Monday, December 14, 2009

"No Poo" Happy Hair (& pits)

I haven't used shampoo in nearly 4 months. Its healthier and cheaper. I no longer get dry itchy scalp and my hair is happier. Here is the method:

For that matter, i haven't used deodorant is a couple years. I use a crystal rock made from mineral salts. No aluminum. Works great. One lasts more than a year!

Im always happy to share healthier,
simpler and cheaper alternatives!

A little off topic, but another cheap alternative:
The other day I researched and discovered a way to clean out my dryer ducts without spending the $50 on a gadget or hiring a pro.

I blew a ribbon thru my ducts with a leaf blower, then i cut off the end of a new toilet brush and pulled it thru the ducts a few times to get all the lint out. Worked like a charm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The house that never was...

We bought 3 acres in N. Merritt Island in March 2002 to build a new home. Its a beautiful piece of property with loads of oak trees dripping in moss, a pond in front, garage for Rod, privacy, wildlife. We have seen huge owls, some wild hogs (we ate 'em), otters and fish and a gator in the pond, bald eagle, osprey, turtles.

We have recently finalized plans and our modular home is now in production at the plant in Georgia.
Finally! It's been a long road.

This is where the house will go.

Modular homes are built in factory, stronger, more energy efficient, better sealed and insulated, no danger of mold from elements, faster.
“In a FEMA study following the Hurricane Andrew in 1992, it was found that wood-frame modular homes in hard-hit Dade County, Florida, stood up to the devastating winds better than stick-built homes."

Will post when home is being delivered and set.
Looking forward to the space to breathe, but will miss being close to the beach.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I don't hate schools

Defining Unschooling:

"Unschooling is trusting that kids will learn when and how they need to/choose to for their own purposes, their own agenda, as if school didn't exist. Radical unschooling takes that trust and poses the question - If I trust my kids will learn to read/add/whatever in a manner that works for them, why not trust that they can also learn to eat/sleep/etc in a way their own bodies need? In both cases, I'm right beside them to provide information and assistance and facilitate access as they need/choose it." Deb R.

I dont hate schools. My dream is to open an alternative Summerhill type school for kids of all ages. Just show up, go to classes only if you want to, freedom to play, work, dream, sports, workshops, gaming, computer room, discussion, art, electronics, music, gardening, automotive, carpentry, all there for the taking, nothing mandatory. All run by a student government that makes the rules.

I came across this:

"I think a school without a curriculum is better than a homeschool with lessons at the kitchen table."
by Sandra Dodd, who also wrote,

I think it's not the school building and the bus and the cafeteria and the books that are harmful. It's certainly not the music program or the well-stocked art room or the theater department with working stage amenities. It's not the school library. It's the shaming and force-marching through reading chapters and answering questions without talking. It's being pressed to read one book while another more interesting book is to lie untouched. It's memorizing and reciting things that aren't even useful or true.
Because what I care about is children having options and parents being supportive and compassionate.
Schooling isn't as good as natural learning."
Sandra Dodd

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm a "Beaner"!

No, I'm not actually Mexican. I beach comb and collect seeds that wash ashore from other lands, like the hamburger bean (right). Cocoa Beach is a good location for finding drift seeds as well as host of the annual International Seabean Symposium. People bring their collections from near and far to discuss finding, polishing, growing, sharing, crafting, etc. Some are lucky, some mystical, some make great jewelry or art . This is my collection. Yeah, i know, "get a life". But there's plenty of science here.

Sea-beans (also known as drift seeds) are seeds and beans that are carried to the ocean, often by freshwater streams and rivers, then drift with the ocean currents and (hopefully!) wash ashore.

(These i found in an hour or two on vacation on Costa Rica's west coast near Dominical.) Seabeans get caught up in the global currents much like the garbage that collects in the pacific gyre where there is a floating island of plastic twice as big as the state of Texas.
(WARNING! not for environmentally sensitive viewers)

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch! - The bulk of it will not decompose in the traditional sense. Exposure to sunlight will eventually break it down into small pieces that will make it more likely to be consumed by wildlife like sea birds and fish which leads to death of the animal. Furthermore, plastic pieces can absorb toxic chemicals, which migrate up the food chain and eventually make it to humans. For every pound of plankton there are as many as six pounds of marine litter. Sad but true.

Ron Paul

I was never too seriously interested in politics until recently. Oh, I did vote, registered democrat, until Ron Paul. I switched parties for that man! He made perfect sense to me. No one else was saying it. Stop the spending, stop the war. I joined the Ron Paul Revolution. Not many took him seriously. When it gets bad enough, maybe they will.

"A govt strong enough to give you
everything you need is powerful enough
to take everything you have."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vaseline glass

Im not typically into antiques, esp not glassware, but vaseline glass really caught my attention. It was produced initially from 1880s -1920s and then again in the 50s. It is usually yellowish to light green and glows under UV (black) light due to the presence of uranium. Some consider only the yellow glass to be vaseline, but i also collect green uranium glass, purely because it glows! slightly because its old, not because its valuable, it isnt very. I just like the way it looks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Herbal Essence, Patchouli and Stevia

Once in a while, and more often as my kids grow, i get to nourish my own spirit. When i turned 50 we were in California and i went to a spa retreat (enough with the "over the hill" parties). I hiked, did pilates, hot tub, yummy food, all by myself. It was deeelightful. Maybe im strange (yeah, yeah) but I frequently prefer my own company.

Anyway, i took a herb growing class last week to facilitate my gardening hobby. Did you know that patchouli is a plant? You know, that nostalgic scent from the 60's that hippies wore to disguise the smell of pot. You either love it or hate it. It smells very musky, like wet dirt or your grandmothers attic, or a Grateful Dead concert. Anyway, i was thrilled that i can grow it in my yard! And i bought a piece of ginger root and planted it for cultivation, along with some garlic. I also now have a stevia plant which is a natural sugar substitute. Freakin' amazing. The leaves actually taste v sweet. I can pick some limes from my key lime tree, slice them in a glass of water and add a few stevia leaves. Voila! simple pleasures.

Oh yeah, and here are a couple other extraordinary horticultural treasures i happened upon lately:

Dragon fruit (left) grows on a
cactus like tree. Mild taste, v juicy.

Cashews (left) are really strange. The tree bears bright red fruit and ONE cashew grows from the bottom of each one.

My other escapes are seabeaning (, hiking, photography, (to be continued...)

Happy and godless in Denmark

People of Denmark probably aren't very different from the rest of the world, except... they are self professed to be the HAPPIEST people in the world AND... they are not religious. The majority of people in Denmark don't believe in God. That blows me away yet doesn't surprise me at all. What i mean is, i believe it but i'm surprised it's being acknowledged.

Did you know? many of the most intelligent, creative, thoughtful minds of today and throughout history are largely atheists: Einstein, Edison, Mark Twain, Carl Sagan, Asimov, Freud, Dawkins, Nietzsche, Bill Gates, George Carlin (but he questions everything). So, the likelihood of your believing in God is inversely proportional to your level of intellect.

I'll say it again. The higher an IQ level people have the less likely they are to believe in God. In a 1998 survey of more than 500 members of the National Academy of Scientists, it was found that 72% were atheists, 21% were agnostics and 7% believed in God. Hmmm. Just ponder that a bit...
By the way, this is a recent photo i took of sunrise here on the east coast of Florida. It was glowing so bright orange that it lured me from my home 5 blocks away. I wonder who the artist is?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to catch a scallop

A lot of people don't even know what a scallop looks like, or where it comes from, or how you catch them. A quick trip to the west coast of Florida in search of the elusive scallop paid off. Ok, if it was a survival trip, we would have starved. But it was very cool. Did you know scallops have lots of blue eyes along the edge of their shell? You simply snorkel in the shallows, spot one, grab it before it scoots away, bag it and move on. We all caught some. Dylan won. Thanks to our hosts Donna and Ray and an awesome weekend on the Weeki Wachee River.

Roman is 11

Roman had a sleepover Runescape marathon for his birthday. Nerd alert! (Bill Gates was a nerd ya know!) Dad made a brave appearance. There were 5 laptops powered up. Pizza made a brief appearance also. Roman's friends come in all sizes, eh? A good time was had by all. Dad took him for a cheese steak at the Eagles Nest for his actual birthday on Monday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chicks from THE VIEW

We incubated eggs last Easter and raised some chickens. Roman and Chibi, our chihuahua, mothered them thru the early stages. But once they grew bigger than the dog they pecked her on the butt so she's afraid of them now. We are left with 4 very different breeds. One came in the dog door the other day and layed an egg in my bed!
Did you know chickens have personalities?

I love to watch "hot topics" on The View and the boys said they sound like chickens so we renamed our 4 chickens after the women on the view.

There's Joy
Elizabeth and Sherri
and Whoopie, of coure, is the black one.

Dylan's 16th voyage around the sun

Dylan turned 16 March 5th. We were lucky to have lots of family here this year, all the grandparents, some aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. We spent the day at the beach with food, kites, surfing, guitar playing, etc.

Then we had a party with family.

He has been asserting his independence, finding his individuality and becoming his own person. He is actually very wise for his age, a pleasure to be around. There is joy in the many stages of kids, but teens are pretty amazing. He has plenty of time to find his place, his purpose. But there's no hurry. Its a lifelong journey. I still dont know what "I" want to be when i grow up. I trust he will be just fine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Then came Roman...

At 42, with lots of medical assistance, Roman was conceived. He was/is a joy. We learned from our mistakes and this time it was a smoother run. Breastfed, self weaned, uncircum, he left the family bed this past year. He is more sensitive, particular, but happy, more easy going as he grows.

His latest activities include tending the chickens, learning to read playing runescape, iceskating, skateboarding, boogie boarding, ravemaster books, endless hours on laptop making game maps, creating and finding game mods. He is a wiz on the computer. But who knows, he may grow up to be a chinese chicken farmer.

Dylan Thomas, not the poet

I thought i was giving him an uncommon name, but lo and behold, it became very popular in his generation. Dylan was/is my experimental model. The one I made many mistakes with, like circumcising, when I KNEW it wasn't right, but let myself be intimidated by some asshole doctor. Shortly after that the AAP proclaimed circumcision unnecessary and insurance no longer paid for it.

I knew I would breastfeed, without any role models or encouragement from family. I dont know where that came from. It was a struggle sometimes and La Leche League was my savior. In the beginning i was discrete in public. But some months down the road i didnt care who saw or where i was, including standing at the podium in front of a traffic court judge. He didnt say a word about it. Legally, he couldnt. So thats one thing i did right.

I had the crib ready when he was born. He slept next to us in a cradle for a few months. Then everyone said hes old enough for the crib now. I tried it briefly. It just didnt make sense for my helpless child to be all alone in another room, crying, when he belonged here with us in the safety and warmth of our bed. The crib was out the door. No regrets. He slept in our room for the next 9-10 years, going from our bed to a side bed, to his own room in a natural progression on his own schedule. Now as a teen its harder for us to get such close proximity and im grateful for our family bed memories.
We are one of very few cultures or creatures in the world who banish their children some distance away to sleep alone and it makes no sense to me.

I was a working mom with Dylan, but stayed home for the first 5 months. Then he was in home care, one caretaker. It was the best i could do. Then day care at 3yo where he cried when i left him. Big regret. "Oh, after you leave he's just fine" they all said. Yeah, what choice does he have. SO that only lasted a few months. I couldnt take it any more. I didnt want someone else raising my child all day. I quit my job. Life was so good then. We had our whole days ahead of us to explore together and I felt such peace. Until he started Kindergarten in 1998...

His new brother was a week old. He went full days and I missed him terribly, felt it was too long a day for a 5 yo, kept him home every chance i got. I was called before the principal because of absences and his not knowing all the alphabet(!). They suggested he may have to repeat. Well, honey that was all the nudge i needed. I dont even know where I came upon the idea to homeschool but we jumped into it with relief. We found freedom once again.

I regret even the few times i spanked Dylan. I cried, he didnt. I learned to ignore the voices playing in my head from how i was parented and i followed my heart. I read a LOT about peaceful parenting ( "When you know better, you do better."

We tried a few teaching methods, all briefly, not too much harm done. But ultimately we just played, danced, built legos, raised bunnies, wrestled, got a used Sega, cooked, went to parks, homeschool groups. We did do math and spelling on a somewhat regular basis in the beginning without too much resentment, but it grew worse so that went by the wayside also.
Hello Unschooling! I read everything i could find on it. The first was "Better Late than Early" by the Moore's, then John Holt and others. It confirmed all our beliefs about learning in freedom without coercion (

It carried over into our everyday lives. Our home is now a democracy and not a dictatorship.

Dylan has warmth, kindness, integrity, a great sense of humor. He is a good friend, people seem to like him, but he doesnt mind being alone either. He doesnt seem to mind helping out and sometimes offers.

A new year, a new attitude

Well, not really a NEW attitude, just more focused, being mindful, present in the moment, and grateful, ... as in...

My husband is amazing. We met at a Guess Who concert. Sure, i robbed the cradle. But, i knew he was different. Sometimes i dont feel i deserve him. OK, I need to work on my self esteem. It was a fun filled time and he still has that never ending sense of humor. This year marks the 20th anniversary of our relationship. I recently read a horoscope profile and boy is it "dead on". This could sum us up:

Libra (Rod): THE HARMONIZER. Nice to everyone they meet. Cant make up their mind. Have own unique appeal. Creative, energetic and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful. Flirtatious. Gives in too easily. Procrastinators. Very gullible.

Virgo (Kat): THE PERFECTIONIST. Dominant in relationships. Conservative. Always wants the last word. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy. Often shy.

Why does his sound so much more appealing than mine?

So, today he is launching rockets at Kennedy Space Center and I am homeschooling our boys who are 15 and 10. Talk about grateful! i lucked out again with 2 of the most amazing kids. Its been a real journey.