I didn’t want to sell it. I wasn’t planning on letting it go. I had just about 3 pounds of the most beautiful, sweet smelling beeswax that you’ve ever laid eyes on sitting on my shelf when I got the phone call. ‘Hey Melissa, this is D. we’re friends with R and we want to … and we’re looking for beeswax… starting a candle company… the refinery…’ I think my first response was something like ‘that’s awesome, but we don’t have any beeswax right now but if I hear of someone else with clean/chemical free beeswax then I’ll let you know. We are a very small operation and we don’t have bulk beeswax for what you’re looking for…’ It went something like that because I wasn’t going to sell my last couple of pounds of wax that I worked really hard to render and get all the bee parts cleaned out of to the competition. No way! After all, I just started making candles and needed it for my own candles and lip balms and soap. Besides, beeswax is valuable. At least to me. At least my beeswax is valuable to me because I know that it is 100% clean and free of toxins. I know our bee yard is very secluded and we don’t treat our bees with medications and our honey ‘crops’ are wild and aren’t being sprayed with herbicides and pesticides and other junk. Mosquito control doesn’t even fly over. I know it takes 7-9 pounds of honey to make a single pound of beeswax and that a honey bee spends its entire life to make 1 teaspoon of honey. It’s valuable. And it’s sold. Andy sold my beeswax.
After I spoke with D for about 10 more minutes guaranteeing him I’d let him and his wife know if I hear of any beeswax, I put Andy on the phone because of some other mutual interests and friendships. After my hackles went down (did you read the part about them starting a candle company and them being all professional with a cool name? ‘The Refinery’ is the name of their candle company by the way and Deliciously Unrefined is our farm business’ slogan by the way-weird, right?) and I heard Andy give a dissertation on honey and beeswax and beekeeping and then ask how much beeswax they need and heard him say-oh just a pound? Then I sort of gave him a glare and ‘don’t even think about it’ and then I totally caved and started looking for the scale to see how much I had. Because I’m a sucker and I felt guilty for having jealous thoughts and for hoarding my beeswax-even though it’s not technically hoarding when you use it and make things and sell those things that you make. That’s actually a business even if it’s a tiny business. Maybe it’s more of a hobby, but it doesn’t matter. My beeswax is sold and we’re actually having dinner with these strangers in a few weeks, because Andy also invited them over for dinner sometime and I suppose I’m going to have to get over the fact that I have to wait a while before we can harvest anymore beeswax for my own candles. That’s okay. Lord willing, we will harvest more and I’ll get over myself.
A brand new Charolais heifer calf was born just a few hours ago. Andy called me because he needed some help opening some gates while he carried the calf to an adjacent pasture that all of the mamas and babies are on with Frank, the bull.
I haven’t moved our minivan since my dentist appointment on Tuesday. It’s Saturday night. The kids have had colds. I’ve been homebound. It’s good.
When the boys and I went out to give daddy some assistance, while Buttercup napped, I was gently reminded over and over and over again why I love this lifestyle that we eat, sleep and breathe. It’s the life. The life all around that takes my breath away. It’s the miracle after the tragedy that makes me want to soak it all in.
The LGDs watching over the 4 horned sheep in the pasture. The chickens running around chasing bugs and scratching up the field. It’s the mama cow with her new calf and the geese on the pond. It’s the heirloom corn taller than my husband’s head and the farm boys learning how to drive at 3 and 5 years old. It’s the seeds in the soil and the sunset in the sky that give me hope and encourage my soul.
It’s the melted beeswax being poured into candle molds and the homegrown meals that are served at our homemade table. It’s the fresh food and the fresh air and the beauty of life all around. It’s the grace that follows the grave and the life that follows death. It’s the joy that comes after sorrows. We have many sorrows and heartaches. It’s part of life in our broken world. But, there is so much beauty to behold.
Today I saw a lot of it. Tomorrow is not promised, but these glimpses of our glorious eternity give me great hope. It’s a gift from God and I’m so thankful to Him for all of it and I’m inspired by everything good.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”(James 1:17)
It’s been a long time since we’ve made any candles. I guess between the farm work, house work and school fun the fun stuff that I love has been pushed to the side. That plus the fact that we really needed a solar wax melter to render some more beeswax.
He did get the solar wax melter fashioned and some wet comb went in right away. Now we’ve got beeswax (plus more from our friend/bee mentor Harold) and we’re back in action. Sort of…
I recently bought a mini pillar mold and made a few 3″ pillars for some adorable galvanized lanterns that I bought at Target last fall for 75% or something. I love them, but haven’t had candles to put in them. Knowing we had a stash of awesome beeswax and the other essentials, I knew it was time to get back to work on some candles. I made a couple of adorable mini pillars and made some super clean beeswax cakes and put my supplies away for a few days.
Then, we picked up a crockpot that could hold more than a cup of melted wax at a time and I made some more candles. I forgot to tie a knot at the bottom of the mini pillar the third time (don’t ask) and wax poured everywhere… Thankfully, I got most of it up because it was on wax paper (genius), but there are still bits of beeswax stuck on our counters…
It is incredibly satisfying to make candles from beeswax from our beehives. We know the beeswax is clean and doesn’t have any chemicals in it from treated hives. The candles smell amazing and make beautiful light. The lanterns are now glowing (after a year of doing nothing!) and I learned a good lesson about remembering to tie the wick.
Candles are simple. Beeswax candles are great. The best. Hopefully I’ll get a good stash for the moonlight farmers market coming up in Swainsboro at the beginning of September and for Andy to drop off in Augusta at Southern Made during one of his deliveries. Either way, I’m just glad we have our own candles again!