You know what? Chicken butt!

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What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

That’s as scarce as hen’s teeth.

A hen that struts like a rooster is often invited for dinner.

I been workin’ as hard as a hen hauling wood.

Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.

He was madder than a wet settin’ hen.

She done flew the coop.

Don’t be such a chicken!

I been running around like a chicken with his head cut off.

What’s stuck in your craw?

Well don’t just stand around hatching rooster eggs.

Shake a tail feather my friend!

Soap Market & Goat Milk Info

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Great news for all y’all soap makers out there! According to Research and Markets brand spankin new publication:

The (US Cosmetic & Toiletries) market grew by around 2.8% in 2010 crossing US$ 36 Billion over the previous year…The organic and natural personal care sector has observed higher growth rate compared to the total market for personal care products in the US…In the current scenario, marketers are pressing their R&D efforts to develop greener products to satisfy consumer demand with sustainability becoming the prime focus for them. Locally made products or sourced ingredients are also gaining popularity…there is a large room for future growth in the US.  Continue Reading >>

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesdays.

 

 

The 3 L’s of Handmade Soap

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Soap is near and dear to my heart and my wallet (which is one of the reasons it’s near and dear to my heart). I love soap for its many exclusive traits including the fact that it cleanses, but more so because I can actually make it on my farm and sell it to people legally. Soap is the only “unregulated” product I’ve found that I can sell to the public and fortunately it happens to be a very popular item. However, I’ve also discovered not all handmade soap is created equally.

There are some things that will set a good handmade soap apart from the rest. These details are quite important because as you may have noticed; there are a lot of soap products on the market these days. But first let’s talk about why handmade soap is so different and better than commercially manufactured soap like products. See More…

This post is liked to Works for Me Wednesdays and Simple Lives Thursday.

Clothesline of Happiness

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For years now I have wished for one of those expensive umbrella style close dryers  to set on my back deck. The sun really hits that side of the house and its pretty convenient to get to from my washing machine. But alas, I can never remember to order one when I have the money and money’s been getting tighter and tighter around here lately so its not really in the budget at this point.

I did however experience a brief break-from-reality a few weeks ago and purchased several new dresses and tops ALL of which must be hand washed and are NOT allowed to go into the electric dryer. Buying new clothes is something I do so rarely that I forget what it feels like in between times. Almost everything I currently own came from a thrift store of one kind or another. So I must admit the thought of taking care of these precious items intimidated me a bit, especially since I had spent the better part of my retirement (hahaha) on them.

After several wears of each new piece and no washings it became apparent to my husband that an intervention was needed.  No doubt I was in LOVE with my magical outfits but afraid to clean them due to the, “where the heck am I gonna lay out this entire dress to dry without the cat hairing it up or some other tragedy befalling it?” factor. So one day, and not a moment too soon, Dear Husband came home with a clothesline from the dollar store and a bag of wooden clothes pins. I think it cost about 5 bucks for the entire set up.

Hanging those blouses out to dry was like arriving at a point in life I had always longed for; a sophisticated yet simple and down to earth realm in which I found quiet self fulfillment and profound happiness. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the love of my husband, the richness of our life and the warm, beautiful sun.

This post is part of the Works for Me Wednesdays blog hop hosted by We are THAT Family

End of Chapter 1

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I’ve taken time off from the Outlaw blog to do some thinking, observation, and listening. I’ve found sometimes life speaks to me through people’s actions and reactions…I have also found serendipity to be a powerful force and one that is at work in my life at this juncture. So it is through others’ responses to my writings and recent opportunities to grow in new directions that I have decided to end this chapter of my blog, This chapter being the one in which I have enjoyed many a rant and indulged myself in the guilty pleasure of poking fun at all of us silly consumers.

At first read, some may interpret this chapter as condescending, one sided, high-horsey foolishness. Some may be outraged, although it was all in good fun as far as I’m concerned. What I hoped and attempted to convey is something along these lines. I believe the American economy is going to fold in the very near future. I believe we have passed peak oil production and that we, average American consumers, refuse to accept this fact. We go about our daily lives in denial that our actions, especially what we chose to buy and the amount of energy we use, drives government policy AND the actions of important companies (like BP). I believe we are being brainwashed by the media to maintain unsustainable lifestyles because if we change…the consequences for our economy would be devastating.

Americans say we want change. But our actions tell a different story. We really want things to remain convenient. We want near instant gratification without having to work all that hard. We want to keep buying cheap food wrapped in plastic and to feel good about ourselves for recycling the wrapper. OR we want the world to know we went the extra mile to shop at a trendy overpriced market for our “certified organic” groceries. The thing is, patting ourselves on the back for recycling our plastic water bottles and driving our designer SUV’s to Whole Foods is, in my humble opinion, missing the mark.

My message is there are alternatives and options the average American may be unaware of. For example, lots of folks sell farm eggs in reused cartons for less that you might expect. You just have to put in the effort to find them because regulations make it hard for farmers to advertise what they have available.

For example, a farmer free ranges some chickens, gathers their eggs and sells them in donated eggs cartons for $3 a dozen…all of which is illegal. The person buying those eggs can see with their own two eyes the chickens running around having happy little lives. That means the eggs are filled with nutrition and really healthy stuff. You can easily see the difference in the color and texture of the yolks and shells. The original egg carton doesn’t have to be shipped to China where it is recycled into a new carton for the exact same purpose and then shipped back to the US where it is refilled with more eggs. Your farmer skips the whole ship it to China thing and just puts some fresh eggs in the preused carton.  And the eggs themselves are produced less than 30 miles away from your front door.

The end result of buying from a farmer has many advantages over purchasing “free ranged” eggs at the store: 1. Large egg producers have lobbied to use the words free ranged to describe something very different from what most consumers assume it means. When you buy from a farmer you can see for yourself how the chickens are raised. This not only has consequences for the lives of the animals but it also affects the quality of the product you are spending you hard earned dollars on. Real farm eggs are really healthy. 2. Buying from a farmer creates important community ties and furthers growth of the local economy. Your egg farmer will know where to get local produce, dairy and meats as well. I believe we will need to have inroads into farming communities in the future as it becomes more and more difficult to transport food from thousands of miles away. 3. Farmers are great at finding ways to reduce and reuse packaging materials. That’s great for the earth and cuts down on prices. There’s no need to pay $6 for a dozen eggs!!!

Finding a farmer is just one of the many radical changes I believe each one of us needs to at least consider as we barge ahead into an uncertain future. I pray for open-minded-ness and outside-of-the-box thinking/solutions to the physical and economic health of our country. I do not believe bailing out failed systems or replicating outdated expensive projects is productive. It is my opinion surviving and healing from unsustainable industrial models is going to come with innovations from local, small companies and individuals who understand the unique needs and demands of the communities in which they live and serve. We need to know one another better, communicate in person more often and take time out to shoot the shit.

End of Chapter 1.

Buy, Buy American Pie

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Watch this. It’s funny…in a kind of creepy way. I got the link from Hartke is Online.

Tom Boy Talk

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Am I less of a woman because I don’t wear make up? I seriously ask myself this question from time to time especially when I’m feeling insecure or nervous about who I might run into or have to interact with for one reason or another. I quit wearing heels years ago and you will almost never find me in a skirt. Heels are just plain terrible and I really don’t care to shave all that often, thus I avoid skirts, although I haven’t given up shaving completely and likely never will.

To make matters worse, the best thrift shop ever is right on our town square. It’s run by the local women’s shelter. I get all my clothes from there. Now not only am I going all natural, I’m also going around wearing outfits from 1998. Do I need help here? Because I’m at the point that I really don’t care what I wear as long as it’s comfy and cheap and comes from my favorite thrift store.

On the one hand this low maintenance lifestyle is liberating. I’m comfortable. I can get ready for the day in a matter of minutes. The countertop in my bathroom is clutter free. I spend less money and use less plastic. You know stuff like that. But on the other hand, I can’t help feeling a bit remiss in my duties as a woman to be appealing at all times, to go to great lengths to look unnaturally beautiful and to give a s**t about what the rest of the world thinks of my choices.

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