Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Festivals

Last weekend was a culmination of many weeks of hard work. Growing plants, mixing batches of potpourri, bath brews, salts, vinegars, making wreaths and not to mention getting it all where it needed to go was a little wearing, but once everything was set up and the tent raising was mastered, it was smooth sailing after that. We had a fantastic time meeting old and new friends. We had a perfect spot along the river (another blog entry) and the weather could not be more perfect.

I thought I would share a couple of pictures of the spot we had and some of the products we brought. Enjoy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Woman Possessed...

Twice this week two different people made the same comment to me. A "woman possessed" these two kind hearted souls said as they heard the list of things to be accomplished in a short period of time. How odd that they both said the same thing. Odd because they live in two different states, are in different trades and aren't even of the same gender. What could they mean I wondered? Did I sound half crazed with panic over my "to-do" list? Were my sentences running on like a train off its track? Was I even making sense?

The list of things "to-do" is of the products I want to make and package before our largest show begins in just a week. Ketner's Mill,, is one of the largest outdoor festivals in our area. The vendor waiting list is lengthy and the judges are tough, so we were very pleased to be chosen to participate this year. It is an outdoor show which means a tent and all the assorted minutia that comes with it. It means making and packaging products, grooming plants, fluffing wreaths, sewing dolls and finding tables that fit the booth space. It means a lot of things must all fall into place for everything to work. Did I mention rain is forecasted for both days of the show?

While all of the festival prep is going on, the kids have been on fall break from school. They are usually old enough to entertain themselves and did extremely well this week. The oldest helped me plant a beautyberry bush and two blueberry bushes and rolled two half whiskey barrels into place in the yard for next spring's abundance of herbs I will need to grow. There was time to hit the mall, eat out and see a movie during the week along with a short camping trip.

There was some business to attend to this week. Cost cutting efforts are taking place with the business. You all know how that is. We got tired of paying extra fees for things we just didn't need or paying fees for things when we weren't getting anything in return for our money. Services had to be cancelled and then bought with other companies. This went on for most of the week. Today was quiet business-wise for which I was grateful. I did actually get to have lunch on the screened in porch watching the birds cavort around the new feeder I had just put up.

Next week will be hectic but manageable. The kids will be back in school so that means band and basketball practice after school along with homework and the usual chores. Thursday will be the last day to finish anything before the show or just say "to heck with it" and let it go. Friday morning we head to Marion county and begin the set up. I will fit in a little house cleaning (or not) and try to keep things organized.

The mess you see in the picture is my cubbyhole room under the steps in the basement where I keep all the supplies. I am hoping all the shelves will be bare when we come home. Oh and did I mention that rain is forecasted for next weekend....significant rain.

Possessed? Bah....not me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dirt....a blogster's challenge

As a member of the blogster's list at Yahoo we are spending more time with our blogs as you would imagine. This week's challenge from blog leader, Tina, is to find something that may look insignificant to most people, but actually plays a very important role in our every day lives and where does it lead us.

I chose dirt as the subject of this challenge. Dirt covers a multitude of sins as they say here in the south. Dirt is found everywhere no matter how obsessive one cleans. Dirt clings. Dirt blows in the wind. Dirt can turn dirty. Dirt can be black gold if it is organic, rich and fragrant. Dirt is everyone's and no one's problem. Dirt is here to stay or so we can hope.

The picture shown here is a pot full of dirt with the last vestiges of a basil plant giving up and calling it quits for winter. Though the days are still warm, the plant has fought the long fight of the effects of a long hot, dry summer. The dirt is dark and rich but tired from water being poured into it to nourish the plant every day. When the dirt dries out it becomes hard, harsh and crumbly. The plant becomes sad and starts its journey to compost. is in the air, on the ground, in a pot, against the house and under my fingernails. An herb farmer likes it that way. If it wasn't for dirt the herb plants, as one small part of this planet, would not have anything to spread their roots in. The herb plants would not survive (nor anything else for that matter). Most dirt is made from leftover construction materials, foundation sand and other inorganic materials. Luckily there are sources for rich organic material that can feed and nurture the herb plants. The plants cannot survive without this black gold.