Coming back to life after a long winter… slowly. Feel a little bruised in the soul after the last several months.

007 My mind is having a hard time believing winter is over.

026 Shifting my eyes UP, for some perspective.

027 The kids leap headlong into the new season.

002 I think I need to follow them :)



Here’s to brighter, longer days, warmth, and the long exhale, getting winter out of our lungs.




Weekend Retreat- Belfast, ME

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let the pictures tell the story of our little weekend retreat… the sunsets, and moonrises, the early morning coffee walks as the tide went out, the quiet adventuring with my kids who are getting so grown up, and yet loved a chance to be away with “just us” just as much as we did. Blessed. Recharged.

cottages low tidesisters low tide sunset over rockland breakwater sunset boat on the breakwater sailboat rich skip rocks rich rock in air rich in belfast rich at sunrise phoebe phoebe skips rocks morning mist rising morning chatty crew morning breakfast crew moonrise mom looks on molly finds shells molly batik Levi breakwater Levi breakwater lighthouse levi and dad skipping rocks girls jumbo chess girls explore sea creatures fluffy sky distance rich sunrise

A More Natural Medicine Cabinet (AMNMC)- high blood pressure

My story of dealing with high blood pressure has many twists and turns. It started out as “gestational hypertension” during my second pregnancy, that didn’t go away after the baby was born. The side effects of the medications for treating high blood pressure are not fun. Many people end up on other medications just to treat the side effects or an original medication! I didn’t want to stay on that track.

So I tried a variety of things, including different diets and exercise, and finally eliminating certain foods from my diet that my body personally cannot handle (like gluten and corn). I have blogged more about this part of the story here. I was off medication for nearly 4 years, when my blood pressure began creeping up a bit again. (My weight had also crept up, which could be the issue. Did you know a difference of 5 pounds can measurably impact your blood pressure?!

bp alernativesThankfully, I have a wonderful doctor who is not opposed to using meds if absolutely necessary but is first likely to offer something like hawthorne berry to treat your blood pressure. This, in addition to his suggestion that I up my magnesium and potassium supplement, was enough, and at my physical this summer, my blood pressure was a beautiful 119/78. For a gal , not on meds, who has experienced regular readings of 160/125 in years past, this was an amazing thing!

I have since also learned about some essentials that help to treat hypertension, especially ylang ylang and marjoram. I look forward to experimenting with those in the near future! In the meantime, it is most important to uncover the route cause of the blood pressure increase, and treat the root. So I continue to exercise, and reduce my grains/carbs/sugar in an effort to get the weight-creep off of my middle! :)

Did you know that sugar raises your blood pressure?! And healthy fat does not!

NOTE: This is not my usual magnesium/potassium. I usually order them through Purecaps via my doctor’s office. They are very pure/allergen free.

Please do not mess with your blood pressure. I did this experiment at the advice and under the care of my doctor. Take this information and discuss it with them before discontinuing any medications.

This is part of a series on taking steps to A More Natural Medicine Cabinet, in which I am chronically our journey for friends and also for my kids as a reference.  See the entire list of posts here!

_____ Days to a More Natural Medicine Cabinet

Pardon the blank, but the timing wasn’t right for the 31 Days Challenge this year. (I had so much fun participating during the last two years, with a series on Less Stress in Allergy Free Eating, and one on Embracing Autumn: So Long, Seasonal Affective Disorder.)

I had to leave it blank, because I have no idea how many posts this will be, but I am very excited to share how we have been making the change from a standard medicine cabinet, to one with natural alternatives that have been working so well for our family.

herbs drying in kitchen windowHerbs drying that a friend shared with me from her abundance-I’ll let you know how I”ll be using them!

I’ll be sharing a variety of things, things I make, things I buy… herbs, essential oils, rubs. Feel free to chime in the comments with things that have worked for you!


#1: Treating High Blood Pressure



In the Raw

I don’t blog very often these days. I kept trying to figure out why, when I enjoy it so much. I think I’ve stumbled onto it…

The most popular posts on my blog are recipes… for allergy-free foods and homemade lotions and soaps. I didn’t blog them on purpose for popularity; I blogged them because I was just writing about my life. I enjoy writing about what I happen to be learning, trying or discovering.

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Haiti- in numbers

I am recently back from my 5-day visit with our Little Man in Haiti. Our Little Man who is now legally our son. I can’t tell you how happy everyone here is about this! As always, so many thoughts swirl around in my head during my time there. For starters, here are some things I learned about Haiti- in numbers.


$1 US = 47 Haitian Gourds (according to the sign in the restaurant we went to)

The days in Haiti are 27 hours long, and the nights are 12 hours long.


1 Haitian Hour= 4 US Hours (this affect does not wear off until you are in the air, and approaching US space) Think of it as like visiting Narnia… you live a lifetime while there, and then when you get home, you find you’ve only been gone a few days.


93 degrees, at 70% humidity is a “feels like” temp of 112+ degrees. Every day.

Surprisingly (because I don’t pay attention to this sort of thing), the sun rises a good hour+ later in Haiti than here at home, and it was dark by 8 p.m., unlike the 9:15ish p.m. here. Important to catch on quickly, due to frequent lack of electricity. Things like teeth brushing, and setting out the flashlight needed to be done before then.

7 new/old friends + 6 adopted kids = plenty of chaos, lots of laughs, and memories galore.

So glad I went. So happy to be home. But I left a piece of my heart there. On my next trip, I hope to be bringing that piece home with me.



Virtual Book Club- Cleaning House- chapters 4-6

I am so behind.

Last week I decided to spend the end of our school vacation in Massachusetts helping my brother and his wife paint rooms in the house they are getting ready to move into. The plan was to stay one night. They currently live in Watertown. ‘Nuff said? (I would rather have been hanging out with them than worrying about them from Maine… but it was an extra long stay) :)

So my kids have not yet done their planning/shopping/cooking project. I spent all day yesterday catching up on laundry myself while they caught up on schoolwork. We started back up with our homeschooling/house jobs yesterday, with plenty of moans and groans. Yup. Totally need to be reading this book!

Now for some thoughts on chapters 4-6:

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