Sunday, 1 July 2012

Working the Winter Blues Away

I cut my hair this morning.  Took 5 minutes.  After being sick for 3 days, I felt like a change!  Woke up this morning and thought how wonderful life is, when you don't feel like dying!!  Sickness is a blessing in our busy lives.  It reminds us how precious life is, and how wonderful it feels not to be sick anymore!  Otherwise we simply take health for granted!!  So given that I had this joie d' vivre frollicking within myself, I decided to treat myself to a haircut.  Threw my undizzy head over in wild abandon (would have passed out if I did that 2 days ago), gripped my hair in a top-knot pony and then sliced through the rope of hair with a scissors.  Voila!  Not Vidal Sassoon, but close!  The effect is a layered look which I could never achieve any other way but sitting for half an hour in a hairdresser's chair!  If this method works for Helen Mirren, then it works for me just fine!
Carrot and Apple juice to start the day
Anyhow, my intent was not to blog about hairdressing - hairdressers and dentists are a nightmare visit for me - I stay away at all costs!  I was more interested in the dynamics of wellness and sickness.  I firmly believe that the only way to wellness is eating well (good, wholesome, healthy and raw foods) and exercising.  Well now, there's something lacking in my life!  Love the gardening but excercise always seems to be something best left to women in leotards and spandex pants.  But I know in my heart of hearts that I really need cardio-vascular workouts and really need to get walking!!  It's been on my New Year's Resolutions (getting fit) for about 17 years.
My new cotton face-cloth I knitted while nursing a cold.
Cast on 51 stitches, knit 1 row plain, knit 1 row stockinette
Repeat till a square shape is achieved.  Cast off.
When I got sick (the usual winter ailment) - sore throat, snotty nose, splitting head-ache, I decided not to soldier on.  It's just not fair on those you come in contact with, is it?  After all, someone didn't stop to think of passing on their bugs, which is how you got it in the first place!  Sneezing all over the place!  Us kindergarten teachers are always exposed to sooo many bugs, what with children with green snotty noses, sneezes and all!  So I ended up staying at home for three days.  Instead of a trip to the doctor's, I made a trip to the garden and collected all I needed to stock up against a cold.  A basket of mandarins, lemons and limes, 5 leeks (for leek and potato soup), a bunch of green parsley (chlorophyll) and I was in the healing business!  If I hadn't been feeling so bad at the time, I might have felt smug at the feeling of self-sufficiency!
Farma-neutra-ceuticals on back doorstep
We always stock up on a few winter essentials at the end of summer for such occassions - eucalyptus, lemon and wintergreen essential oils to burn in the oil burner.  I also place a soup bowl full of water on the wood burner, and sprinkle 5 drops of 2 essential oils each, into the water.  The heat of the fire warms the water and the vapours soon fill the house.  The first aid box is stocked with A.G.E and Infludo homeopathic preparations for times like these, plus Zand Throat Spray and Eucalyptus/Plantago Comp Chest Rub.  I usually carry several pairs of Biosun ear candles for this type of occassion too, but used up our last pair a couple of months ago and never replaced them!  First on my list to replace for next week!  Ear candles are great for those congested head cold maladies.

Another favourite when unwell, is to have a soak in the bath with a bath bomb.  Aromatherapeutic bliss!
8 TBspn citric acid
8 tspn cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
15 - 20 drops essential oil of choice (I like a blend of geranium, lavender and patchouli) 
12 TBspn olive oil
Mix dry ingredients together, add in oil, essential oils and mix well.  Form into shapes by pressing into cookie cutters shapes.  Place on waxed paper and leave to set for about 24 hours (space apart as they expand slightly).
Optional extras:  can add dry flower petals or natural colouring.  I keep mine plain.

Make sure you don't use essential oils that are inclined to irritate the skin.  Lavender is always a safe and multi-purpose use oil.
Bath Bomb awaiting detonation!  These ones have lavender flower
seeds in.
I firmly believe that our bodies have to work through the case of cold or flu and whatever you do, might ease the situation but there is no way to avoid it!  Doing it the "natural" way may last 3-4 days while people who go for antibiotics also tend to take 3-4 days.
Mike bought our new Spring seeds.  The Bay tree harvested
leaves paid for all of this!
Winter has never been my favourite season.  I don't like the cold.  Having grown up in South Africa, in the Transkeian Wild Coast area, we simply wore a jersey on top of our t-shirt in winter.  In New Zealand, I wear 5 layers on top, 2 layers below and am still cold!  Merino thermals are my saving grace!  Our home was built with no thought to cooling aspects in summer, but rather top-heavy heating aspects.  We went for 100% wool insulation in walls and roof.  There is underfloor heating, a heat-pump, woodburner, double glazing, and eco-panels in each room.  We still take hot water bottles to bed with us!
The beauty of Sun-fruit!  Persimmons are definitely fruit of the Gods.
But in recent years, rather than focus on the miseries of winter, I have tried to train myself to focus on the positives:
  • I LOVE sitting beside a roaring, toasty fireplace beside our contented purring cat.  
  • I LOVE soups!  Vegetable, tomato, pumpkin, bean, leek and potato, leek and chickpea, miso, root soup, split green pea many choices!
  • I LOVE winter veggie stews, thick and nourishing.
  • I LOVE wearing boots!
  • I LOVE lighting candles.
  • I LOVE lighting incense.
  • I LOVE staying indoors on a cold, wet day and watching DVD's!
  • I LOVE how our daffodils bloom in winter and don't wait for Spring!
  • I LOVE the feeling of wellness after a bout of cold or flu.
  • I LOVE having more time to be crafty and creative indoors, rather than spending every spare minute out in the garden.
  • I LOVE porridge. 
  • I LOVE persimmons and citrus fruit!
  • I LOVE lying in bed, listening to the lashing rain and howling wind outside, feeling safe and cosy.
  • I LOVE soaking in a hot bath, with aromatherapy oils and candlelight.
So really, winter isn't so bad after all!

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