Furbaby Friday with Beth Trissel

Kittens Happen…

Last Friday, I was given a tiny kitten to care for–for the weekend–but his stay is now indefinite. Sometimes, you just need a kitten, and you didn’t even know it. Hubby would appreciate my finding a home for the baby when he’s older. Meanwhile…I’m getting attached, as are the grandkids and Puppy Cooper. Cooper loves this kitten and frequently checks on it. If the baby mews, he rushes to its box to see if it’s OK, and when I let the tiny toddler explore, Cooper is on its tail. The grandkids are building the kitten a playhouse run out of Amazon boxes with connecting tunnels. Very creative and he has rewarded them by darting through their maze like a hamster. Just between us, I think hubby is destined to have another cat in his life.

When I first began Furbaby Friday, it was as a tribute to my dear little dog and best friend, Sadie. Her passing tore me up more than words can express. I still miss her terribly, and tear up thinking about her, but Cooper, Jilly, our farm dog, Luca, and my kitties are a big comfort. Peaches and Cream have been my babies since they were two week old kittens granddaughter Emma found abandoned. Cream was left in a mud puddle, so dirty we couldn’t tell he was a white kitten. He and Peaches are buddy brothers. Funny bird Kitty Pavel is attached to me in his own way. All my furbabies are rescues, and give back so much to me and the family.

(Sadie and Percy)

About a week after Sadie crossed the rainbow bridge, Kitty Percy followed her. A very sad time for us all, especially me. This little kitten that has come into our lives looks a lot like Percy did. Percy and Sadie were pals and snoozed on the couch together. They kept me company through many a writing project and the ups and downs of life. I have missed Percy a lot too, and wonder if this new kitty might be like him. You can’t replace a dearly loved furbaby, but newcomers have a way of finding a place in your heart you didn’t even know you had. They create their own warm home in the deepest recesses of our sentiments, maybe even our soul. Those people who do not love furbabies will never understand. Those who do, need no explanation. We know what our furbabies mean to us. Yes, they are a handful to care for at times, but I cannot imagine my life without them. Nor do I wish to. They are my dear friends and an essential part of my life.

(Peaches and Cream)

(Cooper and Jilly)

As of yesterday, the kitten has been named Sparky McGee.

Furbaby Friday With Laurie Ryan

I’m happy to have Laurie Ryan here to share her awesome furbaby and contemporary romance. Northern Lights, with us.


Hi, everyone! And many thanks to Beth for having me here to chat about our furbaby. My husband and I have been privileged to have some pretty awesome animals during our time together. Three of them, a husky named Taschia, a poodle mix called Puddles (picked that up during potty training and it stuck), and a cat named Screamer (again, appropriately named). They were raised together and mostly got along. And the year we lost all three of these members of our family was pretty rough. In fact, we went about five years with no pets because of that.

By then, though, we couldn’t stand it any longer. We put the word out that we were looking for a cat. Interestingly enough, one came our way within a week. A friend of our son’s called to say she’d rescued a stray. She caught some guys (who will be featured as the villains in one of my books eventually) who were throwing this teeny-tiny kitten up, trying to land it on the roof of a building! She grabbed the frightened kitten and sent the villains packing.

And that’s how Dude came to live with us. Remember that “appropriate naming” thing above? This was our first male pet since hubby and I were kids, and we kept saying “she” and “her.” So we named him Dude. And the name is soooo right for this cat. He’s the most laid back pet we’ve ever owned. Loves everyone, loves naps, loves to eat, and rarely gets riled. Well, unless a dog or another cat come on the property


His lazy—I mean, laid back lifestyle is probably why he’s been stable for several years at seventeen pounds. He’s a hefty boy, loves to cuddle under my chin, and watches bird videos on you tube. And he’s brought us so much joy in these last ten years. I can’t imagine life without our Dude.

Beth: I love this cat!

Northern Lights:

Finding love in the heart of Alaska.

When New York CEO Renzo Gallini shows up with papers saying he owns the waystation Jess lives and breathes for, she laughs in his face. But things get tense when he’s got the paperwork to prove it…and her father, who apparently signed her home away, is nowhere to be found.

Alaskan native Jess Jenkins has lived most of her life at Last Chance Camp, a man’s world where femininity is relegated to wisps of time behind closed doors. Yet she’s proud of what they’ve built here. Last Chance is all she needs to be happy and no amber-eyed city-boy will convince her otherwise.

Ren left New York on his mother’s foolish errand, to turn an Alaskan truck stop into a vacation destination. He finds little of merit in the wide spot in the road until the small community, led by a fiercely loyal tomboy, shows him there’s more to Alaska than just ruts in the road. That survival depends not just on good planning, but on each other. And love can be found in places where you least expect it.
All buy links can be found here: https://books2read.com/NorthernLights

About the author:

Laurie Ryan writes fantasy and contemporary romance. Growing up a devoted reader, Laurie Ryan immersed herself in the diverse works of authors like Tolkien and Woodiwiss. She is passionate about every aspect of a book: beginning, middle, and end. She can’t arrive to a movie five minutes late, has never been able to read the end of a book before the beginning, and is a strong believer in reading the book before seeing the movie.
Laurie lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and a short drive to beach-walking next to the Pacific Ocean, with her handsome, he-can-fix-anything husband and their gray, seventeen-pound cat, Dude.

You can find Laurie here:
Website: https://www.laurieryanauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/beVXAr
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/laurieryanauth/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lryanauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.ryan.79

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Laurie a comment!

Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Love–Free Kindle Thru 8/18

Somewhere My Love (Book 1, Somewhere in Time) is the story that began my preoccupation with time travel. It spun into the Somewhere in Time series, and now I’ve added a new series with Ladies in Time. Both series are similar and have historical, paranormal, and often ghostly elements. I like a good mystery in my time travels so that’s also an important feature. And above all, romance. These are love stories.

Blurb:  Two hundred years ago Captain Cole Wentworth, the master of an elegant Virginian home, was murdered in his chamber where his portrait still hangs. Presently the estate is a family owned museum run by Will Wentworth, a man so uncannily identical to his ancestor that spirit-sensitive tour guide Julia Morrow has trouble recognizing Cole and Will as separate. As Julia begins to remember the events of Cole’s death, she must convince Will that history is repeating, and this time he has the starring role in the tragedy. The blade is about to fall.

***Somewhere My Love is free in kindle through August 18th, so snap yours up now at:  https://www.amazon.com/SOMEWHERE-LOVE-Somewhere-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B00AFJ7DZ6

Furbaby Friday with Brenda Whiteside!

I’m glad to have fellow Wild Rose Press Author Brenda Whiteside with us to share her wonderful dog memories and western romance, The Deep Well of Love and Murder (The Love and Murder Series Book 5).

Brenda: I’ve been lucky to share the life of a host of cats and dogs over my lifetime. The luckiest period of time was a ten year stretch when Rusty lived with us. He was by far the best animal friend FDW and I ever had. The day we walked into PetSmart for cat food and walked out with a rescue puppy, was a surprise and a great day. That puppy looked at me with big eyes rimmed in deep brown, and I fell in love.

Rusty came from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. His mama was a Red Heeler cattle dog and his daddy was a stranger passing through the res. Judging from Rusty’s long fur, streaks of gold, and personality traits, we’re pretty certain that stranger was a Golden Retriever.

Not only was Rusty an affectionate doggie, but he was also the “smartest dog in the world.” He helped me unload groceries from the car carrying in packages of paper goods and other sundries. Then, I would stand on a stool, and he would hand me rolls of paper towels and toilet paper to store on the shelves. When he saw me carrying dirty clothes from the hampers to the laundry room, he’d chomp some pieces and follow me. Every morning, he’d wait at the door to go out for the newspaper. He was FDW’s favorite fishing buddy. He’d jump with excitement whenever my husband had a fish on the line. But he’d also scold him when he went too long in between catches.

He’s been gone for three years and we still miss him.

Rusty has a role in my latest release, The Deep Well of Love and Murder, series book five. He was the inspiration for Perro, a Red Heeler mix and the best friend of Randy Silva. Perro was born unable to utter any sound and his hearing is limited to Randy’s high-pitched whistle, but his other senses are heightened. He warns Randy of danger more than once. I had fun including Rusty/Perro in this story.

After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.

Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a nasty land grab is underway. While the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a fight for his land, and the woman he wants by his side.

Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Randy can’t be sure where the next attack will come from—or who will be caught in the crossfire.

“You let me be the judge of what messes I choose in my life.” His hands twitched at his sides, longing to hold her and stifle her anger. He narrowed his eyes and stared deeper into hers instead. “Taking care of your ex is a mess I look forward to.”
“This is my mess, not yours.” Her tone grew more combative. “I’ve handled what I’ve been dealt, and I’ll continue handling whatever gets thrown at me.”
“I don’t see it that way.” He kept his voice level, but hard edged. His own emotions, convincing her while fear of losing her, hammered his self-control. “You’re locking me out. Why? Because you think you aren’t allowed to be happy?”
Her mouth pinched in a tight line, and she glared at him. “Randy—”
“I think it’s about damned time you stopped blaming your mother, your ex, or whoever for your unhappiness.”
She whirled away, ready to flee, but he couldn’t stop now. He needed her and had to make her see how much she needed him. “Don’t be afraid of me, Laura Jane.” He shuffled a half-step closer.
“I’m not afraid.” She faced him again. “But I don’t need you to tell me how to run my life, if that’s what you think you can do.”
Perro jumped and planted his paws on Randy’s hip, panting heavily. “For Pete’s sake, Perro—”
Laura’s brow furrowed. “Do you smell that?”
“What?” As soon as he’d asked, the hot, smoky scent assaulted his senses.

Buy Links:






Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure and has fun guests on her personal blog: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendawhitesideauthor/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Brenda a comment!

Many of My Books In Audio! #Audiobooks

If you enjoy listening to stories, I have a growing number of audiobooks. More  will soon be added to my author page at Audible and Amazon. The latest of my books now in audio is ghostly Time Travel romance, Somewhere My Lady (Book One, Ladies In Time). Narrator Sarah King did a super job.

Story Blurb:

Is he real or is he a ghost?

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from a handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th-century heir.
Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.

Listen to Somewhere My Lady at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-My-Lady-Ladies-Time/dp/B07FDJYJJ2

The White Lady, Book Two Ladies in Time Series, is also a recent audio addition. Narrator Susan Marlowe did an excellent job.

Story Blurb:

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It’s just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.
Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap. Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

Listen to The White Lady at: https://www.amazon.com/White-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book/dp/B07CGPG29C

Another new addition to my audio fold is historical mystery/adventure romance Traitor’s Legacy, sequel to Enemy of the King. Both novels are set during the high drama of the American Revolution. Narrator Lisa Valdini is excellent in this audiobook.

Story Blurb: 1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: The head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister, Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?

Listen to Traitor’s Legacy athttps://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy/dp/B07BH7WC4P/

A wonderful British narrator, Rebecca McKernan, did a fantastic job with my English historical romance, Into the Lion’s Heart.

Story Blurb:

Will the English captain save a woman the French Revolution would devour when he knows the truth?

Georgian England, 1789: As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he’s conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn’t immune to her artless charm, either.

French émigré Cecile Beaumont didn’t choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn’t expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.

Listen to Into the Lion’s Heart At: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Lions-Heart-Love-Letters/dp/B079N77LVY

Poignantly sweet, ghostly Christmas Romance, Somewhere The Bells Ring, is a wonderful audio book. Narrator Tom Jordan is fabulous.

Story Blurb:

Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope – until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe – in Bailey and the ghost – before the Christmas bells ring?

Review for Somewhere the Bells Ring at Audible: “Well done!
This isn’t my usual genre, but I found myself liking the book more than I thought I would. The narration was excellent and really drew me into the story. I recommend the book.”

Listen to Somewhere the Bells Ring at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Bells-Ring-Time-Book/dp/B075GWRZ1G/

Another super audiobook is The Hunter’s Moon, Book One in my Young Adult Fantasy Series Secret Warrior. Narrator Victoria Brodski did a sensational job.

Story Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Morgan Daniel has been in the witness protection program most of her life. But The Panteras have caught up with her and her younger brother. Her car is totaled, she’s hurt, and the street gang is closing in when wolves with glowing eyes appear out of nowhere and chase away the killers. Then a very cute guy who handles a bow like Robin Hood emerges from the woods and takes them to safety at his fortress-like home. And that’s just the first sign that Morgan and her brother have entered a hidden world filled with secrets…

The Hunter’s Moon has a super audio review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
“Great on Audio
ByR. Grabowskion May 15, 2018

Format: Audible Audiobook
This was a fun read… or listen. It was actually one of the first YA books I listened to on audio.

The beginning of the book pulled me right in with a scene with 16-year-old Morgan and her 10-year-old brother, Jimmy. It reminded me a lot of the relationship Meg has with Charles Wallace in a Wrinkle and Time because Jimmy is also very smart. (He was actually one of my favorite characters.) I loved how the author created a beautiful world in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia where some people can change into werewolves. The focus of the book was more on Morgan’s curse and her future. The real action will start in book 2 as this was only a novella. It kept me hooked with interesting characters and a unique take on werewolves.”

Listen to The Hunter’s Moon at: https://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Moon-Secret-Warrior/dp/B076TMHF6Z/

All of these books are published by The Wild Rose Press and the audios are done through the company.  I could seriously use more reviews. If you are an avid listener of audiobooks, please give these a listen and leave me one.

Visit My Page At Audible:

My Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B002BLLAJ6

Furbaby Friday with Sandy James!

I am very glad to welcome Sandy James to the blog to share her dear little furbaby with us. I have followed Sandy on Facebook ever since she got this little dog and am touched to share the deeply moving story behind him.

Sandy:  April 2015
I needed a puppy as much as I needed a proverbial hole in my head. My husband Jeff had just finished a twelve-dose round of chemotherapy to fight his colon cancer. He’d taken disability retirement from his job because of the toll cancer had taken on his body, but he was hopeful that he would regain some of his strength and be able to start living his life again. My concern was that he said he was lonely when I was at work and it was sometimes a battle to get him to do simple things like go on walks. My solution?


Jeff and I had lost our schnauzer, Carter, the year before. He’d been “my” dog, tagging around after me from the moment I brought that little black ball of fur into my home. When his kidneys failed at age fourteen, it broke my heart. I held him in my arms as he died, and I swore I’d never get another dog. Ever. Since Jeff got sick not too long after Carter passed, we really had no desire to have a new pet.

But then Jeff was lonely. He’d often told me how much he’d wished Carter loved him as much as he loved me, and I started thinking… (Something that gets me in tons of trouble.) Maybe Jeff needed a dog to keep him company…one that would be “his” since the pup would be spending more time with Jeff than with me. And since we both loved small, smart dogs, I started searching around for a good schnauzer breeder.

I found the best—Riggs Miniature Schnauzers in northern Indiana. Daphne, the wonderful lady who is Riggs Miniature Schnauzers, is absolutely amazing, so much so that her puppies are reserved a year or more in advance. Jeff was reluctant, but he loved the pictures of her dams and sires, so he acquiesced and we put a deposit down on a pup that would be born in the spring and we waited.

In August, I got a call from Daphne. One of her litters had been larger than expected, and she wanted to know if we wanted to be bumped up to get our puppy sooner. Of course we did! So over fall break, we drove up to her home and picked up our Max.

Sweet Lord, I’d forgotten what puppies were like! Carter had been a very “chill” dog, and Max was about as far from that as a pup could get. Max had two speeds: all out or sound asleep. There simply wasn’t anything in between. But we tried to adapt and joked about how we were both probably too old to have gotten a puppy. At least we could tag team, which allowed us to (barely) keep up with Max’s energy level.

Then our entire world was turned upside down when Jeff’s cancer returned.
Through more rounds of chemotherapy and then radiation, Max was always there to snuggle with Jeff or with me when we were sad or just needed a bit of emotional support. He licked more tears from my cheeks than I can even remember. I think animals are amazingly empathetic, and Max seemed in tune with us. He’d be quiet and cuddle when we needed that or would do something silly if we needed a laugh. Even as Jeff’s health worsened and we realized that he was going to lose his battle with that bastard disease, Max was there to sit in Jeff’s lap or lie beside him on the couch.

I lost Jeff in September of 2016. Max kept me from feeling so damned alone. As I tried to find a new life for myself as a single instead of as a wife, my wonderful salt-and-pepper dog always let me know that he was there for me.

I don’t know what I’d do without him.

(Sandy and Max)

About Sandy James
Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis, where she teaches psychology. Published through Forever Yours, Carina Press, and indie-published, she has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller multiple times and has won numerous awards including two HOLT Medallions.

For more on Sandy visit her website: https://sandyjames.com/

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Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Sandy a comment.

Herbal Preparations by 18th Century Botanist Sir John Hill

18th century botanist Sir John Hill, also an apothecary, playwright, actor, novelist, and journalist, was quite an accomplished gentleman. Sir John is also among the most vilified men in Georgian England for his attacks on the Royal Society, with whom he was at odds. Disappointed by the society’s refusal to elect him a fellow, coupled with his disapproval of their scientific standards, Hill wrote many strongly worded reviews of the lauded society. And they weren’t the only ones to come under fire by Hill, outspoken to a fault. He was attacked in turn, but onto his charming and informative work, The Family Herbal.

Hill states his herbal is intended to inform those who live in the country and are desirous of being useful to their families and friends, or charitable to the poor in relief of their disorders, of the virtues of wild plants, and describes his book as, ‘An account of all those English plants which are remarkable for their virtues, and of the drugs which are produced by vegetables of other countries: with their descriptions and their uses, as proved by experience.’

He prefaces his herbal with detailed explanations as to which part of the plant is used and the steps in preparing the desired form for administering its healing properties.. Fascinating stuff. I love Hill’s many references to the ‘charitable lady’ who is concocting herbal medicines for her family or community and he gives painstaking instructions and recipes for making juices, infusions, decoctions, distilled waters, cordials, tinctures, conserves, syrups, oxymels, vinegar of squills, ointments, plaisters (plasters), essential oils…

He says, “The virtues of different plants residing principally in certain parts of them, and those different according to the nature of the herb, these several parts are to be selected, and the rest left: and these are in some to be used fresh and just gathered; in others, either necessity, or the natural preference, make it proper to dry and preserve them.

In some only the leaves are to be used; in others the whole plant cut from the root: in others the flowers only; in others the fruits; in others the seeds; in some the roots; and of some trees the barks; some the woods; and only the excrescences of others: while some vegetables are to be used entire, whether fresh gathered, or dried and preserved.

When the whole plants dies, (in winter), the root is seldom of any virtue; but when the root remains for many years and sends up new shoots in the spring, it commonly has great virtue.”

He’s speaking of perennials and recommends taking the leaves growing from the root rather than the stalk, “for they are more juicy, and for many purposes much better.”

“When the juice of the leaves of any plant is required, these are the leaves from which it is to be pressed…if fresh, they should be cut up close to the root, and only shook clean, not washed; for in many, that carries off a part of the virtue: they are to be cut into the pot. If they are to be dried, the same caution is to be used…when herbs are to be used fresh, it is best not to take them entire, but only to cut off the tops; three or four inches long…the tops of the plants thus gathered are always preferable to the whole plant for immediate use.

When the entire herb is to be dried, the season for gathering it is when the flowers are budding; and the time of day must be when the morning dew is dried away…for if they be cut wet, herbs will not dry well. And if they be cut at noon day, when the sun has made the herbs flag, they will not have their full power.”

He recommends either hanging the herbs in bunches to dry in an airy room in good, not damp, weather, or spreading them upon the floor, tables, (or drying racks) and turning them until they are ready. Good air circulation is key. Then he suggests storing them between sheets of paper in drawers. Closets and cupboards would also work. Make certain you do not store them where it is damp or overly hot. He advises drying flowers, such as lavender, rosemary, and red rosebuds in their prime in much the same method and storing them. However, he adds many flowers used in medicine are best fresh, but as they are available for only a short time of year, the best method of preserving them is in the form of syrups and conserves.

Regarding seeds, these are all to be used dry and gathered when perfectly ripe. Among the roots, he says, “a great many are to be used fresh, but a greater number are best dried. The best season for gathering roots for drying is in the earlier part of the spring…when the leaves are just going to bud: the juices are rich, fresh, and full.”

He directs that roots are to be wiped clean, but not washed, and prepared for drying. Depending on the kind and size, they may be sliced cross-wise and dried on hair cloth (wiry fabric woven especially from horsehair or camel’s hair) stretched across a frame, frequently turned, and thoroughly dried before storing. The juicier roots are to be strung upon a line to dry by drawing a needle threaded with a small twine through them, after they’ve been cut length-wise, quartered, and the heads cut off. If the root has a hard woody center, this is to be discarded.

“The barks of trees make but a small part of English drugs, and most are best fresh.” But Hill goes on to say, they may be preserved and will retain their virtues when dried by cutting them into moderate pieces and stringing them up in the same manner as the roots.

“There is no form of medicines sent from the apothecary, which may not be prepared from the herbs of our own growth in the same manner. Electuaries (medicinal pastes incorporated with sweeteners to hide the taste) may be made with the powders of these barks, roots, and seeds, with the conserve of flowers, and of the tops of fresh herbs; and syrups, made from their juices and infusions…”

“Juices are to be expressed from (fresh) leaves or roots; and in order to do this, they are first to be beaten in a mortar.” He particularly recommends this method, but cautions, “the juices may have an ill taste, or be cold upon the stomach, or otherwise disagree with it, there are methods to be used to make them sit better upon it. Allow the herb juice, fresh drawn, to settle and grow clear: a little sugar may be added in beating the herb.” Or the juice of a Seville orange. To the roots, he suggests adding a little white wine in the bruising, also a little sugar and powdered ginger.

“Infusions are naturally to be mentioned after the juices, for they are in many cases used to supply their place. Juices can only be obtained from fresh plants, and there are times of the year when the plants are not to be had in that state.” He goes on to recommend recourse to those plants that have been dried and preserved, either by yourself or purchased from the shop. Cut the desired herb into pieces and pour hot water over it to extract the medicinal qualities. *Infusions may also be made from fresh herbs. “Infusions are of two kinds. They are either prepared in quantity to be drank cold; or they are drank as they are made, in the manner of tea. This manner is best, but people will not be prevailed upon to do it, unless the taste of the herb be agreeable; for the flavor is much stronger hot, than it is cold.” He suggests a little sugar.

To prepare a cold infusion to be given over a period of time: “A stone jar is to be fitted with a close cover; the herb, whether fresh or dried, is to be cut to pieces; and when the jar has been scalded out with hot water (I assume to sterilize it), it is to be put in: boiling water is then to be poured upon it; and the top is to be fixed on; it is thus to stand for four, five, six hours, or the whole night, according to the nature of the ingredient, and then poured off, clear.”

More of some plant is required for some infusions than others: “For the most part, three quarters of an ounce of a dried plant, or two ounces of the fresh gathered.” Again, he says a little sugar or white wine will help the medicine go down, and possibly a little lemon juice if available. *Avoid the use of metal in preparing infusions, except for boiling the water.

“Decoctions are contrived to answer the purpose of infusions upon plants which are of so firm a texture that they will not easily yield forth their useful parts. In these, the ingredients are to be boiled in the water.” In an infusion, the boiling water is poured over the plant, like brewing tea, while a decoction requires boiling the ingredients to extract their properties. He says, “In general, leaves, flowers, and entire plants whether fresh or dried, are used in infusions; the roots and bark in decoctions.” So decoctions are for the tougher materials. When fresh roots are used, he advises first cutting them into thin slices. Fresh bark should be shaved down to better prepare it.

When dry ingredients are used, the roots and bark are best pounded to pieces. Herbs and flowers (if part of the mixture) are best added toward the end of the decoction, requiring less time. “Let the ingredients of the decoction stand in cold water for twelve hours, before it is set on the fire, and then it should be heated gradually, and afterwards kept boiling gently as long as necessary: and this is to be proportioned to the nature of the ingredients. Generally, a quarter of an hour is sufficient, sometimes much longer is necessary. They are to be strained off while they are hot, pressing them hard, and the liquor set by to cool: when they are thoroughly cold, they are to be poured off clear from the settlement, for they always become clear as they cool, and sweetened with a little sugar. Also, it is proper to add to them a little white wine, as to the infusions.”

Distilled Waters: In short, these are herbs, or spices, that have been distilled (in an actual still which Hill assumes you have on hand) either with water alone or the addition of spirit (he recommends ‘molasses spirit’ which is rum made from molasses). The ‘waters’ with spirits are referred to as cordials. One recipe calls for three pounds of dried mint put into the still with four gallons of water and two gallons to be distilled off. Cinnamon water is a cordial made with a pound of cinnamon, a gallon of water and a gallon of spirit, with one gallon to be drawn off, or distilled. Both the mint water and cinnamon cordial are recommended for sickness in the stomach, and the list of recipes goes on for treating various complaints.

Some additional ones mentioned are: pennyroyal water for treating hysterics and to promote the menses (possibly the woman is hysterical because she suspects an illicit pregnancy), aniseed water for soothing colic and lavender water for palsy. The ‘charitable lady’ is expected to keep an assortment of curative waters, cordials, and tinctures at the ready, “for a tincture will contain more or less of the virtue of every one of these (plants) and be convenient, where powder or decoction could not be given.”

To make a tincture (given in drops): “Two ounces of the ingredient is to be cut to thin slices, or bruised in a mortar, and put into a quart of spirit; it is to stand a fortnight in a place a little warm, and be often shook; at the end of this time, it is to be taken out, strained off, and made to pass through a funnel, lined with whitish brown paper, and put up with the name of the ingredient.”

Hill advises keeping the tinctures of many roots on hand. He also gives recipes for a making variety of tinctures from imported ingredients including cardamom seeds, cinnamon, ginger, long pepper (also called Indian long pepper, is a flowering vine cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a seasoning), dried orange peel, myrrh, saffron, camphire (an old spelling of camphor)…and the list goes on.

Not to neglect Hill’s in-depth instruction for the preparation of conserves, syrups, ointments and plaisters (plasters), adding that bruised herb leaves make the best plaisters. (*His spelling)

Conserves are made of the tender tops of herbs beaten up with three times their weight in sugar. In a similar way, the flowers of rosemary, mallows, archangel, lavender, and red rose buds may be made into conserves. Hill mentions conserves made of rosehips and sloes (also used in making sloe gin). He says to gather fully ripe hips and set them by in the cellar until soft, then lay the hips on the back of a large hair sieve with a dish placed underneath. They are to be broken with the hand or a wooden pestle and rubbed about until all the soft matter is forced through the cloth, leaving the seeds and skins behind. The pulp is beaten with twice its weight in sugar. Sloes are gathered when moderately ripe. These are set over the fire in water until they are softened, but not until the skins burst. Then they are to be laid upon a sieve and the soft matter driven through. A conserve is made by beating this pulp with three times its weight in sugar.

“Syrups are made of many ingredients: they may be made of any infusion with sugar added to it in a due quantity.” He says, “the liquor (liquid) of which a syrup is to be made may be the juice of some herb or fruit, or a decoction, or an infusion; whichever it be, let it stand until quite clear; then to every wine pint of it, add a pound and three quarters loaf of sugar. First beat to a powder: put the sugar and the liquor together into an earthen pan that will go into a large saucepan; put water in the saucepan and set it over the fire. Let the pan stand in it til the sugar is perfectly melted, scumming it all the time; then as soon as it is cold, it may be put up for use and will keep the year round without danger.” He also refers to using honey instead of sugar for some syrups.

His recipe for ‘Honey of roses’ sounds particularly delightful.

“Cut the white heels from some red rose buds, and lay them to dry in a place where there is a draught of air; when they are dried, put half a pound of them into a stone jar, and pour on them three pints of boiling water; stir them well, and let them stand twelve hours; then press off the liquor (liquid) and when it has settled, add to it five pounds of honey; boil it well, and when it is of the consistence of thick syrup, put it by for use. It is good against mouth sores, and on many other occasions.” (Which means it has many other uses.)

Onto recipes for oxymels (a mixture of honey, water, vinegar, and spice, boiled to a syrup). Hill favors an oxymel of garlic prepared with fennel and caraway seeds and honey. Vinegar of squills (lily-like plants) made with vinegar and honey, and the garlic oxymel, are both recommended for asthma.

The simplest ointments are made with herbs and hog’s lard. The lard is melted and the herbs are chopped to pieces and thrown into it. They are boiled until the leaves begin to feel crisp, then the lard is strained off. Hill also lists exotic bases for unguents such as oils, wax, resin, and gives his favorite combinations. Some include pitch and turpentine.

“Of the same nature with the ointments, are, in some degree, the oils made by infusion of herbs and flowers in common oil.” Which means, essential oils are prepared in a similar manner to ointments. For example, “Oil of elder is made of a pound of elder flowers, which are to be put into a quart of olive oil, and boiled til they are crisp, and the oil is to be strained off.”

Hill adds several more ‘waters’ he considers essential: Lime, blue, and alum, with recipes.
For a julep, he recommends six ounces of one of the ‘simple waters’, two ounces of one of the compound waters, or those made with spirit, two drams of syrup, and fifty drops of a tincture. “Thus for an hysteric julep, let the simple water be pennyroyal, the strong water the strong pennyroyal, the syrup that of saffron, and the tincture of castor.” *Please note, the use of this much pennyroyal concerns me given the medical cautions surrounding strong infusions of this herb, so bear that in mind.

He confides, the apothecaries will not be pleased with his disclosing “the mysteries of their profession, but the public good is of more consequence than their pleasure.”

And there you have it!