Thursday, January 19, 2012
Cold Weather, Warm Heart
It's quite cold right now - although it could certainly be colder - and when you live in a place with a long-lasting winter, you need to find ways to keep yourself cheerful and occupied. I started taking belly dance classes again (my first class was last night!) and I'm doing a lot of baking and cooking. These and other activities keep me pretty busy and upbeat, but sometimes a little something unexpected comes along as a special treat.
About a zillion years ago (back in August I think), I signed up to take part in the Bioregional Swap over at Terralectualism. The idea was to send a package out for October. Sadly, a series of events unfolded between when I signed up, and the end date, which rather hampered my abilities to send my package. I let my swap buddy Mary Beth know that I wouldn't be able to send her a package and that I didn't expect her to still send me one. Well, she sent me one anyway!
She's a homeschooling mama with a rambunctious lad to keep tabs on, so it took her a little while longer to send me the package. I received it just after New Years, a special mid-winter surprise! It was filled with such amazing things. The cedar smudge, jay feather and delicate shell all have a home on my precious-things table now. (I may or may not have spent a few minutes just sniffing the cedar.)
These two jars of homemade jam were great. One is blackberry-lavender and the other is thimbleberry. I'd never so much as heard of a thimbleberry before... but man was that jam tasty! I'm treating it like precious gold at the moment, parceling it out carefully at the times when I can enjoy it properly.
She also sent along some reusable cotton napkins, which she sells here along with oodles of other groovy reusable goodies and baby-friendly gear. And the dried mushrooms! How awesome that these were hand-picked by someone on the other side of the continent. I can imagine she and her son in a forest, hunting them down. So great! I haven't used them yet, since I want to find the perfect recipe, but I love mushrooms and so look forward to eating these.
I was also the happy recipient of some nasturtium seeds! I'm going to attempt to grow a few, and I've promised a few to my mother and another plant-loving friend. I don't trust myself to plant them all! I've never grown anything from a seed before, and since I have a hard enough time keeping full-grown plants alive, it's probably better this way.
I think the most fun part of the package-opening was taking all these lovely bits of sea glass and tiny marine fossils out of a little sac. I've never so much as as seen the ocean, it's amazing that these little things have been places and traveled distances I probably never will.
Of course now I have a renewed desire to send her something after getting all these wonderful things! If receiving gifts is good, giving them is even better so far as I'm concerned. Spread the love, right? (I've got goodies in mind for her soon too, wee!) I hope you're all having a great week. Cheers!