September – Fresh Start

Hey there,

I know I’m not alone in thinking that really, September is the start of the new year.  Everything is new and beginning again.  I don’t like to rush the seasons…OK, now I’m fibbing…we all know how I feel about Winter – it’s OK for a little while, but then, enough already.

It’s not officially Fall yet, but it’s in the air.  Especially this year, after the “Summer that wasn’t” here in Southern Ontario.  I love the Fall and it’s normally such a short season, but September and October – FAB!

There are many activities art related in my area in September and October…all the things I love: shows, tours, classes.  The food is amazing with the fresh harvest.  I get the urge to make things with my hands. There’s a coziness to it all and yet, I still have my gardens…it’s still too early for “Jack” to take them from me.  Ahhhh  Mums and pumpkins and all the rich colour.  The sky is a deeper hue.  The fields are dotted with gold, purple, white, rust and warm shades of brown.  Darker at night a little bit earlier, but not too early yet.  Cooler for sleeping, blue jeans, maybe a light sweater or jacket, but most days, you can still wear sandals and Pearl still wears her pretty summer wheels. YAY!  What’s not to like?

Mercury has been in retrograde and I have not been at all inspired to write.  Mercury being the planet of communication – you see where that came from.  Mercury plays a big role in my birth chart.  Not an excuse, just a statement.  Besides, I’ve been spending every spare moment outside and not in front of my computer. There will be lots of time for that later.  I’m going with the flow.

Round two of seeds have been planted in the veggie gardens.  Peas, radish, spinach and lettuce, hoping for a second crop in the cooler weather.  Swiss Chard is still going strong.  I’m harvesting tomatoes daily, made some dill pickles from my cucumbers (where I often find Niles peeking out from beneath the vines…)

← Meet His Royal Cheekiness, Niles!  Looks like he’s wet (again) from being out in the rain (or in the garden).

There are squash on the vine, green beans are yummy as are the yellow zucchini. Carrots and beets processed and round two planted.  I’ve really enjoyed my veggie gardens this year and so glad that my plan from last Fall – the apple harvest bins – have worked out really well.  They seem to be just the right size for the amount I need.  Easy on my back and easy to plant and harvest – not large enough for me to go too crazy with amounts planted – but you’d be surprised at how much I can sneak in. 🙂 A saunter out to the barn in the morning with my scissors and my basket is the routine…what will I bring in today?  Happiness.  Soon, I’ll be harvesting and drying the culinary herbs. Oregano is already in the jar.  Hello homemade pizza!  Can you smell it?

 

 

Some of my harvest!

Oy, the drying frenzy hasn’t really started yet, but it’s coming.  As is the bringing in of the plants. Very soon. My big pot of Rosemary has not had a happy Summer.  Even sitting out on the deck on the South side, where it sits every Summer, it’s been too wet.  It was actually happier inside the dry house in the Winter. I’m hoping it perks up and am thinking about bringing it in now.  I’d hate to lose it, it’s a good sized plant and one that I use often in Winter for flavouring.  On my bucket list is visiting those countries where it actually grows as a shrub…one day.

Not a wild greenie here in Canada, but Rosemary is an awesome plant.  It tastes and smells divine and is the herb of remembrance.  Even Shakespeare said so!  One of those culinary, curative and cosmetic herbs that may be used year round.  Not only tucked into bridal bouquets and wreaths for centuries, but once used as a religious herb as well.  It has been burned as incense in ceremonies as protection against evil and at funerals. Sometimes mixed with Juniper to cleanse and purify the air.  I like to use it for adding flavour to roasting meat and potatoes.  I will also make an oil with it for use in cooking and/or the bath.  A very clean scent when mixed with Lavender.

The oil from the plant leaves is antibacterial and anti-fungal.  A good “breathing” herb to relieve headaches. Used in a tea, it makes a good mouthwash.  All good reasons to bring my potted plant in sooner, rather than later!

What else am I harvesting?  The Moon’s energy.  Tonight she is full in Pisces and the Sun is firmly planted in Virgo.  So an excellent time to dream big, as Pisces is ruled by Neptune and is the sign of dreams, whereas Virgo, a very grounded, Earth sign is the one to get things done and make those dreams a reality. A powerful combo.  Win-win!  The September Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, a little earlier this year.  Watch for the orange colouring.  I will be straining some bath oils this evening and using the preserved energy in the cold months ahead.

Today’s colour is white.  Appropriate in speaking about the Rosemary in bridal bouquets and wreaths above.

What will you dream of under this Harvest Moon?  Make it big and then make it happen.

Until next time,

-Debra

O Sun, wherefore art thou?

Hey there,

O Sun, wherefore art thou?  That doesn’t sound so much like complaining, does it?  Fancy. 🙂

Took a wee break and now I’m back.  Did you miss me? 🙂

Two words:  New. Phone.

Two more words:  @#!&%!! Frustrating.

Enough said

Into August we go – my birth month.  Yep, another spin around the Sun for me…not yet, but soon; I’m on the cusp, first full day of Virgo.  Right now we bask in all things Leo – can you feel the Sun’s energy? (When we are blessed with it, this year!)  Leo is of course ruled by the Sun and the Sun represents the outer you, or your ego.  The colours? Gold, yellow, amber, orange – the colours of Sun-day. Warm, summery, fun.  Many of the greenies that flower in August are yellow.  Cool fact.

So how does your garden grow?  My veggies are kind of at the in between stage right now.  The early, cooler weather crops are not doing well in the heat, although I’m still harvesting lettuces and Swiss Chard, the radish and spinach have called it quits.  I’m going to re-seed end of August for another cool weather crop in the Fall.  Something went bums up with the peas.  The vines grew, developed the pods, but they never ripened, got soft and then the vines died…hmmm still looking into that one.  It couldn’t have been lack of rain!  They aren’t chewed, so I don’t think anything got into them.  Anyone have any ideas?  Maybe I should have harvested them when they were fully formed, but yellow?  They are called green peas for a reason. >: I’ve left them on the trellis to shade the lettuce, but it doesn’t look pretty…

The hot weather veggies:  cucumbers, beans, mellon, squashes and tomato are all coming along, but not nearly ready to harvest.  Lots of tomatoes on the vines, but very green.  I’m harvesting beans and will be harvesting beets and carrots soon.  We haven’t had a lot of hot Sun, although we did get some this week.  I did call this the year of experiment, garden-wise, so I’m waiting things out.  The early crops were good and I will be harvesting garlic when things dry up a bit, next week.

Endings are new beginnings.
Edit the story and continue the book.

I just got back from visiting in the City (Toronto) for a few days.  Down to see my daughter’s new abode and to visit Mr. G (my grandkitty) 🙂  Lots of walking and it was very hot.  Such a different world from the one here at Blue Roof Living.  I always love to visit – a few days is enough to experience the fast pace, the people, the food, do a little shopping, visit a gallery or two, get caught up.  I usually go for a spin through the financial district, my old stomping grounds from what seems like a lifetime ago, and then back I go to my kitties, the greenies, the birds, the fresh air, the dark night sky and the quiet:  home.  I usually take transit down – I’m not a big fan of driving in the City.  When I get back, there’s Pearl (my VW Bug rag top), patiently waiting for me and all is as it should be again.

Always fun to visit, but I’m not sure I could live there anymore.

Breeaaathe – and into a frenzy of spot watering my gardens as soon as I get my stuff in the door.  (Um, I might have bought a few new plants and tucked them in, here and there.)

It hasn’t been a great Summer to get out on the boat – our Civic Holiday long weekend is upon us; fingers crossed for some Sun and Wind.

Nothing too new critter-wise here (other than insects) – Niles is settling in.  Niles is the latest kitty to call the blue roof home. Ralph brought him home and he’s certainly paying for that…Niles is not far out of kittenhood and is in constant play mode.  (If he would stay still long enough, I’d take his picture and let you see him!)  Ralph is entering his golden years.  Playing is ok for a while, then, enough already, time to rest. Niles will push him one step too far…and then WHACK >ouch<…poor Niles – he’ll learn the hard way. Winnie, in her platinum years, just slugs him whenever she sees him, so he steers clear of Winnie – she doesn’t have the patience for a young whipper snipper like him.  Her mode is called “cranky”.

Winter should be interesting.  If Niles wants a bed by the fire, he’d better win over Winnie first…that’s her domain!

My stone wall?  Sigh  That’s not going nearly as quickly as I had anticipated.  It’s either raining or I can’t stand to be down by the trees for the mosquitoes – they are so fierce this year.  Even with my bug stuff on, I get badly bitten. So not happy about that.  There will be a push in the Fall to get some more work done on it.

One nice thing about the plentiful insects this year (I do try to find something good) is the butterflies!  Lots of them and they are so beautiful…I’ve been studying up on the different kinds and I’ve got most of the ones you find in Southern Ontario in my meadow. YAY!

Gee, that may call for a new book! 🙂 I’ve discovered Mourning Cloaks, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Red Admirals.  Of course, I always have lots of Monarchs, because I have lots of Milkweed in the meadow.

Look at these beauties on the Sea Holly.  Mourning Cloak on left above and Red Admiral on right.

And lots of Bees, which is always a good thing. The Meadowsweet, left above, is alive with Bees – all different kinds.  Look at that big Bumble Bee in the Hosta flower above right.

So, the flower gardens and the insects have most certainly benefited from all the rain we’ve had this year.

What have I been harvesting?  St. John’s Wort, for one.  This herb has also been called Touch and Heal, among other things. Hypericum Perforatum looks like the photo above on the left.  The photo to the right of that shows my jar of the flowers and leaves packed in oil, harvested about two weeks ago.  The jar in the middle, below them shows another harvest, flowers and leaves in oil that have been sitting for almost one month.  Can you see the colour of the oil?  Red!  Historically, the pigment from the crushed flowers was believed to signify the blood of St. John, who was beheaded.  Also the herb is usually flowering around June 24th, which is St. John’s Day.  You know me, I’m more about the woo woo, but interesting fact all the same!  I will leave the jars sitting in the Sun for two Moon cycles.  The Sun extracts the energy of the plant and harvesting by the Moon extracts her energy…it’s a twofer.

What would I use this red oil for?  I would use it topically for any kind of nerve pain.  Sciatica, Shingles, etc. It is also good for sun burn, but be careful with exposing your skin to the Sun while using it, as it can make you susceptible to burns. I’ll make a salve with the oil, incorporating it with beeswax – less messy to use that way.

Let’s turn to the night sky.  We get to experience some neat stuff this month in the sky.  The full Moon is this coming Monday, the 6th.  Mondays are ruled by the Moon.  We also experience a Lunar Eclipse on the afternoon of the Full Moon.  Two weeks later, on Monday the 21st, the New Moon, we experience a Solar Eclipse at almost the same time in the afternoon.  Very interesting.

Jupiter will be very close to the Moon in the week of the New Moon – especially mid week, in the West. Jupiter has been in the night sky since April and we’ll be losing sight of the King Planet before too much longer.  August is also an excellent time to see Saturn in the West to the left of Jupiter.  Because of the tilt of the planet right now, you can easily see Saturn’s rings with good binoculars or a telescope.  Venus still shines brightly in the East before dawn.  The Milky Way is still very easy to see overhead late evening.  A magic wash of light.

Hmmm, where are we tonight…the Moon is in Capricorn.  Very matter of fact, follow the rules kind of day.

Today’s colour is coral.

Well now, lots of goodies and photos this time around.  A little payback for being away. 🙂 For my Canadian readers, do enjoy your August long weekend, whatever you may be up to.  Our season is so fleeting, especially this year.  Enjoy safely.

Until next time,

-Debra