Monday, May 14, 2012

MIA

I have been MIA.  Bad Blogger, no cookie! 

Remember how I talked about FOMO?  My friends are off partying.  I hear all the cool things they are doing.  I tag along to a couple.  Then I hear about what I have missed out on and I am disappointed.  I say I can't attend more than what I already am for fear for getting sick or sore.  So I convince myself I HAVE to go.  Recongize any of these arguments within yourself? 


I am bummed with myself for overcommitting again.  Yet, I cannot do anything about the past.  I can set new limit/parameters for myself and pray I hold true.  My new commitment to myself is one event a week unless it's a special occassion.  This means I will need to be choosy about what it is. 

In other news, our garden is coming together.  Tim has been working like crazy.  The radishes are almost all up.  I have to keep my schematic handy to remember what is where in the garden.  My family gave me fruit trees for Mother's Day and I hope to go pick them up today. 

Today I hope to take it easy and relax a lot.  Allow my body to heal from my lackluster decisions on my activities recently.  I am healthy.  I make healthy choices!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fear Of Missing Out

Leo Baubata recently published an article on the fear of missing out.  I will attach said message at the end of this, no worries, those of you that are afraid of missing out on it ;).  If you do a search for this topic you will find blog after blog writing on this which might lead one to believe this is a recent thing. 

FOMO or fear of missing out was actually coined in 1985 by by Kelley J Watson and Diane E. Meyer nee Wells according to Wikipedia.  This was well before the advent of the iPhone, tweeting, facebook, instagram, and all of the latest craziness. 

Here is Urban Dictionary's top definition:
fomo6186 up, 1739 down
April 14, 2011 Urban Word of the Day
"fear of missing out". The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.
 
Even though he was exhausted, John's fomo got the best of him and he went to the party.
 
I have to admit to an aha moment when I received Baubata's article.  It explains so much about myself.  I am driven by this fear and it often leads to unhealthy decisions on my part.  It also leads to huge time sinks.  How often do I really need to check Facebook?  Need to?

I have taken leadership positions because I was afraid of missing out.  I have held on to leadership positions for longer than what was healthy due to FOMO.  I have had troubles deciding what I want to do with my life because I've wanted to do it all for fear of missing out.  Overcommitting (for what is healthy for me) is how I became so ill.  A tick or a bad back or e coli might have helped, but it was my habits that allowed my health to deteriorate so thoroughly and so rapidly. 

I would guess that FOMO is at the root of many people's problems with time management and responsibilities.  And so many parents are passing this on to their children which cell phones, scheduling them for tons of after school activities, tutors, etc...  When do our children get to be kids?  When do we get to rest?  Or re-create? 

When is enough enough?  For me, first I need to become aware of the issue and I cannot express the relief I felt when I learned of this.  Now I can see where I went wrong and why.  I can see how pervasive this issue is.  And I can see why I continue to question my direction. 

Here is Leo Baubata's article for your consideration: 
The 39th Lesson
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Today (April 30) is my 39th Un-un-birthday, and as usual, the day is a good day to pause and reflect.
Last year I wrote 38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years, and people seemed to find some use in it.
This year, I thought I’d share an additional lesson I’ve learned:
You’re not missing out.
Our lives are often ruled by the Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO. (Never heard of FOMO? You’re missing out.)
Some ways we let the fear of missing out rule us:
  1. We check email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks often, in case we’re missing something important.
  2. We try and do the most exciting things, and are constantly in search of exciting things, because we’re worried we might miss out on the fun that others are having.
  3. We constantly read about what other people are doing, and try to emulate them, because it sounds like they’re doing something great that we’re not.
  4. We often want to travel the world, because it seems that other people are living amazing lives by traveling all the time.
  5. We miss what we don’t have, miss places and people who we aren’t with.
  6. We work constantly, because we think if we don’t, we might miss out on opportunities other people will get.
  7. We feel like our own lives are poor in comparison with the great lives others are leading, and so feel bad about ourselves.
I could go on and on, but I have a birthday breakfast to eat (Eva and the kids are baking something delicious), so I’ll stop there.
We fear missing out, but why?
The truth is, we could run around trying to do everything exciting, and travel around the world, and always stay in touch with our iPhones and Crackberries, and work and party all day long without sleep … but we could never do it all. We will always be missing something.
And so, if we cannot help missing out, what is a saner alternative than letting this fear drive us? Let go of it, and realize you have everything right now.
The best in life isn’t somewhere else. It’s right where you are, at this moment. There is nothing better than exactly that.
Pause for just 10 seconds, and notice where you are, what you’re doing, who you are, at this very moment. Notice that you are breathing, and how lovely that is. Notice that you can smile, and feel the joy in that. Notice the good things around you. Give thanks for the people you’ve seen today. Celebrate the perhaps not altogether insignificant fact that you are alive.
This moment, and who you are, is absolutely perfect.
You are missing nothing, because there is nothing better.
You can breathe, and let go of all that fear of missing out, and be happy with what you have. Be grateful, and each moment think not about what you’re missing, but what you’ve been given.
This past year has been my best ever, because each day I have celebrated my Un-birthday with a smile and warmth in my heart. Today, I celebrate my non-un-birthday, and it is perfect. This moment I have spent talking to you is a gift. Thank you, my friends.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Urban Homesteading

Remember how I said my ADD is fritzing?  Yeah well, the recent thing to hyperfocus on is small space/urban/backyard homesteading.  As I continue to learn more or brush up on my various skills (I've got chicken rearing skills, bow skills, nunchuck skills...)  I am amazed by how many people are also interested in this subject.  For many reasons as well. 

Fresh Food From Small Spaces added another reason for me to homestead.  Most people know that gasoline is subsidized.  Do you know why?  Gasoline costs around $10 a gallon without those subsidies.  It is believed that within our lifetimes there will be a food crisis.  When shipping costs will rise to the point of making things like bananas too expensive to import.  Think about that!  I realized how important it is to teach my children how to provide for themselves. 

I have always loved the older art forms from grinding my own wheat to make bread (real bread with healthy ingredients, even the healthy stuff on shelves don't compare to fresh ground baked breads) to preparing my own fiber, dyeing, spinning, and weaving it into something wonderful.  I am so thrilled to try out some new things and only finances are keeping me from trying it out all at once.  I didn't know I could take my fresh, raw nut milks and turn them into yogurts.  I knew I could make cheese from them. 

I love the idea of making my own foods.  First, the pride in having done it myself.  Second, I KNOW every single ingredient. 

So... anywho... I have been reading like mad crazy.  Here are a couple of books I've finished that I wanted to make small comments on and not a large review:

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: I don't know why its called a backyard homestead other than the first book (The Backyard Homestead) actually covers a backyard.  I read the chicken section, skimmed the rabbit, goat, and bees section.  This book does not apply to the average backyard. 

Chickens are the only livestock animal that I am allowed to raise where I live, except rabbits but I don't really consider them livestock.  Most cities do not allow much else.  Let alone the average urban household does not have enough acreage to support a goat let alone a cow. 

Having said that, I found this book to have a pretty decent overview of information on each animal.  If it ever does come to the point of food being a real hardship for the average American and if my family continues to eat meat I would seriously consider raising rabbits for meat.  I would also consider fencing my front yard and raising goats for milk and meat.  I guess we would learn to butcher or my family would choose to become vegetarians if they couldn't handle that. 

The average urban family would gain more from single purpose books.  Check out books on chicken rearing, apiculture, or rabbit raising if that interests you.

Cubed Foot Gardening is a decent book on intensive gardening.  This is along the lines of Square Foot Gardening without quite as many "rules."  I actually recommend reading this book and All New Square Foot Gardening.  I am combining the information.

I liked Bird's bed design and soil infomation more so than Bartholomew's.  Bird uses 12" beds with double digging for plants with deep root systems.  Bartholomew uses 6" beds except for root bed when he recommends 12".  Also Bartholomew is a bit gimmicky in his bed designs, grids, and soil mix. 

Maybe Bartholomew's soil is all that and a cupcake, but I feel like he's selling something (which he isn't other than his book). 

Anyways, read both of these books and decided for yourself.  I won't purchase Cubed Foot Gardening.  I am 2/3rd through All New Square Foot Gardening and I'm considering picking up this book.  Bartholomew's book is a bit more dumbed down (woot for simplicity!) and I appreciate saving brain capacity for other things.  :)

Here are a few more resources:

An inexpensive greenhouse that I am considering building later on, it will work perfectly for my new raised beds and would allow for winter gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it-yourself/raised-garden-bed-zm0z12fmzhun.aspx

Mother Earth News has an email newsletter for free as well as a magazine.  I haven't tried out their magazine, but I enjoy their newsletter: http://www.motherearthnews.com/

Backyard Farming blog: http://backyardfarming.blogspot.com/

A Garden for the House blog: http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/

If you've found something you love, let me know.  I have about 30 books I am reading/skimming from the library and will let you know what I think of them as I go through them.  I am almost finished with Bartholomew's book and then I will be reading The Backyard Homestead

Have a blessed Beltane!  If you are local, we will be celebrating at 6 p.m. with a traditional maypole dance and some fertility magick.  Blessed be!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fresh Food From Small Spaces: A Review

I found Fresh Food From Small Spaces by R.J. Ruppenthal an inspiring overview of small space homesteading topics.  Container gardening, vertical gardening, chickens, bees, sprouts, fermenting foods, mushrooms, and more can be found within these pages.  I found myself considering topics I hadn't considered before. 

Ruppenthal discusses in simple terms the above subjects with either enough information to draw an interest to a basic understanding in technique.  This book applies more to those in apartments or very tiny lots.  I live on a 1/4 acre and found encouragement to learn more about quite a few of the subjects. 

Here are some of the things I took from this book: different fertilizers for different crops and containers, test soil ph, add in whole cornmeal to soil to enrich it, types of crops to consider for crop rotation/containers/hanging, compact orcharding, sprouting a larger portion of my families foods, making a raw vegan yogurt from nut milks, kefir, sauerkraut/kimchee, worm bins, etc...  I actually took a page and half of notes which is uncommon for me.  And it is the first paper book I've read in a long while (hardcore Kindle user here, though this book is available on Kindle :) ). 

I checked this book out from the library.  While I gained a lot of information and inspiration from this book, I don't feel the need to purchase it.  I found that it is an excellent spring board with books recommended for learning more about individual topics.  Check it out from the library yourself to see if you can be equally inspired or pick it up for yourself.  Unless you are a learned homesteader, I am sure it will introduce you to a new topic.  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Am So Bad!

Spank me!  I'm a naughty blogger!  It has been a weird time at our house and that's all I can say in my defense for not blogging.  So let me catch you up:

Today I get to eat real food again.  I need to go slow... TMI Warning: skip to the end of this section if you want to avoid the discussion on defecation.  :)  Let's talk poop for a minute.  It was really interesting watching the consistancy change while I was on the cleanse.  And disturbing.  Why are there any solids in my poop after 10 days of not eating?  And some say that carrying excess waste in our system is a wives tale! 

Ok, so continuing in the poop talk while I have ya here: I am not a regular person.  I am lucky if I go once a week and twice a week is a celebration.  (My girls even got me a large pin that says "I pooped today" lol!)  I read somewhere that if you set a time and make sure to sit on the toilet at that time every day it can encourage your bowels to become regular.  If you can elevate your legs a bit, it will help.  It works!  Between that and the kombucha I am now having daily bowel movements for the FIRST time ever!!!

Back to cleansing and defecation: when returning to regular foods it is common to become very constipated as your digestive system takes a bit to kick back in.  I need to pick up some more smooth move tea to help it along for a bit.  And that's the end of the TMI section.  Our regular talks can resume :)

Looking back I am very thankful for having done the cleanse and very thankful for the progress I have made in my health to be able to have done it.  I seriously doubted that I could pull it off, but remained optimistic. 

My ADD has been on the fritz lately.  I am supposed to be writing a new 8 week curriculum, but NoooOOOoooo, I have to read everything else from diet to chicken rearing to gardening to....  I don't know if I should break from the curriculum writing for a couple weeks and ride the homesteading efforts or to push through.  There is a time and a place for everything.  And I've been bashing my head against the yoga wall when I really want to get out and garden which would get me exercise and assist with loosening up my muscles.  (Gotta say it like mussCulls.)

Condundrum.  Chicken News: we decided to return to chicken rearing.  I am not sure where I sit on animal products.  Because of that and because my husband and children still consume them (although in much smaller amounts, yay!) we decided to raise layers again.  We got 3 golden sexlinks (cross between Rhode Island Reds and Whites), 2 black sexlinks (cross between Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks), and a buff orpington.  We named the last one Buffy and of course the kids like her best as she can be easily picked out from the rest. 

Money is tight.  Duh!  But I've earned some money lately in my business and since my business owes us so much I am using that money towards the homesteading/gardening/moon garden efforts.  No, it isn't enough to cover everything I want to do so I need to be selective.  I also am going to ask/check around to see what I can pick up for free. 

Moon Garden: here's what I need/want: build the stick fence I just need time.  I believe we have all the supplies we need.  Ground work: weed and level out the ground.  Then I need a ton of sand.  I want the large particle sand/small particle rock for the ground.  I also want a pedestal for the Moon Goddess to sit on.  I want a levelish 2-3' stone for an altar.  And a bunch of small quartz to scatter in the sand.  Not too much there. 

For the compact orchard: 3-4 varieties and season apple trees and 3-4 varieties and season cherry trees.  I would love to put them in raised beds, but Tim doesn't.

For the garden: 3 raised beds so that I don't need to lean over too far.  They will be approximately 4' by 6' but I haven't measured yet.  1 of them will be a potato bed and the other 2 will be for a variety veggies.  I would like to put a walkway to the temple and some sort of arches that can function as trellises for the 2 garden beds as well. 

Along the west side of our house I want to put in a strawberry bed and maybe some blueberry bushes if they can be in the same bed. 

I will write up a review of Fresh Food From Small Spaces later, but it really has inspired me to try out some new things!!!   

And I'm spent.  See ya'll tomorrow when we return to the mad mutterings of a crazy mama!  :p

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Amidst a Cleanse

I have been a slacker.  I left my phone in Seattle on Saturday by accident and since it was on vacation I guess I took a slight one as well.  Not fully true as I have been active, just not as much as lately. 
 
Today is Day Six of my cleanse.  I am doing The Master Cleanse.  I decided on it as 1) it's a common one for raw foodists 2) readily available materials and 3) the information on the cleanse is simple and again readily available. 

Here is my favorite site for information on it: http://themastercleanserecipe.org/ .  There are several books on this cleanse as well.  I read the samples of two of them on Kindle and decided that I had enough information at this point to move forward without reading the books and more important books to read at that time. 

I have not been as active as I should and I don't know how to feel about that.  I haven't detoxed as much as I thought and I think its because of the reduced activity.  Maybe that's a good thing and maybe I'm not getting the most benefit from the cleanse as I could. 

Today isn't the best day for me.  Fatigue and a sense of disconnect is prevalent today.  It's been the only day so far that I have felt like this.  Writing this and focusing on this is difficult.  I might try a walk after I'm done to see if it helps.  I tried my light therapy for an extended period of time and it didn't help (unusual!).  There are a number of signs of detoxing and fatigue is one of them.  So that's good.

Here are some things I've noticed so far that are side notes of this cleanse:

(hold on, I forgot....)  Oh yeah, I have a big sweet tooth and probably a raging candida problem, but I haven't craved sweets at all.  Doritos, fritos, shredded beef, sour cream, etc...  I am quite surprised.  I might buy myself a bag of doritos once or twice a year.  And fantom taste is sooo real.  I've heard of it, but until Day Four when I was sitting in the tub and I could taste a frito clearly.  I haven't had one in probably a year. 

Freedom and pride.  I feel lighter in my body and I don't mean weight loss.  I don't feel as clogged, I feel like the energy is flowing better through my meridians.  And pride, not everyone can have the discipline to follow through and I definitely haven't most of the time, but I am developing that within myself and I'm doing it NOW, not someday! 

Emotions and negative patterns: I have read and heard several people say recently that they are in a healthy place where they don't have to take shit from other people, that they have the power to stand up for themselves.  Stay with me here as I'm going to get to my point in a round about way...

In studying the Havamal (from the Elder Edda) we learn that Odin teaches that a man's true character comes out with drink.  So true.  Well, I have had a thought running through my head that takes it a step further: that a man's true character comes out in times of conflict. 

When a cashier is being snotty why does that require an equal response on my part?  Why is that standing up for myself?  I don't need to take on or spread that snottiness like its a virus.  I can be confident in myself (who I am at the center of my being) and at peace with myself and be removed from the situation.  I do not need to become attached to the actions of others. 

There has been a lot going on in my life recently and some of my true character is coming out and some of it I don't like.  It's amazing the excuses that we make: that person was an ass so therefore I had to...  You know what I mean? 

I am very blessed to be around so many people that are willing to draw out my true character so that I can refine who I am.  What a beautiful thought, eh?