Saturday, December 16, 2017

Be Aware of What You are Revealing About Yourself

Just a quick thought. Yesterday I viewed the movie called "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Although, it had an odd and "unfinished" style of ending....watching it was still very much worth it, in how it stirs up our caution and awareness of revealing "too much" and at            "what cost" online.

Ok, so allow me to cut to the do we humans currently reveal "potentially" too much about ourselves?

1/ using rewards point cards at all of our fave shops, because they reveal where and when and what we buy, and how we pay.
2/ Twitter....yes, even though I really do enjoy Twitter, I am aghast at what folks tweet without thinking about the long-term ramifications.
3/ Facebook...oh the books that have already been written and will be written to describe how Facebook has changed the social fabric of our lives and how it leaves a very detailed trail of how we live, who we like and don't like....and how we communicate with almost everyone we deem special.
4/ Email. Although we like to kid ourselves that our email accounts are private....most of us still use non-encrypted and very public email servers which constantly monitor ALL of our sent and received emails for a host of reasons. Some of the reasons may be for public safety, but other reasons are for commercial advertising purposes and also for "yet to be determined" data mining purposes.
5/ Instagram. Nuf said.
6/ My Space.
7 the plethora of other social networking platforms
8/ voluntary blogs..... Sure folks like me may dream about making good coin from blogging, but most of us just do it because we love to write and practice honing our craft.
9/ Shopping with debit and credit cards instead of cash. Yes, I realize that cash is no longer king and its days may be numbered. But we must be aware that more our purchases are made through cards of all sorts, that the data about our every purchase is shared and diced and sliced and resold to whom ever is the highest bidder. Do we really want our shopping habits up for public/commercial display/auction?
10/ With the lure of becoming the next Youtube millionaire, millions of folks have sold themselves out by vlogging and selling their own videos to the Youtube video hosting service. I am not against Youtube, and use it regularly, but I am keenly aware of the fact that those who post there often are giving up a huge chunk of their privacy......and at what cost? 20 bucks a month in ad revenue? Consider what you are giving up when you allow perfect strangers to watch your life online.
11/ Google. Oh the books that are being written and still to be written about this Goliath. Yes, there is good and yes, there is stuff to be concerned about. I myself find the whole "google locating" issues to be very creepy. Have you ever noticed that when you "google" a local store", that Google displays how long the average person visits that location? How do they know that? Because they have locating apps through Google tracking our every move through our cell phones.
12/ Yes, there are ways to limit the number of methods that "Big Brother" can track and trace you. But the fine print is indeed fine, and the methods are intentionally made "hard and awkward" to implement for the "average" cell/computer user. If you have the patience, try to master the privacy and locating settings for the social media platforms that you frequent. Try your best to limit whatever you don't feel comfortable revealing. Make it harder for these companies to track and sell off your personal data.  And yes, it would still be helpful to go back to cash.....but oy, yes, cash is quickly becoming more "awkward" and "inconvenient"..... I guess I have been fished into that mindset
13/ ISP's ( internet service providers) have records of ALL the webtraffic that flows through ALL your devices, both at home and when on the road. Also be aware that when you are utilizing
"free wifi" hotspots at cafes or your other haunts,  that the controllers/providers of the "free wifi"
hotspots can monitor/ see all that flows on any device that uses their Wifi services.

I am sure I will come up with even more ways in which we are "selling ourselves out" without consciously being aware of how much data we are revealing about ourselves with these seemingly
inert methods of communication and lifestyle.

If privacy doesn't matter to you, then by all means, ignore this post.....but if it does concern you and you want to protect yourself and your family....maybe it should become a matter of focus and prayer.

And yes, if this post has intrigued you, please do go ahead and read the book called
The Numerati by Stephen L. Baker. And yes, if you get the opportunity, go see the movie              "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks.

With peace and prayer,


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race....Every Time

This is my buddy....Mr. Snail. I snapped his photo myself. I like to look at his pic every once in a while to remind myself of the beauty of his wise lifestyle.

Snails, as a species have survived throughout millenia because of their slowness.....
If I were to stretch it a bit for dramatic illustration....I'd have to say that Snails have survived so many catastrophic earthly challenges because they "think" before they do anything. They think long and hard before rushing into anything. Actually, permit me to correct myself....they don't actually RUSH into ANYTHING!

There is great merit in thinking before making an important decision. Think and pray calmly before you leap. Living calmly and thoughtfully and prayerfully has many advantages. Nobody can accuse you of making a hasty foolish decision. Nobody can see a trail of chaos in your frantic wake.          You are slow and steady for a reason. Because it works for you.

Be strong. Crawl on. Survive and live long.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Does Regular TV Stress You?

Feel like plopping down in front of the Telly...but just want to be alone with your thoughts?
Don't want to allow a million  media flashes to overwhelm your psyche?

Consider the beauty of the "Aquarium Channel". It's like "White noise, for your eyes".  I am not sure if all TV service providers give you access to this simple channel, but it has a lot going for it in my humble opinion.

Why do we watch TV when we don't have a particular show on our minds? Just to fill space and allow our minds to rest and refresh. At the same time, we don't want to bring more stress into our lives by watching chaotic news reports or tumultuous sitcoms that suck us into the lives of yet many more thousands of dramatic fictional characters.

Sometimes, not always.....but Sometimes.... i just want some down time.                                    Sometimes BORING IS GOOD!
 Some filler visuals that will allow me to feel like something is happening that is bigger than me and beyond my control....and I can watch it and feel myself begin to wind down and finally, after having rested, to refocus and concentrate on my own set of goals.

What is the "Aquarium Channel"...... Well, it's a simple as the words of it's title....It's a cable           TV channel that simply provides us a consistent view of a beautiful fish tank filled with active colorful fish and swaying sea veggies.
The tank is pristinely clean....and yay, I'm not the one in charge of cleaning it! The fish are healthy and appear happy and have striking colors and natural decorations on their scales. There's even a live shrimp scooting around beyond the fish tank boulders. There's no ads, no commentary. Just peaceful beautiful fish playing in a crystal clear blue tank.

Remember, what you fill your mind with, you are naturally going to want to "process". So if you control what you allow yourself to de-stress with on the Telly, then you may just figure out a better unwinding strategy for you and/or your family members.

It's ok to have down time. Don't feel guilty about your "down time". It's essential for you have a relaxation strategy so that you can resist stress, recharge, refresh and refocus to greet and accomplish your nest goals.

If your TV service provider does not have an "Aquarium channel, or a similar type of "easy to watch" time filler type of channel, consider sending them an email.   Let them know you need more "relaxation", non-dramatic de-stressing channels and they might just add one to your line-up.

In Peaceful Productivity,

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Enjoying Seth Godin's Perpetual Breakfast Smoothie

Yes, yes...when I run into a unique idea that's DO-ABLE....I run run  run to try it out for myself.

And so YES, I finally got to try Seth Godin's advice on breakfast.....
( you can listen to Seth describe it more fully in the Tim Ferriss interview that Tim podcasted :
link is

 So, from my memory of the podcast.....the simple formula is

1 frozen banana
hemp protein powder
almond milk
dried plums

When I tried it, I used dried pitted dates instead of dried plums and........
WOW, this smoothie is a WINNER!

I also like the added comment which Seth made in that podcast, which was this......he doesn't make decisions about breakfast.....but just makes this on auto-pilot and then crafts fresh coffee for his wife and any visitors. That way he has eliminated another "decision making zone" from his early part of the he can get back to doing what he loves and is paid to do.......which is "notice things".

(by the way, seth doesn't actually drink coffee himself, but loves the art of brewing the perfect cup.)

Talk to you soon friends,


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Your Blog doesn't have to Read like Twitter....

in Tim Ferriss book "Tools of Titans"....Tim or one of his featured podcast guests talks about their top blogging tips. One precious tip from ???(sorry...I can't recall who the guest was that day) was this...."Don't look down on LONG blog posts.....even long blog posts even 25 pages in length."
That is good news! I don't have cut it down to some uber-concise blurt.... like on Twitter. I can be long winded at last...

Mark Zuckerberg, Annienygma  , and Seth Godin, all have a penchant to not cut short their words unnecessarily.....although each one can be brief and concise when they want to be. They master their words and make the words the paintbrush through which they create their own kingdoms.

Content is still king. I am counting on it. Enough of my readers out there in cyberdom, appreciate my long winded thoughtfulness...... b/c if they didn't I'd have closed down this blog years ago.

Sometimes it's just a whiff.....a scent of a thought that a reader can identify with that keeps them coming back to visit this blog. They have shared some of the same "brain" sneezes that have filled me with angst through out my years. They have giggled at some of my kooky homespun DIY projects ... forwarding some to their they can giggle too. And occasionally they graze upon a tiny tiny grain of sand of ...something that their heart or brain can thoughtfully chew on...... for a long time during a boring commute home.

I like to make folks think. I like to re-think "thinking".....and empower folks to believe in the validity of their own opinions. I like to challenge the status quo, not in order to do away with it, but just to "chop it down to size" so to that "they" .....or the little grey know that I know that the difference between "their larger than life " mega-opinions and mega-trends" are just one keystroke away from me and my own "powerful" thoughts. No.....I am not cocky.....just confident.

You are powerful......You are strong. You are an individual. What you have experienced thus far in your life qualifies you to critique certain things in certain ways. My life story is unique. Your life story is unique....and empowered and powerful. It empowers you in certain ways. It gives you an edge. Grab it and know that!

Never under-estimate the power of a "thinking" human. It is patient thought which must be used to continuously keep ourselves and our society in check. When we begin to awaken to the realization that we are important and that our thoughts and opinions matter.....we become "dangerous" in an ideological sort of way, because we REFUSE to just blindly accept whatever media, churches, governments, corporations and schools want us to believe.

Just to make things abundantly clear. I am not "anti media, anti church, anti government, anti corporation, or anti school. I simply want to state that I will not be bullied into blindly following whatever all or any of the above say or do or preach. I will continue to test what I see and read and hear.I will hopefully.......have the patience to "test the spirits"  ( scripture 1 John 4:1 KJV inspires this process) in order to sift out the beauty from the wasted space and time.

We CAN deliberately CHOOSE how we want to live our lives.....honoring our own innate intelligence, and utilizing much study of the holy Scriptures. on brothers and sisters. Your words inspire me to keep going. Your thoughts compel me to keep creating. I respect you.

And, in closing, if you need to write a 50 page blog post, just to get out something important that you have struggled for years to say.....then you take every single one of those 50  pages proudly. Write on.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lost Your Creative Mojo??

Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes.

So many words for the same block....a lack of creative mojo.

I was thinking aloud today, how "ABUNDANCE" can completely obstruct and hinder one's creative flow. Therefore......REDUCING is often the key to my creative blocks. Now don't misunderstand me....I love abundance as much as anyone else....but it can also become a HUGE stumbling block in getting my creativity to flow.

Have you ever waltzed into a modern arts and crafts store or fabric store and been completely overwhelmed by the glitz and multitude of choices? Walked into a paint store and become completely dumbfounded by the thousands of paint choices? Ditto for yarns, ditto for wallpaper.....ditto for canvases.

Does the "STARVING" artist mindset work better for you?

I fall into this latter category. I have discovered that I simply MUST pare down my artistic supplies to the utter BARE BONES in order to pump up my creative Mojo. Nothing else seems to work.

Tim Ferriss, .....yes THAT Tim Ferriss, talks often in his podcast about his fave author Neil Gaiman, who has to make himself completely and utterly BORED before his creative juices flow enough for him to start writing.I can relate to that conundrum.

You see, creativity is not always logical. Creativity has a whimsical flow. One must unravel one's own creative mysteries.

One might be tempted to assume that an abundance of paint choices, or fabric choices, or yarn choices of every texture and pattern would be helpful in creating masterpieces......but I have found the OPPOSITE to be true.

I must find the absolute lowest cost art supplies and START with those and then somehow in a very mysterious fashion, I receive the blessing to begin creating again. And let's face can be MOST frustrating to WANT to CREATE and yet feel somehow UNABLE to start creating.

I must start at a very low is similar to what the missionary Heidi Baker teaches in approaching her ministry from a "lower still" place of humility.

I must feel that my art or music is needed. It is hard for me to feel that need when I am surrounded by an over-abundance of other folk's wealth. I need to feel it in my bones that my art or music
is a vital piece of a world wide puzzle that the earth desperately needs me to form and fill....that the earth will never be complete unless I do my thing.

Heidi Baker, the missionary, speaks sometimes about how she feels and what happens when she comes back to North America after spending months in Mozambique or Malawi. She'll walk into a grocery store in North America and try to buy some bread and she'll stand in front of a towering bread aisle filled with a plethora of bread choices ....and finds that she can't even purchase one loaf. The abundance has stunned her into silence, incapable of moving forward....incapable of making even one choice.

So, in closing..... I just want to say again..........that if you find you feel that you have temporarily met up with a creative block, try the idea of reducing your choices to that of a more "starving" artist mentality. Take away your numerous fabric choices. Choose only one or two colors of fabric with one texture. Reduce and reduce and reduce until you feel like you have a bare bones palette to work with. And then start from there. Build a thing of beauty from something small and stark. It will feed your spirit. It will build up your confidence.

Feel the need for your art. Feel the frustration of the great painters who had to humble themselves to ask relatives to send them more money just to survive on they could continue to afford to buy the paint and canvas to paint on.

Feel the grittiness of the art collective who gathered old curbside cast off furniture and used the sides of these old beat up dressers and desks as the only affordable canvas upon which to express their painted art works. They started in that low place before their collective group gained traction to afford  "better" art supplies. They humbled themselves to start in that low place. They didn't allow a lack of capital to stop them from creating what they felt they simply MUST create.

Start from that low,  and perhaps..... low priced place.  You just might surprise yourself.
Because if you can make a thing of beauty from something that is of little initial financial cost, your creativity may just shine more clearly through as that thing of GREAT worth.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Do I Make Stuff that is Cheaper to Buy Already Made?

As I was looking around my home, gazing at some of the kooky inventions I've made over the past few years....I began to realize that perhaps some folks might wonder....just why does this chick feel the need to make so many things herself? Doesn't she know that it's easier and usually cheaper to just buy the same things conveniently in the store? Why is she just such a diy crafter/maker???

Well, I began to ponder I looked at our living room garbage can and wondered if I could make one of my own from scrap wood.... perhaps there is method to my madness.

Perhaps this is my attempt to de-construct modern life.....perhaps so that I can begin just to understand it a little bit better. Maybe....just maybe if I can reverse engineer and make from scratch many of the things we buy from stores so quickly...I just might be able to prepare for a time when "stuff" might be harder to find or afford.

Maybe if I am able to make up to 50% of the items I use on a daily basis, I could actually survive if my comfy modern society collapsed. Maybe that's why I insisted to learn how to fish and caught one for the first time this summer ....since I was a little. Perhaps that's another reason why I relish those reality shows that teach foraging and "freegan-ism". Perhaps that's why I applaud the City of Toronto so loudly for launching a "back yard chicken" pilot project  in 2017..

I hate being dependent.....and that includes being dependent on all the luxuries that all of us folks in my Province of Ontario, Canada....take utterly for being able to buy fresh food in the grocery store and plug in an appliance into the wall and poof works perfectly and at a pretty low cost for the electricity too. At this point, I merely dabble in Urban homesteading......but I brag loudly about growing my own food....but the total food I glean from my home gardens could probably be packed into about three shoe boxes per  year.

But yes, I must impress myself....there is no need to impress anyone else. My dabbling has has an energy all to itself. It's the reason I will drive to the next town to shop at my fave homespun dutch farm to buy fresh apples, kale, local honey and frozen pie. Having an apple orchard within a short drive is a great matter if you are a prepper or a preppie.

It's the reason I read with eager anticipation any media blurbs about the "good food box" program that runs in my city, even though I have yet to buy even one.....

We have to be forwardly energized to take care of ourselves and each matter what the future holds.

 Well, ....what does that look like?
Does it mean that we all need a bigger patch of land in our community gardens? Does it mean that we re-learn so many of the pioneer skills that early Canadians shed once the commercial stores were fully entrenched into Canadian modern life?

Do we need to re-learn how to sew our own clothes? I've gotten pretty good at knitting bags and hats.....freestyle from memory of an old pattern I learned 20 years ago and have since re-engineered to be more me-ish.

I know how to make my own homemade soap....but with store bought lye...( just not ready yet to force myself to cook up some diy lye from hardwood ashes....for some ideas click Diy lye )

And at the end of the day....I am still not satisfied.....not satisfied that I/we am ready.....that I am prepared for "whatever" comes.

For the record....I am not afraid.... I would prefer the word "concerned" I see the lethargy...the passivism, the brand name worship and the droves of young folks who can't name even one handy skill that they have mastered other than how to post their fave pics on facebook. I see us so utterly dependent on a very complicated city wide infrastructure...water systems, roads and hydro to name a few.

What we can't make....we can't understand....and what we can't understand....we can't repair or modify in case of emergency.

I must lament....... the shame of it all....the wasted talent, time and creativity that young and old people need  to reclaim. It is still there....lying inert and docile.

Young people CAN be empowered to build their own homes, however lopsided or code violating, but none the less....their own shelters complete with home made floors and roofs..

My son just turned 19....and he and his friends still love to build forts in the woods. And yes, he is tech savvy and wastes too much time on video games...but he has cornered the market on his own creativity.....enjoying the thrill of building, planning, and yes, hanging out in his own self built fort up in the trees.

I don't worry about my son, because he knows how to make stuff. He knows how to create and he's not afraid to scuff up his shoes.

I worry more about my middle aged generation who were taught to get rid of the flip flops and don
pumps and leather lap top cases to impress a faceless corporation while someone else raised their kids, chasing Preppie Nervana.....propped up on pillows bought from Pier One Imports.

I lament myself....and gave myself a good lecture today...because I was a part of the brand name revolution. I loathed home made clothes and was eager to use debt to buy shiny clothes in order to impress the invisible folks that only existed in my imagination.

I might have thought twice to learn to create my own fashion, my own style and patent that...this crafting-making-stubborn-seed saving-urban-homesteading-mama style that I am toting.

Well...I gotta run...... there's still time...... society has not collapsed and our beloved high tech infrastructure still stands.....for now.

In Peaceful productivity,


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Quickest Cheapest Way to Save on Liquid Laundry Soap

Add caption

So these are the simple items I use to "make" homemade laundry soap now a days. And yes, for the record, I still use the store bought liquid stuff too....but when I'm feeling like being "pioneer woman-ish" and saving a buck or two, I get to work with this simple process.

Technically, grating Linda Laundry Soap bars and cooking down the shavings with water does not really equate with "making" the soap from scratch....but for me, it's do-able, easy and low cost....which is the priority.

Linda Laundry soap bars are, as of October 2017, being sold in Ontario "No Frills" stores for $1.19 Canadian per bar.

You can use just one "Linda Laundry Soap Bar" to fill 2-3 extra large recycled liquid laundry soap jugs, once you dilute the mixture well with water.

Using a simple kitchen grater does the trick.....
If you don't want to make a really large batch of laundry soap, you can save the extra grated Linda Laundry Soap in zip lock bags for the next time you're feeling crafty.

You can add about 1 cup of shavings if you are trying to make at least one large jug of liquid laundry soap. This type of laundry soap has a tendency to get "gell-ish" so don't be afraid to dilute it well, it will prevent it from clumping up and clogging in the jug.
After  cooking down the shavings with water....I use a strainer in order that I don't unknowingly allow any clumps into the jug. I hate finding soap clumps on my freshly laundered matter what kind of soap I am using a cheap strainer can help prevent that. A cheap plastic funnel helps direct the flow so that I won't spill any of the contents as I re-fill the jug.

As you can see, the jugs I recycle are the extra large ones. If I bought a new one in a local store I would spend from at least $8 up to $45 for laundry soap. Any way you slice it.....grating, cooking down and diluting is a great money saver if you like to save some coin.

May God bless and empower your crafty side and money saving skills.
 Peace, Carla.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How Much Of A Seed Saver Do I Want to Be....

How much of a seed Saver do I want to be? Do I want to build my own seed vault like Bill Gates?
Check out Svalbard Global Seed Vault

But it is also interesting to note that corporate giant Monsanto is one of the partners in the massive seed vault on an island in Norway. Is the seed vault there to help humanity after we have done too much damage to our natural seed legacy? Or are some of the biggest corporations of our day poised to take over complete control of our food supply once all the
 "native seeds" have been patented or adulterated by genetic modification? Perhaps it is already too late. Large corporations are not the enemy. For now we still have the freedom in my province of Ontario to grow what we want wherever we want and give our seeds away to friends and neighbors. I pray that this freedom will remain. 

Who doesn't love collecting acorns?...the squirrels are having a frenzy...hiding acorns in my outdoor flower pots, where perhaps they will forget the precise location and Voila.... perhaps a beautiful tiny oak tree will begin to sprout up next spring from the acorns that the squirrels have greedily hidden in the soil.

Oh,,,,,but do I have the discipline to actually save some tomatoes to harvest and dry the seeds from to plant next year? Or will we gobble up these fresh goodies?

An ole standby .....and even if you have an orange thumb versus a green will undoubtedly be able to manage growing some simple green beans in your back yard or porch.

I always love the way the mature green beans begin to show a fancy purple and yellow pattern on the skin the more it dries and prepares the deep dark purple seeds for plucking.

Growing food from all kinds of funky locations is fun..... have you seen the Woolly Pocket Company?
They have created a whole line of products that will help you grow veggies on any wall and in the most unusual and convenient containers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

If you hate Kale Lentil soup is EASY PEASY!

EASY  Lentil Kale Soup ( I made this in an hour or less)

Throw all this in the pot and simmer for half an hour on medium heat and then down to low/off.....and Voila....a delicious hearty autumn soup:

5 cups water
Two handfuls of  fresh kale chopped to bite size
1-2 Chicken boullion cubes
1/2 small onion - chopped
1 1/2 cups of dried red split lentils
Two peeled and chopped cloves of garlic
One handful of very thin dry rice vermicelli noodles
add sea salt and soy sauce  to taste

By the way, don't get anxious about being precise with the amounts of the natural ingredients....making soup is supposed to be fun and enjoy it and trust your taste buds as you throw it all in the pot.
Bon appetito!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You Sure You're Not afraid of Controversy?

There are times when, similar to any kind of physical exercise, that we feel like bending or "cracking" our brains a bit. One of the best ways I do this to my own grey matter, is by reading authors who are opinionated and have the habit of publishing their thoughts into books that I can get my "idea hungry" hands on.

Do I only pick authors I am prone to agree with? Nope.....What would be the fun of that???

Reading all kinds of authors helps us to "educate" our own world view to include those who come from a very different life experience than our own. It helps empower my own ability to
  form and defend or else courageously discard a few of my own strongly held beliefs.

Looking for some controversial authors to "crack open" your own mind to new ideas and perspectives.??

Perhaps this list may inspire or repel you.....but it most certainly will help you dare to think outside your own box of comfort once in a while.....Tis a cool habit.

 Wangari Maathai

Vandana Shiva

Jeremy Rifkin

Heidi Baker

Derek Foster

Alan Corey


In Peaceful Productivity,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hats Cheaper to Make than to Buy....

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No Pattern Required.....Just Wing it!

The weather here in Ontario is quickly settling into fall.....even though the leaves are still mostly green and lush. The wind is chilly and I find myself drawn to thinking about woolly winter sweaters.......but making a hat is simply much faster and I can recall from memory a very basic bare bones knitted hat pattern from 10 years ago, that I scoffed off the back of a paper yarn label.

I found a metal snap in the sewing supplies that I inherited from my Mama,  and found that if I sewed it onto the "thingy" that I knitted, I could snap it easily to hang onto my stove handle....keeping it hanging to dry and in a convenient of the kitchen counter. Whoever said you need a "real" expensive pattern to knit stuff was simply not believing in themselves and their own creativity eh! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Are you Fostering Innovation?

Now I don't hold any judgement here about where your priorities lie. I just want to be able to spell out things that need to be put into words.

Some of us are becoming MORE dependent upon others as their years progress. More dependent on the electrical grid which is governed and maintained by "big brother".,...and perhaps More dependent on the health care provided by "big brother".

And then there are those who are determined to learn more on their own terms. They teach themselves how to heal themselves with herbs and local foods. They learn how to power their homes locally with funny looking solar/wind projects. They learn how to grow some veggies in compost in their back yards. They save up sealed jars of yeast, so that they'll be able to bake their own bread if the super market food chain system breaks down..

How dependent or independent we become is a very personal choice and I will not judge as to which way of life is better or "superior". Each lifestyle has it's merits.

I am only saying that it has and continues to give me great joy whenever I continue to make and create stuff with my own two hands. It is incredibly empowering and fulfilling. But I also do admit that most of what

propels my life and the life of my family has not been created by my own will, but rather by the will of hundreds of corporations and several layers of government.

I am not endorsing extremism. I am also not a homesteader. But I must admit that I do get great inspiration from those who do homestead! I find their resourcefulness to be very motivating. Linking up with some homesteaders that you admire is a great way to glean free d.i.y. formulas and recipes.....even if you just want to try it on a low key once a year...when you feel like it.

So I want to challenge you today. Maybe you are intimidated by the thought of doing anything

"large" in an independent fashion. But I want to encourage you today....maybe you could just try doing one small tiny thing on an independent basis.

Maybe you hate knitting but you love baking? Have you tried creating your own "sour dough" from scratch?  It's readily available to learn from youtube.....( as depicted in the great vid above) It might just empower your own sense of control over your future food supply.

Peaceful productivity,


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Flood hit my Province Hard

A seemingly innocent season of gentle rains pummelled my small town with a deluge of water that it just simply didn't know what to do with.......

A gentle wee park located in the north end of the city was so inundated with the storm water that the trees  that were obviously planted by the city were up to their ankles in sun warmed rain water for weeks....

My daughter and I took the plunge to peel our socksoff and see what it would be like to wade up to the chins ...and to our delight and surprise, discovered that the sunshine had baked the temp in to "dish water warmth"..

Nope, no fish swimming yet through the sculpted grass filled pond, but a unique pleasure for us who usually see such drier summers. The foliage and forests are overgrown and sprawling with glee up  across and over every fence that isn't monitored or weekly manicured by it's careful owners. Weeds have grown amuck! What a hoot!

There's something so lush and rich about living in a damp dewy foresty town. It's as if the howler monkeys are just waiting to come visit us and quite possibly make our suburbs their permanent home.
Perhaps wishful thinking on my hey....a girl can dream.

Enjoy the pics below of our city trees swimming for weeks in a wee public park.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Which Financial Tool is Most Important for Success?

Let's discuss this calmly shall we?

Which financial Tool is THE most important for your financial success?

Is is tithing? ( giving 10% of your income to church or charity)

Is it saving? (taking a preset portion of your income and hiding it away where you won't use it for other purposes other than savings and/or investing for the purpose of securing a future income streams)

Is it investing?(And no, investing is not necessarily the same as saving....but the two are very much connected)

It is reducing your personal COST of LIVING? ( mastering how to lower your monthly bills such as housing, utilities, insurance and food costs )

Is it paying off and down all debt? ( for this illustration I am lumping together all kinds of debt....both mortgage debt as well as consumer debt)

Is it putting aside funds for your own, your spouse's and your children's education?

Is it about "Asset Allocation" .....( deciding precisely where and what investment product you put your money into)

Is is about having sufficient funds set aside separately just for emergencies?

Is it about saving cash to finance a prepaid vacation, so that you won't be tempted to use debt to pay for a vacation?

Is it about delaying the purchase of a home and renting for more years so that you may build up a greater nest egg?

Is it about refusing to finance a car by saving up and paying cash for a second hand modest vehicle?

It is about learning to live without credit cards?

Is it about learning to live without the trendy "stuff" that your friends and neighbors seem to say are "sooooo important for appearances"?

Is is about being aggressive in business opportunities/investment opportunities when we find them?

Do we work hard to make our money work hard?

How much risk is reasonable?

Have your given someone else control over your finances? How trustworthy is that person or organization? Can that person or organization be trusted to protect your best interests?

Are we investing in ways that limit and/or reduce our taxes?

Have we done a will to protect our assets for future generations after our passing?

Are we reading something daily/weekly/monthly which will add to our personal arsenal of accurate financial information?

Are we getting to know people who have succeeded financially and humbling ourselves to learn and listen from their example?

Are we reading books or listening to audio books regularly written/recorded by those who are well respected in the arena of personal finance and/or investing?

When we  come up with "unknowns" do we write down our questions and seek out the answers? Or are we content to live in ignorance because we have become comfortable with living passively?

Are we teachable......or do we live as if we have "arrived" and no longer need to learn more about personal finance?

Or is it all of the above? Who is going to lead us into wisdom in these arenas of life?

It is possible to get God's wisdom, as He gives wisdom to those who ask it of Him, according to the scriptures "who giveth to all men liberally".

May God's Spirit use these questions to stir up some good and important discussions in your home and family.

The more you talk and read about personal finance, the more questions you may have. But don't get overwhelmed.... Don't get discouraged. Becoming educated about personal finance is a journey......not a one stop destination.It is going to bear great rewards for you and for your future descendants who may, depending upon your choices, be able to learn simply by following your excellent example.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Atmospheric Natural Learning

It's as good as it sounds....maybe even better!

Yes, you can learn without "trying".

It's called what I like to say is "atmospheric learning" or  learning by "osmosis".

What is that you say?

It's about taking your "learning target" and applying it gently to your environment and putting it on a loop for as long as you wish, in order so that you will "absorb" the data casually as you are going about your daily activities.

So what does that look like? Well, let me give you a few specific examples.

Let's say you are trying to memorize the elements from the periodic table. You could, go to your favorite musical device, go to Youtube and find the best version of the "Periodic Table song"

 press "play" and then put it on a loop ( to repeat over and over and over until manually cancelled.) You wouldn't have the volume too high. The idea is to have the data flowing continuously into your personal environment until your unconscious mind is so saturated with the information that you have "learned" it and perhaps even "mastered" it ......without even trying. You continue your regular activities like doing laundry or the dishes or cooking or cleaning all the while you are keeping the chosen data flowing into your environment. You will be listening intently even without trying. It is literally "natural learning"......and as easy as listening to the birds singing.

You can do similar things with other things you may want to memorize, such as scripture verses or classical poetry, or the multiplication tables.

We have so many hours in the day during which we do mundane activities. Well, we can pump up their impact on our lives by filling the ambient atmospheric sounds to include data that will become an asset to our lives and/or careers. Yes, it is that easy.

So how often will I need to listen to something before I have "naturally" memorized it? That's a personal thing, that will be uniquely different for each human being.

You can experiment and see how long it takes for you to incorporate one piece of new information merely by pressing "play" and keeping it on a loop. Will it take one hour, one day? or seven weeks of 20 hours per week? You won't know if this is a feasible learning style for you unless you try it.

May God bless your learning and the fulfillment of those goals that please Him.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gazing through Heavenly Natural Phenom

What is summer without a day at the beach?

When I see Lichens growing naturally on a fallen log or tree, I think of Kaffe Fassett and his extravagant portrayals of lichens in knitting.
Can you see the chubby bumble bee playing in the rose?

Fungi are not only white or gray in color. I found these chocolate brown ones attached to birch bark.
Summer holidays are good times to be a slug.

This picture doesn't do this flower justice and I must admit i don't know what kind of flower it is ....but it reminded me of a wild orchid with it's deep plum coloring, as it grew so quietly in the forest.

Don't think I will ever get tired of snapping pics of baby geese and their fiercely protective parents.

I've seen the progress, from the little goslings that fall head over webbed feet following their mamas to the curious teen geese that still can't claim their parent's full blown colors, but are happy to imitate their parents' grazing tactics.

The ball of flowers reminded me of the July 1st celebrate my country's 150th birthday.

11 lbs and counting

Yes, yes I don't necessarily read my blog for weight loss blogging....but hey, it's where I am right now and I might as well share my excellent adventure in this regard.

So yes, as of last tally I've lost just an ounce shy of 11 lbs. And for the record, yes I do have more weight to lose.

The things that work continue to be:

Drinking enough water and unsugared coffee or tea throughout the day. I am not sparse on adding milk or soy milk to my teas and coffees, but I have almost eliminated my white sugar intake.

In line with keepin' it real....I must divulge that as I have been drastically reducing my white sugar intake, that I do notice that I don't get that boost of energy that I used to get whenever I consumed my numerous coffees througout the day. White sugar does give me a sense of "hyperness" that I have counted on to continue to keep my "up" . Not having that boost is like missing a "key ingredient" of my lifestyle. And frankly....that sucks!

In watching TLC's reality shows on those who lose hundred of pounds of weight, I remember noting that so many of those who have radically changed the way they eat, that they do go through profound psychological changes when they reduce the amount of foods and type of food they eat. They feel a sense of profound loss, as if they have lost a dear friend, or a cherished hobby.

Oh dear, I am getting much too sentimental....but hey don't we all feel some pretty strong feelings about the foods we eat? Don't we have precious foody favorites .....those we really don't want to go without?
White sugar was really one of the strongholds that I've held close to my daily routine for years. And where would I hide the white sugar in? In my coffee and in my bowl of cereal.

So, in conclusion, if you are also trying to change your diet or style of eating, be prepared for some emotional and physiological changes. I heard some years ago, that some folks's addiction to        white sugar is similar to what drug addicts feel about cocaine.....a very strong and most compelling drug.

But there is hope, there is strength in numbers.....and in public forums. I feel better for having shared this with you today. And I hope that you too will dare to care and share your struggles with someone that cares about you and your health.

Peace, Carla.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I Lost 4% of my Body Weight

Yes, yes, tis  true... I lost 4% of my body weight and today is June25th 2017 and I began my "weight loss " efforts in earnest in April 2017.

Curious about how? Well, you must permit me to blurt out some of the unusual things that have helped me. They may not work for you......but perhaps the reading will entertain you none the here goes:

What helped me lose 4% of my body weight are the following activities:

  • Attending church services
  • Attending prayer meetings
  • Consistent caffeine intake via coffee or teas....without sugar added.
  • Probiotic yoghurt packed in 100 calorie plastic pods such as ACTIVIA.
  • daily weigh- ins on a digital scale
  • Writing down the daily weigh ins.
  • Goal setting and rehearsing those goals aloud as often as possible. ( note that these goals cover many          facets of my life.....not just weight.)
  • Making sure I had some good protein regularly....such as fish, nuts, or yogurt or small amounts of cheese.
  • Scripture reading aloud almost every day.... from one chapter of Proverbs and one chapter of the New  testament bible books.
  • Positive attitude.....toward myself and and others and life in general as much as possible.
  • Occasional Container Eating....which means that I would segregate all my "appointed" foods for the       day into    one box or container in the fridge so that I could count and control the calories.
  • Counting calories...... I used to think that calorie counting would never work for me....but lo and behold, I  am learning a lot and now know some of the calorie estimates for many of my fave foods.
  • Occasional eating of one raw garlic clove...with lots of water to drown out the taste.
  • Occasional taking of Vitamin B complex supplements.
  • Eating simple common and modestly priced foods such as :   boiled corn on the cob, bananas, boiled eggs, sardines in a can, canned tuna,  canned mussels or  oysters  in oil, vanilla soy milk, skim milk, maple syrup.
  • Simple activities like occasionally pumping 5lb weight with one arm....while counting up to 20.
  • Simple activities like biking or walking

Sooooooo....that's all folks for today. Perhaps, if my weight loss continues as I hope it will, I  may write more. I want to mention gently to my friends......that, weight "stuff" is just one aspect of life.....and not a really huge part of it. But it is true that weight can affect other parts of our personal and public lives because it affects the way we dress, as well as our vulnerability to things like high blood pressure and diabetes. I want to live a long time, as God grants me the grace to do so. So if I can live that long long life, without having to tow around many extra heavy pounds on my excellent adventures, then I am going to give it my best shot.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church : National Historic Site

Come experience a visit to the National Historic Site of the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The land where the church rests contains the unmarked graves of Black pioneers who settled in Oro to escape the conditions in the the States. It  was inspiring that God would choose to let our provincial flower "The Trillium" to grow so lavishly in the wooded area of the property. A fitting tribute of acknowledgement....that we are all apart of the fabric of this beautiful province and to celebrate our history here.

Come see it for yourself.... a gentle visit in an unassuming corner......
The church is at the corner of Line 3 and the Old Barrie Rd..
For more information check out this online brochure:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Baby Geese and Too Many Flowers to Count

baby Canadian Geese.

In Canada the rights of Canadian Geese are protected....they are a national symbol.

I have no idea what kind of tree this is....but the miniature pine cones caught my eye, by their cute size and resembling a rose made out of the woody pine cone.

The lowly dandelion....still striking amid the ole winter's dry grasses.