While I was in central NY, my allergies got so bad I couldn’t breathe through my nose (my TMI, my blog) and C. put me under a towel over a pot of steaming water with a few drops of peppermint oil in it.  Not only did this help the congestion a little, though she said tea tree or eucalyptus oil would have been better, it cleared up my skin which had been rebelling against all the travel.

thyme flowers and tea trea steam

Based on some further research (mostly Google with a side of a friend’s book), I’ve started trying this with different herbs to see what works best for both the inside and outside of my face.  Above is a pot with thyme flowers for congestion relief and tea tree oil for that and the face.  If you align the steaming pot, the towel, a book, and yourself just right you can read while you’re under there, which is good because otherwise I get heinously bored and bail before the recommended ten minutes are up.  Once a week is the guideline.  We’ll see if I can maintain this regimen, and if it keeps being effective.

(Also you know you’re kind of a hippie when the book you’re reading during your thyme flower and tea tree home steam facial is Women Who Run With The Wolves.)

thinkin' about sage beer

K.’s last batch of homebrew included sage, which you can just detect in the aftertaste.  The other night we each had a 16oz. bottle and promptly crashed.  Much like the chamomile honey witte at Good Nature, this beer sent us straight into naptime.  Some casual googling around reveals that sage is sometimes used to soothe anxiety.  Either that did it, or we were just tired and the carbs hit us hard.

That’s our new rug.  It’s actually a pretty old rug as you might be able to tell, but in the words of the Dude “it really ties the room together.”


Three cheers for family giving us stuff they don’t need anymore.  The couch, the carpet, The Thinker.  And before the drowsiness took hold, N. managed to make a beer tower with the empty bottles.

Beer tower in progress

Beer tower complete!

Anyway, I already know how to cook with most of them but I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about herbs and what to use them for.  Does anyone try to grow sassafrass up North?  What are you supposed to do with summer savory?  Is this random bag in my kitchen cinnamon or five-spice powder?  (Spice ≠ herb, whatever.  And either way it was fine in those cookies.)  And does our farmers market carry chamomile?  Last year people there told me I was crazy for trying to grow oregano, and GUESS WHAT?  It overwintered.  Stay tuned for more exciting adventures with smelly plants.

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