Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Barbie and Such...

We'll stay safer, you and me, when we avoid 6, 7 and 3!

I found another informative site about plastics, food, microwave use, and many other topics. I enjoyed how it was written, the information is easy to "digest". Please look into it, as it is important to know what we should avoid as consumers. Making a healthier, more educated choice when it comes to ourselves and our children is our responsibility.

I have removed many of the plastics in our home, starting in the kitchen. As I run a daycare in my home, you can imagine the plastic cups and plates we used. Many of these were the "safe" plastics, but I removed them just the same. The kids I have are over the age of two and I decided they were old enough to know, "This is glass" and "Take a drink, leave your glass on the counter". I most definitely did not want to run out and buy all new stuff, I am very much into reusing. A trip to the Youth Ranch (2nd hand store) was the answer. I now have many small glasses and also scored some great Pyrex containers for food storage, all for $20.65! The glasses are the same, so a little sticker to identify them to each child has become a fun game. I have other things to replace, but the plastic use in our home is getting less and less.

My husband and I have never really been a fan of commercial, plastic-y toys...Barbie Dolls and other such nonsense. Yes, my girls have had Barbie Dolls in the past. I grew up with two favorite Barbie Dolls that I still own, although the girls do not play with them. Actually, Lance put a stop to Barbie in our home a few years ago, Roxie has never had one. And you know, my kids are old enough to read the information on toxic plastic and other such things, like American waste and "How do you think that was made, is it really worth it?". They may not understand all of it, but they are beginning to make their own choices. Makes me feel I am doing my job as a parent.

There are alternatives to this plastic world of toys. One of my all-time favorite places to buy gifts is Magic Cabin. There are other options...You just have to look. Of course, I love to make gifts even more.

I really do have more to learn and explore, but that is what life is about. I figure, if the "The Man" says it is OK, I better look closer.

A photo of my "new" glasses and Pyrex, and out with the old.

New site to see:Delicious Organics


Oh, how I love this time of year...The fresh pumpkin bread, fall crafts, and evenings full of Christmas knitting. Is it so horrible of me to think, "I could take most of my Halloween stuff down today, and get a leg up on the next holiday". No, I didn't think so either. I don't think I will actually do that though. With the rain coming down outside my window, baking oatmeal cookies sounds more like it. This cozy, snuggle up feeling that comes from my favorite season can't be beat. The fact that Lance has been home for more than a month, and it doesn't look as if he will be going to WY anytime soon, helps tremendously. Knowing that I get to share "chilly outside/warm arms around me inside" evenings with my man, makes it all the more cozy...OK, I'll stop being mushy, I can only take so much of it myself!

Things on my mind: microwave use and dishwasher efficiency.
Posts to come...

Lance and the girls, Friday night wrestling...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin De-Light '06

I have not forgotten about you, my little blog. Just been busy. Yes -even too busy to upload 2007 Halloween pictures! (I have some great ones already)
These are from last year, 2006 Pumpkin Patch and trick or treating...Roxie is the pumpkin and Ausha is the "Dead Geisha". Not pictured is Kaziah, the spider witch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Soap Nut Update...

You already know how much I love Maggie's Soap Nuts. After I had boiled the used nuts for "Nut Juice", I found there was still plenty of life left in these little nuts. The liquid hand soap didn't work as well as I had hoped, so I took it another step further. I bought some mesh fabric and made my own soap nut "sachet". There are many uses for this little "soap sachet". From washing dishes (I still use dish soap), to using as a body wash exfoliator. I love using it as a dish washing sponge. Works wonders AND I'm not purchasing a plastic sponge anymore! I used red thread to sew the top together, making it easy to find and rip out, and then replace the used nuts. Ultimate reusing! The life of a soap nut in my house: washing laundry, making a tea from the used laundry nuts (my own spray cleaner), then putting them in my new mesh "sachets". I can't tell you how much I love this little soap nut!
If you haven't yet, CHECK EM OUT!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Grocery Store Wars...

Found this clip, loved it! Leaving it with you for the weekend...enjoy.

Freak Flag...

"Let your freak flag fly!"

Our Earth Day Flag, purchased at earthflag.net


So many thoughts bumping around in my head. They all vary too. From me needing a sewing machine "fix" to a much more important one, "How in the world am I going to stop the beef intake in our family?" Ya sure, we aren't eating beef and we drink organic milk. But to me, that isn't enough. Cheese, yogurt and butter all pose a problem. And organic isn't always the answer. How can I boycott these items and still know I am feeding my kids and husband everything we need to be healthy?

The whole reason we stopped eating beef is due to the disastrous effect they have on our public lands. Cattle grazing on OUR public lands is a HUGE problem many people are not aware of. I know I wasn't until my husband, Lance, started pointing out all the damage done to our precious streams and meadows. (Part of his job, at CSR, entails restoring these cattle grazed areas. Eye opening, to say the least) It doesn't help (meaning it does help- just not the fact that I can't fall asleep when these images are floating around in my head) that I go to bed with books like Welfare Ranching, the Subsidized Destruction of the American West . Check it out, then tell me your position. Can you really eat that burger and not feel the least bit guilty? Goes hand in hand with Dave Foreman's Rewilding Institute. Yet another book on my list. (How can you not love Dave Foreman?)

Beyond Beef is a great stop on the web. Lots of info to find and think about out there, and it is right at our finger tips. There are so many issues and topics to discuss. So many ways to change, where do we start? I think educating ourselves, not falling for the whole "We are the superior race" is a huge step.

I want a healthy family, I want my children to know why we live the way we do, I want to change the world. That is a lot of wants.....I think I need a good vegan cookbook. For another resource on vegan-ism, click into my new fav... Vegan Action

"Beef, it's whats for dinner" What a load of crap!!!

These photos, taken by Lance, clearly show what livestock grazing can do. For more on the topic of Degradation by Livestock, click here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fresh Ink...

Fresh ink...My brother Sam is perhaps the last person you would expect to have such body covering tattoos. Especially if you have never met him and you do so while he is in his business clothes. I never even wanted a tattoo until I saw his first one a few years ago. Then I was hooked. I have one tattoo and it covers the top of my right foot. Perhaps some day I'll show you. The tattoo above is not quite done, more black bars to come.
Oh alright, I'll show you...my foot is on the right, of course. The three cherry blossoms each represent a daughter. Sam's foot tattoo, in this picture anyway, is not complete. This tattoo actually crawls all the way to his knee.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Day for Me...

This past weekend, we celebrated my birthday. All I hoped for was a beautiful day to spend outside. As usual, I got what I wanted! The day was Fall fresh, full of crisp leaves, the sky was blue and the horses were ready. Many thanks for such a beautiful day!

Rogue Bear...

Remember my cute little puppy? Well, he is still cute, but not too little anymore! Today marks him at 6 months. He is such a great pup, I love having him in our lives.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Something New...

After a couple years of reading craft crazy blogs, and wanting a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, I was inspired to start my own, Color Your World Pink. Being busy with our remodel and such, my sewing machine (a first love) has been neglected. I feel its pain, its dust, and stagnate energy clogging my own pores. So, in an effort to move that stagnate energy elsewhere, I am starting a little craft blog, Color your World Craft-Crazy. Go on over and check it out! No worries, I will always be here for my daily dose of blogdom. I hope those of you who love to craft will hang around and see what happens or, at the very least, be inspired to find your own love of crafting...I use the term "crafting" to include any sewing, painting, knitting and kid crafts that find their way into my/your life.

Pocket on an apron I made for a dear friend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Metal Work...

I am sharing with you my brother, Matt. I could seriously start another blog with all the "Uncle Matt Adventures" we've had. If you have been reading my blog during its short life, you will have seen a few of them (Deer Creek, Camp Corona, The Flags, Snake River). We don't see him as much as I would like, but sometimes life does that. Families get busy and then you realize how long its been....I highly suggest you look him up for all your metal work needs...I love this old picture of Matt, probably about 15 years ago. You can't see it here, but he is standing next to his '63, 23 Window VW Bus.(featured in his above business card)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Golden Gloves...

Check out this old photo that found its way back to our family. This is my Grandfather(left), about 15 years old, when boxing was a school activity...Golden Gloves I think they called it. A few weeks ago, an old customer (Bo -the guy on the right) brought it into my Dad. My Dad had it framed and then took it to my Grandfather. Surprise! He had never seen the picture before...kinda just sat there, speechless. Pretty neat!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Name...

I have been asked, more than once, about my children's names. I will try to explain.

Ausha Dryden, my 11 year old...Can't really tell you where her first name came from...to me, it has always meant "flowing water", why...I don't know, just the way my brain works...I think it actually means "hope". Her middle name comes from her father's family, a last name somewhere down the line. Ausha is a very lucky girl, as she would tell you...she has two Dad's. Two Dads who have always been there for her. Carl and Lance are great fathers. The three of us work as a team, as it should be...I feel sorry for my girl's boyfriends...when that time comes...all three girls have quite the protective force behind them...

Kaziah Quinn, my 7 year old...Kaziah came from a book my Mom was reading while I was pregnant. Kaziah is also a take off from Ketzia...One of the Three Daughters of Job...Ketzia from the Hebrew, Meaning "A Powdered Cinnamon-like". Her middle name, Quinn...I can't think of a reason other than, we liked the way it sounded. We were also hoping for a boy and liked the name Quinn. Plus...she is our "Kaziah Quinn, medicine woman". Kinda silly. We call her Zia.

Now for Roxie Shea, my 3 year old...I really just wanted an old name with some spunk. She was almost a Mia, Lidia, Lucy, or Matea. Shea came from Shea Stadium. As I have mentioned before, we are huge Mets fans...the disappointment this year is overwhelming, but, we still believe (my Met's flag is still flying). If Roxie had been a boy, her name would have been Shea Stephan or Shea Eric. We are sooo very sad that "they" are rebuilding Shea Stadium, soon to be known as the Citi Field. Guess it is better than Petco Park.......

A little history for you on Shea Stadium...An overwhelming crowd of 60,000 screaming Beatles fans packed the stadium for the first major outdoor stadium concert on August 15, 1965. The Beatles were followed by other rock and roll legends including the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Police, Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John and Eric Clapton. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix also made a little known appearance at Shea for the 1970 Summer Festival for Peace.

A bit more...The stadium was originally to be called Flushing Meadow Park but was later named for the popular attorney, William A. Shea, who spearheaded the drive to bring National League baseball back to New York following the departure of the Dodgers and Giants in 1957...Now you know how they came up with the Mets colors...blue(Dodgers) and orange(Giants).

My name, Michelle, came from the Beatles song...of course!!! My Dad calls me "Shell Face".

Monday, October 8, 2007

All New...

Inspired by Going Crunchy, I added a playlist to my blog. Hope you enjoy it...

Photo from web. One of my all-time favorite bands to see in concert...Oh Vince, how I love thee...The self-described "polyethnic cajun slamgrass" group Leftover Salmon formed in Colorado in the early '90s as a merger of two area acts, the Left Hand String Band and the Salmonheads.Starpulse.com

Menstrual Cycle...

The DivaCup. If you are not a pad girl, and you still want an alternative to the disposable world of menstrual cycles, try the DivaCup. Belief is in the trying. Trust me, you will wonder how you ever used disposables. If you are willing to try (good for you!) and aren't too keen on pads, let me give some advice. Purchase the DivaCup and liners. Once you use the cup, you will have no use for the larger pads. I took one for the team and purchased the Deluxe Kit and the DivaCup, only to find that, although the pads are extremely comfortable, I have no use for them. THAT is how much faith I have in the DivaCup, or as I call it, Freedom in a Cup. (Seriously, you can insert it in the morning and forget about it until bedtime!)

Photo from Lunapads.com

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rain in the Desert...

We have been blessed with a downpour of rain. Lance has calculated our rain barrel savings at around 500 gl. of free water. Not bad for a few months in the desert.

Pizza and Movie...

Rainy day, homemade pizza, a scary movie (Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy), decorating for Halloween, and enjoying the day with all "my kids". I hope your day is as cozy as mine...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pizza, Snakes...and other Happenings

The master bath progress...I started the tape and mud float on Saturday night. Every night since, I have been in this space with my blades and mud, floating away...You ask why Lance isn't in there doing it, it's "Man's work" you say? No such thing. I am an artist in mud and paint. Lance knows when to check on me and give me all the expected encouragement, "Looks great babe! You are so good at this, and fast!" If he forgets and leaves me wondering where he is, I simply state, "Man! I sure am getting thirsty!" or "Wish someone would fill my wine glass!" He appears super fast, beer in hand, with compliments pouring off his tongue. He knows how to keep out of the work. Crazy as it may sound, I actually enjoy texturing. I love to find a new pattern or flow. I have been using a bit of quartz sand in my mud. (Thanks for the tip Tink!) The sand gives a great effect. I was up until midnight last night, would have been ready for primer today if I hadn't run out of mud! ARG!!! I'll post some pictures as soon as I am ready to show it off. As much as I like to do the work, I like to see it done.

I have so many projects to do, I get frustrated when I can't get them all done. Boring chores, like mopping the floors and doing laundry seem to keep me from some of these projects. They aren't all "work" projects either. Some are sewing projects I want to do, holiday crafts, and that book I want to read. I have to be honest here and say, as much as I want and need to be creative in this area of non-house projects, I can't get away from it. Meaning...I see the end product and can't stop working towards that goal. (selling my house and moving my family towards more sustainable living) I need to find a balance and make it a priority. I really can't sew the Frankenstein Halloween Doll when there are dirty dishes in my sink. I'm always thinking I should be doing something productive. I tend to blame it on "The creative juices can't flow when there is chaos around me!". But then, shouldn't I have more control over my brain than this? Who cares if the house is a disaster and you can't see the counters!? Honestly, how can I really keep the floor spotless when I have two dogs, three kids, a husband, and all the extra kids and family traveling through. Oh, and their dogs too. Did I mention myself in that list? This is a step for me in accepting imperfection. Evidence of me accepting imperfection can be seen as I go to my dance classes. Dishes done or not, that is mine and I will be there. Oh ya, the fact that I actually leave the house for this helps...

More to say about the above mentioned "Clean Freak Phobia". I think phobia describes this control issue well. Clean Freaks must have control of their surroundings, they have fear of losing that clean, spotless life. I would call myself a "Recovering Clean Freak".

Want to hear(read) another "phobia" of mine? First, you should know that I have two brothers. Two brothers who were never short on bringing a snake in the house. That's right, I have "snake phobia". I have had snakes in my bed (that statement made me laugh!) snakes under my feet, snakes thrown at me, and snakes put on my head. I am better about it, but they(brothers) still know that I squirm at the idea of a snake close to me. They still tease me by pretending they have one in their hand and tickle my neck. I would jump at the shape of a snake, like a cord or a funky shaped stick. Last summer I was fed up with it and bought some play snakes. I gave them to the kids, put them in the sandbox, any place I could unexpectedly come across them. And guess what...I don't jump anymore! I have bought books to read to the kids about snakes, taken the kids to see snakes at the Herrett Center, I even made a few of them on my sewing machine. All of this "therapy" has helped. You ask if I would hold one now...That's simple. No. No I will not. I totally respect snakes and actually think they are wickedly cool. But I will not subject myself to their ways anymore than I have to. Why my mother allowed them in our house is beyond me. My girls know that I have the power (the controlling, clean, no snakes freak in me), and they will never have a pet snake in my house -something I see Kaziah wanting. So you see, there is reason behind my madness. FYI -I think my brothers feel at least a little guilt for teasing me so horribly when we were young. If not, I hope they are reading this and squirming in their chairs! Is that something bad to hope?

This post has gone more places than I originally anticipated! Ok, so the pizza part of this post. Today there is no school for all my kids. By all my kids, I mean the daycare kids I have had for years. They are in elementary school now and I only see them when school breaks. So, for something fun to do, we are making pizza dough for tomorrows pizza making. They all get to make their own pizzas! Sounds like fun huh?! You wonder how I can type a post during daycare hours? I have had all my kids for years, their parents are great clients and also good friends. The kids are at their 2nd home. They all do their own thing with me throwing fun things in here and there. I think it is important for kids to have creative time to just play. So many kids have every minute scheduled, I believe they miss out on the most important part of being a kid, imaginative play. Top that with a home atmosphere, even chores, and you have a great balance. I love my job. Feels like I am at home with all my kids. (Don't get me wrong, I have days when I wish I was somewhere else. Who doesn't?)

Wow! You made it through all my blabbering...keep up the good work!

Photo of the Mama snake and Baby snake I made last year.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sharing Old Photos...

Lance and Ausha (3yrs)
Ausha Dryden and her baby sister, Kaziah Quinn (9mon)

I found these photos and thought they would be fun to share. National Rainbow Gathering, Idaho/Montana area, July 2000. Lots of fun memories!

Fun on Skates...

Ausha and AdrianMia, Roxie, and Olivia
My Dad and Lance (right)

We celebrated Ausha's 11th Birthday in the skating rink. I'm really not that sore, can't say the same for Lance though. Guess the sore muscles I have from Ballet just can't compare to those from a bit of skating! Even my Dad tied on some skates and took to the rink...It was Roxie's first time skating, doesn't she look so adorable?! At first she wouldn't let go of our hands, then she and her friends decided they were big girls and rolled around the rink like the little princesses they are...very cute.

Ausha picked a homemade meal of orange chicken, homemade mac and cheese, and artichokes for dinner. She decided on Chocolate Mud Cake for her dessert. (this one is asked for a lot actually, if you love chocolate -try it!) After dinner, she opened her presents. She was pleased to find that her Grandpa had gotten her the alarm clock she was wanting, which left Kaziah very upset saying, "What if I don't want to get up at 6am?!" I don't know how many times she stated her concerns over this, it was quite funny I must say (they share a room). Lance and I bought her a karaoke machine, so the rest of the evening found us all singing around the table and laughing at each other...lots of fun!