Friday, May 30, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: Living Like Ed!

You will forgive me if I gush on Ed Begley. He is one of those awesome celebrities that people are more interested in his lifestyle than his work. In my fantasy world He is my neighbor. The kind of neighbor that is interesting, that you like having over for a steak at a barbecue. Or what ever it is that vegans eat at barbecues. Besides the beans.
This book is probably best listed as a “green reference book” for us all to use in living a greener life.
This book was easy for me to read since I am one of Ed Begley’s biggest fans. But this book helped me grow a better appreciation for Rachelle Carson-Begley. It must be hard for her having to live with Ed- she automatically has to adapt to his lifestyle. And his solar ovens. And his rain barrels. His lifestyle is basically- as he puts it isn’t so “much activist as it is he is simply cheap. And as he put’s it Living green is easy- just start out collecting the low hanging fruit. Start with the simple changes. And I like that throughout the book he has little tags in it like “Clean the refrigerator Coils- COST: Free!” Another impressive thing about Begley is that he does most of these things by himself- no spoiled son of an Academy Award winning actor here! He washes his own solar panels, grows his own food.
Ed also gets into is how to recycle everything- it is all recyclable, even if something has to be “free-cycled”. Easy changes. An interesting thing Ed does in this book is small section throughout the book called Ed’s Green Friends that are written by folks that Ed deals with or has dealt with in the past promoting environmentally friendly products and/or services. Some of these are long and some of these are way too short. But All in all makes for good reading. Really interesting is Ed's take on alternative power- He has had his own Solar Panels for years. And he talks on how accessible it is. At the end of the book are worksheets that basically you can use to chart your own progress.
In short, this book is an extension of “The Living with Ed” TV Show; and most of the information is old to us who have followed this greener lifestyle for any amount of time but it is mostly up to date; a lot of the same information, but it is still interesting reading. But I may be biased, being one of his biggest fans!

Burien Farmers Market - New Favorite thing!

Since I got a bit sentimental on jars yesterday, I thought I would go all soft again today and write on one of my other new Favorite things: The Burien Farmers' Market The Burien Farmers' market is held on Thursdays. They did a study and found an odd weekday would be better for their farmers' market as they aren't competing with other markets on weekends, and they could get more vendors (farmers) by having it on a weekday. For me it is great, as I don't go to work until after 2pm. There are always lots of different farms represented and different vendors. I bought my worm bin there and the redworms- that was cool because it saved me the gas to get the worms from Seattle tilth and I didn't have to mail order them. And since a CSA is not in my immediate future, I can get food supporting the ideals of the 100 mile diet. I would like to join a CSA, but finding one has been a problem. They usually prefer to serve and have drop offs in the Seattle city-west and or north but not south. I finally found a couple that drop off here, one about 4 miles away, one right around the corner from home but at a bad time (during work) and one about a block from work. But too late to join! So I get my Local produce at the farmers' market. And when I am there i get entertained. There is usually a Jazz Duo performing there and selling their albums, and artists. And I get to try new things! I made a leek and potato soup last night and loved it. I never had leeks before! So, I can say I love the local farmers' market. Find your local farmers market or CSA program here. Try one around you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MY new Favorite thing

My new favorite thing is 1/2 pint wide mouth mason jars! I recently purchased a whole dozen of them. I pack my lunch using them and they are perfect for taking a 1/2 pints worth of cooked veggies or fruit or berries in or today I took a baked potato to work and used them to pack the butter. And I store my homemade peanut butter in them. Now if only the Ball/Kerr folks would make a sandwiched size jar. These jars are great- under $9 for a dozen- Cheaper than Glad or Ziplock brand plastic food savers or anything by Rubbermaid, Microwavable too! They also come in other sizes- Jelly jars (12oz, 8oz and 4 oz) are great for putting some milk or other beverage in, and quart and pint jars for larger amounts-for leftovers and such. And of course there is nothing wrong with reusing jars to pack food in! I love my jars! I often wash old food jars when I run a load in the dishwasher- first soak the label and peel it off and just wash. Then reuse the jar!

Addiction in a Peak Oil World And Still a Bookworm

Well the bloggirls are at it again- Chile's new challenge to get rid of our addictions in a Peak Oil World for the month of June. Mine is eating out at restaurants. Gonna be hard. But when you consider the gas it takes to get to the restaurant, the gas it takes to make the deliveries to the restaurant or the deliveries to home the gas I get at some of my favorite restaurant type places and that take out would have to be on this challenge) I have to use my lunch box everyday at work. LOL I forgot to pre-excuse the hot dog stand at the farmers market. I don't feel bad about that- I am there anyway, and it helps to support the association that puts on the market. All that and they make an outrageous brat wurst!

GREEN BEAN DREAMS' "I'm Still a Bookworm" Challenge
What can I say? I'm always up for a challenge. I will be reading "Living Like Ed- a guide to the eco-friendly life by Ed Begley Jr, and "The Green Book' The everyday guide to saving the planet one simple step at a time compiled by Elizabeth Rogers And Thomas M. Kostigen.

Speaking of worms, book and such, My worms seem to have taken to their new home. After two escape attempts! Of course I had to bribe them with fruit and veggies- apple cores, the ends of asparagus and some lettuce cores, But they seem happy. I am not sure how to tell if a worm is happy but they haven't committed suicide yet- or is that wormicide?!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vehicles of our future!

The Vectrix Electric Motorcycle

I was wondering about the future again- and thinking what will we drive? I cannot see us driving Hydrogen vehicles that soon. And Biodiesel while a good idea, I think smells a bit funny. Ethanol? Are we really going to grow corn for fuel instead of food while the world is hungry? I am waiting for something electric Like a new Vectrix Motorcycle. "The Vectrix ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle) is the first fully electric bike, it's great for the environment, and its low repair rates are unrivaled. And it goes fast. By fast, we mean zero to 50 MPH in 6.8 seconds." I think this is exciting! There are also numerous bikes like eco bike and I-Zip- not as fast not as long a range but offers a nice commute or ride in town. The scooter set also has choices-Neo Scooters offer a bit more zip than the bike, not as much as the Vectrix- For those who aren't into two wheels there is always your friendly NEV -Neighborhood Electric Vehicle from the Zap Xebra Sedan and the Zap truck. For the more hoity toity, one could go to a Phoenix truck"SUT" or "SUV" the only problem being is that you have to go to California to get one- but I am sure that will change soon. And soon, GM will once again enter the electric car market with the Volt. Maybe they have learned their lesson from the EV1, but I doubt it. We are talking about a car company here! All of these vehicles are Electric and yes they all have range limits. You aren't going to be taking them on a cross country trip. But here is the point. Most all of the driving Americans do is around 2 miles- to the store, to the school. To work. And that is what these ev's are all designed to do. And if we had solar chargers for them- there would be no carbon foot print at all! Of course some will argue "Get A Bike Fat Ass!" And I agree- but I cannot wait until the next generations of EV's come out!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Whoever threw away a perfectly good bike...


I will use it greatly. It is a Schwinn Varsity 10 speed, a bike I drooled and mowed a lot of yards for when I was 13! Great condition!

My Nuts Are Clean...

...and wash my laundry! I thought since all I posted about the last couple of days are slugs and worms I needed something cleansing to post about,so naturally I had to post about my nuts! Maggie's Soap Nuts laundry soap that grows on trees! Soap Nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree. They contain saponin, a natural cleaner used for thousands of years to clean clothes. I must admit the smell is not great, but it doesn't get in the clothes. So far my clothes look all right, so maybe there is something there! The website is okay, there is a FAQ section that explains why it is necessary to package soap nuts in plastic and with a silica gel packet, and questions that you can have fun with like "My Nuts have turned black and sticky! What’s up?" really there is an answer for that- not my answer but a good answer!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Gots Worms!

I went to the Burien Farmers' Market today- and this gal who called herself "Worm-Mama" was there selling redworms and worm bins and castings- so I got a worm bin!I haven't ventured in vermicomposting yet, and haven't messed with raising worms since i was a kid and we tried to start a worm bin for fishing worms, (no one told me you don't need to water them with a hose and set the bin out in the hot sun to dry them off) but I thought Hey! I already compost- why not take it to the next level? More on my worm bin- The bins obtained from"Worm-mama" (or rather Worm-Mama's kids- she pays them to make the bins and collect worm castings from her big bins)- the worm bins are constructed from recycled plastic and have a tea tray and all the good stuff. She has easy instructions on keeping worms, where to put your bin etc. etc. I do so admire folks who take an idea, run with it and make a living at it! More posts on the bin later. You can contact her at But right now, I am going to enjoy some fresh asparagus I bought at the farmers market.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sluggy and Sluggy the final chapter

In honor of spring and gardentime here is SLUGGY!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hand Powered Blender

I found it! Crunchy Chicken's post today about voluntary simplicity had a blurb in it about the Dervaes family, and of course I had to comment that I found a video on the Dervaes, that I had posted about 2 weeks ago. Of course, kitchen gadget junkie that I am, I took notice of their hand powered blender. I found it! It is available online! This is so cool! IF I drank I could make margaritas anywhere! Shakes and Smoothies when camping. As for their coffee grinder- well my parents had a hand crank coffee grinder much like theirs and my memory of that thing was it was so useless I would prefer not to drink coffee! But I found the blender!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Workin Hard

This weekend I put up new gutters, primed and painted the addition on the house. I got lucky on the paint- I managed to keep 5 gallons from when I painted the house 3 years ago, so I had paint left for the addition- just had to mix it up real well. I rented an airless sprayer because I have t-1-11 siding, and I am not gonna sit there painting the grooves. Got finished and had time to go to my cousin's 40th Birthday party. What I get amazed at is the amount of plastic need to use an airless sprayer- I had to cover all the windows and the cedar shake on the front gable of the house! And I don't know a better way to do it than spread plastic film over the window- Last time I spread those blue tarps over the windows, but alas they have mysteriously vanished. And I repaired my water feature in the front yard- found a pump at harbor freight and put that in and now it works again! All I have left to do is the trim and a little touch up!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I got my long awaited 1st season of LIVING WITH ED. Greenie that ED is, it came in the most impressive cardboard CD case! Unfortunately wrapped in plastic but what are you going to do? I find Ed and his wife Rachelle most entertaining, and think that most households bicker like they do. Also, I recieved the book Live Like Ed, kind of a world according to Ed. Will be posting more about that at another time

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I drove my Honda Elite Scooter to work yesterday, first time this year! Ran great, no problems. Some one asked me why I never ride my '67 Vespa to work because it is black,has no turn signals and a very dull headlight and I like to be seen at night! I work the second shift!
Anyway, when I drive the scooter to work I get an appreciation for the Bike Riders- It is hard to ride something on two wheels , especially when every a-hole on the road thinks he has a right to be in front of you. Then there are the people who just can't see over their dashboards- you know who you are, the folks who refuse to believe anything exists outside the realm of their vehicle. And don't get me started about the fools who think they have a right to speed. I started driving when Carter was president and double nickels was the rule (and the law).
Not to get on a rant here, yesterday all those folks must have stayed at home. The roads were decent (well as decent as one can expect with all the construction going on here)The drivers were polite, the flag persons friendly. Made for an enjoyable first trip of the year!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Money saving Re-Use tips

From Tightwad Central here are some $$$ saving tips that could also be considered Re-Use tips-

Uses for old Coffee Mugs- Instead of spending money on the newest kitchen gizmo, here’s one ready and willing to be used. Use a coffee mug to heat small servings of frozen vegetables, without using bigger containers like bowls and such. The ceramic mugs heat from the sides and cook better and faster than other containers. After dinner, use the mug to have a scoop or two of ice cream. Better than carrying around a bowl and it's got an insulated handle. Fewer spills with the mug, too. Try it. You won't go back to bowls.

Cereal Box Savings- The plastic cereal liners, ( the bag in the cereal box) replaces what used to be wax paper. These liners have lots of uses, so always save these liners after the cereal is gone. Carefully pull the seams apart and you'll have a long length of liner paper to use for baking, cooking, lining shelves or any other purposes. When making pastry crust, roll dough between two sheets, pastry pulls-up nice. Liners can be torn into squares and used to cover items placed into the microwave oven. These liner squares don't catch fire and they keep moisture in the food and the splatters off the interior microwave walls. Use the box to make magazine Holders or use for place mats for crafts or out in the garage, when you take apart small motors or assemble parts with small screws and such, do it in the box with one side cut off so you can catch screws and other small part before they fall on the floor (you can also do this with shoe box tops, other small boxes, then recycle the box.

DO WHAT WITH MY UNDERWEAR? What to do with old underwear? Worn underwear will allow you to tear out the wide elastic strip. Save the elastic for later use with sewing needs. Cut the worn, clean, and undamaged material into a sheet to use like cheese cloth for straining foods or for baking and cooking needs. I have cooked in my underwear but never cooked with my underwear!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Designing an Rechargeble Electric Riding Lawnmower

Now y'all know, i get on something and I get obsessive over it until I have an answer! I think I have come up with a design to make a rechargeable Riding Lawnmower, using a rechargeable electric lawnmower and a rechargeable mobility scooter simply design a tow bar for the mower and bingo You have a rider. The only problem I foresee is the tires sinking in the ground- some scooters have turf tires so they can double as single golf carts- That would solve that problem!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Story of Stuff

The story of stuff is a great documentary that explains how we get stuff, how we let stuff clutter up our lives, and were stuff goes after we are through with it. Highly entertaining, easy to watch. Look it up today! The story of stuff

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beer Bread and Peanut Butter!

I made a loaf of beer bread! It was so good! warm and soft and had great body! Then I made some homemade peanut butter to put on it. It was cool!

And yes, that is my handmade Fiddle Bow bread knife next to it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Garbage & Recycling

I got a big surprise last night when putting out the recycle bin- It was only half full! That has never happened! And the Garbage can was half full! The only thing I can think of is I am saving bottles to cut, and saving jars to put pickles in, and i have been saving and rewashing seal able bags(The ziplock type ones) that my tortillas and such things come in. And I save my cereal boxes to make magazine holders out of. And of course it is garden season so I save anything that looks remotely like a planter. I think some credit has to go to Crunchy Chicken's Challenge in that buying less means making less garbage! Go Figure! I came upon a discussion of recycling on Organic Picks blog And while we here in the fair city of Burien have a pretty good recycling program with waste managment, I wonder just like her if more or less would people do it if it were free, meaning if garbage service was the right of everyone and they were not charged for it would they voluntarily recycle like they do now? I wonder? It is easy to say I would but I have to be realistic. If they took all garbage would I still freecycle and do craig's list as much as I do to get rid of things? I wonder about things like that. I would hope I would. But still it was a nice surprise to only have half as much garbage! Has anyone else notice these kind of phenomenons?

Monday, May 5, 2008


Today has been the toughest day in the world to quit smoking. I have made it 1 week and 4 days, and I would really like somebody to get in my face. But hasn't happened. But I wish it would, just so I can rip their heads off and shit down their fucking throats. But until then I count to ten like a little girly man and it will be all right. I am a tree I can bend- yeah bend this asshole. This blog will officially be R rated for language! Must stay away from 7-11 tonight on drive home from work. The worst part is managers were I work will probably take credit for my accomplishment, and there will be donuts involved and there they will be, eating my donuts, talking about what good managers they are that their crews are smoke free, I tell ya- there is no justice in this world.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Clean Air Gardening

Environmentally Friendly Riding lawnmower

You know,I am about as bad in the garden as I am in the kitchen- which means I love new gadgets! One of my guilty pleasures is my lawn tractor. I really don't need one, but after my little heart episode in '06 it was the only way I could mow my backyard (after spending $500 to get landscapers to clear it) I love my tractor. I can just hear myself humming the Green Acres theme when I drive it. And it brings me full circle with my farming and tractor selling relatives in North Dakota! Now my little MTD Tractor is California emissions approved, and I never go through 5 gallons a year of fuel. If there had been a rechargeable alternative I would have seriously looked into it. I mean my regular lawnmower is electric, corded, but works great. I have two rototillers, one mantis and one electric, most of my yard tools that are powered are electric. LOL If I ever get enough garden in I can get rid of the tractor. But for now I am keeping my guilty pleasure. Anyway I digress- I came upon a web site called CLEAN AIR GARDENING, and it is very interesting how many powered yard tools they have- electric or rechargeable. And boy do they have a lot of yard tools. They even carry , (gasp) self powered reel lawnmowers. Maybe someday someone will come out with a rechargeable lawn tractor!

Now lets make peanut butter!!!

Okay Okay- I cant take this video- it starts automatically and scares the crap out of me but I will provide a link to it: How to make Peanut Butter I had embedded the video here, but don't want to scare people off with the video commercial from Shell Oil telling what great stewards of the earth they are.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The toaster in my driveway is making me hungry for bread, man! One way to help be green is making my own bread. Not having one of those bread machines, I have been looking for ways to make easier no Knead breads. The following videos are what I have found. Beer Bread (I have made this before) is a good choice as I have a bunch of beer leftover from my Birthday and since I don't drink, this would be a good way to get rid of it. Easy bread looks good although the host is a bit of a doof, and the NY times No Knead bread looks almost the same- but since it comes from a real baker and not a doof, I thought I would add it. Now throw in some of Chicky's homemade butter and wow that's good eats. And no plastic wrapping!

Easy Bread

Beer Bread

No Knead Bread