remove from their hive, and as a microbiocidal agent. In short, it helps keep the hive healthy. Continue reading

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Love Our Pets

We’ve been having discussions about our line of pet products recently and that got me to thinking about how my mom developed her herbal treatments for our pets. We always had a menagerie around, anywhere from your basic cat and/or dog, to rabbits, birds of all sizes, rats, a guinea pig or two, snakes, frogs, and fish. I think this was my mom’s way of giving us the farm experience she had as a child. One of our earliest pets was a rat named Rosie. Rosie, as rats commonly do, developed a tumor that eventually grew to the size of a golf ball, or larger. In the eyes of a five year old, it was massive. Rather than let Rosie go where all good rats go, my mom thought she would try her hand at animal surgery. She enlisted the help of her good friend Kate Bowland and with the use of some Rescue Remedy and a bunch of good old fashioned gumption, the two of them removed Rosie’s tumor. Rosie the Rat lived to the venerable age of three, a full year past the lifespan of the usual pet rat. You should hear Kate tell the story, she is much better at expressing the humor and hilarity of the situation. Continue reading

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A soup template

I had another post intended for today, but last night as I was staying up late to watch the Giants clinch the World Series, I ran across a post by one of my favorite food bloggers, Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini. Her recipes are wonderful, but what makes this one particularly special to me is how similar her soup philosophy was to my mom’s. Continue reading

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Saffron: a wonder spice

Today, I am including an excerpt from mom’s booklet, A Pocket Full of Posies on some of the many health benefits of saffron. Saffron is expensive, especially when purchased at the grocery store. My mom always bought it by the ounce and it always came in those really cool little tins. If you and a few friends want to go in on one, that would be a much more cost effective way to put saffron into regular rotation in your cooking. I didn’t realize it until I was older, but she would throw it into everything: soups, stews, rice dishes (obviously), even with roasted vegetables and desserts. Continue reading

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Making our tinctures

Have you ever wondered how we make our tinctures? The process is fairly basic and adheres to Traditional Chinese Medical practices regarding cooking a Chinese herbal formula.

The basics of brewing Chinese herbs are simple and techniques vary from place to place. Continue reading

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In the News

I’ve decided to revive our In the News posts, because there have been a few interesting articles catch my attention in the past few weeks.


Milk has been in the news again. My mom was a huge proponent of drinking unpasteurized milk, because the process of pasteurization kills not only the bad bacteria but the good bacteria as well as changes the structure of the fatty acids. Unfortunately, Continue reading

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What We Know About Fats and Oils

The following post is an excerpt from A Pocket Full of Posies, a collection of my mom’s writing and I thought it was particularly relevant these days, considering how much we see in the news about the changing beliefs and the results of scientific studies on how fats and oils affect our bodies. Gone are the days where the majority of American households use margarine as a butter replacement. Americans are slowly becoming more discerning consumers regarding fats and which ones to include in their diet. What you eat or don’t eat affects your health, whether it is your heart, your brain, or even conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, hearing loss, and age-related macular degeneration.

A Pocket Full of Posies can be purchased through our website, or on Continue reading

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Holistic Pet Care

Many of us, who are conscientious regarding how we treat ourselves and our family, think less about how we are treating our treasured family pets. We think nothing of steroids for a skin condition, low quality food, anti-depressants or sedatives for behavioral problems. Animals are affected by the stresses in our lives just as much as us, and they do not have the ability to speak for themselves or tell us what in their lives is or is not working for them. Continue reading

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