P came up on Friday and we spent a lovely evening together. Saturday morning I had a class up in Duvall at 9am. What luxury to be able to sleep in until 7am(!) after a week of getting up at 4:30. And Sunday was devoted to cleaning the house and lounging around by myself.

The class was a day-long class on medicinal plants. We harvested comfrey, chickweed, and plantain from the Wilderness Awareness School property. We made oil with the plantain, laid out the chickweed and comfrey to dry for a couple days before making oil from that. If you use very juicy plants, your oil is likely to mold, hence the drying. Then the instructor had brought pre-made oils of cottonwood buds, comfrey, plantain, st. john’s wort, and calendula, which we used to make a salve. We all got to take home a couple tins of the salve for use as an anti-fungal, -microbial, -bacterial, pretty much anti-everything. And it’s made in a base of beeswax, so it’s good for lips also. Then we harvested some Oregon Grape bark and Red Cedar needles and made a tea. I was surprised how much the red cedar sweetened it up. We drank it without any sweetener. I’ve had Oregon Grape bark before, and I think it tastes nasty. If you’ve ever tried Goldenseal, it’s just like that. It’s actually the very same chemical constituent (berberin) as Goldenseal. But I was pleasantly surprised by the tea, which is a great immune system booster, and can also be used as a compress for bleeding and cuts. We talked about how to make infusions (basically a really strong tea) and tinctures (basically a really strong tea made with vodka instead of water), although we didn’t actually make any of those. Also got lots of great recommendations for books, including a really great cookbook that includes recipes for all sorts of “weeds” like nettle and dandelion. Need to remember to add that to my Amazon wishlist.
Also got to take home a leftover comfrey root, which I planted up in a pot on the front porch. The instructor said it’s the one plant he recommends that everyone grow, even if you live in an apartment. It’s super easy to grow and it’s good for everything.

I was so tired by the time class was out that afternoon that I grabbed a coffee and a donut when I stopped to get gas in Duvall. It was odd, after eating wildcrafted food all day (mostly chickweed and plantain), the coffee or the donut, or both, tasted so full of chemicals that I could hardly eat it. By the time I got home I was starting to feel like I was exhaling pure poison. Fortunately the feeling went away, and P made me fabulous salmon tacos with couscous and black bean soup for dinner. With strawberry shortcake for dessert. And maybe I’ll think twice next time before grabbing a roll of mini-donuts at the gas station.

  After dinner we headed up to the closest wireless connection to check e-mail. I got an e-mail from one of the Wilderness Awareness instructors asking if I wanted to ride over to Vashon a day early and stay overnight scout-style (read: no supplies) with him in two weeks. The following day I’m taking pictures at a Bird Language class on Vashon with him. I was totally stoked! I would totally pay money to be able to learn scout-style camping techniques from WAS instructors, so the invitation to come along as a peer of sorts is way cool.

Sunday morning, P and I went to our favorite crepe restaurant for breakfast. Fabulous as always. Back at the apartment, I cut P’s hair on the front porch. I managed to refrain from saying “Oops!” when I cut a big chunk on the back of his head shorter than I meant to, and I think I managed to get everything fairly even. So it just looks like it was cut really short in the back on purpose. It’s amazing that he keeps letting me do this. I think that one of my haircuts has yet to come out right.

  After P left to head back to Olympia, I cleaned the living room and kitchen. The bunnies had imposed their own version of order on the front room during my week-long absence, so I had a lot of cardboard shreds to clean up. Someone left a perfectly functional Dirt Devil on the free table in the laundry room, which I promptly snatched up. It makes bunny hair clean-up so much easier. And I finally got around to finding a tapestry that covers up the zebra-stripe rug on the living room floor. I think the bunnies and I will all be happier with fewer zebra stripes in our living room.

Got inspired to make myself an actual cooked dinner, since P had left a potato on the counter which is likely to just go bad. So I had some garlic, and onion, and a potato sitting there on the counter. So I chopped up half the onion, the rest of a bulb of garlic (about 7 cloves…Yum!), the potato, some purple cabbage from the bunny food stash, and some red sweet peppers. I sauteed it all up in a little real butter, and added two eggs and scrambled it all together. Mmmmm-mm. No such thing as too much garlic. Had that for dinner and will probably have the leftovers for dinner Monday night too.

Then after a nice hot bath (in the tub which P cleaned for me while he was here), I went to bed early, slept 9 hours, and woke up ready for my week. I’m hoping to spend a bunch of time at my sit spot this week. I hadn’t spent much time there when I was thinking I would move to Yelm. But now that it looks like I will be in the same place for the next 6 months, I’d like to get back on a roll with the Kamana program.