Sunday, November 11, 2012

this week’s smorgasbord of beeswax and joy rides, elections and outbuildings, baths and candlelight

Spicy Bear
beeswax + cinnamon figurine

It’s been quite a week with the carport getting built, a trip to Green Bay, and the successful test of just another one of my great ideas—beeswax + cinnamon figurines. Oh yes. And the van got her bum, new-used radiator replaced, and I voted. The little red, white, and blue sticker is still on my jacket. In the end, the noise of the campaigns helped to hone my intention in voting, and the refrain in my head is this: equality of privilege. I need to write it out. If it still makes sense, I’ll send it to those who represent me in Lansing and Washington.

The carport is a balm against the never-ending summer sun. Certainly it will be nice to keep snow off the van, but come summer, to have the van covered, out of the sun, that will be the real treat. (Although I have a garage, the van does not fit through its door.) For now, the carport is just a simple extension of the garage roof, but eventually I will put up walls using some leftover barn wood, creating in the spirit of the upper deck railing. Choose your descriptive: “rustic,” “naive,” folk arty,” “is that safe?” What do you think?

Part of the upper deck railing. Photo credit: Elliott.
I went to Green Bay for beeswax, to use as backup, in case I run out of Michigan wax and cannot get more. It was a fun trip below the tension line, otherwise known as the 45th parallel, and here’s a funny thing—just south of the tension line the two-lane, 55-mile-per-hour highway became a four-lane, 65-mile-per-hour highway. Yes, everything must move more quickly south of the tension line. We were on US 141, going through towns like Iron Mountain, Niagra, Pembine, and Crivitz, and I hope to make the trip again some day, though not all the way to Green Bay, but just moseying along a ways, stopping to browse in antique shops and eating ice cream, maybe turning back before hitting that tension line. Just for the record, the trip took a bit more than eight hours. The menu consisted of carrots, cheese, fig bars, and tea, and Buster had yam.

Buster loves a road trip.
My intention today was to write about a question I am often asked at the farmers market and that always stumps me: How do they burn? Meaning, I suppose, how do the beeswax candles burn, and I’ve written about this before, of course, but lately this question and its lack of a clear answer has been bobbing around on my mind. It stumps me because there are so many ways to answer. Certainly you’re not asking for an academic explanation of combustion? But maybe you do want to know how a candle made of beeswax differs from one made of paraffin or soy? I could tell you specifically about this taper, if it will drip, how long it might burn ... but maybe you’re more interested in the Buddha? Last night I soaked in a hot tub watching a beeswax candle burn, and I wondered how I would answer, How did it burn? It burned in such a way, my mind wandered.

There were other nice things about the week—a jar of fresh local honey from a friend, a new rug for the living room, interesting chats with my mother about how dark the evenings are now, two deer standing calmly in the yard in the pelting rain and rumbling thunder, transplanting a tree—and I hope there were nice things in your week, too.

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