April Handcrafted Faves

Easter Eggs by Craft Factory Boutique
Flower Earrings by Amber Sky
Moon Print by Birch Bliss
Fox & Flowers by Becca Who Designs
Flower Crown by Kis for Kani
Flower Light Garland by Light Blossoms
Calming Flowers Bath Soak by From the Earth Apothecary

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Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. 😀

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia
❤

A Month (or two) for Baldr – XX – Imagery That Reminds Me of Him

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Riding on the Path

The man and I just picked up our one speed cruiser bikes yesterday. I’ve been out once today and I believe I’ll be going out with him tonight before he goes to work. I’ve named her Mona… although her name just came to me 🙂 I’m thinking she needs a bigger basket on the front end, and I shall be seeing about a basket for the back.
I wanted to go for a long ride yesterday, but there were a lot of people on the trail, and my muscles needed a little while to get used to it. We also picked up one of those non-powered lawn mowers for between the garden plots. Let me say, that although I had to get down and hand prune some of the bigger, thicker “weeds”, it looks much better now!
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So today, at lunch, I took Mona out for a ride. I didn’t expect to take any pictures, but I needed to when I got in there. It smells divine on this trail, so very sweet with flowers in some areas, then you can smell the river, and marshy, algae filled areas. It’s so very loud with birds now. Yesterday, a sweet rabbit didn’t want to leave the path until I got rather close (of course I went slowly).
This is past the bridge for the road that runs over the trail, where it starts getting much more wild.

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These flowers love this area. They’re along most of the trail, dark purple and light, pink, and white.
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The Saugeen River, with its brownish water. Don’t worry, it’s quite safe, much tubing down the river to be done in the summer. Although, not sure how warm it will be since this past winter was so terribly cold.2014-06-09 123

Taking a moment for a drink, and a picture. 2014-06-09 124

This is farm country too, and a large farm or two can be seen while travelling.2014-06-09 125

This is the section of the path near the end that I like to call the Sun Path. As you can see, there isn’t enough growing on either side of the path for much shade to be given as there is farmland. I thank Sunna for her warm light as the breeze passes by me. That’s the nice thing about biking, it may not be breezy out, but you can make your own if you keep on peddling.2014-06-09 126

Looking back from the end of the trail. It didn’t feel like it took very long. 2014-06-09 127

The rolling hills of Southwestern Ontario.

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These beautiful birch trees sang to me on my way back home. Then I realized I should be singing too. A song of greeting to the forest land came to me, and I sang it a few times on the way home. Perhaps with all these songs coming to me, I should be getting them recorded. It seems things always come back to that, but I am being truly inspired by being out and about, as they say. (I am Canadian, you know, it works well for me 😉 ). 2014-06-09 129

Pagan Blog Project – L is for Lilac Wine

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I’ve been inspired by the glorious perfumes that fill the air in spring. Where we live, there happens to be a Lilac tree in the back yard, and after a weekend of rain in May, which gives such a fresh, sensuous side to the delicate flowers’ smell, I decided to collect enough fresh flower spikes to make a gallon of wine. Thanks and prayers were offered in return, of course.

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Freshly cut.

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A beautiful meditative task plucking the flowers was.

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Lilac tea steeping.

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Some of the flowers left while straining them out.

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Smelled amazing. Final concoction all in it’s jug, as all my other carboys are in use.

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An ancestor decided she wanted what was left of the lilacs.

Here is the recipe I used to make the wine. If you’re leary of using lilacs, the flavour is quite similar to jasmin.

1 Gallon Lilac Wine
3/4 lb Lilac flowers, no stems/branches/leaves
2 lbs sugar/5 cups
Black tea bag
1 tbsp lemon juice
25 raisins
1 packet Red Star champagne yeast

Remove the flowers from the spikes, ensuring there are no green bits left.

Rinse the flowers.
Add half a gallon boiling water to steep them. That’s about 2 litres.

Steep anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. I had made a tea beforehand to gauge the strength of flavour and aroma. The different colours of Lilac have different strengths in aroma.

Start the yeast about 1/2 hour to an hour before pitching it in warm water with sugar and a few raisins.

Strain out, and press as much of the the liquid from the flowers as is possible. Add the sugar to the floral tea, mix until dissolved. Add brewed black tea and lemon juice.

Place in primary fermenter, fill with warm water (about 25°C/75°F). Leave enough room for yeast water and some head space in case it bubbles a lot. Shake or stir the primary fermenter to get lots of oxygen in there.

Add the yeast. Place airlock, and keep an eye on it in case it bubbles a lot. It shouldn’t cause much problem though as there is little solid material in it.

Sumer Is Icumin In

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. Our internet went down on Saturday, which I don’t mind so much except that I was planning on calling family, and it interrupts my work (which requires me to send and receive files). So I am currently writing this post on my man’s phone, which for some silly reason is making me have to press shift to make every letter the proper case, lol. I think that this break is a good thing, I spend entirely too much time in front of a screen, albeit, mostly from working. 

Back to the beautiful weather… Amazing, warm, sunny, in bloom, smelling like delicious flowers, cut grass, childhood, and impending summer. The young God is growing ever stronger, the maiden becoming more enticing as Beltaine drawing nearer. I’m feeling excitement growing as the summer becomes more apparent. 

I hope your days are filling with anticipation and excitement… unless you’re south of the equator, preparing for the feast for the Great Dead, or preparing for air conditioning if the warm part of the year is when your body and mind tends towards rest.

Wormwood


Latin Name:
Artemesia absinthium

Parts Used:
Leaves and tops (collect in July and August when the plant is flowering and dry from any dampness)

Herbal Uses:
Can be used as a vermifuge (expel worms from the intestines), as the name “wormwood” describes. Dried and powdered flowers were used for this purpose; however, the essential oil is now used. It is best extracted by soaking in a spirit (alcohol) than by water. Wormwood is also used as a febrifuge (gets rid of fever), and has been used often to treat malaria. The juice of large leaves can be used as a stomachic (pertaining to the stomach and its function), to help relieve heartburn and gas, increase appetite and the efficiency of digestion and prevent nausea after eating. Be careful to not take too strong of a dose, or it will have the opposite effect. The thujone within the herb also helps with depression and can create a more calm mindset.

Magical Uses:
Wormwood is an herb used for increasing ones psychic power, the smell of the plant is said to aid in this purpose. Burn with incenses to increase the power of evocation, prophesizing, scrying and divining. Often used with mugwort to increase its strength. Used in incenses again to exorcise and protect. Hung in your rear-view mirror, it will protect you from accidents on more dangerous roads. It is also associated with love and is used in love spells. Add it to your mixtures for dream pillows and use it when working with the spirit world. Make sure to be in a well ventilated area when burning as incense as it is poisonous as smoke.

Plant Identification Adventures!

Yesterday, the man and I took out our dog, Pippa, and the dog I’m currently sitting for during the week (Foxy) out for a little adventure out in a small wooded area near our home. Unfortunately, around here, that’s pretty much it as far as wooded areas/forests go, sigh! Oh well.

So I took my camera to start doing some plant identification. I know I really won’t need to know too much for Ontario soon, but I’d like to get to know some good resources on the internet before I go out to BC. (I will be picking up a field guide once out there, though!)

So here are some pictures of our little adventure!

The man with Pippa and Foxy (Pippa’s the black doggy)

This little guy flew right in front of me, stayed for four shots,
then I looked at my display to make sure I got some good ones,
looked back, and he was gone 🙂

A fairy dwelling perhaps? 🙂