... A few years back, someone in my handspinning guild brought in a huge harvest of lavender flowers, to share with everyone at the meeting. I took home a handful, because they smelled so very lovely. And I got to thinking about how I might preserve the delicious fragrance of these flowers. A little sifting around in my memory of time spent in the South of France, followed by some internet wandering led me to try to make lavender wands. They're meant to perfume clothing, and to deter moths, but I found them so pretty that mine stayed on the mantlepiece since the time that I made them. Lavender wands are incredibly easy to make. You get some long-stemmed lavender, tie it in a bundle, bend the stems around the flowers to form a sort of a cage, and weave a ribbon through those stems. Simple. But of course, nothing is really all that simple, so here are my observations on how to make lavender wands. What You'll Need Materials are basic: a bunch of lavender, t
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... After the fiasco that was our leek harvest , I wasn't sure what to expect of our garlic. The time had come to dig up our bulbs. The leaves were dying back, and in fact the plants were putting up flowers, which didn't bode well. The garlic bulbs were neither huge nor puny. They were solidly medium-sized, with a few small bulbs scattered throughout. Considering how poor our soil was when I started this garden, I'm pleased by what we got. I hosed everything off, and stuck the garlic into a wire bookshelf that I had picked up along the side of the road. Everything I read about garlic says that it needs to "cure" but I have no idea what that really means. Perhaps they need to dry out a bit, to keep from getting moldy. I dunno. Today, I peeled off loose outer layer of garlic skin, and removed the roots. I was about halfway through this project, when I realized that I could grasp the roots with my scissors and rip them off the bulbs. I hope I remem
... I'm too tired to compose anything this morning, so I'm going to leave you with links to what others have written (or broadcast). The International Bird Rescue Research Center San Francisco Oil Spill News KRON 4 (great footage from the center where I've been working, and of the release of cleaned birdies) ABC 7 (ignore the ad at the beginning of the video) The San Francisco Chronicle National Public Radio The Monterey Bay Aquarium (which has one of my photos on their website) Salon.com Click on the illustration for a larger view. ...