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vintage

Dry it before you buy it

glass screw top jar c/o infinity jars

The rain has saturated California so much that the water restrictions in my county have been lifted! With all the recent rain, and the saving grace of a few days of warm sunshine in between, the wild weeds in my garden and by the river have EXPLODED!

Right now, all the green herbs are plump and luscious. I am drying them bit by bit, and keeping them for the gray days of fall & winter. I know, it is weird to think of that when we have barely crawled out of the cold. But the abundance now calls for harvesting, and as the days get longer and hotter, the herbs begin to draw in to keep cool.

So, my house is filled with hanging bundles! You can’t escape them, and if you are taller than me, it is very likely that you will run into some! Even though I am very aware of drying my herbs away from too much light and any moisture, you will see that they turn brown. Especially the leafy green herbs. That is ok, as long as you store them AS SOON as they are completely dry.  Just a few days longer than necessary in the air can take away from their scent and freshness.

As for storage, I put my dry leaves in plastic bags that I suck the air out of, label them, then put them in boxes in my pantry (which are also labeled). This way they are airtight, space convenient, and in the dark for storage. I have the herbs I use on a daily basis in glass jars on  a kitchen shelf. Unfortunately, my  1950’s kitchen has very little cupboard space, so there is a lot of open storage. Though my vintage mason jars and flip tops are cute, they are not the greatest for storing herbs, since the light gets to them. So, when Infinity Jars asked me to review their jars,  I was happy to.

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Infinity jars have an airtight seal, ultra-violet filtering, and are scent proof. The jars are a deep violet glass, almost black. This pigmented glass blocks light, which deteriorates herbs.  This makes them perfect for kitchen storage of your daily herbs! You can read more about them here, make sure to check out their specials.

The 1-liter screw top jar I have featured here is perfect for my needs. I like the wide mouth, since I do not have a dishwasher and being able to clean jars well is important. It is also much easier to fill! Space is a premium in my little kitchen, this jar is light weight, slender, and tall, so it is easy to fit a few next to each other on the shelf. They even come with labels!

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Here are the herbs drying now, and some uses. Send me your suggestions!

Mugwort: dream pillows, smudge sticks

Peppermint/Spearmint: tea, sprinkle for dog bed, herb for salads & fruits.

Lemonbalm: tea, infusions

Oregano: spice for almost everything I cook! I have so much oregano, I give it away :). Also great for putting in your husbands shoe closet….

Thyme: tea, cooking herb

Marjoran: cooking herb

Happy foraging!

A Witch comes out of the Closet

I love estate sales. When I say “LOVE”, I mean it. I may be a little additcted…..

This is what I just wrote on Instagram:

I found these two crates of fabulous flip-top jars at an estate sale a few months ago. Since I don’t have a dishwasher, the time was never right to get them sterilized until today. As I am sorting and washing these glass jars with their beautiful labels of herbs, I am completely connecting to the woman who owned them before me. Looking at the herbs, how they were labeled (both common & latin names), and the little bit of residue in each of the jars, I know she is smiling now because she knows I found them. Sometimes I leave estate sales knowing that I was meant to go there and find the pieces that I buy, to carry on their magic for the previous owner.

I have had a little change in situation, so now I have time to sort through some of my treasures. At times, I get lucky enough to get the stories behind the pieces. I will begin sharing some of these with you who love a little history mystery :).

This particular estate sales was in a very affluent part of town. Houses were all built in the late ’50’s, early 60’s. I really went to this one because I was “house nosy” (many of the estate sales I go to are solely for the house. Houses are my “thing” :)….I feel them, lol), and because a certain picture on the estate sale listing caught my eye. My mom was here visiting, and if I need a partner in crime, she is certainly it.

When we arrived, the house was already FULL of terribly stressed people and pretty emptied out. The pictures was gone, and I could not enjoy the house vibes because of all icky people energy, so I proceeded out the door through the garage. There was a mudroom stacked with junk and boxes. “LOOK DOWN HEIKE!” something said. I did. The boxes were FILLED with glass jars. A fellow jar hoarder.  When I took a closer look, I saw there were lots of flip top jars, and if that was not enough, they were all labeled with herbs. Not cooking herbs, healing herbs.  Ah, a fellow herb witch! I called my mother so loudly she came bounding from a back room, because NOTHING was going to make me move away from this treasure. As I began sorting the herb jars in new crates, interested people started engaging me.

MINE!

My mama got one the of the people working there, he gave me an excellent deal on what he obviously thought was junk, and I loaded two crates of these babies into my car.  When I went through the garage to get my second crate, I saw 3 wall shelves, custom built, to hold even more large herbal jars!

I memorized the address. Nothing about this house said Herbal Witch, but those shelves sure did.

Thanks to Google and a little snooping, I found my witch. She was actually the wife of a Senator, and everything I found about her publicly was “Senator Wife”. Fundraisers, banquets, foundations….there she was, smiling right at me :). 

Poised & polished, but I can see that twinkle in her eye! In my mind, I see her as a talented healer, that people come to secretly. I can see her going into her garage, opening the closet to uncover rows & rows of beautfiul herbs! I have her in my little book of mysteries, maybe one day I can find someone who knew her personally and who will let the Witch out of the closet!

Blasting the SpiritZappers, Day 10

Since my refrigerator is clean, WHY is my kitchen still making me sad??

Because there are 32 Mason jars on the floor under my table, which is covered with canning supplies, kitchen gadgets, and misc. children’s objects, as well as a microwave that only powers a “BURN POPCORN” setting (popcorn is all that we use it for, and an occasional melting of beeswax.). It is also so small that the beautiful 1950’s stainless steel countertop is constantly HIDDEN.

I love my kitchen. It is grape purple, and I have these funky, 1950’s metal kitchen cabinets that I painted red 12 years ago. It is time for a redo.

Today will be dedicated to my kitchen, and my Oma. My Oma’s stainless steel sink looked brand spanking new after 30 years, I should know how to do it. How wonderful is it to come into a clean kitchen in the morning to make coffee? Certainly, it has to be better than scratching food off of plates to make enough room in the sink to fill up your coffee caraffe!

Maybe if I send my good will out to the Universe, it will send me this back?

Is that not the coolest? They have vintage style dishwashers too! I don’t even have a dishwasher, but I would certainly make a big hole for a Beach Blue one!

P.S. I know that getting a notice from me every day this month can be tedious for some, LOL. You are not used to this consistancy in blogging from me :)….remember, I am on a personal journey, a challenge to conquer my flakiness. So, instead of leaving me completely, you could just turn your subscription to digest, and come back in July when I will surely be flaky in posting again.

Much love,
Heike

Another man left me…


If you have been with me for a few years, you know I am a “hair girl”. My hair goes from short to long, long to short, red, brown, black, streaked, back to brown….all in a matter of a few weeks.

My hair is straight as a stick, and be jealous all you curly haired maidens that I always envied!! Now is my time to shine!!! 🙂 Really, my hair loves me, otherwise it would have left me for bald after everything I put it through.

Lately, my hair has been pretty short. I have it cut every 3 or 4 (crazy!!) weeks, so I go to MasterCuts, where I pay $15.95. Yep, $20 with tip. That is because it does not matter if I pay $20 or $200 (yes, I have, really) to get my hair cut. I never like it anyways, and I ALWAYS go home and “fix” it since these young’uns don’t seem to know what a 20’s style bob looks like…. Being the comfort animal that I am, I found a guy at MC who cut my hair just like I wanted it, he understood. I only had to speak a few words of stupid polite conversation, and it was ok to watch in silence as he fixed my hair and my overall mood. Then I would go home and dye it whatever color grabbed me and covered the gray.

I “thought” we had an understanding that he would call me and let me know where he was working when he quit (sounds like a fling gone bad??), but I called to get a cut and HE IS GONE!! No notice to ME????

That sucks.
Just so you know MC Man, I am over you.
The other guy cut my hair, and it is JUST FINE!

P.S. Image is of the book: “Art Deco Hair: Hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s by Daniela Turudich