To Bee Or Not To Be

My best friend emailed me this video trailer with the note,
“Dude, we need to become beekeepers.”
We all need to!!

more at www.queenofthesun.com

Moonbath Multitask

moonbath multitask

These days, I have had zero time for unadulterated relaxation.  Between cows calving and EMT class in high gear and that thing called work and animals to attend to, I’ve taken to mixing respite and responsibility in equal portions ~
an hour spent stretched out on my bed (reading my EMT book), romantic dates with Mike (while feeding cows).

Last night, I prepared to do some much needed writing whilst soaking in my steaming hot, deluxe outdoor cast iron tub.  I rigged up some nice pine boards as a sturdy shelving apparatus to keep my laptop dry and a glass of wine and essential oils within easy reach.

moonbath multitask

When I slipped in, chin deep under the stars, I closed my laptop; ignored the wine.  I sank into unadulterated relaxation.  The sky darkened to deepest indigo, and stars glided toward distant horizons, and the steam curled the loose tendrils of my soul, restoring buoyancy, sending them free.


Annie Novak of
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in NYC

She runs a 6,000 square foot rooftop garden on top of a warehouse in Brooklyn.

I found her via The Selby
~ click through for great pics ~

New York City life with a deep and daily connection to the earth?
I’m a tiny bit jealous.

City peeps ~ Major inspiration here!!

The Skin Skinny


This post is so overdue.  Like three years overdue!  I get a lot of email from people wondering what I do for my skin and how I keep it moisturized in this dry clime. The answer is ridiculously simple and cheap.  I don’t use commercial face creams or lotions.  None at all.  I moisturize with cold-pressed oils in their raw and purest form.

My daily moisturizer is cold-pressed pure jojoba oil (pronounced ho-ho-bah).  Jojoba oil has a molecular structure that is extremely similar to the oils our bodies naturally produce.  Thus, jojoba assimilates into the body smoothly and is absorbed quickly.  My skin loves it.  So does my wallet ~ it’s extremely inexpensive.  And so does the planet, because I buy it in bulk and don’t go through all those little jars and plastic bottles like I did when I used regular face creams and body lotions.

I started using cold-pressed oils as my primary moisturizer when I was 24, so…. NINE years ago.  This has been my regimen for nine years.  Gah, that makes me feel old.  And yet I look young!

I have experimented with several different brands along with different oils and would suggest anyone do this to find the right match for their skin.  Jojoba oil from Mountain Rose Herbs is my main standby.  I have also used apricot kernel oil and currently use kukui nut oil on occasion ~ these are slightly heavier oils that I use when I need a deeper, richer moisturizer, usually at night in the wintertime.  Cold pressed olive oil is a great everyday moisturizer, too.  I promise, you won’t smell like food.

I also use cold-pressed shea butter on my face after a sunburn (rare) or windburn (sometimes it can’t be avoided).  Shea butter is a thick butter that melts as it hits the skin, and it is absorbed more slowly.  It’s not something I’d put on my face right before work or a date, but it’s a very nourishing treatment when you’re just sitting around watching a movie or something.  Sometimes I use it just around my eyes and on my lips for a deep moisturizing treatment.  It’s also great for hands and cuticles.  Though the best cuticle treatment, which I recently discovered, is Liquid Lanolin.  I put this stuff on Daisy’s teats to help keep them moisturized and conditioned in the wintertime, and found it has done wonders for my cuticles, too!

Cold-pressed oils have not been heated, and these are the only oils I will use on my skin.  They have not undergone heat treatment during the extraction process, nor been heated as a result of friction during the extraction process, nor heated after extraction during processing.  They are pure, raw oils.  We are pure, raw beings, and to me, it only makes sense to use a similar product on my skin.  Our skin is our largest organ, and the popularity of dermal patches proves that what we put on our skin goes into our body.  I don’t want synthetics, dyes, artificial fragrances, or petroleum products in my bod!  And, contrary to what the commercials will tell you, I know I don’t need any of that stuff to have great skin.

Because they are cold-pressed, these oils are not inert and “stable” ~ they will spoil if left in the heat or sunlight for long periods of time.  I keep the bulk bottles in my fridge (I usually buy the 16oz bottles which last a very long time), and have small amber and cobalt glass bottles out for daily use which I refill as necessary.

I often add a few drops of essential oil to these bottles to create natural, custom scents.  While I keep a bottle of jojoba oil unscented for my face, I have bottles with spray diffusers which I infuse with essential oil and use on my body (I don’t use commercial lotion on my body, either).  I love the scent of jasmine and bought a teeny tiny vial of jasmine essential oil ~ it’s crazy expensive! But it, too, lasts for ages. Three drops of jasmine in one of the larger glass bottles infuses the oil with a gorgeous, discreet fragrance.  NOTE: Before using essential oils on the skin, do read up on safety and dilution ratios.  Here’s a place to start.

See? So simple! So easy! Budget-friendly and luxurious all at once! So, go forth and moisturize. And don’t forget your neck.  Every time you moisturize your face, moisturize your neck as well!


Chlorella Shots


~ the gorgeous forest green powder ~

When life is mellow, I can be a slacker when it comes to my bod ~
I know what corners I can cut with diet and sleep and exercise and still function at a very high level, simply because there aren’t many stressors depleting me.

I’ll drink coffee every morning, just because I like it.
I’ll eat things that aren’t terribly nutritious, just because they taste good.
I’ll blob around the house for a day or two, just because I feel lazy.

But when stressors appear, I snap out of my slackerdom.
I know enough now, from having paid close attention to my body over the years –
at its weakest and strongest –
to know what I need to do when life becomes stressful
so that the stress doesn’t take me down.


~ mix it with a little water ~

Most people know of the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors must take
but it wasn’t until my mid-twenties, when I nearly died
from undiagnosed gluten intolerance and then cured myself
completely, just by changing my diet,
that I really understood Hippocrates’ most famous words:
“Let thy food be thy medicine.”

Now, I live by this philosophy.
When life gets crazy ~ when I suddenly can’t get enough sleep each night,
or when I’m taxed externally or emotionally ~ I can keep the stress from damaging my physical and emotional wellbeing by bringing certain things into heavy rotation and leaving other things out.

I stop drinking coffee and switch to Yerba Mate.

I make kombucha and kefir
(kefir really helped me during the height of the stalker stuff when I had lost my appetite but needed to stay at my physical and mental peak)

I vigorously move my body everyday ~
not for aesthetics, but to keep my lymph system flowing.

And I start doing chlorella shots!


~ just enough to throw back in a gulp ~

Chlorella is algae.
Chlorella, for me, is what a can of spinach was for Popeye.
Chlorella makes me zing!

When I take a shot, I feel it in my brain, in my blood.
It’s like diving into water – that rush of purity and invigoration.

Chlorella is extremely nutrient dense, packed with amino acids and omegs-3’s.
It’s marvelous.
Google will tell you that in much greater detail.


~ lime at the ready for a palate-cleansing finish! ~

It tastes disgusting.
It tastes the way the ocean smells at low tide.
I’ve tried mixing it with juice or putting it in a smoothie but it just contaminates the whole thing.  The only way I can take chlorella is to throw it back like a tequila shot, and then immediately bite into a lime wedge.
The lime erases the nasty taste and I am left with the full body ZING!

~ predicting the comment section ~
yes, you can buy chlorella in capsule form.
but pills are boring and more expensive than powder,
and they don’t give me the instant zing.
not all chlorella is created equal.
definitely find one that’s “broken wall.”
I like this one and this one.
and now I’m going to take a shot and go write Part V!

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