Last weekend I had a wonderful day visiting my favorite re-sell shops. It’s one of my favorite things to do. First thing Saturday morning, I visited my friend, Maryce, at The Antique Addicts at the Oldsmar Flea Market. I spent several hours catching up with her and browsing her shop of vintage clothes, jewelry, and assorted vintage items. In one corner, I discovered a box of vintage material and fell in love with a vintage bark cloth (I originally described it as sturdy cotton material. Maryce corrected me, it is rare vintage bark cloth, made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry or similar tree.)
I visited several other shops at the flea market and left for lunch. On the way home, I stopped at two of my favorite thrift stores. I had so much fun browsing the collections and came home with material, china and glasses.
First I considered making a pillow from the fabric. It looked great on my futon and on my bed. I also considered making a table runner. When I placed the fabric on the dining table, it just looked fantastic. I have wanted to recover the chairs for some time but had not found fabric I loved. Until now.
With a staple gun, I went to work. In a short time, the chairs were done. I polished the wood with a natural cleaner I bought on Etsy a few years ago. The polish has no harsh chemicals and the wood loves it.
The table begged for flowers and I bought roses to celebrate. An easy update that really goes with my home.
Attention is the rarest and the purest form of generosity.
In our modern times, we are very busy and have lots of demands for our time. With the development of our mass communications and social networks, person to person dialogue often is left behind. Not a text, an email, or a Facebook post – but looking at each other without distractions.
An individual with a generous spirit puts down his phone and gives his attention to his family and friends. Don’t you like having someone listen to you with their full attention?
I knew a pastor some years back who worked his way through a long line of people after each service. When he looked me in the eyes, he made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. He was fully there for each person when they met. That is why we all waited patiently for our small time with him. The feeling was more than I can explain. Total presence, a fantastic gift that few people give.
Your children will be grown and out the door too soon, your parents are growing older, your friends can be gone tomorrow – don’t miss the opportunity to share yourself with them. A few minutes can change someone’s life. Mother Teresa once said that we are to be God’s angels with each other.
For the last ten days I have been enjoying my white lily time. I mentioned previously in my post, Spring in My Developing Front Garden Part I., during my first two years in my home, I had planted multiple white lilies. The first year only one plant survived the hot Florida summer. The second year none of the new plants survived. Each year that one lone lily has reproduced, and now I have multiple lilies beside my front porch.
Few yards in my neighborhood have lilies. The lovely plant does not fare well here.
I have brought lilies into my home.
And I have given flowers to my friend.
When I open my front door, the sweet scent greets me.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will last as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
– Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Life is made of repeated patterns which give structure to our lives – seasons, holidays, births, and deaths, times of great joy and great sadness. Embracing the earth’s beauty is inspiring and comforting in my life’s journey, being both intricate and simplistic at the same time. May your attempts to find beauty in your life be rewarded.
In our modern society, we are exposed to so many chemicals, especially in personal care products. It’s time for another no chemical DIY beauty recipe. This natural, inexpensive, easy, recipe to fight dandruff flakes is made without chemicals.
Sprig of mint
Sprig of rosemary
8 oz. of cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1. Put a sprig of both mint and rosemary in 8 oz. of apple cider vinegar.
2. Let mixture sit for a week.
3. Mix 3 tablespoons of vinegar mixture with a cup of water.
4. Use after shampooing and massage your scalp.
5. Leave on your scalp for at least a few minutes.
6. Rinse with warm water.
7. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week.
8. Rinse can be made stronger by adding more vinegar mix to the water.
The rosemary and mint stimulate the circulation in your scalp to prevent flakes. The apple cider vinegar helps dry up dandruff. It restores the pH balance of the scalp, helps clean clogged pores and hair follicles, and works as a natural hair clarifier. Try this treatment two to three times a week.
This recipe is from the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas with my modifications.
After I shopped at the Tasty Tuesday’s Farmer’s Market in New Port Richey, I unpacked my gorgeous veggies and berries. The produce was beautiful and I couldn’t resist snapping photos of my haul. As I wrote last year (Shop Local Farmer’s Markets), for inexpensive yet nutritious produce, a local farmer’s market should be your first stop this summer. I am lucky to live in Florida, where something is growing most of the year. Of course in the summer, while the rest of the country is enjoying fresh, local veggies and fruits, we are broiling in the sun and little grows.
Fresh green beans, baby yellow squash, green squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, carrots, organic eggs and blackberries were my choices. I already have black fingers from popping the blackberries in my mouth. I plan to use them for the next few days in my green smoothie (see Spinach For Your Body & Your Mind for my take on a green smoothie) which of course makes it a brown smoothie.
As a side note, Florida is the primary grower of blueberries from March to May. This year the temperatures were higher than normal and the blueberry bushes were dormant. The beginning of May they started producing. For commercial growers this is devastating. The commercial market buys from Florida March and April but now has moved on to other states. The local news showed blueberries rotting on the bushes and it makes me wonder how many growers will not be in business next year. My favorite grower has her containers of blueberries on sale and they are selling fast.
My organic eggs come from a local organic poultry farm, Suncoast Acres Poultry Farm. A lovely couple and their son raise turkeys, ducks, and chickens. Eggs from all the poultry are available. The birds are free-range and are fed a non-GMO diet. The prices are lower than most organic eggs in the supermarket and you know the conditions of the fowl being raised. Remember cage-free does not mean the chickens get to run on the ground. They could be locked in a room with a wire floor and a huge number of other chickens. Not sanitary, not healthy for the birds or you. I also save my empty egg cartons and give them back to her. There is no reason to throw them away, and it saves her money. I will also give the plastic container from the blackberries back to the grower. They will refill it with a small fruit of the season and I will buy it again.
Now is the perfect time for you to check out what is available in your area. Do online searches and check out Facebook. Many organizations now have Facebook pages. Get to know your local growers and don’t be shy to ask questions. What do they use for pest control? What are their growing practices? Finding a local grower who uses little or no chemicals is like finding a treasure. Get to know them and support them.
Local HarvestLocal Harvest connects people looking for good food with the farmers who produce it. Check it out and do a search for local farmer’s markets and farms in your area. Check out the description of farms to see if there are growers who do not use pesticides. Many farmers are selling direct or have a pick and pay crop. Avoid the industrial large farms which use pesticides which poison the soil and kill our bees and butterflies. Be sure and take your reusable bags.
If you love gardening, try planting some vegetables. When I was growing up in Tennessee, many of our friends had plants – beans, tomatoes, cucumbers – in the yard along with the flowers. For information on your growing zone, check your county and /or state for gardening courses. Add a fruit tree that works in your area. If you have no garden, try a tomato plant in a planter on the patio or porch.
Enjoy your delicious produce, support local farmers, and eat healthy. I wish you a joyous day.