Sunday, August 30, 2009
Gather pine cones, seedpods, acorns and fall leaves to put in wicker baskets. Use these on the porch or in entry ways for simple, rustic decorations. You can also use small branches with the pine cones and/or leaves still attached and place them in vases and crocks. Potted mums this time of year are the same prices as cut flowers, or cheaper, so why not buy several, pot them up and place them around your walks, steps and porch. Tie autumn themed ribbons around the base of the pots. If you have room plant them in the ground after the blooms are gone and lay down some mulch(grass clippings or chopped leaves) for the winter.
Go for a rustic but yet dramatic look by placing a large grapevine wreath in an empty space such as the peak of the garage or the house. You don't need a bow for fall, and at Christmas you can attach a large red bow. It's simple, but adds so much!
Pumpkins and Gourds Galore! Put them everywhere. Try to find a grower or farm market instead of buying them at the garden center or store. You'll find some great buys on the "less" than perfect ones, but they are still great for decorating. We buy small and medium sized pumpkins for .50 and 1.00 each year. Grandpa always grows a biggie for the kids too! Put your gourds and pumpkins in groups...place some on upside down pots to raise them up to different levels in a grouping. Mix a mum or two in with them, and tie a few bows all around!
Winter Squash--Look for Hubbard and Turban squash. They have an interesting texture and a neat look to them. Decorate the porch, but don't allow them to freeze, and afterwards you can eat them for Sunday and holiday dinners! Group them in a large wicker basket.
Garland-Make a garland of smaller gourds with the long necks and Indian corn still in the husk. Use jute or twine and alternate between corn and the gourds. Measure a section of your porch. I have arches and hang garlands in each one. In the middle of the garland make a bow from raffia and pieces of torn rust or orange colored fabric. You can also hang the garland from a porch or deck railing.
Rustic Scarecrow: Instead of stuffing clothing, take two pieces of scrap wood and nail together a cross formation. Take a piece of muslin and place it over the top piece of wood-tie it at the "neck" and draw on a face with a waterproof marker. Dress your wooden friend in clothing, a hat and you can even put hooks on the end of each "arm" and hang buckets of flowers, a birdhouse or other fun items. Turn your scarecrow into a country lady by dressing her in woman's clothing and giving her a gardening hat, gloves, and small garden tools. The great thing with this is that you literally can use scrap wood and old clothing,and go wild with your imagination!
Tin Can Fun: Save those cans! Prime them and go to town painting them in fun fall colors. You can plant mums in the larger coffee type cans and in the others place wildflowers, dried grasses and branches to decorate outside.
Milk Cans: If you have any old worn rakes, shovels and other lawn tools laying around, put them to a decorative use. Place a couple of cornstalks in an old metal milk can, behind the tools, and tie a big fall themed bow around the milk can! You can do this with a large bucket or basket too.
About the author: Brenda Hyde Autumn is a wife and mom living with her family in the Midwest United States.She is also a freelance writer and the editor of Old Fashioned Living.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I also cut up yesterdays batch of unscented Castile. I wish I could come up with a catchy name for the fast selling Castile. I make so much it and palin old Castile is so boring to put on the labels. I need something fun as I'm feeling particularly wicked as of late. It must be the feeling of fall in the air.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This Ghost Wytch could have been and started out being a great ally to the honest, hard working stiff. We traveled this journey with it's highs and lows (more lows than highs) as comrades in support of one another. But now the journey must come to an end. It was a great ride, but unfortunately someone spiked the fuel tank with sugar.
It seems that not all are the honest, hard working stiffs they were assumed to be. And someone (most likely several someone's) do not know how to play the game as a team. They are self-seeking, and self-serving, which makes them untrust-worthy. So just who is who? And who isn't?
Remember the days in school when you would pass notes in class? Seemed like the teacher (the old witch) always caught you and made you read it aloud for all it's secrets to be revealed. Then you were embarrassed for days (maybe weeks or months) because everyone knew what you did or said. Hum...funny how that thought just crossed my mind.
As I looked over the pasture this evening I could see hazy layer of smoke resting upon the meadow. Hum....there must be a firestorm brewing....
Ghost Wytch Blessings!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
My Amnesia Sleep Dream Pillow Blend has been "brewing" so to speak for a few weeks now so that the herbs could meld nicely together. It is now ready for testing. I will be testing tonight on my husband because with all the stress he has had lately I thought that he would be a great test subject for this blend.
The intended purpose of this blend is to make one sleep so soundly that when they wake the next morning, they would remember nothing but their head hitting the pillow the night before. And my husband could definitely use a night of peaceful, blissful, baby like, TKO sleep.
So, I shall report back with the results and if all goes well, you shall see the made up pillows available on the website soon!
Monday, August 17, 2009
On Saturday our good friend and neighbor John came over to help set the huge and very heavy windows while I was gone to my nieces baby shower. I really had no idea how different it would look once the windows were in, but it just really changed the whole appearance of the structure so dramatically.
East side door. West side door.
Full bank of windows. Total southern exposure!
We even have enough lumber left to build potting/growing tables for the inside. And I would like to find some siding to match the house for the few areas of exposed exterior wood.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Valhalla Circle is a fun community for customers, friends, fans & others of Valhalla Soap Co. to chat, learn, grow & support one another. There are a multitude of subjects to chat about that are not limited to VSC products, including General Off Topic Chat, Cooking/Recipes, Crafts, Spirituallity, Humor and more.
We are still adding more interests and would love for you to join with us in this new and exciting project. We are looking for category ideas and moderators. So please browse on over the The Valhalla Circle and join the Tribe! We look forward to seeing you soon :-)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In North America, the best time to watch will be between midnight to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, but late Tuesday night and also Wednesday night could prove fruitful, weather permitting.
The Perseids are always reliable, and sometimes rather spectacular. The only things that puts a damper on the August show are bad...........Read More.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Our Blog Follower Winner for the month of July is:
Bitten by Books
(chosen by the list randomizer at Random.org)
Congrats!! Please contact us HERE via email with your mailing address so we can send your goodies :-)
Now on to the August Corespondences.
Originally called Sextillis by the Romans, was later named Augustus in honor of Augustus Caesar.
August is the eighth month of the current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Summer’s rule.
Traditional birthstone amulets of August are the peridot and the sardonyx.
The gladiolus and the poppy are the month’s traditional flowers.
August is shared by the astrological signs of Leo the Lion and Virgo the Virgin.
During the month of August, the Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Lammas, one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.
Gathered harvest are celebrated during August.
Astrological Signs: Leo, Virgo
Nature Spirits: Dryads
Herbs:Chamomile, St. Johns Wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Flowers: Gladiolus, poppy, sunflower, marigold
Stones: Peridot, sardonyx, cat’s eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: Hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: Lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: Crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ceres , The Corn Mother, Demeter , Diana , Ganesha ,Hathor ,Hecate ,Lugh ,Nemesis ,Thoth and all Goddesses who preside over agriculture.
So, to simplify this statement, If I make a salve that is infused with herbs that are reputed to help soothe and heal minor scrapes, scratches, and skin irritations. Though I make no claims that MY product will "heal" anything, only what the herbs themselves have been believed for centuries to do. According to the above mentioned article I'm a "Drug Dealer" and to the FDA this violates theirs regulations.
Now I find out that if we make soap that is moisturizing, or skin-softening, or has any kind of “special” qualities beyond just cleansing the skin the FDA now considers that not a soap, but a cosmetic, and thereby they have the right to regulate it.
This kind of legislation makes me crazy!
Just because a bar of soap is superfatted or still has the natural glycerin intact and therefore is more moisturizing than the average bar, does NOT make it a freaking bottle of lotion, face foundation, or a damn tube of mascara! If I eat a damned hamburger, does that make me a freaking hamburger until it is digested and comes out the other end? For cripes sake!!
And to go one step further into the land of petty ridiculous government interference…..you’ll love this. Now the FDA wants us to be mind readers. We can make and sell a product that has herbs in it but make no specific herbal claims. However, if the end user (customer) buys said product with the intent to use it as a natural healing product, then we the manufacturer of said product have just violated FDA regulations. WTF!?
Now for all of you that are saying, “Oh, the FDA is just trying to protect the consumer. We need to have some kind of regulatory system in place. Blah, blah, blah.” Let me refer you to the following articles:
Aspartame - Rumsfeld's Bioweapon Legacy
Some of you may be old enough to remember the big gumball marketing push for Aspartame. Gumballs of every color in the rainbow were mass mailed to homes all across the U.S. Perfect! We could consume artificial coloring and sweetener all in one step! The timing just so happened to coincide with the ban on stevia. Coincidence? I think not!
Stevia & the FDA
Interesting how we are now seeing products like Truvia on the market that have been released by the big box companies like Cargill, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. For years the FDA claimed that there was no solid evidence to prove that Stevia was safe for human consumption as a food additive. And now all of a sudden the big companies with the big money have been given the approval to use it as such! Hummm???
Bush/Monsanto Push to Give FDA More Power
One question? Who is regulating the FDA?
Roundup—the American Weed-Killer—Is Likely Killing American People, Too
We can’t use stevia as food additive. We can’t put herbs in our soap. But our neighbor can spray poison on his lawn and the shrub between our houses with no regard for which way the wind blows, thus potentially causing Sally two doors down to miscarry her first child, or Joe across the street to suddenly become afflicted with prostate cancer. And worse yet possibly contaminate the ground water in the area causing birth defects in children born to families on that block for years to come!!!
Still think that the FDA, EPA and the government in general is “just trying to protect the consumer”? Well, if so then I dare say that you are very naive indeed! The FDA is nothing more than another corrupt money making entity for the government. And we are just guinea pig pawns to be used for their experimental money making ideas.
Between this and the recent fear mongering blog posts I've been seeing lately from others in this industry, pretty soon there will be no such thing as the soapmaking cottage industry, or any other small business/cottage industry. And then big brother, big box manufacturers, and big pharmacology will have won and the general public will have no say over what they can and cannot use on/in their bodies, what they can eat or drink, etc. Gods forbid that anyone should have the audacity to think for themselves, or any little cottage industry of should possibly take one dime out of big commercialisms pockets!!
I have a cousin (in-law) with a very large farm (around 100+acres) and the flipping government pays him NOT to farm it! What is wrong with this picture? He is one of many farmers in the U.S that Monsanto and the FDA do not want to compete with. So the farmer is simply paid off instead. And we wonder what has happened to American Pride. The government has paid its people not to have any!!
What’s next? Will the government be mandating what we can and cannot grow in our own gardens? Oh, I forgot. They already do!!