'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane...
Tomorrow morning, we're off to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Our bags are packed, the shop is as caught-up as it will ever be, and we have a job to do.
Job #1 - Help my parents get their house ready to sell. Go room by room and clear out 35 years of stuff and host the mother of all yard sales. This is not a task for the faint of heart, but we can do this. My parents need to move to be closer to their grand kids (and me) and they need a new adventure too.
Job #2 - Help my dad recover from his lengthy hospital stay. He had a lung infection (complication from Parkinsons - thank you US Army & the Agent Orange from Vietnam) and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. He was filled with massive amounts of antibiotics so his insides are wiped clean. We need to repopulate his gut with good bacteria before the bad stuff takes hold.
Don't tell him, but I'm planning on making some fermented veggies, and sauerkraut, when I get there and sneak them in to his soup. Ha!
Basically, I have a few important jobs to tend to... thus, you will have longer ship times in the shop for the next few weeks and I won't be able to meet up in person at the Augusta Market either.
Wish us luck and I'll see you soon!!
Aluminum compounds, parabens, and zillion other chemicals that I'm not too hot about... why would I want to smear them on my skin? On a sensitive part of my body and allow them to be absorbed into my bloodstream?
In the grand effort to get chemicals out of my life, I ditched deodorant a few months ago. It's been alright really. When I stink, I change my shirt and/or take a shower. Issue solved. But I sweat a TON. It's the south and I spend a lot of time outside - garden, walking, a run, biking. My head sweats, my back sweats, my knees sweat... so then, why is it just out pits that stink?
I am amazed to report that it's all about bacteria!! How exciting! I'm fascinated with bacteria these days. I've spent the past month studying our gut and all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) bacteria coating our intestines and mucus membranes. I'm not surprised it's bacteria hanging out in our pits that causes the stink.
According to NPR, "When the bacteria break down the sweat they form products called thioalcohols, which have scents comparable to sulfur, onions or meat. "
It's really super fascinating, except commercial deodorants either block up our sweat glands or they kill off ALL the bacteria (and killing them all off is never a good idea).
I'm on the hunt for a natural solution, but I think I'm ok with just taking a shower as needed for the time being. Wish me luck and let's hope my personal bacteria is balanced... or is on the way to balance soon!
But, is it necessarily a bad thing to stink a bit from time to time? Why do we shun this part of our person ecosystem? What do you use? Do you make your own? I'd love to hear from you!
Source - NPR: Meet The Bacteria That Make A Stink In Your Pits
The girls have finished their writing assignment and are off to the Lego bin (as I'm off to the shop for a bit to build stuff). Then the screams come. It's no different than any other day, really.
Fighting over Lego pieces.
It's no different than a pack of wild dogs fighting over scraps... or society in general.
We could work together with our shared, and limited, resources to make something really cool... Or, we could push, shove, scream, blame, trick, steal, and fight over who gets the blue square piece and end up with something less than stellar.
I took the girls aside and tried to explain the situation to them.... but I struggled. Right now, with their Lego bits, they're acting like most of America and the "I want mine, screw you" attitude. And I ask them, what if we change? What would happen if we worked together with our shared resources? I asked them to shift the paradigm. Yes, I asked a 9 year old and 7 year old to "shift the paradigm."
Societal change is needed and the old won't change. It needs to start with them and they need to understand that they have the power to make this happen.
So.... yeah. The Lego bin. Life lessons. Shifting the paradigm. Societal change and all the stuff. Good times on a Thursday morning.
Easter is nearly upon us, but we've turned a new leaf (yet again). We've gone nearly 99% plant strong vegan (we still have out little flock of backyard chickens and we do eat their eggs and we do eat honey) and we're trying to ditch sugar and plastic crap. Let's focus on adventures, learning, projects, and growing (figuratively and literally).
We spent nearly every weekend in March volunteering. On one morning with Operation Clean City, my oldest daughter and I happened upon this - a beautiful little head of lettuce growing from a crack in the sidewalk... in downtown Augusta.
I want to see more.
Herbs, flowers, food.
For Easter this year... sure, we'll color eggs from our chickens (and we're all taking a natural dyes class this week with Augusta Locally Grown at The Clubhouse), but no chocolate bunnies or crappy candy... no plastic eggs filled with cheap plastic stuff. Seeds. Oodles of seeds. Then the fun begins. We'll stroll about downtown with our seeds and play secret Santa and hopefully, as spring turns to summer, we will see our seeds grow and make our city even more lovely.
Won't you join us in some secret seed sowing?
Every year, Christmas sneaks up on me. Every damn year. I have a mountain of orders to complete, the house is half decorated, and I have nothing ready for our Christmas either. I'm a mess. The house is a mess.
It's supposed to be a Handmade Christmas. Something we strive for every year. This year, I'm asking myself, does it really have to be all handmade by me? The answer is a resounding "NO!" I'm cutting myself some slack and buying some handmade items to fill in the gaps in my gift giving.
But here's the big question - what can I still get by Christmas? What I can still get to my own customers by Christmas?
I have nearly 250 items my shop that are ready to ship, or that I can make and ship before Christmas! Crazy, right? The only thing you can't have.... Shadow Boxes. They're soul sucking and no fun to make and they take time. Lots of time.
Still Available for Christmas Delivery!!
Holiday: Art Blocks and Fun Wood Ornaments
Birds, Bees, and Bugs: Art Blocks and Art Vases
Beach: Art, Art Blocks, and Wall Vases
Boho Zen: Art, Art Blocks, and Wall Vases
Botanical: Art Blocks and Art Vases
Musings: Random Fun
Creatures: Art Blocks and Art
Travel and Adventure: Art, Art Blocks, and Wall Vases
Carnival: Art Blocks
Simple Bins and Trays
I'm adding more and more everyday too! And, tonight, I'm adding my knits back to this online store and I'll be adding difusers and more artistic home elements. I want my shop to be more eclectic... more life my life and the things I love.
Thank You, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!
I don't get sick often and I rarely go to the doctor - it's just such a hassle. Yesterday, I went. My head has been throbbing, stabbing pain... pain that won't go away with mega doses of ibuprofen. Turns out, I'm allergic to stress and projects. It's manifested itself in the mother of all tension headaches. I had 2 choices, debilitating pain or take the drugs to make it go away. I took the drugs. The drugs knock me on my butt. Like I feel more than a bit drunk when I take them. No driving and no power tools for me... not while taking these. I can putter a bit, but nothing that requires tools or thought or attention to details. Flexeril and Fioricet alone make go feel like goo... but put them together and I'm out. Totally out. Now.... to wipe the drool off my face and try to be useful.
In the end, it will be about 7500 miles and over 3 weeks away from home. This will be an epic road trip. Me, 3 kids, a minivan, minimal camping gear... many many hours on the road.... and hopefully memories to last a lifetime.
The first part of the trip will take us from South Carolina, through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas (I have successfully avoided KS up until now. I guess it's time I experienced KS), and Colorado. We'll spend a few days exploring at Arches, Canyonlands, and Moab in Utah before heading up through Idaho, skipping through a corner of Oregon, and to see family in Washington.
We'll get to spend a glorious 6 days in NW Washington... the mountains, the islands, the beaches, and family.
Our route home take us through Idaho (again) and then Montana and on to Wyoming to spend 2 whole days at Yellowstone National Park. From there, I'll take the kids on to South Dakota. Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, Custer State Park, and the Badlands.... and then on to Mammoth Cave and finally home.
We will be gone for over 3 weeks. That is seriously a long time to be away from home and my bed... and my workshop. You can't imagine the stress that will come with closing my business for weeks on end. No income. It makes my stomach hurt. That said, this will be such an amazing experience.
Wish us luck, knock on wood, and hope for the best. We'll need it. And I'm sure my husband will need to the good luck too, since he will be staying behind to man the house, take care of the dogs, cats, chickens, the garden, and work, work, work.
Shop "Vacation" notice will be coming soon.
Help me kiss my 30's goodbye by entering to win your choice of 3 art blocks. Come to my Instagram account to enter. Find the original post for details and to enter.
While I was raised on the "left coast," our family is now living in the South. We recently went on a homeschool field trip to the local History museum*. I was warned by a friend that they glazed over the history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination, so I was prepared to find a museum totally lacking coverage of these topics.
Surprisingly, they DID have exhibits covering slavery and segregation. The Docent who gave the tour mostly skipped over these exhibits.... except 2 of them. The first was a model of a home where slaves might have lived. The Docent said, that sure looked like it was darn nice home. Then he went on to show us a portrait of a local woman. She was a wealthy slave owner and when she died, she willed that all her slaves be sent back to Africa. The Docent said how much her slaves loved her and how they were all so happy.
That was it. No more. We (and our children) are meant to be given the impression that the slaves lived in quite nice little homes and they loved their masters. OK.
There were more exhibits, more pieces to the puzzle, more to see and read, but it really was passed over.
Granted, the Docent was quite elderly (and white).... actually I think everyone we saw working at the museum was white.... Hmmmm.....
But, it can get better. Our city can move forward and improve. There was a woman shadowing our tour group. A young African American woman with her beautiful daughters - She will be a new Docent at the museum. I hope she'll stick around and add a new perspective, a new narrative (as opposed to the old white male narrative). I'm excited to go back someday and see what she will bring to the museum and listen to her present the material.
Overall, I was impressed with all the exhibits. It truly is a wonderful museum. I have high hopes for it's future and the future of our city.
*I won't disclose the name of the museum - I don't think public shaming is the solution. And, sorry, no photos - all the photos I have from the trip include ALL the children and I don't have releases from the other parents to share them in this context.
A work in progress