Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Plant Medicines and Folk Herbalism

Over the last four years I have taken up a more sincere study of plant medicines and feel more comfortable now calling myself and being called a folk herbalist.  Much of my knowledge has been gleaned from other herbalists living in close proximity, books...self-study and many workshops. There is an ever-growing list of plants that I have formed a relationship with and am beginning to understand their interactions with our bodies (physically, mentally and spiritually).  This knowledge was common to most people prior to the industrial revolution and still is an important part of many cultures that live more directly with the land.
My interest in herbalism began when I came to the understanding that dependency on western doctors and hospitals was one element of control I could reclaim.  Just like learning to sew, learning plant medicine is another step towards remembering our history and old ways of being.  My hope is to pass on these old folk lifeways onto my kids and community, instilling a culture of remembrance and practice.  It is empowering, it is clarifying and it is desperately needed.
I look forward to my continual, lifelong study of plant medicines and love sharing the things I have learned and the healing medicines that I have made.  I have posted many tinctures, oil and salves in our Remembering Wildness Etsy shop. Email me (rememberingwildness@gmail.com) if monetary payment is an issue and I am always down to work something out.

I have a lot more to explore/share in the area of folk herbalism and self care and will be posting more in depth writings on specific plants and medicines.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Red Hawk Avalon

Our new home is at Red Hawk Avalon.  Outside of Pe Ell, WA is a valley steeped in history and the ghost logging town of Walville rests.  We live where realms meet, the water flows heavy and the earth is soft beneath our feet.
Our dry cozy home while we live in the land of rain.

The Highway 6 Rail Trail, just on the other side of the creek, goes the whole length from Chehalis to Raymond, ending at the coast.


Communal loft space for gatherings, music making/recording, workspaces, library and enjoying the toasty wood stove.
Sweat Lodge -- bringing all of our ancestors and ceremonies, new and old.

Shanty roaming the woods with me. Swordferns, moss and all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Floating and Anchoring

My family and I are currently caretaking a house in Portland.  We have been here for over three months and have no certain departure date set.  I kind of feel like I'm dipping my toes in the waters of city life, the rest of my body resisting the heavy current, but week by week I'm getting deeper.  The kids are participating in the local Boys and Girls Club, a slightly frightening thing for me.  They are befriending "regular" kids, experiencing summer camps, organized sports, and herd behaviors.  I think it is a good thing for them, but see certain behaviors popping up.  They are super well-behaved out of the house, but once home, attitudes are shifting and I'm seeing more restlessness in them.  Whitman is the one who sometimes states the uniqueness of his life, until now, is a mark against him.  It just takes a moment of group reflection on how lucky he is to of had the experiences of growing up in a anarchist collective house, toured with a gypsy punk band, lived in a tipi community, and most of all have had two parents that love him and care what he does to and puts in his body.  It has been exciting to see the kids weave their way through and process this new world of mainstream social norms, gender roles and Portland culture. Home-schooled families are typically more affluent and exist within a homogenous culture.  We live in a lower income neighborhood, with many different ethnicities and cultures.  Our house has become the flocking ground of the neighborhood kids.  They are curious about our bus, why the kids don't go to school and wide eyed about the amount of instruments hanging on our walls.  This is a new experience and I'm working on listening to the faint wisdoms floating about.
Displacement has been a repeated topic of conversation for our family over the last three years.  We have moved often, experiencing many bio-regions and meeting many people.  Every home that we have created from the ground up has added a depth to my life. I have learned many different ways to live.  I feel confident that we can exist and thrive in most situations, however, I have a desire to find a home, in the mountains where I can let go and not worry about being displaced.  Land ownership, private property, privilege... all these power dynamics leave most human relationships in a pile of knots. It is still unclear to me how I can move forward.  I'm in a bit of purgatory.

Waking to a dream
of mountain home
Words overgrown
and only know by me

Remember this moment
Remember to breathe
Remember this moment
Remember me. 

It has been two weeks since I wrote the above...
I went to a plant meditation last night, working with Madrone, and it became clear to me that moving forward always means having strong roots, shedding the ideas of how you think you should live and letting yourself be vulnerable.  I am feeling less swept away and a little more anchored in myself.

Our new dog Shanty!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Since October...

We moved out to our friends land, near Selma, OR, and have this to look at everyday.

The last morning we had in our tipi before moving into our bus.

making a willow bender sweat lodge

Illinois River about 10 miles from our home.
Bus trip to Olympia and Portland for Yule.

Washington Park Archery Range in Portland with bowyer friends!

taking "old knobby" out for a bit
Fair learned how to make leaf roses

Cascadian Yule celebration in Olypmia at Millersylvania State Park

Whitman found a double bolete!
Whitman took over my machine for patch-making.
Meet a lot of fellow artists and crafters at the Cave Junction Holiday Artisians Faire

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Bow of the Month!

Our daughter, Fair, won bow of the month in Primitive Archer Magazine!!!  Michael guided her in making the bow earlier this year while visiting family in Missouri.  We are really proud of her and hope she continues working on her second bow, from an osage orange stave gifted to her when we were at OJAM.


Our favorite twins of the Upper Rogue Farm.

Michael mentoring friends on making bows

Fair and her poetry

Michael found the ever elusive bagpiper to make music with

Moonrise with my fancy new camera

The music of Sangre de Muerdago by candlelight.

Fair Ophelia Designs at Leaf and Dragon

Tipi pitching in Chiloquin
The first time I have cheated and used a ladder for lacing pins...


Swifts in Portland

Bow drill firemaking with homeschoolers

The trick to bow drills is to be barefoot.

The best play structures are of nature.