Time in Springfield is interesting. It's a lot easier to recognize the differences between rural and urban lifestyles. I continue to be amazed at the perpetual choice we have to flow with negative or positive energy. I mean, Springfield gets me down, way down. I find it hard to smile as much as I'm used to doing, hard to not be constantly distracted from myself and soulful interaction with others by just about everything. You can't walk outside and not here industrial sounds or dogs barking. I have long alleys to walk down, but they are mostly fenced, and there are many, many dogs. However, I've been pouring what energy I have into anything I can think of that will offer me returns on that energy, rather than putting it all into destructive behaviors (which I will admit that I continue to do). We only have a bath tub, so I've taken to herbal baths, soaking in chamomile, lavender, rosemary, bath salts, and bentonite clay. It's been endlessly amusing for me to wash my hair with mud, as well, a kind called rhassoul clay. The clay absorbs pollution and yuckiness from the hair and leaves most of the oils intact. Just soaking my head takes away the sweat, and rubbing the clay into my scalp a bit has the same delicious effect as letting it dry on my face, which is also part of the process. Isn't it awesome that mud cleanses and improves skin and hair? Just incredible- and soaking in the tub eliminates much of the need for anything outside of light scrubbing to get really clean.
Chamomile tea has also been endlessly helpful. I pressed out my holy basil, mullein, and goldenrod tinctures the other day- hurray! The biodiversity in my neck of Illinois is rather limited, so the tincturing has been put on hold, though we did gather a bowl full of hawthorn berries from Lincoln Memorial Garden across the lake from the coal plant. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure I want a tincture of anything across the lake from the coal plant. :/ I did purchase some amendments for making slightly better quality and faster fermenting mead, and it will be nice to get a lot more of this pile of honey of ours into process. I decided that herbal infusions or decoctions are better added to mead just before it's bottled for a better tasting mead. I think perhaps having alcohol to begin with helps to preserve the taste and quality of the herbs.
This morning I pulled my first yogurt out of the cooler! I had to special order seven stars yogurt for the culture, but the actual yogurt making process was pretty super easy. I followed the directions from Wild Fermentation, and it made a thick, quite mild-flavored yogurt that will be so yummy with maple syrup. Also poured off some rejuvelac this morning, and capped my fermented ginger carrots, both instructions taken from Nourishing Traditions. Rejuvelac is pretty OK, especially if you mix it with some apple juice!