I love projects... maybe you noticed?  My recycling bin is littered with to-do lists on backs of receipts, motivating me to:
  • write my best friend a letter
  • purge my extra belongings
  • make chocolate almond milk
  • organize food storage
  • sew a soft guitar case
  • and so on...
But lately I haven't had that usual fire under my ass to do! go! more!

I can think of a few reasons for my lack of motivation:  Morgan, my partner, just moved out of the state... I'm in a transition period in work and relationships... and the Sun moved into Pisces.
 
 
I recently watched "Radically Simple", a short documentary about a man Jim Merkel & his quest towards sustainable living.  Merkel teaches and exemplifies a simple lifestyle, one that will allow all Earth's billions of beings the space and resources to live
Ever seen the bumper sticker, "Live Simply So Others May Simply Live"?  That's his whole point. 

Merkel leads workshop participants through a painstakingly detailed assessment of their Ecological Footprints, an estimate of how many resources you use, versus how many we each can afford to use.

Essentially, your ecological footprint is how many pieces of chocolate mousse pie you're taking at the party.  Turns out, I'm a little glutton and I'm eating three pieces of pie... but there's only enough for everyone to have one!
 
 
Earlier this month I made a set of cloth menstrual pads, but I didn't know how well they would perform.  Well, the trial period (no pun intended) is over!  And yes, yes, cloth pads work!

Pros
~ No leakage whatsoever
~ The night pad design worked beautifully, even on a heavy flow
~ Much more comfortable than commercial pads, and feel drier
~ No irritation from crinkly plastic & synthetic materials
~ Totally re-usable & eco-friendly
~ The 'period tea' (water for soaking used pads) is awesome for plants!

Cons
~ You have to soak and wash them
~ They will stain anyway

... I can't think of any other cons!

So yes, 5 stars - cloth pads work just as well as commercial pads, plus they're much more comfortable & earth-loving.  Hooray!

Do you have any questions about cloth pads?  Anything I didn't cover that makes you go 'hmmm' or 'yuck'?  Let me know, we'll talk it out!
_
PSKXS78G4ANS
 
 
Picture
_Happy Martin Luther  King Jr. Day, everybody.

And by 'Happy' I mean let's take a minute (or more) to honor what the man did, and what we can do in turn.

We all know the history lesson, mentally at least - but I invite you to tune in to video footage of one of his many speeches.  Listen to the raw passion in his voice, the sheer power of his convictions and his hope... and let that resonate within the deeper parts of you.

In one address, King famously said, "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." 

We live in a time of great injustice, in many ways.  Just look at the environmental state we're in:  We live in a time where money is valued over the health of our shorelines.  We live in a time where speed and convenience is valued over air that is safe to breathe.  We live in a time where our very home, our planet, is continually damaged by our cultural habits.

But look at where we've come from, look at what other injustices we have emerged from.   A mere 50 years ago - not even a lifetime - we had massive institutionalized segregation and racial mistreatment.  Through the passionate, hopeful efforts of civil rights activists, we as a culture bent the arc of justice towards equality, compassion, and inclusiveness.   

And we can do it again.  We are doing it.  But we need more hands and hearts to push.  The 'moral arc' does not bend on its own, but only through our actions.

Today, please, take action.

Take action in whatever way rings true to your heart, small or large, quiet or loud - it all matters.  The world needs help in many arenas, and they're all interconnected - progress in any area helps to heal our world as a whole.

If you need inspiration, you can look to King's speeches, the 'Solutions' section of my manifesto, or any source of compassionate, proactive inspiration you can think of, whether social, economic, environmental, or spiritual.

So go.  Bend the arc of justice with your hands, heart, and mind.  Help to make the change today.

 
 
_When I was 20, I learned to knit.  This was hard for me, because I identified strongly (and still do, to a more mellow degree) as a queer feminist.

I don't know about you, but when I think of queer feminist radicals, I think of combat boots, hand-lettered zines, and fair trade coffee.  Not knitting.  And certainly not homemaking. 

Turns out I'm not suited to knitting (I'm an angry, impatient knitter, who makes very ugly crafts).  But luckily, I found out several important things along the way:
  1. Knitting can be bad-ass (check out Slave to the Needles, via Microcosm Publishing: knitted beer muffs and thongs, anyone?)
  2. Femininity is powerful, but only when embraced.
  3. Taking the means of production into your own hands (however clumsy) is one of the most radical acts in which you can participate.

Fast-forward three years, and enter Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers.
I got tickets to the Sustainable Living Fair in 2011, and while researching the presenters I came across Ms. Hayes' biography.  Something struck a chord, so I followed my gut to the library and to her book....

 
 
It started with a post-college-graduation crisis... I mean, 'realization':  my survival skills are nil. 

Great.  And with a supposed 2012 doomsday looming, 'real world' financial realities about to set in, and a sudden wealth of free time, my nerves got a little antsy.  I had been a student for 19 years of my life, and pretty well cocooned inside the ivory tower for the last 5.  Without a senior thesis to distract me, the precarious reality of my/our/the world's situation began to set in. 

Namely - I'm a highly trained dancer with little economic power and even less practical know-how.  My skill set, though a beautiful art, will not feed me.  I do make a little money through dance, but socioeconomic discussion of starving artists aside, I mean this very literally:
I didn't have the basic survival skills needed to provide myself with food, shelter, or health. 

That's pretty scary to realize, at over two decades of life, that you really have no tangible skills.

Enter the book that started it all, passed on by my awesome love:  Back to Basics, a Complete Guide to Traditional Skills

Contents include such amazing topics as: 
  • Building a log cabin
  • Developing a water supply
  • Solar energy
  • Gardening in limited space
  • Preserving produce
  • Baking bread
  • Woodworking
And so many more!  I was amazed, inspired, and most importantly, empowered.

So it began.


 

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