Sunday, July 17, 2011

Elderberry Flower Blessings

Forgive me, again, faithful reader, for I have spent more time in the garden and Facebook, then I have writing in this forum. I shall try to include my posting here more often, for I know not everyone sees my posts of Facebook

The Full Blessing Moon for July has just passed and the air is hot with sunshine and refreshing with cool brezes from the water. We live in such a blessed place! The Sun, the Moon, the waterways and the gardens, all combine in just the right amount to create a wonderland of sights and sounds that makes my heart sing and my mouth smile.

I have gone swimming in fresh and salt water several times this month. The ocean is still cold but refreshing on a hot day, and Muddy Pond, where my friend has a camp, was warm, fresh and delicious! I didn't stay too long on my saltwater forays, but the lake beaconed and my friends led me on a mile long journey to an island on the lake. It was way too much for my deranged back though, and I've been fairly incapacitated ever since. I know better than to swim for 2 hours without a break, but I still had fun and I really don't regret it.

The Elderberry bush is in full bloom now and I'm picking flowers to dry for tea I use for Winter colds and flu. Today I'll try an Elderflower Champagne receipe that my friend with the lake house shared with me. I'm also using her Arnica oil on my sore back, and I think that helps too.

My days have been filled with weeding, watering, harvesting and tending. I feel like I have a pack of growing kids! It's like I get to spend all day changing diapers, wiping noses, making snacks and brushing hair... but it's all weeding, watering, tending... I love being a Mother!

The Elderberry bush is known as the Grandmother of the garden and she is a spirit and presence that simply cannot be denied. From a few dried, dead Winter twigs, she springs to Life and bursts into leaf and bloom, becoming a beacon for Butterflies, Bees and Fairies of all kinds. The soft, whate fluffy blloms with the delicate scent, later becomes tiny, dark purple, juicy berries that produce an elixir of magnificent quality for a variety of ailments. And, it tastes delicious!

Elderberry brings us Healing, Beauty, and Blessings all in one! Throw some berries onto damp, sunny spots and in a few years, Elderberry will bring joy to you and your life. Learn to love this beautiful, dignified lady of the garden, for she will bring you health, wisdom and grace! Blessed Be!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Is It June?

Summer has officially begun, for the calender tells me so. The thermometer, however, is a different story. The Spring has lingered long and wet, like a melted ice cream cone, that didn't come with a napkin. It feels about as warm and cozy too.

This happens some Springs. The weather pattern gets stuck in 'Canada' mode and we suffer thru weeks of cool, drizzly, damp days that make me long for sun and shorts.

The garden has been pleased with the daily downpours and the thunderstorms add precious nitrogen to the soil. I wish now I had planted my beloved Snow Peas. I couldn't find the seed this year, and I refused anything less than a Dwarf Grey Sugar Pea. They are the sweetest and the best and I know better that to waste my time and space.

I'm cutting the Garlic Scapes this afternoon and adding them to a Chicken Corn chowder that simmers on the stove. Today the temps have climbed from the 50 degrees yesterday gave us, all the way to 60! I'm still cold and the woodstove will be going later (again!).

The lettuce is exploding and Sage is in full flower. The cukes are just now sprouting and the beans too. I may get a few Beets and Carrots, but the Chicken Girls have done a job on that bed by scratching up the seedlings. I'll consider it a good thing, when I discover I don't have to weed the Carrots... maybe! The Cherry Tomatoes have nice green globes in the green house and the outdoor varieties are thriving in spite of the cool air.

More rain tomorrow, then sun for most of the upcoming week. I'll try to mulch well before the season actually does warm up, cause I really don't like to weed! Happy Summer to all!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rhododendrons Rock!

The Rhododendrons absolutely glow with color and literally hum with the haappiness of the Bumble Bees. The Lilacs fade and the Honeysuckle turns from white to yellow as the last blast of scent fills the yard with fragrence.

Spring is so delicious to me. The air is moist and full of birdsong and flowery smells. The soil is receptive to the coddled seedlings and the chickens purr as they pick bugs from the lawn.

Life is a wonder to me today. The tree frogs trill
from the edge of the woods.

The gardens are mostly planted, though I have few more beds to complete. So far there are 19 Tomatoes - 6 Brandywine, 6 Cherry, a Sungold, and several mixed heirlooms, a half dozen Cayenne Peppers and 8 Sweet Peppers, slicing and pickling Cucumbers, Dill, Sweet and Lemon Basil, Summer Savory, Bush Beans, Italian and curly Parsley, Acorn Squash, Zuchinni, Sunflowers, a Potato hill and the Onions and Garlic. Carrots, Beets, Onions and more lettuce and sprouting from seeds, though it is a race with the chickens for the sproutlings. I've erected a twig fence, which does not deter them, in fact I believe they are playing a jump the twig game...

There are still a few Pumpkins and Beans and more Sunflowers to plant too. The 'cool and cloudy' forcast actually became a drizzly day, so I got little gardening done today. I did snap a few pics of the Rhododendrons.

I'm off to watch the final leg of the Triple Crown - the Belmont. I love horses and the thrill of the race. I only hope for an mishap free race and all the best to all. I don't bet and I don't like any abuse of the horses - enen the whipping bothers me. I just like the beauty of the beast, the nobleness of the horse touches my heart and makes it beat a little quicker, a little stronger. The feel of the horse, the smell, the speed and power of the animal - it appeals to me on such a viseral level. I remember wishing on the evening star for a pony... I still wish for one and perhaps on day the wish will come true.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Lilacs, Forget me Nots and Lily of the Valley bless us with their presence, their beauty and their Heavenly fragrence, while the Bleeding Heart nods with approval.

Spring has arrived at Windsong Woods at last! After such a long, cold, snowy Winter, I relish a walk in the woods with my 6 year old neighbor and the dogs.
The mosquitoes and blackflies were still in the early stages of sucking blood and fertilizing their eggs, so we were left alone as long as we kept walking.
The Lily of the Valley has begun to bloom and the Lilac just popped open a flower this morning too. The Dandelions and Violets are just going by and the beautiful Lady's Slipper are now starting to show their beauty.
I wish I could let you smell the Lily of the Valley, for I am sure that Heaven must carry this scent on the breeze. The birdsong fills the air with joy and the plentiful rains have left the gardens lush and green, with flowers and leaves as green and vibrant as ever I have seen.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The Full Moon has brought us a solid week of cold, wet, drizzly days that only Maine in May can produce. It's cold enough to light the woodstove every day and wet enough to add inches to the new rain gauge.

The garden loves this rain of course. The weeds grow thick and lush and full and laugh at my feeble attempts to pull them from the ground. There is a prolific weed that smells of garlic and has a prett whirl of white flowers, that literally takes over at this time. I somehow can't find the name, though I know I have it in one of my books. I should know it, but I call it the garlic weed.

The rain has dampened not only my enthusiasm, but really put some of the blossoms at risk of not being pollinated. Bees can't fly in the rain. My pretty Pear tree is trying to bloom too.

Here is a rainbow to brighten your day... I'm off to dig some Dandelion roots. Or light the woodstove.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Has Hope

May is the month of hope, of Life, of plans. When all our dreams can be realized and all things are still possible. We have survived the cold death of Winter and are reborn into a new day.

It's a time when I know all the gardens will be weeded and planted and all my dreams will come true. I can taste the sweetness of the tomatoes to come and feel the weight of the damp, cool carrots that will leap from the ground into my hand in late September...

I smile because I know that the truth will never be close to my fantasy garden. The Tomato Hornworms are due to hit again this year and a cool wet Summer will mold even the nicest Pepper.

It doesn't matter to me now. For today I will sow seeds and pull endless weeds. I won't know or care that the seeds will dry out and die or that the weeds will only pop up faster after the sun and rain hit them a few times. Selfsown plants may flourish instead and some weeds are delisious as well as beautiful.

By July this urge to create the garden will be gone. I'll hide from the hot sun, yet long for the breeze at Pemaquid Beach. I'll water and caress the flowers as they arrive in their colors and artful dresses. But I'll realize the futility of it all and finally let the garden have it's way. The Beets may surprise me this year and the selfsown lettuce will be the best of the season.

Yes for all my sins and inadequacies, the garden shall thrive, and grow and be the best that it will be and I'll be happy just the same.

May your Spring bring you out to play in the garden too. It's fun out here! Come on... Join me!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

This Mothers Day I am grateful for my children and conscious of the fact that their births caused me to become a Mother. This is a shared experience of existance. Every one of us has a Mother. Each of us begins Life with Mother being the center of the Universe. Yet the feeling was mutual for me.

I love being a Mother and all that goes with it. The good and the bad. The diapers and the giggles, the skinned knees and lost teeth, were all wonderful and special shared moments.

I realize that my children no longer see me as the center of their Universe, but they will always be at the center of mine.

My Life is made complete with them. A bit of me lives on in lifes that I do not control. I am connected to the World in sacred ways and secret parts of subtleness. My Life becomes an echo and mirror to their own.

My Mother is part of her Mother and back and back until we are all the children of the One Mother.

So from the Mother in me to the child in you, may our Lives touch and Love live on, everafter.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fools

My Life has been consumed with health and financial issues, so I apologize to my faithful readers for my lack of attention and obvious neglect.

My husband has undergone 2 surgeries in the last couple of months and I've dealt with my own injuries from a slip on ice. I was helping a neighbor and retrieving her newspaper, when I lost my footing and saved myself from falling by grabbing the truck door. I pulled chest muscles and a twisted my knee. 'Derangement of the knee' has made my Life a delicate ballet of movemnet to avoid snapping my knee cap and grunting in pain.

The Winter dragged on and on as the snow covered the ground all season. I thought the worst was over, when Aprils Fools day brought us more than half a foot of heavy wet and gorgeous snow! It quickly melted and left blooming crocus in it's wake.

Welcome Spring!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Blues

Winter has come with a vengence and we are enjoying lots of cold and storm after storm. We struggle for warmth from the woodstove, which is our only source for heat. I love the warmth that it provides, yet the work involved is more that turning on a switch.
I like the feel of the wood though and the smell as it is carried in. Then the wiff of smoke that fills the house brings warmth to my soul as well.
When it is cold here, like in the single digits, the stove is going all the time. Last night the temp reached 10 below, but we stayed warm and cozy.
The chickens seem to weather the cold just fine, but eat and eat and peck my knees if I'm not quick enough with breakfast.
Yesterday the Winter got much colder too, as Jeff was laid off from his 12 year fishing job. He's actually fished for 30 years, but has stayed on this boat for 12 years. The Capt. is from a long term fishing family and puts quickness over experience at this time in his career.
It wasn't just the swiftness of the dismissal, but rather the hurt that seemed like a slap for the lack of concern for Jeff's future or injury.
There is no unemployment, workman's comp or disability that will pay our bills. The SS disability can drag on for years and will not cover next months mortgage payment... or any mortgage payment for that matter. It will be less than our monthly house payment.
Just when I thought we could make it thru shrimp season... now there will be NO shrimp season. Ahh, Life in all it's glory!
I'd like to think that this will be a time of healing for Jeff, tho I know there is no medicine to bring back his Love to him. I mean he loves me and all, and the kids, and our home... But the Sea is his true Love and the fishing is what matters to him . It was the air, the water, the sights and the sounds, that drew him to work the briny deep. Each sunrise was new with different colors and each sunset merely brought rest for another day of fishing.
Now that is no more. No more jumping out of bed at 3:15 am, and no more watching what the weather will do... The price of lobster makes no difference now and shrimp has lost it's appeal and taste.
I would like to say we still have each other, tho I know that is not what matters.
No - what matters is work that makes a man feel worthwhile, and whole. What matters is keeping our home that he built and designed with his own hands. This is a place for family and friends, both tame and wild, and bigger than just us. The history of our lives is in jeopardy now and our future as well.
I will close at this time and ask for prayers and blessings from those who know and love us. For indeed we will survive. We have suffered loss before and lived to tell the tale. We've been thru death, severe injury and financial disaster before... so we will try again.
This is not what we had wanted or expected, but Life will go on whether we are here or not. Life has a plan that I cannot always see, but I know it is a good one and better that anything I could have dreamed up!
So count your blessings, faithful readers, and watch that handwriting on the wall... And thanks for listening.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another storm passes... Several inches of snow fell steadily all day before changing to sleet, then freezing rain. Rain on top of a good snow base is one of my least favorite things. It's hard for the deer to run from the coyotes and it's impossible to walk in or shovel. My plastic green house looks like it's bending under the weight of the built up snow and ice.

Then there is the problem of the ice dam on the back of our house. When the edge of the roof isn't cleaned off, ice builds up and then as the snow melts, the water backs up into the eaves of the house and then drips down walls and into light fixtures. The result is not pretty - or cheap.

My battle of the sore throat has finally tipped in my favor! After guzzling Echinacea in every form I could find, I can report that I'm finally feeling healthy and much better!

The wintery weather has brought a a bird explosion to our woods. There are flocks of Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Chickadees and Finches. There are several varieties of Woodpeckers and a least one male Cardinal. The crows and Ravens have increased their visits to the corn and sunflower and were quite excited yesyterday when I threw out a few little suet hunks with it...

The deer comes to scoop up corn and I throw out old apples and bread too.

I've seen no sign of Fox or Racoon, and no Turkeys have visited this year. Last year we had a resident family, but I never saw them after hunting season in May.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shrimp, Snow and a Flock of Waxwings

Winter has come in earnest and brings a white, frozen presence that alters the landscape and our routines. The Wednesday storm was quite a blizzard and managed to dump well over a foot of snow in a swirling blowing mass that was impressive in it's intensity. It became a day of rest as school and work schedules were changed.

My month-long sore throat returned only 2 days after finishing the 10 days of antibiotics. A second visit to the Dr. yesterday and she STILL claims I have post nasal drip.... though my nose is perfectly clear, I have no cough, but the agony of swallowing continues... Nothing helps - not salt water rinses, Cepacol lozenges, Cloraseptic spray, Throat Coat tea, Echinacea tea, and tincture, Eldeberry, Thyme... I can't eat - even swallowing water is difficult. The pain radiates into my jaw, my tongue. my teeth and my ears. The rapid stress test was negative, so no more antibiotics... It's going to be a long weekend.

They are setting out shrimp traps today and the season should be interesting and one for the record books. There is lots of shrimp, thus LOTS of people gearing up - to drag and trap. The draggers can tow thru traps and take out weeks of work and hundreds of dollars of gear in a night. The price is up too - they are talking .90 a lb... last year it was about .40. It's an unexpected benefit from the Gulf oil spill and I hesitate to celebrate our good fortune, when I know that others are suffering.

Yesterday afternoon I was enchanted by sweet bird calls from a large Oak tree at the edge of the yard. A closer look revealed a flock of 40 or so Cedar Waxwings roosting and chatting with each other. I was struck by the connectedness of the group and how they interacted in the branches.

Today the political climate of our time was vividly displayed in 2 different but equally meaningful events. At last, Wiscasset School Board banned the use of the term "Redskins" for their basketball team after years of wrangling and discussion. This has been a divisive issue that the town clearly and loudly did not want to change. They were unconcerned for the true Natives' feelings or thoughts. No, it was their 'mascot' and they wanted to keep it at all cost. Finally, the discussion is over... just in time for our new Govenor LePage to tell the NAACP to "Kiss his butt" when he refused to meet with them....
Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year and Old Fear

I want to look forward to this new year. I really do. The possibilities are all there. I know I control my destiny. I can change my life, change the world, change my habits. I can do it - but as I watch the years unfold, I'm less inclined to waste my precious energy.

Now my plans must start with the state of my health (and my loved ones) and then go from there. I can plan to do six things in a day, but I know my body won't let me accomplish them all. So I plan for 3 things and do the most important thing first.... just in case.

The uncertainty of our times hangs over my head too. The economy, the environment (birds and fish are dying! and there are only vague excuses), the instability of our society, all fills me with fear. How do I plan for this in my nice new calender?

I've been sick with a sore throat for over 2 weeks now. My stomach is upset and I feel dizzy. And I'm outside a lot. Is there a bird flu? An allergy to my lovely chickens? Has the government experimented on us all with chem trail chemicals?

I'm not used to feeling so ill and I don't think the amoxicillin is helping.... With the first of the year, my insurance policy turns over, so now the deducible has to paid with any tests to be done.

How do I budget for these little health blips? And our new governor, Paul LePage, has promised to get rid of our health insurance... How do I plan for what will happen for the hubby's foot surgery later this year?

Happy New Year to you and yours. May your year be full and fruitful, healthy and full of love!