Thursday, 28 February 2013

Under the weather.

For quite some time now I've been very below par, picking up every bug and germ that's crossed my path.  I finally took myself to the Doctor and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, probably brought on by the many upheavals in my life.  Changes have to be made and sadly I've had to part with some of my animals in order to survive.

Something that's come out of this has been my return to reading for pleasure.  I've been forced to take time out for me and books have always brought me happiness but instead of reading biographies or training manuals, this time I'm losing myself in the fantasy world of The Woodwife, by Terri Windling.  I can't tell you how great it's been, getting to know these complex characters and sharing the rich, colourful world of the Rincon Mountains.  I feel very inspired to paint the images I see in my head when I'm reading and there are plenty to choose from at the moment :D

Sunday, 24 February 2013

It all went wrong!!!

Remember these guys?  For those of you too young to remember, they're from the Hair Bear Bunch a cartoon way back in the 1970's.  Well after my last post about the no shampoo regime, my hair took on a life of it's own and not only did I look like these bears but I began to feel like one as well!  I was very grumpy and was convinced people were staring at my unruly barnet and you can forget about getting a comb through it, 'cos that was just not happening!  So with a tinge of guilt but a great deal of delight I slapped a tonne of conditioner on and became human again!

So what of the Salad Challenge. Hmmm, that's had problems of it's own.  The biggest one being cat attack!!! One sweetheart in particular has taken to using the salad trays as her own private litter box, so none of us fancied salad after that.  I'm sorting out the greenhouse and will get some photos as soon as it's all in order :D

Life at Oakmoon is never dull, thank goodness :D

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Salad Challenge (and hair!)

At the end of last year I wrote about what I meant about 'Holistic Home'.  I didn't explain it well and to be honest I think the best thing I can do is show you what it means to me.  Holistic means to consider the 'Whole' of something. which to me,  means how my home fits in to everything around it with as small an impact as possible.  It's easier to show what I mean than tell it.

With this in mind, I've decided to take up the '52 Week Salad Challenge'.  My reasons are many, but mainly cost, to me and the environment.  I love a fresh, crunchy salad with my lunch  but often have half a bag left, which gets shoved to the back of the fridge to be discovered a couple of days later, looking most unappetizing.  Why not eat it every day until it's used up?  Well, I can't always plan my days and if I'm called out suddenly to the ponies or have an urgent job or client to see, then lunch is either skipped or whatever will fit in my pocket as I leave the house (sometimes a cream egg!!!). 

If my lunch is growing in the greenhouse, then it's fresh whenever I need it. Also, I hate those plastic bags the salad comes in, they only add to all the other unnecessary packaging thrust at us as consumers.  So I'll be cutting down on waste twice, although I do tend to feed the soggy leaves of wasted salads to my chickens, who are less fussy than me :D

As yesterday was Imbolc, the day celebrated as the start to the new growing year, I took advantage of good weather and set about organising the garden. 

 I used my big bushcraft knife to cut the stakes for this mini hurdle enclosing my front border.  This style of edging I learned while briefly working at the Ancient Farm nearby. It was a method used by Bronze age farmers, so good enough for me :D  Tokhi had to join the photo session!
 This is where I'll be planting all my flowering and medicinal herbs.  So far I've definitely decided on Calendula and Feverfew, but have a few other herb seeds from last year that may be joining them (I've actually forgotten what I bought, so need to go through my seed box!!!)

This is my hair, haha!  You may be wondering 'what on Earth???'  Well, I've decided to join the 'No Poo' challenge which basically means giving your hair a complete break from shampoo and other related products. Click on the No Poo link to read more about it, or you can follow my very dodgy progress here!
The shampoos and soaps we use contain some pretty harmful products, the worst one being  Sodium Laureth Sulphate which is actually a commercial engine degreasing product!!!  This can cause long term damage to our skin, hair and eyes but just google it to read for yourself.  Also, most shampoos coat our hair with silicone to make it manageable, but this causes build up on the scalp and can lead to other issues such as hair loss and dandruff.  So it's worth giving this a go, if you have the patience and conviction, hmm, we'll see if I do!!!
Basically, my hair was washed with 1tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water, rinsed and then conditioned with 2tablespoons of cider vinegar and a couple of drops of essential oil.

Other people who have tried the challenge reported increased oily hair, but mine has gone completely the other way.  As I understand it, my hair and scalp will go through a detox, as my skin adjusts to producing it's own oils, so I may get the greasy's soon, haha!  At the moment though, my hair feels like a matted straw hat, so I'm looking at natural conditioners.  I've decided to play with some essential oils as I have a pretty extensive stock from when I used to sell them (I've had soooo many varied jobs in my life :D )

So, to re-cap, I'll be posting my Salad challenge progress every Friday, and mid week will be my hair progress, even if I fall off the wagon, I'll write about it.  I'm at day 5 with my hair and gave it a second wash last night, it's a lot less like rope today, so fingers crossed I can find a nice blend of oils to nourish it.