Cozy Cabin

It’s been pretty chilly outside this week, and a really cold front is blowing in this weekend. Here in our cozy cabin at Green Grove we are safe and warm.

Good food is made daily, like the wonderfully warming chicken pot pie, seasoned with turmeric and thyme, that my BFF(aka husband) made on Thursday with plenty left over for lunches and snacks. On Sunday, I made a family favorite that lasted most of the week, “Aunt Ethel’s Pond Cake.”  You see, Aunt Ethel didn’t finish school and spelling wasn’t her strong suit…so this delicious pound cake will forever be pond cake for our family…as that’s what it says on the original recipe card in my mom’s file. Sometimes it’s the simple treats, like cinnamon toast and cocoa with marshmallows on top, that warm us after braving the cold to walk the dog, fill the bird feeders, bring in more wood for the fires, or check in on neighbors.

There are cheery fires crackling in the wood stove upstairs and the fireplace down in the family room. Imagine how lovely to have all 5 of us curled up with good books, or homework, or the now dog-eared and well thumbed seed catalogs, or playing cards or a favorite board game.  Sometimes I look up and just sigh with contentment knowing we are all together, safe and warm in our cozy cabin. I think maybe I’ll go up and make a big bowl of popcorn and another pot of cocoa.

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Looking Forward

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It’s a beautiful, sunny day- high will be near 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The 30 ish inches of snow we got during last weeks winter storm is melting. The birds are singing and new seed catalogues are arriving daily. Imbolc is upon us with over 10 hrs of daylight now. I am in full planning mode for the spring and summer. Many of these were on last year’ list but were tabled when other priorities arose.

We have ordered some trees and shrubs…elderberry, redbud, dogwood, lilacs. We have made plans for a beautiful support for the wisteria growing by the lower deck. We will finally be adding a proper woodshed next to the carport….no more digging through the snow to find the edge of the tarp when we refill the wood racks. My husband also has plans to make me a cold frame, so I can push the gardening season a bit.

I’m planning to grow a lot more beans, onions, and cucumbers, and this is the year I will get serious about under planting our fruit trees to start making more permaculture-like guilds to reduce the mowing.  We will move the berries to a better spot as they aren’t thriving in their current home.

I have been busy in my workshop this winter, making wreaths from artemisia and boxwood, renewing our supply of laundry powder, lotions, etc. I’ve been making some essential oil blends and below is the Imbol/Candlemas oil I made for dressing my alter candles. It also smells amazing in my oil burner and in our diffuser.

Molly’s Magickal Imbolc Oil 

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Step 1: Gather your materials, I use a small jelly jar for mixing, essential oils of Frankincense, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemongrass and a carrier oil of your choice. This time I used Sweet Almond because all my others had solidified in my cold work shop, and I didn’t want to wait for them to thaw. Some droppers or pIvette’s, alcohol for cleaning them, 4-5 1/4 oz bottles or containers of your choice,  and measuring spoons.

Step 2:  Prepare your work space in whatever way you normally do. I breathe golden light into the area, light a candle, and for this one I call on Brigid to aid me.

Step 3: Place 6 drops Frankincense, 5 drops each of Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemongrass, 3 drops Rosemary essential oils in small mixing container, swirl or blend and adjust quantities. My goal for this one is to not have any one scent stand out. Then add 1 Tablesppon carrier oil and swirl to mix well.

Step4: Fill 1/4 oz. vials with a dropper. If using a larger container you could use a stainless steel funnel. I made several small containers because I’m giving some to friends.

Step 5: Add labels if you wish and bless the oil as you wish. I simply say “As above, so below, I seal this work in the name of ____(I use Brigid, but it could be the Lord and Lady, God/dess, Father, Son, And Holy Ghost…whatever woks for you), and only the good remains.”

Life Changed

The post below was written May 27, 2015 and I was waiting for photos to use with it.  On May 28, I went to the Dr because I’d found a lump in my left breast…by June 4 it had tripled in size and on June 10 I was officially diagnosed with  stage IIIb Breast Cancer. Now, after chemo from June – October, a modified radical mastectomy on Nov 18, and 25 radiation treatments that ended January 28, 2016,  I am Cancer Free and returning to the life I love. My gratitude is beyond measure: for my husband and children who did so much to keep our home running smoothly, kept me laughing and loved me unconditionally throughout treatment; for my many friends and colleagues who sent cards, gifts, food, called, and especially sent prayers, intentions, and healing energy, for my amazing medical care team who encouraged integrative care along with the brutal treatments needed to eradicate the cancer, and to those working in labs, pharmacies, etc., who I will never meet but impacted my care in ways I will never fully understand. I am feeling well and will not be writing a cancer blog. Now here is where we left off. Next week I’ll write about our plans for Green Grove, especially what is/will be growing here when the snow melts. 

Didn’t post last week because it was a week dedicated to dance. The Dancer performed in two recitals which meant a week of rehearsals. Since the studio where she studies is a good hour long drive it meant a lot of time for my husband and I in town. The joy she gets from dancing made it well worth it.

I tried every evening this week to get in some gardening but seemed every time I started a downpour rolled in. Saved me from having to do any watering and sure made everything grow like crazy.

I need to spend some time in my herbal workshop making practical things like deoderant, hand and shower soap, lotion, laundry soap, etc. it’s going to be quite hot and humid so I’ll spend the day doing that and hope for some gardening as it cools off this evening.

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A Busy Week…

It’s been a busy week here at Green Grove.

The Weaver  reinforced the deer fencing around our little orchard. We use fishing line- strung at about 10 inch intervals from a few inches above ground to about 4 feet- and it has worked well. All I can figure is that since it is nearly invisible when the deer brush against it, it startles them and they move away. A number of strands had been broken by some heavy storms so it was time to renew it all.

Invisible Deer Fence

Invisible Deer Fence

My husband, whose been suffering from spring allergies did some weeding and after work a couple of nights, I pitched in. Both veggie beds that are planted have been weeded and things are really growing.

Today, I’m hoping to finish weeding the herb bed and the perennial bed in front of the cabin. My favorite Rhododendron, Scintillation, is blooming as well as the ones that were here. Also the Lilly of the Valley planted last year, and the Columbine. I like the way the window boxes are already beginning to fill in and provide a splash of color against the cabin.

We spent yesterday getting a load of heirloom tomatoes and some cabbage, broccoli, peppers, and a few more perennials at a favorite local greenhouse. Since my husbands daughter and her family have moved to a lovely little 5 acre homestead a few miles away(more on that exciting news later) we are using her super sunny garden to share. We planted lots of what we bought there. Then just in time we got a lovely, soaking rain. Saved having to water everything.

In between, I did the concession stand for the Hunter’s last track meet of the season, had an evening in town with my husband while the Dancer had her last class/rehearsal at her dance studio before moving onto the stage at the university for recital week rehearsals and 2 shows next weekend. I took  a Praxis exam for work, had a visit with my mom and sister, and managed to keep everyone fed and loved through their own busy schedules, and discovered many wonderful things growing around the property.

 

Today I’m going to putter around the house and then help with a bike-a-thon at the shook where I work and then we’re having Sunday Dinner at our daughter’s homestead….and while there I’ll try to do a fly & tick treatment for my beautiful quarter horse Leah…how I came to get her is yet another story for a future blog.

Leah

Leah

Life is good, there’s beer in the fridg, and everything is green and lovely. So many blessings every day here at Green Grove.

 

The Blog is Back

It’s  been a very long time since I posted….lots has been happening here at Green Grove and perhaps a future blog will address the questions,”Why did I stop blogging and why did I start again? For now though I’m just going to pick up with what’s happening today.

The herb garden is doing really well. Here’s a peek at how things are growing there.

We added a third raised bed, yet to be planted with peppers, tomatoes, and????. The other two are coming along  nicely. As you’ll see here some things are farther along than others.

Some other things have been done around the property as you will note in these photos.

So now that you are up to speed on what’s “growing on” (yes, I heard the groans at my pun) I will do my best to keep posting about our wonder-full life here at Green Grove and in next weeks post i’ll fill you in on some of what we (My Husband, The Weaver, The Hunter, and the Dancer, and our kids and grandkids who now live nearby) have been and are up to during my sabbatical from blogging. Keep growing!!

A Typical Wonder-full Weekend at Green Grove

It’s been too long since I posted anything. I think Summer is too full of being outdoors for me to be a reliable blogger. Now as Mabon– the Autumn Equinox is upon us I’m feeling loquacious again. It’s been a good weekend here at Green Grove. Didn’t accomplish everything on the lists but here’s how we rolled.

It all started with a nice curry dinner Friday night, then we watched a Miss Fisher mystery and I read for a bit before falling soundly asleep. Saturday, I woke early (5:30) and played on my iPad sorting Pinterest boards, cleared over 700 emails and looked at various blogs, and rocked a new level on mah jong. Then after a beautiful breakfast on the deck, I went out and cleaned out the garden beds … all but a few stalwart peppers that are still bearing. Got about 8 lbs of beets and 15 of tomatoes mostly green. Warren got my workbench painted and it’s ready to install. The Hunter worked for a neighbor all day and the Dancer did homework and helped in the garden. Saturday night included a lovely dinner on the deck — steaks on the grill, baked local potatoes with lots of toppings and beet greens. Then we watched MI-5 while fringing placemats and napkins for the Weaver.

Today started with a fishing trip for the Hunter, The Weaver, a neighbor and me. Warren had to work…. So much for retirement. Then I helped the Weaver with some sewing and sneaked in some reading(new Mother Earth news arrived Fri. ) and a nap. The Dancer is fighting off the same cold I am and had a lie in and took a lazy day. The cold I am not getting is on the run after some “tea” made with ginger, cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice, cayenne and horseradish. For dinner will be  a lovely salad with leftover steak, nice fresh eggs from a friend, and good sourdough bread. Perhaps another bit of television and  then a good sleep to get ready for an insanely busy week at work…followed by our Hardy County Heritage Weekend. I do love it here at Green Grove.

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Sent from my iPhone

Summertime and the livin’ is….busy!

Summer is here! The kids and I are out of school. Our first round of summer guests has just left for the airport. Gardens are growing like crazy…weeds too. The new David Austin Roses are beginning to bloom, we have peppers nearly ready to pick, beans and tomatoes blooming and the herb garden is needing daily harvesting and flowers are beginning to bloom.

It’s been quite busy and there are still many unfinished projects and some unstarted ones as well. I look forward to a day or two of puttering in the garden and around the house. Realistically, though, between the dancer’s busy summer schedule…classes an hour away 2 evenings a week and at least one more week of daily trips for dance camp and cheerleading practices,  the hunter’s multiple summer jobs and needing to get him to the MVA to test for his Driver’s license and the weaver’s schedule of demos and arts and craft fairs…. puttering time will likely continue to be limited.

The patio/sitting area is layed out awaiting further work, new hammock is up and in use, fire pit has been purchased and we’ve had two lovely evenings sitting around it making s’mores and sandwiches and telling stories and singing songs. I’m putting some photos below for you to see the progress we’re making.

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