Weed Walk at Dawn

Seems as if I jumped the gun again. Nothing unusual for me. I am a woman of many words…maybe you noticed. After sharing that I’d begun walking again and am even planning to run a marathon next year, my feet gave out on me. These infectious diseases are boogers! Not only have my feet swollen and given me so much pain, I can’t stand, but Ehrliciosis raised it’s ugly head again and knocked me on my butt for several days.

The only shoes that have been a “Relief” to my feet are my Crocs.

These are called “relief” and made for folks with foot issues which really seems to be me now. So, I ordered a pair and got them Friday. Sage green for fall. Of course Pink for summer!

This AM when I awoke early and refreshed I knew that my body had snuffed Ehrliciosis again. I bounded out of bed and put on my running shoes and grabbed my camera for a short walk. We have a neighborhood park that has a pond that’s more than a 1/4 mile and less than a 1/2 around. I planned on one time around. That would make a 1 mile walk total. I was hoping my feet would hold up. They did until I got home…..oh my poor feet. I’ve got to find a fix for this problem, because I’m so going to drop this weight before my 50th birthday in October. I am waiting for some shoe inserts to arrive and I really hope they do the trick.

When I walk I’m always engrossed by the sights all around me. Here’s what my morning looked. God is so good.

The full moon was still in the hardly dawn sky over Miss Roses Barn.

The mist was still over the pond. No geese this AM.

I love this one of the moon!


Queen Anne’s Lace


Rosehips on Multiflora Rose

Lots of Jewelweed in the woods.


Poison Ivy


Autumn Olive

I wish I knew what this was cause it’s just so cute!


Singing The Praises of Mugwort

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)

On the last lecture by our Village Herbalist, Heather on The Herb Mentor, I learned about Herbal Health for Skin Conditions. Since poison ivy allergy is a horrible problem for me, I am singing the praises of Mugwort. On my weekly mowathon I am trying to get our back 40 under control and that takes me 4 hours of riding my John Deere once a week. The back of our 5 acre lot I now refer to as the Poison Oak Patch. We knew we had issues with Thistle, Multlflora Rose, Blackberry, and Milk Weed, but we were surprised at the volume of poison oak. I’ve been trading my Honey 1 hour of the way back where the forest of poison oak is. He seems to have a much greater tolerance to the poison. I only have to look at it and it attacks me. All it takes is a gently breeze to cause the cut poison to brush my sweaty arms or legs and BINGO!

Now I have a new ally, Mugwort; Artemesia vulgaris. Heather instructed us to add 1 oz to 1 Qt of boiling apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 2-4 hours. I made the infusion and bottled it. On my trip to the back 40 I sprayed it liberally on my skin. Then I also took a small dose internally when I finished mowing. I was very brave, I mowed a lot and wasn’t the least bit freaked out. I really trusted that Mugwort would do the job. It did!!! I looked all over for Mugwort since it’s a companion plant to Poison Ivy and Oak, but I couldn’t find any on our lot. I used dried herb from Mountain Rose Herbs to make my infusion but, I’ll be looking out for it on my next mowathon.

It’s Great to Be Alive!!!

Wow, you’ll never know how much I am enjoying being “fully alive”….an old theologian said once, “God’s glory is man fully alive”. I know what that means, on both a spiritual level and a physical level. I often say, that I’ve finally come out of my coma and I’m lovin it! 🙂

During this time of great sickness with Lyme Disease & Company, I’ve drawn nearer and nearer to the only One who can heal me. I’ve drawn my very breath from Him, my Great Jehovah, my Abba, my Daddy; GOD. When life seemed like it wasn’t worth living, He gave me a reason every day. He lifted me from the miry pit and set my feet upon a ROCK. Oh, and He put a new song in my mouth….a hymn of praise to my God!

My Mowed Field

I didn’t realize what a gloriously beautiful day it truly was….look at that blue sky!

Today, my plate was full again, just the way I like it!!! I’ve had plenty of empty plate days, resting, waiting, resting. This AM I decided that I ought to mow the field again. I mowed it down last Friday for the first time in probably 15 yrs. Yeah, lots of blackberry bramble, thistle, milkweed and multaflora rose. Lots of tall prairie grass and lots of new trees that weren’t there 22 yrs ago when we built here. It was kinda fun to see all the changes, except for the neighbors dumping their rubbish! But, even so, it’s good to have that job done….now to maintain it. It took me 3 hrs to mow it down on Friday. I mowed again so early because, well, that pesky poison ivy found me….I was covered except for my neck! Yep, it found me. So, today as I’m healing again from that plague, I decided that while it was still cool and even rather cold, I could bundle up so much that maybe the poison ivy wouldn’t know I was in all that cover up! I had every part of me covered except for my face….I didn’t want the neighbors calling the guys in the white coats. It only took 2 hrs today to get it done. I accomplished a little more blackberry bramble, however, I want to leave some so I can pick some wonderful wild blackberries this summer. Now I have 4.75 acres to cut every week. That ought to take an entire day…oh, except for the land the house sits on…so that ought to be 4.5 acres…I don’t know.

On this beautiful morning that I was glad to be alive, I did a load of laundry and put it on my new solar dryer! We went gas about 9 yrs ago when gas was cheaper then electric. But now, well, does it really matter. Both are sky rocketing out of control, so I went solar! 8) Because my back isn’t what it used to be at 30, I put my solar dryers on the deck where I can access them easier. Don’t laugh at them, they were really rather inexpensive. I got them at IKEA for $15 a piece, not bad for solar! I also did 3 other loads due to the poison ivy and used the conventional gas dryer so the heat would kill any oils on the clothes and sheets.

I also made 2 more batches of herbal infusions for salves later. And I played with my Kombucha Scoby. Hang on to your hat! This scoby is a monster….I think I see a pattern here…monster sweet potatoes and monster scobies. I’ve been doing a continuous brew in a 2.8 gallon cookie jar. I dip out what I want each day and then add more tea mixture when it’s needed. It’s easy and look at what I grew!

Scoby in jar with KT

NO it’s not a birthday cake!

Original Mother laying on the bottom of all those babies! Amazing!

Tonights an embryonic chicken night…yep, good old eggs. These are no average eggs though, they are soy free because my loving husband is allergic to soy. Besides it’s not very good for us. It’s mostly GMO now and too many folks are allergic. Actually my Honey is allergic to Tyramine, an amino acid. It gives him terrible migraines….so no more Tyramine in this house, at least not for Honey. Oh, right, our soy free eggs come from Sycamore Spring Farm.

Jewelweed is a Winner

Good new on the poison ivy scene. My hands have been the last thing to heal and that’s mostly between the fingers. Every night I go to bed and think it’s finally over! Then I wake up with a new spot or two on my fingers. My legs were left scared pretty badly and sooooo dry then I got a prickly rash. One important herbal med we keep on hand is tea tree oil. Since I was left pretty desperate with no where to turn, I went to my trusty herb medicine chest. I mixed it half & half with rubbing alcohol and sprayed it on several times a day and did so for 10 days. It dried things up very well. But it didn’t stop the spread. Then when I finally got out I bought some Jewelweed. Jewelweed works better for controlling the rash before it spreads. Yesterday I had a little spot on one finger and I applied the Jewelweed with a cotton ball, holding it on for a few minutes. This morning the spot was gone….I know you’re thinking, yeah, it’s just on the other hand. No, I don’t think so, I already had it on the other hand and it wasn’t completely dried up. The amazing thing about Jewelweed is that it grows in areas right next to Poison Ivy. So, I warn you if you are going to wildcraft Jewelweed, dress appropriately; long sleeves, gloves, long pants and boots! Jewelweed is a winner in my book along with our trustworthy Tea Tree Oil. Isn’t creation amazing! I do have two questions for God though and that is why He created snakes and poison ivy???

I know, I know…..did you notice…..I hope you did. I have been experiencing amazing healing and I learned how to do links! My brain isn’t full of cotton anymore or at least not today and my amazing daughter showed me how. I know you’re probably thinking duh! But if you find my post called “Confessions” you’ll understand more clearly. This is truly a milestone and I use them to mark my road to healing from Lyme Disease & Co.

That deserves another 🙂

Foraging for Food

Since joining The Herb Mentor, I have been revisiting my past. I’ve been learning to identify different common backyard herbs. So, for the last few days I’ve been foraging for my lunch. Today I’m having Chickweed, Parsley, Watercress, and Dandelion with my soy free egg salad, eggs provided by Sycamore Spring Farm made with Sally Fallon‘s Mayo recipe from Nourishing Traditions. It’s absolutely delicious. It has that little bite to it from the bitter herbs that are nourishing my liver. You might be wondering why this reminds me of  my past. When my Gma was alive and came to our new home 22 yrs ago, she was delighted that we had Watercress growing wild. She was picking it and eating it and at the time I thought she was a little wacky. She’s the Granny who taught me to sing to the birds. It’s so funny how we hang on to those wacky things and they make us who we are. Here’s to Gma for her good taste in delicious Watercress and for teaching me all the wacky things that have made my life rich!!!!As far as The Growing Challenge, I think I’m coming along splendidly. I have had success for the first time in my life with starting seeds indoors. I’ve had a lot of help from my “friends” on the Organic Gardeners Yahoo grp. My sweet potatoes are sprouting like crazy. Now what? I’m sure my “friends” will tell me. My little Jalapeño looks great! My Tomatillos look a little skinny, but I think they’ll hang in there. Next week will mark the month of April….I’m not sure where time goes, but boy does it fly. So I will try to get my lettuces and spinach in on a nice sunny day the first week of April. I have no idea what week I should be on with this challenge, but I think I’m following it pretty well. I’m excited about all the new varieties that I chose and it was certainly a challenge just to start these babies indoors!

Sweet Potato Plants

An update on the poison ivy…I’m still itching and breaking out and today is day 8. I ordered some miracle Jewelweed Soap and Salve over the weekend from Alternative Nature Online. Some other “friends” on the Homeschool Homesteaders Yahoo grp suggested it, so I sure hope it arrives soon. But in the mean time, well, I sorta look like Michael Jackson …ahhhhhh……I’m wearing gloves around, sure wish I could do the “Thriller” dance. Now that would be fun! Have a sweet sunshiny day!You might remember how challenged I am with this machine. So all the bold items are found in my links…I just don’t know how to link them.