Sunday, 29 March 2009

What Did You Do for Earth Hour?

Last night, our lights, television and computers were turned off for Earth Hour.

We chose to go for a walk to our local oval, mini telescope in hand, and lie down on the grass and watch the stars. It was quite magic.

On our way to and from the oval, we walked past many houses with their lights still blazing. My partner's eleven year old son summed it up with "I reckon about 80% just don't care". Unfortunately, I think he was right.

While some people in our neighbourhood, like the lovely peeps next door, had their lights off, about 4 houses in 5 still had their lights on. Some people are elderly and I can understand why they wouldn't turn out their lights - falling hazards and all that. But some appeared to have all guns blazing, almost as a defiant gesture. What will it take for them to learn?

We thoroughly enjoyed our Earth Hour, with the trip to the oval to watch the stars being something we want to do again.

How did you spend your Earth Hour? What was it like where you live?

love and light

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Simple Things in Life

I catch the bus most days to and from work and study. I enjoy catching the bus, but sometimes the experience is less than optimal. Yesterday afternoon, suffice to say that the ride home was not the most pleasant, in terms of odours emanating from nearby passengers. I was very glad to alight and of course, spend some time in the garden breathing in the lovely fresh air.

While watering the garden, I refilled the bird bath. A short while later, a family of small birds were drinking and bathing in the water. It was a lovely sight and fully restored my humour. Such a simple thing and yet so powerful.

At the moment I'm on an elimination diet trying to work out what foods I keep reacting to. Now me and the word diet just do not go together (it's up there with jogging and photos! NOT something I do), so I was a bit apprehensive as to how this would work out.

Well, I have surprised myself. Not only am I not craving chocolate and other sweet treats, I'm really enjoying the food I'm eating. The diet works on a four day rotation plan, with meat (or other protein source), fruit and a carbohydrate source specified each day. To this you can add certain amounts of specified foods such as cabbage, lettuce, celery and plain rice cakes, etc.

Today I get to eat pears. Pears have never tasted so good. Tomorrow it will be pawpaw. The point is, by appreciating what I can have rather than concentrating on what I can't have, this diet is not the horrible beast I thought it would be. I'm really enjoying the plain simple tastes.

It's really all a matter of your attitude, I think, and you can gain pleasure from even the most mundane things. By appreciating what you have, you lose the desire (well, quite a lot of it ;)) for what you don't have. It really is the simple things in life that matter; we just forget sometimes.

love and light

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Bee Update

The weekend before last I opened the hive to notice that the bees were still not moving into the top box, so I removed the queen excluder between the two boxes.

At this stage of the season, they really need to get in as much honey as possible to feed themselves over winter. We won't be getting any honey this season, which doesn't bother me as long as they have enough to survive over the winter.

Last weekend, I noticed quite a few bees near the front of the hive and I was concerned that they might be getting ready to flee, rather than move into the top box. So, I donned the gear and opened the hive to find a squillion bees in the top box, as well as a squillion in the bottom box.

Sooooo, I'm guessing the little darlings have had another hatching. Yippee!

The weekend before last also saw me on a nursery crawl to find bee plants. We came home with more herbs (rosemary, mints, lemon balm, pineapple sage and winter savoury), native bushes (leptospermum and banskia) and flowers (lupins, salvia and columbines).

Putting the plants into the garden proved to be fun, especially when the bees started to take a keen interest in the lemon balm I was planting near their hive! LOL! While I moved away from the hive, I still had some lemon balm seedlings in my hands and the bees followed. I eventually shook them off (out of my hair, actually) and planted the lemon balm a little further from the hive (about 3m). They're just going to have to fly for it!

This autumn and winter, I'm going to start work on a hedge full of bee plants. This will be within about 10m from the existing hive, so there should be plenty of food for them close by. The trick is finding plants which are evergreen, suitable for hedging, which the bees love and which flower over different times of the year. I have a list of potentially suitable plants and have started getting them. This will mean, of course, numerous trips to online and nearby nurseries - a difficult job, I know, but someone has to do it! Maybe I need to talk to the Evil Plant Buying Alliance to get some ideas??

love and light

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Does Pampering Lead to Miscontent?

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of going to a hair and beauty establishment to enjoy one of my Christmas presents - 3.5 hours of pampering. It started with a Swedish massage, followed by a facial and hand and feet treatments. Then a hair cleanse, cut and blow dry. The people running the salon were very professional and really lovely and the whole experience was utterly delightful.

Enter evil little creature from stage left, who suggests "wouldn't it be great to be able to do this all the time!". Mmmm - if I booked in every couple of months and limited my expenditure to say $150-$200 each time (which includes the hair cut, etc), I may be able to afford it.

Enter rational brain from stage right - "but then you'd end up spending in excess of $1000 a year and isn't that a lot simply to spend on vanity? And what about important things like water tanks and chook sheds and wicking beds, eh?"

"Oooh, but I do work hard and study hard and then juggle all that with home, don't I deserve a little pampering every so often?"

"Well, you could do your own."

"But it's not the same."

How often do we all have conversations like this with ourselves? How often do we deny ourselves some pleasure in the pursuit of the bigger environmental sustainability picture? Are we doing ourselves a disservice?

Or is it simply that having been pampered, I want more and the consumerist devil which lurks somewhere beneath the surface of all of us is just too ready to emerge at the slightest provocation? Does pampering lead to discontent? After all, I probably would never have entertained these thoughts except for being pampered.

love and light

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Blogging Mojo and Beached Whales

I've felt like I've lost my blogging mojo the past few weeks. I thought maybe it was to do with all the events over summer (which are still continuing - fire and floods, etc), but just now reading the Crone's post, I realise that she has expressed my feeling exactly. Something is up with the world and we'll find out soon.

Speaking of which - recently, very sadly, there was a mass beaching of pod whales on King Island, off Tasmania. I've often noticed that when the whales beach themselves there is an earth quake or similar disaster shortly afterwards (up to 2 weeks). It happened before the Tsunami and the quakes in Pakistan and now there have been quakes in Victoria (although reasonably mild).

One of the theories for the latest beaching was that some dolphins herded the whales into shore. Can you imagine a whale being intimidated by a dolphin? Seems a little far-fetched to me, but then again I'm no expert on marine animals and their habits. Personally, I think that the whales are sending us messages; it's just that we don't know how to interpret them.

love and light