"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Year, Same Life

It's been a long time since I posted; not for lack of anything to say but for lack of time. It has been four weeks or so of head colds, broken down vehicles, power outages, and so on. It seems as though life has become a pattern of lurching from crisis to crisis, like crossing a stream by hopping from one wobbly rock to the next.

Christmastime was good; it truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me. Not only for the celebration of the Savior's birth, but also for the time spent with family. Two whole weeks off from work, Daughter is out of school, and evenings are spent doing jigsaw puzzles by light of the Christmas tree with a roaring fire in the fireplace and the dawg sprawled out on the floor, snoring. We have had very little snow so far this winter, in fact when we headed in to town for the Christmas Eve church service it was rainy and dismal. After an hour or so of singing the wonderful age-old hymns, and hearing once again the verses from Luke Chapter 2, we came outside to a world transformed. The rain had become a story-book Christmas snow, gently drifting down, soft white flakes covering everything like a benediction. It was late, and the town was quiet, lit only by few street lights and Christmas decorations shining from front porches.

New Year's Day usually passes quietly for us, but this year we had a group of friends over for dinner and games. I experimented with a recipe for a home-made scrub and passed out some jars of it; so far it's had good reviews. I reviewed a lot of ideas from the internet, mixed and matched a little, and added my own touches. It was easy to mix with my wonderful Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Here is what I came up with:

3 cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups jojoba oil
5 vanilla beans chopped fine
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoon lemon essential oil

I put the dry ingredients in the bowl and used the wire whip on my mixer to break up any lumps and then added the liquids. I kept the mixer on setting 3 and used a spatula to keep pushing the mixture back down in the bowl. Some of the measurements are approximate, your mileage may vary. Adjust the ratios until you get the consistency you want. I have no idea on the shelf life, though the honey should help keep it stable for a while. Making the scrub was sort of a last minute thing so I was limited as far as packaging it; next time I'll use more ribbons and try to find some cute little wooden spoons to go with it.
Unfortunately those two weeks always pass much too quickly and it's back to reality. Work, school, and dealing with half-done projects, vehicles that seem to break down again as soon as they're home from the mechanic's, and the overwhelming effort of applying for financial aid and scholarships for Daughter's dream of attending college this Fall. On the plus side this is the time of year when the nights are clear and cold, with the stars close and bright and Orion standing guard outside my living room windows.  It's also the time when I get the payoff from all the planting, harvesting, and preserving work I've done. I know that Daughter and I are enjoying wholesome food that is as free from chemicals and additives as I can possibly make it. There's enormous satisfaction in everything from home-made peach jam on my toast in the morning to quick dinners created from the jars of chicken, tomatoes, and vegetables in my pantry. 

And that makes it all worthwhile.

God bless you my friends.


  1. Glad to see you post again! Hope the sickness is done for awhile - I'm finally getting there, too. Miss seeing you guys!

  2. I am so glad you posted this recipe for body scrub, I was thinkin of doing some for my own use and wondering, does it smell like brown sugar? I use my homemade moisturizing soap and sprinkle plain white sugar in my hand to exfoliate my face when I shower. Leaves the skin so soft and smooth. Then slather on some of my lotion bar lotion. I put castor oil it cause it pose to plump up lil wrinkles. lol we shall see.