Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting Ready for Advent and Kraut and More! - WIP Wednesday, November 30th, 2016


-


Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:



A year ago I posted about our lovely pocket Advent Calendar. This year it's getting some updates! I wrote out some mini gift tags with the dates which I'll attach to each pocket. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Beginner's Guide to Buying from the Bulk Bins

-

So you're interested in getting closer to Zero Waste, you want to reduce your grocery bill, reduce the amount of wasted food and packaging you have to deal with? You want to lower your environment impact and help keep our world cleaner and our bodies healthier?

Did you know that the individual transport and packaging can make the same items cost up to 20% more? Sometimes even more that that!

Did you know that you don't have to buy large quantities to save big at the bulk bins? If you only use a little bit of something, you can buy just a little bit. Keep it sealed in an airtight container it'll keep for longer!

Want to save money and reduce waste while living in an apartment with a hardly any cupboard space? 

Buying from the bulk bins and storing in clear glass containers or jars actually cuts down on the amount of space taken up by packaging - plus you can actually see what, and how much you have! 

Once you figure out what you like and use, you can save even bigger by buying more of what you know you'll use.

You've seen the bulk food bins, but how the heck do you get started? 

Brattleboro Coop photo courtesy of Brattleboro.com

Beginners Guide to Buying from the Bulk Bins

Even if you're a seasoned pro, you might find some tips in here. And if you have any other tricks, please share them with the rest of us in the comment section below.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Deep Litter Bedding or Gathering Leaves for Chickens

-

We've kept our own flock of chickens on and off for more than six years.

My best discovery was the deep litter method - rather than shoveling out (or at least attempting, once frozen) their poop, you leave a thick layer of organic matter and keep adding more layers throughout the winter. The girls will naturally scratch and peck and stir things up. The deeper layers will start to compost before you even shovel it all out in the spring. 

Our first coop was portable. During the growing season we moved it all around our property, giving them a new patch to work every few days. If you leave chickens in one spot for too long, the concentration of their poop will essentially make it so that nothing will grow there again.

Over their first winter, we parked the hen house end under our back porch that led to the kitchen. It was lovely to step out the kitchen door and toss any scraps right to the chooks.

For bedding we bought pine shavings. Even though they're not that costly individually, it certainly brings up the cost of keeping the girls

Monday, November 21, 2016

350th Post and an EcoJarz giveaway and review!



To celebrate my 350th post, I'm so excited to share a review and host a giveaway for EcoJarz! (giveaway closed - details below review)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Etsy Shop items in time for the Holidays

-

I figured if I'm really going to give this Etsy Shop thing a try, I should put some of the little things  I enjoy making in there.




There's a new spot here on the sidebar (if you're reading this in an email or feed reader you'll have to click through) with a few items. 

As I make and photograph new items I'd be happy to make lots of, I'll add them as I go.

Some things will be familiar (as I've done posts on them) and others are either brand new, or haven't been seen in years! 

I'm looking forward to making treasures for anyone stopping by!



-

Monday, November 14, 2016

Farewell to Nursing - And some things that helped us wean

-

I've been writing and editing this post in my head since before my older daughter stopped nursing, more than two years ago. 

Now that my younger daughter has ended the portion of our life where we share "mama milk," I find the end more bittersweet than I'd expected. 

I was ready.

I was really ready, and it was time.

Turns out, even though she would have happily continued nursing for more of her young life, she was pretty well ready too. 

Once we passed the age where her sister stopped nursing (right about when A was born) I started the process of weaning. 

"Don't offer, don't refuse." 

When babies are little, soothing connection, a little something in their bellies, skin contact, warmth from mama, are some of the best things to care for a tiny being. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

More Love - thoughts on current events and enduring goodness

-

One of my great-grandmothers was helping long time family friend William Meredith to sort through a pile of mail following his stroke. She came across an invitation to The White House.

Sitting in an unassuming house in a little town in New Hampshire, she asked "William, you've been invited to The White House... Why do you come here?" 

Struggling with the loss of speech, (even more of a struggle for a poet), he stumbled over his words and responded ".... more love." 


While my faith in our country has been shaken, my conviction that love will move us forward has never been stronger. Love will keep. 

Love, our inclusivity, our connection, our gestures of kindness and compassion must be stronger than the hate coursing through our country. 

So my dear friends, neighbors, fellow humans of every color, gender, creed, faith/non-faith, and orientation, in the face of vitriolic current events, I see you. 

You belong here just as much as I do. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Felt Ball Garland - SaturDIY, November 4th, 2016

-

If you're on Pinterest, you've seen all the crafting beauty - seemingly impossible DIY things that no one with any real level of ability or time (never mind children) can actually accomplish.

Here's one that looks amazing and is incredibly easy.

Felt Ball Garland


Materials and Tools:

Felt Balls (I purchased these.)
Yarn or string.
Large eyed needle (sharp helps but isn't necessary)



Directions: 

1.) Sew yarn directly through the middle of the ball and do a slight backstitch to hold the ball in position on the yarn.

2.) Repeat. 


I chose to alternate colors and size. I am immensely thrilled about how it came out and am excited to see it on our Christmas tree! 

Apologies for the night photos - when the intended recipients are only distracted long enough while sleeping, night is the only time for such endeavors.

-

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Two steps forward, One step back.

-

In the past couple of weeks we've lost another loved one, the motor burned out on our most used power saw, our washer died (this time a more spectacular, less workable death), yet another replacement muffler for Joe's car didn't work, and this morning the battery in my car didn't want to work. Thankfully a reset got Joe on the road just as the delivery truck with our new washer arrived. 


We will have very clean clothes to face the onslaught. 

Thankfully we also have a very handy cousin that can repair the busted muffler, and have some very attentive butterfly-fairies that can help out with anything. 


-