Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Take the Pledge to Go Green this St Patty's day! http://ping.fm/57Gsv
Discover your creative self as a mom! comment to win! http://ping.fm/jz786

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Kids - Survived the 'Arctic Blast'

The Kids - Survived the 'Arctic Blast'

Here are some recent shots of the kids- the above shot was taken after the 'Arctic Blast' that made it impossible to get out of our street for 5 days (no snow plow- 3 ft of snow on the street) Of course I ordered a camera and it could not be delivered due to the snow storm so I was unable to get any really good shots of the deep snow:(

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Announcing the new Medicine Woman Tradition and Animá websites!

I have been enjoying taking a break away from the interntet to enjoy time with my family. I have missed the blog so expect some new posts coming soon:)

In the meantime.....
Announcing the new Medicine Woman Tradition and Animá websites!

Announcing the new Medicine Woman Tradition and Animá websites:

& Correspondence Courses


A home for all herbalists, healers and students of the living earth, featuring medicinal herb profiles, the inspiring writings of Kiva Rose, descriptions of the Medicine Woman Core and Herbal courses, and the magical Medicine Woman Gathering held each Summer in the forested mountains of New Mexico.



Correspondence Courses, & Wilderness Retreat & Learning Center


A site offering empowering Shaman Path, Rewilding, Medicine Woman and Path of Heart online courses, and a free articles archive… as well as information on wilderness retreats, vision quests and workshops at the Animá Sanctuary, a wild river canyon and ancient place of power in the enchanted Southwest.

2009 Workshops:

ReWilding: Thriving in Hard Times as Good May 22-25
Shaman Path Intensive July 2-5
The Medicine Woman Gathering Aug 7-12
Wild Foods Weekend Aug 28-31

Animá is the way of vital, authentic, purposeful being… of heightened awareness, radical honesty, connective sentience, self knowledge and self love, purpose and conscious action, bliss and balance, health and wholeness… correspondence Courses, events and books drawn directly from the source, from the living earth and through our intuitive hearts, manifest in our commitments and acts on our unique individual paths. The Animá Medicine Woman tradition focuses in addition on the committed healing of self, others, and the world we are a part of.

Please consider a supportive Membership.
And thank you so very much for your interest and alliance, helping spread the word about this special place and service.
We are only able to give because of you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One In 3 Toys Is Toxic, Group Says

Good to know-

One In 3 Toys Is Toxic, Group Says

Environmental group says many items for sale have high levels of lead, arsenic and other chemicals.

By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com.

One in three toys tested was found to contain toxic chemicals such as lead, flame retardants and arsenic, according to a report issued Wednesday by an environmental group.
Researchers for the Michigan-based Ecology Center tested more than 1,500 popular toys for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC and other harmful chemicals. They said they found that one-third of the toys contain "medium" or "high" levels of chemicals of concern.
In February, new regulations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission will make some of the toys now available for purchase illegal to sell, according to a press release from the group.
"Our hope is that by empowering consumers with this information, manufacturers and lawmakers will feel the pressure to start phasing out the most harmful substances immediately, and to change the nation's laws to protect children from highly toxic chemicals," said Ecology Center's Jeff Gearhart, who led the research, in a written release.
The study found lead in 20% of the toys tested. In 3.5% of the toys, or 54 items, levels of lead exceeded the federal recall level for paint, 600 parts-per-million.
Also according to the study, children's jewelry is 5 times more likely to contain lead above the toxic 600 ppm-level than other toys.
In particular, the report mentioned that several Hannah Montana brand jewelry items tested high for lead.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children's toys have less than 40 parts-per-million of lead. The levels of lead detected in "many" of the toys was "significantly" above those guidelines, according to the release.
The study does not associate country of origin with the presence of toxic chemicals. According to the release, 21% of toys from China and 16% of toys from all other countries had detectable levels of lead.
Of the 17 toys made in the United States that were tested, 35% had detectable levels of lead. A U.S.-made Halloween pumpkin pin had 190,943 ppm of lead.
The report found that 62% of the tested products - or 954 items - contain low levels of chemical concern. And 21% of the products tested - or 324 items - contained no toxic chemicals to be worried about.
Ecology Center, a nonprofit group, said the study was conducted with several partners. The results were posted at HealthyToys. org.

You can search by toys on this web site
www.healthytoys. org/index. php

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toys! Living natural during the holidays

When you have small kids it may be tempting for others to give gifts that appear to be cute and mainstream such as noisy plastic toys, Cartoon DVD's, popular dolls and action figures etc.
Many people enjoy giving toys as gifts and just assume your child would love them. If you feel you are overwhelmed with too many toys and your house and it is starting to look like a daycare center there is an alternative! If you educate your friends and family on your values I am sure they will love to participate! Many people just assume you would love to get the latest noisy gadget for your child.

I was lucky, when I was young my Grandmother would make me a handmade quilt or blanket as a birthday or Christmas present- these are the gifts I still cherish the most today! I really believe that my Grandmother helped to instill in me how important it is to put love and intention into the gifts you give others.

I tell friends and relatives that we are teaching our kids to not focus so much on material items (a very valuable lesson in these economic times!). Our tradition is coming up with creative ways to make gifts for others on special occasions and holidays rather than just buying what is "in". We focus on creative and imaginary play with natural toys and spending time outdoors. I understand that the Grandparents are busy and do not have time to make gifts so I offer the suggestion of something my daughter can use such a swim, art or dance classes- a zoo, garden or park pass etc.

If you find you are already inundated with toys, start a tradition of giving some away! It really is not as hard on the kids as you may think - it teaches your kids the valuable lesson of giving and empathy for others (you will find that they soon forget about those toys- once the excitement wears off they are off they are soon interested in something new!).

When friends come to visit instead of videos or TV, how about putting on some music and dancing! Try an outdoor scavenger hunt or create a campsite in your own yard (my husband set up a tent in the living room and my daughter just loved it! I told him he should have done it outside because it took up half our living area and she did not want us to take it down for days!)- the friends will welcome the change of pace!

If your friends and relatives must buy toys there are some natural online resources
- willowtoys , palumba, novanaturals
or they can visit their local farmers market- there are many handmade crafts there that the kids would love! You don't always have to make the gifts yourself. I enjoy trading with others in the community for handmade gifts- I recently traded some herbs I wildcrafted for a wonderful handmade necklace for a friend.

You can get very creative at your local second hand store! Make a kitchen set out of wood bowls and find unique tea sets. Find wood beads and yarn for necklaces and crafts.

If you think that computer toys are the only type of 'educational toy' Check out my prior posts on natural learning.

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reading About Writing My Favorite Inspirational Books

Writing has been a great way for me to work through past and present problems and honor my everyday life as a mother. I used to enjoy art and painting but since the birth of my daughter I have been using writing and photography as my creative outlet. I also love to read. Lately I have been reading some books on writing so I can better understand this 'drive' I have to put words to paper (or MS word).

I have been able to check out all of these books from my local library.

Here are some of my recent favorites
For inspiration and tips

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within (Paperback)

by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

On Writing (Mass Market Paperback)

by Stephen King

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)

by Natalie Goldberg -
And her other titles: Wild Mind ~ Living the writer's life and Thunder and Lightning ~ Cracking open the writers craft (reading it now and lovin' it!)

Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature (Paperback)

by Bill Roorbach

And if you get the urge to write for magazines (non fiction or personal essays)

Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Paperback)

by Christina Katz

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock: The Freelance Writer's Guide to Selling More Work Faster (The Renegade Writer's Freelance Writing series) (Paperback)

by Diana Burrell

Writing Novels, anthologies and zines

How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights (Paperback)

by Ariel Gore

I really enjoyed this read as well- I have a few friends who plan on self publishing- Ariel has a chapter in her book dedicated to this and other creative ways to get your work out there "Be an anthology slut and a brazen self-promoter" comes to mind:) This book is a real easy and enjoyable read~ especially for a 'how to' book.