There was a time when I had beautifully manicured nails. That time has passed, as has the time of business attire and an obsession with shoes. I don’t necessarily miss my dry cleaning bills or shoe habit, but my hands could use some help.
Our little Christmas gift experiment was fun: we made lots of lip balm, bath salts and hand cream for friends. The kitchen got messy, but canning season sees a lot more general untidiness and stickiness, so I knew I would eventually get back to making more salves and balms. And vegetable preservation season (also known as Tomato Madness) has not begun in earnest, but the flowers and herbs are truly exploding out there. Time to mess up the kitchen!
Calendula (pot marigold, Calendula officinalis) is one of those self-seeding wonders that I allow into the vegetable garden. Their seedlings are readily identifiable in the early spring, and they’re easily removed and/or transplanted to where you might need more color. They’re not quite the pollinator-attracting darlings that, say, borage is, but selfishly, I love gold and orange, so these guys are allowed to stay. They have many wonderful properties, too: the petals are edible, and they contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and rash-healing magic within them. In fact, I had used a calendula-based diaper rash cream on our kid when she was a bulky cloth diaper-clad babe. Huh! Well, now, I D.I.Y., with an olive oil, shea butter and beeswax salve.
Pretty, huh? Will it bring me back to those lacquered nails and perfect cuticles of my city days? Doubtful, but…it’s a step.