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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?

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The New Normal….Problem?

There are points that (in my humble opinion….) that really should be pondered quite carefully with all of the radio and television play on what our government and media keep telling us that that we will be “the new normal”. Please take a moment and really think about this. Then, define normal.

normal ►

  • adj.Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical.
  • adj.Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies.

OK, so there is a definition…the question being, do you constitute “normal”. The next question is: was the “old” normal a good thing?

Many are sitting home in this very strange time and are having to truly think about that their version of normal is. Do you or anyone you know have to completely re-evaluate their personal definition of “normal”?

Is it proving to be having no time for yourself at all? Does normal equate to an endless round of dance lessons, soccer practice, hockey schedules, drive through meals on the way to someplace that the kids/spouse need to be? Does it mean that your house and your mind are a mess because there’s no time to simply relax?

Does it mean that you get up every morning and go to a job that you hate? To be stuck in a building with people that you don’t like in order to earn enough money to make the rent or mortgage. Does it mean that “at least I have a job” goes through your mind more than once in a 24 hour period?

Has “normal” for you become a matter of habits that our grand-parents would have shaken their heads at? Spending more than we earn, on things we don’t need, to impress people we probably don’t like?

Was your “old” normal a good way to live? Think about that.

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New Year’s 2020

My thoughts for 2020 are that I wish you (yes, you…yes, this is personal)…ENOUGH.

Enough company when you want to be surrounded. Enough solitude when you don’t.

Enough of a solid roof over your head, and enough food in your cupboards.

I wish you enough coins in your pocket that a little self indulgence won’t give you stress.

I wish you enough peace in your soul that you can sleep at night. I wish you enough rage that you will fight against injustice in this world. 

I wish you enough gratitude that you never forget why you are here.

I wish you ENOUGH for you and your loved ones. I wish you enough strength that when the time comes to deal with sorrow that you can cope.

I wish you enough joy that you feel honor bound to share it with others. I wish you enough love that you can go out every day and make sure that the voiceless are loved as well.

This year is going to bring a great many changes, I wish you the courage to ride the waves like a pro! Be blessed, be happy, be kind.

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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!!

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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!

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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!

 

 

 

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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.

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Yes, I know….

I’m experimenting with themes and other technical bits – so if you think the site looks pretty weird – you are quite right!!

I’m going to get this rolling as soon as I can, but in the meantime, for orders, comments or just to yell at me for fooling around with this sort of thing you can find me on the contact page!!

 

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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…

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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.