The beehive was still there and thankfully there were bees! It didn’t look like there was as many as before, but these bees looked healthy and the honey comb was of fair size. Taking her grandpa’s knife out of its sheath, she cut off a small chunk the same way he used to do. She put it in one of the jars she had found. She only took the one piece because she didn’t want to stress the hive at all. Besides, it would be plenty for the salve she wanted to make and with only half the cells full of honey, she didn’t think she was taking too much.
Finally making it back to her cave, she made a small fire and put her smallest cast iron pan on the rack to begin heating. She put everything away except for the jewelweed and the other empty jar she had found. She got out her mortar and pestle, a large bowl that she filled with fresh water from the spring in the back cave and she pulled out a bottle of olive oil she had scrounged up. She poured a fair amount into the pan and began to warm it. Watching it carefully, so it wouldn’t boil; she began to wash the jewelweed in the bowl of water. She then crushed the jewelweed and began to stir it into the oil that she set to the side after it was warm. She picked up the jar and took it back to the spring to wash it as good as she could. After the oil cooled enough, she poured it into the jar, put the lid on it and set it aside. She would let it set for about a week, filter it through some coffee filters she had (which would take forever if she didn’t poke some larger holes in them), and then blend some of it with melted beeswax. She would have to look for some small containers to store the salve in when she went to town the next day. Yeah, she was going to town.
The one trip to town had turned into three trips to town AND had taken longer, AND she had to stay overnight each time. She made sure she hid really well; down in a basement because she thought she kept hearing a plane, which was weird. She also thought she had been spotted once, but no one followed her and she had managed to find and bring back to the cave everything that she was pretty sure she would need without any other incident.
It was beginning to get colder outside and her small back room in the cave was now full of salvaged food and other necessities. She was especially grateful that she had found those special, lovely little pills that she needed for those monthly ‘times’. She had already gone through misery since the event and the Chamomile tea she had found and drank, just didn’t work as good. She didn’t look forward to running out of pills again and never being able to find anymore again. And the dried herbs used for the tea that her grandmother used to make for her had run out long ago. She was constantly on the lookout for them where ever she wandered. But she was having a hard time finding the squaw vine. She had found and was drying the raspberry leaves that she gathered with the wild berries were ripe this past season and she also had found and harvested a good supply of red clover but the squaw vine mixed in with these two always seemed to do the best with helping her, besides the little pills that is. She could always use some yarrow but it was better for other things, like infections and clogged up lungs. She pulled out the Green Pharmacy book that use to be her Grandmothers, since she knew she was forgetting one more ingredient, ah yes, she thought, here it is: ginger. I knew gramma would have it marked! She mentally added ginger to her foraging list. She knew right where there would be some.