Saturday, May 24, 2008

Smooth Heels

There are few things as pleasing as producing something that is useful, good for you, and environmentally friendly.

Some of the best home-made cosmetics recipes come from Rosemary Gladstar and Jeanne Rose. Both women are long standing matriarchs of the herbal movement. Both women share their wisdom with the next generations of herbalist.

Although I can’t recall exactly where I got this recipe, it has proven useful, good for me and environmentally friendly. So I decided to share it.

With summer comes sandals and with sandals comes dry heels.

Heel Softener
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
1 tablespoon marshmallow root powder
1 teaspoon beeswax
1 teaspoon avocado oil

Place all ingredients in a glass or ceramic pot. Warm until all ingredients are melted together. Stir. Remove from heat. Pour into a jar. Cool.

Use with a pumice stone for best results.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Morning Blue Jays

This sporty fellow in the blue suit stops by the bird feeder each morning. A voracious appetite sends him on his morning rounds through the neighborhood cafeteria, Cyanocitta cristata better known as Blue Jays are omnivorous.

A most aggressive bird, the Blue Jay drops and swoops onto the ground chasing a Titmouse of her low hanging perch in the process munching a beetle bug, then bounds back up to the seed feeder for a taste, then one hop to the peanut butter grain mix and off over the fence into the wild of the Commons Hollow Property. These birds range across most of the United States and are unique in their coloring and behavior.

Larger than most back yard birds, Blue Jays average 9 -12 inches high with a 13- 17 inch wing span. They are easily identified by their blue and white feathers with black about the neck and a stripe at the eye. Males and females are virtually identical.

Blue Jay families are highly vocal, calling to each other relaying locations of delicious snacks, water and each other. They also warn when hawks or other predators come within range.

Bird Watching books and magazines encourage responsible environmental stewardship, as well as just having a great time with friends and family learning about the place we live.

For more information about Blue Jays, visit these and other web sites:

Truly a delightful time, watching Blue Jays will captivate the attention of young and old alike.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

For Mother’s Day 2008 to meet expectations it must reach an estimated spending spree of $3.8 billion. This breaks down, according to IBIS World, in the following way: $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts, and $68 million on greeting cards. Notably, 7.8% of jewelry sales are attributed to Mother’s Day gifts.

Greeting card holidays always seemed, well, commercial. Instead, it seems that a tribute paid to honorable people, or ideals might be better served in thoughtful deed at a more logical or appropriate time.

The purpose of the acknowledged origins of Mother’s Day are many. Several cultures site the observance of Goddess manifestation in Mother Goddess or Earth Goddess.

Clearly, the moment of birth or beginning gave the ancient ones pause. The act of becoming Mother in ancient times, as today is an journey of transfiguration for the woman into Mother and the Child into existence. While an occurrence happening everyday, each event is one that should be observed with awe and wonder.

Later, as in the American tradition, the women who sought to call a particular day, Mother’s Day had another agenda, most notably, anti-war or pro-sanitation stances for the American population. These women hoped to find within other women the force of will to make our society less violent and more caring, as a Mother might seek these conditions for her children, so should society seek to make better the conditions of each citizen.

It seems logical that most Mothers would be for Peace, yet, War Continues around the world. It seems that the world would have made headway in some way with “Mothers Against” name your type of pain & suffering, as it shows itself in Lack of Care, Lack of Funding, Lack of Love, yet we find reports of suffering in the daily paper as well as down the street, perhaps, next door.

It was my desire that my children not observe these quirky cultural days in relation to me. Should they desire to do so otherwise with their offspring, that is a choice they will make.

The experiment seems to be successful as we went about our business in much the same way as we do everyday. In much contrast to the day becoming hectic with additional obligations of a “nice dinner out”, our regular simple faire is quite acceptable.

Time is the gift I received with a bit more sleep in the morning, calm throughout the day, a chance to regroup before another busy week and meditation in the sun on this lovely Mother’s Day.