Archive for the ‘family’ Category

tulip tree

My neighbors have a huge tulip tree which overhangs Comfrey Cottages on the north. It’s flowers are so absolutely gorgeous! The bees have been very busy gathering nectar from it and I can hear them buzzing happily high up in its branches. I have always appreciated this trees for the shade it provides and its nectar and pollen it provides the bees. The squirrels are eating the mature buds also, with apparent relish. Well I decided to research and find out whether this tree might have edible or medicinal qualities, that we could benefit from also. What I found was most interesting indeed! While I can find no references to eating the Tulip Tree, in any form, Henrietta’s Herbal had a couple pages chock full of historical references to it’s usage as medicine. It seems that it has been basically ignored in years though. I think that I will explore some of the medicinal uses listed this year since I have a very keen interest in using the trees and plants that are easily available in my area. Luckily I have some Amish friends that harvest trees, so I can ask them to share some of the inner bark of the root the next time they cut one. I will share about it whenever I get a chance to work with it. Of course, I don’t intend to do anything but enjoy the blessings of the tree overhanging our gardens here:)

One of the pages Henrietta has is information from John Scudder on this tree.


“The bark of Liriodendron tulipifera.—U. S.

Preparation.—Tincture of Liriodendron.

Dose.—From five drops to one drachm.

Therapeutic Action.—The bark of the Tulip Tree is tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, anthelmintic, aromatic, stomachic. It may be used in all cases of anorexia and impaired states of the digestive organs, where a stimulant tonic is indicated. It promotes the appetite and facilitates digestion; for these purposes it will be found fully equal to the simple bitters. It is often used with some advantage in intermittents.

It is employed in gout and chronic rheumatism, and in the declining stages of the acute form, after the irritated action has subsided, as a stimulating diaphoretic and tonic. If administered freely in the form of a warm infusion, it evinces conspicuous diaphoretic properties; and not unfrequently its diuretic powers are equally manifest.

The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.”

Very interesting, right? lol



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Time flies by. Seems like yesterday I was holding my beautiful daughter Michelle for the very first time. I was immediately a smitten kitten and still am to this day. She is my rock and my best friend, and I am so very proud of the strong, beautiful, dependable, resourceful, interesting, and big hearted daughter I have.


I love you to the moon and back my darling daughter!

On the gardens and herbal medicine front…. when you have a two year old in tow, everything is done in small increments and I am mindful to be grateful for this time with Dylan. In just a couple short years, he will be in school and this time will have passed like the ephemeral spring it is. We harvest a bit at a time and our medicine cabinet is full of small jars of things like this dandelion oil Dylan made today, all by himself.




We just simply walked around our yard and he harvested the dandelions we had available right under our noses. He really seemed to enjoy putting them in the jar and filling it with oil. This looks like such a small thing, but it is his first herbal medicine he has made by himself!

Dashed home today and managed to weed a bit of the gardens and get 5 tomato plants in the ground. I was pleased to see some calendula had reseeded itself and that the strawberry plants are in bloom. I used to be the type that would work 12 hours straight, weeding and working the ground for planting. And then work the next day planting. While Dylan is young it is enough to accomplish a foot at a time, as there will always be next year for tomatoes, but only for a few years will he be my constant companion and we are better served walking through the fields and woods and running through the parks and yard right now. His innate love for nature is boundless and I think learning the names and ways of nature is the most important thing I can give him right now. Many times I will point out a plant or tree and talk to him as I would you, and the next thing I know, he is pointing out to me, another of the same plant! I am still new at learning so many plants and I feel so blessed to be learning along with Dylan.

big hugs and much love to all who visit Comfrey Cottages

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How do You Spell Love?


Love! There are so many ways to express and show love. One of the most beautiful ways I have ever been able to see love in action, occurred yesterday morning. My wonderful son Tommy, his beautiful wife Lisa, their daughter Taylor, Lisa’s mom Michelle, and Lisa’s best friend Jodi and I all went to the courthouse for the adoption of Taylor by Tommy! It is a beautiful thing folks and I am still having happy tears!


ADOPTION is another way to spell LOVE!!!

Was so beautiful seeing Jodi, and seeing the love flowing from her to all of us! It has been such an honor and pleasure getting to know Jodi:)


So another way to spell Love is FRIENDSHIP!

(that is jodi on the left and lisa on the right)

so gentle readers, sorry to be away from you all a few days, but we have been a bit tied up with family joys for a week! we have also experienced birthday parties, loosing our first two baby teeth, and first days of school!



that is of course, if you are a regular visitor, my lily lynn. i miss her so much!

and this is thomas, another grandson. my hubby’s daughter tammey’s son. We celebrated his birthday Saturday when he turned 9.


Soooo, one more way to spell Love…FAMILY!

So many ways to love! May all of you have many ways of feeling love in your lives daily also! big herbal and honey hugs to all of you who visit Comfrey Cottages!

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Small Space Gardening

I am always inspired when I see peeps that are gardening, in less than ideal spots. I guess it is because my own yard, while roomy for an in town situation, is very shady. Anyway, I just wanted to share with all of you my lovely Katee , and some of the small space gardening she does, as well as some of her neighbors. Katee lives in a single story apartment complex, with I guess maybe a total of 10 units. Katee specializes in growing mints and chives and shares with me generously!! This pic is of Katee in front of her chocolate mint bed. She makes the most wonderful chocolate pudding with her chocolate mint! Maybe if we ask nice she will share the recipe!


On the west side of her building, she has chives, peppermint, spearmint and the new orange mint!




I am so impressed with this urban, small scale gardening that Katee and some of the other residents do. Some peeps have cantalope vines running up onto their porch


while others have pumpkins, tomatoes, and other fresh veggies growing!



Do any of you face any challenges with your gardens? Space, light, water, etc? Seeing these small space gardeners at Katee’s apartments, really made me happy and I wanted to share with everyone and give a big shout out to Katee and all her neighbors..

“Proud of you all!!”

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Lily Lynn, my little granddaughter that just turned five in july! she has learned to swim like a fish and ride without training wheels, all in the last month! this little lady is full of determination, brave and is just a little bulldog when she sets her mind to something! she had a blast today as her best friend mya came over to swim. this is a little video of lily (the blonde), mya and cousin taylor swimming today. i am very proud of my little heroine!

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The Shell Game

this video is hilarious! my grandson evan, decided to play his version of the shell game. he used some wooden boxes for “shells” and a red plastic box for the “coin”. now his version entails having me close my eyes so i can’t watch him!lol watch and see how he is busted by being caught on tape removing the red block from the table and then… dropping it!lol he didn’t know i was still taping and didn’t know he was…. caught on video! been singing “bad boys” song to him all day!

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oh july 11th we had a huge family get together. several brithdays to celebrate,one being my herbal accomplice aka eric, my second brother,( i have three!) the picture is taken after everyone attacked it but you can see how i decorated it with lemon balm leaves, beebalm, dianthas, lavender and other flowers. here is the recipe, it rocked!
cake ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
glaze ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
heat the oven to 325 degrees. grease a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan. cream the butter and sugar until soft. add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. add the rind and lavender. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing lightly with a spoon. add the dry ingredients and the milk into the creamed mixture, alternating in two or three pours. beat until just mixed. don’t over beat. pour batter into greased loaf pan and smooth top with a knife. bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
toward the end of the baking period, combine glaze ingredients in a small pan, bruising the lavender between your fingers before adding it. bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and when the sugar is dissolved, remove from stove. when the cake is done, remove it from the oven and prick the top of the loaf all over with a toothpick. pour the glaze slowly over the top of the loaf until all of it is absorbed. when the loaf cools a little, remove from pan. it’s best to let it sit for 10-12hours before slicing!
enjoy! hugs 🙂

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