Saturday, February 2, 2013


Happy Candlemas! Febuary 2nd has many names, Groundhog Day, Imbolc, Candlemas, and several more interpretations of the same. When I was deciding which we as a family should try to pay attention to Candlemas resonated with me the most. It’s spiritual without being religious, it’s pretty without being pompous. So that’s what I went with. However, my son clearly liked Groundhog Day better, that’s all he kept saying “Happy Groundhog Day!” I wish I has prepared more groundhog themed activities.
Interesting side note, the idea of Groundhog day is so old that it originated in England where it is actually a hedgehog instead of a groundhog! The idea of a hedgehog predicting the weather is just to adorable for words! Of course the idea of wild hedgehogs puttering about is also just adorable.
But, back to the topic at hand. First we made candles! I got a beeswax sheet kit at the local craft store, and we made several candles to serve as birthday candles at the upcoming 6 year event, then we made several to just burn throughout the day.
The four blue, and first two yellow (closest to the blue) are for the cake. The rest were just to use. Not bad for $5! The kit was pretty easy to do. Especially for me, but all I had to do for the kiddo was to start rolling it so it was tight around the wick without breaking. As we rolled we talked about the earth and animals coming out of hibernation. We discussed the candles meaning that the sun is shining on the earth more, something we’ve been reading about anyway in some of our seasons books.
Traditionally today is a day to begin preparing the earth for harvest, sowing seeds to transplant later, and other gardening work. I intended to repot some houseplants but couldn’t find my empty pots or my potting soil! I didn’t want to work outside because it was below freezing, and I also am waiting for naturalized bulbs to grow and didn’t want to disturb them. I did however spend a few minutes outside checking for bulb sprouts. I have 8! I planted more than 100, but it’s still early, and as much as I love it I’m a terrible gardener, so 8 is joyous enough for me!
The ability of plants to grow through the hard soil, through the frozen ground, through the mulch, simple amazes me. The sprouts as so strong yet so fragile. I love the movie The Secret Garden, in the 1990’s version when it shows the quick growth of the plants. I often joke that I always wanted to be able to sing and to garden, and I’ve given up singing.
I also started working on the grapevine cone we’re going to use on our seasonal table. I didn’t presoak the grapevine, so it has to be finished tomorrow. Right now I have a wire mesh cone, and an arm full of scratches. 
Today is also a day for spring cleaning. I wouldn’t say that I did that, BUT I did clean and work. My Grandmother’s house is going on the market, so yesterday we made a day trip to pick up all our boxes of stuff. There were quite a few tears shed, and between that and some illness lately I just didn’t have it in me for deep cleaning. But my living room is full of boxes (half Christmas awaiting the attic, and half stuff from yesterday) so I unpacked and put some away. I talked to my son about how we got these items as memories of Grandma’s house. So now he calls them memories. The Memory breadbox makes a Memory Sandwich. “Can he use a memory mug?” I get it. The first thing I unpacked was the mugs. The dishes to match were still in the car. I had gotten home to late, to tired, to cold, to hungry, to carry a heavy box of dishes that were not well packed. I was afraid I’d drop and break them all.
A memory mug, full of coffee, on the memory breadbox, with what is supposed to be pussy willow being forced to root in the background.
I cleaned up the kitchen and unpacked the memory breadbox. It feels so good, just so heartwarming, to see it on my counter. We love my Grandma’s house, and nothing will kill the sharp tearing feeling that this sale provokes, but these little things help.
Candlemas is also a day to eat grains. So as a quick dinner I ate cereal, in one of my new memory bowls. The day was great, and was a nice way to both reminisce, and pull us out of the sadness. Which is a part of what Candlemas is, to pull through the cold, hard, depressing winter and move on. Happy Candlemas!!! Now on to Super Bowl Sunday! (I’m not a football fan, but I intend to knit my heart out, eat, and watch some commercials!)

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