Finding New Lows During this Endless Winter

As you may know, I take care of Grace four mornings a week while Lizzie works in the office. During the green months of the year all two of them, Grace and I have no problems frolicking away the morning hours. She likes dirt as much as I do, and I return her to her mother each day covered with the stuff.

This winter its been more challenging for both of us. The deep snows mean we can only walk on the road, and the deep chill means a long walk for us is about twenty minutes. That’s about when frostbite danger gets real. We all know the weather channel likes to be apocalyptic dramatic but they haven’t exaggerated about the AMOUNT of snow or the SEVERITY of the cold we have had in the NE. One morning it felt “warm” to me, and I took Grace on a brisk stroll only to look at the thermometer on our return. It was 8 degrees below zero. We had 27 degrees below zero just two nights ago. It has gotten above freezing only once in the last two months, and on that day we felt like beach bunnies in Boca (and looked as pale as creatures who had never seen the light of day).

This weather means Grace and I have had to find out entertainment indoors, and I have had to dig deep into my grandmother’s bag of tricks to make things fun for us.

Any errand is done at a snail’s pace. This delights 2 1/2 year old Grace who wants to dawdle anyways. A trip to the grocery store can take the whole morning. We start off with a snack of sushi in the store’s cafe then we visit each aisle at least once for a chat with everyone we encounter. We now know every stocker, butcher, produce person, bagger and check out goddess in the place, and all of them know about Grace’s dog friends Sheba and Reina.

But how many trips to the grocery store are necessary each week? (The very question Jim has been asking me as he looks in our overstuffed refrigerator). Sadly, only one (or two during a realllllly slow week).

This means we have time to fill at the farm. Water has played a key part in our sanity daily routine. Grace has spent a thousand hours at the sink. I don’t care what she washes or how much water is on the floor. I don’t care how much soap she uses or if something gets broken. When the sink activity pales, I set her free in the greenhouse with the watering wand. It’s meant to be a tropical rainforest out there and with Grace in charge it will stay that way.

Way back at the beginning of this long long long winter, we read a lot of books together. But we are antsy now, both of us. Right about now with a small eternity of winter under our belt, she and I would both rather be AT the dog party than reading about it in Go Dog Go.

We crayon a lot, sometimes on the walls. Thank goodness for toothpaste which gets the crayon off.

We prepare a lot of snacks. Probably too many, but at least the prep time means a few minutes when we have an activity.

We go upstairs every day and visit the old bedrooms of Grace’s aunt and uncles. We bounce on their beds, play with their stuff and toss around their precious mementos which they care about so much that they have abandoned them here. Sheba is ever at our side chewing on the precious mementos.

Sinking to a new low- perhaps it was the day I let Grace dance on the coffee table all morning- I trawled Amazon for books that might help me fill our morning hours with some creative projects. I purchased a book by a grandmother whom I will call “Granny B” . She had written a slim volume on activities to do with one’s grandchildren. The book received about a zillion positive reviews perhaps from the same people who brought us the phrase “Vote early and vote often.”

Here are some of Granny B’s suggestions- the comments in bold are mine!

Take your grandchildren to a farm- Done! Frankly Granny B, we are trying to get off the farm right about now!

Buy your grandchildren a set of enclyclopedias- Well it would provide a medium other than walls for Grace’s art.

Plant a small garden together- We plan to plant a big one if the glacier ever retreats.

Give your grandchild a bath- Every day is filled with baths Granny B, and we also wash Sheba, every dish in the house and the walls of the kitchen.

Take them to see the mountains- It is hard to imagine a grandchild getting too excited about mountains unless perhaps Himalayan peaks, however I show the ones outside our window to Grace every day, and she has shown exactly no interest.

Always have their favorite food available when they visit- Granny B, my larder is stocked with every cheese, cracker, squeeze bag of fruits and vegetables, yogurt, berry and chip her little heart desires. She eats 15% of each snack and drops the rest on the floor. No wonder Sheba needs to diet.

Make snowballs and put them in the freezer. Really Granny B? My entire world is already filled with snow- you think I want to share my freezer with SNOWBALLS????

Always have popsicles- Granny B, we live in a popsicle.

Give your granddaughter a corsage for special events- Does a day when we see the sun count as a special event?

Always have flashlights that work and teach your grandchildren how to change the batteries- Granny B, Grace is the only one of the two of us who can turn on and off the flashlight on my iphone so that ship- the one with the battery operated flashlights on it- sailed a long long time ago.

Always have an answer to the question “Why?”- My question for you Granny B is, “Why Granny B? Why?”

Show your grandchildren how to use a computer- Granny B, this would be the blind leading the blind. Personally I try to have Grace explain to me the tricks she knows about ipad, computers and cell phones.

Cut meat in itsy bitsy pieces- Well Granny B, this would give us an activity.

Be calm- even when your grandchildren spill grape juice on your new carpet- Granny B, I definitely have this one down cold. I relish the spills- Cleaning up gives us something to do.

Make real cookies using a rolling pin- Yup, me and my waistline show that this has been a constant part of our winter fun.

On one side of a page Granny B says, “Encourage and help your grandchildren save money.” and on the other side of the page she says, “Give them money to blow!- Clearly Granny B’s winter also lasted too long and she lost the bead on her message.

Oh Granny B, thank you for your ideas. They gave me a laugh. Now it is back to the living room to watch Grace dance on the coffee table.


Grace working over the sushi at the beginning of a grocery mission- Sheba would have been better on clean up than the plastic horse Grace insisted we bring.

A GHF Friend Shares the Story of her Beloved Cat’s Death


Over the last three decades, you have shared many stories of the deaths of your animal friends. Not a day passes when those of us in the office aren’t moved by what you share.

Your stories remind me again and again to be open to the unique choices each of our beloveds make as they face this transition. Your stories have helped me bear witness to the deaths of beloveds with an open heart and faith in my own sense of how to proceed, knowing that each animal has a different plan and needs our help in different ways. Any ideas of right or wrong have been washed away by the vast diversity of sacred deaths you have shared with us. Thank you for this.

Yesterday’s mail brought a tale I want to share with all of you. Before I do, I want to say a little bit about our Transition remedy mentioned in the email and used by so many beloved animals and people since its creation in the mid-nineties.

We get many questions about our Transition remedy most notably, “Will Transition make an animal (or person) die sooner or in a certain way?”

The Transition remedy is an offering of Flower support no matter what path the death takes. It helps a beloved finish up any life business they wish to take care of. It helps them with the sometimes arduous process of dying. It helps ease them out of their bodies. It neither speeds up the process or controls it in any way. The moment a beloved dies is ever between the beloved and divinity.

Transition is a remedy that defies definition offering assistance from wise beings in an often mysterious and hard to pin down way. Transition helps with the passage through death but doesn’t suggest what this passage should be. In all deaths there is grace, and thanks to the Angels and Elementals who created and hold this remedy in form for all of us, Transition adds to this grace.

As I reflect on the many cats, dogs, friends and other beloveds I have been privileged to support as they die, I am grateful to both this remedy and to your stories. So here is one from yesterday, shared with permission.

“I can’t believe I am just getting around to sending this letter of gratitude. I just really wanted you to know how helpful the Transition and Grief & Loss essences were while my sweet sweet heart-cat was doing her dance with death last November. She was very insistent from the moment that her health started to decline that she wanted no extreme measures and that she knew “how to die,” so wished for me to release any worries about medical interventions and decisions that my heart would have never been able to make. When I knew the end was getting near (3 or 4 days before she took her last breath) I made up a little dropper bottle with both Transition and Grief & Loss in some water. She stopped drinking water on her own but would gladly take sips from the dropper bottle with these sweet essences. We would take them together as we both did the work of letting go, in our same but different ways. Her passing was graceful, easy and heart-breakingly beautiful. I continued to take the essences from the bottle I made for both of us for a few days after she passed. And have since placed the bottle with the small amount that was left with her Urn in memorial. The essences made this experience possible, bearable, and special for both of us.

About 45 minutes after she took that last breath, it was about 10 pm, and my partner and I collapsed in bed, exhausted from the work of the day. As we took a few deep breaths ourselves, 3 owls showed up at our bedroom window. This had never happened before and hasn’t happened since. They weren’t calling out with their great loud voices, they were conversing with each other and the spirit of our sweet Nami. They stayed about 60 seconds, we could hear their wings rustling the leaves as they sat in the tree right outside our window, making the sweetest little owl noises that only we could hear—our neighbors had no recollection of hearing owls that night. Then they all took off together. When you say that the Transition essence combo helps a pet connect to the spirits necessary for crossing over, I didn’t fully understand what that meant, until that moment. When I witnessed my sweet girl call in her guardian angels/helpers/guides for a joy ride to the other side.”


February Vacation- An Oxymoron


School teacher Jim had February vacation this last week. After the last ten days, the return to a classroom of twelve year olds has serious appeal. I am sure he will sprint to work tomorrow- if there isn’t another snow day!

During Jim’s vaction, snow fell in volume every few hours, ever adding to a base of two or three feet of the white stuff already there. This meant Jim had many wonderful jobs to fill his idle vacation hours.

He was lucky enough to get lots of practice in the art of shovelling. Due to the non-stop precipitation, he needed to shovel new paths to the house, office, barn, woodpile, compost heap and cars every day. Sometimes he was fortunate enough to need to shovel these paths two or three times in the same day.

For extra fun, he frollicked on the roofs for hours on end shovelling off the mountains of snow that threatened to damage the buildings below.

Jim was also blessed with the opportunity to clean snow off cars and trucks every few hours. His visiting children left him with extra vehicles to practice on. They even let him take broken cars to the nearby garage for repairs and annual inspections!

As a special treat, whenever the plow guy appeared Jim got to move all the cars off the driveway into slots he had dug out on the lawn so the plow guy could shove the maximum amount of new snow out of the way.

When he took a break from shovelling there were other exhilarating projects to while away the time.

In the mudroom of the farm is a floor to ceiling space for wood for our woodstove. If it is sunny, we don’t need to use the stove. Our solar home does all the work. However when the sun is not shining, we need to run our woodstove.

Lucky Jim!

We haven’t really seen the sun since Columbus Day so we have needed to run the woodstove 24/7 FOR MONTHS ON END.

This means instead of bring in wood for the stove once every two weeks, we need to do it every four or five days. I like to help bring in wood, but with Jim on vacation, he did this job solo. Over and over again. Why even as I type this- look who is at the back door?


More wood burnt means more ash to remove from the stove and sprinkle in the gardens. It’s been a particular joy for Jim to wade through thigh high snow to spread the ash.

In addition, traffic at the bird feeders has gone through the roof this season. Instead of filling the feeders once a day, we need to refill the feeders two or three times a day. Jim relishes getting to shovel a path to the bird feeders as part of the refilling process.

Here in this action shot, Jim is telling me that three years ago we made two gallons of maple syrup on this day. WOW!

This year we haven’t even tapped our trees yet. And the spot where we boil our syrup? Let’s just say its a good thing Jim has his shovelling skills honed!

Here is the spot where the evaporator goes!


Questions on Custom Mixes, Career Shifts, Breathe, OCD, an Angel Boy with Autism and Much More


Here are some questions and answers from this past week. Your questions help me learn! Thank you so much!

Q: Does it make sense to administer the motion sickness Essence,
Chinese Hat Plant, and the Anxiety Essence daily, even during days when my cat is not traveling or in an anxiety-producing situation?

A: It is helpful to give the remedies when there is not a situation pressing as it gives the animal a foundation for learning the information of the Essences before faced with the issue he or she is working to resolve. Additionally, it is easier to learn an Essence’s wisdom when not under pressure.

I would give the two remedies before and during your impending travels. Early exposure to the two remedies will help your cat begin to make the Flower Essence wisdom his or her own. Then when you travel, your cat will probably need the reminder of the two remedies to help him or her hold the vibration of equilibrium and calm during this stressful circumstance. Eventually your cat should be able to stay centered no matter what is going on.
Chinese Hat Plant

Q: Is a custom mix less powerful than a single Flower Essence due to the Essences being diluted by each other?

A: A custom mix is not less powerful than getting Flower Essences in individual bottles. All the information in the individual bottle of an Essence is there when the Essence is put in a combination mix.

Two caveats about Custom mixes are that ounce for ounce they cost more than getting individual bottles, and custom mixes eliminate the ability to use the different Essences in different combinations.

On the plus size, custom mixes are very convenient as the Essences are blended together for you versus you having to mix them together yourself. This makes a custom mix an excellent way to go for super busy people, people very new to Flower Essences, people who are ill or anyone who wants a lot of support offered in a simple manner.  

Q: I am working with a 5 year old angel boy with autism.   I need a remedy specifically to support the transmutation of the dysfunctional imprint, “Bystander to reality.” The vibration that is veiled by this imprint that I want to promote is, “I AM the wisdom that lives my presence with detached freedom so that I can afford the beauty of an unscripted life.”

A: What about Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean? This one has such a strong energy of unbinding and spiritual freedom. The Angels said La Belle Sultane Rose would also be very good for this child- This Rose has such a deep wise vibration of “being here now” in a timeless way. Part of its I AM affirmation is, “I AM my awakened self.” It is a deep velvety red with brilliant yellow filaments- For many years all our labels were a painting of this Rose.
La Belle Sultane is on right front and center- the Rose with all the yellow stamens

Q: I would be very interested in any Essences that may encourage wellness in a brain that seeks adrenaline/stimulation via limiting, OCD behaviors that are task or conflict oriented.  Perhaps a tall order, but a friend of mine may be interested in a customized blend if such a blend is available. 

A: This would be a wonderful mix to assemble- These are the Flower Essences that come to me to include- I would probably check back with the Angels before assembling to make sure I got it just right per their guidance and tweak if necessary- It feels like a great group of Essences to me right now.

Orange– Calming to the emotional body when we seek drama 
Orange Hawkweed– Helps us organize our impulses towards creative self expression
Larkspur– Helps our electrical system course correct- this one is important in so many situations
Bottle Gentian– A template for remaining calm and grounded even when we are surrounded by chaos
All Ego Contracts Null & Void– Support to let go of our own attraction to old patterns that no longer serve us and old habits too
Maple– An Essence offering tremendously balancing information that helps us find the middle way and the sweetness of a less drama packed path
Carry Less– So many of our patterns come from our filters about reality that impede us experiencing things clearly. This one is for erasing these filters
Musk Thistle– Like smoothing fur that is going in the wrong direction, this one shows us how to smooth and organize our electrical system when it has gone haywire
Alignment Garden– What would we do without this gem? So much information about aligning to purpose, our healthiest and wisest self in thought, word and deed
Grounding– Helps us move from a state of mental frenzy to full calm embodiment
Rosa Gallica– This one is key for this time as it helps us ground to the heart of the earth and our core self wherever we find ourselves on the map
Lemon Balm– Astoundingly popular since being introduced, this one helps quiet the mind and ease headaches

The last three suggestions for ingredients in this custom mix were from the Additional Essence list
Cherry Tomato– This one is very good for link breaking so in this instance it helps break up the chain of compulsive activity
Tibouchina– An excellent remedy for those whose minds are running out of control, it help higher energies enter through the crown of our heads to illuminate and ease this situation
Zebrina HollyhockHelps us organize chaotic impulses of action and reaction into steady stream of action in alignment with divine energy thus using this divine energy in accordance with the highest good


Q: I wanted to ask your opinion about what type of flower essence would be best for finding my voice without meanness and aggressiveness (being reactionary) and being brave when having something difficult to say. I want to be heard but don’t feel like I am without being considered a bitch. Does this make sense?

For being brave when you have something difficult to say, consider Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher and Alex Mackenzie Rose. These both help us find our voice and speak when feeling exposed or not heard- I also wondered about Showcats for this whole dynamic-This supports you to know you deserve to step into the spotlight and can do it with poise.

Frankly I feel women are considered “problems” or “inappropriate” or “too emotional” or “strident” when we speak our truth almost no matter how we do it! I have found myself taking a lot of our new Essence, Golden Hedge Hyssop, whenever I go into that old chestnut of a shame spiral that I am, “too emotional” Emotions just are. We deserve to know this and be free to use the information the emotions offer us without shame.

Many of the Venus Garden remedies support us to follow our truth and let go of what happens to it in the world- Love It and Leave It for example and also our new Effort & Grace! I would look to this whole collection for support.
Morning Glories in the Effort and Grace garden

Q: Hi! I discovered your wonderful page and am loving it but am a bit overwhelmed!! I’m not sure which would be the best fit for me; have a change in life situation (left academic program which was not the best fit for me and am looking for a job in my field), and am feeling overwhelmed and under motivated. Am irritable and not taking care of the grooming I usually take pride in.

A: Our site is a lot of information and can feel like just too much information- We have a document called Flower Essence suggestions for common concerns that goes topic by topic with suggestions- you might check that out. Some specific Flower Essences that might feel helpful for your new life-

The Alignment Garden– really helps us align with our purpose and helps us access the physical energy to follow through on our new path
Sage– This one offers such immense grounded wisdom about finding our way
Grief & Loss– it sounds like this has been a traumatic change of course for you- All of us still have to grieve for what we let go of even as the new path opens

The more I thought about your situation the more the Camino collection called to me very loudly for you- 
Roncesvalles– Helps us find the courage to begin this new journey
Zubiri– this one helps us get “in the zone” so our efforts generate the energy to keep us going on our chosen path- helps us find that spring in our step again
Los Arcos– This one helps us to find the courage to move on while also being open to support from unlikely places and people
Belorado– this one helps us have faith in the emptiness as we wait for our new community to manifest
Hontanas– this one helps us find the inner kindness to be tender to our bodies during the sort of transition you are in
Mazarife– finding an oasis of joy during a bleak stretch in our journey
O’Cebreiro– helps us feel supported when we have left behind people and places we know are not part of our onward journey- this kind of changing of gears is often a big taboo in our culture and this remedy helps us feel the courage of our convictions no matter how others perceive our choices
Santiago– this one reminds us that the journey is ongoing even when a big chapter in our lives has ended
Fisterra– this one helps us feel the bead of a new life amidst the death of an old one

These all feel so appropriate for all you are going through- If you can only look to one group of Essences- I would look to this collection-
On the Camino
Q: My dog has sores that appear as bumps and then she itches and bites at them.  Antibiotics cause the bumps to go completely away, only to return in a month or two.  I thought I would try
Anxiety. But, is there also something for healing?  She must have an allergy – but I can’t figure out what it is.  Do you have any suggestions?

I would strongly suggest adding Golden Armor to the Anxiety as it helps get to the root of the situation if it is an irritation/allergy/bacterial/viral/energetic issue of any sort and also helps animals and people buffer out the irritant-  We have also found that Outburst helps when an animal is having explosive skin eruptions of unknown origins- This is another one that I felt might be full of useful information.

Q: Hi! Why does it seem that everyone needs Breathe Essences right now, both the animals and people in my care?

A: We too have noticed this flood of Breathe, our combination remedy for the respiratory system, fly out our doors right now in enormous volumes.

The rising vibration on the planet means we all have to raise our own personal vibration to stay in sync with the planet. All creation is in a collective cleanse due to this rising vibration.

During any cleanse process a lot of old stuff is released. Right now this old stuff is being released through our breathing in particular. We store our grief and sorrows in our lungs. This particular moment of release is about releasing these old sorrows and griefs. As we release these old sorrows, our lungs are where we notice this release. Our Breathe remedy helps with the release and also helps the over all health of our respiratory systems which are bearing the brunt of this release work.