Tag Archives: Community garden

The Healthy Home: DIY Lavender Wands

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The purchase of a home changed my life. I never knew how much my perspective would shift after making such a large investment and commitment to something as basic as shelter. How foolish of me. Although I must admit, I always paid special attention to how our physical landscapes and environments influence our health, behavior, and our sense of “place.” When I lived in places that were dirty, dark, or cold I noticed a difference in my wellbeing.  When I heard yelling from the unhappy neighbors living next door, it was tougher to have sweet dreams or to go home at all.

Despite my awareness of the importance of living in a place that is safe and that reflects and expresses our true personhoods, I have often neglected taking care of my home (and therefore myself). For me, it has been easy to go on living in places filled with piles of laundry scattered here and there. It has also been easy for me to ignore dirty dishes. Generally speaking, it was not a hard choice to avoid developing the spaces I inhabited. That choice wasn’t the fault of my loud neighbor or a landlord’s requirement. It was my own choice. In addition to my lack of ambition, resources were often scarce. Excuses were always many. When can one find the time, the money, or both to make the repairs and enhancements necessary to make a home healthy and beautiful? What is a healthy and beautiful home, and why does it matter, anyway?

Well, it turns out there are many low-cost ways that can transform a space and make you feel good about the place you call home, whether you own or are just staying the night. As a renter, it’s easy to view your home as temporary, but that is not the way you have to treat your stay, and it is certainly no excuse to give up on making your home a healthy place to live. Unfortunately it took me until I actually bought a home to truly respect and honor the sense of place, security, and wellbeing that such a place provides for me.

Today I want to share a simple project that is on my to-do list that will create a feel-good sensation at home.  I find these wands to be the perfect project to look forward to as I wait  for the cold season to make its way out of Minnesota. Traditionally, women placed these bundles of joy in drawers to keep their underclothes smelling fresh and also to repel moths. Nowadays, they would be known as drawer scenters. They make a great gift and add beauty and health to any home. They are called, Lavender Wands.

The materials you will need to create your wands include:

  •  Thin string/fishing line
  • Odd number of fresh lavender stalks
  • 1 yard of ribbon optional

For basic instruction, I found this video to be helpful:

To see a more detailed step-by-step process with pictures, visit Homemade Gifts Made Easy.

Have garden space where you live or have access to a community garden plot? Check out Midwest Living’s How to Grow Lavender in the Midwest.

Can’t wait for fresh lavender to arrive? Check out lavender essential oils in the meantime. Put a drop on a cotton ball and sniff to your heart’s content. Although, be careful not to sniff too much, because while lavender offers relaxing properties, if used too much it will act as a stimulant.

March Happenings

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Mandala Reflections provides space for thought, dialogue, learning, and community that involves ourselves but also includes the collective experience. While a blog can offer a lot to some people, a lot of us need to experience something in “real life” to reap the full benefits. With that said, each month, Mandala Reflections provides a list of various low-cost happenings occurring in the Twin Cities Metro community that contribute to Mandala Reflections’ ongoing discussion about life, health, and wellness and how it relates to our stories. Please send me an email prior to the 1st of each month if you have a wellness event you would like to share.

Listing of events does not indicate endorsement by Mandala Reflections.

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th is International Women’s Day! For a listing of women’s events in MN happening over the month of March, please visit the Advocates for Human Rights’ webpage.

Day Time Events:

Thursday, March 8, 12-1:30pm, Location: Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Design of Clean, Healthy Cities: Interactions Between Urban Form and Air Quality, put on by State and Local Policy Program with HSPA, Julian Marshall, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota, will discuss the design of clean healthy cities.

Thursday, March 8, 3:30-5pm, Location: Maplewood Professional Building, Watson Education Center, Fighting Cancer with your Fork, hosted by HealthEast Cancer Care, “Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy. But did you know that the way you eat can help you live longer? Join us this March in Maplewood to learn more about diet and cancer prevention. Registered dietitian Tracie Swearingen will be leading this valuable seminar.” Cost: FREE, but registration is required. RSVP with Tracie at tlswearingen@healtheast.org or 651-232-7098.

Evening Events:

Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-8pm, Location: Founders Hall Reception Area, Metro State University St. Paul Campus, Beading workshops ,” funded by a grant from the Tri‐College NEW Leadership Institute at Metro State University, “Are you interested in learning how to make your own beaded jewelry and accessories? Whether you are new to beadwork or are experienced but just want to come for the company, join us! Everyone is welcome.”  Cost: FREE- This program and materials are free for registered participants. RSVP to cultural.events@metrostate.edu and for questions, call 651‐793‐1367.

Monday, March 5, 7-9pm, Location: River Market, 221 Main St N # 1  Stillwater, MN 55082, Movie Night Monday: Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop, “a documentary which follows award-winning journalists, Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes, as they travel across America in search of independent small businesses. The filmmakers speak to economists, activists, political leaders, union members, and concerned Americans from all walks of life. They also meet with a top executive from the corporate giant: Wal-Mart.”.Cost: FREE. Registration required. Call (651) 439-0366.

Monday, March 19, 6-6:30pm, Location: River Falls Area Hospital, WI, Breastfeeding Basics, helps mom and baby get off to a good start in breastfeeding. Taught by a certified lactation consultant. Cost: FREE. For more information, call the hospital at 715-307-6330.

Wednesday, March 21, 7pm, Location: MCAD, Auditorium 150, Sustainable Film Series: Living Lightly/Permaculture: A quiet revolution, Living Lightly “offers a magical glimpse into a world where the 21st century family lives with the land and the season in a corner of New Brunswick, Canada,” and Permaculture is “a documentary by Vanessa Schultz featuring leading permaculturists including the Water Institutes Brock Dolman. Be sure to “stay after for a lively discussion about the movie and relevant sustainable topics.” Cost: FREE.

Thursday, March 29, 6:30pm, Location: Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Honoring the Earth, Transforming Our Communities: Winona LaDuke on Environmental Justice, “Internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist, Winona LaDuke will be speaking about her work regarding environmental justice and it’s impact on human rights and social justice. Attendees can gain insight regarding questions like: What is environmental and what does it have to do with me? How does environmental justice go beyond ‘going green?’ What can I do to affect change in my community?”Cost: FREE. RSVP online at z.umn.edu/winona.

Weekend Events:

Saturday, March 17, 11am-12pm, Location: Sumner Library, Minneapolis, Laughter Yoga, Lighten up! Laughter yoga combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing to bring about good health, joy and peace. Bring a mat to lie on. Cost: FREE. Register Online or call 612-543-6875 for more information.

Saturday & Sunday, March 17 & 18, Sat.: 10am-7pm, Sun.: 10am-5pm, Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Body Mind Life Expo“We want to help you to simplify your life, feel better, and become more centered. This year, be sure to join us at the Body Mind Life Expo! You won’t want to miss out on the expertise we have brought together to help you reach your health and fitness goals.” Also, don’t miss guest, O’Neal Hampton, season 9 contestant from The Biggest Loser. “Come listen to his inspiring story and stay to hear his exciting news!”  Cost: Payment required – $6 at the door contact for VIP ticketing.

Saturday, March 24, 8:30am-3:30pm, Location: Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland, Minneapolis, 7th Annual Twin Cities Sustainable Communities Conference: Linking Citizens and Cities for Sustainable Communities, this event is great for networking with people in the community who are dedicating their lives to all matters sustainability. Come to share your expertise, make a friend, or join an initiative. Registration required. Cost: FREE, suggested lunch donation $5-10. 

Saturday, March 31, 9am-4:30pm, Location: Neighborhood House, 179 Robie Street, St. Paul, Community Garden Spring Resource Fair “Nourishing Neighborhoods, Connecting Communities,” put on by Gardening Matters, “The annual hoe-down is back! An excellent chance to meet other gardeners and gardening organizations from around the metro area, glean what resources and opportunities are available to community gardens, and cultivate some new horticultural and organizational skills.” This year, meet keynote speaker, “Karen Washington, an active urban farmer, president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition and founding member of Black Urban Growers (BUGs). With over 20 years of experience working in New York City, Karen has developed abandoned lots into successful community  gardens and food initiatives.” Registration required, Cost: Suggested donation of $5-10.