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

Baby steps toward self sufficience and greenocity

There will be 2 more entries about strawberries … May 24, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,gardening,green living — razberiswrl @ 3:06 pm
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You know … as a warning … it’s what’s going on RIGHT NOW, so it’s what I’m talking about.

I took the kids to the farm yesterday, as promised.  I was frazzled, and forgot my containers, how very ungreen … I had to buy more.  Oh well.  Providing I make a habit of remembering them in the future, I have plenty to last quite some time.  I also forgot my camera.  *insert angry face*  I blame my mother-in-law.  She was distracting me.

So, I took a moment to show them what a good berry looks like, and what to avoid.  I showed them what overripe and underripe looks like, and I taught them how to pinch the stem so as not to yank the vines apart.  Then I set them to it!  I sent them ahead of me to pick, and I went over the vines after them, knowing that there was NO WAY they were even getting half the berries available.  I was totally right.  Anyway, it was hot, and I wasn’t fully awake yet,  and they were driving me crazy by running back to me and asking if every single berry was a good one, LOL, so we only picked about 7 more pounds (I was hoping to get another 10 or so).

Here they are with our bounty (cell phones … they save the day.  Mine, in particular, produces very fuzzy pictures) :

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What’s so hard about dropping it in the smaller can right NEXT to the bigger can??? March 2, 2008

That was my question to A when I got home from work yesterday.

This is the part of my blog where *dragging my family kicking and screaming* comes into play…

So, I’ve been really happy with myself for having the resolve (and memory) to take the recycling bin to the curb for the last couple of Thursday nights, and finding an unused small trash bin to hold recyclables in the kitchen for once daily dumping into the larger can outside.  Last night I got home to find spaghetti o’s cans in the regular trash can.  I pulled them out while screeching  …  well, re-read the title … that’s what I screeched at A.  It’s not as if the smaller ‘recyclables’ can was full …  WTF???  His response?  “Look, you’re the only one in this house that actually CARES about this crap.”

Nice.  Real nice.

So I trash picked the cans, a huge (well, 64oz) juice bottle, and a couple other random things.  The recyclables internment can was full, so I made E take it outside.  What was so hard about that???  Child labor is free A!  Don’t be a big jerk!!!

 

The first thing I did was … February 4, 2008

Filed under: frugal living,green living — razberiswrl @ 6:19 pm
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Note: I like ellipses … (and I don’t think that is the plural for the word either)

So the first thing I did was make my own laundry detergent. It was easy. It was cheap. I don’t know if I like it. I don’t have any valid complaints, it’s just not “the same” or “normal.” I’m sure I’ll get used to it though, I can deal, there are NO phosphates …

You wanna make yours too??? COOL! Let me share the recipe!

You will need:

Fels-Naptha soap: I got this at the grocery store. Pathmark to be exact (if you live near me) in the laundry stuff aisle. Looks like a bar of soap. Cost me $1.09

Borax: Also found with the laundry stuff in the grocery store. It’s a 4lb box of power. Cost me $2.69.

Washing soda: Guess where I found it. Come on. GUESS!!!! OK, samae place I got all the other crap. Specifically Arm&Hammer SUPER Washing Soda. That’s right. It’s SUPER! About 3 or so pounds in this box. Cost me $2.99

Water: Hope you know where to get that …

Lecithin: OPTIONAL! I do not have this yet. It supposedly costs 6 bucks or so for I don’t know how much … found at health food stores.

Essential oil: OPTIONAL! I also do not have this. The price varies a lot depending on what flavor you like best. Tea Tree oil is pretty basic, can be found anywhere, decently cheap, and it kills germs …

Three gallons worth of containers. I would suggest using old laundry detergent bottles. No one will ever know what you’ve done … I would not suggest using jelly jars. It’s just not practical, ya know?

What you need to do:

Grate about 1/3 of the Fels-Naptha (I used my cheese grater, it’s way clean now …), then toss it in a largish pot with 4 or 5c water over low heat. Once the soap is melted, add 1 cup of the borax and 1 cup of the washing soda. Stir it real good, till everything is combined/dissolved. At this point, you can do one of 2 things: go the cheap route, or go all the way!

The cheap route:

Divide mixture between 3 gallon size containers (or a combination of containers that totals about three gal), fill to the top with water, and shake well to combine. If you go this route, know this: this shit gets clumpy! And separates!! You’ll need to shake the hell out of it before every use. How do I know, you ask … Duh, this is the route I chose!!!

The all the way route:

Add a couple of tablespoons of lecithin and a couple of ounces of essential oil to the mixture, then divide among the containers, and fill to the top with water. Shake to combine.

Supposedly, the lecithin keeps this stuff from separating. I can’t vouch for that, as I haven’t tried it yet, but I will report as soon as I do!

I use this soap just like normal soap. I fill the cap of another bottle, toss it in the machine while it’s filling, then toss the clothes in, and slam the lid. I WILL be trying the lecithin and essential oil for the next batch. The clumpiness of it all is just aggravating, but I NEED my laundry to smell like French whores wore it first!

The effect on the unwilling participants: none! Aside from A, they have no idea. I do all the laundry (COMPLAIN!!! I COMPLAIN!!!) so they don’t know jack …

The main benefits of this detergent are that it contains no phosphates, which are deadly to the environment and commonly found in household detergents, and it is super cheap. For the price of about 1 or 2 bottles of commercial laundry detergent, you can easily make 20 gallons of this stuff!

In the interest of full disclosure, this laundry soap recipe was not my original idea, nor is it the only recipe on the net. Google it, you’ll see!

 

What’s your point anyway???

Filed under: green living — razberiswrl @ 3:21 pm
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So, a million years after the first blog, here I am:  “Yeah, I guess I want to do that …”

My point?  To chronicle the mess that is sure to be the greenification/naturalification of my life.  It’s gonna be a wild ride because I have a significant other (A) and three kids (I, E, and M) that are coming with, whether they like it or not!

Why would you want to read my blog?  Oh, I dunno … maybe because I’m amazing and you worship me???  Duh.  Or because you might like some ideas on how to do things like make your own household cleaners or cheap and easy ways to create healthy food that contains no (or very little) artificial crap and/or unnecessary additives without expending a metric shit ton of energy.

And that is the point.  I want to do things that are better for our Earth and better for our bodies, while maintaining the lazy factor.  Oh yes, I’m a lazy mo-fo.  I don’t want to do it if it isn’t easy.

I guess it’s been done.  But not by MY family!!!

Here I go …