Things Collected During My Morning Mile

I have a housefull of things collected. Some I actually do get around to using, some stay on a shelf gathering dust. A few of the most prized collected things are just there for me to look at and enjoy, like the hornet’s nest and abandoned bird nest hanging in my office.

Most mornings after feeding the critters I take a walk for exercise. Sometimes I slow-jog or fast-walk. I’m still working on building back up to that part of it, and I’m still working on getting back up to a mile.

This morning was the first time since I was sick that I made the whole mile!

Well, with me, a walk is never just a walk. I’m looking around even when fast-walking. Usually I try to remember things of interest and come back to it later with the camera. Since I started doing the walks for exercise more than for exploration, I quit bringing the camera with me.

If I’m not noticing things to collect or plants to identify, I’m thinking of my writing projects and working through issues with stories.

This morning, though, I saw a few things I just had to break my stride for.

Here’s a picture of my things collected from this morning.

Things collected during my morning mile.
My morning mile collection.

The first thing that stopped me was a plant. Plants are frequently subject to making the list of my things collected.

This is one I transplanted into a pot last spring and can’t remember what it is. Right now it’s dormant, so all it is is a cluster of roots and a bud for next spring. So it’s hard to identify since it’s not one I already know.

The thing is, everytime I check on this plant, something has uprooted and tossed it out of the pot. The same thing happened last night.

So I repotted it again and carried it with me. It’ll wait at the house until spring and I can see what it is then.

Then I saw the red and yellow sweet gum leaf. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is perfectly colored, no holes or tears, and very bright.

Yes, I know there are hundreds if not thousands of beautiful leaves on the ground right now. As you can see, I picked up a few more that struck my fancy, too.

I just learned how to use glycerin to preserve leaves and it leaves them pliable and their color stays vibrant. A solution to preserve plants like this is 1/3 cup glycerin and 2/3 cups of water.  I reuse the same bath for a long time. Just keep it covered.

So now when I see a leaf I want to keep for future use, most likely on pixies or other crafty things, I take it home and pop it into the glycerin-water bath I keep waiting on the shelf in the kitchen. Then I put rocks on top of the leaves to keep them completely submerged for a few days. Take them out and rinse them off after 4 or so days, then let them air dry.

After the leaves, which are quickly becoming obsessively collected things, and before I was halfway back to the house, I spied the little dead praying mantis. I’ve always been fascinated with these creatures but never have the opportunity to look very closely at them. So it became one of my gathered things too. How lucky! It wasn’t even stiff, so I could open the wings and look at the grabbing legs, even.

Among my things collected in the past, there is also a dead hummingbird. how often do you get to see a hummingbird up close in real life? Only when it’s a dead one, that’s when.

Then there were some perfect little acorn caps. Again, I know there are plenty of these lying around, but many of them are cracked or doubled, and I use the singles for pixie baskets. So I picked them up when I spotted them.

So there’s a summary of my oddities; my collected things for the day.

What kinds of things do you stop to pick up during your hikes or walks? I always swoop in for bones and arrowheads and fossils, too. Just didn’t see any this morning.

Hey, it adds to the exercise routine when I have to carry extra weight up the long hill back to the house!

 

 



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Kingston, Arkansas? Stop in at Tina’s Place on the Square.

There are some hidden treasures in the ozarks. The tiny little town of Kingston, Arkansas is one of them. Tina’s Place on the Square in that same tiny town is another.

Kingston, Arkansas. If you find yourself there, stop in at Tina's Place on the Square.
Kingston, Arkansas. If you find yourself there, stop in at Tina’s Place on the Square.

Vintage Shop

Here’s a sampling of the kinds of things that are at the store – and all of the prices are surprisingly affordable. So don’t let fear of sticker shock keep you outside.

Art Gallery

Curated by Kate Nessler and guaranteed to please nature lovers, the back room in the store is an art gallery full of works by local artists and artisans. Hand-crafted textiles, ceramics, woodwork, and mixed media occupy all the nooks and crannies. To enter this room is to immerse in beauty. Seriously. You should take a look.

Where the Heck is Kingston, Arkansas?

You’ll easily find it heading north on Highway 21 from Clarksville, AR (off of I-40) or by heading south on 21 (off of Hwy 412).

If you’re heading to Boxley or Ponca, you’ll already be in the vicinity.

Tina’s Place on the Square Online

Other than in the physical shop, you can find Tina on Facebook. She frequently posts pictures of the items she’s working on or interesting things in there that’s for sale.

If you spot anything you want, it’s okay if you’re not close enough to drop in. She ships! Just post on the image in her FB timeline to ask if it’s available and she’ll take it from there.

If you’d rather call, the phone number is (479) 665-2559. The address is 100 Public Square, Kingston, AR 72742.

If you’re worried you won’t be able to find it, don’t be. If you can find the town of Kingston, you’ll find the square. And if you can find the square, you’ll definitely find the shop. It’s the big white store on the corner across from the post office.

And it’s the best place in town (maybe the only place in town) to get ice cream and designer coffees.

What Else is Special About Kingston, Arkansas?

Technically, it’s the home of Wild Ozark! I have some books, art cards, and fairy garden miniatures on consignment in the store and a ginseng drawing  in the art gallery.

Wild Ozark Miniatures for Fairy Gardens. All hand-made and hand-painted by Madison Woods. Each one is a collectible.
Wild Ozark Miniatures for Fairy Gardens. All hand-made and hand-painted by Madison Woods. Each one is a collectible.

Want to see some other places? Aside from Tina’s Place there are other things worth a stop in our tiny town.

Grandpa’s Antique Store

Maybe the only shop open on Sunday’s, Grandpa’s Antique store is on the square, too. If you have a pot missing a lid, whether cast iron or not, I bet you can find one to fit in Grandpa’s. There’s a lot of antiques and collectibles housed in this historic building, too.

The Bank

The bank is also a historic building. Pretty much all of the buildings on the square are. Inside the bank you can see the old tin ceiling tiles and the old bank vault. Both are in the lobby.

Others

There’s also a cafe, the library (very small by most standards, but much larger than it used to be!), another antique store, and a new feed store in the making. There’s a gas station (Weaver’s Gas and Grill) just off the square to the north that also serves food.

I’ve probably left something out, so if you’re reading this and want to mention another spot to stop in our town of Kingston, Arkansas, or talk about the history of Kingston, just leave a comment and let everyone know!



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Just an Ordinary Blog Post, and The Lost Penguin

The Lost Penguin

Yesterday was mine and Rob’s 4th wedding anniversary. Our first date was in Eureka Springs, so each year we go back and have one of the mochas from Mud Street Cafe.

Well, I must have ordered the wrong thing, or else they started making them a LOT smaller in the year since our last trip!

Didn't really need to attempt sharing this tiny little cup!
Didn’t really need to attempt sharing this tiny little cup!

When the waitress returned, I inquired and was glad to know I should have ordered the mocha. Every year we each get one and they’re huge, but this year neither of us thought we had enough room after lunch to be able to drink a whole one.  So we’d planned to share. That’s why when the tiny cup came to our table, I was surprised.

Much better! Lots of whipped cream and a chocolate covered coffee bean on top.  Mocha from Mud Street Cafe in Eureka Springs, AR.
Much better! Lots of whipped cream and a chocolate covered coffee bean on top. Mocha from Mud Street Cafe in Eureka Springs, AR.

 

We spent the day in Eureka Springs trying to find places to put our crafts on consignment. We found the perfect little shop called The Lost Penguin.

The Lost Penguin is owned by Ramon & Lemia Laval. They have bonsai plants and hold workshops to teach others how to do it. That alone was what drew me into the shop at first.

But once inside I saw they have all sorts of very cool artsy-crafty things. Lots of miniatures for fairy gardens, and some fairy gardens, even. But the mini’s and gardens they carry now are not like mine, so they’re interested in seeing some of mine, too!

They do have some woodworked items in there, but not boxes like Rob’s, so we’ll be bringing some of his boxes in soon.

Rob and I both left with consignment papers to look over and fill out.

The Lost Penguin in Eureka Springs is an interesting artsy-crafty store.
Such an interesting shop in Eureka Springs, AR!

I couldn’t find a website, but they do have a FB page if you want to drop over there and pay The Lost Penguin a virtual visit. Then the next time you’re in Eureka Springs (AR) I suggest going by the store to take a look around. Maybe our stuff will be in there when you do!

Market Day

Today was market day. I sold the last two bags of ginseng rootlets. There’s 5 first year roots in a little cellophane bag with soil-less mix in it to keep them from drying out. I might be able to find some more for next weekend. Also sold a few bottles of our shagbark hickory syrup.

It was a pretty poor day as far as sales are concerned, but I did get to talk to a lot of new people who might possibly be back to buy next week.

Fairy Gardens still Recovering

The fairy gardens are nearly recovered from my RMSF event. Ha. Took them longer than it took me. Since I didn’t get out of bed to care about anything at all for a week or so, the moss dried out and the ferns died back. After a good soaking, it’s all beginning to re-green. Tomorrow I might get a chance to go out and get fresh moss and ferns to make new ones for next weekend.

The Rest of the Week

Tomorrow I’m likely going to do housework or rest. Then Monday evening the grand-girls are going to get off the bus here and spend the night. Then I’ll put them back on the bus Tuesday morning.

Our neighbor was the driver for our local route for 32 years, but he retired and so there was no bus down our road because we didn’t have any children down here since my own grew up and flew the nest. However, he’s on temporary non-retirement now, so while he’s driving again I’ll have the kids take advantage of the route while it lasts.

For the rest of the week I’ll be making more miniatures for fairy gardens and getting things ready for market next weekend. Oh, and maybe if the ginseng still has leaves that I can find, I’ll package up some more rootlets for transplanting.

What are your plans for the near future?



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Driveway Flowers in September

It’s been bone dry lately. This morning I brought my camera with me so I could take pictures of the driveway flowers.

Ordinarily this would have been an “exercise walk” and I wouldn’t have brought the camera because that would have just caused me to stop and take pictures. Which would have defeated the purpose of the exercise, which is to get the heart rate up and sustained up for a little while.

However, I’m still not up to my old self after the tick fever episode, so exercise isn’t “exercise” in the same sense of the word yet. Ha. So I brought the camera and called all the stooping and squatting “exercise”.

Heading out to take pictures of the driveway flowers and get a little exercise.
Dogs waiting for me to catch up.

It’s been so dry. We hadn’t gotten any rain for weeks and the trees are already dropping their leaves. Later in the afternoon, though, we did get a really nice shower.

The creek isn't flowing anymore and leaves are filling up the small pools.
The creek isn’t flowing anymore and leaves are filling up the small pools.

The water goes underground in the creek once it gets this dry. It leaves only a few small pools here and there. I have to check regularly to make sure the horses still have their usual water hole, but so far it’s never dried up in certain spots on their portion of the creek.

When the water is low, it’s easier to find interesting rocks. This one has an inclusion that looks like part of a plant. Or something else. I’m not sure what it is, but it looks like a fossil of some sort.

Fossil in the rock.
Fossil in the rock.

In spite of the drought, some of the driveway flowers are still doing well.

An evening primrose flower.
An evening primrose flower.
Evening primrose blooming in the morning.
Evening primrose blooming in the morning.
Goldenrods never seem bothered by the droughts.
Goldenrods never seem bothered by the droughts.

Many people mistakenly think it’s the goldenrod causing their allergies. In reality, it’s the ragweed which blooms during the same time frame. I didn’t take any pics of the ragweed. It really messes with my sinuses and I didn’t want to get any closer to them than I had to.

This one is called camphorweed, but it doesn’t smell like camphor to me. It plain stinks. It ought to be called stink weed instead. The latin binomial gives a good clue to its nature:  Pluchea foetida.

Camphor weed almost gone to seed.
Camphor weed almost gone to seed.

Down in Louisiana, when someone speaks of boneset, it’s usually Eupatorium perfoliatum. Up here in the Ozarks it’s usually a different boneset. This one is Eupatorium serotinum, or late boneset.

This is the only boneset I've ever found in the Ozarks.
This is the only boneset I’ve ever found in the Ozarks.

I know that E. perfoliatum is an herb once used to treat “breakbone” fever, or dengue fever. I’m not sure if our local variety has the same properties.

Once summer begins morphing into fall, the Lobelia inflata seed pods swell and ripen. I collected enough seeds of this plant last year that I didn’t need to gather more this year. It’s a valuable part of antispasmodic formulas I craft and really works quickly for muscle pain.

Lobelia inflata with swollen seedpods.
Lobelia inflata with swollen seed pods.

I wrote an article on this often overlooked plant for the North American Native Plant Society. It was included in the August 2017 issue of their members-only newsletter magazine called Blazing Star. I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail. I’m excited about this article because it also includes my drawing of lobelia and this issue is the very first color print version.

A prettier kind of lobelia that grows here is the Lobelia siphilitica, or Great Blue Lobelia. This one would look nice in wildflower gardens, but they don’t do so well in drought conditions. The ones growing near the creek still look good, but these are beginning to suffer.

Droopy great blue lobelia.
Droopy great blue lobelia.

The asters always look pretty no matter how dry it gets.

Asters don't seem to mind the drought.
Asters don’t seem to mind the drought.
An asp on the asters.
An asp on the asters.

I found an interesting new to me flower on my walk this morning.

Cuphea viscosissima has purple flowers with sticky calyxes.
Cuphea viscosissima has purple flowers with sticky calyxes.
A small frail plant with purple flowers.
A small frail plant with purple flowers.
The little hairs have a sticky sap globule on the ends.
The little hairs have a sticky sap globule on the ends.

I’ve never noticed this plant here before and I’m not sure if that’s because it was never here, or because I just never noticed it. Of all the driveway flowers I normally pay attention to, this is one of the smaller ones I’ve ever noticed.

It’s only about a foot tall, and fairly frail and the flowers are small. But the entire top half of it has little sticky hairs all over it. The seeds of this plant contains an oil that is being researched for biofuel and for use in cosmetics and food.

I couldn’t find much about it on the internet, but it’s a member of the Loosestrife family. The common name is Tarweed, or Blue waxweed. It’s one I want to learn more about.

Well, that was the end of my driveway walk. After taking that last photo I hiked my way back up the hill and didn’t stop again until I reached the house.



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Just a quick check in and update

Figured I’d better make a quick check in on the old blog! It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been very busy. Mostly I passed the time gnashing teeth and pulling out hair.

Thankfully, I figured out how to transfer my website hosting over before too much blood and hair fell. Well, I should have known it wouldn’t be easy. I moved from regular website hosting to VPS and there was a lot to learn about how it works. Not sure I have it all figured out yet, but the site is up and almost back to normal, and that’s good enough for now.

In between the website technical issues I’ve been trying to sell things at the farmer’s markets. Today I went to the Jasper market for the first time.

Check in on us over at the Jasper Newton County Farmer's Market on Friday if you're in our neck of the woods.
Setting up at the Jasper Newton County Farmer’s Market.

Rob has his new woodworking shop cranking and I’ll be posting links to his website when I get it finished. Will post pics of his boxes in progress, too. Soon. If I can get a booth at the Roger’s Farmer’s market, I’ll be there on Saturdays for the rest of this season. If it’s really good, it’ll be the only market I’ll be at so I can keep up with staying stocked.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to get the Wild Ozark Musings newsletter out tomorrow. If you’re also following my chapters in book two of the Bounty Hunter series, I’ll have the next chapter ready tomorrow most likely, too. If you don’t have the first book, today and tomorrow the ebook is FREE at Amazon.

Have a great week!



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

In Honor of Forests- Two Worthy Fundraisers for Earth Day

We all depend on trees. A single tree planted in an urban lawn is better than no tree, but the larger collectives of forests are needed, too.

In honor of the forests, for Earth Day 2017.
Limbs of the beautiful oak in our front yard.

The Earth needs large swaths of unbroken forests to maintain habitats that support the biodiversity present beneath tree canopies. These habitats are disappearing around the world at unprecedented rates.

Logging, plantation building, mineral mining are some of the reasons we are losing our forests. We are destroying the Earth in pursuit of money and riches.

Physical

The forests are the lungs of the Earth, for they cleanse and replenish the air we breath.

Forests protect the water by minimizing runoff, but also by holding large quantities of moisture within their bodies. When a forest is extensively logged, the ground becomes drier and springs slow down or quit flowing altogether. That’s because the trees aren’t there to hold the water any longer. It evaporates into the air and is lost.

I have a particular affinity for the woodlands. They inspire me to write books, poetry, create art with pencil and camera, and they give shelter to my favorite medicinal plants. Without the forests here at Wild Ozark, there would be far less of the biodiversity I love and crave.

Metaphysical

Trees are messengers, tapping into a network connected to each other and the rest of the world by vectors including fungal, birds, wind, and insect.

Lofty Goals, Two Worthy Fundraisers for the Forests

There are many other foundations and organizations trying to raise money, but these are two I want to share today.

United Plant Savers

I’ve met Susan Leopold, Executive Director of United Plant Savers. She’s a real person full of passion for the medicinal plants of this country and the world. Many of the at-risk and endangered species of the plant world depend on the forests directly, and all of them indirectly. Susan is a spokesperson on behalf of these plants.

Right now United Plant Savers is competing against other fundraisers for prize monies in the form of donations.

From their fundraiser pageStand up for Sustainable Medicine! Our future forests are our best solution for climate resilience – trees are medicine for planet Earth and we are saving the forest by redefining its value!

Eden Reforestation Projects

From their documentary: Their village name means “True Village” in English. Eden Reforestation Projects (“Eden” for short) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is alleviating extreme poverty and restoring healthy forests in Haiti, Madagascar, and Nepal by employing local villagers to plant over a million trees each month.



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

The Ozark Winds of March and Strong Signs of Spring

The Ozark winds of March have been blowing strong since maybe before March even began. But last night really trumped all of our weather-related excitement.

I knew there was a tornado possibility before I went to sleep. The weather forecasts said so and showed the ominous red box surrounding a storm predicted to track in our direction.

But it was still at the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas and by 10pm I didn’t care so much anymore and just wanted to go to sleep.

Heads Up

At 11 pm Rob woke me up by shining the phone screen in my direction so I could see where it was then.

At about the same time my own phone started flashing text notifications from friends to give me a heads-up. I’ve never seen so many people of Kingston awake and all talking to each other so late at night.

Next thing I knew, Rob was putting on clothes and shoes. It appeared that it was not time to go to sleep after all.

Next thing I did was call my parents who were staying down in the camper and encouraged them strongly to come up to the house. Then called my eldest and let him know he might want to take cover. Then messaged my daughter and got no response, so I figured she had already taken cover. She does not sleep during weather like this, and was more likely aware of the situation than the rest of us.

The youngest was out of harm’s way down at college in Russellville, and I was glad to know where he was and that he would be safe.

Ozark Winds of March

The storm approached with bells and whistles. Not literally, of course. But with a lightning show that would have put an ELO concert to shame. Dating myself with that reference, I know. Hail pommeled the porch and it rained down hard. And the winds blew.  It was all quite noisy.

Then all of a sudden it was quiet. Except for the lightning there was nothing at all happening. No wind. No hail. No rain. Frogs and coyotes and owls kept their thoughts to themselves, too.

The quiet lasted maybe a minute, maybe less.

Look for me in Oz

We in the house half-jokingly agreed to look for each other in Oz if the unthinkable happened.

The roar started to the west from out past Penitentiary mountain and grew louder as it barreled closer. Then the rain, wind, hail and lightning resumed. The mountain across the valley doesn’t have a name that I know of, but the road that runs across the top is called “the spine” or “backbone”. That’s where the wind went.

It tore through the treetops, rushing like a lion bringing down a zebra.

A broken crocus, casualty of the Ozark winds of March.
A broken crocus, casualty of the Ozark winds of March.

Then it was all normal again. A little breeze, a little rain. But the roar was gone.

This morning I found out that indeed a tornado had passed along our quiet back road but hadn’t touched down. It waited a few more miles to do that, out near Parthenon. As far as I know, no one was injured, thank goodness.

Is it Spring Yet?

And the sun is shining and flowers are blooming today as if nothing at all happened.

Strong signs of spring are showing. The elephant garlic I’d planted in November are looking strong. Green onions are prime for the picking. Raspberry brambles are putting on leaves. Violets, dandelions, henbit, crocus, and the peach trees are all blooming their hearts out.

I hope we don’t get a late ice storm or hard freeze.

 

 

 

 



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Sunrises, Opportunities and Rising Early

Beautiful sunrise. Seeing the sunrise is one of many daily opportunities.

Beautiful sunrise. Seeing it is one of many daily opportunities.

I have lots of photos of Gloria, the tree silhouetted above. But most of them are not about the sky behind her far-reaching limbs. Most are simply about the tree herself and how beautiful she is clothed in her various attires of the seasons. This one is about the sunrise.

Weather Oddities

The weather lately has been very odd. Yesterday the temps were nearly 70*F and today it’s milder, around 50. It’ll be in the low 20’s tonight. But by this weekend we’re expecting 79*F on Saturday. This is absurd weather for February!

Where’s the snow and ice, or at least the cold? I don’t like to stay cold for long periods of time, but at one time I enjoyed the distinct seasons of the Ozarks. The end of one is an opportunity to embrace the beginning of the next. I like definitive beginnings and ends.

Now it seems as if the seasons are trying to all compete with each other to represent themselves each during the same week.

Sunrises, Opportunities and Rising Early

This morning the sunrise was spectacular for a few minutes. It’s a good thing the camera was handy and ready to go because if I would have had to dig it out of a camera bag and change a battery, I would have missed it.

Sunrises are very likely often beautiful and I just don’t know it. There’s a mountain to the east and not far away. It blocks any view of an early sunrise, so it’s not until later in the morning that the sun peeks over the top.

Or it could be that I just haven’t been getting out of bed and functional early enough to see the colors lately.

Lots to do today, though, so it was an 0500 day for me.

It’s always a better day when I get up early. Rob is almost always up and warming by the fire for an hour before I join him in the mornings.

Too many opportunities pass me by because I just don’t have the time to pursue them. I’d have more time if I’d just get up early.

The list

My list of things to do represents opportunities, too. But often this kind of opportunity masquerades as frustrations.

  • Reconcile my QB data to reality – what it says and what the business checking account says are two different things.
  • Ledger summaries – not sure how easy it’s going to be to get my data out of QuickBooks. It’s all in there now, but unless the CPA can make heads or tails of my logic I think I still need at least some ledger summaries on paper.
  • Make jelly – the ginseng jelly is really, really, good and I’m making more of it today. I need to use all the extract I made because I’m not sure if I can freeze it or if that will somehow impact the ginsenoside makeup.
  • Work on website- I doubt I’ll get to this today, but the narrow layout of the content and the close proximity of the sidebar bothers me. I don’t know offhand how to fix that and it’ll take some trial and error time, I’m sure.
  • Newsletters – I’m past the point of having them ready for an early-in-the-month delivery. Now it’s looking like mid- or late-month. Another good reason to get out of bed earlier.

Upcoming

In a couple of weeks I have an appointment with someone at the Arkansas Food Innovation Center to discuss what I need to do in order to be able to sell my ginseng jelly from the website or in other retail outlets.

Wish me luck on this. I’m not sure of the expenses involved and with our shoestring budget making this goal  might not be possible for a while. But at least I’ll have some information.

In the meantime, the delicious Wild Ozark Ginseng Jelly will be for sale at the market booth on the square in Kingston on a nice sunny day in the next week or two.

Let me know if you want me to notify you when I’ll be out there.

I’ll also have it, if there’s any left (along with ginseng seedlings and other plants, books, and art) at the Huntsville Farmer’s Market beginning in late April or early May, and at the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique at the gardens here. I’ll have schedules for all of that once the season is underway.



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Feathered Rovers, a Poem

A little time alone watching a flock of birds in the woods today inspired a poem.

My poetry is infrequent and when the drive to write one hits, I just have to get it out of my head. And since I’m not a practiced poet, lol, it never has a formal structure. Just free verse. Some imagery I needed to record, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Feathered Rovers, a free verse poem by Madison Woods
click to enlarge


About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Keeping up the Juggling Act

It’s the holiday season, so it stands to reason that lots of folks are juggling lots of things in their lives these days.

Juggling and Not Too Successfully

I’ve been dropping a few balls lately. Right now the ones on the ground relate to baking bread. Ha. And I had such good intentions!

My own juggling really has nothing to do with the added tasks of the holidays. I haven’t even started dealing with those issues, yet. So you can see the mess I’m about to make with the balls still in the air …

Anyway, back to baking bread.

Why am I baking bread?

Because we’re out of it since yesterday morning, that’s why.

Why not just get some from the store?

Because I have to go out to town when a package I’m waiting on arrives in Springdale. Doesn’t make sense? Well, to go to town for groceries alone is a half-a-day excursion here if I’m just going to the nearest town with a grocery store. Springdale is a good hour-and-a-half away and if I’m going to go out for that I might as well get everything else on my list while I’m at it.

So I decided I’d just bake some bread and wait until tomorrow to go out.

Part of my juggling act today. Need to grind some wheat.
Had to clean all the dust off the grinder first.

Of course the pictures loaded and turned sideways. Do they look sideways to you too? Throw that ball on the floor too, dammit.

To bake bread means I have to grind some wheat. What?! I hear you asking already, why don’t I just use the flour in the pantry?

*Sigh*

Yeah, I’m laughing too.

There isn’t enough flour in the pantry. Guess what? They sell that stuff at the grocery store I’m not going to today, too.

But I do have wheat that I can grind. And enough regular flour to cut it so the ball of dough actually rises into a loaf.

Stuff all over the counter. Balls dropped when the phone rang.

So I have all the ingredients for this project out and in progress when the phone rings.

Guess what?

The package is arriving at the DHL facility in Springdale in a couple of hours.

So I look at the mess I’ve got scattered all over the counters, consider my options … and decide I might just throw all this back into the cabinet and go out and buy that loaf of bread today.

Balls all over the floor.

I did manage to get one thing on my writerly to-do list done today, though. I created a virtual flipbook of my latest release. This morning I finally figured out how to get it loaded onto this website so I can share it with you.

It’s posted on the product pages for “Ginseng Look-Alikes” so browsers can flip through the whole book just like they could if it were in a real-life bookstore. Then if they decide they like it, they can click through and buy it.

Balls Still Airborne

At least there’s that ball still in the air. Now I’m going to clean up the kitchen and get ready to go out to town. If you get a chance to take a look at my flipbook, would you leave me a review at Amazon? I put the book out too early a few weeks ago.

And More Balls on the Floor

The one review on that dismal first go of it is a very honest, terribly unhappy buyer who left me two stars.

If you think it’s a decent product now, let me know. If you think it’s still as bad as the first reviewer thinks, let me know. I need to take it down if it’s that bad!



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods