Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
For those of you bloggers looking for a "random drawing generator" I found a website that is super easy to use. It can formulate any number of lucky winners for you. You simply place the number of winners you want in the "random generator" box. The "integer value between" is the number of contestants for example 1 to 25. Check it out as it makes more sense in person.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There another charismatic species, the Pronghorn Antelope, is facing impending disruption and at odds with capitalist energy desecraters. The Wyoming Red Desert harbors one of the oldest migratory herds we have in the lower 48. There are 50,000 head and one of their paths approaches the Y2Y corridor. This specific route has been used for thousands of years by many species.
The upside is Pronghorn Antelope are quite predictable in their annual routes and use of land. Their migratory path can be narrowed down with such precision that it is possible to conserve this area in particular.
Let's give these creatures and other species in this unique ecosystem a chance. Go here to tell Wyoming's Senators you value wild places and don't want this kind of energy development.
How does this relate to Montana? Montana too is a state on the precipice of alternative energy development. We have Pronghorn Antelope and species intimately connected to the Y2Y corridor. The issues in Wyoming are stepping stones to decisions that can be made in Montana.
Population ecology can have many hidden connections. One such connection involves Grey Wolves and Pronghorn Antelope. Healthy Wolf populations benefit Pronghorn Antelope offspring. This is by Wolves keeping Coyote numbers in check. Coyotes are the greatest danger to Pronghorn Antelope fawn surviving. When Coyotes are up in numbers the Pronghorn Antelope loose more offspring, thereby decreasing the size of the herd.
Montana allows trophy hunting of both Pronghorn Antelope and Grey Wolves.
Since May of 2009 Grey Wolves have been delisted and this past fall has proven significant mis-management and limited foresight by the ruling governance of fish and wildlife . One of the major problems among, a whole gamut of other issues, is poached wolves are not included in the removal quota. Additionally, there is limited punishment for poachers and so no incentive to discourage their negligence.
A local hunter here that poached two of the individuals from the 2 North Fork packs was fined a meager $1135 and his hunting license was not even revoked. This is disturbing as the Grey Wolf, not a few months ago, was riding as an Endangered Species. The Columbia Falls hunter and and an unknown other poached a total of 3 wolves in the North Fork Area. In combination of quota and poached wolves the two packs were physically reduced by about 17%. This doesn't factor in wolf mortality that occurs by human negligence, human locomotion and age, pack dynamics or injury related natural causes throughout the year. There is a potential loss of nearly 30-40% total pack reduction this year alone when all is said and done.
FWP is patting themselves on the back saying this " couldn't of been a more scripted" wolf harvest. What?
There seems to be no respect or reverence within the managing authority for predator populations that now have limited ranges due to habitat loss, human conflict and what appears to be unrestricted hunting. These wolves had stabilized and balanced their population size long before humans thought they could do a better job. Still, we continue to disturb natural cycles of ecosystems.
A common sentiment of wolves by wolf hunters is they interfere with their elk hunting and cattle ranching. This view does not persist in the hunting of pronghorn antelope. Pronghorn are not looked on as a threat, whereas, wolves "threaten" elk populations and cattle ranchers.
Did we not learn anything from wolves keeping Yellowstone elk in check? What else would we lose if the Aspen Groves were lost? Values are poorly placed at times. Additionally, wolves are hunted within wilderness areas such as the Bob Marshall, the North Fork (should have wilderness designation) and at the edge of National Parks like Yellowstone and Glacier-not near ranches. They are indiscriminately being killed.
Corridor ecology can have dramatic implications in preserving genetic diversity within species and balancing interactions between all predators, plants and other fauna.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Ever cut an apple crosswise? What a wonderful discovery. Apples have numerous medicinal properties including relieving indigestion, a vitality booster, stomach acid neutralizer and potent quercetin source. A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve provides an extensive historical, medicinal and culinary account of Apples and many other Plants. I think the most delicious apples are those happened upon outside. You may even have a few neighbors who leave their apples and are happy to share the crop with you the eager picker.
I recommend tasting your apples prior to picking so not to end up with alot of crab apples. Discovering this the hard way I still found a use for a 5 gallon bucket full of crab apples including: crab apple jelly and crab apple liqueur.
Even though, we are past apple harvest season in NW Montana if you were a diligent forager and picked your apples before the early October Arctic Blast and have them in cold storage-you're ready for some homemade apple cider. I, on the other hand, delayed my 2nd round of apple picking and am now gathering them for my compost-boohah (The first round transformed into copious amounts of frozen applesauce). No less my motivation for hard cider will not be deterred next year. Below are a few plans to smash your apples with. We're building the "easy jack" frame this year for next year's stash.
I found another farm that has a modified cider press with jack that looks easier to build-see pic
These cats also built a cider press with some wood and a jack. You get the idea on materials needed now
On to Recipes
Crab Apple Jelly
Large Stainless Steel Pot
4 lbs Crab Apples
4 Cups Organic Sugar
5 cups Water
- Wash and De-Stem Crab Apples (slice tops off-to speed this up)
- Dump into Large Stainless Steel Pot
- Cover with 5 cups Water
- Bring to a Gentle Boil for 10 minutes stirring frequently
- Smash Apples
- Gently Boil 1 more minute
- Pour into Cheesecloth lined Strainer and Drain Over a Bowl Overnight
- Reserve syrupy juice in the morning and compost apple mush
- Pour Equal Amounts of juice and sugar into large stainless steel pot
- Rapidly Boil 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves
- Transfer to Sterilized Mason Jar and process following your pressure canner's instructions
Wide Mouth Mason Jar
Dried Anise Hyssop or Lemon Balm
- Fill wide mouth mason jar with crab apples leaving room for herbs
- Top with Anise Hyssop or Lemon Balm
- Cover with Vodka and Seal
- Store for 3-6months
- Strain and Reserve Vodka
Sip and Enjoy during a Snow Shower
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
These kickers rate down to -25. I found these toddler boots a few weeks ago for $9 brand new at a local store! They were listed at and eye popping $45. I got a size larger to accommodate socks for my 15month old. These Winter Boots feature a rubber toe and surround, wool insert and pull string adjustment below the knee. They have great traction as well. I was looking for something he could walk around through snow in until it's too deep and we break out the snowshoes.
He wore them around the house here and there and have tried them in fresh snow and frozen ground since. We had our first arctic blast of the fall in early October. Normally, the Arctic Cold Air doesn't drift down till January or later. So we tried out these little boots, with no socks, a little earlier than normal. After running around outside for more than an hour his feet were toasty warm. He can now move up and down the hill in the backyard as he's adjusted to the new soles.
Children who are just beginning to walk and even for years after should really wear soft soled shoes. This is so they can feel the earth shaping under their arches, heels and toes. I have started a line of toddler soft shoes on my etsy page. Check out the funky soles!
With the cold and snow like it is here in NW Montana-we had to compromise with a boot more rigid and less permeable to the elements.
I like them so much I bought the ladies version. The price keeps dropping for those too! This is my fourth winter in Glacier Country and I know they'll get plenty of use. Regardless, I probably should read No Logo by Naomi Klein as I've been branded.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Well it's herbal making season in our kitchen amidst other fall harvest culinary adventures. My latest explorations are with Honey Extracts. Besides the herbal constituents that it pulls from herbs, local honey offers you allergy resistance.
This happens by bees visiting all your favorite nasal instigators (pollen). When you ingest the honey from local apiarist you are getting a small sample of exposure to your areas flowers and subsequently the pollen. This is similar to how Homeopathy works. Bees are critical to the survival of many fruits, vegetables and flowers. This is why NOT using insecticides is so important.
The best time to collect is after a continuous frost for several days. So throughout fall and winter are ideal times to forage. There is something so tantalizing about hunting for red plump hips hanging low under the weight of fluffy white snow. Rose not only allures by smell but by sight.
2 Mason Jars
Return Home and Fill One Mason Jar then proceed to Smash Berries with Fork
Pour Warmed Honey from other Mason Jar Over the Top
Allow to Sit from 4wks-6wks
*After pouring warm honey over mason jar of hips-stir with chopstick to release any air bubbles then add more honey
*I also pluck the terminal end of the berry although this is not necessary
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sambucus nigra and allied spp. are powerful plants. Studies have proven that extracts from the berries provide resistance to 10 different strands of Influenza A and B including H1N1. This happens by antivirin coating the receptors of flu viruses in your system thereby disabling them from replicating in your cells. No other plant can tout such effectiveness.
Taken throughout flu season and during illness, children and adults alike will show resistance or recover rapidly. Found throughout the United States, Sambucus melanocarpa and caerulea. (black and blue only) can be harvested during the month of September. Red Elderberry is potentially toxic and should not be harvested or used. Blue and Black berries should still be cooked down to release the cyanide in the berries. Syrups, tinctures and even jam or pies can be made in a short time.
Rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, anthocyanins and Vitamins A, B and C this is a vital herbal ally for our home.
3 cups Fresh Black Elderberries or 1 cup dried
3 cups water
1 cup local honey
Bring water and berries to a boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes
Mash berries and boil and additional 5 minutes
Add Honey to the Juice
Bottle and Refrigerate
Take 1 teaspoon for daily maintenance
Take 2 teaspoons 4x a day when under the weather
Provide 1 drop for every 5lbs with mild cases of illness
During intense bouts offer half teaspoon for every 10lbs 2x daily (illness peaks day 3 and 4 typically)
So why does the CDC and other Health Venues push Vaccines?
Other issues include
Friday, September 4, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
What's wrong with walkers? Where do I begin. Walkers overdevelop calf and ankle muscles while doing nothing for stomach, thigh and hip muscles. This occurs primarily in the "sit in" walkers. In addition they confuse and slow the developing mind of a child who has yet to learn to crawl, sit up or otherwise scoot their way across the floor on their own. Babies need to be aware visually of how their body works. Walkers block the view of feet and legs. The walk behind or push walkers are less damaging to the muscle development but still can cause irregular development with weight not being directly applied over the hips.
Now on the other hand if your child has started walking on their own without assistance and consciously chooses items like bar stools, chairs, tricycles, boxes or whatever else they deem suitable as walkers-no harm there. Their muscles are properly developing and they are simply being cognitively creative to propel themselves through space.
It may seem harsh to deem walkers as parent convenient toys but typically walkers are for those who want to pop their little one in and merrily go on their way of doing "other" things. Did you know walkers are the leading cause of injuries of all "baby products". They are simply a false security on so many levels. A baby can propel themselves quickly toward stairs-even ones with gates and with considerable force break through. Over 75% of accidents involve stairs.
Studies have concluded walkers are not beneficial for physical or mental development. Even with this knowledge parents continue to use these devices. It's really important to think long term here as well. Feeling your child is occupied and content while in reality they are far less active in their physical motor development and mental development. They are not working on crawling, scooting or other creative ways to move across the floor. This is lost physical time. They are not discovering how their bodies can enable them. They are not "reaching" for objects with earnest physical effort. This is not the normal progression of development.
Walkers will have long term affects in the preschool and primary school years. Children who used walkers early on are less physically active in those later years. Break down your childs' day of physcial mobility and inactivity (sitting in carseat, high chair or other restrained device). The majority of their waking day should be physical with very little restraint.
In addition, the majority of walkers are large hunks of plastic. Which if you are not yet aware come from petroleum and do not break down readily. Minimize your landfill load and interact with your child at the level their at instead.
Call me crazy but really ponder the use of baby-sitter and baby-sat when screening for caregivers during the baby and toddler years. Sitting the baby in a bouncer, excersaucer, walker, jumper or tv is detrimental to their development and health. Cognitive learning and physcial activity are imperative for a balanced being. If you really want to get down to the science of learning, the same part of the brain processes learning, physical activity and music. If you are questioning learning and desks-I'm right there with you.
Anyway, give your baby every opportunity to take advantage of the early days of motor development. Try playing with water, painting, playing or listening to music, baking, gardening, swimming, baby yoga or even- you become their prop-you'll both be stronger by your chooses today.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My only household cleaner is 50/50 vinegar and water with a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and myrrh. Fill in a spritz bottle and clean the counters, floor, sinks, windows(use newspaper here), handles and cupboards. I have a crawling-walking 1 year old and we can eat off the floor.
For a little extra scrubbing action and excitement use some baking soda in the tub and sinks. Besides buffing hard water stains it will also unclog drains and is fun to watch(remember those science volcanoes of yesteryear?)
Plus, it's cheap. No need to buy expensive "organic" cleaning products when vinegar will do the trick. Eliminate bleach, windex, ant-bacterial soaps and other toxic cleaners from your home. If you can't eat it don't clean with it! If your interested in learning more on common household products and their detrimental health effects read this book.
To make an all purpose ear cleaner for after swimming or even for you doggie-Mix 50/50 alcohol and vinegar add a drop of lavender or tea tree and drop into ear.
For super shiny, healthy, stronger hair-pour apple cider vinegar over a fresh jar of nettles leaves and let sit for 1 week. Strain and use 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of water as a hair rinse-If using dried leaves use 3 tablespoons per 8 oz mason jar for a strong brew.
Spray in full concentration on poison ivy-spotted knapweed and your other least favorite weeds.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Here in lies the importance of making your own food- baby or otherwise from raw ingredients.
Oh the woes of the "not enough time" to make your own food-Enter the Pressure Cooker. Not only does it save
But you can be assured of a bpa free food experience.
I love my pressure cooker. I just add a little Super C to naturally preserve carrots, apples and other fruits and veggies if I'm not eating them right away.
Say hello to potatoes in 10 minutes, rice in 20, applesauce in 5 minutes. Plus you have to plenty to freeze, can or refrigerate for later use.
Some of you may be thinking- Come on what's the big deal about bpa, the FDA says it okay, who cares if Europe has banned it and the health nuts are just raving mad. Well take a look at your own health, your parents health and national statistics of
Hormone and Thyroid Dysfunction
Endocrine Disruptor Health Issues
You see BPA mimics estrogen thereby increasing your estrogen hormone levels significantly. This article on baby food sights bpa level a 1ppb in a single baby food jar. That's the average, some had levels in the 7+ppbillion. That sounds pretty insignificant numerically except that natural hormone levels ride a pptrillion not billion.
Therefore, your slamming your system or your little ones with estrogen. As consumers you have the a purchase power voice. Stop buying items that contain plastic and email or write letters to companies that continue to use plastic in their products. Here's a hit list
-Baby Food Jars with metal lids
-Tetra Pak Containers
rice, soy, hemp milks, orange juice etc
-Any food or beverage product in plastic
Some other BPA items include your old nalgenes (this will pass through breastmilk), teflon, dental fillings, plastic children toys and rubber duckies.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Like shorts and a tank top in the snow in June-who would think wool would keep you cool!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Parents diagnose Sleepy, Tired, Teething, Hungry, Frustrated, Happy etc..It only made sense to include the Need to Releive. And interestingly enough the early stages of lumping all needs into the above categories were actually indicative of the urge to pee or poo.
So there's three options out there-Disposable, Cloth and Diaper Free. The later being the most eco-nomical.
Here's how you can get started by following these 3 guidelines:
-crawling to you or potty
-motioning toward or grabbing groin
-won't latch on
-becomes still (after crawling-rolling)
-stops making eye contact
-pushes away when done nursing
**Remember the cues evolve over time and are somewhat dependent on development
-every 20 minutes (0-4months)
every30 minutes(4-6 months)
every 40 minutes(6-9 months)
-before leaving home
-pulls off abruptly when nursing
**Find a rthyme that works for your child
-when peeing or pooping use the same verbal cue
ex:pishing while peeing/grunting while pooping
-offer potty frequently
-offer potty after you miss one
-Keep At It-it can take a few months
What my diaper bag(daypack/backpack) is filled with
Handful of Cloth Wipes
32oz yogurt container-for backup and cleanup
**My personal cue was if I blew through both diapers I was not paying enough attention to my little ones' needs
We used cloth until we we're communicating more effectively. See the side bar for the hemp diapers we like.
Cloth also makes it easier to tell when you miss a pee(soaks thru rapidly)
Cloth diapers are great "potty trainers" for parents. You will associate what happened right before you felt pee or poo. Again it's about communicating with your child and "training yourself" to understand your child's ques.
This is not a new concept. Third World countries do not have the luxury of washing diapers or buying throw-aways. They are in tune their babies needs by neccesity. Also wrapping your baby is more commonplace around the world. Wrapping makes me far more cognizent of my little one's needs than any other carrying method.
A majority of the literature on "Potty Training" has really missed the point. Most parents spend the first few months "training" their child to go in their pants. Mammals inheritently do not want to releive themselves on themselves. Parents then at some point switch teams and try to get their child to stop using their pants and move to the potty.
Ever notice you get peed on quite a lot in the the early days?
This happens for several reasons I believe
-Baby waits to releive themselves instinctually when they don't have fiber bound to their waist
-Parents are actually intuitively tuning into when the baby needs to pee
If you feel this might be alot of work. Spend a day catching pees/poos and spend a day changing diapers. The former is far less time consuming, less messy and a great way to connect with your child!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Easy to Attach
Fits on the front of my Mountain Bike
Muds not flying up on your little one
Better baby view for them and for me!
We were taking a snowy walk on one my bike trails and saw 3 Bald Eagles today. Mom and Dad plus their juvenile. A raven was dive bombing one of the adults to move them out of his territory. They were all casually riding a thermal. A Red Tailed Hawk came in as well and the Raven promptly chased it off.
Eagle calls are so beautiful. Very High Pitch and Lucid. Their wing span is phenomenal-80" or nearly 6ft 7inches. They are a common site in Montana and no less majestic.
Birds are precise indicators of season and weather changes. One of our summer migrants will be arriving from Oregon and Washington---Varied Thrush---Males of most migratory species have strong site fidelity. They return to the same nesting territories year after year. So it is possible the singing migrant who visits your woods is the same male from the year before.
I love the sound of town right now. It's like walking around in a zen water garden. The water is trickling and dripping off roofs and coursing down the road. Male birds are singing and enticing females. Hearing is so heighten this time of year after the long winter silence.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Spring is in the air. The Pileated Woodpeckers are whocking across territories. The little chipmunks are making tracks in the snow again and the ground is warming around the roots of trees. The day is noticeably longer at 47 degrees latitude and the sun much higher in the sky.
I'm already dreaming of sun kissed skin and mojito's in my garden hammock. This sugar scrub will surely slough those dead cells of winter away.
What you'll need
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lavender flowers dried
1/3 cup grapeseed oil-or hemp oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated organic lemon peelPour all contents in mason jar and shake vigourosly and allow to infuse for 3 hours or longer.
Spoon out and massage into skin. Rinse or shower off.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This further validates my lifestyle of growing my own food and limiting packaged goods purchases. Statistically stated a half acre can feed two people for a year. Of course this depends upon your seed selection and probably then some barter and trading. Tomatoes for eggs, greens for grain that sort of system. Also freezing, canning and drying to make it through the Montana Winter Months.
I've been going through and picking out my heirloom and organic seeds. High Altitude Seeds has some specific varieties from Montana. My tomatoes need to be less than 60 days to do well and ideally indeterminate varieties.
Indeterminate means they will grow unabated and continue to produce fruit throughout the season. Determinate have a finite growth rate and produce fruit all at once.
Looks like I'll be going with Prarie Fire and the Russian Sub-Artic. This will top me out at 20 varieties for the season!
Here's the list
- Double Rich
- Burbank Red Slicing(d)
- Tomato Yellow Perfection
- Micado Violettor
- Black Plum Paste
- Caro Rich
- Roma Paste(d)
- Orange Queen(d)
- Arkansas Traveler
- Zapotec Pleated
- Chadwick Cherry
- Costaluto Genovese
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Want an Organic Merino Wool Blanket? Here's the Inside Scoop.
I LOVE WOOL-SALE
This item is free when you buy an Organic Merino Wool Baby Wrap between now and FEBRUARY 14TH
Blanket comes in Organic Red Apple and measures 30inx36in.
This is a very soft, non bulky organic wool. This Certifed Organic Merino Wool Baby Wrap is made exclusively by me. I am the only US designer of Wonderful Wool Wraps.
Choose from 3 Colors.
Simply make an Organic Merino Wool Baby Wrap purchase and I'll include the Organic Merino Wool Baby Blanket($85 value)! It's my Valentine to you!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It was a cloudy day in the valley. So we went in search for sun. The inversions in this area are spectacular. They hint at the positioning of a great wall of ice that carved the valley and peaks.
In honor of the blue sky and seed planting this month we brought with us
Peapod Green, Sky Blue and Spring Meadow
check out the latest scenes of Sun Loving Baby in Slide Show Format.
Now's a great time to start your hot weather peppers and tomatoes. We really have to jump start the season here if we want fresh salsa in September. Our favorite seed companies are Seeds of Change and High Altitude Seeds
High Altitude is out of Idaho and Seeds of Change is in New Mexico. Both carry heirloom and organic seeds.
We'll showcase our favorite seeds this coming week.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Who doesnt' love my new Organic Woven Baby Wrap in Playful Moon
Thanks to everyone who voted for the Save Hand-Made Toys! The official announcement will come tomorrow from the National Press Club. 600,000 votes came in for all the issues! We made it in the top 10.
Ten non-profits will be developed and each idea will be canvased to senators and our new president. No matter how you voted - it's about being apart of the process!
On another note, I am attempting my first wool felting project! All those ruined sweaters will have a new home as baby toys! Here's an easy tutorial on how to try it yourself!
- Dig up wool sweaters from your closet, thrift store, friends and family
- Throw in Wash with 1/4 the amt of detergent
- Set Wash to Normal Cycle on Hot/Cold
- Dry on High Heat
- Repeat 2-3x
Wool is WonderfulNaturally anti-bacterial
Clean by Soaking in some Sun Rays
Even more Reasons Why we Love the Sun!