Monday, July 30, 2007

This and That....

Today's photograph is of orchids growing in the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.

What did I do this weekend? I felt like I got a lot done. Spread four more bags of wood chips in the front, planted a few things. Restrained myself from slapping the shit out of the loud-mouthed bitch across the street who yelled at me that my yard looks like a wilderness in front of her equally stupid friends. She wants me to pay her jobless husband to do my yard work. I don't think so! He charges twice as much per hour as the skill of using a weed-whacker is worth, takes twice as long to do the job as anyone else would, and leaves all the cuttings in my driveway.

Did a bit more work in the back where I hope to plant some vegetables next year-spreading ashes from my outdoor fire pit and covering them with cardboard to nourish the soil and keep weeds from growing this winter. Finally remembered to stop at the bait store and buy some worms for the compost bin.

My stop smoking meter as of right now: Seven months, two weeks, 14 hours, 7 minutes and 45 seconds. 4531 cigarettes not smoked, saving $883.53. Life saved: 2 weeks, 1 day, 17 hours, 35 minutes.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28, 2007

I am trying to live a chemical-free life. No chemical cleaners on my floors where the dogs walk, or on my counters where my food goes. No toxic weed or insect killers in the yard. You would think that I had learned how to do this back when I was a hippie-chick, but in the intervening years I seemed to have forgotten a lot. I'm remembering slowly.

In the picture, lady bugs. I buy a bag of them once or twice a year. After I bought the most recent bag I found these LB's all snuggled up on a leaf together. They were gone by the next day, off to do their pest fighting duties where they were needed I suppose. I don't really have a big bug problem in my yard. Most likely because I don't use chemicals. There are spiders, birds, lizards. They all eat bugs. I buy lady bugs to encourage the business that sells them.

So, in the interest of promoting a chemical free lifestyle, here is the recipe for "Earth Paste". I use this for anything you would use Comet, Ajax, etc., on:

Earth Paste Recipe

In a bowl put:
1 2/3 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of your favorite castile soap
2 tbsp distilled water.

Mix w/a fork until smooth.
Then add 2 tbsp of vinegar (the mixture will bubble).

If you want, you can scent this with a few drops of essential oil - I don't since I use a scented castile soap. (I use Dr. Bronner's Eucalyptus-it smells clean to me. And, some days it is better to smell clean than to be clean!)
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

My War with Flylady

For anyone who doesn't know, FlyLady is a woman who thinks that people will clean their houses if they are treated like six-year-old children. She has a web site and an email list. I joined the list a long time ago because I will freely admit that I am not adept at housekeeping, and I had heard that she would help me. Truth is, all she did is make me want to strangle her. Okay, there's nothing wrong with making sure your kitchen sink is clean before going to bed. But, laying out my clothes for tomorrow? Great idea, if I want to show up to work covered in dog hair. Do a load of laundry everyday? Yeah, right. And she bragged on how she scrubbed her husband's bathroom every day. If I had a husband, and he had his own bathroom, he could damn well scrub it himself if he wanted it that clean.

The worst part was the rambling emails with convoluted syntax and horrid grammar. These would come late at night. Perhaps FlyLady would have a few too many helpings from the wine bottle or something. One night I had enough of it, and I corrected her email in red and sent it back to her. She responded, and just one part of her response was "I hope your house is in order before you threw stones." I corrected that too. Then she sent my email to her "editor", whose grammar was as bad as hers, and whose spelling was worse. He kept spelling my name wrong. When I pointed it out he replied "My spell check says that is the way to spell it, so maybe you spell it worng." I replied that since I didn't thing that "worng" was a word perhaps he needed a new spell check program. That was the end of my war with the FlyLady and her editor (if there really was a second person).

So, my house is still dirty. But I am trying. If I clean SOMETHING everyday eventually I will get to the other end of the house. Of course by then I'll have to start all over. I think that someone should invent a house that just stays clean. Clean it once, and never clean it again. I would buy it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Losing Things

The saying goes: "The easiest way to find things lost around the house is to buy a replacement." I am testing this theory.

I like to drink seltzer water. Sometimes plain ol' seltzer is hard to find. The store where I do most of my weekly shopping only carries small bottles that cost the same as the 2 liter bottles at Vons. The Vons by my house doesn't always have any, and it's a real pain to have to stop there just for seltzer water. Costco only has fancy-schmancy imported sparkling mineral water, or this flavored stuff that is okay. Except for the berry flavor, which is nasty tasting, and you have to buy the assortment. And, with the threat of another grocery store strike (not that I wouldn't cross the picket lines, but last time the stores just didn't have anything to sell because the truck drivers stopped delivering things) I went and bought a "Seltzer Siphon". Very fun device, it carbonates water and squirts it out. Just like the seltzer bottles of slapstick comedy routines.

I used it once and carefully put the plastic holder that holds the CO2 cartridges in the drawer next to the box of cartridges. I did. I'm sure I did. This does not explain why the little plastic holder, which is pretty crucial to the operation of charging water with tiny bubbles, is NOT in the drawer. I tore the drawer apart. Even looked in the drawers underneath that drawer because sometimes things fall down into lower drawers. The good thing is that I found the bottle of touch-up paint for my car, which I've been looking for since a shopping cart ran amok in the parking lot at an adoption event and put a lovely scratch in the door. I did not find the plastic holder. So, I ordered a new one. Maybe now the other one will show up. Most likely not soon enough to cancel the order for the new one. And, if I had waited to see if I ran across the old one I would probably still have to order one because if the old one shows up at all it will be after the new one gets here. It's one of the Rules of the Universe apparently.

And so it goes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Even if I say nothing....

It appears that even if I never say another word this blog is already more interesting than 50% of the other blogs out there. I just went on the "next blog" tour. I had to come back here, I didn't find anything interesting to read. Or even anything coherent.

One of my recurring themes will always be...

I hate stupid people!

I also hate bad grammar.

I didn't run into anyone stupid today because I took a vacation day and stayed home. Worked on the front yard a bit. The ongoing battle to rid the yard of evil weeds. I am not a lawn person, so I'm slowly covering the whole front yard with decorative bark. Under the bark is either cardboard, newspaper or plastic. Anything to keep the weeds from growing. And, the ones that do grow are being sprayed with a mixture of salt and vinegar with a squeeze of dish soap. It works without being toxic to the good bugs (or the dogs).

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Why am I doing a blog? I have no idea. Because I can I suppose. I can tell you why I didn't do one sooner. Every time I attempted to sign up I could never get past the first sign up page. Okay, another "Oh, Duh" moment. I had cookies blocked on the site. Take that off, and suddenly I'm a blogger. It remains to be seen if I have anything interesting to say.