| Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and happy solstice as well. Until I began gardening, hiking and keeping chickens, I could never really relate to celebrating the solstice, but now it makes sense. Every day from now on, my plants get more sunlight, there's more time for me to garden and hike, and in a few weeks, my chickens will begin laying again. So I guess I'm celebrating all of that.
A new year is on its way, and I'm starting two new gigs that I'd like to share with you. First, I'll be joining the Institute for Policy Studies' Other Words project as a weekly columnist. You can see my latest op ed here. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity as it's an absolute blast to stand on a soapbox and speak my mind to mainstream America once a week, and I am being funded by a very VERY kind friend who I appreciate more than I can even express.
Other Words publishes op eds weekly and newspapers around the nation can choose to feature them online and in print. The readership is mostly not "the choir" if you know what I mean. (In a recent column, I wrote that healthy foods are plants, animals, and fungi, and my editor removed the word 'fungi' because that was a little bit too "out there" for the audience we're aiming for.)
Second, I've started making and selling organic herbal tea on a very small scale. I've got my products posted on Etsy here. I started this up a few weeks ago. I began really small, offering products to friends through Facebook, but there was a lot of interest so it seems to be growing faster than I can really believe. And, as I wrote before, I had the unfortunate chance to be my own guinea pig when I caught a nasty cold and then treated myself with herbs. I suppose it's a small price to pay, to suffer for a few days so that I can say honestly that I know my herbal teas are effective!
I don't expect the tea business to overtake writing as a source of income for me, but I'm trying to diversify a bit so that when a publication I write for suddenly loses its freelance budget or something, I won't be left high and dry. Aside from that, it's really fun, and I love that I can offer a better, fresher product for a lower price than what you can find at the store.
I hope everyone's holidays are full of love, joy, and not too much stress about perceived obligations.