Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'Hippie chicks' still mixing it up the natural way

   Cortney Horstman showed us how to cook with herbs

Six months ago I wrote about my foray into deodorant making with my friends at an inaugural ‘(I’m not a) dirty hippie party’, where we ate and drank and mixed ingredients like cocoa and shea butter and essential oils to create little jars of homemade deodorant (really works!). I’m happy to report that these parties have become a monthly event and we’re reclaiming a bit of DIY initiative and having a great time in the process.

Being the flighty, somewhat unfocused person that I am, I haven’t kept track of what all we’ve made, but we racked our brains and came up with this list: deodorant, laundry detergent, facial cleanser & moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, sugar scrubs, and toothpaste. We even had a ‘Hippies cook with Herbs’ party in July, where my friend Cortney showed us, well, how to cook with herbs. So fun to get together and talk about compost and bring our herb and garden pickings!

We’ve had a ton of laughs, and these are some of the most awesome women that I know. We’ve all learned things too, one of which is this: do not mix baking soda and vinegar together unless you want the bubbling, overflowing volcano effect.

We plan to continue these monthly get-togethers, so to my friends reading this that aren’t on facebook (that’s how I do the invites), call me and get in the loop!

Here’s the Sugar Scrub recipe, which is so super easy and effective:

1 jar (baby food jars work well), 1 cup sugar, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, and essential oil (optional). Mix sugar and olive oil, add any scent(s) you like. Use as an exfoliator, and shake before use.

Wow, and I love that basic home/bath products don’t have to be bought from a store. Rock on, hippie chicks!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Art Lives Here

I've been anxiously awaiting this post--my first cover story for Current in Noblesville:  Art lives here

Our friends, Kandi and William Jamieson and their children Elizabeth and William, started Arthouse.  We're thrilled to know you and wish you all the best!

Arthouse blogged it here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Historic Homes of Noblesville--1139 Cherry St.

Location: 1139 Cherry Street

Owners: Pete and Barb Lapitsky, since 2004

Constructed by: Ann Dunn, circa 1877. Ann was the wife of Nathaniel Dunn, a Civil War Veteran, who died shortly after they purchased the land to build this house.

Style and features: The style is Italianate, with a deep, bracketed cornice at the roofline. The original porch spanned the full width of the front of the home. The home now has a side porch, which was added in the 1920’s when the original porch was removed. The home has tall, narrow windows, solid oak floors, and heavy molding as a few of its charming features.

What work have you done on your house? “We’ve refinished the office and bedroom floors, tiled the upstairs bath wall and added glass block, stripped woodwork, added a new porch entry door, new oak molding, and installed a new kitchen countertop. We also added picture frame molding on the upper fa├žade just under the roofline around the entire house. We added all new windows, a leaded glass address transom over the front entrance door, and Barb designed matching leaded glass transoms in the living room. Outside we have landscaped the yard, added custom benches and a fence, and a brick walkway and stone slabs.”

What are your favorite features? “We enjoy the side porch, the oak floors, the pocket doors, the original front door, and the woodwork and high ceilings.”

This home will be featured on the Historic Home Tour Saturday September 18th from 10-5.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't be an American idler; turn off your engine in line

“Idling gets you nowhere.” That’s the slogan of one of the many anti-idling campaigns cropping up across the country in an effort to curb voluntary idling in carpool lanes, an important message school back in session.
Why the anti-idling campaign? One vehicle by itself idling for a few minutes may not seem like a big deal, but multiply one times hundreds of cars, and throw in a bunch of school buses and a large student population, and that’s a lot of fumes to inhale.
With the rise of asthma and allergies coupled with the fact that children’s lungs are still developing and are more susceptible to the polluting effects of their environment, that’s a great reason to raise awareness and be more diligent about reducing emissions. Not to mention the fact that they are smaller and therefore closer to the exhaust, inhaling more of it than adults. That’s the health aspect.
Then there’s the environmental impact. The cumulative effects of carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere needlessly is preventable, as is the consequent wasting of fuel by sitting and idling unnecessarily. It’s estimated that Americans waste 2-3 million gallons of gas every day by voluntary idling. That’s also a lot of wasted money!
I’ve spent my share of time in carpool lanes, and until the line is actually moving, I always, always cut the engine. Rule of thumb: if you’ll be idling for more than 10 seconds, turn it off. Obviously this doesn’t apply to being in traffic, but it does also apply to idling in carwash lines, concert lines, talking on the phone inside your vehicle in your driveway, and idling in any drive up lanes including banks and fast food drive thrus.
Are any area schools are adopting this important campaign?

Friday, August 20, 2010

helping fellow humans in need

(This column wasn't in the paper, but I wanted to post it here, too, as well as on my other blog)

I’m a huge champion of local foods, supporting small, local farmers, and of community and helping each other out. If you are too, here’s a chance to make a difference in the lives of some local farmers who are in need of help.

Slow Food Indy is the central Indiana chapter of Slow Food International (an organization that counteracts our fast food nation) and is raising funds to help local farmers Kelly Funk and John Ferree of Seldom Seen Farms, a vegetable, herb and flower farm located east of Danville. Kelly was working in the fields on July 8 and was tragically struck by lightening. She survived, and is now in a long term acute care facility in Indianapolis. Her recovery will be long and slow, and so much isn’t known yet about the extent of her injuries. She and her husband have a one year old daughter, Laila.

Now the community is coming together to raise funds for the long and expensive road ahead, as well as to volunteer to work on their farm. Slow Food Indy is hosting a benefit dinner for the family on August 22nd at Apple Farm in McCordsville. To find out more information on the dinner and how to purchase tickets, as well as how to donate online to Kelly Funk’s recovery fund, visit http://www.slowfoodindy.com/ or http://www.seldomseenfarm.com/. There you can also find links to the blog with updates on her recovery, as well a link to their facebook page. While you’re at it, http://www.goinglocal-info.com/ is another resource to be connected with local food producers and artisans to find fresh, local and in-season foods, as well as information on CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture). There’s a whole world of community revolving around food, and it’s worth seeking out. Many prayers for Kelly’s recovery.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

He was smooth and sneaky, and he taught me to dance

The music began to play and I stepped out on to the dance floor with Calloway. His first name was John, but he was known simply as Calloway. As a young, new dance teacher I didn’t know what to expect. I immediately realized two things. 1) He was smooth and a good dancer, and 2) he was tricky.

I was intimidated by this man who I would learn had been dancing longer than I’d been alive. I was taller than him by at least half a foot, I think he came up to my chin, and so I looked down on his salt and pepper head and smooth, brown, lined face. He asked me once if I’d guess his age and I tentatively guessed, based on his looks and long dance history, seventy? He laughed. No, he was eighty four. Eighty four and still dancing. Eighty four and, telling me I was pretty, still a flirt.

I have to really focus on following Calloway, he has his very own unique style. I’m tense, which doesn’t help, but I can’t relax yet. He’s tricky, remember? Calloway has an easy going manner, as though he’s never fazed, either on the dance floor or off. He weaves me in and out on the crowded floor and I wonder how he can not only see around me, but how he can execute breaks and turns that are just what’s needed, without hesitation.

To follow Calloway meant to let go of my pre-conceived notions of how the dance should go. That this step is A, B, and C, followed by that step. Calloway owned the dances, they didn’t own him. He’d mastered them, and so was able to dissect them and put them back together in new ways.

After my first dance with Calloway, I was stunned. I’d expected to be led in a beginner waltz by this slight black man, and ended up thinking I was in way over my head.

Each dance with Calloway helped me to become better. I practiced being more relaxed, yielding. I became less uneasy and less scared  and I began to enjoy the partnership and the dance.

Calloway taught me more on the dance floor than anyone else probably. My ballroom dance teacher days are over, and I wonder what has become of Calloway. To me, he was a favorite and forgiving partner, and I’m grateful for his lessons to this teacher.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Historic Homes of Noblesville

Location: 17485 River Avenue

Owners: Lynell Newell and her late husband, Pat, since 1976
Constructed by: Civil war veteran Louis G. Metsker and his wife, Sarah, circa 1876
Style: Italianate, with a hipped roofline and wide eaves. The elaborate roofline cornice features scroll brackets and horizontal windows. The home appears larger than it really is. The rooms are small with 10 foot tall ceilings and each room is closed off from the next with wooden doors and transoms.
What work have you done on your house? “The work has been an ongoing labor of love for the past 34 years. We’ve had custom windows made for the house, as well as had exterior painting and wood repair done, roofing, and general updating of the interior.”
What are your favorite features? “The stairwell with its decorative newel post and curved steps. This curve makes it almost impossible to get the furniture up to the second floor and requires the use of the second story door right above the formal front entrance. The decorative corbels and gingerbread on the front porch are all original. The interior has the original doors and hardware and the windows retain their original trim.”
What do you like about this area/neighborhood? “Being within walking distance to all that Noblesville has to offer. I feel like I still have a piece of the country, but am near to the city and activities.”

The 24th Annual Noblesville Tour of Historic Homes will take place on Saturday, September 18th from 10-5.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who needs matching dinnerware when friends are a perfect fit?

This summer we resumed our (once annual) ‘Summer Soiree’, deciding to hold it on the night of the Street Dance. This was perfect because we live downtown and this way our friends could stop by and hang out, and then walk over to the dance if they wanted to.

I wanted to make the party as earth friendly and lovely as possible, and to gather what we already had, which meant using real glasses, silverware, plates and napkins. I didn’t care if they were mismatched, actually I prefer it. Thanks to the wonders of facebook, I was united with card tables, chairs, glasses, and dozens and dozens of vintage 1950’s snack trays (thank you, Brenda, and I support you in your snack-tray-collecting compulsion, even though your family subjects you to endless teasing). I set up the tables with my vintage tablecloths, stocked the cooler with beer, and we were ready to go.

Our friends came and went and we savored delicious food, drink, conversation and music. It was fun to see everyone re-connecting with old friends and making new. As dark fell, the lights strung on the clothesline lit up the night and the hula hoops came out. I loved hooping with my friends and laughing as we showed our mad hooping skills. And I laughed watching my friend Kristin take ‘duck face’ pictures of some of the guests. If you don’t know what ‘duck face’ is, you’re missing out. Or maybe not. As storms started to blow in, we packed it in, sad it was over but grateful to have had a gorgeous summer evening in this place.

Babywearing Note: Noblesville resident Susan Graham of Spud and Sprout is offering readers a 10% discount in her etsy shop now through 9-30-10. Visit www.spudandsprout.etsy.com to see these lovely handcrafted ring slings.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Special Offer on handcrafted baby slings for my readers...

I received this email after my latest babywearing post/column ran in the Current:

I enjoyed your recent article in Current Noblesville on baby wearing. I wore my first child until he was 10 months old and I found out I was expecting again. My little girl now enjoys being close to mommy most of the day. I just started an etsy store, selling handcrafted ring slings from really hip fabrics. If you would be willing, I would love to offer your blog readers a 10% discount. I have enclosed the links to my blog and my etsy store. If you scroll down a few posts, you can see a few of the slings I hold near and dear to my heart.
Susan Graham
Susan's blog

Spud and Sprout etsy store--10% discount through 9-30-10.  Just mention where you saw this to get the discount.  Feel free to pass on to your friends, too!

Thanks, Susan, for this offer!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Memories Part One

I’m writing this in my living room at midnight. The house is blessedly quiet and moonbeams spill through the panes of glass in my front door like pools of liquid silver. It has been a beautiful summer weekend of making memories. Friday night the 23rd, we went to the Jack Johnson concert with my sister and brother in law, Katie and Abdon, an unexpected treat. We caught up a bit on each other’s lives as we carpooled in, and then each debated whether or not to shell out eight bucks for a beer, finally deciding ‘why not?’, noted the recycling bins (and by the way, I was very happy to see Jack Johnson’s efforts to make his concerts and tours minimally impact the environment) and we soaked up the atmosphere.

I promptly spilled almost a third of my $8 drink on myself and laughed at my clumsiness. The moon rose behind us as G-Love and Jack Johnson treated us to a perfect summer evening of music. A storm was coming in, and after the concert finished we made it back to the Jeep before the skies opened up. We were buoyant at our good fortune for not getting stuck out in it.

We also had a laugh on the drive home as I directed my brother in law to go south on a certain road to get to the road we needed to be on, nevermind the ‘Road Closed’ barricades. What could go wrong? It turned out that the road really was impassable, and we ended up turning around on dirt and backtracking. I don’t think they’ll take my directional advice again. Ahem.

I feel full to the brim with love and gratitude for all of the amazing people in my life. Thank you. Part 2 to come next time!