Monday, April 28, 2008

What's Goin' On: Science finds a link between Mercury and Autism

This debate has been raging for awhile now -- some of you won't be surprised at all by this 'discovery'. I sure wasn't. Moms have been saying this for years.

Read about the landmark information here.

My concern with Mercury and Autism isn't cut and dry in terms of whether Mercury is the causative factor -- obviously there are some children that get vaccines, for instance, and are just fine. But as with many health issues in modern life (and by that I mean since the industrial era), some of us are more sensitive and some of us aren't. Some of us will smoke and never get cancer, some will. Some will eat wheat and feel ill, many won't. Some of us will get vaccines, and react to either the mercury, the high levels of additives, or just the overwhelm to our immune systems. And some won't.

The issue at hand, in my mind, is more so one of EDUCATION and AWARENESS. This means honest dealings from our corporations and government who make or support the use of the products and vaccines, food and what-not that we all consume. So that we know and decide for ourselves what is best for our family, for one another. As always, the bottom line?

Trust your instincts, mama's!

Friday, April 18, 2008

What's Goin' On: Canada, you rock!

This is old news by now, as it has been plastered all over the news, worldwide, since this morning:

Canada bans the use of Bisephenol A

The quote by Health Minister, Tony Clement, says it all: "We've concluded it's better to be safe than sorry," said Clement.

Wow. How I wish, how I hope that Americans will take these words to heart. Our health, our children and one another would be much healthier if we took this approach.

Carry on!
Ms Thistle

Shoppe News

Well, we are feeling rather embarrassed. We have been seriously slacking off lately.

But let me rephrase this, and hopefully shed some light on the reasons why: I use the term 'we' all the time because in reality, often my dh helps me pull off deliveries (even if it is only by watching our two beautiful daughters), and because without his support I could not make this business happen at all.

But in terms of the day to day grind of getting things done with The Thistle, it comes down to one person -- me. And as much as I love (!) creating the tea blends and designing the labels and creating the verbiage for the labels and keeping inventory and ordering more and more herbs to make the blends with and roasting the vanilla bean and shredding and grinding the roots and folding the boxes and bagging every single bag and printing the labels and applying the labels and dusting the shelves (nod to Rose! lol) and delivering the teas and debating about what to keep, what to phase out (be still my heart! I love all my teas) and don't even get me started on making the Balm! That's a whole other looooong process in itself -- all of this takes time. And time, people, is a precious thing in my world.

Now, I'm not complaining -- I'm whining. I'm kvetching. Because while I'm doing all of this, I'm also raising my two daughters. Let's just say they are a handful! I'm overwhelmed, I admit it. I used to be the Queen of Organization, the Duchess of Get R Done, the Priestess of Right On Time Perfection.

As any mother out there reading this knows, the quickest way to learn what your weak spots are, or how much you need to let go of deeply-inbred Type-A control issues, is to have a child. For me, my Achille's Heel is sleeping. I need a lot, and small children and sleeping well or regular simply do not go together in one sentence. So I have become a rather drawn out experiment in sleep-deprivation and let me tell you, it works! You can watch a person completely unravel if you simply interrupt their sleep on a regular basis (don't try this at home, folks!). This means that it takes me twice as long to accomplish the most mundane tasks. So that's my excuse for slacking.

Before you doze off -- what I'm getting at here is that if it seems that my replies aren't quite fast enough in their turn around, if it seems like my website needs updating, if I'm simply not posting enough on my blog (well, you wouldn't know but my commitment is to post 2x a week, so I'm way behind), it's because I am swimming in tasks to get done on a daily basis. I'm having a hard time getting my dishes done, let alone dispensing the delicious teas & important pithy herbal and uplifting info that we all know and love.

And, tomorrow is my 40th birthday -- I'm thinking that maybe I have finally earned a break.

Drink deep, get out there and love your life!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's Goin' On: the heart of consumerism?

At first blush this article may seem like another reason to get happy.

But I'm not one who buys into (pardon the pun) the idea that we should all 'get happy.' I think the current obsession with constantly being joyful is misguided and irresponsible, in fact. We are not designed that way, nothing in nature is. Emotions ebb and flow just like the tides, and we grow our character and value our joys from the learning how to ride the opposite (Goethe said something similar, this is not a new idea: “Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.”). Taking a pill to mask emotions doesn't deal with them, it merely masks them. They stick around, lingering like unwanted guests at a party. So you never fully really do experience joy or happiness anyway. That doesn't seem fair, does it? Or right. We need to address our emotions, to answer when something brings sadness to our door. Once the emotion is satiated, it will get up and leave. The party can continue.

That's all a philosophical discussion in itself, but what I'm wandering towards here is a vicious cycle that we may be caught in. A web of our own making:


This article suggests that we are more susceptible to over-purchasing when we are depressed. No surprise, but very telling. I don't know about you, but I don't recall there ever being a time like there is now: we consume ourselves to death every day, our children are now obsessed with status symbols and 'stuff', and there is talk that we are the more depressed than ever. (A great book argues that we are overwhelmed by choice and lack of hope: (link soon). So if this depression feeds the consumerism that feeds the depression -- how do we get off the rollercoaster?

Great discussion, worth having.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Shoppe News: New Seasonal Blend Goddess Tea!

Our latest seasonal blend has arrived ~ Lilith's Spring Equinox Passion Tea.

A delicious blend with hibiscus, vanilla bean, malva flowers and more. You can read all about it and place your order here. Enjoy it while you can, because this will only be available until the Summer Solstice!

Sometimes people ask me how I create the teas we have, and I have to say they really are inspired. The Goddess' are my muse, and I let them lead the way:

Usually, I start with a sense of the kind of tea I want to create. For instance, a tea that reflects what seems to be the theme for not only Spring in general, but what I hear people expressing in their day to day lives as well right now:

words like "Growth", "Metamorphosis", "Challenges" and simply "A lot goin' on!" This is no surprise given that it is Spring, and we all feel that cabin-fever tension to get out and spread our wings. But I also have a tendency to look beneath the costume of words, to unbutton the cloak and see what's hiding there.

Underneath the theme in those words, the common thread would be possibilities. And one cannot support what's possible without hope. The final knot tying it all together? Passion. The flower that breaks free from its shell does so, because it has an inherent passion to bloom. Change is not a question, but an inevitability. It does not consider the why's and the how to's, it simply turns towards what supports its passion, and unfolds. That is magic, people!

With this magic in hand, I set out to look into which herbs support this kind of transformation in life. Various flowers and roots, leaves and lichen came into play. From there, I begin to consider where there is a theme medicinally ~ the practical side to magic. Slowly, the true nature of the blend is coming together.

Finally, I begin to make small cups of variations on the blend, to see which flavors best enhance one another. Sometime I already know how some will marry. But this time, for instance, I had never worked with hibiscus so I wasn't certain. I had to play with how much to add, how much to remove, back and forth.

Then suddenly, you take a sip and something sings! I know it is complete.

The next stage ~ although sometimes this comes first ~ is to see which Goddess has an affinity for this blend's properties. Sometimes it has to do with the practical side (as with Skatha) and sometimes it has more to do with the magical (as with Lilith/Lamia). With our Passion Tea, I was really struggling with everything for the tea label (from the name to the copy), and the Goddess I had attempted to choose wasn't complying. Her attributes where correct for the season, but She wasn't fired up about it. I was talking with a friend at Humboldt Herbals, being my animated self about how passionate and wonderful this new blend was. I literally get tingles when I drink it ~ so delicious! It is truly sensual and stimulating. I realized suddenly that I needed to step outside the box, as they say. To stop trying to make a puzzle fit, and let the pieces come together.

Although I realize that many would not associate Lilith, an ancient and somewhat dark Goddess image with the light-heartedness of Spring ~ it was She who landed on my shoulder from that moment on. She refused to budge, and whispered sweetness in my ear about the current season. I'm not one to ignore a Goddess when She lands, and Lilith's Spring Equinox Passion Tea was born.

Our Goddess Teas are a reverent offering, a mirthful dance with Mother Nature and gratitude for the gifts She shares. We hope you enjoy them ~ drink deep, get out and bloom!