Blah Blah Blahg

A little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of blah blah blah....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Status Update from The Garden: 1 Week

I planted my seeds one week ago. It's been a hot and dry week until last night, when the skies finally let go and Mother Earth blessed us with a good, hard rain. Today the air feels cleansed and the skies have cleared. A warm sun and gentle breeze grace the world around and within me.
Last night when I got home I moved my planters away from the house so they could get rain. I walked outside this morning to dispose of this week's compost pile collection and discovered glorious specks of green pushing up through the soil! I am always excited and amazed at this process--some tiny Life coming from such a seemingly inanimate object--conjuring up the strength to push all the way up through the earth.

So far the basil and both of the flower mixes have sprouted. I'm waiting yet on the chives and the experimental spinach...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thank the Universe It's Friday

This idea was graciously acquired from my friend's blog, and she has graciously acquired it from this blog.

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Inch By Inch, Row by Row...

Remember doing mazes as a kid? The incredible thing about a maze is that although all those squiggly black lines seemed to create a giant, overwhelming blob of places to get lost or stuck, it always told you exactly where to start and where to finish. Oh, and you get to use a crayon...but that's beside the point.

I must say, in many ways, what I learned from kindergarten has led me somewhat astray. No one tells me when to take a nap anymore; no one tells me it's snack time or how many animal crackers I can have. No one says it's clean-up time or time to play outside.

I grew to love and rely on the routine and order of the kindergarten classroom. For me, a lack of order has often felt overwhelming, chaotic, and quite impossible to overcome. To be quite honest, I spent many a morning in kindergarten crying next to my teacher. When my mother came in for parent-teacher conferences, "Miss Kind" told her about my tearful morning ritual. My mother was rather distraught by this and asked Miss Kind why she hadn't told her sooner about the issue. Miss Kind said it best: "Michelle just needs to cry. So, she cries until she's done and then she goes and plays."
I have a confession to make: last night I cried. In fact, I sat beside a woman whose kindness I also greatly admire. She let me cry and when I was done, and had slept through a night, I went outside and played.

Even though I am in my new Cave and wanting for it to be Home, I have found it overwhelming to even start that process. The space is covered with stuff, and unplanned events (demonized kitchen faucets for instance) seem to cramp my style of being overly uptight and addicted to order. And, in whatever order events do occur, my health is not where I'd like it to be. For all my desire to control my environment, my body has become the one environment I struggle to control and have no means of escaping. It's not that I lack knowledge of how to care for my health (or my Cave for that matter), but I have no idea where to start.

So today I took some advice from the Great Outdoors. I walked out to the yard and saw my Lovely Housemate's garden:Yup, it's in full bloom. Now here's mine as of today:
Gardens are pretty simple, too. There is only one way to start. You plant the seeds. In fact, there is no other way to have a garden than to plant a seed.
So, at the advice of a good friend, I got some fresh air today, and planted some seeds. I planted chives, sweet basil, some flower mixes and (quite late in the season) some spinach. I don't know what will cultivate and come to fruition. That's a lot like life. We don't know what will cultivate or come to fruition. In many ways, we have little control over that and more and more, I can see that as both beautiful and challenging. The most glorious gardens come to being simply by making an intentional act and planting some seeds. Planting a seed is also an act of letting go. You can water, nourish, and allow for sun. But, in the end, you cannot control the sun. You cannot control the rain. You cannot control aspects of the earth, the elements, and climate. It is in the Universe's Hands. She will cradle, nurture, and love that tiny seed with all Her being, but in the end it will either grow or return to the earth. So too, the Universe will cradle, nurture and love me with all Her being. I, unlike the seed, have free will, and in that can choose to live my life in fruitful abundance by making one simple act of intent at a time. I will start with intentionally letting go.

Some lessons from kindergarten still hold true. For instance, chocolate milk tastes best when consumed with a straw. (It tastes even better when you blow bubbles in it with the aforementioned straw.) Additionally, playtime is by far most enjoyable when shared with a friend. Kisses and a good cry make boo-boos feel better. And, when you can't figure out where to start, or you get stuck or lost, it's OK to pick up another crayon and start again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent

In my process of becoming more environmentally-positive and intentional in what I bring into both my home environment as well as my physical body, I am always on the lookout for ways to keep my home healthy and clean without breaking my budget. Over the past year, I've tried quite a few "eco-friendly" laundry detergents and they are not all created equal. I tried one powder that clumped in the washer and left white gloppy chunks all over my "clean" clothes. I have tried some "all natural" options that contained quite unnatural levels of fragrance. I tried a few others I liked, and sometimes have even used Dr. Bronner's liquid soap. It seems every time I find one I like, it becomes impossible to find again, and all in all it's becoming a rather costly process.

A friend of mine recently posted this recipe for homemade laundry detergent on her Facebook page. She got the recipe from one of her favorite magazines, Contryside & Small Stock Journal.


  • 1/2 cup of washing soda
  • 1/2 cup of borax powder
  • 1 Tbs. of essential oil (optional)

Two 1-gallon jugs

Grate the soap and put it in a large saucepan with 6 cups of water over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the soap melts. Add the washing soda, borax, and essential oil (if desired), stirring constantly until all has dissolved. Let it set for 5 minutes over the heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let set for another 5 minutes. Using a funnel put half the mixture in each gallon jug. Fill each jug halfway with hot water, and shake well. Continue to fill the jug to the top with hot water. Shake again then put aside for about 24 hours. This gels up and looks like egg whites.

My friend uses 1 cup in her HE front loader and adds a cup of distilled vinegar to items that require extra deodorizing (she's got an adorable baby boy and hence, cloth diapers).

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Friday! This Moment: Thoughts from Manito Park

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

This Week in a Cozy Little Nutshell

This week, I choose with purpose and intention to be on top of my world...

That may sometimes involve standing atop a small boulder in Manito Park!