Thursday, May 27, 2010

kitchen sink, skinny dippin' and twine

I scrubbed out my kitchen sink today--it always feels so good to have a clean and shiny sink, doesn't it?
I couldn't resist taking these pics of Calvin in the wading pool.  Won't he love seeing these when he's older?  He was walking around the yard picking up random things and throwing them in.  In the top pic are my (dirty) gardening gloves and Lily's flip flops.  Nice!

And I blogged about Whisker Graphics in this post about halfway down here.  I just love her divine twine and am thrilled to see it in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a new passion--making tinctures and salves and potions and lotions

So I've been venturing into the world of DIY healing and body care.  I've long made my own cleaners for homekeeping and such, but this is all new to me.  My monthly '(I'm not a) dirty hippie' parties where we make our own body and home products are fun and informative.  I reference this book often, which tells how to make infusions, tinctures, salves, body care.  I highly recommend it--it's easy to understand and really accessible to the novice.  One of the recipes talks about using lemon balm in an infusion, which makes me long for my lemon balm that I grew from seed at my old house and had loads of.  I should have brought it here!  Along with my lavender and russian sage, which was all taken out by the new owners.  No, I'm not bitter.

Anyway, yesterday Lily and I attempted to make homemade rose water (top photo).  She gathered petals from our rose bushes and we poured boiling water over them and screwed on the lid, which happened to seal.  So now what?  I don't know.  Ha.

And these containers are my straight up almond oil which I use to moisturizer after a shower, my facial oil which is very fun to use from the glass bottle with a dropper, and my newly made (at the last hippie party) rose and honey face wash.  Love it.  These are both from the Make Your Place book.

Facial Oil
2 oz. carrier oil (I used almond)
15 drops essential oil (I used lavender and peppermint...I think)
Combine 2-3 drops oil with a few drops warm water to use.  Rub palms together to emulsify and pat on face.  You can change the ratio, depending on how dry your skin is.

Rose and honey face wash
1/2 c. Rose water, homemade is best (but we had some purchased already)
2 T. liquid castile soap
1 t. honey
Combine rose water and honey and stir til honey is dissolved.  And soap and mix well.  I put mine in a small bottle with a pop top type lid--easy to squirt some out.

So this is a new embarkment (is that a word??) and I have visions of a whole dedicated shelf of ingredients to make these things as well as already made salves and tinctures.  To think about it makes me happy.  This is a goal for this summer--to make some of these things with my little ones.  I should get going on my herb garden!

And...if anyone reading this is in my area and wants to be added to the party invite list, let me know.  :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

fairy house and the many faces of Lily

This week during Calvin's nap, Lils and I had some fun together.  I made 'Fort Squirrel' into a fairy house, and Lily Faerie worked her magic.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

reflections in a dirty mirror

I'm learning to use my camera. Very, verrrry slowly. I haven't played with it as much as I'd like and it confuses me...but I'm sure it will click (ha, ha) someday. So here I am, gazing in a dirty bathroom mirror...reflecting on who I am, who I want to be, what I what to do better at, what I can let go of (like clean mirrors).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


lots of playing on the screen porch and in the yard again this week.  It's so good to be outside!  I have a zillion projects I want to do.  One of which involves bricks.  Lots of bricks.  I'm getting loads of partial bricks for free from a historic home here in town, free street bricks from another local town, and also getting free limestone slabs from a friend.  Projects are getting underway--pics to come.
anyway, back to the kids (oh yeah, they enjoy loading and unloading bricks too.  especially when it involves a trip to the ice cream store!)
this little man is knackered.  I love that word--love all the english and aussie slang.  I would totally say 'nappies'  if people would understand that I mean diapers and not a nap.  I love this--fell asleep on my back in the ergo and I oh so gently laid him on the bed.  love.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


(I can't change the orientation of this pic for some reason.  Because I'm not going to spend any more time on it, just pretend it's horizontal instead)

I've been soaking up my children.  Loving being around them, missing them when they're gone.  Amazed at what they can do and how fast they're growing up.  I've been nostalgic and teary eyed. 

What I love about them right now:
Grace--her wit and sarcasm makes me laugh.  We banter back and forth and she can dish it out!
Eric--his enthusiasm about ants and digging in the dirt and the atmosphere (did you know that the thermosphere is the top layer of the atmosphere before space?).  His happy-go-lucky-ness.
Lily--how she's way into tree climbing and it's for favorite thing to do in our yard.  She discovered a bird (a pigeon Rob says) on her nest and we've been watching her.
Calvin--how every vehicle with four wheels is a 'tractor'.  The boy loves tractors (and the way he says it is so cute).  He loves riding on my back in the ergo.

Other things I'm grateful for:
--I got my three favorite mags all in one day.  Maine--yes!  Cloth diapering--yes!  Raising backyard chickens--yes!
--walking down to the courthouse square yesterday for the arbor day tree giveaway.  It was such a perfect day, walking with my 2 littles.  We saw friends at the arbor day booth, and also a neighbor that I'd spoken with on the phone but not met yet.
--seeing another friend and neighbor with her 2 children, I had brought them a meal when their little one was born this year.  She asked about my ergo.
--walking home and stopping by some alley sales on the way, seeing yet more friends and stopping to chat.
--getting a box of vintage scarves and hankies for 50 cents.
--going for a walk in the evening and seeing yet another historic home that was brought back from the brink of falling apart and lovingly restored. Talking with this couple about vaxing and babywearing.  Stopping by the park on the way home and seeing more people that we knew.  Talking with more neighbors on the way home and soaking up every bit of the day.
--our strawberry patch is doing well (the week that we've had it!).  I have a wonderful husband that rolls with it and doesn't mind me digging up the yard and that makes me happy.  We agree that we do need to keep SOME grass, the rest can go (eventually).
--the completely amazing April weather we had
--I got to be part of an amazing writing workshop in April.  I loved it.  I'm going to keep writing, too. 
--speaking of writing, it's a little funny to put my writing out there and then have people comment on it in person to me.   I know on the one hand that it's going out (in the current) but am always surprised when people actually read it and tell me that they read it.  Like last night, at the house we got to check out, Mark said not to look in the pantry because of the plastic bags in there (I did a column about not using paper or plastic bags in stores).  I went to the eye doctor this week too and she reads my columns.   It's a funny thing I suppose!  I'm grateful to be able to express my thoughts and to hear back from people.  Pretty cool.
--I got to take a dinner to more neighbors that just had a baby.  They liked my Food Revolution column and eat the same way.  They also belong to a food co-op.  Yeah!  We also got onto the topic of my (I'm not a) dirty hippie parties and she wants to be in.  I love the enthusiasm of these women that want to make their own deodorant, shampoo, face wash and's really awesome.  There are all kinds of revolutions all around.  We're ripe for it.