Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hey everyone!
I just want to let you know that there is a new website..
That makes ordering easier! Yay!

It is still under construction.
The roof is on and the walls are up, but it hasn't been painted yet and there is no furniture,
but you can order!
With new drop-down menus for fragrance options!

Please pop on over.
Look forward to seeing you!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I have pondered on how to start this without sounding arrogant or pompous;
without sounding like a bravura.
But I am just going to own it...
I have great hair.
I have great skin.
Well, great skin for it being my skin;
too translucent and thin.
There are other parts of me that are not so great.
I could survive a little longer than some in a famine, for example,
but the hair and the skin are good.
Oh.. and I am lazy-ish.
I am not willing to devote a great deal of time to maintaining
said hair and skin.
And I am not willing to spend a non-existent fortune either.
I stick with simple and easy and pure.
Not a big one for smearing chemicals and unpronounceable stuff onto
the largest organ of my body.
For quite a while I have been using what I have at hand and what I can grow.
But I decided to experiment a little, expand the norm a bit.
I started digging around to come up with the best botanicals to use
to maintain my now white locks and my aging skin.
And this is what I came up with: NURTURE.
NURTURE is a collection of oils and herbs that ..well, they nurture
my skin.
I'll tell what I chose and why.
But first.. why oils instead of a lotion.
If you buy or use a lotion, the part that you are really going for is the oil components.
The rest is water and an emulgent to keep the water and the oils together.
The water? Sure. No problems, but I have water here and prefer to spread the oils
on my dampened skin anyway.
The emulgents? Not so cool. You usually have an emulsifying wax.
That is made when you mix wax with a detergent of some kind
to change it's structure so that it will be able to hold oil and water together.
Unnecessary really. To me, at least.
And where does that emulsifying wax go?
It doesn't absorb into the skin.
It just sort of sits on the surface, being all waxy and weird.
So..I keep it pure and just go straight to the parts that I want and need.
The oils I chose and why-
I went with Meadowfoam Seed oil for several reasons.
-It is higher in fatty acids so it is excellent for skin and hair.
-It has long carbon chains so that it doesn't have a greasy feel.
-It has longer stability and will last longer before going off.
-It is more sustainable to harvest, as it is a happy little weed.
-It adds UV protection and that is always good.
-It is 'breathable' and will not coat skin or clog pores.
-It is just chock full of tocopherol, the main good thing in Vitamin E
and anti-oxidants that help to repair some cell damage.
-It actually helps to prevent skin dehydration, keeping skin 'moist' and glowing.
And I just love everything about it.
The ease of harvest and the sustainability of it. It is just a lovely blooming wildflower.
And I love the UV protection without having to use the chemicals.
Now, don't try to sit in the sun all day just hoping that this will keep you from sizzling.
It's not like that, but it does give a little protection to the wee little cells in the skin.
Oh.. and hair! Oh, it's great for hair! It can actually penetrate the hair and repairs and thickens the shaft. http://www.essentialingredients.com/pdf/meadowfoamseedoilandhair.pdf  You can see microscopic pics here! I knew I could tell the difference.
Whew.. this is a long post..
And I chose Cranberry Seed oil as another ingredient for it's awesomeness.
-Usually the cranberry seeds are just wasted. This is a great use.
-It easily penetrates the skin.
-It is high in antioxidants and has the 'perfect' blend of the 3 Omega fattys
for excellent skin damage repair. In fact, it is about the only place to get a blend of all 3!
-Cranberry Seed oil has the highest quantity of tocotrienols of any vegetable oil.
Ok..so tocotrienols. What are they and what do they do?
They are potent anti-oxidants that reduce inflammatory damage.. especially to hair follicles! Yay.
It also accumulates in the stratum corneum of the skin, that is the very top layer of cells.
The anti-oxidants go to work there repairing damage and protecting the skin.
This is potent stuff!
Borage Seed oil is my personal favorite.
It and I just get along. I love, love, love my skin on Borage Seed oil.
My wrinkles just disappear.
Truly, I think I could just hang with the straight Borage Seed oil,
but I felt the need to feed my skin a bit more.
-It is loaded with the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid.
-GLA is cool! It is one of the structural components of skin cells and due to diet, atmospheric pollutions etc.. we lose our ability to take up from our foods the older we get.
So.. our skin takes the brunt. It gets thinner, it allows more moisture out and it cannot keep pollutants out. And it wrinkles and loses it's plumpness.
Borage Seed oil is truly amazing!
Argan oil. Yeah. It's hip right now and that is what made me get a wee bit to see.
Then wow. Ok. Not just hype. This stuff is cool.
The whole story behind it is cool, the fact that the trees are ancient is cool,
but the stuff is amazing.
-High in sqalenes that help to protect the precious collagen in our skin.
As a collagen-deficient human, I appreciate this.
-It has the fatty acids and the tocopherols like the others, but is high in carotenes and phenols too.
I must say.. I am not sure what exactly about it makes it work like it does,
but it is fantastic for hair.
My son now owns a head of spiral curls. Puberty is just an unfair bitch.
But the curls have made me do some research on how to treat them.
They are not like normal hair.
They are drier because they are further away from the scalp and they have a tendency to frizz because of the way the cuticle layer lays. Argan oil turns him from a 70's hippie freak with a head full of nightmarish frizz to a dude with freaking awesome hair that women must stop to touch in public.
-And it is gathered out of goat poops! Wheeee!!
And that takes care of the oils.
But I added in some of my herbs as well.
Stinging Nettles.
Now if you are familiar with me, then you know I am cuckoo for Stinging Nettles.
I eat them. I drink them. I smear them on myself.
There is just nothing as nutritious as the nettles.
The mineral content is out of this world.
High in calcium, silica, phosphorous and boron. Zinc, copper and magnesium.
Manganese, sulfur and iodine, selenium and chromium.
Not even blue-green algae has the mineral content of nettles.
It is also high in iron and in the vitamin C that our bodies need to take up iron.
It also has Vitamin D, Vitamin K and the B complexes too.
And high levels of amino acids.
Yes. You should totally be eating them!
Cause they're yummy!
And you should be smearing them onto your skin!
I let the Stinging Nettles macerate in the oils for quite a while,
letting all of the minerals and vitamins leach out into the oils.
The leaves are almost skeletal in spots and are losing their bright green color.
All of that goodness will go directly into your skin.
But the really important reason that I added it is for the hair!
Oh! Stinging Nettles are great for your hair.
All of those minerals going into the scalp. Wow.
And they also have the added benefit of blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
DHT is the hormone that shrinks and shrivels up hair follicles.
Yep. Baldness. Stinging Nettles really do work to help with hair loss.
And they are considered a stimulating herb and will increase blood flow to the area.
This will help to brighten skin, flush it that glow and bring nutrients and oxygen to the cells that grow hair and to the cells in your skin.
Good stuff all the way around.
And yes! You should be eating them!
And our Yarrow!
We do dearly love our Yarrow.
I added it in as the final feather (get it? It is a feathery leafed plant..I am losing my mind)
to put the perfect finish on the NURTURE oil.
I have been using a yarrow distillate on my skin by way of our Liquid Swat!
insect repellent and I noticed some wonderful things.
The little red veins on my cheeks got smaller!
This is a big deal. My skin is so translucent that you can see everything underneath,
including my capillaries. (my arms look like river maps because of the visible veins)
And my skin tightened up.
I have always known that yarrow is considered an astringent plant
and has been used throughout all time to stop bleeding.
It was in the belt packs of the Roman legions just for that reason and even Achilles carried it.
I have used it in making alcohol-free aftershaves and the fellows love it.
And because of this astringent property, it shrinks those little veins away,
giving me a smoother look to my face.
And it has tightened up my pores. My pores are pretty tiny anyway,
but everyone's nose can use a little help.
And it snugs up the skin around my eyes a bit too. Yay.
Yarrow also increases circulation and stimulates.
That is also part of the astringent action.
Oddly, it is also anti-inflammatory.
That could also have something to do with the
smoothing out of the redness of my face.
And it has nice antiseptic properties, so if you are getting a little bump forming,
it will be knocked right out.
And any micro-abrasions on your skin, or if you use this after shaving, the yarrow activates blood platelets and leucocytes, adding in healing, stopping the blood flow and assisting with the body's own protective layering over the wound.
The toning effects of yarrow, from it's stimulating properties, and the antiseptic qualities make it excellent for scalp health and hair growth.
Any weirdness you've got going on in your hair follicles, any little yeasties etc..
that may be slowing down hair production or annoying your follicles into producing more oils..
It's all taken care of for you.
A healthier scalp makes for better hair.
And you may see some things listing yarrow as a natural way to lessen grey hair.
Well, there is not enough in the NURTURE oil for you to worry about.
My hair is still plenty white! Thank you very much.
I love my white hair!
And that is what has gone into my NURTURE oil for skin and hair.
Now. How do you use it?
Wash your face.
Wait. Stop.
Put down the detergent cleanser right now.
Step away from the harsh chemical crap.
If you must use soap,
and only if you have been in the barn
or have makeup that needs to be removed should you be using soap,
use it sparingly.
Your face is not your foot.
Quite often a washcloth and warm water is all you really need.
It is what I use. (with the occasional brown sugar scrub or WildHeart's lanolin soap)
Ok.. your face is clean.
Spritz a little bit of the Nurture into your hand
and massage it into your face.
Use a little pressure to help the oils warm and work into your skin.
Plus, the massaging of your face stimulates circulation, helps firm the muscles
and feels frigging fantastic.
And you can just use a washcloth on your face in the morning
and use a little bit of Nurture to get you through the day.
You be the judge of how much your skin needs.
On dry days, I need more and on rainy days I may not need any in the morning.
Do me a favor.
Just for 2 weeks give up the L'Oreal, the ReGenerist etc..
Give NUTURE a try. See if you can tell a difference.
If you are still using the other products, you can't really see if
this stuff is doing anything, you know?
NURTURE for your hair.
Your hair grows out of your scalp.
Your scalp is skin. The world's most neglected and mistreated skin.
We spend more time on moisturizing our feet than we do our scalps.
And we (most of us) don't have glorious hair growing from our feet.
Seriously. Take care of your scalp.
Use a good home made, all natural soap on your hair.
Again, I go with WildHeart's lanolin and I finish with her conditioner,
which is the best thing ever in the entire history of the world.
I'll have to get her to agree to let me market her stuff... really.
But once a week, or maybe twice if I have the time and can find a damn to give,
I oil my hair and scalp.
I give it a brush, then spritz some oil into my palm
and use my fingertips to start working it into my scalp.
Or..hey now! You can get a loved one to give you a scalp massage.
You know where your bad spots are, where the flakes are the worst
or where the itches are. Work extra on those areas.
For me, it's right at my hairline.
Work the oil from your scalp out to the ends, smoothing as you go.
You don't want it to be dripping, just a very light coating is plenty.
And you can either sleep on it or wash it in whatever amount of time you have to spend.
It absorbs in, so sleeping with it isn't much of a problem.
The healthier and more loved your scalp is,
the more beautiful and lustrous your hair will be.
Or you can use a microscopic amount as a de-frizzer for your hair.
I say microscopic because any more than a whisper of it on my hands
and stroked down my hair and I look unclean.
But the BoyChild can use as much as he wants on his curls without them looking greasy at all.
So, if you have fuller, thicker, tougher hair than mine,
you could use more than a mere thought of oil.
And a side benefit from doing this is better looking hands and nails!
Bonus play!
My hands hate the winter. Hate.
The cold, the wind, the woodstove all weak havoc on my paws.
NURTURE does help with the frayed skin around my nail beds
and the more brittle nails.
Oh! Serious content ahead!
If I could put this at the top I would..
You know the pores on your nose that are filled with that dark stuff?
Well.. every magazine and every tv commercial has been lying to you!
And for their own profit too! Bastards!
Your nose produces a very special, and very specialized, type of oil.
It's called Nasal Sebum. It has more squalene than any other part of the skin.
It was (really) used as the lubricant in watches, to wipe down telescope lenses etc..
It is a very delicate oil and oxidizes readily.
It is the oxidation of the sebum that you see in your pores.
So that dark stuff in your nose pores isn't 'dirt'.
It is not the filth that the cosmetic companies tell you it is.
Plus, how in the hell would your nose get that dirty in the first place!?
They tell you that it is oil and dirt.
They tell you that you have to use harsh chemicals and alcohols to get rid of it.
They tell you to suck it out with tape.
All that does is anger your nose and cause it to produce even more Nasal Sebum
in a desperate attempt to re-oil your nose.
And the more you scrub and the more harsh stuff that you put on it,
the more dark stuff you have in your pores.
It's a total racket.
If you want the dark stuff to go away.....
oil your nose!
Treat it gently.
Don't piss it off
and don't strip it down.
The more oil that you give your nose,
the less it has to produce for itself.
And the less of the delicate oil that oxidizes and turns dark that is produces,
the less dark gunk you have on your nose.
Earth shattering, isn't it?
And it works.
I tried it on BoyChild.
All of the dark spots just went away...poof. Like magic.
NURTURE isn't quite ready to go.
It is being created by request..kinda.
It is something that I use for me,
and like the salves and like the Liquid Swat!,
it is something I have decided to take to a broader audience than just little ol me.
I have yet to bottle it or label it
or even create the label.
And I have yet to figure the price
(my least favorite part)
But it will be in the next several days.
I will let you know.
The line forms to the right... :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Joe Pye Weed

Fanghui 1082

Climb Yellow Tower

Gaze to Huangzhou;
To Huangzhou you gaze but cannot see,
below the Tower water eastward flows,
Water Flows, how can it be stayed?
Floating clouds, even more far reaching.
Wounded at heart, a traveler by the marshes,
haggard in Chu Eupatorium autumn.

From Stuart Howard Sargent's "Poetry of He Zhu (1052-1125)

Even in 1082
and on the other side
of the world
someone was extolling
Joe Pye Weed.
Ok.. so that particular poem
is a Googlized stretch,
and there are certainly more
glorious verses that speak
of it's beauty and majesty,
but 1082!? Wow.
I think Joe Pye may be my favorite wildflower.
It grows in profusion in my beloved
mountain home.
Stretching tall above old,
forgotten fertile fields and sipping from
cool, clear streams.
Side by side with Ironweed,
it's lavender heads bobbing to
the tune of the breeze heralds
the coming of Autumn.
It offers a last rich nectar
for the bees and butterflies
before the sun lowers
and the cool nights
bring out the first of the sweaters.
But it has greater uses than just bringing me joy.
I think of Eupatorium fistulosum as a mover.
It moves blood around,
taking fevers from the inside
out to the skin to promote sweating and
the breaking of the heat.
I keep a jar of tincture on the pantry
just in case.
But no one around here has had a fever in quite
a while now.
It moves blood into areas when applied topically,
warming and loosening stiff joints.
And that is how I use it the most.
It is wonderful in my Achy Bones salve.
And I went harvesting this morning.
The butterflies were all over the big blossoms,
so I had to take the pics above.
The air is crisp after a wet, muggy,
soggy drippy summer and the
first tinge of Fall is on the breeze.
It's a little earlier and that is disconcerting,
but it is what it is.
So I am in a gathering frenzy.
While the sun is out and the air is finally dry
I can gather with the best results.
And isn't it just lovely all jarred up in oil?
I didn't leave it in the bright sun,
but I couldn't resist a little glimpse.
In a month or two it will go into
more salve to warm achy bones,
bringing a little late summer warmth
into the cold winter.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Under Construction..

And welcome!

This blog is under construction,
but you can find fun things to read
at The Hennery. Just follow the link above.

And the shop is open!
Come on in and take a look.
Let's pretend that there are shelves along the walls
and a fat woodstove chugging in the corner.
And a couple of comfy chairs and footstools too.
There are worn hardwood floors
and hot coffee and fresh scones.

Can you tell that it is a bit chilly outside for mid-August?
I have visions of woodstoves dancing in my head.
I just came in from doing barn chores in the rain... again.

I have rose blossoms in the stillory
turning into wonderful, soft, sweet rosewater.
And that will be up on the shelves soon too.
Along with other wonderful things like
non-burning aftershave,
an oil free moisturizing facial spritz
and many other wonderful things.

Pop back in to see what else happens around here.
I am as interested to find out as you may be.