Friday, September 26, 2008

Shoppe News: We have a new batch!

We are happy to share that we have a new batch of Breast Balm curing, and all seems good to go. We need to update our website that the large size is now available again. Yay!

Thanks for your patience, and as always - your support and positivity!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Spy: Yeah Yeah!

I’m somewhat of Quote Connoisseur, a Mistress of Pithy Passages (or not-so pithy). So I love stumbling upon a good quote. I get a rush from it. Truly. I do.

A few years back, while wandering around the annual North Coast County Fair, there was a cool booth with awesome handmade, block print t-shirts and clothes. It was the shirts that drew me in first: funky blockprint images of a colorful Buddha, or a forlorn dog waiting at the door, a dancing hula hoop girl or a funky guitar I’d love to play. While I was enjoying all the creations of the artist, Jodi Mullen, there it was. Casually on display in her booth was a quote that has stuck with me, the chord hit so hard:

Life does not accommodate you. It shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn't do it better. Every seed destroys it's container, or else there would be no fruition. - Florida Scott Maxwell

I didn’t have a chance to write it down at the time, and I've spent some time trying to recreate it in my head. This year I was able to make it to the fair again, so I thought I’d ask the artist, Jodi, about the quote.

She remembered it well, and we shared some words about our mutual love for quotes while she very kindly wrote it down for me. Thanks, Jodi! One of these days I hope to own a small gallery of her awesome creations – for now, you can check out her contribution to the beautification of the world here, at Yeah Yeah Designs.

Jodi’s shirts and clothes have a very wearable, funky vibe that you could dress up or down and wear almost anywhere. Check it out! And tell her we sent you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What's Goin' On: BPA has it comin' (see end of rant for some info on where to get BPA free items)

"This is a human study that really calls into question FDA's assertion that BPA is safe," said Dr. Anila Jacob of the activist Environmental Working Group.

New information from studies reveal that not only do those poor rats in laboratories have horrible side-effects from exposure to BPA, but - get ready, here it comes: Surprise! - so do human beings. In an excerpt from the article, they note that the FDA was reliant on studies that pointed towards 'no serious adverse side effects' in rats.

Note the use of the terminology, because the FDA is famous for their parsing of words (how do I know? I watched my mother go through a Class-Action lawsuit against Dow over breast implants in the 80's.). It begs the need to request some kind of reference book we can refer to that makes clear what exactly they mean when they say "serious" and "adverse" in the same sentence. Like, say, um, cancer-causing?, or just systemic inflammation? (I'm hoping that some will note here that there is rising belief that inflammation can be cancer-causing.)

Even more disconcerting, note at the end of this quote that they have not done studies on humans because it was deemed inappropriate. Are you kidding me?! So we don't directly test a chemical out on those who will actually be using them, and therefore the most exposed. Especially our newborns, who have bodies that are still developing in crucial ways. I'm over the soft-handed approach towards not testing chemicals on our own kind - yes, I understand that this is an ethically challenged position to take. But what this really means is that WE TEST THEM OUT ON OUR CHILDREN. That is so much more ethically sound, yes? The logic of my own species leaves me in awe:

"BPA was first synthesized in 1891 and came into wide use in the 1940s and 1950s because of the durability and light weight of polycarbonates.

Some BPA remains intact in the plastic and leaches out over time, particularly when it comes in contact with hot liquids or acidic foods.

The chemical industry and the FDA have long relied on two large animal studies showing that high concentrations of the chemical fed to rodents produced no serious adverse effects.

There had been no previous large studies of the chemical in humans because researchers considered such testing inappropriate.

Read the full article and watch the video: Here

Looking for BPA free items?

Even better - don't use plastic at all! This is my choice for bottles: glass. I have found them at Target as well. So far I've only found Evenflo with glass.

And for stainless steel sippy cups, all the rage: Klean Kanteen uses Avent sippy tops.

Or you find that you need plastic (say, you've got a Slugger in your house who likes to chuck things against the wall? I do), here you can get BPA free baby bottles: Born Free

We used these for roadtrips, though I still prefer the stainless steel. I've found that the nipples don't last as long, and their sippies tend to leak - but, yes, I still feel it's worth it. I also see on their website that they have all kinds of new products out, so now there's no excuse. They also have glass bottles.

And here, Avent has now offering BPA free as well (they have some great sippy cups):

Press on!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kindling For The Fire: Rising Appalachia

photo by CHESS.

I've been meaning to get to this for such a while now... sometimes you hear a chord struck, or a voice released and you can't go back.

Back to thoughts that have no meaning, no purpose. Back to anger and frustration. Back to small and little thoughts that cause hurt and division to grow and fester. Back to the ping-ping of cheap music called Pop in today's shallow struggle.

Rising Appalachia creates the kind of music that makes my heart sing - makes me want to open and expand. Makes me want to throw all the mundane tasks of the day aside, get up off my seat and dance a jig. I hear the fiddle of my ancestors, the hum of my heritage in their efforts. And damn, I am thankful!

I was turned on to these two at Plant Journeys blog (the lovely Ananda), so drop on by there and give her a holler' of thanks. In the meantime, if you like good ol' fashioned harmonies and a vibe that embraces today while it glories in the times of old, check out these two sistahs at their myspace page.

Go, now!
Rise up and dance!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shoppe News: Breast Balm Batch Gone Awry

I'm frustrated and sad to say that I am currently putting the production of Breast Balm on hold.

Our most recent batch did not cure well, even though we followed our rather precise recipe. As anyone who makes natural products such as salves and balms or lotions knows, sometimes you simply cannot entirely control the outcome. While the ingredients are all the same and from excellent sources or harvests, the consistency is not the usual; and therefore we do not feel this batch represents our usual high-quality product. We want you, our vendors and customers, to have only our best. So until we decide how to proceed, we are setting aside production of the balm.

We'll keep you posted as to when it may - if at all - return. Thanks for your support and encouragement, always good medicine!