Christmas Magick

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Once upon a time, 30 Christmases ago, the mailman delivered a life changing parcel to our home. It was addressed to me, but I didn’t recognize the address or the handwriting.

Inside that box were three hand knit Christmas stockings, one with my name on it, and the other two were inscribed with my two children’s names. They exactly matched the stockings my husband and his sisters had treasured since they were children. They were made by my husbands maternal aunt on the east coast, who I had never even met!

I was so touched it made me teary. Except for my grandma, nobody had ever made anything this nice for me. I told myself that one day I would learn to knit socks and make Christmas stockings for other children and newcomers to our family. It turns out, socks are my favorite projects to knit!

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Aunt Cal passed on 4 years ago, but last time we met she said her heart was lighter knowing I was going to carry on the Christmas stocking tradition. Making them, and gifting them, brings the joy and light of the season straight into my own heart.

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I’m Back…

 

Hello everyone.  I didn’t just bail on my blog.  I took a fall over a year ago blowing out my shoulder and sustaining a fracture of my right arm just below my shoulder as well.   And yes, of course, I am right-handed.   A stainless plate and 8 screws were installed during surgery and have been holding it all together for a while. Healing from that has been such a trial of patience for me.

 

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I felt like this!

For several months I couldn’t wear a coat, couldn’t write, couldn’t type, couldn’t drive, couldn’t go outdoors to walk by myself, was unable to sew, knit, cook, bake or even hold a book, i.e., all the things I love to do!  Meditation helped me become fairly adept at accepting my limitations and letting go of what I couldn’t do.    My husband has been amazing and wonderfully helpful the entire time.  I am so thankful.

Physical therapy has helped recently, and at this point I can do most of what I love to do, though there are still weight restrictions on what I can lift and I can’t raise my arm very high yet.  Over all, I am feeling so happy and grateful to have my life back, it almost feels like magic.

I have missed my morning walks, and I have really missed reading so many of your great blogs, too.  Here’s to beginning again!

Welcome Fall

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Happy fall, everyone!  My favorite season of the year has begun just as I am frantically trying to process the last of the rewards of summer.  The shorter days seem to sneak up on me every year.  But oh, I so adore the cool nights.

We just finished restoring this little built in kitchen hutch on the kitchen side of our walk-in pantry.  It has a fresh coat of paint and new glass doors my husband built to look old.  I am so happy to have my little cupboard back.  It holds many of my favorite herbal remedies, cordials, and seasonal decorations.

Look on the second shelf down from the top.  See that little amber colored jar just to the right of the center?  It belonged to my Grandmother, who was one of my all time favorite people.  The jar was always on her kitchen counter, and usually held jelly beans or other little sweets.  She had a healing, nurturing way of interacting with everyone, and especially her grandchildren.  The jar now holds Throat Coat tea bags, which I am certain will pick up some extra healing vibes from storage in my Grandmother’s candy jar.

I dried orange and apple slices this past summer, and was recently gifted with fresh Bay leaves.  Once the Cayenne peppers were ready to harvest, I had to try making a garland for my kitchen.

After I finished stringing most of it, a friend told me she adds cinnamon sticks to her garlands, also.  I wish I had thought of that!  Cinnamon sticks soften when soaked in water, and are easily pierced with a needle while soft.  The edges curl up again once the cinnamon dries.  I may restring this garland to include cinnamon, but other than that I am pretty happy with it.

We had a good crop of Hops this year.  I combine them with other herbs in sleep or dream pillows and bath teas, so I am happy to have a plentiful supply.

This was a good year for peppers in our garden!  We made Cajun stuffed green peppers for the freezer, and canned a lot of jars of pickled peppers, too.

 

Pickled cherry peppers and Jalapeno nacho rings

 

We live in a little Ag community in Washington, surrounded by pear and apple orchards.    Apples and pears were ready early this year, right about the time the tomatoes and peppers came on.  Ack!  It has been a super busy autumn.

 

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It is a good feeling to have frozen apple pie filling in our freezer, ready to make a pie for Thanksgiving, and home canned favorites in our pantry.

 

Who has gift-worthy holiday food recipes or craft ideas they want to share?  Wouldn’t it be cool if we all blogged them during the same week in November?   Sounds like fun to me.  Let me know what you think?