Archive for the ‘roadtrip adventures’ Category



Lucia Ferrara Bettler is the owner of Lucia’s Garden, in Houston, Texas. I would love to live near her shop, as she works with many healers with different specialties, and hosts many workshops and events. She is past president of the International Herb Association.

Lucia had taken a Bible Tour of the countries shown in the map on the screen above her in the pictures, and shared with us many things. I had studied herbs of the bible before, but still very much enjoyed her thoughts and shares. She talked about how herbs were very much a part of Biblical cultures. They were used in the practices of religious ceremony, food and medicine. For instance, Hyssop was used for purification rites from the first Passover, to ritual purifications. Bitter herbs were talked about and she explained the bitterness is not directly associated with our notion of bitter, but rather referring to the strong flavor of the herbs. Herbs such as Parsley, rue, dandelion, chives, chicory and others. She talked about the foods mentioned in the bible: fish, beans, honey, melons, milk, yogurt and nuts.

This is one of the recipes she shared.

Honey Cakes

1 cup honey

1/2 cup melted butter , or almond oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

4 cups whole wheat flour

Cream together the butter (or oil) and honey. Add the milk and eggs and stir. Sift flour, cinnamon and salt and add slowly to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Pour into two oiled 9 inch cake pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes

I really enjoy having her handout of the presentation and am certain to refer to it again. Another great presenter I feel lucky to have heard!

Herbal and Honey Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx


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LeClaire is also the home of the now famous antique shop, Antique Archeology, made famous by the History Channel’s television series, American Pickers. We enjoyed exploring the shop and it was a pleasure to meet Danielle. She is just a sweetheart, who happily autographed publicity handouts, the shop provided.

After exploring LeClaire, we travelled on up the River Road and explored a bit in a few more towns, briefly, on the Iowa side of the river. One of the towns was Clinton and I would like to go there in the spring to visit the Bickelhaupt Arboretum located there. Then it was time to cross back over the river, which was frozen over from to shore to shore ,on a different bridge, and head home.


Imagine my delight when we got to the Illinois side of the river and found ourselves in the town of Fulton, Illinois. It was late in the day when we were there, so we just had time to locate and look through a couple of the antique shops and discover that this is a richly historical town also. One we would like to explore more thoroughly on another day trip. I really want to go there during the first weekend in May, when the town celebrates its rich Dutch heritage with the Dutch Days Festival. This is a picture of the working grist mill that was closed for the day. Another reason to come back as I have a thing for historic grist mills:) This one has a nice museum associated with it.


I found a very interesting book also. I will love reading about Susan La Flesche, the youngest daughter of an Omaha Indian Chief, who felt the call to medicine. About Bethenia Owens Adair, who traded in laundry work for a successful medical practice. And dozens of other women who lived and treated patients in the frontier-era West.


Speaking of that era, we saw the loveliest cupboard in one of the shops. It was reputed to have been crafted around 1800 and to have travelled, over the Atlantic Ocean, with an European immigrant. What a history associated with this piece! I can well imagine it being many women’s prized possession, through the ages.


Thank you for visiting Comfrey Cottages xx

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LeClaire, Iowa

On weekends,  my husband and I like to do daytrips. Yesterday found us exploring some new areas in the state of Iowa. Illinois and Iowa both border the Mighty Mississippi River.  We are both very drawn to rivers, and living between the Illinois River and the Mississippi River, we enjoy exploring the history of the towns along them. Today, we headed for LeClaire and then we going to follow the The Great River Road on north to Clinton, cross the river back into the Illinois side and visit Fulton, Illinois.

LeClaire is just a lovely town. The main street runs right through the center of town, and while travelling it, the river is always in view on the east side. The river was still open, from all the barge traffic, so there were many types of birds all over it. We saw all sorts of ducks,  and geese and it was a generally refreshing scene to see that life was still abundant and busy, even in the deep of winter




Although, these Canvasback ducks, were quite content to tuck their heads under their wings and just bob along the water taking a snooze:)

LeClaire is a perfect town to visit. It is rich in historical sites with lovely museum’s and points of interest. We decide to visit the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum.  I will share in pictures some of the things we saw and learned about. And do visit the site link also. There is much more than simply artifacts relating to Bill Cody. There are many historic displays of events and peoples who have inhabited this region.


The history of an Elm tree that used to grow along the river, and was used as a navigational marker and landmark,  by many peoples, throughout the history of this community, appealed to me deeply.

More about this lovely community and our day trip, in another post.

Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages



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