Zymurgy on the shelf or ZZzzz And Scene. Goodnight! Exploring storytelling through dreams.

From fruit to ‘punch’.

ZZZ, are we cheating by using a string of ZZZ’s for the last post of the A to Z Challenge? Okay, let’s talk about Zymurgy instead. Zymurgy is the study or practice of fermentation in brewing, wine-making, or distilling. It’s the last entry in my little computer dictionary. How fitting is that? Let’s look back through some posts to explore some choice posts on fermentations:

SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: F Ferments and Krauts
SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: B Boozy Botanists

On to the ZZZ’s conversation anyway…

We’ve established that we’re storytellers and we’re going to let stories create the structure for the learning environments we create around us. Some of us are writers, published or not, writers of novels, poetry, and whatnot. We all have ways of conjuring up a story to tell. Hopefully, if you find yourself employed to write you have plenty of inspiration and no shortage of ideas.

My kids need to be reminded sometimes how to come up with an idea to write about. We’ll prattle off lists of topics and ideas, hoping to be so mundane that they come up with something that will interest them on their own. “Dryer lint, speed bumps, how many shades of blue does paint come in?”

Let’s look back at a few older posts and talk some more about dreaming.

SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: D is for Dreaming
Dream from March. Star Wars Episode III – SF Daddy

Journaling and especially dream journals are great ways to collect bits of stories that can be pulled from later. A twelve-year-old won’t believe you if you tell her this. She’ll have to figure that out on her own first.  She won’t believe that she’ll dream MORE if she merely pays attention to the dreams she’s already having. Then, after she has tuned in, she’ll find that the dreams flow whether she’s paying attention or not. If she’s right there in the morning ready with a pen to collection them in her journal, she’ll have an endless supply of ideas to cull.

I wonder if many of the writers we follow have used inspiration from their dreams to work out their stories.

Tinctures. Yeah, that’s what I said.

What other concoctions do we have brewing? Tinctures of all sorts. They just sit in the dark doing their thing. What’s a tincture?

tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance (such as iodine and mercurochrome). – wikipedia

A good example of a tincture is vanilla extract. That’s in one of the jars.

If you read the label on a McCormick for example, you might just find that it also contains corn syrup. We won’t be putting that in ours. Usually you sweeten your baked goods with their own ingredients, guys. We’re not eating the extract straight up, so it doesn’t need to taste good by itself. (Who’s running these companies?) Here’s a post about it if you want to see more label voodoo.

What’s really nice about making tinctures, is 1) it’s fun to say and 2) you need Vodka on hand. If you notice in the picture, the bottles and jars are pretty small, so there’s leftover vodka.

What would you do with the leftover vodka?

A – Atlatl Girls. Primitive skills for kids.

The atlatl (AT-ul-AT-ul) is just a sliver of wood with a spike or a hook at the end of it used by folks to hunt a bazillion years ago. You put a little wooden dart in the hole and sling it forward from behind you and over your head. Red1 has made a few and is getting quite good at making them and slinging the darts. Watch out, it doesn’t take much effort or power in the throw to shoot the dart deep into it’s target.

Sling Me
atlatl by Red1

But why is she making these things? Red1 and Red2 are my daughters and they homeschooled. They get to travel with their mom who goes to primitive skill share events around the southeast between quilting and sewing expos.

{Respond to one question with another questionable answer?} Yes! That’s us. So what’s a primitive skill share? It’s not a survivalist, Hunger Games, end-of-the-world cult family reunion, right? Right. 

The cool-factor: She met Andy Hemmings, and just hung out. Just from this link alone, to the article about the underwater archeology expedition for NOAA, he sounds pretty cool, right?

People gather to trade skills that our culture is almost too eager to leave behind. Botanists take them on nature hikes where they identify edible plants. They’re learning recipes for healthy teas and safe cleaning solutions. They made some homemade deodorant that smells better than anything I’ve ever bought in the store, but it also eliminated, not masked, eliminated all actual odors that were coming from me. They insist that I’m not that smelly to begin with, which is very polite of them, but I know it’s working great.

The ladies are currently fascinated by these things that people have started to forget about. Making cool primitive weapons, spoons, tanning, making meads and fermented foods. For thousands of years people preserved their harvests without refrigeration and created amazing beverages from the pounds and pounds of fruit in their trees. They grew and shared their vegetables and pickled them. Wait, tanning hides? Yes. They’re picking up dead things–carefully–to craft something from the hides. This summer we had a fox in our freezer for while before taking it to a friend to be de-furred. Poor little guy had a beautiful coat and will make a unique hand bag.

This June, they may be going to Firefly, http://www.fireflygathering.org, where they’ll trade hand-dyed recycled yarn and homemade ciders for leather purses, flutes, spoons and perhaps another atlatl.
April is the A-to-Z Challenge, and my theme for this challenge is explore the world my family has been swooped up in since they started homeschooling. While I’ve been at work, instead of becoming super computer geniuses, they’ve been out in the woods gathering herbs to make a few tinctures. 
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