Clearing out the old to add in older. I can hear the voices of elders that never crossed me this life shading me as only they could since I started late, it being the first of April before anything was organized.

springcleaning

Even if late, I cleaned and sorted and threw out and added in storage and carefully chose items to rework into more practical items for this next year.

In the playroom – where my kids will sleep when they get out my bed – prepared kids for learning by adding supplies to their boxes, getting them desks, storage and many books from a place hidden on the edge of town full of items acquired from end of year school sales.

Sorted the clothes all around in there, cleared the closets – mostly, there’s a little left to go! Emptied all the drawers, filled the trashcan more than once and got prepared to work on the most important area of the house: the altar table.

Started by adding drawers near for storing herbs already dried, bottles of oils and butters both whipped and unmixed, spare candles, incense and a few pieces of paper in case something needs to be remembered. A soapstone mortar and pestle, crystals that the tiny people picked out and a new candle holder complete the area.

The first blend to come through the mortar and pestle for Erzulie Dantor:

(to be sprinkled on candles during ritual or left as offerings with wine – pinot grigio here)

  • Bay leaf
  • Cinnamon
  • Hibiscus
  • Violets
  • Spearmint
  • Cloves
  • White pepper
  • Linden
  • Allspice
  • Just a sprinkle of black sea salt
  • Spray of florida water
  • Pinch of $/prosperity blend from Aemeri

For myself, there was a combination of self care and practicality for working: an added drawer set filled with all that’s needed to paint, color and outline zines along with the small drawer set of thank you cards, kid paint supplies, cork boards for the tasks of the week on the walls and baskets on the floor for whatever.

And for the Barons something muskier even than for Dantor. The scent atmospheric, leaving me no choice but to stop and breathe each time it enters my nose.

  • Allspice
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cinnamon
  • Tobacco
  • Cloves
  • White pepper
  • Just a sprinkle of black sea salt

The work of moving all the rooms around made me sore enough to start thinking of a salve to prepare and the warm day after a cool storm ensured that dandelion would be center of the first made this year. While they were starting to come out, during the moon pink just for us libras, a friend brought me roses, leading to the next items on the drying rack. A present from across the state a few months back involved homemade arnica and calendula oils and those became the base for the salves. Carnauba wax and shea butter to hold it all together means that before Mayday there will be ointments for the aches.

Absolute rose and olive oil mixed with fresh aloe on the scalp moisturize, detangle and make the generally awful activity of trimming hair a bit easier.

While doing all three of our hair, I kept flashing back to scenes from the past. My ancestors wiping down glasses they were not allowed to put their lips on in the houses of those who stole their children. Of them piecing together trash and turning it into meals still being feasted on around the world.

The absolute rose oil, mortar and pestle and desks were the most expensive items, all still under $25 each.

ulia Walker, a 30 year old black femme from east Texas enjoys drinking tea, making mixed media collages, reading about homesteading and researching Conjure’s place in USA folklore as a way to connect the people of the diaspora.
Her job titles include non-profit founder, public speaker, babywearing advocate, cultural competency consultant, freelance writer, vegan bakery owner and unschooling facilitator to the two and four year old people she single parents since leaving domestic violence.
Julia’s activism uses her experiences as a queer black trauma survivor to attempt to build solidarity between the communities that she hasn’t felt wholly comfortable in at any point.