The Sugar I Hope to Be

by Stefani on 7-July-2008

So um, not to pressure or rush my kids or anything, but I really am looking forward to being a grandmother someday. I think it’s kind of the dessert course of life… all of the sweetness of being absolutely essential to a little life, with none of (or at least a good deal less of) the go-to-bed-on-time, eat-your-vegetables, dear-God-let-me-not-mess-up-this-enormous-blessing/responsibility-called-parenting stuff. 

I even have my name picked out. I want to be “Sugar.” 

My sweet man wants to be “Pop.” 

Together, we’ll sound kind of like breakfast cereal, “Sugar and Pop,” but I’m cool with that.

 I like to entertain myself with visions of the kind of Sugar I’ll be.

I see myself in a rambling limestone house, with a big cedar door and cedar shutters, surrounded by a wildish cottage garden, chickens and an orchard. I imagine that house always smelling of pie, and there always being sweet tea in the fridge.

I don’t even drink tea, but I plan to, as a granny. 

A person should have goals and aspirations. Tea drinking is one of mine, but there are so many more – so many things I’d like to do and be as a grandmother. 

In all of my visions, I possess a great deal of knowledge about the proper names of every winged thing, all the medicinal properties of my unruly plants, and the secrets of the unseen creatures that live among them.

I envision my study, for I will have a study, of course, full of crackling tomes that hold the oldest and dearest of stories. There will be specimens and curiosities, collections of all sorts and stacks of handwritten journals. There will be feather pens, real ink and wax seals. There will be quilts and creaky, fluffy beds and never empty jars of cookies. My pantry will be full of every sort of jam which we will eat with spoons, by candlelight, with country music on the radio, my grandbabies and I. They will say, “Sugar, tell us a story,” and I will say, “once upon a time…” 

I feel too, that once I am Sugar, my medicine cabinet should be full of odd and delightful little jars and vials of things called “tinctures” and “salves” – mysterious and powerful things, magical fairy things that heal and hearten little ones with skinned knees and stuffy noses. 

So you see, I have a lot of preparing to do, a lot of knowledge to acquire. 

First, I’m going to have to figure out how to keep something more than basil alive in my garden. Everything else has flopped fully and completely this year. 

Although, if I must have only one plant, I suppose basil isn’t a half bad one to have.

There’s the pesto, of course, which we can also eat with spoons of need be, though I prefer to eat it with torn bits of warm, chewy bread.

And, it turns out that basil has another wondrous quality, one that fits quite nicely into my grandmotherly plans…

It has healing properties! 

I discovered this fact while looking for antiseptic essential oils for use in homemade cleansers and decided to try my hand at making a little balm that would be good for the many itchy ant and “skeetie bites,” cuts and scrapes that make their way into the lives of my guys.

Here’s what I came up with:

Basil "Owie" Balm 

In a microwaveable bowl, put
2 TBSP Shae Butter, 1 TBSP Cocoa Butter, 1TBSP Bees Wax, 1 TBSP Baking Soda.  

Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and continue cooking in microwave at 20 second intervals until it’s all melted. 

Add in 2 tsp sweet almond oil and 3-4 drops basil essential oil. 

Stir, then pour into a small jar. Allow to set. 

One of these days I’d like to figure out how to use actual basil off of the actual plant, but for the moment, I’m quite pleased with the recipe as it is. 

Given the ammount of running about that goes on around here, we invariably get a few “skeetie bites” on any given day.

 On Your Mark...  

So, we got to test our balm right away, on both the boys and the mama. We all agreed that it was truly a magnificent goo! 

Within a couple of minutes of application, the redness had decreased and the itch was gone. 

So, my men smell all earthy in their beds, where they lie comfortably, with no itchies, and I am one little balm farther down the path to becoming the Sugar of my dreams. 

Ah, the sweet basil-y smell of success.

Adrienne July 8, 2008 at 3:54 am

Can I be adopted? Thanks for the tip!

SpiderWomanKnits July 8, 2008 at 5:22 am

What could be better than a future planned with all that happiness.?! I adore the picture you painted for us.

I hear you about growing things in gardens. I can grow babies and chickens really well. Finally this year I have some beautiful veggies coming along but then the chickens just ate ALL the green leaves off of our brussel sprouts. Now I have a sweet little patch of scraggly looking stalks. Oh well.

Thanks for the itch goo recipe 🙂

Mama Urchin July 8, 2008 at 5:34 am

You guys and all the homemade pharmaceuticals. I might just have to try to do this since everybody but Papa is a skeeter magnet.

Lynn July 8, 2008 at 5:37 am

I wish I could get basil to grow. I seem to have oregano overtaking my garden. Yea, I think the chickens have a lot to do with the things that DON’T grow in that garden.

We have started using the baking soda, apple cider vinegar combo for hair washes. It got rid of my daughter’s “head crud” in three washes. I like it too. It is so simple.

Dallas July 8, 2008 at 5:44 am

I like the name Sugar. That’s one of the pet-names my Grandmother calls me…Sugar, or Sug.

Jade July 8, 2008 at 6:07 am

Okay Sugar! Where do I find those things in Austin? I have NO IDEA where to get those butters and waxes!

Thanks for the help on the oils!

Jade July 8, 2008 at 6:12 am

Okay Sugar! Where do I find those things in Austin? I have NO IDEA where to get those butters and waxes!

Thanks for the help on the oils!

Lisa Clarke July 8, 2008 at 6:48 am

I love your vision of the future – so quaint! And your concoction looks perfect, too. My 8-year-old early loses his mind when his mosquito bites start to itch. If I can just figure out where to buy all of those butters and oils, I’ll whip up a batch of this stuff and make the poor boy happy again 😀

Lisa Clarke July 8, 2008 at 6:49 am

Uh, that’s “nearly,” not “early.” My N key is flaky.

Crystal July 8, 2008 at 6:57 am

We get ate up all the time here too. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I’ll have to make some up.

Talking about skeeters and stuff, have you ever heard of Avons Skin So Soft working as a skeeter repelent? Someone told me that but I have never tried it.

Natalie July 8, 2008 at 7:00 am

Sugar, this is one sweet post.

Christina Joy July 8, 2008 at 7:41 am

Oooooh, that little jar of balm was so pretty and the recipe is so easy…we do have tons of skeeters around here…

sara m. July 8, 2008 at 7:46 am

Does your idea of yourself as a grandmother come from your own parents as grandparents, or is that sort of the antithesis? I want to be what my parents aren’t to my kids – a grandmother that takes the kids places, invites them for sleepovers every night, and has a multitude of fun games and activities to play with them. I will probably be younger than my parents are as grandparents, so that will be easier to accomplish.

brit July 8, 2008 at 8:02 am

that’s it, I’m coming to live with you..

Debbie R July 8, 2008 at 8:46 am

I am not quite sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I must say I enjoy it very much.
I was prompted to comment today about your grandmotherly chosen name and for the grandfatherly name too. They are so wonderfully sweet. My two year old came up with his very own names for his gramma and grampa. He decided on Ma-go for grandma (don’t ask because I really don’t know) and pa. I thought they were cute and am encouraging those names to stick.

Your names however reminded me of my friend out in Katy(oh I forgot to mention that I am a Texas girl)her daughter who is 18 now still calls her grandpa the sweetest name I have ever heard a grandchild call a grandparent. She calls him “HONEY-POPS” I think it is so sweet. Your story today just reminded me of that and made me smile, which I will add was much needed today.
Thank you for that!
Have a great day!

Michele July 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

What a great plan for Sugar! It sounds wonderful – I could never be that person, as I can’t remember my name most days much less all the birds and plants and such. But hopefully there will be some fun the grandkids enjoy in my house. Thanks for the recipe too!

Jennifer July 8, 2008 at 2:50 pm

That sounds like a great plan! Where do you get all that stuff in Austin? I also wanted to try Amy’s deodarant at Angry Chicken.

Julie @ Letter9 July 8, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I love this image of your future self. I love that you want to be called Sugar. I’ll have to get thinking about what I want to be called. I’ve always thought Gum or Mop would be funny.

Meredith July 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I am so going to make this ointment. My youngest son is a magnet for mosquitos and my daughter is a scratcher so I need that stuff. Was it difficult to find the shea butter and other ingredients? I’ve made soaps and bath bombs before so I’m hoping these things shouldn’t be too hard.

Love the image of grandparenthood you portrayed. Can I come for a visit too?

Thanks for the read.

heather jane July 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm

My daughter just asked me today if we had anything I could put on her itches. I’ll have some ingredients to collect, but then I can say yes!

Oh….limestone cottage and magic tinctures. Pies and orchards and cottage-y gardens sound just like heaven to me.

My sister lives just outside of Austin in Wimberly…are you close to her? She just had her first baby and it’s killing me to be so far away. In fact he was in the NICU in in Austin for almost two weeks. He’s all better now, though.

happymamaof3 July 9, 2008 at 7:35 am

so, i still think you have an incredibly awesome blog and are a superb writer!! you have such a way with words! you sound like you would make a perfect “Sugar”!!! and i will be making the balm , what a great idea!!!thanks

OMSH July 9, 2008 at 10:57 am

I can’t wait to be a Grandma either – both Jeff and I talk about it all the time. I wanted land for my kiddos to roam, but we’ve sorta figured out that isn’t gonna work into our financial plans right now, so instead we are thinking of building in “sweetness” into our home that will make it our grandchildren’s favorite place to go.

I want to try the deodorant and this balm now. I’m also wondering if I can try not using shampoo and going with that baking soda water/acv rinse.

Down with Wal*mart!

Caroline July 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

What a wonderful post. Thanks for the recipe as well.

YayaOrchid July 9, 2008 at 6:49 pm

I love the Grandma you will someday become! Your words are like a song, a balm to my soul. You write as I would if I could. You have echoed the very sentiments of my heart. You see, for quite some time before my Grandson Elias was even a dream, I too had dreamed of becoming a Grandma. It is sheer and utter joy to see and hold the little sprout of your beloved child. I had planned for him to call me ‘buelita or ‘abuelita’, but it’s fast becoming apparent that I’ll be called Grandma, as that is what the kids tell their little one when I call or visit.

BTW, another MUST-HAVE item for your apothecary of the future is an aloe vera plant. Any little skin discomfort can be easily soothed with the gel from the leaves. It’s even good for mild burns. Oh! And I love your chosen word of Sugar. Take care now, Sugar!

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