Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lazy Blogger

Ok so I realize I have completely slacked off blogging for quite awhile now. I apologize to anyone who even bothers to read this anymore! I have you see been writing. Writing like there is a deadline and loving every minute of it. I just hit the 65,000 word milestone this morning and I am still going. Hopefully the draft will be done by the new year and I can resume my blogging duties. For now, however, you will just have to wait.

Ok here is a picture you might like in the meantime.

Once again Kermit the stocking holder bites the dust. See you again next year Kermit!

UPDATE: I have since hit the 72,000 word mark. Maybe I am getting good at writing, or at the very least fast at typing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Mix


MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes



UPDATE: So I finally figured out what was wrong with the mixed tape and I think I fixed it. So if you tried to listen and it didn't work, try again and now it should be fun, instead of mildly annoying and not worth the trouble.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spicy!

Well, its November. It's cold and rainy and we elected Barack Obama to be our president (way to go us)! How could things be better? In the spirit of November-- which we will associate with Thanksgiving dinners, turkeys, sweet potato's and apples (trust me, we will)-- obviously its also time for mulling spices! I am a bit addicted to apple cider I have to admit. I blame this on the fact that good apple cider is only available this time of year (not all the time) and that I live in "the apple state" so I get the really good stuff. My favorite way to enjoy it is hot(!) with spices. I heat the cider in a pan on the stovetop, and usually confine the spices in a tea-ball while the brew steeps. You can also add mulling spices to wine, but I find it a little to harsh for my tastes. Maybe I just don't think wine should be hot.

There are many recipes for mulling spices, I admit I have never actually looked up a recipe simply looked in a can of spices I got from a store and made my own. But I also have a few ideas on how to mix things up a bit.

Traditional mulling spices:
1 oz Cinnamon sticks, Cinnamomum spp.
1 oz Clove, Syzygium aromaticum
1 oz Allspice berries, Pimenta dioica
1 oz Orange peel, Citrus sinensis
I also add 3 drops of sweet orange essential oil which I find gives it a nice punch. But this recipe works just fine without.

Pretty much, you just need to pour all these ingredients into a bowl, with the exception of the cinnamon which needs to be broken from sticks into smaller chunks first. Add about 1 tablespoon per four cups of cider, if you want the spices to last longer you can use less and let it boil longer. Also you can crack open the allspice berries before you boil them to release more essential oils, but do this right before you boil it. If you crack them open and them let them sit in the tin all winter they will lose flavor.

You can vary this recipe in a few ways.
Add Cayenne powder, Capsicum anuum (a little goes a LONG way so be cautious, I would only add about a 1/8 teaspoon to a 4oz batch)
Nutmeg, ground, Myristca spp. (same rule applies--nutmeg is always a low dose spice it can be harmful above a teaspoon serving, so keep it to a 1/8 teaspoon per 4oz batch)
Substitute or add lemon peel
Add small chunks of ginger root, Zingiber officinale

Feel free to experiment however you like but keep in mind the kinds of plants I am using here! You are going to boil this in a pan with apple cider so leafy herbs are not what we are looking for. Most leafy herbs are slightly bitter, but these spices are chock full of essential oils and resins which is what gives them such a potent bundle of flavor. Cinnamon is a bark, allspice is a dried berry, clove is a dried flower bud, cayenne is a dried pepper, ginger is a root, nutmeg is a nutshell, etc.

Mulling spices aren't merely for the sake of flavor. No, no! These spices can aid you in other ways. That cup of mulled cider or wine after dinner is actually helping you keep warm and digest that fatty dinner you just ate. That warm fuzzy feeling you get when drinking mulled cider or wine isn't just because it tastes good.

Cinnamon increases circulation, aides in digestion and helps your body assimilate sugars. It is currently being studied for use with diabetics and having positive results. A teaspoon of cinnamon a day for diabetics has been shown to be beneficial.
Orange peel, allspice, nutmeg and cloves are all very good digestives. They are also all aromatic and stimulating.
Ginger is a circulatory stimulant and powerful anti emetic (keeps you from throwing up). It is warming and spicy and specific to the throat, add this to your mulling spices when you have a sore throat.
Cayenne is a powerful circulation stimulant and is very warming. Like I said before, a little goes a long way.

I think you see the theme by now. This drink is for increasing circulation and digestion. Perfect for winter and after eating fat rich meals. So go get out some spices and whip up a batch. I just know you wont regret it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Food Matters

Thank you to Jonah Lehrer for bringing this article to my attention.

Micheal Pollan:

This, in brief, is the bad news: the food and agriculture policies you’ve inherited — designed to maximize production at all costs and relying on cheap energy to do so — are in shambles, and the need to address the problems they have caused is acute. The good news is that the twinned crises in food and energy are creating a political environment in which real reform of the food system may actually be possible for the first time in a generation. The American people are paying more attention to food today than they have in decades, worrying not only about its price but about its safety, its provenance and its healthfulness. There is a gathering sense among the public that the industrial-food system is broken. Markets for alternative kinds of food — organic, local, pasture-based, humane — are thriving as never before. All this suggests that a political constituency for change is building and not only on the left: lately, conservative voices have also been raised in support of reform. Writing of the movement back to local food economies, traditional foods (and family meals) and more sustainable farming, The American Conservative magazine editorialized last summer that “this is a conservative cause if ever there was one.”

Read the whole article!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Immune fortifications

Well its that time of year again, the time to get sick. Everyone I know has been sick lately (even me!) and while I was puttering around the kitchen trying desperately to force myself to drink even MORE fluids I invented a yummy immune fortifying drink. (Ok maybe invent is a stretch since I saw the juice at work first, but I decided to make it myself instead of relying on a commercial brand that was mostly grape juice*.)

So take two tea bags of echinacea (if you have the root its probably about 8 tsp. ) 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger. Pour 4 cups hot just boiling water over echinacea and ginger and let steep for 2 hours in a closed container (or at least something you can place a plate over to keep the heat in). Pour tea into a container ( I used an old glass juice jar, but a pitcher will work fine) with room and add 1/4 cup lime juice and 3 cups lemonade, or to taste (I use Simply brand lemonade even though its not organic because they use sugar not high fructose corn syrup like other brands). Pour over ice and enjoy!

Now of course the dose of echinacea in this drink is still fairly low. You could up the dose** of echinacea in the tea portion, or just drink this in between cups of hot echinacea tea (of which you should have about 4-5 cups daily).


*My drink doesn't even HAVE any grape juice in it!

** the recipe I have here is exactly what I made so I know it tastes good, I haven't checked on a mega dose yet mostly because I am still drinking the original juice I made.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October

With it being 85 degrees out in the afternoons it is hard to believe that it is almost (less than five hours!) from being October. But there you have it. I am sure by the end of the month we will all be shivering in our cloaks (blatant Halloween reference!). I love october. I love watching the leaves fall and having to find all the boxes of winter clothes. I love the smells in the air (sweet smell of decay!), increasing wind and the start of the cold cold rain. I love harvest time! I love pumpkins and apples and potatoes!

So welcome October! I hope you bring in a plethora ("Jefe, do you know what a plethora is?"*) of benefits from the harvest for all!

*ten points if you know the movie quote! (20 if you can say the next line!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Being Productive VS Having Fun

I am working in a pretty stressful work environment these days. A product of being in a rapidly growing company that only employs about eleven people. So when I get home I tend towards playing around instead of focusing on getting my other projects or chores done. Case and point my coworker let me borrow Guitar Hero for my Wii this week and I have spent about 6 hours over the last three days playing. I am finding it quite fun though it seems to take me about three songs to relax into playing well. But when I am done I inevitably feel a bit of remorse for the time lost to playing instead of writing my book, drawing what will eventually become my company logo, writing my business plan or reading the next installment of Harry Potter (not to mention chores around the house!). Then again my brain loves the intensity of playing video games because for the 3 minutes and 5 seconds I can completlely zone out of my stress and focus on hitting notes and 'strumming' in time to the music. How much down time is too much downtime and how much work is too much work? Is work really work when you find it fun (such as my writing?). And where does blogging fit into my schedule?

I think looking over it if I play only a set amount of time a night and then work on my other projects I will get enough down time to enjoy the other 'work' I need to do to push my life forward and (hopefully) into my real career path. In the meantime I think I will try and not turn on Guitar Hero when I get home tonight and curl up with Harry Potter for awhile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Comfrey!

Reread some stuff about comfrey this week and feeling warm and snugly with the plant again*. Comfrey is the true witch of the herbal world, doing wondrous good green things for people but is nothing but persecuted for it!

More later...

*which is amazing cause snuggling comfrey isn't the wisest choice of action, its kind of prickly

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Speaking of alien abductions....

Cooking like and Extra terrestrial or perhaps more like a well rounded earthling. I just made nachos. Normal right? It was except it look like a meal from outer space. I had blue corn ships, chocolate peppers, yellow ice peppers and white cheddar cheese. So what is usually a familiar blend of yellow chips, red and green peppers all topped with yellow cheese was a strange concoction of blue, maroon and spring green, all topped with melty white goodness. When I added the tomato and the avocado it made it look all the weirder. I think there is something to say for food that look familiar, because I focused a lot on what it looked like I don't think I enjoyed it as much as my regular nachos.* Are nachos then, more than the ingredients themselves (they were essentially the same as always) or does the look of the food matter as well?

Then again it was kind of fun to think of eating an alien version of nachos. So I wont complain.

*It might have been the fact that I have no sour cream in my new apartment! Nachos without sour cream what WAS I thinking! (Besides aliens that is)

--this post reminds me a little too much of my husband's style of blogging...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I forgot!

Also! The Dr. Horrible Soundtrack is available on itunes!

Go and get it. NOW!

(I know I know, nothing then three posts in one day. Crazy huh?)

..speaking of Matthew Wood

he totally has a new book out that I really want! Its called the Earthwise Herbal and its a 2 volume compendium. I think only the first volume is out right now, the second volume coming out in April. I should just go and splurge on it already, but I am such a bibliophile that I really have to limit my book spending or risk financial ruin. I suppose if it got out of hand I could sell my books on ebay or something.

September Chaos

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lameness of Herbal Amanda's Rant lately, but new job + new apartment + no internet service = no blogging! I would shoot the poor thing, but I think if I use a little herbal magic voodoo I could save its leg.

... ok maybe that metaphor went a little farther than made sense. Anyways I am here to blog the heck out of this place! Woo!!!!

I have determined that this months herbal remedy will be Stress Relief, of which I could probably fill an entire book of information, so I will try and keep in simple and focus on one herb and build some stuff around it. I am picking this subject for the obvious reason that now that I am gainfully employed I am of course visiting the land of stress again and need to remind myself (and you all) how to calm the heck down! (I almost swore there, see how I am not the calm rational me I was before employment?)*

The herb in question for this month is... drum roll please... Wood Betony, Stachys betonica! This is my favorite herb and has a lot of meaning for me. I was introduced to this herb by my professor and Naturopathic Physician Robin Dipasquale and it is one of the herbs that my particular brand of nervous tension responded to quite well.

Wood betony is a small herbaceous plant from the mint family that grows in moist areas (like most mints). It is hard to grow, for it doesn't get very big, but also the seeds need to be stratified (frozen more than once over the winter) since they aren't a 'domesticated' plant. It has a pleasant floral taste and makes an excellent tea on its own or in combination. I often pair it with other mild/restorative nervines such as: lemon balm, oat pods, nettles, or with sleep aids such as lavender, california poppy or valerian. I find even the tincture is pleasant in taste for those floral notes dominate and drown out the bitter alcohol flavor. This is a mild herb and can be taken daily for mild anxiety, or for peopler who find they are too often in their head daydreaming. But can be used for more serious problems such as dementia, alien abduction and full on anxiety disorders. It works well on depression when paired with St. John's (Joan's?) wort since they both work well with anxiety laden depression.

I am the anxious, worry filled, tension headache type stressor that lives in my head a little too much. Wood betony is the calminf bring you back down to earth herb that is just perfect for this type of person. Wood Betony has been used by Mathew Wood for people who think they have been abducted by aliens. He states in his Book "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" that the use of this herb in small doses over time the patients no longer fear another abduction, though they often still think they were abducted in the past. The implications of this herb are that it brings a person back into themself and out of the air, or their heads, putting them firmly in the present and not so disconnected with reality. Yes there are times when one wants to be disconnected, but I find even though I spend a lot of time writing and 'in my head' this herb grounds me in a way that still allows me to imagine a great deal, but leaves me focused so I can actually put my thoughts down on paper. It takes negative spirals where you focus on the negative and puts them into clearer foucs, calming tension and making things easier to deal with. This herb is also great for older patients with dementia to connect with what is going on who are extrememly nervous when they cannot remember things.

So that is Wood Betony in a nutshell.

*Calm? Rational? ...right.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Head whipping around to see where it went

I am not really sure where the 20 days went without a single post and a grand total of 5 twitters to show for it. I guess I can only blame the incredible combination of my new job overlapping with my old one and lots of my free time actually spent doing things that don't involve computers in any way shape or form. I do not promise more regular posting from here on in however, I will try to make blogging again part of my schedule.

I am excited for fall, though a little sad to see that summer is fading since I didn't get to really enjoy it as much as I would have liked -we just didn't have as many hot days as usual this year. Its been cold and rainy the last few days and I am in that strange place working leaves you where you are anxious for next weekend, yet wishing time wouldn't run away so fast.

I need to start thinking about packing for the move next week. I am so exited about our new apartment, but its hard for me to get exited for packing just yet. Actually watching my friends pack for their camping trip thursday night helped a little. I am sure by wednesday I will be more in the mood. But since we will likely just be moving one pickup truck load and then trickling everything in by car its not like it really matters if everything is boxed and ready. Heck half our stuff is still in boxes from a year and a half ago! I think once I have signed the lease and really know we are going to live there will make it less of a chore :)

I will start thinking about an herb for fall. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Augustly Robust Digestion

I noticed today that August is in the air, but so is fall which I really don't understand since they aren't usually friends. I wish that fall would go back to his room and leave us be till September arrives, but alas and alack the weird weather of 2008 persists. In keeping with weird choices I have decided to not go with an obvious herb for August but am settling on a beautiful blue flowered herbaceous plant called gentian (Gentiana lutea). My mom planted a gentian last year and this year it is actually blooming and its quite pretty.


Gentian is in the family named after itself Gentianaceae. The part of gentian used is the root and rhizome. (which means I will not probably be harvesting any this year so that the plant has a few years to establish itself before I start dividing roots-luckily a little gentian root goes a long way!) Gentians main action is as a bitter, it is also a sialagogue* (meaning it makes you salivate), hepatic, cholagogue, antihelmintic, and an emmenagogue. Bitters are herbs that aid in digestion via the stimulation of many or all digestive juices. Bitters actually work through the tongues response to bitter taste. The tongue tells the body to increase secretions of saliva (sialagogue), gastric juices (HCL, pepsin etc.), and bile (cholagogue). It also accelerates the stomachs ability to empty. Gentian is most commonly used as a general appetite stimulant and digestive aid and is used for people with sluggish digestion, acid reflux and flatulence. It can be helpful for people that are generally sluggish, have lost their appetite (anorexia, depression), jaundice and liver dysfunction or congestion (Do not use for gallstones, the moving/stimulating nature of gentian can cause gallstones to become lodged in the hepatic portal). Bitters also stimulate te self repair mechanisms of the gut lining.

Gentian is one of the most bitter 'bitters' though I think hops is more bitter on the contiuum, however gentians secndary actions (cholagogue, sialagogue etc) make it a much better all around bitter and is usually my number one choice. Gentian pairs well with fennel and ginger which can slightly aid with the taste (keep in mind you must taste the bitter to get the affects!). Also fennel is an excellent aromatic digestive aid which will help with cramping and flatulence, and ginger will aid as a stimulant and anti-emetic (anti-nausea).

Bitters should be taken an hour before a meal, though you can take it after a meal if you feel you aren't digesting something properly.

*sialagogue is my old professor Sheila Kingbury's favorite word, and one of my favorites as well :)

Resources
Memory
Hoffman, David- Medical Herbalism, Healing arts press, 2003

Monday, July 28, 2008

Update on Dandelion

Ok so I found an article in a Country Homes Magazine circa 1987 that had an article about Dandelions! Thanks mom for never throwing any magazines away. Anyway it said that dandelions should be harvested early spring before they flower, not in the middle of July. Which I knew...really I did, but my life isn't exactly in tune with the seasonal nature of plants yet. I am hoping that sort of thing comes with experience harvesting over the years. Also my plan to rinse it in a series of bowl filled with water was exactly what it suggested, so go me! It also contained a recipe for hot dandelion green salad which sounds quite yummy actually, which I will type up here.

Hot Dandelion Salad

makes 3 servings
6 slices bacon
1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinager
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 pound dandelion greens, trimmed and washed
12 cup thinly cut green onions

In a large heavy skillet, cook bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. Discard all but 1/4 cup fat. To bacon fat in skillet, add vinager, salt, sugar and pepper. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Remove from heat one suagr is dissolved and add greens. Sitr quickly until green wilt stir in bacon and onions. Taste and adjust seasoning, serve warm.

As for Dandelion roots (or really almost any root you are harvesting) harvest after the plant has flowered and the plant is making ready for wintering. This ensures that the plant is storing nutrients in the root, when in flower all the plants energy (nutrients) are going to the seeds. Fall is usually the best time, but you can also harvest roots in early spring before the plant sends up shoots and flowers if you need to. July works too since it isn't in bloom and its had more than a month to be storing energy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dent-de-lion

So I harvested all that Dandelion and I suppose you are wondering why? Maybe not, but since nobody leaves comments anymore I can just assume for myself what you all are thinking. Dandelion has different uses when you are talking about leaf or root (or flower*), though I often find I use both leaf and root together for certain things.

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) were brought to the states by the Irish who knew that dandelion was one of the most nutritous, easy to grow foods out there. Having just been wiped out by the potato famine they weren't willing to starve anymore. Dandelions are now grow in every temperate region of the world (and in every backyard, har, har) . Dandelions are known to be high in potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin C (if eaten right after picking!).

Dandelion leaf is an amazing diuretic because it not only increases flow of water through the kidneys but in a gentle way. Diuretic drugs often strip the body of potassium, but Dandelion is one of the best sources for potassium in the plant world (better than banana's!). I find this combination of good diuretic packed with minerals and vitamins affect in Stinging Nettles as well and I often use them in combination when looking at kidney function.

The best way to utilize Dandelion is in a long cold infusion. (take 2 tsp for every cup of water and pour boiling water over the top, then let the tea steep for 4-8 hours in the fridge before straining and drinking) Or you can simply eat the leaves in a salad. Dandelion leaves can be bitter (especially after the flowers have died back) so it is best to eat them in the spring! I use the more bitter leaves for a digestive aid, so the batch I just picked will go in a seperate jar.

Dandelion roots have a seperate function and work more with the liver and gallbladder, though they retain a fair amount of diuretic action as well, though not as strongly as the leaf. For liver troubles I pair dandelion root with burdock expecially when their are skin complaints associated with the liver congestion. (this is also where the more bitter leaves can come into play!)

Dandelion is often paired with yellow dock for anemia. Dandelion is very high in iron, however yellow dock has very little, or none. In tests it has been proven that yellow dock may increase the absorption of iron without actually containing any itself.

List of Actions: Diuretic, hepatic (improves liver function), cholagogue(makes your bile flow more easily--do not use when you have gall stones!!!), antirhuematic (improves arthritis), laxative (see cholagogue), tonic and a bitter.

The thing I notice the most about Dandelion is its actions are all related. It improves flow of water and bile through the body and feeds the body as it pushes things out.

Combinations: I most often use Dandelion with Nettles, Burdock and Milk Thistle.

Safety note: As with all plants in the Asteraceae family their may be a sensitivity issue with this plant caused by a reaction that is similar to an allergy. It is rare but if you have aster sensitivity avoid this plant. Also the latex in the stem of the plant can be irritating if handled for long periods of time.

*primary use of flowers is for Dandelion wine, which isn't exactly medicinal except as a diuretic like everything else in the dandelion

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Map of where I have been and where I am going

Hey, so Jillian found another cool thing to put on the blogs. Its a map that shows where you have visited(blue), lived(red) and where you want to go (green). As Jill said the list of where I want to go is massive, but I narrowed it down to where I plan to visit in the next five years or so. Its certainly not a comprehensive list by any means and frankly I know the list will change as opportunity, money etc presents itself. Its down at the bottom of the page if you want to check it out :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dandelion - Taraxacum officinalis


I decided to harvest dandelion root and leaf today since I avoided mowing the lawn for two weeks and the leaves are still happy and lush. It didn't take very long and it was quite satisfying when I managed to pull up the whole taproot. I also noted how the soil around the dandelions is nice and loose, due to dandelions knack for aerating. I will actually hang the dandelion leaves later, for now I was being too lazy to do more than place them on the drying rack (under the flour sack towel).

My one concern with the whole process was how much water I wasted in cleaning. I am sure their must be a less wasteful way to process roots and leaves - maybe just leave the dirt on them?- but the dirt was wet so it stuck really well to the roots and since they were in the grass the leaves were covered with grass and slugs, not exactly appetizing to keep that sort of debris on them. I think I will try soaking them in a pan of water to remove the dirt and slugs, and have a second pan of clean water to rinse them through a second time. I never have this problems with anything in the mint family! Geeze.

Now I need to figure out how to get rid of those tiny bugs all over my Calendula. Any advice is welcome, for now I am hoping those bugs just go away once the flowers are dried. (go away is a relative term since I just noticed three crawling across my laptop screen...I need to stop drying herbs in my bedroom.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dr. Horrible Is Online!

So after too many people went to go watch Dr. Horribles Sing-along Blog yesterday and crashed the site, I went by the site today to see if it was up yet. I just got done watching it and it is genius....evil genius at that! I think I will buy the season from iTunes so I can download it properly so that tomorrow when part two come out tomorrow I don't have to hit pause every 5 seconds.

For updates about what's going on check out their twitter page, and there is also a fan site already up that is holding updates.

Go watch it. NOW!

UPDATE: site is working now!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July is Here!

...and you all know what that means. That's right its time for a new Herb of the Month. This month I have chosen Tilia commonly called Linden in North America, or Lime Blossom in Europe.
Linden is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe, Asia, and eastern North America, here in the west it is a non-native imported from Europe. Tilia's are often planted along roadways and in parks. It's distinctive blossoms are easy to distinguish once you know what to look for and they are in full bloom right now.
Linden is most often utilized as a nerve tonic tea. It is a common remedy for frayed nerves and inability to sleep. It is specifically for those that are nervous, don't trust anything and want to be in control. It is also very useful in relaxing one to sleep, especially children. Linden has a pleasant aroma (it really does smell like limes) and tastes floral, sweet and tangy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vespa

I have taken it into my head that I want a Vespa scooter. I like this one in midnight blue.


I really don't know what else to say about it. I blame Paris.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Biosphere Art

One of my new favorite blogs has an interesting interview about an artist in Seattle who is creating self contained biosphere's as art,her name is Vaughn Bell. It is a very fascinating subject to me, I am interested in peoples relationship to plants and the psychological response, which seems to be her focus.

My friend Brianna from Bastyr did a report once on the fact that driving out to the woods and just being in nature actually has a calming psychological affect and is being used as a treatment for children with ADHD and hyperactive disorders. Maybe the real reason for the epidemic of this disorder is disconnection from nature, not anything else. If I did research I think it would relate to such things.

I am also interested in the subject of how houseplants affect on our psyche, but also affect our health, since they can removed toxins from the air and oxygenate and moisturize a room. Houses and offices with live plants are healthier environments.

As an extrapolation on that idea I have also been exploring the idea in a futuristic fashion in my novel, how houseplants become vital commodities in the future and no building or vessel would dream of being without them. Humans try, but they can never truly escape nature, and really they shouldn't want to.

Anyway go check out the interview, also check out this book I found called How to Grow Fresh Air, by Dr. B.C. Wolverton to learn more about how vital houseplants are from research done at NASA for the space program.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Random Name = Random Story

I was thinking that it would be fun to use the Random Name Generator for a less mundane purpose than just clicking reload over and over again, but for actual literary purposes when i am stuck for a name when creating a bit character. In that vein I propose a writing game. Write a short story surrounding a character whose name is picked by the random generator.
Today's name is Charlie Cole. Feel free to click "generate another" to get a cast of characters. No names should come from your own head. Anyone else who wants to play along can post in comments or email me.

Get writing!

P.S. If its a sci-fi you can also utilize the Random Technobabble Generator for help

UPDATE:(7/7/08) Apparently there is also a Random Word Generator out there, though not by the same people! Even more fun with randomness! :)

Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog

Found this teaser trailer for a new Joss Whedon Project. Its a three part online movie(?). It looks absolutely fabulous and since I am a hopeless nerd and Joss Whedon fan I am promoting said video. Apparently the show airs on July 15, the second episode on the 17th and the last the 19th, after the 20th the videos will only be available for a small fee. So enjoy the video! and support online ventures!


Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Climbing!

Yesterday after selling bread to people that like bread at the farmers market I headed over to Eastern to climb with Sean, Jill and Gordon. So it had been probably 12 years since I last went to a climbing wall so I wasn't as good as I was when I was a teenager. Mostly though that was because my arm strength has diminished so greatly I just couldn't do much. Despite that I had lots of fun and I will be going back. Maybe lift some weights in the meantime so I can have even MORE fun next time :) Not surprisingly Sean took to climbing like a fish to water, must be all those years climbing trees. Here are some pictures you may enjoy!


Me bouldering (meaning climbing without a rope)


Me climbing again, I did climb with ropes for a bit, but my arms gave up.
Sean horizontal.

Jill climbing with Gordon balaying.

Sean Attempting a really difficult climb.


Gordon tries to show him up.
And gets a little farther than Sean, notice where his left leg is!
Sean climbing.

Sean making it to the top.
Gordon Showing us how it should be done in his badass Climbing Staff Shirt.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Garden

My garden is in full bloom right now. My seedlings were big enough, finally, to transplant this weekend and because the intermittent rain we've been getting everything is growing really nicely. I took some photos this morning to show.

baby Calendula (Calendula offcinalis)

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)


Seedlings of Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris)


One lonely Snow Pea (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon)


Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)


Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Veronica Speedwell (Veronica spp.)

Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum)

Blue Flax (Linum perenne)

Raspberry (Rubus ideaus)

Driftwood and Barnacle Brick


I was naming photos from my trip to Seattle last week and as I named this picture I decided that these two must be some kind of superhero team.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cat Faucet

This morning I found a whisker attached to the faucet in the bathroom. The question remains as to whether the cat was in the bathroom sink, or whether the faucet itself is turning into an animal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Answers; though no one took the test

Hawthorne - To calm my heart Palpatations
Wood Betony - To ground my mind so I am not in the stars
Nettles - Allergies (told you it was a trick)
Rosemary - To aid my memory so I remember the right things to say
And a tincture with a mixture of: Eluethro, Licorice root, Oats, sarsaparilla and prickly ash - An adrenal tonic to give me strength and fortification, but also to calm any hormones that may be out of balance.

There's the answer... no one played my game though. Oh well.

As for the Haiku...
Well, you just don't get one now
since nobody played

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pop Quiz

I am taking a tincture to calm my nerves for my impending interview.
Hawthorne
Wood Betony
Nettles
Rosemary
And a tincture with a mixture of: Eluethro, Licorice root, Oats, sarsaparilla and prickly ash

First to tell me what each ingredient is for... gets the satisfaction of a job well done.

I will post the correct answers tomorrow whether or not there is a response...

*(nettles is a trick!)

UPDATE: My Husband says that no one will bother answering without a prize. So if someone answers correctly I will be like Jillian and write you a Haiku...or something resembling poetry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raspberry Wordle


I found this website called Wordle, via Hodgman and Coulton. Here is the monograph of Raspberry below as Word Art. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Post is for My Brother... all others look away... or read it , you might find it interesting

I was following a mission on PMOG* and stumbled upon a website all about home made technology! It's called Make: technology on your time. I haven't had to explore it fully, but it looks like a nice collection of strange things you can make in your spare time. Enjoy!

*I just joined PMOG about five days ago and I am sort of addicted. It's a (hehe) Passively Multi-player Online Game and you get points for surfing the internet!

We now resume normal blogging. Thank you for your time.

I Win!

Yesterday I wandered over to Think Like a Jillian and there was a Pop Quiz!I studied the picture and recognized those sneaky hills as the ones I had fallen down many times at Sitzmark Ski Hill in Havillah, Washington. I wrote in my answer and as a prize I won a personalized Haiku.

HAIKU:

Oh no! A pop quiz!
Will Anyone Answer? Yes!
Herbal Amanda!

Thanks Jillian!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Raspberry

I know I know, two post in the same day! Crazyness. Anyway, its June now so its time for the newest Herb of the month. (May doesn't get on this time, if you must blame something blame Paris.) This month I have chosen Raspberry as my plant for a couple of reasons, one i saw one in Paris, two my own personal stunted little Raspberry is in full bloom and starting to show signs of berry-ing*. Mostly I must own though I am doing raspberry because I already have all the research for it and since I am in the midst of job hunting I didn't want to have to do a new plant! Its my blog I can do what I want :)

This is all taken from an intensive paper called a Monograph that I did for school in the fall of 2006. I took out all the overly technical sections and pared it down a bit. Let me know if you all think this is too technical, or if you have any questions about anything!

Rubus idaeus

Other common names: Raspberry, Raspbis, Hindberry, Bramble of Mount Ida, Brambleberry, framboises

Family: Rosaceae

Parts used: Leaves, berries.

Botanical description: Culpepper claims that raspberry, he calls it brambleberry, is “... is so wel known that it needeth no Description.”3 However, this doesn't truly seem sufficient. Raspberry is a shrubby plant with long bent over canes with leaves off the stems in threes. The leaves are ovate in shape with a serrate edge, green on top and silver underneath. The flowers are white with five petals, five sepals, and many stamens. The fruit is a red aggregate of drupelets. Each drupelet contains a single seed. The aggregate berry when picked leaves behind a white conical core. The stems become woody with age and display prickles in profusion.

Habitat: Raspberries grow most often in areas where the soil has been disturbed, such as forest clearings or fields. Native to Canada and North America, it grows from British Columbia down to New Mexico. Grows well in moist temperate regions, and will spread easily unless cut back. Raspberry is very beloved and is grown worldwide for its tangy little berries

Taste: Hot infusion of the leaf: Bitter, astringent, sweet, green, full and oily, cooling. Raspberry leaf tea is often said to taste a lot like black tea due to its high tannin content, and is said to be a good substitute if you are sensitive to caffeine. I think this is partly true, but the green oily taste that overlies the black tea taste is hard to ignore.

Berry: Sour and tangy, sweet, cooling and extremely tasty over vanilla ice cream

Energetic properties: Cooling, drying and soothing; strongly associated with female energy.

Doctrine of Signatures-(this section is taking the look of a plant and associting it with its properties to aid in memory) The arrangement of raspberry leaves off the stem is that of one large leaf representing the uterus flanked by two smaller leaves that represent the ovaries; this reminds us that raspberry leaves work on the womb. The undersides of raspberry leaves are silvery, giving us insight that the leaves also have a connection to the moon and therefore woman and the menstrual cycle.

Constituents: Flavonoids: Kaemperferol and Quercitin as well as many glycosides of both; tannins: including gallotannins and ellagitannins; fruit sugar: notably xylitol; volatile oil; pectin; citric acid; malic acid; calcium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, carotenes and trace minerals. A few sources list an alkaloid called fragarine, but more recent research has not found this molecule. (Fragarine was thought to be the 'active' constituent of raspberry leaf, the one that cause uterine muscle tissues to strengthen, but it is now postulated that is a more complex reaction that isn't due to any one constituent, but a combination of many. This particular conclusion seems to be more and more excepted for most herbal medicines, as main constituents are usually found to not work, or have different actions when isolated.)

Actions: Berries: Nutritive, antioxidant and laxative Leaves: Nutritive, astringent, antioxidant, parturient, uterine tonic, and emmenagogue

Indications and effects: Traditional use of Rubus Idaeus has been to aid in childbirth. Raspberry leaf acts on the tone of the uterus, increasing the contractility of the uterine walls. 1,9,11 This action on the uterus makes for more useful contractions during labor, as well as helps the uterus return back to its normal shape and elasticity afterwards. 1,11 The mechanism for this action is unknown though it has been speculated to be due to the tannins. However, since tannins are largely unabsorbed into systemic flow this is still not completely understood. There is some postulation that it is a reflex action, since the tannins cause the lining of the intestines to contract it makes the body contract the lining of the uterus. More research needs to be done in this area.
Rich in vitamin C complex, thiamine, niacin, carotenes, calcium, magnesium and trace minerals, R. idaeus is nutritive and aids in the health of the fetus and mother, and also increases and enriches milk flow after birth.1 This same action on the uterus acts as an emmenagogue and can be used for restoring weak or absent menstrual cycles.
The tannins act as a parturient, toning the membranes in the gut by binding to proteins in the intestinal wall, its mild action is especially good for children with diarrhea. The tannins also contribute to healing canker sores in the mouth, bleeding gums and other mouth complaints mainly through astringent action. Both the fruits and leaves have antioxidant properties due to high flavonoid content, which can heal oxidative damage to blood vessels and other tissue. The fruit is a mild laxative if taken in high quantities. Judith Berger mentions its use as a black tea substitute for those trying to lower their caffeine intake due to its similar taste and high tannin content.1

Safety/Contraindications: No safety issues have been reported with the toxicity of the plant. However there is a slight worry taking too much in the first trimester of pregnancy which may cause ‘over toning’ of the uterus so that the placenta has a hard time detaching from the uterine wall. It is therefore recommended limiting the use of raspberry leaves to the second and third trimester.12 This advice comes with its own problems since raspberry is also used to counteract morning sickness. Th solution may reside in using it for morning sickness, but stopping use in the the second trimester and starting again in the third so that the over toning doesn't occur.

Classic formulas:

Raspberry Brandy

Pick fine dry fruit, put it into a stone jar, and the jar into a kettle of water, or on a hot hearth, till the juice will run; strain, and to every pint add 1/2 lb. of sugar, give one boil and skim it; when cold, put equal quantities of juice and brandy, shake well and bottle. Some people prefer it stronger of the brandy. -----(Old Cookery-Book.) (botanical.com)

Combinations: A good pairing for Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaves would be Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) leaves. Both display emmenagogue affects, which frees the flow of blood form a stagnant or blocked uterus and can regulate mentrual cycles that are erratic.

Preparations and doses: Leaves are usually prepared in an infusion, 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoon of dried leaf and let steep for 10-15 minutes, or long cold infusion for 4-8 hours to extract more of the mineral nutrients. I 8 ounce cup 3 times a day for toning the uterus during last trimester of pregnancy. In tincture form 1 teaspoon 3 times a day.2 The berries are best as food source of flavonoids.

Works Cited

  1. Berger, Judith. Herbal Rituals. New York: St. Martins Griffin Press, 1998.
  1. Bone, Kerry A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs. Elsevier Science, 2003
  1. Culpepper, Nicolas Retrieved 10/09/06 <http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/culpeper/b.htm>
  1. Grieve, Maude Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/raspbe05.html>
  1. Hoffmann, David FNIMH, AHG. Medical Herbalism: The Science and practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003
  1. Kress, Henriette “Rubus idaeus photo” Retrieved 10/08/06
  1. “Raspberry”, Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry>
  1. Moore, Michael “Rubus idaeus: distribution map”, Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://www.swsbm.com/Maps/Rubus_idaeus.gif >
  1. Tilgner, Sharol ND. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth. Wise Acres Press, INC, 1999
  1. Yarnell, Eric ND, RH Phytochemistry and Pharmacy for Practitioners of Botanical Medicine. Healing Mountain Publishing, Inc., 2004
  1. Rosemary, Gladstar Family Herbal: a guide to Living Life with Energy, Health and Vitality Storey Books, North Adams, Massachusetts, 2001.
*I made that verb up, yes i realize I could say fruiting, but I wanted to be more specific.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Enviromental Health vs. Pollution

My friend Jillian posted today about the fact that statically big cities are actually more environmentally healthy than rural areas. I agree with this and I think the reason that it is so shocking has to do with our perceptions. We are an egocentric race and it is commonly accepted that cities are bad for our health. We translate this to mean that it is bad for the world, the larger environment without even thinking. Our brains really like to make such connections even when, if we took a moment to analyze it, the connection doesn't actually make sense.

I think the main problem may stem from our use of the word environment. We talk about environment in the sense of our immediate surroundings but we also use the word to mean the entire planet as well. These ideas are actually quite separate. Our environment, when speaking about immediate surroundings, be quite toxic due to toxins that reside in our houses and the emotional atmosphere and lack of nature, but it could be perfectly fine when talking about pollution.

How could a house that is toxic to us not be a pollutant you ask? It lies in the fact that the toxins are confined within the structure. One of the shocking things that has come out in recent years is the fact that indoor pollution is now worse than outdoor pollution, mostly due to the fact that there is no airflow to remove toxins from our midst. But since there is no airflow these toxins are quite nicely contained indoors and only escape slowly into the outdoor environment so aren't really a problem. So in this way our environment (indoors) is highly toxic for us, while it really has no affect on the larger (outdoor) environment.

Not to mention the other environmental toxins one may encounter in a city, sewer gases, close proximity to car emissions, more exposure to viruses and bacterial infections, emotional stresses due to the working nature of cities, the lack of plant life. All these things seem like major detrimental affects, but none of them are bad for the worldly environment. They are simply bad for human health. Humans are bad for the world health because they tend to ruin the environment they are in with their waste and utilization of every available resource, animal mineral and vegetable. Put them all in one big area and that waste is reduced.

Cities tend to build upwards once outwards becomes limited. Large cities such as New York or Paris fill more people per square foot. Because everyone is so crowded together it makes a central hub for food distribution, more people can walk or bike to work, public transportation is more cost effective and readily available using less energy and gas to move people around.

Having spent two weeks in Paris I noticed this difference was huge when I got back to Spokane. In Paris I could walk almost anyway, or jump on the metro. Grocery stores were small but abundant and I could find almost anything I needed easily. Coming back to Spokane I was immediately forced to drive to get to the normal places I go because the distance was greater to get everywhere. Central hubs in Spokane are larger but more spread out. Yes you can get all your shopping done in one store, but you have to travel farther to get there and you need a car to utilize the store because you did all your shopping at once.

I think if this country was really serious about 'saving the planet' we would put a complete halt to urban sprawl and start building upwards, localizing food sources so that we weren't needing to travel so far (this would also create jobs since more shops would need employees). People could not only walk to the stores, but walk to work etc. Not to mention using more local farms not shipping food from all around the world. The government cannot do all this. It needs to start like all things start, from the bottom up. Support local business, walk, bike or bus to work when possible (get a job closer to home if its a long commute!) start a local grocery in your suburb.

Go, Fight, WIN!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WoWaholics Anoymous

Hi, my name is Amanda and I am a wow-aholic. I have been sober for six days and 12 hours and I must say its been a great change. I have been sleeping better, dreaming more, reading like its going out of style and I have written 9,000 words in my, much neglected, novel. I even finally wrote a blog post about herbs. Lets hope I can survive the next 2 weeks until my subscription runs out. Your support in this would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Herbs I Found in Paris (and a brief summary of there most comon usage)

While we were in Paris I found some familiar faces, herbs!


Gaillet gratteron, Cleavers (Galium aparine) - Galium is a small upright herb that is covered in tiny stiff hairs. Its tiny hairs make it stick to clothing and hair, which is where its name cleavers comes from. Galium's main action is a Lymphogogue; meaning it makes the fluid in your lymph system flow.




Aubepine, Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.) - Crataegus is a small tree in the Rosaceae family. We saw this one in the Jardin des Plantes, in full bloom. Hawthorne is most known for its action on the heart. Not only does it calm rapid heart beats, and lower high blood pressure, its also been shown to speed a sluggish heart.




Gingko (Gingko biloba) Gingko is the only genus in the gingko family, and has only one species. It is an amazing tree with unique botanical properties. Medicinally gingko leaves are used to increase circulation to the brain, increasing mental focus and memory. In Traditional Chinese medicine however the fruit is utilized and has completely different applications.



Narrow Leaved Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) - Plantain small herb often found along roadways and paths. It prefers compact soil and was called the 'white man's herb' by native americans, who noticed its spread by the boots of soldiers. Plantago is highly nutritive and is a very useful for wound healing as it acts as an antiseptic, vulnerary and draws infectious agents from wounds.



Framboises, Raspberry (Rubus ideaus) - Raspberry is a large shrubby plant covered with sharp thorns called prickles (thorns are part of a branch, whereas prickles are only part of the skin of the branches). Like all rubus plants the leaves are highly astringent (that feeling of dryness or puckering when you eat it) which makes them very good vulnerary's. Raspberry also tonifies the uterus and is used in pregnancy to strengthen the uterus.


Bourse a pastour, Shepard's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) - Capsella is recognizable by its heart shaped siliques (seed pods). This herbs primary action is that of a vulnerary. It is extrememly effective, a dropperful internally can be enough to stop a major hemmorage and it often utilized by midwives during birth.




Celendine (Cheledonium majus) - Celendine was introduced to me first in an autobiography of Maurice Messigue, an herbalist from Gers, France. So when I spotted this specimen hidden in the woods among the nettles I was very pleased. Celendine is used only externally as its latex is caustic. The whole plant can be in a foot bath for pulling out toxins in the body. The latex can also be used to kill off worts, but be careful not to get any on healthy skin.


I also found a museum that had a small collection of botanical texts and prints, here is a line drawing of a strawberry plant.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting back on Track

My husband and I had a discussion this morning and if the conversation had a name it would be "What the hell do we want to do with our lives and why are we hell bent on doing things that stress ourselves out and make us unhappy." Both of came to the conclusion that we are bent on finding the jobs we are trained for: him the Teacher and me the Herbalist. (and money, the necessary evil that it is) Both of us are happier when we have stress free jobs and can come home relax and be creative. He asked me if I still felt like an herbalist if all I had was my blog and made medicine for people when they needed. The answer I think is yes. Is this really all I need? Well maybe if I actually start blogging about herbs again :)

Speaking of pertinent entries, Think Like a Jillian has a guest post about the Gaia theory, you should check it out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Slowly Coming back to Reality

So I know I promised many pictures of France, and much ado about Paris. Frankly this has not happened, mostly do to lingering tiredness, job hunting and various other stresses and distractions. Plus I have been pondering this blog which despite my initial set out to be about Herbs, Gardening, Green living and what not has ended up being more just.. well... stuff about me. Which I had pointed out to me also this week is typical for a blog, but not maybe all that interesting to the rest of the world. So I will spend today working on remedying both problems with a venture into herbs i met in Paris and then perhaps move on with more of what I set out to do which in affect is be informative about alternative medicine/living. Does that sound ok with everyone?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Be careful, I am contagious

Hey folks so apparently I have been tagged with a virus. A blogger virus. Not only that but I have been tagged with it twice! Once from my friend Jillian and also from my husband Sean. This particular virus was engineered by Splotchy, whom until this moment I did not even know existed. Way to go internet interconnectedness!

Here's the story:

***
I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words.
***
"Interesting", I thought to myself, "I don't know anybody named Ted Kaczynski." Unless it's going to clear this damn sinus infection in my head, I'll have to open it later.I set it on the kitchen table, and prepared my tincture of herbal tea remedies.
***
As I watched the lengthy glossop of honey slather into my tea I heard a rustling noise behind me. Having spent my childhood in a rotating house (due to some awkward foundations) I am quite adept at craning my neck and utilized this skill in the current situation, looking behind myself like a six-foot-tall owl.
***
The envelope - so stationary seconds before - had started to move, an event that I found somewhat odd, given that I was four days away from celebrating a year of sobriety. I picked up the nearest implement of swatting size without thinking, and slowly approached the bubble-wrapped delivery.The envelope continued to shuffle and shake as I stood poised with the potato masher held in readiness over my head. A small bead of sweat edged down my temple, hitting the floor at the same time as a lump of congealed potato from my weapon. There was a tearing sound, and I froze, unable to move, as a disembodied hand broke through my mysterious delivery. I blinked, and the thumb and forefinger of the hand formed a mouth.
***
"Hey, dude, what's up?" The Hand/Mouth said. I just stared, perplexed and terrified. "You got any grub? I'm starving!"
At this point, my fear got the better of me and I swung the potato masher down fiercely, knocking the hand/mouth (still partially in the packaging) off the counter and onto the floor. Screaming at the top of my lungs, I ran to the kitchen stool and stood on top of it, still grasping the potato masher with white-knuckled terror.
"Not cool, man," said the thing.
***
I stood transfixed in horror. The hand now started to inch across the floor towards my stool.
Ring, ring! On the wall across the kitchen the telephone began to ring, breaking me free from the icy grip of fear.

I had been in the middle of moving into a new home, in a fairly clean neighborhood. Kids on bikes, 2 cars in every garage. This hand was not something I had expected to be dealing with.

Ring! The phone rang again.
Cautiously, I climbed onto the counter, stepping over boxes and the empty sink to answer. "Hello?" I shouted into the receiver, intently aware of the scrabbling fingers below me.

"Mr. Newman, I have a proposition to make."
***
"Wha- what do you want?" I babbled into the phone as I sat on the counter, knees to my chin, feet in the sink, phone tucked between my ear and shoulder, my potato masher still firmly clutched in my hand keeping the creature at bay as it attempted to climb the drawer handles to the counter.

"Nothing much Mr. Newman. Just the hand back."

I was just about to answer the man when I saw it. Inside the envelope, still wrapped around the hand things wrist, was a piece of paper. It was halfway out of the envelope, if I could only grab it.
***

Ok virus I know very few bloggers and unfortunately the two I know best got me first. So this virus goes onto Wil Wheaton because he is the one who got me started blogging and I read his stuff everyday. I know you are uber famous Wil, but I am hoping your blogger instincts will make this imperative to continue passing this deadly virus around.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We are back

Hey everyone we are back in the States, but since we are exhausted, working, and constantly catching up with friends and family I haven't' had a chance to do much consolidations of Paris pictures. I will attempt to do so by the weekend so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last Night In Paris

So tonight is our last. We just got home from a jaunt in the rain for ice cream on the Champs Elysees (the Worlds Best, Berthillion brand no less!) and a glass of wine, at one of the restaurants on the block where we live (Cote Vignes). We had a full day of exploring, shopping, eating, drinking and walking in the blistering sun. Much like the rest of our visit here :) Only difference today was we knew we couldn't go back later to places we fell in love with, (which may account for the rash spending) and the lovely bit of rain that occurred towards evening (the one I have been wishing for since i got my sunburn last week). All in all it was a lovely day and a good note to end the trip on.

I will be posting Paris in retropect all next week as I rummage through photos and my wayword journal, and scan in some sketches Sean and I drew while here. So don't think Paris talk is through! For those of you awaiting our return in Spokane, we will be home tomorrow night! (though don't expect much from us, we will be traveling for 18+ hours tomorrow and arrive at 6am Paris time). Au revoir Paris!

Just Another Day in Paris....

Today started out like any other the sun was shining the grass was growing and the buildings were wobbling...wait that's not right. Something was definitely wrong about the wobbly building...



Not to mention the strange trip into infinity on the british flag... and we weren't even in London!










Sean tells me that at some point I completely disappeared from view when I was right in front of him!










I do seem to remember some mushrooms somewhere... maybe they had something to do with it...


Of course that foxglove we passed could have been the culprit as well...











Oh I know what it was... it was our last day in Paris...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lessons Learned in Paris

So I learned a few things while I have been here such as: don't stop and let someone make a bracelet on your arm or expect to lose 5 euros, always watch which stop occurs next on the subway so you don't end up riding the wrong way for too long, always be polite, don't ask too many questions in english to waiters and waitresses (learned vicariously through Sean), and never order a medium drink...




























....or expect to be sitting at the restaurant a long time.