The World of Herbs

The White Mountains of Arizona are full of wild natural plants to brew herbal teas or to make healthy herbal remedies.  The Apache use native plants to treat ailments of all kinds for a variety of health reasons. Research indicates that approximately sixty percent of the medicines we use today come from native herbs.  Caffeine free herbal teas are now commonly consumed for a variety of symptoms including insomnia, digestive issues, hormonal issues, and to enhance memory and mood.

I love herbal tea, and living in the White Mountains has opened up a whole new herbal experience for me, where I can try a variety of new teas and herbal remedies that were not available to me in other parts of the country.

I recently began to search the mountainside for my own blend of herbal teas, thanks to a couple of experienced guides who help me identify native plants.  I can also buy bulk teas at Sunshine Herbs, a natural, holistic shop that sells teas and herbs to the local folk in Show Low, Arizona.

One of my favorite blends is “DeStress Tea, a combination of chamomile, hops, oat straw, peppermint, and passionflower.  The combination of organic plants creates a peace and calm and is a great way to end the day.

When life gives you lemons, make tea!

 

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Tiny Mountain Living

Tiny living isn’t just a fad, it’s a total life change with less consumption, less materialism, and less waste.  On my quest to reduce the amount of stuff I own, even after downsizing several times, I still feel the heaviness of having too much.

Recognizing my past wastefulness of excessive shopping and collecting of material goods, a growing restlessness stirred within.  I had created a life that I did not intend to live anymore, and still found myself surrounded by mounds of stuff.  It left an emotional heaviness on my soul as I was striving to simplify my life and veer away from modern consumerism.

The other day as I was driving, I passed a tiny mountain home village in my area.  I was both excited and disappointed as I saw this cool tiny home for sale. If the house had been available when I first visited the area in July 2018, I would have purchased it, and could have lived a completely different lifestyle.

A life of materialism is an empty life.  No amount of stuff can fill an empty soul.

For anyone looking, this amazing tiny home is for sale in the White Mountains of Arizona. For the right person, tiny mountain living is waiting!

Native Roots

I was recently honored to celebrate White Mountain Apache Day at historical Fort Apache in North East Arizona.  I was given a traditional Camp Dress to wear and joined in the celebration which included cooking Ash bread, storytelling, singing songs, a women’s dress competition, watching Crown Dancers and eating fry bread for the first time. I was also given a beautiful homemade burden basket, which is used for gathering berries and wild foods.

The White Mountain Apache is a proud and powerful group of people who have a lot to teach us in ways of the world and in the ways of nature. Everything has meaning and purpose.   Somehow in the west, we have lost our roots and inner connectedness with the land, plants, and animals that share our earth. The White Mountain Apache have never forgotten this.

The day was a celebration of White Mountain Apache tribal life.  As the day came to an end, I left with an appreciation for tradition and for people who are holders of ancient ways.

Cafes, Farms and Whole Foods

A growing trend in the Midwest is a return to healthy living, whole organic foods, and fresh produce.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I consumed dairy products with every meal. When I developed a dairy allergy a few years ago, I struggled to adjust to both a meat and dairy free diet.  Luckily for me, a vegan restaurant opened up in my town where I was able to eat everything on the menu.  Since then I began exploring Wisconsin in search of vegan food and found cities like Madison to be a lively, health-conscious city that offers ethnic cafe’s, organic teas, street musicians and natural essential oils and herbs that are grown and sold locally.

During a recent visit to the Midwest, I found colorful farmer’s markets and natural good-hearted people who not only enjoy healthy whole foods but who also enjoy drinking craft beers and fresh cheese curds straight from the factory.

Seeking Solitude

As a traveler, I am always seeking solitude in beautiful natural locations where I can leave life as I know it far behind.  Quite unexpectedly on a recent trip to Cape Cod, I found seclusion on a beautiful remote beach where the rest of the world ceased to exist.

After trekking for several miles on sandy coastal dunes, I found a deserted spot perched high up on an ocean cliff where the only sound heard was that of crashing waves on a rocky seashore, and where seals joyfully played in the ocean’s surf.

The Atlantic wind carried my mind a million miles away as I imagined what it would be like to spend a year on this secluded shore in a world that is overrun with people.

Cape Cod is a popular tourist spot, but thanks to a local who was also seeking solitude, I was led to some beautiful remote places that are kept hidden from passing travelers.

Quirky Cape Cod

Cape Cod offers the best of two worlds, one world for nature lovers, and another world for those who love adventures to quirky villages full of colorful people.

On a recent trip to the Cape, I fell in love with Provincetown and its multicolored buildings, artsy atmosphere and flavorful residents.  The mix of natural calm and vibrant energy permeates the east coast, creating a fun, positive vibe for passing tourists.  For outdoor lovers, there are several options including walking on breakwater rocks to Wood End Lighthouse, biking, hiking through giant sand dunes, or kayaking on the Atlantic ocean.  For urban dwellers or city lovers, options include hanging out in eclectic cafes, partying at night in flamboyant cabarets, or eat healthy greens in one of the many vegan or vegetarian restaurants in town.

The Cape offers the best in outdoor activities and energizing city life, with a twist on fun, quirky and outrageous adventures.

 

Cats Ordering Junk Food

Just when I stopped eating junk food, my cat decided to start eating it.

After a long day’s work I found myself behind the wheel of my Cube with my cat on my lap, and before I knew it, we ended up at McDonald’s where he ordered a fish sandwich.

After we got home, I told him that was his last trip to a fast food restaurant, and next time we would be ordering in vegan hamburgers and chips.

My cat no longer controls me.