The Laughing Otter- because life’s just too short

So, Etsy store and blog Mamaroots is giving away a blue-tailed skink figurine! It’s adorable and it’s the first time in a while I’ve been struck with the desire for something that made me willing to go out and tell other people about how awesome it is. Go visit her Etsy store at!


It’s fall, and thus it is time for ‘putting by’- and that means us herbalists as well!

All summer I’ve been gathering herbs from the mountainside, and now I can proudly look at my counter stuffed with jars of oils, tinctures and dried herbs and think “We can now make it through the winter.”

Of course, I also look and say “If only I’d gotten that mullein on time” or “Too bad the first batch of yarrow molded!” but really, my apothecary is full, I have oils made that cost me nothing more than time and olive oil (instead of $11.00 an ounce purchased in a store!) and my first aid kit is stocked.

I have comfrey and calendula salve for the inevitable scrapes and bruises from the icy walkways and the cuts and scrapes from fall yardwork. There’s bottles of St. John’s Wort oil for aching muscles and damaged nerves, and comfrey oil for reducing scars and helping connective tissues. There’s even a comfrey-St John’s oil for those aching arthritic joints that the honored elders in my family get when the weather changes! (And for my own aches from old injuries! If only I’d known years ago what herbs could do!)

There’s garlic oil for rubbing into feet or dripping into ears. Mullein leaves dried to be burned, incense smudge style, for racking coughs. Yarrow leaf for bleeding wounds, yarrow flowers for diaphoretic infusions for fevers (That means they’ll make you sweat and help your body use the fever to it’s best ability!) Bunches of dried lavender decorate my tables and windows, filling the house with a rich smell of flowers as well as easing tension and stress.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near done! There’s a dozen jars of herbs on the counter waiting to be ground and encapsulated into a woman’s balancing blend for my sister, another five waiting to be made into caps for -me-. Dried elderberries are reminding me that I need to make syrup and candies for the long winter months, and my empty nettle jar is telling me I need to get out and find more infusion herbs. I do need to get out and find at least a few mullein flowers, for the inevitable earaches that come every winter to my family of men who won’t wear hats, and then the fall cleaning up before things close- flea powder for the carpets, new flea strings for the dogs, and herbal concoctions of baking soda and herbs to scrub the surfaces, vinegar to foam it all up, and then disinfecting with thyme or rosemary.

Pomanders to scent the house over the winter (Those are oranges or lemons with whole cloves stuck into them, sometimes in patterns and sometimes just everywhere, and then let dry. They scent the house with a delicious citrus/clove smell!) Lavender and cedar sachets to protect my clothes from moths…

The list goes on and on, but every day that I look around, I can be satisfied with what I’ve made- a house free of chemicals, a family in good health with the freedom to choose their healthcare instead of being forced into the trap of ‘OTC meds or misery’ and the satisfaction of knowing that I made all this with my own hands.
It’s a good fall.


I think I skip sundays, right? Do sundays count in lent?

Today we had two bouts of food poisoning. Jeri left her ham out too long and spent all morning throwing up, and Errant got sick yesterday morning and spent the whole day with cramping and pain.

This morning’s remedy: Wormwood tincture. Rosalee de la Foret recommends (on Susun Weed’s recommendation) 3 drops tincture in some water every hour until symptoms subside (or four doses). So far, it seems to be working. It’s almost time for round two, we’ll have to see.

Spending the afternoon figuring out exactly what herbs I need to take to camp this year. So far, the list is short but efficient:

St John’s Wort Oil
Arnica Oil/Gel
Ice Packs
Plaintain Oil/Salve
St John’s Wort Tincture
Yarrow Tincture
Healing Salve (make fresh!)
Cottonwood oil/salve
Osha Tincture

So it’s not all herbs, but that’s a pretty sound first aid kit.

Hey, look at my bad math!

I didn’t herb about today, sorry. It’s been an emotional and trying day, not that anything happened. Just emotional.

Um… lets see. I cooked today, but I don’t really think that was herbal.

Nope. Nothing. Sorry.

Josh’s been sick, throwing up, I was sick, throwing up and then surgery, and Orion was sick. Errant’s not sick. yet.
Jerika and I went to the park and saw the new buds, also the marshmallow is coming up in the yard. I added more vodka to the cinnamon tincture, so it can do it’s thing. The red-ginseng chips in vodka from last november are nearly colorless now, white instead of red, and the vodka is bold and brilliant ruby.

Otherwise, not much to report. >< So tired.


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  • Humidity Temperature: the pet store here in our area offers me a great deal of discount when i buy from them :,'
  • dtfanatics: Ohh such a beautiful tribute! ^^ Visit my blog and tell me what you think please =)
  • Kyoki: Awesome! Let me know when, and maybe we can meet!