It seems that most people are pretty down on February but I have to say that I quite like the month.
My birthday starts it out on the 1st, which doesn't hurt, and this year Miryam made me a necklace and wrapped it in her own decorated paper and Andy and I were able to sneak away for some Indian food. A great day.
As well as being my birthday the first, or second, of February is the Irish festival of Imbolg. We consider this the very very beginning of spring - optimistic I know - and try to find activities that remind us of the warm weather to come and to tell the sun how much we want it to return to us. We've been looking at seed catalogs and talking about what we learned from our garden last year and what we want to do differently this year. We also make candles to remind us of the sun's light and warmth.
Our local garden shop sells sheets of pressed wax and wicks to roll your own beeswax candles. Miryam was a bit frustrated with the first one - getting them going is tough - but after a couple with my help she was able to the rest on her own while I gave Éamonn his nap. We've been using them for our dinner candles and they are burning quite well. You really have to roll them tightly - too much air in the middle and they'll burn too quickly. You also want the wick to be nice and taught so we start by pushing the wick straight down into the wax and then folding the wax over the wick and pushing that down before the rolling begins.
We also bought one-pound blocks of beeswax from the apiary a few towns over but I think we'll wait until a day when we have papa around before we do anything that includes hot wax!
Of course, candle-making is hungry work so we made some oatcakes and ate them with marmalade. Not a bad start to the month, I'd say.