Well I'm grateful for lovely central heating! Will and Alex have a wood burning stove which was blasting out golden heat yesterday. Quick pick of Will cutting kindling outside in the arctic blast.
The lotion bars! I've been looking forward to making them for a while now and looking forward to making them with Sal, Alex's friend - who was as lovely as she sounded. I've been trying to add her blog (rerootyourself.com) to my list but am having a few technical issues. Her lifestyle is a shining example of caring for ourselves and our world.
We gathered all the ingredients together (as it turns out not that many),
- Equal parts of Beeswax and Shea Butter or Coconut Oil
- a few drops of essential oils - my favourites were orange and lavender
We also tried some with a little olive oil added.
The oils and wax were simply melted (in saucepans from the pound shop, dedicated to the purpose) and poured into little moulds, again set aside solely for lotion bars and maybe soap. But that's for another day!
and left them to harden. Then we got a bit adventurous and added some cocoa powder and orange or peppermint oil to another batch.
The shea butter bars set a bit harder than the coconut oil bars but they are designed to melt on contact with warm hands thereby dispensing the correct amount of lotion. We'll have to find little containers to hold them in the summer otherwise we'll have little puddles rather than pretty shapes. In this weather though, warm hands and sunny windowsills are few and far between. It's hovering around freezing point at the moment, but that wind makes it feel much colder.
We had a lovely roast lunch, chicken for Will and nut cutlets for the girls. Alex makes amazing roast potatoes and has a steamer which makes perfect vegetables. I'm spoilt.
My hens only got a quick refill of food and some mealworms and a quick hello before I retreated into the warmth of the house. It's amazing how much cold you can tolerate when there is no wind but how uncomfortable it is when the wind is howling straight off the North Sea! The hens were fluffed up in the warm corner but came down for mealworms and sunflower seeds before retreating back to the warmth. Sensible girls.
I was spoilt again at tea/supper time with steak and chips cooked by John, served with pea salad and broccoli.
Now I'm sitting in the quiet of a Monday morning after the mad rush to get children ready for school and peeps ready for work. (I was keeping out of it whilst Steph and John went through their frenetic morning ritual). The sun is shining brightly from the east on a gunmetal grey sky to the west but I can see bright blue emerging too, highlighting the skeleton trees a beautiful bronze.
It has been much easier than I expected having an extra four people in the house. Steph spent a few hours on Saturday with her mother, cleaning and washing at the new house whilst John and I were at work. We went there after work and John pulled up carpets and I took Max home for some quiet time. He gets upset when it's noisy. It is going to be another couple of weeks before it is decorated and new flooring is put down.
I finally got the Sew Demented Bag sewn together and, after spending most of the construction time cursing it, I love it and, dare I say, am going to make a couple for presents?
I'm really pleased with the colours of this - choosing them from my collection of Sandy Gervais Autumn designs which I'm gathering together for a quilt.
It's about the size of a pencil case with a zipper that extends over the sides to form handles.
Inside there are three zippered compartments which then create four other spaces
You can make the outside plain although I chose to add a strip of squares.