Home Life in General

The New Normal…reaction.

How one REACTS to any given situation, in my experience, will generally determine the outcome. This world-wide lock-down has clearly shown that there is a great deal of learning that humans need to do. The “public” has reacted to the COVID crisis in a variety of ways. Whether you choose to view the evening mainstream media or seek your news elsewhere there are clear divides in how people have reacted to this situation.

There are some that are convinced that we are all going to die if people don’t wear masks. There are others convinced that the crisis is a world wide conspiracy designed to interfere with their personal rights and freedoms. Which ever way your opinion gate swings there are still lessons to be taken away from all of this…

  • social distancing equals respect for personal space – a long forgotten art.
  • clearly you don’t really need all that cheap crap made by slave labor in foreign countries.
  • going out for dinner will go back to being a meaningful experience as opposed to simply being too lazy to cook for one’s self.
  • a reminder that something very small can make a huge impact in your life
  • a little less bullying? If you see point above regarding personal space, it’s hard to poke someone in the chest from a six foot distance.
  • a little more gratitude for the little things such as being with friends and family.
  • learning to be comfortable with the company of yourself and those you share space with.
  • appreciation for seemingly non-consequential items such as access to parks and other public spaces, taking an evening stroll, letting the kids run wild at the playground
  • growing and preserving some of your own food. Gardening can be a relaxing, dare I say meditative experience. Feeding yourself and those nearby won’t be as stressful if you have almost FREE food put away.
  • Buying more locally produced stuff – even meats. Perhaps its time to start going back to the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker ways in certain things.

It’s time to back the truck up, and just take stock. What’s your reaction?

Life in General

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.




Life in General Local Focus

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. 

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.


Home Life in General

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…

Home Life in General Local Focus

Mayonnaise and Philosophy – The making of a hippie?

There’s a certain philosophy involved in calling one’s self a Hippie.  To some, it’s an entire realm of anti-establishment beliefs.  To others, it’s a movement – born in the 60’s, held over through modern times.

To me is a simple, natural, inexpensive way of doing things.

As a child of the 70’s with both parents being career minded individuals, my sister and I were pretty much brought up never having wanted for anything.  The life lessons that are usually passed from parent to child were present, but only in small amounts.

My first realization that I had missed out on certain things was standing in my first apartment, with my first room-mate, and looking at the large white box in the corner of the kitchen.  When I asked my roommate what “that” was, she looked at me like I’d lost my mind.  “It’s a stove, stupid”.

It was glaringly apparent that I had missed something along the way.

So, now that I had figured out that the family housekeeper does NOT come with your first apartment and that toilet paper did NOT miraculously arrive unbidden to the holder,  I had a little real life catching up to do.

Since then, I’ve made a point of never closing my mind to anything that could bring me information.  Learning how to cook was the start.  Learning how to survive has been the daily lesson ever since.

As with many,  life tends to get in the way of things.  Marriage, children, keeping everyone clean and fed on a daily basis takes over everything.

But it’s the little things you collect along the way that truly count.  For instance, doing something out of dire necessity and then realizing that the end result is far better for you, your health and our world.  A prime example, mayonnaise.

Yes, mayonnaise.  Sounds right silly, eh? (there you have it, 100% Canadian)  I had run out of mayonnaise.  Two babies in the house, oldest child in Kindergarten, husband at work, no vehicle, lived in a house on the hill and the LAST thing I felt like doing was loading up a HUGE baby stroller and stomping all the way downtown to buy mayonnaise with the two dollars I had in my purse.  So, what to do?

While the little ones were sleeping (a grace period any parent appreciates) I took the opportunity to flip through old cookbooks that belonged to my grandmother.  Having learned ( a few years prior) how to the work stove, cooking had become a bit of an enjoyment and I’d taken to collecting recipes.  Lo and behold!!  A recipe for mayonnaise!

Eggs, oil, salt, sugar, dry mustard, lemon juice, vinegar.  That’s it.  Everything needed to make something I had never given a single thought to.  The first attempt, was not so great.  Bit of a soupy disaster, but I soon discovered that a hand-blender (just about everyone has one) is the key.  To get the mayo to set properly, you need to whip it at high speed.  It takes less than five minutes, all ingredients are generally in the cupboard at any given time, I know EXACTLY what’s in it, and I don’t have to go to the store to complete my tuna salad.

The point?  I already have everything I need.  I don’t need to spend more money on something I can do myself.  AND – here’s the really cool part.  It’s environmentally intelligent.  No output (car, time, cash).  No waste (more packaging to get rid of).  And for the truly die-hard anti-establishment types – no input to the corporate giants!

Little things definitely make the biggest difference.

Life in General Project: JOY

Finding Beauty

There are many ways one can appreciate BEAUTY.  To each individual, there will be a multitude of things (or people, or candies, or flowers) that they find “beautiful”.  Each of us has our own sense of beauty.  Everyone’s soul is affected by something different.  I find that music is one of the key factors for me.

Not one specific type of music…I tend to like all manner of different styles (except Jazz – just can’t wrap my head around that genre).  Some days I like to do housework to the widow rattling techno-dance beats.  Other days, I putter around the kitchen to metal such as Nightwish or TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra).

This morning’s Facebook feed happened to have a video clip of Sung Bong Choi on it.

If you are not familiar with him, he’s quite the Internet sensation.  A 22 year old orphan in Korea who decided that he loved to sing and made his way onto “Korea’s Got Talent”.

I would think that most folks are aware of the “talent” shows – American Idol, Canadian Idol, World Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, and so on…and if you take a moment to look at what’s going on there, you’ll see that there are some absolutely AMAZING talents being shown off to the world by way of televised competition.   The same can be said for Susan Boyle, Paul Potts and Kurt Nilsen.

Susan Boyle’s first BGT –

Paul Potts’ initial appearance on BGT –

Kurt Nilsen wins World Idol –

It’s the initial shock that really gets to you in these first tentative steps into fame – Susan Boyle, a cat lady and choir singer from a wee-little village that 99% of the world couldn’t find on a map.  Paul Potts, as Simon puts is “you did THAT”.  Kurt Nilsen, a plumber from somewhere in Norway belts out one of the world’s favorite songs.

For me, personally, it’s the raw power of their voices.  Being a bit of a popera (popular opera) fan I can sit and close my eyes and just let the strength of their music wash over me.  It’s also interesting to note, that if I happen to have a bit of their music on my mind when I trot off to work that the uplifting feel of the songs tends to stay with me all day.  I’ll wander through the store (at my day job) humming the tunes that I was listening to with my morning cup of Joe.

One of my favorite Facebook Pages is a group called BBW Wellness.  Here’s a bunch of girls that have banded together to love, support and encourage one another – regardless of their size.  As I was saying – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here’s interesting video – also from Korea’s Got Talent – that the girls at BBWellness had posted.  Her name is Park Jin Young  and she’s in high school….I did try to find one with English subtitles, but struck out.  Even though the commentary is in Korean, you will definitely get the message!

Park Jin Young – Korea’s Got Talent

Here’s another BEAUTIFUL thing.  Park Jin could hide from her size, she could crawl into a small vat of Baskin Robbins and stay there….but she doesn’t.  Someone, somewhere, somehow told her she was BEAUTIFUL and that little bit of self-esteem boosting information stuck.  Take a look at her now!

The base point in all of my video linking (with luck, I’ve given proper credit where it is due!!) is that you really NEED to take a couple of minutes every day and find something BEAUTIFUL.  It doesn’t really matter what it is.  You and your soul need it.  The cares, worries and day-to-day hangups that get in your way will simply disappear (if only temporarily) if you take the time to nourish YOU.

Coffee Moment

I happen to live where the skies are simply breath taking.  As I ventured outside for my morning smoke (yes, I know, eeewwww) this is what I happened upon today.

As I get ready for work (off to the day job today) this image will stay with me for the rest of day.  If I happen to have a rough few minutes with a customer, or my day just simply doesn’t go as planned, I’ll stop – take a deep breath – and relive this image from earlier.  It’s a very SMALL exercise in meditation, but it’s a little something that will remind me of the beauty that is everywhere.

So as you wander off through your day, remember to just take a few minutes, breathe and relive a beautiful moment.  It could be a particular song, it could be a particular image, it could be a very small moment that simply made you smile.  Hold on to the beauty of it – it will make your day.

Rational, Positive, Creative – always

Life in General Project: JOY

Lesson 1(C) – The quest continues

Yet again, daily life has interrupted my personal journey.  I am the first one to admit that I tend to put EVERYTHING else ahead of my own personal progress.  I like to read quite a bit, and I do find that I tend to get reading, follow a link here or there on a subject of interest and the next thing I know three hours have passed and I’m nearly late for work (AGAIN!).  There are people that have labeled this affliction as “Tammy Time”, or relative time, or blamed Grandpa for it (he’s always fashionably late).  There’s times that I think there’s actually something wrong with my brain because organization (or lack thereof) seems to be a fleeting thing with me.

I have managed to continue reading bits and pieces of “The Joy Within”.  It actually stays in the bathroom (yes, lavatory laureate here) and I re-read bits and pieces of the first chapter over and over.  The lessons are actually starting to stick with me now.  If I need a moment of peace I can close my eyes and bring into a focus one of the items from my “JOY” list and within a couple of minutes, I feel re-balanced, centered, somewhat peaceful and quite happy.

There’s been a spring cleaning sort of feel in the air, and in digging through papers and associated crap in my home office I found a notebook.  Just a spring bound scribbler like school kids carry around.  I had completely forgotten it…I had started writing in it just about five years ago.  Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been THAT long since I made the decision to get happy again…the first entry was dated March 22, 2007.   A little over two years after my life took a dramatic turn…and a touch over four years since I’d decided to write about it.  Where has the time gone??

I think that’s the organization bug rearing it’s ugly head again.  Lack of drive?  Lack of interest?  I find that I’m learning a great deal about myself in this journey.  Not always for the better.

I do try to find the UP side to everything, however, and in this notebook I found another list.  “Things that bring me joy”  so at this point I’ll add to my original list…Or maybe this IS the original list…

1.  the RUSH associated with falling for a new guy (seems rather silly, don’t you think??)

2.  Fine things.  Fine food, fine fragrances, fine fabrics, fine chocolates.

3.  Watching my children smile at little things (at the time of writing the kids were 22, 17 and 16)

4.  Feeling like I’m in control.

5.  Driving to and exploring new places.

6.  Yoga

7.  Socks fresh out of the dryer, especially the fluffy, chenille ones.

8.  Going for a facial, although this has only happened once.

So, now I suppose its time to organize my lists, make some sense out of them, get the emotions that drove them OUT of my brain and onto paper (or the WWW, as it were) and move on with things.

I suspect there’s going to be more than one category added to this site with all over my varying lists, to-do’s, want-to-do, works in progress and so forth.  It rather feels like I’m about to pull the rip-cord on a tornado…


How to be Hippie Life in General

Happy Hippies…

Have you ever noticed that “those hippie types” tend to be happier people than most??  I’m sure there be people who simply assume that hippies are happy because they are stoned!  To avoid starting a flame war on the pro’s vs con’s of the legalization of marijuana, let me make a statement.  I’m no stoner. 

Yes, there has been the odd time a hoot or two has been taken.  It’s been a VERY long time (February 2005 to be precise).  I find, for me personally, it’s the most effective sleeping aid there is.  Since sleep is not generally too much of a problem, there’s really no need to keep any around.  Suffice to say that although I don’t smoke it much, I AM a strong supporter of the movement to legalize it.

Being Canadian helps.  We tend to be rather liberal about a lot of things.

The concept of happiness will vary widely from one person to the next.  It’s difficult to define happiness since what brings JOY into your life is as personal an item as one’s relationship with their Creator.

What has probably had the single most profound effect on my personal happiness (and this sounds ridiculous) was a poster that was given to me in my late teens.  The title read:  “How To Be Happy, In Spite of Yourself”.

The border was bright orange and it was divided up into a number of squares.  Each contained small snippets and suggestions on simple things that could potentially bring happiness.  The poster itself was lost somewhere along the way, but the little tidbits of advice have stayed.

One section read:  “Learn to appreciate the little things”.

**warm, dry socks

**the smell of fresh nail polish

**wine, bread and cheese on a hillside (any hillside will do)

Another section was entitled:  “Devote yourself to something OUTSIDE of yourself”

**helping out at an animal shelter

**serving soup to others

**study the life and times of Dorian Gray

It took me quite a while to fully understand the Dorian Gray thing…I did eventually get it.

Another thing that will contribute greatly is health.  In general “hippies” tend to lean toward a VERY healthful diet and lifestyle.  We “hippie types” pursue organics as a matter of practice whenever possible.   We putz with gardening and like to know precisely what is in the food we consume.  For me, this will eventually result in retiring to my organic fruit and vegetable farm at Summerberry, SK  ( ) In the interim, its making a point of eating GOOD food.  Not complicating my life with chemical (household, personal care, etc).  Hippocrates said it best:  “Let your food be your medicine”

If you pay attention to WHAT you eat, you WILL feel better.  If you FEEL good, you’re generally a happier person.  It all works together.

Stress, or a general lack of it, will also play a major role in your personal bliss zone.  I have found that my overall stress level has pretty much vanished since making the move to small town Saskatchewan.  Grant you, MONEY stress is at an all time high, but the niggling worries have left me.  I haven’t locked my front door in over a year, I no longer require the car-alarm-from-hell.  The day-to-day frustrations that once plagued my day are gone.  POOF.  Just like that.

This was all a very personal decision.  The will to work on being self sufficient (see grew out of a need to feel better.  The need to feel better was driven by strange and irritating health problems.

I found that eliminating the cause (or what I believed to be the cause) and simply make better choices has had the biggest impact on my quality of life.

By improving diet, my body likes me better.  By making my body happier, I FEEL better.  Because I feel better, I am more energetic.  Because I have more energy I am able to embark on projects that say, five years ago, I would NEVER have concieved.

So, you see how this all fits together?

One little thing at a time.  Cause and effect.  Little bit, by little bit causes fall away and are replaced by the effect.  The end result being HAPPINESS.  It’s all a matter of finding the small things that make the biggest difference.

Now if I could just figure out a way to make money being happy!!

Rational, Positive, Creative!


Life in General Local Focus

Rolling? Nah….more like putzing along.

Well, much to my great disappointment, I was not accepted to the program that I had applied to.  The assessment was long and rather in-depth but the essence is:  my ideas have great merit, I harbor tremendous passion for my work, BUT (there it is…) I carry too much personal debt to make a go of right now.

What this means, really, is that it’s just going to take longer to get to where I want than initially thought.  I can live with this.   As much as I was hoping to be able to hop on the body care product production bandwagon, this just translates to “slow down idiot, you have a lot of things on the go”.  And truly, Karma is right.

I have the organic farm we’re building ( I’ve been invited to teach skating this winter at several different clubs, I have a job as a clerk at the local grocery store.   Staying organized is going to be a challenge.  BUT…(love that word) I can do this!

Gardening season is coming to a close so then it will be a matter of breaking out the skating manuals and attendance sheets and trying to remember which days I have to be on the ice and which days I have to be at the grocery store.  In the interim, I think I’ll just blog about the daily life of a sworn Hippie.

In my morning ceremony of drinking coffee, checking my Facebook and reading any bits of e-mail that popped up, I found an interesting bit on the Mother Nature Network today.

Photo: JPhilipson/FlickrThe article is entitled “Get On Board The Non-Consumption Train”

It’s a good article that outlines and VERY simple method for mindful spending of your hard earned cash.

If everyone who shops (girls too!) took a moment when they are standing with that MUST HAVE item in their hand and really put some thought into answering the following questions, I think that things would change very quickly:

1. Is this purchase something I need?
2. Do I already own something that will serve the same purpose?
3. Can I borrow one instead of buying new?
4. Can I make something that will serve the same purpose?
5. Can I buy a used one?
6. Would someone be willing to split the cost and share this with me?
7. Can I buy or commission one made locally?
8. Can I buy one that was made with environmentally responsible materials?
9. Can I buy one that serves more than one purpose?
10. Can I get something human powered instead of gas or electric?
11. Can I compost or recycle it when I’m done with it?
12. What is the impact on the environment of the full life cycle of it?
13. Does the manufacture or disposal of it damage the environment?
See, not that big a deal to think about these when you are about to part with cash.  Here’s a link to the article:

I do hope that I am getting this “credit where credit is due” etiquette right.  I’m sure eventually I’ll figure out the details of the technical end of things.

Just a couple of other bits that I think should be added to the Non-consumption passenger list….

A.  Is the item locally available?  I believe that supporting businesses in your own backyard is crucial to the survival of many towns and even neighborhoods in big cities.

B.  IF I have to venture forth for the item in question, is it REALLY worth the trip?  Is driving for a half tank of fuel really worth the trip if a local business can order it for half the cost of the gas to go pick it up?

Just a few little things to think about BEFORE you get to the check out.

Life in General

OK, the rock part is under control…roll? not so much.

I was rather hoping to be doing the snoopy-dance-of-joy over having been accepted to the training program I’ve applied to.  Well, I’m still waiting…

Things seem to have been in a holding pattern for quite a while out here, and I’m really not sure why.  However, I do suspect that once things start to roll, all hell will break loose!

In the meantime, to keep things afloat I have managed to find a job!!  I love retailing, and since one day (yes, I’m a dreamer, even at my age) there will be a small shop on my farm I want to keep up the skill set that I’ve started to cultivate.  So, working at the local grocery store seemed like a logical step.

What a blast!  Run around like a crazy person stocking shelves, re-organizing produce and helping customers.  It’s tough stuff – the warehouse is stocked to the ceiling!  Sometimes, just getting a case of juice can be rather harrowing, but it’s all for the greater good.

Still I wait…hopefully, I’ll have some seriously good news to report on the Hippie Ways business ideas shortly!