wanting wholesome health

I have found myself, lately, wanting wholesome health. I want strong immune systems for myself and my family. I want a chemical free clean, inside our bodies and inside our home. I want homemade and handmade as much as possible. All of these things are beginning to come together in my mind as a grand vision of health and wholesomeness, and I see myself at the start of a lifelong journey in wellness.
I came down with a cold recently, and instead of taking any sort of over-the-counter medicine (which I rarely do, being generally opposed to medicine) I checked out a book from the library on herbs. I had never given herbs much thought but while visiting my good friend Rachel I noticed a bottle of sweet echinacea drops made for kids. I asked her about it, and then did a little more research, and bought some. I read about the ancient history of using herbs for healing, and decided it is a good route for me. Since I am already opposed to medicine in general, and don't usually take anything but prefer to suffer through illness, why not use herbs? When used correctly, they can't do harm, but they can certainly help my body to heal.
Deciding to begin using herbs led my mind onward to the idea of using food for optimal health. We eat pretty healthily around this house, but I had never considered food as medicine, per say. I took the usual nutrition class in college, so I had previous knowledge of vitamins and minerals in foods, and I am considered by friends and family to be "healthy", but I suppose it had just never clicked exactly the same way it did recently. Now I am seeing a bigger picture of health - including activity, fresh air, a clean but chemical-free indoor environment, clean food and herbs for health boosting.
I have just found an incredible online resource for health and nutrition - Passionate Homemaking
I also bought a book on kids and herbs, which includes great information on tell-tale symptoms for common kid ailments such as sore throats, colds, and the flu. It also gives instructions on using herbs to soothe symptoms and hasten relief and recovery.
I must admit that I am a bit apprehensive of telling family and friends of this choice, because some people I know will not be persuaded by the healing qualities of foods and herbs. I must remember, however, that I have good information on it and that ultimately it is my choice, and not anyone else's.

Do you ever use herbs or food to boost your immune system?


simply magical

How was your Halloween weekend?
My kids are too young to care, so I got a "freebie" and did not attend a single Halloween party, nor did we trick-or-treat. I don't dislike Halloween, but I'm not that into it, either. Usually coming up with a costume is more stressful than fun, so I enjoyed evading the usual parties.

Instead we spent the entire weekend with friends and family. On Saturday night our hosts served up chili for friends and neighbors. We sat around a huge table and enjoyed conversation and Mary's incredible pumpkin bread pudding topped with caramel sauce and chopped hazelnuts. I think I died a little, in a good way, when I ate that bread pudding. It was simply magical. 
Saturday before dinner was spent with friends at the Guthrie Pumpkin Farm. The kids loved it! We did the hayride, saw and pet farm animals (the piglets and calves were my favorite), got lost and found again in a corn maze, and picked out the perfect pumpkin.
On Sunday we took it easy and hung out around the house, then joined our friends for dinner. Our hosts set up tables outside in the yard atop fallen leaves. It looked so homey and rustic, and I wished desperately that I had brought my camera. We drank wine and ate delicious food, and the kids fought over toys and took turns on the tire swing.
It was an easygoing, splendid weekend. I had the chance to reconnect with my husband, my family, and my new friends. It looks like Tennessee isn't that bad, after all.

How do you reconnect with your family and friends?