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Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & Aspiring Unicorn Breeder

5.29.2012

Random Thoughts Part Tres.

#1. My brother brought a kitten over to my house. It's so stinkin' cute that of course I kept him. Now I've turned into one of those crazy old ladies who have 5 zillion animals... except I only have 5. And I'm married. Oh, and I have 3 kids too. So yeah, I guess I'm actually worse than an old cat lady... not only have I collected animals, I've collected people too. Sheesh. I keep telling my poor disgruntled Hubby that I'm taking Bow-Tie Watkins, (that's his name by the way), to the Humane Society, but I think we all know that's not happening. It doesn't help that he has crawled under the covers and is purring at my feet as I type this. Dang you and your supreme cuteness, Bow-Tie Watkins! Dang you all to heck!

#2. I like too many things. I'm like a nosy little gnat. Buzz, buzz, buzzz... I get all of these grand and wonderful ideas in my head. And I even start most of them, but I hardly finish any. I dabbled in acting once upon a time and got tired of the waiting, (you do more waiting than actual acting when you're acting). I plunged head first into photography, but now I only do it when the mood strikes. I started writing a novel, (ok really, who hasn't), but only got as far as the outline, preface, and first chapter... and then my head went blank. Now I'm on a gigantic DIY kick. Sometimes I wish I hated everything and found wonder in nothing. Oh well, at least I'm never bored.

#3. My hubby read my last blog post. Ya' know... the one about how much I love him. I dunno why I was all shy about it when he told me. I mean I put it out there for the entire planet, (and perhaps some bored aliens), to read. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I still want to impress him with my awesomeness. Maybe I thought he'd think it was silly... but I was wrong. I actually wooed him with that little blog post. Go figure. Oh hey... have I mentioned I love that guy? Yeah, I do. I love that man of mine.

#4. I (kinda) can't wait for school to let out for the summer... but then again I know that after about 2 weeks of them being home I'll be ready for them to go back to school. Maybe this summer will be different. They're all teenagers now... just about. The oldest 2 want jobs, and all 3 want to hang out with their friends and not their uncool mother. So I probably won't see them much anyway. Maybe I won't be ready for them to go back. That'll just mean they're that much closer to moving out, right?? Aaaaand now I feel sad. Sigh.

#5. My doctor told me I have to get thinner. I really don't want to, I don't care to, and I don't like to. Losing weight means that I have to take in less calories than I expend. Which means I feel hungry. Now, you can tell me: "Oh eat more fiber, more protein, blah, blah, blah..." But unless I'm eating enough to fill the contents of my fat little belly, I'm still gonna feel hungry. And I f#cking hate feeling hungry. Not to mention I like to eat. I'm trying these shakes that cost me an arm & a leg. They're working for everyone else I know, but not for me. Of course the only times I've ever lost weight I was only consuming around 800 calories a day... more than that and I either maintain or gain. I guess I just have to buckle down and starve... or stay chubby and die of a heart attack or stroke. I dunno what's worse honestly.

#6. What was I talking about??

©Flippa Bird
(Meet Bow-Tie. He kinda looks like the Crack Fox...)
Photo By: Me

5.23.2012

How Many Times Can I Say Love In This Post?

This is an "I love my Husband" post. If mushy stuff isn't your thing, you should probably stop reading. So how do I love him? Let me count the... Nah, I'll just tell ya' why without being all flowery:

I love my Husband because he's quiet and unassuming. I love how level headed he is. I admire him because he's not one of those people who goes around saying he hates drama; he simply avoids it and doesn't create any... in fact he'd rather come across as a wimp and diffuse a situation, then to go around kicking ass to prove a pointless point (when he very easily could). I love, love, love that he is that confident and strong. I love him because he has big plans for our future. I love that he'll sit and watch the DIY or Food network with me and won't change the channel. I really like that he's always attentive to my needs and wants. I'm proud that we've stuck by our vows for 15 years: in good times & bad, in sickness & health, for better or worse, forsaking all others, 'til death do us part... even when it's been extremely difficult to do.

I love how he works hard and puts 110% into every single thing he does. I love him tremendously because he appreciates the comedy of Will Ferrell as much as I do. I adore him because he goes out of his way to help people in need, even if it creates a hardship for himself. I love him because he doesn't believe in the silliness of soul mates. I love that I can tell him anything and he doesn't judge me.... sometimes he'll laugh, but only because he thinks I'm cute. I love him because he's humble. I'm over the moon that he thinks my old, chubby, saggy body is the ultimate porno-playground. I love him because he has a huge soft spot for animals. I love that I still get butterflies every time he texts me, calls me, looks at me, touches me, or asks me out on a date. I love him because he works out and takes care of his (very sexy) body.

I absolutely love the way he fathers our children, teaching our boys how to be real men and showing our daughter how a lady should be treated. I am in awe of his determination... he's like superman to me, he can do anything. I think it's hilarious the way he chatters on and on about me and the kids when women hit on him. I love him because he loves his Mom... and my Mom. I love him because he doesn't care about clothes or designer labels. I secretly think it's hot that he has a motorcycle and I swoon a little every time he hops on it. I am so happy that he hates watching sports. I lust him because he looks hot whether he's in worn out jeans and an old tshirt or an impeccably tailored suit. I love him because of how fiercely private he is. I love that we are exact opposites and create balance for one another. I like that he knows how to work with his hands and can pretty much build or fix anything. I love how he can do that and then turn around and use all of his forks/spoons properly at a fancy dinner. I love him because he has excellent manners.

I love how intelligent he is. And I really love how funny he is. I love him because he doesn't have a FaceBook, or any other social networking account... I love that he thinks having them is ridiculous. I'm glad that he's a terrible cook so I can cook for him. I love that he'll eat the capers and mushrooms I (occasionally) put in food, even though he hates them. I like that we can have deep conversations, laugh about complete nonsense, or sit quietly without saying a word... and one's just as good as the other. I love knowing that he'd protect me to the death, just like a real prince charming would do. I really really love how much he loves me. I love every stinkin' thing about him. I wouldn't change one single thing... well, maybe I'd make him a millionaire - but I'd still love him just as much if he had nothing. I love him because he is always himself, and nothing else.... And he's so perfect for me. 

 ©Flippa Bird
(I heart him because he doesn't like his pic being taken)
Photo By: My Crappy Cell Phone

5.22.2012

Laundry Detergent Recipe!

Ok, I promised I would post the laundry detergent recipe I found. I didn't actually come up with this recipe... I found it perusing little do it yourself boards and it is marvelous! It makes a ton of detergent (a little over 6 gallons), it cleans your clothes beautifully, it can be used in front and top loading washers, ... oh, and it smells so fresh and clean. It does take a little time to make, but it's nothing harder than grating, measuring, mixing, and waiting. Basically if you can make a box of tuna helper, then you should be able to make this too. Also, it costs under 10 bucks to make (and you still have enough dry ingredients to make several more batches). You can't even get a gallon of liquid detergent for under $10, so this is a steal that is definitely worth the time it takes to make it!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Supplies:
A box of borax, a box of washing powder (I got mine at Wal-Mart... it's just called 'washing powder'), 2 bars of ivory soap, a 10 gallon Rubbermaid tote with lid, an old milk jug for measuring, a regular measuring cup, a cheese grater, a large stirring spoon, and a large pot (to fit at least 8 cups of water).

Directions:
* Fill the pot with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
* While you're waiting for the water to boil, grate 2 bars of Ivory soap.
* Once the water is boiling, add the grated Ivory soap and stir until it's completely dissolved.
* Fill up the Rubbermaid tote with 6 gallons of warm water.
* Once the Ivory soap is dissolved, pour the contents of the pot into the Rubbermaid tote.
* Add 2 cups of washing powder and stir until it is completely dissolved.
* Add 1 cup of Borax and do the same as above.
* Put the lid on the Rubbermaid tote and let it sit for at least 24 hours. The longer it sits, the creamier it will be... I let mine sit for 2 days.
* Open the tote after it has sat covered for at least 24 hours - (there will be a layer of weird foamy-hard-gelatin-looking white stuff at the top, but don't worry about that... it's normal).
* Stir the crap out of it until it's completely mixed and creamy (it won't be as creamy as store bought detergent, but you shouldn't have any clumps). You'll want to stir for at least 10 minutes, but the longer you stir, the better it turns out. I made my kids do that part. Yay for free child labor!! Jk.
* Cover it and use as needed (or divide it up into bottles and use as needed). I just keep mine in the Rubbermaid tote and store it in the laundry room.
* Use 1 cup of detergent per regular load of clothes. (You may need to stir it up from time to time to keep it from settling and to keep it mixed well).

Anyway, that's it! It works wonderfully and leaves your clothes fresh & clean. And it saves you a boat load of money as well. Hope you enjoy it!

©Flippa Bird
(The Ingredients!)
Photo By: Silly Instagram Pic I Took

5.20.2012

More Random Thoughts...

1. I got my Hubby's name tattooed on my ankle in our second year of wedded bliss. At the time tattoos were illegal to get in my state; so I went up to another state to get one. The place I went was the oldest tattoo parlor in the city. The employees, from the front desk people to the tattoo artists, all gave me a really hard time about getting my Hubby's name (or any name) tattooed on me. I heard nothing the entire time but, "You're jinxing your relationship." and " You'll be divorced in a year." Oh, and they laughed at me. A lot. They went out of business shortly after that. And 13 & 1/2 years later I'm still very happily married. Who's laughing now, bitches?

2. My garden is actually growing things that aren't weeds. I'm so excited I can't stand it! If vegetables appear I'm gonna do cartwheels.

3. I'm so very picky about who I associate with, and I must say, I have the best and the funniest friends. Like, ever. Example number one: Last night I was out with two of my sweetest girlfriends T*** and J*** when somehow the topic of gay people came up. My dear J***, who is a hard-core Christian, stated the obvious when she said, "I don't see what the big deal is, I mean it didn't even make the top 10, so it must be ok!" <-- (referring to the ten commandments). I mean really, the logic doesn't get any better than that. Example number two: I went to lunch with my dear friend V**** today and we were talking about makeup, when she informed me that her new makeup covered "the flesh eating bacteria" on her face very nicely. I almost snorted out my Sprite. I'm pretty sure she meant acne, but she assured me that it was in fact flesh eating bacteria because it looked so horrible... (which it really didn't). But seriously, how can I argue with that?

4. I love my Hubby. I may have mentioned that before, but in case anyone forgot or doesn't know, yeah... I love that guy. When I woke up this morning, I found him sitting on my side of the bed, rubbing my back and smiling at me. I look fairly hideous in the morning, so I figured either: a). he had gone blind or b). someone had drugged him. Turns out it was neither. He presented me with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a beautiful card in which he wrote romantical things.. He then proceeded to tell me that I am the prize and the goal, the reason he works as hard as he does, and that he wanted me to know that he sees how hard I work too... so all of those lovely things were to show his appreciation for me. The he took me out to Denny's for breakfast. Talk about a Grand Slam... My Hubby is the bestest!

5. I bought a bunch of dresses today. I hardly ever wear dress, but they look like they'd be more comfy than regular clothes, so I took the leap. I didn't even go for cute factor, really. I was more concerned with the comfort & coolness (as in temperature) factors. If Ross had had non-polyester Mumus I probably would have bought one. Luckily for my Hubby, and my ego, they didn't. So I'll be sporting cute dresses this summer.

©Flippa Bird
(I'm all smiley today!)
Photo By: My Crappy Cell Phone

5.17.2012

Dream a Little Dream...

I sat in the middle of the van staring out of the large tinted panel window. The road curved tightly back and forth, with rocky cliffs rolling down the side of the mountain and an endless green ocean to my left. It was beautiful and I felt so relaxed, peaceful even. We drove for a while... until out of nowhere we arrived at what I assumed was our destination. I departed the cool confines of the butter yellow van into the warm heat of the late California afternoon. I wandered aimlessly for a while, through narrow streets and alleys, browsing at the bohemian store fronts... swaths of brightly colored silks and paper star-shaped lanterns in various colors hung from bronze chains framing the entryways, giving off the mysterious, if slightly hokey, vibe of gypsies and snake-oil salesmen. "So this is what California is like, huh?" I thought as I wound my way through the streets and down an alleyway. And then suddenly, there I was, gazing at the vast beach in front of me.

I crossed the wide road toward the sand. It had gotten later in the day, the sun barely in the sky, with wispy clouds casting a cool lavender tinge over everything. I spotted a group of familiar people sitting on a boardwalk to my right and so I started toward them. I had felt so lost since I left the van and the sight of familiar people calmed me. As I walked toward them, I noticed him. The tall, lanky frame topped with a mop of straight black hair, seated slightly hunched over on a step. Him. I knew I was going to sit by him. He turned around as I approached and smiled radiantly, murky green eyes lighting up brighter and brighter the closer I got, his thin lips curving up deliciously at the corners in a welcoming smile. But it was his nose, of all things, that made his already attractive face pop. It was completely straight and perfectly angled. I smiled back and sat down next to him.

I knew I knew these people, I just didn't know how or where or why. I couldn't remember why I had even come to the beach in the first place. Why was I here anyway? I sat quietly, trying to remember. He turned to me then. "Would you like some?" he asked. He held a joint up to me and smiled again, this time not so dazzling... more of a sly smile that was trying to tell me a secret. "Sure" I said as I took it from his fingers. Without a thought I brought it up to my lips and inhaled deeply. It hit me immediately and I felt as if I was floating or spinning or a combination of both. I exhaled and turned to hand it to the girl sitting to my right, but in my dizzy state turned to my left instead. I found him staring directly at me.

He leaned in toward me, and my eyes widened... startled, I froze. "Shotgun." he said with a low chuckle, and I relaxed. His face grew closer and I could feel the heat of his skin and the low pulse of... what was it? electricity? emanating from him. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, his lips pressed softly on mine and he exhaled, blowing the smoke directly into my waiting mouth. I inhaled, hesitantly at first. And then with something close to wild abandon, I pressed my lips against his, hard, and sucked the air from him. I wanted the smoke and I wanted his breath. I wanted him. I drank him in, taking deep pulls of his breath, not stopping to exhale. Devouring, drinking, sucking, taking... until the sound of him gasping and choking brought me to my senses. I was sucking the life out of him. But still neither of us moved to break away from the other. I smiled then, knowing that he'd let me go on and on until he fainted, so I relinquished him... but only just a bit. My lips still pressed firmly to his, I exhaled out of the upturned corner of my mouth, giving him an opportunity to do the opposite: breath. Our lips continued to explore one another, softly and delicately, as if they were asking permission. No tongue, nothing forced... just soft lips pressed against soft lips answering 'yes' repeatedly and in unison. It was nothing short of divine. We broke away and locked eyes, lost in the awe of what had just happened. The weed combined with the other worldliness of that kiss proved to be a heady combination, and my senses were reeling. Nothing made sense, time moved at a snails pace, colors were too vivid, and everything seemed surreal. It was all too strange, even more so than it had been when I arrived here, which was odd, because I still couldn't remember why I was here. Who were these people?? They all seemed so familiar, especially him; but I couldn't place them...

A flutter of movement caught the corner of my eye and I glanced up... and into the faces of my children: eyes the size of saucers, bodies frozen in a state of shock. "Mommy, what are you doing? Why are you kissing that man?" my little daughter finally asked me. My eldest son stood silent, glaring at me. My middle son stood in between the other two, wordless and in shock. I looked down and saw the joint, still in my hand. I tossed it on the ground at my feet, shook my head, and in an instant I was sobered to the depths of my core.... Holy fuck. I was with my family. We came to the beach together. They dropped me off to find a good spot before it got crowded. They were going to meet me on the beach.

What had happened to me?

"Where is your father? Did he see me?" I asked my middle son, my voice plagued with urgency. I knew in my heart that he had seen me. And him... together. My middle child did not speak, but continued to stare at me, large blue eyes confused and bewildered, his mouth slightly agape. "Where did he go??" I demanded, no longer urgent, now frightened and desperate. "He went that way" my child replied and pointed down the beach. With no thought to anything other than my husband I jumped up and half ran, half stumbled down the beach. Running and running, tripping over the sand and my own feet as I went... I turned back once to see him still sitting, turned my way, watching me as I ran away, with a sad smile plastered on his face. I turned back around, still running wildly, and fell headlong into darkness. Tumbling, falling, reeling.... And just before the bottom fell out, or before I hit the bottom.... I woke up.

Ah... So it was a dream. Sometimes I wish they weren't so damn vivid.

©Flippa Bird
(Burn, Baby, Burn)
Photograph By: This Dreamer

5.16.2012

Buncha' Random Thoughts.

I've had lots of thoughts rumbling around in my head all day and I'm feeling rather rambly/babbly tonight because of it. I'm not sure I have the capacity right now to form all of my thoughts in any kind of cohesive fashion, so if I lose you, dear readers, I do apologize in advance...

Thought number one: Why are teenage girls so shitty to one another? I think I've done a pretty damn good job in raising a happy self confident girl. In fact, I know I have. But as soon as she got into middle school that confidence slowly began to shatter, thanks to a few hateful, insecure girls. And I wonder, is it their mothers faults? Were those mean little girls not told everyday how bright & beautiful they are? Because they should have been. Or is it purely hormones in overdrive? How does this happen? I want to slap these mean girls, I want to verbally lash out at them, with my razor sharp tongue, in a horrid way that I know would devastate them to the point of needing years of intense therapy. But I can't and I won't. All I really know to do is just continue being there for my girl and continue building her up as they try to tear her down. Hopefully she'll grow back into her confidence and realize how petty & sad those mean girls truly are, and understand that their warped opinions should have no impact on the beauty that is her. Sigh... Just sigh.

Thought number two: Non Christian people get so bent out of shape when they see someone claiming to be a Christian screw up and (wait for it...) sin. They love to point out what hypocrites Christians are. I know I've personally broken every single one of the Ten Commandments, many times over, and then some. And I still do. Even as hard as I try, yes, I still sin. Well, aside from murder. I've never done that.... although I'm sure, in times of immense anger, I've fantasized about it. But the thing I think these finger pointing folks fail to understand is that Jesus himself hung around with skeezy people. He didn't associate with the pious religious leaders of his time. In fact, they were the people who wanted him dead. He sought out the fucked up people of the world, the people like me, (and even worse), because he knew that we evil-doin' sinners are the ones who need him most. The people who seek out God do so because they know they need him. I think if those finger pointers realized that one simple fact, maybe they'd shut up. Does it mean that once you become a Christian you become perfect and immune to wrong doing and sin? Hell no. It simply means that despite our innate sinful natures, we long to be good & pure and we try do what's right. We try and try and keep trying. Because we know that that's all God wants... for our hearts to be pure and for us to try to live as peacefully & purposefully as we can. So I personally think they should shut up about it and mind their own actions, instead of bitching about the hypocrisy of others. Besides, when you think about it, everyone is a hypocrite at one time or another. And if you say you're not, well, then you're a liar to boot. Sigh... when will people learn?

Thought number three: I really love my Husband and my children. More than anyone or anything in the world. They are the four people who light up my life and fill up my heart. There are people who express doubt about that because there was a time in my life when I went through a very rough patch, mentally and emotionally; and because of my altered mental state, I left them for about 8 months. But the thing my family realized through it all is that for better or for worse means just that: for better or for worse. The experience actually brought us all even closer than we were before. It strengthened us in ways we never imagined. If you can trudge through the difficult times and make it out intact, then the easy times are pure bliss. My Husband and I have been judged and criticized for decisions we made throughout that time, and our relationship has been called a sham by outsiders because of it. That really used to bother me... until I realized that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. As long as we are happy and as long as we love one another, everyone and their negative opinions can basically go to hell. Their thoughts and opinions on our family, and the decisions we've made, simply do not matter because they're not a part our family. Period. Sigh... of relief.

Thought number four: Just when I get to a point where I don't care about being chubby anymore and I become happy & content with my obese voluptuous appearance... BAM! I get a less than stellar report from my doctor. I need more vitamin D and calcium, my cholesterol is way too high, my triglycerides are through the roof. In short, I have to lose weight and get my health under control or I'll end up like my Dad, paralyzed and mentally deficient from a massive stroke.... or even worse, like my Grandmother, dead too soon from a series of massive strokes. Ugh. I hate dieting, I love food. I hate exercising, I love relaxing. I'm not a person who does moderation well, I love excess. So you see, it's not a simple matter of dieting. I have to completely overhaul my lifestyle. And I'm not good at that either. I start my healthy habits, balls to the wall, and then after a week I get bored and tire of it and I'm ready to try something new. It all boils down to the fact that I'm a very flighty person with the attention span of a gnat on crack. Sigh... I think I'm fucked with this one.

Thought number five: I'm gonna get a lot of flack from my friends because of this, but I read 50 Shades of Grey and I was not impressed. I know everyone just loves it. However, I didn't. At all. The writing was atrocious at best and the main character was so unbelievably naive and, well... stupid. She was written as a total dingbat. Even the sex scenes were lacking in my opinion. Maybe it's because I'm just spoiled and used to amazing sex... In fact I've never had a crappy sex partner, but I digress. I honestly think most of the women who like this trilogy like it because bondage and submission is a 'taboo' that they've never experienced. If they had then then they wouldn't be as impressed with this book as they all are, because it's not depicted accurately. Sigh... and yawn.

Well anyway, those are my random thoughts for the day. I don't know if any of that made an ounce of sense to anyone other than me. But I guess it doesn't matter since they're my thoughts. Goodnight.

©Flippa Bird
(Thinking)
Photograph By: Me

5.14.2012

Homemade Bread Recipe

I've been a busy little bee as of late with my happy homemaking and what not. Today I attempted to make homemade bread... and I do believe I've succeeded. It was a lot of fun to do and much easier than I expected, although it is a little messy. But hey, that's just part of the fun! So I thought I'd share the recipe.

HOMEMADE BREAD

(Supplies: one large and one medium glass mixing bowl, a mixing spoon, a measuring cup, a 9 or 10 inch bread pan, a 1 tsp measuring spoon, and a dish towel.)

Ingredients:
1 pkg active dry quick-rise yeast
1/4 cup of milk
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 tsp butter
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of bread flour (not regular flour... has to be bread flour)
nonstick cooking spray
corn starch

Take your large mixing bowl and heat it up. I just filled it with hot water and then drained it.
Next mix the packet of yeast powder in the bowl with 1 cup of warm water and stir until it's dissolved.
Melt the butter (I nuked it in the microwave) and add it, along with the sugar, salt, and milk and stir it all together.
Next add 2 cups of bread flour and stir together. It will be very sticky at this point.
Keep adding more flour, a little at a time, while continuing to mix, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and doesn't stick to your hands when you touch it. It's not an exact science or measure... just remember that it's good to go once it's not uber-sticky.
Now you knead the bread. To do this first sprinkle a little flour on your counter and rub some in your hands. Take the dough and throw it on the counter and start punching it. Once you've kicked it's arse, roll it up in a ball and punch it again, and then roll into a ball and repeat that process again... and again, and again (for about 10 minutes).
Once you're done abusing the dough, roll it up into a pretty little ball, sprinkle a little corn starch all over it, and then place it in the medium mixing bowl. Cover it with a dish towel and place it somewhere warm for an hour. I put mine on top of the dryer (while it was running of course).
After an hour it should be about double the size you started with... if it's not, that's ok, as long as it did rise at least a little.
Now punch it again a couple of times to deflate it, and then flatten it out into a rectangle roughly the length of your bread pan (10x10 is a good measure). You don't need a rolling pin to do this, but it does make it easier.
Next roll it up (kinda like a jelly roll) and place it in the bread pan. If it's too long, just tuck the ends under. Oh, and don't forget to spray your bread pan with nonstick spray first!!
Now cover the bread pan with the dish towel and set it someplace warm for one hour again. I use this time to clean up my mess.
About 45 minutes in, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Once the dough has set out for an hour, take the dish towel off and pop it into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden brown.
When it's done baking, pop it out of the bread pan and let it cool completely before slicing it. If you try to slice it while it's hot/warm, it will tear and flatten.
Finally eat and enjoy!!

©Flippa Bird
(Mmmm... Fresh Bread!)
Pic By: Me

5.08.2012

Turning Amish... Not Really.

I've done two things recently that I said I'd never do: 1. I downloaded Instagram and  2. I'm turning into my Dad. Peer pressure got the best of me with Instagram and my quest of being a better person is slowly turning me into my Dad... go figure. And what better way to be a good person than to start from the inside out? So I decided to plant a garden so we could eat healthier... and it's just snowballed from there. I've now learned how to make my own all natural organic body products, I'm learning how to bake bread from scratch, I learned how to make homemade laundry detergent, and I even saw a post on FaceBook last night about going shampoo/conditioner free. That's right, I'm considering not washing my hair anymore. My friend V**** told me yesterday that if I start sporting a bonnet and ankle length skirts, she's gonna slap me. I told her to please do. I may want to be a better person, but I'm still going to be fashionable and look good while doing so.

I grew up planting gardens, canning veggies, working outside, etc., etc. All of the vegetables I consumed growing up were grown by us without the use of chemicals; and my dad raised rabbits that we ate or he had friends that would give him venison. We bought chicken and beef occasionally, but it wasn't packed full of hormones and scary crap 20+ years ago either. If I wanted a snack I went out back and picked figs, muscadines, or a bell pepper and munched on those. We went fishing a lot, (although I can't recall ever catching anything bigger than a playing card). We were all extremely active. Looking back I realize that we were a lot more self sufficient than most folks. We were also a lot healthier. I hardly ever went to the Dr. for illnesses growing up, my hair was long and lush, I didn't have acne as a teenager, and I was never ever overweight. In fact, is wasn't until I had been out on my own for a while consuming a bunch of unhealthy crap that I got fat, got pimples, my hair got scraggly and fell out, and I got things like allergies and the flu.

So I've decided that now it's back to basics!

I think I've got the body products down pat. They feel even more luxurious than the stuff I buy in the fancy stores and my skin just glows afterward. And my garden is growing like mad... I have green bean plants, yellow squash plants, zucchini plants, red and yellow bell pepper plants, sweet pepper plants, cherry tomato plants, eggplant plants, cantaloupe plants, and onions... all sprouted from seed (except for the onions). In fact everything is flourishing, except for my big boy tomatoes... and they better sprout soon or I'm planting over them. Hopefully I'll see actual veggies and fruit, because I plan on learning to can some for winter. I also have a bunch of fresh herbs in my herb garden that I use to season dinner with now: sweet basil, sage, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, apple mint, and lemon mint. I'm making my first ginormous batch of laundry detergent this weekend (eeeek!) enough to last at least 6 months. Oh, and I'm also attempting to bake bread (from scratch) for the first time as well. I hope it works because I'm not buying store bought bread anymore. Next I want to learn how to make homemade jam. I have the recipe, I just need to go strawberry pickin'!

This is all so very exciting for me! If the HOA allowed chickens... I'd have some of them too. (and goats too). But they aren't allowed, so oh well. At any rate I'm hoping that my efforts will pay off with a healthier family. And maybe I'll even be able to save some money and take a vacation next year to somewhere other than Myrtle Beach or Charleston. Ha!

©Flippa Bird
(It's GROWING!!)
Photo By: My Crappy Phone

5.02.2012

Perspective.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a tendency to get up on my little high horse from time to time. Most of the time when I go off on an angry tangent, it's because I see something in a person/situation that I see (or have seen) in myself... and that's why I get so pissy about it. It usually takes me a minute to figure that out and when I finally do, I feel ashamed.

I stumbled upon a website the other day that got me going off on a huge tangent in my head. I wasn't aware that Gweneth Paltrow has a website, but she does. It's called Goop and I guess you could call it a lifestyle website... that's what she calls it anyway. As I was perusing through it, I kept getting more and more pissed off... "How the heck is this a lifestyle website," I thought, "Who in the freakin' world spends $200 on a candle... Who the heck takes month long European vacations all the time... Who in their right mind owns a $7000 purse... How is a 10,000 square foot home normal?!" And I kept getting angrier. I simply could not fathom how she was promoting this website as a 'lifestyle journal' when 90% of the people in America can't buy the kind of crap, can't go to the places, can't cook, and can't wear the type of stuff she promotes. It really irked me. I mean, who does this bitch think she is, flaunting her wealth and crazy lifestyle in everyone's face?? Yep... I was galloping full throttle on my high horse again.

Then I found a more interesting interwebz article and forgot all about her goopy website. Until the other night.

An apartment dwelling friend of mine and I were chatting, and in her tipsy state she (repeatedly) said, "I mean your house is nice... but it's not that nice." I'm still not sure where my house fit into the conversation, but it made sense to her so I didn't question it. But her statement got me thinking... Am I oblivious? Am I nothing more than a middle class Gweneth Paltrow? Is that how people see me?

Holy crap.
I am.
I am.
And I think they do.

I mean, who in their right mind spends $25 on one candle?! Oh, wait... that would be me. (But dang, those Yankee Candles smell so yummy). Seriously though, I'm not wealthy by any means, but I do realize I have it a lot better than many folks in this country. And I've become totally oblivious to everyone else's normal. My normal is a vacation to a touristy local beach every year, a nice (but not that nice) middle class home on a cul-de-sac, $25 Yankee candles, and over priced Coach purses. To someone struggling to make ends meet, I'm just another stuck-up, frivolous piece of Goop. But I know me and I'm not, I tell ya! I'm really not stuck up or frivolous. I give money to charities and to my church, I make sure I only donate nice things to Goodwill, I have 4 zillion rescue pets, and I volunteer my time to worthy causes... I'm a nice, giving person. Right? So why should I feel bad about spending our hard earned money on things that we enjoy? And then it dawned on me... Ms. Paltrow isn't any more of a stuck-up, frivolous piece of Goop than I am: The way she lives is simply her normal and she's just oblivious to everyone else's normal. Why should she feel bad about spending her hard earned money on things she enjoys?  The only reason I don't like her website is because her normal is financially better than mine. I'm just jealous.

Wow.... Sucks to admit that. I think I fell off that horse of mine.

I dunno that being oblivious to other people's normal is a good thing. I think maybe that's something I need to work on... being more aware and all. But I do know that happiness & satisfaction really are all about perspective. I can be mad that someone has more than me, or I can be happy with what I've got: "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." - Frederick Keonig

©Flippa Bird
(I just like rainbows, so here ya go!)
Photo By: My Cell Phone