The Art of Frugal Hedonism

The Art of Frugal Hedonism was recommended by David Holmgren just last week when I went down to Murdoch to listen to him lecture. It was good to hear him talk and to refresh some of my ideas. As he was briefly reflecting on this book, he mentioned that he reckons that early adopters of thrift store shopping, such as himself and these hedonist friends of his, will reap more of the benefits than everyone else…

The Art of Frugal Hedonism with some fancy pants magnesium cream I've just made
The Art of Frugal Hedonism with some fancy pants magnesium cream I’ve just made

I spent my $25 on this small paperback and off I went on my merry way. Truth be told, I hung around chatting and stashed a few pastries in my bad for the other (gluttonous) half. Then I rushed home feeling guilty!
The irony struck me as my new acquisition sat looking at me for several days, despite my excitement! Not to worry, I have begun to read it and I feel like I’ve found some members of my tribe… they’re the wise ones and I’m the one still fumbling around trying to figure out how to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

Frugal hedonism has its roots deep in pleasure. Materialistic enjoyment. Ssensual pleasures… gluts of fruit, a good conversation, stroking your pet’s ears, letting yourself lay on the grass or touch some dried beans at the local shops… all gloriously free. This applies to really truly enjoyingΒ  purchases. Using a great product and really getting your value from it.
It does strike me that many of us… feel too busy to really actually enjoy anything. In my case, that is totally absurd. With two little kids I actually have all the time in the world… kinda! Smelling the roses, cuddling bunnies with Sally. Eating soursop flowers. Playing. We went to the beach for the first time this season and I just loved it πŸ™‚ Until I had to drag the kids home! Thankfully Rodney had agreed to do dinner and it all went pretty smoothly.

Certainly, our health and wellbeing can be improved by supplements, but the first step can be to just reconnect with living in the present. What would your diet look like if before you ate, you luxuriously thought to yourself… ‘what would taste most delicious to me right now?’… Each moment we can actually ask questions like this to really get back into the moment and out of our crazy approach to life. When you wake up in the morning, take a while to stretch, smile at those around you. Go in the sunshine. Give yourself a chance to live in the moment. Tickle someone πŸ™‚

I’ve done a batch of healing moisturising magnesium cream with shea butter, cacao butter, apricot kernel oil, magnesium chloride, with just a touch of the essential oils Frankincense, Myrrh and Geranium. A big jar is $30. I must say, I really enjoy hearing back if people are loving using it… thanks so much for the encouragement πŸ™‚ Let me know if you’d like some. I’m thinking about doing a market stall fairly soon, it’s all very exciting. Let me know by message if you have a few tips on which markets to go to.
For some talks by David Holmgren, check out Youtube. Retrofitting the suburbs is one of his ideas… he sees a lot of potential in our sprawl πŸ™‚ And of course, that means we should get started right where we are NOW.

Magnesium Cream

A dear friend had a problem – her baby wouldn’t sleep. As a mother of a couple of kids, the first of which was bad but not nearly as bad as this friends’ baby… I felt for her.
When I say that I felt for her, I felt it in my bones. Exquisite in all the remembered gory details of the sheer desperation for some shut-eye.
I thought about it a little and suggested some magnesium cream for both and some halva (a sweet treat made from ground sesame and honey) for the breastfeeding mum… ’cause we can eat πŸ˜‰

My first batch was quite firm, which isn’t bad to help it last, this batch is much softer… also not too bad lol!
Quoting from this friend “I’m blown away. I haven’t slept this well in forever.”
I’m delighted πŸ™‚

magnesium cream
magnesium cream

I’m offering this batch for sale… suggesting $10 for the little jars and $35 and $30 for the two larger ones. It took me all the spare time I had this evening to make and pop it up for sale πŸ™‚ Totally worth it in my opinion… for just one more mum to get just a touch more sleep!

Let me know if you want some (I’m getting some jars and deodorant containers in) and please express your interest in either Lavender; or Frankincense and Myrrh. The second option is recommended by my divining friend for a foot rub at the end of the night… it is absolutely good for adults wanting to prevent cancer and assist the body to detox. (check them out on Google Scholar, you’ll be surprised how amazing our botanicals on Earth are, almost as though they were designed for the job lol).

Magnesium Advocacy Group Summary

Morley Robbins – – has been doing some excellent readings of old and new research. What’s he’s uncovered might well be the smartest set of supplements recommended for our generation.

What’s new, once was old. Old fashioned remedies actually nailed a lot of what Morley recommends based on the science (forgotten though it might be). Bee pollen as a super food for energy, this is old folklore πŸ™‚ Kids’ constipation remedy using cod liver oil and orange juice…. and you’ll see how both of these are part of his protocol.

The other element that is hugely interesting – get rid of excess unbound metals including copper and iron. Iron is not the goodie it has been made out to be!

This blog is just to get the list on record so people I’m chatting with can refer to it. I’ve gotten it down fast so I hope it is easy enough to follow.
What I’m covering in summary:
Magnesium supplementation
Adrenal Cocktail
Detoxing metals
Ceruloplasim protocol – making yourself more energetic with good-copper protein πŸ™‚
Suggested scheduling
Magnesium Supplementation

  1. Dark Leafy Greens, pumpkin seeds, sprouted mung beans (biodynamic)
  2. The cheapest and most readily available tablet if you’re really low – Doctors Best. Click the header above if you want the types that are OK according to Morley Robbins.
  3. For those that only ‘do’ wholefoods – Amena’s Minerals – basically sea water with the sea salt taken off and all the goodies left behind.
  4. Epsom salt baths – take approx 1 cup epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), about the same of baking soda and a teaspoon or so of borax (boron, a mineral missing in soils needed to use magnesium and good for healthy teeth and bones).

Adrenal Cocktail

Adrenal Cocktail

1/2 tspn sea salt
1/2 tspn cream of tartar for the potassium
juice of an orange or other citrus (oranges have good potassium)

This is enough for one day – a double batch.
The idea behind the adrenal cocktail is to replenish what you lose from being constantly stressed and producing adrenaline – a chemical made from potassium, salt and Vitamin C! If you’re totally shattered, you can buy the ingredients for the adrenal cocktail at the supermarket – have a nice Epsom salt bath and see how you feel.
If you’re fancy pants, you can find alternative ingredients! (This website shows you all the various mineral profiles of foods … here is ginger
Sweet potato chips with salt are like an adrenal cocktail for kids.

Detox Iron from the gut/brain

options to clear iron
options to clear iron

Also, you can use Frankincense! Morley is a wealth of info and he suggested through the olfactory nerve ie. smelling… might be the logical point for detox for the brain. Buy from me – if you’re local I can help with rollerballs and accessories.

Buy online magnesium, Vit C, cod liver oil with iherb- my recommendations

Ceruloplasim Protocol

Ceruloplasim 27 May 2016
Ceruloplasim 27 May 2016

On rising,Β  diotomaceous earth to help clear heavy metals, kill parasites and give a scrub to your innards

With breakfast, bee pollen- contains B vitamins, skip anything listing folic acid as some 30%+ of the population can’t handle it – get these from your local markets, wholefood C
Shower and use magnesium chloride spray for deodorant if it doesn’t itch too much (otherwise on feet before bed)

Water for the day with Amena Sea Minerals (dilute until you can’t taste it much)

Taurine mid morning on empty stomach, while you’re making your cocktail

Adrenal cocktail at 10am

Lunch, with magnesium tablets
Adrenal cocktail at 3pm

Dinner with magnesium tablets and Vitamin C. To support digestion, preceed dinner with warm water with apple cider vinegar (adrenal & digestive tonic)

Supper –Β  Cod liver oil with a little cream (can make into a fruity icecream or simply on a spoon), if constipated shake with fresh orange juice, a couple of hours before bed.

Bath – Epsom salts, Baking soda and Boron in your bath (if you don’t do baths look up the boron concentrate mix and take a teaspoon of the liquid premix each day).

Stabilised rice bran before bed, on an empty stomach to help clear toxic metals.
In bed, and this tip comes from David, Give yourself a food rub with Frankincense, Myrrh and olive oil (Vitamin E). Happily, I’ve got some mag cream for that and it is lush. Olive oil, beeswax, cacao butter, magnesium chloride, essential oils πŸ™‚

Plastic free July

There was a beautiful little Plastic Free July workshop that I sort of planned on attending today about getting rid of single use plastics in your home (think cling wrap) but didn’t in favour of spending some one on one time with my littlest at the markets this morning and then, going to vote with the family at lunch time and having a little play after πŸ™‚
After a challenging evening with this same little girl teething and not being able to sleep until 9pm (eek!) I found my mind returning to this and really wondering if I could do a bit better than I have been. Well, it couldn’t be easier really… start with a really low benchmark and the improvement can be really impressive!
I totally put bread ingredients into the bread machine tonight, plus a snack … then my mind wandered back to Plastic Free July. Persistent thoughts. I credit my mate Michele (the one with the pet homing pigeon Wally) for two years of updates on her progress going totally plastic free… I recall that she was really disappointed that postage stamps come with a freaking plastic backing!Some things do require structural change.

I’ve decided I’m going to have a bash at making these.

DIY Reusable Food Wrap

I already have bees wax and lovely little pieces of fabric for jam covers. I’ll bum some resin off a local with access to acacias and conifers… or even marri would be great. Perhaps marri would be the best because it is antibacterial and anti viral! Probably it might rival manuka honey from New Zealand.
We can avoid buying plastic to make these πŸ˜‰ Sweet! I might even sew a button and barter one or two away. Can’t wait to rock up to playgroup with the kids snacks wrapped in these lol… awesome!

If you’d like to make a public commitment… The website is and happily they have options for either all plastic (eek!) or only the top 4. You could possibly do all plastic but we typically buy meat wrapped in cling film, so I decided it would be a bit hard to really try to avoid that.

The top four are straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags & coffee cup lids. This is an easy one πŸ™‚

Agave Cordage – learning the slow arts

We just recently spent a delightful rainy Sunday afternoon in the garden, drinking wine and roasting potatoes in ‘Ned Kelly’… the old school fire pit at Barb’s. There may also have been chocolate <ahem…>
In the video below Barb takes us through the old way of making your own twine or cordage. This technique can be applied to almost any fiber that you have available…. and it really is very easy.

You could totally make one of these

Couple in hammock

Or even, for the hardcore babywearer…

Baby in handmade woven carrier, suspended from mother’s forehead!

(As a side note, there are heaps of babywearing groups in your local area, check on Facebook and attend a meeting to get trained in safety and borrow wraps and buckles to see which style you prefer)

In the case of agave, it is an excellent choice for finger rolling cordageΒ  because it grows well in this climate with zero inputs and can be easily harvested by slicing off a rather tall leaf and boiling for an hour or more.

Barb with tall agave leaf
Barb with tall agave leaf
Barb with cooked agave leaf showing fibers
Barb with cooked agave leaf showing fibers

After this, it just needs pounding to remove the juices and leave the fiber… then finger rolling.
This is using two sets of fibers, twisting both independently, then twisting the two together. The knack would seem to be in remembering to twist the sets of fibers one way but then the two together must be in the opposite direction. …good thing that there is a video lol…





Barter Your Surplus – Moisturising Body Whip

I made some whipped moisturiser to help my little girl with some troubled skin… she loves learning how to wash the dishes but the detergent is not great for her skin. Of course, it’s great for mine as I’m not the one washing the dishes! (just kidding, I totally try to help her)

Moisturising cream with healing essential oils
Moisturising cream with healing essential oils

The recipe

  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/2 Cup apricot oil
  • 30 drops of your choice of essential oil

Measure (glass or metal instruments help as you can melt the oils off later), melt in a double burner (as you do for chocolate), chill briefly, whip with hand held or electric beaters.

To easily dispense, put in sandwich bag, seal, push down to one corner and cut that corner off… pipe in.

I had some nice small glass containers to hand and knew that I was making more than I needed… so the desire to barter was born.
Of course, I’d been lurking around the wonderful world of Facebook to see how bartering worked for a while. I took as nice a photo as I could manage, saving myself the trouble of writing the essential oils down so I wouldn’t forget their names… by including them in the photo below.

The fancy black background is our stove πŸ˜‰

To date, just for two of my spares, I’ve received a nice pink frangipani cutting, a lot of citrus fruit and a killer sense of getting a bargain. Like that special sense that superheroes use when they are needed… like that… except for a bargain!
I’m still waiting on my homemade slice and the pasta sauce… for another two jars… one lady had a sick little baby so delayed somewhat and another lady wanted to catch up soon. So I’m assuming that will go ahead.
In terms of cost, it wasn’t that cheap an exercise… the little containers were $1.10 each, with perhaps 12 drops of essential oils in each. (see this table for costs if you’re setting yourself up to do the same)

However 2/3rds of the oils were a result of a barter which I consider a total bargain (my usual sweet potatoes with a half dozen eggs). And I’ve got heaps left… plus wax as well.
So I think I’ll do this one again… when the creative urge rises πŸ™‚

By the way, for those that are interested in those blasted sweet potatoes (just kidding, I love them a little too much), I managed to sell a few. It’s late in the season as I’ve given away a number of full bags of them, plus armfuls to any local neighbourhood kid who is interested enough to have a dig when I’m doing the same. In time, some of these kids might do all the work for me… wouldn’t that be awesome? I tell them we’re hunting for treasure. What’s your retirement plan? πŸ˜‰

Does your butt have a conscience?

We’ve been lucky enough to get gifted some Who Gives a Crap toilet paper.

Who Gives a Crap?
Who Gives a Crap?

I’m happy to report that it seems very lovely to me… although I have to admit to being something of a hard arse. So to speak…
Give it a go!
They do bamboo as well as chemical free conventional stuff… a significant proportion goes towards helping build toilets in the developing world and they even do gift vouchers, for the people who hate giving useless crap. Sorry about the language πŸ˜‰
A lovely shout out to Kath and Barb (and Barb’s mate who helped her obtain some)… leaders in our community.

box shot of toilet paper

How’s the Serenity?

I’m doing something different. This is a whole new category to my normal kinds of weird behaviour (like chatting to strangers about the merits of humanure composting as though it was necessary for the survival of our society) and I begin to feel that it is the solution to the consumer madness that eats everything and steals our joy. It’s pretty funny that I’ve finally figured it out, and it might not be obvious to you that you are over-stimulated either. A deep breath is needed and a pause. A long pause. Being patient with yourself and not launching into the ‘next thing’. Taking the time to not even smell the roses… simply to ‘be’.
It builds the capacity for joy. This kind of joy, where you can be present and chock-a-block full of happiness for the cuddle you’re both giving and receiving.

My kids enjoying a hug

Each morning, instead of doing something like looking at a screen or loading up on caffeine… or even doing something exciting like going outside and gardening vigorously and getting some long awaited job done πŸ™‚ … I just sit down in the front lounge and chill with a cup of tea.
The wonderful thing is that the rest of the family come to find me and I am available to make eye contact (after a few minutes lol).

Usually the half Burmese cat Sir Patch Paddington is sleeping on the same long couch and is able to sleepily smile at the children too. He smiles and lets our little girl stroke him gently. He runs away very fast when she approaches with anything in her little chubby hands.

Reuben with chickaletta
Reuben with Chickaletta

How, why?

These things can be understood from a spiritual perspective but we are spirtual beings living in biological bodies… both true and valid … your biochemistry can change your spirit and vice-versa.

Romans 8:6Β For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

I’ve been reading social media and blogging articles and the one thing that I find I observe in the authors… almost without fail… are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. In a world of technological slave equivalents like washing machines… we are harried and frantic because we spend our time doing what? Work, childcare, exercise, and screens. Books by contrast are soothing πŸ™‚ Different kettle of fish.

So stop reading this blog, now and maybe forever. I have a few other things I could say but I can say them another day. If you don’t read them I won’t know. Go out on this windy and blustery day and start some seeds. Or not. Just sit there. Don’t feel compelled to do a single thing. Motivation grows and it doesn’t need industrial agriculture neither πŸ˜‰


Stained glass creations… right livelihood!

Barbara is one of the lucky ones, those who can get lost in the moment as they produce something amazing. We see each other all the time, but it was a special pleasure to be able to play with dangerous adult toys… breaking glass and melting metal πŸ˜‰ No kids today! woot!

Red/dichroic glass and seedy glass feather
Red/dichroic glass and seedy glass feather

She has been working with glass and mixed media for several years now and has more recently turned it into her livelihood. Since glass is infinitely recyclable and a home studio allows her to keep fairly close to her family and garden… in my book this is a ‘right livelihood’ πŸ™‚

We often find that our lives move in strange parallels with our growing boys (who love playing together most of all). And of course, we both have an interest in the environmental and permaculture… one of us has a smaller footprint than the other <cough!>. I console myself that only a very few manage to tread as lightly as Barb.

On a whim, we got stuck into filming an introduction to stained glass, which I’ll post up on my Youtube Channel soon. We started with coffee and chocolate with almonds… then migrated out to the well lit and very pleasant shed… filled with the scent of salvaged marri and other natives, caving ropes, a globe of planet Earth and small pieces of art.

She begins with finding the best section of glass, drawing an outline, tracing then cutting the glass…

…grinding to make a nicely matching shape to the other pieces of glass.

Barbara Susac in her studio
Barbara Susac in her studio

Copper adhesive is applied, beginning on the inner edges and joined with dabs of molten solder (tucked).

To finish, the edges are all given a silver finish.

I come away with the impression that anyone could do this work. This is her quiet encouragement working away to bolster my confidence to try it next time. Of course, it might help to beg a one on one course off Barb πŸ˜‰

To see some of her art you can visit her Facebook page Harsh Reality Studio.

Feathered glass by Barb
Feathered glass by Barbara Susac

Milkwood’s Pumpkin Blog

There is something to be said for plants that are easy to grow, easy to propagate and tasty. Pumpkins check all the boxes! They are often the accidental seedling out of the worm farm. They don’t mind fairly ‘raw’ manure in a big circle around them and will grow prolifically if you give them half a chance. I like my odds… and my deliberate focus as a mum is tasty produce!

Milkwood is one of my favourite blogs to read, here is a link to their pumpkin blog post for your enjoyment….

Milkwood Pumpkin

In our back yard at the moment, pumpkins are one of the few veggies left actively growing in the raised beds… because the chooks have been ‘playing’ … if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ (This is while we’re doing some reorganising and will to an end soon with prime vegetable growing time now in Western Australia.) I’m so happy to have pumpkins there and rocketing along… I’m a fan… preferably my husband’s pumpkin flan… but even just steamed and with a bit of white sauce… can’t go wrong πŸ™‚

Nutritionally, the seeds are real powerhouses, high in zinc and magnesium they are a panacea for ‘western’ diseases. More on that another day… meanwhile… nom nom nom!