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Struthless, More Than a Ruthless Cynic

Struthless, More Than a Ruthless Cynic

Struthless, More Than a Ruthless Cynic

by Ponderings Radio

Sydney funny man, Struthless (real name: Campbell Walker), is entertaining his 206K followers with a clever formula. 

The 28 year old, combines art and humor with political and social commentary to create the color ‘Struthless’. Markers lend Struthless his millennial voice, and Instagram serves to spread his ideas to the world, forging an anti-racist and anti-nationalist counter-culture. He also just makes you laugh.

We spoke to Struthless about his recent series, among other really cool, fun, interesting things. You’ll just have to read to find out.

Your recent series ‘drawing cartoon characters in 9 styles’ has gained a lot of popularity. What inspired this series and what has been your favourite adaptation?

I broke my hand earlier this year, and the doctors said I couldn’t draw for six weeks. Three weeks later, I ripped the cast off and started drawing again. I was going stir crazy, like a working dog in a cage. When I could finally draw again, I just got this sudden rush of passion to really draw. I’ve always mimicked other people’s styles when I draw for fun, so I did it for a video and people seemed to enjoy watching it. My favourite adaptation is either the Maurice Sendak Pikachu, the Oni Nigel Thornberry, or the Terry Denton Po.

 

Throughout this series, you’ve been able to showcase not only your skills but your knowledge and respect for other illustrators, who has influenced you the most?

It’d be a 3-way tie between Robert Crumb, Dr Seuss and Terry Denton. The way Robert Crumb uses his lines pushes me to be better. Dr Seuss has the most iconic, unique and somehow transferable character and object design. Terry Denton has such a childlike love for chaos that I adore.

 

Was there a cartoon or comic series that inspired you to start drawing?

Definitely the works of those three illustrators, but I only started drawing very recently. I was more of a fan than a practitioner. Mad Magazine and Tintin have always been huge sources of inspiration. Also, a lot of cartoonists online inspired me.

 

A lot of your cartoons, though hilarious, have strong political or social commentary. Is your primary goal to start a conversation, or is it purely comedic?

My main goal is to articulate things people are already feeling, so they stop feeling the loneliness they’re prone to. The way I do this is usually through cynical social commentary, which I hope makes people think “thank god I’m not the only one who thinks like this.” The political stuff is different. That’s more about articulating ideas in unique and succinct ways because ideas need to be well-expressed to travel. Then there’s the more surreal stuff – my goal there is to make people happy.

 

What do you think is the biggest issue in Australian culture today?  

Damn… I’m not sure, but my first instinct is to say probably people using “job creation” to justify long term damage to the environment.

 

 

 

What would the Struthless’ starter pack’ entail? 

Dumb tattoos, a few colourful markers, and my two beautiful dogs.

You’re great at interacting with followers; how much does their feedback influence your work?

Thanks! Feedback helps me make better and more intimate stuff, and I like it for that reason. The way I see it is that I create the structure and then work with other people on what to fill the structure with. It’ll always be uniquely my work at the end of the day, but in a collaborative way that resonates with lots of people. Plus, it’s just fun. You get to make something with heaps of different ideas you wouldn’t ordinarily think of on your own. I love it.

 

So there you go; behind the satirical and often wickedly immoral depictions, is a humble man drawing to make people feel less lonely.

To join the fun and partake in the conversation, chuck struthless69 a follow. If you can’t get enough, then listen to his podcast, ‘God is Dead’, co-hosted with Bryce Mills. If you still can’t get enough, then buy a sleek and stylish product from his apparel line he makes with partner Felicity. If you still can’t get enough, no judging, obsessions can be healthy, buy a print to stick on your wall so you can look at it every night before you go to bed.

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Mindfulness: Journey From Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

Mindfulness: Journey From Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

Mindfulness: Journey from Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

by Ponderings Radio

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Journalist

Are you a master of your mind, or does the thought of mindfulness send you cross-eyed and thought twisted? 

What exactly is mindfulness? Is it enveloping our minds in a eurythmic cocoon of self-awareness and safety? Or is it juicing up the old think tank in a new way? We ponder the medical marvel and its history, while talking with mindfulness expert Dr Craig Hassed, Monash University Professor.

 

The most tragic myth is that mindfulness is easy; you simply sit down, breathe, think, and hum. The truth is, it can be challenging and does not need to be practiced while meditating! Essentially, mindfulness is being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment and accepting them without judgement. This can be done at any time; while you eat, walk or even complete chores. Meditation and yoga are merely ways to nurture and expand mindfulness, as it encourages sincere concentration.

Overtime, this ancient religious practice has become the fastest growing health trend in America, with an estimated 200–500 million people meditating worldwide.

Its story begins in the 6th century, when Bodhidharma, an Indian monk known as “The Blue-Eyed Barbarian” arrived in China to teach a special teaching not-written in the scriptures because the teaching is impossible to transmit by words. 

The teaching was Zen, which focuses on achieving enlightenment through meditation.

“What is ultimately behind (Zen), is the annihilation or transcendence of your identity as an individual, and access to non-local, super personal, consciousness,” says Russell Brand, comedian turned human advisor and Luminary Podcaster. There can be no doubt that mindfulness has the power to give anyone a new lease on life.

The 1800s Gold Rush introduced Zen to the western world when Chinese migrants travelled to countries in search of gold. Deep-rooted racism prevented acceptance of Buddhist rituals by the mainstream until, of course, they were whitewashed 100 years later.

Monash University Professor, Dr Craig Hassed, told us, “When the first studies on the benefits of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy came out in 1999, it sparked exponential growth in the research and application of mindfulness.”

Dr Craig Hassed goes as far as to call it “an antidote to the modern world.”

The Monash University professor says, “[mindfulness has] many useful side effects such as reducing stress, enhancing performance, improving mental health, enhancing communication, and fostering prosocial attitudes and emotional intelligence.”

Russell Brand addresses the involvement of modern science in his video, ‘Is Mindfulness a Con’. He says, “the people that came up with meditative techniques, that [modern scientists] are now proving to make your brain waves all groovy and lower your heart rate, already knew [the benefits]. They knew without access to the physicalized technology that demonstrates the efficacy of these techniques.”

In other words, Neuroscience didn’t make meditation ‘better’; it just validated what Buddhists had already known for millennia.

Mindfulness in the western world today, is a hybrid of Zen and the rituals and beliefs of Indian and Chinese Taoism.  The practice has been secularized and become a ‘trendy fad’.

However, the health benefits are irrefutable, and it’s effectively awakening the minds of individuals.

Studies have shown that after meditating for 6–9 months, almost two-thirds of those prone to anxiety manage to reduce their anxiety levels.

Mindfulness has come a long way. From sacred teachings, to medical marvel, to commodity sold by meditation apps and retreats. By acknowledging the origins and its true purpose, mindfulness has the power to create more awakened people.

 

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, Monash-FutureLearn collaboration is providing a free online mindfulness course. The next one goes live on October 7 and is ranked as one of the world’s top online courses.

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When you subscribe each story will be delivered to your inbox and you get a special gift- the Anthology Edition. 

 In December you will receive your special limited Edition Ponderings Anthology Magazine delivered to your home address. Some of the country’s best writers and the stories of of some our bravest, most courageous and interesting fellow humans selected and printed in a high quality eco friendly magazine.

You will also get stories emailed directly to your inbox so you can keep up to date AND you will receive a special link so you can get discounts and offers from our amazing advertisers and sponsors. 

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Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality

by Jasmin Pedretti and Melbourne Social Media

by Jasmin Pedretti 

Life goals vs reality.

A phrase we see bouncing around the insta-phere is life goals. So, what is the ultimate life goal? For some, it might be climbing the Eiffel tower, for others it might be running with bulls, but with some of us at Ponderings, it is just finding a hobby that we like. So, we have decided to search for a hobby. Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Japanese forest bathing.

First of all, we have the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku, described in Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki’s book ‘The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health and Relaxation’. And we put it to the test.  

 Jasmin told Kate that they would be dabbling in the art of Forest Bathing. She got quite a shock when she found Kate wrapped in a pink, velvet dressing-gown with a matching shower cap, holding a giant rubber duck. Kate thought this attire would be suitable for bathing, little did she know there was no water involved.

Jasmin tried to show her how to connect with nature, relish in the healing power of trees and immerse herself in the forest atmosphere.

While Jasmin’s stress slowly depleted, she looked over at Kate, only to see that she was playing with her rubber duck. There was more quack than luxe. Let’s just say someone ended up with a splinter somewhere we shouldn’t mention.

Crocheting

Life goals vs reality. A phrase we see bouncing around the insta-phere is life goals. So, what is the ultimate life goal? For some, it might be climbing the Eiffel tower, for others it might be running with bulls, but with some of us at Ponderings, it is just finding a hobby that we like. So, we have decided to search for a hobby. Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality.

 No longer the past-time for nifty-nanna’s, and according to most reputable hipster clubs, the art of crocheting is now a funky past-time for millennials to master. 

 Jasmin could not wait to learn how to create a beautiful rug of her dreams. She watched as Kate seamlessly thread yarn through a stick. She nodded enthusiastically as Kate showed her the technique, her nimble fingers expertly looping and interlinking, slowly creating an intricate masterpiece. How hard could it be? Finally, it was Jasmin’s turn. 

To this day, no-one knows what happened. Quicker than a clove hitch at a Scout camp, Kate was presented with a twisted, tangled, terrified Jasmin.

Who knew that baby-pink wool could be so menacing. Is knitted shame a thing?

Maybe we should check in with Brene Brown.

Got a cool hobby? Drop us a comment on our Facebook Page with a pic of your latest achievement! 

Want to become a VIP Ponderer?

 

Ponderings is completely self funded and certainly not owned by a big media organisation. In order to deliver REAL news and great stories we need your support. Running Ponderings Magazine now requires a team and a whole lot of work and we need your help to keep it going! 

 

When you subscribe each story will be delivered to your inbox and you get a special gift- the Anthology Edition. 

 In December you will receive your special limited Edition Ponderings Anthology Magazine delivered to your home address. Some of the country’s best writers and the stories of of some our bravest, most courageous and interesting fellow humans selected and printed in a high quality eco friendly magazine.

You will also get stories emailed directly to your inbox so you can keep up to date AND you will receive a special link so you can get discounts and offers from our amazing advertisers and sponsors. 

Our gifts to you. Because we believe the stories of our collective humanity deserve to be shared- with integrity and without the tail wagging the dog. 

 

Yes I want to support Ponderings and subscribe

$24.95 AU per year 


Meet The Mother Who Turned Grief Into A Refuge For Kids

Meet The Mother Who Turned Grief Into A Refuge For Kids

Deborah Saunders experienced a mother’s worst nightmare when her son was killed in a tragic car accident at age 17.

She recalls how the press bombarded her family, and mainstream media reported misleading articles. Everyone deserves a chance to tell their story. Here, Deborah explains in her own words how she coped with her son’s death and has healed her broken heart by looking after children.

 

The Barnardo’s Mother of the Year VIC 2019, has raised four children independently and fostered countless teenagers. She has devoted her life to providing young people with a home, a safe space and a chance for a better life. Deborah’s guiding light has saved those who have found themselves travelling down a dark and troubling path. Her home has been a place of protection and nurture.

 

Children, entrenched in a world of drug and alcohol abuse, in an endless cycle of poverty, full of uncertainties such as when or where they will get their next meal, yearn for the love and stability that Deborah provides. The number of children dependent on this support continues to rise. 

 

The latest figures from the Australian Institute of Family Studies have shown that the number of children in care has risen in Australia by 18% from 2013 to 2017.

Winning Mother of the Year has in no way affected her humility. Throughout our small chat, Deborah oozed motherly compassion and a determination to help kids that need it.  

 

What would you say is your biggest passion?

I think the rights of young people. Definitely. The rights of dignity and respect. Some of the young people I work with don’t have housing. They’re living in poverty and experiencing drug and alcohol abuse, childhood abuse. The worst part is it just keeps going. It doesn’t get addressed. There’s no healing, so that’s my job. 

 

Has there been an experience that inspired your passion for helping foster children? 

I think it was my childhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but it was a bit rough. I think also being a young person growing up in poverty, and then being able to reflect on actually how tough it is for these kids. I was one of the lucky ones because I had a family. Also, my kids would always bring friends home. We ended up with some staying, and these moments would help me reflect on how fortunate I was. 

 

What advice would you give to women who feel inadequate as mothers?

Be kinder to yourself. It’s tough to seek help but don’t be too proud to do it. My mum used to tell me, take it one hour at a time, if you can’t manage a whole day, break it down. 

 

Would you rather live in a treehouse or a cubby house?

A treehouse. 

What is your favourite book?

The Outsiders. It’s an old one, but it’s one of the first books I read.

This book may have shaped Deborah’s passion for the plight of the troubled youth.

The Outsiders is known as being an authentic depiction of teenage struggles since a 15-year-old actually wrote it. It is a story of children deprived of love in the pursuit of redemption. Aiding this pursuit is what provides Deborah with purpose every day.

 

Her daughter refers to her as the strongest woman in the country.

In 2009, her 17-year-old son Jack died instantly in a car accident. 

When asked about Jack, Deborah wants people to know that he was more than just a statistic. He was the glue of the family. He lobbied for his right to wear a mohawk when he was told to get rid of it in year 8. Jack was intelligent but also social and fun. He read a lot, could not abide bullies and questioned everything from the time he was little.

 

“I know all mothers think their kids are special, but Jack had a presence, he was larger than life and had a charisma that attracted all sorts. He could talk to anyone. I miss our long talks the most.”

Jack came to Deborah one Sunday morning and told her of a dream he’d had. The angel Gabriel had come to collect Jack, telling him he needed to go and help him save young people. The two of them laughed it off.

 

Deborah remembers how perfect the weather was the day her son died. Jack entered a car to try and intercept a fight and help a distressed boy. This mistake cost him his life as both boys died instantly. Jack was found to have a low alcohol reading, yet the media went on a rampage reporting a story of “drunken hoons”. It made the agony of losing her boy unimaginable. 

Denied the chance to see her son, Deborah felt she might have been able to save him.

 

“I still feel in my soul, that if they’d let me see Jack, I may have been able to bring him back. I think it’s a mother thing.” 

Deborah still cries. She still feels overwhelmed by grief and misses Jack with every breath. She was not alive or awake for the first twelve months after losing Jack. Losing a child is the loneliest thing on earth. 

“I can’t imagine what Jack would be doing for a living now, or even what he’d look like. It’s too painful. I tried writing to him, but it’s too hard, I talk to him all the time and especially at bedtime. Losing Jack has changed me.” 

 

However, Deborah knew she had to put one foot in front of the other to keep a roof over her other children’s heads.

 When faced with the devastating anguish of losing a child, Deborah has not allowed adversity to trump her soul. 

 

Horrifyingly life-altering and debilitating grief has brought Debra to her knees and yet within this, she has forged healing and a sense of peace through helping other kids and being of service to those that need love and stability in their lives.

She has put the pieces of her heart back together and offered it to those in need.

We salute this beautiful woman and can only ever hope to look to her and her story of her family and her beautiful Jack for inspiration and courage. 

 

 

The Barbaric Truth About Hair

The Barbaric Truth About Hair

Journalist Jasmin Pedretti

Getting your hair done is one of life’s simple pleasures. It might even cost an arm and a leg, and every other limb for that matter, but who needs limbs when you can experience the hairdressers? 

How delicious is it to be pampered and then leave with a transformed head of hair and a renewed sense of pride. The only flaw to this experience is that the products often used are tried and tested on animals who could not give a damn about your pretty new do. Do we care about their limbs? Their skin or pain? Bear with me here, as we unpack and get educated. Do you dare to read or listen?

The hair industry doesn’t want consumers to know the truth, and many consumers don’t want to know either, because it’s gruesome and distressing. Ignorance is very much bliss. But the truth is what it is.

Getting your hair bleached isn’t the same merry experience when you’re picturing a rat being bleached to death or a rabbit having their eyes painted with dye. Having your scalp massaged isn’t as nice when you’re picturing a confused little mouse forced to endure excruciating pain as he is burned alive. What happens when a mouse is injected with lethal doses of chemicals? Convulsions and seizures, usually a slow death. What happens when toxic substances are slathered onto a baby rabbits raw skin, or poured into her scared little eye? Blindness, swelling, and hemorrhaging.

We don’t know if mammals feel pain the same way humans do, but we do know they experience it. Marc Bekoff, evolutionary biologist, says that mammals share the same nervous system, neurochemicals, perceptions, and emotions, all of which are integrated into the experience of pain.

Killing animals for food is one thing for many, torturing them for beauty is a whole other level of cruelty. Our furry friends have the right to live WITH us, not FOR us. 

How could I leave the salon with pride, knowing what was sacrificed for my silky strands?

If this bothers you too, then there are alternatives. 

Choose Cruelty Free Ltd. provides Australian consumers with a list of companies that are humane and ethical. Consumers have access to the information they need to decide according to their moral standards. The freedom to make this choice is crucial.  

Successful business owner, hairdresser and owner of Jomara Hair Studio, Mariesa Lauder, stocks her salon with a brand that is on this list. De Lorenzo is an Australian-made brand that is organic and most importantly; cruelty-free. 

Mariesa says, “there is no need to torture animals for beauty. We’ve got the technology to test products by other means. Testing on animals for luxury is an unnecessary form of cruelty. DeLorenzo test on humans that volunteer.”

In recent years, the torch has shone on the make-up industry, exposing cosmetics that test on animals; whereas hair products have been left in the dark. Mariesa says that the hair industry needs an urgent shakeup because far too many people are using hair products that contain chemicals tested on animals. 

 

In fact, according to the Humane Society, 500,000 animals suffer and die each year as a result of cosmetic testing, and a Yahoo report says that 80% of countries still allow for it to happen. Clearly, it’s a huge issue that needs urgent attention.

De Lorenzo is also Australian made.

Why is this important? Because quite simply- buying Aussie made products supports local jobs and our economy. 

Ben Lazzaro, the Chief Executive of the Australian Made Campaign Ltd. explains why it is so important to buy Australian made. 

“When you buy Aussie-made and grown products, you know what you are getting—products from our clean, green environment made to the highest of manufacturing standards. At the same time, you are supporting Australian businesses and jobs.”

In an industry that is saturated with products that are made by prodding, poisoning and killing helpless animals, don’t be blind-sided.

The truth is shocking, ugly, and downright distressing, but it’s happening, and you don’t have to support it.

Looking and feeling beautiful doesn’t have to mean sacrificing integrity.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. 

Hey Sis, What’s the Tea? Make Your Own!

Hey Sis, What’s the Tea? Make Your Own!

All the reasons why you should grow your own tea. Ideal herbs to use and their specific medicinal health benefits.

 

Jasmine Pedretti 

Journalist | Wordsmith

There is nothing more soothing for the soul than the perfect, hot, cuppa’.

What if I told you that you could grow your own tea? In a fast-paced world that prefers convenience, we often miss out on life’s little wonders. Yes, you could buy the tea from the shop. But using freshly grown herbs from your own garden is far more special. Let me tell you why. 

First of all, our planet would thank you. We are far more waste conscious these days, however, unbeknownst to many, some brands actually make and fasten their tea bags with plastic. Therefore, by growing your own tea, you are helping to lift your eco-footprint, one glorious herb at a time. 

Gardening is also a wonderful stress reliever because it can distract you from all-consuming anxieties. In fact, a new study has discovered that regular exposure to plants and green spaces is beneficial to mental and physical health.

Nourished Life Ad

 If you are going to grow your own- tip: make sure you aren’t using pesticides or chemical sprays and be sure to wash them thoroughly before use. Our Ponderings Produce Wash recipe helps to remove any nasties from your fresh herbs and produce. Fill a large bowl with water, put a healthy dash of organic APVinegar into the water, place herbs in (water should cover) and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse. (Awesome right?)

 Perfect brew:  Infuse in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 4 minutes for the first and second brewing. Tear the leaves to bruise and release the goodies. Leave for 5 + minutes depending on the intensity you like your brew. 

Like all herbs you should check with a medical expert first before using as they may have drug/herbal contraindications. 

Making your own tea from the herbs you have cared for and helped prosper is also far more rewarding than buying it dried and in a bag.

 

Not only this, fresh herbs are full of goodies that benefit your health. Using fresh herbs that have not been poisoned by harsh chemicals or sat in a box for who knows how long, means you get the most from their medicinal potential. 

 Unsure of what herbs to start with? Here is a rundown of some great options, along with a few of their health remedies:

 

Pot Marigold

Botanical name: Calendula officinalis

Season to grow: all year round.

  • Contains significantly powerful flavonoids that shield cells from free radical damage and may aid menstrual cramps.  Quercetin and isorhamnetin are the two most common. These two are shown in countless medical journals to help protect the body from free radicals and helping to savenge potentially damaging toxins reducing inflammation. 
  • Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs for centuries
  • Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is as a remedy for healing wounds.
  • May help prevent and relax muscle spasms. A study conducted by the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences found that calendula relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions. 

Peppermint

Botanical name: Mentha balsamea Wild

Season to grow: Spring or summer but can be grown indoors on a windowsill over Winter. 

 

  • Great for indigestion and bloating as it may relax the muscles in the stomach and intestine.
  • Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential.
  • May decongest and soothe sore throats because of the menthol.
  • May lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Contains several flavonoids, primarily eriocitrin, luteolin and hesperidin, rich in carotines and Vit. C
  • Beautiful on its own or as a complimentary taste. 
  • Caution has been urged for peppermint oil therapy in patients with GI reflux, hiatal hernia or kidney stones.

Pineapple Sage 

Latin name: Salvia elegans

Season to grow: Spring, however, can tolerate Winter if grown in sandy or sharply-drained soil. 

 

  • A  study showed pineapple sage could act as an anti-depressing agent. 
  • Aids digestion and is good for settling an upset stomach and has a calming effect.
  • Our resident Naturopath tells us too much can dry you out, so go easy, it has been used for centuries for drying up mother’s milk. 
  • Full of antioxidants and flavonoids this is a powerful herb.
  • It tastes just like pineapple, which is delicious as a cold tea infused tea too!
  • Use the flowers to garnish, they are edible and make the perfect edition to a salad top.

 Lemon Verbena

Latin name: Aloysia citrodora

Season to grow: Spring but can be grown indoors during the colder months. Do not be alarmed when it loses its leaves during Winter, they will return. 

 

  • Rare power to strengthen muscles due to the high amount of antioxidants.
  • May reduce inflammation and joint pain caused by arthritis.
  • May boost immunity because it increases white blood cells.
  • Lemony deliciousness, the aroma is next level
  • Full of phytochechemicals such as- neral, geranial, limonene, nerol, geraniol, terpineol, caryophyllene, curcumene, isovalerianic acid, eupafolin, hispidulin, eupatorin, salvigenin, apigenin, luteolin, geraniol, flavonoids
  • Considered safe but be sure to check with a medical expert first before using this herb as it may have drug/herbal contraindications. 

Lavender

Latin name: Lavandula

Season to grow: Spring but can be planted in Autumn using bigger plants to ensure survival over Winter.

 

  • A study found that lavender tea increases the percentage of deep slow-wave sleep; the restorative sleep phase. 
  • Contains substantial amounts of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds such as vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
  • May detoxify the body of harmful free radicals caused by pollution, heavy drinking and smoking.
  • Lavender extracts contain flavonoids from group of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin. Higher amounts of luteolin diglucuronide are also found in the stalks, so don’t throw them away!

There is no greater time to start growing those aromatic, health restoring plants. If you grow them already, then put them to good use and brew a glorious elixir to heal the body, mind and soul. Check out our Ponderings Herbal picks of the month.

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