Friday, October 30, 2009

What Did I Tell You?


This is the same tree that I posted a picture of yesterday. And just as I thought, after a night of rain and wind, the leaves are completely blown off.





With November only a few days away, we now settle in for a long winter of grey skies, cold, and snow. The inevitable change of the season is upon us. We can only pray for an Indian summer and a January thaw to ease the way to spring.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Falling Leaves



If you're not living in the Eastern or Midwest part of the US, you might not be able to enjoy our fabulous color changes. This year colors are spectacular. Even through the overcast days, the skies were painted with a frame of red, yellow, rust and orange. Here in Michigan we have the added benefit of the dark green pines.

This sugar maple is in my back yard. I'm afraid it's on it's last day or two.





The grass is now carpeted with falling leaves. Tomorrow my husband will start up the mower and grind these up to mulch, but today I can enjoy the glory of it all.



Even the steps are completely covered.




Yesterday we traveled about an hour north to look at a house on a lake that's for sale. The shore is thick with cattails that are also turning shades of rust and brown.



The trees on the opposite shore reflect in the still water. Across the street from the house was a forest of colors, but I neglected to take photos. Needless to say, even after living here all of my life, I am still in awe with Autumn.




Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vote for DK Mommy


Diane Kidman over at dk Mommy Spot, has been nominated for a national Naturally Beautiful Blogger award and she needs your votes.

Diane has been blogging for three years. She writes about being natural and "green." There is such a variety of topics that it's impossible here to tell you all about it, but they run from children's' toys to natural soaps and cleaning hints. Diane is studying to be an herbalist also, and as she progresses through her studies she passes on many hints about natural health and beauty aids that she has learned about, as well as tips on cooking organic and healthy meals. This blog is a must for anyone who wants to help save the planet and is interested in protecting your family from the chemical invasions into our lifestyle.

Please take a moment to visit dk Mommy Spot (even if you're not a mommy.) I'm sure you'll enjoy what you find.
And don't forget to vote! Here's the link to her web site.


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thyme for a Stuffy Nose


I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet must-roses, and with eglantine.

- William Shakespeare,




So many herbs have multiple uses and they often overlap each other. I think it is nature's way of providing, so that whatever season or whatever herb is growing in your area, you can find something to ease your discomfort. Thyme is one the most versatile herbs around, yet we often think of it only for cooking purposes.

Thyme can be used as a moth repellent, and a mouthwash. The Romans used it to cure a hangover and to bathe in to ease aches and pains. We often think of lavender associated with pleasant dreams, but thyme can also produce the same relaxed and gentle sleep. Just put a little in your pillow case and then it's nightie- nightie.

It seems every one I know is complaining about coughs, colds, aches and pains. Along with that comes the stuffy nose. If the bug has got a hold of you, too, try this for a natural way to help you breathe a little easier:

2 pints boiling water
4 drops of thyme essential oil

Pour the boiling water into a bowl. Add the oil. Put a towel over your head to contain the steam, and breathe in the decongestant fumes deeply for about 10 minutes. After treatment, rest for half an hour in a warm place.

I hope for your sake that you manage to avoid the flu or a cold this season; if not, maybe it's time for thyme.





Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yarrow and a Cold Cure



Plant me a garden to heal the body,
Betony, yarrow, and daisies to mend.
Sage for the blood, and comfrey for the bones,
Foxgloves and hyssop the sick to tend.


An Elizabethan Herb Song


I'm sure you've heard of echinacea associated with curing colds, but have you heard that yarrow also has some of the same properties? Here's a recipe for a brew that you can take to shorten the days that you spend with a miserable cold. Remember if you don't have these herbs in your garden that you can dry yourself, you can always find them in your local health food store or online.

1 t. dried yarrow
1 t. dried elderflower
1/2 t. dried peppermint
pinch of cayenne pepper

Put the herbs in a warmed pot and pour freshly boiling water over them.
Cover and let stand for 10 minutes, then strain.
Stir in the cayenne pepper and drink as hot as possible.
Add honey to sweeten, if desired.

Yarrow has been known as the iodine of the meadows and fields. A few years ago I wrote about my personal experience with a cut finger and yarrow. You can read about it here.
So don't dismiss this as just another pretty yellow flower, and if you're planning your garden for next spring, plant some yarrow. You'll be thrilled with it's many uses.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Glory Days Are Over

This is what I found after the first hard frost.
May my morning glories rest in peace.
So sad.
















Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chamomile for Comfort and Beauty


Chamomile is probably my favorite herb, well, besides lavender, oh and then there's lemon balm, -- or wait, what about feverfew and sage and -- well, you get it-- I love herbs. I love smelling them, handling them, cooking with them, and using them in various ways.

But truly chamomile is a favorite and probably the one that got me started. My mother used to make me chamomile tea, so I guess it's a source of comfort in that way. Sitting next to a garden with chamomile and breathing in the scent is said to give you strength. I find it lifts my spirits.
A nice cup of chamomile tea takes away the stresses of an especially hard day.

I found this Elizabethan herb song recently, and I wanted to share it with you.


Plant me a garden to heal the heart,

Balm for joy, and the sweet violet

Cowslips, pansies, and chamomile

To ease the pain I want to forget.


I would love to know the melody that went with these words. Maybe I'll have to write one myself.


Chamomile has so many uses it's impossible to list them all. In this economy, if you have an herb garden nearby which is in bloom, or were wise enough to dry herbs at the end of summer you can save quite a bit of money on health and beauty aids.


Here's a simple skin cleanser I enjoy:


2-3 T. chamomile flowers

1 pint water

1 t. lemon juice


Put the flowers and water in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool and strain the liquid.

Add the lemon juice and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

When needed, gently cleanse the face and neck with the lotion using a soft cotton pad.



Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mum's the Word



Here's my front porch. Not as elaborate as other years, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a house I might have to leave, (if it sells, that is.) So for now it's mums and pumpkins only, maybe I'll add more as I go along.

Mums add a burst of color on an otherwise dreary day.


And how about these beautiful asters? I love this purple color. It makes quite a splash in the garden as the rest of the plants are beginning to die out.




Even the trees have something new to offer. These are the berries on the flowering crabs. Take the time to look at your trees up close; you'll be surprsied at what you find.


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Applause



Congratulations to all of the winners of the Blotanical awards! It was well-deserved in each and every category!
You can find the complete list at Blotanical.

Go to Blotanical.com to join the thousands of gardeners who share information, knowledge,and photos.



Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.