Walking Bag Items - stays packed right by walking shoes so you are more apt to just pick up and go ...
- Bag for plants - always on the look out for plants!
- Bag for cans - can't stop cleaning up Henrico!
- Knife - well, protection, I guess ... but I feel pretty protected. Mostly for survival and cutting plants!
- Lip Balm - Serene Suds', course ... Sunshine ... 'cause I like it SO MUCH!
- Headphones - only for when there are no people around. Do headphones on everyone around you bother you? Like on people with whom you are trying to speak with or have to verify if they are hearing you 'cause you can't tell or you feel like you are yelling because you don't know if they are hearing you or not? ... oh my ... just trying to train my teenagers with good manners. And I do not think headphones around other humans are good manners.
- Phone for "Map my Run" & Janis Joplin - "Map My Run" because it is fun to see where I walked on a map ... & Janis because she makes me walk faster!
- Updated 9/2: Reflector vest! How could I forget that in my walking bags' list? I drive my kids nuts making them wear their reflector vests when there is a threat that dusk may fall before they get back from their walks. I want them to COME BACK in one piece! ... thus, a reflector vest! And Mami has to set a good example.
So ... this week is crazy busy and chock full of so many good things ... I thought I was just going to give you the items of my walking bag ... just to encourage you to walk 'cause it is so healthy and healing and I am trying to be as faithful in walking as my Yoga. #yogaeverydamnday. (I just found this hash tag and loved it. Not Yoga when you feel good or have time, yoga every day - even if the day feels damned.) But how do I fit in Yoga AND a walk? Yoga always takes precedence and the walks are hit and miss. But I want BOTH Yoga & a WALK in EVERY day! So I decided that if I had my walking bag packed right by my shoes, maybe it would help me get out there more?!
And so ... this blog is not just about my walking bag ... because I got greatly rewarded for my walk and tenacity this time! I found JEWELWEED! After years of searching for Jewelweed and referring to the internet countless times to properly identify the plant, I found it! Why?! To make Jewelweed soap, of course! I had bought seeds two summers ago and was unsuccessful in getting them to sprout - because they have to go through that stratification period and after all that, probably some animal ate the tiny things ...
I am so stubborn (that sounds negative - really, I am just committed) about growing or wildcrafting the plants I use for my soap! So I had to find the Jewelweed on my own! It is about being frugal and knowing exactly what wholesome-Mother-Earth-gift goes into my product.
I thought I had identified Jewelweed in a wooded park ... but I could not be 100% positive until I identified the flower, known as "Lady's Slipper" or "Touch Me Not" in bloom!
Tuesday's walk was the day! I found Jewelweed! I could not have been more pleased! And I carried the biggest bundle of Jewelweed the 3 miles back to the house, along the road! It got heavy after a while ... and I got the best looks ... and when my arm started to ache, I realized that I could use the swinging end of my head scarf to tie around the bundle and make the walking more efficient! (Another reason I love my hair scarves! ... they are so useful for foraging and wildcrafting and tying and drying and carrying!)
So my total walk was 6.14 miles that day!
And then Ariel and I went back to the woods the next day to get more! I am an excitable chap and I always overdo it (so the compost got Jewelweed, too!) Before I set out again, I already had the leaves and stems cut up and infusing in oil in the crockpot! ... and more leaves and stems steeping distilled water to make the "jewelweed tea" that I will use as the liquid in the soap!
I think I will include some Plantain-infused oil in this soap - for its wonderful skin soothing properties (easy, FDA - didn't claim anything but skin happiness!) ...
Still coming up with the recipe ... but I have the oils and liquids ready to go ... Jewelweed soap here I come!
I'll include some pics ... and as always, I wish you peace & health all week through and spilling over into the next in case this busy mom/nurse/soapmaker doesn't get a blog out by next Friday ... which you now know, I am committed to this blog, but all over with the day.
Love you all.
Doing the "wrap" ... little did I know how handy this saree would come in for carrying the soon-to-be-found Jewelweed! And for another blog, "Best ways to keep the soap maker's curls out of the soap."
Jewelweed, fresh back from the walk, plunged into the outside bathtub/goldfish/fish tank ... 'cause it was the fastest way I could quench my thirsty Jewelweed roots ... yes, of course I want to get it growing in my own yard!
Getting ready to chop up the leaves and stems of the Jewelweed to make the "Jewelweed Tea" to use as the liquid in the soap. Then the rest will get chopped and infused into Olive Oil ... so we get as many juicy, good properties out of the Jewelweed as possible.
Enlisting the children to cut up the jewelweed ... I think they were so willing because they were so glad I was at the end of dragging them along on my three year search for Jewelweed! And you know what? Now, as life has it, I am seeing Jewelweed EVERYWHERE! lol! The kids have to know I'll come up with a new adventure that involves walking and searching for something wild. There is no way they believe we are finished! Right?! We are walking 'til 100, for sure!
Cut up leaves and stems of Jewelweed seeping into a strong tea for the soap liquid.
Jewelweed/Lady's Slipper/Touch-Me-Not - finally. So grateful ...