Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to me ~ Wolf Moon & Peace to You

Yes the date of my birth is in the month of January & this yr . I was blessed with the gift of the fullmoon My Mother always tells me that the January fullmoon is the biggest & brightest and how lucky I am to have it in my birth month ;-)
The January moon has several names but the one I love is the wolf moon because this I was told is my lone spirit . similar to myself in personality so to speak. with my pack ,yet spiritually I work alone very much of the time ☺like the lone wolf
The moon names is both an aboriginal cultural custom & a European one the colonists kept up and I'm sure most peoples did this as we based our calenders on the seasonal cycles . .
 You can read the names of each fullmoon and the corresponding month here
I like to celebrate the memory of a birth don't You ☺
not to many of my gal pals could make it out for my actual birth date but we had a gathering this past sunday .Freinds came and I did receive some beautiful gifts like the deep pink Pashmina scarf from my gf Susan & my dh gifted me with a brand new lap top computer !!! It is blue & has a camera so I can send our kids in ON videos etc. My little adventure boy I was so very proud of bought me with his own money a new wallet & a box of panda black licorice lol he knows his momma well ☺
However my biggest gift of the day was my ds Dacotah called .It made my day . Dacotah's due date had been my birthday actually . I'd not spoken with him since Christmas so it was extra special to get that call ☺

I made this lemon raspberry torte with whipped cream , devon cream & candied violets & rose petals
Yes it was good for a first time effort with this recipe ☺
ok I have to confess it is really good for breakfast as well

and I also added henna to my hair as a treat
It is very soft and silky right now I have made a commitment not to cut my hair until next All Souls day so I'm trying to keep the split ends at bay .

Winter is   also a very reflective time for me . January being my birthday month I often reflect upon my own life , changes needed etc.
 I also remember my twin whom I did not get to meet . My brother is also a January birthday and I think of him too.
I am thinking alot of peace . Peace within the heart , contentment within a soul. As I plan my own garden of comfort will my brother still have that option this yr. in the prison he is in .
I was reminded of my peace globe .I chose to use that picture from my sage picking day because I am most free and at peace when out in nature in the natural environment this is where my heart , mind & soul are most contented .

I am sure most Americans know that Martin Luther King jr. also was a January birthday ☺
I always feel so happy to remember him !
 I have to say I was very upset on this Martin Luther King day by the Canadian media . I turned on the news and not a mention of this beautiful soul
No what do they do . They have a whole segment dedicated to the fact that that monday is known as blue monday here in Canada and it is known as the most depressing day of the yr. !
 So they choose to announce this pointing it out so those of us who do not know this now know it ? So we too can focus on being depressed ?
 Why not instead focus on M.LK. and Gandhi perhaps and make it a day dedicated to peace to go out of our homes and make it day to feed the homeless in these -30c days !
I felt sick in my stomach after that .
 I 've since returned to prayer and have not watched the news since .
 I was led to read Mother Teresa , Oscar Romero & Kahlil Gibran ☺
and I've been watching all the M.L.K videos I can !!!
So what do You think ? next yr. on the blue monday , (ok blue is my fav colour by the way so I'm a bit insulted they use it as a negative ) we have a give the homeless a sandwich day or boots or coats or whatever . Or if the prison would allow send seeds to prisoners . ?
Maybe just telling the media to stop having news segments on unnecessary negative things .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Shall my Garden Grow ?

Yes I'm dreaming ☺
about the garden that is !
So How Shall Your Garden Grow ?

I recieved my new richters catalogue a couple weeks ago !
Thank goodness because it has been below -30c for along time !

This is pretty much how the garden is right now . Of course Jack & Lizzie (the dogs ) love it as during summer months they are not allowed in the garden area .

We still have our nice areas outside we always have our fire area set up for winter fires & feed the birds and squirrels etc.

I of course do many natural decorations as well
Yet nothing beats the preparing & warmth of a spring garden !

I can hardly wait for fairy houses

and Sharon's hideouts

My plan is to expand my herb garden

and tea garden as well
I am for certain ordering a huge load of soil this yr. as the areas I dropped the soil my sil gave me grew at least 5 times better then the other areas . It made me realize I'd not added soil for over 12 yrs ! I do have two big barrels of compost but it is not enough to feed our big garden .
I want to focus more on the edible flowers for sure and there are a few new herbs I wish to add .As far as veggies go we just cannot grow any root veggies in this clay soil even if I bring in soil I'd need huge amounts of raised areas . So I think I'll stick to tomatoes , cucs, peas, beans  & squash .
I'll have many a pansy , johnny jump up & nasturtium . varities of poppies & sunflowers again .
I want to have a good patch of motherwort & robertwort this yr. as well .I think I need to move the sweetgrass so it can have much more room .
The one herb I am so looking forward to working with and feel inspired to grow is Angelica . I have yet to use and grow this herb so I'm a bit excited to meet her ☺
 I also have decided to splurge and order 3 more rose bushes ! I use alot of rose petals throughout the yr. and I always run out of the wild & my garden rose which I pick .
Oh I can hardly wait ! only 3 more months , perhaps 4 !
I would like to know why do rosemary & lavender dry out ? if anyone has that answer please let me know ! I have two lavender plants I grew from seed that do fine all winter but whenever I purchase lavender and bring it in to overwinter the plant just dries up .Same with Rosemary .
So how shall Your garden grow ? If You are planning your garden now perhaps you'd like to share a link so we can all take a peek at each others plans ☺

Making Bread

Tis the season ☺ Bread making season that is ☺
that is a pic of myself & my Gramma Grace punching down the dough together
That is also the bread making bowl my mother gifted me with last yr. Yes it is an authentic Medicine Hat bowl ☺ and no I will not keep it up on a shelf collecting dust !
I in fact have even made bread with my own grandson using this bowl ☺
I'd been out of bread making for awhile but then my sil has been making that Artisan Bread
which is not artisian bread by the way lol . Yes I called it artisian bread ☺
First off everyone will have their own technique of making bread. Everyone will have their own types of bread they love to make & eat . You certainly do not need be a bread expert and know how to make all types of bread in order to become a skilled bread maker !
I will tell you the most important secret to a great loaf of bread patience love &the perseverance  keep going ☺
My two grandmothers both were known for their bread making . yet both made  totally different types of  bread . Gramma  Grace always made hearty heavy healthy  loaves just like her wool quilts were heavy and functional not fancy full of beautiful designs ☺
 Gramma Sharpe was known for her light and fluffy buns & her beautifully embroidered quilts  . She baked alot having the huge family she had plus she worked in the bush camps & had borders from the mill so she was a very skilled and efficient baker .
 When I was a young gal of 17 soon to be a new Momma I had it in my head I should learn this domestic art of bread making ☺
 I paid a visit to my gramma sharpe and asked her how to make her beautifully delicious buns.
 I still have her recipe it goes something like this
 warm milk butter , yeast mix flour
Lol ! well at 17 yo you can imagine I looked at that recipe and didn't try to attempt a bun making task for 6 more yrs ! I am impressed with myself that I did in fact save the recipe .I guess it just is such a novelty ☺
 she was not really one to show & teach as gramma grace was but even so that is exactly the recipe I'd probably give my own dd today☺
 So what inspired me to begin the bread making adventure all those yrs ago was in fact one of my mothering buddies Karen. She was a born and raised farm country girl and when our ds Chayote was born she sent over a loaf of the most bestest tasting raisin bread ever ☺
 What a wonderful gift for a family by the way.
 Her bread was so good and she gave me some great bread making tips too.
Her first advice was find one simple bread recipe . try it over and over . It will then become your own .
 She was so right ☺
 so my first attempt at the bread was from this recipe book my gramma grace had given my mum .

Food that really schemcks is a wonderful Mennonite book from the Pennsylvania ditch type of cooking such as my gramma's family are .
I did as Karen suggested and I found and used the everyday bread recipe at the beginning of the bread section .
 I learned kneading properly by trial and error . How to use traditional yeast vs quick yeast .
I will say I am not a bread machine person . Kneading bread is like hand sewing to me .It is wonderful & spiritually therapeutic so I do not wish to miss the step of kneading bread ☺
You can quote me on this as it came to me during meditation while kneading
kneading bread is like prayer just when you think you are done or you wish to be done , work on it just a little more and it will be perfect . It is true often I knead my dough up to 20min .
So from that original recipe I can now make my whole wheat bread , cinnamon buns , egg bread etc.
as far as other recipes go there are a zillion blogs out there and websites which you can find your own favs .
 I will however promote my all time fav blog and her breads are delicious .Is Jaz over at Octoberfarm makes wonderful breads .
So I have been venturing out lately as I said inspired by my sil Summer ☺
Ok I have a confession I am not a huge bread fan ! I rarely eat the stuff . I tend to like rice cakes and crackers  however my dh is a huge huge bread fanatic ! He is a meat , potatoes & bread man ( although he also adds curry & peanut butter to every dish ☺ )
 So I make bread for him . He eats close to 1 loaf per day only because he substitutes bread with crackers lol
 So I've been trying out a few new books and recipes

I heard great things about Laurel's Bread book and since her Kitchen book is so good and such a classic so is the bread book. The buttermilk bread is wonderful recipe ☺

This is a book I treated myself to this Christmas ☺
 I love this lady's Christmas recipe book and this book has not disappointed me ! I am in fact going to order two more for mother's day ☺
 so far I have made granny's best bread recipe and it is my new fav recipe I make it almost everyday ☺

The next book I cannot say enough about is this one
Baking Bread with Children is so inspiring for the whole family ! I'm not kidding . The author is a bread maker Waldorf teacher ☺
My ds 15 was so inspired he even tried the making of a clay oven ☺
We tried the bannock recipe last yr for spring equinox and the recipe is so good. It is really great cooked on the fire ☺
 I like Jaz at Octoberfarm have been now making my own sourdough bread !
I made my own starter using this book . It is a great experience for the kids to watch it grow. We also read about sourdough and salt rising bread in the Little House Cookbook
Now I will say some of my loaves have been very hard and really could only be eaten as toast lol and also this is why it is good to always be feeding the birds and the squirrels ☺
However some of the loaves are nice and spongy and light . I find if you cook them on a flat sheet they will turn out harder if you use a pot or loaf pan it will be more soft .
My next attempt at bread is to make a loaf with ground wheat berries and sunflower seeds etc. I do not have a grain mill nor will I be able to afford one soon . However I do have an old time coffee grinder and they claim if I use that it will do small amounts which I can add to my dough . They give the tip to feed old bread through your grinder first to collect any coffee grinds that may have been left behind ☺
Of course You know me , my ultimate dream is to have my wood cook stove and bake bread that way ☺
Happy Bread making to You & Yours
 Blessed Be

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Spruce Talking

We are back ! Online that is !
don't you love that title ? my mum says through black spruce is a great book by the way ☺
Black spruce was not really talking to me but God sure was ☺I work alot with tree medicines as I've written before . This past spring I felt was told to pick alot of spruce because it will be a great yr. of healing .
Late Dec. into early Jan. I had black spruce coming in strong .
Is it not such a majestic tree ? Maybe I'm a bit partial to spruce as it is the most common tree on the swampy land my grandparents settled on ☺
I kept having this gorgeous grand tree pop into my head several days in a row. There is a grand stand of them I just love maybe 1/2 hr from my mothers . So I kept praying and visioning those trees. Then I looked up the meaning and medicinal uses . I have several books on medicinal use of trees. The key illness and treatment that lept out at me was circulation . So I stored this info in my head for future use .
 I have to say right here and now I am a selfish soul  a greedy me. The whole time black spruce is popping in my head I secretly hope it is in regards to our land being found . This will be it and I will know it because it shall contain black spruce .
lol we as humans rarely make stuff not about us .
 I mean deep down I even know His purpose for me . the why . and the how etc. but no I continue to keep my selfish little wishes in my head ;-)
Don't get me wrong I am not downing myself just keeping it real because I need to be able to see the selfish me ☺ it keeps me on track and not so boosted in the ego dept. ☺
 I also know black spruce would not be here if my heart , mind and soul were not wishing to be open .
That week we had our ds 10th b-day party . I told my friends about the black spruce around the table. and yes I was so full of self it did not hit me until the next morning that my gf had told me at that very party that she had a episode with her leg and she even had thought clots. So she needed to go to the chiropractor.
 duh ! am I that out of it ! Black spruce ! I called her that morning and caught her before she left on the plane to visit her mother across country ! I told her what I'd read etc. I prayed for her the next day to have a safe trip & good health .
 Get this . my dd phones me . She is also across country in this same city 2,000 miles away and who does she see in the restaurant having breakfast ? yes my dear friend and her sister had just picked her up from the airport and taken her to the same restaurant !
What a beautiful connected world we live in . And are we all not so here for each other . Which I shall post about tomorrow morning as I am so extremely tired and probably have now bored your ears off !
so I am out of black spruce now and am working with a beautiful strong tree & his brother .
That would be


and cedar ☺yes these are pictures from the forest here ☺

we love love the forest and as I've said I believe it to be most beautiful and full of Our Creators presence mostly in wintertime ☺
lol Adventure Boy sure loves it !