Tag Archive: culture


Results from our Easter egg dye experiment!

Our “golden egg” – but where’s the goose that laid it??

You know sustainability is going mainstream when Fox News and Martha Stewart talk about natural egg dye methods. DIY egg dyes have been around for a long time, but are now popular enough to have their own kits sold online and in stores. And even though my great-grandmother may have dyed her eggs naturally, this is a new concept for me – I grew up thinking that placing magical fizzing spheres of color in plastic cups full of water was the only way to dye Easter eggs. View full article »

Amanda’s upcoming surgery questions our resolve to exclusively focus on alternative medicine.

This is a third update to our previous posts, Healing from an Ovarian Cyst Naturally, and 35 Days Pain-Free (the second update).  I’m sorry to say that the alternative medicine approach did not work for me in the long run – it eliminated my symptoms, and increased my overall health and ability, but did not shrink or cure the large complex cyst on my left ovary.  My follow-up ultrasound revealed that the cyst still hovered around 9cm in size, not getting much bigger or smaller since it was discovered in April 2012. View full article »

I love these cork oak trees!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, so grab a copy and check out what we’ve learned about sustainable flooring options.  We decided on cork for our earthbag home, but as always, research and exposure to new information could change our minds over time.

In Portugal, cork oak trees are harvested every nine years, helping to protect the man-made forests with profits from the sale of corks and cork flooring, employing about 60,000 workers, and sustaining habitat for native species.  How cool a floor is that, which can do all those things?  Here’s a video about harvesting cork from trees without harming them!

“…the environmental issues, the social issues, and the economic issues are in good balance, and it all starts with harvesting the cork itself.” – Carlos de Jesus, Director of Marketing, APCOR

Sometimes it’s an adventure!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly – Making Ripples is out today, and I decided to share some personal stories about getting around disposables. I’m not a saint, and occasionally forget my Chococat mug or lose my nerve for deploying one of these tactics, and end up with a take-out container or disposable cup. But more often than not, I avoid buying coffee and make tea from home, or get a washable mug from the barista, which is what my Dad & I did Tuesday at Nightbird Books when he visited Fayetteville for the first time.  We sat outside the shop and enjoyed lovely, unseasonable December weather on Dickson St. View full article »

Celebrating the Harvest in Community

Yesterday, I participated in my fellowship’s tradition of Bread Communion, when everyone brings a loaf of bread to pass around in baskets during the service.  Each person takes a piece of bread, and together the congregation reflects on gratitude for each other and nature’s gifts. View full article »

Why not decorate a home with inner peace?

Here are the Dalai Lama quote cards I’ll be using as tiles for Ripples’ homestead, pictured here laid out upon a beautiful Tibetan rug from Himalayan Mountain Shop!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama sure has his share of peaceful, inspirational quotes.  This is no doubt putting the cart before the horse, but today I began organizing my thoughts for a crafty project for Ripples’ eventual earthbag homestead.  These beautiful cards each contain a quote from the Dalai Lama, with different Tibetan Buddhist symbols on the back.  Maybe someday I can learn what each one means!  Fun challenge.  I was considering using these tiles for the bathroom tile, but not the floor.  Probably the wall, or a border, or perhaps glued to the surface of something we refurbish so that I can see them daily and be reminded to stay compassionate and centered throughout my life.

“Change only takes place through action.  Not through prayer or meditation, but through action.” – H. H. the Dalai Lama

 

31 Ways to Use Mason Jars & 6 Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas!

Today I have to give a shout-out to some creative resources helping us live lightly on the earth: Ozark Natural Foods and Keeper of the Home.  Often in our American society, the knowledge about how to live a healthy life is lost from generation to generation, while at the same time new advances in technology are giving us more options than our ancestors ever had.  I’m in the middle of this lovely sandwich between grandma’s lost gardening know-how and the computer’s vast stores of complex, often hidden information.  The spice to my sandwich is shared knowledge that’s free for anyone who wants to learn. View full article »

The light bulb came on above my head while watching this film.

Solar Mamas was presented to a small Fayetteville Public Library audience at 2:00 this afternoon. It showed how the Barefoot College in India is training women to become solar engineers.  I watched it like I have viewed many documentaries, but in this unusual case I realized just how much Ripples has changed the way I engage with new information. I didn’t want to donate money to the impoverished people on the screen; rather, I wanted to pay them to teach me their skills. View full article »

Have fun with solar lights, jack-o-lanterns and candles!

The Free Weekly’s out today, and as some of you may already know if you’ve read Ripples’ latest column, I just carved my first jack-o-lantern!  This experience was unexpectedly scintillating. I was jump-for-joy excited to find this rainbow, medium-sized pumpkin at the Farmer’s Market, but then to look inside of it and hollow it out, then watch it glowing while our living room began to smell like pumpkin pie…words cannot express. Today we roasted the pumpkin seeds from inside our jack-o-lantern, and flavored them with vegan butter, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Here’s a photo slideshow to share our experience with you, and a link to the National Wildlife Federation where you can learn about making snack-o-lanterns for your backyard wildlife as a way to recycle your used jack-o-lanterns!

Missing the potlucks that shaped the woman I am today.

For those who have never been to one, a potluck is a fantastic way to share food among many people.  Everyone brings one dish of food and receives a full meal made up of many dishes.  And I felt lucky to eat from so many pots!  For me, potlucks used to be a chance to share a dish that you liked, sample a variety of foods that others brought, spend positive time with friends or new faces, and enjoy interesting conversation (including recipes!).  Nowadays, potlucks just make me feel hungry, embarrassed, and guilty. View full article »