Monday, September 29, 2008


Just thought I would take some time for recess- enjoy yourself:


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Sustainable Burien

I went to my first "Sustainable Burien" meeting today. Very interesting group. We discussed all sorts of things near and dear to my heart- Community, local gardening, local business, local food, environment, alternative power- even chicken raising! One of the folks attending was a guy who knows solar and such, and has an electric car! It feels good to know there are like-minded folks out there who (here's the scary part) think like I do!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekly Challenge Update: Phew I am tired!

This week was extremely busy on the home front (amazing what unemployment will do for working around the house) Did some guest posts for Burban Mom on her Going Green blog on plumbing repair and saving water-although I think she likes plumbing terms like “ball cock” and “nipples”! Anyway, I got a lot of shit done, got a plumbing job tomorrow to do for my cousin. Damn relatives- they just wait for a strike!

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge WEEK 15
Plant something: Broccoli (again), Turnips, Kale and Corn salad
Prep something: Took a class at Seattle Free School on growing sprouts- made some sprout growing jars out of mason jars and window screenHarvest something- More tomatoes, The last of the cucumbers or so I thought, I left two vines that have some baby cukes growing on them; lettuce; a few peas
Manage something- Got the window added to the kitchen- This is good for adding light and for warmth from the sun as it is on the South side of the house. Got the guest room/office organized a bit better, made some window screen Mason Jar growing thingys for sprouting
Cook Something New: Okay I broke down and finally made Melinda’s Lowfat Pancrack (Pancakes) since every one was saying how wonderful it is- And it is. Also, I was cooking an acorn squash and figured why not roast the seeds? So I did- Yummy little crunchy seeds- prepped them the same way as pumpkin seeds! And I did it the same time as I cooked the squash!
Work on Local Food Systems: Took a class at Seattle Free School on on growing sprouts, one of the advantages of the strike is I can attend classes and meetings!
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Reduce, Repair or Compost something: Re-used lumber in my Window project. The lumber came from demolition when I had the addition put on my house. Re-used window trim leftover from addition project. Re-used a wine cork and a gin bottle in a lamp project; composted garden “junk”; re-used flyers from car show- I take the backside of flyers and use them when I print out things on my computer; Re-use some booze bottles for Oil Lamps; Used some leftover window screen to make Sprouting jars, and re-used some of my half pint jelly jars as well!
Learn a skill: Making oil lamps out of bottles- You can use olive oil for these or corn oil or safflower oil, but I chose lamp oil for my first one; Took a class at Seattle Free School on growing sprouts

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE Borage still great- about the end of it’s life; I might try freezing it or maybe dehydrating it. I really recommend this plant!
Broccoli- I have decided to replant broccoli seeds since I have appeared to kill mine. I will plant them in the garlic planter, since it is an "Earth-Tainer" and watering should not be a problem and the garlic of course hasn’t grown yet- Ooops- Just looking at the garlic planter and I have something growing already- so I planted broccoli in the squash box since it is mostly cleaned out

JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE Finished installing the window in the kitchen- Now on to the garage! I am going to install four windows in there replacing the corrugated fiberglass panels already there. I got the windows at 2nd Use.

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS' DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALENGE I Failed on this one. I stopped for a coffee and forgot my commuter mug. Luckily the cup at Tully’s was compostable- but that doesn’t make it all right. It’s very unusual for me to forget my mug. Anyway I didn’t forget it any other time this week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sad News

Photo- 20th Century Fox
When I got home today, i fired up the dell and saw the sad news- Paul Newman, one of my heroes, passed away today. I think George Clooney said it best-""He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors, but all of us." So true- if more people were like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, I can't help but think the world and this country would be a better place.


The "Shuffle" Bus -Photo
by Scott Eklund/Seattle P-I

I went to a class put on by Seattle Free School in Ballard today. What the SFS Didn't mention was this class was part of Sustainable Ballard Festival! What fun! I got to go to a great class, and have some fun at the same time. There were some Electric Cars there, so I got to see my Suzki Swift redone in Electric, and got to see one of the contenders for my replacement car- It actually is a SUV style, about the same size as Martin's Toaster, and I got to go to Ballard, which is a mecca for Scandinavian Americans living in Seattle. The class was on Growing Sprouts. Very informative- facilitated by Sarah, a SFS Facilitator. Very cool!
Who knew that Sustainable Ballard would hold a festival in honor of little ole' me? (No, I don't have an inflated opinion of my worth now - do I?) The festival runs through tomorrow

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My uncle sent me an email with some of his fave Country and Western Songs. That's what is cool about my uncle. He listens to both kinds of music-Country And Western


10. I Hate Every Bone In Her Body But Mine

9. I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With an Ugly Woman But I Woke Up With a Few

8. If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

7. I've Missed You, But My Aim's Improvin'

6. Wouldn't Take Her To A Dogfight 'Cause I'm Scared She'd Win

5. I'm So Miserable Without You It's Like You're Still Here

4. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Miss Him

3. She Took My Ring and Gave Me the Finger

2. She's Lookin' Better with Every Beer

And the Number One Country & Western song is...

1. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed My Ass All Day

Homegrown dinner

Well not exactly- I bought some acorn squash at the Farmers Market, and when I was cleaning it out, I started thinking to myself "Why not roast the seeds?" And boy I was glad I did- just like pumpkin seeds- I follow this method and slighlty salt them, roast them the same time the squash was roasting in the oven and = WOW! If Melinda's pancakes are considered PanCrack, then these should be considered Organic Meth. I have been happily munching them all night. And this plate in the picture was full of seeds- I have been happily munching on them. And I found out there are numerous recipes in blogland for acorn squash. Wow squash for dinner followed by acorn squash seeds for a snack- I am slowly turning into a hippie! Although it has long been suspected that I already was a hippie.

Window is in!

Well guess what - I got the window put in in the kitchen.
It took me a while. And all the lumber used is reclaimed from the demolition phase of the new addition.

And of course I sealed the window. I used "Great Stuff" expanding foam product. I have cans of this stuff. It is also handy to seal up the holes in pots when making water fountains as well as a great expanding foam sealant for cracks and holes. Use it around pipes where they enter into the house, too.

A picture after the Great Stuff does it's job!

I did a strike duty tonight so it is a a quarter to five (AM) so I think I will go off to bed and finish the trim in the morning (or rather the afternoon!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

RIP Aunt Shirley

That's the funny thing about timing- It never ceases to amaze- Just Saturday I was thinking of my aunt Shirley and her ability to make bread pudding. I just found out today (yesterday actually) she passed away in her sleep in Edmore ND. I knew I should of gotten her stuffed squash recipe! Aunt Shirley was a great cook and great friend- she will be missed by many!

Missed deadlines: My Macgyver entry

Dammit! I missed the entry deadline for my Macgyver Entry!
Hey Maude- now what the *&^% is he blabbering about?
For those that followed the show, Macgyver made amazing things from everyday objects- so Readymade Magazine has a contest called MacGyver- and this upcoming issue was Prescription Bottle reuses! That's right- new uses for old prescription bottles! I figured since I have so many prescriptions, this was right up my alley! I know Beth at Fake Plastic Fish has been looking for a use for these for awhile. And I know some other folks want a use for them, as well. So my entry, simple as it is, addresses this problem. I simply super glue a metal washer to the cap of a prescription bottle, and yes it must be super glue- all others I tried failed (Elmer's Glue All, any white craft glue, Hot glue gun)But the super glue worked. Then I take a Ikea Asker magnetic knife holder And hang them up, with the little bottles filled with staples, paperclips, small nuts and bolts- You name it. These are also great for spice jars in the kitchen (the larger prescription bottles). And something else I discovered - they will hold a small amount of Dressing or olive oil and don't seem to leak! Great for the lunch box- although I would wash them out very thoroughly first and find out about any rules your employer or school has about bringing salad dressing in a script bottle first!

Anyway- I got messed up on the entry deadline and sent it out today- A day late! Story of my life- I was at the bus station when my boat for fame and fortune( and a free t-Shirt!) came in!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quick and easy Bread Pudding

A few people asked for the recipe for the bread pudding. I don't know why I didn't post it yesterday but here it is!

Printed from COOKS.COM
3 eggs
2 cups milk or skim milk
1/2 pound light brown sugar
4 slices wheat or white bread
2 Tbsps. butter
Beat eggs lightly. Add milk, sugar, crumbled bread and pour into a 1 quart baking dish. Dot with butter and bake 40-45 minutes until firm and brown at 350 degrees. Serves 6.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Verde's 21 day Challenge

My friend Verde, has started a 21 day challenge on her blog Justice Desserts. I am not quite sure what the object behind the challenge is, Albeit I think it is a preperation for gloom and doom and the failure behind the Stock Market and the US bank failure (another great replublican failure- hmmm last time there was a great depression seems to me it was Those republican fun boys Harding and Coolidge in the Pres/Veep spots). So anyway check out Verde's 21 day challenge and countdown with her for preparedness training!

Weekly Challenge Update

This week I discovered bread pudding! With all the bread from the Strike Headquarters, I needed to figure something out to with part of it, I remembered: My aunt Shirley would make Bread pudding! So in honor of Aunt Shirley I googled a few recipes anf came up with a simple bread pudding. Also still working on the closet in the office/”Guest room”, got the header put up and drywalled, still working on installing a new kitchen window, but it is raining today so who knows if and when I will finish- I discovered a 2 X 4 stud in the cut out that I will have to remove so the job just got harder!

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge:
Plant something: Some beets, radishes
Prep something: Cut some lumber for burn barrels
Harvest something: Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, a few peas, peppers- jalapeno and bell

Manage something: Looked up some recipes for bread pudding
Cook Something New: Bread pudding!
Work on Local Food Systems: Farmer’s market

Recycle, re-use, reduce, repair or Compost something: Composted Old dead zucchini vines, various crap from the garden, Cut up some lumber for burn barrels for the strike line, Re-Used 2 X 4’s to make header for closet door in office

Learn a skill: except for making bread pudding, nothing new

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE- Since this challenge has ended, I am still at 5 minutes or less in the shower, still catching warm-up water and have discovered putting bucket back in shower to catch some of the water from my shower (approx. 2 gallons) Helps water the plants and I flush the toilet with it.

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE Still happy with the Borage, decided it will make a nice planter plant next season, Still unhappy with the broccoli

JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE Still installing window in the kitchen, turned out there is a 2 X 4 Stud in the way will have to cut it out and then put in header

CRUNCHY CHICKENS' SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE- Well the end of this one! I can happily report my A/C has been quiet, has not run all week or for most of the summer, I had a few lapses and wanted to cool down quickly, but for the most part I figured the ceiling fan with a few windows open (Except when the sun was shining on them) worked better! I can also report that our power usage for the period ending August (we are on bi- monthly billing here) Was significantly lower that the same period last year! So i would call this challenge a success!

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS' DITCH THE DISPOSABLES CHALENGE -Grabbed my “Kleen Canteen” and a stainless steel coffee mug, and took my plastic bags back to safeway and put them in the recycle bin. Put a non-disposable (Canvas) Bag in each car so as not forget them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little Salesmen

Crap oh crap- School is in session. Today the first of the little salespeople came around. I wish parents wouldn't send their kids around selling stuff. I am not being mean. In fact I would say I am something of a soft touch when it comes to kids trying to raise money for projects at their schools, due to the district not issuing enough money for sports and the arts, the first programs to get cut in our district. I know in my heart the kids would rather be involved in these programs rather than being little sales people trying to keep these programs alive. I know that I only support candidates that are willing to fund these programs (i.e. no republicans) but it has to come down with the residents. I know my mom is tired of paying for other peoples kids, as she puts it.

I have to disagree with her. We always used to support levies in our house growing up, chiefly because my dad worked for the school district. But as I get older, I feel that supporting schools is the right thing to do, because good schools make good adults. That is their product. And while it may keep house taxes up, good schools make good House values.

Anyway- i bought two packages of wrapping paper. Told you I was a soft touch.


World's Cutest Baby
I have been going through the family photographs. God we were strange when I was young. What started all this was I wanted to put them all on cd's and keep a couple of copies around in case of fire, earthquake, foreclosure or some other disaster that seems to be going around. And I suppose I can share the discs with others - providing that they write an agreement stating that I was the cutest baby ever. Still am. Trust me!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CHALLENGE UPDATE! Or what I didn't get done this week!

I didn't get as much done this week as I would have hope to; strike is still a big deal around this house, Although I did help out at the Stratocruisers Car Show which raises money for variuos charities around the Puget Sound

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge:
Plant something: Nada
Prep something: Finished prepping guest room/closet for storing things
Harvest something: Lettuce, Cucmbers, tomatoes, Green peppers, a few peas
Manage something: Made new planting box; Worked the Stratocruisers car show, which raised money for various charities including Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline, King County Medic One, Pierce County Medic One, The LeMay Museum, Enumclaw Hospital , The Family Renewel Center in Tacoma, Children's Orthopedic Hospital; Still putting in new window in kitchen (still in work)
Cook Something New: Green pepper fritatta
Work on Local Food Systems: Nothing, although did get some bread from strike head quarters
Reuse, reduce, recyle or repair or Compost something: Composted old plants; cut tree limbs;
Learn a skill: Took the WSU Extension Service class"Productive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces- Planning Raised Beds and Containers"at the Burien Community Center. This got me enthused enought to make a new planter box

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE : Still the same, found a new bucket to catch warm up water in, found I collect about a gallon of water if I leave it in while taking a shower!

CRUNCHY CHICKENS' SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE: Even though we have been having real nice weather, and it has gotten warm here the last few days, No A/C use at all except I did turn it on for a few hours after the car show, as I was taking a nap and wanted some cool!

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE: Very happy with the borage, very unhappy with the broccoli

JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE: Didn't do much this week- still putting in window (hope to be done this week)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rather uneventful day!

I took the second class in the WSU Extension Service "Tools for Resourceful Living" series tonight. Tonight was "Productive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces- Planning Raised Beds and Containers". It is always nice to know when you are or are not doing things correctly.
The "facilitator" was a King County Master gardener, former biology teacher, professor and pretty good speaker. I like these classes but whatever happened to recess???

And I made an apple crisp to celebrate the apple harvest! I got almost two bags off my little apple tree and the neighbors branches that hang over the fence!

And finally, got a great pic of a bee enjoying the borage!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Challenge update

Plant something: Garlic, Beets, icicle radishes

Prep something: currently installing a window on the south wall of my kitchen- it should let in more light and help warm the kitchen

Harvest something: Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers

Manage something:not this week

Cook Something New:Blackberry fritters

Work on Local Food Systems: Participated in NW Bloggers picnic

Reuse, reduce, recycle or repair or Compost something: reusing 6 X 4’S for my window project

Learn a skill: nope

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE : One day this week I stayed in the shower for 10 minutes due to a sore shoulder. The water massage blasted it. I felt so guilty I didn't shower the next day.

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE: Borage is in full bloom, the flowers do not taste like honey they taste like cucumber! I didn't realize how big the plant would get- next year it will get it's own spot not share with my huckleberries. Gave the broccoli some liquid gold.

JENNIFER'S STOP THE LEAKS CHALLENGE: Caulked the windows. Adding a duo-pane window to the kitchen on the southern wall, hoping to help warm the kitchen and give some light, too

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Well I can report that I now know what Crunchy Chicken, Melinda, The Shiba guyz, the shiba guyz's shibas, Laura from the (not so)Urban hennery look like. And I met a few I had never had the honor of reading their blogs before -Michael Fagin, a couple of jenifers, a few more.
Everyone had a great time, eating the local foods- We talked about our gardens, and discussed canning. We watched in awe of a guy who practicing walking a tight rope( later he was practicing throwing knives) and when another guy decided it was time to sunbathe in his speedo, it was time to say buhbye. Thanks to Melinda and the crunchster for spearheading this. And thanks to Melinda for the name tags, which were seeded paper. The food was great- Jennifer brought carrotcake with the best icing on it, Shiba guyz brought great local cheese. I brought refrigerator pickles and some dandelion fritters! All in all a good time for everyone.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Well it must be fall, because every three years or so I find myself on the strike line again!Oh well- employment was too nice of a luxury. LOL. Good thing I got a lot of projects to do at home for awhile, before I got to go out and find a real job!

Gas saving tip o' the day

Before- my trunk runneth over
LOSE TRUNK WEIGHT, JUMBO-I found a new way to increase the gas mileage of my vehicles. Unload your trunk. Today's cars are built for very little tolerance of weight.This is a trick from hyper milers- they will not only unload the trunk, they will take out seats and the spare tire, and other things I am just not ready to do. But I can unload the crap out of my trunk. Upon a recent inventory of my trunk, I have a bag of rocks (for landscaping), a bag of top soil, miscellaneous tools,Cans of paint, which weigh in all total approximately 160 pounds or 1 average person. "Hey fat ass, get outta my car!" Anyway with that all removed and a few items from the back seat- (Amazing how one person can get all this into one sub-compact car, but hey when you have talents...). And the next time you have a flat and don't have to spend an hour taking everything out of your trunk to get to the spare, you'll thank me.

What? You don't carry a 60 pound bag of crushed marble in your trunk?

Now it is clean ORGANIZE-
Now some folks like to put organizers in there car to keep things separate. And I have seen these things for sale at ridiculous prices! I say scaaaaaaareeeeeeew that and use what you got. You can put things in plastic grocery bags even. Me- I choose to use all the lap top bags I have. This way you can reuse an item and organize your trunk at the same time. I have also used 1 gallon plastic plant pots(for loose tools), milk crates. Anything that fits.
After- Clean and light! Yes I know it still needs vacumming!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to insulate a window for under $2

Jennifer's "Stop the Leaks" challenge has me all pumped up. So lets start with window insulation. First seal all cracks and leaks with caulking. This is easy to do. Just watch this video:

If you dont have dou-pane windows, you are losing a lot of heat through your windows. Storm windows - the answer? Not necessarily,First they are expensive. Second, not easy to put up (especially 2nd and 3rd story windows). 3rd, if you rent, it will be like pulling teeth to get your landlord to pay for them.Install NEW Dou-pane or Tri-pane Windows? Got a loan. So what's a guy to do? Well for a couple of bucks, you can get a Shrink & Seal Window Kit. They are available at most home improvement stores. They are easy to install. The only tools you need are a box cutter. And a hair dryer. I know most of you gals and a few guys already know how to handle one of those. Even Bald Rob has a hair dryer. I used to have hair! and I need one to dry stinky dinky binky after his bath. It is easy as pie. You simply put the double backed tape around the frame and then spread out the plastic sheet and put around the frame. Then when the film is tight take the dryer and heat the film, this should take out any wrinkles. All this and it only costs about $2 per window. The savings on your fuel bill will be higher. And more than pay for the film kits. When I lived in Ye olde mobile home, I had storm windows but the large picture window was missing the storm window. So I used these kits because those windows were something else drafty. My current house has duo-pane windows except one which will get this treatment this winter.
This video will give you the idea, but remember most kits are for the interior. But the idea is the same. I have never seen this particular product from 3M.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yet another challenge!

Jennifer at Tiny Old House Blog is posting a challenge. the "Stop the Leaks" challenge, encouraging everyone to seal and insulate their home. With natural gas and heating oil prices (even electricity as I have) being what they are, it is probably a good idea to seal and insulate where ever you can! And she will be going about this month by month, and wants some company!
So I encourage anyone who reads this here blog to mosey on over to THE TINY OLD HOUSE and sign up! Even renters can help seal up their units! This would be especially prudent if the Crunchy Chick poses another my ass feels like an ice cube challenge this winter!