Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Visit with the Herbal Healer of Rose Bud

I've mentioned my migraines to you occasionally and that one of my quests is to find a remedy that actually works. Well, my sisters, Nan and Tressa, heard about Barry Joneshill in Rose Bud and paid him a visit recently. Turns out he's something of a legend as an herbal healer, and I, who grow herbs, study herbs and have tried everything I've ever read or heard about, am the last to know in the state of Arkansas. They came away saying I should visit him. The remedy he prescribed was for Tres; we had no idea how life-threatening her condition was at the time or that the window for herbal healing had closed........but that's a whole other story.

So yesterday, I gassed up the Kia and drove 30 miles over verdant rolling hills dotted with goats, horses and cows. My kind of scenery. I passed the Rose Bud city limits sign, population 429, Sal-ute! Shortly afterwards my GPS proudly announced that my destination was on the left. I had arrived at Remedies. It's a pretty building with lots of glass in the front and interesting little walkways with well kept plants along the way.

Inside, there was a homey atmosphere, murals on some of the walls and even on the floor, with a large room off to the side filled with mirrors, red velvet chairs, dark shiny wood and tasseled lamps, like a Victorian parlour; price tags hung on them and a sign overhead said, "Your husband called. He said you can buy anything you want". The main room was lined with shelves filled with supplements and herbs, not the ordinary variety you can buy at Wal-Mart. There were 2 very large women, a child and a teenaged boy perched on a long sofa with the man I assumed to be Barry in front of them at a small table, writing on white cards. A few feet beyond them were 2 rows of chairs where 3 more people were waiting. Ah, the waiting room. I dutifully parked myself there so as to get in line, but the room fascinated me and every now and then I'd be drawn over to this shelf or that to read labels on herbal and homeopathic boxes, bottles and tubes. There was also a book rack. I could spend all day in this place. The coolest shelves were built on either side of a group of French doors, very Shabby Chic.

There's no privacy, so I all the while I was listening to the conversation with the people on the sofa. It seemed they each had an ailment, and Barry found a connection between them, prescribed some potions, and stood up, indicating that their consultation was over, but they were relishing their position at the front of the line and remained seated, bringing up more supporting ailments. I was thinking, "Go on already. Your turn is over." Finally they did, and the next group was up, a mom, her adolescent son, and probably his aunt. They'd come for the boy's upset stomach, but again, they all had ailments, and all were diagnosed in a matter of 10 minutes, never having been touched by Barry. He just asked a few questions and wrote on his white cards. I Googled one of the supplements he prescribed for them, just curious. The photos are also courtesy of my iPhone.

Barry has the reputation of knowing things about you, things that amaze his patients. He's a good lookin' soft spoken gentleman with silver hair and appears to be in his late 40's, but it's said he may be closer to 80. For a fact, he's highly educated and has created his own line of remedies called Thaumaturge, which means "Bringer of Miracles". We're all hoping for a miracle.

When those 3 left, it was my turn. On the drive up, I'd mulled over what to tell him. Over a span of 40 years, I've poured out my heart about the migraines to a gaggle of doctors and specialists; how severe, how often, what I have and haven't tried, arguing with them when they want to put me on meds that leave me in a drugged stupor....... it's very much like flailing a dead horse. I needn't have worried. He only asked why I was there. Lifelong migraines. Writing on his cards. Did I have thinning hair? Some, but not so much. I said that most people in my family who had these migraines had stopped by the time they were my age. "How old are you? 36?" Laughter on my part, no, turn that around......and I thought, he said it jokingly, but had he known my exact age? Hmmmm.

Well, here's what you need to do, and he came over and sat beside me and gave me the card with a diagram of what he determined was going on in my body, along with a prescription for apricot juice, tonic water, nutmeg and herbal tablets from his shelves. He said to follow it for 3 weeks, four times a year, and he indicated the calendar dates to begin each round. Will it stop the migraines? I pray it does. But either way, I enjoyed my little journey to Remedies, and I'll probably go again.

And Marley? He'll just be happy if his mommy has more happy days to play with him.
Much love to y'all and thanks for stopping by.
Cat & Marley

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Playing in the Mud......and Notes to Santa

I'm not a quitter, not by a long-shot, but I almost dropped out of my pottery classes for 2 reasons. One was the 9 AM time slot on Monday mornings, dealing with Little Rock traffic, and it has rained/stormed almost every Monday since I started, and then there were 2 weeks of flooding when I could have gotten to class by way of Dallas but opted to stay home with Marley who's terrified of storms. I'm a country girl, and while I can drive in crazy traffic, it's no fun for me, and these days, if it ain't fun, why bother?

The second reason was that all we've made in class are boring little 3 inch pinch pots, slab boxes, and coiled pots, and they're just dynamically ugly! This is the hand-building class, and they won't let us touch the throwing wheel till next semester. (I wonder why they call it throwing; seems to me it should be a spinning wheel. I guess the yarn makers already glommed onto that name.......but I digress.) Anyway this week, I brought home some of my clay and made a few pieces on my own. Duh! Of course this is why they teach us the techniques on ugly little pots, so we can transfer them to pieces we might actually want to claim.

I fell totally in love with my clay this week, even though it's an absolute hassle that everything has to dry, in stages, but not too quickly, and then be wrapped and boxed and precariously carted back to the Arts Center for firing, glazing and firing again. Before the first firing, it's so fragile you could pick up a piece and push your thumb right through it. I really wish I had my own kiln! Are you listening, Santa?

This little log with roses on it was my first pottery creation on my own. I've made tons of roses in cake frosting and in paper sculptures, but trust me, clay is easier. It has a lot of little sticking-out petals and leaves that I'll worry about in the firing process because we don't get to do that ourselves. Seriously, Santa, I need that kiln!

I made a bunch of these little herb plant markers. They're sorta messy but will be just fine hanging from wires in my herb beds; I need to buy some letters for stamping words in clay. When I die, the art and craft supply dealers are gonna miss me.

I'm not sure what this is........but it's not horrible. When it's dry, it will all be pale gray. The dark middle is where it's not quite dry yet. I just rolled it out and stamped the image of an old plastic Christmas place mat into it and then draped it over wadded up newspapers in a free-form fashion. It'll be interesting to see how well it glazes....or not. Oh, and I also need a slab roller, but for now, a rolling pin on a canvas covered board works fine.

This is a vase, about 10 inches high, that I made by wrapping a slab around a pretzel jar, and then I stamped leaf patterns all over it, played with the edges and added little strips to look like toggle buttons, and when it was stiff enough but not completely dry, I slipped it off the jar and added a bottom.

If you've ever made a lattice top on an apple pie, you know this technique. I'm liking this bowl; it's about 4 inches deep and 8 inches wide at the top. I cut strips from a slab, using a fettling knife, but it would be really cool to have an extruder. Uh, Santa.

And here is what I was working my way up to, and had no idea if I could do it, but she turned out not half bad. Anyway, she's a beginning, and I'm sure Jane will point out areas where I could have used better techniques. I predict more figurines in my future. I would have loved to have a banding wheel, so I could turn the piece as I worked on it, but I managed with just a small plastic board....still, it would be nice to have that banding wheel.....if a certain someone is listening.

My week went whizzing by, and I'd wake up each morning thinking of what I could make in clay. Marley hates it when I play with clay because he doesn't do loud noises, and I'm always pounding or slamming the slabs of clay around, and he takes off for his bed in the kitchen. But the storms had a positive outcome for him. He now sleeps in the bed with us full time. He gets so overcome with happiness and gratitude at bedtime we haven't had the heart to tell him not tonight, and anyway, he's a very good boy, and if he gets shoved by a foot during the night, he just scooches over and goes back to his soft little snoring....and besides I have cold feet. Shih Tzus are very warm.

I'll share more of my work as I progress, and I'll show you how these look after firing and glazing. My first attempt at glazing ugly pots was pretty awful. I guess it's true; you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Wish me luck with these, and I'd welcome any suggestions as to colors.
Marley and I are so glad you stopped by!
Cat & Marley

P.S. I looked up the term, and here's what I found. I still think it should be a spinning wheel.
The Old English word thrawan from which to throw comes, means to twist or turn. Going back even farther, the Indo-European root *ter- means to rub, rub by twisting, twist, turn. The German word drehen, a direct relative of to throw, means turn and is used in German for throwing. Because the activity of forming pots on the wheel has not changed since Old English times, the word throw has retained its original meaning in the language of pottery but has developed a completely different meaning in everyday usage.