Monday, January 31, 2011

THEIR ingredients

It's probably been a 5 year campaign to just GET RID OF/USE UP all the "chemical stuff" in the house.

SO....I grabbed a couple of done-in products from the depths of the cupboard...and read the ingredients list and examined the packaging. I found it to be INTERESTING.

Go ahead - follow the links - I linked them to wikipedia and you can see for yourself what we're putting ON OUR LIPS and INGESTING!

PURE & NATURAL - ALOE VERA LIP BALM (in a tube) Ingredients: Padimate O, Oxybenzone, Ethylhexyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone. (spell check is saying these are SPELLED WRONG) - "pure and natural" ingredients!?

here's another one: LEMON TWIST - LIP BUTTER (lip gloss) Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Butyrospermum Parkil (Shea Butter), Beeswax, Bis-Diglycidyl Polyacrylamide-2, Flavor, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Petrolatum, Sodium Saccharin, Tocopheryl Acetate. MAY CONTAIN: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Blue 1 Lake - WOW! I recognized a COUPLE ingredients....the price we pay for beauty.

my ingredients: Olive Oil (Pompeian - that you can eat), Beeswax, and flavor/scent - "cosmetically safe" - DIBUTYL PHTHALATE FREE!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 2011 Resolution


I AM going to learn everything there is to know about TREES! I've dabbled with this subject - coming back to it here and there....

I'm not just after the IDENTIFICATION factor - I'm also after the FOOD and MEDICINE and LORE factors.

In the "background" I'll be running the program of learning the 13 TREES of the CELTIC YEAR...that's like doing the "tree of the month" I figure. Then I'll be filling in the daily/weekly studies with identification. A good place to start? My own back yard. Yes - I've got a good idea of what they are....but I'm going to take a CLOSER LOOK this year. What are the branch patterns - whorled? opposite? alternate? buds - pointy? rounded? clustered? singular?

Walking past the crab tree in the backyard this morn - YES - IN THE COLD...I noted that it's buds are starting to come.

Sunny Sunday Morning!



a trip to the beehouse with the STETHOSCOPE reveals 3 (of 6) ROBUST-SOUNDING hives. i didn't hear the others - but it could mean - i didn't LOCATE them. they could be snuggy in a corner. i need to add a rubber ring of some sort to the stethoscope. i'm IN SEARCH OF a nice FAT rubber band (small) - that i can stretch around the outside.....the rubber would help QUIET the surface to the wood.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Designed by Nature

The first rule? LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION....Robin made a good choice here. Their nest has a natural ROOF! (a piece of bark fallen into the crotch of the tree)

Bundle up and Head out


-5 degrees...and my thoughts go toward the beehives in the backyard. I hope for their sake there aren't too many of these MINUS degree days in row!

Watercress


Though the rest of the creek was frozen - you can always count on this WINTER TREAT (Watercress) at it's head.

The "rule" here is: Watercress is good in months with an "R" in it.

December, January, February, March, April, September, October, November

see the pattern? every month but the hottest summer months.

We pick just enough to "spice up" some eggdrop soup. Gives it a nice green, peppery flavor.

A Visit to MY Favorite Tree


A frosty cold morning visit to MY favorite tree. (-5 degrees). Oh how I'd realized I'd missed our chilly seasonal walks. Bundling up and heading out is kind of a tradition in this house...a Christmas walk...and a New Year's walk.

This year we were kept indoors. My husband in walking the dog behind the house Christmas morning this year....inadvertently let the dog bunny hunt in the neighbors junk pile (which was covered in snow). Dodger came back with about a 1" wide and 1/2" deep gash on his hind leg just below his "elbow".

NOT good timing, NOT a good place to try to keep wrapped! AGHH! kids! It's taken him almost a whole month to close up. BUT - now that he's back to full speed...here we were - at the foot of MY favorite tree.

It's always been in my mind to visit this tree in it's 4 seasons and make and print a large format collage (part of what I can do as part of my REAL job). So - I've made this one of the 2011 resolutions....to get back to this tree in the spring, summer and fall.

On my next visit - I need to take a tape measure - I'd guess it's 12 feet in circumference. A perfectly symmetrical OAK. I'll get what info I can from it and see if it's already on the States Registry for Remarkable Trees....if it's not - I'll see if I can add it.

It's on State Land and protected. I'd guess it's somewhat hollow....(there's a little "fairy entrance" at the base) so far as I could tell - no one living in there...no footprints in the snow.

Historic Trees of Wisconsin


For Christmas, I received one of the books on my Amazon wishlist - thank you Terri :)

Every Root An Anchor - Wisconsin's Famous and Historic Trees, by R. Bruce Allison.

This book was not an identification book - it was about THE VALUE OF TREES to the human psyche...the landscape and environment. Humans are intimately connected to trees - trees provide, warmth, shade, shelter, food and medicine.

It starts out with the sad story of Dutch Elm Disease. (from the picture in the book) It was hard to imagine being the TINY LITTLE MAN pictured at the foot of a HUGE Elm - knowing today, how many of them only grow to a circumference of 12" before dying (and if you're lucky - giving way to a stash of morels!). It was stated, "A Sawyer County elm, only 15 feet and 6 inches in circumference, which blew down in the Flambeau River State Forest in 1952, was 352 years old. WOW...that's longevity...

Trees have HISTORY: trees planted IN MEMORY of someone, or trees that were bent as saplings to signal DIRECTION to Natives traveling to council, or trees that are reminders of dark days in human history....HANGING TREES.

One tree even had a "pioneering" history - the COFFIN TREE of Rusk County. The SHORTENED story from the book....2 loggers in 1926, dispatched to clear a parcel of trees - attempted cutting down a BASSWOOD tree - hitting something solid in it's core. The SOMETHING SOLID - was the mummified remains of Captain D' Artagon (according to his papers)...a member of the Marquette-Joliet party of 1673. Apparently he wedged himself in there to SHELTER or GET AWAY or HIDE from something (or someone)...only to NOT BE ABLE TO GET BACK OUT!!!! Flint lock rifle, pistol and coon skin hat all intact...a tree story worthy of your next Halloween campfire!

Friday, January 7, 2011

the latest find...


my RECENT bee-related FIND at a local antique mall. This mall is a DESTINATION...for those of you who love doing this sort of thing... http://www.columbusantiquemall.com/ (me?? i can only take so much of this sort of thing - i hate shopping)

you can EASILY spend an ENTIRE DAY....i'd forgotten HOW HUGE this place is - not having been there for at least 10 years.

i think this is a candy jar - because it's missing the cut-out for the dipper.

i was actually surprised that i didn't find more bee-stuff....found (1) honey pot too.