While it was already on our Homesteading Skills list, we were extra-inspired by Blue Missouri Skies Homestead’s blog on rendering lard, and so my husband convinced his workplace to let him take home a bag of pork fat scraps they would have ordinarily tossed, chop it up, heat it up in the crock pot, and made it into our very own jars of cooking oil. Now it’s not as clear as the pictures in other blogs but hey it was our first time and we’ve already started doing a bit of baking with it. As my husband would say, “Noice!”

Well, the first week of spring has meant lots of rain, random days of sun, temperatures in the mid-fifties, and ending with a dog that is fully infested with fleas. Argh!!!! Nothing like a Friday morning with buckets of hot water, castile soap, pennyroyal, citrus oil and an ACV rinse out in the back yard (we don’t have a bathtub and Ruby turns into a demon if forced into a confined space so glass shower doors would be at risk…), along with garlic and brewers yeast for her insides to ward them off and a rubdown with a lavender oil mix to keep the future fuckers off her. We’re going the medical route as well with flea/worm pills that she hasn’t taken for about a year, just to make sure they stay away in 2017. Oy vey!  So anyhow, here’s what else I thought I’d share with y’all this Friday…

  • I think this might be the year I finally make soap, and having no interest in working with lye, I am digging this goat milk soap recipe that can be made without it.
  • “The term relationship implies consent—something that neither a slave nor child can impart.” Seeing a spot on TV recently about how Monticello is restoring Sally Hemmings’ quarters, I’m still constantly amazed how they have always acted like it was some sweet romantic “relationship” between her and Jefferson simply because she had children by him (as if reproduction automatically equals love between the biological parents), even though she was raped as a teenager by him and for many years thereafter – AND not freed upon his death. The Normalization of Slave Rape Narratives is something that everyone should read and make sure, if they are parents or educators especially, that people are correctly understanding that the majority of our “founding fathers” were slaveowners – and are not heroes. Too much horrendous behavior is excused as “just the way things were back then” when it’s bullshit because there were people who knew better and did better. Along with that, the author makes a great point, reminding us that “If we can paint a young Sally Hemings as a willing bedwench without so much as flinching, what can we do—or rather, what do we do—to the young Black women among us who are subjected to similar types of sexual exploitation?
  • On a very different topic, Canada has effectively banned drones in cities. Awesome. I fucking hate drones and think they have no place in the world – I don’t care what it’s for. We did just fine before them, and we won’t suffer without them. Every time we go to a city park and see some asshole flying one, we have pledged that if it goes anywhere near us, it WILL be destroyed. And if Amazon even dares? I DARE them to try to fly one of those fucking things on my property or anywhere near me. 🙂
  • We don’t have the climate here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for it but I still loved reading Making Maple Syrup on Spring Lake Homestead’s blog. So rad. And a pretty sweet blog overall to boot!
  • Basing Life on What You Can Afford is a great article from the New York Times featuring multiple people on how they get by. I’ve always laughed when people say “Oh we have to get a bigger car because we have kids” and go into major debt to buy a brand new SUV rather than live within their means (kids do fit in regular cars, folks – I grew up the youngest of 3 and we all fit into a 2 door Buick Skylark my parents paid cash for just fine), or say “I have to go to this certain university or I won’t be able to get a good job” and proceed to get themselves into tens (if not hundreds) of thousands in debt that they have no authentic plan for paying back, or my personal favorite, “I have to drive to work (even though there’s public transportation near them) because I have to take my kids to school (even though there’s a school bus available)” and both complain about traffic and the price of gas while snubbing the bus. The problem is not choosing these things but acting like these are requirements to live, rather than choices they’ve made. Many, MANY people live without cars. Many, MANY people raise families in apartments or small homes. Many, MANY people do not chauffeur their kids to school like they are celebrities that are too cool to take the bus or walk 5-10 minutes. It’s a choice, and if that choice disappeared, you’d find a way, you wouldn’t die. This article shows people who have been dealt all kinds of cards and how they are making things work and looking towards the future. Amen to that.
  • And finally, how to get rid of fleas naturally. After doing all the stuff in the intro paragraph to this post, when I went in to see my esthetician for my “let’s kick this cycle 6 into full gear” facial (I know, great excuse for a facial, right?!), she mentioned the only thing that has ever truly worked to get fleas both off her dog and out of her home is cedarwood oil. So, oh yeah, I was all over that, and made the spray this article suggested AND added some eucalyptus and lavender oils to the mix to really pepper those little flea assholes outta here. The dog is not itching so far and I’m watching her like a hawk, so let’s cross our fingers. March fleas, WTF? And then I pinpointed where they came from – the ONE time I took my pup off the property was this past week to Cathedral Park where lots of little dogs were running up and around her who’d been fucking around in the floodwaters (even though it says it’s polluted and not to). If that’s not where they came from, I’m clueless. Heh. Anyhoo. Here’s to good dog health!

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

6 thoughts on “Eco-licious

  1. Eughhh where I live in VA the lack of sidewalks is problematic if I ever wanted to walk my kid to school! One of my criteria when buying a house was does it have sidewalks so I can walk to places! But as I’ve recently discovered there are limits to how far I can walk without risking getting run over! AND there is a lack of public transportation too. Some people may think I’m crazy but I wish I could get a bus or train to work-but I grew up in London and that’s just the way it is there! But whilst gas is cheap, it’s not going to change!


  2. Great links and food for thought. I’m stuck on the couch trying to heal my back and hip again, so it’s probably a good time to research some of these things we want to learn to do. I think I’ll start with the soap recipes 🙂


  3. Sorry for the multiple comments. I agree when you write about living our lives within our means. We used to live in a house but sold it. We had been trying ever since moving in and it was depressing and we didn’t like doing lawn chores or spending money on lawn chore items such as renting a power washer to wash the sidewalk when dirt accumulated. The school nearby had a huge car line and it was causing backed up traffic on the major thoroughfare. I chuckled when you joked about the parents dropping off children like they’re celebrities. Yeah, what is wrong with the bus? I would take public transportation; however, public transport. is a joke where I live and it doesn’t take me to the places where I go so it doesn’t make sense for me to use it. I would definitely use it if it made sense because I loathe driving. We’re totally fine living in our tiny apartment. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far. Btw – I’m really impressed with all of your homesteading skills like rendering pork fat. Hope you’re having a great weekend so far with hubby and ducks.


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