Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Where she talks of merry-making and medicine-making

This week has raced past in a blur. We went to the Barter Faire for three days – a gathering and camp-out of thousands of counter-culture type people in Eastern Washington. It's an intense affair for sensitive people like me, who needs a lot of personal space and quiet time to chill out by myself. There was not much opportunity to be alone, what with the all-night drum circles and constant buzzing like in a bee hive. You can buy or trade anything you want, and I mean ANYTHING. I traded a gorgeous coat for one of my wheels of Gouda, and my goat milk soap for beautiful jewelry. The kids were in heaven, running wild with their friends, dirty as pigs. We hung out with many good friends, talked for hours around the camp fire, exchanged many hugs. And by the end, both Steve and I (NOT our dust-streaked, blissful children) were very, very ready to leave. The fact that I only took one picture of the whole event proves how overstimulated I felt!

One of my friends brought Elderberry syrup she had made as a bartering item. This potent medicine was extremely popular at the Barter Faire – and no wonder! Us Europeans have used it for centuries to ward off colds and combat flu. It works!
So on the way back from the East side, we picked blue elderberries so I could make some of my own medicine. Sure enough, the next day I threw the berries into water, added cinnamon and ginger, and let it bubble on the stove. I felt like a witch! After it cooled down a little, I strained it through cheesecloth and added lots of honey. I made three and a half gallons of the stuff! We shall not get sick this winter.

Steve has been making bows for his online Etsy shop. These handmade, wooden long bows are immensely popular and immensely beautiful, so they always sell quite quickly. I keep telling him to raise his prices, but, no, he won't. Yet. You can see his shop here.

What else?  Well - it's fall, have you noticed? It's really here.  It's time for hardy soups, for walks in crunch leaves and thousands of interesting mushrooms sticking their heads through the fragrant soil.  It's time to pick up more complicated knitting, which will turn into a beautiful sweater for yours truly.  It's time for crazy tomato art.  What do you think of it?

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