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.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
We are not our …
We are not our …
We’re not our
We’re not products of our environments or society or our parents
We are simply, our choices
How we choose to
How we choose to treat others, ourselves, the Earth
We are whomever we choose to be.
~ Julia Catfeather
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
What a productive day! I did some wild harvesting this morning, Started around 6am and got home around . I wish I had taken Anya, I found more than I expected. But I went out alone and enjoyed it immensely. I went looking specifically to find and mark wild coffee and crab apples. Didn’t find either one. But also just to check on how fall goods are coming along.
Did farm chores and harvested from the homestead, then in for a rest, cold tea and a big bowl of my homemade granola with dried raspberries and goats milk. Poppy is getting much better on the stand so we’re starting to get more usable milk from her.
From the homestead today we got 9 eggs, a pint of milk, Vervain, wormwood, yarrow, mugwort, peppermint, spearmint, Thuja, grape leaves tansy, lemonbalm, polk berries and leaves, plantain, lambs quarters, blue catnip (spicy flavored, I use for teas only), gooseberries, Echinacea and a bouquet of queen ann, just for her beauty.
From wild harvest, late cinquefoil, willow, wild onion, cat brier and grape tendrils, plantain, the first drying dock seeds, sorrel, bergamot, purslane, self heal, chickweed,
I spent a few hours on preparing the herbs I harvested for drying etc. Most will go toward winter stores. I always start thinking about winter in July. There could be hard cold and snow in 5 months.
The rest of the day I sent on tincturing. I also had two orders to fill and worked on online listings etc on my breaks.
All in all a most excellent day :)