We have a lot of bees-wax. A friend and neighbor moved to Florida and left us all of his wax. It was in large rounds, about 15 pounds worth, but it needed filtering before I could use it for anything. As I found myself with a long Saturday afternoon and nothing pressing, I decided to tackle that little project. But, as so often happens around here, one thing led to another. As long as I was waiting for the wax to melt so I could filter it through some cheesecloth I decided to read a bit more about making candles. That led me to looking over my supplies and that led me to a Sunday afternoon of candle making. The results are way better than I expected. I had a mold for some spiral candles and was delighted to have them come out looking just as they were supposed to. I made a lot of votives too. The house smells wonderful. A lot of my equipment is a bit of a mish-mash. Balanced jars on top of bowls and a wooden spoon for a wick holder are not very pretty but they did the trick. I still put in an order for some wooden blocks and a dowel that will fit across the top. It’s the kind of simple thing that will take Bruce just a few minutes but make all the difference to me.

We’re expecting more weirdly warm weather this week so I was pleased that Phoebe and Bruce took some time and did some cross-country skiing. Phoebe loves skiing and she seems to be getting the hang of it pretty quickly. It helps that her school offers cross-country skiing as a physical education option and also as an after school activity. We have a lot of equipment that has been donated over the years so every kids who wants to can participate. A couple of teachers and some parents volunteer their time to do the after school program so the program is essentially free. My kind of fun.

The two jars on the table are my dilly beans and the last of the canned potatoes. I know that canning potatoes seems silly as they store so well in the root cellar but these thing are wonderful. I canned new potatoes in their jackets. When I want a quick side dish I can toss them in the oven to brown with some bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese and they’re really good. I am finding that meals are so much better with lots of pickles and sauces along side.the main course. I don’t miss my summer salads much at all.

I’m doing some research on tea. I was reading about a kind of tea that improves with age. It’s cheap when fresh and as it ages the price goes way up. It comes in bricks so it doesn’t take much room. I’m going to check the shipping price but if it’s good I think I’ll try this. The web site is PuerhShop.com. The descriptions sound yummy and the price is right for the young stuff.

Have you all noticed the change in light? The days are noticeably longer. I’ve been alive nearly 60 years. You would think that this particular miracle would be a bit less awesome by now but it never fails to cheer and surprise me. It really won’t be winter forever. I’m already thinking sugar season and garden plans. January is just about over. February is short and then it’s March. Let’s hope for a lamb.