Google+ What I Made Today: 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

When It Rains Naïveté


It seems I’m naïve. I was floored to the deepest depths of disbelief over this past weekend when I received a response (to something that requires no specifics) that went like this: Well, if they were dangerous they’d have been taken off the market.

It was spoken in absolute sincerity. It was not a joke. It was not sarcasm. It was someone’s truth.

It was a moment where I didn’t know, as they say, whether to shit, run or go blind.

So I did my best to share my perspective, offer resources, but dropped it, for my voice was being wasted.

In any event, I sat with the experience, to digest it as I continued some busy work. When the reality of the words finally got through to a place where I could feel their meaning, I cried. And I’m not a crier. Yet, when it rains from within, there’s Medicine to be made.

This is a sad, sad world where there’s still so, so many who accept without question that the commodities they purchase – from food to floor polishes, soaps to toothpastes, medicines to air fresheners, fertilizers to herbicides, and so on – are perfectly benign because they line the shelves of our frontline shrines of capitalism. Given all the information out there, this blind faith simply does not compute in any part of me.

In any event, sitting with the Medicine of this experience gave rise to a phrase that I’ve noticed resurfacing. A phrase that truly irritates me. I feel a visceral response to it. It saddens and angers me. And in this moment, as I document the Medicine of the experience, I realize my reluctance to challenge its use (or to even share the phrase here). My reluctance rests in the fact that I witness it being used by folks I know and care for.

And it’s this weird, counterproductive, counterintuitive compassion (or is it fear?) that is nourishing, in part, my newly realized naïveté. And that’s not Good Medicine.

So I pull this naïveté closer so that we may get intimate. I feel that disquieting sense of dis-ease, of discomfort, and it’s not reassuring. And as my discomfort waxes, Naïveté takes shape, and she pulls me closer, holds me like she cares, and dares me to consume and transform her.

And this, this I realize, much to my ever-familiar dismay, is the next Medicine I’m called to manifest and take in tempered doses.

The healing and the evolving never pauses. Damn it. And bless it. And get to work.

Peace.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Autumn Blessings

This past summer has offered me a bouquet of challenges and insights. So as fall evolves, and the leaves let loose, as the blooms fade, as the fruits and seeds take center stage, I welcome the deeper harvests of autumn, of letting go, of planting for some mystical future, of mulching with and composting that summer bouquet.

Prayerful ceremony roots the lessons, messages, and my own intentions in ways that I can revisit in these early days of autumn so that I may stay grounded in the vision I am dreaming and manifesting as I tend to the many urgent and practical tasks that nourish and sustain. Tasks like...

... fermenting tomatoes in hickory smoked salt for a delicious and nutritious beverage, or quite possibly a first frost Bloody Mary...

... honoring the abundance of Nature with beautiful feral apples, gifted by a generous and inspired spirit, put by in dried form, and in hibiscus-lime-apple jelly...

... garden tomatoes, jars and jars of puree for soups, stews, sauces, juices...

... preserving the bounty in every way I know, fermenting, dehydrating, canning, that I may Know My Food, and know that it nourishes and sustains Nona Gaia first, and me only as a bonus...

... preserving prayer, blessings, intention, healing energies and so much more by collaborating with Nona Gaia and her rooted children, my most sacred ancestors, by making magic together. Simple magick.

Holy, sacred tasks, one and all.

Peace.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Drop Down, Ease Up and Take Care

This is the month of quickening. For me, anyway. I mean, I was away from my gardens for only a few days while attending the Women's Herbal Conference and when I returned the tomatoes that had been stalled in green - among other things - had burst into ripening. So now, the pace of harvesting and preserving revs up again. And this reminds me, yet again, how important Self Care is, and that it's vital to make time for it now, in this season... and, let's face it, in every season, especially in these times in which we live. ::nods:: 

That conference I mentioned was exceptionally Good Medicine for me. It reminded me of behaviors and activities that truly nourish, nurture and sustain me. Holistically. Like what, you ask? Well, like making time to look up into the evening sky to invite the starlight into my being... to hold a loved one (or a stranger), to just hold them, to be held, and to hold space for others to hold and be held... to make time to drum, alone, sure, but especially with others... to walk in prayer, in a labyrinth, through a garden, along a woodland path, or down a hallway... to raise my voice in Truth, in song, and in story - with the stars, with the drum, with the silence, with the plants, the trees, the pollinators, with my Self, and with my Tribe... 

These are a few Medicines that I will be nurturing this month, specifically as forms of Self Care. For me and for you. With that I invite you to open up to September, the month that ushers in Autumn, the month that quickens, even as it reminds us to drop down, ease up and take care.

Peace.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Eclipse of Patriarchy

Tempus fugit. Summer is hitting high stride. And the pace of the season is picking up steam. It is a vivacious and passionate time.

I'm busy every single day with some harvest or another... in the gardens, drying room, kitchen, or at the craft table. It's a season where SelfCare can be easily forgotten, overlooked, put off for later.

So it's a season to remember to pause, breathe, dawdle, and what better day for such sacred acts than Moon's day, the day of Black Moon Eclipse? The day when my beloved Nona Luna says to papa sun, "I reflect your light back to you, old man. Go shine your light elsewhere, take it back and bathe it in shadow to make it whole and holy again." To me, this solar eclipse is sacred, and I will be sending up prayer to Nona Luna, and to old man sun in his time of quiet reflection, that the light of day may eclipse the poison of patriarchy in this world we share, and restore a nourishing harmony that sustains us and all Life... once again.

To me, this is the Eclipse of Patriarchy.

As it is, so shall it be.

Peace.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Simple Summer Medicine

As summer heats up I find myself surveying the garden and the wild spaces daily to see what needs attention, be it harvest, care, quiet honor, or simple gratitude.

The same is true for the garden of life. And yesterday offered some beautiful harvest... care... quiet honor... and simple gratitude... and in the form of several two-legged systers. It was a rare occurrence. It was a powerful day. So subtle and "ordinary" that I'm glad, so glad, that I saw it... recognized it... and welcomed the simple Medicine.

Keep your heart and eyes, your will and mind open to the simple blooms of summer. Today and every day. And every season.

Peace.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warm and Sunny Solstice Blessings

Most every summer solstice for the past 23 years I've made myself a gift of intention, some have been transient, others have been longtime and steadfast tools of spirit and healing.

This year I knew I would be a stringing stem beads. I thought it would be cronewort, which I had prepared from the stripped stems. But no, it was motherwort, likewise prepared, that was ready and waiting and singing to me this day.

And this guidance is so fitting given the play events this morning. Lot's of mother verve around me on this very, very long day.

Whatever you do, or honor, or not, I wish you warm and sunny Solstice blessings - whatever your season!
Peace.


Friday, June 16, 2017

New Friends, Anticipation, Gratitude & Memories

The gardens have been keeping me busy, preoccupied, and intimate with some of the best Medicine I know, communing with the earth and all her loved ones. Mine too.

Between all the spring transplanting, seeding and harvesting I make time and space to wander "my" little patch of earth. During a recent wander I discovered this new friend. At first glance I thought it was Rosa multiflora, but a second glance noticed distinct differences in leaf and bloom, and it's not any of the Rubus species that I'm familiar with, but I'm quite certain it's in the same family. I'll be curious to see the fruit that it creates.
 
The stinging nettles are blooming and preparing to make seed... another harvest to which I look forward.

My patch of Mentha suaveolens is always generous, and she always offers one the early harvests for drying. I love this spearmint in my tea blends.

The lovely Inula helenium against a background of mint (and other friends mixed in). She grows up so fast. It won't be long before her stalk rises high, bursting with blooms. And it won't be long after that that I'll be digging a few roots for winter Medicine.

And Rosa multiflora, our deliciously fragrant non-native invasive. We keep her in check, and I still collect her petals and buds for personal use in teas and skin preparations. Her fragrance fills the June air, and she reminds of that mead I made years back... a true labor of LoVe... collecting the petals over the 2-r-so-weeks of bloom... to create a unique gallon of liquid love.

And all these rooted friends, and more, remind me of the fleeting verve of spring. So I shall press the pause button this coming week, as summer leans closer, to take it all in, as part of my personal ritual to prepare for solar event that welcome's the steadier, fierier season to come.

If the botanical world excites you, visit my herb-dedicated blog, When Weeds Whisper, to learn more.

Peace.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Deeper Roots... in the Garden and in Life

 
As spring keeps springing I find myself sinking my Roots ever deeper into my dedication to grow and preserve most of our own botanical food (and Medicine). I'm busy every day, no matter what else is on my schedule, planting more seeds, tending to seedlings and nurturing that with sustains me.

The early harvests have started, with nettles, wild onion, cleavers, among others like this rhubarb that's ready for harvest.

I review my seed packets several times a week to what needs to be planted indoors, in the greenhouse and in the earth. Sacred work, this.

The spouse helps to expand our ever-expanding garden beds, this year leveraging the dead maple trees that were taken down by creating hugelkultur beds that feed the soil, sequester carbon, hold moisture, all in the spirit of permaculture, a modern term for a very traditional method of growing food that, in essence, mimics Nature, the wisest inspiration for all practical wisdom.

So I am busy. And I am expanding my dedication (some might say obsession) with growing our own food (and Medicine) organically, with honor for Nature, with LoVe, as the sacred work that it is, always has been (until recent times), and always will be (gods willing).

Peace.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Time to Run and B.R.E.A.T.H.E.

Today the first dandy bloom appears on our little acre, marking a pick up in the pace ahead. I hope I can keep up.

With that: Gotta run. And B.R.E.A.T.H.E.

As you rush and run through your life, may you remember to press the Pause Button and... B.R.E.A.T.H.E. as well.

Peace.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Honor to the Season of Renewed Growth and Burgeoning Abundance

 It's the season of gardens and greenhouse, and tending to the basement babes under the grow-lights.

It's the season of observing the robust reemergence of rhubarb, and marveling at its rate of evolution.

It's the season of waiting patiently for comfrey to grow large enough for first harvests to dry for future infusions, and to use for making seedling fertilizer, for mulching, and enriching the compost.

It's the season of dandelion harvests, for leaf, root and buds.

It's the season of free ranging hens, delighted to forage in the unfenced, mulched garden beds that will soon bloom with the color and verve of daylily, sedum, lemon balm, sunflower and other surprises.

It's the season of burgeoning cleavers, to harvest the for early spring infused water, for additions to cooking, as well as waiting for the reaching growth of this amazing plant to harvest later in the season for tincture making, drying and - quite possibly - roasting some of the wee seeds for a caffeinated beverage treat.

So, yeah, my season (and yours) of renewed growth and burgeoning abundance is taking full root. From here, the pace quickens, and quickens more, until we reach the eventual first frost, still months aways, yet not far off.

Peace.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Flow and Mystery and Messages


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This morning I acknowledged, without doubt or question, that the element of water is nudging me, inviting my attention. How do I know this? Well, Monday I discovered a water leak at my studio. A Tuesday wander about my little acre gifted me the pause and the music of the vernal thaw. Yesterday I pulled the Tarot card, Temperance. Today I awoke to the return of the spring rains.

So, yeah, water is begging for my attention. So I sat quietly with that, eyes closed, breath relaxed, and not long into my watery meditation I realized that I'd not yet processed my March donation to the Water Protectors' Medic + Healer Council. So that's done. I'll freshen the water in my fermenting Cherokee black beans, and check the seedlings for thirstiness. And I'll continue on this thread of watery awareness until it feels full, or ripe, or ready to overflow.

Peace.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Springtime Medicine


Like the transition of the seasons around me, I've been pensive, reluctant to give up the evening fires at home, and the whole holistic verve of the long, dark nights. Winter has been reluctant as well. I see this Truth in the piles of snow from our last storm. And Spring, likewise, has been reluctant. Reluctant to shove ol' Winter off of center stage. Yet, I see Spring in the emerging patches of exposed earth and the life awakening there... in the seedlings I have started... in the waxing daylight that taunts me outdoors, even as the damp chill lingers. And I see it in me.

All seasonal transitions are beautiful, meaningful and valuable to me. Yet this one ~ winter to spring ~ seems to latch on to my awareness like no other. Or... maybe it just feels that way because, well, here we are in it.

I honor and love so deeply the razor-sharp awareness that I seem to experience as Spring pushes Winter aside. This time of obvious transition offers lessons, challenges, chances to glean Wisdom, ripe with mundane mystery, complex simplicity, temporal divinity...

With that, I invite you to make moments of pause, to join me in this time of enchantment, time and again, to b.r.e.a.t.h.e. in the season's Good Medicine.

Peace.

PS Since I'm preparing to get out 'n' about in Nature, I'm linking this to this past week's Art Journal Journey. It's a stretch, maybe, but I'm goin' for it! And linking to Paint Party Friday as well!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Delicious Procrastination

I had a few things on today's list that just weren't resonating. Know what I mean? Since they weren't time sensitive I chose to procrastinate and modify yet another cookie recipe to make these wonders...

Hempy Cardamom Cacao Nib Cookies
Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies (though, let's face it, it all depends on your choice of cookie size)
Preheat oven to 375ºF

Cream:
1 cup of virgin coconut oil
Add gradually and beat until creamy:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
Beat in:
2 eggs
1 generous teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift together and stir in:
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cardamom powder (or more!)
Stir in:
1 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup hemp seeds
Drop the batter from a tablespoon, well apart, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake about 13 minutes. Cool on a rack and then... enJOY!

Use organic (and fair trade) ingredients as much as you possibly can. It's not just good for your body, it's good for our environment, our world community and our collective future.

Peace.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Waiting for Gaia's Vernal Thaw



Beautiful, unpredictable March, the month that ushers in the vernal equinox, the solar portal of spring...

I experience mixed feelings as spring approaches. I mourn the loss of winter's long, dark, solitary hibernation and nights lingering by the warmth and glow of an evening fire. I celebrate the increasing pace of seed-starting, harvesting, opened doors and windows, and the decline of wood-burning dust.

Already, strolling around my little acre, currently void of snow (or mostly), I've begun harvesting garlic mustard and onion grass, I see the cleavers and chickweed sprouting, motherwort reemerging, along with Egyptian onions, and a host of others that simply wait for the snow to melt. I'm still waiting for the first signs of the nettle, and remind myself that it's still early.

So while I wait for the fullness of Gaia's vernal thaw, I'll be planting my own garden... starting and tending to the seedlings that will nourish and sustain me for months and years ahead. 

In. Deed. 

Indeed.

::nods::

Peace.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Of Being Human


Some days an aspect of our world can turn upside down and throw us off our center. For me, this was one of those days. Granted, it was of my own making; the result of good intentions fueled by deeply rooted business protocol focused on the customer. All the same, my choices were in error. The only details that matter are these:

A little meditation and heART journaling was my Medicine for clarity.

I made a mistake.

And I shall do my best to learn from it, and not repeat it.

This is the best part of being human.

I hope your day is rich in lessons rooted in humanity.


Peace.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Communion with the First Seedlings


The alliums are sprouting - three kinds of heirloom onions, and one variety of leek.

So they came upstairs to visit the sun, to get a drink, and to share some time and space with me before heading back to their basement shelf and their artificial sunlight. I assured them that it wouldn't be long before they head to the greenhouse. They seemed pleased with that news! Me too.


These little sprouts are my signal to Know that it's time to start some other seeds. I'll likely start another flat of the same, plus a few kale and Brussel spouts before the month is over. But for today and in the meantime, I'll cherish the promise of spring that rises with these little seedlings. And I'll cherish the promise of spring that it rises in me.

Peace.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Truth Standing

This intentional, focused Truth Standing that I spoke of in my last post, The Journey to Elemental Truths, is proving to be most challenging, indeed.

Truth Standing, as I'm lovingly calling this practice of being true to mySelf, first and foremost, and consistently acting on those Truths in my daily life, is simple when we're solitary. It's when we interact with our tribe, passively or actively, that flies buzz around the healing ointment of Truth Standing.

What I'm learning, again and with growing clarity, is that there's more than one way to shoo the flies from the ointment in order to maintain the solidly rooted and erect posture needed for Truth Standing integrity, even in harsh environments.

Winter's Daucus carota, the wild carrot better known as Queen Anne's Lace has reminded me of the roots and posture as well as the noble seeds which are protected within the structure of Truth Standing... when we're True to it.

So I'll be speaking more Truth, more clearly, more often in the coming days, and taking actions to keep it rooted through the challenges, to stand tall in it, and carry my seeds forward into the mystery of the future. The future of my dreams.

Dream it. Do it. Make it manifest.

Peace.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Journey to Elemental Truths

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Standing in our Truth and speaking it is vital to our healthy evolution.
It creates fertile ground for sinking our roots.
It enables us to conceive, consider, craft and convey with comfort.
It inspires us to reach and act on our passions.
It nourishes, hydrates and bathes our spirit.
It holds us true to who we are and to our purpose.

And yet it is a challenge, make no mistake, even when we've been at it for some time. I've grown comfortable in expressing my Truth, though it wasn't always easy. In fact, it was hard. Still is sometimes. First I had to explore the shadows and light of mySelf to be certain of my own honesty. Then I had to begin sharing... with my mother, which was, quite possibly, my greatest life challenge, and most important one, and one in which I had twenty years of sustained and stormy practice. I feel I've evolved to a place where speaking my Truth is simply something I do... yet, at times, it's not without continued challenge and more - still more - growing pains.

Nonetheless, I feel I've grown to be quite comfortable with the practice, the journey.

Folks who know me best, know that when I feel someone has crossed a line, I address it, swiftly, candidly, face-to-face (whenever possible) with as much compassion as I can muster. In all but the rarest occasions the results are positive, with interpersonal opportunities that blossom as a result. Yet there are those cases where Truth (mine or theirs) is simply not welcome, not ripe. And in these instances I step back, remaining as open as possible, yet creating space. Sometimes, plenty of it. Know what I mean?

Then there's those other moments, where I speak my Truth, as clearly, candidly and concisely as I can and I'm simply not heard... and I can grasp that. It's the ripe thing again. It's those other moments where what is heard is not what I conveyed. Not. Even. Close. These are the challenges that most perplex me, and its the flavor of challenge that I'm sinking deep into now. May the journey be kind to me and teach me what I need to Know, that my roots may sink ever deeper, that the clouds may pass to reveal the Light I seek.

Peace.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Studio Play

Today is a studio day, which means both apothecary play and paint play. But first, I'll have to finish tidying up from Thursday evening's Renal System class. Once the ol' workbench is cleared I can tend to some measuring and packaging for clients, and continue some tweaks and taste testing for a couple beverage blends with which I've been toying.

I have several finished Nature inspired collage pieces to make ready to hang, and available to potential buyers. And I'm looking forward to adding another layer or two to add to this canvas. 

I'm sure to be adding to this large canvas as well, continuing to work with peace amid chaos... in a tangible, colorful, meditative way. As we all should be. Right?

Peace.