September 13, 2008|Comments (25)
Have I mentioned my ongoing love affair with Georgia’s stinging, biting, life-sucking wildlife? Never mind the ever-so-slightly irritated scorpion I found in the kitchen yesterday… a poisonous serpent in the driveway takes the cake for Discovery Channel entertainment.
Thank goodness for my barrel-chested freedom fighter! He promptly caught said reptile and placed it in a bucket for me to photograph before he beheaded the nasty critter before it murdered all our sweet chickens. Not that Menina couldn’t take him/her. We won’t question her snake-taming abilities. That girl is dangerous.
May 18, 2008|Comments (1)
There are those among us with amazing gifts. In the past, these were the people that were known throughout their community as the person who could find the perfect place to dig a well, quiet a colicky baby, remove burn pain by blowing on it, and stick their arm into a bees’ nest to get honey without getting stung. Of course, these gifts may not seem so valuable now because wells are no longer dug by hand and honey may be purchased at the supermarket with ease. Our society no longer values the born naturalist: the person who isn’t decorated with fancy degrees or pictured in books but knows the name of every bird and plant (and the healing qualities of each plant).
Do you know any born naturalists? I do. I know two: Aunt Judy and Tom. I wanted to share a picture of the bees that Tom recently coaxed into a man-made hive (outfitted with window frames for the comb). He did so without a bee smoker, netting, or gloves. This is not the first time that Tom has done this either. He’s absolutely incredible and even though our bustling society doesn’t recognize his miraculous gifts: I do.
And I thought you might, too.
(clockwise from the top: Tom’s beehive, ancient canning jar with wild honey, and Tom’s wild honey bees)
April 28, 2008|Comments (15)
After suffering death-by-internet-provider this weekend, I began making soap (and not the soap in the ad above but if any of you have the recipe, for goodness sake: send it my way). I must tell you that soap making is one of the most relaxing activities one can tackle. We make cold-process soap around here except when I have an order from someone who needs it right away. Good old fashioned lye soap is terrific for scrubbing dishes and can be poured into luffas (like my aunt has done for years):
Somewhere along the line, lye soap got a reputation for being harsh but this has never been my experience. Washing dishes in homemade soap leaves hands baby-soft and is very gentle on the bank account (always a plus). And it gets you so clean that your mother won’t know you (I couldn’t resist):
My friend, Amanda, came over last evening for some time away from the kids and helped me make a lovely batch of oatmeal & honey soap with a mixture of fats (beef tallow, olive oil, & cocoa butter) for the base. (Finally, a good use for fat, eh?) I use silicone baking and cupcake pans as soap moulds because they are flexible and nonstick. Aren’t the little soap muffins cute? Confession: I can’t look at them very long because they make my tumbly rumbly. Want to learn how to make your own soap? Click here.
Just on a side note: have you ever noticed that in every gangster movie someone gets whacked in a bubble bath? Very clean fellows, gangsters. I guess even gangsters know the value of a good hardy soap and a warm bath.