Tuesday, November 18, 2008

rambling thoughts

Calendula and Rosemary.
My calendulas are blooming like crazy. I have been drying the flowers to infuse into oil and to make some salve. Lisa at tardyhomemaker wrote about it on her October 15th posting. I have been making some candles, candied ginger-I will post my recipe in a day or two, and some herbal tea blends. I have tried to not buy many Christmas presents for the last 15 years or so. I don't think I will ever have a totally handmade Christmas. There are just some people that either don't need/want anything I make, have something they desperately need/want that I can't make or won't appreciate handmade gifts. I have knitted sweaters for people that just don't appreciate the time and energy that goes into them. (I know you appreciate your sweater, H.) Those folks I shop for. I used to go into a frenzy each year agonizing over each gift. I still do to a point, but as I get older I find I don't want to expend my energy that way. I enjoy being busy creating things and baking and decorating and really for me that is what it's about. I do love the idealized version of Christmas-the colors, the scents, the wrapped presents, the stockings (my favorite part),seeing relatives and friends and the food. The reality for me is often different: a family get together that usually ends up in tears or angry words (good times), piles of useless, mass produced shit presents that I didn't ask for and food that I can't/won't eat (some form of dead animal and the ubiquitious marshmallow covered sweet potatoes!) I do bring my own and share with those who want to try some "hippie food" (their words not mine.) Sounds grim doesn't it? Somehow it all works out with the family, often rocky and trying at times with brilliant flashes of love thrown in.


Jenn said...

What a great post! You do so much that I would love to learn.

The reality is usally a bit different from the idealized version. This year I have decided we are staying home the day of Christmas. Every year my daughter opens her presents and then we have to leave them all to go visit all the relatives. Then you get home at midnight and you realize that you didn't even get to look at your own tree all lit up. I told both sides of the family we will visit any day they want us except Christmas day. They took it pretty well. No one whined, at least not to me.

I think next year I am going to try for an almost all homemade presents. (I will never be able to do a complete cause I have a three year old.)

Please share the recipes you use for the teas etc. Thanks!

Lisa said...

My calendulas are still blooming like crazy, too and I'm still making salve to stock up in the fridge!

I can't wait to see your candle post.

My family doesn't live close, so we don't have these kinds of issues much, but we do have the inevitable unwanted/unused presents since we have children and they are somtimes bombarded with them by family.

Angelina said...

I have lots of calendula from the herb store but nothing is better than harvesting your own! I plan to grow plenty of it next year. Once it gets going, as you already know, you never have to plant it again.