Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breakfast Visitors

Thought that I'd share a few photos of the visitors that stopped by today while we were fixing and eating breakfast this morning.



The first arrival appearred to be alone. We watched her/him from the kitchen window for quite some time while we were cooking.
And then another appeared around the side of the shop. And we realized that there were twins. It was a joy to watch as they ran and played and grazed but we wondered were Mom was.


Then low and behold she came from the other direction and rounded up the kids. The play time stopped and they made way for home. It was a perfect start to our day as we ate our breakfast and watched this beautiful 4 legged family eat their breakfast as well.
I feel so blessed to live where I'm at and to be able to take in the beauty of nature on a daily basis. I am usually just bursting to tell or show it to someone. So, I hope you enjoy the times and photos that I share with you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There's Gold in Them Plants!

As I mentioned a few days ago, I've been harvesting St. John's Wort blossoms. Yesterday on a break from the greenhouse construction, I quickly picked a pint of blossoms from a bush that is growing right near where the back door to the greenhouse will be.



Later in the evening when it was cooler, that pint of blossoms turned into about a half gallon of blossoms. And I laid them out on my drying screen on some paper towels to dry. I just love the bright, sunny yellow color of the SJW flowers. Not only does the herb naturally enhance and improve your mood when taken as a dietary supplement, but how can one not smile when you look at these adorable, bright yellow flowers.



It did not take these little gems of goodness long to dry out in the 90+ degree temps that we have been having. And after drying, I was right back to where I started from with a pint of flowers! So into a jar they went. And I poured beautiful golden jojoba oil over them.
And now they sit in all golden and pretty as I watch and wait for the oil to turn from golden to a fantastic, rich, deep red. Which when used as a muscle rub is believed to help repaire soft tissue damage and help with the pain associated with such injuries.
This is always the hardest part for me. I can hardly wait for the oil to start to change color! It's like waiting to open a present! Gifts from the Goddess!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Building the Greenhouse - Day 1

I don't think I've ever been so excited about a construction project before in my life. It all started when we found 5 large windows for sale on Craig's List for only $100. That Ad put our dreams for a greenhouse within reach. So we picked up the windows a few months ago and they have been tucked away safe in the carport. Hubby got his normal week off for the month and we had the amount of money we needed saved so yesterday we headed for the lumber store. Thank goodness we have a big truck!

Construction started early this morning. And between the two of us (yes I do know how to swing a hammer and dig a post hole), within a few hours it was already starting to look like the bones of bones of our dream greenhouse with great southern exposure.



We kept asking Mother Nature for overcast skies and a cool breeze to get us through the day. And thankfully she obliged for the majority of that we were working. Although my dear hubby did suffer some aches and pains and a wee bit of a sunburn to the backs of his legs. Some white willow bark spray and ice packs for his knew and a bit of cider vinegar for the sunburn had him feeling better. And he felt relief and a sense of accomplishment that a long overdue and postponed task was on the way to fruitition.

I also managed to harvest a pint of St. Johns Wort Flowers from that bush that you see in the above photo right to the left of my husband. But I'll blog more about that tomorrow J




As the day wore on, we took an iced tea break in front of the pond in the front yard, and were blessed with a visit from our resident squirrel. We had fun watching him stuff his face with sunflower seeds from the platform feeder and then take a siesta of his own on the nearby fence railing.



An hour or two more of work in the cooler evening hours and we were both ready to call it a day. And we were quite happy with the amount of work completed for Day 1 of our newest project.



Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our exciting new project! We will keep updating as things progress.

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Multi Herbal Skin Soothing Salve

A few weeks ago I made an herbal salve that we have been using around the house with great results. I just drew from batches of olive oil that I'd previously infused. Taking infused oils of lavender, calendula, chamomile, comfrey root and plantain. To those I added aloe vera oil, wheat germ oil and mango butter for their skin moisturizing, protective and restorative properties, as well as oat kernel extract for its skin soothing nature. I also wanted this to be a product that was totally vegan so instead of using the standard beeswax, I opted to use candelilla and soy waxes instead.

Herbal Properties:

  • Lavender- Believed to be an excellent topical aid for soothing minor skin irritations such as insect bites, or minor burns.
  • Calendula- Reputedly known for its skin soothing effects, calendula also acts as an antiseptic promoting cell repair. It is used most commonly for skin irritations, burns, bruises, sores and in cosmetics.
  • Chamomile- Reputed to have a higher than normal amount of essential oil acting as a natural anti-inflammatory and skin soothing agent.
  • Comfrey Root- Due to the presence of allantoin in comfrey it is believed to aid in repairing damaged tissues caused by sprains, bruises, and muscle injuries.
  • Plantain- Reputed to have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties when used on minor skin irritations and wounds.

 
 

I'd like to post a picture here for you, but I realized this morning, that my husband took the camera to Utah with him and it has my as yet un-uploaded photos still on it. So, when he returns I will post a picture here.

I'm very happy with the way that this herbal salve turned out. We have been using it on everything from minor scrapes and scratches to chapped lips and mosquito bites and have been very happy with the results. Next on the list of salves will be St. John Wort as we have a huge crop of it this year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ISP Woes

My Wi-Fi has been down again for over a week now. Not just the normal sporatic, slow, worse than dial-up type of performance that we have dealt with since February. But completely down. As in no service whatsoever! I've been relying on back-up dial-up. Which means that I can't upload/download much of anything, especially photos to any of my sites/blog, etc. As I type this I'm getting a blasted error message that say "Blogger could not save.....check your internet connection."

I called tech support the middle of last week and they said that they finally had all the parts, and the mountain was clear so they could get to the tower and were repairing as we spoke. that it should be back up and running by Thursday or Friday night. Yeah!!

Then I got a call yesterday from one of the field service dudes. Seems that the tower collapsed when one of the guys was up repairing it. Yes, he was injured. Not seriously. However he did suffer a few broken bones. Now service would not be restored until Friday or Saturday night. Well, here it is 10:30 Saturday night and still no service. I called tech support again for an update and at this time, they don't have one. Great!

They did however mention that customers were going to be issued a credit for the time that service was down. Well, I suppose that does help. But honestly, I'd rather just have my service back and running efficiently for once.

I suppose it's the price I pay for refusing to live in the city. We don't get cable, DSL, or cell phone signal out here. It's DISH or DirecTV for television. And for internet your choices are Dial-up at 21 bps, HughesNet, WildBlue or Wi-Fi. So, you just kind of have to deal with whatever happens. Like storms that knock out power/phone for days. Or when lightening hits the only Wi-Fi tower in a 100 mile radius.

Here's to hoping we have a faster connection tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving Blog

I'm in the process of moving my old blog over from Valhallasoap.com/blog to this one. The old one was a custom design made about 6 years ago. And while it is pretty and matches the website, it lacks the ability to do anything creative.

So please bear with me while I'm working on this.
Thanks for your patience.