Saturday, June 27, 2009

st. john's wort oil

summer solstice it is tradition for me to go out and harvest some wild (non-native) st. john's wort(hypericum perforatum) for my healing oil. thought i'd share it with you. the benefits are many- tea or tincture from the flowers can be used for minor depression and massage oil is wonderful for nerve damage such as sciatic issues and also general muscle aches and pain. the oil can also be added to healing salves.

st. john's wort is usually ready to harvest around the summer solstice around these parts. i was so lame this year-i knew harvest was approaching and waited a day-the flowers went from perfectly bloomed to most of them dead the following day. hiking around our property i found some blooms that had not died yet. be sure to harvest this variety and not the landscape type- refer to a book if you are confused. if you hold a leaf up to the sun you will see tiny dark dots-this holds the precious medicine and helps you to identify.

i cut the flower as well as about 4-6 inches of foliage. do not wash!!!! you don't want excess moisture on the plant as it will cause mold!-so pick after dew has evaporated. i also let the plants wilt in the shade or house for about 4-6 hours to help aid in getting rid of moisture! here's my pile:
once the herb is wilted i roll it in my hands and squish and squeeze to break the cell wall. some people use knives or food processors-i prefer my hands -works fine for me. i then stuff the st. john's in a jar leaving about half inch to an inch from the top. pour olive oil to the top-always use olive oil- it does not go rancid as quickly. i then use chop stick to release air bubbles.

let alchemy do it's magic by placing the jar in the sun-it always amazes me that the oil does not turn rancid. shake the jar daily and you will see the green oil turn a beautiful shade of ruby red! it usually takes about a month and will be ready..strain thru cheese cloth and store in amber bottles in a cool dark place...i've had the oil last for years before going bad!you can see the olive is starting to pink after just one day!!! i love this stuff. but as with anything there are cautions- some folks experience a photo sensitive reaction from touching the plant-if this happens-do not use in any form. the herb is not good for livestock either.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

liam sings!

yesterday-liam, blue, hubby and i headed to north fork of the yuba for play. i was able to catch a recording of liam and hubby playing "in the pines." blue watched and listened. sorry the visuals arent's better-but i needed to point the camera with the mic in their direction. we found a new swimming hole- we named it fishing eagle as we saw an eagle swoop down and catch a fish!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

bass pro celebration!!!!!

last february at stitches west soxchik astounded rhodie and i with her bass pro shop finesse(bait) binder that was stuffed full of everything a knitter could possible need. i SO wanted one-but could not find one near by...and looking on line was way too confusing. this week at the post office what surprise i had waiting for me!

soxchik made my day! thank you!!!! i am now the proud owner of my very own bait binder! yipee! i can't wait to get organized. here's an inside peek:

i'll give you an update when i actually get it all set- i know you are just drooling waiting for this phenomenon.

liam has been very excited about selling our "rebel hen ranch" eggs.

he hand makes labels and just started including a recipe.

lot's to post about but no time-so i leave you with a picture of my first garlic harvest.-the garlic has to be cure before i clean them. i learned a lot and hope for a better crop next year.

stay tuned.. update on all our recent adventures!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fourth Annual World Wide Knit in Public Day

yesterday was world wide knit in public fiber guild was meeting at the farmers market in town to do their duty. i, on the other had another agenda. liam has been waiting eagerly for the annual dobbins vfd flea market. i had planned to knit there. but my god there was so many treasures to unearth i never had a chance! here's our score:

you might not be able to tell what some things are:-2 hard covered poetry books-emily dickinson and edgar allen poe, shelf brackets, brass fire extinguisher, tools, old matches, antique quilt, videos-the thin man, and "call of the wild"- with charsleton heston(ha! do you think he'll bare his chest in this one?) here's some close ups! antique rosaries from slovenia for my mom:

insulators for liam-50 cents a piece

after the flea market we headed to the hardware store for yet more chicken coop materials! damn i need to complete this project! later after lunch we decided to head to humbug days at malikoff diggins. that's where i decided to knit public!!! a celebration of the mining days. what a wonderful celebration! old time music, activities for kids-including candle making and even jump roping! i made camp at the stage to knit and listen to music-one of my old miner favorites "alkali" was there:

note the anderson family in the background up next-another local band. i settled in with my homebrew to knit in public and listen to music.

liam and hubby decided to explore and hike as liam hated the crowd(he's used to having the diggins to himself.) they were to return around closing time to get me(4:00pm)about that time i went looking for the spinners-but they had already left. i decided to take some pictures while waiting for the family to return. the drug store:

an interested building that called my name:

closer examination revealed- chicken coop-check out the nesting boxes!

and my favorite... my personal steph dream house.....just for me-i could live here.

meanwhile time ticks family. my overactive imagination kicks in once again and my mind is full of all sorts of scenarios- the clicking axle on the car finally broke and they are stranded somewhere, hubby slipped on the rocks(a common occurrence) and really hurt himself this time. liam desperately trying to find help, or they found an old mine shaft and fell in and they are stranded deep in the earth......the crowd had completely emptied by now and there were like 2 rangers left-it' 5 :30 and i was beginning to freak!

trying to remain calm-i told the ranger my predicament. they weren't much help. but i figured i could hang with the clampers who were camping there-they are always a lively and fun bunch. i always thought about starting a whole new chapter...E knita vitus. i mentioned that once at casey's place in allegany-they were not humored.

as usual-the boys showed up shortly after i began to weep slightly(okay-i had just started my period and was a wee bit sensitive-okay!) they were exploring a mining tunnel and hiking-they didn't think the sidewalks would roll up right at 4pm.

wanted to post a picture of an old door i found- i love old doors-wanted to steal it but my catholic upbringing keeps me inline-sometimes. the computer keeps rotating the picture on it's own accord-bizarre!!!! it's suppose to go the other way-tired of fiddling with it. but get the idea!

the funny thing was-while i was knitting during the event no one talked to me. but afterward-i moved my chair by the side of the dirt road and knitted waiting for the boys return and everyone was heading to their cars-many stopped and asked me what i was doing. i inspired a european knitter to knit a log cagin blanket as that was what i was working on. a young punked-out gurl excitedly approached me a told me she was starting high school in the fall. the school offered knitting as a class- she really wanted to take it but heard it was really hard-i encouraged her and told her she could do it-she beamed and told me she liked my nose ring. i felt real good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

dye day results

last week-jeez, i think it was last week-i decided to dye wool instead of being responsible and check off things on my "to do" list. here's a sampling of what occurred. the pictures as usual are not true representations. my favorite-below:

ha!the roving doesn't look anything like this!!! it's quite beautiful in real life!

with this roving i tried to create a real ugly color combination-i can't wait to spin and ply and i think it's gonna turn out cool!

i promise to post about our high sierra adventure real soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

life is a bowl of cherries.....NOT!

life has been a pyre in a gyre-too much to post about these days. did i mention it's cherry season? okay that is equivalent to hell in our household. for those of you who don't know-hubby works for an organic produce broker. these cute little bites of delectable bliss cause total caos in our home!!! cherries are well, quite a pain the arse......the wind will bruise them, the rain will crack them and they perish at the speed of light. madeline engelbreit was clueless!!!!

the rebel hen ranch report: we lost the second golden penciled hamburg chick-a few days after the first one. otherwise the rest of the chicks(all 16 0f them) seem quite healthy-except for the brief worry of mareks disease when a banty had leg problems-i think it was a case of slipped tendon though-as she is walking fine now after some vitamins. that was a big stress-as mareks could have wiped out my new flock. the chicks enjoy being being in the garden cage during the day-still to cold for them at nite. they are still losing their baby fluff and getting feathers-the awkward stage! can't wait for warm nights- i want my bathroom back!!!today we decided to get away instead of working at home as hubby had to leave again to the packing shed(remember-cherries) but we had a grand day despite of it all-a hike in the sierras- all 4 of us!!!! we actually pried carey away from his 17 year old self and made him come on a hike with OMG-the family!!! we had such a blast that liam and i have decided to return tomorrow and continue the fun.

now i'm not a very organized person and while i was making dinner tonight liam was very intensely occupied with making a list. afterwards he said, "mom, here's our schedule for tomorrow." it was quite the schedule. i feel the need to post it are there own person. he didn't get it from either of us: here it is-but he wrote it in cursive!!!!!

6:30am- wake up and get dressed
7:00am-start breakfast
7:15am-eat breakfast
7:30am-do morning chores
7:45am-leave(gee-he only gave us 15 minutes for this!!!!)
8:15am- reach downieville
8:30-8:45am-reach trail head in sierra city
11:15am-finish hike
11:30am- order lunch(red moose cafe)
12 noon-get lunch
12:30pm-finish lunch
12:30-1:30pm-random acts(this one cracked me up!)
2:00pm-reach downieville
2:30pm-second trail head
3:00pm-finish trail
4:30pm-reach home

jeeze! talk about pressure!! hope i can live up to it! hahahaha-where do these kids come from-really?

happy birthday dear dragon!

His royal BLUENESS turned "1" yesterday. wow! what an experience it's been! no, i didn't get him a shock collar for his birthday-he got a big fleshy bone instead and tomorrow liam and i are taking him to the high sierras for hike. look at him:what happened?no, i didn't need to take liam to the hospital after this play session....actually he's very gentle with him. it just looks and sounds bad!!! they play a great game of soccer as well! i survived his first year! i wonder what the second year of dragon rearing will bring!