Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring has come!

“All the spring may be hidden in the single bud, and the low ground nest of the lark may hold the joy that is to herald the feet of many rose-red dawns.”  -Oscar Wilde

Spring is here, and with it, that sense of renewal, of change, and new beginnings.  The promise of awakening and growth is at every turn, on the street, in the fields, and in the cries of the morning birds. If you couldn't tell already, I love springtime.  All of it. And never more than now, being where I am.  There is no where I can go without seeing daffodils.  Soon, the Crocuses (Croci?) will bloom and the Tulips will too. The heralds of spring in this neck.

Today was a good day here.  Maya and I spent a good part of the day outside.  She with the hose, me in the garden finishing laying down the hay. Who knew "making it rain" would be this fun to this kid. We are in the PNW for crying out loud.

Make it rain momma!

I had plenty of help from the Thunder Chickens.  We chased them off all day.  The lure of wriggling worms is so strong.

Gimme some worms yo!

Chickens about to take a dirt nap

We added spinach and kale to our actually planted list. I am hoping for kale of epic proportions. I am tired of buying it.  I am thinking that I won't have to anymore, as I planted A LOT of it. 


All hayed out. I promise I'm done.

Tonight we are enjoying this fine weather as a family on the patio, bbqing, listening to Reggae, and watching Maya show off her dancing moves. 

Daddy and Daughter

Spring is here, and I am filled with the promise of what will be. New growth, opportunity, shedding my old skin for a better fit. 

life is good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden Progress

Our garden space is finally all dug up and leveled.  A big thanks must go out to my Mister, as he kinda took charge of the digging and manned out 3/4 of it.  I raked it level and weeded. Then began making the raised rows that will house my seedlings. Oh, and I weeded.

Whew! Almost done!

Then I weeded some more. And, did I mention I weeded?

Tomatoes and beans will go here!

As you can see from the pics, I still have a fair amount of weeding to do.  I did, however, purchase a bale of hay to strew in the walkways.  This will keep moisture in, and the weeds to a minimum.  I will only have to weed the raised rows going forward.  Each of these rows has now been double dug, and, minus more weeding, is ready for planting! 

While getting the bale of hay at a local shop, I ran across strawberry starts for .75 and Walla Walla onions for 2.49 a bunch.  I was entirely lacking onions, so this was a great purchase for me.  I also have some strawberries in the front yard already, and I will be adding these new starts in tomorrow. The onions are ready for planting now, so they are going in tomorrow too.  These will be the first things actually planted in the garden this year.

Cheap organic starts, yay!

My plum tree is flowering, and even though I have not seen a bee yet, I am positive that this is going to be a banner year for this tree.  I can't wait, I'm out of jam.

Plum overload!

Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY Lotion Bars

My daughter has had patchy dry skin since she was a baby.  I have used all kinds of lotions and creams and none work very well, or for very long. I also don't like putting lotion on her skin that is full of chemicals, when I know there are natural alternatives. I have been reading about lotion bars for a while now, so I decided to make some of my own.  I used two Altoids tins I had been saving, as I couldn't find any of the molds that I own, of course. Here is what I used to make them.

1/2 c Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 c Pure Beeswax
Essential oil of your choice (my choice was lavender)

Get your stuff together!

Some methods I have seen call for using a double boiler.  I did not, I just used a sauce pan on low heat. Add your coconut oil and beeswax to the pan. Since I just had a block of beeswax, I simply grated it, measured it, and added it to the pan. Add your essential oil.  I used lavender, and about 15 drops.  You can chose any oil you like or combination of oils.  You can also add more oil if you like the scent stronger.  When making this again I would probably add more than 15 drops, but that's just my personal preference.

In the pot!

Melt it all together over very low heat. Mine took about 10 minutes.

All Melted

Set up your clean tins, molds, containers, or whatever you are using, and pour the mix in.


I decided I would have enough to fill an old lip balm tube I had been saving for just such a day, so I filled that up too. It turned out to be exactly the perfect amount for both the tins and the lip balm.


Let them sit and cool completely before using. When they are ready, just rub it and let the heat of your hand melt it slightly.  Then, rub it in wherever you need some lotion! That's it! Easy, cheap, and completely natural.

Finished tin