Instead of a recipe, a tribute to Bushwacker, the Farewell Tour of a Champion Bull.

Bushwacker, the greatest bull of all time, is retiring this year.

Bushwacker doing his thing.

Bushwacker doing his thing.

I do love bulls. They’re so dang big. Rhino big. Dinosaur big. Powerful big. Sometimes a bull might give you the stank eye, and then you have to watch yourself. But some, like my daughter’s bull, Bully, are very nice.

Enjoy these videos – consider them the best of Bushwacker. He’s an amazing bull. Oh, and I’ve added my favorite new commercial! Julia

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My new favorite ‘found’ item!

I found this in a throw-away bin– one of the bins where we could toss our earthquake trash.

Look!

My two favorite cooks!

My two favorite cooks!

Look closer!

Can you believe it???

Can you believe it???

That’s what I saw when I opened the book the next day. I was so excited. I loved Julia Child. I always wanted her autograph but I never had the opportunity. Wow. Just… just wow!

Will I ever make one of the recipes? Who knows? Who cares? It’s enough to merely hold the book in my hot little hands. :)

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A Much Needed Day at the Beach…

that never quite happened.

After the earthquake cleanup, the continuous aftershocks, the sleepless nights, Jake and I craved an inspiring spirit-reviving energizing day at the beach.

We did. We truly did. We needed it.

So we packed up and headed off. But it was one of those everything goes wrong days.

(Well, the traffic was lighter than usual and that was nice.)

When we arrived and hiked in from the car things felt  off. The weather was weird, neither cloudy nor foggy nor sunny. The sea and the sky were sort of colorless. They looked much the same.

The air wasn’t hot but it wasn’t cold. It wasn’t crisp. It didn’t contain that damp, fecund, invigorating, briny ocean smell. It was sort of… rotten. Smelled like rotting flesh. Not fish, flesh.

I looked down at my feet. I usually wear hiking boots but I’d decided to wear flip flops this time around. I’d planned on wading in the ocean. Of all the days. From one end of the beach to the other, the sand was blanketed with these:

Blue Jellies, actually Velella velella.

Blue Jellies, actually Velella velella.

They aren’t deadly poisonous but they do have stingers and I didn’t want to get stung and I certainly didn’t want Jake stung. To make matters worse, a couple of guys were fishing with bait that was so putrid it attracted every yellow jacket in the county. For the first time in my experience, between the dying Velella velella and the putrid bait (mostly the bait), the beach swarmed with yellow jackets. And I’d left my epipen at home.

It sucked. Just sucked. Jake and I hung out up high for a little while then headed home. I think I’ll wait a few weeks before I return. Maybe a storm surge will come in and cleanse the sand. And get rid of the people.

Jake says, "This sucks."

Jake says, “This sucks.”

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Daughters of Persephone, Book Three, Reborn.

Do you believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of souls?

I do.

Read about it- for free! This one’s my favorite. It’s dark, deep, and angsty.

DOP_Reborn_200

A thousand years have passed since the Empress Aja Bokinan and her consort Kyr Aram settled on Calen. As the legend foretold, a great evil has arisen. Black Frocks scour the planets, searching out women, children and even men with a trace of the Royal Blood, sacrificing them to their dark god.

When they see her mahogany hair and gray eyes, Issa Bokinan’s family flees the village for the safety of the mountains, but even that is not far enough. It is up to The Red Demon, Tem, to hide the young Empress away in the past, teaching her to use her powers, grooming her for the day when she will face the Black Frocks and her own death.

But the Red Demon has a plan within a plan. She’s meddled in the gene pool, producing a man with powers Women of the Blood only dream of. She wants Kane Tirol for her own, but Kane, a Calen man, wants nothing to do with the Red Demon. He is bonded to Issa Bokinan, and not even time can keep them apart.

Upload your copy right here – Daughters of Persephone, Reborn.

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Herbal Remedies in Your Kitchen and Backyard.

I’ve been watching Outlander religiously and so I have herbal remedies on my brain. I keep wondering– If I were sent back in time, and I had to practice primitive medicine as a healer (I am a registered nurse) — Would I succeed?

Claire in the herb garden at Leoch.

Claire in the herb garden at Leoch.

I’m not a physician, but with my experience I can stitch up cuts, clean and bandage wounds, even set fractures. I can probably diagnose the usual things like asthma, pneumonia, hepatitis, an enlarged prostate, a bladder infection, an ear infection, strep throat, tonsilitis, influenza, even appendicitis. But would I dare remove an inflamed appendix  in an attempt to save a life only to lose said life to the resulting peritonitis?

I can help to deliver a baby. I know a little about a breach delivery as well, and I could probably do a C-Section in an emergency, but keeping the mother alive would be next to impossible.

What do I bring to the table? The knowledge of germs, isolation, disinfection, and sterilization. I’d be busy boiling water.

Most important of all? The washing of hands.

I have some limited knowledge of herbs and tonics and their uses. Of course herbs are not like antibiotics. The dosage is not standardized. Many are also toxins – nightshade and foxglove. Did you know foxglove is digitalis, used to treat heart failure? Deadly nightshade is atropine, which can increase a slow heart rate. But the dosages would elude me. I could just as easily kill a man as cure him.

But I would take the following (limited) knowledge with me into the past:

Honey and garlic are germicidal. Both can be used to treat an infected wound and both are helpful for a cough and congestion. Honey can help sooth a sore throat in addition to its germ-killing properties.

Garlic can also be used as a de-worming agent. (Good to know, right?)

Leeks and onions are decongestants.

Raw vinegar is an excellent disinfectant. It can also help with digestive issues, yeast infections, various skin conditions.

Beer increases lactation. Seriously.

Alcohol, is, well, alcohol – I guess I’d use alcohol as an anticoagulant (blood-thinner), an anesthetic, to distill herbs and plants, and to sterilize equipment and wounds.

Yarrow can help stop bleeding and it can reduce a fever.

Yarrow.

Yarrow.

Willow bark can reduce a fever and help with joint inflammation.

The bark of an oak tree makes a good astringent and can help relieve kidney stones if taken as a tonic.

Witch hazel is an astringent – can help heal abrasions and mouth ulcers.

Witch Hazel.

Witch Hazel.

Lavender helps to heal burns and abrasions and soothes insect bites and stings.

Lavender.

Lavender.

Mint and bee balm help with digestive disorders, as does wild ginger.

Bee Balm.

Bee Balm.

Bilberry is good for the eyes.

Billberry.

Billberry.

Salt water makes a good rinse for wounds and mouth sores.

Sugar can be packed into a would to accelerate healing – sugar is germicidal. (I have personally packed decubitus ulcers with sugar with excellent results.)

Elderberry and cherry help with cough and congestion.

Elderberry.

Elderberry.

Black pepper is terrific for chest congestion. (But I’d have to remember it’s also a deadly poison.)

Black peppercorns.

Black peppercorns.

Tea is an astringent. It’s very helpful for minor burns.

Mustard can definitely help a cough but it can also cause a chemical burn if left too long on the skin.

Mustard flower.

Mustard flower.

Echinacea, or cone flower, helps to improve the immune system.

Echinacea.

Echinacea.

Valerian root acts as a sedative. Not strong enough to remove a bullet from a man’s chest, but…

Valerian.

Valerian.

I know about more herbs, but probably not many of them would be found in Scotland.

So tell me, what herbs are you familiar with?

 

 

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