Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

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Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The week is winding down, or rather winding up, to the great feast of Christmas.  I finished up most of the major things I need to do so I took a break tonight and made a batch of soap.  This time it was lilac.  It's strange that my house smells of autumn in summer, of Christmas in the fall, and of Spring as Christmas approaches, but such is the life of a soapmaker.  Because cold process needs at least a month to cure, we are always running ahead - that is, if we plan carefully.  Lilac is not my favorite scent to work with, but many of our customers love it.  This particular fragrance oil causes the soap to set up fast and has a tendency to rice so I'm not able to get the smooth, lovely swirls that I get with other scents. This would have been good for piping, but I had some soap florets that I wanted to use up.  It doesn't look as nice in the mold as it will when it is set and cut into slices. 

Very little goes to waste in my studio.  I use plastic bags as fillers for my tin can tealights and then seal the rest of the can with old wax melts that have lost their scent.  None of this shows, and it makes me feel like I am doing my small part to reduce waste.

This time of year always finds me waxing nostalgic.  A few months ago I made a new soap scented with Rose Geranium in memory of my mother.   The smell of roses always reminds me of Mama.  I'm not sure why.  Rose is not a scent I've ever been fond of.  Most likely because roses used to be the favored flower for funerals and my mother's funeral was the first I had ever been to. Mama's favorite flowers were actually gladioli. 

Over the years I have avoided rose-scented anything.  When Harold brought me roses after each of our kids were born, the vase had to sit on the other side of the room.  I think that roses reminded me that nothing in life is permanent - that we are mortal - and that my mother died too young. 

Lately I have come to peace with the scent of roses, and I remembered something that had been buried in my memory.  Mama used to let me borrow her overnight case when I went to stay the night at my grandparents' house.  She had a rose sachet that she kept inside it.  I recently found the sachet and realize now the scent of roses is also tied to a happy memory. This week I have been burning a rose geranium candle and letting the memories of my mother surround me.

It's been a bit of a sad year in some ways.  I lost some dear friends - one of whom was a mother figure for me.  She was a good friend - someone I could always talk to.  I still talk to her.  I often drive by her house and remember the good times we had as friends and co-workers in ministry.

But it's also been a happy year - with the birth of a new grandson
and the expectation of a new grandson in the spring.  We had lots of family time and I am blessed that all of our kids live in the state.  We have everything we need and everything we want, and enough left to share with others.  What more could one want in life?

Tomorrow we will decorate the church for Christmas, but before that there will be morning Mass.  One of my favorite priests once said, we are never closer to our loved ones than in the Eucharist.  I will remember that tomorrow morning as I remember Mama, Daddy, Marian, and all of the loved ones who have gone before me.  Merry Christmas all, and a bright and beautiful New Year!

Word of the day:
Feast of the Church : The Great O Antiphons: "O Oriens"
Saint(s) of the day : St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church (1521-1597)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-45.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

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