The Blessings of Blenders

Since moving into an apartment we have no longer had access to our former roommate’s blender. Just days after telling John how badly I wanted one, his mom gifted us an awesome vintage blender.

 

So far we have made hemp milk, almond butter / bananna smootie, and rocket fuel coffee.

 

Here are the recipes…

 

Homemade hemp milk

Half cup raw shelled hemp seeds (we buy in bulk on Amazon)

3 cups of filtered water

1 tbs of raw honey

Blend until smooth? Strain in cheese cloth if desired. I leave particles if making a smoothie, strain if it is going in a sippy cup or bottle!

Bananna Almond Butter Smoothie

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1 cup almond butter

1 large bananna

2 cups homemade hemp milk

1 tbs raw honey

2 handfuls of iceblend u til smooth and creamy! Enjoy!

*warning, lots of almond butters were just recalled, I cluding the one in the attached photo! Read more here: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm410533.htm

Bulletproof Coffee (also known as rocket fuel)

2 cups organic coffee (hot)

Quarter cup organic coconut oil

Quarter cup Gee (clarified butter)

Blend until creamy. YUM!

 

Report Cards for Unschooled Students

Children who are unschooled to not receive the standard American “Report Card” because they are not tested or graded on any specific subject, unless they choose to be. This can cause challenges for unschool families as they attempt to gain recognition and understanding from the community regarding their children’s academic journey.

Today, Dayna Martin, author of Radical Unschooling, posted an example of how parents can build their children’s esteem while gaining support for their lifestyle in the community. She gave her children report cards that were “graded” on Happiness, Contentment, Self Love, Fulfillment, Passion, and Freedom. They took those report cards to Chuck E Cheese to participate in a Tokens for Report Cards program, and they accepted them!

I feel like this is something I want to periodically grade myself on and a really fun way to play off the “mainstream” way of doing things.

Here the photo and caption she posted on FaceBook:

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“THIS is how Report Cards SHOULD look!
I brought this in to Chuck E Cheese’s (one for each of my children) to see if they would honor the “tokens for A’s” deal that they were running. THEY DID!! I was so happy that they were open-minded enough to respect how we choose to “grade” our children in life. If you are an Unschooler – try this! It was an awesome experience and my children felt so respected as Radical Unschoolers.”

Creating a Sanctuary at Home

My midwife taught me one of the most important things I have learned in my life as a mother.  Create a sanctuary at home. This means a place that is safe for you to be yourself, to experience emotions, to engage in art, to follow your dreams.  A place that is yours and functions in line with what brings you joy and peace.  A place where you are comfortable, where you can wear what you want when you want and as you please when you need. Protect your sanctuary with vengeance, if you fail to do so it can most certainly result in emotional angst and unnecessary stress.

Immediately after having a baby our midwife suggests holing up at home with the family so the baby can bond as deeply as possible.  She suggests 4 weeks of bed rest for momma to heal her uterus in the proper position (she thinks this is why the hysterectomy rate is so high these days, because women are on their feet immediately after childbirth). This means no commotion in the home and keeping guests to minimum.  No one at all the first 3 days if possible.  House guests should bring food, do a chore and quietly leave.  This means it is probably not a good idea to have anyone come stay with you during this time, even if they are there to help.  Our midwife suggests simply asking people to come for short time periods and leaving you to bond in total peace for the first month of life.

As you recover and move forward into your new daily routines, it is important to create an ongoing sanctuary for yourself that continues through time.  A new child adds new dimensions and what makes your home a sanctuary will change, so notice what works for you and what doesn’t and be willing to make changes.

For John and I this means a few things.  As a pair we decided our sanctuary needed to be tidy and everything needed a place.  We needed (and need) fewer possessions because we often find we have more things than we have places to put them.  We needed our own spaces to do our own things.  My space tends to be the kitchen, I stand at the counter and work on my computer while I work or clean.  The kids have a play room. John has an office, it is now around the corner form our apartment, but in the farmhouse it was a room in our home. We share a family bed, which reduces stress for the whole family at night.  Our daughter loves art so we have lots of art for her.  I love to write, so I keep access to notebooks and a clear area for my computer.  Our son loves to run and dance through the house, so an open space for him. Our sanctuary ebbs and flows and changes.

Do not be afraid to rearrange your home.  I move furniture when things aren’t working.  I love to create a fresh space and I refuse to try to control my kids if our spaces isn’t working.  For example, when our son kept climbing into the window sill behind the couch, I simply moved the couch.  When my daughter kept getting in to my nail polish box, I simply moved it higher.

One thing we have found in our nearly five years together is that we operate best when we have our own space.  I have always loved being surrounded by people, always.  We have opened our home to short and long term housegests or roommates repeatedly.  We have found that when we live alone as a family we are happier as a family.  Every time we have had a roommate our relationship changes, I believe this is because we lose our personal time together.  Our kids go to sleep and the evening is no longer for the two of us, it is for us plus a roommate(s).

Suddenly we lose our privacy and personal time, meaning we have an audience for every conversation.  That changes a relationship in ways you may not understand until you are experiencing it. This is irrelevant to what type of roommate you have, by the way, it could be the worlds most perfect roommate, but you still have an audience.

The people who have stayed with us have varied from families, to single friends, pet owners, people in urgent transition, or people we ask to live there for long periods.  We have found that opening your home makes you vulnerable to energetic frequencies that you may not tolerate in your home otherwise.  From an aggressive dog, to a passive aggressive roomate to a house full of chaos, we have had some very rough experiences with housing others.  Protect your space, protect your sanctuary.  No matter how strong and happy you are, adding others in to the mix can create disharmony that you do not need.

I am eternally grateful to those who put me up during my times of need.  But I have learned as a protectorate of my children and our sanctuary, that we can no longer pay that favor forward.  Emotional stability is so important for your children, bringing in third parties can shake the foundation of that!

For us, a sanctuary involves a place just for us.  What a blessing we have figured this out and can act accordingly moving forward.

John is reading some Buddhist texts right now that suggest creating a peace room, a breathing room, or a quiet space where family members can go to unwind.  Mine is the giant bathtub we have right now, but I don’t think the other members of our family have a peace room.  I hope he creates it, I think it is an excellent idea.

To create a sanctuary for yourself and your family you must create a space that is conducive to love, to community, to quiet, to celebration, to intimacy, to bonding, to autonomy and freedom.  If you can find the elements you need to have this, I know you can create a space that allows your soul to sing.

To be clear, I am not advocating isolating yourself in your home, I am simply saying that John and I opened ours too often, and at times against our better judgement.  Follow your heart.  I know that I want to live on the same property with folks of a like mind, but I want a private space for our family that we can open or close to others as we see fit. I am also not advocating that you home must me mess-free, just clean enough for you to thrive, the threshold of mess you can tolerate will be unique to you!

One last tip is to get rid of anything in your space that isn’t working for you.  I use a 3 point criteria for items in my home.  I must use them, love them, and they must not be broken.  If any of the 3 are not true, I get rid of them. Love it, but broken?  Gone.  Use it but hate the way it looks?  Gone.  Take a picture if you are afraid to let go.

How do you make your home a sanctuary?

Here is a podcast I did on this topic:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/163332266″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Happy sanctuary!

Decentralized Geography, Where to Go From Here?

Decentralized networks are more stable than centralized ones.  This applies to work places, sources of income, computer networks and nature.  In the workplace, a top-down centralized system creates a large burden on a central point, when the load is decentralized there are fewer problems if one person isn’t “doing their job” or some sort of failure happens in the production line. When your income is decentralized and you are bringing in revenue from various projects, it is less devastating when one of them fails and your family is better able to weather the storm.  Decentralized computer networks provide network stability and security – take the Bitcoin network for example, if a miner or mining pool go down, there are still thousands of nodes able to pick up where those left off. Mother nature operates this way, too, ant colonies and animals in migration do not have one central authority dictating how to travel or when, they depend on their own cues and instincts, their network is decentralized and their network is strong.

I have seen the power of the decentralized network and feel passionate about creating this sort of security in my life on multiple fronts.  When we lost our farm it was totally devastating.  We lost everything we had been working for, because we had centralized our efforts all in once place. Our family was the central focal point of the community and when we lost what we had, the community scattered and we were left trying to figure out where to farm and garden.

Now that we are in an apartment, we have our own front porch garden going.  We are also building garden beds on the sidewalk in front of a neighboring restaurant and plan to get an additional restaurant on board. We are also gardening with friends on their property and actively looking for a property of our own.  We decentralized our local gardening efforts to prevent losing it all again, but I want to decentralize further, I want to decentralized our geographic location so we have choices across the country where we have thriving gardens and community that we can plug into when we please.

After years of travel and meeting with activists communities I see 4 geographic locations that seem to provide the most in term of what we are looking for. We want a government that is minimal, we want strong like minded community, we want the ability to garden and live off the grid.  The places we feel provide the most in these regards are 1. Central Texas 2. New Hampshire 3. Asheville, NH and 4. Colorado.

I want to have a place to stay in each of these communities.  I want an off the grid permanent home in each of these locations.  I want a thriving garden in each of these locations.  I want a thriving livestock operation in each location.  And I want them to be profitable so I can incentivize someone to operate them while we travel between the 4.

To make this happen I need a good plan, and that is the phase I am in currently, determining the plan of action.  Where to start?  Obviously Central Texas is a good option for us to start because we are here, we have community have family here, we have chickens here, we have gardens here.  We also need something sooner than later because my family is not happy in an apartment. The next step will likely be NH because there are so many activists there and moving there and Bardo Farm has a thriving off the grid community that we want to be a part of.  Asheville is very enticing to me because we really clicked with the activists there and loved the city.  Colorado we have the least ties to, but I see great potential.

Here is a podcast I did discussing the choices and where to go from here.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/162852009″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

I plan to write an overview of all 4 activist hubs to give others advice and inspiration on where they can go to be in community with others!

Violence and Humor

John Lennon said it best – the state doesn’t know how to deal with you when you act in peace.  They only know how to handle violence.  Walk with peace, my friends!

 

john lennon

A Peak At Our Spring Garden

Here is a peak at our garden from this past spring.  Bill and Aliana LOVED it 😀

Corn, beans and squash around him, okra, pepper, watermelon and basil seedlings behind him to the right. We also have oregano, aloe, agave, cinnamon basil, chives, pumpkins, turnips, lettuce, beets, carrots, rosemary, roses, and kale growing in other garden beds! We may have moved at the drop of a hat, but we didn’t miss a beat on our spring gardens!

 

Our First Kombucha – Continuous Brew

A friend of ours gave me some scoobys to start our own kombucha!!!

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is loaded with beneficial probiotics.  Our children LOVE it and we are spending too much of our food budget on large jugs and single serving bottles.  We decided to add a new skill set to our Sovereign Living Journey – the home brew!

We used the WellnesMama’s How-To guide to start our own Continuous Brew Kombucha.

First we made a gallon of tea and mixed in 1 cup of sugar.

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We let it cool to room temperature.

We added it to our large glass jug with a spiggot and mixed in 2 cups of sotre bought kombucha (For acid).

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We then dropped in our first scooby!

Now, we wait 😀

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I will update as we progress!

100 Things I Love About (My) Life

1. We Make Our Own Daily Schedule
2. We Work for Ourselves
3. San Marcos, TX has a Huge Unschool Community
4. Daily Walks
5. Living with Animals
6. Strong Family Ties (this took effort and was so worth it!)
7. Our Vintage 3 Piece Sectional Couch
8. Lots of annual Slow Travel Across the Country
9. BITCOIN
10. Friends Who Accept and Love Us
11. Yoga
12. Vision Boards
13. Organic Food
14. Farmers Market (when we can get up in time!)
15. Gardening at our apartment and with friends
16. Chickens
17. Living Near the River
18. Two Parks in Walking Distance
19. Like Minded, Loving Husband
20. Family Bed
21. Journals
22. Daily Art
23. Natural Medicine
24. Coconut Oil
25. Essential Oils
26. Making Juice at Home
27. Our Food Dehydrator
28. Watching Toddlers Play Chase
29. Following Our Dreams
30. Watching the Sun Set (Back Windows)
31. Catching the Sun Rise (Front Porch)
32. Camping with my Family
33. Getting Paid to Write
34. RedBox Movie Night
35. Stove Top Popcorn in Coconut Oil
36. Amazon Subscribe and Save
37. Kombucha
38. Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix
39. Maintaining Life Long Friends in my Hometown
40. Live Music
41. San Marcos Community Events
42. Handmade Jewelry
43. Thrift Store Shopping
44. Living in Abundance
45. Inspirational Friends
46. Brave New Books
47. Barter
48. Lots of Sunshine
49. My Freckles
50. My Children’s Freckles
51. Snail Mail
52. Photography
53. Dumpster Diving
54. Podcasting
55. Long Hot Baths
56. Double Stroller
57. Whole Foods
58. Scented Candles
59. PorcFest
60. Rethinking Everything Conference
61. Listening to Podcasts
62. Spending Time With John’s Family
63. Bare Feet
64. Apple Cider Vinegar
65. Crafts with my Kids
66. Incubating Eggs
67. Grandma’s Kitchen Aid Mixer
68. Glitter! (To John’s Dismay LOL)
69. Gluten Free
70. Coconut Water
71. DIY Lifestyle
72. Magnetic Spice Rack
73. Home Grown Spices
74. Tethered Wifi
75. Fluoride Water Filters
76. Buddy Bucks
77. Searching for Shells in the River
78. Collecting Rocks
79. Bird Watching with the Family
80. State Parks Pass
81. Texas Wildflowers
82. Rain Storms
83. Buddhism
84. Custom Wedding Rings
85. Homemade Hummus
86. Bush Family Salsa
87. Hand-Me-Downs
88. Paying it Forward
89. Unschooling
90. Splash Pads
91. Confidence
92. Okra, I am so in Love with Okra!
93. Reshi Infused Organic Coffee, Daily
94. Keeping a Dream Journal
95. Refining my Writing and Speaking Skills
96. Hushmail
97. Tap Shoes for the Kids
98. John, Aliana, Bill, Murray, Muno and Mousey Mouse
99. Me, I love Me <3
100. Living the Blessed Life

Recipes: Making Juice and Bread from the Same Fruits and Vegetables in the Blush Family Kitchen

We have been juicing a lot lately and I decided I wanted to find another use for our left over pulp than simply composting it. After looking online today I found some great ideas and settled on making bread.

The Juice

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Today I juiced four handfuls of spinach, four handfuls of baby carrots, two handfuls of bing cherries and 2 handfuls of grapes. All organic.

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The juice was delicious, a recipe I am using to help heal my eyesight.

The Bread

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I then used to following recipe for the bread:

2 cups of pulp (all of the leftovers)

2 cups of Pamelas Gluten Free Baking Mix

1.5 cups of Coconut Oil

2 dashes of Salt

4 dashes of  Cinamon

2 Eggs from our chicken flock

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I blended these I gredients on high for a couple minutes, then put in a well coconut oiled bread pan. I baked on 350 degrees until a toothpick came out clean.

The kids are in heaven!

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Here is a podcast I recorded about it!

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Unschooling, Responsibility, and the Value of Money

My almost three year old Aliana told me she wants to earn her OWN money. She offered to help babysit her 16 month old brother and I said DEAL!

We have been using the kitchen timer set for 15 minutes and she has been “watching” baby brother while I do chores. She negotiated a rate of one quarter per 15 minute time period. She lets me know if he has a need she cannot help him with and agrees to not fight with him during this time.

She is saving her hard earned pocket change in a small bag in her purse so she can buy treats at the grocery store.

I love this “game” because it is teaching her responsibility in so many ways. She is learning about time, the value of money, caring for others, and how to save for something special. It is improving her communication skills as “negotiates” her pay, tends to her brother, and talks to me about his needs.

I am always close by keeping a sneak peak to ensure nothing goes awry.

How do you teach your kids about money, time and responsibility?

Here is a podcast on this issue!

http://soundcloud.com/sovereignlivingpodcast/unschooling-responsibility-1