Our Sunday Guest, Anna Akhmatova, Thinking of Summer.

•August 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Forageporage's Blog

Unsuited to my purpose in the rhyming
Of martial odes or charming elegies.
In verses everything should be untimely,
No punctualities.

I wish you were aware from what stray matter
Springs poetry to prosper without shame,
Like dandelions which the children scatter,
Or pigweed of the lowly name.

An angry shout, the molten tar’s hot stinging,
A magic growth of mould upon a wall…
And straightaway the verse is gaily ringing
To gladden one and all.

~ Anna Akhmatova ~ (1889-1966) (1)

The words of my favorite poetess, always, stir my soul, in all seasons, for all reasons.  Anna Akhmatova sings to me of faded, other lifetime memories, all rolled up in transient, ever faithful words.  In her ultimate poverty, under threat of imprisonment and execution, this Grand Lady, persisted, remaining true to her craft.  Akhmatova’s revelations bring back my Great Grandmothers, right through my Great Aunts Francie and Marietta…

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•May 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment




* Identification, Identification, Identification.


* Purchase several field guides and read them repeatedly.  I recommend:

   “NATURE’S GARDEN – A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting and Preparing  EDIBLE WILD PLANTS”    by Samuel Thayer.  Available through Forager’s Harvest Press, Birchwood, WI. and www.foragersharvest.com

This book is an absolute must.  Samuel Thayer shares his heart, enthusiasm, humor and fountain of foraging knowledge in an engrossing and very readable way.  If you only purchase one guide, this should be it.  But, really, you also need:

PETERSON FIELD GUIDES Edible Wild Plants ”  by Lee Allen Peterson.  Available through Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

I take this book everywhere.  Often I wish it were larger, with more photos.  More often I’m glad it is small and easy to carry!

* Get confirmation from another live body.  If you can find an expert, go to them!  Most folks are happy to freely share their knowledge.  Taking classes, watching videos and attending seminars and workshops is invaluable.  At the very least have another pair of eyes study your find and your field guides.  If they don’t agree, whole heartedly, leave the plant alone and go back to researching. A wonderful resource is Facebook! There are a plethora of plant identification groups to join. Folks love to share their knowledge and you will have many pair of eyes on your find.

* WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT. Yes, I did already write this. And, I will write it again. Above all, this is thee most important thing to remember. If you are not absatively posolutely 200% certain, do NOT put that plant in you mouth.

It is always far better to be safe than sorry or dead.

* Pay attention to details. . . NEVER substitute the tiniest detail.  When you are out hunting Wild Carrot and come across a plant that fits the description except it’s stem is smooth, it becomes GOOD TO KNOW that this plant is NOT Wild Carrot, Daucus carota, it’s Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum.

* WHEN IN DOUBT, SPIT IT OUT. A minor variation on the doubt theme. What if you think you are certain, put something in your mouth and, oh no, that sure tastes different? SPIT!

* Know which parts to use, when to pick and how to process.  Not all parts of all edible plants are edible; all of the time!  In fact most have a small window of edibility.

* KNOW POISONOUS PLANTS. Perhaps this should be at the top of the list. Certainly the poison plants MUST be the first plants to be learned. It is difficult, if not impossible to avoid danger when you do not know what it is.

* WHEN IN DOUBT, SPIT IT OUT. Spit, spit, spit, spit, spit.

* KNOW AREA PREDATORS; from mosquito to bear to tractor trailer!

Be careful of crawling and flying predators!

Remember, if you get bit or stung, there is always something growing, nearby, to help remedy the painful reaction; such as, Plantain, Plantago spp., Red Clover, Trifolium pratense, and Yarrow, Achillea millefolium; any of which can be crushed or chewed and applied to the site for immediate relief.  Thank you, Momma Gaia!

* Protection, Protection, Protection

* Protect yourself.  Whenever possible go with a friend.  We are always safer in number!  Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return.  Know the territory and weather report.  Dress appropriately.  I like layers.  Long, light colored, sleeves and pant legs are best; to avoid ticks, insect bites and brushing bare skin against unseen plants that may cause long standing hell! Never wear open toed shoes.  A good, natural insect repellant is essential.  I, also, carry a can of wasp spray.  Wasp spray is designed to spray 15 – 20 feet away.  If I ever happen across an unfriendly predator (bear or wasp) I hope I remember it’s in my bag!  A cell phone is a good idea!  Make noise.  Well, except if you’re fishing!  I put bells on my shoes and hang a small wind chime from my bag; to let the critters know I’m coming.  Most wild animals, elves, trolls and fairies will leave the area, before you get there; avoiding the possibility of confrontation.

* Protect the environment.  Every step you take has consequences.  Be responsible.  Carry a garbage bag and pick up trash along the way.  If you’re going to take something away you best be willing to give something back.  I like to leave a place better than I found it.

* Protect the plants.  NEVER OVERPICK.  The planet has already been robbed of enough species by the hand of man.  Pick conservatively.  Leave plenty for others, both human and animal.  Anywhere you find a plant, there’s a very good chance there are more, near by.  Don’t decimate a small area and tell yourself it’s ok.  Take care to pick a little here and a little there.  Always leave grandparent plants.  Grandys are the tallest, hardiest, often center plants.  They guarantee another harvest for next year.  Judicial harvesting will actually encourage new plant growth.

* PAY ATTENTION; stay in your senses:

“But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village.  The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is, – I am out of my senses.  In my walks I would fain return to my senses.  What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?  I suspect myself.”

~Henry David Thoreau from “Excursions”

* Never harvest in contaminated areas.  I like to stay at least 20 ft from the road.  Be extra conservative in industrial areas, near power lines, on golf courses, in public parks, around railroad tracks, and on folk’s lawns.  Check local records for area spraying.  Find out if and when it will be safe.  Stay clear of all exposed drainage pipes. Always ask permission when possible.

* Always wash your harvest.  It’s a good idea to do this outside, if possible.  Also, checking for hitch hikers, before you take your harvest inside, will reduce the possibility of bug wars later.

* Less is more.  Any time you eat any new food, do so sparingly.  An allergic reaction is always possible with new foods; whether found in the field, the supermarket or a restaurant.

* Take notes

I use composition books, a large blotter style desk calendar, sketch books, and my camera to keep a record of my foraging experiences.  Noting where plants are found, what grows around them, when they are in season and what it was all like; along with photos and drawings, will help me be more successful in years to come.

* Get permission whenever appropriate.  Trespassing is against the law.  Getting arrested is not a good way to end a day of foraging!

* If it doesn’t taste right spit it out!  Many harmful plant constituents are bitter.

* Express your gratitude, in song, prayer and deed.

And, as with everything, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong!

Happy hunting!


Revisiting Walt Whitman

•May 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Preface to the first edition of “Leaves of Grass”

“Here is what you shall do,

love the earth and sun and all the animals,

despise riches,

give alms to everyone that asks,

stand up for the stupid and crazy,

devote your income and labors to others,

hate tyrants,

argue not concerning God,

have patience and indulgence towards the people,

take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,

go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young  and with the mothers of families,

read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,

re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,

dismiss whatever insults your own soul,

and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in it’s words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

~Walt Whitman


The first times I touched these words, they rocked my core.  I was barely fifteen; simultaneously innocent and jaded.  Hearing Whitman deeply, I took every word to heart.  Was I a fool?  Surely, every teen is the Fool; armed with a Sword and a Rod, poised on the brink, preparing to step forward, into the abyss.  Blessed Be.


Thank for stopping by. See you on the flip side. XOXOXO

One Hand Clapping

•April 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

1 G

This is my first attempt at writing a pattern for anyone other than myself. Even when I’ve attempted writing for myself the results were nil. Pattern writing is no joke! I sweat, shake, rip pages, hair, say bad words, then, worse words and give up. For the longest time it’s been no problem to look at a thing and make it. But write how it’s made! Oh, that IS a problem. With that said, please feel free to ask questions if you have difficulty reading what I have written. Please help me improve.

These gauntlets are a rip-off ish. There, I admit it! A woman on Facebook posted a pic, asking if anyone knew where she could find the pattern. No one knew. However, I knew I could make a reasonable facsimile. Which presented the pattern dilemma.


Notions:  Zarina Merino Extrafine Baby Yarn, first color, 2 – 50 gram balls 1715. Second color can be scraps. Or any Extra-fine or Baby weight yarn will work.

Size F – 3.75MM Hook and a Yarn Needle

Here We Go: chain 43. . . . .I like to leave a long tail on my work. When it’s tucked in, it stays in!

. . . . . . top edge:

row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook, * ch1, sk 2 ch, 3 dc in next ch, repeat  from * across, leaving last 2 chs open, turn.

row 2: *ch 2, sc in middle dc, ch 2 sc in ch 1 sp, repeat from * across to end, turn.

row 3: 4 dc in first sc , *sc in next sc, 4 dc in next sc, around top, sc down slide to beginning chain and join to form a loop. turn and work backward and upside down from here to work arm. . . .


. . . . . . . . . arm:

row 1: ch 3, 2 dc in join sp, ch 1, * 3 dc in next ch2 sp, repeat from * around to end ch 1, join with first ch 3.

row 2: ch 4,* 3 dc in each ch 1 sp, ch 1, repeat from *, around to last sp, 2 dc in last sp, join with 3rd ch.

repeat row 1 (except, now, there will be ch 1 sps) & 2 three times

row 9: ch 3, 2 dc in first sp, ch 1 * 3 dc, ch 1 three times, 2 dc in next sp, repeat from * around

row 10: ch 4, *2 dc in next sp, ch1, 3 dc, ch 1, in each of next 3 sps, repeat  from * around.

repeat row 9 & 10

row 13: ch 3, 2 dc in first sp, ch 1 * 2 dc, ch 1 twice, 3 dc, ch 1 twice, repeat from * around.

row 14: ch 4, * 2 dc, ch 1, twice, 3 dc, ch 1, twice, repeat from * around.

repeat rows 13 & 14

. . . . . . outer shell:

row 1: * 5 dc in next ch 1 sp, sc in next ch 1 sp, repeat from * around.

row  2: * 3 dc in second, third and fourth dc of each shell, sc in each sc, repeat from * around.

row 3:work in top 5 dc of each shell as follows: 2 dc, 1 dc, 4 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc, sc in each sc, around, bind off.

trim: attach second color with a third sc of shell at back, *ch 3, sc, five times, over the top of each shell, dc in sc sp between shell, around, bind off.

. . . . . inside cuff : fold shell back and work in last row of arm



attach main color sc, ch 3 on each side of every dc cluster, around, when you reach the first, sc into the top ch 3 sp, then sc, ch 3 around again, until you have 8 rounds. bind off.

. . . . . . . trim:

row 1: attach second color in any sc sp, ch, * dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1 dc ch 1, in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around.

row 2: sc in each dc, ch 3, sk spaces between shells, work around. bind off.

. . . . . tie: with second color chain 110. weave into space between top edge and arm; or wherever you fancy

. . . . . . top trim:

attach second color in back, work on the right side, in  each shell sc in first dc, 2 dc in second and third dc, sc in fourth dc, sk sc between each shell around, to opening, sc along opening, continue in each shell sc in first dc, 2 dc in second and third dc, sc in fourth dc, sk sc between each shell around, bind off.

. . . . . . . .wrist tie:

with second color chain 90. weave into space between arm and outer shell.

Use Yarn Needle to tuck in loose ends.



Flirt Relentlessly With Your Gauntlets On!


ch = chain

sp = space

sk = skip

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

Thanx for stopping by. . .see you on the flip side XOXOXO



•September 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment


we can never be free

until we realize

our infinite potential –

not even in thought –

through a plethora of arrogant underpinnings

we deny ourselves freedom

with can not and will not

spiral dance

•August 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

spiral dance


thousands of years ago

we marked our flesh

men hunted

women stripped the carcass

blood thirst satisfied

the long dead frolicked


civility peaked about

we marked the earth

men ploughed

women planted magic

hunger satisfied

the long dead waltzed


came need to know

we marked the page

men taught

women watched and waited

knowledge satisfied

the long dead whirled


church illuminated

we marked the soul

men preached

women heard and worried

piety satisfied

the long dead reeled


millennia vanished

we mark each other

men kill women

and children follow

nothing satisfies

the long dead frenzy

no more walls

•August 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

no more walls


as a small child i collected garbage

carried it with me all day

every day

slept with it all night

every night

like a good little

 up and coming bag lady

growing older and stronger allowed more garbage collecting

with arms over full

it piled on my head

until i could carry no more

started building walls with all my garbage

the more built

the more collected

my walls climbed high and grew dark

unstable against the cold winds hurling

those beautiful walls caved in around me

hit rock bottom in pain

buried by stinking rotten garbage

paralyzed for a long time

gathering strength

starting to squirm under the wait

bits of garbage tumbling aside

i can see light



just maybe

if i keep squirming

i can free myself of all this garbage

to stand tall


run free

no more garbage

no more walls

Thanx for stopping by.  See you soon.