World peace can be achieved with kittens, I’m sure of it. Maybe puppies too. Add a couple of otter and fox kits in there and we are omming our way into enlightened greatness. It’s been the greatest blessing on my soul to be able to wake up in the morning and take my coffee into the greenhouse to pet the fast growing kittens. Their eyes are just beginning to open now, and they are in the perfect fluffy roly-poly stage of playfulness to leave you laughing for hours as they try to walk around and tackle each other, only to fall belly up little paws waving to grab your finger. Bliss. This is followed with a close second of fresh picked strawberries at the Farmer’s Market downtown. We snapped up a pint right off, and I had to defend it to make sure any made it home for yogurt parfaits and chocolate dipped madness. By the time we got home from the market, Pam (who is everyone’s adoptive mom at this point) was making spinach and feta calzones fresh from the bounty of her garden, add a dash of Firefly (damn Fox for canceling that show!!) and a gentle rainfall to make the best night’s sleep in a few weeks and much needed after the exhausting fun of the Ashland adventure.
Melt about 1 cup of chocolate chips for a full pint of strawberries in a double boiler. Put 1/2 cup of heavy cream into a skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbs honey and salt, stir occasionally, let boil gently until the mixture thickens to a custard consistency. Let cool about 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Dip strawberry in chocolate, place on try to cool, then dip into caramel and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy your sugar coma.
A little boy runs across a farmer who has a truckload of cow manure. The boy asks him what he is going to do with all that cow poop. The farmer tells the little boy, “I’m taking it home to put on my strawberries.” The little boy looks up at the farmer and says, “I don’t know where you come from, but where I come from we put cream and sugar on our strawberries.”
The strawberry theme has been pretty predominant lately, when we were in Arcata a little stone shop, for some unknown reason, was giving away free strawberry shoots. We took one, put it in our largest coffee mug, put some dirt from the ground outside in it along with some St. John’s Wort powder and water to help with the transplant shock, and put it in the window by the driver’s seat remembering every time we drove somewhere to water it. When we got to Eugene we simply put it outside and forgot about it. Coming back from Ashland the other day, I looked over to find that it is actually starting to bud and is outgrowing it’s pot. I love nature, live, let live and eat strawberries for your lack of trouble.
For everything you ever needed to know about strawberries, plus more silly jokes, visit: http://strawberryplants.org/
Myrrh displayed at Avdat, a stop on the Incense Route. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
As it turns out, strawberries (I truly did not plan the post to go this way, the strawberries are taking over my brain) are actually quite good for your teeth. Their high acid content helps to whiten your teeth and the high vitamin C content is good for overall immune system health. This is good news as with all the chaos I’ve been sorely neglecting my teeth. But I’ve been surprised at how healthy my teeth have remained even with the neglect. I”ve found that using an electric toothbrush helps a LOT esp if you tend to be irregular about it. I dip it in baking soda and cinnamon to use as a tooth powder and my teeth glow white. I’ve found that a good mouthwash is a distilled alcohol such as whiskey or vodka cut with a 1 to 5 ratio with distilled water and a single drop per cup of any or all of: tea tree, cinnamon, myrrh, or fennel essential oils. DO NOT SWALLOW. It won’t do any lasting harm to the vast majority of people, but essential oils are potent and can wreak havoc on your digestive system even in small quantities(though the recipe I gave is very dilute, hence it’s safety as a mouthwash). Diarreha is the most common reaction, often accompanied by a headache. But it’s very good for your teeth and doesn’t affect the kidneys, brain or nervous system the way excess flouride does. And besides being in standard toothpaste it’s also in any water that goes through a treatment plant and a variety of foods.
Picture: One of Aaron’s hand forged knives. He invented the folding technique that gives the steel that wood-grain pattern
I had no idea my request for whiskey to make another batch of mouthwash would send the boys into such a tizzy. They decided they wanted to make their own and commendered all of the apples, peaches and strawberries they could get ahold of, and I had to fight them over my fresh local honey, lest it in up in the brew as well(they ended up using bulk honey instead). After a week of fermenting, it’s been strained and is sitting until all of the silt goes to the bottom. In between this, the boys have been leaving blackened fingerprints everywhere as they are handling so much charcoal nearly everyday. Aaron is teaching Sakka how to forge and he has now completed his first knife, and is now working on the hard part: sanding, hour upon hour……
I’ve been alternating between the knitting circle and my crazy quilt. I love the idea of crazy quilts- all the fun mismatched pieces of beauty I’ve collected over the years being blended together to make a work of art. I’ve been making mine multi-layered and have even added faux flowers and leaves to create patterns along with the embroidery. I love mixing things like this, practicing quilting, embroidery, ribbon embroidery and wool work all in one piece creates deminision I could never achieve otherwise and serves to keep me from getting bored with a project. I really think it’s all about figuring out the personal little quirks it takes for you to get things done, the same methods simply don’t apply to everyone. Though really, my bigger issue tends to be how I like to overload my plate. “I want to do all the things!!!” then a week later I’m huddled in the corner crying that I can’t keep up with everything. Pacing and Finishing are ongoing battles, but I get better every year as I become frustrated with the emotional strain of acting otherwise.
I’ve been asked the question before, why bother to knit socks or sew quilts or craft x,y,z when you can get it cheaper at the store? And really it’s about something beyond money(gasp!! I know, in this culture? is it possible?) but it’s true. It’s about 1.) simply having a channel to create something of beauty( I also find it quite meditative), 2.) being able to make it custom in ways you can’t find in a store such as size, color and oftentimes full designs, and most importantly 3.) not being part of the system of human slave labor, corporate overlords and environmental destruction. If we raise sheep or purchase wool from independent farmers, we are being ecologically and local economy conscious. If we make it ourselves we have an outlet for creativity, a means to show love to our friend family, and we are not participating in the cycle of slave labor forced on 3rd world countries. Sure, it takes time, but I can talk and knit/sew, or watch a movie and knit/sew or ride in the car and knit/sew and, well, you get the picture. It doesn’t really impede life at all, and in fact makes all the little pockets of idleness and waiting throughout life far less tedious. Though I have offended many people trying, I cannot read a book and have a conversation at the same time, so handicrafts must suffice. It’s also such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I finish a project. It’s there, in my hands, a little piece of my life and I can use it or gift it how I choose. I have simply found it a much more positive and powerful way to give of my life-energy, and have found I appreciate it more when it’s given to me in a likewise fashion. As with everything, it’s about not being part of the mainstream cycle.