My world revolves around words, in thoughts and dreams and plans, in every human interaction. I revel in books, reaching for sacred tomes containing every bit of human knowledge and doors to other worlds though an impossibly powerful force of human invention- written words. Imagine the spiritual crisis I went through when I stumbled across the most ironic book ever written- The Alphabet vs. The Goddess by Leonard Shlain. The premise of the book is that the written word, specifically “alphabet” languages, actually strengthen the “hunter-killer-logic” left side of the brain to the point that it’s influence was the underlying cultural inspiration that led to every major religious and culture war since it’s invention, and very directly to the subjugation of women all over the world. Damn. Fortunately, the book ends on a positive note, regarding new inventions in communication that allow for a more balanced approach to human relations, a happy ending much needed after reading about how reading led to so much pain and madness. I highly recommend reading it, as it gives a shocking and unique perspective on human history. On the other side of that, here is some inspiring words on the positive benefits of writing from Jeff Goins- When your fear to say the truth, write the truth, share the truth, remember this:
One of the ways I have learned to live so cheaply, yet luxuriously is knowing when it’s worth it to put in the effort. I’d much rather do the extra few minutes of work to pack a lunch than to work for someone else the extra hours to pay for eating out. I’ve also found that if you eat quality food, you don’t need as much. Gourmet is truly achievable if you eat portion sizes. Have a few small luxuries and if there are certain people in your family or group who need extra calories, make that up with more staple fare- sweet potatoes, pastas, sandwich bread, eggs and other cheap but filling options.
Here are a few ideas for picnic luxury lunch boxes:
bread with brie and apple slices, plus chocolate of course
bread with cream cheese, nut butter and jam,
yogurt parfait- yogurt, granola, and fresh berries, or a quality trail mix(my favorite is hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, shredded coconut and chocolate chips)
cream cheese, roast beef and fresh greens sandwich
shrimp with curry powder, fresh fruit , crackers with herbed goat cheese
If you have a chance to cook: sliced ham, brie, caramelized red onions, and a very light drizzle of honey, toasted like a grilled cheese is one of the most memorable tastes imaginable.
And in my world, lunch is not complete without a few bites of dark chocolate at the end, never forget the chocolate!
I’m extremely picked about music, especially in the hip-hop arena, as I am more of a new age/classical/indie music type person. However, Gab Rima of Zen Tempest is one of my few exceptions to the rule. If you are fond of spoken word artists such as Atmosphere, Aesop Rock or Immortal Technique, this up-and-coming lyric artist is worth your full attention. Few people in history have been gifted with such talent for wordsmithing, and this compassionate man uses his talent to help others feel capable and comfortable expressing their deepest thoughts as a hip-hop educator for youth groups in New Mexico and most recently Oregon. He is currently entered into a contest for a complete album and music video, take a listen and open your heart for one of the most moving voices of our generation.
The song is Fath and Hope. It’s on the second page.
There is actually an even further distinction to make here- the difference between tea and an infusion. Tea is actually made from steeping the leaves of tea plants, white, green, black, etc in hot water. An herbal infusion is made when you steep the leaves or sometimes seeds of a herb in hot water, such as chamomile, lavender, yarrow, etc. A decoction is made by simmering the roots or bark of a plant over heat for 10-20 minutes to extract their full quality.
If you want to create a recipe that calls for various forms of the plant, for instance mixing ginger and fennel for a digestion soothing tonic, simply simmering about a tablespoon of fresh ginger in 1 1/2 cups of water(some will steam off) for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1 tsp dried fennel, let steep for 5 minutes, strain and serve.
Do keep in mind that ginger is very stimulating to the blood, so be cautious if you have high blood pressure or anxiety. As with all herbs, just because they are not pharmaceuticals doesn’t mean they don’t have effects. Be certain you have no adverse reaction before using a full dosage and listen to your body.
I am so happy to have met Tiffany, she bequeathed me her magic book of beauty recipes which I have been spending some glouriously fun time experimenting with over the past week. I was thrilled to try out a recipe for sugar waxing, yes, waxing. I know I’m a hippie, but I love the feeling of smooth skin, and shaving while showering outside can be a tad bit brutal. “Sugaring” is significantly less painful than waxing because the resulting caramel from the recipe is strong enough to pull the hair but not the skin, so it’s far easier on the body. It’s also all natural from ingredients in the kitchen, and clean up or disposal is as simple as warm water.
Mix 2 cups sugar with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, heat in pan stirring continuously until it becomes caramelized (it should become a thick gooey but still liquid consistency). Pour off into a widemouth jar. Keep jar in a pan of warm water to keep the wax liquid. Cover areas of body to be waxed with cornstarch or talcum powder(do not bathe before sugaring). Use popsicle sticks, or similar, to spread wax over desired areas. Let cool on body and peel off. I recommend doing short sections and be sure to keep the skin taunt, pulling the opposite direction of hair growth. Shower off any sugar, shave any minor missed spots and finish with a body oil such as jojoba for wonderful smooth skin everywhere. Yay bathing suits!
Ahh! The start of summer, painting projects, fresh berries, travel adventures and growth on every level. Hope you enjoy this month’s Carousel of fun!
The Gypsy Network: Some of my favorite gypsy blogs
After using chalkboard paint to transform my fridge, I have really gotten into seeing all of the fun stuff that can be created via chalk medium:
On Making Fairy Wings:
http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/11/how-to-make-your-own-fairy-wings.html – This blog is wonderful for all things fairy!!
And some fun in science news:
Sorry about the irregular programming lately folks, we are deep in the intrenchment of government offices and real estate issues, punctuated with regular trips to far reaching wilderness, so the wi-fi access has been nearly impossible. But it should all be coming to a head soon and I’ll be back with a pile of new work!!
As a perfect prelude to a miraculous few days the weather cleared up on monday, right as Pam and Brian’s daughter Tiffany- the remaining family we had not met- and her husband and kids came down to visit for a few days. Family friends showed up with their 3 month old and before we knew it, summer kicked in full swing with a massive outdoor barbeque with 12 adults, four kids, 9 chickens, I don’t even know how many cats anymore, and a dog just to make everything a little less chaotic. Paradise in a backyard.
I have witnessed a miracle of life in watching this progression of events- from chance meetings one after another that have lead to people connecting to build dreams I never imagined could truly happen before. We had an impromptu community meeting to discuss issues, ideas, concerns and set plans. And it happened automatically. I’ve always felt like dealing with people was frustrating, oftentimes, impossible. I feared that there were only selfish, uncaring people in the world, that I would wander alone forever. Without even realizing how much I wanted and needed a family, one ended up surrounding me, and it is openly growing everyday.
As I was toasting rolled oats in a frying pan this morning, cook the bacon first and toast in the gristle, Tiffany and I talked about the idea of combining forces on this, my blog and hers, so that between the two of us we could post more easily as I have many projects and she has many children. I add eggs and cream to the oats to cook it, and as we shredded cheese and chopped fresh fruit and avocado to top the oatmeal with we discuss book ideas. I love collaborations- all the beauty and creativity of a project, with the support and enhancement of loved ones. Kindred spirits are rare treasures. And with this new influence this page may be coming to you under a new name- The Nature Spirit. ( I have also been informed, repeatedly, that not everyone will think of the old english spelling of Faerie while looking this site up- simplicity has it’s usefulness I guess)
Zoe and I took Tiffany on her first Girls’ Night Out in, well, enough years she didn’t remember anymore. We arrived at Sonia’s house in town, proceeded to kick her boyfriend out of his own room( he was smart enough to bow out gracefully when girl number 6 showed up- a wise man knows when he’s out-numbered) and leave us to our sacred feminine goddess time. We turned up the music, danced wildly, laughed and talked to wake up the next few blocks and made almond-butter cherry chocolate chip cookies- Sonia’s recipe. She is now a contender in the ever ongoing cookie war for “greatest cookie ever”- a very scientific and technical title that can only be conferred after many years of tasting and debating. Consistency is key of course.
After a chance to let loose, hug, laugh, support and care for each other, we were all finally able to go back to our lover’s revitalized and strong. Apparently it had a major effect because I caught Aaron helping to hang laundry without me asking and even before running off to the shooting range. The effects of women coming together can be terrifying ;P
Tiffany had to return home this morning, but I am certain of seeing her again soon, and look forward to further adventures with a new part of my family.
Love to all!