Google+ What I Made Today: 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Fresh Parsley Salt

The parsley grew with enthusiasm this year. And while I’m enjoying as much chimichurri with every meal as I possibly can, I’m seeking other ways to preserve the flavor and Medicine of the humble parsley, aside from dehydrating it, that is; I already have plenty of that.

So this morning while the pears were coming to a simmer, I made parsley salt. It’s in the dehydrator now, and I’m hoping the finished flavor and color thrills me as much as I think it will. ::fingers crossed::
And for those wondering, I chopped the fresh parsley fine until I had at least three gently packed cups, and to that I added a cup of kosher salt. In small batches, I ground it all to a mash in my suribachi (any mortar 'n' pestle will do), and then it's ready for the dehydrator.

You can do this with any fresh herb, or blend of herbs. ::nods:: 

Peace. πŸ•Š

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Autumn Fey

The sketch was made last week, and embellished with watercolor this morning.
My practice of heART journaling is always good Medicine.



Peace. πŸ•Š


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October Blessings.


Autumn is a busy season, until it isn't. So, too, with October. This first day of the month commences with a large pot of tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, herbs-n-spices simmering into ketchup to can, and a three-bean salad also heading for the canner, both started on the last day of September. There are cranberry beans to harvest for drying, and still much growing and producing in the gardens ‘n’ wild spaces; botanicals for Food and Medicine to collect and tend.
For me, October is a month of frantic stillness. It is a ritual month for rooting, reflecting and projecting. Holistically. I make time 'n' space to dive deep into waxing shadows, the choices and challenges that impact my personal, interpersonal, social, global, and spiritual realms, all the while doing my best to stay rooted in The Moment. These considerations and meditations fit sweetly into the activities of the season, as they all mesh to nurture, sustain, and comfort me – and others – in the days of ahead.
May your thoughts and actions serve you – and our world – in ways that nurture, sustain, and comfort.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Friday, September 27, 2019

Holy Hot Pepper Sauce

Yesterday the big bowl came out to accommodate the big bag of hot peppers generously gifted by a family member. Organically grown, and so beautiful. I could feel the heat around my eyes just looking at them, and that intensified with washing... and I was actually sweating around my eyes when chopping them. It was a generous heap of hot peppers, and I'm grateful for them.
I made a quick hot sauce in the blender with horseradish-infused apple cider vinegar, salt and garlic. Half of that was sweetened with a touch of honey, the rest kept basic, with potential for additions after it melds and mellows. It's already tasty, and hot, but the flavor will improve after a week or so, when I'll be able to make more meaningful adjustments.

The rest was packed into a half-gallon jar layered with onion, garlic and kosher salt. I packed it down with my cedar "tool" throughout the day, until it produced its own liqueur to cover the peppers, which had shrunk by volume a third. And here it will continue to ferment on the kitchen counter (or thereabouts) until it reaches the flavor I'm after... or whenever I get around to using it. And I may add some other flavor-makers for the garden (the basils, shiso, chives...). When I'm ready to use it I puree it, bottle it, and label. Just like with botanical creations: Label. Label. Label. 

Last year I made an end-of-season ferment for sauce, with hot and sweet peppers, and just a bunch of whatever from the gardens. I forgot about until I noticed it in the spring. It was the best sauce ever. I'll be repeating the process again this year, for sure. I LoVe this kind of creative use-what-ya-got process, and fermenting is so accommodating to it, and I'm rarely - if ever - disappointed with the outcome. 

Peace. πŸ•Š

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

...What Awaits...

Autumn arrives and with it a bump-up in harvesting and preserving (as you may already know). There's still plenty in the gardens and wild places to keep me busy. And that sense of urgency intensifies with each day. And I collaborate with this verve, as I countdown to the coming frosts, the arboreal color show and falling leaves, the planting of garlic, the hay-bailing of crops to harvest in winter, and the eventual exhale that comes with the waxing silence of the evenings, the wintering sky, the first fire in the fireplace, and the hunkering down for the season. Familiar patterns, one and all.


This heART journal page is shared with my creative friends at Art Journal Journey, Mix it Monthly, and Moo Mania. Head over to see what other creative souls are making manifest!

Peace. πŸ•Š

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This Year's Farmer's Wine


Yesterday I bottled two gallons of 2018/2019 farmer’s wine.
This sweet, organic, cane sugar wine was made with black currant, rhubarb, wild grape, rosehips, elderberry, bilberry, hibiscus, all coaxed to life with the first blooms of elder.
And there’s lots of love in there too.
I make this wine most every summer when the elders start to bloom. I pull all the suitable fruit from the prior year from the freezer, add it to the fermentation container with organic cane sugar, water, add an herb or two or three or more, and stir in the elderflowers to get the fermentation started. Once it gets going and the fruit is strained out, I continue to add sugar until the fermentation is done. No specific gravity readings, just keep adding sugar 'til the faeries are full. Then it rests and its carboy until autumn, when it gets bottled.
Being a wild fermentation, it’s a gamble, as you can never be certain as to how it will behave, and it’s typically sweeter than I prefer, but always spirited and so far has always been drinkable, and often quite delightful. Like this year. 
This batch is already drinkable, and quite nice for gentle, sweet sipping, and it makes an exceptional spritzer. ::nods::
SlΓ‘inte! πŸ•Š

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Another heART journal flip



Here's another heART journal, this one from 2013, a year of big Medicine for me. Peace. πŸ•Š rose

Monday, September 16, 2019

September Tomatoes

Judging by this year‘s tomato harvest so far, it’s kinda hard to believe that I planted fewer tomato plants this year. But I did.

I’ve already canned two batches of crushed tomatoes, salsa, and dried countless trays. And they're still producing.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. We won’t have these too much longer, and I’m gonna enjoy every fresh slice!

Peace.


PS  I went out to harvest beans and discovered a few more tomatoes that I missed. And I really need to harvest the cherry tomatoes too! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

More 2012 heART journal memories

Here's another journal flip through yet another heART journal from 2012 (not 2013, as I erroneously say in the vid).

I may be busy right now creating journals for others, yet I still make a mark in one of my current journals most every day... and I'm enjoying these journal journeys as well. I hope you are too.


Peace. πŸ•Š

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Buzzin' Haiku


My little systers.
Honey, Carpenter, Bumble.
Doing the good work.



Peace. πŸ•Š

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

heART journal memories 2012

I'll be going through some of my old heART journals in an effort to catalogue them for ease in exploring their contents for the various reasons we go through our old journals. Sometimes it's to seek a specific memory, or experience... or style, design, or technique, or simply to seek patterns, and explore past Medicine for present applications.

My practice of heART journaling is Medicine to me. Ever since I was a little girl, making art has been integral to my wellness, to my personal evolution. And I recognize this Medicine in all creative expression, be it poetry, prose, dance, music, theater, whatever! Yet for me, the visual arts have always been my go-to Medicine.

As I video my journals for this purpose I'll be sharing them with you, and I hope this adds some value beyond my own.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Monday, September 2, 2019

Welcome September

Even as aspects of The Garden are past 'n' waning, there's still plenty to tend 'n' harvest well into autumn. And autumn's not here yet. And I am grateful for these final days of summer.

August flitted, I blinked, and linear time has delivered September. Given this dashing verve, meshed with some solitary immersion and inner work, I've found myself in a place to stay for a while. That may sound cryptic, but it's not. It's simple, though not without nuance, and it's the nuance that's gnawing at me. And so it is that some plans have shifted so that I may do the work I'm called to do, and face the challenges I'm called to face.

I'll be staying in The Garden for a while; the one you see, and the one I know. This fits with this transitional month in ordinary and extraordinary ways. I feel a tug - a tug for all of us - to nurture the Gardens, the communities and the wisdom that reside right in our own backyards. We are being called to honor the places where our roots sink, and as we do, we will re-cultivate honor for the earth, the soil, the water, the air, the plants, all life - everywhere - with our behaviors, choices and actions. Actions that may nourish and sustain life, near and far, rather than starve and deplete it. 

This is the Medicine we are called to make manifest.

I pray we are all up to the challenge.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Anything With Eyes

HeART journaling is a challenge for me as high summer waxes with garden harvests that need my attention. Yet I was blessed to spend an afternoon with some fine friends tossing paint about in our journals as we made memories, and this simple face appeared in one of the spreads... complete with eyes, so I thought I'd catch this month's Art Journal Journey theme - by the seat of my pants, as they say - Anything With Eyes.

I'm sure to revisit this spread to add some detail, and some words.

If you enjoy artful expressions, I encourage you to take the tour of the many journals in this month's challenge.

As for me, I'm off to the gardens to harvest what I need to make some salsa for canning. And maybe can some greens afterward. ::nods::

Peace.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Simple Serendipity

I'm still making Summer Time for heART Medicine, and this little page is a simple inspiration for this month's Art Journal Journey's challenge, We're All/Going.

The words, from a recent podcast titled Eldering into Hope, were already on the page, as were the shimmering gold 'n' silver watercolor strokes. Atop that I drew a simple imagined crowd, and stitched them together with my old, already threaded, Brother sewing machine.

I dig the serendipity of the different parts of this page, and how they all came together. The words magically work with the challenge, as does the topic of the podcast from which they came; the silver 'n' gold conjured a song sung years ago - Make New Friends in Girl Scouts; and having just resurrected the old sewing machine this past week for some other heART journaling projects simply pulled it all together for this challenge.

It seems a perfect and simple serendipity.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Summer Time for heART Medicine

 
I'm making time for heART Medicine this summer, and it feels good. Don't get me wrong, I make time for this Medicine most every day in one of my heART journals, yet when planting-tending-harvesting-preserving becomes a daily mission, it can be a challenge and often my entries are small... the size of postage stamps. So making time for full spreads has been a pleasure. And I feel canvas looming in the wings. And it feels good.

A big piece of my summer heARTful inspiration is born of the activity of joining others at Heather Neilson's studio to create journals, art, inspiration and community together. This activity has been such good Medicine. I'm sure I'll have more to show you in the weeks ahead, like this simple honor to  my beloved Sekhmet, born of scribbled class pages covered with a thin layer of gesso, a couple colors mingled with white, a gel medium transfer, ink, and words.
I have three journals going in the studio right now, plus the one I carry with me. It's a great way to leverage the hottest parts of the day, to be still, to listen within, to listen without, to engage simple form, color, and express from the heARTflame.

And one page of this two page spread fits the current theme of art challenge #194 ~ Animals, and Paint Party Friday. If you like art, or animals, click over to check the works of other fine creatives. EnJOY.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

June Plant Medicine

The colors of June enlighten in my mind, inspire my heart, and engage my will. 

Good Medicine, that. ::nods::

Peace. πŸ•Š

Friday, June 21, 2019

Simple Solstice Medicine

The season we call summer arrives late this morning on my little acre with the solar event known as the summer solstice. It's a good drizzly day to place a vessel out to catch the solstice rains, and tomorrow to do the same, only to catch the solstice sun. Both will be bottled, labeled, and will prove to be Good Medicine throughout the coming year. Of this I am certain.


Peace. πŸ•Š

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Skygazing


Yesterday evening we sat on the deck and skygazed. 

We sat quietly, listening to the collaborative songs of the trees and breezes, as the moon floated westward in the eastern sky. We witnessed fluffs, tufts, whirls, and fur flying off to adventures yet unknown. We gave attention the diverse palette of the clouds that seemed to be passing with a sense of great urgency. We observed the warm radiance of the waning sunlight dancing on and with the treetops. We beheld the first star of the twilight, the second and third, and the countless others that appeared, as if by magic. We welcomed Jupiter as he rose over the eastern horizon. And more. So much more.

We offered gratitude to and for it all.

It was Good Medicine. And still is. And will be again.


Peace. πŸ•Š

Saturday, June 1, 2019

And just like that: June.


May flitted as it filled to overflow with rough sadness, deepening mystery, powerful learning, surprising evolution, love (always love)... and rain. It filled its anticipated role with lustiness, passion, and the full spectrum of Life. Now, we pass through the rich, fertile, and expectant portal of June.

Most of the veg garden is planted. There's still a few seedlings whose roots yearn for the earth, and there's always succession seeding to be done. But the earth bound aspects of the annual (and new perennial) plantings are taking hold and now we wait. In the meantime, there are harvests to manage. There's stinging nettle, comfrey, cleavers that seek my immediate attention. And the rest of the rhubarb. And others will follow, now through autumn. At present, I pray the rains lessen, as they can pose a challenge for those of us who dry our own herbs. ::nods::

Yet it's the challenges that motivate. And inspire.

And June, like every monthly measure of time, holds unique gifts to add to the inspiration. Summer arrives toward the end of the month with the solstice, and with it my anticipation of intensifying heat, and the slowing mid-day pace that it offers. I plan to leverage that offering. And there's my personal "reclaiming my time" schemes (thanks, Maxine, for the words with attitude), which include diving deeper into my personal relationship with earth stewardship, and taking an Art Journaling class with Heather Neilson. Taking a class for me. ::sigh::

I could go on, but I'll pause to take in a wholehearted breath, hold it in my heart flame, and on the exhale to offer you gentle challenges, inspired motivation, and gifts of time just for you.


Peace. πŸ•Š

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vanilla Rhubarb Syrup

It's rhubarb season. So along with making an imperfect yet gloriously delicious rhubarb 'n' black currant crostata, I made a rhubarb syrup. But this is no ordinary rhubarb syrup. As the rhubarb cooked down to make it's own juices I added two split organic vanilla beans... and the result is magical.

This is a simple syrup. In more than a single way. I harvested rhubarb and did all the preparing for the pot (washing, trimming, chopping). An unmeasured amount of water joined the rhubarb in the pot over medium flame - just enough water to prevent it from sticking/burning and to help the rhubarb in releasing its juices. I split two vanilla beans and added them to the pot as it came to the simmer. I turned the flame down low, covered the pot, and let it dance for - I dunno - 30 minutes. Maybe more. The neighbor was visiting, so I really wasn't paying attention. But neighborly love was surely infused in the syrup.

So then the tart and aromatic juice was strained and measured, and equal parts (by volume) of organic cane sugar was added. I had about a quart of juice, so I added 4 cups sugar. That's the culinary definition of a simple syrup.

The pot went back on a low heat and was stirred until the sugar dissolved, then cooled and bottled. I made a beverage stirring a tablespoon into a tall glass of sparkling water. I was delighted. And this can be made with plain water, added to cocktails, tea... poured over pancakes, used to make icings and glazes, or in anything that calls for a syrup or honey. Just like any syrup.

You can make a syrup like this with whatever you have in the garden, or on hand, in any combination of flavors. Play. Play and create. Play, create, and be grateful.

Peace. πŸ•Š


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Lusty Month of May

It's May! It's May!


The lusty month of May!

And while my own personal May Day may be flecked with melancholy, I still embrace the playful passion of this holy day, this sacred season.

My little world is greening, and ever so gently the buds 'n' blossoms, pollen 'n' passion are making manifest.

Planting and harvesting are becoming daily tasks, with kind temperance. For now.

I invite you to make time, to make pause, to make space to be in this heartening May verve. Frequently, while it's with us. For this May magic is - like all things in life - fleeting.

Be with it. Embrace it. Feel its embrace. Honor the relationship. Feel the LoVe.
And share it.

Peace.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Welcome April and the Vernal Emergence.

The landscape on our little acre still looks more winter than spring. Nonetheless, I've been looking close, and see signs of onion grass, dandelion, chives, celandine, garlic, clover, plantain, butterbur, cleavers, any other rooted kin emerging. Sections of the main vegetable garden have been seeded with peas, spinach, lettuce, and beets. The chicken coop will be moved - on this fool's day - out of the main garden and into its summer space, and I'll be able to get more annual seeds into the warming earth, in between the April showers.

Nap time is over. The vernal voice says so, and confirms the message of my full-year tarot spread. ::nods:: The spread that speaks to changes on the horizon. Shifts whispered in the vernal winds of change. 

Spring is here. I await the vibrant energies of the season, the greening of the landscape, the buds and blossoms that paint the world in colors missed for a full year cycle. I welcome it, and the pace that shall quicken. And the care I must take to keep up with it.

May you welcome spring. May you feel the quickening - without and within. And may you take care so the pace may nurture and sustain you.

Peace.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Colorful Hello Spring!

It's been a long time since I've engaged an art journal (or any art) challenge with my online community of creatives. Yet yesterday offered a gift of shared herART journaling in the studio with some creative folk, and I managed to complete this colorful spread to welcome spring with a wee bit of my own bad poetry, as I lovingly call it.

And in doing that, I combined two challenges. One from Art Journal Journey, where the challenge is "Welcome Springtime," and Moo Mania, where the challenge is Colorful!

My hope is to reengage this practice, if not every month, then whenever I am able. I've been away from it too long. It's a fun 'n freeing experience, even with the structure of theme, to ponder a collective topic, tap into the collective creativity, create in the collective verve, and share the love with the collective community. Maybe you'd like to join the fun!


Peace. πŸ•Š


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Vernal Snow Blessing

It is, indeed, spring, and yet there's - once again - snow cover over our little acre. There are no colorful buds 'r blossoms. Yet.

There are the tree buds, swelling. And with them, my vernal heart.

And that heart seeks the yet invisible sightings of daffodil 'n' tulip fronds, anticipates the glee of the first violet blooms, even as it spots garlic, chickweed, onion grass, garlic mustard, betony... and other rooted friends manifesting amid this vernal snowfall.

I take solace in these seasonal reunions, as I look forward to the soothing cheer of spring's warming, thawing, familiar surprises.

Peace.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Welcome, Vernal Days

The western patch of our main vegetable garden was transitioning with the solar shift of the seasons, clinging to patches of winter snow.
The few thawed patches of well-mulched top soil at the top of the south-facing slope, and close to the hut's foundation, attracted the attention of the ladies.
On the transitional day that bid farewell to winter and welcomed spring I was gifted with quiet time and space to sit on my garden stone, sip tea, soak in the light and warmth, observe the symbols of the shifting landscape, and enjoy the antics of the ladies.
The day of winter-to-spring was a spectacular gift of light and warmth, and I was outdoors for most of it, including journaling time on the deck, as the ladies free ranged wherever the snow was not.
I welcome the the shift of the winter-to-vernal days, and I am grateful for the bright warm sunshine on the transitional day, even if I was unable to direct seed in the still-frozen topsoil, as today, on the first full vernal day on our little acre, clouds and rain and snow showers will likely keep me mostly indoors. So I count my blessings, and I am grateful. Every day. Every season. I wish the same for you.


Peace. πŸ•Š

Friday, March 1, 2019

Welcome March

Yes, welcome March. I greet you from the heart of a solitary space, steeped in savory stillness, and quintessential quiet. As one who grew up an only child, alone time is paramount to my essence, of this I am certain. It is only during such cloistered time that a still, shy part of me stirs, emerges, and makes itself known in a way that I am able discern hidden markers of the mysteries I seek. And that seek me.

This precious gift of alone time feels perfect for the transition from Empress to Queen of Wands that my full year (tarot) spread revealed five months ago. And I am obliged.

As I welcome this month from my secluded nest, I honor this hermitic verve as the rare and invaluable gift that it is. It will nourish and sustain me as I tenderly anticipate to venerate the arrival of the vernal equinox.

I invite you to make such time and space for yourself, if even only for a moment.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Monday, January 14, 2019

Nuanced Medicine


heART journal spread in progress
This past week I became obsessed with - what I can only call - nuance. I honed in on seeking it in my doings, and goings, and beings. It was a provocative and harmonizing Γ©tude. And rather enlightening, too.

Eventually, on Sunday, I expressed a less than poetic harangue to a small gathering of lovely women of how we - from my perspective - live in times where nuance is dismissed, denied, and demonized... to a cusp where we no longer see the beautiful places where colors blend, the fertile spaces where roots entwine... the shared oikos where we might otherwise recognize, acknowledge, and honor how unity nourishes and sustains.

I wore black and white that day as a physical reminder and inspiration to continue the adventure into the blending and entwining spaces of thought, action, love, life and spirit. It ended up being a remarkably prickly challenge. One that surprised me with a deep sense of compassion for another, and for myself. One that surprised me with nuance. One that surprised me with Medicine. 

I'm still obsessing. Will you join me?


Peace. πŸ•Š

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome January



It's really winter now.

And with it - for me - comes the most earnest of the quiet
time, still time, and inner time that I experience throughout
the whole of the year's turning. Yet, unlike the rather
indulgent dark days that lean into winter, these dark days
have a light that shines progressively brighter on that which
is vital, that which must be seen, that which cannot be denied.

As the calendar flips and winter sinks roots, I see myself,

winged, flying under an obscure wire. As I reflect on the
mystery in this portrayal, I also pull it into the cryptic 
guidance received from my full year reading. As I do, I see
the roots that have coiled, curled, and grown around one
another since my new year in November. I gaze outward from
a perched position into the shared garden of life and ponder
the mysteries that are broadcast there. I sense the plants - their
roots and seeds - luring me deeper into their subtle seduction.
In this place we - the plants and I - lean into one another, and
at once I observe the plants recoiling from others. I hear their
tacit longing and feel - yet again - a fathomless heart tug to be
better champion... for them, for the earth, for all life. And an
oath is renewed.

I glide throughout this terrain that they - my beloved

botanicals, my rooted ancestors - reveal to me. I listen intently
for their expressions. I hear and feel a deep-reaching blessing
wrench from the roots of my heart's actions and axioms. And
without doubt or question, I know that the plants want more of
this kind of attention. From all of us.

And an oath is renewed.


Peace. πŸ•Š