Monthly Archives: June 2011



Last night Fernando was making a whole lot of noise in the kitchen.

This morning I woke up and found this.

Before I went to bed, there were three times as many peppers in the bowl.

Then, this morning, he said “I’m making dinner tonight.”

Something is marinating in the refrigerator.

I’m scared.



Mighty Mighty Nettles


Now that summer is officially here, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside. In fact, I recently dragged Fernando to hike Black Diamond Mines in Antioch, CA. We had an awesome time, but let me tell you, the grass and tree pollen count was extremely high. We were barely in the park when both of our eyes started to water and we both started sneezing. Faster than you could say “gesundheit!” we were both in the middle of a dreaded hay fever attack.

Any Bay Area native knows that once the first sneeze comes, it’s time to stock up on benadryl and claritin because you’re going to need it. And while these over the counter drugs do work, they come at a price. Drowsiness, dried out nasal passages, etc., the adverse side effects are there. So instead of loading up on drugs, I went and checked my herb notes for things to take (or do) to help combat our hay fever symptoms.

What did I decide to use?


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Nettles grow wild here in California and is native to Europe and Asia as well. Another herb teacher I studied under told us how in her native France, when someone was sick, they would collect nettles and make a soup from it. The soup would nourish the sick individual and also help them move their cold out of their body. In my Medicine Woman class, we talked about nettles being served in the spring time as detoxification from all the heavy winter foods we normally eat. We also spoke about it being a good alternative to combating seasonal allergies.

So what did I do?

Drank nettles tincture of course!

I don’t know why I always take crooked pictures. đŸ˜¦

Add 40 drops to a glass…

Add a little water and drink up!

I did try to grow nettles myself from seed, but managed to kill it. Don’t ask me how, I just did. Which is why we are talking about tinctures. Hmph.

Anyway, nettles did help both Fernando and I to cut the hay fever attack short. Normally I’d suffer at least a week, but with nettles I was back to 100% within a day. I continued to take the tincture twice a day for the whole week, and have been allergy free since. You should be able to get nettles tincture at any health food store or as always Whole Foods. I bought mine from Good Earth Grocery Store in Fairfax, CA. You could also probably order them from online. Herb Pharm is my favorite brand producing tinctures, but you can try different companies to see which one you like.

There are some things that I do need to pass on…

1. Nettles is actually called “stinging nettles.” They have tiny microfiber stingers on them and they hurt like a @#!@$. If you find them live or grow them, watch out for this. Wear gloves when handling or hold them against the fibers. I can still remember the pricks I got before I managed to kill the plant. *ahem*

2. Nettles can be used long term, but double check to make sure it will not interfere with any medications you may be taking currently.

3. Nettles is also a diuretic. I don’t know why I didn’t write this down in my notes during class. Fernando and I both found out the hard way when all of a sudden we were both running to the bathroom.

I think I just shared too much.

But I am allergy and hay fever free.

And since it’s getting insanely hot, here’s a little picture I just came across from my Alaska trip in 2009. I saw this little guy floating through the glaciers and fell in love with him. Just looking at this picture cools me down.

Random, yes, I know. But I feel myself cooling down. And I just like this picture because this little birdy is so dang cute.

Love and mighty mighty nettles,



Yosemite and Local Honey


For the last couple of days I’ve been hiding.

In Yosemite!

Check out some of the gorgeous spots I got to see.

Driving into the park.

Heading into the valley.

The valley and bridal falls.


I love Yosemite. I could live in Yosemite.  I wish I were still in Yosemite.  Except with my pets and Fernando. Then it would be perfect.

I also wanted to head over to Mono Lake, but Tioga Pass was closed. It was covered with TWELVE feet of snow! I couldn’t believe it. Already June, and with all this crazy weather the pass was impassable. All well, just another excuse to go back right?

I also wandered around the outskirts of Yosemite and decided to take Highway 41 south towards Fresno. I wanted to check out some of the smaller towns around the park. Around Oakhurst or Coarsegold, I came across a small stand selling honey. You know I pulled over right?

This is what I got.

And here’s another shot of the honey from the top. You can really see the difference in color here

The wildflower honey (right) was super sweet just like candy. The buckwheat honey tasted unusual but still good. You knew you were eating honey but it was only slighly sweet and tasted almost like it was mixed with hops. It was also extremely thick, like cutting into a marshmallow. And I loved it.

I’m happy to be home but I’m missing the mountains. Anyone else ready to go back with me?

Love and honey,



Dead Trees Tell No Tales


When we bought our house, we inherited a dead cherry tree in the front yard. This thing was all dried out dead branches and we pretty much neglected it for the last year or so. Heck, we were about to uproot the thing when it suddenly began sprouting green leaves this spring. Today, while out in the yard, I found this.

I’ll be d*mned. Not only did this thing come back from the dead, it’s starting to grow cherries.

Nature just laughed in my face.

And I’m a jerk for neglecting this baby because I thought it was dead.

Love and hanging my head in shame,



Guess What I Found Hidden Away in the Lab?


No way!


St. Johns Wort infused oil!

When Kathryn came to visit a few months ago, I asked her about her St. Johns Wort oil. I think she thought I was crazy because she said something like “Don’t you remember? We made some in class.” Well I most certainly did not remember, so when I began unpacking my office things, imagine my surprise when I came across this guy.

My heart stopped and I felt like I had a winning lotto ticket. I could finally move forward from the heart break I’d suffered in this post.

This thing has been blending for 11 months, but the oil is still fan-fricken-tastic.

I started to decant and got almost a full jar.

Look at all this beautiful red luscious oil.

And I’ve managed to already burn myself a few times, so I got to use it. It really did heal my skin immediately and I didn’t develop any blisters or scabbing where I was burned.

I’ve died and gone to herbal heaven.

Love and slathered in red oil,