Starting off simple…

There really is nothing “simple” about trying to be a hippie.  Humans continue to label “hippies” as somewhat outside the norm.  Personally, I think being all natural and organic should be considered NORMAL.

There is so much “product” available for consumption these days that most people have no clue what is real and what is “product”.  If you happen to watch the news, there are generally stories here and there surrounding “food safety” and “food security” and 99% of the time it’s the “grocery manufacturers” associations that are involved in the process.  Has anyone wrapped their heads around the “MANUFACTURING” part yet?

Your supper should NOT be MANUFACTURED.

Entire cultures have been defined by their food!  The tastes, the ingredients, the treasured family recipes, the millions of fingers that have been slapped for trying to sneak the icing from a cake that took hours to prepare.

Somewhere, between marketing campaigns, people have lost touch with the most basic of needs.  Food, clothing, shelter.

Since my quest at the moment is food related, I’m going to try to stick to the topic at hand.  I do tend to wander….

So, when’s the last time YOU actually had a FRESH chocolate chip cookie?

You know the kind…the ones that don’t come from a box?  They’re warm, and gooey in the middle, a little crisp on the edges….

They’re made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, chocolate, a wee bit of baking soda…not a whole lot else.  Does this sound completely foreign to you??  Sadly, to many, it does.

We’re are going to start off small…

Go and take a peek in your kitchen…do you have milk, eggs, flour, sugars, vanilla extract, cooking oil?  Or do you have box after box of bits and pieces that have “nutrition facts” labels on them?

Well, guess what…there’s NO app for old fashioned!  You can get apps for recipes, for “food safety sniffing” (seriously, they are working that this one…check this out! http://www.foodsniffer.eu/ ),  instructional videos and whole a world of information…but none of it will actually make you some cookies.

Let’s step back to basics shall we?  The simplest pleasures…

I’m going to experiment a bit, and when I find a recipe I like, I will post it.  I challenge you to do the same.  Post it in the comments, and lets hit the kitchen!!

 

 

 

Hi-Ho-the-Derry-O-A-Cooking-We-Will-Go!

Well, it’s official…my hippie-ness is starting to rub off on those around me, and even as far as the mid-Western US.  I have a request to share some recipes!  My niece, and new Mother, Amanda has decided that she wants to learn how to make as much of her own stuff as possible.

So, in honor of all the young mothers out there that are determined to feed their children REAL food and completely ignore “conventional, professional, dietary advice” I am going to embark on a journey of TRUE foods.  Do it yourself, make it from scratch, no $#!#@!! “nutrition facts” labels – FOOD.

We shall see where this journey takes us!

Saving Money vs. Saving the Planet

Yes, we all know that if you can save money you can live better.  So the story goes.

I’m not entirely certain that surfing aisle after of aisle of cheep goods produced by slave labour in a far off country is really going to improve my life one little bit.  But, hey, I’m just a hippie.  What could I possibly know about the quality of another person’s life?

I refer now to my (almost famous) theories on being a hippie…in spite of one’s self .

There are any number of SMALL things that can be done on any given day to make a step towards saving ourselves.  George Carlin said it best:  The planet will be fine…the PEOPLE are f*cked.  The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.  If you have 10 minutes or so to waste, here’s a quick link to Mr. Carlin’s thoughts on Saving the Planet.  

I like George….always have.

The way I see things, there’s really no point in further complicating an already bad situation.  Industry ( the polluting, chemicalized version ) has been around roughly 200 years now – the planet will continue LONG after the humans have destroyed themselves.

So, I propose that everyone adopt something SMALL and make it their personal crusade.

Since I’m a hippie AND I’m vehemently opposed to spending money if I can avoid it, I think the following might be a good idea:  SAVE THE CONTAINERS.

Rather than recycle (or worse, garbage) the lip balm containers, save them.  When you run out of lip balm, don’t toss the container.  Keep it.  Toss it in the junk drawer, and add to the collection.  When you have enough tubes, zippie tubes or tins to make it worth the postage, bundle them up and send them to ME.  I will clean, sterilize and re-fill them for 50% off and send them back.  You pay the postage to me, and I will pay the postage back.

You win, I win, and the landfills go without.  We may not save the trees, or the bees, or the snails…but we save a little cash, save some space in the landfills, and reuse spiffy packaging.

There’s an old saying – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Well, my take on this is “if it ain’t broke – REFILL it”.

Have a hippie day!

 

 

 

The last show of the season…

Well, we did it – Amelia and I ventured out in -35 and set up shop at the Moonlight Madness Market last night in Melville (40 minutes north of us – for those not sure where Melville is).  037

Coffee cup and thermos in tow, we set up shop and waited…and waited…and waited…

It would seem that there were not too many souls willing to brave the -30 some temperatures in a quest for Christmas gifts.

Rather disappointing really.

 

Ya win some, ya lose some.  Such is the way that these thing039s tend to go.

 

My crafting partner in crime, Amelia (E.A.R.T.H Jelly and Sisterhood of the Craft) is a real pro at these sorts of things and doesn’t let a bad night get her down.  Her hot pepper jellies (ALWAYS a hit) and the majority of last nights sale involved sock monkeys…usually, it’s the crochet caps that sell the fastest…go figure.

There are a few things that I have noticed over the last bit though – and keep in mind, these are strictly my own observations…

When it comes to the foods that are sold at these fairs…and there are ALWAYS tons fine local goods (from home made fudges, to cookies, cupcakes, canning…the list is almost endless…) people tend to ask a lot of questions.  Did you make this?  How much sugar is in it? Did you grow them yourself?

To a point, this is wonderful!  Quality ingredients, crafted with care and attention to the smallest ingredient. The customers are quite willing to pay top dollar (myself among them) for quality foods.  There was one lady in particular that eschewed trying Amelia’s jelly based on their sugar content…claiming she was trying to lose weight.  I found this odd – but then again, she most likely had a tin of diet soda behind her table thinking she’s going to make a difference in her health by consuming DIET everything…but, I digress – that is for another topic.

However, of the dozen or so folks that stopped to peruse Hippie Ways products last night – only ONE actually asked what was in it.  I found this somewhat sad.

To my Hippie mind…what you put ON your body is equally as important as what you put IN it.  Your skin is your largest organ.  It breathes, it detoxifies, it absorbs.   Pick up a package of pretty much ANYTHING in the average bath room these days and you will see list after list of things that 99% of people can’t pronounce, let alone fully grasp WHAT the ingredient is.

Bubble & Bee Organic  (a small Utah company) has an excellent article on commonly used ingredients – and why you should avoid them.  Here’s a quick rundown:

1. “Fragrance” can be one or more of 200 chemicals. Companies don’t have to disclose the actual components of each fragrance, under the guise that their fragrances are trade secrets. Fragrance has been known to cause many side effects, including headaches and allergic reactions.  The Environmental Working Group has an extensive database of cosmetic chemicals and their corresponding danger rankings. “Fragrance” recieves one of the highest rankings possible in their score system.

2. Methylparaben, or anything ending in “paraben.” These preservatives act like estrogen in the body, throwing off hormonal balance. Parabens have been shown to accumulate in cancerous breast tumors.

3. Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. (see how) It is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin’s protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream. Many companies trying to be “natural” will use Tetrasodium EDTA instead of parabens to preserve their products.

4. Diazolidinyl Urea readily breaks down in the product or on the skin and releases formaldehyde. It’s an endocrine disruptor, a possible neurotoxin, a known immune system toxicant, and has a possible link to cancer.

5. Propelyne Glycol, among other things, is a penetration enhancer, meaning it’s a carrier for other chemicals, bringing them into your skin and your bloodstream. It’s a known skin irritant, it has been shown to cause cancer in lab tests, a possible endocrine disruptor, and a possible neurotoxin. You can find it in over 3000 products, including lotions, deodorants, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and body washes.

I also find that a lot of “natural” body care companies use many of the same ingredients.  Personally, I think that’s dirty pool.

I’m exceedingly proud of these items I’ve crafted.  Here’s to hoping that the next round of “show season” will bring more questions, more answers and whole lot of information sharing.  One hippie at a time.

Montemarte…Oh Yea!

As most are aware, I’ve recently taken to the “craft show circuit”.  I was initially a little apprehensive about this, never having presented much of anything to the public, other than my opinions on life.  It’s a great way to kill off a Saturday afternoon, and it gets my Hippie Ways brand out there in my community.

At the urging of Night Eiffela gifted crafter and good friend Amelia Thompson (Sisterhood of the Craft), I decided to take Hippie Ways to the road.

Today, we attended the Montemarte Craft Fair.  Montemarte is a cute little burgh in South East, Saskatchewan ( check out their page here ) .

What a great time!!  The local Army Cadets were there help the crafters load and unload their wares.  The cadets also putter about the show fetching coffee and food for the vendors.

MANY farm folks made a point of coming into town to do a little early Christmas shopping.  There were familiar faces and crafters, as well as many new faces.

I finally managed to meet up with Pam Miller of Miller’s Bygone Farms  (Bygone Farms ) of Whitewood, SK and managed to not only make a GREAT contact with a SERIOUS business in the local food scene…I scored some of her TO DIE FOR goat’s milk soap!!

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon.  Many, many thanks to the organizers of the Craft Fair and I look forward to doing it again next year!

 

 

 

The Wonders of WordPress…

Oh how it frustrates me.  After devoting much of my day to viewing YouTube videos on WordPress basics and how to add shopping carts, I have decided to pack it up for the night.

I’m tired, owly, and no further ahead than I was this morning!

If anyone just happens to be an expert at this sort of thing feel free to bless me with a little expertise!

 

Bifocals and blackheads…

I turned 50 this past summer.  Yes, 50.

I’m not really the type that gets worked up too much over age – after all, once you hit LEGAL age, it’s only math.

There are certain things that I’ve noticed in getting older, aside from the usual aches and pains.  The “flying squirrel” arms that come from the better part of my life gaining and losing a lot of weight.  The stretch marks that seem to accompany this same cycle.

I find that I’m rather stuck in my ways when it comes to certain things.

Food – why eat garbage simply because it has a TV ad?

Clothing – take care of what you have and it may last a long time.

Shelter – why is bigger and harder to clean better?

At times I suspect that I’m actually regressing rather than progressing when it comes to daily life.  I find now that I have a little more time to stop and actually look at things I notice things a whole lot more now than I ever did.

I find the older I get the less patience I have for idiots.  At the rate this is going I’m certain to be the original miserable old bat that sits on the porch and yells at the neighborhood kids to stay out of her flowerbeds.  Oh, never mind – my retirement plans don’t include living within close proximity of people…

Probably my biggest peeve about getting older is menopause.  Yes, that’s right – the M word.  Thus far the hot flashes and night sweats have been relatively minor in comparison to what I’ve been told they should be.  I do find, however, that I continue to be blessed with the occasional hormone-related skin blemish.  According to the nice folks at Olay, my aging skin should be firm and creamy.  I suppose if you add enough Hollywood this theory may actually work.

In the interim, I have found that there iCat-CatWearingGlassess something inherently WRONG with having to put on bifocals to pick at a blackhead.

 

 

 

And now….we shop!

Well, it’s official – Hippie Ways Natural Body Care exists…

Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to finance this little operation.

Since I found myself rather suddenly unemployed in September (a story unto itself) I’ve been tossing around the idea of unleashing my creative dragons and actually doing something for ME.  I’ve been piddling away with the blogging idea – since I seem to have a LOT to say about life these days.  But that doesn’t really pay.  Eventually, I’m hoping it will – hell, they even make movies and books out of the writings of some folks like the girl that wrote the Julie and Julia.  Or Dan Pearce’s Single Dad Laughing.  http://www.danoah.com/ 

Hopefully Dan won’t mind my sharing his amazing blog!!

There are a great many things that I think are CRUCIAL to life these days and being as self sufficient as possible is one of them.  Take that line anyways you like to.  Some folks go all out to the point of Doomsday Preppers.  Others garden, support their local farmers, and really take their groceries seriously.  I’m a STRONG (can’t emphasize that enough) supporter of local economies and supporting your own community.  I source my ingredients from as close to home as possible (even if it’s a little more expensive).  I plan to sell my products locally as well.    030

So, here’s what I’mmagonna do.  I make lip balm, bathing salts, face & body and foot scrubs.  I have for years.  I couldn’t find the chapstick once, and in much the same fashion as the mayonnaise incident…I learned to do for myself.

One of my nearest and dearest friends, Karen (aka Redd) is building me a shopping cart for this site.  My technica048l ineptitude is rather showing, yes, I know.

Coming soon, is a shopping cart that will enable anyone to purchase what I make!  I will post good stuff for your skin.  I will NOT post crap that doesn’t agree with my “hippie ways” and with luck, I’ll be able to market what I believe is good, solid, no garbage062 skin care.

Keep an eye out for updates…little things can make a BIG difference.

 

On being a self-professed Hippie…

Since I was only born in the ’60’s and not actually RAISED in the ’60’s I get a lot of strange looks when I announce to those who ask that I am 100% hippie.   Hippie Chick

I’ll have to say that the majority of strange looks come from the younger folks I know.  Occasionally they will ask me what makes me a hippie since I don’t wear long hair, I do shave my legs, and don’t dress in love-child clothes and beads that sport peace symbols.

Older people (those 65+) tend to just smile and look at me as though they expect the lightning to strike at any moment.

I think that what I find the most entertaining is that the majority of folks I converse with on the subject of hippies and so forth are quite astounded to discover that I’m not just some grammar assaulting stoner.

If you read back a few posts, you will find the post entitled Mayonnaise and Philosphy .

This is most likely where the journey began…

I have found over the years that my choice to not use chemicals, to do what I can for myself and to simplify life by way of not getting overly hyped about all things consumer related is VERY misunderstood.

People tend to look at me strangely when I tell them that I make my own hair spray, toothpaste, dishwasher soap, laundry soap and granola bars.  I’m really not sure what they expect.  Do they expect me to dress in hemp sacks and sandals?  Are they perhaps expecting bad teeth, dreadlocks and body odor?

The way I see things is that one can be quite “hippie” and NOT sacrifice quality.  Think about it – the finest fabrics don’t always have a designer label.   I have recently discovered an absolutely SINFUL body cream…and guess what…it’s handcrafted from ingredients that are NOT harmful to your skin, the environment, or imported from far off sweat shops.

If one puts a little thought into their daily life, make conscious choices when it comes to what they buy, where it’s made, how it’s made and what’s actually in it…you’ll be surprised at how much of an impact it will have.

Take some time and really think about this…