Saturday, August 28, 2010

Accidental Dinosaur

This morning I was reading a thread on a newsgroup about which applications people have chosen to disable on their cellphones. Reading along, I can hear the drum beats, and know that it won't be too much longer before another piece of technology will enter my life and take away another piece of solitude.
Thus far I have managed to resist having a cellphone. My daughter was gifted with a phone by her father at the age of 10, and it never seemed like a great idea to me. For years it was mandatory to leave the phone on the dining room table overnight, because it came to my attention that her "little" friends would reach out and touch her in the middle of the night. Rarely did calls come through the house phone for her, and that meant that as her mother, I was not aware of just who might be calling.
It's been about 20 or 25 years since cellphones became available to everyman. At first it was mostly people who really needed to be connected, like doctors and emergency personnel. If you ventured to a mall, you might see some guy being very conspicuous while taking (or faking) a call, because at the time it was a status thing. Something to impress the ladies...
Now they are everywhere, and people are talking all the time. All the time! In the spring I was in Penn Station in NYC, and marveled looking around, seeing that almost everyone waiting for a train was talking on a phone.
Part of my resistance comes from the fact that I am some hideous combination of Luddite and Techno Junkie. Although job situations forced me to use computers long before the general public came in common contact with them, I resisted having one at home for years. As soon as I got one, somehow e-commerce followed within months, making it a daily part of my life. Okay, that was cool, but there was no way I was getting a laptop. The office was for work, and that would leave the rest of my life alone, right? Then my brother gave me a laptop as a gift one year, and I'm typing this on the couch, with Saturday morning coffee. Sigh.... and so it goes.
At least (so far) the business has thrived via email, the phone blessedly quiet.
I actually do have a cellphone. It was given to me during an extended family crisis, and in fact I did use it a few times. It is even charged. There might even be messages, but darned if I can find them. Once I tried to call home from the car during a snowstorm. It was someone else's car and operation of the windshield wipers was eluding me (see a pattern here?), but the little screen filled with strange characters. We don't know what that was about.
I'm afraid because of what I see happening to people. It may sound snooty, but it looks to me like people are losing their ability to be alone. In the grocery store, they need to phone a friend in order to choose a flavor of yogurt. Walking in a park, they can't enjoy looking at their surroundings without chatting with someone. In waiting rooms and restaurants, people have lost the ability to simply enjoy either the company they are in, or being alone. Apparently driving has become almost impossible to do without some kind of moral support. My daughter, on breaks from college has to be broken from the habit of constant texting in order to have a face-to-face conversation.
And the worst part? I know deep in my heart that all of those things would become my life, and I would be among the worst of the talkers. As it stands, I have long conversations in my head, alone in the garden, walking in the woods, or driving somewhere. Should something magnificent present itself to me during one of these times, there is the anticipation of telling about it later. I can work on how to describe it in my mind for a while. That will be lost.
Eventually I will have to learn how they work. Public pay phones are all but non-existent, and I am beginning to feel like one of the last hold-outs, so these days of solitude are numbered.
But I'll tell you what... I'm NOT getting an electronic reader. No way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August and Autumn are spelled differently!

People, people! I know that it's been a rough summer with extremes of all sorts of weather, depending on where you live, but do we have to be in such a hurry to usher this season away? Yes, yes... I can smell it too, and feel the change in the air. The sky has taken on the characteristic hue of blue that only comes this time of year - but come on now. We still have at least another month or so before the lush greens start to change to golds and tans and browns.
On a little walk around the yard it was easy to pick up a few "pretties" that probably do foretell of the coming season. Elderberries, beauty berries, hazelnuts, fir cones, and a guinea feather or two...
The hazelnuts are one of the prettiest things out there right now. The way they grow in little tassels is just one of nature's masterpieces. Shades of pale green with a blush of pink - beautiful! The tassels hide behind the large leaves, and I bet we'll have to race the squirrels for them.
Out in the garden the Tomato Horn Worms are showing up. They creep me out. A lot. At some point, I'll take the tomatoes i want and then just stop going near them. Knowing that they are hosting their own killers, and the wasp eggs they carry will eventually lead to their demise.... just eewww.
Soon the brush will die back enough that we'll be able to walk deeper into the woods and find nuts and all sorts of berries and fruits. Every part of every season has it's own special gifts, so I won't wish for the end of this one quite yet.
Oh MY! While I was waiting for the pictures to upload, UPS dropped off a package from Roe at SunRose Aromatics. Roe is a sweet friend who knows I'm a bit of a patch at the moment. She sent several things that I'll talk about later, but this: Palo Santo essential oil!!! I took a sniff, and swear it was an out of body thing. Just for a second there, I wasn't on earth! Best to hit the Publish button before I float off again.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

august weekend ramble

We've been keeping our noses to the grindstone lately around The Essential Herbal, so this weekend it was time to get away and have a little fun.
Original plans for Saturday fell through, so we found ourselves preparing to head out to the Bead Fest in Valley Forge. Before we left, I checked Facebook and saw that there was an herb and rare plant sale on Route 23, posted by Sugarbush Nursery of Mohnton, PA. We decided we could swing by there on the way home.
Bead Fest was interesting - although there are only so many tables full of beads I can stand to look at before starting to get terminally bored. Finally we veered to the back of the building and found one of the glass companies that my sister was looking for - something about "double helix glass". Can't wait to see what she comes up with using them. Hopefully we'll be seeing it soon over at TorchSong Studio! The guys at the booth were pretty much fun to kid around with, and I wound up with several Elvis stickers (some art glass promotion) that I promised to plaster inside donut shops. The conference center was filling up, we had pretty much what we came for, so we were out of there inside an hour.
A quick few miles down the road, and we found the plant sale. Interestingly, both of our cameras cut out during the plant sale. Neither of us were able to take any pictures. There were some really nice plants there! Lots of woodland natives, shrubs, hostas, unusual evergreens, and then we got to Sugarbush. She had some gorgeous stuff, and I immediately scooped up some bottle gentian, and a pleurisy root/butterfly weed. As I was preparing to pay, I saw a pot holding just a small mat of green with a tag that said "bluets, Houstonia" and grabbed it! Spending a spring in VA one year, I awoke one morning to find that the entire yard had been transformed into a carpet of tiny blue stars - it was bluets. Later, Betsy May (a friend, and one of our writers) and I spent some time searching for these. I sent her the information immediately upon returning home!
Back on the road, we drove on past Susan Hess' Farm at Coventry - but the driveway was filled with cars, so we knew she was having a class and drove on.
Right up the road a few miles we saw a sign for St. Peter's Village to the right. It was well past lunch time, so we decided to see if we could grab a bite there. We had a really nice time sitting on the patio of The Inn at St Peter's, looking down over the granite boulders with a spring running through them. So well fed were we that we stopped in the village bakery and managed to leave without making a purchase. Looking back, it's hard to believe we could resist those magnificent confections!
Later at home, I cleaned a big basket full of elderberries to dry and gathered lots of lime basil.
Just hanging out for the evening with the guinea fowl....Molly went off to work at the Renaissance Faire this morning, but returned home at noon because of the weather and lack of a crowd. I told her to jump in the shower, and she could go along to The Gem Miner's Jubilee in Lebanon.
I enjoy this show more than a typical bead show because they have lots of nice specimens of rocks. Big geodes, unusual crystal formations, rare minerals, fossils, and some pretty cool stuff. I almost always find something that makes me feel like I discovered treasure. Today that treasure was strands of myrrh beads from Sumatra. They are beautiful, handstrung, smoothed by hand, and very fragrant. I bought all the dealer had - and it wasn't very much! They will be going on the website tomorrow. Molly got a nice green amber ring, Maryanne found a stone she's been looking for, and I also picked up some nice leopard jasper and a couple of tiny carved figurines that will go into a special little bag.
Tomorrow we'll get back to work on By the Hearth. Just one or two more articles to type in, and then it's going to get put into chapters, we'll insert pictures - and do a good bit of editing. Late September release date is breathing down our necks!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

back to the elderberry patch

Last year at this time, I put together a post with a lot of recipes using elderberries, and just to save anyone looking a little time (including me...) am reposting the link here:
Later on last fall, I started making candy with elderberries and some other herbs, and put the recipes and instructions together in an article for the Jul/Aug issue of The Essential Herbal. Since it is time to get busy on some of these, and they are so much fun to make, I'm going to post that here, too.
A Spoonful of Sugar - Making Herbal Candy
A couple of years ago, Marty Webster wrote about making horehound lozenges, and the instructions were very inspirational for me. Before I knew it, all kinds of ideas were running through my head!
Oh, it started simply enough.... what about elderberry? Maybe something relaxing? Oh! And Holy Basil "on the go"!
All you need is a candy thermometer, a large, heavy pan, and an afternoon. A helper for cutting in the end helps too.
When I was a kid, one of my best friends was from a large farming family, and they had an interesting side business. They made hard candies in about 15 flavors. On candy making nights, I would often stay overnight and help, because many hands were needed. In their basement, they had a stove, and would set 4 kettles filled with sugar, water, and Karo syrup to boil. There was a ping-pong table (probably reinforced) that took up most of the room, and we were stationed all around the table with heavy shears. The table was dusted with confectioners sugar. The father would heave a marble slab up onto the head of the table. As the first kettle reached the right temperature, he'd pour the molten mixture onto the slab, and work it with paint scrapers. Then he'd add the color and flavor and continue to fold the sweet, thickening mixture together. Finally, he'd start to cut it into fat 1/2" wide strips, and toss them out to us to cut into bite-sized pieces. It had to be cut quickly before hardening, but those first few strips were soft and very warm. We would always sample a piece or two. Quality testing at its finest. By the end of the night, there would be bins full of candy, and a bunch of kids high on sugar.
These memories also inspired me. I'm sure that that production set-up would not satisfy today's regulations, but it sure was fun.
The recipe I use is:
3/4 to 1 cup of strongly infused herbal "tea"
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
I have not had a chance to experiment with honey, and I believe that one could use all sugar, but this recipe worked well for me. You may want to try a few variations if the corn syrup is objectionable.
To make the tea, I put the herbs, berries, etc., in a pint jar and covered with boiling water, allowing it to steep for several hours. Then I strained it and squeezed the dickens out of the pulp to get all the good stuff. If there is less than a cup of liquid, that's fine.
Put the liquid into a large (at least 2 quart) pan. It bubbles up a lot during cooking, so you need a lot of space.
Add the corn syrup and stir to blend. Add the sugar and turn on medium high heat. Stir only until the sugar is dissolved. Set the thermometer on the side of the pan, with the tip in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pan.
Let 'er rip!
While it cooks, grease a 10 x 13 glass cooking dish and put down plastic wrap on a surface where you'll be doing the cutting - probably 2' x 3' is sufficient. Sift confectioners sugar or cornstarch over the plastic wrap.
When the temperature of the candy reaches 300 degrees, turn off the heat and stir briefly.
Pour it into the baking dish. Have something under the dish to protect the counter from heat.
Wait a minute or two, and lift the edge of the candy to see if it can be lifted to cut. When this is possible, use scissors to cut a strip, and toss it out to a waiting helper who will cut it into pieces. This really is difficult to do alone, but it's possible. Keep cutting the strips until it is finished.
If the candy in the baking dish hardens before you've finished, you can place it into the oven and heat it, but it will probably stick to the dish. I've taken out the whole piece that is leftover, melted it in another pan, and repoured it into the original baking dish. Clean-up is easy, hot water dissolves the candy.

Here are the infusions I started with:

Elderberry Bits
1 cup fresh elderberries
2 slices ginger
zest from one lemon

Lemon Balm Bombe
3/4 cup freshly picked lemon balm
1/4 cup freshly picked passionflower leaves, flower, tendrils
1/4 cup blueberries
zest from one lemon
20 drops of lemon eo just before pouring into baking dish
Tulsi Twist
3/4 cup freshly picked holy basil
1/4 cup dried goji berries
1/4 cup freshly picked chocolate mint

Herbalicious Medley
juice and zest from one orange and one lemon
1/4 cup holy basil
1/4 cup elderberry
2 slices ginger
3 rose geranium leaves
sprig of lemon thyme
sprig of rosemary
sprig of lemon verbena
1/4 cup mint
2 pods cardamom

I hope you give herbal candy making a try, and if you do, let me know what you made!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Essential Herbal -Sept/Oct 2010

There are times when I am amazed that The Essential Herbal magazine gets finished on time and into the mail stream on schedule. All sorts of things conspire to divert my attention - the garden, the great response to the new book on balms & salves, a whole lot of soapmaking, and even that sometimes crazy thing we just call life. This issue was definitely one of those issues that we couldn't believe we finished on time, there was so much going on. Now our friend Marcy from will be one of the first to get that, as her name was spelled five or six different ways (you'll see...).
So far, we've yet to put out an issue that is without a flaw somewhere. If that day ever comes, we won't know how to act.
So here's what's inside this issue. Tons of great stuff to get your harvest mojo rising!

Table of Contents

Field Notes from the Editor
Why do we garden?
Ditch Watching, Jackie Johnson
Wildcrafting from the passenger side of the car lets you know what to look for when you get into the woods.
Preserving Herbs, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh
Vinegars, Relishes, Chutney, and Preserves
Herbs & Celiac Disease, liz Johnson
As this disease and gluten intolerance in general become more prevalent, liz looks at herbal means of relief.
Historic Herbal, Troches, Kathleen Setzer
Using powdered herbs in lozenges for slow release.
Herbs of the Zodiac: Libra, Susanna Reppert-Brill and Bertha Reppert
Herbs that correspond with the dates and qualities of Librans.
Pass the Pessaries! Karen Mallinger
Only Karen can add humor to the subject of pessaries while explaining the how and why of making and using them.
Measuring in Parts, Tina Sams
Recipes measured in parts are confusing to some, so we clear that up.
Oven Tomato Sauce, Maryanne Schwartz
A recipe shared by Maggie at Prairieland Herbs, with Maryanne's spin.
Cranberry Thyme, Rita Richards
Delightful cranberry/herb combinations for vinegar, beverages, and more.
Pumpkin Cheesecake, Marci Tsohonis
Marci shares a decadent Autumn family recipe.
SouthRidge Treasures – Jam Making Time, Mary Ellen Wilcox
Mary Ellen is jamming, with berries, peaches, grapes, and herbs!
Reduce Stress to Reduce Illness, Cindy Jones
Herbs and simple activities to keep stress levels low for a better immune system.
The Global Herbal – The Mediterranean Region, Marita Orr
A discussion of the growing conditions and soil composition in the region.
Holy Basil The Incomparable One, Tina Sams
An herb to always have handy, holy basil is indispensable.
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse the Herbie Way, Molly Sams
Tongue-in-cheek thoughts on herbs during a zombie attack.
Pumpkin Pie Soap, Marci Tsohonis
Taking Autumn into the shower with you...
Pumpkin Bread and Sweet Baked Acorn Squash, Staff
A couple personal favorites from TEH.
Make Your Own Whipped Body Butter, Maryanne Schwartz
Instructions for a skin-loving whipped butter confection to stave off winter dryness.
Tea Time, Jackie Johnson
Making up your own herb teas (including 19 recipes) and how to brew and enjoy them.
Tales from the Tetons – Smoothies, Kristena Haslam Roder
Make your own fruit smoothies with ideas from Kristena.
Louisiana Lagniappe – Blanche Long's Peach Shortcake, Sarah Liberta
A visit with the governor's wife during her childhood has stayed with Sarah, and she shares the recipe of the treat she was served.
A List of Fall Chores, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh
Not sure what all needs to be done in the garden? Marcy lists all the most important chores, including planning for next spring!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Early August Ramble

We finally got some cooler weather (high 80's) over the weekend, so despite having the next issue of The Essential Herbal magazine sitting here needing labels for Tuesday's mailing and a couple of large wholesale soap orders pulled and waiting to be wrapped, we took to the woods.I walked down to grab Maryanne. We actually had a goal. We need to gather jewelweed and plantain before the jewelweed blossoms, and it is getting close. Armed with baskets and camera, off we went.
The woods are hugely overgrown, but the path is clear. We were able to do all the gathering without leaving the trail too much. Some of the hardy hibiscus that was crowding my front door is now happily casting gaily colored reflections over the pond.I was a little disappointed to find that some of the flowering weeds in the woods were gone. The yarrow and wild bee balm are finished for the year. But there is so much going on out there! Mostly closer to the house, but it was so good to wander around.
This gnome home has become obvious, as the clematis that usually covers the door has died back for the year.The four o'clocks are knocking themselves out -even though it was still morning (???).There is a second bloom of wisteria.These little dayflowers were called "snake flowers" when I was a kid. Not sure if it is because of their appearance or because so often snakes lurked beneath the foliage.Our bayberries did a great job of growing this year, and will be part of the bayberry soap this year. Maryanne wrote more on bayberry harvesting here. We still need to take a day-trip towards the bay and gather more, though.Jimson weed has taken over a section of the bank that held wildflowers last year.If you've been reading about how much more potent poison ivy and oak are becoming, I can certainly attest to that. I weeded it intentionally in the first week of July, and immediately washed thoroughly. Worst rash ever! Even using our jewelweed, sage, and plantain vinegar blend, it took a week to dry up and there are still discolored splotches on my arm a month later. Learn what it looks like and avoid it. This is the one thing I have no qualms about hitting with chemicals. In this picture, some wild grape is trailing off to the right, and there is a little Virginia creeper in the center beside the railing, but the rest is poison ivy. Ugh.
Wild cherries are very common here, and the birds love them.A patch of different sunflowers grow all around the little chicken house. There's something about sunflowers that always makes me smile.So now we'll get back to work. There is a mile-long list of things to do, and the kids are getting ready to head back to college.
Busy beats the alternative, but I sort of wish we were heading to the bay today :-).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Got Cucumbers?

We do! My contribution is Cucumber Lime Salsa.
Check at the bottom of this post for other recipes. We're putting together a blog party to help with the glut :-). Check back after 8/11/10 for more links.On to the salsa. I attended a party several years back and a variation of this recipe was served. I fell in love with the refreshing, light blend right away, and it is one of our favorite summer dishes. Sometimes we'll have it along with tomato salsa, guacamole, and some hummus and tortilla chips - and that's dinner.

1 or 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I like spring onions, but Vidalia are great too)
1 lime - zest and juice
2 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (a smaller amount of flat parsley would probably work if you don't like cilantro)
a couple shakes of tabasco (optional)
crushed garlic (optional)

Add the chopped onion and cilantro to the oil. If using tabasco and/or garlic, mix that in too. Zest lime into the mix. I then cut the lime in half, and pierce each section with a knife to get out lots of juice. Add juice to oil blend.
Peel and core the cucumbers. Chop as finely as possible. I've tried a food processor, but that mushes it up too much for my taste. If you do that, drain it for a 10 -15 minutes.

Mix it all together well.I would say, "chill to blend flavors" and serve with chips, but it doesn't always make it into the fridge around here. We all love it, and it disappears quickly!We are considering dehydrating some cukes to try in dips, facial blends, and even soap later in the year. I'll let you know how that goes.

Becky already has some great cucumber coolers on her blog at
Maryanne has Creamy Cucumber salad on hers:
From Cindy Jones:
Janiece manages to do away with cucumbers AND tomatoes here:
Chilled cucumber soup from The Rosemary House:
Karen's cucumber dill sauce:
Beth's cucumber and watermelon salad:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

one cook, one garden

Remember Spring?
That was when we looked at that vast expanse of freshly turned earth and at our teensy, tiny little vegetable plants, and thought to ourselves, "these babies will have lots of room to grow."
Oh - and there would be so much time to use the veggies to create sauces and canned goods for later in the year. I can actually envision what I was thinking then. In fact, in that vision, the kitchen is well organized and the counters are clear. There were no dirty dishes, no baskets full of drying herbs, I was wearing something chic, great haircut, thinner - and definitely NOT sweating.
Reality is somewhat different.We won't even get into the haircut.
One counter holds a perpetual supply of peaches from the stand down the road. At this time of year, dinner is usually a couple of peaches cut up and eaten, just so.
The other long counter holds an assortment of vegetables that A) I brought in from the garden, B) came home from market or a farm stand, or C) my sister cagily left there on her way to the living room.The kitchen table is half shipping department and half herb drying/processing station with some beans drying for next year's garden. Half of the room is currently taken up with cartons of magazines waiting to be readied for mailing.
Today I'll make and freeze some roasted tomato sauce.
The other night the peaches were getting boring (hard to believe, isn't it?), and it was too hot to really cook. Sometimes you just need something more.
The following was delicious:
I threw a small handful of angel hair pasta into a pan of boiling water and went out to gather some basil, which was chopped into very thin strips.
Poured about a tablespoon of olive oil into a bowl.
Diced up a tomato and added to the oil and basil, muddling it up a little bit, and then added a clove of crushed garlic.
When the pasta was done, I added a handful of grated mozzarella and a little Parmesan cheese and stirred it to melt it together. Topped with the tomato/basil/garlic oil.
Judging by the glut of cucumbers, tonight will probably be some cucumber lime salsa with chips. And some peaches.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Shakin' off the blahs

Well the wallows are over. The Essential Herbal and her editor/publisher are back on terra firma.
I didn't go willingly at first, being quite firmly entrenched.
Things were starting to pile up, and that's never a good thing. Lately anything more than 8 hours of down-time is way too much.
Maryanne, my friend Roe and I joked around about making tin-foil hats to ward off the obvious effects of the recent solar activity. It was the idea of wearing them in public that hit my funny-bone. If they didn't keep the death-rays away, at least we would have been left to go about our business(es) in relative peace, since almost nobody will attempt to talk to a middle-aged woman wearing a tin-foil hat.
On then, to an evening of soapmaking. Down at the soap shed, Maryanne's been busy with lots of wholesale orders. This is usually a so-so time of the year, so we've had to kick it in to high gear to keep even the slower sellers in stock. Our preferred number of batches per session is 6, but 8 has been more normal lately.
We always laugh and kid around while we cover the counter space with molds filled with luscious, fragrant soap.
When I got home, I tackled the pile of orders from the previous 24 hours and got them packaged up and ready to go. As I worked, the realization that the new book is a BIG hit finally registered. It ain't the NYT best seller list, but it is great for a self-published book. Stacking the filled envelopes was a pretty pleasant activity.
This morning the computer gave me the evil eye. That tells me that it is time for a vacation soon. Usually I look forward to signing on, so when it doesn't feel friendly I know it is me - not the computer (or the people on the other side).
Fortunately, the soaps made last night now needed to be cut and stacked on their racks. Looking at the almost well-stocked shelves was a good feeling.
Then it was out to the garden! The air hadn't gotten too thick with the coming heat and humidity, so it was pleasant picking St Johns wort blossoms and picking the budding tips from the holy basil. Bunnies and birds watched while I found myself humming as I worked, brushing the leaves with my hand to release the fragrances.
By the time I got home from the post office this afternoon, it was clear that the dark cloud had finally passed.
Who knows what really did the trick? Was it picking up the phone to commiserate with a friend? Creating with my sister? Singing to my plants? Or even the herbs that usually smooth the rough edges? Maybe it was starting a journal to tell my sick loved one the things I can't say to him right now.
Maybe it was all of those things, but next time I won't wait so long to do any of them.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bungling in the jungle

It has been a real struggle to blog for the past couple of weeks.
Beside putting out the newest book, the deadline was tailgating us for the next issue of The Essential Herbal magazine - which is safe and sound at the printer now. That might be enough to explain it, but those things are just part of the blockage.One of the people dearest to me is in the middle of a health crisis, and it leaves me feeling helpless and unable to form sentences at times, while there is a constant chatter in my head.
Then there is the wide network of on-line social/business media that I've created to support the business and stay in touch with all the friends and herbies I've come to know over the years. As much as I enjoy that, there are some times when it can become challenging.
If I had my druthers, I'd plant my tush under a big tree and have a good cry for a few days.
Unfortunately, that just doesn't cut it for the small business owner. You trudge on, hoping that your reactions and conversations are reasonable and don't come off too snappish. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully you've done a good enough job in the past however many years that people will overlook a few moments of ugh.
I'm certainly not alone in this situation. Right off the top of my head, I can think of three friends who are slogging through their own personal bogs of emotional turmoil. It's kind of interesting to stand at a distance and try to figure out all of the ways the internet has changed the way we deal with things.
For the first time, my go-to remedy for this kind of thing (holy basil and mimosa blend) isn't helping enough. Today I added some nettles (because I'm having a little fight or flight issue) and some goldenrod to give me some backbone.
Tomorrow, I will come up with a great blog post. I just know it :-). Maybe just saying it "out-loud" shift the load.