Tag Archive | homemade

Spring Equinox

Topaz after launching herself into a juniper during our walk this morning.

I’m grateful for cosmic equanimity on this day of equal light and dark. The harshest of winter is behind us and the harshest of summer unimaginable yet. Today begins the official sweet spot between extremes, a great place to dwell.

Most of the snow has melted with temperatures in the sixties the past couple of days. A good chance for a little precipitation almost daily over the next two weeks should keep the ground damp; grateful I won’t have to start laying out hoses til April.
Just when the trail has started to dry! I’m grateful we got in some walks to the canyon during these few days between too-deep-snow-or-too-wet-mud, and more rain. Grateful for more rain ~ look how fast that mud is cracking.
I’m grateful for a surprise in the mail today. I finally admitted that I was never going to get around to making anything with the ancestral linens and laces I’d been saving for many years, and during my winter purge I shipped them off to a friend who creates clothing with such vintage pieces. She returned a couple of them transformed! Thanks, Gaythapie! I can hardly wait til it’s warm enough to wear it out. Except of course I can. No point in rushing ~ soon enough it will be hot and dry ~ Summer Solstice is almost upon us!

Christmas Presents

A box from Amy full of little treats, like opening a stocking stuffed by my mother with thoughtful tidbits

I am grateful ~ I can’t help it ~ for Christmas presents. As much as I practice non-attachment to stimulus-driven pleasure, and as much as I don’t want more stuff, I still take “conditional joy” as a friend called it, in opening presents. The pleasure of having some presents to open on Christmas morning hearkens back to the simpler time of childhood: but, the presents I give and get these days are smaller and seem to mean more. A jar of homemade of jam, a special glass, a paper platter of baked treats. We are putting more of ourselves and less of our money into presents, with the genuine satisfaction of knowing it really is the thought that counts.

Amy’s box, for example, was full of thoughtful little gifts. A wooden hook her father made for me in the shape of an R; a jar of homemade peach~blueberry~pepper jam, cloth napkins, chocolate, a couple of magnets, and a gift card for Penzey’s, a social-justice company with great spices and the motto Love People, Cook them Tasty Food. When my mom, aka Santa, stuffed our Christmas stockings she filled them with thoughtful tidbits she’d collected during the year, and at the bottom was the toe present, always the best gift. Opening Amy’s box this morning reminded me a little of opening my stocking, only there were several ‘toe presents.’

Grateful for friends who tied a beautiful wreath to our driveway flagpole. It got a little wind-whipped but still reflects the season.
Chris’s box included a beautiful Ming Dynasty Covid mask, a nice bar Chagrin Valley moisturizing soap, and a cozy turquoise hat too big for her little pinhead.

Grateful for homemade-handmade gifts of fizzy bath salts, an artful marbled bookmark, a pint of vanilla ice cream, a beeswax candle, all thoughtful presents that will disappear quickly or take up little space; but mostly grateful for the thoughtfulness of dear friends who gave me all these bright little treasures, and for those near and far who sent actual Christmas cards, making me feel loved and cared for. I know this holiday is hard for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, and my heart aches for the copious suffering of others who haven’t got what I have: sufficient food, fresh water, warm shelter, and a life full of friendships, all making it easy for me to feel grateful and perfectly contented spending this holiday isolated, but not alone.

Stellar also enjoys presents, and thoroughly inspected every package. Grateful for UPS Tom, who cheerfully drives the long driveway to leave presents at my gate, even though he’s working twelve hour delivery days.
And always grateful for this elegant fat little cat who greets me each morning.