Friday, July 30, 2010

gardens and balms

so yeah, it's been a while.  and there are lots  of updates, so please excuse me if i randomly jump all over the place.

the garden is once again in epic fail mode.  i have six tomato plants that have yet to bloom  pepper plants are the same.  and my cabbage.....  withered in 2 days in the heat.  did not matter that i watered, composted, lovingly talked to the little bastards darlings.  nothing worked.  so i'm thinking that i'm just going to borrow a tiller and green compost the plants into the ground.  i was going to expand the garden in the fall anyway, so i'll just do it sooner rather than later.  i'm hoping to have everything tilled and ready to go by early fall...  i want to get a nice big crop of garlic planted so it's ready for spring.  cause i loves me some garlic.

i'm thinking next years garden will have a complicated system of soaker hoses and prayer.

i won an AWESOME prize pack from mrs b's blog giveaway.  the box was absolutely filled with all sorts of witchy goodness.  by far my favorite thing that was included was a monster batch of dried calendula.  now i don't know if you've ever looked at calendula before, but wow this stuff is great!  i've already infused it into some veggie oil so i can make it into a diaper rash balm for manchild.  (it's needed, more on that in a second).  here's the basic recipe:

basic balm:

1 1/2 tsp beeswax pellets
1/4 c oil
5-9 drops of essential oil

small clean container
cmall clean can
saucepan of water
popsicle stick

place the pellets and the oil in the can, place the can into the saucepan that's 1/2 filled with water  set to medium heat on the stove and allow the heat of the water to melt the wax into the oil.  when the wax is melted, remove the can from the water bath with gloves and add the essential oil.  as you add the eo, concentrate on your intent for the balm.  allow the balm to cool slightly.  when the surface starts to solidify, stir with the popsicle stick and reinforce your intent.  allow to cool a bit more.  when the balm is cooled  but not solid, pour into the container.  label with the contents and the date.

so for "butt balm" i'll be using the calendula infused oil, but no essential oils (because of baby's sensitive skin).  i'll let you all know how it turns out.

poor manchild. not only does he have diaper rash, but he's teething, and has a pretty good head cold going gon.  but gods love him, he's still a happy baby.  his first tooth just roke through, and mercy is that sucker sharp!

princess is knee deep in puberty.  niff said.  she starts school in just three weeks, and is feeling the pressure of "end of summer" pretty hard.  it tickles me that she HAD to get all her school supplies "alice in wonderland" themed.  we both have major crushes on Johnny Depp.

ohhhh, balms, almost forgot, my favorite balm of all....  "nothing can bother me balm"

basic balm
2 drops lime peel eo(NOT to be used on children or pregnant mommas)
2 drips lemon eo
2 drops sweet orange eo

i love this stuff, always makes me feel happy.

i have more to write, but i need to organize my thoughts a bit more first, so i'll blog again later.  but i'll end this with a question to you...

what kind of balm would you make for yourself and why?


Sunday, July 18, 2010

a penny saved is still a penny

so i blogged a while ago about how difficult it was to really save money. my friend judgmentlhippy was kind enough to let me tag along with her on a farmers market/whole foods shopping trip. to say i learned a lot is an understatement. (one thing i learned is that whole foods has the BEST coconut Popsicles ever!!)

i also got a lot of great tips from my face book friends about saving money (special thanks to misty for letting me borrow her 'tightwad gazette' compilation). so between face book, field trips, Internet sites, and back issues of mother earth news from the library, i have a nice little system going. let me share....

1. farmers markets are your friend. look past the tomatoes, there's a huge amount of reasonably priced (read cheap) produce that's out there, and it's usually all locally grown (be sure to ask). good for you, good for the local farmer, good for the environment.

2. better yet, grow it yourself. plant a huge garden, more than you think you'll need. what you don't eat fresh you can dry, freeze, or can for later use. growing your own food is the cheapest option out there... it's just the cost of the seeds. (and canning equipment for using up your overstock)

3. when at the grocery store.... coupons! be sure though that the store brand isn't still cheaper. also, shop the perimeter of the store unless you absolutely need something from the middle.

4. speaking of the grocery store, buy ingredients, not food. it's cheaper in the long run to buy flour, yeast, and salt than it is to buy a loaf of bread. yeah, the bread might be a buck, while the ingredients are three, but you'll get more than three loaves of bread out of it, and it's fresher. trust me, make your own bread, and the stuff you buy from the store will never do again.

5. make what you can. thanks to my friend the Internet, i now make my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent. i also on a fairly regular basis make my own yogurt (which you already know) and cheese (more of an art than a science, still working on it). spice mixes, clothes, katsup, mayo, soap, home repairs..... the list of things you can do yourself is literally endless. and the best part is that you control what goes into the stuff you make. you are deciding exactly what goes into and on your body and the bodies of the ones you love.

6. decide if you really need it. yes, that pair of shoes/tshirt/ipod is really cool, but do you need it? want it, yes. need it, probably not.

7. have a goal. long term, short term, whatever. give yourself something to save FOR. it could be something short term like whatever you denied yourself in #6. long term like buying land. or even ongoing like being a stay at home mom.

8. make friends and (this is going to sound so bad) use them. i have a friend, several actually, that has chickens. i know that if i needed to i could call her up and get some eggs. haven't yet, but i could. i have another friend that makes his own candles and incense. i bought and bartered with him (till he taught me to make them myself). start your own little network of usefulness and use it. **this is NOT an excuse to be a huge mooch. you have to give as good as you get. if someone gives you something, be prepared to reciprocate in some way. money, stuff, time... whatever. even if the person doesn't take what you are offering ... still offer**

9. the Internet. if you ever wanted how to learn how to make or find anything, here's where you go. recipe for katsup? got it. how to make a cold frame? it's there. i even found a website that tells you how to make your own frappachino. (sorry Starbucks, you're dead to me) and don't get me started on the awesomeness of craigslist. the free section alone is worth it's weight in gold. but act fast to snag the good stuff. just type what you're looking for in any search engine, and away you go.

10. have a good support system. if you're saving for a goal, make sure it's everyone goal. and i have to give my man a lot of credit, i wouldn't be able to do even a quarter of the things on this list if the hubs wasn't behind me on this. he's gone, in a very short amount of time, from having a disposable income for nights out and toys and xbox games, to having home made bread, laundry soap and cloth diapers. (he's drawn the line at bees though. I'm working on wearing him down)

that's the awesomeness i've learned so far.  feel free to give me any more tips!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

50 things i want

Methodist bills paid
Self sufficient garden
A job i love and pays well
A happy healthy family
New windows
New siding
Fix up the house to sell
Buy a house with land
Be able to feed ourselves from our land
Be a SAHM as much as possible
Homeschool Bubby
Eat as unprocessed as possible
Exercise every day
Teach Bubby a good work ethic
Teach Bubby to be active each day
Be a yoga teacher
Be a massage therapist
Be a healer
Make beautiful costumes
Write my book
Publish it
Have a studio
Loose the weight i need to be healthy
Be strong
Be self sufficient
Teach Bubby and Bugsy to be strong and self sufficient
Truly relax
Have animals
Stay in love
Cook wonderful meals
Bake amazing goods
Make people happy
Remember the Rede
Learn to make jelly
Learn to can food
Meditate more regularly
Do rituals/sabbats/esbats more regularly
Be more organized
Start a yoga/artist/meditation co-op
Have my own "mancation"
Be a good example
Teach Bubby and Bugsy not to care what other people think about them
Make beer
Make wine
Make mead
Get my tattoos
Cut my hair
Laugh every day
Cry as little as possible
Always be in awe of nature

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coming out of the Broom Closet

this blog post has been a long time coming.  and some people will say "and...?" while others will think i've lost my mind (and probably never speak to me again).

I'm not a christian.

or jewish, or muslim.  I'm not a member of the 'big three'.  and in a world where it's taken for granted that you are at the very least a 'christmas and easter' christian, this is no small admission.

now don't get me wrong... I've read the bible (good book, bummer of an ending, no room for a sequel).  christianity, if it works for you, is a great system.  it's full of love, brotherhood, and forgiveness. however, it's also filled with hate, persecution, and misogyny.  but honestly i think that is more what's been done in the name of Christ than what's actually in the book itself.  and i like jesus.  he was a great man.  but a man he was.  his teachings have become so twisted that i don't see how they are even close to what they originally meant.  

judiasm and islam?  honestly,  i never even gave these a shot.  i just don't like how women seem to be portrayed.  however, i'm not a wiccan either.  i belong to no coven, i'm not a strictly goddess worshiper.  i'm more about balance.  i'm purely solitary.  i prefer to call myself a pagan (actually, my favorite term is 'tree hugging dirt worshiper', but that only looks good on a bumper sticker).  yes it's a catch all term, but it's really the one that fits me best.

personally (and remember, this is just me, what i believe), it's all about duality.  why should the divine be any different?  male/female.  yin/yang.  good/bad.     god/goddess.  i believe in both.  for me, there is not one god but many, and all are parts of the great divine. 

there.  i said it.  i 'came out'.

like i said, to some people this comes as no new information.  and there will be some that "kinda thought" but didn't want to ask.  and then.....  lets just say that it won't be the first bible that has been left on my doorstep or near my desk at work.  and i'm ok with that.