Sunday, September 06, 2015

End House

This weekend we went to the End in Minecraft.  The newest snapshot has added some really neat new blocks and plants.  My favorite is the chorus Plant.  You can see it pictured above.  Those spiky, twisty turning purple plants have stolen my attention this weekend. They have flowers on top that you can use to use to replant the chorus plants and when you cut them down then they rain down fruit which can be used to make the purper blocks, pillars, stairs and slabs that are a delightful mauve color.

The End City Buildings
I was really happy by the changes in the End.  The new structures are innovative and fun to climb.  The shulker are a new mob that will drive you crazy.  They look like big purple blocks until they split open and reveal the creature inside.  That creature will spit spiky balls of damage at you.  But these are not normal projectiles; besides doing damage they give you the levitation effect and up you float into the air.

The sensation can be disorientating but very helpful in the parkour climbing you need to perform to make it up the towers.  It is better in my opinion to leave a shulker there to assist you in making the harder jumps that one must make to get to the treasure. And what amazing treasure it is.  I have never seen such booty of enchanted wonderfulness!  

The whole thing is still a work in progress so look out for invisible blocks and other weird anomalies.  We even found a note that something was in the works and we can't wait to see what that is.

Fighting was a bit of a learning curve with the new cool down on attacks and learning to use a shield but all in all it was a bunch of fun and we enjoyed ourselves.  I love the new spectral arrows; they fly really far and light up the mob with an aura that can be seen through objects.  Pretty darn neat!

The chorus fruit surprised me when I ate some in the End and teleported to a new location.  I tried it in the Overworld and this did not seem to happen; I just got happily full.  I think these may be one of the easiest fruits to grow and use on long journeys. All you need is a bit of End Stone, which can now be made into bricks, for the chorus flower to grow on.  You could easily bring a block with you and put it in the ground and then pillar up for the night and in the morning you would have more fruit. That would be great in a pinch.  Or you can plant them in a cave at your staging area and then when you run low on food you will have more fruit.  

When I take a plant or tree from the land in Minecraft I replant it.  In the villages if I take their stuff I replant it.  If I need meat and I have to kill animals, I always leave two so they can be bred to repopulate the area.  Managing resources is something that every player learns about who plays a survival scenario.  In a limited world you only have so much coal that you can find so you have to use wood to make charcoal.  Trees can be replanted but coal is gone once you have mined it all.

In a normal world this isn't really an issue since the chunks are never ending...but I always play as if I am part of an ecosystem, because I am.  I find it hard to live as if there is always more.  I need to be part of the process of  giving back to the cycle of renewal in any world.

The Earth that we live on has limited resources like coal and oil.  Plants if they are not replanted will die out just like animals who lose their habitats.  There are many herbs that are on the endangered list and I find myself wondering what I can do to help.  If real life were like Minecraft I would clear a hill away from the houses and plant species that grow well in that biome...but real life is not like Minecraft unfortunately.

This is something that I am going to be thinking about as I take my herbal classes and make my different salves, balms, scrubs and vinegar preparations.

There is so much on my mind right now.  

We are trying to eat a clean meal once a week as a family.  I shoot for 3 times a week for myself.  This is a new buzzword, but the concepts are not.  Eating clean means eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods.  Choose unrefined over refined foods.  Eat ingredients you can read.  Be mindful of how the food got to your plate.

Tonight I am making ratatouille.  It is wonderful for this time of year when we are overflowing with zucchini, squash and tomatoes.  The first time I made it I layered everything like they did in the Disney movie.  It was really beautiful and delicious.  Sometimes I chop everything up and cook it that way.  

We get our meat, dairy and produce from local organic farms.  If we can't eat organic we try to eat in local places that get their produce or meat from the local farms.  We know eating in these restaurants help to support the local farms.

More places are changing their menus to cleaner options.  People want to know what is in their food and more and more people are educating themselves before using a chemical they don't know...and this is good.

For example I eat KIND bars because I know what is in them and they taste good.  But taste is not just what it is about.  A company has to care what their impact is on the world around them.  AT KIND they believe in creating and maintaining the conditions that nurture a sustainable environment where humans and nature can exist in productive harmony. 

Plants need time to regrow, they are not a magical inexhaustible source.  Plants have natural seasons and times of year where their growth is in harmony with the environment around them. 

There is so much to consider because, everything we eat comes from somewhere.  I have been focusing on brands that care more about the world around them then the bottom line. I've been trying to switch to environmentally friendly brands and we use companies that focus on natural solutions for health, body and house cleaners.

This is nothing new for our family; we have been striving to cut down on toxic solutions to our body and our environment since our son was born 14 years ago.  Any relationship takes work and the bond we have with the Earth is no different.

So many things to think about...

I finished another Caitlin and I love the colors!  I also finally got it up on Ravelry.  It is a free download.

Also, I made Happenstance this week from Sock Yarn Shawls.  I love the way the tonal colors dance throughout this pattern.  I really enjoyed knitting something for pleasure again.  I have been so crazy with designing and making comissions that I started to forget the "why" of it all.  And that is most simply that I love to knit.

I love the feel of a soft yarn slipping through my fingers.  I love to watch the colors change and form new colors as they touch on a different hue.  I love to watch a ball of yarn turn into something so beautiful and new; and to know that a bit of me went into that creation.  I love the way knitting connects me to to something bigger...and ultimately that connection brings me back to the Earth itself.  I love the deeper connection to my ancestors that all knit as a way of keeping warm and giving back.

I really just love knitting.


I looked today at my brioche pattern and it has almost 1000 downloads!  Wow!

There is so much going on right now.

I'm working on some new herbal products that are targeted to the dryness that comes in winter.  They should be ready in a few weeks.  My foot scrub is doing really well and my client base is slowly growing; which is great.  I like slow growth it gives me time to breathe and catch up.

I passed my first exam so I am off to unit 2.

The house smelled so good this weekend.  On Saturday I did a healing and we smudged with frankincense, myrrh and dragon's blood and then on Sunday we crocked a pork roast with garlic, turnips, parsnips and sweet potatoes.  The scent was heavenly as the roast danced with the healing smoke.  I felt so balanced and at peace with my talents and myself.

I realize this post is long and disjointed, but really it is not because these are all facets of my life coming together in a beautiful dance that I really am blessed to be a part of.

Hugs to everyone.  

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