Thursday, July 3, 2014

Challenge Accepted

These were the words uttered by the teenaged boy when asked if he could please rinse off his plate and utensils after using them.
A plate, knife and fork.
I don't care how great your imagination is ... that's not a "challenge".

Doing dishes for a family of 5 every single day ... sometimes twice in the same day ... that's a challenge. For the record, we once let them go for an entire weekend to see if the kids got the hint that we could use some help with washing them ... I never knew that a can opener and an ice cream scoop could be used in lieu of a knife and fork when the clean ones are gone ... and that (in a pinch) cake pans make for really good cereal bowls.

Mowing the 8 foot tall weeds out in the chicken yard ... so we can actually see the chickens ... that's a challenge.

Washing, drying, and folding 47 loads of laundry on a weekly basis ... that's a challenge.

Taking the compost bucket out to the garden and dumping it ... without puking in the gooseberry bushes ... that's a challenge.

But washing your own plate, knife and fork?
And then, putting it away?
A Challenge?

Mind you ... this same boy asked why I didn't get out my Sharpie and start labeling the dishes and silverware with his and his siblings' names.
He wanted to make sure that no other person in the house used his dishes.
His because he washed them after using them.

I'm waiting for the day when he actually asks to be challenged around here ...
there are about a half dozen hens out in the chicken yard that can't see the henhouse for the weeds.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Elegance - January 4, 2014

An interesting draw for today - Elegance. 

See the beauty that is in yourself, others, and your surroundings even when things are not perfect. Find your rhythm and glide upon the waves of Life.

I have to admit, this card left me a bit befuddled this morning when I drew it.
You see ... last night, Jocelyn made the decision to move out ... away from home and in to the home of her dearest friend.

How does a parent ... a person ... respond or react to that?

Don't get me wrong ... there is a long history of unhappiness when it comes to her and the blending of two families over the course of the last three years.  The stories are many ... and they are not all mine to tell.

We are not a "perfect" family ... we are a family filled with love and joy, challenges and tears ... we are a messy family.  Quite possibly the very best kind.

But Jocelyn hasn't been happy being part of a messy family.  
Her preference is a nice house in the 'burbs ... money to spend without question on whatever strikes her fancy that particular day ... not having to vie with four other siblings for the attention of either one or the other parent.

There's more to this whole story ... so many undercurrents and sidetracks, it could easily turn in to a miniseries.  But the bottom line is that Jocelyn made a choice nearly two years ago to be unhappy while living in this house.  Unhappiness with Jocelyn can easily lead toward friction within the family ... usually between her and I.  Friction allows her to justify her continued feelings of unhappiness ... it also supports stories that she has created about how the stepmother does not love her and wants her gone from the home.  It has been a difficult living situation.

Jocelyn is happiest when she stays with her best friend.  She is then the middle of three daughters.  Her wants and needs are completely satisfied ... without question.  She has always expressed the desire to live with this family ... in both times of jest and times of stress.

Last night, she made the "I'll just move out" statement ... to which her Dad pretty much said "if that's what you want to do, I'm okay with that" ... to which I responded with "running away from your problems does not solve them, sometimes they need to be faced".

We were up late last night, discussing the evening's events ... loudly ... angrily ... so very many words shared, filled with hurt and remorse.  So much history brought to the surface ... to be loved and cleared.

We thought a night's sleep would allow her a change in choices made during the heat of anger.
Nope.  She finished packing boxes this morning.  She was picked up before noon.  We spoke with the parents of the best friend ... we are playing this all by ear right now.

We didn't yell at Jocelyn for the choice that she made ... we honored it.  We didn't ground her to her room for the next month ... which may have been what she wanted for us to do, because that would prove to her that she was "wanted" ... that she was loved.

We told her that we loved her ... because isn't that really what we're supposed to do as parents to our children ... to guide them toward being able to make their own decisions, their own choices ... to simply love them, despite how messy it all becomes?  As parents, we cannot make our children happy ... we cannot make our children love themselves as much as we love them ... we cannot even make them like any single part of the whole ... we can only love them enough to allow them the freedom to make their own decisions, regardless of the potential outcomes we as parents have already experienced.

And whether they are six days shy of being 15 or they are over 40, our children deserve all of the love that we have to give ... without question ... loving the choices they are choosing to make ... and hoping that we've taught them enough that they are able to eventually discover just how much we really do love them, even when we didn't agree with the choices they made.

Elegance is the troubled youth that believes the grass is greener on the other side of the fence ... it is found in the muck just below the surface of a lily pond ... it is allowing yourself to gloriously feel every emotion as it washes through you ... it is your smile as she moves the last box into the trunk of a waiting car when you'd rather just curl up in a corner and cry ... it is learning how to recognize that the choices other people make are not your responsibility ... it is in choosing not to be a victim of your circumstances.

There is peace in our home.
And I hope that Jocelyn, who single-handedly managed to manifest her version of a Perfect Life, is finally happy.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Rebirth - January 3, 2014

For Christmas, my darling husband gifted to me a set of Magical Times Empowerment Cards.

A deck of cards, similar to Tarot Cards ... each card carries a beautiful image and a positive message.

Today's card ...

And the accompanying message:  Today I will be grateful for my trials and recognize them for the many gifts that they bring.  I know that I grow stronger in the broken places.  I know that the world will turn in my favor.  I know that I have ended things well and am ready for this new beginning.  I will shine, because the whole universe is mine.

The irony of this card cannot be ignored.  Today was a day filled with endings and beginnings.

The job to which I'd applied in the Corporate World last year, was rescinded in the new year.
Honesty is not always the best of policies when it comes to completing applications within which the only way to actually get the job is if you falsify the information on the application and/or background check.

I completed and filed paperwork to change orders in old court paperwork from my divorce and child custody hearings in Phoenix, AZ.  It's time for the old ways of doing things to be done differently.

The image shown on this card is of a Phoenix rising from the flames of rebirth.

Coincidence?  Not likely.

2014 is a time of rebirth ... awakening to the positive manifestation of All Good Things.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Product Reviews

It's that time of year again ...
a little slower than usual this year ... when compared to last year.

That gives me more time ...
for creativity ...
for introspection ...
for walking every day ...
and especially for incorporating new things into my life.

So ...
I signed up to do a few product reviews.
I LOVE new stuff!
and I love supporting new companies who are bringing new products into our world.

And if I can do anything to help get the word out about something they are doing
I am here to help in any way I can.

So ... stay tuned ... I'll be posting pics and writing about some really cool things arriving in my mailbox.

There might even be a giveaway or two  =)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Countdown ... 13 Days to Go!

We've been busy these last few weeks ... really ... really ... busy.

As of today, we're less than two weeks' away from our trip down to San Diego.

Just yesterday, I finished the 10th Look for the Collection.

Here's a peek of the shoes:
sorry ... for now, all I can show is the box.

As for the actual garment ... here's two more sneak peeks:  
To show the finished look would spoil the Surprise!

I CAN show you these amazing shoes that Hourglass Footwear created for one of our very first looks ... a look we released in June and in July ...

it's a pretty incredible overall Look ... one that is super comfortable to wear ... all in organic cotton

18 days until Fashion Week ...
13 days till we travel ...

We're pretty excited!

Monday, September 2, 2013

September's Sneak Peek!

This week's Sneak Peek from our 2014 Eco ArtWear Collection to launch on the runway

Uber comfortable t-shirt crafted from walnut-dyed, hemp knit. Cropped pants made from a beautiful hand-crafted, rayon batik from India.

From our 2014 Eco ArtWear Collection:

Model: Crystal Geller
Hair/Makeup: Beigeblond - Brett M AllredMolly Miles HickmanAliya Chaidez
Photo: Barbara Hill PhotographyBarbara Hill
Location: La Bottega in Vancouver, WA

From our 2014 Eco ArtWear Collection:
Model: Crystal GellerHair/Makeup: Beigeblond - Brett M AllredMolly Miles HickmanAliya ChaidezAccessories: SteamCircus.comPhoto: Barbara Hill PhotographyBarbara HillLocation: La Bottega in Vancouver, WA

Friday, August 30, 2013

Made for a Woman ...

"Strong enough for a man ... but made for a woman!"

That's the marketing gimick that's been associated with Secret Deodorant since the beginning of time.  And it's no wonder ... it's a phrase that, when combined with the ultra-feminine packaging, totally appeals to every aspect of a woman's psyche.  It's pretty.  It smells good.  And on our sweatiest, highest stress days ... we still come out of it smelling like a rose.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Secret Deodorant carries no acute or chronic health effects.

Well ... if you overlook that nasty aluminum ingredient ...
and talc ...
and cyclomethicone ...
and behenyl alcohol ...
and pentadecalactone ...
of course there are no serious health effects!

And when you take into consideration that aluminum in deodorants cause breast cancer and Alzheimer's ... well, you can completely understand why this particular brand specifically targets women.  And if you cannot, let's just say that there's a fuckton of money to be made off of cancer research [especially breast cancer research] ... and the more women using conventional deodorants that contain harmful chemicals, the more women that you have fall into a higher-than-normal risk for breast cancer and other related diseases that the pharmaceutical companies can then make money off of ... it's a vicious cycle perpetuated by greed.

So ... let's take a closer look at these ingredients ...

Aluminum [in any form] - a strong human neurotoxicant and an endocrine disruptor that is directly linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Talc - proven to cause tissue injury and fibrosis; is also a skin and lung irritant
Cyclomethicone - a silicone-based solvent and is used as a "wetting agent" for personal care products
Behenyl Alcohol - a saturated, fatty alcohol used as an emollient, emulsifier and thickener in cosmetics
Pentadecalactone - a perfume and/or fragrance ingredient added to health and beauty products.  It is a pheromone derived from the male human and is used to attract females; in OTC body products, it is included in it's synthetic form.


Personally, for years and years, I fell under the sing-song spell of this particular brand.

And then quit ... cold turkey ... about three years ago.
I plan on remembering who my kids are when I'm 90.
I also plan on having both of my breasts.

But ... I still sweat.  And on really, really warm days ... I prefer smelling more like a flower than a gym sock.

So ... I did the research ... formulated a few recipes ... and voilá!

Organic Deodorant

Only 4 ingredients ... tested on pregnant women & teens ['cuz they can really sweat] ... and no complaints.
No clogged pores.  No yucky ingredients.  Made by a women ... for humanity.

Three scents are available ... more to come!

Chamomile & Lavender
Mother Earth [bergamot, cassia root, cedarwood, nutmeg, lavadin, & peppermint]
Basil, Sage & Mint