Beth Trissel's Blog, page 8
May 7, 2014
I love weeping willows, especially in the spring with their graceful branches draped in soft green, but there’s far more to this tree than beauty. The willow is considered “one of Nature’s most valuable gifts to mankind,” says Bradford Angier in Field Guide to Medicinal Wild Plants. As mentioned earlier, willow contains salicylic acid, the same component as aspirin. According to Mr. Angier, “The North American Indians soon discovered that tea decocted and steeped from the cambium of the majority of willows was important for arthritis and for reducing fever and many pains—this centuries before the isolating and marketing of aspirin. The ashes of burned willow twigs were blended with water and used for gonorrhea. Willow roots were powdered with stones and turned to in an effort to dry up sores from syphilis. The settlers soon joined the Indians in using potent teas brewed from the cambium or inner bark of the bitter willows to treat venereal disease.
The dried and powdered bitter bark, astringent and detergent, was applied to the navels of newborn babies. It was utilized to stop severe bleeding, as were the crushed young green leaves, the bark, and the seeds, also stuffed up the nostrils to stop nosebleeds. These were also used for toothache.”
And the uses go on, including a spring tonic made of steeped willow roots, an Indian practice adopted by the settlers. The roots were used to kill and expel worms and willow tea to bathe sore eyes. Some settlers also shared in the Indian practice of using pussy willow catkins as an aphrodisiac. Probably in the form of a bark tea, but it doesn’t say.
THE WILLOW CATS
They call them pussy-willows,
But there’s no cat to see
Except the little furry toes
That stick out on the tree:
I think that very long ago,
When I was just born new,
There must have been whole pussy-cats
Where just the toes stick through—-
And every Spring it worries me,
I cannot ever find
Those willow-cats that ran away
And left their toes behind!
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: alternative medicine, herbal lore, herbal medicine, Native American, weeping willow, willow tree
May 5, 2014
Boneset (Ague-weed) is a beautiful native plant found in moist meadows, woodlands, along stream banks, or in swamps across Eastern North America and west to Louisiana and Minnesota. A member of the aster family, it blooms July–September with flat clusters of white flowers. Once established, boneset resembles a small shrub at 3’ to 4’ tall. The base of the leaves appear to wrap around the stem, as if pierced by the stem. This perforated arrangement of the leaf and stem led to the species name E. perfoliatum. Because the leaves are wrapped around the stem, early herbalists concluded the plant would be useful as a plaster, along with bandages, for setting broken bones. Boneset was also infused as a tea to treat fevers, colds, and digestive ailments. A Modern Herbal suggests the name boneset rose from its use as a treatment for Dengue fever, also known as Break Bone Fever, and declares, ‘Probably no plant in American domestic practice has had more extensive and frequent use.’ The summer flowers attract pollinating insects, such as butterflies. In the fall, the seeds draw a variety of songbirds.
“Boneset was one of early America’s foremost medical plants, a popular panacea of extraordinary powers. Native Americans introduced the settlers to this New World herb. Its name reflects its use during a particularly harsh strain of flu called “break bone fever”. Come cold and flu season, boneset can be invaluable in relieving coughs and upper respiratory congestion. Today, it is chiefly regarded as a weed with an interesting past.”
From another interesting site:http://www.alchemy-works.com/eupatorium_perfoliatum.html
“In West Virginia folk medicine, boneset was simmered with lemon and honey to make a cough syrup. The Eclectic physicians used it with success during the influenza epidemic of 1918-19. In modern herbalism, it is usually combined with elder and willow for fevers with aches, and with scullcap and milkweed for flu.”
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: boneset, herbal lore, herbal medicine, Herbs, Native American herb
May 1, 2014
As a child growing up during the 19th century, or so it sometimes seems, I remember placing baskets of flowers as a surprise on friend’s doorstep early on a lovely May Day morn. Also, dancing around the May Poll festivities in which, not I, but my younger brother and sister both participated. The little girls with garlands in their hair, decked out in pretty spring dresses. Mom made my sister’s. One year the wind toppled the May Poll and then there’s the time the children got all wound up in the ribbons and over it went. Humiliating for my young brother who’d practiced so hard and tried to no avail to instruct his fellow dancers to wind them properly. I never did trust that May Poll thing to go as planned and hoped to be crowned May Queen, surrounded by a glad assembly of courtiers. No such luck. But May Day was special and has strong flowery associations in my memory. And wind. It never entered anyone’s mind that this revelry had possible pagan connotations. May Day festivities were simply a spring rite and good fun. (*Image of flowering crab apple tree in our yard)
How about the rest of you? Any May Queens among us?
More on May Day from: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/mayday.html
“May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday. (Royalty free image of birch tree)
A Celtic calendar feast ushering in the start of summer. (It also went by a variety of other spellings and names in assorted dialects of Gaelic.)
Bonfires, often created by rubbing sticks together, were common features of Beltane celebrations. Related rituals included driving cattle between two fires, dancing around the fires, and burning witches in effigy. Another tradition was Beltane cakes, which would be broken into several pieces, one of which was blackened. They would be drawn by celebrants at random; the person getting the unlucky blackened piece would face a mock execution.
In recent years, Beltaine has been adopted or revived by neopagan groups as a major seasonal festival.
Bringing in the May: *This is more what I remember. :)
In medieval England, people celebrated the start of spring by going out to the country or woods “going a-maying” and gathering greenery and flowers, or “bringing in the may.” This was described in “The Court of Love” (often attributed to Chaucer, but not actually written by him) in 1561. Totally irrelevant, but I am a direct descendent of Chaucer on my father’s side.
“And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garlandes, partie blewe and whyte,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt.”
(*Wild roadside flowers near us)
Another English tradition is the maypole. Some towns had permanent maypoles that would stay up all year; others put up a new one each May. In any event, the pole would be hung with greenery and ribbons, brightly painted, and otherwise decorated, and served as a central point for the festivities.
May Day was also a time for morris dancing and other dances, often around the maypole. In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.”
From an interesting site: Herbal Musings
Druidic Name: Beltane
Roodmas, Rood Day, Feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, Feast of Saint Walpurga
Beltane is the cross-quarter festival that marks the start of the summer quarter of the year and the end of the spring quarter. This is a time when nature blossoms and felicity and fertility return to the land. In times past, the livestock stockaded at Samhain was returned to summer pastures at Beltane.
…a joyful festival of growth and fecundity that heralds the arrival of summer. It is the festival of the ‘Good Fire’ or ‘Bel-fire’, named after the solar deity Bel. Bel was also known as Beli or Bile in Ireland, with Bile meaning ‘tree’, so Beltane may also mean ‘Tree-fire’. Beltane is the counterpart of Samhain (and is sometimes referred to as Cetsamhain, the ‘first Samhain’), and these two important festivals divide the year into summer and winter halves, just as the two equinoctial celebrations, Ostara and Mabon, divide the year into light and dark halves.
Lighting fires was customary at Beltane, and traditionally a Beltane fire was composed of the nine sacred woods of the Celts. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then kindled again from the sacred “need fires” lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke and flames of Beltane fires and cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity and protection.
It is a traditional time for Handfastings (marriages), and for couples to make love outside to bless the crops and the earth. Maypoles were often danced around at Beltane to bring fertility and good fortune. Beltane lore also includes washing in May-day dew for beauty and health, and scrying (peeping) in sacred waters, such as ponds or springs.
The festival is sometimes referred to as Roodmas, a name coined by the medieval Christian Church in an attempt to associate Beltane with the Cross (the Rood) rather than the life-giving symbol of the Maypole. Beltane was also appropriated by the Church as the Feast Day of Saint Walpurga, who was said to protect crops and was often represented with corn.”
(*Royalty free images of the Archangel Michael and the sacred herb Angelica)
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Beltane, Celtic, Celts, herbal lore, Ireland, May Poll, May Queen, May-day, Samhain, Walpurgis Night
April 27, 2014
With rare exceptions (no one comes to mind) authors love cats. Dogs, too, many of us, but invariably cats. I’m besotted by them, always have been. I’m wondering when a reader will notice the orange tabby I’ve included in many of my stories (Somewhere My Love, Somewhere My Lass, Somewhere in the Highlands, Enemy of the King, my upcoming release, Traitor’s Legacy….I would have included ‘the cat’ in my Native American sagas but we were too much on the go.
All of our cats are rescues. And now, housed in my sun room, are a mama cat and her six newborn kittens. We came by this kitty, as we have so many felines, after we discovered her dropped off on our farm. That happens a lot to dairy farmers. Something about milk and cats. This lovely tortoiseshell is very sweet and at home in her new abode. She’s also an excellent mama. Thank heavens. I don’t want to raise all her offspring myself. That last go at caring for a newborn kitten didn’t end well. Tiny kittens really need a mama in these first vital first days. We’ve been calling her ‘The Little Shop Cat’ because she took up residence in the farm shop, with increasingly frequent trips to the garage and kitchen steps after she found I’m a softie and would feed her. I’m thinking of naming her Serenity, because she’s so serene. But then no one will know who I’m talking about. (Image of Sadie and Pavel as a kitten)
It’s gonna get pretty lively around here in a few weeks when these little guys wake up and start exploring. Our senior lap cat, Percy, will take offense at their frolicking. Pavel, our two-yr-old Siamese tabby mix, will be intrigued, and likely join in the fun. Shy Minnie Mae, will watch from the corners and hide. My, and I do mean MY, tiny pom-poo Sadie Sue is fascinated by kittens, as long as they don’t occupy her spot by me on the couch. And our recent rescue dog, Jilly, is learning that kitties are not for chasing, but may need a reminder. She and the mama are already pals. Yes, we shall be seeking homes for (most) of this adorable litter when they are old enough. (Image of Percy)
“A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.” ~Barbara Holland
“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.” ~Doug Larson
“There has never been a cat
Who couldn’t calm me down
By walking slowly
Past my chair.”
(Sleeping newborn kittens)
“If there is one spot of sun spilling onto the floor, a cat will find it and soak it up.” ~J.A. McIntosh
“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” ~Leo Dworken
“Kittens believe that all nature is occupied with their diversion.” ~F.A. Paradis de Moncrif
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. ~Joseph Wood Krutch
Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons. ~Robertson Davies
People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around. ~Susan Easterly
That would be authors.
*Images by daughter Elise
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: calico, cats, images, newborn kittens, quotes, siamese tabby mix, tabby, tortoiseshell, writers
April 24, 2014
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain
The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven -
All’s right with the world!
***To this I would say, at least, in the garden, all’s right with the world.
April is a promise that May is bound to keep. ~Hal Borland
Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.
That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it.
~Winifred Mary Letts
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”
The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
Our spring has come at last with the soft laughter of April suns and shadow of April showers. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens
Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown
Well-apparell’d April on the heel
Of limping winter treads…
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth? ~Edward Giobbi
April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. ~William Shakespeare
A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring. ~Bern Williams
***Images of tulips, jonquils, Virginia bluebells, white bleeding heart by Elise
Quotes from ‘The Quote Garden’: http://www.quotegarden.com/
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: April garden, bleeding heart, jonquils, spring quotes, The Shenandoah Valley, tulips, Virginia, Virginia bluebells
April 21, 2014
10 Timeless Heroes combines the diversity and talent of ten awesome authors, and I’m honored to be among them. A big high-five to my friend and fellow author, Sky Purington, for putting this bundle all together. My contribution to this collection is Somewhere My Lass, a Scottish tine travel romance with a twist, and I’m getting the rest of my Somewhere in Time series up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
About 10 Timeless Heroes:
Magic & destiny unite lovers across time and space in this epic collection of award-winning, chart topping tales. From sweet to sizzling romances, 10 Timeless Heroes has a little something for everyone. With over fifteen hundred pages and a retail value of $25.90, you save almost $23 with the special introductory price of 2.99. Don’t wait to stock up. Summer is right around the corner…
Fiona by PL Parker: In the past, she found her future.
Somewhere My Lass by Beth Trissel: Neil MacKenzie’s well-ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he’s her fiancé from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her she’s just addled from a blow to her head–until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood.
Going Back For Romeo by LL Muir: Alone with a Highlander, in his castle, on a cold dark night…Okay, so it wasn’t that cold. Jillian is duped back to 15th Century Scotland to rescue a plaid-clad Romeo and Juliet. The monster in her way, however, is a handsome Highlander who may just be her own Romeo.
Swordsong by Skhye Moncrief: He’s arrived to help her create the perfect bride. His ticket home relies on a lonely woman haunted by more than apparitions. If time-travel duty, romance, and a bit of magic don’t help them realize their destiny resonates in mysterious fairy SWORDSONG, all known history could change.
Highland Mystic by Sky Purington: Caitriona is not who she seems. Her fate was foreseen long before birth and so important it will impact all future MacLomains. When dreams of Alan Stewart begin, she knows the time has come. But how to convince a Highland laird from another century that he must die for her? Especially when she couldn’t bear his death.
My Honorable Highlander by Nancy Lee Badger: Bumbling present day herbalist, Haven MacKay, gets more than she bargains for when her love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love — Laird Kirkwall Gunn. Kirk’s plans go slightly off course when he falls in love with a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands. After all, he has pledged to marry another, from an enemy clan, in order to end a century-old feud.
Out of the Blue by Caroline Clemmons: Police Detective Brendan Hunter wants answers. Who shot him and killed his partner? Why? And why does Deirdre Dougherty know details of the event? He can’t let her out of his sight until she confesses to how she learned details no one but he and his late partner knew.
A Train Through Time by Bess McBride: Ellie awakens on a train to Seattle to find herself on a bizarre historical train full of late Victorian era reenactors. When handsome Robert convinces her the date is 1901, Ellie presumes she is in the middle of a very interesting dream—a dream she doesn’t want to awaken from.
Captive Hero by Donna Michaels: Test flying an invisible plane—unreal. Time-shifting to WWII—unbelievable. Capturing a hero—unavoidable. When test pilot Samantha Sheppard accidentally flies back in time and inadvertently saves a WWII pilot, she changes history and makes a crack decision to abduct him back to the present, but convincing him it’s another century proves tough.
Desires of the Heart by Linda LaRoque: At a cottage in the UK, recently divorced Loren Fairchild rebuilds her life. A simple-minded woman appears and triggers an event that hurls Loren 60 years into the past. During WWII, Miles Chapeau’s wife is hurt in an air raid. She now has the mind of a child. One day she disappears. That very night a strange woman appears. Caught in a web of confusion, Loren and Miles struggle with the direction their lives must take.
P.L. Parker- http://www.plparker.com
L.L. Muir:- www.llmuir.weebly.com
Skhye Moncrief- www.skhyemoncrief.com
Sky Purington- www.skypurington.com
Nancy Lee Badger- http://www.nancyleebadger.com
Caroline Clemmons- http://www.carolineclemmons.com
Bess McBride- www.BessMcBride.com
Donna Michaels- www.donnamichaelsauthor.com
Linda LaRoque- www.lindalaroque.com
“Captive Hero… It’s an amazing adventure that will tug at the reader’s heartstrings and refuse to let go!” —InD’tale Magazine, Awarded Crowned Heart of Excellence
“From the dark, eerie prologue through the very unexpected ending, “Fiona” by P. L. Parker is an engaging and eventful account of a life, and a timeless love.” ~Long and Short Romance Reviews
Swordsong- “Moncrief creates a unique culture from which Murdo comes and weaves it in with the present culture, making a compelling, sparkling love story with a unique twist near the end.” ~Camilla, The Long and Short Reviews
Going Back for Romeo- “…Muir does a delightful job blending humor, a sweet love story, action, danger, and the everyday realities of life in medieval Scotland.” Grave Tells Recommended Read
Desires of the Heart- “There were no frivolous words, or scenes. Only perfect symmetry and lovable characters.” Tami—You Gotta Read Reviews
Somewhere My Lass- “A good adventure and romantic time travel story that delivers.” ~Romance Novel Junkies
A Train Through Time- “Bess McBride brings the past to life in her fabulous rendition of a time travel story where love conquers all…You don’t want to miss Bess McBride’s perfectly titled, completely engaging, attention grabbing work.” Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction
Highland Mystic- “I could read this book over and over and never tire of each individual couple finding their one true love.” ~Amazon Review
“…OUT OF THE BLUE is a beautifully written story… A perfect mixture of witty dialogue, sensual love scenes, and the happily-ever-after ending!” 5 Siren Stones ~ Siren Reviews
And be sure to enter the kindle fire giveaway at Donna Michael’s website: http://www.donnamichaelsauthor.com/
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: 2.99 romance book bundle, Amazon kindle, Barnes & Noble, book bundle, New release, nookbook, ten best selling authors, ten time travel romance novels, Time travel romance
April 17, 2014
This recipe is from our Mennonite church cookbook, a two-volume set my mother-in-law was the driving force behind getting together years ago, and one my late sister-in-law contributed. Today is the anniversary of Catarina’s death last April, so this is in memory of a strong, beloved Christian woman. I’ve adapted the recipe for gluten-free and the bread turns out great. It’s a favorite in this household. No one can tell it’s gluten-free.
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda (be certain it’s gluten-free), 1/2 tsp. baking powder (Rumford is gluten-free)
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Jules, and it’s super, but you can try another brand. You may need more or less flour depending on how large your bananas and eggs are)
*3/4 cup chopped nuts (Optional, and no)
Cream together the sugar and shortening (or coconut oil, etc.). Add eggs and mashed bananas. Combine dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture. Blend well. Bake in greased bread pan at 350 for about 50 minutes, but check at 35 because it may take less time depending on your mixture. This is a moist bread and freezes well.
After learning I have a form of Interstitial Cystitis this winter (on top of severe gluten intolerance), and adopting the IC diet, I found bananas are a trigger food for me, but I can tolerate this bread. Catarina was extremely health conscious and would approve my adaptations of her recipe.
*Images by daughter Elise
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Baking, gluten intolerance, gluten-free banana bread, Interstitial Cystitis. healthy eating. Food allergies, Mennonite recipe
April 14, 2014
For the month of May, join in the journey as we venture back to the days when herbs entered into every aspect of life. From the ancients to the British Isles, colonial America, Native Americans, and the Granny Women, this workshop spans centuries. Plus, everyone who participates will receive the illustrated eBook of my new herbal, (recently revised to include yet more herbs and images) Plants For A Medieval Herb Garden in the British Isles (soon to be available in print as well as eBook).
While sponsored by Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, this May workshop is also open to the public. For more information and to register visit:
Description: An illustrated collection of plants that could have been grown in a Medieval Herb or Physic Garden in the British Isles. The major focus of this work is England and Scotland, but also touches on Ireland and Wales. Information is given as to the historic medicinal uses of these plants and the rich lore surrounding them. Journey back to the days when herbs figured into every facet of life, offering relief from the ills of this realm and protection from evil in all its guises. ***In Kindle and Nookbook.
(Image of dill and heirloom poppies in our garden by Elise. Book cover also by Elise.)
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Beth Trissel, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, herb gardens, herbal lore, historic, May 2014, Medicinal uses of herbs, workshop
April 4, 2014
My dear sister, Catherine, a breast cancer survivor, shared this on Facebook, I’m so impressed by her wise words that I’m sharing them with you.
Catherine: When I was tagged in a photo to take my picture without makeup, I had to think how this would raise awareness for breast cancer… something I’ve dealt with. My great-grandmother had breast cancer and died of old age. My mother is a “breast cancer survivor.” And, I guess, so am I. Although, I prefer to think of myself as someone who went through cancer and chooses not to allow it to define me. I don’t want my beautiful daughters to ever have to deal with it. I wish all forms of cancer were eradicated. So, how can my picture without makeup help to bring that about? It can’t, unless I can touch just one person and help them to care enough about themselves to take care of themselves.
No makeup? Sure, we are, at our core, imperfect. But, there’s beauty in that imperfection. And, others see us as far more beautiful, even without makeup, than we often see ourselves. Where we stop and see the puffy face, the skin spots that show our age, the little wrinkles around our eyes, we should stop and see the life we have been given, another day, another opportunity, another chance to demonstrate love and to witness that amazing beauty, that incredible gift to all those around us… and to value each and every person just as they are! So, value yourselves.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, I was told that I was EXTREMELY fortunate. Because I had gotten a mammogram, and because I hadn’t settled for the answer to go home and keep an eye out for a lump (I asked for more info and an answer), I am here to celebrate life. The kind of cancer I had was aggressive, but was caught early. I was told that if I’d waited to feel for a lump, it would have been too late to save me. With my dr’s guidance, I chose to have a double mastectomy, a choice I don’t regret. So, my advice to all of you beautiful women out there… do regular self exams, get your mammogram, go to the Dr regularly for checkups, cultivate friendships, laugh often, know that there is someone out there who cares about you. So, puffy face, wrinkles, pimples and all…. VALUE yourself.
*Images of Catherine and her oldest daughter, Lizzy. And Catherine with me taken over the holidays
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: breast cancer awareness, breast cancer survivor, dealing with cancer, family, positive attitude, pre-menopausal women, spirituality
April 3, 2014
I’ve labored away adding lovely images to Shenandoah Watercolors, my nonfiction book about life on our small family farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Given my love of gardening, this includes a strong focus on my gardens and love of nature. The book is already out in print with images, but now that kindle and nook E-Readers support colored photographs, I’ve added heaps more. Shenandoah Watercolors in available in eBook and print format at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I will also get it up on Kobo soon. If someone is dying for me to have it somewhere else, let me know.
Book description: Author/farm wife Beth Trissel shares the joys and challenges of rural life on her family’s small farm in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Journey with her through the seasons on the farm, owned by the family since the 1930′s, and savor the richness of her cherished gardens and beloved valley. This journal, with images of her farm and valley, is a poignant, often humorous, sometimes sad glimpse into country life. Recommended for anyone who loves the country, and even those who don’t. ***Shenandoah Watercolors is a 2012 EPPIC eBOOK FINALIST.
Excerpt: The heavy rain has given way to a misting drizzle, but streams of water pour down from the hills and make new ponds and creeks. It’s chilly with that raw wet feel. This spring is awash in moisture and amazing after last summer’s searing drought. I’m struck by the intense beauty around me, and I thought I was already seeing it, but it’s so much moresomehow. The grass seems to shimmer, yet there’s no sun out today, and the meadow is so richly green it’s like seeing heaven. Our barnyard geese are enraptured, as much as geese can be, with all the grass. If there’s a lovelier place to revel in spring than the Shenandoah Valley and the mountains, I don’t know it. Narnia, maybe.I’ve been thinking about my favorite places.
The pool I like best lies in the woods near a place called Rip Rap Hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A splendid falls cascades up above, but I like the pool far more. We always meant to go back, but never have. The cold water ripped through me like liquid ice and is as clear as melted crystal. I could see the rocks on the bottom, some slick with moss, others brown-gold in the light where the sun broke through the leafy canopy overhead. Trout hid beneath big rounded stones or ones that formed a cleft, but the men tickled them out to flash over the flat rocks strewn across the bottom like a path. Drifts of hay-scented fern rose around the edges of the pool, warming the air with the fragrance of new mown hay, and made the shady places a rich green.Now, that’s a good place to go in my mind when I’m troubled. The problem with cities is that people don’t learn what really matters. Don’t really feel or know the rhythms of the earth. When we are separated from that vital center place, we grow lost. Sadly, most people will never know what they are lost from, or where they can be found.~
***Images of the Shenandoah Valley in early spring and Dark Hollow Falls in the Blue Ridge.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: award-winning, Beth Trissel, country life, family, Gardening, Home, Nature, nonfiction, spring, The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia