spring cleaning

Happy first day of spring! It’s still pretty cold and wet here in Vancouver, but I can’t help but feel excited about the prospect of new beginnings and warmer days that accompany this time of year. So, to celebrate I have two things to share with you today. First, a poem by Robert Frost in celebration of Spring.

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

I love the idea of staying present and grateful for life today, and remaining in “the springing of the year” (isn’t that a great phrase?) instead of darting off to future worries. Frost can be a bit sarcastic at times, but this poem seems quite transparent and genuine and I found myself resonating deeply with it.

The second bit I wanted to share with you is a quick little project that I created with my trusty Adobe Photoshop software – I love Adobe! Anyway, last year J and I endeavored to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and we kept track of our journey through this blog. Well, we’re still holding fast to the lessons we learned throughout the year and just recently I finally made up some cute labels to go with our homemade cleaning supplies as I was forever having to look-up the recipes whenever we need to restock our stores. The labels make it super easy to whip together another batch of all-purpose cleaner or furniture polish – and they are stylish to boot! These recipes are all natural and non-toxic so you won’t fill your nicely cleaned home with harsh chemicals that are nasty for you and the environment. They are also much cheaper than the natural cleaning products for sale in the shops and since you are making them you can customize the scents to suit your preferences. What could be better than that?


Want to make some of your own? Just click on the PDF link “cleaning-recipes” to download and then print the sheet out on a page of sticker paper, attach to reusable spray bottles, mix up the recipe and you’ll be good to go! Hope you enjoy!



  • Marcia


    This may be my new favorite poem. I’m going to celebrate this day, just as it is, with no worrying about tomorrow. Hooray for the sunshine and warmth of Spring!!!

    I’m also excited to try out your natural cleaning supplies – the idea of putting the recipe is a GREAT idea!

    Have a wonderful day!



  • Dad

    Okay, Mom said she was going to cook up some cleaning supply recipes. I’m with her all the way. We are going to clean green…isn’t that keen. :) (and you thought Robert Frost had a way with words.)

  • Janice


    Love this post! I’m still trying to live more green each day and look back to your Living Green Blog for ideas often.

    Where do I purchase essential oils? Health food store? Somewhere else?

    I would love to make my own cleaners.

    The school I teach at actually uses a cleaner called h2Orange that is good for the environment – which I love since it gets sprayed all over the kitchens my students cook in.

    Thanks for continuing to inspire me!

    • sparrowhopes

      Hi Janice! I’m so glad you liked the green cleaning supplies. I’ve purchased my essential oils from a local organic grocer that has a great natural body care section. You can also order essential oils online, the following are a couple I have used in the past.
      Mountain Rose Herbs
      Essential Oil
      I really like using lemon grass, but also like the combo of lemon and spearmint, lavender and vanilla, and orange and vanilla… I’ve also used almond for my furniture polish and I really liked the comforting scent it leaves.

      Enjoy, and let me know how you like the recipes!
      PS I love your new blog – thanks for continuing to challenge and inspire with your honesty and vulnerability!

  • Marla Kay

    Hey Sister! I love this entry! Your thoughtful reflections blessed my soul…thank you for sharing this wonderful spring time poem with us, that has precious reminders to carry us through each of the coming seasons of the year. AND, thank you so much for sharing your cleaning recipes with us! I have been wanting to start making my own=)! Thank you for sharing your heart and brilliant, creative ideas with us again! You never cease to amaze me….Your adoring fan, Mari

    PS-Dad, now stop that rhyming, I mean it!…Does anybody have a peanut? (Ryan’s contribution)

  • Janice


    Thanks for thte info. I think I will make my own cleaning products one of my fun ‘I’m off work for the summer’ projects when I actually have the time to dream and try a few new things.