Computer problems

I really hate it when my computer decides to have a mind of it's own. I have had nothing but greif from this laptop the last few Weeks, and I am about to throw it out in the snow. I am now using my hubby's desktop, to write this. Windows Vista sucks, there is nothing more I can say about it. Apparently they have had issues with Vista and "wireless". It like to boot me offline everytime I get a page loaded and then not only boots me offline, but boots my husbands computer offline as well. It completely shuts off the router, and I am tired of trying to figure out a solution to the problem. This has been happeneing for quite a many years now, but never this bad.

So, I just thought i'd popp in and make an appearence. Hopefully I will get this under control soon.

Category: 2 comments

Herbal Pampering

I thought I'd post a few herbal "self" pampering recipes. The goddesses know, we all need a little time for ourselves and a bit of pampering now and then. I know I do! Remember......whatever your doing throughout the day, sometimes, you need to take time for yourself, even if it is for just 10 minutes. I know it may not seem like alot of time, but is enough to ground yourself and just let your head and muscles relax, even for a moment.

The kids might be screaming, hubby is nagging...whatever the case may be......whatever it is, it can wait for just a minute or 2.  Good advice from my Great Grandma. As a mother, homemaker, and the like....I wholeheartedly agree. All to often we get caught up with everyone elses needs and wants, and put our most basic needs aside. Ladies...think of yourselves once in awhile, even if it is just a cup of coffee, while your green clay mask drys (tightening your face to an immobile position, which isn't a bad thing, you don't have to answer any ones questions......just shake your head and point to your face and "I cant move them...sorry!" LOL)

In short, we deserve a little "me" time, even if it is brief.

Herbal Skin Wash

A very uplifting face or body wash if you like. What a way to refresh and wake you up.

1- 16 ounce bottle of liquid castile soap

5 drops each of the following essential oils:
tea tree
green myrtle
german chamomile

 1 tsp. Jojoba oil

Add the essential oils and tsp of jojoba oil to the bottle of liquid castile soap. Shake really well before each use. It will keep for up to a year.

Elder Flower Toner

1 C. distilled water
1Tbs. elder flowers
1 Tbs vegetable Glycerin
5 drops Lavender essential oil

In a saucepan, bring your water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the elder flowers, cover it, and steep them for @ 45 minutes or so. Strain them out, and add this liquid to a container. Add your glycerin and essential oil. Shake to blend  and before each use. Stores in fridge for @ a week and a half.

Wicked Witch of the West Clay Mask

1 Tbs. French Green Clay
Pure Aloe Vera Juice
2 drops of chamomile essential oil

In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the clay with enough of the aloe juice to make a spreadable paste, then mix in your essential oil.

Spread onto your face and let it dry for @ 30 minutes. That may be a bit to long, but I like my face to Crack when I try to move my lips, as I know then, that it is completely dry!  So grab a cup of coffee and relaxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Light moisturizer for all skin types

1/2 C. distilled water
2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
5 drops, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, or rosemary essential oils

Add all ingredients to a container, and shake well before and during use. Apply with cotton ball all over face. Great for after the clay mask! It will keep for quite a while.

Category: 0 comments

Soooooo it's Super Bowl Sunday

Now your probably thinking, oh great, another crazed, lunatic packer fan from Wisconsin. Not so.....actually I really could care less, as a matter of fact I think I would rather watch paint dry, than to sit through a game. (Much to my fathers dismay & the rest of my family)

It surprises me, that most people think that just because you're from Wisconsin, that we all walk around, proudly and shamelessly (and obviously foolishly) displaying our packer pride by wearing this obviously ridiculous looking wedge of sharp cheddar on our heads.
Well I hate to break it to you people, ain't gonna happen. Besides, I'm more of a smoked provolone kind of gal. Yes I am happy for them, the team finally got to go to the super bowl again. Yea. But I'll be damned if I am going to sit in a room full of packer fans, with foam cheese bricks in hand, (ready to throw at the tv) if a play has been screwed up, or a bad play executed. No sir, I have learned my lesson indeed. I stay far, far away from my dads flailing arms and his ever so close to spilling mug of beer. (which you swear is about to slosh around with all the jerking movements and yelling at the top of his lungs. LOL Bless his heart though, gotta love his team pride.

Although, This guys team pride goes way to far. Please, fatman, do us all a favor, keep your pasties covered, by wearing a shirt.

Category: 2 comments

My Great Grandma Debbie's Hungarian Goulash

I don't knw what it is about soups and stews, for me it's just comfort food. Nothing like a warm steaming bowl of a hearty soup or stew...yummalicious! This is a recipe from my great grandma debbie. This was passed down to me by my mother. I hope you enjoy it, as it is great!!!!!!

Great Grandma Debbie's Hungarian Goulash

2 Tbs. oil
2 Lbs. Beef Stew Meat
1 C. sliced onions
1 - 1Lb Can tomatoes
¾ C. diced green peppers
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
¼ C. dry red wine
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. dry marjoram
1/8 tsp. dry thyme
1 Tbs. corn starch
2 Tbs. water
Cooked Noodles

Heat oil in dutch oven, add beef and brown well on all sides. Add onion, saute untill tender. Add tomatoes, peppers, tomato paste, wine, bay leaf, marjoram, & thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hrs. or until the meat is fork tender. Mix corn starch and water, stir into hot mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Serve over cooked noodles.

A few spells with Burdock

Herbal Protection Charm

This herbal protection charm is perfect to keep with you in your car. It provides protection for you while you are on the road--not just from physical damage to your automobile, but also protection against any of those mishaps that occur on the highway.

You will need:
1 six inch square of white or gold cloth
Red embroidery thread
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. burdock
1 tsp. clover
1 tsp frankincense
1 piece of Dragon's Blood Resin
1 tiger's eye (gemstone) chip
1 sprig of rowan or ash

Embroider the algiz rune on the outside of the cloth. If you can't embroider, you can use red fabric paint. When done (or when its dry), lay the cloth out with the algiz rune touching the table. Raise energy and charge the herbs for protection. Place them in the center of the cloth. Add the Dragon's Blood Resin and the tiger's eye. Catch the corners of the cloth together and bind with red thread. Bind the sprig of rowan to the charm and keep with you in your car for protection on the road.

Family Healing Spell 

Prepare an envelope from a square of paper. On the paper write the word " Health ".
Then write the name of the person you are directing the healing towards.
Enclose a pinch of the following herbs into the envelope:

Burdock, Galangal, Horehound, Elder, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Mandrake root, Rose, Rue, Sassafras, and Yellowdock.

Chant the following:

" I charge these herbs to aid my spell, that _________ will be well.

That by free will that can be blessed, with total health and happiness.

I ask the Goddess to hear my call, that it may be correct and good for all. "

Light the envelope on fire with the altar candle.
Focus on the smoke towards those in need.

Place the envelope into the cauldron so that it can burn completely and say:

" I call upon a breath of wind, empowered by the Spirit of Air,

To carry my spell toward my kin and gracefully deliver it there.

By all the powers of three times three, this spell bound around shall be.

To cause no harm, nor return on me.

As I do will, So mote it be! 

More on Burdock for the month of February

Nature has some incredible things to teach us.   And these lessons can be in plain view but we miss them.  One such example is the herbs plant  burdock.
Known in the herbal world for its culinary and medical qualities, burdock has earned itself a name forever in history.  In fact it was part of the space mission. And all because a man took his dog out hunting.
One day in the early 1940’s a man called George de Mestral took his dog out on a hunting trip.  On their return both he and the dog had burdock seeds attached to his clothing and the dog’s fur.   De Mestral was a Swiss inventor and he became curious as to how these seeds stuck to both him and the dog.

When he looked at the seeds through a microscope, he saw that the seeds were covered in tiny hooks which would latch on to anything that looked like a loop.  Thus the hooks caught on to fur and hair and certain clothing of passers by and thus were spread over long distances. No wonder this herbs plant was so prolific.
De Mestral was intrigued by this hook and loop system and decided that it could be manufactured and applied to man-made materials as a means of joining things together. All he had to do was work out how to make the hooks and then the loops.   To begin with he received no encouragement whatsoever. Eventually a weaver in Lyons agreed to help him and made two cotton strips which worked in principle.  However the cotton did not last very long.  De Mestral decided to investigate synthetic fibers.  Nylon then was a brand new, state of the art material, and after some research, de Mestral discovered that if sewn under a hot infrared light, ideal nylon hooks resulted.

The loops were also made from nylon.  The process he developed consisted of heat-treating the loops which made them tough and resilient -necessary for repeated opening and closing the fastening.  However the fastener did not work well until after a long time of disappointment he finally found that if the loops were cut, the fastener worked perfectly.
From beginning to end, creating the fastener and then working out a satisfactory manufacturing process took 10 years.  In 1951, de Mestral submitted his idea to the patent office in Switzerland.  The patent was granted in 1955.  The name of the invention was Velcro, coined from the two French words, “velours” which means velvet and “crochet” which means hook.

The  ‘zipperless zipper’
Velcro was patented in many countries around the world.    A journalist in America  nicknamed it the “zipperless zipper” and said it was even more sensational than the invention of the zipper 25 years previously.
Fame did not follow immediately.  The early Velcro was certainly not attractive to the fashion industry.  Velcro’s acceptance began with NASA saw the benefits it could provide in helping spacemen to get in and out of their bulky spacesuits.   In the weightless environment of a spaceship, spacemen could store food pouches on the wall, and even stand upright with the aid of Velcro.  It was the publicity that NASA received that made people assume that Velcro was a NASA creation.    Then scientists began to think “outside the box”.

NASA uses Velcro in space shuttles in many different ways to combat the difficulties of being in a weightless environment.   It is a great way to anchor objects such as helping to keeping a meal tray steady in one place.  Apparently it has also been used as a nose scratcher inside an astronauts’ helmet! Once that concept of Velcro was accepted, other possible uses began to appear.  Skiers came next, again because Velcro made it easier to get into and out of their skiing gear.  This was followed by scuba divers and it became part of marine gear.
At last the benefits of Velcro fasteners began to be realized in more and more ways. It is fascinating to think that only a few years before people did not think that Velcro had any really useful advantages. How wrong they were.  Today many other uses for Velcro have been found. It is ideal for sticking badges on to uniforms.  The shoe industry uses Velcro fastenings.  The are numerous uses in the industry of children’s clothing, including Velcro fasteners on disposable diapers.  It has proved invaluable to people with certain disabilities.  It fastens bags and backpacks.  It is used in the upholstery industry for loose covers.  The auto industry uses it to secure mats.  It stops carpets from slipping.  It closes pockets securely.    It is used in medicine for orthopedic  braces.  People are inventing new uses for Velcro every day.

One of the amazing features of Velcro is its strength.  Given certain specifications as to how well the hooks are embedded and how much surface area is in contact with the hooks, a two inch square can support an 175 pounds (79kg) person.
One other fascinating fact about Velcro is that although it can stick a man to a wall, it is also very easy to pull the two pieces of Velcro apart.  How does that happen?  This is because when we undo Velcro we are doing it a little at a time.  However, if Velcro is applied to a rigid surface so it cannot be peeled apart, the bond is extremely strong and if the article is vibrating the bond even stronger.
As more and more uses are found for this amazing adaptation of nature.its worthwhile to ponder on the fact that this marvelous concept was there to discover from ancient times.   We just need to be able to see life in a different light and think “outside the box”.  When George de Mestral and his dog returned from an outing,  both with burdock burs on them, de Mestral was fascinated and wanted to know how that could happen.
Our story is not quite done.   There is now a science which is becoming more and more important as we look for better ways to run our planet.  It is called bio mimicry and it means imitating life. One of the things these scientists do is to look at natural processes and work out how they can be copied for our use.  That is exactly what George de Mestral did.

And that is the origin of his quote,
“If any of your employees ask for a two-week holiday to go hunting, say yes.”
However the real hero of the story is not de Mestral, it is the humble burdock herb which has been trying to  show mankind a better way to fasten things for centuries.  Incredible!

Fun Folklore:In the Middle Ages, knights often rode into battle with a sprig of burdock, which was said to protect and promote healing, particularly of the feet. A charm of burdock root, gathered under a waning moon and strung around the neck, will ward away evil influences.

I hope you've enjoyed the fun Facts & Folklore about Burdock, Stayed tuned for spells with Burdock!


Herb of the Month - February/Burdock

Arctium lappa
[ARK-tee-um LAP-uh]


Family: Asteraceae

Names: Beggar’s Buttons, Clotburr, Bardana, Happy Major, Hardock, Burrseed,Personata,Great Burdock, Hurrburr, Hare-burr,Cocklebur, Sticktight, Personata, Love Leaves,Cockle Buttons, Fox’s Clote, lappa, lappa minor, thorny burr, clothburr, gobo (Japanese),Bardane (French), Klette (German), Lappola or
Bardana (Italian), Bardana (Spanish); Lopan (Polish); Niu bang zi (Chinese)

Description: A large herb, with tall stalk and huge leaves. Height to 10 feet and width to 3 feet. Flowers are round heads of purple on 3 to 4 foot stalks. Leaves are wavy, dull green on top, with fine, gray, downy undersides, to 20 inches long. Supported on stout stems that rise from a central location. Fruit is a sphere of brown-gray burrs. The taproot is up to 3 feet long. Blooms from mid-July to September.

Cultivation: Biennial. Zone 3. Germination in 6-10 days. Space 2-3 feet apart. Ideal soil temperature 70F. Soil, dry, medium rich, well drained, with pH of 5-8. Full sun. Sow seeds directly into the garden. Many herbalists mix wood chips and sawdust into burdock beds to keep the soil loose so roots are easier to
harvest. Harvest the roots during the fall of the first year or the spring of the second.

History: Scientific name is from the Greek words for arktos, meaning “bear”, and lappa, meaning “to seize”. The English “bur” came from the French word for “woolly” - “bourre”, and the word “dock” is from Old English, referring to large leaves. The leaves of Burdock closely resemble those of broadleaved dock and it was originally called “burdock”, a kind of “dock with burs”. Broadleafed dock and burdock were used by farm women who wrapped their butter in the large cool leaves to keep it from melting on the way to market, so Burdock may be a corruption of “Beurre [butter] dock”.

Velcro was developed by George de Mestral of Switzerland after observing the burdock seed’s hundreds of tiny hooks through his magnifying glass. It is mentioned in three of Shakespeare’s plays: Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, and As You Like It. The large heart-shaped leaves were once used as masks in ancient Greek drama to cover the faces of actors when they performed, which is where the name Personata may have come from.

Burdock is an herb of Venus and useful in love matters. An old charm directed a girl to pick a bur and name it for her lover. She then threw it against her skirt or had a friend do so. If it stuck, he was true; if it did not, he was faithless. The stems when peeled and eaten “increased seed and provoked bodily lust.” Yet
another claim stated that the root, eaten with fat meat, cured lust.

Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, stomach, liver, kidneys

APPLICATIONS: Root decoction is used for skin disorders, especially persistent boils, sores, and dry, scaling eczema; tincture is used in combination with arthritic, digestive herbs, such as yellow dock, to detoxify the system and stimulate the digestion; also for urinary stones and gravel; poultice is applied to skin sores and leg ulcers; a wash of the decoction is used for acne and fungal skin infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm; leaf infusion is used for indigestion and as a
mild digestive stimulant; poultice is applied to bruises and skin inflammations, including acne; infused oil is used for varicose ulcers; seed decoction is taken for feverish colds with sore throat and cough. Used with heartsease for skin eruptions.

Constituents: Inulin, essential oil, resin, antibiotic substance, polyacetylenes, organic acids, seeds contain fixed oils, glycoside, chorogenic acid. Leaves contain arctiol, fukinone, taraxasterol.

Medicinal Uses: Western herbalists have long used burdock for its demulcent action, both externally and internally, and for its alterative effects on the blood and urinary system. During the Middle Ages, remedies for kidney stones contained burdock in the belief that a stony character in a medicine would cure the stony ailment. The Chinese find it more valuable as a healer of hot (yang) conditions. It enters the liver meridian and benefits spleen deficiency. Its diaphoretic and diuretic properties make it valuable for eliminating excess nervous energy, sweating out toxins, and cooling the heat of infections. They also use it for colds, flus, measles, and constipation. The Chinese also consider burdock to be a strengthening aphrodisiac.

The most popular western use of burdock root is as a primary herb in blood purifier formulas. It is also used to cleanse the body of uric acid and other residues that accumulate from rheumatism, arthritis, and gout. Seeds are sometimes used for skin problems. The shredded leaves have also been folded into egg whites and applied as a skin dressing to accelerate healing. Tests confirm that it kills both bacterial and fungal infections. French herbalists have used the fresh root to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics because it contains the easily digestible starch “inulin”. It is also believed, but not proven, that the root regenerates liver cells and stimulates the gallbladder. Burdock is used in many parts of the world in herbal cancer treatments, was an ingredient in the Hoxsey formula, and is one of the four ingredients in the Essiac formula.
Properties: mucilaginous, alterative, diuretic, diaphoretic (fresh), urinary tonic, demulcent, bitter, laxative, vulnerary

Energetics: Root/leaves are cool, drying, bitter; root is slightly sweet; seeds are cold, pungent, bitter.

Ritual Uses: Gender: Cold. Planet: Venus. Element: Water. Basic Powers: Purification, Protection. Specifics: Cast in house or magic room to ward off negativity. Add to protection sachets of all kinds. Wear a necklace of dried,
carved burdock roots as protection against magic.


Skin Cleanser: ¼ cup burdock root, ¼ cup dried nettle leaves, ¼ cup dried horsetail. Boil for 15 minutes in 3 cups water. Strain. Add to bath water.

  Hair Rinse for oily hair: ½ cup burdock root, ¾ Tbsp horsetail leaf; ¾ Tbsp chamomile, ½ cup soapwort, 1 Tbsp nettle. Make a dry mixture of the above ingredients. Throw 1 Tbsp of the herb mixture onto a cup of boiling water and boil for a few minutes. Allow to cool. Strain and use to rinse hair.

Category: 0 comments

Book in Review / Febuary - Ellen Dugan's Garden Witchery

Garden Witchery

Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up

If your looking for a great book that will give great ideas to create a magic space in your garden, then this is the book to get.
I loved how she includes the flower folklore. A handy dandy guide to anyone that wants to know the "what's" and "whys" of flowers. What it's purpose is and why. I for one love folklore, it adds mystery, and a whimsical feel. When a person walks into my garden and asks "what's that flower?" I like to tell them, "oh that's calendula, hey, did you know......" LOL I definitely learned a few things I didn't know about my flowering beauties and their sometimes dark past, from this book.

There are sections for moon gardening and astrological timing, as far as planting goes. Floral and herbal spells, and a great section on container gardening and what flowers to plant to protect the home and garden.

Granted I am just touching the surface here, and I wouldn't want to spoil a good read!

So here's a link  to for this book.