In the hot, droughty summer of 2010 this boneset bloomed for a couple months. I collected some flowers from it to make a tincture in vodka. It did not come back this summer.

Yesterday I used the boneset tincture, feeling feverish then chilled, and achy. Boneset is notoriously foul tasting, only valerian has a reputation equal. I took 6 drops.

"Not so bad," said to Jared. I waited a couple seconds. "MMmmm. MMMmm. AWWrrr. THAT'S AWFUL. OH, YUCK. YUCK."

"What does it taste like?" Jared was intrigued, possibly smiling. I'm not sure. I was preoccupied with the taste in my mouth.

"Acrid. Terrible. Acrid."


"I need crackers, anything."

The boneset began its work quickly. I felt a little better. After answering Jared's question, I stumbled to the kitchen and returned with a bag of Pepperidge Farms pretzel fish. I collapsed back into bed and ate fistfuls until I finished them all.

"Still have the taste?" Jared asked.

"No, it's better."

My son clambered over me, fascinated by the bag which had a blank spot for children to draw on - to draw a thing that made them happy. The side of the bag depicted 'Gilbert' the pretzel fish whose achievements included the '"Stay away form the vacuum" club.' Though my delirium has passed, still none of this makes any sense. I expect that my son will have a lot to explain to me in the years to come, "Oh, Mom."