Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She's no dirty hippie-type; makes her own deodorant to prove it

I don’t know of many ways to spend free time that are more fun than getting together with friends to talk and eat and make something earthy and useful. I’m way into do-it-yourself type things--I like to sew and bake and grow a garden and all that. I’ve found that usually the people that like to do these sorts of things are also the type that would like to make their own body care concoctions. Such as deodorant.
Yes, deodorant. Recently, I threw an ‘I’m not a dirty hippie’ party and myself and ten other women made our own deodorant. A novel idea, isn’t it? Who has ever heard of such a thing? Some of my friends jokingly call me a ‘revolutionary’, I guess because I’m drawn to the unusual, interesting paths of adventure, and this was one such thing!

We had fun choosing our scents and adding them to the really easy recipe (See my blog). Each guest took home a jar that will last for months probably, with no wasteful stick containers to go into the landfill like with conventional deodorant products. There are also no harmful ingredients (like aluminum or parabens--yuck), plus this homemade deodorant really works!

Sipping some Indiana brewed beer and sampling homemade cupcakes and cookies and oh, flipping through the beautiful Seeds of Change seed catalog that my gardening friend brought to share and the laughing and talking, it was perfect. We had such a great time that we decided to make this a monthly event, getting together each month to make something different and useful. I love it. If you have friends that might enjoy something like this, I encourage you to host your own ‘I’m not a dirty hippie’ party (see my blog for ideas). Enjoy and tell me about it!

Find the deodorant recipe here.

See this post for a great little book.

'I'm not a Dirty Hippie' party ideas/tips:
::You can choose one or two items to make.  It might be good to make up a batch ahead of time if you've never made it and have time.  Choose something fairly simple.
::Assemble labels and jars for the concoctions, be sure to have enough containers for everyone, as well as ingredients to make the recipe(s).  Northstar is an excellent source for ingredients, essential oils, etc., as well as jars.  You can also recycle baby food jars or anything you have on hand.
::Ask each guest to bring a snack food to make it easy on you and fun to see what people bring. 
::Ask for a one dollar (or more--depends on what you make) donation to cover your costs of ingredients and jars, etc. 
::You can ask guests to bring their own containers, too.  Or essential oils if you don't have any.  You could create a 'community pool' of ingredients and oils for making different items.  It might also be good to collect measuring cups/spoons/other implements to use exclusively for concoction making.  Thrift stores are great for this.
::Consider making this a monthly gathering and do something different each time.  The possibilities are endless!  Plus it's great for not only gathering as women, but making something useful.
::Encourage friends to invite friends.  The more the merrier, plus you'll meet new women.
::Use real dishes and cloth napkins and recycle all you can to be Earth friendly, of course!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This 'wild woman' looking for others to join her pack

I think I have made a brief mention this book before here, Women Who Run With the Wolves, but it deserves a column of its own. At the beginning of the year I wrote about creating the life I want and being a wild woman. I got that term from this book. I vow to live closer to the wild this year and to connect with other women seeking that same life. Here is an excerpt from the book that is profoundly moving for me (and trust me, there are many more, as my incredibly highlighted copy can attest).

“To live as closely as possible to the numinous wild a woman must do more head tossing, more brimming, have more sniffling intuition, more creative life, more 'get down dirty,' more solitude, more women's company, more natural life, more fire, more spirit, more cooking of words and ideas. She must do more recognition of sorority, more seeding, more root stock-keeping, more kindness to men, more neighborhood revolution, more poetry, more painting of fables and facts, longer reaches into the wild feminine.”

Yes, this book is amazing and has value for every woman. Have you read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Through the myths and stories retold in this book and the commentary and deep insights offered by the author, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I think you’ll find this book speaks deeply to your soul. I would also love to form a Women Who Run With the Wolves ‘pack’ (if you will) and meet monthly to discuss parts of this book and to talk about our path and how to reclaim our wildish selves, “that place where there is time and freedom to be, wander, wonder, write, sing, create, and not be afraid”. So, who’s with me?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roots: historical novels with Indiana ties

If you’re an avid reader, maybe you too have a book list—a list of books that you have read and loved, as well as books you want to read. I have plenty of books on my ‘to read’ to keep me occupied for probably a couple years, but I have recently added a couple more. It’s all the better if they combine and intertwine factual history with fiction, leaving the reader with a greater sense of place, awareness of and appreciation for the events, places and players in history. Here is a list of three acclaimed novels: Stardust by Noblesville author Kurt Meyer, The Massacre at Fall Creek by Jessamyn West, and Follow the River by Indiana resident James Alexander Thom.

Stardust is set right here in Noblesville and is a compelling story of love and loss. Once you read this book, you will be drawn to walking around ‘Old Town’ Noblesville like never before—compelled to seek out homes and commercial buildings featured in the book, as well as noticing (perhaps for the first time) the magnificent buildings that Noblesville once had that were torn down in the name of ‘progress.’

The Massacre at Fall Creek takes place around Pendleton in 1824 and is the account of the capture, trial and execution of five white men for the murder of nine peaceful Native Americans. There is a marker denoting the spot near where the massacre occurred on State Road 38 E, near Markleville (east of Pendleton).

Follow the River depicts the kidnapping of Mary Ingles from a Virginia settlement by Shawnee Indians in 1755 and details her escape from captivity and one thousand mile journey to return to her people.

I haven’t read the last two books yet but they’re next. All three books are available at the library.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't brush this idea asides: subscribe, recycle

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote about recycling and all the items you can toss in the bin. So if you’re anything like me, when it comes to tossing your toothbrush you wonder if that too can be recycled.
    It can. Preserve Products makes stylish, eco-friendly products from 100% recycled plastic. All products are made in the USA, and there is a mail-in recycling program for those whose communities don’t recycle #5 plastics and for Brita water filters (more on that later).
    Preserve launched in 1997 with the Toothbrush. I actually remember this—I saw a blurb about it in the paper (it was Recycline then) and as I clipped it out, I felt a kinship with this guy, Eric Hudson and his commitment to making a positive impact.
    Fast forward to now, and this company now makes kitchen, tableware and personal care products (BPA free).
    Check out the razor handles. Women, if you’ve ever stood in the razor aisle trying to settle on a razor that doesn’t completely annoy your aesthetic sensibilities, you have Citrus Yellow, Sky Blue, Pear Green and more to choose from. The handles are powered by yogurt cups. ™ I love it.
    Back to the toothbrush. The toothbrushes are offered individually, or you can purchase a toothbrush subscription and receive a new toothbrush to your door four times a year for $11.00. Sweet! Then just toss your old one in your recycling bin, or you can download a postage paid envelope from the company and mail yours in to Preserve if your community doesn’t recycle #5.
    Now for the Brita Filters. See the website for a ‘how to’, and the filters can be either mailed in or dropped off at Preserve Gimme 5 bins, located at Whole Foods in Carmel and in Indy according to the website.