My Green Cauldron

Balance

balance. finding that place of being on an even keel, attention and energy going to the places they need to be. not too much and not too little. it is not easy. as i watch our kitten work and balance gracefully along the railing i am a bit envious at the ease in which she can find the balance. one of the things i have learned is that being firmly centered within yourself helps. knowing where energy is needed and directing it there instead of throwing it about to places where it doesn’t need to be…..those energy sucking pits we all have in our lives.

photo by erik witsoe

Following Passion

A few days ago my son was watching videos on YouTube and he had found one that showed how to make a small foundry. he was so impressed that he wanted to make one too! so He and josh gathered the materials needed (my hair-dry, really?!?) and off they went. it took them a couple days to get it built because of concrete drying and crucible making (josh had to do that at work). last night they finally made it work and melted down a bagful of soda cans (those all natural organic sodas didn’t have the usual Michigan bottle return on it). at first it wasn’t working (something with using charcoal and a crucible that was slightly too big), but once the small crucible was here and Josh pulled out the coal they were in business.

unfortunately i did not have enough foresight to take pictures during the making of the foundry, BUT i did get a couple if pictures (i can’t post the video ūüė¶ )

Ian was so happy to have made the foundry and the ‘metal corn’. i think we may have a metal worker on our hands! He has already tried out blacksmith-ing and loved it. I love that we are able to help our boys pursue their interests and passions. I’m not sure what Ian’s next project is going to be but i bet we will all have a great time helping him out!

Unleash Your Light

I am SO excited to announce this new group!! Launching July 1, this is a membership group for women to start their healing process so they in turn can shine their unique light into the world and help it heal. I would love it if you can join me and this amazing group of women (when I say amazing, I mean AMAZING). Take a minute to join the Facebook group and meet the women who will be supporting and loving you through this awesome journey into healing.

Unleash Your Light

The world will be saved by Western Women. ~ The Dalai Lama

 

Join us for the launch event on Facebook on July 1. Come and meet the experts to see who will be your guidance and support on this journey of love and light.

By joining the membership circle, you will receive expert advice and coaching from a holistic perspective including:

>Life & Business Coaching (including live calls)
>Holistic Health Coaching (including weekly recipes and tips)
>Ayurvedic Beauty
>Yoga Sequences from a Certified Yoga Instructor
>Spiritual Coaching
>Essential Oil Education and Recipes for Essential Oil Blends
>Reiki healings and meditations from a Reiki Master
>Coaching and Empowerment meditations from an Empath Empowerment Coach
>Education from a Certified Massage Therapist
>Exclusive Discounts from all of our Experts
>Monthly themes and book studies to aid you on your journey.
>A community of like-minded women to support, empower, and encourage each other

 

Teacher’s Gift Bags

YAY!! The last of the very early bird special bags have SOLD!

More bags to come next week, get your orders in now!!

The end of the school year is fast approaching, time for those teacher’s gifts. why not give something they will love? Lovely Lotions!

Grab up one of these limited gift bags at the amazing price super early bird price, $15. the bags contain 2 small lotions, a lip balm, 2 tea bags of custom blended tea, honey sticks and a small card.

contact me if you would like one!

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These gifts stand out from the standard teachers gifts. Lovely Lotions are amazing!

Leaf Light

Spring in Michigan is really unpredictable, through April it was warm and sunny.  May, on the other hand, is chilly and rainy (so far, mind you it is only the fourth), a big change from the weeks before. Yesterday it was warm and sunny which gave me a chance to get out in the garden and do some work. Weeding and feeding the beds are the main activities. I am harvesting asparagus and rhubarb from the garden, salad greens in the cold frame. our old apple and cherry tree are in full bloom, they smell sweet and look divine.

As the sun was the golden color of late afternoon I took my camera to the garden. The lighting was so beautiful and the young green plants were perfect.

The light from behind resulted in these amazing shots! I LOVE plants so much and the beauty of them is one reason. just look at these:

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Iris

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Fern

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blood root

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Lily

A walk in my own yard brings me so much joy, it gives me a connection with the divine that I have not found anywhere else. Watching the unfolding of a new leaf, the slow opening of the first spring flowers makes my heart sing. There is now where else that I would rather be than in my garden in spring.

The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations – each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.

Ruth Bernhard

A Way Out Charity Auction & Dinner

This week I attended a charity event for the group A Way Out, which is a group geared toward educating people about the epidemic of child abuse in our communities and providing information on what can be done to change the statistics.

The evening consisted of dinner, drinks, a silent auction and a live auction.

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Listening to Karen speak, so inspiring.

The organizer of the event was Karen from Kayla Rae Cellars. Herself a survivor of child abuse, she is determined to help those in abusive situations and educate those¬†people to the signs of abuse and how they can help. ¬†By hosting classes, workshops and presentations, the group A Way Out is hoping to reduce the statistics of childhood abuse in our communities. This charity auction was their first annual fundraising event to help provide funds to educate our community of the signs of child abuse. If you would like to know more about Karen’s story, check out the book A Way Out : A Life Story¬†on Amazon or, better yet, visit Kayla Rae Cellars in Rockford and meet Karen for yourself. She is an amazing and inspiring woman.

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My Green Cauldron’s Lovely Lotion gift bag in the silent auction!

 

On to the charity auction! It was a fabulous evening. My bestie, Dee, and I went together for a night of food, drink and charity. The evening consisted of a silent auction (Squeee, My Green Cauldron donated a gift bag!! and people bid on it!!), a live auction and a dessert auction. It began with food and browsing the items in the auction. Everything from a weekend at a lakeside house to a cooler full of fancy beers, photography sessions, private cooking lesson with a chef, and 8-course dinner for 4 at Amore (Dee and i wanted this one pretty bad! we LOVE this place).

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Auction paddles and program.

Although the silent auction was fun and I was excited to see My Green Cauldron there, the best part of the night was the live auction. Dee and I wanted to bid on a couple of items, it really didn’t matter if we won (which we didn’t, but we didn’t care) the excitement it produced was contagious. Raising that paddle in the air was thrilling and people cheering when the item was won (most for over their value!) was¬†exhilarating.

Another fun moment was the dessert auction, where we did win something!! What is a dessert auction you ask? Well, each table had an envelope in which they put in a ‘bid’¬†for the desserts that were on the dessert table (it was full of so much yummy goodness). Everyone at the table had to decide how much to give, but you kept it secret in the envelope until it was time to read them. The table with the highest bid would be the first to pick a dessert from the dessert table. All the desserts looked delicious, but many were not an option because of allergies¬†and such. There was one dish though, full of chocolate truffles and sea-foam and other yumminess made by Polly’s Passions. That was the one we were hoping to get. The downside was that of the tables of 10, there were only 3 people at¬†ours, Dee, me and Rosemary, a wonderful woman we met that evening. The three of us decided on our bid (15$ total) and hoped for the best. The time came for the desserts and the auction began. The highest bid was 150$, Bam! we thought we had no chance of getting the chocolates, they took the sheet cake.¬†The next bid was nearly as high, there goes the cupcakes, then the salted carmel cashew cake….we could not believe that the chocolates were still there! ¬†Next went the cupcakes and then we hear “Table 3, with 15$”….WHAT!?! We were so excited all three of us jumped up! I went to the table and grabbed the chocolates and brought them back to the table. The three of us sat there in astonishment as we enjoyed the most delicious chocolates, so happy we were able to get them. The platter of chocolates was a big one and we divided them up between the three of us. The truffles are perfect with this morning’s coffee.

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It was a fun night for a great cause! If you would like to volunteer time or donate money to help this group please go to their website,¬†There’s a Way Out. While you’re there take a look around, find resources, follow the blog, and learn more ways you can help.

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Dee and me post event, we had such a good time!

Kombucha, Mushroom Tea**

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Mother in Kombucha, ready to be transfered

A kombucha scoby (also known as the mother) is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is a living organism that ferments sweeten tea to become kombucha tea. It has a long history and references to it have been found as far back as 414 when it was given to the Japanese emperor by a Korean healer to aid in healing the emperor’s dis-ease. The kombucha made its way across Asia and into Europe where people recall their grandmothers making tea with a floating fungus on top. Reports of the tea emerged in the 1920’s when scientists started showing interest in the ‘magical’ tea. Most interest stop at the advent of WW2, but the tea made a resurgence in the 1960’s and 1970’s with the health food craze. In the mid 1990’s it became a big health fad because of the benefits of the live ferment. Since then there have been many reports of the amazing health benefits of kombucha and it is becoming a staple in many health conscious households. It is simple to make and delicious to drink!

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look at that gorgeous mother!

Kombucha tea contains acetic and lactic acid, both which have benefits for the body. It also contains a small amount of glucuronic acid (detoxifier). Normally produced by the liver, glucuronic acid is a potent detoxifier. If your liver is overloaded and/or your body is dealing with a lot of toxins (and in today’s world, who isn’t?) it can be a powerful aid to help the body’s cleansing process, and help boost immune system. It is a great thirst quencher and is a tasty, bubbly alternative to the soft drinks.

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what you need

What you will need to make kombucha:

  • 1 gallon of water (and a glass container to hold it) (do not use flouridated or chlorinated water, no water run through a filter. i have found that my well water is perfect for kombucha)

  • 1 cup of sugar (it is best to use plain sugar not honey, not maple syrup or any other sweetener. The sugar is for the mother to eat and most will be consumed by the scoby)

  • 2-4 organic plain black or green tea bags

  • 1 kombucha scoby

  • Boil the water, add tea and let brew.

  • Add sugar and mix thoroughly.

  • When the tea is at room temperature you can add the scoby plus ¬Ĺ -1 cup of kombucha tea (your mother should come with some or use some from your last batch).

  • Cover the tea with a towel (the scoby need to breath) I put a small plate on top of the towel. Let the tea sit in a warm, dark (not direct sunlight place) and let set for 5-7 days.

    • I recommend that you taste the tea each day. This is a really good way to get to know your scoby and the fermentation process. It also gives you the opportunity to get the taste that you like best

    • Temperature and time play an important role in making kombucha, since both are variable they can speed up or slow down the fermentation process.
  • When the tea has been fermented to your liking it is time for the real fun to begin! Time to flavor your kombucha, unless you like it plain then bottom’s up!

At the flavoring point there is a lot of variation on combinations, even on how to do it. I am going to explain how I add flavor to our kombucha. A quick internet search will give you many other results and ways, it is fun to see how others are making and drinking their kombucha (I’ve even read about fermenting mountain dew with a scoby!!) 


So here goes how I add flavor:

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Strawberry Kombucha
  • After I have removed the scoby and placed her in new tea, I have a little less than a gallon of tea. I use ¬Ĺ gallon mason jars to flavor and store kombucha. Many choose to do individual bottles but I found this to be too much work for me especially since we are home more often than not.

  • I add the flavor (fruit, herbs, etc) to the ¬Ĺ gallon jar (enough to cover the bottom in most cases) and then top off with kombucha. I let the jars sit on the counter, lightly cap for a few hours, maybe over night. Then a cap tightly place in the fridge to cool. We drink it at our leisure after that!

  • what are our favorite flavors?, you ask. Well….

    • We love strawberry (whole strawberries covering the bottom of the ¬Ĺ gallon jar)

    • Ginger root (cut up fresh ginger, about a 1 inch piece)

    • Hibiscus orange rose-hips (a couple of cuties peeled and cut in ¬Ĺ, a handful of dried hibiscus petals, 2-4 dried rose-hips smashed).

    • We like to add lemon to the ginger every once in a while.

    • Fresh fruit that is just at (or a little over) ripe make a good choice too. Cherries, blueberries, raspberries have all ended up in the kombucha jar.

       

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scobies ready to go 

**this post first appeared on my blog Free-Range Family Farm in August 2016