Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Basement Swimming Pool. No Movie Stars.

I'm on a basement break. Itchy eyes, burning lungs. (Sounds like a great film title... Maybe that's what I'll call my next poetry book.)

Last night, snuggled in with Beloved, A Pomegranate, and The Big Bang Theory... The Big Tall Boy knocks at the door.

"Uh, the basement is flooding."

Say wha?

Utility sink backed up when the laundry tried to drain. The kitchen sinks are also not draining properly. This has happened before.

So, after at least an hour of TBTB and I taking turns mopping, scooping out buckets of water from the utility sinks, running them up the stairs and throwing them out the back door, My beloved comes with a snake and a "One Second Plumber" from his parents house. All my efforts with the plunger did nothing.

Snake didn't work. And, we all got shot in the face with backed up water that came flying out of the laundry drainage pipe when we put the One Second Plumber gadget to work. (Poor sweetie got the worst of it, I think.) The absolute BEST however, was having to drag the cat litter box that had overflowed with water that had spilled over into it, out to the freezing cold yard at 10:30 or so. Maybe 11.

Yum. And Brr.

Lots of stuff got wet. Lots of stuff has been thrown out. I'm feeling whelmed, and the world weighs heavy on me in this moment. My "studio" is supposed to be down there, but today I feel like giving up. There's no room for the girls to play with toys, between the shipping boxes, the stuff in bins listed on etsy, all my crafting stuff, laundry, the guinea pigs huge cage, and the CRAP. It's an unfinished basement. So uncomfortable, despite all my efforts and optimism.

Today, I've been going through it all, but it's hard for me to be down there for more than 10 minutes without exploding. My eyes are itchy (I changed the Squeakers bedding today. That didn't help. I've got the air purifier running, the dehumidifier running, and my clock radio to block out the noise of both.) We need to move. I don't want to get manic over this. I also don't want to QUIT. Quit all of it. Quitting at creating, painting, sewing clears the house off tons of stuff, but will surely leave me picking my cuticles in agitation.

I checked my ING direct account on one of my basement breaks. Watching it's balance rise makes me happier. I found out I got accepted for the trial version of their no fee chequing account, so I set that up. I had to call a customer service rep to ask a question, and he suggested their tax free savings account, explained it all to me, and I switched that over too.

My plan is to close my regular banking chequing account, as it runs me $13, and earns me NO interest. It might take a few months to make sure everything is running smoothly with all my direct debits and all, but the whole thing has lightened my mood.

And given me a chance to have a tea, and rest my itchy eyeballs, before heading back down there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paperback Writer

Good Goddess, Love Me.

I write. I write like mad, about all things. I journal, I ponder, make poetry, make lists, short stories, chronicle dreams. I love writing.

Grabbed a few Writers Digests from the library, and somehow end up on J.A. Konraths page from there, with lots of tips for writers. Very good reading. So, I'm sitting here on my legs till they go numb (I've got it bookmarked) until I come to the page where he chronicles his "adventures" in getting published. Twelve years of waiting tables ( a coincedence? ) persisting at his craft. Twelve years of patience from his girlfriend-turned-wife. Twelve years. TWELVE.

I immediately feel weight place itself firmly on my brow. It's blue and gray and foggy. I turn off my computer, drag my notebooks with me to bed, and fall sullenly into fitful sleep full of lucid dreaming.

What's it all for? All this art? All this craft? All this talent? My busy mind doesn't have rational words to express myself, so cannot speak about it with my beloved, even as we assume the position for sleep and turn the lights out. Poor man. It's the wrong side of my cycle for me to be having a blue fit, but he loves me anyway, quietly sliding his thumb across my brow to take the frown away.

I wake up with a new angle for the current fiction. I groan at myself from under smelly sheets.

Later, when I can speak about it to my beloved, I explain to him how I feel it's all for nothing. What's the point of expending all this energy and passion? All this time? I feel at odds with myself. Because despite 15 hours of "woe is artistic-me", I still get up chewing on plot lines and character development.

He knows the right things to say at the right moments. He knows when it's time to just listen. I couldn't have written a more perfect romantic lead.

I'll continue writing. Continue toting note books in my backpack around town, 5 pens floating around the bottom. Because I'm driven.

The Odds be Damned.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Last Show.

Last weekend was the last big show of the year for me. It was quiet, but I did alright. It was a two day show in the Penetanguishene mall, and I was thankful to NOT have to break it down at the end of Saturday. (I could stand and talk all day long... I love that part. I hate the breaking down bit, though.)

It felt nice to know that I can take a few weeks "off " now, as I've got enough stock to take online over the winter months, and focus on making my studio space workable and beautiful! Up till now, it's been a bit of a dumping ground.


These are the wands I made up for this last show. They were a hit! The ones that are left will most likely end up online.


Luckily at this show, they provided us with a bigger than average table. And luckily, I had extra material to cover it! I also got to connect with Ms. Bee of Recycled;Revamped;Reused . She made me a pair of gloves from upcycled sweaters, that fit my long thumb perfectly! She's also now a member of the Midland Craft Mafia , so all in all it was a productive show.

Sales from the website to the U.S. and elsewhere are pretty much done, if it's intended for Christmas. This will be the last week to ship out for Christmas to Canadian addresses.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday DEALS and Coupon

Use the Coupon Code to save in BOTH of my Etsy shops:

www.LittleScotia.com

www.VintageWitch.com

Coupon Code is BLACKFRIDAY2010
and will save you 15% off the already fantastic prices in store!


******************

In other news:

This weekend I'll be at the Penetanguishene Mall for the last "big" craft show of the year. I'm in the process of making some Harry Potter style wands for the show, along with organizing all the dolls, jewellery and gadget cozys. If you are in the area on Saturday, November 27, or Sunday November 28, drop in and take a peek. There'll be a mall full of crafters with great ideas for unique gifts.

A pixie just reminded me that "Maybe you should make lunches." yeah, that would be a good idea.

Have a great day! And don't forget to take advantage of the Black Friday Coupon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Party Don't Spock till I Vulcan...

This made me howl today. I watched it twice...
It's a non stop Star Trek Party. dig.



In other "news"... I'm at Karma Marketplace in Penetanguishene doing tarot readings this Saturday from 10am till 1, with a pile of other very cool vendors! Pretty exciting stuff always happening somewhere in our pretty area :)


*****

This is the first Rememberance Day that I didn't go up to the Cenotaph in years and years. The weather was beautiful, and I was parked at the Rye writing. I stopped everything while the radio played In Flanders Fields, and then a moment of silence.

It's been a quiet day, and I think it was needed. Reflection was the theme of the day. Wondering about the Universe Message today. There is learning in everything.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

She's CRAFTY! Vote for me :) Make a Bracelet



I've entered a yummy contest! I created a bracelet online with the prettiest beads!

"She's Crafty!" is the name of the bracelet! Click and go vote!

You'll be able to see the bracelet larger that way! Then, have some fun with the bracelet maker yourself!

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where oh Where oh Where is Lori??

Today, I woke with a sense of excitement.
A sense of "oooooh, YES."

No explicable reason. Sometimes one wakes up and just KNOWS these things.
Perhaps it was the weather. Something stirs with autumn (could it be spring in reverse? The backwards is as good as the forwards on the tilt-a-whirl. Why not with weather?)
Perhaps it was the near completion of a new doll, or the new painting I'm working on, or my giggling children, so excited to go with my beloved today (To Gramma's house! A day for Wii and Sugar!)

And Life is Good, afterall. Yes, with CAPS.

National Novel Writing Month is almost here. I'm so excited I could *squeak*. This year, there is a plan of attack, and I feel happily confident.

My dreams have been vivid and daring.

I"ve had time and head space to read SO much, on so many different subjects in the last week. (There are only 15 different books by my bedside these days - I read from 2 or 3 before bed, and drag others around with me during the day.) My mind feels well fed.

I'm excited to see how it all plays out. Where the energy takes me. I've felt like *squeaking* like an excited 4 year old lately. Everything FEELS good. Dancing in dry leaves and laughing too loud in public and smiling Cheshire-Cat.

Chocolate Almonds have arrived. My sweetheart is adorable.

L.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Spiral Dances.

It snowed today. And I felt ok with it. Because things are coming together. Just in time for our pagan year to end (Oct 31) and a new year begin!!!

Summer Market ended on Thanksgiving weekend (That was Oct 11th) and the weeks approaching that weekend, and the last 10 days, I've felt LOST. Aimless. Listless, almost.

Crafts and things to list on my ebay and etsy went untouched and piled on my work table. So much so, that my sweet mom-in-law remarked "I thought you had a sewing machine on this table." It was still there. Just buried. Next to a serger. Also, buried.

I have been spending much time reading just about anything I could get my hands on (which my brain enjoyed) plus working away at the online course.

Today I was offered and I committed to a spot at a permanent indoor market. I've also been doing a few more etsy sales, and I know I'm already dreadfully behind on catching winter sales, in terms of things to create. I have some things from summer market I can list, but I want to make some more seasonal mini's, dolls and jewellery, too. I'm finally motivated to get to it.

I also have a show for Watkins on Nov 17th Open House at the NSSRC in Midland. (There will be other ladies there with other home business companies, having sales. ) which is good, because I haven't been very aggressive with Watkins lately.

There are other secret things on our agenda, that require some large spellwork and big concentration!

It's nice to feel motivated again. Painting! Dolls! Mini's! Sewing! Sculpting!
Now, where do I begin??

Life is Good



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday Magic, Copyright LGP

This Morning
At a crossroads,
A Crow launched himself
into the air
And swooped
Up
Up
Gliding so close
He would have touched me
If I hadn't stopped walking, to watch.
He carried
A whole cigarette
In his beak,
And proudly perched himself
on a wire
Back where I had already been.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Soul and The Last Harvest?

Last Harvest? It just might be, depending on what the weather does. It's been so unpredictable, but really, I think that's typical for October, isn't it?? I've pulled a total of 8 Small sugar pumpkins out of the yard. If I paid $2 each in the super market, that's $16 worth of cooking pumpkins. (they might actually sell for more, since they are sort of a specialty item, or if they were sold by the pound. Heavy little suckers.)

There's another 10 pounds of tomatoes there - at my estimate of $1.29 a pound, that's $12.29, for a total of $38.09 in tomatoes.

Look at these Zucchini! The tiny ones are what go in the supermarket for about $1.00 a pound. These 4 are another $4.00, for a total of $8.00 in Zucchini.

Look at the cute little green cherry tomatoes that refused to turn out in the garden. I included them with the 10 pounds...

I even hauled the rest of my baby carrots out of the garden! Another $1.00 worth, for a grand total of $2.00 in carrots! haha.

So, including my hauls so far (see: More Haul ) That's a grand total of $69.59 in veggies. HOWEVER...

LOOKY LOOKY.



I've saved the pumpkin seeds and dried them out, as well as the tomato seeds. These plant seeds originally came from a certified, heirloom farm in Ontario. I'm making seed packets for them, and we're going to sell those too! The saving of them is messy business (fermenting tomato seeds are FUN! bleck.) but, I'm going to add that to the total of our gardens yield. I think we're going to break even!

On another note, guess what I found today while in Bay Street Books on a whim?? TWO copies of 'Seat of the Soul'.. oh yes, I bought them both. One is getting gifted to my M.I.L. (just act surprised when you get it, Norma. hehe.) and one to replace my old-falling-apart copy. Unless I decide to gift it out, too. Yes, it's THAT good of a book, if you're READY for it. It changed me. (I also bought a Sylvia Brown book for a new friend, who has too many questions about guides, and me with not enough answers. hehehe.)

Happy Thursday!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Begging Fundraiser for Grade 4's

In grade 4, around these parts, there is a class trip that is a VERY big deal. The kids go to a sleep over camp for a few days. The fundraiser is a "walk-a-thon."

The fundraiser is set up like this: Your camp trip is going to cost $140. Ask people you know for money. Then we're going to walk from 9:15 till noon (to a park, around the park, and back.) I'm having issues with this fundraiser.

To play Devils Advocate with myself, I suppose this way ALL the monies go to the payment of the trip. There's no chocolate bars or THINGS to keep track of.

My issues: Many times in life, we need money. I would like to teach my daughter that there are:
  • Creative ways to earn what you need;
  • Reasonable ways to earn what you need;
  • Moral ways to earn what you need;
  • Ways to earn what you need that are helpful and KIND to others;
  • Ways to earn what you need that does NOT involve begging and giving NOTHING in return.
I don't want to teach my daughter that there is no "work" involved. If I send her out to beg for money, and in return all she's going to do is take a "walk in the park", what will she learn?

What I DO want her to get from this experience, is that money represents energy spent, and an equal exchange of energy is required and kind.

All her grandparents before her (she's got a couple of sets, in our happy pagan life) learned or were taught a SKILL (or two or ten) to help make a job easier. Or someones life enhanced, or help someone do what they themselves can't. And for that got paid. ALL of them, HARD and proud workers.

I've always been creative to earn what we need. I have at times bartered energies, too. (I'll babysit your kids, and I appreciate the groceries or vegetables from your garden, etc. I'll make you a doll, and trade you for knowledge/books/dresses for my daughters. That sort of thing.)

There is NOTHING that sits right in my cells about sending my daughter off into the world to BEG for others hard-earned-energy. If $5 represents about half an hour of someones energy (for arguments sake. In our area, with minimum wage at about $10, after taxes, I'm estimating $5) then I need to teach my daughter that she's going to have to return in kind half an hour of HER energy for it.

She and I have talked about this. Together, we've come up with a plan that is reasonable, makes her responsible, gives her control over her trip, and will help her appreciate what $140 in energy LOOKS AND FEELS like.

Next weekend, She and I are going to be in the kitchen. She is going to help peel and squish bananas, break eggs, stir batter, and make breads and biscotti. She is going to help wrap them.

On Sunday, October 10, she will be with me at Market all day (9am till 2pm), selling the biscotti and breads she will have helped make (banana, zucchini, pumpkin.) to fundraise for her trip. She is really eager to have her own table in my tent, and to do the selling, too. It's cute, and I can't wait to see how she handles it all. I'm proud of her for looking forward to this, and putting some thought into it.

I'm sure I'll get some differing opinions on this one, from teachers and parents alike. This isn't about arguing who is right or wrong, and I'm SURE the school has it's "whys" for handling it this way. However, this is how OUR family is facing this. Our family and personal values will eventually be launched out into the world in the form of young people who will make a difference to their loved ones and maybe the world.

L.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bead Store, Coffee Shop, Purple Sock, Witches Walk, OH MY!

The Coldwater Coffee Shop - OMG So cute


On Thursday, my adorable friend Norma (who doubles as my Mom-In-Law) and I went to COLDWATER (Ontario.) We had been talking about hitting the bead store there for a while, and finally set a date (which is what it TAKES in my world to firm up plans - it MUST be put into the date book to make it happen!)



After nosing around The Art and Gift Studio , my tummy decided it needed FOOD. We went into the Coldwater Coffee Shop. A cozy place with BIG personality. Prices were REALLY good, she topped up our coffee in exchange for a smile (and being able to catch up on all our gossip, I'm sure! haha!) and the food was REALLY good. Norma had a scone, I had a breakfast wrap.

Then, off to the bead store!




Holly & Co. Beads have been open about a year. I was thrilled and whelmed with the INSANE selection they had to offer. Norma and I spent AT LEAST an hour in there - but I wasn't watching the time. Too busy picking through pretties. I mean, just LOOK:





Every wall filled with beads, plus beads on tables, beads on risers, beads in displays, beads in the backroom - plus all the things that you need to string them. She does classes, too! They don't have a website yet, and as I write their FACEBOOK page is still under construction, but don't let that deter you from going! They are open Monday, Wed, Thurs, Fri from 10 am to 5, Saturday from 10am to 4, and Sunday from 12 to 4. There are even drop in beginner classes on Mon, Wed and Fri, AND you can book birthday parties for kids (although I wouldn't mind doing a class or two, to learn how to use different jewellery making tools and products. I currently only work with hemp, which is completely different from metals.)


We peeked into the fabled Purple Sock , where all things knitty (and crochety and wooly) goes on. Norma knew exactly what she was looking at, but I'm not much of a connoisseur of knit (although I do like to crochet, I can't read a pattern to save my life. I'm going to have to learn to read patterns though, as my Stitch n Bitch buddy Heather gave me a pile of Cabbage Patch Kid clothing patterns... I digress.)

The Purple Sock had lots of TEA selections, too (which surprised and delighted me) I bought some "Lucid Dreaming Tea"... and I'm very excited to see where THAT takes me. *cackle*

In and out of other little and big shops (I want a house that looks and smells like the "Back In Thyme" shop - holy, I could drink tea and write poetry in there all day long. Unfortunately they don't allow pictures being taken of their shop, so I can't post pics!) and made it home just in time for me to pick up the kids from school.

$30 in beads. A few bucks in munchies. Loads of free flowing conversation. It was an awesome day. Last but not least, here's a reason to go back! Coldwater WITCHES WALK! click the pic to make it bigger and read the details. Wanna go???

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Write, because I MUST.

My writing has been stifled. No More.

This has been a long and strange week. And, it's "only" Saturday. My week doesn't feel over until I lay my head on my pillow on Sunday night, and beg for dreams. There's still a little over 24 hours in this week, to figure everything out, and put it all in place. 24 more hours to see what comes.

So much has come to light this week, so much has started new this week. It's also been "full moon" week, and Autumn Equinox week, so I shouldn't be so out-of-sorts about it being completely OUTER LIMITS. Lethargic, dampened, too much in thought, too much in dream. However, my head is spinning - figuratively and literally. Yesterday, I had what they think is a "little" stroke or a "mini" seizure. A wake up call for me.

They say when a door closes, a window opens. Somewhere in the building. Sometimes you have to search all 5 floors or so to find the damn thing... and sometimes it needs to be jimmied opened with a screw driver and possibly a hammer, because it's old and some long ago ancestor painted right over all the seams, thinking you'd never need it. Sometimes it's easier to just go back down the stairs and stare at the door that's been slammed shut in your face. Look through the peek hole at their fishbowl world, and hope that they'll let you back into it.

But that window is there. Unlocked and waiting for you to put a little sweat into it, a little effort.

A small faction of my life, that once represented my near entirety, has completely separated itself from me and all associated with me. I'm not entrirely sure how to feel about this. Perplexed? Relieved? Time reveals all. I am honestly who I am, and they are honestly who they are. And I'm discovering we're more like oil and water than anything thicker.

In return, the jimmied window reveals open arms and unconditional love. New friendships that offer trust and spirit. There is a bit of sadness, leaving behind old habits. But when there's no love there - not even a bit of "like" left, why would ANYONE continue to seek it out? Ask for it?

I'm not perfect. I apologize, when I've done something wrong. I can look my mistakes square in the ugly eye and make peace with them. I've had some practice at it, and have become quite good at seeing ugly come at a distance and stopping it before it gets a chance to create havoc. I've become practiced at approaching experiences and people with love and the bigger picture in mind.

I stand on this side of the fence, after being pushed through roughly and without apology or regret. Over the last few months, the bruises in my chest have healed, and I've discovered how green the grass is on this side, and my loved ones and I are making quite a pretty garden of it. And everyone who's here, is REALLY happy to be here, and appreciates every moment.

I'm not going to try to look over the fence anymore.

I've got better things to do with my time, energy, and love.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Balance.

Balance.

I've been thinking a lot about it the past few days. That, and trying to live in the NOW while making plans for the FUTURE. Which also requires balance.

The last week, I've been putting myself to sleep with intentions of searching for astral answers. Or guidance. Or hints at the path. All week my sleep had been wibbly wobbly (timey wimey!) up and down and talking in dreams with A LOT of different people.

This morning, I woke feeling rested and calm. Like, everything is as it should be. The path we walk is working itself out.

Earlier this week, I talked to myself. I was brought there by one of my old guides (Who is looking more and more like Christopher Atkins circa "The Pirate Movie" for some reason. But taller.) I was a little over 50. My hair had gone salt and pepper, and my skin seemed darker (as well as aged.) It was the strangest thing to hold my own hand and walk in a garden that she/I said would one day be mine/ours. The 50 year old me basically was telling me to relax, it will come, and to plan for it. Get the ducks in order.

I've also been watching a rather condensed amount of Doctor Who lately. It's opened my head up to all sorts of new ideas (or maybe to reviewed ideas in a new light.)

I'm all half thoughts today. I'm thinking about my sweetheart today. I'm observing my children today. I should really brush my teeth today.

Have a good one.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Haul, and A Birthday Party

Look, turns out the "Melon in the Tree" is, indeed, a pumpkin. It's starting to turn orange. I'll have to get a chair out in the yard to retrieve it, though! We've pulled 3 sugar pumpkins out already, and including the tree pumpkin, there are 4 more in the yard. Hopefully they'll all make it. They would have been worth ?2.00 each?? for a current total of $6.00

This is todays haul. In total, I've hauled NEARLY 20 pounds of tomatoes from the yard. (You should see me playing Tomato Jenga trying to weight them on the small scale I have.

There are still a pile out there! The nights have been COLD, and I've been pulling these green and ripening them on the top of the fridge. Not ideal, but I'd rather that than see so much freeze outside.

I tried to find a price online in the local flyers, but do you think anyone has tomatoes in their flyer this week? It's been so long since I BOUGHT one, I'm not really sure what they are price wise out there. For arguements sake, if they were at $1.29 a pound, So far this year, It's been $25.80 in tomatoes.


yes, that's ONE tiny wee carrot in the bin. If I've pulled $1.00 worth of baby carrots out of the garden, I'd be surprized.

Maybe 10 cucumbers have come out ($5.00 worth?) and at least 6 big zucchini (which all turned into bread. $4.00 worth?

Also, I'm going to guess I've pulled only $2.50 worth of strawberries from the yard.

Giving us a current grand total of $40 ish worth of food. Next year, I'll have a better idea of how to maximize the space, what sort of food to plant, and a better idea of how to maintain the raised boxes and plants. I spent only about $80 ( $30 in wood, $20 in dirt, $30ish in seeds) I'm counting on breaking even next year. I'm saving seeds from this years harvest, won't need to worry about wood box costs. And although we compost, we'll still need to top up the boxes next year - they weren't as full as I would have liked, but I was cutting it close this year.

Oh, although next year an expense might be a boiling pot for canning. I borrowed my sweethearts parents stuff to use today, to can some red tomatoes and attempt a sauce. (I'm keeping my eye on the thrift store for a canning pot and all the things that go with.)



In other news, It was my beloveds Mothers birthday yesterday. He came home with a book and an idea. This was her gift:



I always thought it rude to call anyone in need of help a "dummy" anyway. We all had a good chuckle at his little modification.

Happy Friday! I'm at market this weekend, with baking (biscotti, zucchini breads, and what ever else I have time to do) plus a pile of new jewellery pieces. Super fun! If it doesn't rain, that is!

Friday, September 3, 2010

All the Trees are Brown, and the Sky is Gray

All the tourists are gone. Well, most of 'em I suppose. I live in an area that relies an awful lot on our big tourist dollars, but it can be exhausting! It's like having company come.. and stay... and stay... and stay... all summer long.

So, the first few weeks in September, life gets slower and we all let out a little sigh.

I'm not quite sure what it will mean for my market booth. Not sure if I should bring less, or bring different items. I guess I'll find out! I'm assuming I'll see a lot more locals and familiar faces, which is nice.

Today, I got the bulk of my summer messes picked up. Tidied the basement (barbie land and mom's craft storage.) and the livingroom (which had become a crafting explosion, and not much living was happening in there at all.) which makes me feel a whole lot less panicked. Although the tourists have gone home, it's now time to cater to the local market and my online customers full time until Christmas.

After that, it gets REALLY quiet and we get snowed in. I spend that time in my livingroom listening to records and crafting, stockpiling for spring and summer markets and shows... To have the circle come 'round again.

A very simple circle of life in these parts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There's a Melon in the Lilac Bush.



There's a melon growing in the lilac bush. It's about 6 or 7 feet up. I'm not even sure if it's a pumpkin or one of the melons I planted. I tried to wind it out and bring it safely back to the ground, before it rolls off and smashes in the neighbours side yard... but it was wound to well around the bush to do it and not lose it. The pixies and I laughed while poking at the vines with a big plastic hockey stick before giving up.

In other garden news... I pulled a PILE of green tomatoes off the vines. They are SO heavy with tomatoes of all different sizes, that even the cages aren't supporting them anymore. These guys are huge, and my big plan is to make some chutney with them - apples and raisins and other good things in there. I'll have to also get my canning books out, and see what it'll take to jar that concoction. There are just SO many. These are maybe a quarter of what's growing out there, although the rest are smaller.



And, the two pumpkins that were about the right size (small sugar pumpkins) turned orange some time over the weekend. I'm thinking about making tarts with them, but I might also just take out the yummy and freeze it until I can get around to doing that. I've never frozen fresh pumpking before, so again, I'll be getting out some books.


This vine, with the big pumpkin (the first one I found, in the middle of the dang yard.) has some powdery mildew going on, after the weeks of humidity we had. It also didn't help that they are right on the soft lush grass. As soon as this pumpkin is off, I'll be taking off these leaves, and hope the others have a chance to finish before they get it.


I pulled 4 more cucumbers out of the garden. There are 4 zucchini that I spotted that are ready to eat as a veggie (although I'm sure if I leave them for 2 more days, they'll be monstrous.)

Also, there were another handful of baby carrots (My sweetheart looked at them last night and said "Are they supposed to be THAT small?" Well, It's hard to tell from the tops how big they are, so I pulled a few 1" guys with the 4" guys. Whoops. Still, I'm proud. I didn't think they'd come up.

I've lost my little paper that had all the weights and amounts, to keep track of what the garden ended up being worth this year. I'm sure because this is the first year, I'll be at a loss, measuring the cost of setting it up, hours maintaining it, and the yield.

Still, It's meditative and rewarding for me to go out and see FOOD. Next year, I'm sure we'll break even :) Although I've got plans for more boxes next year....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Natural Facial Care Report

So, for the last 3 weeks, I've been using all natural products on my face. A natural face wash twice a day, a day cream, a night cream, and 3 times a week, a natural facial exfoliator. This was a big experiment. I've stayed away from lotions, used organic make up sparingly (once a month?) and my face was rough, from this treatment, for the last few years.

I have had horrific acne all my life. Not only those little annoying zits, but the big welty ones. And my skin is SLOW to heal. It was taking about 8 weeks for the red to go away from one zit. My neck breaks out. Just about every pore on my nose and chin was filled with blackhead. I also had some pretty terrific cancer on my face, that took 2 surgeries that totalled about 8 hours in and out of the chair and about 50 stitches.

(I blame the cancer all the creams, make up, acne cleansers and lotions, the cream hair removers, etc etc that I was using on my face. I was really piling the chemicals on for years.)

So, I was using a soapless cleanser once a day. I was NOT touching any creams. And my face was looking PRETTY rough. Black heads, scars, red, and with angry acne.

Two months ago, I ordered the Watkins facial care line. Because it's 100% natural. I waited until I was finished with my soapless cleanser before cracking them all, and experimenting on my face and neck. It's been 3 weeks now, and I have some things to report.


The cleansing cream is just that; A cream. I wasn't used to that. When I wash with it, my face and neck is left feeling soft. I was used to cleansers stripping my face of all oils, being literally squeeky. I was pretty convinced that this was going to break my face out.


The pore scrubber, I use about 3 times a week. I didn't want to over do it. My face had been normally RED, and I didn't want to make it worse. I would use it at night before bed. It smells really nice. The instructions didn't say whether it should be used before or after washing, so I was washing first, then scrubbing.


The Divine Day Cream and Nourishing Night Cream made me nervous. I'm so used to anything like this immediately breaking me out, and making me itch. But in the name of the experiement, I persevered.

The Day cream is light (for a cream) and has a light smell - although no added fragrance.

The Night cream has a bit of a stronger smell (Royal Jelly is listed as the main ingredient.) and this cream is thicker. Both creams go on very nicely.

So, after 3 weeks of doing this day and night, I took a good look at my face. I've had a few little white heads over the weeks, but NO big welty ones. The fine lines that I've been nursing (crows feet, under my eyes, and my "frown" marks above my eyes and on my chin.) are FAR less deep and all but dissapeared. (all but that dang frown line on my brow!) None of the products made my sensitive skin itch, break out, go red, or swell.

But, the most amazing thing of all is the quality of my skin! It's HEALING! I've gone from having a red face and neck, to some colour that is a light rose or peach hue. All the acne scars are fading fast - my neck was covered when I started, and they are all very nearly gone. And, the blackheads I used to have riddling my nose and chin have dissapeared about 80%. (Every pore in my nose had black heads... and now there are only a few here and there, and the pores are looking healed and closed.)

So, I'm happy to have found beauty products that are natural and aren't full of chemical. For so long, I couldn't use any of these things! It feels nice to spoil myself.

At the rate I'm using them (every day!) The cleanser should last about 2 months, as well as the pore scrubber. The day and night cream are going much further, and I estimate they will last about 4 months (I make sure my hands are clean when I dip them in the jar, and I've been keeping the jars in my room instead of the bathroom, so bathroom humidity won't ruin them. Natural products take a bit of extra care.)

The last thing about this experiement? I knew that Watkins would refund me fully if any of the products didn't work for me.

If you'd like to see a list of ingredients, Click Here

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ze Garden, continued. Today's Harvest.

Today, after hanging some towels on the line, I poked around the garden. I'm glad I did! I pulled 5 zucchini out of the boxes (I think they are too big, and will have to be used for breads. Plus, my children have all turned their nose up. What's up with that? Is it because it came from our back yard and not the pristine grocery store? Whut Evah. They are totally going to eat it, one way or another... I digress.)

There were also 3 cucumbers I pulled out.

The cherry tomatoes and Box Car Willie tomatoes are still green green green!



This is a small sugar pumpkin. I think some critters (racoons?) clawed at it a few weeks ago. I'm going to let it play out, and hope it hasn't ruined it. It's tripled in size since I initially found the scuffs, so I'm crossing my fingers. Because it will be perfect pie filling. There are a bunch of small melons that are only about 3 or 4" in diameter, so I'm hoping they finish before the cold comes!


The Beets leaves. They need me to harvest them again. The best way I've found to do them is to boil them like spinach... but I think I'm going to have to find more recipes.


So, these little teeny tiny carrots came out on a zucchini vine when I pulled it. I thought "Dang, I knew they were going to be mini, but that's just silly"... So, I poked around...
And a few of them were ready. This is how big they are supposed to be - but only the two were ready. I didn't plant that many - It's the first time I've tried carrots, and I really didn't know what to expect with them.


After the harvests I can get from these, I'm going to attempt to harvest seeds, too. I got the seeds from a heritage and organic certified farm in Ontario, so It would be super to save my own for next year. Tomato seeds are a bit like a science experiment, with fermenting the goo and all. eek. I've got some reading to do. I learned that to harvest cucumber seeds, I have to basically let one cucumber sit on the vine until it's tough and beyond being able to eat. This gives the vine the cue to stop production.

So, now I'm going to have to look up all the plants I've got and figure out what they all need.

Also, I'm thinking next year I'll either container garden, or build more boxes, so we can do some different foods in addition to what we're doing now.

This year has been a good "first" year of having a bigger garden. I know now what to do with the plants next year to make it work better. My brain spins and whirrs with ideas! Growing our own food makes me happy :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Train and John Mayer, August 11 2010 in Toronto. I was there, man.



Thanks to my good friend Mag, I had the BEST damn seat in the house. lol.

The center block of seats at the ACC (just after the pit), center seat, 3rd row in. In front of me was an empty seat (second row.) and in the first row, a LITTLE BOY. Who sat for most of the show. It was like Train and John Mayer were singing just for me, :)



Blessedly, Train did NOT do "Hey, Soul Sister." but about 10 (??) other songs, that I was surprised to know. Their show, and Pat Monahan (lead singer) has a flipping AWESOME voice. He did things with his voice that was just incredible (and made a joke at one point that we had all just had a "Prince" moment together.) A few of the songs I can remember them doing is Meet Virginia, Get To Me, Marry Me, ...


I had never seen John Mayer in concert. Mag has been making a convert out of me for years, and I was so glad I went! BOTH acts were "genuine." Really sang their songs, and well. Engaged the audience. Really great shows!

Here's some footage from close to where Mags was sitting. (from the actual night of our show.) The person who took this video was probably about 2 rows in front of Mag.

I sat alone, (Mag and Pauline were in the pit.) but I STILL had a fantastic time. My sweet Mom-In-Law was supposed to come with me, but she couldn't make it (circumstances beyond any control!) and then I couldn't find anyone to fill the seat! I didn't mind, though. The Universe took care of me, making sure I had a fantastic time with my fantastic view.

Would I do it again. Hellz yeah!


Mag made some T shirts for us to wear. You can find them HERE. They are her own design.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Farewell, Fabricland!!!


Our local Fabricland is closing. We live in a pretty small town, and aside from the little crafting isle at Walmart, and the small selection of art supplies at the toy store downtown, we're pretty much S.O.L. for supplies. I think the closest fabric supply is about an hour away, when it goes. From what I understand, the Mall won't renew the store's lease, and the store isn't sure it wants to reopen elsewhere in town.

Last night, my beloved sat out on the bench reading a book, while I browsed around the store. I DO have an AWFUL lot of fabric already, although the clearance sales were very tempting. I did however grab a handful of ribbon spools at .10 cents each (crafting size) and some groovy and cute button packs at 3 for .99 cents. I ALSO grabbed 2 "grab bags"... at $2 a bag. Look what I got!



A couple of glitter lip iron ons, and some heart ones too. I was pretty dang excited about those!



Some Random things. A skein of embroidery floss, an iron on applique hat, a bit of leather, belt buckle, and some connector things (that are mysterious to me. I'll have to figure out what they are.)




A pile of black thin elastic - about 3 or 4 metres of the stuff! and some hearted white elastic that look like they are for underwear.




Ribbon! 6 spools of the crafty type ribbon, a big spool of brown glittery ribbon, and all these packs of ribbon flowers!!!



About 2 meters of THIS STUFF. I think it is supposed to be for furniture. The stuff that dangles from chairs or curtains. It's thick and heavy. All I see, however, is doll hair.


I'm sad to see Fabricland go. Although I find most of my crafting supplies thrifted or scavenged (or have them gifted to me!) sometimes you just need a THING to finish a project. I'm hoping that having no more Fabricland in our town isn't going to make me an even BIGGER crafting pack-rat. Because, you know, you never know when you're going to NEED something and not be able to find it locally!!!

I"m going to need a big metal storage bin outside soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

RainBlows and Soft Gangstas

Actually, I don't mind a rainy day. Just when it falls on Market day. My one day a week to "go to work" and today was a rain out. I had made a few extra critters for market, and after cleaning my sewing desk (and area) for over an hour looking for my plain black Safety Eyes (YAH!) I gave up, sat at my computer, and found a little bag of green ones! So, made a few more critters.

They look a little gansta here, don't they? Soft Squishy Cute gangsters.
You can just tell the Rabbit, to the right, is a Wise Guy. White kitty is front and center: "You talking to ME?"




This kitty above, I think is the Boss. Despite her cute cherry exterior, you can tell she's bad ass. "Where's my money??"




This little kitty is the youngest. I think she took a dive for her gang, because she's still wearing stripes. She looks a bit pensive.




This is probably what they'll look like in the police line up. "Ma'am, is the Soft Gangster that stole your heart here?"

Ah well. I'll work on the rest of their gang today, for next Sunday.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Garden is PRODUCING!! The Kiddie pool is Full!

The Garden Boxes on April 21The Garden Boxes August 3!



It seems like so much of the veggies got ready over night! I had a poke through yesterday, after giving the boxes a good water. Picked 2 cucumbers (one of which was dinner last night. Tasted SO good, fresh from my own garden.)

The tomatoes are THERE, just green still. We've been eating the beet greens for weeks. There's a Zucchini that looks almost ready (and a pile of little guys that'll be ready in a few weeks.)

The pumpkins are taking over (yes, I know. That's what they do.) One of the vines has made very good friends with the lilac bush in the back yard.)

Between hanging out with my pixies, and running Little Scotia, Vintage Witch, and the Watkins business, it's been a very busy summer. I've only been going out to poke around the garden about once a week. I'm so excited how it's coming along, and I'm thinking it'll pay itself off in tomatoes alone. I'm already planning for next year!

My next step: harvesting and storing the seeds that have come from my own plants (which are all organic heritage plants.) If I save them successfully, do you think that people would buy them, or make trades with me?

Oh yes, and I think I'd like to try my hand at asparagus.

The kiddie pool is full! It's going to be a hot one, have a great day :)