I’m never quite sure what people would like to know about me, and although I love talking about stuff I love I’m also really private which makes it hard to try and put myself in print. So here are some random things about me, in no particular order, that you may or may not find interesting, relevant, or just weird.
- I am from rural/small town Northern California. I love the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest. My family and I have moved a lot though, and I have also spent significant chunks of time in Sevilla, Spain and Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and smaller, less-pleasant chunks of time in Southern California and Texas.
- I am an INFJ, sometimes called “The Protector” or “The Advocate” (I previously had INFP here but it turns out I was misremembering–upon double-checking, I am entirely an INFJ). (Want to know your type? You can start here.) I don’t put too much stock in any labels or typologies, but I still find personality tests fun.
- My favorite holiday is Halloween. I love the feeling of “the veil thinning” and the upside-downness of wearing a costume and staying out all night. Nowadays I usually find that the buildup to Halloween is more fun than Halloween itself, and I don’t know whether that’s me getting older or the times a-changin’, but I think it’s mostly because I view Halloween as sacred play yet take the liminality very seriously, while most people I know view it as a party decorating theme. Also, it’s hard to get into Halloween when you live in a place that has no autumn.
- Though I am not currently employed in the field, I am a card-carrying archaeologist with a specialty in mirrors and Iron Age Eurasia. In addition to the US, I have excavated/done field research in Sicily, Peru, Korea, Japan, and the Czech Republic.
- I volunteer for a group that uses social media to help reunite lost dogs with their families.
- Night owl.
- I am so clumsy I was once nicknamed “Calamity Jane.” This leaves me with lots of minor injuries on which to test herbal remedies.
- The Igor to my Dr. Frankenstein is my little mutt dog, Shermie. He’s not very helpful but does lift the mood around here.
- I’m a supertaster and a synaesthete.
- I am a collateral descendant and huge admirer of Nicholas Culpeper.
- Some of my hobbies/things I enjoy or have enjoyed in the past include: sleeping, learning to play the Great Highland Bagpipes, astrology, Disneyland (but not Disney movies), belly dancing, learning other languages, doing my family’s genealogy, road trips, gardening, the outdoors, hardware stores, old movies (especially classic monsters and Film Noir, and anything with Boris Karloff or William Powell), corndogs, fairs, reading, writing, drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, strolling around cemeteries, trains, Persian food, horseback riding (anything horses, really), meditation, vegetables from the Solanaceae family and all kinds of mushrooms, and of course experimenting with herbal remedies and forcing them on my friends and family.
- Things I do not enjoy include: Brussels sprouts, avocados, condescension, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, artificial sweeteners and stevia, math (though I do like household accounting but that’s because I’m a control enthusiast), mean people, stupidity, skepdicks and proselytizing atheists, patriarchy and racism, when people do not return their shopping carts to the store or cart corral, bad grammar, driving on the freeway, and literal and metaphorical deserts.
Ok then! When I was a little kid we had a small farm, and I remember pestering my parents with questions about what the different plants were. I would sit on the lawn and make “potions” (as I called them) in my mom’s very 1970s orange fondue pot, using things I harvested around the house. I still have a warm spot in my heart for those first herbs, among them birch, oats, wild mustard, and wild radish.
It wasn’t till a few years later that I first learned that plants could be used as medicine, when someone told me that wild radish roots could be used to remove warts. Somewhere, a bell rang… Fast forward to adulthood, and I’ve found I love researching herbs, I love experimenting with them and playing guinea pig, and learning about the history of herbal medicine.
I see myself as continuing the practical, empirical wisdom of traditional Western herbalism (in my own small way). I do not claim to be an expert on plant medicine–indeed I think a person could study plants for several lifetimes and still have more to learn–but I have been accruing empirical experience at a rapid rate since I became my mother’s caregiver and lost my health insurance at the same time. I started this blog to assemble the best information I can create and gather about healing with plants, what I learn as I expand my herbal education, and the results of my experience along this journey. There are many blogs about herbology out there, and they are almost all wonderful; this one doesn’t surpass any of them but adds one voice to a chorus of plant-loving people that I hope is swelling day by day.
Conventional medicine is becoming ever more expensive. It is already unattainable for many people. So there is a huge need for healing that anyone can afford and safely apply, as well as reliable education about such remedies. Not only is it important that people have access to herbs and the knowledge of how to use them, we must also have the freedom to use them according to common sense and our best judgment.
Working with herbal allies, one comes to have a deep love and respect for the green world. Plants are generous with their healing magic, and in return it is our responsibility to ensure that they survive and thrive. I try to do this by using organically grown or wildcrafted herbs, and working in small batches to avoid over-harvesting and maintain quality control.
Sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s also about knowledge and community. One of my goals for this blog is to include information on useful herbs or combinations of herbs that are not very well known. I do this not as a ploy to differentiate myself, but because there are so many wonderfully healing plants that have simply slipped through the cracks. Search engines and social media are wonderful tools in many ways, but they also skew the apparent importance of information: the more often something is replicated, the better known it becomes and therefore the more important it seems. At the same time, very valuable things which don’t happen to be accompanied by a pinnable picture or a lolcat meme don’t get replicated, and ultimately disappear from the collective news feed. In this way, the available knowledge becomes heavier but ever-smaller. I believe this shrinkage of information is a very bad thing, and with this blog I’m trying to do my part to keep the well deep and the horizon broad.
Still want more?
You can visit my Pinterest boards or my PoppySwap store. My Etsy store still exists but I’m not maintaining it. I plan to find another platform to sell herbal remedies since I don’t hold ethically with some of Etsy’s recent policies.