Spit and Polish

Spit and Polish

I’ve been thinking a lot in these last weeks about our daily routine, there have been elements that work and some that don’t.  One of the things I’ve struggled with is getting in a bit of a ‘project’ once or twice a week.  Finally, this week, I seemed to have settled on a rhythm that worked well.  Around 2pm seems to be a good time for us to get ourselves into the kitchen and over a bit of an awkward hump in the middle of our day.  Having something to work on as a team brings us together, moving us steadily through an hour that seems to catch us all at a low point and giving a sense of achievement that makes for a more positive remainder of the day.

This week we’ve made two (yes that’s two) different kinds of furniture polish from natural ingredients.  So as well as doing some science I’ve also managed to trick encourage the boys to clean.  The first we made was a natural liquid from lemons and olive oil from this great recipe.  Huwyl measured out the ingredients and we looked at how the liquids sat in layers at first and then emulsified to make something new.  See, science.

Next we got a little more ambitious and made up a lovely beeswax polish recipe.  This was a team effort with Neirin chipping in as we measured the sweet almond oil (I wanted something a bit lighter than olive oil).  Huwyl and I worked together on grating the delicious smelling local beeswax into pale curls of honey scented shavings.

Watching Huwyl take on the varied tasks so readily and with such confidence and capability gave me a little jolt.  He is becoming so able and not such a helpless little guy.  I love being able to take advantage of that, getting him active and engaged in our activities.

As he stirred the wax and oil together we watched them merge and change; no longer two elements but now one new thing.  We added lavender and enjoyed the sweet wafts coming up out of the hot pan.  I kept expecting Huwyl to get bored and wander off but he stayed with our ‘experiment’ to the end.  He stirred the cooling mixture, noticing the coagulation and eventually transferred it all into a pot to store.  He rubbed the mixture all over his hands and arms (you can’t do that with Pledge) and insisted I do the same, we kept sniffing our hands and talked about how soft our skin felt.

Later, with the sunshine strong enough to allow for  the patio door to be open as the boys played on the deck, I rubbed the mixture into my 100 year old kitchen table, bought at a flea market by my parents 10 years ago.  The polish soaked into the bare wood, stained by countless painting experiments and decades of use, the soft mixture disappearing into the grain giving it a warm luster.  Though the boys played outside in the deep snow, our kitchen smelled like the warm days of summer.  Even into the evening, the boys asleep and snoring, my skin still held the smell.  Honey, with a hint of lavender.

8 thoughts on “Spit and Polish

  1. What a great idea. I have a couple of antique pieces that could probably benefit from a little lavender beeswax! And it would smell so much better than those artificial polishes you get at the market. (Bleck.)

    Thanks for adding one more thing to the to-do list!

  2. The recipes for the polish are wonderful. Thank you. But I have to say that finding that right time to do something together is even more wonderful – everyone benefits.

  3. I recently made my first batch of beeswax polish, and have been looking all over my house for more things I can polish–it’s so satisfying, and everything looks so much better afterward!

    I just finished reading your contribution to Rhythm of the Home, and wanted to thank you. I am looking forward to trying your suggestions.

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