Sunday, August 21, 2016

For the Love of Tansy.....

I was never a huge lover of yellow flowers.

Perhaps it was because they conjured less-than-fond memories of pulling golden rod and yellow rocket from the fields as a child....a chore I dreaded almost as much as picking stones.
And then, of course, there is the ubiquitous dandelion.

But then I met tansy....and I was smitten.

If its name weren't endearing enough, its camphoric aroma and rich history and lore will lure even the most unsuspecting into its circle of admirers.

Tansy has been used to treat intestinal worms, rheumatism, digestive problems, fevers, sores, and to "bring out" measles. 

It also has astringent qualities and, therefore, makes a refreshing face wash that lightens and purifies the skin.


Tansy is perhaps best known for its natural repellent tendencies.  In years gone by, it was packed into coffins and wrapped in funeral winding sheets know....  Oftentimes tansy was woven into wreaths to place on deceased loved ones.

{NOTE:  COMMON tansy (to which I am referring) should NOT be confused with tansy RAGWORT.... Although very similar both in flowers and foliage to common tansy, tansy ragwort is POISONOUS.... It is generally unpalatable to livestock, but often cannot be avoided if it is mixed with hay, silage or lush pasture grasses.  It is especially toxic to cattle and horses, causing a chronic liver disease that is irreversible.  While I am not an expert, the best way I know of distinguishing between the two is that common tansy (the good stuff) has round button flowers like above, whereas tansy ragwort's flowers have spiky petals as in the photo below.}

So, long story short, that lil' yellow flower has stolen my heart....and come tansy season, you will find it fresh filling jars and tins and pitchers at my house, drying on racks and rods in every cool, dark, space I can find, and, yes, blooming happily in my yard.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Better Late Than Never??

I had the best intentions of posting these back in June...
Even July would have been acceptable...
And now it is August.

I don't know what happened.
Truth be told, I don't know what has happened to the past several years.
I think it may have been a touch of stage fright....
Or just wondering how to pick up where I left off when so much has intervened.
Things that cannot be summed up in a single blog post...

And although someone very wise once said it is usually to start at the beginning, I'm not sure where "the beginning" is even anymore.  So I will just start...and try to fill in gaps and pieces as I go.

I have not decorated for the holidays the past several years like I normally do...
Mostly because 2 years ago, all my things were packed in a storage unit awaiting an extensive remodel project (fondly referred to as "WWR"...i.e., "When We Remodeled.")  Last year, the remodel was fairly complete, but, alas...I was...and am still struggling with the boxes left in its (and the major flooding we experienced in the process) wake.

So...long story short...I finally managed to make it through the boxes that held my Americana decor, and surprised myself by actually putting some things out.

(Top of my jail cupboard)

And, what goes up at my house, doesn't easily come down....

Actually, I start putting up the Americana in May in honor of Memorial Day...and then leave it up until Labor Day...which I consider a very Americana kind of holiday....

(In my laundry room....)

So there you have it....
A start....
Better late than never.

(PS...I've missed you all terribly!)