What a whirlwind the past many months have been. For those friends who know me on facebook as well, thank you for all the good wishes for my son over the past few months. It is so appreciated.
I am still volunteering full-time with Herbalists Without Borders, and I am now also volunteering as Clinical Herbalist with the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic through HWB. My consulting hours at VRHC are contributing to my clinical hours as I am working with an AHG mentor to fulfill the clinical hour side to achieve RH designation. If child health, volunteering full-time as Executive Director, volunteering as a Clinical Herbalist, and working with an AHG mentor on case studies sounds like an insane amount of work all at once, you would be correct. But still, here I am. And my business is still eeking along, although I have not had time to work on my summer product launch as I have been focusing on consultations for my AHG hours.
I made some big changes this year to allow me to have more time for my business as well as my design support work. I help small herbal businesses with their branding, labeling and marketing materials, and I design and integrate ebooks from writers into Amazon kindle, iBooks, and print on demand (primarily herb/food/aromatherapy topics). My two most recent book designs are now live on Amazon:
Foodies, Foragers and Friends: A Wildrafter's Cookbook by Gigi Stafne
The Magic and Medicine of Mineral and Metal Essences, by Gigi Stafne
I am also working on some of my own books for publishing, and I have updated many eGuides for HWB. I am enjoying the publishing and book design process.
I had to pull back on the gardening, and am not gardening at the friends farmette this year nor at the community garden. Everything is in my yard, close at hand. I am fully stocking a large apothecary in my studio space -- which is to support my clinical consultations. Woot!
I am also still writing for magazines - I have had articles in a few issues of AromaCulture Magazine, and have several articles still coming in future issues. I really enjoy writing for print magazines, but I am a huge fan of AromaCulture as they are oriented towards practitioners as well as everyone else! It gives more science based information for us to further develop and expand our understanding of plants - which is wonderful.
I have jumped headfirst into a new project - podcasts and webinars for Herbalists Without Borders. I have a schedule that I am working on and hopefully a helper/producer to help get some amazing topics out to the world. There are so many people doing amazing things in their communities - and they can be a great example for others. I feel like I need to share their amazing work and show people that they too can make a huge impact.
Everywhere you look in winter there is another recipe for an eggnog or boozy drink. This version is not only alcohol free, but dairy and egg free as well. Not that you couldn't add a swig of something, but it is absolutely delicious and warming all on its own.
Egg & dairy free nog recipe - using medjool dates, it is even low glycemic.
Pour your coconut milk into a pot along with the pitted dates.
We don't do dairy in the house, as my older son has a severe allergy. And quite honestly I don't want any of us in this house to follow down the road of our genetic lottery of diabetes, so I love recipes that are not only dairy free, but also use low glycemic sweeteners. The dates also are what gives the drink that thicker creaminess. If you use rice milk, it will be a little thinner, obviously, but hemp, cashew, coconut and other thicker milks have the perfect thickness!
This year has flown by and I cannot believe it is October. The business has been booming, I have been working on writing articles and books, volunteering, doing more formal "high school" modules with my always unschooled teenager who wants to go to college at 16 to become an immunologist (PhD track). Supporting my husband who has been traveling a lot for work. Visiting with a family who is moving closeby because our kids are good friends (well, we all are). Volunteering with Herbalists Without Borders. Taking Aidan to many appointments and hospital procedures due to additional health issues stemming from mast cell disease. Spending a lot of time in all the gardens. Summer was a blur.
Which brings us to September and October. I have been enjoying volunteering with Herbalists Without Borders - as you know herbalism and holistic health (and nutrition) are passions of mine - and I have been feeling as my own kids get older that we all want to get more involved in social and racial justice, access to real whole food in food deserts, global herbalism, holistic health access, and more. And just as I was thinking of starting a few programs of my own, the long time Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders, Gigi Stafne, announced she was retiring from that position. I spent a bit of time talking to my family about it, discussing how we would all manage this and if my kids were supportive (they are). So I applied for the position, interviewed, and was selected as (volunteer) Executive Director of the nonprofit Herbalists Without Borders.
The minute I accepted the position and started training and taking over, we had multiple back to back natural disasters which has tossed me right into the fire. Hurricanes, forest fires, training, transitioning, and then garden and kids and homeschooling and business, and Aidan in recovery mode after a summer of tests and health issues. So here we are! I love engaging with herbalists and businesses and members to mobilize for good, to help people, and to support programs that make a difference. And it ties in well with my business and client work. One big enchilada of herbal health and holistic family life.
It sounds like a lot, but we seem to be in a great groove here. The positive aspect of all of us working from home, homeschooling and doing everything together as a family. It is perfect for fall into winter as we tuck into home, the garden winds down, and we have more time inside. And we can do work together to make a positive impact. All good.
More about my HWB position and transition:
How was your summer? Can you believe it is autumn?
Can you help Puerto Rico?
I am a certified aromatherapist, herbalist, organic gardener, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.