Solely Barefoot

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How to Grow Curly Carrots (by accident)

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My carrots are beginning to be ready for harvesting, so I’ve dug a few up.
The first thing I noticed was just how curly the root is!
After thinking back to when I sprouted these extremely normal carrot seeds, I realized how this curly phenomenon could have happened.
So here’s how you can do the same! (it may also work on parsnips and other similar root vegetables)

1. Soak your seeds in warm water for a few hours if you want. It can aid in sprouting them faster.

2. Find shallow seed starters (I used an egg carton).

3. Plant 2-3 seeds in each cup.

4. Wait until the seedlings have 4 true leaves (true = not counting the first two to come up).

5. Plant the seedlings as you usually would and thin out the weaker, smaller plants, if needed.

6. Care for your plants as you usually would.

7. Wait until harvesting time (this varies with each variety of seed).

8. Pull up your curly carrots and wash them off! They’re ready to eat!

Pros of Curly Carrots:
-fun to eat
-kids would probably enjoy them
-they look plain awesome

Cons of Curly Carrots:
-they are a tiny bit more difficult to wash than conventional carrots

Obviously the pros greatly outweigh the cons, so go grow yourself some curly carrots!!


Written by Star

24 January 2012 at 12:52 PM

Posted in Green Living, Life

I don’t say “New Year’s Resolutions,” I say “Challenges.”

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So, like most people (especially blogging people) I have thought a lot about the new year and what I’m going to do with it. I suppose I’m just getting around to talking about it a little later than most.

I’ve been reading other blogs and about half the people I’ve come across are saying things like, “New Year’s Resolutions are stupid,” and “Why make a resolution if it’s not going to happen and you’ll just beat yourself up with guilt in a few weeks about it?” and “Why give yourself such high expectations on this particular day? It’s setting yourself up for disaster.” And well, they do have a point. New Year’s resolutions are not for everyone.

But on the other hand, the other half of the blogosphere that I’m around have been quite encouraging and inspiring about resolutions for the new year.
I won’t quote anyone, because you’ve heard it all before. Same old stuff, but still inspiring.

My decision has been to continue planning the new year with a few resolutions, or “challenges” as I would prefer to call them.
I think it is good to have a sort of laid out purpose for your year.
Of course, you don’t need a daily planner or anything. You don’t even need a real calendar.

You just need a simple challenge that you can write down on the refrigerator or your door, or the bathroom mirror to remind yourself what you’re doing.

Key word: simple.
Keep it simple.

Don’t set yourself up for failure with something extravagant such as:
“This year I challenge myself to save ALL THE ENDANGERED SPECIES IN THE WORLD.”
Or anything like:
“This year, I am going to fly to Mars in a space ship I build entirely out of recycled materials!”

Not that there’s anything wrong with those goals, if you have the money, time, (technology,) and influence to get them done. If you want to do it, and you can, go for it!
Nothing is impossible, it will just take some time.

But for the ordinary non-superhero/mad scientist inhabiting the earth, you may need to keep a simple challenge for now. Next year you can give yourself a bigger challenge, no worries.

So anyway, my New Year’s Challenges are:

1. Be rich.
2. Contribute less to landfills.
3. Change 1 thing per month (as in getting over fears, starting new habits, ending bad habits, etc)

1. Be rich means that I want to get to the point that I can eat well (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, organically, humanely, eco friendly, etc) all the time, provide for my animal companions in a similar fashion, buy nice things when I want them (like a 1991 Nissan Figaro, a nice camera, etc), and be able to go nice places for holidays and buy my friends gifts when I want, as well as help them out when they need it.

2. To contribute less to landfills, obviously I’m going to have to be more eco friendly with the way I live. I’m already partway there. I recycle. I reuse. I only empty the trashcan once every 5-7 days. My goal is to get to where I’m emptying the trashcan once per month by 31 December 2012. To do this, I will start reusing paper products and burning the rest (distribute the ashes in a field so it will grow nice things), recycle more religiously, and what I can’t recycle, reuse. I will also change the cat litter I use to pine pellets so that I can flush the poop and dump the sawdust out in a field as well. It could even be used (in appropriate amounts) as compost. Oh, and composting more. That’s another big one.

3. And the monthly changes and goals thing… I’m sort of figuring this out one month at a time. This month I’m focusing on getting rid of my nervousness/fear of phone calls. I am taking every opportunity I can to call people. No texting (unless it’s casual), no emails (unless that’s what is best), and no looking for excuses not to call people. I’m thinking my December goal will be to get to the point that I’m living a guilt free existence. More on that later.

So January I am focusing on my online businesses for getting closer to being rich.
I am also starting some freelance babysitting on the side, perhaps some housecleaning.
For the landfills thing, I’m having a goal of emptying the trashcan every 9 days for this month.
And I already told you my goal to change this month is fear of phone calls.

So next month this will all change a little!

Now, my goals are my goals. They’re not yours. You can use them if you want, of course. Feel free! But if you find them too complicated, or too easy, change them!
Just keep it simple for yourself, and write it/them down where you’ll see them every day, perhaps even multiple times a day.
Brainstorm a plan of how you’re going to accomplish part of the challenges each month. Writing it down is preferred so if you get sidetracked or lost, you can refresh yourself with your plan.

Also, no pressure!
If making a resolution/challenge/goal on New Year’s Day makes you feel pressured and stressed, make your goals on the 15th of the month!
Or next month!
Some people like New Year’s Day, though, because it is a concrete day and acts as a sort of beginning.
It can feel very refreshing.
But in truth, it’s just another day, probably a very ordinary one for a lot of you, and there’s no reason it should be treated differently and make you feel stressed out.

So good luck! Have fun! Don’t make it a chore! And keep your focus. :)

Written by Star

13 January 2012 at 4:31 PM

I want to build a Co-op Kitchen.

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I’ve had this idea for a while.
I want to pool money and supplies with some other people and build a kitchen that will be certified and licensed properly to make, package, and distribute/sell food legally.
I want to do this in Pittsboro, NC.  I  chose this location because I have a feeling there may be other people in that general area that want to do the same sort of thing, or are wishing they had a separate kitchen for their food business idea because they have pets.

I have pets.  Two cats, a dog, and a rat.
All of them are considered “pests” for a kitchen.

My apartment is also not owned by me, and the kitchen area size is not sufficient for a food preparation area on a large scale.

So I thought perhaps I could rent an already certified kitchen, or I could start a co-op kitchen.

To successfully start it, I would need five people to be a part of this.  That includes me.  More are welcome, but five is the minimum.
I do not know if there would be a monthly fee for using the kitchen.  That may have to be decided after the co-op is established.
It actually may be easier to have a monthly fee, though, because there will be electricity and water bills and such.
Oh, and I want it to be as eco friendly of a kitchen as possible.  It’d be awesome if we had money right away for solar panels, but if we don’t, we can save up for that later.
Well water would be ideal.
Heating and air conditioning can be a combination of windows and thermal ceiling.
And hey, if someone in the group has an awesome idea, I would love to hear it!  I want our kitchen to be the BEST.

We would pool our money for awesome appliances.  (This is part of the great bit of having a co-op.  We get to have nice things!)
We may be able to get some support and donations from people who like the idea, but don’t necessarily need a co-op kitchen.

We would have fun, make friends, try each other’s food experiments for feedback, have food parties, and generally have a great time.
I expect there will be squabbles once in a while, but hey, we can deal with those as they come. :)

So if you find this blog post and you live in North Carolina and want to be a part of this co-op kitchen I would like to start, please leave a comment with the area you would like it to be located and any other ideas or thoughts or questions you have.  I will email you and we will start planning!



Written by Star

23 December 2011 at 1:59 PM

Posted in Green Living, Life

They Don’t Want to Do It, so NEITHER CAN YOU.

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Funny how in winter, people at normally friendly stores will tell you that you “aren’t supposed to come in without shoes.”  When asked why, they stumble over their words or hesitate at first and say something along the lines of, “you could step on something,” or “you might step on a piece of glass.”  You can pursue these conversations with your own information and facts and may ultimately win, but almost always, you will leave the conversation with these people disliking you.

I suppose there is a downside to working to get your way.

But I personally think it is worth it.

If you didn’t go barefoot, these people would probably find something else about you they didn’t like.  Maybe it’s the dreadlocks.  Maybe it’s the style of clothes you wear.  Maybe it’s how worn out your shoes are.

You can’t win them all.

So do what you want!  Be who you are!

Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you are.

Being someone else is a lot of work and very dissatisfying.

Written by Star

29 November 2011 at 2:47 PM

Posted in Disadvantages, Life

Conflict at Walmart Concerning Shoelessness!

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What happened??

I just talked to these people!  We had confirmed with the ASSISTANT MANAGER at Walmart that there is no reason I was being told to wear shoes or leave.

So I go to Walmart for some weekly shopping (still trying to automate my grocery shopping on Amazon Subscribe and similar websites) and I’m just walking through the garden center on my way to the pet supplies and a lady stocking a display looks at me, looks at my feet, and says,
“You know you have to wear shoes in here.”

I was of course very surprised and slightly caught off guard.
I told her that no, I didn’t have to, and that Walmart doesn’t have any rules against going barefoot in their stores.

She muttered, “Whatever…”

“I could go walk with you to the manager and ask him, if you like.”

“No, it’s fine,” she said in a sort of high pitched voice that really just told me she didn’t like me but did believe that I was right.

So I continued my shopping and laughed to myself every time I thought of her response.

I think my Walmart must’ve hired a lot of new staff because I didn’t recognize a LOT of the people working there.  Perhaps they’ve just not been informed (yet?).

If Walmart does ever make another rule against barefeet, I WILL stop shopping there that day.  And never go back.  I don’t like them to begin with, but that would just be the last straw.

Written by Star

26 September 2011 at 8:25 PM

Posted in Life

Tagged with , , ,

No Apologies Accepted

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I will not even attempt to apologize for not writing, because, well, there simply is no apology. People don’t want to hear it. So here we go. I’ll just jump right in.

As some of you may recall, I was planning to go to Australia over the summer. Well, I did! And I went barefoot! I did almost all of my transportation to and from Australia barefooted and lived for about 5 weeks in Australia without having to wear shoes but maybe 3 times (all happened to be in Melbourne, Victoria?!). There was a concert I attended (Josh Pyke, yeah!) that was in a bar that I wore shoes to, simply because bars have dress codes so people look nice. I have no problems with dress codes, so it was completely fine!

I stayed mostly in Adelaide, Australia with some friends (and what a lovely time we had!), but I also traveled to Melbourne, Victoria (with said friends) and Sydney, New South Wales (with the same friends minus one of them). Sydney and Adelaide were the most laid back about barefeet, though it was also most comfortable to be in those cities without shoes. The ground in Adelaide, especially, was surprisingly clean for a city (I guess I am comparing with New York City), and Sydney wasn’t so bad (though I did encounter a bit of broken glass on a sidewalk on the way to our hotel (no, I didn’t get cut!)). Melbourne was the most industrial of the three cities, and was consequently the least clean. It still was not as bad as NYC, though!

I traveled to Australia in my summer, but that means it was winter there! It was in the upper 50’s and up to the mid 60’s (Fahrenheit) the entire time we were there, so it really was not like the winter I’m used to. Not to mention the cold was mostly a dry (not humid!) cold. It REALLY makes a difference. The wind sometimes was cruel in Victoria, but overall, really not that bad for a winter.

The first day we got there was a shock on my entire body because of the amazing temperature change. Coming from 90-100F to 56F is a huge difference, especially if you’re going barefoot. My feet actually felt numb for about 30 minutes during a walk on the first day. After that 30 minutes, they adapted and were perfectly fine for the rest of the trip.
They did get cold occasionally when it was cold, wet AND windy. It’s my least favorite combination when it comes to weather and bare feet.
Hot pavement and sand I can take, but cold, wet and windy is just mean.

The day I stepped on hot pavement (5 weeks later) again in Arizona on the bus trip home I acquired 3 or 4 moderate sized blisters. Nothing too terrible. It happens every year if I don’t ease into the weather changes.

Australia is so much different from the USA. I could go on for hours at the differences and funny culture anecdotes, but the basics is this:

Australians simply don’t care. If it isn’t hurting anyone, they won’t even look twice.

I got more weird looks during the bus trip into town while I was wearing my fake sandals (leather straps around my feet) than I did in an entire week of staying in Adelaide.
Most of the strange looks to my barefeet were more than likely weather related. It’s winter, after all.

The only times I was specifically told to wear shoes were:

1. On the way to Adelaide, Australia, we were boarding a transfer plane in Melbourne and the stewardess told me it was a health and safety hazard to be barefoot. I assured her I’d put on shoes and did when we left the plane in Adelaide.

2. In Melbourne, Victoria, I was eating in a pizza restaurant and forgot that bars have dresscodes. The bartender asked me if I had shoes I could wear when I was finished ordering my food. No problem. My own fault.

3. This one doesn’t quite count, but there were some Northern European tourists on a tram in Melbourne that asked me if I could afford shoes. I assured them I could, but didn’t want to buy any. In hindsight, I wonder what would’ve happened if I told them I couldn’t afford shoes? My friends and I joked about it later and I started to contemplate if my recently torn pants made me look homeless and poor.

So the only strange things to happen concerning my feet were in Melbourne.

In customs, they randomly did a bomb and explosives check with me and asked where my shoes were. I told them they were in my bag (which they had just scanned), and they let me continue through with no further questions asked.

Overall, great traveling experience! If anyone asked where my shoes were, I just told them they were in my bag. No worries! If I needed them, they were easy to whip out and slip on. But that rarely happened. :)

Written by Star

23 September 2011 at 12:37 AM

Posted in Life, Travel

Barefoot Updates

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It’s been too long, guys. Time for an update. :)

Barnes & Noble did eventually get back to me. They said the information I requested was proprietary, and when I asked what, specifically, that meant, they repeated that the information I requested was proprietary. All right then. Guess I’ll just have to take it up with the manager of that Barnes & Noble if I ever find myself there again.

I no longer worry about being told to leave Walmart because of not wearing shoes. I talked to 3 different people until I got to the assistant manager (actually quite a nice fellow) and he told me that there used to be a company wide rule (ages ago?) and they used to have signs on the door, but there was a change of policy and he guesses the employees were never informed.
And since that day, I have been apologized to by the last person to tell me to leave the store and no one has told me I have to wear shoes in the store.
So I guess with Walmart, it is worth it to be persistent. :)

I was at the movie theater yesterday about 35-40 minutes early for a movie I was seeing with Daly. Because we were there hanging out so long, I started getting a feeling people (including employees) were noticing my shoelessness. Sure enough, about 15 minutes before our film was to start, the (I assume) manager came over and told me I’d have to wear shoes, then said people had noticed I didn’t have feet. Because I knew he meant shoes, I made a joke about actually having feet and then went out to the car to grab my Toms. I wasn’t going to argue or pursue it further this time because I was with Daly and I think it’s better if I take into account that it makes other people who are with me uncomfortable when I challenge managers to show me the rules.
Besides, I had kind of set myself up for it with being inside so long AND wearing Thai pants which are not long enough to cover my feet and pretty much make it obvious that I’m shoeless.
So I put on the shoes and enjoyed the movie. No big deal.

The next big thing I’ll be doing without shoes is traveling and walking around Adelaide, Australia. I’ll bring my Toms with me because, well, I have no idea what to expect.
But I’ll keep you informed on that one.
I don’t see how there’d be much of a problem since people are going around barefoot in the airport because of security and Australia is a much more relaxed country than the states.
We’ll see how it goes!

Written by Star

23 May 2011 at 1:06 PM

Posted in Life