Monday, December 28, 2009

Fat Witch Running

Hey kids! Just a quick note to let you know I have started a new blog about my quest to go from a Fat Girl to a Runner! Wish me luck, and please stop by Fat Witch Running to check up on me from time to time. I will post updates on my progress on this blog on Fat Witch Fridays starting New Years Day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Welcome to Lazy Sunday!
posting early cause Sunday will not be lazy around my house this week!
Fat Witch Running my new blog about my journey to fitness
Pagan Pride Day thinking about getting involved
Sisterhood of Avalon curious if anyone has info
again, if you would like your site or blog listed on Lazy Sunday please contact me, and feel free to link onto the Mcklinky bloghop below no matter your blog subject!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a Classic!

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Home made liquid laundry soap

Hello all! I have not blogged about Hippie cleaning for a while, so I thought I would walk you through making laundry soap.  I am dangerously low, so today I NEED to make it. Cloth diapers+no laundry soap=FAIL! The recipe is the basic one found all over the internet. I have played with it a little and have a recipe that I think works best with cloth diapers to get them clean and smelling nice, as well as everyday laundry and eliminates the need for fabric softener, which I am allergic to!

1 bar Fels Naptha or Ivory soap (I like the smell of the Fels better!)
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1 vinegar
1 cup measure
1 small pan
wooden spoon
hammer or grater
cookie sheet
5 gallon bucket
laundry soap container

either grate or smash the bar of soap. I like to beat it with the hammer on a cookie sheet, it's more fun! Crumble it up with yous hands. I like to take out a Tablespoon of the soap and mix in a spray bottle of HOT water for a stain spray.

Put the crumbled soap in a pan with 2 cups water on medium heat and stir till melted. You need to babysit it a little, be patient.

While this is melting, fill the 5 gallon bucket half full of HOT water and add 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Super Washing Soda, and 1 cup vinegar and stir to dissolve.

Once soap is melted, pour into bucket and top off with HOT water, stir. Snap lid onto bucket and you have laundry soap concentrate! When ready to use open bucket and stir well, it will gel up a bit, and dilute 1:1 with water in your dispenser. I use a 2 liter bottle with the bottom cut off to pour the concentrate and water into my dispenser.

 Use about 1/4 cup per load, I use a little more for diaper laundry. The vinegar naturally softens the laundry and I use no fabric softener, although I will spray a little vinegar water on it if it is way static-y and tumble it a few more minutes. Once it dries it will not smell like vinegar, I promise.
I never really paid attention to how long this lasts, but I will this time. Between our laundry, diaper laundry, and washing towels for the grooming shop I do a minimum of 3 loads a day. Happy laundry!

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Yule!

Hello all and Happy Yule! The winter has come, and through the long, cold nights and short, snowy days we know that the Sun has been born again in the sky and grows stronger and brighter each day until the spring.  As I have said in other posts, I am very much looking forward to Yule this year. For a lot of reasons it has great meaning to myself and my family this year. My daughter, Jiji, is now 5, and at an age where she wants to participate in more and learn about out festival traditions. This is the first year I feel like she really understands why we bake shortbread cookies with chocolate kisses in them to represent the light overcoming the dark. Or that we decorate our house and tree with lights and burn candles to represent the warmth and light of the Sun returning from the dark. We did most of our Yule traditions yesterday, since H.H. is out in the truck today.  We made the cookies, taking time to talk about the egg being a sign of fertility for the spring, and how the egg hold the dark and light in it's yolk and whites, and about the wheat of the fields in the flour. We also made Peanut Butter and Jillys just for Jillian! I guess we will need to come up with a special cookie for Mojo in the next few years...Some of these cookies get saved back for Santa Claus on Christmas, since we celebrate both. My mother and sisters are Christian, but very awesome and accepting of our faith and we want the kids to grow up with those traditions as well. We also made the first of a new tradition of making a Yule candle lantern with the kids. The old tin can with a nail hole design, that will be on our altar, then get moved to the outdoor altar (in a bowl of water for safety!) at bedtime. So tonight, when the sun goes down for it's longest sleep of the year, we will call H.H., sing songs and light candles, tell stories about the Goddess giving birth to the new God, and pray the darkness gives birth to our dreams as we sleep on Solstice night. My family wishes the same for you.

Brightest Blessings, Hippie Witch, Hippie Hubs,Lala, Jiji, and Mojo,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Good Morning!
Here is your Lazy Sunday list for this week. Happy Yule and Merry Christmas.
Torchaven my family has made a site for our Circle.
WitchVox I'm sure most of you know this one, but if not check it out has a great article about the different and shared beliefs for the Winter Solstice holidays
Please feel free to link up to the blog hop MckLinky below on Sundays, no matter your blog topic. Just a fun and easy way to get some traffic around the blogoshere!
Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, may your god bless you and yours.

Hi all i'm the H.H.

H W  got me into blogging ... she has turned me into the dark side!  lol .  As she has said I've been turned on to the chicken idea  due to the neighbors being on vacation, it reminds me of when I had a duck when I was little. She also is teaching me how to groom dogs, what a trip... at least I have some idea of what I am doing as well as an Awesome teacher can't wait to get rolling on the business.  On a side note,  today we had our most snow so far, about 2 inches. I took  Jiji out sledding for her first time.  She had a blast!  I'll be putting up a short video later . HW has sooooo turned me around  I used to never cook or bake, well today we're gonna make cookies and stuff  and I am excited about it !!! I'll add more as I can , Blessed Be

                                                                                                                                             H H

Friday, December 18, 2009

I did it!!!

Hip, hip hooray!  Lucky Dog Grooming was granted a zoning variance last night and I am officially in business!  So excited! This is something I have wanted for so long, and now I really feel like I am on my way.  This business means so much to me right now, for so many reasons. Most importantly I can earn a living with my kids in the next room or just next door, and hopefully we will be at the place this will be a family business in the next year or so with my husband working with me.  I got this far, now I have to just keep the ball rolling and keep growing my client list. So if you are in the Elwood area, bring your puppy-dog by for a wash and a trim! Thanks to everyone who has given me your love, energy, prayers and support during this process, and keep it coming cause the hard work is just beginning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love it!

carrie prejean
see more Political Pictures

Reiki Thursday

Welcome back to Reiki Thursday!
Here is todays list, please send healing, prayers, and Reiki to this list and to anyone in your life who needs positive energy or healing today.

  • Elizabeth in Indianapolis: 2yr old with heart condition awaiting open heart surgery on Friday
  • Orlando in Singapore
  • Robin in Bowling Green, KY: septic
  • the Reiki-Path healing list
  • the Reiki-Path abundance list
  • Hippie Witch: Zoning hearing for Lucky Dog Grooming tonight!

Please leave any additions to this list in the comments, and link to your blog in the MckLinky below if you want to join in the Reiki Thursday Healing Circle

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza....Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Groomers Aprentice

T-minus 3 days till my zoning hearing...getting excited! We are set up and ready to rock-out some doggies. Part of the plan for Lucky Dog Grooming is to have the Hubs (H.H.) be more and more involved in the business as I get more and more clients being a bather, answering the phone, wrangling the kids,and generally being my shop-boy. Eventually we hope, somewhere down the line, to both be working full time for ourselves grooming dogs. This means something both thrilling and husband will have to learn to groom and I will have to teach him. Gulp! Luckily I have a poodle for him to practice on, but this means I have to give my pampered little prince Bruno over to him for grooming. Double gulp! As I am typing in this blog entry I am observing him cutting down the awesome Chicago Dutch trim I had on Bruno into a simple lamb clip he can maintain and practice on while he learns. Although Bruno is a very handsome boy and looks good in any style of groom (and I have had many on him, I got him specifically to be the groomer version of a doll to dress up) it is hard to hand him over to a grooming n00b and not just jump over and fix it myself. This is why I don't let owners stay and watch the grooming. It is torture, and all Bruno wants to do jump off the table and get to me! At least H.H. was raised by a hairdresser, like myself, so it is not a completely foreign world of clippers and scissors. He really is picking it up pretty easily, and Bru is looking pretty great for a first grooming job. Although I did have to resort to walking off several times, then come back and check his progress, I was pleasantly surprised each time, and only had to 'tweak' things a little bit. All in all I am a proud teacher, a proud dog owner, and a proud wife!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yearning for Yule

Once more, Yule is just around the corner.  I cannot recall a year when I looked so forward to the Yule festival. I am in dire need need of a reminder that things must sometimes be consumed in Darkness before the Light can be renewed.  I am thankful for the gentle reminder that the Mother, who will soon give birth to the light of a new year, gives only gifts to her children. Although I may not like how it was wrapped or delivered it was a gift none the less.  The world shifts, the wheel turns, and if I am not who or what I wish to be, now is the time to make it so.  The birth of the Old God as the Sun reminds me that each day is a gift and a blessing.  Each day is the chance to shuck off the past and create a new today and a new future.  Things in our lives, even beloved and cherished things, must die so that something greater can be reborn.  This year as the Light faded and the nights grew longer I came through my own dark night, and I now know with all my heart that the dawn is coming to light my life as I light the candles on the Yule altar with my family.  We are overwhelmed with blessings, and in their counting they make the dark spots of the past year a tiny price to pay for those blessings. Always remember, dreams are born in the dark.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Happy Sunday, all! I have decided to add a new weekly feature to Hippie Witch. Starting today I will be posting Lazy Sunday, where I will simply post links to blogs or websites that caught my interest over the past week and I would like to share with you all. This way I can take a day off blogging and spread the love around the interwebs a little bit. I will also post a MckLinky so that anyone else wanting to take the easy way out on Sunday can just link in to the blog hop and away we go on a whirlwind trip through the blogosphere! Please contact me if you would like your blog featured on Lazy Sunday! So here is the Lazy Sunday list for this week!
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage We are thinking of building a cob playhouse for the kids this spring
Back Yard Chickens since I finally won!
Heifer International what our family is doing instead of Secret Santa gift exchange this year!
Hope you enjoy, and if you are a blogger feel free to link up to the blog hop on MckLinky below!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicken sitting

This past year or more, mostly when I was trapped on bedrest while pregnant and had nothing but the interwebs to entertain me, I discovered Urban Homesteading. I threw myself into this idea as much as possible. I had mixed results, mostly due to the fact I was still on bedrest and/or had a newborn for the spring and summer. The majority of my work has been cooking and baking, learning to sew and make a few pieces of clothing from our old clothes instead of the massive garden I dreamed of. Regardless of this, I got a lot done on our property, had a little bit of a harvest, and know some things we need to do differently next year. The highlight of my pride was the pumpkin pie I served at Thanksgiving was 100% grown and prepared by our family. It was the most delicious pie I ever tasted!
Anyway, our wonderful neighbors are surprisingly like us as far as homesteading/homeschooling/sustainable/handmade living, the big difference being they are Hippie Christian Republicans (HCR) instead of Hippie Witches. (I find this to be awesome in it's rarity!)They possess on their Urban farm something I have coveted and lobbied for during our transformation from a yard to a homestead...chickens! Oh how I long for chickens, but the Hubs has vetoed it at every turn. When the neighbors got chickens and ducks this spring, I saw it as the chance to show the Hubs how easy and awesome it would be to have chickens of our very own. They were our test run. He agreed to observe closely the whole chicken owning and care process to see if his ideas about it were truth or misconception. All this summer I could see him softening, but tried not to push my chicken agenda too hard. My plan was to let him store all the info, then have a discussion about adding chickens to our homestead next spring. The HCR family is currently in Iowa (out of the fridge and into the freezer, huh!) and we are chicken sitting. I noticed that the Hubs day by day taking over the job or going over to feed the chickens and duck, and this morning when I went over he was advising me that their water trough was frozen so he put a bowl in the coop for water and I should water, feed, then top off the water they drank. Golden! Score! We are so getting chickens! His only stipulation now is that we get a couple duck's too...Bonus! Thanks for going home to visit your family HCR.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Just a quick note to say anyone who has my button on ur blog I changed it a little so please grab the new one when u get a minute. Thanx H.W.

Lucky Dog

Next Thursday I will be going before the zoning board here in town to hopefully be granted a variance to run a dog grooming shop out of my house. I have been grooming dogs for almost 12 years now, but have always worked for someone else. Owning my own business has been a dream of mine for most of that time, and I finally decided to stop wishing and start acting. Lucky Dog Grooming will open it's doors right after Christmas, and is the gift I am giving myself this year. I am so excited about it, since I will be running it out of my home, because it will allow me to provide an income for my family doing what I love while being here at home with my children the majority of the time. Even when they go to 'daycare' they will be across the yard at the neighbors who are so awesome and homeschool so can sit Jiji down next to their kids to do her schoolwork! My dining room had been transformed into a grooming shop, the tub is sitting waiting to be installed, and as of this morning my sign is on the front door. I am excited, scared, but ready to rock. Please send me positive energy and prayers on Thursday the 17th for me to be granted my variance. Lucky Dog is me building my future, and I know if I get the chance I can grow it into something fantastic!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Since I am just getting back in the blogging saddle, no list today. I am sending Reiki out into the Universe to whoever needs it, and ask you to do the same. Say a prayer, light a candle, or just send out positive thoughts. Bless ypu all, and pass the blessing on.

I apologize.

It has been 4 months since I wrote on this blog. My life completely exploded in August, and I have spent that time rebuilding it. I have been recovering from post pardum depression, trying to see if my marriage could or should be saved, and starting my own business, which will open it's doors in 2 weeks, as well as the thousand other things that needed fixed, pitched, or reworked in my life. I will not say I am putting my life back together, because very few of the pieces of my life went back where they came from, but I am trying to use the opportunity to clear out the junk and dead wood and keep what can be a strong foundation to build it back better and keep moving forward I thought several times over this period about blogging, but chose instead to journal. I did not want to give any power to my own negativity, or the negativity running through my life in this difficult time by giving it a voice on my blog. I realize, however, that I was neglecting an extremely rich resource by not coming to my blog followers and the blogs I follow. I regret that profoundly, and apologize. I am back now, however, and feel I have something to say worth putting out there!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Welcome to Reiki Thursday. To be added to the list, please leave a comment with your name and situation. Namaste.
I have a lot of people participating who do not practice Reiki but are awesome at sending good thoughts and prayers to those who need a little boost of love. Reiki is about energy, directing energy to heal, and that is what you are doing when you pray for another, or think or wish good things for another. My deepest thanks to all who take the time to share your gifts through this blog. I have no real list today. I did not blog last week and collected no names for the list. Last week was personally horrible for me and I just now remembered it's Thursday. So, today I want every one of you to just send the love out into the Universe. If there is someone specific you know needs some energy, send it their way, but I would like all of you to just send it out there and let it find someone who needs it. Someone right now who is willing to open their heart to let healing begin. I know my heart is open now, and I invite the Universe to plant the seeds of healing there. Anyone who comments after this post I will add you to the list next week.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prayer to the Morrigan

Blessed Morrigan, whose sacred names are three, I do not pray for strength, for you show me the strength within me. I do not pray for courage, for I follow you willingly into battle. I do not pray for wisdom, for you teach me of the Crone within me. I do not pray for blessings, because I live each day in blessed Magick, following the ways of the wise. I do not pray for prosperity, for I live in gratitude of the abundance which flows through my life. I do not pray for love, for love runs like water to me through my family and friends. I pray to remember these gifts, for in my despair I can lose my way, and lose my awareness that I am a daughter of your ways. I pray to remember that when I look into my image, your face is reflected there, and I can carry any burden because you live within me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

B.A.B almost there!

I took a little time out from the blog last week for personal reasons, but am back on it now and am happy to report I am down another 2 lbs! This brings the total so far to 17 lbs lost! Yay! my goal (modified, I originally posted a goal of 10 lbs when I went back and looked)is only 3 short lbs away...I am home free! Slow and steady if definitely winning this race for me, I have not even been good about exercising and if I want something I have just a little instead of depriving myself completely. I am feeling hopeful these are changes I can stick with and reach the bigger goal of losing 100 lbs or more. Check out Mama Notes to see how the rest of my team is doing! Only one week to go!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reiki Thursday
Lovely music for Reiki or meditation.
To be added to the list, please leave name, location, and need for energy/healing in a comment. Please send healing, energy, and prayers to the list.
S.V. Swamy
Lady Rose
Mama Kelly
Brandi in Indianapolis
Mojo (finally diagnosed w/reflux)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A for effort

I took the girls to the mall in Anderson today after dropping the Hubs off at his truck to go to work. I had to buy a new nose stud because I pulled mine out in the shower washing my face and it went down the drain. So we pulled into the mall, I put Mojo in the sling and we went in for my nose jewelry. After buying the new stud, I noticed that it was time to nurse, so I found a bench off to the side, got Mojo out of the sling because I don't have a lot of luck nurseing her in it (I should practice at home...), whipped on my nurseing cover and settled in. After just a few moments I realized I had chosen the turn around point for the mall-walkers. No problem, I was covered and was not to worried about it. Two older gentlemen, walking at a brisk pace, pointedly avoiding looking in my general direction and a lone, older woman walking considerably slower were making the circut. As the woman made her second pass she caught my eye and stepped closer. I must admit, I thought "Great, here it comes." I have been very lucky that I have had no bad experiences to date with nurseing in public with either baby and figured I was due and I was about to hear I shouldn't be doing "that" here.
"How old is your baby?" she asked.
"9 weeks." I replied, smileing. When in doubt, be likeable.
"I breastfed all my children and it's the best thing you can do." I was so excited! I was all braced for my first "confrontation" and I was getting random act of encouragement.
"Thank you, I think so too." I replied, suddenly overjoyed I had decided to come to the mall this morning.
"You be sure to drink a lot of fluids, it takes it out of ya. Enjoy those girls." She smiled at me, Mojo, and Jiji, who was playing her own version of hopscotch on the pattern of the carpet, and continued walking. Once Mo was fed, burped, and back in the sling, we went to a few more stores then headed home, in a pretty darn good mood! That kind of thing has been typical of my experience. I have never had even a hint of disapproval from anyone about breastfeeding, or gotten comments or evil looks when nurseing in public. I know from stories other mothers have told me I am very lucky in that regard.
A friend of mine commented over the weekend that he was amazed I could enjoy living in a small "narrow-minded" community being the little pagan hippie Mama I am. I replied that my awesomeness can overcome anything, and that's kind of true. I don't expect any trouble...or and pats on the back. I am just living my life the way I want, doing what I feel is right for myself and my family, and just happen to be doing it here because of all the places I have lived this is the place that works for us. I am not throwing my life out there, demanding love what I'm doing or screw you, I do not have a chip on my shoulder, waiting for someone to disagree with me so I can debate why I am right. I just want to make my choices and move along. I want to share my experiences, but only with those who seem interested. I am open, but not shouting from the rooftops. I am approachable, but not preaching why I am right and you should agree. I am, in my opinion, a nice, friendly, helpful person who people like and so when my weirdness comes up, it just tends to be filed away as an eccentricity, rather than a detriment. And so, as I think of that sweet woman who paused her mall-walk to give me an atta-girl about breastfeeding, I will file it away, in gratitude, as one more example that you tend to attract what you put out there, and I try everyday to put out something good. I don't always make it, but I try and based on results I get an A for effort!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lemon All-Shook-Up

I am declareing this week a sucess. I in no way resisted the fair food, don't get me wrong, just check out the last post, but I broke even as far as weight. Need to check out Mama Notes to see if the rest of the Red Team fared better. Given the amount of lemon shake-ups and cheesecake on a stick I consumed, I call it a win that I did not gain 5 pounds! As the picture demonstrates, it was ridiculously close, and I am a weak, weak woman when it comes to fair food. The picture is taken from my back yard over the neighbors fence, all I had to do was cut through their gate and bam, sugary and/or deep-fried awesomeness. Already back on the wagon. Water instead of shake-ups, fruit instead of elephant ears. Moving on!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to reality

This years Elwood Glass Festival is drawing to a close. My 4 yr old is glad to be getting 'her' park back, and I am glad for a few more reasons. I love the festival, don't get me wrong. There has, in fact, been only 1 year of my 34 so far I ever missed it...granted I spent the majority of those years, including this one, living in a house literal steps from it, but that's beside the point. I love sitting in the "Busybo" in our front yard and people watching, then spending time with friends who drop in to sit along with me. I love seeing people I only seem to run into during the festival. I love the parade. I love finding that one booth at the festival that has something new I love. I love the Optimist fruit drink, elephant ears, and my new favorite...chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick. I love that this year there were wood carving and blacksmithing demonstrations, very cool. I love that there are bus tours to take people to some of the great businesses in this town like Spencer's Lapidary, New Day Meadery, Venus Chocolate, The Opera House, and of course the glass factories, St Clair and Prestige. But, as usual, by the last day I am ready for it all to go. I want to not have to put up a barricade so that people will not park in my driveway and block us in. I am tired of people with loud cars/motorcycles pulling out of the elementary school lot across the street late at night and waking up the baby. I am tired of our yard being a trash can, a short-cut, a hang-out for people who were kicked out of the park when they closed down for the night. I am tired of watching the Praise Puppets again and again as they slaughter classic rock into cheesy Christian songs(I Wanna Rock and Roll all Night was fine with the original lyrics k, thanks) and getting the stink-eye from the other parents when they notice my pentacle. I want to be able to sit on the 'Busybo' at night and it be quiet enough to hear the fountain across the yard gurgle. I will miss it when it is gone, and I will start to get excited about it about mid-July next year...but I am ready for my small town peace and quiet again. H.W.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Reiki Thursday is here again. To be added to the healing list, please leave name, location, and need/situation in the comments. You will be added to my Reiki grid and to the list here.

Healing list for this week:
Lady Rose-recovering from surgery
Michelle in Indiana-moving
Brandi in Indianapolis-just needs some love
Baby Cameron and his family-born 15wks early and on ventilator
Danny-recovering from surgery

send Reiki of you are a practitioner, send love or prayers or just good thoughts if you are not. Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Yay yogurt!

I just had a yummy breakfast! What was it...I'm glad you asked. I had a big old bowl of home-made yogurt I made in the slow cooker yesterday! I have wanted to make my own yogurt for years, but am too cheap to buy a yogurt maker and every recipie I found to make it without one seemed so complicated it scared me off. I found a recipie on A Year of Slow Cooking over the weekend and tried it out yesterday. It took all day, but there is very little you actually have to do, it just has to hang out in the crock pot a lot, so it worked out great! I was so excited to taste it this morning, I had some with strawberries and the last of my local honey I bought at New Day Meadery...need to stop in and buy more. The yogurt was good and very mild, If it is left to sit longer before refrigerating, it will be more sour if you like that. I had read that it comes out thin, so I added a packet of gelatin to the mix, and it seemed to be normal yogurt consistancy. I am going to try to strain some with a coffee filter in a colander to make thick, Greek-style yogurt. The recipie in on the slow cooker blog here, I reccomend it if you like yogurt...easy, cheap and yummy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

B.A.B. halfway mark!

I am halfway through my Body After Baby challenge, and I am really doing great. Check Mama Notes to see how the Red Team is doing! This morning I weigh 266, which means I have lost 15lbs of my 20lb goal! I am not quite where I want to be lifestyle change wise but I said I wanted slow and steady. The water and exercise have been hit or miss, but I have been doing good making small changes in my eating habits that add up. I did a lot of research over the weekend on new slow cooker recipies because evening is when Mojo is worst with the colic crying and dinner is a challenge that is too often solved in a drive thru. I found a great site called A Year of Slow Cooking with some great ones, even one for making yogurt which I have been wanting to do and will be trying this week, so check back on that one! I also want to get going on doing my dance workout videos this week, if all else fails I think I could do the bellydance ones with Mojo in the sling if I had funny will that be! Will post a pic if that happens. I am really getting excited because I am doing well and am not killing myself working out or starving myself, which I have done time and again, and then burning out and gaining it all back plus 20. I just keep telling myself this is a lifestyle change, and I can't go the rest of my life with no ice cream, for example, but I can learn to be satisfied with a small dish instead of mindlessly eating half the container, barely tasting it because I am watching T.V. I am finding that if I want something and really concentrate on enjoying it, I can have just a little and be full. I have even noticed that when I eat fast food, if I slow down and taste it I don't finish it all...which is huge for me, I mean throwing away french fries! Amazing! Especially since I have been struggling with post-pardem depression and a colicky baby keeping me up all night...the fact I am not bingeing to comfort myself is really awesome, because I have turned to food as comfort all my life. Oh no! The Elwood Glass Festival is this week and the park behind my house will be full of fair food...elephant ears and polish sausage literally steps from my back door...yikes! Be strong, Tori, be strong!

Yeah, toast!

Just a quick update, toast did not brown well, but got crunchy and toasty and was just lovely with a thin smear of Nutella! Yummy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Speaking of bread...

I used to bake a lot of bread. Not the bread machine kind, although that can be excellent but my only 'bread machine' is the oven, but old fashoned bread. For a good 2 year stretch we did not buy bread because I baked it all. When I first started I was stranglely terrified, as if some baking mishap might go down on my permanent record or something, but I found an easy recipie and eased into it. Suprisingly soon given my unwillingness to actually measure ingredients while cooking (the cause of many a baking failure) I was churning out the bread. I even started getting creative with herbs, cheese, and yummy lemon poppyseed! Then, about 2 1/2 years ago, tragedy struck. My stand mixer went into storage in Nevada and I moved home to Indiana. It would be 18 months before I would see it again, and those months were tragically home-baked-bread free because...I'm lazy and will only bake bread if the stand mixer does the hard work for me. Once we got our stuff out of storage and I was reunited with my beloved stand mixer, the bread baking began again, in an admittedly more sporadic pace. Then...pregnancy bed rest. I could barely go into my kitchen for a while there, let alone bake! Then, just this weekend, my neighbor (hi Sarah!) mentioned baking bread and my mind said yeah, let's do that, we are out of bread anyway. So after I made myself go to the store today (for some reason I am feeling anti shopping lately) I came home and got going. I have a recipie I have been using since I started, I just tweak it here and there with variations. No idea where I got it, it's written in pencil on the back of a flyer and has been stuck to the stove hood with a magnet the last 3 places I lived.

3c flour
1t yeast
1t salt
1/8c sugar
1c warm milk
2T butter
1/2c warm water

put milk, water, and butter(cut into small cubes) in a small pan over very low heat until butter is melted
in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook put all dry ingredients
turn mixer on medium and add wet to dry, scraping the bowl down until combined if neccesary (my mixer does not turn the bowl until it comes together as a dough, so I have to babysit for the 1st few minutes) and let it knead 10 minutes.
put dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm place 90 minutes
turn out, shape into loaf and put in greased loaf pan, let rise 1 hour
bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes and let cool on a rack

I will note, this bread is a little dense for toasting purposes and does not brown in the toaster. I am quite fond of toast so as an experiment today after the first rising I kneaded 10 times and let rise an hour back in the bowl, then put it in the loaf to rise another hour before baking. It seems much lighter and softer, and does not taste to 'yeasty' from the extra rising. I will try toast in the morning and report back. Now that my house is nice and hot from baking, running the dishwasher, and browning chicken for a crock pot meal tomorrow all at the same time on the hottest day of the year so far I am not in a toast mood.

Friday, August 7, 2009

clean house, the H.W. way

This week I really got back on my 'routine' for housecleaning. I have found, through trial and error (mostly error) I need a routine for cleaning or I look up one day and the mess is just closing in on me. The routine I have worked out at this point is to hit a certain area of the house hard each weekday, like Tuesday is the kitchen, for instance, and just spend about 15 minutes of 'maintenance' on the other areas. In general, I try every day to do 1 load of laundry, 1 load dishes, both dried and put away, diaper laundry and a 'zamboni' on the house in general which is what I call a quick surface clean. So my house is looking pretty good right now, not perfect because, lets face it I have an infant and a 4 yr old, but pretty good, and as I was admiring the fact I would not be embarrassed if someone dropped in for a visit I realized I did all my cleaning chemical-free. I have been working toward that for a long time now, and I guess I just realized I am there. Besides dish soap and some old SOS pads for my pans I cleaned the house top to bottom with cleaning products I made, or just plain old vinegar, washing soda, and borax. The laundry soap I made has been fantastic, even doing great on the cloth diapers, and I am just now making a second batch. I cleaned the wood floors yesterday with vinegar and vegetable oil. This I was a little nervous about but decided to give it a try. it worked very well, floors are clean and shiny but not greasy like I feared they would be. Although they were slick for a few hours and the Hubs slid and fell wearing socks on them last night. Bathrooms were scrubbed with washing soda and I dusted with a microfiber cloth. I have even managed to break my long standing Fabreeze addiction because the house smells clean, not chemical, and I use a lot of vinegar which kills odors. If it can keep the diaper pail from stinking you know it works. A win all around, since it is cheap to be natural as far as cleaning goes. Now I just need to get back on the ball outside...the weeds are winning.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Welcome back to Reiki Thursday! Please leave your name, general location, and need in the comments to be added to the healing list.

I am in an especially prayerful mood today, so I invite you all to pray for those on my list at the moment. Remember you get back what you put out, so send out love joyfully and you will get it back in abundance.

Brandi in Indianapolis
Lady Rose
Mojo (getting 1st vax today...poor baby!)
Hippie Witch (who will be holding Mojo during shots, hard on a Mama)

I am using the prayer below, but please pray in your own way, no matter the name you call god, or just think about those listed here and wish good things for them. It does not have to be fancy or long, just intended. Namaste

O Divine
I send energy joyfully and with love out into the universe. May it go where it is needed to heal, to comfort those who wish to receive it. I throw blessings onto the wind like the seeds of a flower and know they will grow where they land. Blessed Be.

Goddess, I pray

O blessed Mother
I see you, radiant in a star-filled sky and know your pale face is looking down upon me. Fill the well within my heart with the gifts you have for me. The wonder of the Maiden, the patience of the Mother, the wisdom of the Crone. Let me always remember you are with me, beside me, and within me, always. She who calls the name of god shall never stand alone, and I feel you beside me now, your hand on my shoulder and your whispered breath in my ear. I call it out now, the names you have had since the beginning of time and names yet to be spoken. I know you, as you have always known me and called out to my soul as a child of your ways, and in that knowledge I am held safe. I am blessed. I am loved. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home School Cool

I saw this article today. It is about how families who had been sending their kids to private school and can no longer afford it are deciding to home school rather than send them to public school. Maybe if the 'upper classes' begin to see and show the value of home education it will dissipate some of the stigma about homeschoolers and their families being weird or having something to hide. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I think a lot of parents never thought of it as an option because of misinformation or lack of information. Unfortunately, trends start at the top and trickle down, and maybe these 'upper class' families embracing home schooling will help to begin mainstreaming it as an educational option.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goddess Hygeia

"Hygeia, most revered of the blessed ones among mortals, may I dwell with you for what is left of my life, and may you graciously keep company with me: for any joy in wealth or in children or in a king’s godlike rule over men or in the desires which we hunt with the hidden nets of Aphrodite, any other delight or respite from toils that has been revealed by the gods to men, with you, blessed Hygeia, it flourishes and shines in the converse of the Kharites; and without you no man is happy."

You know how Catholics seem to have a saint for everything? One of the great things about being Pagan is that there is a Deity for everything. I am big on prayer. Who better to talk to about your life than the Divine, right? I start the day off blessing the gift of another day, and try to take moments here and there to be thankful, ask for strength or patience or whatever the case. At night I pray in gratitude for my blessings, even if I have to look hard to find those blessings. I see the Divine as a giant jewel, and every facet is a name of god, and every name is needed by someone in the world to call out and know they are heard. I found several articles on this goddess today, and I am glad to have her name to call out while I struggle through this bought of depression. I know in my heart she will hear me, because no one who calls out to god goes unheard. Blessed Be.



HYGIEIA (Hugieia), also called Hygea or Hygia, the goddess of health, and a daughter of Asclepius. (Paus. i. 23. § 5, 31. § 5.) In one of the Orphic hymns (66. 7) she is called the wife of Asclepius; and Proclus makes her a daughter of Eros and Peitho. She was usually worshipped in the same temples with her father, as at Argos, where the two divinities had a celebrated sanctuary (Paus. ii. 23. § 4, iii. 22.§ 9), at Athens (i. 23. § 5, 31, § 5), at Corinth (ii. 4. § 6), at Gortys (viii. 28. § 1), at Sicyon (ii. 11. § 6), at Oropus (i. 34. § 2). At Rome there was a statue of her in the temple of Concordia (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 19). In works of art, of which a considerable number has come down to our time, she was represented as a virgin dressed in a long robe, with the expression of mildness and kindness, and either alone or grouped with her father and sisters, and either sitting or standing, and leaning on her father. Her ordinary attribute is a serpent, which she is feeding from a cup. Although she is originally the goddess of physical health, she is sometimes conceived as the giver or protectress of mental health, that is, she appears as mens sana, or huliea phrenôn (Aeschyl. Eum. 522), and was thus identified with Athena, surnamed Hygieia. (Paus. i. 23. § 5; comp. Lucian, pro Laps. 5.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The thing with the ring

So...I just got my wedding ring back this morning. The Hubs found it on the floor just under the edge of the bed. It had been missing for three days because it fell off in my sleep and apparently got tossed under there when I stripped the bed to wash the sheet and quilt again because Mojo peed on them, again. Why is this important, you may be asking? Because it fell off my hand in my sleep, that is how much weight I am losing. I have been wearing that ring for coming up on seven years and it has never come off before of it's own accord. I can take some credit for this phenomenon. I have cut down on the pop and upped the water, (which has also helped the breastfeeding issues I was starting to worry about along w/fenugreek. but that's another post) and have been really good about not having bad for me stuff around the house. If it is not here, I won't eat it because it is too big of a hassle to load up the kids and go get it. If I really have to have it, we walk to the store. I have eaten less at meals, eaten slowly so I know I'm full, and waited 30 minutes before getting seconds so that at that point I really don't want it anymore. I have not been walking, just a little up and down the road through the park when I have taken the girls over there, not like I should be. My neighbor and I have discussed a nightly walk and hopefully that will motivate that area.
Unfortunately, the greatest part of the credit for being down to 7lbs under pre preg weight is the Colic diet. What is the colic diet? Well, you can't eat past 3pm except on weekends when my husband is home to hold the inconsolably crying baby, and the rest of your meals earlier in the day you don't finish because you have to take care of the 4yr old who has to take a back seat to a crying baby all night. I love my daughters, and would not change one thing about either of them, but PPD+Colic+truck driver husband may soon=nut hatch. At least I will look good, because food, which has always been my comfort else I would not be excited about being down to 269lbs, does not really have my interest at the moment. I don't want to shop, I don't want to cook, I don't want fast food, although I still resort to it way too often when Mo is really worked up and Jiji is begging for chicken fries. I know this is a symptom of my depression and not really a good thing...but my ring just FELL RIGHT OFF! I have been fat since I was about 8, that is big news. I am taking steps. I am medicated, I have a network of non-judgemental people to call when I have some crazed thought, and for me, the 2 days a week I am working now are the best medicine because I love grooming and am proud of my talent for it.
I have chosen to see this as a good thing, that in my hours of need I am not falling on bad habits and consoling myself w/a gallon of ice cream. I try in my life to see the positive and look for the good. Good is hard to come by, so I will take it where I can get it. I am trying to establish good habits, and the best one is to be positive, move forward, and be in the moment. This moment, I feel good, am counting my blessings, and just keep spinning my loose wedding band around my finger.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Welcome back to Reiki Thursday! Please leave your name, location, and need in the comments to request Reiki energy and healing. This week I am posting an article I found about Chakras, their names, positions, and aspects. It can be helpful to know at least the color and aspects of each Chakra and meditate briefly on the Chakra which governs your area of issue glowing with energy of the corresponding color. For example, if you are having trouble with communication or need help with public speaking, meditate on the throat Chakra, Vishuddha, glowing with pale blue light to boost your communication skills. Please read on to learn about your seven Chakras. Namaste. H.W.

The Seven Major Chakras

Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra

Sahasrara is generally considered to be the chakra of pure consciousness. Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness. Symbolized by a lotus with one thousand petals, it is located at the crown of the head. Sahasrara is represented by the colour violet and it involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of the body. Sahasrara's inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with "beingnness".[24]

Ajna: The Brow Chakra

Ajna (along with Bindu, is also known as the third eye chakra) is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and waking up. Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colour white, indigo or deep blue. Ajna's key issues involve balancing the higher & lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level.[25]

(Note: some opine that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon's book on kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)

Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra

Vishuddha (also Vishuddhi) may be understood as relating to communication and growth through expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Symbolised by a lotus with sixteen petals. Vishudda is characterized by the color light or pale blue, or turquoise. It governs such issues as self-expression and communication, as discussed above. Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.[26]

Anahata: The Heart Chakra

Anahata, or Anahata-puri, or padma-sundara is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Anahata is symbolised by a lotus flower with twelve petals. (See also heartmind). Anahata is related to the colours green or pink. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.[27]

Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Manipura or manipuraka is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. Manipura is believed to correspond to Islets of Langerhans,[28] which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. it's Hot These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Symbolised by a lotus with ten petals. The colour that corresponds to Manipura is yellow. Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.[29]

Svadhisthana: The Sacral Chakra

Swadhisthana, Svadisthana or adhishthana is located in the sacrum (hence the name) and is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle. Svadisthana is also considered to be related to, more generally, the genitourinary system and the adrenals. The Sacral Chakra is symbolized by a lotus with six petals, and corresponds to crap the colour orange. The key issues involving Svadisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Svadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.[30]

Muladhara: The Base Chakra

Muladhara or root chakra is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. This centre is located in the region between the genitals and the anus. Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat. There is a muscle located in this region that controls ejaculation in the sexual act of the human male. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell and the ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the kundalini. Muladhara is symbolized by a lotus with four petals and the colour red. Key issues involve sexuality, lust and obsession. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.[31]

Woodroffe also describes 7 head chakras (including Ajna and Sahasrara) in his other Indian text sources. Lowest to highest they are: Talu/Talana/Lalana, Ajna, Manas, Soma, Brahmarandra, Sri (inside Sahasrara), Sahasrara.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again...

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