Thursday, March 26, 2015

Getting Edgy

I'm back into yoga after a few years hiatus. You know the thing, running kids here and there and just can’t find the time ( read - motivation) to fit anything else in.  I still have the same schedule, but I carved out some time and made it a “must do” on my schedule, and somehow it (usually haha) all fits.

My yoga practice has been progressing nicely over the last year, and I can see some beautiful improvement in my flexibility and my joint health has been great this winter : ) yeah!  But something one of my yoga instructors said hung around with me for a while. Sometimes in life there is a light bulb moment. My light bulb didn't come on full blast at first… it flickered a little then warmed up and then came on full like a beacon.  It has resonated with me so much it has almost become a mantra for me this year.

“Find your edge and hang around there for a while” 

Of course she was referring to a pose we were in, but I thought about it over the next few days, and weeks. How satisfying it is to get that few extra centimetres after a month, or months, of practice. Sounds like such a small thing but it’s not. That phrase hung around the edge of my mind as I fed the goats,  made soap and did dishes. I thought about how it could apply to so many other things in life besides yoga poses.  I also thought about how in many ways we are socialized to not do this. As children our bad behaviour is attributed "testing our boundaries",  what's really happening is we are trying to find our power and our voice. When we are children and teens, our boundaries help us feel safe (even if we didn't want to admit it) and as an adult one of life's big goals is to want " to be comfortable" even as we are amazed by those who push a little further in what ever passion excites them.

Challenges are the spice of life.  I love my gardens and growing my own food, but even that has plateaued a little for me. I need to push for the next few centimetres, up the game and add some excitement. To this end, I've decided to push a little harder and grow a little more intensively and perhaps little more mindfully this year. I did have some extra plans and projects for the garden this year but many times my January plans give way to June's frantic get it all in and move on. This year I'll be staying with it a little more, hanging out on the edge, and being kind to myself if it doesn't all get done. I'm sure by the end of the season the edge will be in a little different spot : )

One plan I will do is to measure how much is coming out of the garden. I think it will be so fun (and maybe a little geeky)  to know how many pounds of food I'm actually pulling out of my backyard plot. But, to be really “edgy” I've decided to do a weekly / bi-weekly video of the garden and its lovely production! My daughter has a you-tube channel so I have some technical experts to call on if needed. 

As I write this, it is the end of March and there is still 4 feet of snow over the garden. Mother Nature is also testing our edge, it seems. We have had a long winter here with Nor’ Easter after Nor’ Easter dumping snow continuously on us, but warm bare earth will come at some point.  I'll be doing some indoor seeding this weekend, so I will check in after this.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm in the throes of craziness here. I've been making a ton of soap today, well actually I'm exaggerating only about 60 kilos today.  As I measure, mix, line and pour I am filled with wonder that I get to spend my days doing this. Yes, some days I feel overwhelmed but really I have the best job in the world -for me. I get up in the morning, head outside to be greeted by excited to see me goats. I can lean my head against the flank of one of my best friends, as she contributes her milk to my (our) business. I then come in to my own special Lathering Lab, where I can create special soaps for really great, appreciative customers. If I need to have an appointment somewhere, no problem- it's up to me, so I can choose to put my children first. I've met some great people along the way, other store owners, market staff, retail clients, and multitudes of customers who have helped me with feed back and encouragement. So many things to be grateful for : )

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Barn moving along

Fall is creeping in. The mornings are definitely becoming crisp, but there still hasn't been a frost yet. The garden is still puttering along. The tomatoes have done very poorly this year. A rainy August has given me a super crop of blight haha. Oh well, the squash are outstanding, and I didn't need to water the new fruit trees a whole lot.

The goats have been on pasture all summer, but it will be soon time to bring them closer and move them into the new barn quarters. Still have to move some fencing before that happens. Water is hooked up and the solar panels installed and running! They will provide power for lighting, heat tapes for the water, and the fence charger will also be running off of them.

Tom has done an outstanding job with my Dutch doors. He wanted to be sure that they didn't warp so brought home some lovely hardwood.  Now for some heavy duty hinges : ) They were a lot of work for him, but I think doing this project renewed his interest in woodworking. Plus he's motivated by  all the new space in the garage now that my g-d goat stuff and bee paraphernalia is gone

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Negativity abounds. The argument is that buckets of water are being wasted to raise money and awareness for ALS while millions of people are dying due to the lack of clean water. OK HERE GOES.

#1 I think there will always be someone who will justify why they do nothing. Choose your charities and then shush. As a business owner I am asked to donate to tons of charities and non-profit events every year. I can’t possibly donate to all, so I choose to give based on a set of personal criteria. It doesn't necessarily mean the ones I don’t give to are less worthwhile. Oh by the way- have you donated to help get that clean water or support a 3rd world nation in some way?

#2 If your toilets are not low flush- shut up.
The amount of water I've seen most people pour is roughly equal to or less than what one low flush toilet consumes. A full flush toilet flushes 13 litres of water. You've probably dumped the equivalent of 6 buckets of water each day and still didn't help anyone.
If you do have low flow, super - now try letting it “mellow” for one flush and call it even.
PS How about your shower head? Each minute off your shower will save about 10 litres!

#3 If you wash your vehicle in your driveway- shut up. You are using gallons of water to hose off a piece of pollution while also letting non- biodegradable cleaning surfactants and the oil and greases go into the storm drains polluting even more water.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today is the 15th, and so up goes the website as is. There are still some pages not finished and the shopping cart is not hooked up yet but it's live. I think it will be a week possibly two to have the shopping cart ready and the final approval on my merchant account. This has been a great project though. Certainly a good time of year to concentrate on getting this done. It's somewhat quiet here with not a lot of extra farm chores to do.
We had a few days of very warm weather, so I went out to check on the bees. They seem to be doing well and I seen full frames of honey in most hives. Only one hive seemed a little light so I made some bee fondant/candy to put in for insurance.
One chore I do need to do this month is go through my seeds and make an inventory of what I need to order for this years gardens. Then make some plans on paper. That will be an enjoyable afternoon though.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New website soon

I've been frantically trying to work on a new website for my goat milk soaps. The old one was quite dated, I did it years ago and didn't really like it but it matched my skill level for website publishing. I concentrated on learning Dreamweaver and have given myself a deadline of January 15th to get it live so to speak. Well it's the 10th today, and I'm getting there. I think I'll get it up for the 15th but realistically some things just won't be finished all the way. But hey, I think it will always be a work in progress so to speak.

I've wanted my website to be more of a 2 way communication so have added a feature where customers can give feedback on all the products. So far I'm thrilled with the way it looks. Can't wait to show it to everyone! Come and visit on the 15th!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Eggs! What an investment.

Last fall I went out to feed my chickens to discover a massacre. A raccoon had ripped a corner out of my chicken coop, snuck inside, and killed all but one of my hens. It was a horrible sight, and the one sole hen that was left ended up being alone until July when I brought home some little day old peeps to join her. Five and a half months later those little peeps are just beginning to lay. Day after day, Mrs. Cluckers has been depositing a single egg for me, until one day before Christmas there was a second. Then a few days later 3, and now several weeks later I'm collecting anywhere from 3 to 6 from my 7 hens. What an investment in time to get my fresh eggs but so worth it!