Posts tagged natural living blog
An Unexpected Turning of Tides
 

I have become wary of laying out plans for the future, because not only do people hold you to those plans, and the plans rarely go as planned, but setting expectations also creates room for disappointments.

So I’m learning more and more to have a loose idea, but to expect inevitable variations to occur.

Life is forever evolving, and often is not so straightforward as to abide by our mathematical planning on calendars and calculators.

Tiffany Davidson Homesteading Blog Washington State

Tiffany Davidson Eric Smith Washington State Homesteading Blog Travel Blog

We were moving along at full speed, making money, putting it back to prepare for a cabin build in Spring of 2019 on our new land.

Last Autumn, we arranged for a vacation to surprise loved ones in Kentucky for the holidays. Eric arranged work in KY, and his employer here in northeast WA had no problem with him leaving for this time, promising not only would his job be here when we returned, but that they would provide winter training since we’d be arriving back in the dead of winter (Eric’s route is, WAS, through the mountains of northeast WA and British Columbia, with plenty of steep mountain grades - terrifying in a car, let alone a huge semi truck hauling 100,000+ pounds).

We arrived back to our home in WA in mid-January, Eric set out to work as scheduled, despite that commute being 1.5 hours one way, through icy mountain roads, it was the price we were paying to live in this wilderness we so love.

Work went as planned for a couple of days, then as a winter storm fell over the area and mountain passes became treacherous, Eric reached out to his managers to schedule the day of winter training he was promised.

One manager speedily rushed him through a tutorial of putting chains on the truck, in the parking lot, amidst a blizzard, and the chains ended up being on backwards(!) and they claimed this was winter training.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photography

The disappointment set in and now we were in a pickle. NO way was he going to drive without winter training, not only to protect his own life, but the lives of others out on those roads.

Days went by where he was loosely made to believe that he would get training at some point, until eventually his managers turned condescending and unprofessional, all the while we were in a bit of a panic because Eric’s paycheck was suddenly… not happening as expected. With every week that went by, thousands of unmade dollars also went by, and the pressure was on for me to take on more clients to keep us afloat so that we wouldn’t have to tap into our emergency savings.

When Eric persisted with his employers, asking: “why not just send ____ with me as promised, for ONE day of winter training, and we can all move on as planned…?” the response given was that they “didn’t want to endanger TWO lives!” — so you can imagine the frustration of all of this. We live in a place where going out and simply getting a new job isn’t exactly… realistic. So there we were, our second income just completely removed from the equation, in the middle of a snowy icy winter, totally unsure what the next best move was.

Tiffany Davidson Washingtons Last Frontier Homesteading Blog Rural Living Photography

I’ll save you the details of weeks of despairing and worrying and thinking and more plans-that-didnt-go-as-expected and the decision had to be made…

The decision to move.

I can’t tell you how difficult it was to decide this and to set our jaws about it.

All of our efforts for the past couple of years have been to get to this place, this northeast WA wilderness, and be able to live comfortably in it.

What a sobering realization that: we still are not ready.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog

To live a good life in this land, it seems you must either be born here, marry into a family who was born here, be very wealthy, retired, or getting some kind of regular check that does not rely on the local economy.

Or you can work online, which is the route I have taken, but Eric is still reliant upon the local marketplace for his income.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog
Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer HOmesteading Blog

So we have moved!

The place we’ve chosen to move to is a place that stole our hearts last year when we visited, and it’s a place that - despite being much more populated than the northeast portion of the state - still retains a rugged and remote feeling (especially on the western side).

We are living on the Olympic Peninsula, and we have every intention to enjoy this place wholeheartedly for the myriad of natural wonders it has to offer.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog Olympic Peninsula
Tiffany Davidson Olympic Peninsula Photographer

What about our homestead plans in northeast WA?

They remain. But they have been slowed down.

This year, we hope to achieve a fenced-in garden area and to get a dowser out to the property to check for water availability so that a well can be dug. Maybe more will get accomplished than that, but those are our goals for 2019 on the property.

Just a few months ago, our goal was to have a cabin built on the property in 2019, but that can no longer happen.

Building a homestead from scratch with cash takes time. And it takes being closeby. So our plans are definitely delayed.

But who knows what the future holds. I have a lot of projects underway, and in my line of work it’s sometimes difficult to predict the payoff amount and timeline. So perhaps the homestead development will move faster than we could possibly foresee at this moment.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m learning that for my own life, loose ideas work better than concrete plans.

So this is a surrender of sorts, and a letting go and letting life unfold as it does.

Tiffany Davidson Olympic Peninsula Photographer Homesteading Blog

I’m certain that in a few years, I will read back over this post and smile to myself, having never could’ve imagined the way that things ended up unfolding. And that awareness brings me a certain sense of relief and humor :)

“How wild it was, to let it be…”

Tiffany Davidson Travel Photographer Olympic Peninsula Homesteading Blog
 

Welcome!

Tiffany Davidson.JPG

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:


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So thank you :)


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Nourishing Yourself Throughout Wildfire Season - Staying Healthy Amidst The Smoke
 

Here in the inland northwest, we've been cloaked in hazardous levels of smoke. We're not alone - most of the northwest, from the coast across parts of British Columbia and into Idaho and Montana, are experiencing the same conditions. 

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Originally from eastern America, this is new to me. In the past, I imagined that the fires themselves were the real threat. But it seems the smoke is actually the biggest threat to humans.

We have all been warned to stay indoors, batten down the hatches, and if we must venture outdoors to wear N95 respirator masks

It's a claustrophobic and neurotic feeling for all of us, wildlife included. The longing for rain and crisp mountain air to return can be felt like real hunger.

Despite staying inside as much as possible, most of us inevitably venture outside anyway, figuring "Oh it'll be fine..." but problems associated with wildfire smoke inhalation may not surface as disease for years and years. I don't know about you, but a breathing disease is one of the many things I'd like to avoid if possible.

So I took advantage of all of this indoor time to research detoxing the body after wildfire exposure, primarily smoke inhalation. I uncovered a lot of natural treatment strategies that my husband and I have been enacting daily. 

I figured with so many of us impacted by these wildfires, and having inhaled tiny particles into the depths of our lungs, I'd share my findings with everyone in hopes we can give our bodies a hand in dealing with this extreme pollution in the best way possible. 


 

Cleansing Indoor Air

Because wildfire smoke pushes us indoors, optimizing indoor air is the best starting point. 

Make sure to keep windows, doors, and vents closed as much as possible. Clean all air filters and be sure your A/C is set to recirculate indoor air (most A/C systems are inherently designed to do this). Avoid vaccuuming or dusting as this will stir up debris, further undermining your indoor air quality. Wait to vaccuum and dust when you can open windows. (I have been wiping surfaces down with a wet cloth and OnGuard oil, though, figuring as long as the cloth is wet the dust won't get stirred). 

While beeswax candles are known for purifying air, I find that lighting candles during wildfire season feels counterintuitive. What I've found to be so beneficial, cleansing, and soothing are diffusers

I keep a diffuser going in the main room of the house where we spend most of our time, and I turn one on in the bedroom when we go to sleep. 

Inside the diffuser, I use filtered water and two drops of Breathe - a therapeutic grade essential oil for respiratory support. This is easily one of my favorite essential oils. We stop from time to time, lingering our faces over the diffuser and slowly inhale the vapor to transfer some medicinal properties of the Breathe oil to our lungs. 

The best essential oils to diffuse inside the home for respiratory support during wildfire season are:

(I have no affiliation with DoTerra, but when it comes to essential oils for therapeutic purposes, this is the company I feel best about). 

 

Teas & Steams

It's vital to stay well-hydrated, drinking quality filtered or spring water with minerals intact. However much you weigh in pounds, divide that in half - this is how many ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll need a minimum of 75 ounces of water each day.  (A standard glass is 16 oz.).

If you want to add even more medicinal benefit to drinking water, make herbal teas! During my research, the following herbs and spices seem to be the most helpful for respiratory support and overall assistance via calming inflammation, boosting immunity, supporting the lungs, and mitigating the damage of smoke:

  • Reishi - a highly medicinal mushroom used for thousands of years. We slow brew the reishi over a hot stove in a large dutch oven, but a crock pot would work well too. The two keys to a strong reishi tea that is going to nourish your body so well are to use plenty of sliced reishi (about one pound) and to cook slow (at least 3 hours over medium heat, covered).

  • Turmeric & Ginger - both studied for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, we sprinkle turmeric & ginger powder over meals (even fruit!) and make a delicious beverage by combining a tablespoon of turmeric powder + a tablespoon of ginger powder + a tablespoon of lemon juice + a tablespoon of honey in a quart jar. Put the lid on, shake well, and enjoy. You can add ice to up the refreshment factor.

  • Lungwort - A delicious tea, we prefer it brewed hot. Combined with peppermint leaf, it's a real delight - and both are cleansing herbs for the lungs.

  • Plantain - This plant has a plethora of medicinal uses, and one of those happens to be in the treatment of inflamed mucous linings and irritation of the lungs. I recommend a hot tea.

  • Osha Root - I can't speak to it personally, as I've yet to get my hands on any. But, I wanted to mention it because Osha Root is native to the Rocky Mountains and has been used by native people in this area for thousands of years for lung and throat problems. Once I find a good source and make tea, I'll edit in some further remarks and information.

 

Another really beneficial - arguably even moreso - method of inviting medicinal herbs into the respiratory system is to make herbal steams. This is such an easy and refreshing self-care treatment, and I really urge you to give it a go. 

Oregano + Thyme Herbal Steam:

Simply heat water on the stovetop, bring to boiling, then move to a sturdy place where you can safely sit or stand over it. Add 2 tablespoons of dried oregano and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme. Stir them around and let sit for a couple of minutes. Now drape a small towel over your head and bend down to breathe in the steam. Long, slow inhalations are best. Be mindful not to get too close or you may experience an uncomfortable heat. Repeat the long slow inhalations of the oregano + thyme steam, and switch out with your partner, your children, or your roommate so everyone gets the benefits. 

Eucalyptus Showers:

Another way I like to use plants to support my respiratory system is by hanging dried bundles of eucalyptus in the shower. When you take a hot shower, you'll inevitably inhale some of the properties of the plant, and eucalyptus is one of the most recommended plants to help with lung issues.
 

 

Increase Oxygen In The Body

Encouraging more oxygen in the body and movement of oxygen is an important dynamic to staying well amidst wildfire smoke (and after). 

Because we're all pushed indoors during this time, it becomes even more crucial due to this sedentary state we're all existing in. Breathing in wildfire smoke (even remnants) combined with not moving much is a terrible combination. 

Exercise - With the advent of YouTube, there is simply no excuse for not being able to exercise in your home. With or without equipment. I look up "home workouts no equipment" and there are a variety of videos to choose from. Even doing 5-10 burpees several times a day will suffice. The goal is to increase oxygenation in the body and get that oxygen flowing to all parts of your system. 

Yoga  - Or any deep stretching. A brilliant massage therapist once told me that she sees two types of people in her practice: those who have some sort of prolonged stretching daily ritual, and those who don't. If we don't stretch daily, our fascia (a sheet of tissue that covers organs and muscles) becomes like a hardened spiderweb. In this state, it's hard for oxygen and nutrients to flow effortlessly as they should throughout our system. Long slow stretching while breathing deeply is one of the best things you can do for yourself, hands down. 

Deep Breathing - I know there's such a connotation for some around the word meditation. But, it doesn't have to be spiritual. Meditation is just good for you. The brain benefits of meditation can be seen in just 3 weeks using MRI scans of people who began meditating only 10-15 minutes a day. Not only that, but deep, controlled, focused breathing is good for your lungs. 

 

 

Neti Pot 

Many of the fine particles in the air from wildfire smoke lodge themselves in the sinus cavities for a time before making the full journey to the lungs. By developing a Neti Pot ritual, you can clear this debris out of your pathways before it has a chance to lodge in the lungs. 

Neti Pot is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that dates back thousands of years. However, since the trend arrived in America, many of the varieties on the market are made of plastic. I would highly suggest not inviting plastic residues into the head - just a personal preference. For that reason, we use the original ceramic model by Ancient Secrets. 

Also - important to note - do not use tap water. Use filtered or distilled water. 

Here's a demo video (This YouTube channel is also the one I recommend for doing yoga at home - Adriene is such a sweet soul).

 

Supplements

Last but certainly not least are natural supplements. While this list could be a very long one, I decided to keep it straightforward and simple. The following are supplements I would definitely not go without during wildfire season, and links to my favorite, most reputable, brands:

  • Magnesium - depleted during periods of stress, and deficient in most Americans to begin with. This will help your body deal with the stress of smoke inhalation.

  • Vitamin C - Will help the body adapt to stress and boost immunity.

  • Vitamin D3 - Regulates over 3,000 genes in the human body, has been shown to remove asthma symptoms, crucial for strong immune system. I always take this specific Vitamin D3 with K2. If you take Vitamin D without K2, it has a tendency to cause calcium to build up in soft tissue. Not good. K2 has been shown to assist with this problem, directing the D and Calcium where they need to go.


Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below. Your input will only help to make this a more comprehensive article, so thanks in advance!

Medical Disclaimer: Folks, I am not a doctor. This article is purely for informational purposes and to share things we have found helpful. Be smart. Make good decisions for yourself. 

x
Tiffany

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My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM:


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to maintain this little space on the Web.
So thank you :)


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