Saturday, January 31, 2009

Damn this economy- damn it

I just found out my little day of spring in the middle of winter is about to become a victim of the economy- The Northwest Flower and Garden Show- the second largest in the country, is about to go away. This is the last year of the 21 year old show. According to the press release, they couldn't find a suitable buyer. This will also end the San Francisco Flower show. Just think of how this works- no show means 5 dates in the Convention Center that will go unrented, and all the little restaurants and businesses lose that revenue (The show usually attracts between 60,000 and 80,000 attendees, all who want lunch, the same time I do!). The convention center is full of little cafes and restaurants. And this is probably one of the biggest shows at the convention center. Not to mention the vendors and such that make up a great part of the show. According to the local media, They have had a hard time in finding a buyer- maybe they need to post an ad in Craigslist:

FOR SALE- Seattle area Garden show, and satellite show in SF- One week of prissy landscapers, garden architects, vendors and a few great junk artists. Lots of people- Price $1,000,000. US funds only (unless you have euros which are worth more than US Dollars)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Guess who got Tutored???!!!

Run Romi RUN!!! DON'T let the vet catch you!

Poor little Romeo- Life is tuff- Hump one leg and BAM You get Nuetered.

Yup Romeo went under the knife today and got nuetered. Suffice it to say, he now HATES the vet and doesn't think much about me! Maybe I shoulda got him some fake ones.

Anyway, Dr. Hetrick, Romeo's Vet, a very nice and very patient vet- Did the honors today. Now Romeo can get a license to be a dog!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I got tagged...

by Chile. When she was supposed to be McDougaling Here are the rules:

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Facts about myself:
1- I have been known to eat dandelions- in a fritter!
2- I do not imbibe in any alcohol and haven't for 14 years- Yet I make brandy and infused Vodka
3- I really really desire an electric car. Really.
4- I am a member of a classic car club, and was the past president, And I own a 1979 MGB, a 1966 Plymouth and a 1967 Vespa
5- MY cat eats pizza or anything with a tomato base
6- I have no cartilidge in my left knee
7- Secretly I want to own a book store- With Used books, a cat in the store and Espresso!

Now for 7 people- hmmmm- I think I will go with
1-Burban Mom- AKA "AWOL Missy"we haven't heard from her for awhile. LEts see id we can summons her out!
2-The Cheap Vegetable Gardener- AKA "Garden Geek"Very interesting guy- he's cheaper than me! His blog is full of frugal gardening ideas. He is a Geeky Gardener with his computerized grow boxes!
3. The Pirate Farmer- the blogger formerly known as "IBMommy"- I am glad she is still telling her tales of eco-blogging and battling the HOA
4-Justice Desserts- AKA "THE REV"-Verde blogs about her challenges being a homesteading minister living in the middle of nowhere. Really good reading
5. The Farmer's Daughter- AKA "The TEACH". She is living the good life, teaching Botany and enjoying married life (or rather enjoying making her husband work putting together the taj mahal of pantrys)
6-JIM'S STEPS-AKA "JIMBOLINI 23"A Fairly new blog (to me at least) I enjoy hearing about his steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle, And his never ending battle vermi-composting
7- One Green Generation My friend Melinda trying to build community and a decent life on Seattle's Capitol Hill with her husband, dog and kitty. Great Recipes on this blog!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Introducing Fake Plastic Rob

As accustomed as I am to not having original thoughts shut me up on this blog, today I think I will copy Fake Plastic Fish. Yesterday Beth made wonderful mustard and eliminated one more plastic condiment bottle from her clutches. Today I will make Catsup in an effort to eliminate a plastic bottle from mine!
This recipe is from the All Things Frugal site. I unashamedly stole it. First gather your ingredients:
1 Can Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar

Mix together, cover and refrigerate. (Note the human power mixer I used whereas Beth used an electric blender). *Electric-power consuming Fake Plastique Fish? Fake plastic Fish is really an Electric Eel?

This is how much I got out one batch plus about enough to cover two weenies- Refrigerate and it should keep for a month

The taste of this is very similar to chutney I buy at Trader Joes. Very sweet and good. And while the initial expense of the spices seems far from frugal, I would imagine one could buy them in bulk for a fraction of what I paid. You should also note that keeping in the spirit of FPF, I tried not to buy too many plastic bottle spices- I chose Colman's Dry Mustard (In a tin) and used my Trader Joe's cinnamon (in a glass bottle)- Any way I can now say that i will not buy ketchup in plastic bottles again. Thanks Beth. As far as the frugal goes you use just a small amount of the spices that cost wise it should be good.
*I tease Beth unmercifully in this post. But she is one cool fish, and her campaign against plastic usage is important and sincere. Anything I can do to help reduce plastic waste is always OK by me.

Vioboy??? Where are you???

I have not heard from Vioboy/Zach/Green gardener yet for his address to send him the Swiss Chard seeds he won in my Blog-iversary Giveaway If I don't hear from him by Friday at my email, I will be forced to pick a new winner from those who entered!

What to do with sprouts

I had to come up with a recipe for sprouts, before they went bad and Crunchy gives me a demerit in the Food Waste Reduction Challenge- (I don't mind the demerits so much but I think the whips are totally unnecessary) And it had to be something to take to work in my tiffin. So here is what I went with: loving slaw made out of cabbage or broccoli, I thought mung bean sprout slaw. I simply mixed up my favorite slaw dressing (which I also use on potato salad) and Voila! A crunchy, crispy, tasty slaw made with fresh grown bean Sprouts!

About 1 cups worth of mung bean sprouts
A handful of radish sprouts
A handful of alfalfa sprouts
Your favorite slaw dressing
Toss all together in a bowl- chill and serve!

¼ cup of mayo (I suppose you could sub a vegan mayo)
1 tablespoon of plain mustard
1-2 tablespoons of vinegar
Agave nectar or honey to taste

Mix dressing ingredients really well. Pour into cabbage, shredded broccoli or on bean sprouts, and then toss. Let sit for a few hours. Also works well as a potato salad dressing

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The world got you down??? Cheer up!

Arduous is feeling a little down. She wants folks to give her some good Eco-news. Well let's see if we can help out with not one, not three but four reasons things could be looking up....

Today I went shopping at Trader Joe's and needed some new bags. I found the greatest bags at TJ's - Made out of 100% post consumer waste; They were called "Trader Joe's I used to be a plastic bottle Reusable Grocery bag" Best title for a grocery bag I have seen in a long time. I love buying things that are made out of garbage!

I started sprouting again. Not wings- but sprouts I started some radish sprouts on sunday and some lentils tomorrow. Not necessarily news but it is something.

Honda and Toyota are starting a hybrid car war. The fact that two auto builders are building hybrids at all is news and the fact they are ready to go all out on the offensive to sell them is good news. Better than "what's their latest SUV???"

The U.S. finally has a president that seems to get the Eco thing. And he is for "green Jobs" That's the best news in a long time.

Arduous, No one said Rome was built in a day, and people don't learn to walk in a day- but rather by baby-steps, one foot in front of the other- so when the news gets you down, try and look at the positive. Now enough of my Pollyanna-ism- I checked my worm bin today- shoulda took those little buggers in before the cold weather started-It was mass worm-icide! I now have a bin of frozen worm meat and No Chile I am not gonna eat them. I will bury them in the main composter and start over. That is the beauty of life, Arduous- you get to try things again and again until they are right!

What a Night!

Well let me tell you - there is nothing more alarming than when the phone rings at 12:30 and you don't get to it in time- the Caller ID said it was my mom and then my cell phone goes off when I am trying to call her back And it is my mom. She asked if I could drive her to the emergency room. So I got my clothes on (I had been in bed) And went over there. Her neck and arm were in excruciating pain. Drove her to the ER. Waited for 2 and 1/2 hours. Turns out her degenerative disease in her disks were causing pain, They gave her an MRI and a bunch of drugs. She is much better today. Still a bit sore. I drove her to the pharmacy and we had lunch. But dammit that is a scare. I think I take it for granted she will always be around! I keep forgetting my mom is 76 years old. Even if she does nothing to indicate her age. That seems to be the age people in my family start deteriorating. Oh well I am more than glad to take her to the ER and find out it isn't much than take her and find out it is something big.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Improve your Vocabulary and Feed the Hungry!

Help end world hunger

I don't know if any of you saw this link in my side bar- but it goes to Free, a cool site that gives 10 free grains of rice for every vocabulary word you get right and there are other things to do too- geography, art etc. So check them out and see how much rice you can donate. You will be amazed how fast it adds up!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Week 32
Plant Something: Some Chives, Rosemary, Basil and Oregano inside for the windowsill in kitchen; Started some radish sprouts; started some scallions bulbs
Harvest Something:Nothing
Preserve something: Cooked and froze some rice (made too much)
Store something: Nothing
Manage Reserves: Bought some seed potatoes that I stored in the garage
Cook Something New: Chicken Marsala using leftover guinea hen from last week

Chicken Marsala using left over chicken
4 cups of roasted cubed chicken
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil, dried
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (1/2 to 1 cup sliced)
1/2 cup Marsala wine
Preparation:Combine flour, salt, pepper, and basil; mix well. Heat oil and butter in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour mixture. Cook chicken until lightly browned on first side (about 2 to 3 minutes). Turn chicken and add mushrooms around the chicken pieces. Cook about 2 minutes longer, until lightly browned; stir the mushrooms. Add Marsala wine to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with hot cooked pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.

*Edit- I use cooked guinea hen- I just stripped the chicken of the carcass and followed the directions, yes even dredging. Come out just fine

Prep Something: Made some “earthtainers” found a new easier way to make them- thanks to book “Fresh Food From Small Spaces" by R.J. Rupenthal that I won in Crunchy Chickens blog
Reduce Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair: Reused some old flower pots to plant the chives, Rosemary, Basil and oregano in. I Took Old microwave that burned out to the appliance dump at the local garbage dump; took cardboard boxes that new microwave and range hood came in to the recycle center at the dump. Got my grandma’s old work toolboxes from my uncle- Using the roll-away as a sofa table, the small upper tool box for putting store all my scissors in, paint tubes, small tools in.
Learn a New Skill: None
Work on Community Food Security: Nope

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE:Not to good this week- Had to buy a new microwave and a hood vent fan to replace the Microwave/Hood Vent that had electrical challenges; Hate having to buy and replace appliances. I replaced it with a regular microwave and a separate hood vent. Took the old one to the appliance dump at the landfill.

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Going good at 55/65. I am over my cold from hell so no need to warm up the house to 70 when I am home.

Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out-Put art/craft supplies in my grandma’s old work toolboxes I got from my uncle. Using the rollaway as a sofa table, the upper tool box in the spare room were I do most of my work!

Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge: New Challenge- did pretty good- leftovers all week, the only food waste was some orange peels and banana peels in the food waste bin. Put some bread in the worm bin. Froze some rice (cooked too much) to use later in week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Great Day for old Treasure!

My Uncle Art surprised me last weekend- he sent me an email offering me my Grandma's Tool Box. I immediately responded Yes! I would love to have it!

So I tripped out with Romeo in the truck and went and got the toolbox. See- it even has grandma's tool ID stickers from Boeing on it. I am thinking it would make a great sofa table, with storage for art/junking/hacking supplies. The upper toolbox is perfect to store allmy scissors in, paint tubes, what have you. Sammy Cat got into the toolbox right away - My cat is a tool!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A bright new day!

A joke from a co-worker

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue , where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."
The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."
The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.
The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."
The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."
The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.
The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U. S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."
The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"
The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The North West Flower and Garden show is coming on February 18-22 at the Washington Trade and Convention Center in Seattle. I love this show. It is like a blast of spring just hit Seattle. There are numerous seminars and info to find. I am taking (or going to try) the seminar "Salvage Savvy" featuring speaker Beth Evans-Ramos Co-author, 'Salvage Studio' & partner in The Salvage Studio, a local "shop" or studio for salvaging things for your home and garden (And one of my local heroes!). I will be taking that seminar and one on Sustainable containers, with key speaker Wendy Welch. There are seminars there on Eco garden tools, Sustainable gardening and a whole slew of topics.

The fun thing about the show is knowing a bit about the show and the interesting things that go on behind the scene- tons of dirt is brought in, plants started early to be ready for the show, it is quite an impressive feat.
There are vendors there, so I will be looking for Cow Pots. I don't want to mail order them, due to shipping fees, so I will be looking for them. Cow pots or Poo Pots are made from Cow Manure, and I want to see if they work any better than toilet paper tubes. The garden show is where I got my balls.
So now you know where to find me on February 20th. I will be out scoping new garden ideas.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So I was reading fake plastic fish one day, As I do daily, and Beth had posted that togo ware had a 40% discount coupon for those who completed their survey. Well having wanted a tiffin for awhile, You bet I took that survey. And I got my To Go Ware Tiffins last weekend and have been enthralled with them ever since. It actually took me some getting used to the bamboo cutlery, but The tiffins are great. I take them to work everyday with the leftovers that I carry for lunch. The discount through FPF's blog made them affordable. I hope lots of folks try them. This is also helpful for the folks trying Crunchy's new challenge- The food waste reduction Challenge. These tiffins are stainless steel, no-plastic containers that hold an amazing amount of grub. They carry along nicely and are pretty rugged. Romeo and I will have to give them the dog park picnic test! A great value- Thanks Beth!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Proof I got the right dog

"Ruh-Roh, Rob we need to get this thing more power!"
You gotta love a dog that the first thing he does in his new back yard is get on the tractor and sniff out the PTO control. Romeo wants to dig bigtime. With More Power!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh goody- a new challenge

Food Waste Reduction Challenge - February 2009

Ok Another Challenge- but this one is important. Americans waste too much damn food. The thinking man (or me) would say plan your meals, use your left overs. I love left overs- it's the only way I get tuna casserole and I loves me some tuna casserole. Anyway Crunchetta, as always good challenge- it will be interesting to see how some of us do at it. Of course greenpa is already admonishing the rest of us to get rid of our frigidaires!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

May I introduce ROMEO

Here is the dog formerley known as Romi. I renamed him Romeo. Just so I could see the looks on my neighbors faces when I am outside yelling " Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?"
It takes so little to amuse me.
He is a bundle of energy, not unlike the Jack Russell two houses down. He met Topaz the labrador. All is fine there. She didn't get all crochety about him being around. Sammy the cat is another story. He looked at me when I brought Romi home and the expression on his face was "What the hell is THAT???" Now Romeo is sleeping on his spot on my bed. That will go over big!
We have already had our first go out to Petsmart and a little later we will walk around the neighborhood. It is good to have a dog again!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekly Challenge update

I had the mother of all colds this week, made it a little difficult to get anything done, let alone work out in the garden, I am better now, but still have a bad cough

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Week 31
Plant Something: Nope
Harvest Something: The last of my carrots that wintered over, Swiss chard
Preserve something: Nothing
Store something: Some rice that I put into jars and vacuumed sealed
Manage Reserves: Repaired the hose on the water barrel again! Got down the Christmas lights (it’s not even Easter yet!) Put them away, got some storage bins to make earthtainers!
Cook Something New: Southern Style Polenta, commonly known as Grits; Put some Guinea hens in the rotisserie (I Never cooked Guinea hens in the rotisserie before)
Prep Something: Made some starter pots out of toilet paper tubes
Reduce Waste- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair: Cleaned out the bead were the carrots and chard where planted, composted the carrot tops. Used some toilet paper tubes for starter pots. Took some used storage bins from Mom’s to make earthtainers, Souped up a rolling tea cart for mom to put her “garden” on so she can wheel it into the sunlight
Learn a New Skill: How to prepare Grits
Work on Community Food Security: Nothing, sorry to say- Wait a minute got the seeds sent out that folks won in my Giveaways this week (Except for Vioboy whom as not sent his address yet)

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Did pretty well for this week- Only Groceries and a few pieces of hardware that was needed. Did buy two Storage Bins to make earthtainers out of

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Everything is at 65 when at home, 55 when in bed or gone

Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out-Not so much here- did get the Christmas lights off the house and put away, Cleaned out the pantry (again) before the new dog comes home


Picture by Coghill Cartooning

It looks like I will be a father again. I met the pooch today. His name is Romi. I will be picking him up tomorrow morning. I am such a dip- I stopped by Pets Mart and got him a collar and a retractable leash, and I got an ID Tag made. Now I have to make an appointment to get him "tutored"- that's right I must turn the cock-a-poo into a cock-less-poo. But I am okay with it as I believe in nuetering pets. Bob Barker would kiss me. So would any owners of un-spayed female dogs. But I am not sure of that name. All I can think of is the movie Romy and Michelle- not a bad movie but still... at least Romy was the "smart" one.
Pics tomorrow after he is mine!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog-Iversary Giveaways Sears Gift Card Winner

Well, the old clock on the on the right side of the blog is saying 5:00pm, so it is time to warm up the Old Random Integer Generator to see who wins the Sears Gift Card and Mr Generator says- Number 2- A quick check and Number 2 is Chile!
Congratulations Chile Womman! You are today's winner in the Blog-Iversary Giveaway! I wonder what the queen of declutter will buy from Sears. Chile if you could send me your snail mail particulars to I will get the gift card in your hands ASAP
A big thank you to all who entered in the giveaways. You made my Blog-iversary real fun! Hopefully more next year!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dreaming of Spring

Since Melinda is talking gardening already,I dug into my seed box to see what I have so far-
Seeds to grow in the ground:
Carrots- Rainbow Blend- imagine Red carrots, white Carrots and yellow along with orange I grew these last year and they have "wintered over" beautifully
Carrot - Parisian Market- A "thumbellina" carrot
Swiss Chard- Bright Lights- again with a multi-color theme the stalks are white, orange, yellow or red, again a repeat from last year
Beans- stringless Blue lake
Beans- Scarlet runner
Turnip- Seven Top
Bush Beans- Blue Lake
Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson
Lettuce -Parris Island (Romaine)
Snap Peas -Super sugar snap(The pods never get to form peas, cause I am always out in the front yard taking a pea)
Beets- Detroit Dark Red Beets- Early wonder
Radish - Organic Cherry Belle
Corn-Bandit, Hybrid
Basil- Magical Michael
Borage (I just found out that Burpee's considers this an Herb)
Dill- Mammoth

What I will start indoors:
(Yes I am slightly nuts- only slightly as I plan on just a few- 4-6 of each variety)
Tomatos- Heirloom:
Julia Child
Box Car Willie
Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red
Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifters
Amish Red
Hawaiian Currant

Tomato Cherry type( I actually got these varieties to put into pots for my mom)
Windowbox Roma
Fruit Basket (again so mom can grow something)
Pumpkin- Triple Treat
Squash- Sweet Gourmet Hybrid- this is a type of squash simular to what my aunt Shirley used to grow to make stuffed squash

Oh yeah
Broccolli- the demon seed
Phew- my ass is gonna be busy- I hope that dog is a garden dog! Anyway have to make some more earthtainers and some more Raised beds.I hear talk that Greeen Sheeep is going to start Square foot Gardening- I started a yahoo Group years ago The Square Foot Gardening Club group that is still going on strong, thanks mainly to me having the fore sight to ask a couple of members to take over moderating the group with 3236 members as of tonight, a real good source when you have questions on SFG. I whole heartedly invite everyone to take a look see!
And I hope everyone takes Melinda's Growing Challenge I had a great time with it last year - except for that damn broccolli

Congratulations to Caragonza- She won the triple treat pumpkin seeds. I hope you like pumpkin pie, and pumpkin soup, and pumpkin seeds there caragonza- You will be enjoying a bunch of pumpkin treats with these seeds- I grew two plants last year and they provided me with a bunch of nice pumpkins. I actually like these over the "sugar Pie" variety. Anyway, just send me your snail mail info to and I will get your seeds sent out as soon as possible!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

News of a different sort

I may not be dog less anymore. I go Friday morning to meet my possible new pup, a Cock-A-Poo whose owner abandoned him at a boarding Kennel. He is 3 years old and according to the kennel owner looks like a Cocker Spaniel with poodle hair. And he needs hair cuts! (One of my best memories of my first yorkie Max, was taking to get him groomed monthly- we would make a whole day of it, He would get groomed and then we would go to the park and have a picnic, sometimes go to pets mart after to look at dog toys)Anyway sounds promising.

Blog-Iversary Giveaways Swiss Chard Seed Winner

Okay charging up the Random Integer Generator and it picks comment #6- The Organic Gardener akaVioboy as the winner of the ruby red Organic Swiss Chard seeds. Hope he plants these delicous seeds and takes pics-I don't know if you have visited VioBoy's Green Gardener blog yet, I strongly suggest you do- he is quite a photographer, and is quite knowledgeable on seed saving- Just the thing for those in Melissa's Growing Challenge for 2009- we need to learn to save seeds! Anyway, Vioboy send me your snail mail particulars at and I will send you your packet of chard seed!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seeds Winner

The winner of the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seeds was - comment #3- robj98168. That'll teach me to make fun of teachers.So I hit the Random Integer Generator on the side and it came up with comment #5- Abbie, the farmers Daughter. So Abbie, if you send your particulars to me at, I will get your seeds to you very soon!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blog-iversary DVD Winner

Well the first winner in the Blog-Iversary Celebration is- Mr Random Integer Generator puhleeze-

#4-Brad@ContainerGardening . So Brad, just email me with your Snail mail info at, and I will get your DVD in the mail to you muy pronto!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekly Challenge Update

Cocoa Nut Bananas

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Week 30

Plant something: Nuthing
Harvest something- Nope
Manage something: Cleaned out freezer

Cook Something New: Made some “Cocoa-Nut” Bananas”
“Cocoa-Nut” Bananas. Cocoa and coconut-crusted bananas are a treat for the whole family.

4 teaspoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons toasted unsweetened coconut
2 small bananas, sliced on the bias

DIRECTIONS Place cocoa and coconut on separate plates. Roll each banana slice in the cocoa, shake off the excess, then dip in the coconut.

Work on Local Food Systems: nope
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Re-Duce, Repair or Compost something: Just the usual- made some Bel cloche out of juisce bottles, saved the tamper rings from the bottles to make mini wreaths;
Learn a skill: Learned how to make mini wreaths to decorate the tree and packages next christmas!
MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Didn’t buy too much that wasn’t groceries this week. Bought a new pair of shoes, because the pair I had fell apart- well I will probably reuse them as planters, bought a container of “white out”- it does save on paper when I make mistakes.
Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: I must admit to turning the heat up at night- I have a horrendous cold and get the chills!
Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out- Sorted out my seed box, and did a giveaway for some extra packets of seeds that I had. Trying to finish putting away Christmas crap. I need to take the lights down off the house- but it has been raining cats and dogs- I know because today I stepped in a poodle.

Blog-Iversary Giveaway- Sears Gift Card

A haven for tool guys!
Finally, on the Blogiversary giveaways, we have a $25 gift card to Sears- great for tools, shovels, rakes, etc. Or maybe a partial payment on that lawn tractor you've had your eye on, or what ever tickles your fancy! Same rules- to enter the giveaway just post a comment to this post. This contest ends on Friday January 16, 5PM PST

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blog-Iversary Giveaway- Triple treat pumpkin seeds

Up next is a packet of pumpkin seeds "What- he is giving away more pumpkin seeds?" Relax- this is a packet of Burpee's Triple treat pumpkin seeds-much smaller than atlantic giant They are called triple treat because they are Triple purpose, round pumpkins.
Triple purpose, bright orange-skinned, round pumpkins 9" across weigh 8 lbs. Good for Halloween carving. Thick, deep orange flesh is excellent for pies. Hull-less seeds are delicious raw or cooked. Ready to harvest 110 days after sowing. To enter to win a packet of Triple treats, just post a comment . Contest ends January 15th at 5PM PST.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blog-iversary Give away- Swiss Chard Seeds

OK Next up on the Blog-Iversary is a packet of Organic Swiss Chard (ruby Red) Seeds from Irish Eyes Seeds. Tasty, yummy swiss chard- delicous in a salad or cooked as greens.
Same rules apply- post a comment to enter, winner picked by random on January 14th, 5 pm PST

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Giveaway

O.K., Miss Oprah gives away cars, but I give away Giant pumpkin seeds. Next up on the Blog-iversary giveaways is 1- 5gram packet of Dill's Atlantic Giant pumpkin Seeds. Impress your friends! Be Famous- Grow a pumpkin you can drive a Subaru into! Just leave a comment to this post to be entered. This Give away opportunity ends 5pm P.S.T. on the 13th! Winners of course picked by random number.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Junk Beautiful DVD Giveaway

I am getting ready to celebrate my blog-ivesary. I will have been blogging for a year on January 16th- So to start the celebration, lets do a give-away! First up is from "Junk Beautiful" magazine is a copy of Editor Sue Whitney's How to Turn Flea market finds into Unique Decor DVD. I watched it once so it is not new.

Just the thing for Make do and mend folks, and folks trying to keep items out of the waste stream!

It is a great magazine and the dvd follows Sue around her house which is decorated and furnished with beautiful items she finds and recreates from flea markets, on the side of the road or where ever. A great magazine for someone who appreciates dumpster diving like I do, the dvd shows some unique items she has made and her three bathrooms which are very cute and very well done. So here are the rules to enter- leave a comment to this post- that's it! Winner will be picked from random. So good luck everyone!

OOOPs - Giveaway ends on Monday, January 12 at 5PM PST!

It's back - a New Growing Challenge!

Just when I was starting to "de-stress" along comes Melinda and the new and improved Growing Challenge. A new twist to the challenge start the veggies and fruit from seed and save the seeds from harvest for the next season.

I am determined to grow a decent head of Broccoli, if it's the last thing I ever grow. Broccoli stresses me, It is one of those things I just cannot seem to grow. Even if I have perfect conditions for it. It is like "Crunchy's Lemon Tree, she is stressing out over the tree. And let me tell you- it aint healthy.

I tried growing demon-broccoli from seed last summer and when the starts fried, I tried a winter crop- I wasn't counting on this place turning into the artic tundra! And slugs! Who knew that slugs consider vegetable seedlings a delicay? I tire myself out over those damn broccoli seedlings. That and those evil slugs have just about done me in. All this for a vegetable I wouldn't have sneezed at let alone eat as a kid.

So here is to a new growing season and to renewed hope and desire. And a good shaker of salt, for my little sluggo friends.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekly Challenge Update

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Bought some buttons and some embroidery thread to repair my work Jacket. Went to new hardware store in Burien- didn’t buy anything but had a great time browsing the aisles of plumbing parts, screws, and hardware. Went to local shops in Olde Burien and bought a “snotty” egg separator, a cutting board, some habanero jelly and some peach salsa, which as it turns out was made in Kent, a town about 10 miles away. Bought a Nintendo DS game, don’t know of a local source for them so I bought at Fry’s.

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Back to normal. Back to letting the programmable thermostat take care of the heat. Had another snow storm last night and lost power. Was surprised that only the bathroom light was on! (Roomate went to bathroom- imagine his surprise when he turned the switch on and no ‘lectricity!

Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out- Got my Christmas Tree stuff down from 4 roughneck bins to 3. Just put some old C7 christmas lights on free-cycle to give away!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Make due and Mend Challenge = The Final Check-In

Make Do and Mend Challenge:Sewed new buttons on my work jacket (a different one) and mended the torn sleeves. Glued the “hat” back on the top of one of my nutcrackers that battled Sammy cat and lost. Re-used and made do with some led Christmas lights for lighting on the deck- Low Watts- works great! Currently working on adapting my fire screen to work with the electric log and fit the fire box again! I Re-Used an old laundry bag to store my artificial Christmas trees in. The box was wearing out- it is over 5 years old!
I started this challenge because I think Repair should be considered the fourth “R” in Re-cycle, Re-Duce and Re-Use. It has been an interesting two months with the folks who signed up, al lot of clothing repair, and people fixed just about everything imaginable. Ib Mommy even fixed her car with duct tape!
I want to thank all those who participated on their blogs, and those who participated in spirit!
Rob at Rob's World, Lori Ann at Simple Makes, Burbanmom at Going Green, Verde at Justice Desserts, Tara at Enough, Fleecenik Farm at Fleecenik Farms, Hausfrau at Peak Oil Hausfrau, Amanda at Rambling Thoughts of an Eccentric, D.A. at All in Good Health, IBMommy at IBMommy, Full Freezer at My Freezer is Full, Eric & Juila at Ramshackle Solid, Chile at Chile Chews, Greeen Sheeep at Greeen Sheeep, Prudent Homemaker at The Prudent Homemaker, Purloined Letter at The Purloined Letter, Sylvia at Today's Budget , Stephany at Naturally Simple, Lisa at Condo Blues, Eeemily at Eeesapples, Melinda at One Green Generation, Debbie at Artful Aspirations, "M" at Thoughts, Songs and Stuff, Mary at Cat's Fiber Adventures, Jennifer at Tiny Old House

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Day of Un-Sustainability Or Not

Every once in awhile I go off the deep end. I discovered that we now have an Ace hardware store in Burien. I love hardware stores. We have been without a local hardware for so long now! So I ambled on in. The store is very well put together. And I don't know if I would say this is un-sustainable or not. The advantages are if I need some screws or some wire nuts or any number of small hardware items, and they sell canning items! I no longer have to drive like a maniac to Lowe's or Home Depot to get this stuff! Plus it is actually within reasonable distance to the house- A quick bus trip or scooter trip or a nice walk on a nice day! And I don't think I consider Ace a Big Box retailer either- most all stores are locally owned and operated. And this store is within my "shopping" circle- My drugstore, post office, the metro transit center are all in the same vicinity!
I spent the rest of my Saturday shopping- local businesses in Olde Burien- I discovered a kitchen shop and bought a cutting board made out of the same wooden material as skateboards.
And i went into Dan the sausage man's shop and bought a snotty egg seperator, some Habanero Jelly and peach salsa. Followed all that with a nice Shrimp Poor Boy and coffee at the Tin Room made for a great afternoon!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

This Mid Century House and 2009

I try to set a few goals every year and 2009 is no exception.

GOAL 1- Install the shower in my bedroom bathroom. This has been a dream for the past 5 years and every year comes and goes with no shower. I found the perfect size shower pan years ago (for an RV) that will allow me to go through the closet and not have to do any major de-construction.

GOAL 2- Landscape my front yard- Another unmet goal from last year. I am trying for a No grass landscape- pretty much there since the construction. Also would like to do a Rain Garden. The driveways are easy- 1 will be gravel, the other I will do some type of concrete over the old one- perhaps permeable concrete. Although that makes little sense since the old would still be there- Other wise I would have to break up the old driveway. And I don't want to add to the waste stream with all that concrete. Or Plan "B"- Repair the old drive way- less waste and less work.

GOAL 3- install windows in my garage- yet another plan that didn't make it in 2008- I already have windows purchased at 2nd Use, the local Habitat for Humanity 2nd hand store here in the Seattle area. Not a hard job, but one of those that requires warmer weather as the Garage building is not heated. Needs to get done before I start tomato's as the garage would be perfect with windows - 2 southern exposure, 2 eastern exposure for plant starting

GOAL 4- Build a pergola. I would like to build a pergola along side the front room addition so I can sit and talk about my neighbors.

GOAL 5- new exterior doors on laundry room and my bedroom.

GOAL 6- build a sunroom on my deck. Just off the exterior door. Great place to sit. Great place to let the cat air out.

What do y'all think- Am I setting myself up for failure again? I think I just need a few weekends off from work to meet these goals.
Notice: no personal goals, no "Self Improvement" goals (why mess with perfection?!?) Just house goals. I don't like to set myself up for personal failure. I fail and it makes me feel all emo and stuff. Besides that's what Challenges are for!