Jun 30, 2010

Summer Prescriptions

I've been running like mad this week, and time has gotten away on me again.  (I'm still trying to see everyone's Mad Hatter tea party posts from Saturday!)  The rest of the week doesn't look much better with the holiday tomorrow (for us - July 1st is Canada Day,) and the long weekend ahead.  I will be doing markets Thursday through Sunday, so I'm not sure if I'll get back to post before the weekend is out.  I'll do  my best to make sure a Farmers Market Saturday post is up though.

Here are a few things that are making me smile throughout the crazy days of Summer:

My go-to drug of choice for hot summer days - Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Frapp.  (Don't look at the calorie or fat count on this - you will cry.)

 Zack Galifianakis - there is just something about this crazy, hairy man that makes me smile.  Check out "Between Two Ferns" on FunnyOrDie.com

I'm also a huge lemonade fan in the Summer.  I've got cherries now from the backyard tree, that I pit and mash a bit and toss in the lemonade pitcher.  It gives the drink a nice flavour and a pinky colour.  Also, Martha has a dozen or so recipies for different types of lemonade, and this lavender one is fabulous!

 Whatever it is that gets you through the hot Summer days, I hope you find a way to have a wonderful weekend and a great holiday.  Happy Canada Day!  Happy Fourth of July!

Jun 26, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays

This is not a farmer's market, but something I thought was really fun (and speaks to the earth-girl in me.)  This is a little peek at the community garden being blessed by the gardeners before planting.  I do speak to my garden, whether it's blessing the seeds before I plant them, greeting the new shoots, or saying many thanks as I harvest.  I think it's so great that a community does this for it's gardens too!

In case you are in this area - Floyd, Virginia does also have a farmers market.  It's held every Saturday, 8am to noon, until mid-October.

Jun 24, 2010

That's Hot

Midsummer is still being celebrated all over, and I've just come in from sitting out under the nearly full moon, which rose huge and gorgeous over the Eastern hills of our Valley.  There is a definite 'buzz'in the air - and some magic afoot.

I spent the evening at a new woman's group I had been invited to.  There was drumming and meditation and talk of ceremony and ritual.  My hair smells of sage and rose petals and I can still hear the drums. 

Speaking of magic - thanks so much to all who sent some "sun" mojo my way.  The sunshine has come out in full force, which means...you guessed it....I have a farmers tan.  On one arm.  How sexy is that?  Now that I can drive with the window down, my left arm is getting quite a bit of sunlight.  It seems like Summer has finally arrived.  Which means, like many of us, I'm looking forward to Autumn!

But for now, I have markets to attend, camping trips to plan, and gardens to water.  I'm really going to try hard to enjoy this, my least favourite season.  Especially because it took so long to arrive.

For a little more heat,  you need to check out Jaz's hot ride!

Oh, and this was hot too.  The perfect movie to jumpstart the summer.

Jun 21, 2010

Watiting Patiently for Summer

I hope everyone had an enchanting Midsummer eve last night.  I wasn't able to sit outside due to the rain, but I had a nice little meditation by my altar at midnight.  No fairy spottings - but I imagine they are somewhere warmer and drier. 

I awoke at 5am to torrential rains, and almost stepped on a spider on the way to get a glass of water.  Instead, he got popped into the empty glass and tossed outside - poor bugger.  I just can't share my home (knowingly) with the crawly things - even on a rainy day. 

I have a hard time believing this is the day when we will have the most light, when the sky is so grey above me.  I may have to drag out my Vitamin D again.

I hope you are all having a wonderfully sunny Midsummer day!  Please send some sun my way!

Jun 20, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays - Farm Stand Edition

I was lucky enough to get a day off at the Market stand that I run each Saturday with my sister in law, selling our Spiral Spirit wares - so my mom and I took a little road trip West to a small town that is full of farm stands.

Each stand puts out it's best fruit and veggies to entice the customers in.  Most stands also carry things like locally made honey, vinegars, and syrups, as well as ice cream or hot dogs.  They really try to extend the life of the stand by bringing in other products, because they are only open from June to October during the harvest season.

On our trip, the only new crops we found were cherries, strawberries and asparagus.  It's been a very wet Spring for us, and we are just now getting the hot sunshine we are used to, this time of year.  The strawberry crop has been affected, but it seems as though the cherries are doing well!

I'm not an asparagus fan - but my mom bought some of these beauties.  I think I picked too many as a child...

This is definitely not corn season for us.  This corn has likely come from California.  I'm such a fan of corn on the cob though, that I bought two to have for lunch today!

Mom picked up some cherries for a snack on the drive home.  We also stopped by the Dutch farm stand to buy a piece of the incredible shortbread the little Dutch lady makes.  I never get tired of driving out to the farm stands - it's a gorgeous drive, and I always come home with something wonderfully fresh and yummy!

Wishing all the fathers out there a very happy Father's Day!


Jun 17, 2010

"With a Faery, Hand in Hand..."

The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

Jun 15, 2010


As Midsummer approaches, I've been inspired to look around at some faery lore.  In my wanderings, I've come across the word "deva" thrown in often with discussions of the faery folk.

In a class at a Spring festival a few years back, I remember the leader talking about devas as another word for "angel."  However, in other spiritualities, they have been spoken about as more of a nature spirit or elemental.

"There seems to be a cooperative partnership between devas and human beings which has attracted attention in this time of increasing ecological consciousness. This partnership was discovered at Findhorn in Scotland and Perelandra in Washington, DC. It seems that devas are the "architects" of nature. A deva is assigned to every living thing, even the soil. They are the blueprint designers for all living things, and control all necessary energies for growth and health. At the two above mentioned facilities, it is said devas dispense information on planting, fertilizing, watering, and general plant care."    (paragraph found here)

The word "deva" comes from the Sanskrit language, meaning "radiant" or "shining" and indicates a being of light.

In Hinduism, devas are considered gods.  They are celestial beings that control forces of nature such as fire, air and water.

Devas are also found in Buddhism.  Their belief (found here) states:

Buddhist devas are not immortal. They live for very long but finite periods of time.

Buddhist devas are not incarnations of a few archetypal deities or manifestations of an all-embracing pantheistic One. Nor are they merely symbols. They are considered to be, like humans, distinct individuals with their own personalities and paths in life.

Buddhist devas are not omnipotent. Their powers tend to be limited to their own worlds, and they rarely intervene in human affairs. When they do, it is generally by way of quiet advice rather than by physical intervention.

Buddhist devas are not morally perfect. Some of them are capable of ignorance, arrogance and pride. The devas of the lower worlds experience the same kind of passions that humans do, including (in the lowest of these worlds), lust, jealousy, and anger.

With all the information about what a deva may or may not be, and the differing opinions (Zoroastrians believe they are 'wrong gods' or 'false gods',) I'd be interested to know what you think of these beings!

Jun 12, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays & Giveaway Draw

The Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland, CA runs every Saturday from 9am-2pm.  The strawberries are what drew me to post this video, because I was so excited to see fresh local strawberries at our town's market this morning.  Of course, by the time I sent my neice back with some money - they were all gone.  I'll have to try earlier next week! 

Also, congratulations to Tara from Arizona, who was picked by my niece in the draw for The Faeries Oracle!  Please send me your mailing info Tara - to RueandHyssop (at) gmail (dot) com.  Thanks so much to all who entered!

Jun 10, 2010

My Father the Dandelion Killer

I was over at my parent's house last weekend and noticed my father had mowed the lawn.  Every inch of it, but one. 

"Why did you leave the dandelion?" My mother asked.
"It's not a dandelion, it's a flower!" Dad replied.

I'm not sure how it ended up in the yard, but the Valley is full of these yellow wildflowers each spring.  I believe they are called Yellow Salsify - but we just call them "those yellow wildflowers."

I find this lone wildflower in my parents yard amusing because of how my father normally reacts to dandelions.  He detests them.  He spends many a Summer day out on the lawn, on his hands and knees with an old kitchen knife, digging the weeds out by the roots.  (At least Mom and I convinced him years ago to stop spraying!)

This is his Summer-long mission, and by the end of September, his back is dark brown from the sun, and the knee pads that he purchases specifically for this task, are barely holding together.

Who knew he had a soft spot for other yellow wildflowers?  Now if I could only get him to save me the dandelion roots and leaves....

If you get your hands on some dandelion this Summer (that has not been sprayed) consider adding the leaves to your salads.  Dandelion is a great source of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins A, B, C and D.  Traditionally dandelion was used to treat liver problems, but it can also be used for digestive issues.

Like any herbs, use caution if you have allergies or are taking medications.  Dandelion leaf is a diuretic, so having a salad entirely of dandelion leaves is probably not the best idea!  Check out a trusted book or website for uses and dosages if you choose to take dandelion as a herbal remedy.

As for me, I'm going to try to wrangle up a few leaves before my father's next big dandelion hunt, to put in my Spring salad this weekend.  Yum!

Jun 5, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays

This great market is in Bozeman, Montana.  I really like the Alpacas and wish our local market had an area to show and sell livestock.  It's a great thing for kids to see too.  But we do seem to have quite the dog-show each week!

Jun 3, 2010

A Midsummer Giveaway

The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
A Midsummer Night's Dream

How is it June? I'm sure it was only April yesterday....

Midsummer is soon to be upon us - but we've had so much rain and darkness this Spring, that it seems unfair that the peak of the Sun's light is in a mere 18 days. Still, there is a Summer ahead of us...somewhere...and in the meantime there is no harm in some revelry around the bonfire!

About.com always has some great information if you are wondering about the history of the Solstice.

And some interesting lore, such as:

It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer's Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the Fae. But be careful - carry a bit of Rue (of course) in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them.

Or - you can just just do a bit of divination with The Faeries Oracle if you want to see the Fae. This unique deck was crafted by Brian Froud who was a conceptual artist for the movies Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

But beware - not all the Fae in this deck are light and airy!

I am going to give away one of these gorgeous kits as a Midsummer gift for a lucky someone. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I will draw the name of the winner on the New Moon - Saturday the 12th of June.

Good luck!

Jun 2, 2010

Farewell Facebook

I always was a late bloomer. I just found my way onto Facebook about 8 months ago. I was the last person I knew who wasn't on it. I promptly got sucked in to the farming - because who doesn't want to dream of crops in the Winter - and then found that hours were being siphoned away into a black hole of reading posts and accepting friend requests from people who had been horrible to me in high school.

I do like keeping up to date with my long-distance friends, and with my favourite authors and bloggers, but I've decided I can do that just as easily by taking that hour of Facebook time a day and translating that into reading their websites and blogs. And keeping up with my own, which has been difficult to do of late.

I don't want to give up the blogging (or reading and enjoying everyone else's blogs) but something has to give. And with all the privacy issues on Facebook, it was an easy choice.

Farewell Facebook - and good riddance!