Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who are you? Take the test and find out

I took a fascinating personality quiz recently. I was completely skeptical about it at first (how could it know me?), but then blown away when I read my results, which summed me up perfectly.

My results from the quiz indicate that my personality type is INFP (Introvert, INtuitive,, Feeler, Perceiver) . To sum it up, I am deeply committed to work and a vision I believe in, am adaptable and patient, creative, diplomatic, sensitive to others feelings, am a good listener and sincere. I’m driven to help people and make the world a better place (which hopefully I have done a little bit of here).

The assessment also tells me that I’m a dreamer and seek unconventional ways of doing things. I’m not detail oriented unless it’s for a cause that I believe in, I don’t like to deal with the mundane details of life, and I don’t like to deal with hard facts and logic.

I’m shaking my head yes, yes and yes! I read that “INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkward and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper.”

Right again. It’s tough to accept the ‘talented’ part (INFP’s also have trouble giving themselves credit), but this quiz was a cool eye opener. Cogitating on the different types helps me to understand the other 95% of humanity and why they do what they do, too.

Check out www.mypersonality.info for the quiz. There are sixteen different personality types, each belonging to one of four temperaments (Protectors, Creators, Intellectuals, and Visionaries). Each temperament has introverts and extroverts. You probably already know if you are an introvert or an extrovert, but beyond that you may be surprised at how well you are defined. Is it accurate for you?

County's Hazardous Waste Center prepared for Fall Cleanup

Fall is not only a time when Noblesville residents rake up leaves and prepare their yards for the winter, but an ideal time to give their homes and garages a clean sweep, too.

If you have a collection of old paint cans just lying around, or old electronics, dead batteries, and other miscellaneous items that should never be thrown in the regular trash or dumped down the drain or sewer, the Hamilton County Hazardous Waste Center is ready to take them off your hands.

The Hazardous Waste Center provides a place for toxic chemicals and other hazardous items to be disposed of in a way that impacts the environment in the least damaging way.
The center is open to any Hamilton County resident and is located at 1717 Pleasant Street, Noblesville, just west of the 4-H Fairgrounds.  Hours are 8AM-5PM Tuesday through Friday and Saturday from 8AM-1:30PM.

Some of the items the center will collect include:

• Paint products (empty or full): Latex and oil based paints, stains, and varnish, mineral spirits, paint thinners and strippers

• Automotive products: motor oil, filters, antifreeze, batteries, brake and transmission fluid, and tires

• Aerosols (empty or full): spray paint, primers, cleaners, bug spray

• Fuels: kerosene, gasoline, lighter fluid

• Pesticides and Herbicides

• Cleaners: soaps, shampoos, household cleaners, oven cleaners, toilet and drain cleaners

• Electronics: monitor, computers, keyboards, mice, printers, TVs, microwaves, DVDs and VCRs, phones, cell phones

• Batteries: rechargeable, lithium, button cells

• Pool Chemicals

• Beauty Aids: nail polish/remover, hair spray, cologne and perfume

• Fluorescent lights

• Freon Appliances: empty refrigerators and freezers, dehumidifiers, window AC units

• Miscellaneous: cooking oil, driveway sealer, printer cartridges

For a longer listing of acceptable items, as well as items the center does not accept,  visit www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov or call 776.4005.

Historic Homes of Noblesville--1428 Monument Street

Location: 1428 Monument Street

Owner: Janet Robertson, since 2006

Style and history: This brick Victorian cottage was constructed c. 1894 by William M. and Nellie M. Caylor. The home features an irregular hipped roofline with north and south side dormers and ten foot ceilings downstairs. The existing concrete block front porch is a modern alteration. The home’s original footprint included a small rear porch, which was later replaced by an addition.

What are your favorite features? “I love this house. I like the fact that most of the living can be done on one floor, but that I also have plenty of room upstairs for my kids. I love the character of the house, the hardwood floors, all of the closet space (rare for a home of this age) and of course we love the pool! The back feels so private.”

What work have you done on your house? “Most of the work was already done when I purchased the home, but I did put in the heating and air upstairs. I also added a heater to the pool to extend the life of the swim season.”

What do you like about this area/neighborhood? “The neighbors are friendly and wonderful. I love the fact that we can walk downtown and to school. I can even walk to Forest Park, and I love that I can sit on my front porch and see the high school parades.”

This home is for sale, offered by Steve Decatur of Century 21. 317-705-2525

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life, Liberty, Cake for All

Inspired by son's autism, Noblesville woman opens gluten-free bakery

By Krista Bocko
Current in Noblesville

To most people, ordering and eating a bakery birthday cake is a fairly ordinary event. But when Jennifer Wiese took the order for a gluten- and dairy-free frosted vanilla birthday cake – with the image of Yoda on it – she had no idea the reaction her creation would create.

Her customer had searched online, found the BeeFree Bakery website and was thrilled to find a local gluten- and dairy-free bakery like Wiese’s. The customer loved Yoda and asked Wiese if it were possible to put the Star Wars character on her cake. Wiese called a cake-decorating friend who printed a picture of Yoda on gluten-free edible rice paper.

“She had never had a birthday cake,” explained Wiese. “I put it (the image of Yoda) on the cake and delivered it to her, and she was in tears. She was literally crying.”

“Everyone should be able to enjoy life, liberty, and cake.”

Wiese, the owner and baker of BeeFree Bakery, a Noblesville gluten-and dairy-free bakery, has been baking gluten-free products for her family for the past five years. She started when she heard about how going gluten-free food might be able to help her oldest son, who is on the autism spectrum.

“The impact on him was huge,” she said.

Since then, she’s had a passion for baking treats just as delicious as their gluten-containing counterparts -- not just gluten-free baking.

Wiese, who opened her bakery in January, wears her black-and-white checked apron and churns out delicious sweet treats in the commercial kitchen in Logan Street Marketplace in downtown Noblesville.

Following hours and hours of research, she understands the challenges of gluten- and dairy-free baking. She has substituted gluten-free flours in her family’s favorite recipes before finally finding the right combination of five different flours that lend just the right texture and taste to sweets.

“When I first started baking, I would buy the flour mixes in the grocery and was never happy with it,” she said. “When you look at the ingredients, a lot of them contain bean flour, and I didn’t like the taste they created in baked goods. It took me awhile to find just what I was looking for.”

“Having to feed someone that has these dairy- and gluten-free needs is difficult. So, every time I wanted something sweet and freshly baked for my son, I had a hard time finding something that was really tasty. Over those years of experimenting, I felt like there was a need for this kind of business.”

The response from customers, including her participation in the Indianapolis Winter Farmer’s Market, has confirmed that she’s on to a good thing.

“People really do seek this type of product, and I have something that people like and enjoy,” said Wiese.

Her products are used by Green B.E.A.N. delivery, a local grocery delivery service.

“It’s nice to work with them (B.E.A.N.) because they have local fresh products that I can work with, like zucchini for my zucchini bread, so I purchase some of my ingredients from them. I believe in supporting local growers and producers and using as many local and organic ingredients as I can.”

Wiese’s vision is also to make her products more readily available for the community.

“My hope is to grow,” she said. “I can’t do it all on my own. I did this so I could offer really good-tasting fresh gluten- and dairy-free foods. Realistically, I can’t do all of that, bake it, market it and sell it. My goal is to find somebody to bake it so I can go out and sell it.”

What’s the best part of what she does?

“It’s nice to make that connection through food,” she said. “Food is such an integral part of everyone’s life. If you can make it really special, it’s a neat gift to give somebody.”

About BeeFree Bakery

Where to purchase: Logan Street Marketplace, 937 Logan St., Noblesville (call BeeFree Bakery ahead to place your order); Blu Moon Café, 200 S. Rangeline Road, Carmel; Green B.E.A.N., www.greenbeandelivery.com, 317.377.0470

Products: Let it Bee…John Lemon cake, Chocolate Dream cupcakes, Chocolate Crinkle cookies, Vanilla Velvet cake, frozen pizza dough, all purpose flour mix (to substitute in favorite recipes). Products may change seasonally.

Info: http://www.beefreegf.com/,

Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
½ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
½ cup Earth Balance shortening
1 ½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¾ cup BeeFree flour mix
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
4 T. sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
1. Cream together first 3 ingredients, then add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
2.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to above. Mix well.
3.  Shape dough into rounded balls (an ice cream scooper works well).
4.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and roll balls in mixture.
5.  Place dough balls 2 “ apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
6.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until set, but not too hard. They will appear not quite done, but will firm as they cool.
7.  Remove from cookie sheet before they cool.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2-4-6-8! We don't need to vaccinate!

As if it’s not enough that every drugstore (there are at least 35 Hamilton County) has signs out proclaiming that the flu vaccine is here and there and only $25, at which I roll my eyes and move on, I was surprised that there also would be a ‘Tailgate and Vaccinate’ event at a high school football game.

Then again, now that the flu frenzy season is here and everyone ‘needs’ this vaccine, I guess the next logical step is to push the vaxes at the schools and school events. After all, according to the announcement, “Why not tailgate - and vaccinate - while you're there?”

Why not vaccinate for the flu? I’m no expert and don’t claim to be, but I have been wary of vaccines, and how they’re pushed on our kids, for years, and I’ve researched vaccines, compared vaccine schedules, and questioned. We don’t vaccinate for the flu.

In my compiled notes, I have a page dated from 2003 that states “Children are the next frontier for the lucrative flu vaccine campaign.” Back then, only those aged fifty and up (and those in high risk groups) were encouraged to get the vaccine. And just a few years before that, the threshold age was 65. Now, here we are--starting the flu shot at six months.

And yet, I don’t have solid evidence that the flu vaccine is safe, effective, and truly intended to help me and my family be healthy. It’s an experiment with unknown implications. I say no to the drugs pushed on us every flu season (to be sure, vaccines are drugs). I’d like to see an end to the fear-mongering and pressure to conform, and a more critical look given to whether this is the best for our health.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Does she or doesn't she? She doesn't - no poo!

I’ve given up shampoo. Yep, I’ve gone hard-core hippie. It actually took me a couple of years from when I first learned about going what some call ‘no-poo’ to make the leap, but true to my I-must-question-everything nature, I did some reading about shampoo and conditioner and the reasons to not use them made a lot of sense.
Regular shampoos generally contain sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), which is not a soap but a detergent. As such, it strips the natural oils from hair. This is where conditioner comes in, to replace the oils that were stripped out.

Since the SLS detergents are harsh, the scalp works overtime to replace the natural oils and hair gets oily quickly, meaning, you guessed it, you feel like you need to wash your hair daily or it will drive you crazy. And it’s a vicious cycle.

Not for me, not any more! I finally tried not using shampoo. I basically use the following: Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, which is very gentle and doesn’t strip oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. I love it a whole lot. I use a little bit of castile soap, lather it in and add some baking soda. (By the way, baking soda is a mild abrasive, and great for getting rid of product build-up.) Then I rinse that out and use about ¼ of a cup of vinegar diluted with warm water to equal a cup or so, work it into my hair, and rinse well.

That’s it! It works really well for me, and as a bonus, it’s another way to stick it to the Man. I don’t need their artificially scented shampoos and conditioners, thank you very much, and I save money and am treading more lightly on the earth by saying no, thanks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tending to the creative fires more important than a clean kitchen

I was standing in my kitchen a few weeks ago talking to my friend that just moved here.  I haven’t been to her house yet, and as she stood in the chaos that comprised my kitchen that afternoon, she remarked how she wouldn’t feel apologetic to have me over to her house after having seen mine. 
            I laughed.  Good, because I want people to be comfortable in my house, and while I do prefer clean and clutter-free to messy, that’s not my reality most of the time.  I can’t stress out about it too much, or I’ll miss out on what’s most important to me, which are people and relationships and following my path of what I think makes this world a better place.
            My friend and I stood there in my messy kitchen and talked about how we fiercely hold on to what we’re passionate about and we make space for our creative fires to burn hot and bright, even though that often means letting go of other things, because when it comes down to choosing between tending our creative fires or having a clean house, we go with the fire tending.      
            Should we feel guilty?  Nah.
            Later I was re-reading a passage in one of my very favorite books of all time, Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves, and I read this: “I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write…and you know it’s a funny thing about house cleaning…it never comes to an end.  Perfect way to stop a woman.”
            Estes talks about the wild creative force flowing into each of us like a river, and will we pollute it or keep the waters clear?  Our creative ability is our most valuable asset.  I love that. 

Historic Homes of Noblesville--1336 Conner Street

1336 Conner Street
Owners:  Vernon and Dottie Young, since1987
Style & History:  Queen Anne vernacular cottage, circa 1880, built by Marion and Mary Essington.  This 1 ½ story home features a large bay window overlooking
Conner St.
and a large front porch.  Marion was a Civil War Veteran and died as a result of lingering effects of a Civil War wound. Mary finished the home and lived here with her daughter Clara until her death in the early 1920’s. The most notorious owner was Citizens National bank president Harry Craig who embezzled money from the bank in the 1930’s.
What work have you done on your house?  We’re wallpapering the kitchen and putting a new shower in the downstairs bath. We’ve had the chimneys restored, turned an upstairs ½ bath into a full bath, put in  new wiring, plumbing, furnace, roof, taken out carpet, you name it. We wonder what people in new homes do for fun.”
What are your favorite features?  “We love the walls that are three bricks thick, the bay windows, the coffered ceiling on the front porch, and the limestone window sills. Inside I love the bay window and original fireplace  and our large kitchen.”
What do you like about this area/neighborhood? “Our neighborhood and our neighbors. We love being able to walk downtown to shop and have lunch or dinner with friends and being able to walk to Forest Park or Seminary park.  Noblesville's old town is still a small town.”