Monday, December 16, 2013

Kombucha SCOBY

A quart jar full of SCOBY babies I can't throw away. It turns a cup of sugar tea into Kombucha overnight!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New electrons, just in time.

Recycled picture, but perfect for the last six months.

I have a new computer. As I scrambled to get set up and learn the new (to me) iOs for my new iThings I discovered that my Google Reader needed rescuing ASAP! I think I have accomplished that with Flipboard.

I am delighted and astonished to see that I still have 17 followers! This makes me happy beyond the appropriate proportion, but that's the truth.  Thank you all you faithful, or sleeping, readers. I've missed reading you all and writing here so much.

My way of facing the breakdown of the device I once lived completely without was to just... Try it old school. There were things to learn from the experience. It was probably good for me.

Some clown is spamming one of my comment sections. I'll fix it as soon as I figure out how. I thrive on your comment, but not on his shoe ads.
I'll stick to the path.  It's really all I can do anyway.  Since I lost EVERY SINGLE THING from my old hard drive (I heard you whisper backup... I heard you) I am beginning with only the tiny cache of pictures I had shared here. My little phone was also rescued the same week, a few contacts saved, not many.  I didn't have my sister Glenda's number, but it popped into my head from when I used to have to dial it-11 years ago!  How amazing. If you ever had my number, which is the same , call me and leave your data in a message. That way I will build up a new and better lists. 

Remarkably, all my recent client numbers transferred. I don't know what that means, but it was a relief.  Not having loads of new clients in the last year helped, but that is what made my new computer purchase take so long too.

In other awesome news, I went to France. Too much more on that to come. 

And the raisin-bran stealing dog is still alive. Astonishing. That other cabinet door open in the picture below is for cooking pots and liquor. She didn't need either of those, it seems.

Friday, March 8, 2013

E- Eggs for Ostara

I colored eggs with lots of different natural dyes last year, some worked well, some did not.

This year I gave up on spinach, carrot and turmeric and made eggs colored with the things that worked best last year.

Black tea.

Black walnut hulls.

Onion Skins.

And my favorite:

Red cabbage!

This makes a beautiful dark purple blue that becomes bluer as it sits overnight. The high ph of the eggshell turns it a gorgeous shade of blue. Here is how I did it:

Chop up half a red cabbage from the grocery. put it in enough water to cover. boil one hour, adding water to keep it covered. 
Magic floating egg cartons!
Strain the pale purple chopped cabbage from the dark water. I served my cooked cabbage for dinner with vinegar and sugar and black pepper. 

The water looks really dark but it takes a long time to color the eggs.

Cool the liquid and add raw white eggs and 1/2 tsp salt. Boil the eggs the same way you make hard boiled eggs. remove the pot from the heat, add 1 tbsp vinegar and leave in the water overnight. If you plan to eat the eggs, do this overnight int he fridge.
When you remove the eggs from the vinegar water they will be purplish but  in the air they will become bluer.
Eggs in cabbage vinegar water.
I love the reflection .

Voila! Gorgeous eggs.  The lighter blue ones were cooked in the same water the next day. I bet I could have made another batch in that water, but I needed the pot.

Really big beets. No dice.

Beets were disappointing. They stained me, the counter, spoon and cutting board red but the eggs came out beige! I tried twice, because I am stubborn. I recolored those eggs with more onion skins.

Dilute onion skin water- maybe yellow?

The four red and gold ones at the top of the egg box and all of the ones in the box to the right were colored with the skins from one bag of yellow onions. Boiled in the colored water and then soaked overnight, they are almost red, especially if you begin with brown eggs!

The pale greenish ones are calendula flower petals- unimpresive to me. I overdyed two of those in cabbage water- they are army green.

Another way to decorate eggs is the PA Deutsche traditional scratched design. It is an art that began in Europe and came here in the 18th Century, but has nearly died out now.

You can see one I began working on in the bowl of really dark colored eggs I made just for scratching. Black tea or walnut hulls for browns, cabbage for the navy blue-black ones, the red are onion skin.

Scratched eggs will be for another post, but that is why I made the very dark colored eggs.
It's snowing right now, but I am going camping tomorrow and bringing these to the 18th C farm we are staying on. I will scratch them with traditional 18th C patterns representing power and blessings of the returning Spring. There are a few extant examples and a few reports of the work, but several  19th C newspaper photographs and reports of family eggs handed down 3 generations. The ones thought to bestow power or blessings were traditionally not kept but broken and buried when the work was done. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Born to be bad.

Brand new box of raisin bran flake cereal. In a 15 lb Dachshund dog. The entire box. Wow.

There are also pieces of the cabinet she chewed on the floor, the latch is still latched, she just somehow got the box edge and pulled it out and removed the inner bag.

Sadly, the raisins in any raisin bran cereal are toxic to dogs. Zambonie my darling is in the hospital until Saturday morning with activated charcoal and IV fluids and a catheter.  We are hoping to help offset the poison and save her kidneys. I am a sad dog mommy today.

little labyrinth

For my friend Poppy at Book of Shadows and Blessings.

Friday, March 1, 2013

E- Ellen Dugan Garden Witch

Ellen Dugan's books are a great inspiration to me and they are beautiful and thoughtfully written.  If you haven't checked her out, then do!

She published the Witches Tarot through Llewellyn Worldwide.

Pretty and educational!

Her Garden Herbal is one of my favorite books, and her other garden witchcraft books are wonderful too!

Check out Ellen' site at: Ellen's pages and blog she is my E choice for the Pagan Blog Project.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rock Cairns

From Ye Journal of Mad Anne Bailey, Frontier Heroine:

A Letter!

"27 March 
Dearest Anne,

Whilst traveling in the far west I had the fortune to travel a pathway defined by rock cairns. These wonders of western travel are created by travelers stacking rocks one upon another. They are a symbol to guide those who would otherwise not know the way. 
Each magnificent rock cairn is devised by the strength and knowledge of many, the power of one, and a careful balance of similar but differing objects..."

More of Anne's Journal at the link above. I love this woman and admire the woman of her portrayal.

and I love these words:
By the strength and knowledge of many, the power of one, and a careful balance of similar but differing objects...
Isn't that how we cast!