Monday, August 24, 2015

lovers and dreamers

I love the lap desk from Goodwill ($1.99) -- it's my best find in a very long time. The possibilities for using it seem endless but for now it houses the pathways moon cloth, my moon sewing ritual for this year. Pathways are to be stitched for each of 13 moons along the length of the linen runner -- teal-threaded spirals begin the current moon cycle. I'm liking this cloth more and more.

Just harvested a big bouquet of kale from the garden to make kale chips. Now that I've tasted an assortment of kale chips from various places, I think the simpler the ingredients, the better they taste. Looking for that perfect simple recipe so if you have one.....

Juniper berries are more beautiful in real life than any photo, plus their fragrance is heavenly. Juniper reminds me that all things are possible, even self-love.

Journal52 Week24 was silly animals. I went along with the animal part but not the silly -- the simpler the better worked well here, too.

The Pink Quill, Tillandsia cyarea, frond has sprung a flower. It's a complete surprise because I thought the pink quill was the bloom. I check on it all day long to see if anything else has happened and am purposely not researching it -- because surprises like this are so rare and so sweet.

Have you heard of the giant stinky corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum, which takes 8-20 years for its first bloom, requires another 7-10 years for its second, and smells like its name? One was in bloom at The Denver Botanic Gardens last week for about 48 hours. I live nearby and popped in to see it but there was a four-hour wait so I didn't see it after all. The newspaper reported that some people were disappointed because the odor wasn't strong enough.

Today is a waxing moonday in Capricorn. Capricorn energy is ambitious, structured and disciplined making these next days suitable for planning and taking care of details that require patience. Something that correlates with Capricorn work is the "power hour" concept -- as presented on Gretchen Rubin's podcast series, Happier. The power hour is a time to deal with lingering business, those items on our to-do lists that don't really have deadlines so we just keep putting them off -- like making appointments, balancing the checkbook or packing away stuff from last Yule. Things like that.

I wish all the lovers and dreamers a beautiful week. xo

Friday, August 14, 2015

flower drying

Communicating with the plant spirits has been and will probably always be something I want to be able to do and do well. Over time I've learned that a nice way to approach a plant is to explain my needs, make an offering, and ask if I may proceed. Usually, things are a "go" but not always -- sometimes it just isn't the right time. If I need to trim or remove a tree/shrub/plant, I try to visit it with a heads-up warning a day or two beforehand. And I try not to bring death to a plant when it's blooming. Things like that, that I've read in books or heard from people who do this kind of thing. It all sort of goes on in my head, you wouldn't know from looking at me what I'm doing or trying to do. A lot of times I'm just talking to myself (in my head) but there are also times when I know there is very real communication going on between plants and people.

Today I collected elder flowers, Sambucus sp., but I forgot all of this.

I was so excited to see so many flower heads that I went ahead and just clipped whatever I wanted. When I realized how rude I'd been, I went back outside to settle up and things seemed to be okay. Plus I finally learned what was going on with this particular elder that has been suckering like crazy for several years now. It is trying to make a hedge but I keep interfering. And I realized that Elder is right, it is the perfect place for a hedgerow.

These elder flower heads will be dried to make soothing infusions for cold and flu. And there are plenty of flower heads left to form berries which can then be made into a powerful immunity syrup --  to ward off cold and flu in the first place.

Dyer's coreopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria, tops are also drying -- I just read that you can use the stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and seed heads fresh or dried or frozen and it all has color for the dye-pot! I've only used the fresh flowers before so this is an experiment.

Journal52 Week23 is small successes. Some regular life things have changed recently, I guess they fall into that category. Conjuring up these art journal pages still feels new to me.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

peace and calm

Under the Earth flag hanging on our front porch there is a planter that I converted into some rocky mossy fairy-grounds. I probably play with it more than anyone. The August calendar moon cloth was part of my monthly sewing ritual two years ago, it's nice to bring these old pieces out to the light of day again.

The plant with the feathery bloom is a Pink Quill, Tillandsia cyarea. (Above it is a pot of houseplants delivered from the florist, what you get nowadays from an oral surgeon if you have need to go.) The Pink Quill shouldn't be watered like most plants -- it is to be misted enough for the water to run off the leaves into the soil or deep watered and then drained well. I hope it knows it's in Colorado and not in Ecuador. The two big pots are impatiens and patchouli. A friend gave me the patchouli, Pogostemon sp., I hope she knows she's taking a gamble with its life. As lots of us remember, patchouli is associated with peace and calm -- today many calming essential oil blends still contain patchouli.

Every week I get a friendly reminder email from the leader of the Women in Black peace group I sometimes vigil with. Today's email was more than a reminder though -- she included two historical events: 70 years ago today the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima...50 years ago, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.

I haven't stood with Women in Black in a while. I'm going to try to make it today. If you're interested in finding a group, go here.

Peace and calm on Earth.