Monday, October 27, 2008
Sigh- I am getting so tired waiting for this pumpkin to quit doing this imitation of the Hulk- isn't he supposed to quit being green and go orange? I was hoping it will get ripe by thanksgiving... I want to make a pie! Notice the powdery leaf mildew?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Make Do and Mend Challenge: Well week two. And I have been mending things for Christmas. I know it must be Christmas- Like I said to the gal at the hardware store- It must be Halloween- You guys got all the Christmas stuff up! Still working on the siding- almost finished! Every gable I do I find faster and better ways to do this. As for other things I fixed this week- Took a Pig Shaped cutting board my mom had (she actually collects these!) and routed it out to put a clock work in so she can hang it up with the other pig cutting boards in her kitchen, for Christmas, And I reupholstered an old headboard for her for Christmas as well. Fixed the lock on the back door.
from Mad Tea Party Blog
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Week 19
Plant something: Nope
Prep something: Made and froze some more pumpkin puree- dehydrated some apple rings. Made some banana chips.
Harvest something: nothing more than a few beans
Manage something: Started putting garage in order
Cook Something New: Tried some Tomato Chutney ( I have of unfounded fear of anything with the name “chutney”) on Millet Bread spread with Cream Cheese to qoute Paris Hilton- “Loves it”- and found a Corn Chowder recipe that I doctored up-
Rob’s Corn Chowder Recipe
1/2 cup diced bacon or ½ cup diced soy bacon
Three garlic cloves- minced
4 medium potatoes, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 can cream-style corn, 2 (12 ounces each) cans or 1 pound, 4 ounce package frozen
1 can regular corn- or 1 package frozen corn
2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
2 cups half-and-half or light cream, scalded
Sauté bacon until browned and crisp; add chopped potatoes and onions and garlic. Add stock, corn, and seasonings; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; heat through but do not boil. You can substitute regular frozen corn for the cream corn. Serves 4.
Work on Local Food Systems: bought some Honey Crisp apples and bananas from the green grocer
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Re-Duce, Repair or Compost something: Sunflower stalks, raked up some leaves: put on compost bin, Gave the worms in worm bin a bad apple, Took a Pig Shaped cutting board my mom had (she collects these and routed it out to put a clock work in so she can hand it up with the other pigs in her kitchen, for Christmas, And I recovered an old headboard for her for Christmas as well. Fixed the lock on the back door.
Learn a skill: Nope
MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: The only thing I bought this week (besides groceries) was some more brads to finish the siding project. And my shopping was done local at my neighborhood “green grocer” Duane’s Garden Patch, and I learned that my favorite bread, available at Trader Joe’s is local- thanks to Melinda’s Blog
JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE- Just about finished the siding project on the North Gable- Looks good- or at least better than what was there- like gaping holes in the siding thanks to the roofing contractors- Just like Jennifer said in her blog this week “I'm never hiring out work again” of course I will change my mind- but I certainly feel her pain after the roofing contractor left me this job to do!
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALLENGE- LOL! Ran into a bit of trouble this week buying produce- Duane, the produce stand manager looked at me like I was some kind of nut for not putting my produce into little plastic bags! Get over it Duane! I think produce bags are totally stupid!
Remembered my commuter mug and “Kleen Kanteen” every trip this week! Take out once- Pizza, throw boxes in yard waste bin!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
TOP TEN NEW THINGS I HAVE TRIED IN THE KITCHEN:
9- Canning Pickles
8-Tried Tomato Chutney! I must admit to having unfounded fear of anything with the word Chutney! Don't know why except that I got some chutney once that was awful!
7- Soup- leek soup, Pumpkin Soup, tonight I made Corn Chowder- I have not had homemade corn chowder since my Aunt Tillie made it when I was a little kid
6- Chile's Naner Sandwiches
5- Dandelion Fritters- and yes I like them
4- Made Flavored popcorn
3- Made fruit infused vodka even though I don't drink (made for gifts)
2- bread pudding
1- Crunchy’s Grilled Pumpkin slices with Rosemary and Sea Salt
Plus I try new things all the time Mom!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Anyway it has been a while since I put up a hack on this blog. So without fanfare, May I announce
MY IKEA BATHROOM HACK
As I always say, my “master” bathroom must have been an afterthought when previous owners put this part of the house on in the 90’s- It is tiny- more of a Powder room than a bath- measures 6’ long by about 30” wide, has a huge window and no shower or bath- (soon to be remedied) Anyway a normal vanity took too much room, and there was no storage at all in the bathroom. So I needed to redo this little afterthought.
SOLVING THE VANITY PROBLEM
I have always liked the look of Vessel sinks, but did not like the cost, but I hacked one here from a BLANDA BLANK serving bowl. My buddy at work, Bert, used a knock out to make the hole- 1 ¼ inch, then I mounted it with an 1 ¼ tailpiece kit from Lowes, My counter top is a MOSSBY stainless steel shelf cut down from 46 7/8 " to 24”. Rounding it out is BJÄRNUM shelf supports and an IVAR cabinet(this size may be discontinued 16x12x32- I could not find it on the ikea website)for the vanity-
Stu- and Sammy cat are all about energy conservation.
Here is a pic of the cat and dog resting.
Note Stu the dog put a blanket on. Usually you can find Sammy cat curled up around her mid section and that keeps her warm enough- but today sammy decided the pillow was a better option
Sunday, October 19, 2008
How did everyone else do this week?
Plant something: Nothing
Prep something: Baked Sugar Pumpkins and one of my pumpkins I grew and pureed them and froze for pies; Roasted pumpkin seeds!Harvest something: Just some peas, one of my pumpkins- the other two are not ripe yet
Manage something: Painted bathroom vanity; cabinet; Repairing the siding that the roofers damaged during the addition by putting up sheathing, covering with roofers felt, then covering with cedar shingles to match the addition
Cook Something New: Actually- roasting the pumpkins and making and freezing pumpkin puree is new for me; But I feel that would be a cop out, so I made Simple Pumpkin Soup- it is super good!
Work on Local Food Systems: Bought some local sugar pumpkins I found at the green grocer’s
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Reduce, Repair or Compost something: Repairing the siding that the roofers damaged during the addition by putting up sheathing, covering with roofers felt, then covering shingles to match the addition, started a Mend and make do challenge; Re-used an orange Chinese lantern- drew a Jack ‘O Lantern face on it- made into a decoration for Halloween- will keep for future use!
Learn a skill: making and freezing pumpkin puree
MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Pretty good this week as I bought nothing except for some wire brads for the nail gun and some cedar shakes for the house. And two sugar pumpkins from the green grocer.
JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE: Started working on repairing the siding that the roofing contractor broke off. Removes big hole in the attic.
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALLENGE: I managed to remember my shopping bag everytime I went out- even to Lowes! And I remembered my commuter mug everytime as well. No take out this week at all
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
After joining countless challenges, I am ready to host my first one:
Annoucing The Make Do and Mend Challenge, to celebrate that old friend –“Repair”
The challenge is simple, really, instead of throwing out something and adding to the waste stream, try repairing it instead.
This helps out in your other challenges:
Buying Challenges- you are not buying something new
Frugality Challenges- You are saving money buy fixing whatever and not buying new
Waste Reduction Challenges- Should be obvious
Independence Day’s challenge- I am big proponent on adding Repair to the “3R’s” –ReDuce, Re-Use and Recycle
Sustainability Challenges- Nothing more sustainable than Mending something to save from buying new now is there?
It could be something as simple as sewing a button back on a shirt or blouse, or mending holes in your jeans, doing a repair job on your vehicle or bike, sharpening and cleaning your gardening tools for winter, mending a fence, You get the idea- Just FIX something!
Once a week, On Sunday Evenings, I will hold a Make Do and Mend Challenge Check-In- where you can brag about your Repairing Prowess and what you repaired or ask questions on how to repair something-
Nifty little badge to put on your blog:
Monday, October 13, 2008
That's right folks- I am once again being a radical- The three "R"s are just too convenient for all of us. Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse are just fine for getting around day by day, but whatever happened to Repair?
I am a big fan of Mr. (and Ms.) Repair. One of my hobbies is lamps. I have saved a ton of money buying old lamps and making new lamps out of them. Also I hate to buy new clothes when the ones I have are good enough. So I mend the ones I got. Of course it helps that Home-Ec was a requirement for guys when I was in Junior High.
And it is like having something new! I have kept my very efficient car around for years simply buy repairing things that go out.
And repair can be used for Gift giving too. If you are so enabled offer to repair someones car, or mend some clothing or do some home repair. It will be a most appreciated gift.
Start out small- start by repairing the buttons on a jacket, shirt or sweater. Get a new button at a sewing store if you have none. The best thing to do is keep the button that fell off. Simply sew it back on. This is so easy to do! And it saves you at least 9.99 at Sears for a new shirt! I put at stop at darning socks, since I use the old sock for dusting, cleaning etc. But I could If I had to!
My latest "repair" re-fabbing a tent trailer that has been sitting around here for 2 years. I need to put the body on a new trailer chassis, replace the tent canvass and a few other jobs, The cool thing? This trailer has been around since 1960, can be made as good as new and very little goes into the waste stream, including the waste from making a new trailer.
So let's say I would rather repair something old than buy something new. But then that's me!
Time to start freezing your heine's! Crunchy has opened the challenge for 2008. So join in and freeze your assets! This is more than an "Eco" challenge- by lowering your thermostats you are saving money. To qoute Jimmy Carter- "Cold? Put on a sweater".
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Plant something: Nothing
Prep something: Got some emergency weather cooking plans together, Pureed some pumpkins and froze
Cook Something New: Yam Bread, Crunchy’s Grilled Pumpkin slices with Rosemary and Sea Salt
MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Bought a sterno folding camping stove at the thrift store; bought a lamp there as well; Made a comforter using an old Ikea quilt cover and some cotton batting I’ve had sitting around for awhile- I stuffed the batting in the quilt cover and sewed it solid with some yarn , Got 6 cans of "Canned Heat (Sterno) at Party Universe right here in Burien
JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE: Didn’t do much of anything- except put a door sealer strip on a couple of doors that were drafty. I need to put some Great Stuff in these doors behind the moulding as well
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALLENGE: Did very well this week. Went to the last farmers market of the year, and used no plastic bags at all for my purchases- I think the vendors are starting to get the message- I am not the only one who doesn’t see the need to put a peach or apple in a plastic bag, when I bring my own shopping bag- I see many who request No plastic bags. Remembered my Commuter mug every trip out- no disposable mugs used at all! No take out containers either!
Friday, October 10, 2008
get a hot fire going using only twigs and some end pieces of cedar shingles from the addition project
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I have composted for some time, but I am always the first to admit I am no expert. This class helps answer questions that we all have. Like How often should I turn my compost? Answer- whenever you find your self wondering if you should turn your compost! Turning frequently allows oxygen to get in and feed the little critters that live in your compost- worms, microbial critters that feed and poop compost.
What kind of compost bin should I buy? Some people choose to go binless, simply building a compost pile in a convenient spot on the ground. Others build bins from materials such as recycled pallets, or two-by-fours and plywood. And, of course, there are many commercial bins on the market. Including Worm Bin's for "vermi-composting". There are no Rat-proof composters, so be careful about putting food wastes in your compost bin. The smell attracts rats, who network very well and soon other rats join in the fun. Make sure your food wastes are covered.
I prefer to use a hierarchy to my composting- 1- the bin, 2- the worm bin and 3- the Yard waste bin that goes to Cedar Grove for composting at their plant. I put greens and browns (Nitrogen and carbon) in the Composter- Greens like squash vines, tomato plants, yard waste. I put food scraps (vegetable, fruit, egg shells) in the worm bin. And finally Major yard waste goes in the Yard Waste bin, As well as food scraps. Luckily, I live in area that allows us to use our Yard Waste bins for food scraps and allows us to put Pizza Boxes, napkins, delivery boxes (non coated) and fast food wraps in it as well. I never compost meat or dairy because 1- I don't have any (leftovers) and 2-That is a sure way to attract rats- we never have any left over meat or bones because we have Topaz ("Spaz" or "Stu" for short), the chocolate wonder-lab who happily eats any leftovers. She even ate an entire turkey,once- carcass and all but that was not done on purpose. I boil turkey carcasses and meat bones for stock, and if the are major bones (Beef bones- knuckle bones-ham hocks) she happily chews on those after I boil the hell out of them. Spike the pug sometimes helps her out but since Binky the Yorkie has no teeth he kinda gets left out. Unless it is bread or something soft- which is not too often, as I don't think breads are good for any of the dogs.
Anyway I digress- composting is easy, whether you do it by Yard Waste or Green bin, Compost bin, Worm Bin or a compost pile- It reduces the amount of garbage you send out. And that is a good thing! Anyone can compost- Apartment dwellers can have a worm bin, or even if you only use the Yard waste or "Green" Bin- you are composting! And mashed sweet potatoes for dinner tonight- lucky for Binky!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
In honor of Verde and her 21 Day Challenge, And rememebring Melinda and her Buy sustainably challenge, I had a great day thrift shopping- I found a lamp with a table attached to it for 5.99, and I found a sterno folding stove for 4.99. The sterno stove was a great find- it was a box set, came with four cans of sterno. Usually, I use my 1970's fondue set in emergencies like power outages, to save on using the generator. I plan on building a solar generator, but until that day, this will work fine.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sunflowers and garlic scapes
make a debut!
Onto the challenges:
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Week 16
Plant something: A few Kale seeds in pots.
Prep something: Froze peppers and onions; Froze tomatoes(I didn’t know you could freeze them but found this info from the U of Nebraska at Lincoln Extension Service)
Harvest something: A few peas, carrots, tomatoes, fall green beans are getting ready as are the pumpkins!
Manage something: Changed the bedding in the worm bin- Noticed I have worm babies! Made a couple of Mason Bee Houses, Finished in the Guest room/office, Cleaned freezer out and stocked it with game hens that I purchased at Grocery Outlet for a great price
Cook Something New: Note- I am really stretching it on this one- was reviewing Chile’s blog and her Quick and easy recipes and found the “Naner and Bread” in the “Quick Snacks” section so I made a couple of those (My blood sugar dropped suddenly, and I needed a quick snack) But I am counting it as I have never made these before.
Work on Local Food Systems: Attended a Sustainable Burien meeting
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Re-Duce, Repair or Compost something: Shredded newspaper to use as bedding for worm bed. Put old worm bed bedding in regular compost. Put pepper plants in compost bin. Trimmed the plum tree and put the leaves and clippings and old zuke and cuke plants in yardwaste bin, repaired lamp that I dumpster dived for; Reused an old lamp and some bottles making booze bottle lamps for Christmas, re-used a booze bottle and made an oil lamp
Learn a skill: Learned how to cut holes in glass- not a real skill, but one I will use again in making more lamps and some other crafty items– helps re-use a bottle! Learned how to make oil lamps from the booze bottles as well
MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE:
I did buy my lamp parts- but I went to IKEA and got one shade for $1 at the as is bin; (should count the same as buying used), Bought some river pebbles for the same project; bought a shopping bag at the grocery today which is okay- I needed another shopping bag
JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE
Insulated the window in my bathroom, This is the only single pane window in the house and will be replaced hopefully next year- trying to figure out why the worlds smallest bathroom has such a huge window (it is on the north side of the house)
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALLENGE Did okay this week- remembered my coffee mug and kleen kanteen every day! No plastic bags- I did forget my non-disposable bag today when I went grocery shopping, but bought a new one, which was okay as I needed another bag
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Well you knew I would join in- didn't you- Melinda? The only things I must purchase are some electrical parts for some "booze bottle lamps" I am making for Christmas presents. And I reused the cord and lamp works for one from an old lamp I had laying around-I will post a pic later. Anyway time to check out the freecycle pages - who knows- maybe I will find an old lamp there!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
(The "A" is on my garage)
Today I learned a lesson in "Building Community" - I talked to one set of my neighbors- Their dog, Picadilly got out of their fence and came to visit Topaz, the Chocolate Lab at our house affectionately known as "Spaz" or "Stu" (short for stupid). Well after about 20 minutes of Picky energizing with all that Jack Russel enthusiasm, it was time to pick her up and take her home. There her family was working in the back yard amongst some tomatoes that I immediately became enamored of. So we got to talking about the neighbors, the trees in the neighborhood, their garden, my garden and septic tanks(they had to replace theirs a couple of years back).
So in short, I thought about all the things Melinda says about building Community, and I thought to myself- Hmmm community building starts with saying hi to your neighbors! So maybe we should all be less shy and start saying HI! to our neighbors.
When I lived in the mobile home park, oh 10 years ago- it was fairly easy- your neighbors where there, like it or not, and we were a close knit community- but in 10 years here, I don't think I could give you any names of my neighbors. That is sad on my part. So here is to seeing my neighbors and actually conversing with them!