Autumn Comes

The Autumnal Equinox is coming!! Sept 22-23 this year. One of my favorite things to celebrate. I'd better start looking up fun traditions and rituals, just in case I want to do them.

Generally, I plan to have a mini bonfire, eat bread and honey, and spend as much of my weekend as I can manage outdoors. I'll also be changing out my four-season wreath decor. It's a very simple thing made of dried grape vines, probably eight inches in diameter. I wrapped a string of mini-mini purple lights around it, and then I have a simple little sprig of something representative of each season-- a red silk flower for early summer, and a mini cornucopia with fall leaves and an acorn for fall. A twig of evergreen with an apple and pine cone attached for winter, and a little frond of light green ferns (all fake, so they can be reused and they last the whole season) for spring.

I do occasionally bring some real flowers or tree branches or apples or whatnot into my home-- but this is a permanent display, and I don't want to take too much from Mother Nature just to decorate indoors. I'd rather enjoy the decorations where they naturally occur.



A friend asked me to make her husband some tea to help him sleep. He's a chronic insomniac, and it's getting ridiculous. I'm very excited to do this, and although I don't know how successful I will be, I'm giving it a try.

So I used Melissa (Lemon Balm) for its calming and sleep-encouraging properties, and some Nettle to help him breathe. I put in St. John's Wort because it relaxes the nerves, and Feverfew because it is sometimes said to relax the mind. I also put in Peppermint to help with digestive problems and Stivia to help with the taste. Then, I put in almost as much Hopps as I'd put in all the other ingredients combined. Hopps are for sleeping.

Because my Hopps came in their dried "flower" form, I used my mortar and pestle to grind them into individual leaves, if not into a bit of powder. Not very many Hopps makes a lot of Hopp Petals, you see. And about 20 minutes after I did that, I took a nap. Which convinced me of the sleep-inducing powers of the Hopps. See, I slept in this morning. Late. And I'd only been up and about for maybe an hour when I ground the Hopps, breathed them in as I did so (no choice there, really), and used my fingers to dust off my grinding tool. Then I slept quite peacefully for about two or three hours. Imagine if I'd tried a cup of the tea!

So I'm going to try my Sleepy Tea blend tonight at bedtime to see how it tastes and how I react-- Hopps are supposed to taste pretty bitter-- and then I'm going to pass it along to my friend, with instructions.

You see, medicinal tea needs to be steeped for at least ten to twenty minutes. Without a tea bag. And I want him to stop eating, watching TV, and using a computer about 30 minutes before he wants to sleep-- right when he should start sipping his tea. I also want him to make a big mug of it each night, and only drink half. I want the other half by his bed, so when he wakes at 2am, he can drink it down, maybe use some alternative breathing/relaxing exercises, and go back to sleep. I also want to explain that most experts suggest it can take as much as 2 weeks to a month to get the full results of a medicinal tea. I don't want him to give up if there is no improvement the first night he tries this.

In the meantime, I'll be grinding the rest of my stash of Hopps into a tea blend for ME to get better sleep (on an as-needed basis)... but I'll wait until right before bedtime to do it. Apparently, Hopps can be very effective.