Me going green … and dragging my family with me, kicking and screaming!

Baby steps toward self sufficience and greenocity

Criss-cross applesauce May 24, 2009

Filed under: cleaning,frugal living,green living,no poo — razberiswrl @ 2:54 pm
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So, 6 whole weeks into the no poo thing.  I have not used commercial shampoo or conditioner for SIX weeks.

This fact still stuns me.  Anyway …

So, my scalp issues have not gotten any better.  In fact, I think they’re getting worse but in a slightly different way.  Bigger patches, smaller flakes, more seeping, more itching.  I don’t know WHAT to think at this point, but I’ve decided to try some new things to try to pinpoint the cause.  I mean, this could just be something that won’t go away, but I’d like to see if I can at least ease my suffering, ya know?  So, I was thinking about the thing that is most problematic with commercial shampoo for people who strive to be low impact on the earth and not massage chemicals into their brain … Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate.  Look, I’m no chemist, but I took 2 college semesters of general chemistry, and I’m thinking … yeah, I know when you modify a molecule by adding or subtracting an atom, the result can be something very similar or something VERY VERY different (take margarine and plastic for instance, LOL, I hear they only differ by 1 atom or something  /sarcasm) … so I’m thinking Sodium Bicarbonate … Sodium Lauryl Sulfate … I know they’re different, but what if the problem FOR ME is the SODIUM??  So, I have to explore that.  Which brings me to the applesauce.

Yep.  This is going EXACTLY where you think it is.

I read on Live Journal that you can wash your hair with applesauce (AS from here on out), and I DID IT.

And I DID NOT LIKE IT!

I mixed 1/3c AS to 1/3c water and massaged it into my scalp Saturday evening.  Let it sit for a min, then  rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.  I’m not sure if I used too much, or too little, or maybe the amount I used was just right and I just dumped too much of it down my back on accident … I don’t really know.  All I know is that my hair was definitely greasy afterward, but the ends were SUPER dry and brittle feeling.   I also used a lemon juice rinse.  I really have to start using the variables 1 at a time so I can pinpoint better, LOL!   So, I am going to try the AS again in a couple of days, I used BS/ACV today because I had to work, and I needed to be clean, LOL!

I will most likely try AS with an ACV rinse in 2 days.  I think I will not dilute the AS with water this time.  I will just plop it on my head and mush into my scalp.

We shall see …

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Strawberry bounty!! May 22, 2009

Filed under: cooking,frugal living,gardening,green living — razberiswrl @ 1:18 pm
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I went to a local farm to pick strawberries this morning after I dropped the fam off at work/school.  This is the first week of the season here in New Jersey.  It will run for about 3 weeks.

Crappy cell phone pic of Sporacio Farms:

I picked just shy of 10 pounds.  They cost me just over 13 bucks!  I think I’ll take the kids back tomorrow morning.  We’ll have to get up EARLY though.  I also stopped at Walmart for a case of pint canning jars and some accessories.  I will attempt canning for the first time tonight.  I can’t wait.  I’m going to make standard and sugar free strawberry jam.

This is actually a really important event for me, as canning is a family tradition I have wanted to carry on for a long time.  I’ve just never worked up the nerve to give it a shot on my own.  I used to can all sorts of things with my grandmother, and I can’t WAIT to call her this evening to tell her I did it myself!  She will be pleased.  There aren’t too many people that carry on family traditions these days, whether they be the art of canning one’s own food, knitting or crocheting or making traditional recipes for the holiday, and in my family, I am the only one who has any interest in all of the above.  Le sigh … hopefully I can instill the love of tradition I have in my own children.  I wonder what went wrong with my cousins that makes them not give a damn?  Oh well.  There’s no accounting for the actions of others …

 

Freebies and a nice coupon code for iHerb.com May 20, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,green living — razberiswrl @ 10:05 pm
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I bought my coconut oil from iHerb.com a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, they are a pretty good company from my experience.  Shipping was fast, reasonably priced, and product was as described.  After I placed my order, they gave me a code to distribute good for $5 off any order of $5 or more.  SWEET DEAL!  They also offer free samples (you do have to pay shipping for them though, it wasn’t much for me, $2.30 for 6 samples)!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO iHerb.com

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FREE SAMPLE PAGE

Enter code COC164 at check out for $5 off your order. **

**please note, this is a referral code.  I will get a small kickback from your order.  You will have the opportunity to get your own referral code (if you want one) after you place an order.

 

WOO!! I found my camera cord! Pics!! May 18, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,gardening,green living — razberiswrl @ 12:16 pm
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It was exactly where I figured it would be … under the side table by the couch.  I just didn’t want to actually stick my hand under there.  Has a tendency to collect spider webs down there …  Ick.

Anywho.  I took pics of my “gardening!”  I hope you like to look at pictures of dirt!!

It was real nice out on either Tuesday or Thursday night of this last week, so I raked the weeds and crap out of the flower bed out front and planted a bunch of seeds.  Hopefully, in a couple of weeks time, I’ll see some cosmos, zinnias, canterbury bells, and something else that started with a C.  I don’t remember.  Oh!  I just remembered that I have a packet of holly hock and columbine seeds.  I should do something with them too.  They are a couple  of my favs!

I need to break up the hostas on the sidewalk side again, and fill in the short sides.  I just thinned them LAST year, that’s where the ones on the other side came from.  Sheesh, they are about the only things that grow well around here … and my guilty truth is that I don’t particularly care for them.  They (as well as the house) still belong to my beloved mother-in-law, so, for now …  they stay, but I want monkey grass.

Last Saturday, M and I planted our nasturtiums under the dogwood.  So far, only 1 tiny plant has made it through the soil, and you can’t even see it in the pic, LOL!

The same day, we planted the herbs in containers.  Nothing sprouting yet.  *cry* but here they are so far.  Notice my tomato plant and pack of pepper plants waiting patiently for A to get that ground tilled up out back …

The bricks are to keep the dog from stomping all over the pots and knocking them over.

 

Herbalicious May 13, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,gardening,green living,organic — razberiswrl @ 9:55 pm

It’s that time of year again, the time where I get the itch to go outside and make something grow.  Of course, I’ve never been all that successful, but year after year, I keep trying.  So, until I can get someone to till up a freaking little patch in the yard, I decided to start small.

Saturday was a gorgeous warm, sunny day with a soccer game bright and early, then a elementary school spring fair in the afternoon.  Once we were through with all of that, it was yardwork time.  After I finished trimming my evergreen hedge within an inch of its life, I decided to empty some pots that contained dead mums, and plant some herb seeds.  It took maybe 5 min.  Hopefully in a few days we’ll start to see sprouts of basil, chives, sage, rosemary, and cilantro.

M and I also filled the area around our dogwood tree with nasturtium seeds.  If they come up, there will be LOTS!  I put 3 seed packets worth in, LOL!  Overkill?  Maybe.  Fun?  You betcha!  I really should try harder to find my camera cable so I can empty the sd card and take some more damn pictures.  Stupid runaway cord.  😦

Speaking of nasturtium, I read that if you plant it and/or marigold in and around your vegetable garden, they will attract bugs thereby keeping them off your produce.  Nifty concept.  If I ever get that tilling done … I’m def gonna give it a shot.  The last time I had a garden, I relied on praying mantises to eat all my bugs (I bought an egg sack, and at least 100 of those suckers hatched!  It was cool as hell!!), the problem with them though, is that they have legs.  I still see mantises on occassion, but they can’t be kept in one spot.

Oh, and I think I’m going to try to DIY a “Topsy Turvy” upside down tomato contraption.  I got this cheapy bucket o’ margarita mix thing last week, and now that the ritas are gone, the bucket remains.  It’s kind of small though.  A gallon I guess.  So, I don’t know if the plant and soil and all that would be too heavy.  I’m going to have to research to see if there are smaller plants or something.  I’m thinking cherry tomatoes …

And now, it’s time for bed.  Night!

 

One whole month without washing my hair. OMG! May 12, 2009

Filed under: cleaning,frugal living,green living,no poo — razberiswrl @ 10:01 pm

FREAK!!!  That’s me …

I’m still completely astonished that SHAMPOO isn’t a necessary part of life.  I never ever ever even considered that something as basic as shampoo was optional in life until a month ago.

Anyway, the update is that it’s going well.  I wash with baking soda (1 tb to 1c water) with a few drops tea tree oil, and rinse with apple cider vinegar (1:10 ratio with water).  I let it air dry, and then rub a drop of olive oil between my palms to smooth over the top layer and ends to control frizz.  I straighted as usual with a flat iron, and then use another drop of olive oil if needed.  I do this every 4th day.

Several people I associate with over at BabyCenter Canada are also trying out the no poo lifestyle, but most of them are following the “Curly Girl” method of conditioner only washing.  Basically, you condition twice.  First time, you scrub your hair and scalp with the conditioner in the same manner you would with shampoo.  Second time is conditioning as usual.  It’s important to use a conditioner with no silicon derivative ingredients, so, nothing that ends in CONE.  Also stay away from sodiums, sulfates and words ending in XANE.  Most of the super cheap products foot the bill.  I have started this method with M.  I felt it appropriate because, well, she’s a curly girl.  So far, so good, although, it’s a gigantor pain in the ass. We have 6 varieties of V05 conditioner right now (not to use all at once) because it was $0.66/bottle at the grocery store last week.

Basically, my curly girl’s curls have been disappearing, especially in the back.  The back of her hair is just wavy these days, while the front is still spirally.  Her whole head used to be spirally.  When I read that the CG method helped restore curl, and then saw the pics, I knew I had to give it a shot with her.  We have CO washed exactly 3 times, and I’m starting to see more curl in the back of her hair!  This is very exciting.  I know that once we get it cut (she is growing it very very long to donate to make hair for sick kids), there will be more curl simply because of the weight difference, but even when it was shoulder length in September, there wasn’t a whole lot going on at the back of her head.  Hopefully that will change with prolonged CO washing.

So, as I’ve been typing this, A asked what I was writing about.  I told him I was blogging no poo.  He said “You better not start not washing my children’s hair …”  I told him that I had already started M, and he’s not happy.  Whatev.  He doesn’t deal with her crazy hair, so he has no say, MUAHA!  I told him as much, and he just rolled his eyes.  I really would like to test out BS/ACV on the boys.  I don’t think they would mind too much.  I just don’t think A would stand for it.  It’s already bad enough to listen to him whine and cry about the smell in the bathroom when I shower (the tea tree is strong, the vinegar is strong, I’ll admit it, it doesn’t smell good at ALL, but I deal.  I mean, the smell is GONE as soon as it’s down the drain.  Small price, ya know?).  And I’ve been thinking about the whole peer thing.  What if they told their friends “I don’t use shampoo …”  Geeze, I imagine that wouldn’t go over well with the elementary school crowd, LOL!  Teachers would probably call CPS on me or something …  EEK.  I dunno.  I still need to figure out a better way to mix up my potions for ease of use  (it’s kind of a pain to mix everything downstairs in drinking cups, and taking it upstairs to the bathroom, LOL), then I can worry about ‘dragging my family kicking and screaming …’

 

… but not THAT green … (no boys allowed) May 5, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,green living,laundry,recycling — razberiswrl @ 10:37 am

I’m going there. Menstruation … HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Look, I’m all for cloth diapering, washable pads, and menstrual cups, but … this stuff???

Crocheted tampons!!

Rolled up baby socks!!

SPONGES!!  OMG!!