Independence Days – So I Hennaed my Hair

Photo by: Henna Sooq

It’s been another exceptionally quiet weekend. I’m starting to get quite accustomed to slow days after a hurley burley couple of years. Apart from dinner at friend’s last night, the highlight of the weekend was dyeing my hair using henna.

I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time, but had been warned that it was time consuming and that I should set aside half a day. Yesterday was that day. I used Light Mountain Natural Color The Gray in Dark Brown and I must say I’m very happy with the result. Yes…it takes longer than chemical treatment and it’s a bit messy to deal with, but the colour looks fantastic and my hair is lovely and soft today. My grey patch is completely covered and looks like golden highlights now. I might set aside some time to write a post on the whole experience if anyone is interested.

Apart from that, it’s been raining here again this weekend. We can almost set our watch to the rain since it’s arriving so regularly on the weekends. This is not the Southern California I’ve known until now. This morning we were supposed to go on an Edible Bike Tour around some local gardens organised by San Diego Food Not Lawns, and I’m so disappointed that it’s pouring with rain. I’m hoping they reschedule.

In the meantime, I’m watching the documentary Collapse featuring Michael Ruppert. It’s excellent, but does cause one’s heart-rate to rise somewhat.

OK…onto this week’s update.


  • I’m making the most of the rainy weekend to work on our 72-hour emergency kit. We have most of what we need, it’s just spread throughout the house. Time to get it all in a To-Go bag. Once I have it all together, I’ll let you know what we have in it.

Getting Off the Economic Grid

  • Brendan got a new client referred to him this weekend for his bike maintenance business. He’s really enjoying working on different bikes and learning new skills. This week, he’s also taught himself how to build bicycle wheels so he can now do pretty much anything to fix a bicycle. We’re looking for 2nd-hand bike trailers on Craigslist so we can also transport loads on bicycle in the future.

Stockpiling Food

  • This week I tried something new with our oranges. We didn’t much like the Orange Marmalade I made last year, so this time I tried Orange Chutney. I haven’t tasted it yet, but Brendan assures me that it’s delicious. We love relishes and chutneys and since we don’t have any of my regular ingredients (apples, tomatoes or peppers) growing in the garden at the moment, I’m pleased to have been able to expand my repertoire.

Grow some food

  • I may have mentioned previously that we didn’t have much success growing carrots from seed this last couple of years. Of 100 seeds, this is our one success. It’s a little stumpy, but at least it’s the right colour! We had a little ceremony to celebrate the unearthing of our one carrot.
  • See our lovely snow pea plants in the background? They are  monsters and now over 6 feet tall! A friend of mine wants seeds so he can grow them for the beautiful flowers they produce. Clever peas…they suck you in with pretty flowers so humans do the dirty work of spreading their seed!

  • I’ve almost given up on broccoli. Last year they got mauled by caterpillars, and this year they aren’t growing very enthusiastically. Maybe they sense my disdain. One seedling bolted almost immediately after producing a head the size of a quarter. At least it’s pretty.
  • On a positive note: collards, spinach and snow peas are all producing nicely.
  • I sowed the following seeds this weekend: bush beans, onions, leeks and beets. It’s time to start warm season crops, but until the collards are done I have no room for them.
  • My herb garden has also grown back nicely after a dormant winter.

Reducing Energy Dependence

  • We had a good long chat with our friends last night about reducing energy dependence. They even let us look at their gas and electricity bill and were open to suggestions about how to reduce their consumption. I think when we told them how much we used (less than half their usage) they might have taken it as a personal challenge to cut back. We’ll see.


  1. I would love if you would guest post on my blog one day! 🙂

    I henna’d my hair once- a reddish color. I liked it! It was a pain to do though.

    Your blog is really inspiring. A lot of self sufficiency blogs are doomers, and I hate that!

  2. nice garden! I’ve never had great luck with carrots either, but keep trying! Dig deep and loosen up the soil well.
    I used to henna my hair, long ago, to get nice red color. Now I’m embracing the slowly encroaching grey. There are many gporgeous grey haired ladies out there – try to notice them!
    Love your blog.

  3. I’m curious about henna. I go to an Organic Hairdresser and I have to say it was one of the smarter things I’ve done but it would be nice to be able to colour my hair myself. I’m over 90% grey and that was before I turned 40 and it is not a good look for me.

  4. Broccoli has to be one of the hardest things to grow ever. Everything seems to love it (not just people).

    We have been growing it experimentally for a couple of years now and our main problem is caterpillars and aphids. This year though, one of our plants did not get attacked, while the others did.

    Sadly, we didn’t get to save any seeds from it. But it grows for a few years, so we will keep it alive and see what we can get from it next year. We may end up with a broccoli variety that can look after itself without having to be sprayed with pesticides.

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