When I arrived home at 11pm after driving for 11 hours, I stepped out of the car and inhaled; the night air was sooo spicy-fresh fragrant, smelling of growth and fertile flowers. ahhhhhh
I had a fantastic trip. Here's a couple of photos of my packed-to-the-brim car. Crazy, eh?
Yes, driving to California and back is a lot of driving. One of the things that amazed me, was that in a total of 34 hours of driving (all of the driving for the whole trip), just about all of it was through stunningly gorgeous scenery. Really. Southern Oregon mountain passes, redwoods, N. California coast, San Fransisco Bay; I'm so blessed to be living in such a beautiful part of the world. The N. California Women's Herbal Symposium was excellent, as always. This was my first year going for both of the spring weekends. I eagerly soaked it all in; connecting with some fine folks, adding to my knowledge of herbal & health ways; camping near a burbling creek, breathing wafts of bay-scented breeze. The Herbal Symposium is truly an amazing event. Fully organized, funded, and consisting of all women. Many women. Sad that something of this nature is considered amazing or even revolutionary, in our current society, but that's the way the world is, right now. Being in that space, with all those women and kids, feels so sacred, and safe. It's a huge safety zone, for four days, where there is no harassment, no judgment. It's so affirming to see how every woman blooms into a beautiful goddess in an environment like that. Teri and Karen are doing some amazing work, keeping it all going. It has such a positive impact on so many women's lives. Here are a couple of snapshots of my vending set-up at Sunday's Marketplace.
The new display case worked fantastically, drawing kids and adults in continuously to fondle all the colorful goods. The cute bunnies & creatures I made sold right away. Everyone was sooo happy with their new cuddly bunnies! Selling in person is so much more fun than selling on-line.
Here is some of the loot that I came home with. Most of it I got in trades, but I did buy a few things.Seeds from the seed swap; fancy homebrew I won in the raffle; some of Jen's special healing homebrews, Swedish bitters, tooth soap, home-cured olives (!!!); fresh, raw almonds from a local family orchard, herbal sachet, salve, lavender bath salts, one of Joan's lovely blue-moon mugs, Wild Women coffee, a gorgeous hand-made basket, 3 kinds of seaweed, needlefelted doll, hand-dyed roving for spinning, beeswax candles, and kid-designed notecards. Kinda like Christmas!In-between weekends, I visited some good, old friends in the Bay Area. It was sweet to connect with them. I really enjoyed that I came to the city to visit my urban friends, and both of them took me for walks on the beach! I drove back up the coast from San Fransisco on Hwy. 1. The most lovely scenery you could imagine, but oh my is that a twisty, windy road! Most of it is a wriggling snake. I'm glad I wasn't in a hurry. I made a bakery stop in Pt. Reyes, buying possibly the most decadent item they had. Something about long road trips compels me to eat extreme food. While strolling the street and noshing my chocolate-peanut butter-bar, I ducked into an interesting-looking fibery shop. Feeling flush with the fine day, and wanting to reward myself for being such an alert driver, I bought this hand-dyed roving from BeesyBee Fibers I do so enjoy dyeing my own fiber, but occasionally I'll treat myself to someone else's work. I love these colors.
As you can see, I didn't wait long to start spinning it up! I'm separating out the different bands of color and spinning it up into long runs of color to make a self-striping yarn. It's my first time spinning merino, and as long as I inch-worm the drafting, it spins great. I'll show you the yarn when it's all finished.
Meanwhile, much goings on at the farm while I was away. So much growth. Including this eucalyptus sprouting from the root! We thought it was dead, from the extreme freezing of our past winter. And now, we are having temperatures that are hovering around 15 deg. F warmer than what is "normal" for this time of year. While the summer weather is nice, it's putting a damper (or should I say "heater"?) on the gardening activities. We have flats of starts all ready to go in the ground, but planting those babies out now really stresses the plants. The hot weather is continuing on, though, so we're doing the best we can, working during the cooler hours of the day. We'll just have to see who makes it and who doesn't. Here's a photo of yesterday's lunch & dinner. You can see that the Napa cabbage is beginning to flower. During a good year, the Napas form large, succulent heads lasting in the garden for several weeks. Delicious raw or in a stir-fry, and perfect for making home-grown kim-chee. Doesn't look like this year is a good Napa year, as the heat is causing them to bolt before they've formed heads. The other stalky things are the young flower stalks of the Burdock plant. I peeled them, chunked 'em up, par-boiled, then added to last night's curry. Not too bad!
I'm happy to be back, dear blog reader; thanks for stopping by. Now I must get out to the garden before the sun bakes too hot. See you again soon!