Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Back to work

I didn't get a 3 day weekend like everyone else. They made me work Saturday . . . The bastards. And now its back to work today. Its considered a peak day because is the last day people can call in there payments before its 30 days past due (when its 30 days past due its reported to the credit burues as delinquent).
And ofcourse I am sitting here, war paint on, dressed for work. Today I'm dressed about as witchy as I can get without standing out to much. I have on a plain white button front shirt starched and pressed, and a floor length, full, pink taffeta skirt with a drawstring back. I made the skirt myself from a pattern picked up at a garage sale and fabric that was on sale at Wal-Mart. I probably paid 3 bucks total for the skirt . . . That's more than what I usually pay for a skirt, but the chances of finding a pink taffeta skirt at a garage sale that fits are pretty slim.
Sunday I identified two more species of wildflowers growing in the woods. One is a small plant growing in the shade of the woods. The leaves are green with a hint of purple. The flower stalk is 6 inches to a foot tall and oddly enough square in shape with small trumpet like blue violet flowers in mid spring which the butterflies loved. Its called "cancer weed". The other is one that I have found growing in the woods as well as my back yard. It gets as tall as I am with dark green leaves and small white flowers with yellow centers. The flowers have lots and lots of thread like petals. Its called flea bane. I will post pictures later. So far I haven't found a use for either one of them, except for the flea bane which was once hung in peoples homes to get rid of fleas. This is not proven to work though.
I also learned over the weekend that my adored queen annes lace is also wild carrot. That means if I can widened the plant before it blooms and the root gets woody I can eat it, LOL.
While on lunch break Friday I learned a new home remedy. One of the women had a bad sunburn and a few of the ladies suggested she apply mustard to it. I always thought of mustard as hot since a mustard paste can be applied to the chest of a person with a chest cold. But sure enough I was drying herbs in the oven this weekend and burned my hand . I applied a small amount of mustard to it and rubbed it in like you would a cream and the pain and burning stopped instantly. The burn hasn't bothered me since.
Now for a comment about the local hospitals. I have had my own dealings with them. Around here if you don't have insurance, can't pay your bill, and don't qualify for what they laughingly refer to as a payment plan they will take you to court to get there money. Well my sons best friend and a neighbor of ours (if you can call 10 acres away a neighbor ;)) was bit by a copperhead snake a few weeks back. They put him in the hospital for a week. His mother moved down here to start a new job less than six months ago and doesn't have health insurance yet. They took a look at her finances and noticed a bank account with a large sum of money in it and asked her what it was. She told them that was her sons collage fund (7500 dollars worth of collage fund). They told her since there was enough money in his collage fund to pay them she didn't qualify for a payment plan. She was forced to pay the hospital bill with his collage fund or declare bankruptcy to avoid being dragged into court. She told us she didn't care much about her credit since she already owned her home. Naturally she closed his collage fund and paid the bill.

Monday, May 30, 2005


my goldfish pond. Thewaterfall was still off Posted by Hello

strawberries from the garden Posted by Hello

another one of the shade garden at the top of the hill Posted by Hello

a picture from the shade garden at the top of the hill Posted by Hello

a bumble bee hovering around the flowers of my russian sage Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Another weekend

Dennis is slowly recovering . . . Its raining. I spent the morning harvesting herbs again. Echinacea, rose petals, oregano, woodland strawberry leaves, yarrow. . . I also straightened up the decorations on top of the cabinets (the cats messed them up) and in the process found my herb book (I thought I had sold it).
I was really hoping to get more done in the garden before the rain started and I am tempted to just get brave and go out there and garden in the rain anyway . I have bell pepper plants that need to be planted and there is some native yarrow growing in the back yard I wanted to dig up and plant in one of the beds around the side of the house.
My hollyhocks are also blooming. The black ones look awesome and now the pink ones are in bloom. So far I have a dark pink shade and a lighter pink shade with darker edges.
I also switched some herbs from jars with suction lids to jars with screw on tops so I can start some rose cuttings rooting.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another day

Its another day at work and a mostly uneventful week. I've done little more than garden in my time off which has Dennis a little aggrivated. He is recovering enough from surgery to gripe I guess.
I have harvested herbs and rose petals and some seeds from the mysterious plants that were supposed to be carnations and are not. My hollyhocks are also blooming and I am hand pollinating the flowers so I can be sure to have plenty of seeds. This is harder than it sounds since the flowers don't appear to have an actual stamen . . . At least not one that I can seem to find.
I've created my own recipe for a hot tea that I thoroughly enjoy. I use my dried rose petals, a little bit of mint and yarrow, and some dried woodland strawberry leaves. It makes a wonderful fragrant tea.
Dennis has been playing poker online to pass the time and has one a little bit of money. Not nearly enough. I look at the months upcoming bills with dread, knowing I don't make nearly enough to cover them. But he is healing quickly and I hope will be on his feet and can get out to work soon. He has been scouting around for supplies to make his cleaner with and figures he can make up about 12 cases to get started for 300 dollars. . . That's enough cleaner to last roughly 2 weeks . . . Maybe not even that long depending on how quickly his sales go. Plus since he is only going to work 3 days a week it will give him plenty of time to make up a new batch.

Monday, May 23, 2005

raining

Well i guess we got that soaking rain i asked for. It rained again yesterday evening and rained most of the night and is still raning. Not that i am complaning. I am always grateful when the Mother gives us rain.
Today is Monday, which means going back to work. My job is sooo boring. i would much rather be working in my garden, harvesting and drying herbs and medicinal plants, making tinctures of infused oils. This morning i put 1/4 cup dried rose petals (gathered from my rose garden ofcourse) into a coffee filter in a bowl and poured boiling water over them. I will plash myself with the water thats left so i can take the rose smell to work with me. Well, timeto get going

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Its finally raining

I allowed myself to sleep late today for a change and awoke at 9:30 to the sound of thunder. I had to get up then because my car window was rolled down.
So far its just been a nice little thunderstorm. A little thunder, but no lightening or wind to speak of and a nice steady rain to soak things down really well. Its been about two weeks since the last rain and we were really needing it.
Today also marks two weeks without using shampoo on my hair. The only change I have noticed is that I now instead of going 3 days without washing my hair before it becomes itchy I can now only wait 2. And when I say washing I don't meaning using soap I mean getting into the shower, wetting my hair, and using my fingertips to scrub my scalp. I also use a little conditioner on the ends since years of using shampoo has dried them out pretty bad. But my hair is not oily and it doesn't smell at al. And just as the other ladies who have stopped using shampoo told me it would it is starting to look much healthier.
The rain is slowing down now. I don't know if its supposed to rain again today or not. I guess I need to break down and download the weather bug so I can keep up with that. If it is going to rain I will need to get the weeding and leaf mulching in my flowerbed done before it starts again.
Tonight there ladies that participate in Susan Weeds Wise Women Forum are having there usual Sunday night chat. I am looking forward to participating in it. I have some questions I want to ask them about using chickweed. I knew it could be eaten, but they are using it for a lot of other things and I want to get a clear idea of just wad it can be used for.
Somethings I have learned from he forum are that not only is plantain wonderful for fighting infection its also has excellent anti itch properties. . . Two test this I made an infused oil from plantain leaves two weeks ago and I've been using it on our insect bites. . . So far its been working pretty good.
Speaking of herbs I harvest a lot yesterday and druid it in my oven. I picked some more echinacea leaves and gathered more rose petals from the fading flowers as well as pinching back the mint in my garden and gathering some woodland strawberry leaves for making tea. While on my way to the store to get more sprite for Dennis (who is still moving very slowly) I saw a patch of yarrow growing on the side of the road and each time I passed I had to fight the urge to stop the car and get out and harvest it. I grow yarrow also, but I always want more for my pantry.
I really wish the weed wise forum had a plant ID section. I walk through the woods and I am able to identify a lot of what I see and list there uses in my head as I pass them, but there is still a lot that I can't identify and it frustrates me.

Friday, May 20, 2005

sugeries and bad little boys

Dennis finally had his hernia surgery. According to the doctor he had 6 little ones they didn't know about around the two larger ones. He ended up staying overnight, but they let him go home this morning around 11. He needs a little help getting in and out of bed and is asleep now. He will be out of work for two weeks, but doesn't plan on going back to managing the store when he gets back. He is pretty fed up with upper upper management and is going to go back into business for himself. I have to say I am relieved.
And ofcourse Chris got kicked off the bus. They have a new busdriver who clearly does not know how to let kids be kids. Chris was kicked off for shooting rubber bands at people and changing seats while the bus was moving . . . Last year the same driver kicked Sharon off the bus for getting the mail for us. According to the driver they are required by law to get off the bus and walk directly home without doing anything else. That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard . . . I swear the public schools need a real good smack in the face.
I have been dabbling in humanure composting . I don't have the book about the subject but I have read enough online about it do be able to dabble. Mostly my dabbling has including disposing of human urine (and I don't mean flushing it down the toilet). Since we do live in the mountains I have placed a bucket behind the house for us to pee in. When I get an inch or two of liquid in it I pour it into a watering can, fill that can up with water, and use it on my flower beds. The reason for this is because urine is loaded with nitrogen. Adding water to it eliminates the smell.
Its actually very comfortable sitting on that bucket behind the house going to the bathroom in a bucket. It makes me feel very close to nature to know that its going into my garden.
Not that my garden really needs any help. I have some of the biggest healthiest flowers most people have ever seen. Even those who have been gardening for years are often awed by what they see when they walk downthe driveway and along the raised cedar path. Its not often one sees daylilies that are 7 inches across or flowering tobacco and shasta daisies that grow 3 feet tall.
Ofcourse Dennis surgery means that progress on the landscaping and the new house are going to stop for the moment. I can still carry rocks up from the creek bed to put on the wall, but it will be very slow progress without Dennis and our friend Donny bringing in large truck loads.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

To keep track of our progress

That's the main reason for beginning this blog.
My husband Dennis and I own seven acres in the Ozark mountains. We bought this property 3 years ago and put a mobile home on the front near the road with plans to build a eco friendly home on the back of the property and renting or selling the trailer on the front to cover the mortgage.
Well, we didn't realize when we started that the bulldozers that cleared an area for the trailer would make a mess we would spend the next 3 year cleaning up. During this time we have strayed from our original plan and for a while decided to just stay in the mobile home. He had ever feature that out big expensive house on the hill we used to own had and a lot it didn't, but a serious of unfortunate events and a lot of bad luck and we decided life would be much easier if we went through with our original plan.
As we near the end of year 3 (we moved here in the early fall of 2001) we have almost completely remodeled the mobile home (its beautiful inside) and are nearing the end of the bulldozer cleanup and landscaping.
We've also begun clearing a small area in the woods on the back of the property for our Earth bag home which when completed should look like a witches cottage out of a fairy tale. Which is fitting, since I am a witch
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