Green and Thrifty: It's Been a Week
Kale and calendula in the mid-winter garden
It's been one of those weeks. I woke up on Tuesday morning with the nausea and dizziness thing again. Again! I believe I have established that it is connected with my ears. They are blocked and sore, and the dizziness gets worse when I turn my head to the left or lie on my left side. Both times I've had this now have been after spending hours outside in the Tassie winter with nothing covering my ears, so it all hangs together. It is much better today but I have had a few days of just lying still in one position trying not to throw up (sometimes unsuccessfully..).
Still, being unable to do anything at all does give one a lot of thinking time. I have been under an enormous amount of emotional stress recently, trying to resolve some angst from the past and deal with some huge stresses in the present. I think all the extra stress has added to making the illness worse and lasting longer than it usually does. I usually bounce right back from being unwell but this time it is taking much longer.
Broad beans - don't forget you can eat the leaves in salads and stir-fries!
Now, enter stage right, lovely reader Madeleine. We have been emailing back and forth about various things and it turns out that Madeleine is a macrobiotics counsellor, and that macrobiotics is an eating plan and lifestyle which meshes very well with my philosophy of local food and natural, gentle living. Madeleine has been very kindly sending me information about how I can nurture my body back to health, with some ideas of simple, belly-happy foods for my situation. I must admit, I had been eating terribly. When I am stressed my go-to foods are chocolate, cheese and bread which are my preferred vehicles for sugar, fat and gluten, and nowadays I don't have youth on my side to help me recover. I am keeping a food diary to show Madeleine the horrific things I have been eating, and the day before I got ill I had lovely, warming porridge with fruit for breakfast, as always, and then the rest of the day I ate only cake and chocolate. That's it, nothing else. No wonder my body said no..
So onto green and thrifty for the week. Well, as I have mentioned before, the silver lining of being ill is that you can't go anywhere, do anything or spend any money, so there's that. Since Monday the only time I have left the house is today when Red and the dog took me for a short walk.
Broccolini florets. Cut and come again.. and again.. and again..
Red has spent the week playing Florence Nightingale and taking care of me. They have done the housework, made me soup, kept the fire going, brought me cups of tea and filled up my hot water bottle. Tuesday was the day I was going to go up to Paul's and help to cut and load a trailer full of wood as we were nearly out. Paul did all this himself and brought it into town so we wouldn't be like orphans huddling round three sticks and a pine cone to try and keep ourselves warm, and Red stacked it all up in the wood shed. I am very fortunate to have all this kindness in my life.
I pulled out this lovely knitted neck warmer the other day as an extra layer to keep me warm and cosy. It was a gorgeous gift from my friend Sandra a couple of years ago, but when I pulled it out of the cupboard it was full of holes. I suspect the cat. She likes to climb into the cupboard and make nests in my clothes, which always involves the use of claws. I was so sad to see my lovely scarf full of holes so I have been weaving it back together again over the last couple of days. It's a very wonky mend but probably won't show much as the scarf bunches up nicely and I have a lot of hair as I haven't been to the hairdresser for months.
I suspect the cat
My other green and thrifties this week are food. Red made me pumpkin and sweet potato soup during the week and today I sauteed a heap of onion, garlic and ginger on Madeleine's advice, along with celery, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and the turnip lurking in the bottom of the fridge. I added Red's left over pureed soup to all the veg and now have a huge pot of vegetable and left over soup to keep me warm on the inside for the rest of the week.
Tonight I cooked up brown rice with miso broth, another suggestion of Madeleine's, again with lots of garlic and ginger added, and a bunch of greens from the garden: broccolini, beet greens, kale and broad bean leaves. This dinner was fantastically warming (there was a LOT of ginger in there) and very delicious.
The broccolini is particularly sweet and yummy right now. Sometimes the little bunches start to get away from me, but I still cut them and eat them, even if there are a few flowers appearing. At this time of year they are sweet and crunchy and perfect. These meals are so cheap and so full of goodness and so very yum that I think I could probably eat them every day. I probably will eat them every day because I am quite boring (my children will attest to this) and quite happy to eat the same thing day after day as long as it is easy and delicious.
Other things I am doing to get better: soaking cotton balls in a mixture of grated ginger juice and olive oil and plugging my ears with them. I have done this for two days straight now, changing them every few hours. Ginger has lots of good warming and healing properties, including being both antibacterial and antiviral. I took the cotton balls out just now and my ears have unblocked. I can hear properly for the first time in a week. Thanks Madeleine!
I am resting and resting and resting. I am napping in front of the fire and reading old favourite children's books, then taking another nap.
Another of Madeleine's suggestions - soaking my feet each night in hot salty water. Ears are connected to kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine and the foot soak is beneficial for the kidneys. I don't know anything about such things but I am loving soaking my feet in warm salty water. It feels so good. I don't have pumice to rub the soles of my feet with, but I do have a beach rock with lots of holes in and it seems to be doing the trick..
I think that I have come to the realisation that now is the time to start taking care of myself. I have coasted along for many years sorta kinda taking care of myself but often not. I've got by on a legacy of reasonable genes and quite good health, but now my body is slowing down and I can't keep pushing through and ignoring its pleas for care and love. So it's time. And I am very pleased to let you all know that Madeleine has very generously agreed to share some of her wisdom about gentle eating and self care with us sometime in the near future. That is something I am very much looking forward to, and it will be exciting to share this Blueday space with another writer:)
Well, there's my week, and I will leave you with a lovely video from Yarrow Willard, Herbal Jedi, from whom I have been learning much about herbs and wild crafting over the last few months: Remember You Are Loved
Now it's your turn - how has your week been, and how have you green and thriftied through your days?