Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Adventures

The first year's batch of distillation for hydrosol, sea vegetables, a.k.a. seaweed, turned out nice. It was just a test batch, so I didn't put any up for sale. The second, third, and fourth batches, all combinations of white sage with cedar and/or juniper, turned out even better. These were all done in the new glass al embic. Today, however, I changed things up a bit and plucked about a dozen of these lovely yellow daylilies from the garden and distilled them in the copper al embic, utilizing a trick or two to get a true-to-the-flower scent. This will be distilled again with a fresh batch of yellow daylilies day after day until I have something significantly scented to share. I was going to do a co-distillation with honeysuckle, which I'd been plucking and freezing for weeks, but someone, in his infinite wisdom, saw a bag of weeds in the freezer and threw them away while I was out of town. Lesson: Label everything.

As most of you who read this blog know, it's been a rough six or eight months for me. My lovely mum passed in December, then my daughter's friend -- well, it's been truly, truly trying. And to top it all off (and I've been holding this in for some time now) I got a crappy review of -- of me! My products passed muster, even the time in which the order was filled was within the parameters I set for shipping, but I -- me -- myself -- I was a disappointment to this customer. I'm angry at me for not being more attentive and trusting that inkling I had about this customer, though in my defense, I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm also a little unhappy with the customer because, from my point of view, they were just being plain mean. Extenuating circumstances proved they had an axe to grind. The one thing that did kind of tickle me about the review was that I was called a 'hip scent maker' but it was in a condescending way, like I'm too cool to be concerned that I upset this person. I actually laughed out loud (from behind the cringe) when I read it because I'm the last person anybody who knows me would call 'hip', and, dammit, I do care!  That whole situation, I will admit, had me dragging for a while. It was like the icing on a big poop cake -- mum passes, friend of kid passes, another friend of kid passes, step dad passes, someone hates my guts -- ta da! Ain't life grand? Lesson: Don't be sad and 'terse' or people will hate you.

My youngest graduated from high school yesterday, and up until yesterday, I was having a very hard time mustering any excitement for it. But while sitting in the audience, listening to these kids give their speeches, talking about how exciting and adventurous their lives were going to be, I plugged in. Tears started running down my face as I realized that it keeps going on -- hope -- it keeps flowing and raising us up and brings us back from whatever dark place we've been living in. Lesson: There is always hope.


  1. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Hi Justine,

    My OH chucks stuff out given half a chance so I feel for you and your carefully frozen honeysuckle hoard.

    The Dissatisfied Customer - happy with products, happy with delivery time but still unhappy? Dearie, dearie me.

    How fortunate that you seem to be a glass half full kind of person. Congrats. to your young graduate:-)

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    1. Ha! I have since told the boys not to throw out anything without asking me first. I also show them what I'm stashing before I stash it -- 'see this? leave it alone!'

      The unhappy customer really toppled me over the edge for a few days. I'm over it now. I think :)

      Thank you for perceiving me as the half full instead of the half empty. I appreciate that.



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