Very active lately on the laboratory front. Finally cleaned out my corner of the garage, moved my herb stuff there, artfully arranged old Ladle Brand bottles, set up the still. Very excited about this next round of distillation. Am constructing new condenser unit that will allow replacement of cooling water while distilling continues. Boiler unit perfectly sealed and works great. Have juiced almost two gallons of apple juice from Tree Number One; will begin fermentation when I reach two gallons. Am so excited! It'll be interesting to compare the final product from Tree Number One versus Tree Number Two. Last year's #2 eau de vie was my favorite of all the experiments. Am looking forward to trying #1.
Improved moxa-making machinery works great. Made a bunch of beautiful fluffy white moxa from last year's mugwort. Also experimenting with using a magnifying glass to focus sunlight on St-36, Sp-6, etc. And left K-4 area which has been sore recently due to fucking up my rib and lower back. Am feeling impending old age, don't bounce back so well anymore. Sunlight moxa feels really good when you get on the edge of burning and move the point around in little spirals. I think it works pretty good. Iwashina-sensei's comment: "Pull away as soon as you feel heat." And, "Please do not forget that applying one time and even number can result in a sedating effect." (I kind of wonder about that odd and even stuff - smacks of typical Chinese numerological thinking that I'm not convinced is therapeutically useful). And, "Be careful not to over do this being carried away by its fun."
Also recently made a new all-purpose balm out of almond oil, beeswax, St. Johnswort, and gotu kola. Makes me think of first time Grossmuetti showed me how to macerate Johannischruut in olive oil many years ago. I really think it's better as a wound-healer than as an anti-depressant. Plus the gotu kola is an amazing skin herb; figured why not use it topically (interesting that they're both brain/nerve herbs and also both good for the skin. Skin as the outer physical boundary of mind? Maybe what's good for the one - antioxidants, circulatory stimulants - is good for the other). A little too herb-stinky for commercial use. The addition of a dollop of sandalwood oil hardly made a difference. Works great on moxa burns, and used it to good effect on Luki's butt, which was hypersensitive and painful from overconsumption of apricot pie.
Will hang up old Garlic Grotto sign, or maybe make a new one: "Ye Olde Brimming Laydle." Gotta get back to work.