Saturday, November 12, 2005

Meeting Mary Ellen and the Juniper story


The other day we headed up to The Rosemary House again, this time because one of our regular writers, Mary Ellen Wilcox (left) of SouthRidge Treasures was going to be visiting and it was a good place to meet - familiar to us both. We even got a little visit in with Susanna, who needed to scoot to get her daughter off to a riding lesson.
It was great to finally meet. We've corresponded for years, and Mary Ellen has contributed very generously to The Essential Herbal magazine with wonderful recipes and crafts. She is quite a talented woman who knows her herbs. Her husband Skip and cousin Karen were along as well. We all managed to get a little shopping in to, and I continued working on the list of holiday stuff (which I cannot, unfortunately, disclose). It's one of my favorite things to be able to shop at small, independently owned businesses at this time of year. I was also very happy to receive one of Mary Ellen's cookbooks!
On the way there we noticed the sun shining on juniper boughs laden with brilliant blue berries. This year they are just loaded! My great-aunt Mary always chose cedar or junipers for the tree she brought in for Christmas. They have a very Victorian look, and every time I see them I think of her house. They are rarely used for that purpose anymore. Wonder why....
Anyhow, we decid
ed that we'd stop for a picture on the way home. Check this out!
It got us to giggling about one of our earlier adventures. Now this is naughty, you aren't supposed to do this...

We were gearing up for one of our shops, either at the tree farm or The Herb Basket - we're not quite sure. We were out along the highway for some reason, and we spotted these trees growing everywhere along the road. That year they were covered with the blue berries too.
If you've been paying attention, you'll know that I hardly leave the house without my clippers. That day was no exception. The vehicle at the time was a van with a side door. So we sidled up to one of these beauties, opened the side door, and I just started cutting away at some of the berried boughs, chucking them over my shoulder while Maryanne laughed uncontrollably, making up headlines that might appear in the paper the next day (she does that A LOT). Not wanting to harm any single plant, we edged the car up a bit to the next tree, and continued until we had enough for a few wreaths.
Now that isn't really the funny part to us. What really gets us is the way we took off like bank robbers, got off at the next exit, and doubled back to escape surveillance.
These days I go "hunting" with my camera, and wildcraft on property of friends or family with permission - 99% of the time :-).

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