$7 Easter Present for a Princess

Both of my granddaughters are obsessed with princesses and as a result love to wear dresses. Every day, every where. They are that perfect mix of tomboy and princess. :-) What else could I give to a little one for Easter than a crocheted dress? How about one that can grow with her?

I’ll prove first that this child loves her dresses.

Relaxing day at home.

Relaxing day at home as an ogre princess

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Change the World Wednesday, My Most Serious Health Issue

Today I came across two posts on the same subject, the first was disappointing in that it left out the most valuable piece of information which has helped me but it contained some wonderful recipes, the other was this week’s challenge at Reduce Footprints.

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While many of you already know I was born with Muscular Dystrophy, but what you may not know is that I was also born with one kidney which doesn’t work. The Dystrophy was no problem compared to the kidney issues I endured. This led to many hospitalizations, tests and medications in my youth.  When I say it doesn’t work, it doesn’t.  This kidney does allow things to pass through it but doesn’t process anything.  Certain foods and beverages will not move through the kidney in a timely enough manner to prevent infections from setting in, which resulted in years of experimenting rather than agree to have the kidney removed.

This brings me to this week’s challenge:

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Building Healthy Garden Soil

This weekend if  you lived near me you would have thought summer had arrived completely skipping spring.  I was itching to get into the garden and had to satisfy myself with cleaning up the beds and checking how the sections I buried my compost turned out.

The first flowers found and picked for me this year.

The first flowers found and picked for me this year.

There are a lot of so-called rules for composting.  Getting the right mix of brown and green, what can be composted and what cannot.  These rules have scared many off from trying to make their own.  I don’t follow too many rules in my compost and what rules I use are a combination of my own thoughts and safety measures I’ve learned. I never worry about the right mix of brown and green, for example.  What I have is what goes in.

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Good News Monday

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This weekend while on a walk with my granddaughter she started a conversation about what was healthy to drink and not drink.  She informed me that soda isn’t good because “it gives us sugar”.  Growing up I had several relatives who had lost a limb (amputation) as a result of diabetes, but they called it sugar, as in “He lost his leg to sugar.” Today we are disconnected from our food in more ways than just the terminology we use, but there are signs that this is changing for the better.  This Monday’s Good News starts with ways we are taking back our food.

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Friday Faves, Spring has Arrived

Spring has finally arrived and with it the first tips of the daffodils are showing.  Yesterday was our first day of really gorgeous weather, I was outside all day, until the sun disappeared with a good book in the field! Yes, the ground dried out enough I was able to get into the field without fear of getting stuck. I even had a bit of sunburn, faded by morning.

The warmth from the sun had been missed.

The warmth from the sun had been missed.

 

The garden beds are looking good, especially the two sections where I used a small amount of soil as the foundation for a compost bed.  The soil there is rich and so beautiful.  Nothing like the beds of some of my neighbors who only have soil and store bought  compost.  Theirs look dry and hard.

No flowers yet here but I can't wait.

No flowers yet here but I can’t wait.

Now that I can safely get to the beds while I can’t begin to plant anything I can start another compost section with the food scraps I froze all winter waiting for this day.  By the time the soil is warm enough to plant in these scraps will be decomposed and ready for planting.

 

I won't see any tulips as the deer ate all of my bulbs.

I won’t see any tulips as the deer ate all of my bulbs.

sustainable gardening

  1. I made a huge mistake and purchased peat moss after reading several sources that suggested it in my first raised beds.  Since then I’ve learned we are destroying a delicate ecosystem by using peat moss.  This is another of those situations where I try to vote with my dollars so no more peat moss.  To learn why this is not an eco-choice and what you can use as a soil amendment check out this post by Learning and Yearning.
  2. Jean experiments with straw bales as raised beds  So simple and a good use of a renewable resource as a growing medium.
  3. With climate change we have no idea what our weather will be like from one year to the next so it’s important to take all precautions to conserve water. Anne gives us 20 reasons why we should mulch our garden beds.
  4. Children used to work along side the adults in the daily chores, this included the gardens.  Our children need to experience in seeing how their food is grown and will be more willing to try new foods if they have a hand in growing them.  Eartheasy has a wonderfully complete garden list on how to garden with children and even includes how-to plans to make a child’s wheelbarrow.   If you don’t have children but want to learn how to grow your own food this detailed list would be the place to start.
  5. Last summer I finally had a carrot crop that grew!  I was so excited I started a second crop, total failure they never even sprouted. This year I am going to pre-sprout some varieties of seeds and see if this helps. I thought you might enjoy this article I found on pre-sprouting as well.
Spotted the first crocus flowering on a walk.

Spotted the first crocus flowering on a walk.

diy your garden

  1. Looking for inspirational ideas for the best garden yet?  These ten diy garden hacks will get you started.
  2. Don’t spend a ton of money on bird feeders, make your own.  Last year I made a simple bird feeder from orange peels with the grandchildren.  They loved seeing the birds sitting on their half of the orange rind to eat seed from.  But there are many other fruit peels you can use such as grapefruit used in this tutorial. What’s better than zero cost or when finished you can compost the feeder and hang a new one?
Bees are back and have been pretty aggressive, normal for spring.

Bees are back and have been pretty aggressive, normal for spring.

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

 

Have a wonderful weekend

Change the World Wednesday, It Smells Cleaner

I am so fortunate where I am and have the best neighbors who make me feel “normal” for a change.  Tonight, I benefited from one student’s efforts to earn a few extra dollars.  He borrowed his parent’s Kirby vacuum/shampooer (with their blessing)  and advertised reasonably priced carpet shampooing. Why give my money to a rental business when I can help out a friend. I love watching young people create their own opportunities.

For less than the  price of renting a machine, having to figure out how to get the machine home and purchasing eco-friendly shampoo, I sat back and watched my carpet being cleaned for me. The shampoo he uses is eco-friendly but I didn’t have to buy an entire bottle to do one cleaning.  I will miss him, and our conversations, when he graduates in May, but for tonight even my grandson remarked at how good the carpet smells. :-)

 

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It’s Wednesday and time for another challenge from Reduce Footprints, this time the subject centers on air quality.

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9 Bloggers Who Make a Difference

Last week, Lindsay (Treading My Own Path) suggested I read What’s the Economy for Anyway? By John DeGraaf and David K. Batker.  I found a copy and while I am only part way through the book (chapter 5) I am both encouraged that there are examples of better ways to live and at the same time saddened by how far the US has fallen in every respect.

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Good News Monday

I hope your weekend was a good one. The news can be negative but I’m here to share with you good news to start your week off right.

 

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  1. Reinvent the Toilet Challenge is funded by the Gates Foundation.   The program ” funding research to develop truly aspirational “next-generation” toilets that do not require a sewer or water connection or electricity, cost less than 5 cents per user per day, and are designed to meet people’s needs.” Is a step in the right direction.  Does it make sense to continue to use fresh, potable water to flush our toilets?
  2. Tennessee has announced a plan to offer 2 years of community college or technical training to all high school graduates for FREE.  With the rising cost of education this comes at just the right time.
  3. In Denver, Colorado a teacher gave the gift of life by donating her left kidney to a student in need.
  4. In a world where it appears everything is made to be disposable one company has taken on the smartphone.  The new eithical, FairPhone not only sources materials from conflict-free areas, pay workers a fair wage, and is setting up recycling centers for their phones but has also partnered with i-fixit making their phones the only ones which can be repaired.
  5. One village in the UK has found a way to protest fracking by raising funds instead for a solar powered town.
  6. South Africa makes a stand on GMO crops.  Being blunt South Africa after looking at crop failures and finding that GMO foods are a health hazard Monsanto has been ordered to stop making false claims in their advertising.  Putting it bluntly, Monsanto has been told to ” Quit wasting valuable resources, time and money, promoting chemically prepared, genetically rearranged food.
  7. Closer to home, Canada has rejected a Genetically modified apple.  Our voices are being heard.
  8. A mother and chemist has shown both the dangrs of food additives and the benefits of a whole foods diet by reversing her daughter’s autism by eliminating one food additive. Her daughter is one lucky little girl!
  9. Proof that even small measures can make a difference, see how long you can power a laptop by recycling one aluminum can.

What good news do you have this week?

Friday Faves; What a Week

I’m a bit late getting this post up for you this week, but it’s been a crazy week.  We are on day three with no heat and the four apartments upstairs that have stoves have been unable to cook due to a gas leak some where under the ground.  The owner of our property opted to hire independent contractors to locate the leak instead of paying the gas company to do the job which has resulted in them having to dig the area up in hopes of locating the area causing the problem.  The problem could be anywhere between the end of our building and the blue building you see in the distance.

Teaching the next generation.

This isn’t the only place in our area that has found gas leaks now that the deep freeze has ended, trucks are out repairing gas lines all over the area. Between aging infrastructure and the very real possibility this area could see more of these kinds of winters it makes sense to look for alternatives to the way we heat our homes.

While freezing inside putting together the Friday Faves would have been a nice way to spend some time while curled up under the covers but Thursday morning I had to have the bed moved out for a repair to the ceiling and the cable for the internet was pulled out of the wall leaving me without internet for 24 hours.    I was reminded of the old superstition that bad things come in threes when I learned the rains we are having will be turning to snow later this evening.  This is one week I am glad is coming to an end.

In light of long week,  today’s Friday Faves are uplifting and fun. I hope you enjoy them and if you want more to read, you can check out an interview I did with Christy at The Simple White Rabbit.

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Change the World Wednesday, Protecting the Oceans

Today was a lovely day, one in which I was outdoors from morning until dinner time when it became a bit too nippy to be comfortable.  We still have patches of snow here and there but it’s mostly gone.  Melting will bring to light all the things left behind such as trash and these fall leaves that somehow found their way just outside my door.

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There was one other thing which brought great excitement to the little ones, and relief on my part, it was finding the strawberry plants survived this past frigid winter and are beginning to show some greening.

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Yes, we went from snow on Sunday to so warm my grandson was sweating in a long sleeved t-shirt, dad agreed he could go shirtless. :-)

I’ll be collecting the fallen twigs and leaves to add to the bottom of one of my newer garden beds along with the food scraps I froze throughout winter to build on, nothing needs to go to waste or be burned.  There was a time I burned some of our trash to reduce what went into the landfill but now realize burning is harmful to the air we breathe.

This week’s challenge is about one very large aspect of nature, our oceans.

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