Deborah J. "DJ" Martin

A Witch and a Bitch with an Herbal Itch - and an overactive imagination

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Month: February 2013

Cleaning Out!

On Saturday, I said I was going to play in the shop. What started out as a “take the top layer of dirt off so I can stand it” turned into a weekend-long, full-blown reorganization of my work bench and storage shelves. (On the plus side, I found a half jar of a cream I use for the psoriasis I get in the winter … I don’t have to make any!)

I may not have done anything herbal-wise but by late yesterday afternoon, everything was sparkling again and I felt a sense of accomplishment coming from not only me but the (2+ pounds of) dried Rosemary I finally stripped from its branches & put into storage. There was almost a sigh of relief there.

It’s been two years since I closed my store and I was amazed at all the crap stuff I still have on the shelves. I’m posting it all here in the hopes someone might want it. First, I have other things to do with that space; second, I’ll just have to dust it all again; and third, I really hate it when things don’t get used. It’s all new and unused. I’ll also say I suck at taking photographs.

AmberOunce

Amber Round bottle with dropper:

1 Ounce  90¢ each quantity available: 30

2 Ounce $1.00 each quantity available: 10  GONE TO GOOD USE

 

 

 

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1/2 ounce clear bottle with green top

50¢ each quantity available: 25

 

 

 

Box

Jewelry Box 4″ x 5.5″

50¢ each quantity available: 62

 

 

 

 

 

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Muslin Drawstring Bag  3-1/4″ x 5″

15¢ each quantity available: 300

 

 

 

WP_20130225_002[1]Red Zebra Agate Mortar & Pestle approximately 4″ x 4″ (I love mine)

I’ll warn you, these puppies are heavy … almost 3 pounds without packaging

$10.00 each quantity available: 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKSone each

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical HerbsScott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs $9.25

Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the WiseScott Cunningham’s Magical Herbalism $7.75

Front CoverDavid Hoffman’s The Herbal Handbook $10.00 GONE TO GOOD USE

Jude's Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets Jude Todd’s Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies $10.00

If you’re interested in any of it, send me an email, I’ll calculate shipping & send you a Paypal invoice. Saying one bottle costs ‘x’ to mail and then multiplying it out doesn’t work. I’d rather you pay exact postage.

Help a girl out, won’t ya?

 

Saturday Musings-Retrograde Style

I’m only on my third cup of coffee … forgive me if I ramble a bit.

Today starts the first of three Mercury retrogrades this year. I’m a Virgo and Mercury is my ruling planet so the retrogrades affect me more than, perhaps, other people. I have to be doubly cautious about what comes out of my mouth (or off my fingers) so I don’t get into any more trouble than usual. As an accountant, this retrograde comes at a really sucky time – financial affairs are also affected by a Merc retrograde and it’s effing tax season. I’ll have to triple- and quadruple-check clients’ numbers.

I’m a bachelorette this weekend as hubby has left for his annual fishing show thingie. I relish this 36 hours (or so) alone and generally spend it doing things like an in-depth cleaning of the house. That’s much easier to accomplish without him under foot. This weekend? I don’t think so.

Instead, I think I’m going to go play in the shop. Things have been the shits around here lately, and I’ve ignored the herbs far too long. (First, I have to clean the shop. We share space and hubby doesn’t keep it up very well. I guess there will be some cleaning involved.) Even though my communication skills may be somewhat limited by that damned planet, I’m feeling a need to reconnect with them. The garden is still dormant (and soggy) so I’ll have to work with dried. A little more difficult but doable. Usually.

What will I do/make? Don’t know, yet. There’s nothing I have to make so I’ll let the herbs guide me. But I can guarantee one thing: it’ll smell wonderful. So, I’ll be offline most of this weekend, visiting with other friends.

Catch y’all next week!

So You Wanna Be A Published Author – Part 2

A year ago (that long?), I blogged about my experiences publishing my first two books. I finally finished herb book #3 and thought I’d share what’s happening with it since I was undecided in that post:

I’m still being hounded by that vanity publisher. It’s to the point that any phone call showing an Indiana area code on Caller ID is going directly to voice mail, even if I’m sitting right by the telephone. The once-twice-thrice weekly emails are “right click-deleted” without being read. Two more quarters have passed without an accurate royalty statement, necessitating my time straightening it out. (Next royalty statement is due next week. We’ll see …) Needless to say, my thinking was if I went with them for this next book, it would be déjà vu all over again. No thanks.

There are a lot of things going on in my life and although I want to get the book out, I really didn’t want to deal with a lot of it myself, so I submitted the manuscript to the same publisher as book #1. Yesterday morning I checked my email to find a contract offer. I was ecstatic until I read the terms of the contract. They’re not the same as my first contract with them. Not only did they want up-front money but additionally, they’d pay no royalties on the first thousand books sold. Say what? My books are very niche-market and it’ll be awhile before 1,000 copies sell. I’d like to see a return on my investment before I die my grandkids graduate high school.

I briefly thought about submitting it to a few other publishers I know work in that market but after talking with the husband & doing some research, I’m going to heave a big sigh and do it all myself. I’m lucky enough (thanks to the fiction book) that I have not only a wonderful editor but a fantastic cover designer. I will teach myself how to format for print – it ain’t the same as e-book formatting. (Learning curves. Ugh.) I looked at both Lulu and CreateSpace and although I haven’t made a final-final decision, I think I’m going with CreateSpace. Yes, this marries me to Amazon and somewhat limits distribution channels but on the other hand, they are the big dog in the market at the moment and have a good reputation. (If anyone has other ideas, I’m open to suggestions. Except Lightning Source. They’re too complicated.) My out-of-pocket will be only slightly more than what the publisher was going to charge me, yet I’ll see a royalty on the first book sold.

So, dear reader, that’s my experience with publishing to date. When the time comes, I’m going to ask for your help in spreading the word about Baneful! 95 of the World’s Worst Herbs. Hopefully, it’ll only be a few more months and it’ll be available. I have to get through tax season, y’know!

 

What Herb Are You?

Last week, I had a thought … it didn’t even hurt much. Those of us who work with plants on a regular basis know they have they own personalities. Recognizing this, I asked my Facebook and Twitter peeps the question, “If you were a plant/herb, which would you be and why?”  Before I tell you what others said, I’ll offer up my answer:

It would depend on my mood at the time you asked the question. On a normal basis, I’d probably say Rosemary because although I’m a little prickly, I’m generally a rather nice person, willing to help when and where I can. On one of those days, however, I’d go with Oleander: pretty to look at but touch me and I’ll bite. I’ll admit, I’ve been having more Oleander days than Rosemary lately. It is, after all, tax season!

On to others’ answers:

  • Basil: easy going, relaxed, can be by itself or with others, lots of different flavours, liked by most.
  • Rosemary: Fragrant, thoughtful, prickly at times. Doesn’t over winter well.
  • I would choose to be a Castor plant: beautiful, complex, potentially beneficial and positively deadly. Which one I actually resemble: Stinging nettle: helpful to those with knowledge, painfully annoying nuisance to those who don’t understand me.
  • Mullein, I think. Grows in whatever soil it lands on, starts out smallish and pretty and ends up tall and funky, versatile, and small birds like it.
  • Rosemary. Tough in most conditions, immensely useful and versatile and smells divine!!!
  • Vanilla. sweet and expensive unless u chew the outside
  • I would be the osage orange. Good strong wood, thorns for protection, very useful, but totally under utilized these days. Kind of describes me somewhat.
  • Definitely I am a topiary Yew that is ancient.
  • Don’t know which I would be but I’d like to be poison ivy, I like the idea of being able to get under the skin of people who annoy me and cause them pain
  • Blackthorn. I wanna be a blackthorn shillelagh and knock some sense into a few heads today.
  • Rose: beautiful, aromatic flowers with enough thorns to let people know I need to be handled lovingly; and left to my own devices, I produce rosehips, which are healing internally and externally.

I had an ulterior motive for asking. In Ogre’s Assistant, Book Two, Amy’s going to learn a little about herbs … mostly in the magical sense but for those of us who work magic, it bleeds over into the mundane world, too.  Although I know the personalities of the herbs I work with, I’m curious about not only the ones I don’t, but what others’ perceptions might be to incorporate into her lessons. (You didn’t know about Book One? Read about it here.)

So, if you were a plant/herb, which would you be and why?