message in a bottle

Spring arrives and we run in full sprint preparing and tending. Summer has us watching, patiently waiting. Fall arrives with a prize: fruit grown in.the. bottle. Almost complete, almost. Large jars of ripe pears; bathing in brandy, infuse for months, monitored sip after sip after sip. When the time comes, the brandy pours; briefly veiling the pear. Bottles corked, ready for night capping and mood enhancing, hold secrets of the garden and whispers of the trees.

Homemade Fire Starters

I love the chill of winter. The scent of snow and chimney smoke make me swoon. No matter my hurry, a crackling fire shifts me to pause if only briefly. I repurpose simple household items to make these useful goodies.

Fire Starters
paper egg cartons

dryer lint
cotton kitchen twine
bees wax or leftover candle bits

Place the wax/candles in an old can or jar with a wide mouth and place in a saucepan with water filled so it comes about halfway up the jar. Place over low to medium heat, to indirectly melt the wax. Meanwhile. cut the top off the egg carton, and then cut the egg cups apart. Tightly pack lint into each cup, leaving a bit of headroom, so you can close the tops, but folding the corners in. Tie into a bundle using kitchen twine, allow for a fairly long wick, so you can use it to dip the cup into the wax. Once the wax is liquid, dip each cup into it, allow it to be fully immersed. I use disposable chop sticks or skewers to shimmy the cup, to make sure it is fully covered. Lay on wax or kitchen paper to cool. Once cool, trim wick and you are ready to go!

the wax is used to keep the starters waterproof…which is great for campers and hunters. if you will be using the firestarter in your home, you may not want to add this step. i always do, because i love the smell of beeswax
if you really jam pack these with lint, they will burn for 10 minutes or so and smolder for quite some time as well. i find it enough time to get the kindle lit and the logs on their way