Showing posts with label wildcrafting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wildcrafting. Show all posts

Sunday, December 05, 2021

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas





And oh the great fun of it all!! I love the tree and each little cherished decoration and all of the wonderful spirit lifting lights!! 

And not just the tree but years of making or buying little things that once were put out all through the house and more! And as much work as it can be for so many of us (depending in how much you decorate, bake, and craft) or how many rooms or trees you decorate, or if you decorate just inside or also outside and how much you do of that! 




 I am the doer of too much all by myself  because my directions of how and where to put what would cause more trouble than it's worth in aggravation for both parties. Ha!




The tree has been up since November 9th (my oldest daughter's birthday) and that day is the beginning of my own personal blessings and gratitude holidays 

 Using my simple prayer flags garland most definitely fits in with "Prayers and Blessings' in November and now that the tree is still up there and in use multiple months it really justifys the expense of this artificial tree that I never planned on ever buying! 

I bought it 5 years ago when my husband was preparing for his first hip replacement. It was a rough time awaiting that and getting a real tree and hauling it upstairs was literally impossible that year. But in the end I'm happy we were forced to make that decision.

Five years of purchasing/ doubling the season's use makes up for my cost as well as the carbon footprint of that plastic and paper-plastic needles involved in its production! And after dragging that box to the cash register and convincing the clerk that my triple discount actually would work (it did) it was quite the bargain at way under cost for an on sale tree to begin with!

And this year I loved my addition of my bronze cow bells so much that I kept them and the feathers on the Christmas tree and just saved out some of my wooden Christmas ornaments and added them to the garlands instead. I still have more natural elements to add in. But for now all 4 grands have visited it and gently touched and admired the Christmas fun. Love it all!






Then of course Covid hit and no one came inside except Larry and myself and the cat! Well one tiny boy person peeked his precious little masked head in the door and looked up at the tree in our loft and garland of lights all of the stair rails up into that loft's railing and  our magical bridge to nowhere and everywhere! But best of all could actually see a few gifts up on the stair landing!

So yes, I still did all this crazy work just for Larry and myself (Covid Isolation or not!) 2020 we were all pretty crazy especially those of us who super followed the science and stayed inside and never went into a single store for over a year!

And it really doesn't seem to matter what we do or do it for.  Just the sheer mood elevating endorphins high of the doing! 

I just plain LOVE the holidays! 









Still placing at 46th/100 of top quilting blogs on feedspot listing. So grateful for all of you who have continued to follow me and read my blog. And only 20,000 views away from 10 million viewing visitors!

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands

Monday, November 29, 2021

Thanks Giving Gatherings




From my house and my heart to yours 




Our entire family is gathering together in one house to celebrate and show gratitude for our little family of twelve.

The looking forward of good times, lots of fun and laughter and the pure joy of the four littles, ranging from toddler to first grade. 

Oh the pure joy and delight that lights up each of our homes! But when joy gathers in one place, how much more it multiples!




What joyful and special little spirits they share. Blessed to be grandparents to these bright lights in our lives.

As the 4 year old said to me:
"Grandma! You have a Christmas Tree? Grandma! It isn't even Christmas! 




As I explained to her as I do to all others each year, this is our Thanks Giving Tree: My tree of Prayers and Blessings. 

Soon my decorations will be replaced by Christmas garlands and ornaments instead of my vintage bells and gifts from the natural world.




Soon, there will be wrapped packages under it waiting to be shared. For now, I delight in the lights and their glow as they warm me inside and out. 




One of my 7 Thanksgiving Cactus on a simple pumpkins, squash and gourd whole cloth quilted counter mats.




A few double layered insulbrite with fused thin batt inside of scrap fabrics to match other hostess gifts previously gifted to our Family Gathering Day hostess.








And as we gathered past our personal day of Thanksgiving past our new National Remembrance of Indigenous Peoples' Day, to our own Gathered Family Day.

So much fun, laughter, joy and really lovely food.





Her beautiful and recently gifted vintage Spode place settings from long ago so perfectly fit our autumnal into winter feelings and warmed and charmed us all. My 6 year old grandson wrote all our names. I laughed to see "Michele" instead of grandma. A simple but priceless paper name tag. 





And a remembrance of how this day truly began and the historical even sorrowful respect with a photo of my own wrapped sage and found items or gifted ones that always hold strong memories for me. Blessings to all as we have begun a season of so many holi-days--14 holy days of remembrance between mid-November to mid-January.  
(The Days of Hanukkah have begun)

Love Hope Peace Strength Wisdom

The words engraved upon these rocks as well as my heart. They have served me well these 7 decades of my life.

I look at all of the beautiful natural elements that fill up bowls and baskets always in my home as they fill my heart with peace, grace, and gratitude.








Still placing at 46th/100 of top quilting blogs on feedspot listing. So grateful for all of you who have continued to follow me and read my blog. And only 20,000 views away from 10 million viewing visitors!


I am amazed that my once very, very simple presented blog begun in 2006 became this mammoth/behemoth /ginormous monster of time, effort and work for me 💜🤗💜

I'm not doing what Fred Astair could do nor wearing high heels like Ginger Roger's as I do it.. BUT! I'm  still texting since we gave up satellite wifi almost 8 years ago on my Galaxy 9 phones data plan one keystroke at a time. If you think you can well you just do it!
I've taught myself as I went along and look at my pages and linkages now! Phew!



Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands




Sunday, May 23, 2021

Our Bee Keeping Fun












Bees are not only fascinating but serve an essential role in the propagation and continuation of flowering plants, trees, shrubs and crops. Without them many of our food sources would not be able to thrive and in fact survive. Crucial on the pollination of many vegetable,  fruit and berry crops, without them we would eventually be reduced to the most basic of diets not healthy or sustainable for our own future.

Due to climate change and pesticides the numbers of all bee varieties and other critical insects such as butterflies  are dramatically decreasing and already affecting gardens and farms. Our backyards and gardens were once filled with the abundance of these frequently misunderstood little creatures.




Coincidentally with this international recognition and celebration of bees in both the dedication of a special day of recognition, my own family was  actively involved that very week in the saving and caring for a bee colony in our own little world. 

Our oldest daughter, Terin,  has always been interested in beekeeping and involved in making a bee home in her backyard in hopes that she and her partner might invite in a wild bee swarm looking for an inviting home. Unfortunately it never happened naturally and their attempts to purchase an established hive was unsuccessful due to overwhelming demand in their area.

So when a wild swarm flew in and began to bunch into formation my husband, son and I rushed into action and our desire to finally give her that wish of a bee colony of her own.




Not having a beekeepers suit, we created one out of an old tyvek "suit" used in applying insulation materials in our home building business. My new and never used "Mr.Clean" rubber gloves, my husband's super building tape to close gaps between gloves and suit and a quickly cut wire mesh face protector to fit in suits hood plus plastic goggles completed our son Blake's ensemble. 








With the use of a ladder, a lawn mowing grass receptacle bag to "catch" the swarm into, he had them collected in minutes  We had borrowed a neighbors discarded wooden bee box to hopefully get the queen and her workers a temporary home.

It was so great to be able to transport the swarm in its container safely and thoroughly further contained in a super taped and sealed large cardboard box. 

Our daughter was thrilled to finally have a colony of her own and quickly ordered a prefabricated bee hive kit online to be pieced together over the next few days to provide the much needed space for this wonderful hive. 




It was incredibly exciting and rewarding for all of us!




Pieces as they arrive in kit and units as she put the box layers into a suitable arrangement. 


Making bee syrup for food.


Piecing kit pieces together bit by bit using pre-cut pieces.
Finishing it day by day then-sealing it and then
Transferring our initial bee box into her own larger hive structure.  






This allowed the queen and all her worker bees to transfer on their own from the "super" we provided (and unknowingly loaded upside down for the bees!) Terin remedied that of course 🤣





These lovely bees were amazingly docile and so gentle when they landed on her as she worked 







🐝 Our little 6 year old granddaughter even commemorated the occasion with artwork!  🐝 




Oh, the blessings no matter the challenges! We are grateful we could do this for our daughter!





Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands



Sunday, May 19, 2019

When Pigs Fly




The month of May started with a wild snort and a snuffle and an unexpected guest invading our home.

It was more of a May Day! May Day! than I'd ever imagined.

Little did I know that my house would turn into a bed and breakfast for some caged escapees and my house a pigsty.




This little pig tale began early in the morning as I heard a noise, glanced out the door and was startled by this charmer.

We don't entertain many house guests out here in our looney boonies other than family. And this one was a bit of a boar as far as guests go and didn't have much to say.






Before I could grab for my phone to call back up, he made himself right at home! After a quick tour through my house and finding no breakfast on the table (or even on the stove) he lost interest in my decorating style (well worn vintage) and more interested in my patio door and greener pastures.



He allowed an armed escort, as in my arms raised and wildly waving and me calling out "here piggy piggy" and finally "sue-y sue-y" or however I thought you were supposed to call pigs to come to you (my apologies to anyone named Sue)and yes, he headed out our back door.





Now, I've written extensively over the past decade of how animals love me. I've even blogged about one little Pomeranian who'd traveled 5 miles after being spooked by 4th of July Fireworks going off at nearby Volcano Stadium. Traveling from a Primrose Farm in Brooks not far from I-5 and down fields and farms and down a hodge podge of country roads to our house seeking refuge.

Stray or abandoned cats, dogs, discarded Easter bunnies, goats, a cow calming eating our entire garden and once I looked out onto our back deck to see a huge horse with his nose pressed against my living room window.



And there have been countless raccoons and possums glaring scary eyes at me in the dark as Inpeered out at weird noises on that same back deck. One night I saw a pack of three wild marauding dogs out in the pitch dark, casing out our chicken coop trying to break through the chicken wire. And then a few weeks later, a coyote leaping, pushing, and clawing at their coop door as well

We're a strangely popular night spot.

I clashed pots and pans lids to scare that coyote off. (I've learned to keep protective noise makers handy). The sight of me in red polka dot pajamas running at him (I'm sleep deprived and not in my right mind any time but especially at night) screaming and clashing pot lids at him had him off and running in a hurry!

My husband claimed he'd probably ran all the way to Silverton (5 miles away) before taking a a single breath. This after my clink and a clatter had him (the husband) jolting awake and ready to grab a gun and defend his hearth and home. (He was just surprised no one had called Noise Control on me!)




But this pig was cut (so to speak) from a different hide. Really, really friendly he was more of a high quality silk purse kind of a fellow.

After a small snack of frozen corn, he was happy to follow me into our fenced chicken field and eat chicken food pellets and cracked corn courtesy of Duke, our rooster and his girls, our chicken harem of Ping, Priscilla, Hazel, Nellie, Esther, Milly, and Clementine.







The chickens were not too happy watching as this pig consumed their personal food supply. They lined up at the fenceline and flew up on the gate in self defense and vocal protest.

Historically, May Day is not just about pagan rites of Spring and leaving flowers at doors. It is also about the commemoration of the struggle for fair labor practices and the Haymarket Affair of 1886. We had hay, we had piggies refusing to go to market and all of the hullabaloo was quite an affair!






We had a struggle of the species and the invasion of their chicken dance hoe and hay down and their fervent wish that this little piggy eat roast beef not their cracked corn, go to market, or at least cry all the way home...to his own home, not theirs.



By early evening, our greatly spoiled pig guest had broken out, flew the coop and disappeared.
Without a break in any fence that we could see, he'd somehow flew the coop and proved the whole "when pigs fly " story entirely possible.




However, by mid-morning of May 2nd, he was back. He decided this was a five star b abd b after all. and he not only wanted more, he apparently sent out a pig song through the pig airwaves to call his tribe over for a visit.



Within 5 minutes he was joined by his brother, within 10 minutes they were joined by 2 sisters.








It was wild and crazy chaos. Four large, pigs all desperate for attention, scratching, and food. They loved us and if they hadn't been so big, such voracious eaters and far too many at once, we might have adopted the one who'd already gotten close to us inside and out.

But alas his little love affair with us was not meant to be. It was obvious they were on the loose and eventually would be found out and I was pretty sure the food and clean up was going to end up on us.





Our only evidence of its previous houseguests being rather large dark brown to black "cigar" shaped parting gifts. And while their tokens adorned our fields and flower bed, thankfully none were left as house warming gifts.




Moral of this story:

All's well that ends well.
The owner eventually showed up and while his idea of a pigsty was more of a reality than ours as he had more pigs yet at home and hadn't even noticed anything awry much less missing.

And our abode at least returned to its somewhat more peaceful and buccolic natural state of chick, chick, chick and "green acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me"...at least for our chickens!




And all I can add to this curly tail of 3 days of phew was a final adieu......

Other Pig Visitations

When Pigs Fly

https://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/2019/05/when-pigs-fly.html?m=1


Chickens and Pigtails
https://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/2015/03/chickens-and-pigtails.html?m=0

Green Acres
https://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/2013/02/green-acres.html?m=1


 Here You Come Again
https://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/2019/11/here-you-come-again.html?m=1



Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.