Monthly Archives: March 2011

Today’s journey

I posted my goals and an introduction in HerbMentor; found some wonderful links to follow and learn even more. Tansy’s journey is found at She has given me some wonderful ideas to post in my blog and some ideas of how to go about learning even more. I agree with her about sticking first to what’s in my own “backyard” so to speak. Since I have access to a huge state park, I am hoping to learn from much of the plants that are there as I can, but this might take a lifetime…but its a wonderful lifetime! I can’t wait! I want to absorb and learn as much as I can! This journey is going to be so life-sustaining for me!


Getting started

I set six goals for myself today in HerbMentor.  I have a “few” goals this year…even though it is March 31st, I still have time to work on them.

So my first goal is to get my spiritual life in order and get back to where I need to be. This is the most important goal I can reach and it is the most important to me. I HAVE to do this in order to reach my other goals or I am destined to failure from the start!

My second goal is to start monitoring what I am eating and improve its quality and nutrition. I just went to the doctors for something and found out I had gained 12 pounds in just seven months!

My third goal is to get back into walking again. At one time, I was walking up to five miles a day and I loved it! I had so much energy and it relieved the stress that I was going through then. So I have to work up a plan for a walking schedule.

My fourth goal is to finish my second year of college with flying colors (only eight more weeks for this goal!), so I have to put my nose to the grindstone and read my assignments and textbooks.

My fifth goal is to start on an herbal course (which I did when I joined here!) and set a plan of action that gets me learning something that I have always dreamed of learning.

My sixth goal is to work on a business plan and goals so that I have a set time from in which to reach my ultimate goal – to have my own herb and garden shop! I have given myself a minimum of five years to reach this goal, but I really don’t want to go more than that. I want to finish my Bachelor’s degree; get a form of certification in herbology and aromatherapy that will guide me in growing and recommending herbs for health and home; get a Master Gardeners certification so that I know what I am doing when growing my herbs and garden; teach others how to grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables for their families and friend; help others learn to be self-sustaining and self-sufficient in their homes and lifestyles, especially in buying locally and organically; and create an environment that others will want to visit, stay and chat, and ultimately emulate in their own life.

Well, that sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but each one is a step towards the goals I need in my life to find satisfaction and fulfillment. I am tired of the way my life has been going and it is time I took a hand in my future, instead of my future just rolling around!

I’m stepping out on faith today!

Okay, I joined Herbal Mentor today. It’s a monthly subscription but what it provides seems more than worth the $9.99 a month! After Friday, the price goes up $5,00 so that makes sense to joine now.  They offer a home study guide, a featured herb, a HerbMentor Radio, video library, an action guide, weekly quizzes and links to nourishing infusions! The courses are herbal basics, learning your plans, seven rivers of healing, the village herbalist, think like herbalists and plant the cure! I think I’m learning already! I will post what I learn and what is new there as soon as I get to go through the whole website. I ca’t wait to really scan everything and download all the stuff they have free! I’ll get back with everyone tonight after work and let you know what all I found! Have a great day everyone!

Today’s Update

Email today had some interesting postings.

In my email from Organic Gardening, there is an article “Making Your Own Royal Oil.” Its about a traditional skin treatment from the Pacific. It starts off with ..”for more than a decade, I have studied the traditional uses of plants…” thought that it might be worth saving. The link is if you are interested in reading it.  Its about ylang-ylang essential oil. Sounds very interesting if you can get the fresh flowers! The base is coconut oil, which sounds divine to begin with! While we can’t really access fresh ylang-ylang flowers here in the US, it recommends other “aromatic” flowers, particularly Damask roses! Wonder where I can get them? The writer recommends adding a capsule or two of vitamin E oil to each bottle (without the gelcap!) to “prevent oxidation that  might lead to rancidity.” The artiCLe also states that you can make your own “royal oil” by using essential oil with coconut oil for a quicker way to do it, but the traditional method sounds interesting and more rewarding!

I also found some interesting links On the Beauty link on the Organic Gardening website. “Heal Your Hands” – a recipe for “Hot Buttered Thumb”, a formula designed to nourish chapped skin and heal split cuticles; “Get Your Feet in Mint Condition” – A “moji-toe” pedicture from Tru Spa. ; “Bathing for Health and Well-Being” that has some interesting recipes for adding to your bath! “A Naturally Great Pedicure” – that might come in handy with summer and flip flops coming!

As for gardening articles, which you would expect on a website called Organic Gardening! – I found “Build a Simple Bird Water Garden: and “Basket Birdhouse” –, which really looks cool and I might try to see what I can find at the Dollar store to make up myself!

Finally, I found a link on their site for “A Pretty, Purposeful Wedding” – – for having a green wedding day! Will have to send that link to Jenna!

Found another link that sounds interesting and worth reading….”Blooming Great Groundcovers” – and “Garden Design” –

As for school… started my Finance class today. Instructor sounds like he is going to be interesting! In the Main Forum, he posted a thread for “NASCAR”… he’s a fan and wanted to find out if any of the class members were as well! That’s a first after two years of college!

Still haven’t done my taxes yet, so I don’t know what I will be able to do as far as taking “extra-curricular” course for herbalism this year. I haven’t even heard from Ed about the house yet, so….

Well, that’s my update for today. Of course, nothing has been solved, but I am plodding on! Happy gardening!

Another day, another dollar

Okay, to continue with my story….

So now I am in college, almost finished my second year… but what happens now? My next degree is in Business, but with a concentration in Green Enterprise Sustainability… not what I wanted, but that’s the only thing they have for the green market! The company I found through Green Careers sounds like exactly the kind of company I would want to work with if I had to do this for the rest of my life… but do I?

So I sat down and thought it all out…. or am in the process of doing actually… I have nine more weeks until the end of my Associates, then I have 28 days off before I begin my Bachelor’s. I don’t know if I can change my concentration between now and then, but I am considering some things.

Most herbology courses last about 24 months, or about 1600 hours. The American Herbalist Guild recommends a  more in-depth training with guidelines that develop a comprehensive botanical medicine education. The curriculum should have a minimum of 1600 hours study, with 400 of those hours in clinical work. The AHG recommends 200 hrs in Basic Human Sciences; 60 hrs in Botany and Plant Identification, 400 hrs in Meteria Medica/Therapeutic Herbalism; 80 hrs in Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy and Dispensing; 400 hrs clinical study; 20 hrs in Career Preparation/Practice Development (which I am getting in college already); and 40 hrs in History & Philosophy/Introduction to Research (which I am also getting in college… or will be). The East West School of Herbology, on Planet Herbs, offers a Professional Herbalist course, given up to two years to complete, and includes 36 lessons (for $1,899). At completion of course, one could “pursue a career as a professional herbalist…a clinical herbalist…” or for a serious student interested in more in-depth herbal training. They offer “personalized answers and evaluations to lesson test essays and projects; in-depth knowledge on how to use herbs for effectively and efficiently treating yourself and others; in-depth knowledge of herbs and how to use them clinically and therapeutically; in-depth knowledge of hot to differentiate and treat disease patterns (rather than diagnosis and treat disease) and to effectively and efficiently apply herbal remedies and formulas to those patterns; administer herbs according to their unique energies to treat specific patterns of illness; will give graduate a certificate in Professional Herbal Studies; ability to practice as a clinical herbalist; and capability of pursuing all professions in the field of herbalism and natural health (per the website!). They also include some pretty cool books and an online classroom, which is pretty neat! Supposedly the teacher is one of the world’s most respected and influential herbalists, along with another clinical herbalist/acupuncturist.  From what I’ve learned, acceptance as a professional member of AHG is the only national peer-reviewed process for the accreditation of professional herbalists in the US!

So far, out of all the sites I’ve researched… this one sounds the best.

The aromatherapy course I am considering is about 170 hours for the first level. The West Coast Aromatherapy website sounds like the next step in my education. They offer three courses in Aromatherapy, and one in Chemistry. The first class is about 170 hrs (20 lessons) and I would receive a Certificate certifying that I have completed the course and passed the exam. It contains a pretty in-depth curriculum, as well. They also include the Bach Flower therapy information, as well. There are books, DVDs, etc. that are included.  The first two courses combined are $985.00 and I can download everything directly from the internet onto my computer. The course is from Canada.  The exam is $74.00 extra and I would be eligible to join the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), Aromatics in Action (AIA), and the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). I could also join the Canadian associations, British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapists (BCAOA), British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists (BCAPA), Canadian Federal of Aromatherapists (CFA), and Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC).  They also offer a class in Chemistry online for those of us who have trouble figuring out the chemistry part of this all.

Okay, so now we know that the herbalist certification will cost $1,899 and the aromatherapy certification will cost $985.00. Since none of this is federally funded nor will my work reimburse me for continuing education, that’s almost $3,000 that I will need to come up with on my own. Granted, my income tax might cover most of it… some now, some next year… but ti will probably be another three to four years until I am finished getting these certifications. I can do the herbal one (I think) while I finish my bachelors, but now I am contemplating changing my concentration… to environmental science..?

The North American Institute for Medical Herbalism also offers some courses. Course one – Medical Herbalism – is 36 hours of reading, audio and lab (projects). It’s eight lessons and must be finished within sixteen weeks (four months) and costs a total of $200.00. Then there is the Fundamentals of Herbal Formulations (36 hours with certificate); six lessons and twelve weeks for $305.00. Then they offer a  course in Vitalist Treatment of Acute Symptoms, 12 lessons, 24 weeks for $504.00.  Then “Adverse Effects of Common Herbs” (8 lessons/8 weeks – $305)and “Meteria Medica Intensive” (24 hrs CE; up to eight weeks;  $269.00). They all sound really in-depth and something I would really like to do… so that’s adding another $1,613! You are also talking about another 2-3 years of classes.  But I could do some of that if not all of it after I am working on the business… hmmm…. I also saw somewhere about certification in consulting, but I can’t remember where.

Well, it’s turning into another very late night. I finished my accounting final and only have to do a grammar and plagiarism check. Will do that in the morning… or afternoon… depending on when I wake up!


In the beginning

I have decided to start a blog about my journeys from now until the day I open my own shop. “Thyme in My Garden,” an herb and garden store. I want to write down thoughts, ideas, and dreams, battles, struggles, and blocked paths – all that I know will happen between now and then.

I have always dreamed of owning my own farm, becoming self-sufficient, and copying the women of old who did everything for the homestead. It wasn’t my husband’s idea, so I plodded along, content to be a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling the girls, canning fruits and vegetables, making the girls’ and my clothes…even a part-time job to give us some extra cash. When things got tight, I got a full-time job driving a school bus, but I hated it (then).

Until my husband – my best friend – died of cancer. Suddenly my life didn’t seem to have any purpose…at least from my point of view! Of course, the girls were 22 and 17, but they still needed me. My Dad was still there to help me build stuff and guide me in my gardening quests. My Mom has always been there – my Mom, my mentor, my best friend! It was rough, but we managed.

Then ten months later my Dad died. That was my “Daddy”! I couldn’t imagine life without him; he was my foundation. My Mom and I grew closer, my sister mourned and grew depressed. Mom and I battened down the hatches and worked trying to understand how to deal with life without the two most important men in our lives. We didn’t realize how much they did until they were gone! I buried my head in the sand and tried to live life as much as normal.

A year after Rick died, I allowed myself to be talked into going back to school.  My job wasn’t cutting it with the bills and the money from insurance and church was running out. I had to do something or we would lose the house! I buried my head further in the sand and started school – trying very hard to ignore that I was the head of the household now and I had people depending on me! Things went downhill from there! I stopped eating right, exercising, doing household chores, anything that would make me think or feel. I stuck my nose in my computer and plodded along going to school online. I loved it, though. I was getting straight A’s and I really enjoyed what I was learning. It was pretty easy so things just kept going on… until I got a notice that they were going to foreclose on the house! I finally had to get my head out of the sand and start being a grown-up for a change. I am getting help with the mortgage company and trying to work things out on my own. I am almost finished my first degree – Associates in Foundations of Business. I found a company that I would love to work for when – or if – they will hire me! But I’m not happy!

The house has gone to hell in a hand-basket, wheelbarrow, and moving truck! I have to start from scratch and tear up the carpet, paint the walls, and get rid of everything that I refused to get rid of after Rick died.  I need to have more than just a path through the basement to get from the front to the back!

I am 52 and don’t really want to go back into the business world working for someone else, though! But what else could I do? I need to pay the bills and keep the house! So what else is there to do….?

I have always had two things that I have clung to through all of this… my fascination with herbology and my sudden newfound love of gardening! Gardening got me through that first year. I found that I love to be outside, working in the dirt, getting sweaty, but knowing that I was doing something that was good and healthy! I dreamed of getting my Master Gardener’s certification. Gardening fell by the wayside when college started, though. My correspondence courses in herbology were stopped because I just couldn’t afford them now. My garden grew wild and weedy. My herbs ran amok and the mint took over half the greenroom and compost (the green room is my outdoor “greenhouse”!) Things started growing out of my compost that I had no idea what they were until they got large enough to bear fruit! I got some really beautiful gourds that year… funny though… I never had them in the garden in the first place! No idea where they came from!

Okay… so now I have nine weeks left until I graduate with my first degree… I have been getting small raises at work for the credits I’ve been getting through school. But it still isn’t enough. Now remember, I am 52. I really don’t want to work in the business world, but realize that I am going to have to …. but maybe only for a few years instead of the rest of my life!

I used to dream with my oldest daughter, Jennifer, about having a garden shop that I could sell plants, vegetables, and herbs. We would have one section for my dried and fresh herbs, herbal medications, and beauty aids. One area of the store would be for sitting down, relaxing, and reading, while sipping herbal teas. Another area would be a small cafe where my youngest daughter, Danielle, would do the cooking – creating delicious healthy snacks and desserts make from organic produce, and the herbs grown in my garden! We would have a small shop, maybe with a patio off to the side where customers could sit and enjoy my garden while they chatted and sipped herb teas and munched on herbal scones and cookies when the weather was nice! The shop would be surrounded by herb and flower gardens, paths that wove in and out of the different gardens, with little benches in quiet nooks. There would be herb gardens for cooking, herb gardens for medicinal purposes, long rows of lavender and rosemary, sage and lemon balm, clusters of every mint I could find on the market, stepping stones resting in thyme that scented the walks when stepped upon. Maybe a small pond with calico goldfish and a turtle or two! My own little secret garden behind a long white “picket” privacy fence that when a customer stepped through the arbor gate would chance upon a garden of peace and delight for both the senses and the body!…. yeah, right!

Time to wake up and smell the compost!