I thought that the heart being solely responsible for pumping blood through the body was, well, a fact. While reading The Secret Teachings of Plants I came to the chapters on the function of the heart, even went back and read the papers he read to write the book and was amazed! The explanations he gives on how the heart functions and interacts with all of the organs of the body and how it is hardwired to the brain blew my mind. Specifically how its hardwired to the parts of the brain concerned with "emotional memories and processing; sensory experience; memory, spatial relationships, the extraction of meaning from sensory inputs from the environment; and problem solving, reasoning, and learning." And that the heart is one of our sensory organs, just like the nose smells, the eyes see, the skin touches, The Heart FEELS. Our emotions are a mirror of the environment both inside and outside of us. Is your liver having a bad day? That may show up as feelings of anger. Got a sluggish gall bladder? Feelings of melancholy may trash your sunny day. Amazing, just amazing. I never imagined the amazing trip I was in for by picking up this book, I encourage everyone to read it! If you are interested its on my amazon store, get it!
So the soap has been curing for 2 days now and though I burned out the motor on the stick blender, and the soap took several hours to set up, it is now out of the molds and on the rack. It was scary this time since usually the soap hardens within the first hour after pouring, but I think that with the extra ounce or two of water I added to prevent a super fast setup I got what I asked for. I am excited for this soap to cure since I am planning to shred some of it to make shampoo. There are so many things I still buy at the store that contain all kinds of crap that I shouldn't put on my body. So far I have tried making toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, chapstick, and soap. All but the soap and chapstick will need some tweaking before I can cease buying the store bought kinds. Consistent lessons in patience and perseverance. Keep an eye out for the recipe section coming out in the next few months. Would be nice for somebody to be able to skip a few steps...
So what do YOU do when you cant sleep and its too early to call anyone you know? Well, I make soap. I have been wondering how lard soap will work when combined with coconut and olive oils. Usually the recipe that has been on the books has been vegan type soap, not for any other reason than the effort it takes to collect and render animal fat into lard. This is expensive soap and all that money just washes down the drain, literally. So I have found rendered lard at the Mennonite store in town, and yes I did ask if they had pig fat first. I will render my own lard eventually but I might as well wait till I have fat from my own pigs. Besides it would have been an extra 30 minutes on a crazy road to nowhereville to collect fat from the butcher so i still saved money buying the lard. So 4 pounds of lard will stretch the other vegie fats much much farther. They include olive, coconut, shea butter, palm, grapeseed, almond, and castor oils. These came out to be 1/3 of the recipe with lard being the rest. This is going to be the biggest batch of soap to date for me and so I'm a little worried. Worried that If I hate this soap it will be a long time using it up. I won't get to find out for another month or so at least, lye soap takes time to finish, or saponify. I think I worry for no reason since a lot of people make soap from nothing but lard and lye, and to be honest you really wouldn't know the difference for hand soap. I think that some of this batch will be shredded, mixed with water and some other things and made into a shampoo. Need to get away from store shampoo, laundry soap too, but those are for other posts.
At this point I'll end this post and add the lye to the oils, mix with the stick blender and show you how it went in the next post, wish me luck!
Read this on permies.com this morning.
"I've had guinea pig. In Peru everyone has a guinea pig hutch in back. All the waste material from the kitchen goes to the hutch for 'post consumer recycling'. The street vendors sell barbecued g-pig on skewers. Flesh is pale, a bit darker than chicken breast. Flavour depends on what you feed it. I got one pig that had been fed on fish guts. Tasted like tuna. Don't know how winter hardy they are."
Seems like a huge skinning hassle but I gotta wonder what they would taste like on a tripe diet?? Maybe chicken heads? Do you have to worry about mad pig disease if you just want them to taste like guinea pig? The winter hardiness would be a definite plus though, and come to think of it, a Guinea fur coat might be nice.
If you guessed coconut oil and baking soda, a little essential oil and some stevia, well crap you were right. I was chilling over at Crunchy Betty's blog when I found the newest recipe. Well new for me, apparently Crunchy Betty has been in the know about many a thing homemade. I made the toothpaste today and while i added less than a whole packet of stevia the stuff was super cool! (I added a super high amount of peppermint) I also super snuck the paste into the old tube with my turkey injector minus the needle thingy. The recipe she shows is enough for a whole tube! If my husband will try it, and then use it I'm in the money for saving the crazy amount of money I spend on natural toothpaste. ahh my teeth feel so fresh!
Raining steady today, it's not cold but i feel like i should have a wood stove going. Wood, ahh the smell of a wood fire makes me think of fall in Maine. It is almost like the smell of the fire melds with the smell of the dirt and composting leaves of the forest floor. But it's getting harder and harder to justify the amout of smoke that billows forth from untold numbers of homes each year. I want to be able to provide my own heat in my future farm house but I worry that the volume of wood needed to heat it would decimate the wooded areas of our property. So for the last few days I have been looking at rocket mass heaters as an alternate heat source. These use a smallish, super hot fire to heat a solid mass of cob, stone masonry, rock anything that will hold heat. The fire burns so hot that most of the gasses produced by the fire are burned up releasing 1/1000 of the usual smoke a wood stove produces. The amount of heat stored in the heat bank warms the home over a longer period of time, more of the heat produced is saved and utilized. The amount of wood used is 1/10 of what conventional wood stoves use. The only issue is that I'm not sure this method of heating is approved yet. So good luck getting homeowners insurance with this heat source. Funny how far behind our government is in the creation of regulations that will propel us into a self sustaining future and removing regulation that holds us back. Seems like the political scene and the creation of legislation is much like my daughter and her Ipod, separate the two and we might find that more gets done.
Did you ever read the book the hundredth monkey? If you haven't you should. The ideas presented are important to the idea of sustainability, or at least the propagation of sustainability. It is the ahha book that reinforces the idea that you don't have to go out and drag people to your cause if thats not your thing. You just have to be the change you want to see. Yea yea I know you've heard it all before, and being a person who needs to see the proof in action or at least explained in scientific terms that make me feel sane i'll give you this quote to ponder.
"When a large number of molecules congregate in close proximity, the random motions of the billions and billions of molecules will at some point show a sudden alteration in behavior; all of them will start to spontaneously synchronize. They begin to move and vibrate together. They begin acting in concert, actively cooperating, and become tightly coupled together into one, interacting whole exhibiting a collective, macroscopically ordered state of being."
-The Secret Teachings of Plants, By Stephen Harrod Buhner.
Of course this book shouts the warning of the examination of things in pieces, remove something from the whole and you screw up the picture. Though he does say you can go through his book in any order you like, I'm sure he would agree that you should read this book in its entirety. Eventually.
So onto the point which is stop waiting for a good time to grow that first food plant, make that first loaf of bread, or ferment your first batch of yogurt. Jump in now, and possibly be the hundredth monkey (or molecule) and I think if you do you may feel the world around you moving toward a "macroscopically ordered state of being".....
Born in New Hampshire and raised in Maine, Eva's passion for living self sustainably began with Helen and Scott Nearing. Both were homesteaders who carved their lives from the land. Eva now lives in Eastern West Virginia, with her husband Dain and daughter Shayna, carving out her own life.