Friday, February 8, 2013
Pots, Jars & Concoctions
At the ending of last summer, Teri and I started our expanded plans for this year's garden and yard. We decided that we would get ourselves ready for bees and that meant planting more of our favorite herbs and plants--namely, lavender, bee balm (monarda), rosemary, and calendula. This led us to thinking about making our own soap, which led us to thinking about making creams and salves and bath salts and the like, and this led us to thinking about natural and organic cleaning and cleaners, which got us to thinking about toxins and plastics and other unsavory things and what we could do about them--so here, we are: our home-built bee hive box off-gassing in the gayrage, calendula tincture steeping away in a dark corner of the kitchen, two new raised beds built among the others, and jars of lavender honey, pine resin soaking in sunflower oil, and a gallon jar filled with dried chamomile flowers all tucked away in the pantry.
Oh, my Lord! We are evolving into those kooky people! In days past, surely two women living together stirring up concoctions and talking to their chickens would be considered eccentric at best, but most likely wicked heretical witches. Seriously. And we have two independently-minded black cats too!
While I've been mixing up concoctions in preparation for our foray into soap and lotion making, Teri has been exploring the wonderful world of tea. It's been kinda fun watching as she's tried out different tea strainers and hot cups of yummy dried herbs in various combinations. As she's been telling it, who knew she'd like dandelion leaf or fresh spearmint? We have had to dedicate an entire corner cupboard to the growing collection of different jars filled with a plethora of colors and smells. It sort of looks like a middle school class photo with the tall and the short and the skinny and the wide jars all nestled in there full of leaves, flowers, stems and barks.
It's definitely fun and it's definitely inspiring some creative interest in both of us as we learn what plants do what--whether it's the anti-inflammatory properties of calendula or the antioxidants found in blackberry leaves--or just the simple pleasures of opening up our big canister of lavender flowers and taking a big whiff!
All in all it is a good reminder that we're never too old to learn and explore new things and, honestly, nothing seems to bring the world back in order like a nice hot cup of tea...