Sometimes when my work week kicks in again (always on Tuesday) we get all tangled up in something we loathe: hurrying. My kids are simply incapable of this grown-up feat, and Pete detests it. Then I get all edgy and the four of us (an anyone within hearing distance) are fixin' for a disaster.
So after our weekly Tuesday Morning Meltdown, I would like to pause,
and take inventory of all that is oh-so-right in my wold. Here goes:
My latte every morning.
(and our recent Craigslist score of an espresso machine of our own, after a couple of loaners from friends and benevolent coffee gods).
The delight of rediscovering my fiddle after all these years. Music! Such fun (who knew?)!
The simple handmade things that found their way into our lives these past weeks.
The horrifying mess that my sewing room has become (okay, I'm not so blissed out on the mess, but the fact that is is being used is wonderful)...
...while I work on many gifts (still under wraps until deliveries are completed in January).
Welcoming the light into our home in simple, magical ways during these shortest days.
A beautiful stack of magical books that found their way to us by way of a great barter recently.
And the photo-free items, Lupine napping today (hooray!) and Sage out with Pete, finding joy, grace, and confidence on ice skates.
Wishing you a Tuesday filled with blessings!
Solstice is our biggest family celebration of the year. We spend Christmas with my family in Milwaukee, but Solstice is the bee's knees around here. And what's not to love? Our longest night tradition goes something like this:
1. Light the fourth candle in our Solstice Advent centerpiece.
2. Cook (and eat) loads of great food.
3. Craft and play games all day.
4. Make a gingerbread house. (Come up one piece short and substitute cardboard for half of the roof.)
5. Eat disturbing quantities of cookies.
6. Play outside in the snow (or shovel if if happens to blizzard).
7. Snuggle by the fire for some stories of Solstice and the birth of the sun.
8. Stay up "all night" (or, our official rule "until someone loses their mind").
9. Fall asleep, awaiting the Solstice Elves' magical gift in the morning (a woolen play mat for thier farm and some new wooden Ostheimer additions), and the birth of a new sun!
10. Wake to greet the fresh new sun and hand our golden sun on the front window in celebration.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well. Safe travels home to each of you!
So last week I wrote to you about the handmade and natural toy industry and the death-blow that will be dealt by the new legislation from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, if left unrevised.
Booty Balm. Baby Wipe Juice. Cheek and Chin. Sleeping Potion. Baby Wipes. Baby Massage Oil. Chest Rub. Essential Oil Blends. If this law is not rewritten, in fifty-five days these products will either become illegal or cease to exist.
No Booty Balm? As a friend put it this morning, "You're my friend, so I can just force you to make Booty Balm for me anyway. But if I were just one of your customers I would be freaking out."
So thanks to this law, not only will your baby be chewing on a Made in China plastic teether (Because you can no longer buy a local or European wooden teether) but they'll have Desitin on their bum, too, for lack of a better choice.
What can I say, people. This is madness. Get your letter writing hat on, and rage, rage, rage. Find your Senator here or your Representative here. Need a sample letter? Okay. Here you go. This is extremely important (and not just because I want to stay in business).
Our home is filled with sweet, simple toys. Ninety percent of it is wood, and the rest is mostly silk or cotton or wool. Farm animals from Germany. Play food from Europe. A wooden play kitchen from Maine. Handmade Waldorf dolls. There is almost no plastic in sight, save a few garage sale games and a plastic animal or two for car trips.
Toy snobbery? Maybe. But we think of it as quality control.
When the toy recalls start flying each year, we just nod and don't have anything to send in (we have almost nothing made in China. Even our wooden toys are sweatshop-free).
This week, in a supposed effort to protect children from dangerous toys, a law was just quietly passed that will require rigorous testing of all toys being sold in the US - up to $4,000 per toy. Regardless of safety records, materials used, or production size. Goodbye, etsy. Goodbye, small producers. Goodbye amazing European wooden goodies. Wooden toy companies from (uber-safe) Europe are alreay pulling out of the US market (Selecta is already gone).
An analogy was made that if a parallel law was applied to the food industry it would put every small grower and every farmer's makert out of business and leave Dole and Monsanto thriving.
What can you do, you ask? Start by signing this petition.
There. That was easy.
Now visit the Handmade Toy Alliance and click their Senator and Representative finder buttons and shoot an email or two off. I just sent mine and it took literally three minutes.
Providing our kids with safe toys is important. We just need to be smart about how we approach that goal.
We made it home from Milwaukee after Art Vs. Craft. The show was brilliant. We quickly sold out of lotion bars (clearly these will be in everyone's stocking this year) and our soap of course sold crazy style with a line wrapping our booth for most of the day.
And then the snow came.
We were already packed and had piled into the car. As we headed down the freeway I called my mom, who was finally decompressing after four days of The Wolves. (She loves her grandkids, but let's face it - we can be a bit much.)
"Its snowing," I said. "Really snowing like we might slide off the road into the ditch."
"You can come back," said my mom.
So we did.
We spent an unintended night with my mom, and Sage played in the snow until he was soaked through. He actually talks to King Winter and can hear him answering. He is constantly chatting with him about making more snow and giving thanks for the snow that we have.
I heard him say to Lupine as he smiled through the windshield of the van at the mounting flakes,
"Don't you wish you could make yourself really really big and go up into space and just hug the Earth for making snow?"
This Thanksgiving weekend (among many other blessings) we were thankful for snow.
Hello there! I am Rachel Wolf. Lover of wild places, blogger, homesteader-in-training, unschooling mama, & owner of LüSa Organics. At home in the hills of the Driftless. Welcome!
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