Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

Like many people, I’m pretty aware that weird things get put into deodorants nowadays and since I don’t relish the thought of getting breast cancer- or any kind for that matter due to a deodorant, I switched over to deodorants that mask odor but don’t stop the sweat. These failed absolutely and completely. I became a stinky person who regularly washed a few times a day under her arms. Washing three times per day (or more) made the skin on my underarms dry out and become itchy. I felt like a bit of a monkey at times, scratching at my armpits. It just wasn’t cool.

Until…I finally pulled myself together and ordered the goods. And this is what I made

The recipe is all angry chicken’s doing. How people figure these things out on their own, beats me but I’m so in love with her recipe. Is that possible? Of course! I’m on day two after lots of exercise and still not a stink anywhere. Not one trace. And the ingredients are loveable to the body. It makes me happy and it just might make you too. It’s so simple and completely gratifying to make and use. And pretty inexpensive! It takes only a tiny bit to make 4 oz. and I’m figuring this 4 oz. will last a good while.

On a bookish note, there’s a new illustrated cover of “Wrinkle in Time” out. Here it is…it’s just so pretty, I had to share.

Isn’t it lovely? Even better in person, of course. The illustrator, Taeeun Yoo, has an etsy shop too.

So that’s a few things I’m loving right now. What’s making you happy this spring?

Comments (3):

  1. Cindi, Mom, Me

    May 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    This is really cool. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. mollie

    May 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Hey, Angry Chicken did an update on her use of the deodorant today. She’s still loving it. Oooh, and thanks for showing off the lovely cover of that book…if only I liked A Wrinkle in Time I would get it. (We listened to it on a trip once and I thought I would go out of my mind! I’m just not one for fantasy type things)

  3. Catherine

    May 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Cindi: Tell me if you make it! or I could always make some for you, if you wanted to try it.
    Mollie: Sorry it took me so long to approve of your comment. I thought I Had but apparently I have to approve of comments in two separate ways to make it appear…how bureaucratic of this thing…anyway, I’ve never been able to listen to a book and like it. I get way too bored. and “wrinkle in time” is a quirky bird of a book …and it’s quirk fits in well with reading on a stormy night! I find myself always starting it on a stormy night…

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The Taste of Tea

A favorite film of mine, The Taste of Tea, centers on an eccentric family living in the Japanese countryside. They spend a great deal of time sitting outside, sipping tea and staring into space. They sit as a family, alone, or in a small group and no one talks. They just stare out into the deep green that is the summer. And then they get up and go on walks or go off to work.

The first time I watched The Taste of Tea, I was shaken and delighted that the film gave space and respect to one of my favorite pastimes: sipping tea and staring into space.

When spring grew warm enough, I was inspired by the film to sit outside and stare into my backyard in the early morning. The Taste of Tea had given me a sort of permission to leave stress behind and take this time for one of my deepest desires: to enjoy and contemplate nature while sipping tea.

I named my new practice “Sipping Tea and Watching the Grass Grow.” I felt ridiculous whenever I mentioned it to anyone but that hardly mattered. I was doing what I loved so much, watching plants grow, watching the birds and small animals moving through it all, and sky glowing blue and serene over us all.

 

Grass grows slowly, imperceptibly but after each rain, it leaps up by inches. The violets came in May and they lasted for weeks. After that the dandelions bloomed and I lost a little bit of my heart to them. The wind picked up their seeds and sent the white fluffs floating into the air in sweet, downy clouds. After that, small wild strawberries, glowing like fierce red gems, appeared in the lawn. Now at the end of June, a luxurious, emerald green covers nearly everything. It reaches up from the ground, covering fences and stones or it high overhead, green leaves moving in tall, imperceptible breezes.

 

The heat has settled in so now even in the mornings, I pour sweat while drinking my tea. On some mornings the birds are noisy and busy and on other days they are not. Sometimes a great big bumblebee comes tumbling along, droning in that low, hazy buzz as it investigates every surface and flower. And then sometimes it does not come. Some days the clouds are like fluffs of cotton, other days there isn’t a cloud in sight. Each day brings a new configuration, nature is never still. I watch it all and at other times, I close my eyes and listen to my breathing. I’m not alone, never alone, a part of a whole.

A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.