Today is the first year anniversary of my brother Benjamin's death - 11-03-2016 - and I miss him. Benjamin's favorite color was yellow, he had a special place in his heart for cats, and enjoyed all kinds of music, He was an expert chess player and played daily. His sense of humor was so dry that most people missed it. He was one of the youngest to receive Eagle Scout, an honor earned by only about 4% of Boy Scouts. He loved his country and served in the Navy and later in the Marines. Benjamin graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and kept his love for all things Texas in his heart by watching westerns, listening to country music and cheering for any sports team within the Texas borders. He was often seen in a cowboy hat and boots, carrying a walking stick in later years.
Benjamin loved numbers. He kept notebooks filled with the numbers the way I keep journals filled with words and sketches. He assessed life through numbers, daily listing dates, temperatures, check book balances, stock figures, and some I can't decipher. When I would grumble about math or balancing the check book, he'd grin and say, "What's the problem? There are only 10 of them." My dad, who passed on his fascination with numbers, was a calculus professor at an engineering school. His death anniversary was yesterday - 11-02-1963 - twenty days before President Kennedy was assassinated. That's another post.
They both viewed the world numerically, a skill I've never quite embraced. If you look at the categories to the right on the side bar, you'll see that I have at times attempted to give them more attention. They've been on my mind more than usual lately since I'm keeping a daily word count for NaNoWriMo and keeping statistics on on my website.
In an attempt to keep my brother's memory closer, I'm committing to paying more attention to the numbers in my life.
This is my third year of participating in NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. The books I've completed before - one in PA before the flood, and one in Maryland the first year I arrived - were personal and private. But this year I'm working on a legacy for friends and family, and if well received, I may consider publishing.
As the title suggests, my focus will be on herbal gifts and delights. I'll be including some of the herbal water color sketches I created for my Enhancing Your Life with Herbs course - not all 200 though! The illustrated journal pages I created to design the course will be included as well. There will be herbal legends and stories, exerts and expansions from the e-books on Herbs for Haunting, Herbs for Romance, Zodiac Herbs, quotes, literary references, practical (and impractical) uses for herbs.
My Lavender Legacy will include the information I've gathered over my lifetime on herbs, beginning with legends and folklore I learned growing up on grandmother's farm in Indiana, my discoveries in the mountains behind West Virginia Tech where my dad taught, gardens and hands on application over decades, and my discovery and introductions to some of our most renowned herbal experts. There will be a sprinkling of magic! You won't find specific spells but there will be suggestions for herbs to use to bring luck, love, lust, wealth as well as herbs to break hexes and provide protection. My approach to herbs, as you know if you've followed my blog is light hearted, and I often find humor in some of the uses and beliefs that have continued over centuries.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!