On Thursday mornings I always feel conflicted about heading to work; The kids are whiney, they want to know when I will be home, they want me to play puzzles and trains and instead I leave them. However, by Sunday morning I can clearly remember why I was so excited to go back to work in the first place. Thus is the roller coaster of quilt and pleasure that comes to working parents.
As I am sure no one actually reads this blog anymore, I will use this more as a diary. If a lone stranger happens upon it, you may read or you may pass.
I watched “No Impact Man” over the last few days. I snuck in some downtime with my laptop and headphones on while children were sleeping or quietly playing. It took me three days to finish, but it was well worth it! I am urging my husband to now watch it, as he has a huge interest in solar panels and I know he will like this. Actually, I have always shrugged off his solar panel talking as something kinda “new aggie” and out there, but now I think he might be on to something.
I am always interested in the food trends. Food is my thing and I love to read food blogs, food magazines and watch food TV. Anything food related is of interest. But somehow I stumbled upon “No Impact Man,” while trying to find interesting food documentaries on Netflix (a person fave).
I’ve watched Food, Inc, Foodmatters, etc. I loved them all. At my local Whole Foods, I found goji berries, raw cacao, organic veggies, chia seeds (a persona favorite for IBS), elderberry, etc. But something seemed, still, to be missing.
Having read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” you would think I could have figured out the missing link, but I did not. It just dawned on me, as I sat around my breakfast table eating leftovers from my catering business….”It’s good for ME, but not good for everyone else.”
As my son so bluntly puts it, “You’re not the most important person Mama!”
Well, he’s right. I’m not. While I’ve been searching for what’s best for me, I’ve left out the rest of mankind. Okay, maybe not the rest, I pretty much feed my husband the same stuff. My kids, though, do not even see the same food on their plate as I do. Why? Because it’s hard to justify spending $15.99 on a bag of veggies that they won’t even touch once I spend 45 minutes cleaning, preparing and cooking them.
If I have a value, though, an overarching life value – I should follow it. Be kind to others. Somebody important said that, actually I think a lot of important people said that. I believe in that statement and actions speak louder than words (just getting my cliche in).
I must show my children how to put the good of the whole before the good of the individual. I’m still not clear on how to do this. I can’t ditch my car and ride my 4 kids to school on a bike 10 miles away on an interstate. I can’t eat only local foods, denying my children of the vitamins and minerals they need from fortified cereals. Or can I?
I’ve just discovered the wonderful healing effects of Stinging Nettles Tea and have started drinking this wonderful tonic. What should I do If I can not go buy the tea bags at Whole Foods? Can I grow these my own? When? How do I do it? Is it worth the effort?
Now I think we have gotten to the real question. Is it worth the effort? Well, when we have to do it ourselves it’s a different beast entirely. Just like what we say to our children, “did you bring your own money to the store today for that transformer you just have to have?”
Usually the answer is, “no, but you have money and can buy it for me.” True, but do I really want to? No, I want to teach you a lesson and it turns out it’s a lesson that I need to reiterate to myself. If it’s not worth the work, then why am I having someone else do it? Shouldn’t I just go without? Not to mention all of the negative impact my desire has on the world, as others do my work, package my goods and drive them to me. And to take it even further, how much money would it save me to do that work myself?
It’s true, there are only so many things we can do with our lives, but I do believe that whatever we do, we should leave this place a little better than we found it. That’s exactly what the church secretary used to tell me when she found me eating donuts in the kitchen. I thought she was being nit picky. Maybe she had a point.
I have been enjoying my time (or wasting it?) reading all kinds of interesting blogs. I came across one recently that I really enjoyed and have decided to borrow the authors great idea, she comes up with one word to inspire her new year. I’ve never been much for new year’s resolutions. However, a new year does make me want to start things that I have been waiting to start.
When I read this blog, “Make it do” I was inspired to come up with my own word for this year, 2012. It was very easy and actually popped into my head as I was reading her post. My word for this year is…..
It is no longer about starting things. I’ve gotten pretty good at starting stuff over the last 31 years, but I’m not the greatest at finishing those things. So, dear readers, you are my accountability. I have named a number of things that I am working on and it is now time to see those things through.
Here we go!
What is your word this year?
“Time is money, and when you manage your time well, you manage your money well, too.” – The Simple Dollar
Standing in the kitchen, cleaning his hands after lunch (without being asked)……..
Elias: “Go in car.”
Mama: “Where do you want to go?”
I always knew there would come a day when Elias realized that he’s not cut out of the same dough as the rest of us crazy cookies in this family; I just did not think it would be when he was 2.
In 2006 The Slow Home Studio started what is called the Slow Home Movement. Most of us know what the Slow Food Movement is, but for me, the Slow Home Movement is new. I recently stumbled across their website and found some great information as well as a very interesting Slow Home Test. Obviously, I just HAD to take the test, even though we are in a short-term rental. Some of the questions were a little difficult to answer, as I wanted to ask my own questions and clarify what they meant (always a problem of mine on test taking – I want to ask a question about the question).
The test itself was interesting, though. It made me consider things about our home that I had not really thought about before. We scored an 11 (I think, I’d like to discuss some of the questions). Anyhow, check it out and let me know……. what is your score?
There is something about fresh corn, stripped from the stalk only moments before it is shucked and bathed in boiling water, that simply IS summer. As summer has come to a close, I thought that we would end this summer with a true corn experience.
I mentioned before that I was going to try to include my children in cooking about once per week. I must admit that it is worlds easier to involve Jonah (who ever thought I would say anything was easier with Jonah?) than the two-year-old twins. However, it dawned on me that I needn’t have flames or actually “cooking” around them in order for them to get a kitchen experience.
I spent many summer evenings shucking corn, snapping beans or tossing compost material out and in my eyes I was helping with the cooking. So, when I opened up my CSA share from Horse and Buggy Produce I called the children into the kitchen and introduced corn shucking.
Just the word “Shuck” is fun to say. Almost like you are cursing, but somehow it seems wholesome at the same time.
I gave a little “lesson” as we like to call it in our home (borrowing from our wonderful Montessori school). The children took to it immediately, well mostly, Bebe just tried to eat the corn (shucked and un-shucked).
The children had a blast and were extremely proud of their accomplishment. Once the corn was cooked and buttered they went straight for it and gobbled it right off the cob! I think Elias even spent a little extra time sucking the sweetness that lingers in the chewed on cob. I can’t blame him, that is my favorite part too.
*Side note: The picture below is pre-cooked, the camera didn’t make it back out for the actual eating of corn.
DIY, these three little letters seem to be everywhere. Everyone wants to take a stab at “doing-it-yourself.” So, at the risk of blending into the masses, I am going to join up. I just placed my order for the following ingredients from Amazon (I love Amazon.com).
Jojoba Oil (not really sure what this is)
Castor Oil (no, I am not trying to go into labor – been there, done that. Apparently it has all kinds of other wonderful uses.)
Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, with Mother (the mother is important “they” say).
What am I going to make? Well, we shall see. What I think I am going to do first is make some Hard Lotion. I am very excited about this. It seems very easy to make (not scary like soap making where you could burn yourself or just screw up and mess the whole thing up). Plus, the lotion has some pretty rave reviews from consumers that have tried it already.
Three of my four kids have a mild eczema that gets inflamed in the winter, so I figured this is a pretty good time to try. Not to mention, I really do not like taking a clean and perfectly wonderfully smelling baby out of the bath (I have already switched from smelly baby soap to a non-fragrance, natural bar soap) and slather yucky, over the top “baby” lotion on them. They smell so, well, fake. I like a baby’s natural scent. I like it so much it might be why I keep having babies; when it wears off I just have another one and start over.
I also think that I might make my own shampoo and conditioner (not sure about this one yet, but it is supposed to be good for your hair). Definetly I plan to try the homemade laundry soap from Simplemom.net and the homemade dishwasher soap. The reason why I want to try these is because I already have the ingredients on hand and I seem to constantly run out of these two things. If I could just whip up my own that would be great.
The Castor Oil is supposed to be good for achy joints, sore feet and restless leg syndrome (among other things), but these are things that I can try out in our family.
The Apple Cider Vinegar, like Castor Oil has a laundry list of uses, but the one that interested me the most is that it can increase your energy and ward of colds (what mother doesn’t want that?). It is also an ingredient in Hair Clarifier (conditioner).
There are many other DIY products I would like to make, but this is where I am going to start. If anyone has any experience to share, please do. DIY can been a fun filled adventure that culminates in a sense of accomplishment and increased self-esteem or it can end miserably with a sticky mess on your kitchen floor and a quick trip to Target to replace a set of kitchen towels. Stay tuned to find out where I end up.
So exciting! Our new site is up and running. What do you think?