Friday, July 1, 2016

Natural Alternatives (Toothpaste)

This is a recipe for an amazing natural toothpaste. I saw a number of these recipes elsewhere on the internet, and I made a few adjustments...

Coconut Oil Toothpaste

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tblsp baking soda
1 tblsp xylitol ground into fine powder (optional)*
10 drops flavoring oil (optional) (e.g. citrus, peppermint)

So a couple of things. Xylitol can be used to sweeten this toothpaste up a bit. It also provides some benefit for dental care innately!

The essential oil addition is also just for flavoring.

  1. Place the coconut oil into your 2oz glass jar.  Melt the oil by placing the glass jar into a pan of water simmering on low heat
  2. Once melted, stir in baking soda
  3. Mix in xylitol
  4. Add essential oils
  5. Let mixture solidify then stir well

Links to things I bought:
Coconut oil
2oz glass jar with lid
Citrus essential oil

Natural Alternatives (Chigger repellent)

Ok, I already posted about tick repellent in my prior post. This solution is similarly themed.

This recipe works extremely well at repelling chiggers and other bugs. For chiggers you need to spray on ankles and legs. For others, you can spray anywhere, even on clothing! It works great and smells fantastic!

Chigger+ Repellent Spray

1/3 cup distilled water
1 tblsp witch hazel
1/2 tsp lavender essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Mix these ingredients and pour into glass spray bottle.

Links to items I used:

Glass spray bottles
Lavender oil
Eucalyptus oil

Natural Alternatives (Tick repellant spray for dogs & people)

Environmentally conscious.

I am striving to consider more and more natural approaches to day to day life and ongoing health.

[rant] Our food supply is tainted by harsh and harmful chemicals; drug companies are motivated by money to develop chemical solutions to illnesses and conditions; and (we should know) that under-informed political watchdogs don't always make the best

I have started off with a couple of things that I will share here!

Tick repellent spray for dogs (and people)

1/3 cup of distilled water
1 tblsp witch hazel
1/2 tsp rose geranium oil*

Mix together in a glass spray bottle.

Apply to dog's shoulder blades, base of tail (and I usually apply a spritz to each paw).

This works really well. I have been using Frontline, but want to get away from using the harmful chemicals on my pups.

*Now the thing you need to know about this solution, is there are two kinds of rose geranium oil; for ticks, you need the one with the botanical name pelargonium capitatum x radens.

Links to items I used:

Glass spray bottles
Rose geranium oil

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Posterous posts (because I wanted to put them somewhere)


If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

5 June 2012


The scene, Friday afternoon, rush hour, headed into the long Labor Day weekend. Stopped for sustenance at the supermarket, then needed to refuel the car. Trying to cross 5 lanes of heavy traffic - no light. Red light for the folks already on the road, so pulled out. Small white car, seemed to be leaving a gap, so pulled into it. Guy decided that was definitely NOT what he intended so sped up and then honked loudly (and gestured) (and was clearly shouting)... took immediate right into the gas station and the guy follows in...he looked apoplectic and not interested in congratulating us on our fine driving skills. Decided stopping was not in best interest so pulled back out in traffic to head to next gas station. He (fortunately) got stuck in traffic trying to follow us out.
On to the next gas station (really not the next one but a bit further up the road). There was a guy at the next pump who could not seem to restart his car. The starter seemed to be grinding. The woman at the pump behind him was finished pumping and waiting for him to pull out so she could leave. Seeing the man was having difficulty, she got out of her car and said, 'Sir are y'all having some trouble with your starter?" "Yes m'aam I am." "Well you need to try some of this starter spray." She goes up to the open hood of his car and sprays this 'starter spray'. His car instantly starts and he pulls out.

Funny Airplane Story

I was flying home to Charlotte this afternoon and was seated in front of a man who was a 'talker'. He talked practically every minute of the 90 minute flight to the 24-year old man seated next to him. Only pausing to occasionally 'talk' to his very young daughter who was seated across the aisle with mommy.

The topics were many and varied. Talking about Charlotte (a place he'd visited once two decades ago - but apparently knew everything about), the housing market, the fine restaurants, etc., etc, etc. to an extensive and eclectic list of subjects:

(in no particular order)

1.Machu Picchu

2. Rosebud the sled (he couldn't recall the movie from the '40s that this was from - and I resisted the urge to jump into the conversation and tell him...)

3. The importance of staying physically fit

4. That life is not a dress rehearsal - so if you are somwhere and want to see something do it

5. Hitchhiking across Ireland

6. Strange boutique brokerage accounting

7. Changes in Westchester / Stamford areas over the last decade

8. Readiness to 'find the right woman'

9. Pessimism and the deep deep hole we are in right now (economics)

10. Car accidents and related injury (no need for the details here)

11. Others I'm sure however I just can't remember now...

On the approach for landing the man seated next to me says, 'so where are you going?' I reply, 'Charlotte', he asks 'Is that home for you?' I say 'Yes it is.' he pauses then says, 'so did you learn anything on this flight?' ROFL

18 August 2011

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I slept soundly last night. In my childhood bedroom, the clouded moonlight ghosting through the open windows. It was chilly and the air was clean, fresh, almost fall-like. The first place I ever belonged. It's for sale now, my parents planning to move closer to their kids. it where you feel peaceful, calm? The place that makes you smile when you look at the twilight skies or hear the name of the state or see the skyline from the plane as it is landing?

My childhood belonging was different then - as I sought to leave - to belong to something else. Going back now thought I can feel the pull, enveloped in nostalgia and bittersweet tones, the feeling of safety and the memories of summer and snow.

For the past almost decade I have belonged to another place and again I am leaving even though my heart clings to it...

I took some photos this weekend, the first bit of creativity in over a month. Perhaps I am ready to belong somewhere else or perhaps I now realize that the places I have belonged to will always belong to me?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On the Rails

Bolts. Connections. An old train. Cared for and maintained, it holds messages from all of it's rides down the rails. Connected to the past and the present.

From a Railway Carriage

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches,

And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows the horses and cattle:

All of the sights of the hill and the plain

Fly as thick as driving rain;

And ever again in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and grazes;
And there is a green for stringing daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Fragments is an ongoing portfolio inspired by looking deeper into a scene or image, with different outcomes. In the case of 'equine', as I looked deeper into a pattern on a tile in a hotel I was staying in, I could see (with eyes squinted a bit) the abstract outline of a horse's head.

In 'lights over danube', a chilly nighttime walk along the danube in budapest served as inspiration. The lights danced and blurred across the wide danube looking from Pest to Buda. The river wall reflecting the dancing lights and the scene loses context when considered in fragment.

'green tea fragments' takes on the same effect, losing the context of the cracked and peeling worn restaurant sign into something more serene.

The latest of the Fragments collection is 'sunset weeds' inspired by a late sunset walk where the very low warm orange of the sun was reflected as in panes of glass in a stand of golden weeds.
Probably a lesson here, embedded in the fragments, about complexity, looking more closely and not being afraid to alter perspective.