Sunday, November 21, 2021

An Advancing Disease

 I think I've finally come to the point where I need to admit that I have a disease or at least some sort of syndrome.  My husband has insisted for a long time that I have an illness. I don't think I can live in denial any longer. It's been affecting my concentration, sight and more importantly my driving. I see things that aren't there too. The most prominent symptom is that I want to dye. Notice I said D.Y.E. not D.I.E.

It used to only affect me in the fall when the Goldenrod was blooming. I'd be driving down the road and see clumps of Goldenrod in the ditches. It's hard to concentrate on my driving when I see those plumes of yellow bouncing in the wind. These symptoms only got worse after I gathered up a grocery sack full of the blooms, cooked them up like you would make tea and then dyed some wool. Did I mention one of my favorite colors is yellow? Goldenrod dyes wool the most beautiful soft yellow.

One spring I was curious about the Rapeseed weeds that were filling the fields that hadn't been plowed and planted yet. One of our pastures was covered with the blooms too. I finally gave in and gathered some of the blooms and found that this 'weed' too will dye wool yellow. It's more of an old gold or antique yellow but still very pretty.

When I see pokeberries in the ditch while driving, I try to make a mental note as to where they are in case I need some. The berries ripen just before the Goldenrod starts to bloom so this has extended my time of 'suffering' from this disease. I had some Pokeberries growing in a pile of well-rotted manure that I was using to add to some garden beds. I usually pull stuff like that up, so it doesn't take over. That year I let them grow. OMG! The berries will dye wool a beautiful maroon color. It will also dye your hands and kitchen counter tops if you're not careful.

I no longer think the symptoms are seasonal though. It used to be only in the fall when I'd see the Goldenrod in the fence row. We have a walnut tree so in the fall instead of walnuts I see the potential for brown wool. Down the road is an Osage Orange tree so the hedge apples from it call to me to try that someday. Now in the spring there is the Rapeseed, fern fiddle heads in the woods, even the lichen on logs and trees.

Finally, the year-round exposure when I go shopping is becoming debilitating. Am I buying that avocado because I like to eat them or because I'm saving the skins and pits for a dye pot? It's just too distracting! You see black beans; I see blue yarn.

The possibilities are endless: cabbage, beets, carrots, turmeric, and onion skins. Who in their right mind fills a bag at the grocery store with onion skins and forgets to buy the actual onion?! I told you I'm seeing things that aren't there. You see food; I see color!

So, there you have it. I confess. I have a disease. Who knows, it might even be contagious. I do know that it has no cure. I also know that I will dye from it, but I will dye happy.

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