Thursday, August 27, 2009

2nd Sunday Classes - September

We've got another incredible day of herbal goodness planned on September 13th.
We will begin with a short weed walk and discuss different methods of preserving herbs over tea and a snack. After discussing various herbs that are traditionally used for unwinding and relaxation, we will be blending a relaxing tea. Each participant will make their own blend and take it along. Next, the bounty of elderberries in the backyard beckons, and we'll be making elderberry syrup to help ward off colds and flu this coming winter. We will also mix up eye pillows, and a lotion, the details of which we will probably come up with during the class - depending on what you all want to make. We'll end the day with an herbal supper.
Supper will come from the garden, and will most certainly include the scrumptious tomatoes and basil that are growing so well there. Maybe some wild roots? We'll see :-).
Participants will leave with some of the tea blend, the syrup, an eye pillow, and a bottle of lotion, as well as a booklet that will include instructions and recipes from everything we've done that day. 11:30 to 6:30.
The whole day is only $75!
Come sign up today - space is limited.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wondiferous Weed Walk

Tina & I have known Fred and Barb Will for quite some time through the old PA Herb Business Association and we see them every spring at the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire where we are "next door neighbors". It seems every year, we (actually Tina) mention some plant or other that we have been looking for and, oddly enough, the Wills have it growing on their property and Fred brings us a big shovelfull or two to plant in our own woods.
Last spring we were talking about what a treasure trove of plants they must have and how much fun it would be to take a long weed walk with Fred through his woods and see all these plants in their "home." Thus hatched the plan for "The Wondiferous Weed Walk."

We traveled out to Somerset, PA on Friday for the event. We got there Friday afternoon and wandered around finding vista after vista of beautiful wildflowers and herbs. This is just a quick example of a hillside of ironweed and Queen Anne's lace. I can't do them justice because everywhere we looked was some new plant, another stunning combination of colors... it was amazing.

That evening, we met up with our hosts, Fred & Barb as well as a few of the other folks who had gotten in the night before the event for dinner. It was delicious and I wish I had taken a picture of the "skillet cookie" we had for desert. Three of us shared it and there was enough left over for another person!
After a night at the campground - which I promise to not whine about except to say I'm just too old to go camping again, even in a "bunkhouse," we made our way to the Wills' home.

The main event of the day was Fred leading us on THE Wondiferous Weed Walk! Here are just a few of the sights we saw:
Shagbark Hickory. I even found some nuts, still in their green coating.
Devil's Walking Stick. As Fred said, so full of jaggers even the Devil doesn't want to touch it.
Wild Yam. For some reason, I always thought it was a tropical plant, but I guess I was wrong! Here, it is wound around this maple sapling.
Just a quick shot of Tina in her element... foraging with a basket in hand.
And finally, the bath house at the campground. On the right are the toilet stalls and on the left are the showers. The glass block windows and the interesting paneling on the doors lead me to believe the camp ground was built in the 50's or so.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Family Pictures

I was playing with old photographs yesterday and dug out some family shots that have been loved and pawed over for many, many years. There were 5 kids in our family and I have to say there are very few of all five of us together. Often I was the photographer and so there are some of the other 4, but all 5 is something unusual. This was one of the few I found.I'm the oldest one up there at the top and beside me is John. Tina is right in front of me and beside her is Tom. Mark is the baby, of course, and we have never been able to figure out what he was doing in this picture. I think supposedly there was a cookie involved, but I'm not sure. There are a couple of pictures of Mark with his eyes crossed and he tells us that it was because he always wondered what he looked like with his eyes crossed.... but, you know, how many times did he have to see?

The reason I was looking through the pictures was the occasion of our 35th wedding anniversary. I posted a few pictures on facebook, but there are a couple more I've always liked.

This was taken on our honeymoon in Acapulco, on a boat tour of the harbor:Apparently we were boarded by pirates who then posed with us for pictures! You can't tell that by this time, Montezuma's Revenge had hit me and I was constantly scanning for the nearest bathroom! I think that drink in my hand had calmed things for the cruise so I was a bit more relaxed. I had been so careful about everything I put in my mouth while Bob, on the other hand, had been cruising all the little taco stands down the alleys.

A few years later, we went to Jamaica. Not one of my favorite trips, but Dunn's Falls was beautiful:Yes, I am wearing clothes. It's just a weird angle. Back then, the tour took you to the bottom of the falls and you climbed up. It was really nice and peaceful and a lot of fun.
Nowadays, the parking is at the top and you come down steps. After climbing to the top, there is a gauntlet of shops one must run before reaching the safety of their tour bus. I found out about this change when I took my mom on a tour from a cruise we went on together. It really changes the feeling about the place.

Finally, after Rob came along, we didn't travel much until he hit about 4 and we went to Bermuda with Tina and her then-husband John. This is us at dinner one evening:Notice the parade of dinosaurs on the table in front of "Bobby". Our waiter, Manuel, told him that at night, the dinosaurs will come to life and grow. I can't tell you how thrilled we were with that! Luckily Rob didn't believe him.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It came from the kiln

I know, I know - Time to update the website.... Well, I've been working on getting a nicer variety to put up there. I'm getting there.

First a vessel in Copper Green/Pale emerald with a salmon frit swirl. I love this combo and have done it a couple of times before. I'll continue doing it until I wind up with one left in my hot little hands that has not sold!
Another vessel made of a pastel slate blue that I think is one of the Vetrofond colors that they did once and may never make again.. I love it, but I might as well use it. The vine is goldstone and the flowers are "magic" - a reactive color that just does downright magical things!
A water goddess or os she a mermaid? Hmmmm

And finally, my fire goddess! I tried this a couple of times and wasn't satisfied with the results. This gal, I like with her little wisps of flames licking around the edges...