More Cats!!! The Scratching Post Cafe

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Starting in 2017, we chose a monthly cause and will donate 10% of our sales to support said organization, project, human, etc. It will always be a cause that Mushpa + Mensa believes brings more love, hope, and peace to this world.

This month we will be supporting our soon-to-be local coffee shop and cat rescue center: The Scratching Post Cafe! What is better than coffee and cats? Mushpa would argue than nothing comes close.

Meow!

The Scratching Post Café, Wilmington’s first Cat Café plans to offer delicious, fair trade Guatemalan coffee, organic teas, and healthy food options for Wilmington residents and visitors! They will be the first of their kind here in our area, offering delicious refreshments all while being able to play and hang out with adoptable, cuddly kitties! Their ultimate mission is to give cats a loving and comfortable environment until they get adopted and get to go to a loving home!

Purrfect!

– Mushpa + Mensa

 

Everyday is Caturday

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Are you obsessed with cats?  Here at Mushpa + Mensa we are too, and we have discovered a few deliciously purrrfect fixes to get your caturday on.

  1. The Purrrcast

We love podcasts. We cannot get enough. What happens when you love cats and you find a podcast all about cats? Well purrrfection that is. Steven Ray Morris and Sarah Iyer cohost the Purrrcast where they chat with their friends and other feline fans about the furry little creatures they love.

You can check out episodes on iTunes or wherever you get your usual podcast fix and be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

2. Cats of Instagram

Why is it that these creatures capture us so? Well even the Egyptians couldn’t help themselves. Now we can get a zillion pictures and cute videos of cats on demand! Here is one of our favorite accounts of cats on Instagram that we love.

Elvis and Mimi: the two furry friends behind My Favorite Murder (another highly recommended podcast). We most definitely enjoy Elvis, a cross-eyed Siamese cat who loves cookies. What a sweet baby angel!

Need more? Just look up #catsofinstagram but I am sure if you are obsessed with cats, that is your favorite hashtag.

3. Cats in Hollywood

If you google “movies about cats” you will find a gazillion. The other day though, on Netflix,  we found one that made us smile, had great actors in it, and truly got to the point of why cats are how they are…which is pretty much sassy human beings stuck in a cat body so we could learn a lesson.  It’s not an Oscar award film, but if you love cats, then you will get why we though it was fun.  Here is a preview. Enjoy!

4. Your Cat is the BOSS Shirt

So after all this cat obsession, what does that tell you? That YOUR cat is THE BOSS. That is why Mushpa + Mensa created a delicious organic cotton tee with the face of world famous Jefferson Brooklyn the First, AKA El Jefe which translates to “the boss.” Show your boss some love with this shout out to cats all over the world.

You can get this tee online at www.mushpamensa.com and enjoy a FREE gift for your cat (an awesome catnip filled toy handmade by us Mushpa + Mensa) with coupon code: CATURDAY.

Happy purrs,

Mushpa + Mensa

Listen To Some Music While Doing Some Good #LessWasteChallenge

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Take the #LessWasteChallenge and recycle your old toys!

TerraCycle and Tom’s of Maine have partnered to create a free recycling program for used/loved toys from now through April 30!!!

You can send those old or broken toys to TerraCycle for free, courtesy of Tom’s of Maine. Here is how easy it is!

  1. Request your free shipping label

2. Fill a box with toys (10 pounds per box)

3. Send TerraCycla your toys to be recycled

Free shipping labels are available until April 30th and your toys may be in any condition!

Broken toys. Used toys. Forgotten toys. Instead of bagging them up and putting them on the curb, try recycling.

This year, Tom’s of Maine challenges you to reduce 1 lb of waste per week through the #LessWasteChallenge. And they want to help you meet this goal by providing a free recycling program for your old toys.

Toy Condition: Your toys may be in any condition. Instead of being thrown away, these old toys will be sorted and recycled into cool, new creations.

Less to the dump, R6 it!

– Mushpa

Grow Your Own Pineapples

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In this video, Mark lets us know to only buy pineapples with tops at the stores or farmer’s market, any others without tops he says those sellers can, “go stuff themselves!” :] Other truth bombs he drops on us are, no need to soak in water just cut the head off leaving an inch of the fruit to give them some extra energy, then “bang the head into the ground” and add some water.

He gives us some more knowledge in the video, but I will let you watch and learn the rest on your own if you so choose!

Free fruit! Pictures in the future here.

– Mushpa

Pledge Truth

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The news needs to be true. You can help make truth possible by checking out Factcheck.org as a starting point. Let yourself get lost in finding the truth and then spread it all over that wondrous world wide web.

Factcheck.org sister sites include FlackCheck.org, which provides resources to help you recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular, and SciCheck, which sniffs out false and misleading scientific claims.

Want more? The people at Politifact have broken down a seven step process.

Other good fact-checking sites include Snopes, the Washington Post fact-checker, and OpenSecrets.org, which collects data on political spending.

Something to do right now if you so choose…

Tweet #pledgetruth and spread the word.

Facts are black & white! I took the pledge and you can too. :]

Let us not get lost in the static.

– Mushpa

How To Tie A Bowline Knot For Hanging A Hammock

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Mushpa + Mensa got a hammock in Ecuador last Christmas, but had not hung up said hammock as we had no idea how to do it! Me, I am from NYC and we are not in the business of hanging hammocks, so I delved into the world wide web for some answers. I even used my own mystery solving brain and incorporated this new knowledge of knots towards hanging this hammock in a way we would never crack our skulls on the pavement. I am here now to share this wisdom with you via the video above.

The bowline knot is a pretty amazing knot. It is real simple to tie and will make it so not only can you hang your hammock using 4 knots and 2 pieces of rope, but you can also tie your boat to the dock and not worry about it floating away, you can tie your horse outside the saloon, climb the Appalachian Mountains, tie your camping treats up in a tree out of Yogi bear’s greedy little paws and last but not least, rescue damsels in distress out of wells. It’s a hero’s knot really.

Mensa and I have both sat in the hammock together for some time now and it held us perfectly, swinging and all! I am the heroine of hammock hanging, here to save the day!

Enjoy.

– Mushpa

Sidenote – I did not show it in the video, but I burned the 4 ends of the pieces of rope to make sure they did not fray. Better safe than sorry.

Mushpa’s Lesbian Chic Flick Preview Reviews

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I know you all have been waiting for my 2017 lesbian flick preview reviews to come out. Keep in mind they are not all from 2017, that is just when I reviewed said previews. It is 3AM on a Tuesday, raining, perfect.

I have not seen any of the actual movies yet as they are either not officially out or because I now live in an endearing little town in the South that does not have a place to watch said films. I should be the one to remedy this.

The first film is, La Luciérnaga (The Firefly) from 2013. A sister loses her brother and then falls in love with his widow.

Next is Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden) a 2016 South Korean erotic psychological thriller. It’s based on one of my all time favorite BBC series, written by lesbian Sarah Waters, Fingersmith. Watch it first! This should be breathtaking.

Next is Lovesong. No regrets. 2016 release. May not be a full fledged lesbo flick, but you know…. :]

Last, but not least, Heartland – 2016. Death, The South, lesbians, and love, I can’t wait.

Movies are art. Art is life. Life is connecting.

Love to all,

Mushpa

The Eco Trio: Tagua, Pambil, and Acai Jewelry

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Many of the pieces that are made here at Mushpa + Mensa, use little, medium and larger seeds from the amazon rain-forest, collected specifically from Ecuador.

As a native Ecuadorian, I am able to travel back to my childhood country, bring my lady with me, and browse though many of the outdoor markets that sell these wonderful seeds, which we then take and make our eco-jewelry from.

So what are the three seeds?

Tagua:

The largest of all the seeds is tagua, although in other Latin American countries it can be referred to as vegetable ivory, palm ivory, marfim-vegetal, corozo, or jarina, the seeds all still derive from the same genus of palms: Phytelephas. There as six known species of this palm that thrive from Panama, to Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru.

tagua-fruit

Often it is referred to as “eco-ivory” because it has the same characteristics of elephant ivory, as it can be carved very easily as well as dyed with different colors, and it is hard and unbreakable and can be polished beautifully.

tagua-2

The female palm is the one that bears the fruit, which falls from the trees and  inside it holds usually 4 individual nuts. The immature fruit is usually sweet and soft, while the mature fruit has transformed into a harder that wood nut covered in a brown shell, which can later be used for multiple projects, like our tagua necklaces!

Pambil:

red-pambil

The second seed we often use is called pambil, and it is another palm from the Ecuadorian rain forest. This palm tree known scientifically as  Iriartea deltoidea,  which can grow between 20-35 meters tall and can be “easily recognized by the prominent bulge in the center of its trunk, and the stilt roots, which form a dense cone up to 1 m in diameter at the base.” It is also surrounded by a brown shell covering that can be removed and either left naturally as a cream color, or can be dyed as well.

Acai:

pambil

This is the smallest of the seeds we use. It is pronounced ah-s-ah-ee, and it is found in the tropical Amazon rain forest. It has recently been popularized in the United States as a super food for its rich antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and you can find it in juices, body products and supplements.

It has also been used by indigenous tribes for centuries as one of their most important sources of daily nutrition, and has been cultivated also for building materials and artisan crafts using its palm leaves and seeds. It also mostly cultivated as a source for hearts of palm! Delicious.

But here at the Mushpa + Mensa studio, we use it as the third in the trio of our sustainable seed collection.

tagua-pambil-necklace

All of these seeds are free from petroleum based products like many conventional beads, and free from animal cruelty. They are harvested by local communities as a source of income, and their popularization in recent years has allowed for many of these communities to build themselves up from the sustainable sources that the tropical rain-forests of Ecuador provides.

Now that you have a better knowledge of our trio of seeds, take a look at our shop and see what inspires you!

-Mensa

What to Read Next: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

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dinah-eyes

I must admit I do not devour books. Reading was not something I grew up with as a child, but I have learned to become a better reader over time. Every time I finish a book, I find some sort of peace. I seek out knowledge through books, and I try to read a little every day. Sometimes though, a book captures me in such a way, that I become obsessed with the world inside it. I live it, I dream about it, think about it and it consumes me. The Red Tent was one of these books.

The subject matter? Women of ancient times. Specifically one woman: Dinah, mentioned only once in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. Her story comes to life. Her youth, her traditions, and the red tent. A place where women of ancient civilizations used to gather during the new moon, to observe their menses, and bring ritual and in some cases honor the life bearing blood that fills wombs every month.

Not only did the story of Dinah, daughter of Lea, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah bring knowledge of ancient womanhood practices, including midwifery and births, marriage, sex, and a young girls turning of age through her period. My journey with these women, made me understand the strength of the covens that formed during times where their stories, and names were barely mentioned.

red-tent

This story is rooted on the Bible story of “The Rape of Dinah” in Genesis 34, where the episode of her violation by Shechem is later avenged by her brothers Simeon and Levi on the city of Hamor, father of Shechem.

The Bible is a book where the female is scantly sacred, where lineage is remembered by fathers, and where the births of sons is most honorably, and women’s honor is due for the rise of power for man and tribe. Anita Diamant transforms the stories of Laban, Rachel, Lea, Jacob and Joseph and flips it on its head. She remains true to the old written word, but delves into a world lost by time filling in the gaps of Dinah’s story.  A woman’s world where magic, wisdom, strength and faith are rooted on the spirit of the female.

I give praise to The Red Tent, for it gave me sight into a world where eyes need to go, where women ought to be honored, and most of all remembered.

If you love history, if you want knowledge of ancient womanhood, and if you want to dive deep into a story of love, magic and blood, then I invite you to open the pages of this book.

Thank you to the author, and thank you to Dinah, whatever your real story may have been, today we remember you had a story too, and we honor your story now.

With love,

-Mensa