Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life Lessons: Betta Fish

I write to you this morning with a lot on my mind. Our family is one step closer to moving back to New York as my mother prepares to put her home in Chicago for sale. I have many projects to finish and many more conversations to reply to. However, I find myself wondering what to do with my Marimo Moss Garden.

Before I opened my Etsy store officially on Sept 1st of this year, I began farming succulents and Tillandsia air plants. The air plants and succulents admittedly take time to grow and propagate naturally into clumps with babies. I've had to buy some plants to keep my garden and my creativity going. My gardens are thriving and I hope to begin selling plants which are only grown and cared for by myself.

For many years, I've had Marimo Moss Balls in my fish tanks. I didn't realize they were so popular on Etsy and have been hesitant to sell from my own tanks. I don't want other artists thinking I'm pushing into their market. Honestly, there aren't that many various way to display the little moss balls which have to be surrounded by water.

This morning, I'm reconsidering. A couple months ago, my son returned to our home with an unannounced friend- a female Betta fish. It was very wounded from being in his cousin's tank with other Bettas. (Can you hear my head slamming my desk at

this point in our introduction to this fine fishy friend?)
So I poured a lot time, care, and money into establishing a wonderful tank all her own. I don't have a picture of her with new red and black fins, which saddens me now. She loved her aquatic Wisteria plants and the little Marimo balls from the community tank that she pushed around to play.

I came back from shopping to notice the tank's lid ajar, and my little baby gone. Perhaps, my son accidentally moved the lid and didn't notice to fix it. Perhaps, I should have made sure her the tank was fine in his room before I left. Maybe I should have made sure the cats weren't in his room. The community tank's lid is clamped on, but I hadn't done it yet to hers. Either way, William likely doesn't feel the same vested interest I did in this little life. He has a preference of fluffy and tangible over neat to look at. Now I have a great tank full of baby and adult sized Marimo moss balls without any fish to lovingly push them around the floor bed.

/le sigh.

Anyone interested in little moss balls in water that bring good luck (if you're not a betta fish)??

Monday, September 26, 2011

Frugal Finds: Costco Natural Foods

Costco has been a fairly good additional reason for my family to curb the desire to eat out over making something at home. I cook on average 3 meals and a school snack for everyone, each day. While half the family is out working or school, I still have the toddler and myself to feed at home.

My husband is allergic to most salt-based preservatives. So like those "odd" Gluten-free people, we often have to ask annoying preparation questions to servers and fast food simply isn't in our vocabulary. Hence, we try to avoid most restaurants we know use canned food products. This drastically limits the playing field for a no-mess meal away from home.

We shop mostly on the outside ring of the regular grocery stores, selectively at Trader Joe's, and Costco. Most of the products at Costco have all natural ingredients and their clientele seems to be pushing for more products.

I'm not sure if all Costco's are the same, but Today's deals were:

Skim Milk Gallon for $2.50 (not always $2.50), Hansen's Natural Soda case for $7.99, Chicken tenderloins for $2.69 a pound, Veggie Stick "chips" for $4.99 (HUGE bag compared to Trader Joe's)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Books: Backyard Homestead & Seed Sewing and Saving

A very, lovely lady found me on Etsy, and passed along a couple books she thought I'd like to read. As if I could not ask for more, she also gave me some advice about the topics covered and unanswered in each.

Recommended Books:

Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Seed Sewing and Saving by Carole B. Turner

I will be adding these to my Amazon Wish List to buy next!

Anyone have any other recommendations on books, websites, and organizations about Farming, Gardening, and Homestead Living, PLEASE let me know!

Please browse and support other Back to Basics families on One Income including:

Threadhead58's Etsy provides vintage, affordable jewelry, upcycled accessories and more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome ♥

Thank you for your interest in my space.

I see more people each day taking to the internet to stay connected and keep their creative minds in motion.

This site will serve as a two-fold project. One is to keep farming information for myself and family organized after I've found it. The second purpose is of communication and networking with other Etsy users, farmers, adventurers, interweb lurkers, and pirates! (oh my)

I want to use this space to introduce more of myself to those in my community, and recognize how many inspiring things can be found if you know where to look. An open mind and open heart are welcome here.

I enjoy conversation, so if you would like to ocntact me via email, do so at: art.cain.mia@gmail.com

or on Etsy Message.