Another Good Week

Hello everyone. It was a good week. We had no school Monday and Tuesday and a 2 hour delay Wednesday due to snow and ice. Thursday, after learning that my colleagues had made me our school’s nominee for county teacher of the year(a vey humbling experience), and having my surgeon give me the all clear to resume normal activities(including splitting wood and shifting hay bales), my amazing husband(aka BFF) took me to dinner. After that, we purchased my dream stove. It’s a gas range with an extra large convection oven. It has a 5th burner that can be used for the griddle or the large canner. I’m feeling terrible spoiled and photos will be posted after it arrives on March 2nd.

 

imageYesterday I helped with our middle school regional cheer competition. It’s fun as the folks who come to judge etc.,  are a really nice group of women and I only see them once a year. The dancer serves as runner, bringing judges sheets to scorers, so it’s a nice mother daughter thing.  Afterwards, my BFF and I took a walk as it was a very warm springlike afternoon. Then, we had the best dinner, local pork chops(meat from happy pigs sure is better then factory farmed!), and a warm beet and kale salad with balsamic dressing. Mmmmmm. It was so pretty with the red and green that I may add it to our Christmas/Yule menu next winter.

 

Today, I’m making a vegetarian black bean chili for Sunday Dinner. One of the new imagetraditions with our extended family is that we alternate hosting Sunday Dinner each week. Sometimes we go all out with a roast and sometimes we keep it simple with soup, or chili. Since my BFF is working as a supply priest at a little church nearly 2 hrs away, I opted for simple. It’s so nice to all sit down together and catch up on the weeks happenings, work out any plans for the coming week and just be family. I’m really glad we do this!

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Cozy Cabin

It’s been pretty chilly outside this week, and a really cold front is blowing in this weekend. Here in our cozy cabin at Green Grove we are safe and warm.

Good food is made daily, like the wonderfully warming chicken pot pie, seasoned with turmeric and thyme, that my BFF(aka husband) made on Thursday with plenty left over for lunches and snacks. On Sunday, I made a family favorite that lasted most of the week, “Aunt Ethel’s Pond Cake.”  You see, Aunt Ethel didn’t finish school and spelling wasn’t her strong suit…so this delicious pound cake will forever be pond cake for our family…as that’s what it says on the original recipe card in my mom’s file. Sometimes it’s the simple treats, like cinnamon toast and cocoa with marshmallows on top, that warm us after braving the cold to walk the dog, fill the bird feeders, bring in more wood for the fires, or check in on neighbors.

There are cheery fires crackling in the wood stove upstairs and the fireplace down in the family room. Imagine how lovely to have all 5 of us curled up with good books, or homework, or the now dog-eared and well thumbed seed catalogs, or playing cards or a favorite board game.  Sometimes I look up and just sigh with contentment knowing we are all together, safe and warm in our cozy cabin. I think maybe I’ll go up and make a big bowl of popcorn and another pot of cocoa.

Looking Forward

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It’s a beautiful, sunny day- high will be near 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The 30 ish inches of snow we got during last weeks winter storm is melting. The birds are singing and new seed catalogues are arriving daily. Imbolc is upon us with over 10 hrs of daylight now. I am in full planning mode for the spring and summer. Many of these were on last year’ list but were tabled when other priorities arose.

We have ordered some trees and shrubs…elderberry, redbud, dogwood, lilacs. We have made plans for a beautiful support for the wisteria growing by the lower deck. We will finally be adding a proper woodshed next to the carport….no more digging through the snow to find the edge of the tarp when we refill the wood racks. My husband also has plans to make me a cold frame, so I can push the gardening season a bit.

I’m planning to grow a lot more beans, onions, and cucumbers, and this is the year I will get serious about under planting our fruit trees to start making more permaculture-like guilds to reduce the mowing.  We will move the berries to a better spot as they aren’t thriving in their current home.

I have been busy in my workshop this winter, making wreaths from artemisia and boxwood, renewing our supply of laundry powder, lotions, etc. I’ve been making some essential oil blends and below is the Imbol/Candlemas oil I made for dressing my alter candles. It also smells amazing in my oil burner and in our diffuser.

Molly’s Magickal Imbolc Oil 

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Step 1: Gather your materials, I use a small jelly jar for mixing, essential oils of Frankincense, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemongrass and a carrier oil of your choice. This time I used Sweet Almond because all my others had solidified in my cold work shop, and I didn’t want to wait for them to thaw. Some droppers or pIvette’s, alcohol for cleaning them, 4-5 1/4 oz bottles or containers of your choice,  and measuring spoons.

Step 2:  Prepare your work space in whatever way you normally do. I breathe golden light into the area, light a candle, and for this one I call on Brigid to aid me.

Step 3: Place 6 drops Frankincense, 5 drops each of Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemongrass, 3 drops Rosemary essential oils in small mixing container, swirl or blend and adjust quantities. My goal for this one is to not have any one scent stand out. Then add 1 Tablesppon carrier oil and swirl to mix well.

Step4: Fill 1/4 oz. vials with a dropper. If using a larger container you could use a stainless steel funnel. I made several small containers because I’m giving some to friends.

Step 5: Add labels if you wish and bless the oil as you wish. I simply say “As above, so below, I seal this work in the name of ____(I use Brigid, but it could be the Lord and Lady, God/dess, Father, Son, And Holy Ghost…whatever woks for you), and only the good remains.”