My days begin and end with caring for the chickens. Every morning our dog Talula and I take them breakfast and fresh water -- when temperatures are above freezing, it's regular dry feed but when the thermometer drops below freezing, I make them oatmeal. At night, we again make the rounds to make sure that all is well. I love these daily rituals, I would even venture to say they have changed my life.
5 chickens, 5 colors, 5 miracles.
A branch of clooties -- clooties are simple gratitudes/wishes/blessings written on strips of cloth and tied to tree branches. The photo was taken right after I began this practice in late summer/early fall, but I continue to make and attach more clooties motivated by the symbolism of seeing good things grow.
I am finally attaching my tarot moon cloth to a basic black linen book cover I made a few years ago. It will cover the journal that I use to record my tarot and oracle draws. The reason I let it go for so long was nothing more than my own little dance with indecision on how to proceed.
One clump of healthy comfrey provided the chickens with greens all summer so I held off harvesting any for myself until the last minute. That one harvest turned out to be a considerable amount of leaves to dry so I stacked them 3-4 layers deep on a big window screen on the dining room table, changing the direction of the leaves with each layer. This method worked beautifully, it was a quick dry with no mold or browning. Imagine my surprise when all that plant material weighed out at just over 5 ounces which made only 5 quarts of medicinal infusion.
Comfrey is incredibly generous in providing food and medicine for all. Because I was regularly collecting leaves for the chickens, I was able to get acquainted with her like I never had before -- seeing new growth generating nearly overnight intrigued me to no end. And there is the medicine of the plant, which is to mend -- comfrey mends skin, bones, muscles and ligaments. Now that the heavy work of the yard and garden is mostly done for the year, my body is in need of mending. I crave this plant inside and outside...to drink as infusion and to smear as salve on my lips and hands and feet.
I came across this little bag right after cutting my last bouquet of flowers for the season. And it matched.
One that I embroidered and made for my grandmother a long time ago, it somehow found its way back to me.
The last purple haze carrot, I grew them to use for dyeing cloth. But not a one was used to make dye because they were so good to eat.
I had the good fortune to harvest a friend's rosehips. I froze almost a half-gallon to make rosehip syrup and also made rosehip/elderberry oxymel. And still have some left to string onto thread, which is a way to dry rosehips for making tea but I'm thinking about using them as necklaces or bracelets. We'll see.
Rose geranium/raspberry liqueur is nearly an annual tradition. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.
Update: I just put the recipe in the comments below!
5 chickens enjoying an oatmeal breakfast during one of our big snows (we've had several already here in Denver, CO).
Cozy and safe.
Home sweet home.
I hope you are well, I hope you are happy. And I hope to be back before another month goes by. xo