Google+ What I Made Today: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Brews

Today a made a number of things that fall into one of two categories: Unphotographable or Whowouldwanttoseeitevenifyoucould. But I did bottle two gallons of sacred ale, one of Melissa and one of Cardamom. Pretty, aren't they?

I replenished my yeast stash and got that make-up Melissa mead going and started a batch each of Wormwood and of Sage. My Monarda (bee balm) will be blooming any day and I plan to make a batch of ale with those blossoms. Brewing season has indeed begun!

Bubble, Bubble ...

... no toil ... no trouble!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Most of a Sunny Day

Today was a mostly sunny day - the first one in weeks, and I made my way into the garden to face facts. Many - if not most - of the seedlings that were put in or sprouted in the past 2-3 weeks are no more. Several of my peppers are in question as well, yet most of the tomatoes seem fine enough. I did more transplanting and put in more seeds and offered blessings yet again. I harvested another half-pound of Melissa to start the infusion for my next batch of Melissa mead - one to make up for the "bad situation" batch the other day. Halley liberated herself and upon her return I hosed her down and then chilled on the late afternoon deck to enjoy the last bottle of our Hopped Porter Variation that I humorously labeled "HPV." Well - I think it's funny. This was one of the best dark ales we've ever made and I savored every drop.
My latest little "Figures of Love" were finally fully dry and I started painting the first layers. Today I cleaned earth and paint from under my nails. Today I made the most of a sunny day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Best of a Bad Situation

After a lovely visit from my sweet friend Granny Annie I got to work on two one gallon batches of mead. What's bad about that? Well ... yesterday I harvested and prepared a half-pound of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) for steeping overnight. This morning I added green tea, lemon juice, cooked banana and 3 pounds of delicious local honey. What's so bad about that? Well, I hydrated the wine yeast, got a PA reading and got to vigorously stirring oxygen into the mead-to-be. Thing is, for my one gallon wine-n-mead batches, I start the primary fermentation in glass jars and normally I stir with my plastic wine spoon, and today I was stirring with my stainless steel spoon, that is until ...


And I watched with a stunned despair as what would have been five bottles of delicious Melissa mead cascade down the kitchen drain. So sad. So very, very sad.

Even so I was glad that I was stirring the batch in the sink. All I could really do is sigh a blessing down the drain and out into the deep, dark depths of the septic system. Such is life.

But I had yeast waking up on the counter, so I had to act fast! I had some rose petals and earl grey tea leaves steeping and bananas cooked for another project, so I measured out three pounds of honey, heated it with as little water as I could get away with, added cool water, the rose infusion, strained tea, mashed bananas and stirred it with the plastic spoon. I pitched the yeast with a cheer of love and gratitude. What else could I do?

I'll be naming this batch "Emergency Mead." It will be as close to a "straight" mead as I've ever made. In any event I continued with the rose petal batch, making the adjustments for the stolen elements. Both are bubbling away nicely.

And me? I'm delighted and grateful to have sweet friends to share it with. When the time comes. Slainte!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Way into the Light

Daybreak arrived with a strange light shining down from a blue sky. Quite frankly, it was a bit like waking to an alien landscape. I asked, "Is that the sun?" Really - I did. Well, it came and went, dancing with cloud cover throughout the day. No rain though. Like a miracle. Afternoon came and I hit the mostly dry gardens. I harvested a few quarts of strawberries, some cat mint and peppermint. The catmint, while past-prime, will be dried for teas and the peppermint will become a pesto. Several seedlings did not survive the last several days of constant cloud cover and rain fall. Such is life. Time for contingency plans. After all, I don't garden as a hobby. I garden to grow a large part of my own food. Most folks don't understand this - even when they say they do.
The strawberries were sorted. Fresh picked garlic scapes were chopped and last week's infused vinegar was strained onto today's fresh pickings to continue the infusion. Gonna be good! I love garlic scape infused vinegar, to me it has a buttery flavor. Somehow, a bottle of mead and a bottle of cranberry wine found their way to the harvest table. Hey - the sun was shining - and I should too!

Now ... while my little acre is mostly dry, I have more Melissa to harvest so I can start a Melissa MEAD! Later!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This & That. You?

I spun some custom Spirit Chokers and my wheels a bit again today, though not without some positive gain. I started some paint layering on a fresh set of "Impressions of Nature" and that activity always bring my pleasure.

I made my way into the damp gardens, I made dinner and I made time for a friend. I made this and that. That's what I made today. You?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

(A Healthy) Attitude

Today was one of those days filled with the ordinary angst-n-excitement of Getting Things Done. You know, the kind of day filled with tasks that take far longer than you plan, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment for all that was overcome and achieved, pitted against the feelings of disappointment and frustration for all that is still left to be done.

But then ... I hug my dog, I hug my spouse, I watch a movie, I read the first paragraph of a "new" library book and harmony returns to me and all that crap that still needs tending matters not an iota to me, for it will all - most likely - be there tomorrow and I can continue this journey rebalanced, harmonic and with (a healthy) attitude.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More of the Same, Only Different

There is a static energy around me these days and I am doing what I am able to manage it (without actually throwing him out of the hut). My morning derailed and I ended up skirting my duties, missing already-late deadlines, picking ripe strawberries in the rain and playing with clay. Now I'm off to burn a bit of sage and wander the hut with my healing drum.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Four-Leggeds & Winged-Ones

An afternoon clay meditation offered me a summer bird to honor this first day of summer and from there the clay used my hands to make other Figures of Love. I worked on other figures and even finished and listed a new Pocket Goddess. That's what I made today, on this first day of summer.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yesterday ... A Delicious Distraction

One too many mention of "martinis" was made this past week ... and what with it being - to my way of thinking - a summer drink ... and what with summer upon us ... it's no wonder that I found my way to the appropriate markets for the gin, the vermouth and the olives.

The spirit of generosity is all around me of late, and it seems that very spirit facilitated my sharing a sip with a winged one, though I dare say that I fared far better than this wee one.

Inspires you to pause to consider the nature of generosity, eh?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Cool Hut Warm

I swear summer is hiding somewhere, slinking and stalking with a vicious playfulness, just waiting to pounce on my ass. My chilly ass I might add! Spring seems to be backsliding in its final days, with weather akin to the side of the season that hugs winter, not summer. It’s been cool and damp and that tea I made for the fridge got heated up, let me tell you.

I made goddess cookies just to turn the oven on. And to try out the new cookie cutter I got this week in a goddess trade. Needless to say, this warmed my heart and my hut!

I made bread too, to keep the hut warm and dry and to make up for the shortbread debacle from yesterday.

And to keep the oven comfort steady, I made a cheddar cheese pizza with italian peppers and bermuda onions for supper.

I completed more “figures of love” and plan to get those up in my ArtFire Studio this evening. I also got some other figures primed (including those freakin’ adorable “demons” The Boy made the other day). And I still working on my silly tribal dream.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vinegar, Tea & Impressions

Yesterday I made time to gather a handful of garlic scapes. I chopped them, added them to a quart jar and covered them with apple cider vinegar.
They are macerating nicely and already the aroma is quite vibrant!

This morning I made tea for a visiting friend. At her request I blended a delightful mix of organic linden flower and rose petals. I made a disaster of a shortbread that I dared not serve. I'm generally quite talented in the kitchen - if I do say so myself - and screwing up a shortbread is especially perplexing, if not downright embarrassing. I mean it's barely four ingredients. Ah well, humility is a steadfast friend, though one that rarely follows me into the kitchen.
The clouds finally evaporated and I made a beautiful peppermint-hibiscus-green sun tea to enjoy with supper ... and now ... and tomorrow too.
I reviewed my notes and made final preparations for tomorrow's episode of "In the Garden" where I will be sharing my technique for making "Impressions of Nature" like the one you see above.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Tribal Dream

I do my best to honor the blessing that each and every day Is ... yet I do acknowledge the transitions of the seasons with a little extra celebration and conscious intention. With midsummer coming ripe this weekend, and a fireside with friends, food, libation, laughter, drumming and who-knows-what-else to look forward to, I felt inspired to make ... something.

Imagine that.

The muses led me to a mighty bag of fabric-n-scraps-n-notions that I salvaged from my mom when she moved a few years back. There are some "great" vintage pieces in there and among them I found these packages of rick-rack, braid and trimmings and some satin blanket binding ... and in them I saw my midsummer dream ... There in my minds eye was a bit of retro-contemporary-upcycled-repurposed-DIY-funky-goddess-tribal wear!

So now ... the magic begins!

Dream it ... Do it ...

A List of Fifteen Books

Granny Annie at Writers & Witches & Words, Oh My posted this bit of silliness, the kind I rarely engage in, yet this gnawed on a part of me that insisted I respond ...

fifteen books

Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you.... first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

  1. Six of One by Rita May Brown
  2. The Joy of Cooking
  3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (not that I've actually read the complete works - yet!)
  4. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  6. The Shining by Stephen King
  7. The No-Work Garden Book by Ruth Stout
  8. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  9. National Lampoon presents Clair Bretecher
  10. The Guide to Self Sufficiency by John Seymour
  11. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  12. Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  13. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  14. Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins
  15. The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenburg (- the novel that inspired me to pay attention to fiction, something that was neither my habit nor interest as a teen. I think I should like to give this another read ... some 35ish years later ...)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Waste Not

That "chamomile start" I made yesterday continued today with the straining of the steeped plant matter, the addition of sugar, lemon juice and the yeast, all of which found a happy and loving home together in a one gallon jug.
It's bubbling nicely next to a melissa ale and sarsaparilla ale. The gallon of cardamom ale, formerly sharing this space, was primed, bottled and put away today, and will be ready to imbibe in a few weeks.
Amid the herbal brewing, I made time to enjoy a more "conventional" homebrew.
I strained and bottled the chive flower vinegar that I started several weeks back. It's a bottled springtime gem, it is.
I made dinner.
And I foraged in the garden for dessert again.
The evening winds down with two small loaves of bread I made with the brewers yeast from the bottom of the barrel of that cardamom ale I bottled. Waste not, want not!

That's what I made today.

A Chamomile Start

Yesterday I harvested the tops of the little self-sown chamomile plants and started a cold, overnight steep for the ale I'm starting today.

More on that later ...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Angels & Demons

Another afternoon of clay play lured The Boy to my table of creation and fun. I made angels, and he made ... demons! ::laughs:: I helped a little and will likely be the one to finish them. And that's cool, because it's a true collaboration and that's how we play off of one another ... with honor, respect, trust and love.

That's what I made today ... well ... what we made today! Ashe. Ashe.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Play with Paint and Clay

Told ya I was playing with paint ... and clay ...
... and love! Yep, that's what I made ... err ... continued and got started today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I bottled the Crazy Collaboration Ale that was started in March. It is an odd mix of maple syrup, dried apples, coffee beans and wormwood. The best part is, it's gonna be very good for us bitter-lovers!
I started the base for a Melissa Ale. It'll steep overnight with the organic earl grey tea and prepare it for primary fermentation tomorrow.

And, if you look to the right and top of this blog you'll see the widget I made today - a button you're invited to grab and post anywhere you like!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Yep ... in the afternoon even. That's what I made today.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Green Peace

Today I harvested motherwort and oregano. The boy came home from the farm with a sweet harvest of mugwort that was prepped for drying too.
Sage flowers were harvested ...
... and a quart of infused oil started, along with a quart and a half of mugwort oil.

The day ended with ... what I am calling ... Peacemakers.

That's what I made today.

Freshly Formed Realization

I give up activities of meaning and value to me just to teach lousy lessons. Lessons that will likely skirt under or soar over the awareness of the student.

It seems that there are those who walk this realm who make decisions about their actions based on a value that will be realized in their own lives and in the lives of others around them. Actions that have some personal meaning. Actions that contribute to something greater than themselves. Actions that culminate with a shared benefit.

And then, it seems, there are those who are simply along for the ride.

So today my charge is to raise my own awareness of this freshly formed realization … and figure out how to make something of value come from it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Soiled Hands

Today I made my hands dirty. I got some new "impressions of Nature" plaques started.
I love this detail of the sage impressions and am looking forward to painting it.
I got my hands into the soil too, to place all my tomato and pepper plants into the earth. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon I will get the eggplant, celery and celeriac in, along with the other plants still waiting their turn.

I made time for a short afternoon nap under the maple tree. I'm glad I did.

My nail brush got quite a workout before I made the grilled garlic chicken, potatoes and peppers for dinner ... and the brownies for dessert ... and the curry biscuits for the early morning meeting and breakfast in Oxford. 

That's what I made today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Pink Moon ...

... you're welcome. ;)

My Way to ...

Saturday, June 6

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Pleasantview Farms, 452 South Road, Somers, CT

Admission $10 ~ Under 12 or Over 70 Free

Workshops ~ Plant walks ~ Vendors

See you there!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Time to Smell the Flowers ...

... and ... 
That's what I made today.