Photo belongs to gypsymoon.com (used with permission)
Merry Meet all and Blessed Mabon.
Welcome to the September issue of my column. This issue almost didn’t come to be as my fiancé went into the hospital on the 13th of August and did not come out until the 16th. So please bear with me this month if this seems disorganized.
September brings us the 2nd of harvesting months. By now I am sure a lot of you have been up to your knees, elbows, and maybe even your necks in canning, drying, and freezing of your veggies, fruits and herbs. Rest assured the end of the frenzy is in sight.
As I discussed last month I harvest my herbs in the morning after the dew has dried off, if I can’t then I do it in the last evening. I have never had very much room for drying so I get a 2 inch dowel rod and have it cut to the width of my warmest closet and clean the closet out to use for drying. I buy clothes hangers ( a 12 pack is more than enough for me) and a package of clothes pins. I tie my herbs in a bunch and place a price tag that hangs from a string with the bunch so that I know what is what and then clip the bunch to the hanger with a clothes pin. You can get about 6-7 clothes pins on each hanger depending on how far apart you space your bunches. I place the hangers about 3-4 inches apart on the dowel rod and close the door to my nice warm (now herb kiln) I make sure to check the drying status of my herbs each day as some will dry faster than others.
Once dry remove the leaves from the stems and crush the leaves you wish to crush and place in tightly sealed jars in your herb cupboard.
I need to note here: Some herbs are best harvested before they have had time to flower. Flowering on some lessens the intensity of the flavor and smell of the herb because some of the oils are lost after flowering.
I refresh my magickal cupboard during this time as well so be sure once you harvest that you have put aside enough to also store in your magickal cupboard. I try not to use the herbs I have harvested for cooking for my magickal use as I have charged them with a different intent. I also separate my magickal herbs to specific intents to. The herbs I use for incense for instance have their own shelf in my magickal cupboard, as do those for charms, ritual baths and such. I also have a shelf for the herbs I use for my beauty products. I know some may think that is going a little out there but this way I know that if I am doing a beauty product or a muscle rub which shelf to go to.
Being out on the road, I go thru many different climates in several days and right back in 1 week. My hair and nails suffer because of this. I use coconut oil to control the frizz in my very curly hair ( I swear by this for my hair as well as my skin), but you can also use avocado and olive oil
1/4c olive oil and ½ avocado mashed. Mix the two together to make a mask and apply to hair for 20 min. Rinse well. You can shampoo your hair the next morning to finish removing the oil. Do this about twice a week.
For my nails I carry dill seeds in the truck. I have a coffee pot that I heat water up with and make this recipe for my nails. I simply take about 6 tbsp dill seeds and 1 ½ cup very hot water, pour the water over the seeds and let step for about 10 min or until cool enough to soak my nails in it and then soak my nails for about 15 min. I call it my “Dill tough as nails.” I do this about 2 times a week and it really helps strengthen my nails. They are also not as brittle. Adding Biotin to your diet as a supplement will also help with hair and nail growth for those that have a problem.
Witchy Beauty and Skin Tips
I suffer with 2 types of psoriasis, shy of pumping my body with dangerous chemicals and using creams that damage the skin, there is pretty much nothing I can do about it. In my search for herbs to help me I found that the following flowers will help give me some relief from the pain and itching. ***NOTE: Please be sure that you have no allergies to any of the flowers***
Run your bath to about ½ a tub full with water warm enough that is does not hurt you. Add the following:
2/3 c Roman Chamomile flowers 2/3 elder flowers
¼ c lavender flowers ½ c lemon balm
½ c rose geranium ½ c rose petals
I place all the flowers loose in the tub and just soak away. Once I am done I place a flattened strainer over the drain so that the tub does not clog as I drain the water out. If you don’t want to do this you can place the flowers in a cheese cloth and hang it under the running water as you run your bath. This is not a cure, but should help with the symptoms.
Sweet almond oil on a cotton ball will remove eye make-up and hydrate and smooth the delicate eye area.
I no longer drive truck because of back and neck injuries and riding on the truck is a true test of putting up with the pain of those injuries. My muscles suffer due to the injuries so I live with constant muscle spasms. In my research I have found that Emu Oil helps to relieve those muscle spasms and pain. I troll the health food stores for Emu Oil expressed from the shed feathers only, if I can’t find that I will spend the extra money to order online and wait till I get to the mail. I do not believe in animal abuse nor will I support any product that does.
One of my readers recently asked me if I had any tips for pet owners and if I was going to add any recipes for treats or foods. I have been planning to add this to my column since its launch. So here it is. This part of the column will grow as I grow with it.
Sometimes, pet just like children will run a fever for no reason at all. As long as the pet is not in distress, you really don’t need to seek a vet. Just simply pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and apply to the pads of their feet. This will help to bring the fever back down. A dog’s normal temp is about 101 degrees. I am a dog owner so much of my advice is turned toward like owners. However I will add tips for cat owners as I get them.
I have also been told by a vet that a chewable children’s aspirin is ok to give to your dog when fevers happen as long as there is no distress or other sign of illness. HOWEVER… just like humans dogs can have allergies. Late last year my basset hound was running one such fever and it didn’t come down with alcohol applied to his feet so I gave him a children’s aspirin, within minutes he started to cough and wheeze. Thankfully I had liquid Benadryl on hand and that stopped the reaction in its tracks.
Today we are finding more and more chemicals in our food. The same holds true for pet foods. Gluten allergies are not specific to humans. Now I cannot make enough homemade food for my dog to travel with us so I feed him the best store bought I can get at a reasonable price. I do however make his treats and carry them with us. All the recipes will include gluten free alternatives.()
Several years ago I got the bright idea to start my own doggie treat business.(It didn’t work out at that time, but the future is not yet set) I had my faithful familiar Topaz right by my side as my treat tester so I will share one of her favorite treats this month. Sadly my familiar tester is no longer with me. Hopefully Sebastain my Just as a note here. Gluten free products and flours can be pretty pricy. Just shop around for the best price you can get.
Topaz’s Nanner Bears
Makes about 4-5 dozen treats depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
2c wheat flour (buckwheat for gluten free)
1 ½ c white flour (tapioca flour)
2 large jars banana baby food (organic)
¼ c molasses
½ c olive or canola oil
¼ tsp sea salt
Mix all dry ingredients together and then mix wet into them and mix well. You are going to be kneading the dough so if it is too wet add ¼ cup wheat (buckwheat) flour to tighten it up. Once kneaded well roll your dough out flat and using a small cookie cutter (shape is your choice. I used a bear shaped one for this recipe) cut out the cookies and place them ¼ inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for about 20 min. Check treats for a golden brown color. Since ovens bake at different levels you can bake at 5 min intervals until the color is achieved. The treat may be slightly softer in the middle then the edges, this is ok. Store in an air tight container and treat your pet as you will. For those that have pets with skin or joint problems you can decrease the olive or canola oil by ¼ c and add ¼ c of flaxseed oil.
Next month: another one of Topaz’s favs. Peanut butter cookies!!!
I will also have something for cat owned humans.
African violets are poisonous to pets.
Never give your pet chocolate.
Plain yogurt given to a pet after a round of antibiotics will help restore the natural bacteria to their guts. DO NOT give dairy products to a guinea pig!!! It is very harmful. However yogurt treats are found in stores…go figure!!!
White vinegar applied to coffee and tea spills will remove the stains.
Instead of using baking soda in the fridge to prevent odors, place a couple of drops of vanilla on a cotton ball and place in the back of the fridge.
To get a pet stain out of the carpet mix water, lemon juice, and baking soda into a paste and rub into the stain. Allow to dry and vacuum up.
Mix ½ c lemon juice with water in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 10 min to cut the cleaning time.
Ok everyone, that is it for this month. Again I apologize for this issue. Next month will be better. I promise.
I love to hear from my readers and you can contact me anytime at: [email protected]
So be safe in all you do and until next time…keep your brroms under the radar.
© 2013 By: Jade Owl (Margaret Creekmore)