Google+ What I Made Today: December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bottled Verjus

Remember the verjus I started back in September? Well, it felt like the time was ripe to strain, filter and bottle it. Besides, I needed the gallon jar in which it was macerating.

The color is gorgeous, the bouquet is magical, and at the first wee sip I began - without hesitation - to recognize the medicinal and mystical extremes within this very tart, remarkably astringent, fragrantly potent and oddly delightful elixir. Now that it's bottled my hope is that the flavors will mellow over time like with my other more conventional cordials and liqueurs.

We shall see. We shall see.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Giveaway - Enter It!

To celebrate my six years of blogging, the upcoming calendar flip, and some new Walk in the Woods offerings … I'm running a giveaway through next wednesday and I hope you'll enter to Win a Whimsy. The winner will be chosen and announced in a random drawing next wednesday morning (January 4, 2011) at 9:00 a.m., eastern time.

What might you win? Well … I'll be adding new Nature-inspired mini journals to my ArtFire Studio this week and the winner will choose the one they want from those listed!

So … to enter this giveaway …

  • Have a public profile, otherwise leave your email address with your comments. If I can't contact you, you can't win.
  • Post each of your entries in separate comments on this post. Otherwise, entries combined in a single post will only be counted as one.
  • Any comments determined to be sp@m-r-sp@mish will be deleted and not counted as an entry - so please don't leave links unless they're relevant to this giveaway.
How to enter? You have up to seven ways to enter for up to seven separate entries. Do one, or some, or all of the following, leaving a separate comment for each, each comment being a separate entry/chance to win a whimsy. Make sense?
  • Leave a comment - any comment at all.
  • Visit my ArtFire studio or my Zibbet shop and leave a comment about your favorite thing(s) there.
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave the URL to your blog post as your comment.
  • Tweet this giveaway and post the URL to your tweet as your comment. You can use the twitter button (below) if you like.
  • Be or become a follower to this blog, leaving a comment to let me know.
  • Be or become a walkinthewoods1 Twitter follower, likewise leaving a comment.
  • Stumble this blog giveaway page and leave the URL to your StumbleUpon profile page as your comment.
So there it is ... Best wishes!


A Silly Six Year Milestone

Six years ago today I posted my first blog entry ...

Wellness Journey . . . Here and There

Welcome to my blog!

No telling where this may lead. For me, herbs encompass one day, spiritual guidance the next, shamanic journeys another, maybe time spent with Nature, or drumming, and so on . . . you get the idea. To me, this diversity is at the heart of the people's medicine. We have choices. We have the will to learn about them. We have the power to choose. And we have the right to change!

A regular entry in a blog, like any journal, may force me to focus on one aspect of wellness or another (something many of my peers have "encouraged" me to do, and yet I resist!). On the other hand, this practice may simply allow me to organically explore the diversity of life, healing, spirit and energies that make up my being and offer me the experiences and opportunities that I am able to share with others - in the hopes to nurture holistic wellness and growth.

So, join me in this journey, wherever it may lead, and - please - add your comments, for they are food for me! I invite you to offer your experiences and insights, as well as your challenges to my perceptions!

So that is where I am today. I wonder where I will be tomorrow?

Be well by Nature!


In those six years things have changed, some quite a bit and others not much at all. One constant is that I'm still honoring where I am each day and still wondering (dreaming) where I will be tomorrow. I hope you are too.

To celebrate this silly milestone - and the upcoming calendar flip - I'm having a giveaway. After all, it is Wednesday … Win a Whimsy Wednesday (remember Win a Whimsy Wednesday?- so watch out for that post!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Time to Share

See Santa peeking around the tree from the window?

The other night my dog Halley got very agitated and started barking at something and she just wouldn't stop. I thought maybe the neighbor's cat had been on the windowsill, but I didn't see anything. I thought maybe someone was coming to the front door, so I put on the light and looked out. No one, no cats, nothing and Halley kept barking.

Then I realized that my ridiculous dog was barking at my old childhood book depicting Santa on the cover.

I'm still chuckling.

And I had to pause to share the chuckle with you before too much more time had past.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

This ...

… the mincemeat pie. Well, yesterday. But we ate it today. Well, part of it. Among other feast foods. ::yawn::

That's what I made today. Peace.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Midwinter Offering

On this first full day of midwinter the dried peony and calendula petals that I had reserved from high summer were returned to the earth. All but a handful. As I scattered them around my mostly-snow-covered little acre I asked them if they recognized this landscape. They did. It's all one, they assured me. Equal opposites. Opposing harmonies. Contrary balance.

Winter food for polar thought.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mince Meat

Life is bland without new experiences. I like change. I like variations. I like the occasional pleasant surprise.

So today made manifest a new experience, one born from a dream to make something classically traditional to Yuletide festivities … something I'd never made before. I originally had my sites set on plum pudding until I discovered what a close cousin it was to mince meat. So that oddity - one that I know as loved by more than a couple loved-ones - mince meat, became the solstice day food project.

I chopped beef suet, dried fruit - including my own honied orange peel … I peeled, cored and chopped green apples … I measured brown sugar, cinnamon and apple cider … grated nutmeg and pulverized mace … and The Boy minced the beef.

It all went into a pot and simmered together until it was time to add the cognac. I must say that this seemingly odd blend of foods creates a culinary alchemy that is really quite surprising.
So now I look forward to making a classic holiday pie and who knows what else.

That's what I made today. Peace.

An Introduction to Crocheted Little Things

This weeks On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan is Luisa of Crocheted Little Things, who creates really cute crocheted cupcakes, faux foods and self-care/spa items too.

You can visit her handmade shops at Artfire and at Etsy. You can learn more about her at her Blog and you can follow her at Facebook and on Twitter.

Go on, You know you want to!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Package of Love

The cookies that The Boy and I have been baking finally came together in adequate variety, so today I packaged some up to mail to my mom with her other holiday goodies. To my way of thinking, this is a major-mission-accomplished and I'm delighted to have it behind me for one more year.

The tin contains (clockwise from the top), chocolate chip cookies, molasses raisin bars, oatmeal raisin cookies, pumpkin pie bars, chocolate crackles, hello dollies and chocolate rugelach at the center. They look pretty good, eh?

Tomorrow I'm making mince meat so that I can make a proper, homemade mince meat pie for christmas day. But today, I made a package of love for the Post. Peace.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creation, Destruction

It's been a long while since I worked with the ol' knitting needles, so the other evening I figured I'd start by practicing my knits and pearls with a basic basket weave pattern. Then I moved on to more practice with other simple patterns.
Satisfied with my practice, I pulled them apart, wrapped the yarn back into balls to make ready for learning a new method of knitting.

My mom taught me to knit, English method, when I was something like eleven years old. A couple years back I discovered another method, called continental, and I want to learn it.

In many ways it's like learning to knit all over again. Aside from mastering getting the basic logistics of holding the needles, controlling the yarn, finger placements and motion, I'm finding the damned tension to be my biggest struggle … and this experience hurled me back in time and space to that eleven-year-old struggling with the same challenge. I wonder if that's the key hurdle for most beginners - the tension - be it with knitting or anything else?

When we're brave enough to learn something new it seems that an element of tension is usually involved, and it feels important, vital even. It keeps us focused on the challenge, on the desire, on the process … on the journey. We may feel some fleeting pride in an outcome, but it's the process of learning, of doing that nourishes and sustains us over the long haul.

In any event, I've made - and destroyed - several practice patches these past few days and find the process smoothing out a little, the stitches are looking a little better and the tension is finding its balance.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today The Boy made oatmeal-raisin cookies. I made chocolate rugelach. I love these little cookies and I really can't believe I've never made them before. Anyway, by now I should have a variety of homemade cookies to prepare a suitable goodies package that will be sent to my mom as part of her christmas gift.

Now I'm going to knit. Peace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Introduction to Cosmic Hippo

Today I make time to share with you this week's "On Fire for Handmade" featured artisan, Cosmic Hippo.

Cosmic Hippo is a designer and crafter of unique handmade leather handbags, beautifully crafted, one-of-kind works of accessory-as art. As I read her bio I was charmed that her rescue dog, Chester, acts as her muse as he sits under her desk while she works. As I browsed her studio I found myself attempting to justify the purchase of another handbag. Yeah - her work is that cool.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scarves and More Scarves

Being sick forced me not only to slow down, but to be still for a couple of days. During that time I did some reading, some journaling and pulled out some yarns and crochet hooks. I love working with fibers during the cold, dark days of this season, and doing it under the comfort of a blanket, sipping hot tea added to the healing verve that I was nurturing. This activity offered me a harmony and balance that not only kept me still and relaxed so that my body could rest and mend, but also allowed me some passive activity that was enjoyable and productive too.

Today I made time to finish a few from those dark, sick days of this past week by adding fringe. I have a few more to finish off too and can't seem to stop crocheting in the evenings now. I even broke out the knitting needles and will be playing with those stitches soon.

I love how these simple and ordinary things tangle together to create beauty, balance, harmony and healing in our lives.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nature-Inspired Notebooks

Short of a few final touches, I mostly finished up a batch of little Nature-inspired notebooks today. These little guys measure only 3¼ x 4½ inches and are the kind I toss into my purse or tuck into a pocket to have with me anytime a thought strikes me as noteworthy. I capture inspirations, ideas, shopping lists, addresses, among other things in mine. And at least one of these will be mine. I wonder who the others will go to?

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Last of the Tender Greens

I still have kale and other greens in the garden, and even some hardy herbs worthy of plucking, but today I harvested the last cabbage from a frozen patch of earth dusted sweetly with snow - the first of the season. Tonight I made a simple and delicious stir fry with asian noodles for dinner and even The Boy paused to clarify, "this is from the garden?"

It was a day of lasts and firsts, passings and returns. And a new moon too.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Best Effort

I made this the other day …
… before the sickness crept in and took hold.

An apple pie with a half-whole-wheat butter crust. While it could have baked for another ten minutes or so to fully cook the apples, it still came out pretty good. I was glad I made this "practice" pie, because it gave me something to give to my goddesschild before she returned to the west coast. I'm so glad I got to see her, brief though it was, and offer her a still-warm from-scratch apple pie. She is a beautiful, remarkable, intelligent, compassionate, witty and talented being. I'm grateful to have her in my life.

So, that's what I didn't make today.

As for today … I'm simply making a best effort to get myself well again. Peace.