Planning a Recycled Lean-to Greenhouse

I’m so excited about our current project! We’re building a lean-to greenhouse in our backyard. This in and of itself is a wonderful project, but what makes it extra special to me is that we’re making it out of found and repurposed materials.

After watching lots and lots of youtube video on other people’s projects (thank you!), I have an idea of where to begin with ours. Yesterday I looked around our yard for materials we can use for our greenhouse, and to my surprise we had almost everything we need to build a frame laying in our yard. We had several large posts, several 2x4s that I salvaged from a curbside, 2 old tires, and an old pallet that I collected from a restaurant. While looking in our yard, I spied a piece of plastic sheeting in our neighbor’s yard that looked like it wasn’t being used. My neighbor was happy to give the sheeting to me, plus I got to meet a new neighbor and have a wonderful conversation about composting and gardening.

Today Little Lotus and I will go on a treasure hunt for more old tires. The tires will become the foundation for the outer wall of our greenhouse after being filled with compacted dirt. I’m so excited, our greenhouse will be a wonderful place to begin seedlings for our garden.

Wishing you love, joy, and delicious healthy food,

Raw Chef Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

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The Upside of a Failed Modem

What began as a failed modem became a wonderful break from the computer that I didn’t know I needed. It has been a wonderful and productive few weeks. For example, I’ve partnered with The Health Food Center (one of our local health food stores) to offer my Raw Brazil Nut Tacos in their deli every Tuesday starting in March. I also began counseling with a really wonderful woman. I’m so excited about this. Like most of us, I have “stuff” that blocks my joy at times, and I’m ready to work these things out and step fully into my bliss.

This week we placed our first order for Azure Standard. Azure Standard is a company that ships high quality food to food buying coops at a discount. A good friend of mine suggested that we order food from them, and we’ve finally placed an order. We’ll go the drop point on Monday with all the other families who’ve places orders and help unload the truck and pick up our pounds and pounds of organic nuts, grains, and dates…yum.

Today I’m on a mission. I want to find barrels with which to build a simply water catchment system. I also want to find plastic sheeting to reuse as a cover for a greenhouse. I want to make the greenhouse out of found materials, and I believe I’ve collected enough pallets for the frame. Now I need to find a cover. I’m so excited about this idea and about gardening in our yard. Perhaps we’ll create a little urban homestead. I’ve always wanted to do that, and there’s no better time to begin than now!

Love Love Love to you,

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Juice and Water Fast Day No.6

I’ve made it over the hump and I feel really good. I do not feel hungry at all, and my energy levels are really high. I love this because I know the energy is truly my vitality and not a stimulant.

Today I bought a case of Thai coconuts. I enjoyed the water from two coconuts, and it was delicious. Along with my Thai coconut water I loved a couple of glasses of orange/apple juice and lots of water. When I say glasses I really mean large Mason jars. What is it about being in a Mason jar that makes a drink taste better? I didn’t drink any green juice, however. Tomorrow I will make it a point to drink green juice; it gives me instant vitality.

Wishing you bliss, bliss, and more bliss,

Asante a.k.a. Luvli Lotus

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Juice & Water Fast Day No.2

The fruits in our kitchen have never smelled so good. I can smell bananas from across the room…lol. I can’t wait to eat one! And an avocado, and a persimmon! I can do it though, just 8 days to go. I’ve found, through my own experience and the experience of others, that the first three days are the toughest.

I love fasting, I feel like I am resetting my body. I decided to fast for several reasons. My biggest reason is that I was making unhealthy food decisions. After a fast I find it a lot easier to resist cravings for unhealthy food. Another reason I chose to fast is to start 2011 with a clear mind, body, and spirit.

Day 2 of my fast is has gone really well, although I’ve had a detox headache for the last two days. I am drinking lots of warm water and skin brushing each day which will help my body to detoxify. Today I enjoyed celery, apple, spinach, garlic juice and lots of water.I’m about to drink a huge glass of fresh orange juice. My sweet husband has just gone to the store for organic oranges; you can’t believe how excited I am about that orange juice!

Beauty & love to you,

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Vanilla Bean the Adventure Mobile

Vanilla Bean's trunkLast minute tasks are taking a bit longer to complete than I anticipated, but we are steadily preparing for our journey. My goal is to travel very light with 4 sets of clothes for each of us, our sleeping bags, art products, and several small crates in the back of the trunk containing carefully selected things like: water, art supplies, and food.

The back seatMy little one has her very own container that sits next to her containing books, food, workbooks and art supplies. I wrote a list of things I’d like to take including details on where to put them in the car, and in the end we are leaving behind about 1/3 of the things I’d planned to take. One of the things we are likely to leave home is our kitten Max. To my five-year old daughter’s delight, we planned to travel with Max the kitten. His travel carrier is ready to be buckled in to the seatbelt and a crate of his supplies has been packed. But in the last few weeks Max has grown from ‘Max the Cute and Cuddly Kitten’ to ‘Max the Ferocious Attack Kitten’. Is it pitiful to admit that I’m afraid of a kitten? Well, pitiful or not I am skittish around Max’s sharp kitten teeth and needle claws.  He hides behind corners practicing his hunting skills on any unsuspecting legs that are unlucky enough to walk by, and he gnaws on our limbs while we are sleeping. Needless to say, Max is not the kitten to travel with at the moment. The good news is he’s likely to grow out of this painful stage of his developement. The bad news is breaking it to my five-year old that kitty must stay home due to bad behavior.

Vanilla BeanWe’ve polished up our 98 Toyota Camry over the last couple of weeks. She’s had an oil change, tire rotation, replaced radio fuse, car wash, and interior shampoo. She looks great! We’ve dubbed her Vanilla Bean the Adventure Mobile (even though she’s white and vanilla beans are actually brown). Just a couple of days should see us on the road!

Abalone Sunrise Earrings

Last week I added my handcrafted jewlery to the products on my website. I love designing jewlery, and gorgeous adornemt blends nicely with my theme of self-care and wellness. I began designing jewelry at age 13; it’s nice to revisit this passion.

Happy trails to you,

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Creating Well-Being and Preparing for Adventure

It is a beautiful windy day. I love the wind, and today it is warm and powerful. Last week I began walking laps in our backyard. I know this sounds really funny, but it’s great! For years now I’ve walked several miles each day, preferably in the morning. I use to live by a big beautiful lake, so each morning I would throw on my clothes and head out. Since becoming a mom and moving away from my lake, my ritual has become a bit more challenging. Last week I decided I would try walking laps around my backyard. My usual walk is about 3 miles which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, so now I walk laps around my beautiful backyard for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This way I don’t have to worry about getting us up, dressed, and fed before I get my exercise. I just head outside as soon as I rise. When little one wakes up she can join me outside and play while I walk. We both have fun, and there is no need to pack a stroller, or remind my little lady to keep up. Not mention packing a bag for our walk and driving to a trail.

Last night I developed a line of magnets from my paintings. I love them! My art has been keeping me up very late at night. I love being this inspired. I’ve been thinking about all the ways I create, all the ways I need to create. At present I love raw vegan culinary art, writing, poetry, jewelry design, painting, and I’m sure there is more to come. The common element between all of my passions is the direction of positive thought and well-being, so I’ve created the term “Well-Being Artist” to describe me.

Today, a beautiful friend of mine told me of her daughter’s death. Over the weekend, her partner who has been emotionally and verbally abusive, became physically abusive and took her life. What a waste! My beautiful friend and I are planning a green home building project and documentary, and this tragedy adds urgency and meaning to our project. Home and sanctuary are so important, especially for women. I’m so excited about this project. This is the perfect time.

We are still preparing for our trip. We have our backpacks, sleeping bags, and a travel carrier for Max and kitten. I’m putting finishing touches on a children’s story in order to submit it to a publisher before we go. Then, I can focus on beginning a new one about our journey. I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures!

Wishing you love unmeasurable,

Asante

Well-Being Artist

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Succulent Juiciness

I’m so excited! My five year old daughter and I are getting ready for an amazing road trip. Today we had some work done on my car and bought zero degree sleeping bags. We’ll be very prepared. This trip has been taking form for almost a month, and now it is beginning to feel very real.

At first, I felt so overwhelmed. I want to accomplish so much. In the near future I have plans to write children’s stories, work on my next well-being book, travel to meet amazing folks, and work on a green building project with a very good friend. I know, it sounds like a lot. Imagine how I felt trying to wrap my brain around doing all of this. I think I’ve mentioned before that patience is not my biggest strength, so of course I wanted results tomorrow. As the ideas marinate I can see how perfectly they will flow together. I am also allowing myself to work free of deadlines for a while so I can focus on the journey of the projects. Aaaah.

While I was  a teenager I absolutely loved books by SARK. My favorite SARK book  is Succulent Wild Woman. One principle I love from Succulent Wild Woman is to “recreate your life if it doesn’t feel juicy”. Here’s to succulent juiciness!

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

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