Monday, 21 December 2020

A Norse Solstice




Good morning and Happy Solstice! I hope you are all having a lovely day wherever you are. It's been a while since I've posted and things have been so busy. Today I wanted to take a moment and share a short story that I wrote for my form drawing class this past weekend. I can never seem to find the exact story I want so I often end up writing my own. I am hoping to share more of these with you all over the coming weeks, months, years. Please feel free to use them in your own classes if you can. 


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A Norse Solstice


The wind blew cold during the dark time of year in Midgard. The people stayed inside where it was warm and safe from the biting cold and inky dark. To help pass the time they would tell stories, sing songs and practice their handcrafts and enjoy their time together.


 It was the time of the year just before winter, known as The Wild Hunt. During this time the god Jolnir would lead his group of hounds and warriors screaming through the night sky. The purpose of this dark evening drama was to drive away the ghosts and spirits who would take advantage of the darkness to roam about the earth unfettered. 


And woe be unto any mortal who was caught outside at night during this frightening time. If the cold and hunger did not do them in they might just keel over from fright at the sight of the Wild Hunt. Thankfully, however, the laws of hospitality were adhered to more at this time of year than any other. Showing someone hospitality this time of year, giving them some hot soup to fill their bellies or a warm coat to cover their shoulders or a soft bed to rest their weary head would often mean the difference between life and death.  Jolnir was already busy sending the wandering spirits outside to the afterlife. No need to make more work for him by creating another angry spirit.


While conditions were cold and dark above ground in Midgard, below ground in Alfheim it was warm and bright and busy. The elves and dwarves who lived there spent the dark part of the year tinkering and carving and making lovely little toys and delicious candies at Jolnir’s request. They knew that the night before the Wild Hunt was to end on December 21st, the night of the Winter Solstice, Jolnir would make his appearance to come and gather up all the toys. They were always amazed when they saw him as he was quite a sight to behold clad in his red leather pants and a fur trimmed jacket which served to keep out the cold during his nightly rides. 


Now for most of the Wild Hunt Jolnir’s purpose was to terrify the wandering spirits, but Jolnir always felt bad about terrifying the mortals in Midgard. To make it up to them, at the end of the Wild Hunt, he would gather up all the toys and candies that residents of Alfheim had so graciously made and make one last flight through the night skies on his 8 legged steed. 


On that night, the night of the solstice, the children down on the earth in Midgard would leave their boots on the hearth beside the fire before they went to bed. Their boots would be filled with hay and carrots for the eight legged steed. They would then snuggle into their beds to sleep the night away. Sometime during the night Jolnir would slip down the chimney and leave the beautiful gifts and sweets behind. 


Morning would then come, the children’s eyes wide with wonder at all the lovely things that Jolnir brought them. The next night would be quiet, the Wild Hunt finally over for the year. And over the next several weeks the sun would come back and the world would be lovely and bright once again. 


Monday, 17 February 2020

Monday Rundown 2/17/20

February here in Arizona is pretty delightful. Coming from the cold Midwest/Upper South and being used to being bundled up in mid-February it's always a bit exciting and confusing to be outside eating lunch with my students and being perfectly comfortable. 

Our school week is only 3 days this week due to Rodeo Days. I have mixed feeling about rodeo culture and it's treatment of animals, but I am grateful for a bit of a break. Having never experienced rodeo festivities I am interested and kind of want to see it for myself, but then again I don't want to support someone so brutal. I am still trying to decide if we will go to any of the festivities or not. Regardless, who can argue with a 4 day weekend?

In other news around the house, our seedling have been planted and I am waiting for them to get big enough to put into our Tower Gardens. I started out with one Tower Garden years ago and ordered a new one awhile back. I had a nice garden going this past fall, but a windstorm wiped out my plants so I decided to wait until spring to start again. I do still have a few broccoli, garlic, potato, carrot, and beet plants out in raised beds and they should be about ready to harvest pretty soon. This whole concept of planting through the winter is another thing that is mind-boggling to Midwest/Upper South me. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1pmUDa5OvPnlFKQkF5xcmuYgfUdFHFs3L
With all the new things for my grades classes at school I feel like I've been neglectful of my handwork students, but that changes this week. I have spent all weekend working on project samples for crochet hats and washcloths and we will be getting new supplies in this week! I can't wait to get my students working hard on new projects! I have a few new patterns that I will be posting on Wednesday for Handwork Wednesday. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=13Ocsi8-VooYV6qoJbJZjwcEknw73deTm

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Don't forget to check out our self-guided courses at: 


Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The Herb Cabinet: Honey Lip Balm


Each week we will share one of our favorite herbal recipes with you. This week we are sharing the best lip balm ever! Forget the expensive store-bought kind! You can make your own honey lip balm with this super easy recipe!

Honey Lip Balm Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/4 c. herb infused oil
3 tbsps beeswax
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp liquid vitamin E oil
Essential oils if desired

Directions

Melt oil and beeswax together in a double boiler or a other non-reactive pot. When oil and wax are well blended remove from heat and add in honey, ,vitamin E oil and essential oils.


If you like this recipe, don't forget to check out our self-guided herbology classes at www.simplecottageschool.com 


Monday, 10 February 2020

Monday Rundown: 2/10/20

New year, new life!

Since I last posted in late September things have changed once again! After an unexpected turn of events I am now the Class 3 and 4 Grades Teacher at the school that I had been working at as a Handwork teacher. As such I haven't had time to do much except for lesson plan, eat, and sleep. My dream has always been to be a Waldorf teacher so this was a huge blessing!

Despite all my busyness, I have had a bit of time to get my Tower Gardens back up and running for the season. I may not have big gardens these days, but my two Tower Gardens and a few planting bags for root vegetables work just fine for now. I just put planted several new seedlings so they will be going into the Tower Gardens in just a few weeks. The lovely thing about Arizona is that it's early February and 70 degrees out. Perfect weather for my Tower Gardens.

Although, it's still winter I am already starting to think about the summer. Conferences, trips, Outschool summer camp classes! There is so much to do! I can't wait to share it all with you!

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Handwork Wednesday: Beginner's Wash Cloth Pattern


This is an amazing pattern for teaching both knit and purl stitches. 

Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
Needle Size: 10

Directions:

Block 1

Row 1 -K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5
Row 2 -P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5
Row 3 - K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5
Row 4 -P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5
Row 5 -K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5
Row 6 - P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5

Block 2
Row 1 -P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5
Row 2 -K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5
Row 3 -P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5
Row 4 -K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5
Row 5 -P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5
Row 6 -K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5



Block 3 - Same as block 1

Block 4 - Same as block 2

Block 5 - Same as block 1

Block 6 - Same as block 2

Block 7 - Same as block 1

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Goal Setting Sunday - 9/29/19



Wow! It's been a looooong time since I've done this! I'm trying REALLY hard to get back to journaling, goal setting, and self-care so this seems like a good start. 

Last Week's Goals:
No goals from last week, but I think just getting this blog back up and running was an accomplishment.

This Week's Goals:
Monitor my blood glucose and ketones every single day.
Cardio and weights 3x this week. 
Do my monthly check-in for biz and life workbooks. 
3 blog posts


I'm starting off small with only 4 goals this week. Check back next week to see if I was able to meet them all!

If you are inclined to set your own weekly goals go ahead and post them on your own blog and leave me a link in the comments. Next week we can review our goals, report on our achievements and then set new goals. Let's help hold each other accountable!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Waldorf, Handwork, and Rebirth

It's been nearly 5 years since I've posted to this blog. I feel like I've lived an entire lifetime in those few short years. We sold Walnut Cottage in early 2016. Since that time all the land around it has been bought up, the houses torn down and new developments have gone in. Mostly car lots. Yuck. While I desperately miss those days in the gardens and with the chickens at Walnut Cottage I am grateful for having sold it when I did. I really don't enjoy the idea of having a car lot for a neighbor.

As sad as the fate of Walnut Cottage may be, I am afraid that I have even sadder news. In early 2018 Jacob completed suicide while serving in Syria. I can't even begin to explain the situation, but suffice it to say the kids and were and still remain devastated.

In April the kids and moved to Tucson where we are getting along quite well. I had been teaching online, but found a handwork teacher position at the local Waldorf charter here and I am beyond overjoyed about it!

While our lives have changed dramatically a few things remain constant. Waldorf, handwork and gardening. I miss writing about those things. I don't know how I can transform this blog into something new, but I plan to do my best. Walnut Cottage 2.0? Nah, that sounds silly. But maybe something else...I wonder...