Modern Day Witchery: Lavender and Fleas
“You can’t go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it’s just a cage.”
― Terry Pratchett
“I can’t get you a drink, I’m making a potion!”
I tell my five year old as he announces that the water in the fridge is low. Of course it is, I’m the only one to fill it, and the sink is currently broken. I found that out the hard way when I opened the cabinet doors to get a spray bottle out for the potion I’m brewing on my stove. Glad I left that small bowl and the super absorbent re-useable towel down there the last time this happened. It caught everything, which is probably why I didn’t know it was broken till now.
My afternoon has been a long line of “WTF just happened?!” that started with the dog, our Siberian Husky mutt named Maya. It’s been raining for most of the day and has turned our yard and driveway into an ice rink. She was whining, so I went to bring her in and found her drenched. She loves this weather, but had reached her limit. I didn’t blame her. I got a warm towel from the laundry room and proceeded to let my son Gab (said five year old) “help” by holding her body harness while I dried her off. That’s when I found a bald spot and something akin to a blister.
“The trouble with witches is that they’ll never run away from things they really hate.”
― Terry Pratchett
A few Google searches, a lemon juice wash and some Bactine, and she seems to be doing better, having left it alone since. She liked the lemon, proving she’s just as weird as the rest of our family. I figured she might have a hard time adjusting from my in-laws to our new pet-friendly house. Gab (who has a form of Autism) is having a hard time with keeping his hands to himself. She’s super fluffy, which is one of his comfort things when he’s stressed. So he touches her, and she’s not used to so much of it. The learning and adjusting curve has been steep for both of them. He’s learning to keep his hands to “safe and happy petting places” like her back and top of her head, and she’s learning where she can lay and he’ll leave her alone. She’s a Husky, she has no problem cussing him out in dog when he doesn’t respect her.
While I was putting on the Bactine I find the more likely cause of said bald spot: FLEAS! I HATE BUGS! I particularly hate bugs that harm my loved ones, and anything that is hurting my fur-baby is going to die in painful, nasty ways. To keep the little bastards from taking over my living room, I bust out the dried lavender and decide to boil it to make a spray. A few notes for anyone wondering:
1. Lavender floats, and sticks to anything you try to use to stir it into the water. Including a chop stick (because I lack a proper stirring wand)
2. They have been using Lavender since medieval ages to keep bugs like fleas and ticks away. I found it in my medieval studies of midwifery.
3. If you take lavender out of water because it won’t go into the water to seep like a good fucking herbal tea should, it will continue to stick to EVERYTHING.
4. A mortar and pestle are great for grinding that shit up and getting it into the boiling water to seep. Plus, it makes you feel magical as hell.
5. A Ninja Blender single serve cup does a hella ton better job without having to super boil anything.
I figured that last one out on my own.
Because it started to bug me that my tiny pink stone mortar and pestle wasn’t made for grinding the amounts of lavender I wanted (I made a lavender BOMB, and my living room smells far better then wet dog now) so I remembered that we just got a Ninja Blender and holy hell did it work wonders! I’m still debating what to do with the left over mash from straining it. It smells WONDERFUL.
I was sitting down for a moment in my drying living room when I remembered something from a Terry Pratchett book. About how witches were just women who were well prepared and ready for when things go wrong, because they always go wrong. I also remembered being told I was a modern day version of Nanny Oog from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Nanny Oog is often refereed to as probably the most powerful witch, but she has the right mind to never show it. She gets people to do things with love, in one form or another. I remembered one part saying how people who had only known her for fifteen minutes felt like they knew her all their lives. She is the mother, the healer, the loving guide. I have always taken being referred to Nanny Oog as the greatest of compliments.
So I happen to have a few bottles of herbs that bugs hate, and a collection of bookmarks about how to cure things as naturally as possible. I also have a first aid kit and moderate training thanks to a mom who was once a nurse. I rather sooth a broken heart with a stiff drink and a shoulder to cry one then a shopping spree. I bake and clean when I’m upset. I love other people’s children like my own, with as much understanding and patience as I can. If all of that is magic in this modern world, then I think I can finally figure out my true calling in life.
My main job is freelance writer, mother and wife.
My second job is Modern Day Witch.
“ . . . thats what I call magic — seein’ all that, dealin’ with all that, and still goin’ on…… That is the root and heart and soul and centre of witchcraft, that is.” - Granny Weatherwax in ‘A Hat Full of Sky’