Friday, November 09, 2012

Culling 100 Things

No, I haven't forgotten! I'm doing this much more slowly than I'd wanted to, but my goal is still 100 things gone by Dec. 31, 2012.
I dragged this broken wicker rocker to the curb Wednesday morning, and it went along with my usual trash and recycling. I wasn't sad to see it go. It's been taking up precious basement real estate long enough.
Monday is a holiday for me. My next plan is the linen closet!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Reverse 100-Thing Challenge

The Reverse 100-Thing Challenge is something I can do. I can't go the other way (live with 100 things) until I get rid of many 100s of things... So here I am, signing up. Join me?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Meatless Mondays, World Vegetarian Day, & Vegetarian Awareness Month!

World Vegetarian Day is today! That link will take you to their website where you can take the pledge to try vegetarianism for a day, a week, or the whole month! Since I've been doing Meatless Mondays for a long time now, I've pledged to move along the continuum to vegetarian for a week, with a goal to having at least a couple of vegan days this week. I've been reading The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and I've really taken with the science. I hope I'll be able to make that change, even tho' it's pretty severe in my mind. Still, it makes good sense.

So what will you pledge to do?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Disasters As Motivators...

Like a lot of folks in my region this week, I was blindsided by the storm Friday night that laid waste the countryside and dealt power companies a body blow that's still being healed...My power was off from Friday night thru yesterday at 4pm. That's a very long time for a house that's sealed to within an inch of it's life in the midst of a heatwave. It was still 81 degrees inside this morning after running the AC for 15 hours.

And that means the refrigerator and the freezer contents are lining the landfill. Along with many other folks, I lost everything. The loss hurts financially most of all.

But there IS a silver lining to that: I was able to do a decent cleaning of the fridge without a fuss. And I'm now rethinking how I want to stock that fridge.

I've spent a lot of time here sharing recipes and sharing thoughts about food. I've learned a lot over the months, and one thing I've learned especially is that the lower on the food chain one eats, the healthier we are. I've also learned that real food, whole food, is the best choice.

And I particularly like the quote from Michael Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It keeps things pretty darn simple. So thinking about what's going back in my freezer is probably going to be based on that. I'll try to keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

So Much Vitriol

If you listen, these days, you'll hear it everywhere. But especially in the political arena. It's disheartening and I'm very aware of it, spending probably way too much time on it. Except I've been raised to believe that if it's ignored, and what you loathe, despise, and fear comes to pass, you have only yourself to blame for not getting involved... I'm way behind on blog-reading, and I'm going to try very hard to make myself catch up. Particularly here: on Dominique's blog. She's involved, yet with her, I can step back and breathe quietly and let peace wash over me. A very healthy thing to do!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Small Craft Business Showcase

For several months now I've wondered just what direction I wanted this blog to move in. I've finally pretty much decided. The essays expressing concern for environmental degradation, the mostly vegetarian recipes, the "make-do" philosophy? Well, they'll still find their way into my posts every so often. I enjoy doing them. And they reflect a side of me that doesn't get much expression anywhere else...

But I think I'd like also to begin to share a passion near and dear to my heart: small business crafters. You know I own a small craft business, myself. But I'm also a "patroness" of the independent creators of fun, funky, fresh, and fabulous handmade wonders so often found on etsy and at craft shows around my mid-Atlantic area and on my (somewhat limited) travels.

So. Tonight I'll share a crafter I first became aware of when my niece gave me a delightful pin at Christmas: Half Baked Ideas Jewelry by Stephen Dalton.
The pin she gave me is the one on the left. The pink and gold "cheetah" print is totally my idea of fun and fab. My niece told me that she'd been at a craft show and found this gentleman's booth, and thought his story meshed with my own life in a really rather neat way.

My niece indicated that Mr. Dalton has a disability, and for those of you who don't know, I work in the disability field. And that's how I came in contact with Mr. Dalton's work again this week: I was attending an Independent Living Conference in Richmond, Virginia, and among all the various vendors of durable medical equipment, health agencies and services, and supplies available to offer us really good information and helpful assistance in working with our consumers, Mr. Dalton was there, showcasing his wonderful art.

I zeroed in on his booth right away (I've done a ton of craft shows in my life, and I know a great booth and fun spot when I see it!). This week, I added two other pieces to my collection of Half-Baked Ideas Jewelry. The Siamese Cat, and the purple heart earrings. Those readers of my knitting blog know that I have two Siamese/Tonkinese cats, that purple is my favorite color, and that hearts have special meaning to me, as well - I'm a heart attack and by-pass survivor, yes, I'm a person with a disability, myself.

If you have an opportunity to visit Half-Baked Ideas over on etsy, enjoy the visit. These are really fun pieces of jewelry, with great attention to detail. They are lightweight (a big issue with me). They are pretty, funky, fun!

And remember, whenever you support an independent crafter? You're purchasing something that is made by ONE very creative person, not a factory, and you're making it possible for someone to live according to their values and making a big difference in that person's life.

Not to mention? Getting some really neat stuff in the bargain!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day in Grandin Village!

Yesterday was the annual Earth Day Celebration in Grandin Village, so of course, I went. I had agreed to assist in a yoga demo, and of course, the Farmer's Market opened yesterday, too!
They always have tons of informational booths (lots on the Greenways, various community organizations, some on religious communities, as well as peace groups, environmental groups and such, so there's so much to check out and lots for kids to do, too!). And there are crafters, too, where I did a bit of shopping, hoping to continue to support local businesses, especially craft businesses. But the first spot to hit was the Farmers Market where I picked up two bunches of Swiss Chard:
I brought it right home, and made it up, because there's nothing better than fresh chard
I chopped the rainbow stems up fine and added in three cloves of garlic to some olive oil:
And after they'd cooked a bit, I finally put the torn leaves of chard in on top and let it steam for a bit...and then sauteed it.
With a bit of fresh cracked pepper and a touch of salt along with red wine vinegar, it was just melt-in-your-mouth wonderful. And since I used only 2 tsps of olive oil? It was only 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus!! YUM...and the season's just started! Whoohoo!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Sounds Delish!

Kale Apple Curry is going on the menu at my house, and it's not waiting till Meatless Monday, either!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Another Meatless Monday!

I can't claim credit for this one, it's Dad's Greek Salad Recipe which I discovered on Pinterest.

I didn't use as much olive oil, added in chopped parsley. But it's meatless, even if not vegan. Along with the salad I'm having a Black Bean, Corn, & Brown Rice concoction which is made with a can of each veggie, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of uncooked brown rice (cook it obviously) and then I added in smoked paprika, cumin (a couple of teaspoons at least), and cayenne. I also chopped up a hot pepper from my freezer bag of peppers from the CSA share 2 years ago! They are still just fine.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meatless Monday! First One This Year!

And this one is vegan! I found a recipe for Carribean Red Beans and Rice that sounded a lot like my favorite restaurant's (Wildflour). It wasn't, but it was still very good. I'm not quite sure what it is that goes in their recipe that is so wonderful, but I'll keep on trying...
That's soy cheese on top. I altered the recipe just a bit, but using dried beans soaked overnight, a can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes, about 1/2 a can of water, and cooking everything in the slow cooker. I ended up finishing the beans off on top of the stove, because the water was just enough to make it soupy, and I didn't want that. I also cooked the rice separately.

I started the meal with a spinach and mandarin orange salad with walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Normally I toss in Feta and the fake bacon bits, but I decided I was good with this as was, because I was having the Red Beans & Rice.

What are YOU doing to reduce the amount of animal products in your diet? You did hear that eating too much red meat brings on all the rotten stuff: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure? The evidence is mounting.

And it saves money, too! With gas prices going up and up, we can all do more of that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Project 333

Yes, I'm still around! And I've decided I'm going to do this Project 333 beginning April 1 (No, not April Fool's Day - the first day of April!)

I think the hardest part for me will be deciding what I want to bring with me on this journey. I'm making two decisions right off:

1. My Handknits & my daughter's handcrafted jewelry are exempt.
2. My shoes are exempt: I have problem feet, so the fact that I have many shoes in two brands that I can wear year-round (including sandals and boots) is non-negotiable. The day might come that I ditch a few, but I'm not holding my breath. They're expensive shoes, because they are my "medicine" of sorts.

That said, I hope to spend a little bit of time here this coming weekend to work thru the closet in advance of April 1. I love the explanation here about How to Make Space.

And I'm not aiming for an unpleasant experience. When I lost the ton of weight I was carrying around (2 years ago), I decided the closet would be kept in a minimal way, that I wouldn't load it down with too much stuff, and I'd only buy what I loved. can imagine how that turned out, can't you? Not so much. I know I bought things that were, well, convenient. And since I tend to be a uniform dresser, when I found something that worked, I bought every color.

So I hope this will help me return to my original intention about clothing. We'll see!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

If Each One Changes One...

What an amazing world we'd live in, don't you think? Go visit Courtney and see if her suggestions resonate with you? The did with me...

and Happy Valentines' Day.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I promised to share this when I received it. It's quickly become the one piece of jewelry I wear, and, true to it's intended purpose, it reminds me regularly that I'm trying extra hard to be enveloped with kindness, towards others, and especially towards myself.

I've a bad habit of negative thinking towards myself, not just the bad behaviors of saying "yes" too often, both in piling on commitments and in opening the purse to pay for something more..anything more, but the verbage that runs in my head that chastises me for failing perfection. I even caught myself saying "You idiot!" and meaning myself. Interesting how often that apparently has happened in my life, and even more fascinating that I'm only *just* picking up on that! (There's a part of me that says, "Isn't it about time you figured this out?" and the answer I'm trying to give when that particular tape runs is "It's okay, you're figuring it out now and will move forward without it.")

Then in the actions that are detrimental section? If I'm stressed or bored? It's always been okay to just use a bit of retail therapy. Well, I've been more aware and instead have surfed on over to Ravelry, searching for free knitting patterns, then diving into stash to figure out what I have that will work to make this new lovely (whatever I've found).

I'm trying to get myself to the point of saying, okay, with this reduction in spending there will be an increase in saving, but frankly? I'm trying to pay down some older debt, and while I do want to start saving, with rates what they are, I think I'm probably better off paying the debt off first.

So methinks that this lovely little charms necklace is helping, just in the few days I've had it! YAY!

And yes, it's not lost on me, that by purchasing this, I spent money. However, I did support a craftsperson I care about. This isn't about denying myself, it's about being intentional and thinking before I do something. Making sure I'm being thoughtful and aware in everything I do and think. While I know it sounds as if it's an entirely "me-focus," I believe I've already seen a difference in the way in which I relate to others, because with ahimsa, it's non-harming, honoring, caring for everything and everyone. I think my mindset has taken a kinder path recently and for that, yay! Gaining patience, thinking before saying things to ensure that what I say won't hurt the feelings of someone else is very other-focused.

And obviously, I not perfect. I am watching the one step forward, two back trend to this, but I think the forward steps will become more numerous and the backward ones, fewer and farther between.

And that's what it's all about!

Monday, January 23, 2012

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Maia!

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.

This is what I'm setting as my life goal. Practicing Ahimsa will help me get there.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

One Word 2012: Ahimsa

Lately, I've been thinking that the word I should choose was "hermit." As that's what I wish I could do nowadays. But no, not really the sort of thing that's really appropriate for this "resolution" that's NOT.

So I've gone round and round, and finally decided that enough of the words I was looking at fit under the heading of one of the yamas of yoga: Ahimsa. Ultimately, it means non-harming, and while obviously I'm not a person who would intentionally harm anyone, I'm going to have to look at this from the standpoint of not harming myself.

I am one of those people who have a difficult time saying "no." Who loads on more and more, and rests less and less. Who can't easily chomp down on the purse strings long enough to do the right thing by myself.

My charms have been ordered, and I'll share a photo when the necklace arrives. And the plan is to revisit this often during the year. I hope I'll learn a lot.

So...what's YOUR word?