Posts Tagged ‘Candles’

Being Florida born and bred I have never quite adjusted to snow events. A world transformed by white was out of the realm of my imagination and the first snow I ever saw I was 21 years old in Big Bear City, California. That snow was called Tapioca for its tapioca-like pellets, and I have never seen the likes of it since.

And then we had a whopper of an event a day or so ago here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. That storm named Izzy dumped seven inches that froze in place and dredged up lots of memories of other winters right here in rural Virginia.

In the early days years ago such a snow created magnificent excitement for those of us young enough to enjoy prepping and shoveling or just going outside to experience raw nature.

That was when my mother was living with us and I would call the power company and whine about having an elderly woman here who could not take the cold. Mom has been gone a long time and guess who is elderly here now!

In the old days we had to keep stocked up on wood for the woodstove, and I saved water in bathtubs, washing machines, and in any containers I could find, candles too, and lots and lots of comforters and blankets to cozy up in. I made stew that could be reheated on the wood stove. Never mind that it might take six hours to be heated to a palatable stage. And we got out the shovels too.

This latest storm has been a vastly different story.

The power stayed on but even if it went out the difference is we installed a whole house generator!

And because we have this remarkable new technology I should be happy to exclaim, “Let it snow.”

Because now:

There will be running water no matter what.

The microwave will work.

The toaster too.

The heat never goes off.

The freezer keeps on running.

Lights only go out for 10 seconds before the generator kicks in.

No candles necessary.

Progress! A better life. A safer future.

Then why do I feel sad? Maybe it is like people felt when the automobile replaced the horse and carriage. This first real winter storm since we got the generator has left me with a sort of wrung out memory. It was a ghost snowstorm that brought up all my old memories of bustling around preparing for a worst scenario.

I still keep a few jarred candles in a secret cupboard just in case. They are lonely reminders of more eventful days when I placed candles in every room and flashlights too.

I still filled two pitchers with water just in case. They are reminders that the need for water was paramount. Filling tanks and tubs and containers was a busy job indeed.

The wood stove has not been lit with a real fire in a long time. It once kept us so warm at times I had to open windows. There is still plenty in the woodpile but waiting for a forgotten necessity.

Yes, I did go through the motions of all the preparations I used to do, but eventually realized I could just sit back and watch the snow. There was that little glimmer of excitement as I watched the first flakes come floating down, but I actually longed to be in survival mode with all the old frantic preparations. I missed working to make my home ready to combat nature and then to bundle up in Aunt Millie’s crocheted afghan, enjoying reheated stew warmed for six hours on the woodstove.


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There are certain puzzlements in life

even I cannot figure out.

Dirt is one.

Candle wax is another.

And both have made a mess of my perfectly perfect home.

Dirt – there is natural dragged in dirt of course (I am tempted to make everyone remove shoes upon entry but have never sunk to that earthly level) – or the real sneaky dirt that comes in potted indoor plants!

Even my plastic plants die, but at least they don’t leave soil on the carpet or stains on the furniture!  Real living specimens are supposed to add healthy qualities to the air we breathe.  But as they begin to slump (and die) I try revival tactics like taking them to the bathtub for a drenching and dribbling wet dirt all over the place on the way back.

Fake Palm - No Soil

Fake Palm – No Soil

And no matter where those plants sit, they leave dirt rings, dirt spots, dirt stains – dirt.

Though I loathe admitting it, there are no more real live plants in the house – only close replicas that do not add breath taking qualities except in their remarkable likenesses to the real things.

Candles – well, candles “take the cake” and I haven’t stopped using them on birthday cakes, but…..

I have tried everything I know to avoid wax damage.

My niece gave us two elegantly tall candlesticks with catcher plates at the top.  Aha!  I will put those on top of the wood stove for ambience.  One night I craved ambience so lit them, and fell asleep.  So much for romantic illusions.   Results: WAX all over the wood stove top.  Plastic greenery is now a camouflage technique.

Wood Stove Camouflage

Wood Stove Camouflage

The candles in this photo are still in their wrappers and are now just for “show.”  Bill removes all of it when we need the warmth of the wood stove .

  • To date, there is also a wax ruined dresser top.  Thank goodness for old fashioned doilies.
  • There is a saved glass topped coffee table but that took hours of scritching and scratching to remove all the melted wax.
  • There are numerous perfectly fine candles that have been trashed.
  • And I threw away a pretty candle snuffer that kept sticking to melted wax and dripping onto the wrong places.Jar Candle Bathroom

Yes, there are candles in the house (on birthday cakes sure) and for emergency black-outs in jars (which I still put on saucers), or for romantic illusions floating in holders that start with water and look like full champagne glasses, or there are tiny little votive candles dropped into rose bowls for fancy dinners.  I guess I haven’t completely given up on ambience after all.

Champagne Candles

But feeling somewhat lacking and intimidated by the fact I cannot grow clean  indoor plants or light regular candles that don’t drip beyond their saucers I am seeking help in the blog-us-fear.

Any solutions to the problems of candles and dirt?





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Lit Birthday Candle“Happy Birthday Grammy!  We have something for you.”

That was the message from my grandgirls this birthday month.  Kendall and Mackenzie, our two girls in Virginia, met up with us for a celebratory dinner, when they gave me a sweet smelling Happy Birthday candle.  I have since learned it was also from the missing grandgirl, Jess, who is in school in Michigan.

Have you ever heard of a Bella j candle?

They said, “Just burn it Grammy and you may uncover a diamond worth $10,000!”

“Oh, o.k,” I replied.  “And I will split the proceeds!”

I dutifuly burned my candle every night for three nights and enjoyed watching the dancing flame and the peek-a-boo sightings of emerging foil.  My excitement grew and finally, there it was – the package I hoped would hold a bonanza!Surprise Emerging

Bill said, “It’s too small to hold $10,000.”

“Maybe it’s a check though,” I said, “or a real diamond?”  Hope prevailed.
Surprise Revealed

Following instructions I extinguished the flame, waited for the candle to cool, and carefully removed the foil packet to be opened with extreme care.

Of course, it isn’t a diamond or a check, but is a tiny bracelet with a sweet little glowingly gold charm.

And I love it!  Thank you GrandGirls.  The candle is a lovely gift, the charm is a “keeper” and you (all three of you) always light up my life!



The Prize!

The Prize! Learn more at http://bellaj.com



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