With the coming of the new moon, my cleaning and organizing binge is abating (not DONE with what needs doing, mind you... the backlog was great... but done enough that I can feel my mind clearing a bit) and a day off from having to be at the town job, I finally can put a bit of energy into prep for Yule.
I still have hex signs to get painted and ship before the holidays, but one must wait for the paint to dry and in the between times I shall turn the altar, such as it is, from its fall plumage to a more seasonable tone, looking forward to MotherNight, Yule and the wonderful dark, less busy days that will come as the "crazy season" passes in the mundane world (and at work) and before Candlemas (or as I often call it "spring finding") when the first of the early garden plants get started on the house plant racks and the garden plan gets seriously worked out.
I have several Odin-esque representations of "Father Christmas," fabric with a background of dark blue, dotted with snowflakes, and a veritable miniature forest of tiny trees... evergreens, bare birch (for Frigga) and a wonderful wire sculpture of a bare deciduous tree I have decided is an oak, and hopefully places for all.
I have ordered and received a most excellent small box of mistletoe from a little Pagan shop in southern Maine -- Phoenix Rising in Biddeford -- so I shall visit my favorite birch tree to seek the favor of a small branch or two which I use with the mistletoe to make protective amulets for each corner of our land and over our doors. That may or may not get completed tomorrow.
I DO intent to try my hand, for the first time, at making a Julbock. I have done some wheat crafting before but have never make this traditional goat. (A popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is in connection to to the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.) I have also seen, online, these figures made as large yard ornaments using a wood frame to support evergreen branches, but this year did not even go "tipping" for boughs for my wreath... so this is being filed on the back burner for a next year project. Also on the next year project list, as I was speaking of gardens a bit ago, is a plan to grow my own wheat for crafting. I did a test planting a couple of years back and know I can get a crop, and at $5 for a meager bunch, it will be well worth putting in some effort!
So I shall begin by soaking my wheat straw tomorrow morning whilest I get the chores and some more laundry done and out (taking advantage of a few bright days, some of which are predicted to be above freezing, AND my single non-town day this week) and then work on the altar, the Julbock and the hex signs during the majority of my day.
I need to get the dough for Leibkuhen started, as well, but that will have to wait for later in the week.
In the late afternoon, I have a meeting with a buying club in a nearby town. A friend informed me that one of the local farms that had been supplying club members with fresh produce in season is downsizing due to health issues with one of the farmers and that there was a good chance that I could fill the void. If it works out, this will be a great opportunity to supply food to folks who want it without having to spend hours "babysitting a parking lot" (i.e. setting up, manning, and taking down booths at various farmers markets) As I am told, suppliers let the members know one week what is available and orders are taken over the Internet for delivery the next week. So, every other week I would need to spend a day getting produce picked and ready, and make a delivery to town. I'll know more soon, but I am optimistic.