Promise

I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.

Anna

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Good Substitute

About a month ago, an ermine moved in under the house. We'd seen him (or her) before, but then I think, when he discovered the abundant hunting ground under the house, he hung around. When we saw all the tracks, we started leaving a few crumbs of leftovers out by the steps where the plastic that skirts the house during the winter is open.

Yep, he scarfed them up, so we left more. Soon we had a bowl out there, not to fill, but to keep the scraps out of the snow. Soon, we discovered that he doesn't really like dry ramen noodles, but he'll make short work of bits of fish sticks, hot dogs, and bacon. The latest offering, a half biscuit with butter and a little tuna mixed with mayonnaise disappeared quickly.

He seems to go on short hunting trips, but of late he has always returned. I guess he's unwilling to pass up a free meal.

He's a cute little sucker. We've tentatively named him Trouble, but today I couldn't help but call him Sweety. You see, today was the first time he showed himself to me, and for about five minutes, we played peekaboo. He popped up a couple times to peek at me through the steps, and then half a dozen or more times from the gap near the bowl. Every time I moved, he darted back out of sight, but then popped back out to peek at me again.

We were on our way to get firewood, and I couldn't play any longer. I put a piece of meatloaf in his bowl and we took off. When we got back, the meatloaf was gone. I do hope to see him again soon. I think, if he's still hanging around this summer, I'll order some ferret food. Not to have that as a stable, but to give him a slightly better diet than people food, which, I'm sure he'll get plenty of as long as he's around.

I do hope he stays. If he does, the mouse population will take a header. Who knows, maybe he'll actually become friendly, or at least friendly enough to take food from my hand. And if I'm really lucky, we'll get a second generation here. I'm not sure if he's old enough, and I haven't more than the one, but it would be hard to tell with all the tracks he's left around.

But, I can't have a cat or a dog. Where my son lives now, they don't allow pets, and the day will come soon when I can't live out here anymore. There's really no point in trying to get one now. Someday, when I've relocated to wherever (Eagle River, AK, or more likely Kingman, AZ), I'll get a cat then. Who knows - Only the future will tell.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Summer of Changes

I hate change,  I really do, but after only two and a half years, I'm changing jobs again. I finally get the place organized and functioning the way I like and I can't work there anymore. Why? you ask. Because there is nothing in it for me anymore. Sure there's a nice paycheck, and I'll be taking a pay cut at my new job, but the benefits to me otherwise are priceless.

You see, my old boss decided he wanted nothing to do with helping me get my supplies out here. Course he didn't tell me this until I asked when I could submit my list. His reasoning was that I needed to take more 'responsibility' for my life. What exactly does that mean? In his mind, it meant running to the store myself. Of course there is no store anywhere around here. For me to just pop into a store somewhere and do a little shopping - something my boss does when he's home all the time - I would need to charter a plane to town at around $400, or seat fare of maybe $100 if I was lucky. Then I'd have to hire a taxi driver for the bulk of a day of mad shopping for a couple hundred dollars if I was lucky, and THEN charter that flight out after spending $3000-$4000 on groceries. Now, understand, my lists are groceries for a whole year. I might have to fill that taxi 3 or 4 times in order to fill a plane. Back on this end, me with my little boat, the only boat we have running, I'd need to make 4 or 5 trips to get it all home.

Now, since I'm working every day (almost), I'd kind of need to accomplish all of this in one fell swoop or I'd miss work; I certainly couldn't afford to go shopping more than once. Needless to say, though I was willing to do this, I just couldn't figure out a way to accomplish it all. I stressed about this for a long time, until finally I decided I'd had enough. I called the competition and asked. Then I went over there and talked to the owner's wife. I've known them for some years. She was utterly thrilled to have me come back. As I said, I'm taking a pay cut, but I hope it will be less than quoted. I was told that was a possibility. I have over 15 years experience at that lodge. It will be nice to be back over there, though I will miss this place. But just to make sure, I asked specifically about getting supplies. I don't need to get a whole planeload at a time - half a dozen boxes at the most every time (every week) is good enough for me. She knows my situation; I order far more than the occasional shampoo and toothpaste, or maybe a new pair of pants and socks. She said, "Oh my gosh, yes. That is no problem at all." You have no idea how valuable that little gesture is.

This place, where I worked last summer and a summer and a half before that, is the very first place we stayed at when we first came out here. In a sense it will be home, and I did make friends here. I will make an effort to visit, but in truth, it will be a relief not to work there. The hours were just outside of my abilities what with me needing to take care of a home too. It was like working two full time jobs in a twenty hour day and still have time to wind down and actually get a little sleep. Trying to explain this to my boss earned some interesting responses though. One, which stunned me, was the recommendation that I leave my husband since he didn't help around the house. So my husband doesn't wash the dishes and he doesn't cook. I spent YEARS figuring out how to do the things I do around here efficiently; I have no interest in trying to teach someone else the job. My working a 13 hour day had never been in the plans when we got married. In fact, my working at all had always been of little more worth than getting me out of the house once in a while. I never expected to be the main bread winner of the family. I would never consider leaving him for those reasons, or any reason, for that matter. Needless to say, I couldn't believe my boss would even utter such words. I mean, are you telling me he would leave his wife if she suddenly decided not to wash the dishes (in the dishwasher)? It made me wonder.

Once was the time when we used to go to town for our supplies. It was such an ordeal and usually involved an overnight or two at a motel in order to get it all done without going nuts. When I first started working at the lodge under it's original owners, I don't remember how the subject came up, maybe she asked, but when she offered to bring out my supplies on their planes, I was brought to tears by the generosity. I mean, they hire their planes and though they were cheaper than now, they were still expensive; it never occurred to me to ask - I was just another employee. That tiny gesture (for them) save us hundreds of dollars a season, and never until this last summer did I have an issue about it. Summer before last was stressful, but I chalked that up to a new boss doing things differently - for the most part, it was, but apparently it was more than that.

So, how did I get my supplies out here? I didn't have to go to town for them. Another friend of mine (a lodge owner) listened to my woes and stepped up to the plate. I paid my share of freight and my share of her expediter's fees like always, and I got a boatload of supplies roughly once a week. Thanks to the late start, my lists had to be larger than I liked but it worked out. Of course, I could go on about her incompetent shopper, but really, I was just relieved to get what I got out here. I'll run out of coffee beans and creamer, but really that's a small issue. This time of year, I can order more. I usually order a plane of supplies at some point during the winter. I already went to town and got some things. I went because I was intending to see a doctor, but by the time I got there, what I needed to see the doctor for was all but cleared up, and I wasn't about to spend over $200 for nothing. I suppose I should have picked up coffee and creamer too, but it might stretch, or we might order another plane - time will tell - maybe we'll just endure until summer. I do have instant, and I do have milk. We would survive. hahaha

So - I'm looking forward to getting back into my garden, which has been beautifully modified since the flood. And I'm also looking forward to doing the modifications I'd planned before I found out I wouldn't be working there anymore. I've also come across a few new ideas too. I've told all my bosses - they're lucky they don't pay me for ALL the work I do, because I'm always thinking about improvements or some other issue. Worrying about the place over the winter and such. The hours are more sane - eight to five for the most part. Life will be easier on a daily basis because of it, the best part will be no more idle afternoons. When my work is done, I can go home and do the things I need to do, and what I want to do at home too. A pay cut will put a pinch on things, but not that much really.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Midsummer Happenings

So - King fishing season is almost over; the last of our guests leave tomorrow morning and I'm off as soon as I get the cabins turned over and ready for the next group of people when they arrive. I'll be back in the groove there next Friday until the third week of August.

Some interesting things I saw on the river, driving to and from work:

A couple weeks ago, I was tootling along home paying attention to the water in front of the boat so I don't run into any sticks, or heaven forbid, logs. Such things hitting the motor is a bad thing, or it can be. Anyway, I look up to make sure I'm aimed where I want to go - into the mouth of the slough that leads home. Blow me away, but I see this big root ball right where I want to drive. I had to slow down because I can't see the rest of the tree; I have to figure out where I can drive. I mean, the tree wasn't blocking the whole channel but how big it was would dictate which side of the tree I chose. It wasn't a big tree, thank goodness, so it wasn't blocking anything - it was just a nuisance. I think my driving past it eventually caused it to roll over and the water did the rest. Off down the river it went.

A few days ago I was tootling TO work this time and I spotted this funny looking big log floating down the river - not in my way and not any kind of hazard, but it was funny looking so I took a second look. Even as I was driving past it, it looked like it was floating kind of oddly. As I got closer, I realized what I was seeing wasn't any kind of log, it was a cow moose and her two calves. All I could see were their heads very close together and their big ears sticking up. They were crossing the river. Moose do that all the time. I think they turned around and went back.

Other goings ons:

There were two grouse families on my trail, but I think one of the mommas was a new momma, cause the second time I saw them all the babies were with one momma. It happens. I once saw a momma duck with like twenty babies. Now that was a sight to see. I saw the grouse family once since then - boy do those babies grow fast.

At the lodge, in the back yard, we have a momma tweety bird (don't know what kind it is). Anyway, these birds nest on the ground and this little momma has her nest in a not so cool location. Her cover is like a large dandelion leaf and a half dozen blades of grass. She has four little eggs in there. I hope this break will give her the peace she needs to raise her babies. Those eggs are maybe twice the size of a pea.

That's the cool things. I could go on with some of the negative things, but I won't bore you with my rant. It is what it is, and I shall prevail.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Apace

So spring is working on me and my surroundings, trouble is, thanks to last fall's freezing rain, there's lots, and I mean LOTS of ice on the ground. Snow melts pretty quick in the sun, and the warm temps work on it too, but the ice goes away somewhat slower. I don't really know how thick it is, but in front of our generator shed, it's in a shelf of at least 3 inches now, though it was easily twice that thick while there was still snow there. That spot gets a lot of traffic so it's probably an example of the worst of it. However, every little bit that melts trickles down to low spots where it freezes again. We think the ground is going to remain frozen for some time - maybe half way into the summer months. I'll be sure to let you know. Anyway, water still isn't openly running here, but as of today, I did hear water running under the ice in the little creek where we park our boats, something I didn't hear last time I walked down there.

Speaking of which:

Last time I walked down there, a couple days ago, I saw the biggest moose track I have ever seen. They made me back up and look again just to make sure. Standing right beside the tracks, the moose print, from dewclaw to tip, was less than an inch shorter than my boot. Standing directly on the track, it was also less than an inch narrower than BOTH my boots side-by-side. BIG bull - has to be. Wish I'd seen him, not that he'd have a rack yet this time of year, but still. Big bulls have been by here in the past, but to date, I have yet to see one - just not looking in the right place at the right time.

Anyway, not much happening around here. Just waiting for the seasons to change. Not all that anxious to go to work, but it is what it is. Gotta make a living. Maybe someday my editing will actually pay enough to take over, now that would be nice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Is it Winter Yet?

It might be, finally. It was 14F (-10C) when I got up this morning at about 10:30. I slept in. Sometimes it's kinda hard to get out of a nice warm bed, but someone has to stuff the stove or it won't stay warm very long.

It snowed a little bit yesterday dusting us with maybe all of another inch or so of the white stuff. Better than nothing, I suppose. Still, I wish it would just get on with it; I miss my snowstorms. Today I decided to take a walk down to the boats. I do like to see what critters are wandering around in our neighborhood, and the best time to do that is after a fresh snowfall. Today I immediately discovered the tracks of a large martin right here in the yard. I say he's large because his tracks are probably larger than a silver dollar, though it's been a while since I've seen one. I didn't trace all of his tracks around the yard, but it was obvious from his leisurely pace that he was on the hunt and not simply passing through as fast as possible. His tracks also came and went (or vise versa) a good distance down our trail, pausing to pay special attention to any mouse tracks that also crisscrossed the trail.

Speaking of those mouse trails. The mice we've seen this year are positively huge. How much of that is winter hair, I have no idea, but if I were to hold one in my hand (and not get bit) both their nose and their short tail would extend beyond my hand, and unless I squished to compress their fluff, my fingers wouldn't close around them. They are that big. Big enough to leave individual tiny tracks in their trails. I've seen smaller such trails, but they are for sure in the minority.

Another set of tracks I saw along the trail to the river was moose tracks. At first it was kind of hard to tell because his tracks weren't clear, so I don't think he was just moseying along, but I couldn't say what he was doing. It was just a single trail of a young moose. And I'm certain it had nothing to do with the young cow and her calf we saw day before yesterday.

That was funny. This pair came into the yard from somewhere slightly behind the house. We first became aware of them when we heard some thumpty-thumping going on outside. The calf was a little guy but he was fat and sassy, bounding around and harassing his momma. Momma wasn't too happy with his antics as her hackles were up and her ears back, but he could care less. He was bound and determined to be ornery. Out front, he stopped long enough to snatch at some fireweed and look at his momma as if to say, "I dare you to tell me no." It was so cute watching him. I'm betting his momma was fully ready to send him to his room for a while, and it was still early in the morning. hahaha That was my entertainment for the day.

Oh, and before I forget - The river report for the day is: still not able to travel around here, not out on our stretch of the river anyway. Can't get out on the river anyway, not until there's at least a couple feet of snow on the ground. Hope it snows soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ice, Ice, and More Ice

Where is my snow? It seems to have been misplaced over New York and surrounding countryside, and wherever, but most certainly not here. Instead, we get, of all things RAIN.

Things were going so good too. Back in mid October sometime we got our first skiff of snow, pretty much right on time so I was happy. It was just a little bit and water in the river was still going down, but I was certainly happy. Then there was a cold stretch where temps averaged in the single digits and maybe into the teens, possibly warming up into the twenties during the day. Frost heaves began to show up along the trail, and I must admit, it’s fun crunching them down. I never get them all; sometimes they’re just too thick and hard.

Not long after that first dusting of snow, after it had almost evaporated away, we got another dusting of snow, and in the mean time every tree limb and blade of grass, and absolutely everything in between became coated with a thick frost. It was really quite pretty out there. I should have charged my camera and taken pictures.

The river went down to it’s lowest and ice grew across it more and more each time I went down there. Someone posted on Facebook a short video of what it sounds like when you throw a rock across the ice. It really is a rather amazing sound, so I went down to the river and did it myself. My ice was thicker and that sounds becomes less spectacular with the thicker ice. It’s still awesome. I never walked out on it though. I don’t trust that ice until I’m certain it’s thick enough.

Then comes this massive storm swirling into the gulf. Everyone is certain that it’s every bit as big as the nasty storm that hit the upper east coast a few years ago; the storm that very nearly rearranged the beaches and businesses all along there with massive flooding and super high winds. Our storm wasn’t so spectacular. There were some winds I guess, but next to no damage – at least nothing that made the news. Here? Next to nothing at all. In fact it was a very non-wind that surprised me. Always there’s some kind of breeze, but it was quiet. Quiet before the storm is what I expected so we waited.

And we waited.

And it warmed up.

And then it started to rain. Rain? In Alaska? In November? I was completely insulted.

I happened to be taking a nap when the first rain hit, and I remember thinking I should have my empty buckets in back catching the runoff, but I also figured my buckets would also get covered with ice (messy) and surely it wouldn’t rain for long and it would turn into snow soon.

Surely it would.

It didn’t.

I broke down and put my buckets in back. I made the mistake and allowed it to wait overnight and the next day (no rain), so I had to use hot water to get my water/ice out of my buckets. When I was finished with that project, I brought in two buckets full of rainwater. Far more than I expected. Figuring it was all done, I once again lined my buckets out front in wait for the next snowstorm. But what happened next?

It rained.

I was wakened by rain hitting the roof early in the morning so I got up and once again put my buckets out back to catch what came. That night (not waiting this time), I brought in two buckets + of rainwater. This time I left my buckets where they were, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be catching any more rain. Yesterday there were blue streaks in the sky upon occasion, and today the sky looks all blue.

The rain did make a royal mess though. My days started out around 35F, just above freezing, barely, and maybe warmed up ten or so degrees during the day. Warm enough to rain, but not warm enough for the ground to thaw, not even a little bit. Every drop that hit the ground added a layer of ice to the surface. Things up off the ground less so, but only because the water could quickly run down to a lower resting place. Anywhere it was still for more than a moment, it froze.

I walked down to the river yesterday on a trail that was utterly coated with ice. I can’t tell for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if all the hollow frost-heaved places were now full of water, especially if they were spots were I’d broken through the top. I saw enough frozen puddles in such locations to make me believe that. Places covered with leaves were coated with a glass of ice as each leaf held its drops in place as well as between where the leaf touched the one beneath it. Now filled up to the point of only the highest points protruded above the level of ice.

The place where I normally turn the four-wheeler around down there was an ice skating rink. It was still brown, but it was coated thick with glass-clear ice who knows how think – it didn’t break under my weight, which, considering it’s fairly soft sand, it might have if the ice was less thick. It was so clear I could clearly see all the birch seeds that had fallen during the course of the progressing winter.

As I was coming back, I noticed that my footprints looked as if I’d walked through flour first – clear white prints marked where I’d stepped. This was caused by my crushing all those bits of leaf and grass that had protruded above the ice – everything encrusted with ice, now shattered to dust. I had stepped in those places to take advantage of the traction the protruding vegetation provided. Believe me, there were places where there was no such traction offered. Those places were polished slick and I had to be very careful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Candles Candles Candles

Everyone who knows me knows how I love candles. Years and years and years ago, my mother gave me this candle-making kit. I didn’t use it for the longest time because making candles isn’t as easy as it looks. Wax shrinks quite a bit as it cools. Pouring a mass of wax into a mold of any size will almost always give you a hollow center. Dipping candles is probably the best way, but even that way takes a tremendous amount of patience, and you need a LOT of wax to make a candle of any length. It’s called dipping for a reason; you dip your wannabe candle down into a vat a wax, and if you want a candle that is a foot long, that’s how deep your vat has to be. Now this takes a whole lot of patience too. After each dipping, your wannabe candle has to cool COMPLETELY before you can dip it again. Dipping a warm candle doesn’t get you anywhere. Needless to say, I only tried it once just to see how it worked, and at that time, I only had enough wax for about a two-inch candle.

Back to those molds my mom sent me. They were little plastic molds made for the attention span of a kid. Two of the sheets had little one-inch deep molds in shapes like little stars and hearts that would end up being maybe two inches across. The directions said to make two of these molds and then glue them together (with wax) with the wick sandwiched between the halves. Needless to say, I never used those; I wanted a really useful candle, not a decorative toy. The other mold was a flat sheet. It was stippled across the bottom to look something like a honeycomb. The directions for this mold was to pour wax into it, wait for the wax to cool some but not too much, and then roll the sheet of wax up around the wick. Now THIS was a useful candle. I used roughly a cup of wax per candle and quickly used up the wick that came with the kit as well as more wicks sent along with it.

Over the years, I quickly used up all workable string I could lay my hands on, learning what worked best and what didn’t. Cotton worked best, but the fatter the string, the faster my candle burned. String with synthetic fibers did more melting than burning so they went into the trash. At the time, I was feeding chickens and dogs and cats, and those bags are all sewn with string, so packrat me, I hung onto every inch of it. Chicken food bags were made out of waxed paper so they weren’t of much use, but dog food bags were made out of woven plastic that was painted with a plastic film. They were useful, at least for a little while, for things like covering firewood, and I’ve used them to keep the generator shed waterproof, at least until that plastic film comes off. They still work fairly good. Someday I’m going to get a real roof on that little hut. I think I have something now. I’m going to have to check that out tomorrow. You see, the roof we had over the big generator eventually fell down as the posts rotted off at the ground level, and this fall, we (I) finally got around to taking it apart and getting it off the generator. That had a tin roof and not all of it was full sheets. We had to put a short extension on the back to keep water from dripping on the muffler. I don’t know if they were three feet long or four feet long. Guess what; if it fits well enough, it’s going up there. Yay!

Anyway – back to candle making.

Eventually I ran out of string suitable for wick. All that string from all those food bags was too skinny to work well for what I wanted. I sometimes toy with the idea of braiding some together, but somehow simply never get around to it. I still have it all though. Maybe I’ll get desperate again someday. Anyway, I was constantly on the lookout for suitable string and saw some at work. The string the chefs use to tie up steaks or whatever would be perfect, but it never seemed to pan out them ordering more for me. I suppose they forgot, or maybe it just wasn’t on any of their ordering lists, which meant someone would have to go to a specialty shop to get that kind of string. The string I liked best was what came with the powered milk I ordered. The bag inside was always tied together with nice hefty string that was about a foot long. That was like three candles worth, and since I buy powdered milk like every other year, I didn’t have much of that string.

While I was on the hunt for string, I was also on the hunt for wax. I frequently bought candles in town, but I also watched out for candles at work. They’d buy those big candles in jars. They’d light them and burn them for a couple hours, then they’d do it again the next day, and so on. Pretty soon they couldn’t get their hand AND a match into the jar to light it, or the wick drowned, then the wax, jar and all, went into the trash. Fortunately, I went past the trash often enough that I think I rescued most of them. Sometimes the staff would do the same thing back in their rooms, leaving behind the candle when they left. I rescued those too.

Accumulating candle-making supplies wasn’t the only trouble I was having. Since my mold was made to outlast the interest of a child, it eventually gave up the ghost. It was pretty durable for a plastic thing, but you heat it up often enough, it’s eventually going to warp. That was okay at first, the mold was small enough I could pour the wax and then pin down the corners until it cooled enough to continue, but eventually it developed a crack on the side that leaked, and, well, wax is kinda oily so tape wouldn’t stick well, and even if it did, it wouldn’t last through making a candle. It wasn’t long before I was making more of a mess than a candle, so I had to bid the poor thing good bye. That left me without a mold.

Now I do go to town once in a while, and since my son is living within reach, such shopping trips are no longer a mad dash all over the place trying to find everything in as short a time as possible. One such trip, I got stranded in town while my husband was out here with a blown knee. I went to town for a quick shopping trip, but almost as soon as I hit town it started to snow out here and suddenly there was three feet of new snow on the ground. My husband having a blown knee meant he couldn’t manage the snowmachine well enough, and if he was unlucky enough to get stuck, he certainly wasn’t going to be walking home. We had to wait. It works that way sometimes, but it is frustrating, and I ended up spending a week or more in town longer than intended. Anyway, I tortured my son by making him take me on a hunt for candle molds and wicks. Between Eagle River and Wasilla, no such things existed. I could buy all the candles I wanted, but no hobby shop anywhere I looked had a candle-making kit of any kind. Time to try to figure something else out.

I’m getting kinda old and change is frustrating for me (or maybe I’m just normal) anyway I like the candles I could make; they lasted about eight hours unless the wick was off center, but I didn’t mind if they didn't last so long. I used them to read by at night and the melted wax from used up candles always went into the next candle. I didn’t even pay much attention to mixing colors, though I did make some effort to keep the colors somewhat separate. Without a mold, I couldn’t make any candles. Since my son got me a Kindle, having a candle was less important, but I still, like candles – I still watch for wax and string, and I have accumulated quite a bit of wax over the years. I had a cookie sheet, but it was so big, good enough for maybe a dozen cookies or some such, but it had a kink across the bottom. Then came the day when I spotted the perfect thing. Every time I go shopping, I like to go through the cooking isles just to see if there’s anything I might need, and there was this cookie sheet, half the size of the one I had (nicer too). It was still twice the size of my original mold, but at least it was doable. Now all I had to do was find string. Since scavenging wasn’t turning up anything much, my son and I combed the store for string, and guess what; I found some of that too. It’s called butcher’s cord. It came in rolls 250 feet long, 100% cotton – perfect. Unfortunately it was made in China. Ahh, but this was Wal-Mart we’re talking about – what can you expect? I bought two rolls; that will keep me candle making for quite a while. Best of all, I also found some wax scents; now I can make my candles smell good too. And as far as scavenging for string – I got mail the other day, and the postmaster tied it together with string, same stuff too, I think – most certainly close enough. He usually uses rubber bands – yeah, I keep those too.

Needless to say, I’m making candles again. I use about two cups of wax. I know this because I have this perfect little cereal bowl. The wax I scavenge always has old wick, usually burned matchsticks, and more than likely bug carcasses in them so I have always melted them. All the yucky stuff usually falls to the bottom, and if not, it floats to the surface where I can fish it out. I then pour the clean wax into my little bowl. When the wax is cool, like I said, it shrinks and pulls away from the sides, and since the bottom of my bowl is rounded, the cleaned wax falls right out. Over the years, I’ve accumulated over 60 such cakes. So now, I’m pairing up these little wax cakes and making candles. The first one was an experiment, and I’m thrilled with the way it’s working. Maybe they would be better if I had fractionally heaver string, but they certainly work, and I couldn’t be happier. So far, not counting my experiment, I’ve made 8 such candles, and I have enough wax to make 25 more. I think I’ll have enough candles to last me for a while. Which is good since my new boss doesn’t buy candles so my source of wax has diminished. I’m going to have to talk to Lisa, the wife of the new owner at my old workplace. I’m not sure it they buy candles over there, but I’d sure like to take it off their hands if they do. Do you buy candles? What do you do with them when you don’t want to burn them anymore? Send them to me; I’ll love them all over again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~