Friday, October 7, 2016
What a prosperous day! It was full of sun, new beginnings and fresh starts!
While in town a friend of ours who has two Fennic Foxes drove by and had one with her. He was wonderful and amazing! He loved his person so much and she loved them dearly. I don't advocate keeping exotic animals as pets but there are those few people who treat them better than a great many human children are treated.
And speaking of Foxes.... Our beloved little Fox got a wonderful home! As I we were waiting for his new people to arrive, I had second thoughts. I care about every creature we take in and each one carries a piece of my heart with them. I try not to but it's not in me to feel otherwise. Fox though, he was little different.
I actually found myself hoping the people wouldn't show up. Our rougher life just didn't suite him physically but he thrived here mentally and emotionally. He loved the wildness and the bravado of having Nemo (110 lb LGD) to back him up. But his little body suffered for it daily. Flea allergy, rolling in every dead thing he could find, not enough hair for the colder winters...
All of that was swept away when the woman pulled up and got out. She smiled and I saw angel wings. I knew instantly that she was the best person for Fox. Fox felt comfortable with her, nervous but not afraid.
I cried as I pulled away, leaving him in her care. Part at the loss of a friend and part relief that he would have what he really needed and be loved and happy.
When I got home I had the kittens to tend to. Little balls of furry love. Eating wonderfully and even starting to show interest in dry food. They're all using the litter box perfectly. They are little fuzzy dolls and I spend time with each of them individually.
I'm not a good or kind person. I don't want to love them or take care of them. I don't want to worry about them, stay up late for them, clean up after them. And, on the thankfully rare occasions it comes to it, I hate to bury them.
But, at the same time, when I see them happy and healthy, it feeds my soul. Their smiling eyes are payback ten fold.
Live long and prosper, Fox. We love you.
Monday, October 3, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Fire dreams ….
I’ve had a similar dream 3 times now, for 3 nights. In each dream it’s bitterly cold outside and in. I’m in a run down old shack twice (each one different though) and an old abandoned house in the 3rd dream. It’s myself, my son when he was little and another person. We have very little but plenty of firewood. I make huge fires in metal containers, sometimes woodstove, sometimes not. The burning wood spills out onto the wooden floors but I don’t feel worried that the fire will spread. Only in that we need to stay warm.
There are always candles too and right after I light them, they turn to liquid wax and puddle. I think the wax will catch on fore but it never does.
The dwellings are all old and run down. Sparse except for lots of firewood and tons of blankets on mattresses to sleep on.
In the first two dreams there were two wood stoves each time, both times there was one like the one pictured. It was near a bed (to close for safety), had a short pipe not connected to anything. The other stove was a type that opened with two doors in front and I had it stuffed so full of wood that it was overflowing and the doors couldn’t shut. Inn the 3rd dream I made a wood stove out of scraps of metal, in the middle of the floor.
In the last dream, one of my cats kept trying to sleep in the red hot coals of a fire. She tried several times and I kept pulling her out. The last time she jumped in and writhed around. I was horrified and pulled her out expecting to get burned but didn’t. When I got her to some cold water and aloe I realized she hadn’t been burned at all either.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Busy days! The weather has been fantastic! Perfect for getting things done, then falling into bed and drifting off to a cricket serenade.
I’ve been doing a lot of harvesting and drying. In the last few days I’ve harvested apples, blueberries, elderberries, tomatoes, cayenne and chile peppers, onions, garlic, pokeberries, carrots, bell peppers, mugwort, mint, wormwood, echinacea, sumac berries, oregano, melissa, spicy catnip, sage, red clover, assorted greens, black walnut leaves and more.
The apples are barnyard apples from some gracious folks (hoping to go back for more), and the blueberries were purchased. Everything else came from our gardens and property.
I cool air dry my medicinals because even a small amount of heat can cause oil loss. So bags and bundles hanging all over! And both electric dehydrators and two solar screen dehydrators going. Herbs are drying and apples, blueberries, carrots, cayenne and chiles are done drying. Taking a long break and then will start onions, bells and more apples.
From our dried foods I always make powders. I use all the little bits and pieces of dried fruit and veg, and add more if needed, to grind into powders. I have a general Winter Soup Powder that has onion, lambs quarters, spinach, cabbage, squash and other things. I add a little to stews, soups, breads etc.. What ever I want that flavor and added nutrition in.
Apple powder is wonderful in sweet bread, scones, biscuits, oatmeal, granola etc etc etc…
Fruit and vegetable powders can also be used to make nutritious broths for folk who don’t feel well and can easily be sipped from a mug.
About half of the vegetable scraps go into making vegetable broth to can. I save them up in a large freezer baggie until I have enough. I use skins (onion skins are great), roots, tops, peels etc. All rinsed well and ready. I also add leftover vegetables and try to always save a few grilled vegetables just for broth.
To make and can the broth I add a good amount to my largest pot, cover with well water and cooked down to a rich and hearty golden broth. I then strain and bring back to a boil. Pour into hot sterile jars, seal and PC at 10lbs for 75 minutes
I do the same with fruit and use the fruit broth for drinks, pies, breads, oatmeal etc etc..
When I’ve not been in the kitchen, I’ve been working on preparing the cottage, barn and stone house for winter. Lots of cleaning out and reorganizing.
This is also the time I year (Spring and Fall) that I rotate stored water and clean and check the cistern. I start early so that I can do a little at a time and use up all the old water. We have jugs just for cleaning and the like, and I refill those jugs with the water from our drinking stores.
The Autumn Equinox is just a little over 2 weeks away and I can’t wait. I love all the seasons but Fall is by far my favorite :)
Slicing apples for the dehydrator
My Sept. growing old photo
Very sweaty and hot from the kitchen
Nik's very sweet old dog, Apollo
Apples in one of the dehydrators
The table and chairs I recently traded for.
They're old and I love them.
They're old and I love them.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Tonight my soul is wandering. I feel like many small pieces swirled together. Whispers of the past, present and future. Memories of things not yet lived, but felt as strongly as if they were from yesterday.
Magic hangs heavy in the air. Layers upon layers. I breathe it in and am filled with it. It smells like the forest. Feels like a lovers embrace.. Tastes like dew.
The ground beneath my feet is damp. A leaf falls and catches in my hair. In the distance I hear the cracking of a small twig and know I'm not alone. Something catches my attention and I look up.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Lughnasadh, (pronounced Lunassa) and also called Lammas, is the first harvest festival. It's an ancient Gaelic celebration that often lasts from July 30th to August 2nd. It is about starting to prepare for the coming winter and honoring all that goes into that. Traditionally grains are harvested, breads are baked, mead is ready and we give thanks for the what we have and also for the hard work and bounty of the harvests to come.