take-out box

 

These are two of our take-out boxes / lunch packing containers.

My personal favorite is the stainless steel one on top. I prefer it because it is rigid and the top locks on pretty tight. It is not leak proof and it does get pretty hot. However, with arthritic thumbs that rigidness comes in handy when I drop it.

My daughter and husband prefer the softer silicone containers. They fill up nicely, hold more food, can be microwaved, and then pack down tiny when they are empty.  They are also easier to tuck clean & empty into your purse or backpack when you are heading out to eat and want to bring home leftovers.

Ideally, I’d like a round, shallow, stainless steel tin to add to my rotation.

As far as reducing your plastic use, styrofoam use, and low-waste lifestyle goals, these are pretty easy. They don’t cost much and last forever. Our silicone ones are about five years old and the stainless steel one is seven.

 

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #12, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: The Grey KIng

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Geaef
  • Ysgol
  • Dillad: gwregys, esgidiau, esgidiau rhedeg, sanau, hosan, hosanau, sgarff, crys-t,
  • gwerthu
  • Cymru
  • Cymraeg
  • Dw i isio dysgu siarad Cymraeg achos dw i’n caru Cymru a dw i isio yr iaith Cymraeg parhau.

What I’m thinking about:  Working through plans to add layers of regenerative agriculture to our little farm. Rabbits are coming back with a redesigned home. Chickens will be back the next year. Raised beds (2 1/2 feet raised) are being designed. Paths are being laid out for the final bit of our woods, and I have a tree/bush/plant/seed list started.

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve

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About 3 months ago, I decided to switch back to the Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve shampoo bar.  My decision was based on several factors: ease of use, ease of travel, lack of plastic, organic, and a small company I can be proud to support.

Shampoo Bar: I use the Ayurveda Herb bar and have noticed a bit more body in my greying hair.  I use this by creating lather in my hands and then running my fingers through my hair and massaging my scalp. I use the leftover lather to get the “stinky bits”. Once a week (on Sunday morning),  I run the bar over my head, create a big-time lather, and really scrub my head. I follow that with an apple cider vinegar rinse (1 TB ACV to 1 cup warm water, pour over your head, let sit 1-2 minutes, then rinse)

Healing Herb Lip Balm: This is the best lip balm I’ve used yet. Soft, creamy, and I don’t have to constantly reapply. I always buy two — one for my purse and one for my bathroom. The little glass jar can be used for many other things when it is empty. My old jar is acting as a lotion tub in my purse, It holds enough for several outings, but weighs next to nothing.

Citrus Face Scrub:  I bought an ounce of this to try because I was certain I would not like it. But, it turns out I really do.  I liked it enough to order a 5 oz jar as soon as my 1 oz jar was empty. There is enough sugar to give you a scrub but not so much that you feel like your face is peeling off. The citrus scent is refreshing, but not overwhelming.  I love that it comes in a glass jar! Again, I can think of uses for the jar when the scrub is empty.  I attached a small wooden spoon with a ponytail holder to my jar so I never put my fingers in there. I refilled and put my clean 1 oz jar in my 3-1-1 kit.

Body Lotion: Again, glass jar, wooden spoon attached with a ponytail holder! One small scoop melted between my hands will nourish the most stubborn of my dry spots. I use this right after a shower and it soaks right in without leaving a greasy mess behind. Another half scoop before bed on my shins and feet and I am ready for bed. I chose unscented, but I may order a few sample sizes of ones that are scented as gifts (and take a sniff to see if I like them. Plus, I’d like two more 1 oz jars in my 3-1-1 kit.)

Just so you know, in the past month I have used a bit less than half a shampoo bar, 2 oz of face scrub, and 2 oz of body lotion, and just enough lip balm to make a nice dip in the center of the jar.

 

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, The Celtic Way of Prayer,

What I’m listening to: The Grey King

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • mwynhau
  • chwaith
  • teledu
  • Dillad — siwt, crystal, trowsus, esgidiau, menig, siwmper, het, ffrog, cot, blows, sagest, tei
  • newydd
  • Dw i’n gwisgo ccrys newydd.

What I’m thinking about:  Freedom of the Press, finalizing cold weather preps around the house, and rabbits.

BookNotes: Forest Church

Forest Church: A Field Guide to a Spiritual Connection with Nature
by Bruce Stanley

Read October 2018

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This might be the most important book I could ever recommend to a Christian environmentalist or someone wondering what we ought to be thinking and doing when it comes to creation care.

It isn’t technical. It doesn’t lay out the answers. It doesn’t tell you to change your lightbulbs (although you should).

What it does is inspire you to take your connection to creation one step further. Just one step . . . But, my goodness where that one step might take you.

Ch 1 — Why Go Outside?

  • thin places = places where the boundary between heaven and earth is at its most transparent.
  • First Nations — mountains, water, woods, rock, and river
  • The Food Story and The Sacred Land — This might have been my favorite section. It breaks down belief, lifestyle, and impact of forager/hunter/gatherer vs food producer. I actually got a lot of good ideas for our little farm from this section.
  • Eco-mindedness and biophilia –embracing  our environmental challenges is an urgent issue that we must address.
  • NDD — Nature Deficit Disorder the only cure is go outside
  • Flow — the end of activity where your skill level in in balance with the challenge lever
    • gapped for air we;;-being
    • walking, cycling, drawing, climbing, foraging, playing, gardening, reading, knitting, journaling, photography,

Cha 2 — Reading the Second Book of God

  • Nature-a wild place, “other than human place,” but size is flexible.
  • 3 ways into Nature/Creation:
    • awe: Isn’t it amazing? deep sense of connection, as we is the beginning of wisdom
    • study: academic exploration, “What is it?”
    • meaning: search for insight and relevance, imagination.

Ch 3 –Participating with Nature

  • Pg 53: Ps 115:16, but “Im not sure were up to the responsibility.
  • Permaculture–people care, earth care, and fair share
    • value in nature should be recognized and protected
    • higher value –>primary use
      • example: pure water –> cook, drink, wash :: grey water –> flush, etc
      • example: energy –>solar or wind ::  No to fossil fuels
      • example: tree –>oxygen, shade :: limbs, dead wood –> heat home
  • Be with nature rather than going “into” nature.  i.e. participate
  • From Dominator to Participant
    • Dominator–nature exists to support humans, raw materials for profit
    • Steward — still seen from human perspective, recognize that their are limits to natural resources, entrusted with use not consumption
    • Partner –nature as ally. Animals as allies. life as an interplay of life forms.I am separate but conscious and ethical. Sustainable, organic, ecological care
    • Participant — I exist within the mix of interdependent and interwoven life forms, I am part of nature, respect because of intrinsic value, eco-centric, set limits. Be regenerative not just sutainable
    • Which am I? How can I move toward participant?  It is imperative that we move to being a participant.
    • Regenerative because we have a long way to go to get back to where our systems were actually sustainable.
      • pause before you enter a wild space
      • slow your soul
      • be aware when you intervene in nature

Ch 4–Developing Your Wild Side

  • well being accumulates daily through nature connection
  • more by walking, eating, sitting, working, reading outdoors
  • sit spot, journaling, giving thanks, wild camping, distance hiking, growing your own
  • following nature’s rhythm: day/night, lunar months, Light Half/Dark Half of year (equinox and solstice)
  • The only equipment you really need is;
    • comfortable footwear
    • decent jacket
    • water bottle
    • snack
    • first aid kit
    • phone / camera
    • notebook with pen or pencil

 

I am planning a series of posts where I explore these ideas more in depth.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Yn well
  • Yn waeth
  • Gwych
  • wedi blino
  • Pwy dych chi?

What I’m thinking about:  regenerative eco-mindedness . . .

Election Day 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tomorrow’s election. It is hard not to when it feels like the whole world depends on this next election.

Here is why I vote — because I love God and that means:

  1. Love neighbor —
    1. dignity and equality for all
    2. healthcare for all
    3. taking care of our elders
    4. educating our youth
    5. keeping guns meant only to kill humans out of schools, clubs, yoga studios, places of worship, etc.
  2. Love creation —
    1. clean air
    2. clean water
    3. safe food
    4. regenerating our soil
    5. keeping plastic out of the ground, the air, and the waterways
    6. encouraging renewable energy use
    7. discouraging burning of fossil fuels.
  3. Because if I don’t vote it is the same as saying the status quo is good enough.  It is not.
    1. I have a pre-existing condition.
    2. My son has autism.
    3. My husband is a USAF veteran.
    4. My daughter is a CNA (long-term care facility).
    5. Some of my neighbors are farmers.
    6. Some of my neighbors are addicts.
    7. Some of my neighbors are teachers.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #12, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • yfed–coffi, llaeth, te, cwrw, dwr,
  • bwyta–bara, cennin, selsig, pys, cig
  • Dw i’n hoffi coffi.
  • Dw i’n bwyta selsig a bara.
  • Dw i’n yfed llaeth.
  • Dw I ddim yn cwrw.
  • Dw I and  Dych chi :: dw i’n and dach chi’n

What I’m thinking about:  The enormous consequences of the status quo.

traveler’s notebook & fountain pen

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I am a dedicated journl-er. Journal, not diary. No angst ridden entries here.  I track things like the weather (including sunrise & sunset times), Book of Common Prayer (BCP) daily readings and my personal prayer list, how I moved my body that day, what I ate that day, how much water I drank, which household tasks I did, which garden/yard tasks I did, and what I read, listened to, watched, and any thoughts that really stuck with me, and finally I end my day with a short 3 word gratitude list.

Each year I read back over my journals and pull out the information that I need or just want to keep.  Then I burn the notebooks. For me it is a way of letting go of the past, clearing space for the present, and not burdening the future with my lists.

I’ve used a variety of notebooks for this. Some nice, some cheap. Normally just cheap . . . like a composition notebook. Recently I switched to an old Midori Traveler’s Notebook that I bought 7 years ago and never really “took too”, bought some dot graph inserts, and a lovely bamboo refillable fountain pen that Hannah gave me. I like this set up because the notebook never changes, the leather is easy to care for and should outlast me. The inserts are relatively cheap, made by a fairly eco-friendly company, and store in an incredibly small pile. The pen is new, but I’ve used a Lamy Safari fountain pen for years and love it.

In the past, I have burned the journals on New Year’s Eve. I’m contemplating switching that to a different time. I’ve been reading a lot of Celtic things and it seems to me that the burning of my journals might be worked into the devotional world of the Celts. I still have lots of reading and thinking to do before I make a final decision.

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What I’m reading:  The Forest Church, Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11, Every Earthly Blessing

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Yn well
  • Yn waeth
  • Gwych
  • wedi blino
  • Pwy dych chi

What I’m thinking about:  How much wood will be need this winter? Measuring wood in ricks, cords, trees, and by pacing off the stack. Wondering why the dog always throws up on the duvet when it is so damp outside that it will take 2 days at least for it to dry (and that’s if I remember to bring it inside at night).

grocery day at a new store

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This is the Kroger in Jeffersonville Indiana. I’ve been wanting to get down there and look around for a long time, but it seems like one thing after another kept getting in the way.  Now that I’ve finally been able to make the trip, it is a priority that I shop there. I went in with my reusable grocery boxes, produce bags, and cotton bags. I used every single one and could have used more . . .

Normally we come home with a few produce items in plastic bags (like potatoes and spinach). That was still true, but only because I read out of bags this time.

Things like beans, rice, ginger crystals, nuts, oatmeal, muesli, trail mix all normally come in a plastic bag, but I was able to use my small cotton bags and bring it home without plastic. I definitely could use a few more of those small bags, but I think we’ll figure out a system pretty quick and maybe not need to buy many more.

I’m thinking about taking my glass storage containers (with the UPC code on the lid) and keeping them in my grocery box (as they become empty), then at the store I’ll pour the beans into my cotton bag, weigh it, print out the price sticker, and then pour the beans into the glass jar and repeat the process with another dry good. That seems like it should work pretty well. By having the UPC on the lid, I can avoid the back and forth looking for codes that we experienced this time.

They have a bakery, salad bar, meat department, and cheese department too. So I will try using my reusable containers to pick up that stuff too. We’ll see if they let me and how smoothly it goes.

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What I’m reading:  The Forest Church, Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11

What I’m listening to: Merlin

What I’m watching:  News, Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh: 

  • Da iawn
  • Da iawn, dioloch
  • Dim dioloch
  • lawn, dioloch
  • Sut dych chi, draig.

What I’m thinking about:  heat, warmth, tree planting, and how to raise a garden bed up 2 1/2 feet.

 

 

bike & gear

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Since I no longer drive, I am dependent on others for rides to functions and errand day. Kelly, my husband, gave my bike a tune up and new tires. I ride a Schwinn GTX3. Ive had this bike almost three years now and it remains a comfortable, easy ride.

I wear a bike shirt over a tank top or a long underwear shirt and either yoga shorts or yoga pants. So far, it has kept me warm and dry. I do need to find a rain jacket and possibly a warmer bike shirt.

The trunk on the back of the bike will hold quite a bit. Last ride I had a dozen eggs, 2 tubes of chips, a bag of spinach, and several Clif bars. It would have held a bag of apples and another dozen eggs too.

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What I’m reading:  The Forest Church, Cherringham Cozy Mysteries No. 10-12, Harry Potter 3 in German, more climate change articles and food production

What I’m listening to: Merlin (S Lawhead)

What I’m watching:  News, Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning:  Welsh!

  • Bore da.
  • Prynhawn da.
  • Nos da.
  • Croeso.
  • Hwyl
  • Draig dw i.

What I’m still thinking about:  how to mitigate climate change and growing older in my own garden and in our woods.

reusable straw

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I have a cup full of reusable straws at home. They range from plastic, to glass, to metal with silicone mouth pieces, to metal with a bend, but this is the straw I choose to keep in my tote.

It is made by Keep Cup and fits through the small opening on both my Keep Cup and my HydroFlask cafe lid. It is straight and that makes it much easier to clean on the go. I generally just run water through it and wrap it in my bandana/napkin. The opening isn’t huge, so I don’t usually use it with a smoothie.

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What I’m reading:  The Forest Church, Cherringham Cozy Mysteries No. 10-12, Harry Potter 3 in German, climate change articles and food production

What I’m listening to: Merlin (S Lawhead)

What I’m watching:  News, Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m thinking about:  learning Welsh, how to mitigate climate change and growing older in my own garden and in our woods. Lots and lots of thoughts.

3-1-1 and packing

These are 3D Organizer Cubes from Tom Bihn.

The top one is Iberian (red) and mesh. It is the perfect size to hold a T-shirt, underwear, bra, and pair of socks. These aren’t special travel clothes either, just my normal stuff. I’ve never packed with “cubes” before, but thought I’d see if a whole day would fit in one for those short overnight trips.

I normally use it for all those small things I pack that aren’t 3-1-1 or technology: comb, toothbrush, floss, prescriptions & supplements, deodorant crystal, flashlight, etc.

The bottom one is an Ultraviolet with plastic. It makes an amazing 3-1-1 kit and it has a small hook so it could be hung up on a towel rack. I have it on a 16” key strap so it’s easy to pull out of my bag.

Which reminds me, I need an Iberian key strap!