It's still dark outside and very quiet (well except for a couple wakeful roosters). The snow fell all day yesterday, ending with freezing rain and wind that brought the white right up to each door. It was funny watching the cats this morning trying to figure out how to walk the edges when there were none. Cleopatra finally climbed into a flower pot just outside the door and sat there for a while. Once she had stayed out for her allotted time she was ready to return to the house and a warm fire. We heat our house solely by wood stoves (one at the back of the house and one in the living room). Both have been blazing this week in our little non-insulated cottage. This time of year more than summer I feel the bliss of living a rural life. We stack wood, we replace frozen water for the chickens and ducks, I look for the last of the apples to help out this year's deer "pets". We live in a mountain village that is just an hour above Portland, Or. As the cost of living rises below many have moved up here making it easy to forget our rural life style. On a quiet morning like this I am fully aware of the forest surrounding me, the snow covered meadow and gardens that I will walk in when the sun rises. I love this magical time of winter day. And hey, it's not even winter yet! Many years the snow doesn't stick very long at our level. This is a fairly temperate spot. Farmer's Almanac is promising a long winter this year however. We are ready with wood, candles, broths for warming soups, herbs for warming teas and put up for healthful needs. I have a stack of books and yarn for projects when the electricity goes out (we had a sweet day this week with no internet and therefore no phone service). It's funny that each season I say this is my favorite season; right now this is. These quieter times force me to slow down. I hate that I even need to use the word "force". But I like many get caught up in life's crazy pace. Trying to pack too much work and friends and family and to do into a daily schedule. This week I let the weather lead me...I canceled everything. As that included house work I'll be taking care of that today;)
Last weekend I took Chicken Coop Botanicals out in public to a holiday market. I hadn't done this before and I loved it! I was happy with sales, but even happier to talk to old friends and new about plants. A friend commented on how happy I look. I said it was because of the lovely chai I was drinking. But really, I am happy and very content. I am doing something I have wanted to do since my early twenties. It wasn't a viable career at the time and I turned that plant energy to my garden; to a career in the kitchen with good food. And then to foraging. And later to plant dyeing yarn and fibers. And now back full circle to working with the plants for medicine. I never really stopped. I have been quietly doing that all these years for family, employees, my animals. I have been drawn to the plants my whole life. And I am full of gratitude that I can take the time to fully realize that dream of sharing plants and their healing with others now. To be able to seek out new teachers and ways of seeing the world and working with plants. I see so many being drawn to working with herbs or drawn back to them as I have been right now. I think it is the times. Things are shifting in the world (they have been for a very long time). As there are some that are shifting to aggression and corporatization there are many that choose to resist, each in their own way. The hope of course is that there will be many more on the Earth side of this shift; that we will see a brighter future when all is said and done. In what way will you make this shift in your life? How can you be happier? live a more content life?
The sky is shedding light on the snowy ground, the rooster beckons a bit louder. Time for me to move on to the projects of the day. I began recording a podcast yesterday. Since last I did that Garage band has updated and I now have a learning curve I was not expecting (yuck). But I will have one flying through the iTunes channels today. With their holiday schedule we'll see how long that takes for you to receive it. I have been filling the shop with items daily this month. I have begun with all those wellness products that would be helpful during times of strife, stress and for celebration:) The next newsletter will be heading out soon. Make sure you subscribe! There are coupons, items and news that only arrive through that outlet. I've also been considering a little popup shop the next two Sundays at Gino's. The dining room is closed between 2-4. Would you stop by? This will only happen if I receive feedback that you all might be interested.