Here's my dairy-free, heart-warming soup recipe of the day, made with things I happened to have around.
"Don't feel that you need to complete every exercise if the child understands the concept."
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. - Dr. Seuss
We always start our Christmas season on December 1st. It's when we start decorating, planning gifts and making plans because we love the Christmas season. But, it's not the buying stuff and presents. We love decorating the house with lights and evergreens, and we love finding things to do such as Christmas walks at local gardens, caroling, parades, apple cider and games. Here's a quick guide to celebrating Christmas the opposite of the way that companies want you to.
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.
So how did you celebrate Buy Nothing Day? I dutifully stayed home and bought nothing, just worked on a wedding reception dance playlist for my father-in-law's wedding (how many 80's hits can I find? lol). My husband, on the other hand, had to go to work and they decided to celebrate their last day of training by going out to lunch.
A wrap is like the ultimate sandwich. I love sandwiches, so it's no wonder that I love wraps. I don't believe in one recipe, but rather a mixture of ingredients to choose from for any number of tantalizing, healthy variations. Here's the basic process:
Use a tortilla or a large lettuce leaf. A soft flour tortilla can be folded to be picked up like a burrito. I suppose you could use a corn tortilla for a Mexican style wrap (technically, an Enchilada).
November 28, 2008 is officially Buy Nothing Day! Stay home people! Spend no money!
Today Annie and I are going to grab a few ingredients we have around the house and see if they moisturize and cleanse our skin. We're going to experiment with apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, olive oil and other things in making something that will both moisturize, and help heal rash and acne. We've found a couple of recipes:
1/2 c water
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tea tree oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of honey
7 oz of water
I love posting on Thanksgiving, simply because of my passion for history, and I have a bit of time because Autumn is on her computer time and Annie is cleaning the bathtub. Thanksgiving in Canada was last month, and while the food is the same, the icons are not. There isn't the Macy's parade, and the Pilgrims with the buckled hats. It's pretty much about the food.
But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood. - William BradfordAfter living in the Netherlands (isn't Amsterdam great for acceptance of everything) for quite a while, they realized their group would face extinction as their children became more and more Dutch. Options for relocations included Guiana and Virginia in the New World, where there already were existing successful settlements. They opted for Virginia, but not too close to the other settlements so that they wouldn't end up in the same situation again.
I've read lots of information on the
GCFC GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free) diet, both for and against. If you're not familiar with this, many autistic parents believe that eliminated gluten (in form of breads or grain products containing gluten), and casein (in the form of dairy protein) improves the behavior of their child. As yet, I am unable to find any convincing proof of why this would be. It doesn't mean it isn't true, it could just mean it hasn't been proven. We've eliminated dairy (if you look through my diet category you can see the posts), and it has improved her behavior. Rather than literally climbing the walls, she's much more calm and has less explosive crying episodes.
1. Annie has many more allergies. The first allergy we noticed was baby wipes. We quickly switched to more natural wipes, and being new parents didn't realize all the options, but we knew that she couldn't handle fragrances or lotions or even dryer sheets. Everyone can get a skin irritation but for her it was seriously noticeable in the form of a rash.
EDIT: lol, did anyone notice my dyslexic mistake in labeling it GCFC? It should be G F C F lol.
Annie over at Sensible Living did a nice post posing the question what's in your garbage and how you keep it to a minimum.
With six of us in the house I think we do pretty well as far as it comes to garbage, especially considering that two of the people in the house aren't super conscious as to what they are buying. We make two medium garbage bags of trash a week, and recycle a heck of a lot of other stuff, and compost food (although I still have to retrieve the compost bucket after chucking it behind the bin in disgust - maybe the rain has cleansed it).
I think in our own house (which it will be in a few months) we'd make about one medium bag of trash a week. I would also have less recycling because I like to save glass jars and I would have more room to put them somewhere. We also don't use plastic bags or plastic wrap. Instead I wrap up freezer items in wax paper or aluminum foil. Because I'll be getting our veggies delivered in a box in February or so, I also won't have as much packaging either.
The plastic packaging dilemma is one I've been puzzling with for a while. There are certain organic products that are packaged in corn plastic that is biodegradable, but it's still bad to me since a food product was used to produce packaging. If I can I get stuff in a glass jar I will because I simply reuse for herbal things and storing tiny items like buttons, or as food storage for leftovers in the fridge. One thing that really peeves me is that natural beauty or cleaning products often still come in plastic packaging - you'd think natural would mean the packaging too. I think the only solution to that at this point is to make your own. I think my next experiment will be soapnuts, a nut grown in India that you can use for laundry and shampoo (Google it and see). It comes in a cloth bag - no plastic! :)
I wish I could comment on Annie's blog but for some reason lately I can't post on any Wordpress blogs. Hmmm...
So I was talking to my sister the other day and she's very wary of foods and their health, like us, and she told me that my Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil probably isn't olive oil. She said if I put it in the fridge it would harden if it was the real deal. I thought, 'Well, if it looks like olive and it smells like olive... it must be olive, right?'
I just joined the Evolved Homeschoolers site, a place for non-traditional homeschooling parents to voice off on a supposedly bi-monthly topics that are unrelated to homeschooling. Many of the bloggers are unschoolers and all come from a very wide variety of religious or non-religious beliefs. The topic for November/December is how the recent votes to ban gay marriage fit with my holiday traditions and ideas of family.
I got sent this by my father-in-law, and it is worth looking at. There are a few big organizations involved in a project that I had already heard about, but I never realized who these organizations were:
When I was a kid, my parents were house-hunting and we went to look at a neat old bungalow in the city. She had a very nice Great Dane, and at the end of the house tour we all conglomerated in the kitchen. She looked at us and said, "You people are kitchen people!" My parents looked at each other like, 'What the heck does that mean?', but I knew what she was saying. Out of all the rooms of the house, we had naturally just stopped in the kitchen because that was more comfortable to us. Many people would have ended up in the living room on the couch or even out on the front porch. Perhaps we would have stopped in the backyard. But no, we stood around the kitchen.
We got our first letter from Ghana the other day. Our little World Vision girl wrote us a letter and drew us a picture of some kind of vegetable. She described her favorite game as ampe, a game for girls that involves jumping and clapping. We looked it up on YouTube and found this:
Little House Series had a huge influence on me. This was the first thing that got me interested in simple living and homesteading and after I read them (again and again) I felt very alone because the internet didn't really exist at that time. I was young and had a big imagination and these books lit a fire in me that never went away.
Little Women really resonated with me when I first read it around 12 years old, and I've read it many times since then. What it did was connect me with history in a way that hadn't happened before since I felt I had very much in common with the main character, Jo. This book had an indirect influence in getting me interested in alternative religions (which is surprising since it is full of trite moral lessons), as I began researching the Alcott's and then their circle of Transcendentalist friends like Emerson and Thoreau.
Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World had more impact on me than any other spiritual book I had read. I re-read it now and then to kind of keep myself on track, because I often lose sight of peace as my ultimate goal.
The Continuum Concept: Allowing Human Nature to Work Successfully, I only wish this was one of the ones I had read as a teenager. What frustrates me is that I had heard of it in passing but only as a psychology book, not as something you could apply to your life. I didn't read it until both girls were born, which is something I try to counteract every day.
The Tao of Pooh was the second book I read after reading the Tao Te Ching for the first time. Not only is this the best book on Taoism, it does what Don't Sweat the Small Stuff should do. I just wish I could remember all of these lessons all the time.
Heart & Hands was the first book on midwifery that I had read. The beautiful photos captivated by 13-year-old mind and prepared me to watch the birth of my brother.
Hey Mon, thanks for the award! This is my first blog award, ever. :) And what could be better than an award with the word 'Uber' in it? Now it's my turn to nominate, and it was a tough decision. I am very careful what I put in my Blog Reading list (over on the right), as I only recommend what I really read every day. But I want to spotlight two blogs that get a little less recognition than they should, and they are both adventurers.
Put the award logo on your blog or post (right click on award, save as).
Nominate at least 1 blog that you consider to be Uber Amazing!
Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
I had a conversation with Annie today about diapers. When we lived in an apartment and didn't have our own washer/dryer, we used disposables with Autumn and as soon as she could walk we let her run naked at home. All other babies that she has ever seen have used disposables as well. But this time around, we'll have our own washer/dryer and I can finally use cloth, hallelujah.
About an hour ago someone left a comment on my Leftovers post that I wanted to address more fully. I posted a reply very quickly in a kind of knee-jerk reaction to someone who made a Blogger user simply to post a criticism that was completely unfounded. First of all, I understand the assumption that because I bought from Costco I must eat bad food. And second, I appreciate the concern.
I have one child that hates eye contact, and one child that demands eye contact. My eye-contact avoiding child (can you guess which one that is?) will not look you in the eye willingly if you are talking one on one with her. The exception is if she's really distracted by something she's excited about and she'll look at your face, but even then I'm not sure if that's eye contact because I rarely feel like I've made an eye connection with her. This has been tricky for me to develop with her because it's one more thing I have to constantly remember to try to do (along with helping break self-destructive habits and keeping her busy and all the other things a mother has to take care of during the day).
I was noticing today some of the little things that have happened in the last while that have made us slow down.
I was just so proud of myself that I couldn't stand it... I think I hit a record with my leftovers. When we eat leftovers, it never comes back as the same thing, and I make it a game to see how far I can stretch a meal.
Here's a 5 Things meme, simply because I practice writing every day and this is a way to de-stress at the end of the day. I got it from The Parody. I've changed it a bit, customized it just a tad.
One thing I really want to get into after we move is raise some game birds, probably pheasants or quail. Unlike chickens, they aren't classified as a farm animal and they are much smaller and quieter so much more tolerable in the city. But, they are similar to chickens in how they are raised. The best website for info on this is on City Farmer, and it seems like quite a straightforward process that requires very little space.
In a previous post I mentioned that one of our hobbies is 'nerdy parties', and a commenter wanted to know what this means, lol. Nerdy parties I have had:
I've been reading lots on alternative energy technologies that have been reaching implementation stages, like wave and current generators and better solar power. One thing that concerns me is that no one has thought of a realistic, simple solution to the consumption of energy (and other resources), and the production of safe food. Energy is just one part of a sustainable future.
The latest tic that we are experiencing here with Annie is lip-licking. For those not familiar with a tic, it is 'usually defined as a brief, repetitive, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movement or sound. Tics that produce movement are called "motor tics," while tics that produce sound are called "vocal tics" or "phonic tics."' (from a tourette's site)
I was just reading a post (and the subsequent forum thread) over at Simple Makes, that posed the question - are people really living simply, or basically just gave up and can't do any better? The forum had some good posts, and interesting insight. I definitely believe it's the first choice, just because we've been in more situations where we've been doing too well financially for our own good. Sometimes the choice to live simply has been conscious, and there have been times it's been forced upon us, but not unwillingly. I don't think that simple living folks don't want to make money - quite the contrary. I think they are more financially sound and sometimes make more money than the rest. Like us, they try to work at jobs that are fulfilling, and they stay out of debt.
'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. ~ Irving Berlin
One thing that struck me as I was going through European toys is that you will never find a German child playing with one of those crazy, noisy, beeping, cheap plastic monstrosities that we call toys. German toys are quiet, simple, accurate copies of things from the world around us. Children love to play that they are adults doing grown-up things... isn't that what play is all about?
We make exceptions in our natural/handmade toy rule for German toys. As a rule, German toys are better in every way. They are made of safer, higher-quality materials, and they universally more educational or simply more likely to be 'thinking' toys. While some German toys are plastic, they also have a huge variety and natural wooden toys because of the tremendous influence of Waldorf education (which, of course, is German).
5. Kathe Kruse