Monday, April 11, 2011

Why buy

I am starting a Monday ritual on this blog..partially to help me get back into the blogging spirit, and partially to solidify some of the things I've been ruminating about as a result of reading Radical Homemakers. The idea is to keep exploring ways to reduce my consumption, change my own perceptions about what I actually do and do not need, reduce my usage of plastic, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Because if a busy, working mother can do this, then surely anyone can. If I ask myself this simple question, "why buy?" and can besatisfied with the answer, then i am in good shape. If I can conjure up the ingenuity to do it myself, I will do that instead of buying.
Oddly enough, I'm going to start with mayonnaise. Why do I ever buy pre-made mayonnaise in the jar? Nothing compares with fresh mayonnaise and it takes so little time you won't believe it.
Step 1: Take one local organic egg and put it in your food processor. start the processing. You can also use a blender.
Step 2: Take organic canola oil, or olive oil (I just don't like olive oil mayonnaise) or any other light oil (maybe I can try to make sunflower oil? Maybe?) and drizzle it in slowly. As you do this, the mayonnaise will start to emulsify. I don't measure...I just keep going until it is the consistency I like. I am sure there are "proper" recipes on the web, but I only do "proper" when I feel like it.
Step 3: Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice (fresh-squeezed is prefereable) and a teaspoon of salt (more if you like)
Step 4: Scoop it into a ball jar.
That's it. Once you get the hang of it, it takes about 5 minutes, or less. You can't drive to the store in that amount of time.
Now that you've made your mayonnaise, you can make a quick, impressive vegetable dip. Take a cup of mayo, 1 tbsp. onion powder, 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce, 5 cloves of crushed garlic (or more), and 1/2 cup fresh parsley. Whirl together in a food processor, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh cut vegetables.
Do leave your "why buy?" in the comments. (maybe I will actually get a comment!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

playing



I hope you get a chance to watch this video....at least the first few minutes, where he talks about adults playing, and the use of our hands.
It makes a lot of sense to me...if we, as adults, are to nurture our childrens' sense of play, we mustn't neglect our own, since they look to us to imitate and understand what it means to be human.
this is what I've been playing with:
I've gone from finger painting to carded batts...and the play with color is the same giddy joy. Only now, i can satisfy an adult sensibility for good, natural materials, and delving into the scientific and not-so-scientific process of plant dyeing.
On the right: wool dyed with cochineal and wool dyed with marigolds and tesu flowers, carded with beautiful, lusrous brown mohair (sourced locally!)
On the left, my own dear bunnies' fur carded with local Shetland fleece.
I can hardly wait to play again and spin these up.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Holy

she comes every once in awhile, my dear, welcome friend.I we talk about creativity and motherhood and sex and work and therapy. she is fun and I love the way she thinks.
i gave her a bag of rabbit fur. we are generous that way with each other. she gave it back to me, spun up and knitted into a beautiful swatch. i love this gift, the gift of her hands, the grace of friendship.

she says this is holy, and it is.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bunny Love

I was going to do a serious post about spring cleansing, change, coping, and all that, but I got sidetracked.
After weeks of whining to anyone who would listen (and even those who wouldn't listen) that I couldn't get my rabbit pregnant (hello? do I control this?) And yes, the deed was done, and we almost lit candles and played Marvin Gaye.
But we didn't have to. Friday, we went to Mammoth Cave. We came back Saturday and upon my return, I checked the bunnies, and lo and behold- 3 small kits in Cloud's cage! We were overjoyed and set her up close to the house.

Sadly, we lost one of the babies to cold that night. I didn't know that you need to bring angora babies in, as in, inside. They don't lay around with their young like cats and dogs do. Now those two little kits live in a drawer in my bedroom, and I take them to their mother several times a day for nursing. I am not kidding. I read that they only need to eat once a day, for rabbit milk is very rich, but those babies just seem hungry, and so they do spend time with their mama, to learn rabbit ways and eat if they wish; she jumps out if she wishes, but we always give her a tasty treat.
Part of it feels surreal...who are these squirming, lively, dreaming creatures, as they barrel headlong into survival? They do dream...like human newborns dream...kicking and fluttering even as they are stilled by sleep. They are other-worldly in those moments.


I have no idea if we are doing any of this right. These babies have spent so much time with Serena that they are certain to be great companions for humans too. We have handled them liberally. Their mother has not rejected them.




It really IS time to build a proper rabbit hutch!