Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Lavender...

Dear Littler B,

I can not believe this but I am actually a day ahead on getting this letter to you. Although you and any others will not see it until my tomorrow 4/14. This means I can have quite a bit of breathing room to type this one out. I owe this all to the help of my bestie in getting data for the last two days and giving me a jump. You really are going to have amazing friends when you get to be me.

Well, I suppose I will jump right into today's A to Z Challenge letter to you by letting you know that






is for Lavender...




Origin & Identification

Lavender comes in many forms and you, yourself over the years will plant several varieties. This plant is so familiar to so many that it is even used as a color in the spectrum (a pale purplish).  Lavender grows in a short shrub like form and has skinny shoots that flower at the tips. It is said that the colors of the flowers can be anywhere from a purple/blue to yellow, though between you and when you become me we have never actually seen a yellow lavender. Because of the wide use of this herb you will find it is often grown on farms.

It likes temperate climates (or warm to you and me) which is probably why the plants here in Tennessee seemed to have done better than those back home in New Jersey, however Mom has a green thumb and grows some AMAZING ones in New York. Last visit we even took several bags of clippings.

It's a funny note - even now - 25 years away from when I was you I have chosen so many pink & purple things to write about. I promise you I am no "girly" then you are. Wonder if it means something subconsciously? Moving on...


Practical Uses of Lavender

This herb is a VERY aromatic herb and when you get to be me you will know that there are two distinct smells that are ever present in our home along with patchouli and rosemary. When I am in a house I will always plant this near my door and often be seen running my hand through it just to have the scent on me. It might be because of mom's fascination with the scent for as long as I can remember.

Lavender is known for it's calming effect on the body and mind and is most commonly used for its fragrance in soaps, bath soaks, air fresheners and potpourri.  You can however also find lavender along with chamomile for calming, soothing and sleep teas like I make.



Soaking in it is almost a nightly occurrence here in 2016 due to the fact that yes - you've gotten old! It helps with stress and muscles so the products you see here from my amazon affiliate program are a staple in 2016 you's bathroom.



One of the amazing soothing properties of this herb make it a mandatory in your home from the time you are you until you are ancient like me. When having an anxiety attack, pouring the essential oil on a cloth and holding it near your nose breathing in and out will reduce the anxiety enough to get it under control.

One of my favorite uses for this herb is cooking thanks to a dear old friend of mine who used to make lavender sugar and lavender shortbread cookies. I've included recipes for them below. If you have never tried, DO IT! (I know you will in many years thanks to her but try to find it before then, you will love it!


Recipe for lavender sugar by About Food.com
Click on the link above for her expertise. NONE of this is mine I promise. I am not original in any way. None of that has changed over the years, I can only take info and make it better. Maybe I should have stayed working with BASF.


LAVENDER SUGAR
1 tbsp of lavender flowers
2 cups sugar
(I know my friend added a full vanilla bean for hers so DO IT!)











Lavender Sugar - (c) Elizabeth LaBau
(c) Elizabeth LaBau
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp culinary dried lavender
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups Lavender Sugar
Preparation
1. Place the dried lavender in the bowl of a food processor and blend it for 10-15 seconds to chop it into small pieces.
2. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the processor and blend well, for 15-20 seconds, until the lavender is finely ground and mixed into the sugar.
3. Whisk the lavender sugar together with the remaining cup of sugar until the lavender is well dispersed.
4. Store Lavender Sugar in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.


Recipe for lavender shortbread cookies can be found here at my friend James Beard's site he's a local boy, you'll like him. You truly have to try these culinary delights! Or, you could be lazy (like I know you are) and just try something like what my friend made (lavender shortbread) through my Amazon Affiliate program here:



Metaphysical Uses

As ironic as this seems because it has such a calming effect - lavender is actually a masculine herb associated with the planet Mercury and the element of air. It is known for it's properties of love, protection, sleep, chastity, longevity, purification, happiness, and peace.  For these reasons it is obvious why I include this herb in love sachets, dream pillows that I sew and use the essential oil in my massage oil.

When getting ready to perform anything that will require heavy spiritual work, a cleansing bath is usually in order to help you step out of the mundane to the magickal. Having a calming, cleansing bath with lavender is often good for that, run the hot water and drop in a sachet that includes lavender along with any other herbs pertinent to the working you are about to do. This will often level your energy, put you in the moment and promote focus on what you need to do.

Many cultures have their own history with lavender (such as in the Renaissance period, mixed with rosemary to promote chastity). Today's letter I am going to focus on the Feng Shui bit a little since you are going to do a lot of chakra work.

Purple or Lavender is known in the shakra as the color for the Crown. This is anything obviously to do with the head (technically just above the head at about 6" or so if you think of it on an aura-ish)


Any time you need to work with anything relating to the consciousness or mind, you will call on the crown chakra, being present or moving beyond present into the akashic field. Just face it, anything to do with controlling or allowing the release of control of your physical mind - lavender is the way to go.  I have the amethyst chakra wand below to help me in times like these (on loan to me through bestie as well as my rose quartz one broke in half).



Ok, enough about me, I will leave you be since I am so anxious about tomorrow that I experienced it today. That is good though, it shows signs of healing from Message of Love and the fact that in just days I am going to have to lose my home because we didn't come even CLOSE to our goal...and figure how to move everything including a husband post-stroke.  I am trying not to live in the past. Again, I will take little victories.

Calmly yours,

Bigger Little B


Music that kept me company...


2 comments:

Just passing by from the A to Z. As it happened I noticed your comment on the A to Z challenge blog and thought WOW you appear to be going through a lot and are still managing to do the A to Z. All I can say is well done and good luck. I hope everything works out for you.

Wow, thank you Rob. It is about the only thing keeping me sane right now. I know in the next couple of days I will be off the grid because we are losing our home because of the stroke - so keeping up after that is going to be interesting but its something that has kept me grounded.

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