May Day is Tomorrow!

maydaybasketI’m over at Writer…Interrupted today! Come on over and read my post, “The Crafting of a Life.” It’s a sneak peek into the obsessive-compulsive life of a writer and how important it is to actively engage in real life every now and then. ;O)

By the way, some exciting changes are happening at Writer…Interrupted! We’re in the process of going to a monthly magazine format with something for everyone. I’ll keep you posted as it progresses.

Head’s Up! Tomorrow is May Day–and as the tradition goes, imaydaybasket1t’s a great day to put a basket together and leave it on your neighbor’s doorstep…how sneaky can you be?

Our favorite ideas for baskets:

  • dishtowels
  • bedding plants
  • garden gloves
  • seed packets
  • homemade cookies
  • mini-loaves of bread w/a jar of jam

Have a great day!

Fishing on a Saturday Night

luresandtackleboxesEver since that first unseasonably warm week in February–when in shock and awe we shut the corn stove off and bought a watermelon to celebrate–my three girls have been begging to go fishing.

Saturday happened to be a nice weather day and a day off for my hard workin’ man! So around 5 p.m. we gathered up poles and girls, loaded the 4-wheeler and set off up the steep hill behind our house, through the gate into wide-open prairie and blue skies, giddy at thoughts of fried fish for supper and who knows what adventures in the process of snagging them.

We blazed our trail across the “stone wall pasture”, into the “Burr pasture”, zigzagging hills and creek bottoms across plains that two weeks ago were lightiwhoabigoneng up the evening sky as only prairie fires at the hands of control-burn-happy ranchers do. Already wildflowers and five inch shoots of spring grass green up the rocky hillsides. We have the pasture to ourselves, and entering through the third gate, a mile or so away, destination  pond comes in sight.

Piling off the four-wheeler, the girls grab their poles and hurry as quietly as pre-adolescent girls can manage to the water’s edge. Their poles are ready to go, lures clipped to lines and the first cast snags a fish! It’s going to be a big one! Wow, what a beaut!hugemouthbass

Thirty some fish later we’re having fun! Look at this huge-mouth bass, and while you’re at it, don’t miss the big smile on the little gal who landed him.

funwithfishieWe caught our share of little guys, and not wanting to be “baby killers” we, of course, let them go–humane jokes galore.

Persuaded my hubby to leave this poor  amphibian alone (he’s always wanted to try frog legs)… See Daddy Frog there with only his head sticking out? 4 year old’s special find of the night!

bigfrogdaddyWe fished almost the entire perimeter of the pond, breathing our woo-hoo’s to each other at each catch, unwilling to disturb the peace or scare the fish, either way.  As the sun went down, we packed up and counted the past 3 1/2 hours tipondatsunsetme well spent on a Saturday night…and it wasn’t over yet!

We still had a slow twenty minute ride across pastures with a bucket full of pond water and fish dangling from the rear rack, six keepers to clean, chores to do and then bass to fry. fishbucket

By 10:30 p.m. we were finally sitting down to crumb wrapped fish and home-made fries with apple pie for dessert.

Such fun in our own backyard! Well, practically our own backyard! ;O)

FISH ON!

Black Currant Tea

“Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.”–author unknown

Two years into my coffee-free lifestyle and hot teas are finally becoming *my thing*! I’m so happy about it, too. The health benefits of tea drinking are fabulous. I’ve already shared here about my favorite, ginger tea, and another one the girls and I enjoy is organic peppermint leaf tea, which we buy in bulk!

Here’s a new one: Black Currant Tea. Long a favorite of the “tea queen” at my church–by that I mean that we’re extremely blessed to have a godly “older woman” who coincidentally throws the BEST tea parties EVER and also hosts meetings for stay-at-home moms every Wednesday at our church. Black Currant tea and orange cranberry scones are staple treats at these weekly gatherings, and though I am a sporadic guest to these occasions, I really enjoy and look forward to a “spot” of this bracing, dark tea.

I asked my friend where she purchases her Black Currant tea, and she highly recommends First Colony Coffees and Teas for the quality and taste, she assures me there is none other!

For one thing, my quest for teas has to keep me away from the caffeinated variety. And I was also curious as to the health benefits of this particular kind. Am I happy about the results? Fairly happy…

No caffeine in the real Black Currant tea, check! However, it seems that it’s difficult to find unless you make your own from dried leaves off the black currant bush! *Edited to add: After publishing this post I was alerted to the fact that First Colony’s Black Currant tea is actually black tea leaves flavored with the essence of Black Currant berries. Too bad, huh! Still, a great tasting tea, however, it does have caffeine.  :O( Which might not bother most of you!

But if you happen upon an authentic Black Currant bush, or tea that isn’t just flavored with the essence of Black Currant, you’ve stumbled on a gold mine of good health! Pioneers relied on Black Currants heavily for their home remedies. Health benefits include:

  • Black Currant berries are packed with Vitamin C
  • It’s soothing to a sore throat, as the berries are full of tannins which fight bacteria at the outset of a cold
  • French plant scientists have long believed that Black Currant is useful in draining tissues…ie: anywhere you have congested tissues as per: inflammations, arthritis, gout, prostatitis and…
  • It’s helpful in clearing up skin problems such as dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema. According to the French, skin problems respond well to liver therapies, and Black Currant is widely used in France as a liver remedy.
  • Black Currant tea gives many menopausal women relief because it’s a well known hormone regulator
  • It increases micro-circulation which is helpful for women suffering with varicose veins
  • It improves visual acuity
  • It’s believed to be a preventative for Alzheimers
  • It can be used as a treatment to expel intestinal parasites

And so much more!

To make an infusion of Black Current Tea, take one tablespoon of the leaves and pour one cup boiling water over them. Steep for ten minutes and enjoy!

“There is nobody who, having a garden, shouldn’t plant a great number [of black currant bushes] for the needs of their family,” wrote the Abbé P. Bailly de Montaran in 1712. And he added: “Black currant is a fruit that promotes long life in human beings.”