Showing posts from February, 2011

Phones and batteries

We bought a set of Panasonic phones from Costco after we moved to Wetaskiwin - about 4 years ago, maybe 4.5.  The thing I HATE about cordless phones is that it is generally more expensive to replace the batteries than it is to buy new phones.  So when phone #1 (of 3) stopped keeping a charge, I put it away without even looking at the battery.  Then the other day I noticed that phone #2 wasn't holding a charge.  With only one phone left, I thought maybe I should look into the cost of batteries. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the back and saw two rechargeable AAA batteries.  No "special" battery needed.  The batteries are Ni-MH batteries and were replaceable (2 sets) for $15 at Wal Mart (we live in a small town, the only place to buy anything tends to be Wal Mart - I wouldn't shop there if I had other, close options).  So I don't have to throw the phones into the landfill and buy new ones.  Yay!!  Charged up phone #1 and it is working!  I'm so very hap

Granola Bars

One thing that has been bugging me a lot lately is food packaging.  So I've been making all our own bread, tortillas, cookies, muffins, etc. to avoid the plastic bags and clamshells.  Individually wrapped items are particularly annoying - like granola bars or snacks for kids' lunches.  Aside from the packaging, most of these foods also have undesirable preservatives and sweeteners in them.  We had some chocolate chips to use up (which, unfortunately came in plastic bags, but are also available at most bulk stores), so I tried something I've been thinking about for a while:  Home made granola bars.  I used the same recipe I make our cereal granola out of , but added chocolate chips.  I didn't add any fruit.  Before I put them in the oven, I packed the granola good and tight and then scored it to granola bar-sized pieces.  I compacted and scored it again when I turned the temp down to 200.  And again when I turned off the oven. And it seems to have worked: Look l

Upcycled tablecloth to tote

When I started clearing crap out of our house, my friend, Marie, suggested that some of the old linens I had might be used to make beautiful things.  Well, I sent a box of them to her this week, but I kept a couple for myself thinking that it would be a good idea to make something.  This tablecloth was one - and as I packed Marie's box, I started to think what I could make from this: It was one of the ones I got from my Grandmother's house when she moved out.  It had a pre-printed pattern for embroidery and someone in the past lovingly embroidered it by hand.  Might have been my grandmother, mom, aunt or a friend - not sure (Mom, do you know?).  Anyhow I didn't use it as a tablecloth because it was stained in several places:  As many of you know, we're headed to Florida on vacation, and I thought it would be nice to have a new bag to carry lunch and such in.  So this is what I came up with.  I already had some lovely brown cotton and combined it with parts of the tab

Homemade Laundry Detergent

In my attempt to reduce plastic packaging, I, like many others, have decided to forego liquid laundry detergent.  I liked liquid laundry detergent.  You didn't have to worry about it dissolving properly in the water.   But the packaging was making me mad (remember that plastic can't be truly recycled, only down-cycled), and I really don't think it's fair to the Earth to add plastic to her just because I "liked" it better. To get past the smells that I find very strong, and to save a little money I've started making my own instead of buying powdered detergent (the ingredients of which I'm really not sure about).  And I've been doing it for months - thanks, Cathy, for the recipe.  It takes a little time to grate the soap, but it's worth it to me to save the plastic and the money. 1 bar Sunlight Soap grated 2 cups washing soda 2 cups Borax All can be found in the laundry aisle at our local Safeway.  You only have to use about 1/8 of a cup

Come on 3,000

I am only 10 page hits away from 3000 - since last August.  It's not the biggest readership in blogdom, but I'm happy with it.  Many of you have expressed your thanks in my writing and many of you are good friends who keep track of me by reading my blog.  And it all makes me feel great.  So onwards and upwards past the 3000 mark.  I do have some regular readers that I don't know.  And I thank you for that.  It's great to think I'm connecting with people around the world.  We are, after all, connected anyhow.  Nice to do it in "person". So have a great day and keep reading!  I'll keep writing.

Have you noticed?

Don't know if you've noticed, but I've been a little quieter on the blog lately.  I'm not sure why that is.  Is it that I've had nothing to write about?  Doubt it.  There always SOMETHING to write about.  Is it because I've been busy and just hadn't had time to think about something to write about?  Maybe.  But I haven't had the usual discourse going on in my mind that requires I write about it.  Maybe it's because I've been reading a couple of very introspective books that have drawn me way in deep, negating the need to go deep on the blog.  Not sure.  The books are:  "Converstions with God, An Uncommon Dialogue, Part III" by Neal Donald Walsh and "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise L. Hay.  Both books are really great for me.  I couldn't say they'd be great for everyone, but if you're interested in going deep, you might consider taking a look. So, I'll continue to go deep with them, and hopefully something

Factory Meat

I just read the article attached to the link above (click the title).  A man has been working on creating meat in a factory - growing meat without an animal.  Let me just say right off that I figure nature (God, if you prefer) already has figured this out for us - made all the mistakes and provided us with solid food.  Secondly, I do agree that some people can live without meat - and if I could, I would, but when I go without meat my blood sugar levels get really screwed up.  So I DO eat meat - most of which is attained from the local Hutterite colony whose cows craze in a beautiful field.  And I eat FAR less than I used to. I have major concerns with the whole idea that we even think this should even be attempted.  (I also have huge concerns with GMOs and think that in 50 years we're going to look back at them as a huge mistake).  If we look back on the past 100 years or so, there have been lots of miracle solutions out there:  Petroleum provided us with cheap transportation (an