One Person With One Shovel…

Today I read a blog that is on my goggle reader list, written by a woman, Sharman Apt Russell, who writes beautifully about feeling connection with place.  Her blog is here.

This particular entry is called “Love of Home” and it was the last paragraph that gave me pause for thought – It buoys me with proof that one person with one shovel can change everything, given a guiding vision of a more abundant life, a life more intimate with the gifts of its place.

I would encourage you to go read the post in it’s entirety so as to have the excerpt in context. It has me think more about last nights post and whether to become more actively involved in politics, not actually running for election or anything heady like that, simply whether or not to join a particular political party in order to help change it’s focus.

I like that one person with one shovel can bring about great change, it’s more in line with my current thinking, to just do what you do and let that be enough.

Knowing that it is enough is key.

Knowing that it is enough to just do your best doing what you do and let that be.

Letting it go and not try to influence or change anyone else, just do your own thing and trust that it will work out…

Easier said than done…

Hot Stuff

I had the most amazing bath this evening, in fact I had the first ever bath in our place!

A friend came to visit to help us build our house and the house building did happen, it’s just that the work we were doing was slow and really only needed two people for most of the work so she was a little bit at a loss as to what to do.

We had finished the foundations so while we were setting out the house frame and playing with string and maths she busied herself with one of the many bath tubs that we have collected.

We have often thought of organising an outside bath and I have just the place in mind – it’s a wee hollow near our stream with a beautiful whitethorn (hawthorn) tree growing at it’s edge. One night that I stayed outside to watch the full moon move across the sky ’til dawn  and I sheltered in the hollow when a north wind blew for a while, it was a beautiful place to shelter and felt really magical.

Nice and all as that spot will be for a winter or spring bath it is too sheltered for a midge season (summer) bath so my friend and I walked around a bit and found a great spot for the bath tub when it is humid, misty and midgy.

I went back to working on the house project and my friend got seriously stuck in to building up two clay banks to hold the bath and supply insulation. She also dug a fire hole under the bath and then dug a channel to drain the  fire hole as it is likely to fill up with rain.

She made use of two lovely little stone walls which were simply sitting in the middle of the field to support the clay banks. The walls also now make a great place to put a mug of tea and a night-light for night-time baths.

The fire was started with local fire-wood gathered in the woods and then we used turf to keep the fire going. It’s a job for patient people, the fire was going for about four hours and the job of walking down to the stream and carrying up water also took some time.

It’s great when friends come to stay and bring great energy and motivation with them!

Eventually the bath was piping hot and as the evening was coming to a close I got the pleasure of being the first into the bath. It was a windy and rainy evening and it did seem a little odd to be going into the garden in a bathrobe and a hat when it was raining!

It was SO worth it! What pleasure it was to be in a hot bath with the rain gently dropping all around – glad I wore a hat to keep my head dry and warm because the wind picked up and I found myself in the bath-tub laughing as the wind blew my hat off, the rain became heavy, the water was piping hot and the turf smoke wafted around!

After some time the rain stopped and the sky became blue with white billowy clouds gently moving across the rainbow above me, as I lazed in a hot bath enjoying the view.

Aw, the simple pleasures in life…

the new book that I am reading

This post was prompted by Suzan over at Scrub Oak, who posted about some books she is reading at the moment. I thought I would post about the book I am currently reading.

The book is called Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs, by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.
I think it would be a very informational read for anyone in healthcare or a caring situation. It may help you understand the drugs being prescribed for yourself or for someone you care about

I am still working through the book and will probably do a book review of sorts when finished. It is fascinating stuff although I have to admit that the beginning of the book, which concentrates in the pharmaceutical industry had me fairly angry, huge parallels to the energy industry and the oil/nuke boys wanting to control the entire market and have us all entirely reliant on them – oops – think that’s another post?

The book goes into quite a bit of detail about “blockbuster” drugs such as statins, high blood pressure pills, pain-killers and anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants etc. I found it fairly shocking really that so many of these drugs do so much harm, for example in Britain more people die from prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) than from some cancers.

I have become aware that I don’t know what sort of drug regularity structures we have in this country, do we rely on US FDA recommendations? I must try to educate myself more. The FDA and the British body MHRA are scarily inept and often the people in charge have links to the Pharmaceutical industry, until recently it was not illegal in Britain for MHRA decision makers to be on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies – hard to believe!

The majority of these “daily” drugs are designed to deal with symptoms, not causes. If we never deal with the cause of the “unwellness” then we will always need these drugs to maintain the status quo.

Not only are some of these drugs designed to be a part of our daily lives, some of them actually produce a need for more drugs! Some NSAIDs (including aspirin) are so hard on the stomach lining that they require the use of another drug to protect the stomach and at worst sometimes cause gastro-intestinal bleeding.

I bought the book to educate myself about arthritis aches and what nutritional advice I could follow to protect myself from these aches without resorting to prescription drugs. Anyway, so far I have discovered that the usual healthy food advice applies in reducing the aches and pains.

Supplements such as chondroitin, glucosomine, msm, omega 3, epa and dha (healthy fats) are all advised for daily consumption to ease inflammation and should be just as useful as taking a daily NSAID.  Naturally daily exercise is also important.
That’s what I gleaned so far, I had skipped ahead and had a quick look at the relevant chapter after I bought the book so that I could do some supplement shopping too before heading home and now I am reading from the beginning.
I am hoping that about six weeks from now I will know if the new regime of supplements and taking nuts, seeds and hemp oil will help ease the aches I have started to feel over the last two months.
I am guessing that doing all those healthy things would help delay the onset of the aches for some people. Obviously these are just my opinions and should not be taken as advice to anyone.

The White Stuff

Yeah, we had more of the white stuff today!

Snow Deep
Snow Deep

I had a lovely morning, I reckoned that the rain would come at some time today so I was enjoying the snow while I could. I did all the morning jobs listening to that lovely crunch underfoot as I filled water buckets to feed the big pot on the stove for hot water for dish washing, decanted spring water from the large outdoor containers into the container that we use indoors, fed the cats and swept the snow off the PV (photovoltaic) panels.

Sweeping the PV Panels
Sweeping the PV Panels

I did the morning jobs at a nice easy pace, enjoying the work, knowing that I would go for a walk when I had finished, knowing that I would walk uphill a bit today to see the views from up higher before the fog moved in.

The Hill Road
The Hill Road

Before I emptied the compost bucket into the compost heap I had to clear the snow off the waiting heap first. I knew that the cut grass pile that we use to cover the compost heap was running low, I had intended to move a few of the smaller grass piles closer to the compost area but the snow made that difficult so I emptied the ashes from the fire over it instead.

Snowy Views
Snowy Views

I went in to light the fire and I was watching the morning weather forecast say that it was raining whilst it was still snowing outside. However I suspected that they probably would be right eventually so I grabbed a banana and the camera bag and headed off for a walk in the falling snow.

The Tree Line
The Tree Line
The Snow Fence
The Snow Fence