Friday, January 25, 2013


Have you seen Deep Space Sparkle???? She has amazing ideas for art projects. We used lots of different materials to make these penguins. They turned out great.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Supper Safe

I finished Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt today. It was an eye-opener for sure, and it solidified even more my instincts to support food sovereignty and to be less involved with the corporate food system.
His tone is very easy to follow and engaging which balances all of the rudimentary information well. There are too many quotes to post here that are salient. Some key points or statistics are as follows: The corporate food system with its increasing lack of transparency is more dangerous than any poisoning outbreak of bacteria. Americans can smoke and tote guns more easily than we can choose (or even KNOW ABOUT) the basic nourishment for our bodies. Super bugs are a bigger deal than I thought (given they can transfer genetic material with other types of organisms--not just the future generations of their own type).
The average piece of "food" travels 1,500 miles to get to our plates. 75% of the antibiotics produced are for animal consumption--not specifically to fight disease but rather to grow a greater amount of flesh and make greater profits. Monstanto possibly controls 90% of global seed genetics. The average American consumes 3,800 calories per day. The FDA/USDA makes things indefensibly difficult for smaller, artisanal businesses (particularly of the raw variety) but allows immeasurable dangers from the large corporate suppliers since the "scientists" working at our supposed regulatory agencies come straight from those multinational corporations.
Here's a good quote among many: "Thanks to agribusiness subsidies, we're actually paying many times over for the privilege of being fattened and sickened by corn. According to research conducted by the Cato Institute in 1995, every dollar of profits earned by Archer Daniels Midland's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10 in subsidy payouts." Talk about wanting a stronger hand in where my taxes go!
Even though I admire Hewitt's family (and the Soules, Shannon Hayes' family etc.), I'm at a loss at times for how to take the right steps to go towards these ideals with my family. We do small things that we think will stick like expanding our garden, buying from friends/neighbors (pastured animals etc., food we don't grow yet), take classes to learn how to make our own things and then make them since those feel sustainable. There were times this summer especially when I was truly aware of things we didn't need to hunt for in traditional commerce.
The pastoral loveliness here comes from our garden and our friends' own growing places (that we buy from or are gifted from).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Interesting neurological perspective

These videos are led by Joe Dispenza, a chiropractor among many things; and I think they're very relevant to education, to working with kids on their own engagement etc. I wonder if I could incorporate this information when we're starting this next semester?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: A Good Year!

I want to look back at some of the neat-o things from this past year. There were some awesome e-courses (The Soul of Discipline, Whole Foods Kitchen and Seasonal Intelligence) along with in person workshops that changed a lot for me (mostly connected to homemaking, homesteading). We expanded that homemaking/steading incredibly with more growing, preserving, fermenting, gifting, sprouting, sewing. Community had a much larger role to play this year with grass roots hearts going forward together in our little town to need each other, learn from each other and celebrate together. Along that vein, participating in a CSA was such a source of vitality and inspiration in our household. Health, overall, has been at the forefront of many of our experiences from fitness (and weightloss) to herbs to essential oils to making more of our own food in general. Obviously, having my gallbladder out has made a difference; and I have to thank speaking up for myself and pursuing my own health instincts which made that possible. Friendships bloomed more this year, a bit. Professionally, I've been working towards an ESOL endorsement and am still plodding away at that one. We're dreaming a little now, Eric and I--talking over things we want to experience and do. Looking forward to 2013 with definite intentions (which we aren't always good at) and some vague possibilities (which we are both good at).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Enneagram

This is sort of a book review, but the topic/interest goes beyond one book for sure. I read Riso and Hudson's The Wisdom of the Enneagram recently, and there's so much helpful information here. My "type" was Nine (The Peacemaker) which isn't shocking. What I did find interesting, however, was the ways a person like me gets blocked and how we could flow better. There's in-depth information about your type along with a couple of quizzes. Also, there's background information on the enneagram itself and how to process/use the information. The specific type information gives me a lot to focus on in terms of personal awareness and journal time (if I'll take it).
The background information was amazing as a look at all types. Also, there is insight into how I can be a more supportive parent in terms of the girls' possible needs, pitfalls and encouragement. There are many messages linked to childhood in the book, and it made me want to post something on their walls with affirmations or write them a letter for when they can read! But really, it would be general. Not only does each person have the capacity to operate in each area, but no one reeeeally knows another person's type. It would be for my girls to sort out rather than for me to peg for them. I have a feeling that I'll have my suspicions. (The Greek Temperaments are so much easier that way.) All in all, I highly recommend this book (or others like it) if you're any kind of seeker or spiritual person. (The book honors the wisdom of many traditions and doesn't seem to displace any if you're concerned about your particular faith.) If you want a go at some simple quizzes, check out this RHETI Enneagram Test.