June 30, 2011

Sterling's Arthritis Public Service announcement

Sterling told me yesterday that she wanted to write a blog post about her arthritis.  I shrugged and said OK.  Today I went to find her to ask her what she wants written.  She wasn't pleased to be woken up from her nap.

She said

and since she's occasionally entitled to be bossy because she's old, I obliged.  Trot wasn't much more coherent (it was a hot day)

and so I went back to Sterling and told her if she wanted to blog, the time was now.  I caught her rolling her eyes at me

 and then she said to tell my readership about her new favorite cure all, Zeel.  

I stumbled upon Zeel tablets about 2 months ago when reading up on homeopathic remedies for arthritis.   I had already been giving Sterling versions of this remedy in the form of homeopathic Arnica and Rhus tox and I was looking for something a little more condensed and with a little more UMPH.  We had also tried the more conventional vet recommended route too, but she had bad reactions or no reactions at all to the medications we tried.

Zeel was different.  It worked, it was reasonably priced AND it was highly regarded by people struggling with arthritis symptoms, too.

I noticed small results after 2 days, but now that she's on a regular cycle with Zeel, there is a marked difference.  Sterling and I seriously can't recommend this stuff enough to any LIVING CREATURE dealing with arthritis.  She has gone from struggling to get up in the morning and limping along on walks 

to the bright eyed, active (well, 15 year old active) dog that I knew was hiding in that body somewhere!

June 28, 2011

Would you like a side of mud with that?

My son is no stranger to the kitchen.  No foodie lovin' Mama like me is going to let her boy grow up not knowing how to fry some eggs or better still, turn those eggs into an impressive souffle.

I recently discovered yet another way to keep Bear comfortable among pots and pans-

in an outdoor mudpie kitchen!!  Once I stumbled upon the idea here, I knew we had to try it.  Don't you just love the concept?

Now I've been paring down and desperately simplifying even since Spring, so I knew I wasn't going to buy anything new for this kitchen: not even at a thrift shop (Ooooh, the threat!  I sound so severe!),  so I gathered up what we already had in the house or in the yard.  I thinned out his indoor kitchen a bit (which is admittedly hodge podge to begin with) and soon enough, I had plenty of fodder for my kitchen vision.

Bear quickly figured out where to source his water from and before long, the air was filled with the smell of mud soup and dirt muffins.

Funny, there were no mudpies to be found.  Still, even if he never cooks up an official mud pie in his kitchen under the pines, his imagination will not suffer; what with all the muddy mashed potatoes he plans on making and all.

Inspiration found in Nature and a even deeper love for this boy most certainly after his Mama's food loving heart.

PS: I'll have you know, I finally decided to do a little editing using Photoshop 7.  I have no idea what I did, or how I did it, but these photos were mainly touched up with Photoshop and a few nips and tucks in Picnik.  Look at me Dad- actually using the new program on my computer!  Thanks :)

June 23, 2011

Shikaki say whati?

Hair.  It's a touchy subject for some, no?  Some people want curly hair instead of straight, some want long hair, some want short.  Some hate their hair and some would give anything to have locks again.

Touchy.  Very touchy.

I've always been a bit of a chameleon with my hair.  Changing it's length, color and style at whim.  Currently it's in the growing out phase again, so I'm wearing lots of head scarfs- yet another look for me.  It's not this length anymore... 

Don't bother checking my sidebar either; my hair also doesn't look like that anymore.  I seriously have to get an updated picture over there.  What you can see in the picture though, is the color of my hair SOOC.  I love it and I get it that way by using henna to dye my hair.

Anyway, all this hair talk leads me to my hair routine.  We all have those too and boy can they vary! 

 Are you ready to see my bathroom cabinet?

What on Earth??!!  I know, I know, let me explain.  I have curly hair, so once I realized shampoo stripped me of those curls, I kicked that bottle out.  I tried just conditioner for a while which worked until my hair was cut short and then it just kind of weighed it down.  Then, I hopped on the baking soda/apple cider vinegar bandwagon for quite a bit.  It was ok and super cost effective, but I knew I wouldn't want to do it forever.

It was time to think out of the bottle.

I thought about how much I adore my henna and how healthy and cheap it is.  I knew henna wasn't the only plant with a hair care history, so I started to investigate.

I discovered Shikakai and Amla powders and lots of other cool, NATURAL hair care supplies well loved by women, especially in India.  Besides being ingredients in my henna mix, these powders have far greater uses.  They stand on their own as powerful, yet gentle cleansing and conditioning agents that leave my hair shiny and healthy.


This is a shampoo bar that I use about once a week and I love everything about it but it's name.  It's so not shampoo.  As for those jars of powders, I have a smaller jar mixed up with shikaki and amla.  Every other day, I massage about a tablespoon into my wet hair while in the shower, let it sit while I do all my other shower stuff and then rinse it out.  The results are fabulous.

So what am I trying to say?
 If you love your hair routine, stick to it and simply get a good laugh out of this post (because I must sound ridiculous to you!).  BUT if you're looking for something different that's natural and saves a pretty penny, look in to these Indian powders. 

We still have a bottle of shampoo in the shower for Champ and conditioner for when I need to rinse my henna out.  I'm experimenting with homemade conditioner and oil treatments since I want to add them to my routine, but overall I'm tickled pink with my latest hair care discoveries.  

Once I have my routine down pat, I'll post again to share for those of you curious, or hysterically entertained by my antics.  ;)

June 21, 2011

What is it?

I tell ya, I am impressed by those of you who can announce a big life event on your blog only moments after it's actually happened!  I should get tips from you because it's taken us right up until now to tell all our other worldy (aka non bloggy) friends and family that I am pregnant, much less what the poor thing is.

Today, practically 6 months into my pregnancy, the wait is over.

We've had our ultra sound and I did my standard drink some caffeine before the appointment.  I like to think it ensures we'll see our small babe jumping all over the place with no need to come back in to confirm anything.  Anything like certain "organs", for example.

World, let me introduce you...


It's a boy!!  Meet our in utero SON whom we affectionately refer to as "Jerry' for the time being.

We are over the moon about it all.

June 16, 2011

Tortillas for Me-Ahhh (but I'd share with the Bruins)

Today I'm tired and happy.  Tired because Champ and I took advantage of our alone time (oh Bear, we still do miss you so) and went out on a date last night.  Here's a hint...

We spent the evening cheering hard for the Boston Bruins AND IT WORKED!  

Yay for the 2011 NHL STANLEY CUP CHAMPS!!!!  So you see, tired AND HAPPY.  Now, on to tortillas...
There's just something about store bought tortillas that I don't like.  They leave this strange kind of aftertaste in my mouth, so I figured it was high time to try out the homemade kind.

                  I don't think I'm going back to store bought EVAH again.

Homemade tortillas (recipe by Kristen Van Dyken/Taste of Home)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-12 times, adding a little flour or water if needed to achieve a smooth dough. Divide dough into eight portions and roll out. 

Heat up a frying pan, (or as in my case, a cast iron flat pan) and cook tortillas on either side until a bit brown and bubbly.  The first tortilla will seem to take 10 minutes, the rest will take about a millisecond each.

Make enough for your meal, or make more and freeze them.

-Bruins pictures from here and here.

June 14, 2011

Feeling Attractive

I only have one child with me this week and that baby is still in utero.  Bear is currently vacationing in Pennsylvania; visiting with all our family and friends just as he has done once before. 

I have spent my time thus far planning out what to do and then wasting those moments in a panic, fearing I have lost my child.  I am hoping that by tomorrow my subconscious will remember that Bear is out of state and my conscious mind will finally get going on all the activities I want to accomplish!!

It's not like I didn't do anything productive since he left on Sunday though- oh no, both frames of my mind wouldn't allow for that!!

On Saturday, the "Girls on The Run" and "Girls on Track" teams that I coach had their big 5k race and on Monday we threw a bit of a banquet to celebrate the season (by then we had dried out from all the rain).

I also have done a bit of shopping.  My kind of shopping- revolving around farmer's markets, thrift shops and consignment stores.  Love them.     
 It is fun when I find goodies at my favorite places, but I adore even more when I find things that have been on my mental list; you know, the running list of things you want to find in a store, or wish would go on sale? 

I scored BIG this time around; finding Mini Boden clothes, a perfect golf set for Bear's birthday 

And even some dress ups for playing "Little House on the Prarie".  All these things have been on my list for a while and all these things have suddenly come in to my possession.  Pretty Cool, eh?

I've told you this before , but let me reiterate just how amazed I am by the law of attraction in our world.  Next up I'm going to focus my thoughts on having a goat wander into our yard.  How could Champ say no then?

June 10, 2011

Purple box, purple box what are you?

In my town, we really don't have an official "neighborhood watch".  There's no need to when we all know who is who and can pass along exciting news or suspicious activity through chance meetings at the post office or grocery store.  Believe me, we are the kind of town where little goes unnoticed...

which is why, when these started popping up

I because very curious (along with everyone else in town).  Rapidly, they were everywhere!  Here

and here

So what were these spooky, purple boxes that stood out like graffiti among all our lush green mountains?  Why did they seem to follow me everywhere?  Trips to the dentist or babysitter, an hour long jaunt to Bennington, even an out of state visit to Utica, New York could not deter them from sending indigo signals to me from the tree tops.  Ahhhhhh!

My fellow townies had their theories: bat boxes, wind chimes, surveillance cameras, fairy houses and traffic surveyors to name a few.  I personally hoped they were speakers for an amazing concert that Vermont was going to treat us to over the summer.

 In the end (as some of you with the same strange ornaments may know) it turned out to be beetle boxes.  More specifically, traps for these critters-

the Emerald Ash Borer.  They love love love Ash trees and the youngsters especially can, and have, caused massive destruction to forests across many states.  The boxes are a preventative measure to keep these bugs out of our trees and forests.  And the purple color?    Why, It's their favorite.  

That's all well and good, but I kind of wish scientists had instead discovered that state wide, free and fantastic concerts could really draw the Emerald Ash Borer crowd.

- photo of Emerald Ash Borer taken from here.

June 08, 2011

My Innisfree

Lately, as I've been charging off to Girls on the Run practice, flitting around the yard getting it prepped for the growing season ahead and taking a moment to help a customer determine the sex of his newborn pup, I've been thinking about one of my favorite poems, "Innisfree" by W.B. Yeats.

Do you think about poems when you are super busy?  Well, anyway, I do.

It might have something to do with the fact that in my free time snippets of seconds, I'm reading some Henry David Thoreau and Yeats was a big fan of his, but I think it actually has lots more to do with the poem itself as this is the time of year I try to create my own Innisfree around these parts.  You see, "Innisfree" is all about one's own private utopia, and if gardening doesn't help you achieve that, well then, I don't know what does!!!

So, do come dream with me...

 Onions, both red and white.

A well stocked herb garden at my fingertips.

With peas growing up to the Heavens and beets straddling the rich, damp soil.

And, new this year to my Innisfree, there are perfectly placed straw bales that will happily house my tomatoes and peppers.

Do I think it's all gonna grow?  Well, I am a believer, and on top of that, one can always hope.

What does your Innisfree look like?

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