Thursday, July 31, 2014

Made by Hand: Organic Herb Fire Starters


What do you do with your dried herbs and flowers?  Make fragrant organic fire starters. 

Bundle strongly-scented herbs such as rosemary, sage, lavender, mint and thyme, with dried flower blossoms such as hydrangeas for color, then tie with a natural twine that will burn cleanly.  The dried herbs and flowers will help kindling catch quickly.

Add a homemade tag and they make a wonderful, lovely, organic, recycled gift for the summer through the fall season.  Perfect for twilight gatherings!   Enjoy!

Pleasant Reminiscence Rome

The Spanish Steps - Roma
 My husband's aunt and uncle recently vacationed in Italy; of all the truly beautiful photos,  I would have to say my favorites were of Roma.  To quote Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday: "Rome, definitely, Rome."  It's as if the whole world stopped and stood still, smiled and posed for the camera, and the whole world was Rome.  The street scenes in particular where the people are gathered sitting, talking, leaning, in no rush to leave, warmed as if by fire light in the dusky light of the city... enchanting.  The Trevi Fountain, The Colosseum of the Martyrs, the crumbling rampart walls, monuments and architecture, the Spanish Steps, photographed in glorious light, whether evening, morning or dusk I could not tell... but they breathed romance, heart ache, and faith.  We loved the picture of his aunt Jan standing in front of the Spanish Steps, as if she was fitted for that place, unidentifiable in time, beautiful, lovely, she was Roma.  

My mom wasn't a vain person, she never spoke of herself or anyone else defined by beauty.  She always spoke highly of people, but never a word about herself.  Except, about her "Roman Nose".  Once in a while and for no apparent reason, she would "admire" her nose by placing her index finger on top and thumb underneath, then switch finger positions and place side to side, and then back to top and bottom, slightly tip her head so the viewer could see and sweetly announce with much satisfaction, "I have a Roman nose."  As if it was rare and of great value.  I would look at her nose and think to myself, "It looks like an ordinary nose."  But always from the time I was young I would remark something pleasant back.  Once in a while you would see her, unconsciously, repeat this silent announcement, always with hand motions and a slight tilt of her head, in pleasant reminiscence and then she would continue with whatever she was doing.  When I was in high school, I asked my mom how she knew she had a "Roman Nose"?  She replied with a little girl gleam, "My father told me when I was little."  Every now and then my son and I will look at the other, do the hand motion, tilt our head ever so slightly so the other can see and say, "I have a Roman nose".  Maybe that's the beauty of Rome.  The beauty, the lore, the warmth, my husband's and son's heritage, and may I add, my mom's "Roman Nose", for who can look at Roma and not think of love, and of family, and of memories ... sweet, lasting memories of a father stooping to tell his beloved child, she was lovely with her "Roman Nose".  Since I was a little girl I wanted to marry an Italian, and now with my partially Italian son, I have my own Roma.
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