Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The Insecure Writer's Support Group—we have over 300 members. You can find the list of participants Here and their blogs.

Have you ever watched dancers around a Maypole? Some of the dances are simple, some complex, some of the dancers are laughing and lighthearted, and others are dark, serious, and stately. Regardless of the style of dance or dancers a pattern emerges as with the ribbons as the dance goes on. Some of the steps taken give no clue as to the final pattern—they seem almost hit and miss—but they’re a work of beauty by the end.

See, dancing the Maypole is not just about the joy of the dance. Part of the motivation in dancing is in the creating of a complex pattern with the ribbons to wrap the pole. The final pattern woven stems from the movement and direction of each dancer. It looks effortless (and it’s supposed to) but the maypole is wrapped and unwrapped many, many times in practice to get the final combination of steps and corresponding end pattern.

The finished pattern on the maypole depends upon several things. The height of the maypole and those of the inner or minor dancers who dance their own patterns while interacting with the outer dancers, the pace and flow of the dancers, the texture of the ribbon material and the spacing of the colors. You may only catch glimpses of the inner circle’s dancers yet they’re all part of the dance. Sometimes the dancers have to reverse themselves a bit and then weave forward again. While dancing they may take the proper steps and yet they won’t know how successful they've been, with setting the pattern, until they’re finished and step back and look at their completed work. It soon becomes apparent when the pacing of the dance was off or someone forgot a step because it shows up in the finished pattern.

It’s similar to writing a story. We start out with all sorts of bright ideas. We have lots of ribbons available to weave our story. Now comes the dancing and weaving. We know the basic storyline—that’s our bare pole. We determine the height and breath of our story. Then are the minor characters and the major characters. Their personalities add texture and color to the story. The pacing, tension, and flow adds a different sort of feel to the overall story pattern—it could make the story light and bubbly or austere, dark and dangerous, or it could be the weaving of both. Sometimes we have to
reverse a bit and rearrange the steps and colors and then move forward again intermingling the ribbons for the finished pattern.

I have several ‘wrapped’ maypoles. I’m looking at the final patterns. Some are too bland in the color/texture choices. Nothing stands out and while the pattern is pretty it lacks that wow factor. I’m going to have to unwrap the pole and add some different ribbon textures and color to the weave of the story. Sometimes I get frustrated because while it started out fine and the dancing was fun when I step back and looked at the overall pattern it’s too jumbled. 

Smacks forehead...What was I thinking ?

And that’s about the time I’m ready to throw it the fire—or donate the damn pole to the highland games for some brawny Scot to use in the caber toss.   

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Yeah, yeah, I know it's not my normal day for an article, but resistance was futile...


My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way

Mr, Bluebird is on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Everything is satisfactual
Wonderful feeling
Wonderful day… 
(Song of the South)

I loved that song when I was a wee lassie. 

Hell, I still love it! Best not to get me on my favorite Disney songs. I have a list and I'm not afraid to use it and then leave them attacking you all day, lol! (And you thought I was such a nice person--Hah!)

We have plenty of sunshine and warm weather for the rest of this week, which is great since most of last week, and the weekend was rainy. I have a minion coming over to help me get several-neglected flower beds set in order and help me wash the cazillion windows in my house. I can’t get on my knees so weeding is a hard job when you can only bend. Ugh.

I imagine that those who posted an article everyday (or almost) for each letter must lustily be singing, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah…Wonderful feeling, Wonderful day.” 

Big Congratulations to all for staying the course!

A big round of applause to those worked so hard behind the scenes!

Everything is sat-is-factual...  

Even though I didn't participate with daily blog posts, it still took up a lot time either putting together those articles I did use or coordinating my guests articles to correspond with the day’s letter and trying to pop around to different blogs. I did not get to everyone but I did work hard at doing the ones on my minion list at least twice a week. I also got to quite a few blogs I had never visited before. Lot of interesting and talented bloggers out there. Impressive.

Next, is working on an article for IWSG for Wednesday and then filling the rest of my May calendar and although I don’t know how it happened, all June is filled with an exception of one day. Very strange. But I do have a list of new books and authors on the list to invite so stay tuned for guests on upcoming Wednesday and Fridays in May.

See y’all on Wednesday…

(*walks away whistling while surreptitiously using a Lysol wipe on the bluebird stain on my shoulder…stoopid bluebirds…see if I feed  y’all anymore…hmph.) 

Monday, April 29, 2013


My apologies for the late post. The Blogger gods weren't cooperative with posting the blog as scheduled last night. 

Yarrow is a perennial plant that produces one to several stems, which can grow to three feet in height and spreads by rhizome type roots. It’s a beautiful flower to grow and comes in several colors, the most common is white, but it can be shades of pink, red, yellow, and deep rose. The leaves are feathery and long.

Yarrow has long been used as a medicinal plant. It’s also known as Soldiers Wort and Knight’s Milfoil. Achilles was said to use Yarrow to staunch the wounds of his soldiers and so the plant is also known as Achillea millefolium.

Highlanders use Yarrow in an ointment for wounds and in the treatment of sheep scabs and they also consider Yarrow tea a good defense against depression. The Swedish use it in making beer instead of hops—supposedly making the beer more intoxicating. I imagine it would be an acquired taste if you were used to hop beers.

Medicinally, Yarrow is an antiseptic and fights bacteria and has antispasmodic properties. In addition to its antispasmodic activity, the herb contains salicylic acid (a compound like the active ingredient in aspirin) and a volatile oil with anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful to relieve pain associated with gynecologic conditions, digestive disorders, and other conditions. Taken daily, yarrow preparations can relieve symptoms of menstrual cycle and uterine disorders, such as cramps and endometriosis. Yarrow has a drying effect and can be used as a decongestant. Sinus infections and coughs with sputum production may be improved by yarrow, especially when mixed with equal parts goldenseal.

Most make a tea with either an ounce of dried ground leaves in a pint of boiled water, or dropping loose dried leaves into a pint of boiling water and let it steep at least five minutes. It’s better if you allow it to steep ten to fifteen minutes as it makes a stronger tea. Some add ingredients such as goldenseal, a dash of cayenne pepper, or slippery Elm Bark. It may be sweetened with sugar or honey.

One of the things to keep in mind for any medicinal herb—it is a medicine. Long before drug manufacturers were able to synthesize medicines herbs were used as the basis of pharmaceutical medicines prescribed by doctors and came with directions as to the dose and frequency of use. Yarrow tea is a great tea and good for you but take care not to drink more than three cups in a day.

Yarrow also makes your garden healthy. It's considered an especially useful companion plant as it repels some insect pests while attracting good, predatory insects. It attracts predatory  wasps, which drink the nectar and then uses insect pests as food for their larvae. It also attracts ladybugs and hoverflies.

Yarrow improves soil quality. The leaves are good fertilizer and a beneficial additive for compost. It is good for improving the health of sick plants when grown nearby.

Aside from being a beautiful addition to your garden to satisfy your artistic eye, Yarrow improves the health of human and plant life. Pretty good deal.

  • What about you? Have you any Yarrow growing wild and pretty or cultivated near you?
  • Ever drank Yarrow Tea?