Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Moving On

In the beginning of 2014 - I spent quite a bit of time deciding what this year needed to be.  Personal Growth, Quality People Time, Building Blocks for the Future and Self Care.  Decisions, not just random goals.  Choices, not just a written plan I would forget about.

And so it begins.

Firstly, I have found a holistic mentor to work with and deal with my health and nutrition issues related to allergies and food intolerances. Small, slow, steps that are already yielding great results.

Secondly, I will be working more with our garden and sustainability in the city, as well as finding a way to work with food insecurity in Worcester. My passion is Permaculture and finding a way to teach others and see that people are fed quality food.

Thirdly, I have a novel that I want to finish this year. 

There are many other things that I would like to do, but I have chosen these three to work on in addition to spending more quality time with family and friends. 

Ultimately at the end of the first goal, I will be in a place of digestive health and not ill from food. At the end of the third goal - I will self publish my novel.

For me, the second goal never ends. This is a lifelong passion.

For those of you who are reading this blog - I have moved to my own website:

In addition to changing my blog to a new home, I will be limiting my time on facebook to work on these projects. I will not be checking it often, so if something is urgent, please contact me directly by phone or email. I have to admit, I'm craving a little less electronics and a little more people time. I miss handwritten cards and letters, and coffee out to catch up with people, rather than the blow by blow details of the day. I also know how much I enjoy the sharing of good news, and photos of family and friends, so I won't stay away completely.

So that's it. Exciting changes! I am so looking forward to this year and the new format of my blog/website. I hope to have many new stories to tell with our garden experiments in this new year. 

See you next time!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rustic Wood Ornament

I was looking for a crafty idea for a favor at our holiday party as well as an ornament for 
co-workers and friends to give them with their holiday cards.

I found wood rounds on Etsy that were pre-drilled and had bark around the edges. 
Super cute and had the look I wanted: Rustic and hand made.

When I thought of what I wanted for decorating the ornaments, I decided to use materials I already had in my crafting box.  So, I used jingle bells of various sizes and colors, penguin charms, ribbons, and small rubber stamps with different inks.

I remembered a package of clear treat bags that the ornaments fit perfectly in. 
I tied them off with red and white string.

Perfect favor for our holiday party!

What I like about this craft is that I could easily change it up and paint the wood and use a wood stain and varnish to seal. There are so many sizes of wood rounds and an endless amount of potential crafting to be done! 

Snow Day Prep

I used to be that person - the one who watched the weather constantly and panicked at the slightest news of a storm. I ran to the store, stocking up with more food than anyone could possibly eat in the duration of a storm. I would think of the worst case scenario and struggle to find the basics that could be needed.

Over the past few years, I have educated myself in being prepared for different situations and now approach a storm in a different way. I still take a look at worse case scenarios, but without the unnecessary spending, panic or anxiety.

It is fortunate that I work for a great company - so if we have a storm like today's, I have the opportunity to take the day off completely and not deal with the bus and the difficult commute. Getting to work is not usually the issue, but if getting home looks questionable, I plan a vacation day off.

In storms, as in life, there are only a few absolute needs:  shelter, security, warmth, food, water, communication, light and peace of mind.  So, the worst case scenario for us in winter would be to lose power.

The mental checklist I go through is the same general way we live day to day:

Communication: I make sure everything is charged: radios, flashlights, batteries, solar lights, phones, iPad, etc.

Shelter/Security:  Our home is taken care of and maintained and is a safe place to live.

Warmth:  We have a wood stove that heats, cooks and if necessary, will boil water should the power go out and water heater shuts off. So the only prep for the bulk of our needs, is a good supply of kindling and wood brought into the house.

Water:  There are always a few cases of bottled water in the basement for use, or for emergency. We also have a few bottles of tap water than can be boiled for washing.

Food: We have a variety of fresh and stored foods that can easily be cooked - the same way we cook every day

Light: we have several sets of solar lights - used during the holidays - and always charged for night lights and for the rare situation of a power outage

General:  I also throw in a load of laundry to be sure clothes are clean and make sure dishes are washed. Rob brings in enough fire wood for a few days.

Paring down our stuff, knowing where everything is in our home, and being generally prepared for life, not just the storms, creates a peace of mind for me.

There is only one thing left to do - enjoy my day off and relax =)