Friday, May 27, 2005

Oh I love my "home town"

Ok, Portland Oregon is NOT really my home town, but it is pretty darn close. Anyway, while surfing about trying to live sustainable in a tropical environ, I stumbled upon the the following website... Low Impact

Well, while on the site I found this great book, all about natural cleaners and toxic items in our home. It is published by the Oregon DEQ and Portland Metro.

Hazardless Home

how cool is Portland... way cool :-)



Friday, May 20, 2005

Missing my kids

I am in Taiwan, day 3 of a 10 day trip. I miss my kids. Want to be home. I miss my grumpy gus husband, want to be home.

Glad to be in Taipei, glad to see my pals.

Still missing my kids.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Not exactly simple

Traveling the world is not really the best use of the worlds resources, but hey it is fun...

Where have you been?

create your own visited country map

Ok, not like I have visited ALL of Russia, ALl of the US or Mexico, but you get the idea :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Simple Spring

Well, we don't have "Spring" in Singapore, but we just transplanted the catnip and the bringal (aka eggplant) into bigger pots. The eggplant, if it survives, will need to be thinned again as the plants get bigger and we see which are the healthy ones. I guess they will be about ready when we get ready to head back to the states for a break.

Here are some thoughts from a list serve on healing I am on. Nice ideas to spread.

Inspired by Keeping Life Simple, by Karen Levine (Storey Books, 2004).

These wise tips hold great potential for changing our lives. Just like the seeds many of us are planting now, these tips can grow into ways of being that are gentler, simpler, and filled with more honest joy in living.

Check out the ten tips for a simpler spring--and a simpler, happier life--right here:

1. Relax your standards. A messy garden takes less work than an ultra-tidy one, but it still bears beautiful flowers and fruit.

2. Take time to figure out what you find most satisfying. Some of us like to spend the spring days washing our car, foraging for wild edibles, or lazing in a hammock. Make sure you know what your pleasure-priorities are.

3. Create time for the things you care about, whether it is a daily walk in the spring sun, or 30 minutes with a good book.

4. Enjoy what’s in front of you. Spring abounds with beauty, no matter where you live. Take time to appreciate it all.

5. There is value in having a long-range perspective on life, but there is also a value in being able to live in the moment. We don’t want to miss the beauty of the buds because we’re impatiently longing for the ripe fruit.

6. Learn to be flexible; rigidity is the hobgoblin of an unsatisfying life. We can take a lesson from the trees, which sway in the spring winds and rains and are not uprooted.

7. CHANGE. . . every once in awhile you need to shake things up and surprise everyone, including yourself. On a sunny day, grab your kids and head outside for an unexpected picnic. If your child gets grass-stains on their knees, so what? The joy of acting spontaneously is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer.

8. What activities and things are you able to live without? If you really think about this, your list will grow and grow. . . Maybe you don’t really need the latest garden gadget you were drooling over in the catalog, or that new lawn chair. . . Maybe you’d rather not make those sandwiches for that meeting because someone else could do that just as well, but only YOU can do some of the things YOU do . . .

9. Remember, you always have the capacity to make CHOICES. This year, maybe you’d rather plant strawberries than roses. Or you’d rather save for a getaway rather than buy a new stereo. It’s up to you.

10. Remember that there are no bonus points in life for suffering through what other people say you should enjoy. Only you know what really pleases you.

From the Healing Den.

Hope you are having a great spring back at home.



Friday, May 13, 2005

For Jennifer-Essential Oil recipes for kids

To put on Parent Pages...
I found these online today... Things in italics are my own 2Cents

Essential Oil Recipes for Babies and Children

Natural Baby Oil
Empty container for oil
1/2 cup of olive oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Mandarin Essential Oil

The blend of Lavender and Mandarin is not only beneficial to the skin, but is relaxing and can calm a baby along with the massage given as you apply the oil. Mix ingredients in the chosen container. Shake well to blend oils.

Nothing better for mom and baby than to sit back and relax with a small baby massage.

Teething Gel for Little Ones
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or glycerin (sweeter flavor)
1 drop Clove Essential Oil

In a small bottle, mix the Clove Essential Oil with the vegetable oil or glycerin and shake till well-blended.


Homemade Baby Wipes
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 teaspoons vinegar

Pour all of the ingredients into a glass jar with a tight lid. Cover jar and shake to blend ingredients well. Lavender Essential Oil is healing to the skin. Vinegar and Tea Tree will help to prevent diaper rash and keep the wipes from becoming moldy. If the baby already has diaper rash, be sure the vinegar doesn't irritate it.

Place your wipes (see below) in the container you will be using and pour enough of the solution over them to moisten them. You can add more later if it seems to dry. Store leftover liquid in the refrigerator.

Wipes: Choose a sturdy paper towel. Remove the center cardboard. Cut roll in half. Begin use with towel from the center of the hole. You can generally find a purchased wipes container that will fit the roll.

I advise against using paper towels. WHY not use soft cotton flannel rags, you wash these with your CLOTH diapers. So much better for the environment. Paper towels are often craft wood, highly processed, bleached and very hard on babies bottom!


This is it, this is the dream. This is what we want. Anyone want to spare 175K for us to buy this now?

7 acres, in Amity, Amity Heights subdivision.



Still focusing on risk. Why is it that I have become risk adverse? I used to be the first person to say, what jump out of an airplane? You Bet.

Move to Asia, YOU BET,

Quit your chinese at the age of thirty... Why not!

Things seem different now, maybe it is the kids, maybe it is pushing 40. I don't know, risks just seem so much scarier now. Things just seem different now. Things just seem more involved.

But again, could be hatching chickens before they count.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Be Very Careful what you ask for...

More on the whole art journal class, I am taking it all in, and it seems to be very appropriate. The prompt this week is RISK. Wow, the timing could not have been better. Jeff is looking for a new job. One option would involve a move. Not a move I am too excited about, but it would be a great opportunity for him. I also don't want to hatch my chickens before they coop, or something like that, so risk is a very appropriate theme now.

I also think about my desires and wants. What is it that I want?

1. Do I want to be an international attorney and live the life a a vagabond, living out of suitcases, on the road more weeks than home? I used to think so.

2. Do I want to stay home with the kids all the time? Give them my full and undividved attention 24-7? Would I have the emotional strength? Would I go nuts?

3. Do I want to become a rich socialite expat wife, lunching, meetings for "the better good of the poor and downtrodden" in what ever town I live?

4. Do I want to have a small farm, back at home in Oregon, but as a result be tied to the land and never feel the opportunity to leave?

Risk, what do I want? What is best for my family and me? What do Jeff and I really need?

I guess part of living simply, is living mindfully. I think I need to "drill down" and find what is the very core of me and satify those inner calls. It is too easy to pick part of the solution, and feel part satisfied, only to later feel incomplete.

Be careful what you ask for. I wanted an overseas life, with travel being first and foremost, I got it... but is that all I want? I just don't know.

ramblings from the road. Week one of 3 weeks of travel.



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Surreal life in China

How does life get any more strange? Take a trip to China and find out.

I am staying at the Shenzen Crowne Plaza, arguably the best hotel in all of Shenzhen. The best part is that is is fashioned after a Venitian Theme, all of the bellboys wearing little italian hats. Yup, I kid you not. Here is the only downloadable image I could find on the web. For more you will need to hit the webpage. Really go take a virtual tour. It is a trip

But, guess what I look out on? The Eiffel tower. I shit you not. What? DOn't believe me? Here, look here is proof.

Life, just doesn't get any better than this!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Ok, I have a cyst, and it hurts, it happens to be in one of those places that clothes rub and makes it even worse.

Along those lines here is some fun reading from one of the internets' greatest bloggers... Dooce. I remeber reading about Lance Armstrong (the cyst...not the cyclist) and Lance Armstrong the Conclusionreader alert graphic written images are in the above links (in otherwords...eew gross.

So, I am about to run off on a short overnight trip to Shenzhen China and when I come back I am going to ask the Doc if there is anything he can do to "cyst my lance".

In the meantime, lots of internet sites basically state there is nothing you can do, other than wait, have it removed, and take antibiotics. YUK. It is funny, I had the same type of a bump on my hip, it appeared when I was preggers with Declan and it was there for about 2 years, it never bothered me, but it is still sort of there in sort of a scar tissue sort of a way. The only other thing that I can see is that I should take more EFA (cause I guess that helps prevent them) and to use a warm compress. In the meantime, it is bandaid city for me.

More information than you ever wanted to know huh?

Monday, May 09, 2005

A meme-renewal

I am working on an art journal challenge over at Written Down The first theme was starting, beginning, renewal. This weeks theme is Risk. Interesting, as I read on a bunch of scrapbooking blogs like Ali or Donna where these women are also starting fresh, changing. Ali is on a personal challenge to simplify her life and I really appriciate that. Donna is trying to renew her scrap area. But... for me... it is so much more.

First, I got an unexpected raise. A nice one too. About 25%. While I am still underpaid, this goes a long way. The hard part is that we need to save some money, in the event Jeff loses his job, but it is very difficult not to want to get a few things. Things that I don't really NEED, but that would make my life much more full. A car. American Club Membership. But first, we are going to put the extra 25% in savings until September, and then, we will discuss other expenses.

Onto renewal, I really want to live more sustainably here in Singapore. I dream of a deck side garden, I really dream of a small home with a garden, but that may not be possible. I want to cut back on my overall food purchases, I want to live more in tune with nature.

Problems that need to be overcome. My deck is really quite small, but in order to stay in a less expensive apartment, in a place with a great pool, a great day school for Declan, we need to stay here. Is it possible to use the bedroom deck as a Garden? What will this require and can we scrounge up supplies rather than purchase them? If so, do we need to build shelfs or other items to maximize space and light?

I need to learn about tropical gardening? Where to find books on this? I guess I will start with the library and online sources?

I want to find out more about storage of foods in tropical enviroments. We could I guess, find a big freezer, which everyone seems to say is the way to keep things dry and the humidity out... but freezers use LOTS of energy, are big areas and are not really cost efficent for a small apartment, I guess one of the only solutions is to vacuum pack, so where do I find a vacuum packing machine?

Well, those are my memes on renewal....



Thursday, May 05, 2005

Going Home For Vacation?

So, we have committed, we are going back to the States for 2 weeks this summer. One of the big plans is to go through our storage shed, get rid of stuff that has been sitting there for 6 years now, and determine what to keep, toss and what to ship back to Singapore.

Some things I want to bring back are some of my books on Simple Living, Money and Earth Stewardship. I also want to bring back my plates, my china and my silver.

We also have a rug, that is currently on the floor at my mom's house, that needs to find its way to our living room and to cushion our toes.

I also want our pots and pans, that way we can start cooking on good stuff, rather than on plastic coated teflon pans.

Well, we also can take some time and throw out lots of stuff as well. An adventure for sure!

Not Feeling Simple

Worked a 14 hour day yesterday. Not the kind of simple life I envision. Work, for the sake of work is ok and all, if you are making valuable contributions to society.

Well, arguing over the liability cap for third party infringement... not what I deem to be contributing to society's betterment.

Ok, so my little plants that the kids planted on Earth day are sprouting away. The lettuce seems to be a no-show, but the cat nip and egg plant are going gang busters. Time to do some pruning... selective kill I guess -and who said that vegetarians are no-harm! :-)

More soon from the land of oz.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

doubts and fears

A personal post today. A bit confused, full of stress, our life seems to change in directions we are not always prepared for. I am starting an online class for art journaling. Written Down. I have always journalled through out various times in my life, and I have not done it recently, although these blogs are the online version of journaling. Anyway, many of the fellow classmates are bigtime full on published artists and scrapbookers. This is pretty intimidating to a art newby. (see my post on those issues over on the Far Flung blog).

I guess my insecurities above are sort of being fed by a whole host of issues. Jeff's job transition. My impending travel schedule of 3 weeks next month. Plans to go home in June to see family and friends.

A day filled with doubts and fears about my future, my dreams, my life.

We will return to your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

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