A Sappy Love Story


A Sappy Love Story

I have a lot of good ideas!

Yeah, that can come across as a bit of a boast, but it seems like my mind is always taking information in, processing it, connecting it to other things and then generating some idea.

Wait! Isn’t that just called thinking?!?

Ok, so I think a lot!    –     There, that sounds better, right?!


still-life-851296_640In my desire to learn more about herbal medicine, I happen to come across a lot of great information, articles, research, and recipes. I can’t help but get excited when I learn something new about a natural resource. When I learned more about the unusual properties of Tulsi Basil, of course, I needed to grow it for our farmacy. When I saw our lovely lilacs blooming last spring, I researched all I could about the benefits of using lilac to bring down fevers, and now we are bottling our own lilac tincture and lilac infused honey. You see, I enjoy learning about how to use the nature that is around us to help us live a healthier life.


Now, there is no possible way for us to go out and wildcraft every single tincture, salve, and elixir that I read about. One, there isn’t enough time in the day. Two, we don’t live in a geographic region where many of these natural resources grow. Three, we just don’t have the need for some of these products in our day-to-day life.

Many times after reading about some exotic plant and it’s properties, I like to share my newfound knowledge with my dear husband. He, of course, responds in the appropriate fashion.


“So, how many fevers will we need to come down with to use up all of that?”


“Great, so glad that plantain is good at treating bee stings…I mean we get stung like once every ten years or so.”


You see, while he wholeheartedly supports this holistic healthy habit lifestyle we have taken on, he is a realist. He knows it is better to heal ourselves with nature, but finding the best bang for the buck, and the most effective use of our time and energy, is always on his mind.


So, this is where the love story comes in.


A couple of weeks ago, I read all about pine pitch. I read about how it can be used in a salve to draw out the toxins from spider bites and draw out splinters and glass shards. I also learned that you can apply the pitch directly to a splinter and bandage and that within 24-48 hours it can pull the splinter right out all the while healing and preventing infection. We aren’t new to the benefits of pine, and we currently use a pine essential oil in our Athletic Prep & Perform Rub as it helps to increase blood flow to an injured area and allows healing to take place while remaining active. However, we hadn’t been using pine in anything other than essential oil form, and that was something that I wanted to change.

You see, pine works in the following way: as a counter-irritant, it helps to stimulate and increase blood flow to a localized area, and in a healthy way begins to aggravate the local immune response to kick it up a notch. This reaction can cause a slight increase (and a temporary one) in inflammation to the area as it speeds up the healing. This process is how it “draws” out the foreign object or toxin…it literally surrounds it and pushes it to the surface and out.

Well, after reading all about how to make our own pine oil and how we can use pine pitch straight, I was all excited about the prospect of gathering our own pitch from the trees on our property. When I “pitched” this idea to my husband, his response was:


“Well, seeing as we always wear work gloves while on the property, I’m not sure there is a huge demand for a splinter solution around here.”


So, we let that idea just remain an idea and went on with our day.


Fast forward three weeks to yesterday!


The first storm of the season is set to move through, so we spent all of yesterday getting ready. Well, I spent yesterday making more kefir and braiding more of our family room rug, but my husband was out on the property. He was weather proofing the chicken coop and rabbitry, covering the goat’s feed with tarps, winterizing the dog kennel, dropping a very suspect tree (that may not have weathered the upcoming storm well), and in general doing a lot of outside work in preparation for the coming 3-4 days of rain.

By the time dinner was hot and ready to serve, I had a husband, and at this time, a kid still out and about on the property getting stuff ready. By the time 8 pm rolled around, I was sitting on the couch scrolling through my FB feed with dinner still waiting on the stove (btw – trying to keep pasta with meat sauce warm without getting mushy is an art form). As I sat there, I heard a tap on the sliding glass door behind me. I looked over and saw a bright shining headlamp bobbing up and down in rhythm with the knocking.

I got up and opened the door, and standing there was my husband, the realist, with the sappiest token of love – a pinecone filled with pine pitch!

Somehow, in his marathon workday of storm prep, he saw a couple of pinecones filled with sap. And then instead of just kicking them down the hill or leaving them to weather and rot in the rain and mud, he remembered that crazy idea I had about wanting to gather pine pitch and saved them for me.

Here he was, standing at the door, cold, hungry and very tired with a slight grin on his lips as he handed me a beautiful cone glistening with sap.  Not just one, but two large pinecones that were draped in sap of varying degrees of hardness were handed over to me.




He heard me and my crazy idea.

He didn’t blow it off.

He not only listened to it, and filed it away…he acted on it when the opportunity presented itself.

In his crazy busy day, he made time to think of me.

He found a way to show me that I matter to him (and my ideas matter to him).



This, people, is true love!

As the rain comes down today, I found myself carefully extracting as much pine pitch and sap from the pinecones that I could. I realized that if it weren’t for his ability to see more in an old pinecone than most people, I wouldn’t have these two lovely specimens in front of me, my hands wouldn’t be covered in sap, my little jar of pitch wouldn’t be filling up, and my heart wouldn’t be as full as it is today.


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I love my man, my family, and the life we are building together!

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