health, mom's soap box, wellness

vinegar & nuts

Vinegar and Nuts.

What am I talking about?

Laundry of course.

In my ongoing quest to have sparkling clean laundry as well as NOT use chemicals…. I have a couple of new tips I want to share.  Of course, I would love to hear your all your ideas, please share your tips and suggestions.  I am always willing to try something new that aims towards good health.

Let’s jump in?

Yes, we all know that dryer sheets contain 9 Toxic chemicals and 3 of those known carcinogens (that means they cause cancer).   However, those little sheets of chemicals do a mighty good job at reducing static and that annoying cling.

Big sigh along with a sad face.

Alas, my friends, I have solutions galore (maybe not galore, but at least 3)!

Here is what I do instead;

One trick I figured out is that I use wool dryer balls.  They do an excellent job 3 seasons outdryer balls of the year.  That leaves us with those cold, static-filled winter months.

20171108_160244-1_resizedNext, I’ve added this little beauty.  Now, don’t get your fancy panties in a tangle, I used a bright-colored piece of fabric so I could find it easily when sorting dry clothes.  However, you can just as easily use safety pins on a single sock or an old washcloth.  The pins act as a lightning rod inside your dryer.  (Gentle note to readers: if by chance you don’t have any or you are saving your “fancy panties” for good and right this minute wearing old, dingy, faded, boring undies ………………for the love of everything wonderful in the world, throw your un-fancy undergarments to the curb (what I really mean is:  in the trash, no one wants to see a bunch of faded, broken elastic, sad-looking undergarments near the curb, no one. )

The next thing I did was order some makeup cloths from Amazon.  YouTube has several20171113_122106-1_resized (1) 20171113_114848-1_resized(thousand) I am sure, quick videos about how to make your own dryer sheets.  Here is what I do:  roll the makeup cloths (so they equally absorb the magic elixir), Add magic elixer….. better known as 1/2 cup white vinegar and 20 drops of essential oils, put cloths in a jar with a lid, make fancy label if you wish.  Done.  Just as you would with the chemical-laden dryer sheets, toss one of these gems into the dryer along with your load of clothing.  (Gentle Note to the reader:  Doesn’t magic elixir sound better than white vinegar and good smelling oils?  Also, when I say to toss one of these “gems” into the dryer…. I am referring to the dryer sheets, not actual gems.  That would be ridiculous. )

Now to the nuts part of this post.

laundry balls 1Again, yes, we all know that laundry detergent has some mighty powerful chemicals (yes, some are carcinogenic, yes, we all know what that means).

No, I do not use detergent.  Sure, I make my own laundry soap, however, 95% of the time I use laundry balls (about 4 years now.)

Enter my ongoing quest to do better. Trying something new to me.

Soap Nuts. 20171114_084640-1_resized

Soap Nuts are a berry shell that naturally contains soap. They grow on the Sapindus Mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas.

When agitated with water they release soap. ( Yes, safe for septic systems, yes, completely nut allergy safe.  Soap Nuts are actually a berry fruit related to the lychee and are not nuts at all.)

You add 3 or 4 soap nuts to the muslin bag and toss into the washer.  No chemicals, and yet somehow (magically) the laundry gets cleaned.  Yes, yes, I know the soap actually does the work, I just like using the word magical.

In this together, friends.

Here’s to our health & wellness, even in the laundry room. (insert happy face here!)

Chat soon.

 

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beauty, gift giving, grandchildren, haPPY, Homemade gift, pure goodness, splurge

mad about hats

 

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I have been sewing, quilting, cross stitching since I was 12 years old.  I also took knitting lessons, twice.  (It was not the teacher, it was most likely the student.  I am not a knitter.)

I started learning to crochet on February 1, 2017.  Technically I am a beginner, however, my daughter in law thinks I can easily call myself an “Advanced Beginner”.

I like that.

Advanced Beginner.  You know that feeling when you have accomplished quite a bit and you are just about to move ahead to the next grade?  Excited, anxious to learn something new, yet feeling all puffed up about yourself with what you have already learned.

I think I will start a new hat today!  20170927_110716-1_resized

Then all of a sudden, some unkind, dreary, non-sparkly person says, “Enough with the hats, I think you got that, time to move on to something else.”

Actually, I like making hats.  OODLES and OODLES of hats!  I like to donate hats.  I like to make them for gifts.  I love to make them for my grands.  Yes, I am well aware that not everyone likes or uses handmade hats.  Secretly, I think everyone would feel special if someone made them a hat.  Just my opinion.

Our grands all live in very warm places.  So the amount of time they actually “need” a warm hat is not very long. I am okay with spending my time, money and effort on a hat for my grandchildren EVEN IF they only wear it one day!  How’s that for a granny who loves them?? They also like to play dress up and pretend that it is winter indoors sometimes.  That’s where having a hand crocheted hat from their granny comes in handy!

Hats work up fairly quickly and with each one or two, I am trying to learn a new stitch or a new method.  While making these, I learned how to make bigger, fluffier, pom poms. 20171022_122030-1_resized

I even had my own tags made.  The tags say, Splurge with my initials underneath.  I like the thought of splurging on fancy yarn to make something special for the grand little people in my life.20171024_201802-1-1_resized

On these hats, I learned the cluster stitch. 20171031_135009-1_resized

These booties were made for a new little girl & the hat for her big brother.  With these, I learned to crochet plaid.20171104_102636-1_resized_1

I like to celebrate with my friends when they tell me they are going to be a grandma.  I like to share in their happiness.  Making something makes me feel connected. Sewing or crocheting something with my hands does my soul good.  20171106_204031-1_resized

These are a gift for twin boys about to be born and a special one for their big brother.

It is a true honor to participate in historic traditions.  Makes even the silliest of hats seem worthy.

Love to hear what you are making with your hands to feed your soul and spirit.

Guess what I am going to start today?  🙂

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

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balance, beauty, fresh, haPPY, healing, health

fill the fridge

One of the things that we believe in & live by is that food can heal.

No, not everyone in our camp is of the same thinking.  I am living proof that food heals.

dine well

However,  today, one of the things we can all be on board with is this:  People are Hungry. Either lacking amount or nutritional value, folks are in need of good food.

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Yes, you read that correctly.  Think about your slightly grumpy co-worker.  Think about that neighbor child who is downright ornery.  Did you snap at your spouse this morning?  Yep, being hungry might be the reason.  Not just amounts of food but goodness and quality of food.

You see everyone proclaims to be “busy”.  Sure, our calendars are full.  You picked up some fast food last night, because, after working a long week,  you were picking up kids from practice and you still had to go home and do a load of laundry and let’s face it, you were tired to the bone.

Then this morning, you were busy helping everyone else get out the door, dressed and on time.  You tried to get the short people in your life to eat something.  You grabbed a coffee on your way to work.   Work/Life got incredibly crazy and you skipped lunch.

Time to give yourself a little grace.  You need a pat on the back.  You are juggling lots of things.  Food should bring you comfort and wellness.

  We and our spouses/families are surely worthy of really good food, any time of the year. 

 Remember holidays when you make a beautiful olive & nut tray for relatives?  Sometimes, before company comes over you put together a vegetable tray with the extra nice crackers?  These platters of food are displayed lovely, sitting covered in our refrigerators….. “Don’t touch that!  It’s for company!”

I am here to tell you, we are worth buying the extra good cheese!

You and your family are WORTH buying the good olives, the beautiful plump mushrooms. Buy THREE bars of the expensive, 70% dark chocolate (break it up, pile it up on a beautiful tray)! You and your family will devour the goodness. dark chocolate

Right this very moment, if you took a peek inside my refrigerator you would spy the tasty treats I have prepared and have ready for the weekend.  No holiday (unless you count the ridiculous turning back of the clock an hour).  A sparkling clean refrigerator filled with great selections, beauty for the eyes as well as the stomach.

The special reason?  You and your family are worth beautiful, lush, flavorful, savory food.  That’s it.  That’s the reason.  20171103_132657-1_resized

Today, I made some beautiful  Rosemary, Garlic Mushrooms.  I made a small veggie plate.  I 20171103_133321-1_resizedcaramelized a couple of onions.  I bought some amazingly wonderful “cheese” made from cashews.  I also roasted some beautiful walnuts.  20171103_132523-1_resized

That smell?  Oh, that is 8 gorgeous potatoes cut and roasting.  I wanted a big bowl piled with roasted potatoes with herbs sprinkled on top.  Ready for whoever might need a bite to eat sometime over the weekend.

Fill your refrigerator!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

What’s in your refrigerator for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

goodness, haPPY, recipe

time to sparkle

Time to clean the chandelier.

Go get your umbrella.  I’ll wait. 

I’m still waiting.  Geesh, this is taking forever.  Already gone through two songs.

Oh hi.  you’re back.  Good.

Let’s get started.

Turn off the light.  The crystals or glass clean so much easier when cold.  20171018_135808_resized

Hang that umbrella on the chandelier.  It will catch dust, cobwebs, more dust that you blow off with a hair dryer or spray with a can of air.  It will also catch any drips of magic elixir that may sprinkle down.   (Seriously, you do not want this to turn into an all day long project and have to wash your bed linens, too?  Well?  Of course not.)

Next, mix up the magic elixir.

2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 Tablespoons of the dishwasher spot remover 

You will need a soft cloth and a ladder/step stool.

Um, I am pretty sure you know what to do.  Stand there for several minutes while the blood drains out of your arms and wash each little beautiful crystal.   Are your arms tingling?  Good.  That’s a sign you are doing it right!

Your goal is to change every single dusty, film covered, sad crystal drop into a beautiful sparkle of a gem.

Put on your sunnies, ’cause you’re going to need ’em! 20171018_141746-1_resized

Wow!  So sparkly.  So pretty.

Put away the ladder, toss the soft cloth into your laundry pile,  and wash the container you put the elixir in.

Take the umbrella outdoors and open and close a few times.  The neighbors will think you are a bit silly.  Wave and give them a jaunty salute!  Howdy Neighbor!!

Now wasn’t that easy peasy?

Just sharing the goodness.

In this together, friend.

chat soon.

P.S.  Be a lamb and share a smarty pants cleaning tip!  Love to hear your secret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

frustration, grace

something we can agree on

heart crossMy heart hurts.

I can’t stop thinking about the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.  I woke up this morning at 3:14 am thinking about them.  Thinking about the mom’s, the wives/husbands and the families.  My mind wouldn’t stop swirling.

I will freely admit, I am tired of just sending my thoughts and prayers to victims of unspeakable violence.

I think we can all agree, the time has come.  We need to do more.

The very reason I started this blog was so I could leave my heart on the page and sleep through the night.

Our church sings a song with the words, “Let peace begin with me“.  I have always loved that song, memorized the words, sang with gusto, the melody sounded so smooth and easy.   La, la, la…. look at me being peaceful.  In my nice dress and high heels, so nice and clean and calm. 

Move over Blue Haired Methodist Ladies!

The new younger, more vocal “Medium Golden Brown” with Cappuccino highlights” lady is ready to speak up.

Never in a thousand years would I have believed that “peace” would begin with me by contacting my congressman/woman.

This morning while listening to a fellow cross stitcher, Bendy Stitchy aka Michelle Garrett (a wonderful stitcher, kind soul, giving, nurturing spirit, open-minded)  in amongst talking and sharing about stitching, she shared a brilliant idea.

I liked her idea.  It’s the first time I have thought of it this way.  It is not huge, it is a teeny, tiny step.  Maybe, fingers crossed, an idea in the right direction?

This is NOT about gun laws, gun sales, taking away hunters rights, questioning the Second Amendment.   This is not to ban fertilizer sales or knife sales, this is not a never-ending circle of red-faced, screaming loud, ranting and raving.

THIS IS ABOUT the people who were injured or killed and their families. 

I repeat.

THIS IS ABOUT the people who were injured or killed and their families. 

This is something we can actually do.  Physically write, email or phone your congressman or the white house.  Yes, we can do this.

Allow me to paraphrase her thoughts:

Back in the early 80’s then-President, Ronald Reagan asked the CDC to study why so many Americans were dying in their cars.  The CDC takes a long time to study things, however, in the end, what they deduced is:   car restraints were needed.

That study resulted in a seat belt law.

Do people still die in car accidents?  Yes, of course, every single day. Did the study reduce the number of deaths due to seatbelts?  Yes.  The study was worth it.

Let’s ask our congressmen/women or President to have the CDC  commence a study of multiple deaths by gun violence or other lethal means (fertilizer, knife, car etc) by one individual.

This could very well be a step toward the “WHY” question we all have.

Just take a look at it.  No political slant.  Just take a look.

It is a beginning…….a place to start…….at the very least a jumping off point to try and figure out the “why”.

As the victims and their families, walk through this horror,  May God cover them with a blanket of Love & Grace.

May we all be bathed in Grace as we AGREE.

YES, we can all agree, WE CAN AND SHOULD ALL DO BETTER.

In this together friends, chat soon.

 

 

beauty, friend, friendship, grace, grateful, haPPY

spinning soul sisters

I hobbled across the street and up a block from my junior high school.  I had a full-length leg cast.  (Back in the olden days’ casts were plaster and boy howdy were they heavy.)  I was back at school after weeks at home.  I missed my friends.  I was more than happy to hand over saved babysitting money (my portion of some salty, greasy fries)  and willing to use those ugly crutches if it would get me where I wanted to be.

The promises of a pile of french fries we all shared and the latest gossip were more than enough of a carrot to get me moving towards the “Herfy’s” fast food joint.  I wanted to hang out and fit in.  Golly, I wanted so badly to be a part of the “gang”.  I wanted to have real grown-up conversations and figure out where we each stood on vital and important topics.

I  remember the noise of all of us talking at once.  I can recall the sound of laughter.  Talking with mouths full, talking over each other, talking…… it was the sound of friendship.  Somehow we all felt a bit important.  We each had something to share.

Yesterday, while having coffee with a friend we noticed a group of 8 junior high school friends.  They each had a coffee drink in front of them.  They all sat at a table 4 facing 4.  Each had either a cell phone, laptop or a tablet they were individually engrossed in.

They were silent.

Each absorbed in their own world of technology.  I wanted to tell them, put down your phones, close your laptops………your friends are right before your very eyes.

I kept my lips sealed, however, my heart cracked a little.

Spinning Elementary school

I was very grateful to be sitting with a friend from Kindergarten.  Neither of us could actually pinpoint when (at least 35 years ago) we actually last saw each other, face to face.   We have reconnected via social media (yes, we are mighty grateful for technology)…. however, we needed to sit and be in the same place.

We both felt an invisible thread tugging at our hearts.   I liked seeing her beautiful hair glimmer in the sunshine.  I needed to touch her bracelet, smell her perfume and hear her story.  My heart raced as I listened to her talk about her husband with respect and love.

We both played the “dance”.

Oh, you know?  The dance where you gently slip in little thoughts to see how the other reacts.  Religion, politics, television, hobbies, food……polite yet very interested and you actually care if it is all well with her soul.  You gingerly talk about the miracle love affair of your life and see where it lands.   When I caught a glimpse of a sparkle in her eye, my heart swelled.  I knew in a flash she had long been with someone who had loved her and held her heart.    During my turn, I could share how Mr. Right is my world and how well I am loved and cared for.  I could tell her and not hold back because she was telling me the same story.  We were speaking the same love language.

You don’t share sweet secrets like that via technology.   You just don’t.

Over the years, of course, we have both been forced to our knees with tragedy.  We shared our lost parents, our concerns, our troubles, our sickness, our fears as well as our glories and triumphs. We discussed new things we were trying on for size.   We asked about mutual friends and each other’s siblings.  Oh yes,  we shared how AMAZING our grands are.

WAIT  

Imagine for a moment, what if, when we were young school chums we didn’t talk about life and who we wanted to marry, our ridiculous siblings, or mean teachers?  What if after school, we didn’t sit and talk about the world, how we stood on issues, what we wanted to be when we grew up?  What if we didn’t say much?  What if we sat and ate french fries (or drank coffee) and did our own private thing on an electronic device and we never actually connected on a personal level? What if we had not shared our souls even before we knew what souls were?

Would any of us now be curious enough or feel the pull of friendship to contact our old school chums?  Would we make an effort and carve out time to reconnect?  Would we just check the box  (yes, I accept you as a “friend”)  or would we thirst for personal time together? Would the ties that bind us, hold our hearts and souls together while we went out into the world and came back again?

friendshipThe thing about childhood friends…. they know you.  They were part of you when you were still trying on who you were.   They are woven into our hearts from a very young age.

We were five or six when we met.  We didn’t know we were being given a gift.  It felt like the luck of the draw.  Our parents happen to live in the same school district, by chance we ended up in the same schools.

It didn’t seem serendipitous or magical.   I just knew her as my schoolmate, tall, pretty, a twin.  It wasn’t until we talked more and grew through the years that I figured out she was also kind & smart.  Part of being young friends is learning & listening & then borrowing the good parts we see and hear in our friends and tying them to our hearts.

I never dreamed she would be part of the thread that made up part of who I became. When you are with a lifelong friend, somehow you feel safe and comfortable.  You feel accepted because we already accepted each other back in 1967.  You open your mouth and spill things you don’t share with others.

Here’s the inside scoop:

She is much prettier than I remembered.  She has a beautiful spirit and soul.  She is kind-hearted, loving and smart.  She turned out to be an amazing wife and mom and mother in law and grandma.

She has always been part of my circle.  My chatty, talkative, opinionated, giggly, serious, thoughtful, tricky, hard, glorious circle.

Without end.

TeresaGentle suggestion?  use technology to find an old friend.  Figure out a way, make an effort to have coffee or french fries with that friend, in person.

You owe it to yourself and to her, turn off your phones and then talk, hold hands, giggle and talk some more.  Talk for 4.5 hours over coffee.  Yes, yes, everyone in your life will worry and fret because you didn’t answer your phone.

Tell them the truth.  “I turned off my phone because I was TALKING with my friend.”

I am here to tell you it is good for your soul.  

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

friendship 2