It is bug-eaten and holey but damn it, it went from this:
I happily harvested it, quadruple washed it to get off all the bugs and then proceeded to ruin it. I used this recipe which is usually absolutely wonderful when I follow the recipe. When I don't follow the recipe and *wing it*, it turns into a vinegary mess. Luckily my husband has an iron stomach and ate it anyway. This is why I married him.
Isn't this lantern cool? I didn't realize how many spaghetti, peanut butter and pickle jars I had saved up hoarded in my basement but what do you do with them? I saw this post and knew I had the makings for a at least a few of them.
The garden is slowly coming along. The sun is finally coming out more often but I think it will still be a pretty short season. Hopefully I'll have at least a few ripe tomatoes.
It has been nice to finally dust off the BBQ and eat outdoors. I still have a lot of work to do in the back yard to get it ready for the season but it is coming along. We also dug this bad boy out of the basement, a gift from my dad last winter:
Which this brings us ever so much closer to this, my ultimate summer goal:
Isn't this the most dreamy idea! (If you want to drool even more over amazing outdoor living spaces go here.)
I have a friend/coworker who eats Maple and Brown Sugar instant oatmeal some mornings at work and it makes our office smell so brown sugar-y and maple-y and well, cozy. Instant oatmeal reminds me of my childhood.
So I made some Honey~Brown Sugar~Oatmeal Melt-and-Pour Soap in her honor. I used this recipe with a goat's milk base and I tweaked the recipe to use my own essential oils.
I love goat's milk soap, it is so rich and creamy and I've enjoyed mixing and matching fragrances to build my own favorites. If you're interested in learning more, I recommend this book which has some great recipes in it.
We lucked out again this year- the sun was out and it was grand...
But I think we'll venture somewhere else for next year's mother/daughter bonding trip. The beach doesn't seem to have enough appeal for the Bean anymore. Maybe some place with an arcade or a pool. Vegas! Maybe that would be entertaining enough...
Some place with music, flashing lights, and carpet that looks like this:
Okay maybe I'm a bit cynical. She is 11 and all about computer, TV, ipod, Netflix, iphone, video games. I sound like my dad when I ask her to come back to reality, humor me and just commune with nature for five minutes, will ya?
I think it is perfectly acceptable to limit my child's use of technology and I do. She doesn't have a Facebook account despite weekly pleading. She doesn't watch TV on weeknights. But I still struggle sometimes with finding a balance. A balance between my desire to drop her off with an Amish family and her desire to have to latest gadget, to have the same toys as her peers.
It is finally getting warm and dry enough to get things planted. So far the onions, carrots, kale, broccoli and cabbage are in. I don't know much about growing broccoli...it may be too late in the season but we shall see...
It turns out that I am not very speedy at digging up sod. Thankfully my husband was tired of hearing me whine about it so he finished the job for me. I'm trying out milk jug green houses for the first time too. I've become very attached to my little seedlings and I don't want them to freeze.
The Bean is away for spring break. So my house is clean. I found these old desk drawers that I bought years ago at a junk shop because I knew I would do something with them... eventually. So five years later they have ended up on my wall.
I bought a plant stand for my porch too.
But I am thinking of Japan these days, like everybody. So much chaos, destruction, pain. I clean my house, buy plant stands and whole communities have been wiped out.
So I plant seeds. I watch things grow in my windowsill. And I am grateful for where I live and for what I have. For the small miracle of watching something grow.
I have to admit I love fabric softener and dryer sheets. I love the way my towels feel and how they smell fresh out of the dryer. I still love the smell of the laundromat or walking past my neighbor's house when they're doing laundry in their basement. But I wasn't aware that animal fat (tallow) is a big reason for this snuggly softness. And those chemical-laden dryer sheets take eons to decompose.
ALPHA-TERPINEOL- Causes central nervous system (CNS) disorders and is highly irritating to mucus membranes.
BENZYL ACETATE- Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer).
BENZYL ALCOHOL- Causes CNS disorders. It is irritating to the upper respiratory tract causing “headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure.
CAMPHOR- Causes CNS disorders.
CHLOROFORM- Toxic. It is an anesthetic and carcinogenic.
ETHYL ACETATE- Narcotic. This product is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.
LINALOOL- Narcotic. Causes DNS disorder, respiratory disturbances.
PENTANE- Danger-Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable.
So if you stop using these evil things, how do you make sure you don't discover one of your socks stuck to your pants in the middle of a staff meeting?
You buy these. The reviews online are mixed but they have worked for me.
And there are eco-friendly dryer sheets out there. Mrs Meyer's dryer sheets are biodegradable and claim to reduce static and soften by using a vegetable-derived softening agent and natural essential oils.