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Mom’s love handmade stuff

art-supplies-brushes-rulers-scissors-159644Each Thursday is Granddaughter day.  Me and my husband have the pleasure of watching our two granddaughters every Thursday.   We’ve done this for just over 5 years now, ever since the oldest one was born.

One of the things we’ve been doing for several years now is crafts.  Some buttons, and pretty ribbon, pipe cleaners, and beads.  Glue, construction paper, and some yarn.  We make beautiful things.

Their mom and dad love them all and each one gets a special place on the fireplace mantel or the counter for a few days or weeks.  I’m careful to put their names on them with the date for future reference in years to come.

This tradition has taught me several things.  Children love to create and parents love to receive their creations.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is subjective.  Almost any scrape of yarn, fabric, or ribbon can we used to make a something beautiful.

One of the most important things I’ve learned is that how these two little girls create is very different.    One is abstract and minimalist.  The other is precise and wants the dog to look like a dog.

The great thing about crafting is that there is no right answer.  I love letting them express themselves and seeing what they’ll come up with next.

But more than anything I love spending the time with them and seeing their moms face full of joy when they present her with their new handmade gifts

Warm Cookies & Hot Coffee

pexels-photo-301650.jpegIt’s a snowy and cold morning, but my kitchen is warm and cozy and so are the fresh baked cookies and hot coffee.  Batches of Valentines cut out sugar cookies are still coming out of the oven and the coffee pot is still plugged in.  Life is good!

I love making cut out cookies.  Today is rare since I only used one cookies cutter, the heart.  I have quite the collection of cookie cutters.  All the standards like Santa, stars, bells, angels, hearts, and bunny rabbits.  I also have a teapot, ice cream cone, and a train.  I love the old ones and scour second-hand shops for them.  I tried a set of plastic cookie cutters once, they went in the trash during the first batch of cookies.   A few years ago both my mother and mother in law sent me their cutters.  They are some of my most cherished cutters and a gift I won’t forget.  Now when I make cookies for my granddaughters their great-grandmothers are playing a part.

Like my cookies cutters, my recipe is old and a family recipe.  One of my own grandmothers used it often.  It’s a pretty standard recipe except for the amount of butter, a full cup and it uses baking powder instead of baking soda.  The baking powder helps the cookies to rise.  The other special ingredient is love, my grandmother added a lot of love.  This recipe has fed generations of children and adults and everyone agrees, it’s one on of the best cookies ever.

I continue to add the extra measure of love.  I’m making the cookies for family and friends, so of course, the love is still the most important ingredient  It’s not about how perfect the cookies look, I could buy perfect looking cookies, it’s about the special treat of Grammy cookies.  It’s about the pleasure I get sharing the cookies and the memories of my family enjoying them that stays with me long after the cookies are gone.

Yes, life and the cookies and the memories, old and new ones, are good!

Doing Double Duty

pexels-photo-129574.jpegI love things that do double duty.  It’s both frugal and well just cool.  Take the lemon.  They are very refreshing in a cool drink, great in a hot cup of tea, a cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom and go in many of my homemade soaps and face cleaners.

Epsom salt is another favorite of mine.  What else can fertilize the roses, cure constipation and make you feel so good when you bath in it?  How does it do all that?  I’m sure a chemist could give me a great explanation, but to me, magic is the answer.

Baking soda is another good one.  I cook with it, use it to clean my glass top stove and bathtub an then put it in the bath water.  It makes my skin silky smooth and fixes my ph balance.

I keep one jar of coconut oil in the kitchen an another in the bathroom.  In the kitchen, I cook with it and again it goes in a lot of my bath products.  In the bathroom, I’ll put it straight in the tub or use it after as a moisturizer sometimes.

Let’s not forget vinegar.  I buy vinegar by the gallon.  It’s a cleaner, it’s deodorizer and how else do you make cucumber and tomato salad.

A lesser known one is cornmeal.  Cornbread is obvious, but did you know it kills ants?  Sprinkle some on or around the around the ant hill.  The ants eat the cornmeal and it kills them.

I could keep going, but you get the idea.  Things that do double duty are cool and a little bit magical.

Now it’s your turn, tell me some of your favorite double duty things.

I love a cuppa of

herbal-tea-herbs-tee-mint-159203.jpegI love tea of every kind.  Herbal, decaf, full caffeine, chi, and my newest favorite turmeric. Some people take their favorite beer or wine to a party, I bring a favorite tea.

I might have had tea all day at work, but making that first cup when I come home is part of my evening routine.  What am I choosing today, what is my mood like?  Was it a tough day, reach for the organic green or chamomile.  Is it cold outside and I want to warm up, chi, it’s like my hot chocolate.  Want a perk me up, Lemon Ginger, it has a little zip to it.

Not feeling good, anything every warm with extra lemon and honey.  I don’t know if drinking it makes me feel better or just holding it with both hands and breathing in the aroma does the trick.

I can’t take a bath without bringing along a cup of tea.  Chamomile goes well with a bath. Between the bath, with lots of homemade bath salts, and the tea, I’m almost falling asleep before I’m dry.

Spending the afternoon with an old friend, may I suggest a cup of Pomegranate Rasberry tea, a couple of cookies, and a long talk.  I can almost guarantee a good time.

So I’m out of tea now so it must be time to hit publish and make another cup.

Garden Magic

olive-oil-oil-food-carafe-162660.jpegFor a green Witch, all magic starts in the garden.  The garden can be a window full of herbs, a balcony with ports of flowers and vegetables or a beautifully tiled and planted acre.  It’s important to know that what you’re working with is pure and organic.

My own garden is somewhere between the balcony and a full acre.  I have a good sized yard and a lot of it is gardens, both flower, vegetable, and herbs.  My sunroom is full of sensitive herbs, especially this time of year.  My lavender moved in last fall before the first hard freeze.  It will go back outside shortly after Mother’s Day when it’s not likely to freeze again.

The magic starts in my garden, but the kitchen is where it all comes together.  I collect what I need throughout the growing season and either use it fresh or dry it.  My herbs, vegetables, and flowers are all used in my magic, my cooking, and even my soap making.

Knowing where my ingredients come from and knowing that they are pure and organic is very important.  But using them with love is just as important.  The ingredient love makes the tea taste a little better and the soap more creamy.  Love also helps the magic to work better.

No Full Moon for February

pexels-photo-239107.jpegJanuary had a blue moon or two full moons in the same month.  March will have a blue moon also.  What does this mean for February?  No full moon at all.

It seems like February is always getting the short stick.  Only 28 days, or 29, whats up with that.  Now because there are only 28 days it will miss out on a full moon this year while January and March each get two.

I feel a little sorry for February this year.  It doesn’t seem fair.  My only solace, those of us that love full moons know that it is about a three day period.  So while there will be no official full moon this month, there will still be a couple of nights that the moon will appear to be full.

Imbolc

pexels-photo-235615.jpegYesterday was Imbolc in the Witches world.  It was groundhog day for the rest of America.

On Imbolc, we celebrate the dying winter and the coming of spring.  It’s a time to begin preparing for the plantings, spring is not far away.  In fact, Imbolc is halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  It’s also the day that the light begins to be noticeably longer, the sun is staying up longer chasing the darkness away.

Most people realize that many of our holidays today are based on Pagan rituals and beliefs.  However, most people don’t know that that includes very minor holidays like groundhog day.  Pagan beliefs are everywhere and many of them have been turned into more mainstream celebrations without the general public realizing their beginning.

So happy belated Imbolc.  Rest assured that spring is coming.  Do we really need a groundhog to tell us that?

 

 

Beautiful Moon

s_full-moon

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I had a clear view of the full moon.  We had thought our part of the country was going to cloudy.  Thank you, weatherman, for being wrong!

My first view was before the eclipse started.  It was a beautiful full moon.  I watched off and on over the next hour and a half.  My last view was of an almost total eclipse and the moon had in fact changed colors.  It started out as a very bright silver and turned throughout the eclipse to a reddish brown.

It uplifted my soul this morning and made me feel blessed.  It was a feeling that stayed with me most of the day.  What a nice surprise for a Wednesday.

 

 

 

Moon Gazing

Like most living things on this planet, I am drawn to the moon.  I love just staring at a full moon.  A full moon makes me feel calm, it does not make me want to do something crazy.

I am fortunate to live in a rural area with very little light pollution.  Some of the farmers in my area say it’s easier to plant during a full moon because even hard soil turns over easily.  It’s almost like the earth is eager to have the soil exposed to the moon.  Many say more babies, human and animal, are born during a full moon.

My drive to work is before dawn and further out in the country.  This morning we and thin mountain wave clouds.  They almost fully obscured the moon, but not the illumination.  It was like the clouds were backlighted by the best set designer ever.

I’ll be looking for the Blue Moon in the morning.  My forecast isn’t great, but even the illumination is beautiful.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be very blessed and get a glimpse.

 

 

 

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