All you need is Love…. Or Stupidity with an awesome friend!

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Life gets really busy and serious. It can be a dark tunnel to navigate. I have been fighting a bout of depression lately. It mainly has to do with wanting to have a baby and not being able to start trying. We aren’t fully financially ready, as well as, I’m taking some alcohol related classes that have me drinking every class and for homework. It is also daunting to think about all the decisions to make with a baby (breastfeeding, cloth diapering, Attached Parenting, Organic fabrics, glass bottles, un-medicated birth — just to name a few that I am looking into) The depression has been causing some tension between my husband and I, but it has also helped us work on our communication.

Though this has been a dark couple of weeks, I have had a shining light at the end of the tunnel, as well as, a light that occasionally shows up and walks beside me on my trip through this dark place. Occasionally, she leaves me with a little bit of her light when she leaves and often returns before the light she left me with has burnt out.

Ok, I have been taking in code time to give it to you in English. The shining light at the end of the tunnel is my mom and sister coming to visit in less than two weeks! I am so excited to see them. My mother and I have had a rocky relationship in the past, but the last year or so I have really felt us grow closer. I love my mom so much! I am so happy that I get to spend this time with her. I am also really excited that I get to have a stronger relationship with my mom. I am happy that I can pick up the phone and call my mom when I need to without thinking twice about it. When I was younger, I used to think twice about it and often wouldn’t call her. I am not completely sure what has changed to bring us closer. A lot of things have happened in both of our lives that has maybe opened both of us up for the relationship.

The light that shows up and walks beside me is my best friend, Steph. I have mentioned her before in my Marco Polo post. Stephanie always knows how to make me smile and she listens to my problems as petty as they may be. She never discounts my problems or feelings either. Trust me, this is something she could fully do, too. Her husband is stationed in Japan and she chose to stay here for a variety of reasons. She lives everyday without her husband and deals with problems that could be seen much bigger than mine and she doesn’t judge me. She always seems to know when I just need to vent and get stuff off my chest or when I really need help and advice.

I was really down on myself last night about feeling depressed and not being a good housewife and money. I was texting her about it. She sent me a message that at the time didn’t brighten me as much as it should have because I wasn’t open to the light and just wanted to be down on myself. But now that I am trying to dig myself out of the hole and out of the darkness and depression what she texted me really brightens my day. She texted me “…You aren’t a failure. You are one of the few people I look up to.” That small statement does make me feel like I am and all the work I do is worth it. Steph is a great friend that I am not looking forward to the day the Navy in one way or another rips us apart.

This Picture describes our relationship perfectly:

Steph =D

She is the one person that lets me be stupid in a multitude of ways… Today, she told me I was acting stupid because I was being depressed and sort of picking fights with my husband. Her telling me that and forcing me to write a blog is helping feel better. The type of stupid we normally are is the silly stupid: the giggling about random things, playing Marco Polo in stores, fooling around at Walmart at 1 or 2 in the morning and the list goes on and on!

All I can say is I am truly blessed in the relationships I have in my life. I have an awesome husband, a fantastic best friend and my relationship with my mother is finally blossoming. I have a lot to be thankful for too: We have a roof over our heads, we were able to move out of a bad neighborhood to one that is a lot quieter and less stressful for both of us, we can pay our bills, put food on our table, enjoy a few hobbies and we love each other very much. Sometimes you need love to make you feel better. Sometimes you need stupidity and fooling around with a good friend. But it is an awesome feeling when you are able to get both at the same time!

Now, it is time to go cook my husband an awesome and healthy meal to come home to. I look forward to hearing your comments and/or questions.

With lots of love,

Kandi

Natural Drain Cleaning: Not for the Weak of Stomach!

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Things are slowly settling in our new home. I am extremely excited to tell you about all the things that I have done thus far, but that would be a 6 mile long post. I have decided to share with you one of my favorite natural cleaning/home improvement solutions. Now, I really must warn you that the photos are not very appealing.

We have all played with Baking Soda and Vinegar. My first experience with it was as a child. As a “science experiment” one summer, my mother helped me put some baking soda into a balloon and some vinegar in a bottle. We then carefully put the balloon’s end around the bottle’s mouth. After attached, she would let me lift the balloon to empty the baking soda into the bottle. This would cause a chemical reaction that produced a gas that would fill the balloon. Here is a video of that experiment!

If only I would have known then that those two ingredients and that chemical reaction would become my favorite natural cleaning solution! I have to admit one reason why this is my favorite is because I am still highly amused by this chemical reaction. From day one of moving in, our master bathroom sink drained really, really slowly. The speed of the water from the faucet was way faster than the water leaving down the drain. I needed to do something, so I looked up recipes for unclogging drains. I did a search on the internet or had already seen a recipe in my readings. I can’t remember for sure and I can’t find the exact page I found the recipe on, but this page has lots of good recipes, including the one I used.

Drain Cleaning Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Baking Soda
  • A pot of boiling water

Pour the baking soda down the drain. Pour the vinegar down the drain and allow to bubble. Wait 15 minutes and flush with boiling water.

The Modifications I had to make:

  • Our drain plug doesn’t remove, so I had to pack the baking soda down by hand
  • Due to the wet nature of the drain, the baking soda doesn’t fall into the drain and packs pretty tightly at the top. To adjust for this I used a medicine syringe to squirt the vinegar down through it.
  • Also, squirted vinegar down the emergency drain to deliver it to the bottom of the packed baking soda.
  • I had to use way more than 1/2 cup of vinegar to dissolve all of the baking soda.
  • I had to do this three times for our sink. I think that waiting longer than 15 minutes would have helped.
  • When flushing with boiling water, start by pouring slowly directly or as directly as possible into the drain and about 1/4 –1/2 way through the pot dump the rest of the water without splashing it on you.
  • One more that I will discuss below.

Tonight, I had to do this again for our bath tub. I followed all of my modifications and got it completely unplugged the first time.

The last modification that no one warns you about is that the bubbling of the chemical reaction can cause the clog be pushed back to the top of the drain. So, I had to use tweezers to pull all this hair and gunk out of the drain. Luckily, we have a pair of old tweezers that we used for cleaning hair and animal fur out of the drains at our apartment. The gunk and hair I had to pull out is not pretty. The sink was not as bad as the tub. The tub was so bad that I decided to play the girl card and have my big, strong husband deal with the nastiness of picking it up in a bag to take to the garbage can. Luckily, the garbage is picked up in the morning, because that pile of hair was starting to remind me of a horror movie… LOL!

Here are the pictures:

Gunk from the Sink                                                        Tub with Horror Movie Hair
Gunk from the Sink                                                                       Tub with Horror Movie Hair

Well, I hope my adventure will help you with your clogged sinks. Tune in soon for more cleaning recipes I’ve been using and maybe a sneak peak at our kitchen. I might even include some other recipes I’ve been cooking up like homemade dog treats, granola bars, and body wash just to name a few. Have a wonderful day and don’t be afraid to leave some comments or questions!

Marco Polo

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Wow! It has been a bit since I’ve been able to write. I have been very busy with our move. I am very happy to report that we are officially completely moved out of our apartment and into our house that we are renting (We still have a lot of unpacking to do). I am very excited and I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time. But before I get to that I have a great story I have to share with you and I apologize for this post not being about derby.

Marco Polo

A few days before we got the keys to our new home, my best friend and I went to Target for me to get some decorating inspirations. When her and I go shopping, we tend to go our separate ways to look at things then come back together for a bit. To find each other, we recall the childhood game of “Marco Polo”. One will loudly say “Marco” and the other will call out “Polo” and the one that said “Marco” will walk towards the other one and repeat until we find each other.

Well, while at Target a little boy heard us “playing” and we heard him ask what was Marco Polo. Someone (not quite sure who) explained it to him, so he started yelling Marco to us and we would respond with Polo. We did this quite a few time before he actually found us. We didn’t realize he was really trying to find us. We started playing the game with him. We would kind of hide in different places in the store until he found us. He would yell “Marco” and we would reply “Polo.” He would run up find us and say “Found you” in the cutest voice ever and run away.

His mom was really cool about it. She laughed and thought it great we were having so much fun! She thought we were in high school not young women that are married. She said we would make great mothers with our spark to enjoy the simple things.

One of the best things about the whole thing was the Target we were at was being visited by corporate and all the big-wigs just laughed at us. They didn’t care. We also had many customers laughing at us and told us it was refreshing to see a simple childhood game being brought back to life. The thing I learned the most that day: Stop and enjoy the simple things in life. That little game with a little boy was more fun than anything I had done in a long time! The greatest thing about it: the little boy was so happy and hugged my friend and I twice before we left the store. I was actually a little sad to leave. I also regret not sharing any contact information with the mother, but then again that’s part of the magic. Maybe one day we will go back to that store and the game will start again without any planning.

Curious about some of the inspirations I got? Here are few:

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My bestie photo bombed my shower curtain photo. It’s ok. I ended up getting a different one (More on that in a later post). I did end up purchasing the Welcome mat. It makes me smile every time I enter my home!

Here a few more from later that day with my hubby:

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Doesn’t my hubby make a great model for that tray? I love the Teal birds and the Snow White Apple. I might be back for both of those when the house isn’t so chaotic with unpacking.

In my next post: I will share with you some of the new green solutions I have enacted in our new home. I am so excited to share with you! Please tune in shortly for that post. 

 

Geocaching, A Good Friend, and A Problem

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GeocachingWhew! I’ve been busy lately. Getting ready for this move is a lot of work, but I got the opportunity to take the day off on Thursday to go to the park with my husband for a command picnic. It was a beautiful day! While at the park, I got to participate in one of my new found addictions: Geocaching!

“What is Geocaching?” you may be asking. Well, “Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” You can find more information at their website. Hubby and Ally on Geocaching Adventure

I love Geocaching so much. My husband and I started Geocaching on January 1, 2012. I/We have found 10 geocaches thus far. I haven’t gotten to do as many as I would like due to having surgery on both of my big toes and being on limited activity for about a month. Why do I love Geocaching? Well, I get to be outside, I get to use my brain to solve a problem, and who doesn’t love feeling like a secret agent finding a box of treasures and trying to not get caught by “muggles” retrieving the treasure box. The best part is the majority of the time I get to do it with my husband and the pup usually comes along, too. It is a family adventure! I am looking forward to having children and experiencing Geocaching with them!

**Side Note: A Muggle or Muggles are terms used in the Geocache community to refer to a person/people who do not play Geocaching or know what Geocaching is. We must be secretive about retrieving and replacing a geocache, because some muggles will take the whole geocache or steal things out of the geocache. While others are really cool and leave it alone or decide to join the Geocaching community. And yes, this term is borrowed from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.

*Be sure to hover over the pictures to see the captions*

As I’ve said before I am trying to make wiser decisions in our home. One of which is switching from plastic food storage containers to glass. I’m trying to move all my plastic storage containers to craft supplies instead of food, because I don’t want to waste the money I spent on the plastic containers I’ve already bought by throwing them away or donating them. I feel like I have a lot of good sturdy plastic containers that can help me organize my life outside of the kitchen. I also I am collecting all types of plastic bags to make plarn and I will crochet or knit the plarn into reusable bags for shopping.

But anyways, kind of back on topic, switching my food storage to glass. I’ve been trying to find good bulk glass containers, but all the ones I was finding had to ordered online from Europe (talk about a lot of energy to get it here) or Amazon (they ship using plastic). Please Note: I love Amazon, but in this instance I couldn’t bring myself to purchase and risk more plastic being brought into my home when I am trying to reduce it. I have also found that the Container Store carries all kinds of glass containers, but the nearest one is in Charlotte, NC. Luckily, Hubby and I are planning a trip up there in March to get a new couch and a few more pieces of furniture from Ikea to organize our new home, so I may be able to pick up a few glass containers then.

My Pretty New JarBut here I rambled on and didn’t get to my point. I was at my friend Deb’s home for dinner. I was helping her put things away when I saw this beautiful glass jar sitting empty in her pantry. I asked where she got it. She said she’s had it forever. I told her I was looking for jars like that to store my bulk pantry items and I haven’t been having any luck locating them locally. And guess what! She told me I could have it. I squealed a little! She said it’s been sitting empty for so long that if I could use it, then take it. I was so happy. I have just a little problem; I can’t make up my mind which bulk product to put in it. Packing Boxes

I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are moving into a new home this week. I’m really, really excited, but I keep having this moral dilemma. I got a bunch of priority mail boxes from a navy wife that was pranked. She didn’t have any use for them, so I am sort of recycling them. My problem is I am using plastic tape to close them. Granted, I had 4-5 rolls of plastic tape before we even decided to move and chose to go down the green path. I’m not about to throw it out/donate it and go buy paper tape. It’s a waste of money and in this economy, we can’t afford to throw money out the window. To lessen the dilemma, I am trying to use as little tape as possible to seal the boxes. I am also thinking about trying to make plarn out of the tape when we are all unpacked. Does anyone else have any ideas of what I can do to reuse or repurpose the plastic tape when we are done, so that I’m not just throwing it away? Is plastic tape recyclable?

Well, I am glad I was able to find some time to write this blog! These ideas have been floating in my head since at least Thursday. I hope you have some good ideas for me. Stay tuned — for my next blog will feature some Roller Derby action!

Hello, Green World!

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This is my blog to log my adventures of going Green. You will have a little mix of Roller Derby and Navy Life.

Beginning

My life as an ecofriendly person started with two different events, but I give a little more credit to the most recent because it’s the one the really spring boarded me into committing to a change.

The first is switching to Organic Milk. I started drinking Organic Milk shortly after seeing Food Inc. and taking some culinary classes. It was also during a time were I was overly focused on losing weight. I started drinking Organic Milk and started to feel better. I wasn’t as sluggish after drinking a glass of milk or eating a bowl of cereal. I also noticed a change in my body (I am sure I will give you more history about my struggle with my weight and food another time). Now that I think about it, maybe it was three events.

The second event put an even stronger hold on my interest. I was taking a healthy baking class. One of the weeks was raw week. We made all kinds of yummy foods. We had a guest chef, who is an owner of local raw food company, come speak to us and show us some recipes. He was very inspiring and left me with a saying that I can’t say without a smile: “It’s an experience that you have to experience to experience”. I felt the best I had felt in a long time after those two days of class. Between the food and the chef, I was hooked. Granted, my husband and I don’t eat a raw or vegan or vegetarian diet. I need a few special tools to make raw food like I want to. Also, my husband and I like our animal products sparingly. We try to alternate between a meatless meal and chicken/seafood meal. Our meals usually last us about 2 days, 2 lunches and 2 dinners. We hardly ever have red meat, though we do still have it when we get a craving for it. I try to base a lot of our meals from a vegan book I got for Christmas and occasionally will add meat to the recipe or will use organic cheese instead of a vegan cheese sauce or organic butter instead of vegan margarine.

The third and springboard event was when a navy wife, that I would like to consider a friend now, posted on her Facebook page about being a hippie and taking care of her child in natural ways. Calling herself a hippie really sparked my interests, so I private messaged her asking her to clarify what she meant by calling herself a hippie. I had also seen other posts from her about other natural and healthy things, so I asked a few more questions in that message. And she replied with all kinds of answers that got my brain moving. I guess it was a little more than three… It was a whole series of events. In conjunction to this, a high school classmate posted a link to Offbeat Home. I started reading posts on there and found one about reducing plastic and it got me thinking even more and really set me on my path to doing research and finding blogs.

What is next? The Plan!

During this time, my husband and I have decided to move out of our 3bedroom/2bath apartment into a 3bedroom/2bath, 200sqft bigger house. Our current living environment is very stressful for both him and me. Just to name one: Our kitchen isn’t laid out very well, so we can’t be in there together without having to crawl over each other. I’m surprise one of us hasn’t been burnt or stabbed or cut. We get our keys to our new home on the first and so on 1-Feb-12 start a whole new chapter for my husband and I. I have a lot of plans:

  • Take as little hazardous/harsh chemicals to the new house
  • De-clutter our home through better organizing and getting rid of things we don’t use
  • Make my own cleaning supplies
  • Make my own beauty products
  • Start worm composting
  • Start growing my own herbs
  • Maybe start a garden
  • Make time for my crafts and reuse a lot of our waste
  • Watch less TV (We are canceling our Cable subscription and only watching certain shows online or Netflix)
  • Make a plan for each day and structure my days
  • Now that I’m healed (long story) get back to working out and back to skating at least twice a week.
  • Try to be more focused and more proactive in my Thirty-One business
  • Be outside more or at least have the windows open
  • Plan my trips out better – to reduce driving my car as much
  • Get use to recycling again – I am really excited about this!
  • Make our home a calm relaxing place for both of us to de-stress!

That’s just the beginning of the plan, check back soon to see how things are going.