Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where did you go to school?

I was asked that question recently.   What first pops to mind is "what do you mean?  School of herbs?  College? ???"    It got me to thinking.  What school "did" I go to - to become the woman I am today.  The one "embodied" by the image below - that I have created just for this blog.

This got me to thinking.  I went to public school.  Which is where my high school classmates introduced me to "herbs" via dandelion wine.  Dandelions picked in my front yard.

I went to "junior college" where I studied pre-school education, got introduced to yoga, then went on to Recording Arts education - where I met these guys.

I went to massage school.

During a very successful massage career I started studying herbs. I happened upon starting a products business.  MoonMaid - for women with hormone imbalance issues.

And all the while I have been "doing" MoonMaid Botanicals - I have been learning from the "school of women."  While working with this very very intense "school" I have been attending the "school of herbs" to whom I give full credit for my success.

Without my customers, without the plants, I would be nothing at all.  That's the beauty of my work.
Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Very challenging day...

Today was an extremely challenging day.  I don't know about you, but sometimes living up to the image you see hard.  It just is.  It's not bad.  It is just hard to manage "it" and life at times.

In these moments, I try very hard to stay calm.  It seems without fail, some wise words flow across my "sphere."

And I drink nettles.  I have them growing here on my land.  So easy to pick and make an infusion.  And so very nourishing for frayed nerves.

My beautiful garden experienced some "harsh" and "unthoughtful" gardening, by someone who should have known better.  Things were damaged or destroyed...plants I was just about to harvest.  To this man - they were "weeds."  Weeds are useful plants that are often just growing in the wrong place.  In this case, they were in a fine place - this guy was unconscious.  And he won't be back.

Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The past appears in the present....

I have been wandering around the garden today.......thinking of my old digs, and the beginning of MoonMaid Botanicals @ MomsHead Gardens.  It was amazing to see how many quirky cool things I left there.....And how many quirky things, how that "sense of style" followed me here to the Smoky Mountains.

Stuff I left @ MomsHead Gardens

Everything with a story.  The red formica table that I got for $5.  The iron chair that made a lovely plant container.  The table and the chair that got painted up and are called HappyChair and Table.  The unusual wrought iron kitchen shelf.  That is a piece that is quite unusual.  I've never seen another one.

Odd, pretty, special, magical
There are also a lot of quirky things around the garden here, just like at MomsHead.  The pattern of the "odd" continues.

Endangered species ginseng, goldenseal, blue cohosh and wild yam
And then there is are the beautiful plants.  Not only are there multiple and abundant species of endangered plants like ginseng, goldenseal, blue cohosh and wild yam...........there are so many other flowers, moss, mushrooms and fairies.

Each day is filled with wonder @ MoonMaid's Magic Botanical Sanctuary....or a name something like that.  I keep changing it.  Your input would be appreciated.

Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Where it all began.....Mom'sHead Gardens in Santa Rosa California.

 I recently went to Santa Rosa Mom'sHead Gardens, which is a special spot that nurtured the beginning of MoonMaid Botanicals.  I have been thinking about that a bit, as I embark on blogging in earnest.  It is something I have wanted to do, think of doing but never seem to get to it.  I get to Facebook, Twitter, mostly via Instagram....but never quite to the blog.

This is a photo of the trailer where I began whipping up MoonMaid products.....and a map of the gardens.  The "sense of style" so to speak, very definitely influenced the way I have laid out my own gardens here in Cosby Tennessee.  As a member of United Plant Savers network of botanical sanctuaries, I have a desire to create a unique natural and cultivated "sense of humor."  Plants get that my opinion!!

It was right here that I began infusing oils and making them into salves and creams.  I made flower essences from the many many herbal flowers found here @ Mom'sHead.  I journeyed with the plants, they taught me hence I was able to "blend them into remedies."

I got to thinking about my brand, my remedies.  Who am I and why?  I am MoonMaid for women.  I am my products.  I am Me!!  I am herbs......which call me to mix them up in a variety of ways!!!  I came up with this "logo"  (the one you see below) as a way to represent "how I feel" about me, MoonMaid, the direction of my business, social media, and all of that "stuff" that keeps one in motion when one is self-employed, as I embark on this blogging journey.  An image to "remind me and inspire me."

Wild Yam
I left a bit of myself @ Mom'sHead.....and had a fun journey down "memory lane" photographing these things.  I noted that I have adopted a similar "style" here in the gardens.  MoonMaid's Magical Woodland Garden.  Nestled in the outskirts of the Smoky Mountains National Park.  A proud member of the United Plant Savers network of Botanical Sanctuaries.  Here, we passionately preserve and protect endangered native medicinal species.
                         Wild Yam and Ginseng are two of those plants.  Wild Yam is, additionally a major ingredient in MoonMaid's Remedies - our wild yam line for women experiencing hormone balance issues.  It is what keeps us going.

I am grateful for this beginning that is recognizing the real beginning of my business.  Until tomorrow - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains....

Spring is springing.  My land neighbors the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The wildflowers here are some of the most abundant in the world.  We are well known for them.  I am so fortunate to have many many natives growing here in the woods.
Here are some violets and wild hyacinth or Grape Hyacinth

         And a few cultivated varieties too!!  Lots of color is in the garden beds here @ MoonMaid

 Trilliums are one of my great joys.  Here is a baby just unfolding.  I await the lovely yellow blossoms.  There are also other rare species here.  Surely trilliums, which are endangered, will deserve there own blog post.

 And the lovely dainty white ladies of the garden beds.  Snowdrop, bells and narcissus, just in time for Equinox and Easter.

And the yellows of Dandelions, one of my FAVORITE flowers.  And a lovely Forsythia, which my brother calls ForCynthia.  

And that is just the beginning of what's to come in the garden.  Coming soon - a YouTube channel with videos both of the gardens and "DIY's" for infusions, creams and much more.
Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

International Woman's Day.....

I think about women a lot.  MoonMaid's product line is for women, generally speaking.  As I deal with what I call "estrogen toxicity" in my work, on a daily have come up to.  If the stuff in the environment is bad for we women....what's it doing to men? I have pondered for many a year.  Well that's another post....for the moment back to women.

I heard many "things" during this day.  NPR stories, moving posts on Facebook etc, and I observed the women around my community.  I thought of the many women I know, strong capable women in all sorts of ways.  Women who are running businesses, raising children, preparing for weddings, dealing with major health crisis.  So many women.  I have certainly pondered, how would the world look if women were in charge of things - and I am not talking about the current election cycle.

Instead, women are "kept out of", subjugated, controlled, belittled, and on and all sorts of ways in all types of circumstances (ie work, relationships etc), by our families, by our own beliefs.  I marvel at women who do it "in spite of."  The civil rights movement, young women in India, Afghanistan, mothers in Mexico who want more for their children, mothers escaping violence with the clothes on their backs.  It happens here, it happens everywhere.  Again, I wonder, if women were running the show.  Maybe someday.

At the end of this day I was reading, and getting ready to lay down and for some reason, I grabbed a pile of "tiny books" I have.  I was shuffling through them and I found this little gem.  I was filled with joy to hold it, to read the simple thoughts on each page, loving the simple art work.  A gift for me for this International Day of Women.

Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Botanical Sanctuary - Trees, Flowers and Herbs

Nettles are waking up under the leaf litter.  I could not be happier.

Mossy tree with baby wood nettle popping up underneath
This land, MoonMaid's Botanical Sanctuary, is expriencing a burst of Spring.  I have no doubt we will have another splash of Winter, as it always snows on the daffodils.  But meanwhile, it has been lovely.  

We have made some progress on getting our "Eco-Glamping Air B & B" going, and it won't take as much "resources" as first were indicated.  My friend from Arkansas, Leon, came for a week long visit and got so many things done.  He helped to create a space for the dry sauna I was given, from an already existing structure.  In fact, it was a structure I was going to tear down.

Leon and the CamperCarPort he revitalized!!!
Since I first moved here, I have tried to incorporate as much of what "is" into what this land is becoming, and this was another opportunity to do that.  The fact is, the pre-made shed I had in mind, could not be delivered down my rural driveway.  And, it turns out, I ultimatly need the "space" to encompass much more then I had anticipated.  That new office/massage/production facility is sometime down the road.  For now, the old camper will make a great space for the sauna.  By mid- June it should be delivered and installed!!  I can't wait.
The sauna that awaits in Florida
Additionally, I have found a local Yome, or dome tent, manufacturer!!  The cost is 1/2 that of those I had previously checked out.  The look of these is much lighter and brighter and I just love it.  It has allowed me to bring down the GoFundMe site, from 15K to $7,000.00.  Makes it feel more like I can get it done sooner then later.  The tent is just about $3000, then delivery, set up and all this clean-up!!!  I love a wind......but I hope they will keep at bay for just a little bit...........

Yome, Asheville North Carolina
I feel very excited and hopeful about all that can happen here on this land.  One "guest" at a time I look forward to sharing how I compost, recycle and support clean and green in as many ways as possible.  The opportunities to introduce folks to wonderful herbs and flowers makes my heart sing.   Check out the GoFundMe site  - if you care too.

Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals