Sunday, April 1, 2012

The toughest time of the year.....

Saturday 31-02

for me, at least.
Here I am; sitting at home... indoors... feeling awefull.
The seasonal change is upon us, giving me my annual "downtime". I suffer from springdepressions. My personal situation is making that even worse.
Outside the temperatures these days hover around freezing, it's windy and there are showers of (wet) snow and (freezing) rain over the last couple of days. The nice warm springweather has stepped back a little and old king Frost isn't beaten yet. Many of my joints are stiff and sore, especially the ones in hands and legs.
The depression in itself isn't as severe as it used to be in previous years, and I did get treatment and councelling at the time. One of the medical reasons for that is the changing chemical composition of one's blood, during the change of seasons and the lack of sunshine and the fysical inactivity at the end of winter.
Many (artificial) drugs do have some serious negative side effects on me, because I have a sensitive system and I quickly feel my system being poisoned. So I have to search for alternatives....

I did get the advise to make "birchtea", which supposedly acts as a natural aspirin.
After doing some searching, I found this HERE

Birch Tea Benefits

Birch Tea Benefits Birch Tea Benefits, particularly their anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, have been highly regarded for centuries.

Birch is a soft-wood tree commonly found in the woodlands of cold climate countries particularly in North America and Europe. It is a fast-growing tree and can reach up to 65 feet in height. The birch tree is recognized for its silvery-white bark that tends to peel off in layers. The tree also has slender drooping branches. The leaves of the birch tree have toothed edges, are broadly ovate, and are smooth and shiny. Its roots grow shallow.

Birch has the so-called 'oil of birch' that contains betulin and betulinic acid. Betulinic acid is currently being studied for its potentials as an anti-cancer treatment. Birch also contains saponins, flavonoids and tannins, among others.
To make birch tea from its leaves, place 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls in a cup and pour on boiling water. Cover the mix and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Take the tea about three times daily.
Birch tea can also be made using the bark of the tree. Simply place a teaspoon of dried birch bark in a cup of boiling water, then allow it to stand for 15 minutes. Take this twice or thrice a day.
The following are some of the health benefits attributed to birch tea:
* Birch tea may help alleviate joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
* Birch tea may be helpful in combating gout.
*Birch tea may help fight urinary disorders.
*Birch tea may be useful in the treatment of melanoma.
*Birch tea from the leaves may be helpful in fighting skin breakouts and other dermatological problems. This may be applied topically as a wash or added to bath water.
*Birch tea may help remove excess fluids from the body.

Haven't tried it yet, but I sure will soon!

The ever changing weather is wreaking havoc on the scartissue in my sinusses and facial cavities, making my head feel like a basketball, pressurised with water and about to burst everytime I bend over. I had surgery in these cavities, because the passageways were constantly clogged up, causing inflammations in those cavities. I had these passages opened up and widened by cutting away (bone)tissue. These scars cause a very unpleasant, throbbing pain in the face and behind the eyes, when weather changes.
I know: my troubles seem insignificant and pale, when compared to many people's here and elsewhere, but still...

I've read all the interesting books on my shelves at least once, swinging an axe, working a saw or stomping through the woods and hauling a pack isn't much fun either.
The loss of interest in another hobby, military history and military scale modelling, which I spent a great deal of time with, left a huge hole, which still has to be filled.
I very regularly visit forums like BCUSA and BCUK and I wrote this, there too.
I did get quite some responses, which in itself made me feel good and there was one advise that stood out; GO OUT!!
So I did what the BC-doctors ordered me to, took a few painkillers, wrapped myself is my wool gear, grabbed my favorite stuff and made myself some coffee, old fashioned style. The weather decided to play nice, too. It wasn't long befor my wife and kids joined me and we shared some good time together, peacefully and relaxed.

I enjoyed some sunshine, had good coffee, some fresh air, if I disregard the many moments I got "smoked" and after my family left me in piece after a while, I heard many birds singing. All in all a good afternoon!!

cheerfull, old me...

While sitting there, thinking, I asked myself the question what the outdoors means to me and I set myself the goal of capturing that in one picture. And I found out I couldn't! So I settled for the next best thing; what are the basics I seek.
This is what I came up with;

The fire; warmth, light, security and a way to prepare food
The coffeepot; the simplicity and basicness of outdoorlife
The coffee; a moral booster on low moments and an highly enjoyable, relaxing drink after a hard days work
The wooden gear; essential skills and crafts and use of natural resources without leaving a longlasting trace or having a destructive impact.
The knives; Steel, the only artificial material that somehow to me remains natural. It can be made from all natural materials without much longlasting polution and still is degradable over time without a trace (to my knowledge) and, combined with other natural materials, like wood and leather for handles and leather and even fishskin for sheaths, makes an essential tool, simple and effective.
The canteen and breadbag; Steel and canvas. Simple, effective, no nonsense items. Functional and in tone with the rest of the gear and enviroment. Reminders of the olden days, when life was simpler, more basic and less cluttered and poluted.

Why did I write all this on my outdoorforum??
Simple, because this too is a part of it for me; the times when things are tough, when you feel down, when you are in need. Where ever you go, you and your mind will be there. So will problems and so will be the need to deal with them.... preferably with solutions found directly around you.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about your seasonal problems, Ron! But it's great that you are doing your best to overcome them and enjoy yourself anyway.

    Try that birch tea as soon as you can and let us know how it works!

    Thanks for the great pics and philosophy. Very well said, my friend.