Snow, Coffee & Living in the Country Side

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Morning!  Our house from the road , we have a long driveway and I have been planting trees and shrubs to hopefully create a tiny woodland – all asleep now.

This morning was so beautiful!  I woke before the sun to light a fire and finish reading my book (Sea Road finished, now on to Galway Bay). The snow that fell last evening enveloped the land and I was giddy to go out for a walk as soon as the sun rose.  Jamie and I had oatmeal and I made a thermos of Coffee to bring out with me.

 

 

Such a cold morning, but crisp and clean without any wind!  Henry and I walked down to the river, marvelling at the freshly fallen snow, the clouds, the low but bright sun.

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Following Fox Tracks, through the field to the river – fox/coyote tracks are usually perfectly straight unlike dogs which go to and fro!
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pathway to the river
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An attempt at Panorama – The Salt water river we live by,  so many bald eagles live in this spot
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Water mimics the sky

Henry and I continued, after visiting the river to walk a small woodland trail that leads us to a tree that I love – a towering white pine.

 

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Coffee with this Pine – The forest before this tree has been decimated – cut for lumber/Firewood (who knows).  If you see the space on satellite google maps – the land looks scarred and damaged.  I am so thankful this tree was left standing although I sometimes wonder how he must feel standing before a decimated forest
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Home to a homemade Yuletide Card

So, I sat here for a little bit with Henry, having a morning coffee and thinking about the trees.  I feel uneasy sometimes here because it is privately owned.  Farmland that is rented and used year after year for the same crop.   Hurting soils.  When I returned home, feeling very much at peace having spent some time by the water, with the pine and watching Henry frolic around, a man knocked on my door.  He told me that he saw my tracks and was wondering if it was me who walks in the fields.  He is a trapper and told me that Henry’s tracks were close to his snares and I should keep her on a leash (I do keep her on a leash along a certain stretch of my walk down there because I was unsure if there were traps – now I know for certain).  She would likely be killed if she was caught in one.  Obviously I am extremely grateful for this knowledge – I feel sick thinking of something happening to her.  He was very apologetic and nice as well and he really needn’t be, I am the one just walking unknowingly on someone’s land.   I just feel sad thinking that this is the reality of living in the country side.  People will continue to hunt, to trap the beautiful red fox and eastern coyote for their furs.  I wish we could buy more land to create safe environments for wildlife.  For soil to flourish.  It is a life goal to buy a plot of land outside our acre in order to create these environments – to allow life to flourish, to humanely harvest firewood through selective cutting – all while planting trees.   To see the fox tracks and not worry about her well being and her kits.

It frustrates me beyond anything else thinking of how we treat the planet.  We clear cut and poison the land for 100’s of acres of mono agriculture – all while pushing wildlife to live on the fringes.  Then we allow hundreds of creatures to be culled every year (Okay much more than hundreds, but I am referring to just the small province where I live).  My sister told me that she saw a Coyote Pelt blanket for sale at Hudson Bay.  It was 4000 Canadian dollars – trappers make 50 CAD dollars for a pelt.  50 Dollars for a life, all while the consumer is fooled into thinking it’s worth much more than that.

I know this is part of our cultural heritage – Prince Edward Island actually was heavily involved in fox farming at the turn of the 20th century.  If you have been to PEI, you certainly would have noticed the red fox methodically trotting along the road.  In Charlottetown, they walk the sidewalks. Just the other day, I saw one sitting by the Tim Horton’s drive through window, cautiously approaching the cars that were stopped to pick up their coffees.  Despite the healthy population, I wish they could live freely in our dwindling woodlands.  I wish I could walk through the vacant winter fields without fear for my dog.  Luckily, we do have many trails so we can do just this, where hunting is prohibited.   Where towering white pines still stand and trout swim upstream.  Basalm Firs stop erosion of hillsides.  Places where I imagine the earth feels like her old self.  I’ll continue to walk these trails rather than the dormant farmland and fringe woods.

I do think that there are so many incredibly small things we can do, like planting a single tree, a plant solely for the bees.   Deciding to pay attention to the natural world in any way, whether it’s noting the cycle of the moon or the changing leaves.  We just need to give a little bit more attention to this beautiful planet, good things will follow ❤

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Early Morning and high clouds

Our little shop

Home
Home in the fog

Good Evening Kindreds!

It’s so dark!  I am sitting by the fire, the room lit with fairy lights and a cup of black tea piping hot beside me.  A friend of mine gave us some lavender sugar and I find it so delicious in a strong cup of black tea ❤  It is so late for me to be drinking caffeine but I am oh so tired and I very much felt like sharing a couple of things with you.

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shaking hands, blurry picture but our forest cat is beginning to embrace his nature

The weather continues to promise snow but only to cruelly trick us with rain.  I guess that is life living in a maritime climate.  Today has been a wet day and we have chosen to stay home, only to take Henry out in the trees behind our house.  The cats are venturing outside each day.  They stick right around the front door, guarding the entrance to their domain (or perhaps waiting for us to let them back in?).  A day inside finally means I can sort the latest knits for our shop!

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Latest Knits to make listings for : ) My work desk a wee bit disorganized 

I have been having a lot of fun lately, working with my stash of lett lopi.  I have a very strong desire to actually use all of my wool stash before continuing to buy new wool.  I love using everything that I have and don’t really like buying anything without a real purpose behind it.  I currently have enough wool to make 3 sweaters and several pairs of fingerless mitts/mittens what have you.  This winter I will focus on the small bits, some of which have been set aside for several years!  I first knit an Icelandic Sweater with Lett Lopi in 2013 and believe I may still have some from this time.

A bag full of lopi
I have three small bags full of bits and bobs of lett lopi – I love using them and seeing this stash dwindle
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New work space – Jamie put the shelves up and painted the room ❤ I absolutely love it in all it’s simplicity.  Current Wool Stash – I would love to free up the top shelf for only plants.
Decisions.
Decisions, Decisions!
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Handknit stripped socks
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Fingerless Mittens in Heaven Blue and Hazel Heather
Woodland
Woodland trail
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Maritime Folk Mittens – Prince Edward Island Wool and Flying Geese pattern, knit by my very special Mama
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“New” Cedar Chest for all the woollens and a beauty kitty
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a couple of tags for our handknits
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Another pair knit by my Mom
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New knits, a cozy chair, Arthur Rackham Fairy and my little fairy cat, Pangur.

 

Only a couple of pictures that I have captured over the last couple of days.  I am currently looking at 2 weeks before my next shift in the library (unless I am called in) and Jamie gets 10 days off from his work for the holidays! I am definitely feeling like hibernating while simultaneously desperately wishing for snow to play in.  Jamie and I are getting snow shoes for eachother for Yule so we can continue to walk our favourite trails despite the amount of snow we usually receive in the deep winter.

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I have a lot of tiny knitting projects planned.  My wordpress account is almost at the full capacity for storage space so I will be changing my account to a ‘business account’ soon (unlimited space) so I hope to raise the funds to support this little website with my knits.  I hope i can come up with some wee special mitts, etc. I will be busy sitting by this fire, thinking up colour combinations with the remaining lopi 🙂

Hope you are all well, we are nearly at the solstice to welcome the lighter half of the year!  So much hope.

As a farewell parting gift, A beautiful Scandinavian Folk song for you:

Gjallarhorn – Ye Ride so Carefully

Blessings to you ❤

Julia

Flu and Herbs

 

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Herbal teas for ailing grey days: Ginger, lemon and Honey (repeat)

How do you do 🙂

I am recovering from what we think must have been the flu, but doing much better!  I feel like I am back to my old self and will return to the world of making, using my hands and senses, I can’t wait!

But I did just spend several days with the sole purpose of expelling a flu, thinking about plants but mostly sleeping.  But I’m ready to move on…

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Companions in ill health – notice Henry’s foot over Pangur!

I strangely enjoy the challenge of being sick.  I like to see how I can expel the sickness with old remedies (on top of lots of rest).  This week, after a shift in the library and a meeting with the spinners guild (yes, I joined the spinner’s guild and have a wheel on loan!) I felt the slow creeping sickness in my chest.  After Jamie’s company Christmas party on Saturday, I knew I was definitely sick…

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My view for the past several days!  Today, I was under the sun during a lunch break and got to breath in the salty air ❤

And so, I made a huge pot of broth using the hardy plants in the garden: Kale, loads of parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary. etc. with rutabaga, beet root and the habanero peppers I picked and dried this summer.  Luckily, I didn’t have to go into town for work until today so had 3 solid days to dedicate to my well being ❤

I wanted to share a wee bit with you about one of these wonderful sunlight consuming greens…

P L A N T  A L L Y

S A G E

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A woman collecting sage from a waddled garden bed with a beautifully woven basket (I like how the earth looks like it has been severed in the foreground), Tacuinum Sanitatis, c. 1400

Sage (Salveo) meaning, ‘I am well.’

Such a beautiful herb!  When I am feeling unwell, I add sage to everything! The medieval era loved sage and saw it as a plant of immortality.  I’ve always been interested in the medieval plant world.  What did their gardens look like?  How did they use their plants? How did they interact with them?  Sage is one herb that always stood out in this era as an optimum health tonic. In the 12th century poem, Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum the author proclaims, “Why should a man die in whose garden sage grows?  Against the power of death there is no medicine in our gardens; but sage calms the nerves, takes away hand tremors, and helps cure acute fever… O sage! The saviour! of nature the conciliator!”

Aside from the fun historical perspective that stretches back well before the 11th-15th century (Much herbal and plant knowledge was derived from rewritten texts from the ancient world), Sage is known to be an ANTI INFLAMMATORY agent –  It also suppresses perspiration, aids memory and digestion!  I have three plants growing right by our front door, for a woman is said to rule where sage grows 😉

** Sage is toxic in large quantities, so do take precaution! **

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S A N G E (sage) on the right, from “The Tudor Pattern Book”

 

Anywho!  I best get some rest so I can start tomorrow anew, refreshed and well after 3 solid days of dedicating myself to consuming herbal broths and teas curled by the fire (Also watched the new Planet Earth – it’s superb!).  Currently reading The Sea Road by Margaret Elphinstone while I wait for The Good People by Hannah Kent to come into the library (So very excited!!).

Hope you’re well and escaping the flu season this year! Onward!

Slán!

Julia

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Fairisle Mitts in Single Ply – flu type project that seems never ending