Showing posts from January, 2011

Granola Recipe

The plastic bags in the cereal boxes bother me.  So one way to reduce our use of them is to make my own granola.  Best if you can get the ingredients from a bulk place and take your own containers - I do for a lot of my stuff  - I'm not perfect, but I'm trying - and aparently I am only one of two people in our town that DOES bring my own containers to Nutters :(  4 cups quick cooking oats 1 cup chopped almonds 1/4 cup ground flax seeds 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup coconut (medium, unsweetened) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon gound nutmeg 1/3 cup olive oil 2/3 cup honey raisins any other dried fruit youd like to add 1.  Preheat oven to 300 F (150C).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2.  In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut in a bowl.  Add cinnamon and nutmeng - stir well.  Add the olive oil and stir well again.  Then add the honey and mix until it is well distrubut

home-made reusable sandwich or snack bag

This Christmas my very crafty and fashionable friend Erin made reusable bags for people.  She gave me three.  They are great and I've been using them.  She made hers with cotton for the outside and vinyl on the inside (I believe - Erin, correct me if I'm wrong).  They are machine washable and seal with velcro. So it got me to thinking ... if you can make them with vinyl, maybe you could use a chip bag, too.  As you'll note in my posting " Garbage Bag ", I've been trying to think of ways to re-use chip bags instead of throwing them out - still not the best option, as not buying them in the first place would be less of an impact on the environment and my waistline, but, hey ... I'm trying. So I've made a couple - having modified Erin's pattern a bit.  The thing with using chip bags is this - you can't make your stitches too small or too straight if they are going to have any strain on them.  Think of it this way - what happens when you punch

Separating Myself from my "Career"

Interesting reaction to something today - someone asked me about my archaeological work, and I found myself feeling really resentful about having to answer her question.  That made me pause and go "Hmmmm...." There are a lot of emotions for me that are tied to my career - or past career, depending on how you look at it.  I no longer consider myself an archaeologist.  Sure, I have the Master's Degree on my wall, and I do work for another archaeologist - but it's graphic design, editing and formatting - not actually archaeology.  I do related work.  I've been working for Donald Luxton and Associates doing heritage consulting (public relations and research, mostly), and I was involved in some Traditional Knowledge work a few years ago.  Plus, I do my own research and writing.  But I don't consider myself an archaeologist any more. And why does it matter?  Well, really, it doesn't.  But somewhere deep inside I feel like I didn't follow the career path

The Truth - part 2

If you are looking for this post, I have removed it.  Please contact me directly and I will gladly forward the content to you via e-mail. Sandi

Garbage Bag

I saw a company called TerraCycle on TV a while ago - probably a year ago.  And after seeing them, I was inspired to save some of our garbage and make something out of it.  I saved chip bags for a year, didn't clean them all, and ended up throwing a bunch in the garbage.  But the past couple of months I've been saving them again, and today I had enough to try this out: Reuse, people!! P.S. - the tote is working well weeks later.  The upper corners would do well to have a little reinforcement maybe with a little fabric when they are made.  But other than that it's rather strong!

Fresh Tomatoes in Winter

As I write, I am eating the first ripe tomato from one of my indoor plants.  It's small, and the skin is rather tough, but it is VERY flavourful. The romas are small, too, but I suspect they will taste great in a salad.   I'm really not sure that it is worth the work (which hasn't been much other than watering), but now I know it can be done.  And they sure do beat bringing tasteless tomatoes home in a plastic bag!

Van Jones: The economic injustice of plastic | Video on

Please watch the video in this link.  It is about 13 minutes long, but it's good: Van Jones: The economic injustice of plastic Video on You all know my passionate hatered of plastic. I really wish we didn't have to use it at all. This talk is very well put together. It makes you think. After you watch the whole thing, I want you to be reminded that every little decision you make - whether to have a straw in that drink, whether to use that plastic spoon, whether to take your own coffee cup - each one makes a difference. It may not feel like it makes much of a difference, but it does - even if it's as an example to the person serving it to you. Please think about whether you should buy those muffins in that plastic clamshell, or whether you could whip up a dozen at home. I'm in the process of crocheting another re-usable bag. First person to comment on this blog gets it! Sandi


I've been thinking a lot about truth lately.  Basically:  "The Truth Will Set You Free".  Truth allows people to understand you better.  By telling the truth you no longer seem to be hiding something - and no one can create that "something" for you.  We can fear the truth, though.  And that fear comes from a perceived possible judgment.  So we keep secrets. Keeping a secret can be tiring, though.  You can't share your experience openly with everyone - if you are trying to help someone else, you can't bring this part of yourself to the table.  You have to wonder:  "Did I tell this person", "If I tell this person, will they think less of me?".  If it's just out there, you don't have to keep track. And in thinking about all of this I realized that I can't honestly write about being truthful and how it has helped me in my personal development, because there is a huge secret I've been keeping for many years.  I didn'

Home-made Ravioli

I need to start taking pictures of what I make - sorry, no images.  This weekend we were again inundated with snow.  So on a lazy weekend what does one do?  Cook.  On Saturday I made a killer Shepherds Pie with ground turkey (and cleaned my son's room - but that's on my other blog ), and on Sunday I baked bread and made raviolis (and cleaned out the cupboard in our bathroom - but that's yet another blog without "before" photos).  I've never made ravioli before (or Shepherds Pie, for that matter).  Eaten it ... yes, but never made it.  So I thought I'd try.  I have a pasta maker and make linguine on a fairly regular basis.  Once you eat home-made pasta it's a huge disappointment to go back to bought (as it is with most home-made food).  And the ravioli was no exception. I didn't have a recipe per se.  I looked up a couple online and was going to go with a pumpkin and feta filling.  But I took some cooked chicken out of the freezer, too.  Well

Death and Funky Wallpaper

My Great Aunt died yesterday - farewell Pat McCurrach. It's sad and I feel deeply for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but she lived a long life and I truly believe that her soul is at peace and in a better place. I didn't know her really well (knew her husband, my Uncle Jim, much better), but I did spend some time in her house when I was younger and saw her at Jim's funeral last year (no, it was the year before. It's all starting to blur). I played my flute at his funeral, and Aunty Pat was very gracious about that gestrure. Anyhow, as I was going through some pictures yesterday I came across a few that I took the last time I was at their house - just a few months before they sold it. They had this wallpaper in the bathroom, and when I was young and we were visiting their house, I used to study that wallpaper for what seemed like hours. I was fascinated. Now, let me explain. I grew up in a shoebox - a very small house - three bedrooms, l

Where there is love, there is truth. Where there is truth, there is love.

It never fails to amaze me that when people truly follow their soul (their bliss, their truth), the product is truth and love (and beauty, which is a combination of them both).  Some people do this through their work, some through their art.  When they are truly blessed, their work is their art.  The truly moving music, movies, books, artworks - the really GOOD ones - are the ones that tell the truth.  That express the reality of life.  The things that make us see ourselves as we really are.  Those are the truth-inspiring works.  The husband of an acquaintence of mine is a fantastic photographer.  And when I say fantastic, I mean ... world class fantastic.  His name is Paul Nicklen and he is a photographer for National Geographic.  He has a webpage  you should look at and has published a couple of books.  Please take a look and keep watching this amazing man.  Anyhow, yesterday on his facebook page, he posted the following: "We received the ... following message from US


When I was a kid I spent hours checking outside the living room window just waiting for that first snowflake every year.  I was so excited to see it and so happy when it came.  Winters were snowy in the 70s in the Okanagan.  They were cold and did we have snow!  (This photo of the house I grew up in is from 1971 - love the turqoise house, eh?  And those poor eavestroughs - but did we have GREAT icicles to play with) So, I'm kind-of sad that this blizzard we just had has turned from an exciting, beautiful experience to one a little less positive.  Let's face it, it's still beautiful.  There is something rather exciting about seeing the snow dripping off the roofs - maybe it's because you know you're not going anywhere and can hibernate.  Some of life's obligations are automatically removed - you can't do anything about it, so you might as well give into it and enjoy the time off.  It's a snow day after all.  But, of course, with adulthood come the adult

Starting a New Blog

I'm starting a new blog.  Clearing my house - and my head is a temporary, project-driven blog designed to help me stay motivated to clear the crap out of my house.  I'm tired of living with all the stuff we have, and I'm going to purge - and share while I do it.  I'll also likely use that forum to discuss environmental issues, because I see the two as being related - all part of the quantum shift in attitude that has been happening with me over the years.  So, please feel free to join me there for my adventure.  I'm keeping this blog for the spiritual stuff and for current events and such.  And this blog will stay going after the other one is finished (at least, that's the plan). 

Natural Disasters in 2010

Have any of you noticed the sheer number of weather-related stories on the news the past couple of weeks?  The following are just a few: Heathrow closed due to snow Flooding in Australia Snow in Los Angeles (not to mention the heat in September) Flooding in Los Angeles Cold in the Southeast killing off many crops And these were just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.  Let's not talk about earthquakes and hurricanes. It kinda has me worried ... and wondering how ANYONE can still deny that climate change is happening. I just read an article that said 2010 was the second worse year in history for losses due to natural disasters (losses being deaths and cost, I assume).  1980 was worse.  Normally there are less than 800 natural disasters in a year ... 2010 saw 950.  The monetary cost of these natural disasters has been estimated at $130 billion. So what does this mean?  Armageddon?  Global Warming?  End of days?  An utterly ridiculous financial system whereby

Power of Positive Thinking

As many of you know - or may have inferred - I am not a particularly religious person.  By saying that, I mean that I have never found a religion whose beliefs and tenets I fully agreed with - and, therefore, felt it would be hypocritical for me to attend.  That's just me.  Lots of people attend churches and don't believe everything and they feel fine about it.  I just don't.  Nothing wrong with either approach - just different.  Churches certainly help and serve a lot of people and provide a very good social outlet for many, and for those reasons I will not say anything bad about them. I am, however, rather spiritual.  I find a lot of solace in reading spiritual books and exploring my spiritual side.  And part of that has been an exploration and consideration of prayer. Growing up, I would have said that prayer was a bunch of hooey.  All religion was, actually.  There was no validity to it, and people who attended church regularly were being duped.  I no longer feel th

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, all! It seems like a glorious time to write a blog post.  And the New Year should start off on a positive note - so no complaints here.  I love my life.  And today I feel good - the mood is elevated, so I'm going with it. I spoiled myself this Christmas.  I have wanted a Kitchenaid mixer for a while now, and after my good friend Dale lent me hers over the Christmas holiday, the desire was solidified.  So on Christmas Eve I came across the FutureShop web flyer for their Boxing Week sales (which began at 6pm on Christmas Eve - Yeesh!).  They had the 600 series (professional) on sale for half price - a $700 machine for $350!  I couldn't resist.  I NEVER spend that much money on myself - and, quite frankly, I don't consider this spending the money on myself.  It's an investment on home cooking for my entire family and circle of friends.  $100 came from my Christmas money, so in reality, the dent to our bank account for a $700 machine was only $250.  I th