The great thing thing about minds…

Is that you can change them.

So, I’m going to come right out and say it.   You remember this post (the one where I was bitching about Facebook, saying I would neeeeever use it again?)  Well, I’m eating my words since I opened a new Facebook page recently.   I’ll tell you what changed my opinion on the matter:  Information.

The thing I missed the most about Facebook was having ready access to updates from causes and groups I support.   That doesn’t mean I have totally changed my opinion and I think Facebook is great,  far from it.  I still don’t trust Facebook however, at this point I just don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.   Until something better comes along, I’ll just go with it, if y0u happen to know of something better, please let me know!

I think it’s kind of scary how deeply Facebook has embedded itself into our lives and how dependent we are on it.  How many of us use it as our sole means of communicating with friends and family, or networking?

I was talking to someone about using Facebook for business and she used the colorful analogy that deleting your Facebook is like shooting yourself in the face to spite your nose, which must be even worse than cutting of your nose to spite your face…I digress.  I’m in business for myself and I want it to be successful, Facebook is a great way to promote yourself or your business as well.  When I had my tattoo studio, a lot of my business was word-of-mouth, and one of the outlets for that was facebook.

So I’ll begrudgingly admit that facebook has it’s usefulness.

At any rate…i feel kinda dirty,  but a little satisfied at the same time.  I have a steady inflow of great articles coming my way again that brighten my day and give me inspiration and strength and keep me up to date on current events that might not be so easy to find on the joke that is Mainstream Media.

I haven’t added many “friends” on Facebook, at this point I’m using it more to keep up to date on the stuff I mentioned earlier, but I’ve noticed the requests starting to come in again.  Inevitably, I know I’ll be adding people because there’s one thing I think facebook is great for, and that’s spreading awareness, I’ve seen that first hand.

So there you have it.  I’ve eaten my words.   I do that from time to time, at least I admit it. ;)

 

Trip to New York

I recently had the pleasure of visiting up-state New York a few weeks ago with my Great Aunt Susan.  The trip was last minute and a surprise.  I awoke to a phone call a few weeks ago and it was Susan asking me if I could help with her booth at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, the person who was originally going with her backed out.  Since I wasn’t completely coherent,  I told her I would call her back after I had a cup of coffee and a chance to think it over.

After I had some bean juice on board, I decided that I would go with her to New York;  it would be a fun opportunity to visit a place i’d never been before.  We left Monday evening and drove her cargo van and trailer straight there from Wisconsin.

While the van was cramped and the drive was long, the scenery was beautiful with the fall colors out in their full magnificence.  We arrived late Wednesday night in Kingston New York, happy to stretch out and sleep on a bed instead of being cooped up in a van.  The next morning I feasted my eyes on the rich autumn landscapes bordering the Hudson River.

It was an extra special trip for me because I learned from Susan that our ancestors lived in that area before migrating to Wisconsin when it was still a territory.  I felt a strange nostalgia when we arrived there and a shiver down my spine.   I wondered to myself what it might have liked like all those hundreds of years ago, before persistent noise of technology and modern convenience crept in.

I didn’t have much time for wondering and daydreaming after we arrived at the festival grounds.    The day was spent in a whirlwind unloading her stuff and setting up the booth for the weekend rush.

Like many of the other vendors there, Susan owns her own business where she sells materials and goods used for fiber art.  Fiber art includes things like knitting and spinning wool but,  it can include many other things such as felting , weaving and more.   The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination.  Fiber artists are an interesting and eclectic crowd you will see people from all walks of life working on all sorts of projects.  This was made especially clear to me the next day when the show started.

It was a much larger event than I anticipated; at one point the place was so packed with people you could not see the vendors on the other side of the aisle!   I was glued to the register most of the day,  amazed at the long lines of people buying spinning wheels, wool, knitting needles, felting tools, spindles and everything in between.  The last day of the festival was Sunday, it was a little less packed and I had a chance to go check out some of the other vendors.  The Festival had a  a wide variety of vendors including stuff for fiber art,  food vendors selling specialty cheeses, wine, and canned goods.  There were also people selling essential oils, wood-carvings and all kinds of interesting things.  There were also a ton of sheep…and llamas.

Sunday evening finally rolled around and the festival ended, which meant it was time for us to pack up.  We stayed there loading the van and trailer until 11:30 at night when the park managers tools us we had to leave and finish packing in the morning.    While it was a minor setback time-wise,  it was a welcome break,  we had been going since six that morning.  The next day we finished packing up and made our way back to Wisconsin, tired,  but satisfied.  The long drive there and back presented a great opportunity for me to get to know my Aunt Susan better and I discovered that we have a lot in common.

We have similar eating habits, we both shy away from GMO foods, we both tend to take a more holistic approach when it comes to health and well being.  We are both creative, artistically inclined people who are drawn to a wide variety of artistic pursuits.  After getting to know Susan better I found her easy to relate to and I look up to her as a positive role model.  She’s a successful business owner,  driven, open-minded and inspiring; it was nice to have the chance to connect with her and get to know her better.

I’m thankful she invited me along and glad I said yes to the opportunity.

What to do with all those Green Tomatoes.

This year was rough on our tomato crop.  The cold and damp conditions made it difficult for them to ripen completely.  This appeared to be the case for everyone around us too.  When we would go to the farmers market we would hear the same story over and over again, “The tomatoes just weren’t doing so well this year.”

So…what to do now that it’s October and I have a bushel full of unripened green tomatoes?  I don’t want to let them go to waste; luckily, there are other options (and I’m not just talking about frying them.)

I want to share a trick my Grandma taught me that can make yer “mater’s” blush, and quite possibly give you tasty tomatoes up till Christmas…  (It’s super, duper simple.)

You’ll need:

A cool, dry place, like the basement.
A stack of newspapers or brown paper bags.
Green Tomatoes
A large flat surface that will be undisturbed.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes on the right ripe after about 1-2 weeks.

So, all you have to do is lay out a few sheets of newspaper, or flattened paper bags and place the tomatoes on top.  Make sure they aren’t touching, give them a little bit of space.

After you have all of your tomatoes placed, cover them with a few more sheets of paper or brown paper bags and check them every few days.

When you see a tomato starting to form a little bit of a blush, remove it from the group and bring it upstairs to finish ripening.

 

If you want to ripen a bunch of them at once, leave the blushing tomatoes there for a while.  The ripening tomatoes produce a natural plant hormone called ethylene, which will help push along the ripening process for the other ones.  If you want to slow down the process, make sure to remove the tomatoes that show signs of ripening right away.

You’ll want to make sure you keep an eye out for any tomatoes that might form mold and remove them right away if you spot any.  If they go unchecked it could spoil the whole batch.  (You know the saying, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch…or tomato in this case.)

That’s all there is to it!  I’ve been doing this with our tomatoes and it works very well.

In my next post I’ll show you what we’re doing with all our ripe tomatoes.   I’ll share our recipe for home-made roasted marinara sauce (It’s soooo good!!!), and how to preserve it using a canner.

 

Stuff the Psychic said.

It’s been a while since I posted about psychic stuff and I feel like sharing this experience with the hopes that itmight help some other people out there as much as it helped me.

A few weeks ago I was out with my Mom and Brother on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin.  We stopped at this little store just off of State called Mimosa, it’s a metaphysical store that sells precious stones, incense, sage, books, instruments and all kinds of other cool stuff.

Mimosa is one of my favorite places to go when I’m in Madison, the vibe is always wonderful and I feel very peaceful when I’m there.  Along with a wide variety of spiritual and metaphysical goodies, they also offer psychic readings.  That day I felt compelled to get a reading and I met with a psychic by the name of Ronna.

I am already a believer in psychic experiences/phenomenon; that said, seeing Ronna really helped solidify and re-affirm those beliefs during a time when I was feeling a bit disconnected and down.

I sat down for the reading and she introduced herself and we began.  Right from the get-go, she seemed to be picking up some important things going on in my life.  The very first thing she said to me was, “You need to quit smoking!”

(I’m working on it by the way…)

This statement was significant for me because my Aunt Patti had died of lung cancer that same week, so it’s a subject that had been weighing on my mind.  If spirits are real (which I think they are) you can bet Patti was there shouting at me to stop being a dumb-ass and put down the smokes.

In fact, Ronna did say Patti was there and she told some things that really put my mind at ease with regard to my Aunt.   Summed up, I was told that Patti still around in her spirit form, and she’s happy and will always be there for me if I need her, and she loves me.  :)  That really helped me to hear it, especially the next day when I went to Patti’s funeral, it was a rough day.

My reading with Ronna didn’t stop there however, she continued with a bunch of other things that seemed strangely, eerily relevant to my life and spot on with my own personality and my personal findings and insights over the years.

I was told I need to get outside more often, that I need to garden more and have my hands in the dirt.  She said I would find more peace out in nature than inside of a church.  She said nature recharges me and I get moody and irritable if I don’t get my charge time out in the forest.

Ronna was spot on with those insights, this is something I’ve already discovered about myself, but it was good to get the reminder.  Her words affirmed the path I am walking with regard to permaculture, sustainable practices and eco-organic farming and made me realize I’ve been neglecting that part of my life recently and getting stuck in a rut, maybe just what I needed was to be stuck in the mud. :P

On the subject of nature, Ronna also had other interesting things to say, that part of the reason I need to be outside frequently and connected with nature is that I am an elemental.  She said I intuitively pick up on things and can speak to nature spirits and animals and that I need to learn how to accept that part of myself and tune in more to that side of life, in doing so I will find much higher levels of peace.

Her statement that I was an elemental struck a level of interest in me.  I have had many strange experiences in my life that have caused me to seek and search in an attempt to understand my own nature, and answer the question of who/what am I.

(Something I think we all do to some degree.)

Whatever label we want to give ourselves  whether it be human, elf, star-seed, fairy, elemental, dragon, vulcan, etc.  I think it’s true that we are all a part of nature, human or not ;).   We have been separating ourselves from nature and denying that connected aspect of ourselves for far too long.

On the subject of my own nature, she had some other striking things to say.  She told compassionately, yet in a very matter of fact fashion, that I need to just accept that I’m psychic. She said that it can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it, but if you accept it for what it is life gets easier.  She continued that she knows how difficult it is being around people sometimes and feeling overloaded with extra “stuff” and sometimes questioning your own reality and sanity and the things you perceive.

With regard to perceptions and maintaining a good level of peace and clarity, she said I would do myself a great favor by actively cleansing myself and my environment with sage (sage smudging) and that I should try wearing fluorite for it’s protective, healing, and clarifying properties.  She said she understands it can be a lonely and misunderstood road at times, but I don’t have to walk it alone, and there are ways to make the road less rocky.

Ronna also suggested that when I feel alone or down I should try calling upon the divine feminine however I am most comfortable with perceiving her.  (Some see her as Quan-Yin, others as  Mother Mary, etc).  She said calling upon that aspect of the divine will help me to feel loved unconditionally when I’m feeling alone, weary and overburdened.  At that point, she said she was receiving a song meant for me and she sang it.  It was very peaceful and inspiring at the same time and gave me a strong feeling of hope.

With regard to all the challenges that have come up in my life right now I was told that I can ask for these “lessons” to be a little softer and easier to process.  The dark night of the soul shall pass, things will get better.  :) Hearing that was a huge relief.   I’m glad I went to see her on a whim, maybe it was my own guides nudging me in that direction, it was just what I needed at the time.

If you ever find yourself in the Madison area, I highly recommend taking a trip to Mimosa and seeing one of the psychics there, I’ve met a few of them now and I have been pleased with the results every time.  Plus, they carry some really cool stuff for a fair price.  :)

Facebook Withdrawal

It’s been a couple of months since I deleted my Facebook account, while I don’t regret the decision, I have found myself sometimes missing the hours of scrolling endlessly through posts of selfies, cats, food, and dirty laundry.   I kid, I don’t miss that shit a bit (well maybe the cats…).

However, I do miss the updates from useful groups that talk about organic food, or clean energy, or self sufficiency.

There is something nice about seeing those kind of uplifting tid-bits every day, and it serves as a reminder that the world isn’t completely screwed.  Then again, the cynicism will usually start to creep back up after seeing some of the other (usually stupid) posts on facebook (drunk duck faces and the like).

I don’t have any plans to go back to that flawed facade of a social network, but I realize it’s time to get my nose to the grindstone so to speak and start looking around for some more positivity fuel.  Any suggestions?

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