Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wide Open Spaces

Christmas had come and gone. Santa came and left. The Little Miss cleaned up again and luckily we didn’t get as much crap this year. Last year was filled with so much Dora stuff I thought my head was going to explode or at the very least my eyeballs were going to start bleeding. This year she got a lot of dress up clothes, games, books and pretty useful stuff.

Adding more things into our house made me think, many times over the past few days what it would be like to be in a house where you had enough storage for everything. Nice and tidy. A place for everything. We would drive past big homes and I would think to myself, I bet they have a place to put their stuff away. They probably even have cupboards that are empty and heck they probably even have extra rooms.

But then I was thinking, it’s not really the size of the house, it’s the amount of crap we have in ours. If I got rid of all the things we don’t use and all the things we have extra of, we’d have plenty of space. Craigslist and ebay, here I come.

If anyone needs anything let me know. And The Husband better stay out of my way.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All The Stockings Are Hung...

We're just waiting for Santa to arrive...

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comment Here!

One thing I’ve done this past year is to make a very conscious effort to buy as much of my food from local sources. Yes, it can cost more out of my pocket, but in return, I’m getting a lot of food that is grown within 25 miles of my home. That means, more time on the vine which produces better tasting food. It means, less carbon footprint, in transportation because it’s being moved 25 miles, not 2500 miles. Less packaging meaning, less waste. I’m supporting my local economy. I’m getting to know my farmers. The same farmers who are providing food and nourishment to my family and me.

I wanted to find a way to give back to the hard working men and women of an industry which seemingly on a good day is a tough business. So, let’s raise some money…

For every person who leaves a comment here between now and December 24th at 8am Pacific Time, I will donate 25 cents to American Farmland Trust.

It’s a pretty cool non-profit dedicated to helping grow foods locally, protecting the environment and saving farmlands. Since we are all in search of healthier lifestyles and doing less damage to the environment, this organization is helping fight that fight.

Their official mission is:

The mission of American Farmland Trust is to help farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities.

So hit up the comments, make me go broke!

Remember No Farms, No Food.

If you want to paste a link on your blog to this post to help in the effort, please feel free to do so. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Upcycled Sling

This year, I’m trying to make as many gifts as I can. Of course, there’s still a lot that I have to buy, hence my nightmarish trip to Target, which you can read about here. But, I’m still able to make quite a few. Here’s one I’m especially proud of.

The back story is, a couple of months ago, my neighbor brought over a baby sling she wasn’t using anymore and had unsuccessfully tried to sell. We both loved the material and she was hoping I might be able to use it to make something. So, last night it went from this

to this

I know the fabric is reversed since I pulled the top photo from their website. But, you get the idea.

I think she's going to be thrilled and love seeing her daughter in it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ever Happen to You?

Sadly, we laugh...

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Attention Target Shoppers

I went to Target yesterday to do some Christmas shopping. With 18 kids to shop for, I love me some dollar bins. (and no, I didn’t go and have 17 more… it’s all the nieces, nephews, friend’s kids etc… they all add up.) I found the last 2 snowmen and last 4 snow flake window decals, the last pink headband, cute divided plates, penguin socks, and bunch of great loot. I then hit up the women’s clothing section and found a couple shirts for moi. Next it was the paper plates, napkins, cat treats, and then the aisles and aisles of toys. Which, by the way… can you say a bunch of plastic JUNK?!

Anyway, I like to park my cart at the end of an aisle and walk down the aisle and check things out. I don’t like to have to try and navigate and shop at the same time. I can usually multi-task, but not when shopping for toys and driving the cart. Too many people, too many kids, too narrow a space. It’s just a hassle. So, yesterday I parked my cart, got my purse, and up and down the aisles I went, making mental notes of what there was, checking my list etc. After carefully assessing my options, I’m ready to stock up. I picked a couple things off the shelves, turned to put them in my cart and gone. Nowhere to be found. Vanished. At first, I thought I had just left it somewhere else so I looked up and down various aisles, panic. All that good dollar bin stuff gone. My shirts, gone. My paper plates, napkins, and cat treats, gone. FUCK. Gone. I almost cried.

So, I headed back to the front and started again, ever looking for my cart. I was so frustrated, I only got some of the same stuff and finished off from where I left off. I then headed to the checkout stand and there it was, the cart… my stuff from the first round mixed in with other merchandise ready to be restocked. I must have looked pathetic as I went through it pulling out the things that I really wanted but forgot to get the second time around. But, oh the joy.

So along with my advice of don’t ever wear a red shirt while shopping at Target, because you will be stopped a gazillion times and asked where something is, here’s my other piece of advice. Never, ever leave your cart at the end of the aisle while you shop.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Need Your Suggestions...

What would you do? OR in other words what should I do…

We live on a quiet dead end street. We’ve lived there for 2 years, the newbies on the block. The people next door to us are pot smoking hippies from the 60’s who live in the back house, his elderly mom in the front. Our across the street diagonal neighbors are also a couple with grown children who live with her elderly mom. He works in his yard, constantly wearing his blue shirt, blue pants, and when it’s chilly, his puffy blue down vest. He occasionally brings out his khaki outfit for special days. He limps and I suspect it’s because his hot wife who flips her hair out of her face and walks a little funny are having wild, we-don’t-have-any-kids-in-the-house and my-mother-is-deaf-sex. But that’s a completely other blog topic.

Our neighbors directly across from us have 2 kids, now in junior high school. When we moved in, the couple had separated. She had moved out. He stayed in the house with the kids. I had gone over to their house one afternoon to bring veggies from our summer garden and a woman had unexpectedly answered the door. I wasn’t expecting a woman, so I introduced myself and she quickly claimed her territory. “Hi I’m so, and so. I’m your neighbors wife and mom to kid 1 and kid 2.” She was nice but wanted to make her role very clear. I was ok with that. I only wanted to share my bounty, not swoop in on her family. I told her who I was and that I lived with my own husband and child. Once that was all clear, things were fine.

Over the past couple of years, we say hello when we see each other. We’ve never had them over for a happy hour or a BBQ, not because we don’t like them, we just never have. We are cordial and neighborly. We casually talk about whatever for a few minutes or more and then move on. Into the car, back into the house, whatever we were doing before we stopped to chat. When we ask, their daughter will occasionally feed our cats and pick up our mail when we go out of town. Here’s the question… I hadn’t seen the wife around a lot. She’s hasn’t been in the yard or cleaning up her rose bushes. I haven’t seen her getting her mail or just out and about. And then there was a sighting. She was bald. Not as in I want a new hairstyle bald, but chemo bald.

What do I do? I’d like to help someway. A meal for the family? Run some errands for them? Pick up groceries? Something? But how do I approach them? I don’t just normally go over and say hello. I don’t even have a phone number or email for them. I only talk when see each at the end of our driveways. Any suggestions on how what to do? Or should I just leave them alone and if the opportunity arises at the mailboxes, offer up a meal or something.

They’ve been on my mind since I saw her the other day. I hope she is doing well. I hope the kids are ok. It must be hard.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Homeopath

The Little Miss has suffered from eczema seemingly since the day she was born. A day hasn't gone by where we've battled to some degree about her not scratching. He's itched so much she's made herself bleed. We've seen her pediatrician, a dermatologist or two and endured a skin prick test at the allergist. We've been moved from one doctor to another looking for an answer. For relief. For something that may bring some comfort. I had a doctor tell me to use Crisco shortening as a lotion and another doctor prescribe a lotion, where the main ingredient was olive oil that cost over $100 a tube. The main remedy and general line was "she'll grow out of it."

And that's what I bought into for three and a half years.

I've lived with three and a half years of always having to have her legs covered. Leggings under dresses were my salvation. When her legs were covered, the discomfort was less. Bearable. But as soon as her pants were off, the words, "Don't scratch" almost automatically sprang from my lips.

Last month, The Little Miss had had enough. She told me she wanted to find something to make her itches go away. "Please Mama? Can we?" And when your child asks you to make her comfortable in her body, you find a way.

So, I did some research and found a homeopathic doctor. We went in for a consultation. She asked lots of questions. Many questions that were not "medical." "Does she like to play with 'boy' toys? or 'girl toys'?" "Does she like to do imaginary play?" "Does she get frustrated easily?" There was also lots of questions about our health, and habits. Questions even about my pregnancy and any issues I may have had while pregnancy.

I sat an answered a lot of question about my child. And it really made me think about her, her personality and her life. It also made me think there are a lot of things about her that I just didn't know. She just seemed to be such a complicated person at three and a half.

The doctor did her thing, did her analysis and came up with a course of action. She gave us some herbs to take, and an oral remedy she mixed up for us.

For the last 2 weeks, I've been following the regime and
giving The Little Miss Minor Cinnamon and Peoney Combination and Graphites. I've eliminated all fried food and all foods with rancid oils. And you know what? It's working.

No itching. No leggings. "Don't scratch" is no longer spewing from my mouth. It's truly amazing. It literally has brought tears to my eyes and more importantly relief to The Little Miss. I only wish I had done this earlier.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More of Me

Here's a little sample of what kind of jewelry I've been making lately... hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

African Bead Bracelet

Pounded Silver with a Green Glass Bead

Pearl and Amazonite with Sterling Silver Chain

Recycled African Bottle Beads

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crazed and Sleep Deprived

You miss me?

I am suffering from Bloggers Guilt. I have been crazy busy doing a lot of things except writing here. Mainly, there’s lots going on and a business of mine has taken on a life of its own and keeping me busy late into the night.

Remember my snack bags? These little goodies? Last weekend I participated in my first “Winter Boutique” and they were a big hit. The couple weeks leading up to the sale, I cut, pinned and sewed my way through about 70 of them. The sale happened and I sold a lot. Then I got a call from another group wanting my things at their sale, so I got busy again. Then, I got another call from someone who wants to put them in her store, then another call from a school who has a farmer’s market once a week and they would like to have them there on an on-going basis. And so on.

In addition to my snack bags, I’ve been creating a lot of jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings. More earrings, more bracelets, more inventory. Because I have one more sale to do next weekend and I need to have more to sell. I would rather have too much than to lose out because I didn’t make enough.

Unfortunately, all of these activities, my sewing projects, my jewelry making all has to been done while The Little Miss is dreaming of sugar plum fairies, whatever they are. She would love to “help,” but beads, pins and sharp scissors and 3 year olds don’t mix. Which means a lot of late nights.

There’s a lot happening, a lot of little details to think about and I’m trying to ride this wave while it’s happening. And most of all, I’m still enjoying it. It feels so fulfilling to create. I love the feeling of seeing an idea come to life and seeing people enjoy all my creations.

My table at the boutique

More to come about "Girl Sunday," the story behind the name, and my super cool logo.