Saturday, October 31, 2009


Just a little spook time for ya.

I found these candy buckets in the trash. You know I grabbed them.

These skulls are for day of the dead tomorrow at the BIAS. Even thought they are plastic they have LED lights built in, for a neat light effect. The cape on one is the cloth from an old umbrella. The other is recycled from an old Halloween decoration.
As usual my permanent Jack 'O Lanterns are used again this year.

The Gourd 'O Lanterns are something new. I decided to carve gourds in stead of pumpkins. I rather eat the pumpkins. The gourds will be used at the BIAS tomorrow, then composted by the city.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Books for treats!

Here is a great Idea to help declutter your kids rooms! Books for treats . So follow Luann's example and give out your old Children's books for Halloween. Feed Kid's Minds! Not their Cavities! Cool thing about this is you get to recycle, reuse, no purchases, declutter and no packaging all in one shot! Super Hat Trick!
Hmmm- wonder if a kid would want a copy of Living Like Ed or the Raintree nursery catalog???

New bag? Nooooooo!

When I bought my new laptop a year or so ago, I was given the option of a new bag for the lap top. I thought I should get a new bag, but then started thinking about the old bag I had with the old lap top. Why buy a new bag? The one I had with the old laptop served me well - It was a near freebie I found ( cost $1) when I bought my laptop at Boeing Surplus- It is a bit clunky, but then so am I. Then I started to think about all the bags I see go into the dumpster and the surplus bins at work. I often grab one to hold tools and such. So I clicked the No button on the order screen. Not only did I not need a new bag, I wanted to keep my old one. It has tons of pockets and compartments in it to put stuff. It holds lunch, books what have you. So when buying a new laptop I suggest you keep your old bag from your old one, then recycle your old laptop. Here in Seattle we have a store callled Re-PC that takes old computers and laptops and periphials, go through them with a fine tooth comb, recondition them and then sells them. I have seen countless laptop bags at thrift stores and such. So it made no sense to buy a new one. The old one has served me well over he years.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WTF? Bottled Water- Bullshit!

Think bottled water is bottled at the sources like Alaska or Yosemite? Well Penn & Teller take their show "Bullshit" to the level of the Bottled water- showing how bottled water is just a Madison Avenue gimmick.
I understand that there is a need for bottled water, people traveling through the desert- maybe. Of course If I am going through a desert on a horse with no name I choose to take a water jug, but that's just me and how I roll.
Bottled Water?- pretty much it's all BULLSHIT!

Fake Plastic Fish has a great interview with Jackson Browne and some great links to you tube on Bottled water

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

100 Mile Challenge- Planet Green Style

Have you been watching "The 100 Mile Challenge" on Planet Green? Now this is what reality TV should be. Bascially, The good citizens of Mission B.C. have taken on a 100 mile food challenge, started by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, who write on their experiences doing the 100 food mile challenge themselves for one year on a blog and a book. Their book "Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Robust Year of Eating Locally" Is available now.
The show is enjoyable. You see the fails. The successes, the "cheats". Done in a great documentary reality style. I have only seen the first two episodes and I must say that I am hooked. And let me tell you, they mean 100 local miles for everything, oil, wheat (which includes flour) vinegar- even salt and pepper (I was laughing at the St. Cyr familie's quest for salt- they ended up going to the beach and boiling down Ocean Water!And I was equally amazed- (it worked!) That and the search for flour or wheat.
This show makes you question- What's In Your Pantry?
It is amazing to see what folks will do when based with a big challenge. And these folks are doing it for themselves- no money or prizes! I would give this show 4 green thumbs

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Arf...I mean Arrgggh!!!

No Romeo is not trying to horn in on Blitzkrieg's Pirate Dog action... Romeo is trying on his new Pirate Shirt today. Aye Matey- he be a pirate dog. All for Halloween and The Day of the dead festival at the BIAS. I just need to teach him to say Ahrrrgh instead of Arf.

Soap Stands and Homemade Dog Food- The Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 26
1. Plant something: Started some sprouts in my fancy new fangled sprouter
2. Harvest something: Carrots, Tomatoes, Kale, Chard, Acorn Squash, Summer squash, Onions, Beets
3. Preserve something: Froze the homemade dog food I made Romeo; Processing pumpkins, saving seeds for roasting and growing
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something) -Reused and brought out of retirement an old 1 cup coffee brewer instead of buying a new brewer at work;
5. Preparation and Storage: Made some homemade Dog Food for Romeo and froze it, Bought some Mason Jars at the thrift store; Working on cleaning out the freezer in the garage in prep for the new one; Cooked potato sausages, boiled the game hens to make dog/cat food, roasted turkey thigh!
6. Build Community Food Systems: Took 5 pounds of tomatoes that I was ripening from the community garden to the food bank
7. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Roasted Carrots, Beets and onions, Veggie Soup: Made some bean burritos with shredded Chard and onions on them,

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Nothing new to report - except processing pumpkins and saving some of the seeds

Meat Free Mondays: At a muffin and coffee for Breakfast. Soup and salad for lunch. Bean burritos for dinner

Ditch The Disposables -This weeks DTD FAILS: I got some soup at work cafeteria, as I had a Gift chip from there, and used a plastic soup spoon. That and the Styrofoam bowl. But got right back up on the horse again. I forgot Muggsly when I went for a coffee- Couldn’t drink coffee there, so they made it in a paper cup, I didn’t put a lid on it and took the cup home for reuse (I use the cups in my vertical garden and for seed starting)

Buy Hand challenge: Made a Soap pedestal for my mom

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buy Hand Challenge: A Soap Stand for Mom

I saw a soap stand on Ikea Hacker- made from a heavy candle stick and a pie plate- Not wanting to ruin the Buy Hand Challenge buy buying new or wasting what could be a perfectly good Pie Tin (In hopes of pie for later) I started scavenging the thrift store up the street- Here is what I came up with: I found a great small round metal platter and a brass candle stick. I simply super glued the candle stick to the metal platter and spray painted in my mom's bathroom colors! (Or what I perceive them to be). Next step is to find some handmade soaps for the tray. This could be a perfect gift for aunt or a friend or someone who likes baths with fancy soaps I guess.

Chard By The Yard

In deference to Kale For Sale, Burien should make it's motto "Chard By The Yard", For some reason unknown to me, Swiss Chard grows here very easily, as seen in these pic's from the SUBU Community garden. I know I had chard winter over last winter in my own garden, and it is the one thing I can count own growing here. Good thing I like it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Old coffee maker

I needed a new coffee maker at work. Actually wanted a hotshot. But didn't want to buy anything new. I had an old Black and Decker "Brew and Go", minus the spiffy commuter mug needed to use it. So i started to think, If i put muggsly underneath the brewing opening, and put Muggsly's cap under Muggsly- It works just great! Now hot coffee and tea! Yea! No new products or nothing! Why couldn't this have come up during the Buy Nothing Challenge??? Cool thing is every cup is fresh and hot, it has a permanent filter, and shuts off automatically when done brewing. Hat Trick! Now to clean up old Windy (my old coffee pot) and put it on free-cycle

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rob Eats dog food

I so miss the Natural Pet Food pantry, but they won't make the dog food and put it in my own containers. So I got my creative freak on, searched the internet and came up with this version of my own Dog stew. I used hamburger rather than chicken because I had 2 pounds of ground round in the freezer. Had tomatoes too. And yes, I added a good doggy multivitamin/mineral (Missing Link) to romeo's portion. I must admit to trying a bowl myself minus the supplement- although I maybe I should have added it to mine as well- I always wanted a shiny coat! I made enough to freeze for the rest of the week! Might have to try making my own Cat food next.

Doggy Stew- Rob's Version
2 pounds hamburger,browned
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ cup boiled mixed vegetables ( I used carrots and peas)
1 can of chopped tomatoes or 1 cup of chopped tomatoes Red Icculus brings up a good point in comments to this post, do tomatoes cause kidney stones in pooches? I never have had a problem with my dogs (and cat for that matter) eating tomatoes. They love them! But best to ask your vet about it and make your own decision
3 to 4 Tbsp unsalted chicken broth

Stir together and serve at room temperature. A good doggy multivitamin/mineral supplement may be added for good measure. Be sure to store unused portions in a covered container in the refrigerator and discard remains after 3 days. Or just freeze and thaw.
Find more recipes for dog food at Suite 101

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I am Over the TOP!

1.) Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award.
Thanks to Beth and Lisa at
The Salvage Studio

2.) Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs (blogs you love!) Alert them so they know to receive the award.

3.) Copy and paste this quiz... Change the answers, ONE word only!!

I am so sorry, but one word just is not going to happen.

1-Where is your cell phone? In my watch pocket

2- Your hair? Missing in Action

3-Your mother? Darlene or Big Nurse or Nurse Crachett

4-Your father? Elwood “Gump” Johnson

5-Your favorite food? Right now- Coq Au Vin

6-Your favorite drink? Coffee

7-Your dream last night? Did not dream last night that I remember

8-Your dream/goal? Make it to 55 and RETIRE

9-What room are you in? Office at work

10-Your hobby? Finding new uses for old stuff

11-Your fear? Not making it to 55 and not being able to retire

12-Where do you want to be in 6 years? Retired, own a little shop

13-Where were you last night? Living Room

14-Something that you aren't? Devilishly Handsome

15-Muffin? Morning Glory

16-Wish list item? A new grinder

17-Where did you grow up? Burien, Washington

18-Last thing you did? Tripped tested a dry sprinkler system

19-What are you wearing? Jeans and a t-shirt

20-Your TV? A big Flat Screen Vizio

21-Your pets? Romeo Dawg and Sammy Cat

22-Friends? Are like coins you have them for awhile and then *POOF* they’re gone

23- Your life? Pretty good dontcha know

24-Your mood? Happy

25-Missing someone? Dad

26-Vehicle? Which one? '95 Suzuki Swift, '07 Toyota Tacoma, '66 Plymouth Valiant, '79 MGB, '67 Vespa, 2001 Honda Elite

27-Something you aren't wearing? *BLUSHES*

28-Your favorite store? IKEA, REI

29-Favorite color? RED

30-When was the last time you laughed? A few minutes ago, having a smoke break

31-Last time you cried? Crap- I dunno- probably my cousin Dwight’s Funeral last month

32-Your best friend? Martin

33-One place you go to over and over? BIAS, Burien

34-One person who emails you regularly? To many to mention

35-Favorite place to eat? Hey Paison Deli

Now for the six blogs I love to visit:

Modern Problems

The EPA info on running my garage reefer

Okay so I signed up for a program. Seattle City Light is going to come and take the garage reefer away. I use the reefer for the freezer- just big enough for my household. But I looked at the electric usage for my old reefer- Using the EPA calculator- it costs about $100 TO RUN IT A YEAR! or $8.13 a month

Now look at the energy info on the freezers I am looking at: one 5.0cubic foot model I am looking at cost approx. $26 a year to run( or $2.17 per month), using 240 kWh per year, the other a 7.0 CF model runs about $30 per year to run uses 277kWh of power, The only Energy Star qualified unit I can find in my range is 14.0 cubic foot model and runs $36 a year to run(or $3.00 per month, using 957 kWh of power.

Now of course the energy star model is twice the size of the other two, but do I need to freeze that much food? Then address the factor that two 7.0 cf models would run $60 a year to run, compared with $36 a year for the Energy Star model. The there is the costs of each model the small one (5.0 cf) is $158, the 7.0 cf is $198 and the 14.0 Cf model is $398.

I know someone who has the 5.0 model - my mom. She loves it. And give into the fact that a Chest freezer is more efficient than an upright (Gravity helps keep the door sealed) they are all winners, But I have to look at costs VS. capacity. If the 2 cubic foot freezer on the old reefer was just about right, albeit a bit small, then running the 14.8 cf model would be wasteful. The nice thing about the old reefer was it kept pop cold as well and held my jams and jellies. But food preservation is the main object here- and looking at my needs I think I am leaning towards the 5.0 cf model- more than big enough, doesn’t take up too much room, cheaper to run than my current situation, cheapest price. AAACK modern problems!

Harvest of Friend Blog Party

I joined in the Harvest of Friends blog party at the Dancing on Weathered Ground Blog which I found The Farmer's Daughter Blog.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you’re blogging? Cheese and crackers
2. What is one thing you wouldn’t want to live without? My dog romeo and cat sammy - wait that’s two things- okay My pets
3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Hmm… I like were I am at- maybe a bit more if I could buy the house next door (for the land, rent the house out)and have a total urban farm
4. What’s your least favorite chore/household duty? Yes.
5. Who do people say you remind them of? John Belushi or Tony Soprano. Don’I have a clue why.
6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam? I party like its 1999.
7. What’s your all time favorite movie? I am the guy who watches Chick Flicks- Steel Magnolias would probably be #1, followed by Terms of Endearment. Yes I always cry at the sad parts. Very embarrassing.
8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night? I don’t wear make up. Am a boy. Sometimes I shower before bed.
9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you’ve never had a chance to learn? What is it? Acting. I once was very interested in it.
10. What’s one strange thing you’re really good at? Deep frying turkeys.
11. What first attracted you to your spouse? Good sense of humor. That and if they don’t laugh the first time they see me naked.
12. What is something you love to smell? Fresh baked sugar cookies. Or the smell of a pork roast cooking.
13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people. As much as I work to irritate people I am always surprised when I am successful.
14. When you have extra money (HA!) what’s the first thing you think to do with it? One word- Vegas
15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? Loud.
16. Where is your favorite place to shop? Ikea. REI
17. What’s one thing you’d do more often if you had more time? Travel
18. Are you a big spender or frugal? While I am frugal I love Vegas.
19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can’t be real) Hard to say- Noxema Jackson from To Wong Foo, Many Thanks, Julie Newmar (yup- old Rob wants to be a very tall, black drag queen)
20. Would you want to be famous? Sure, why not. If in this world Emeril can be famous, why not I?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good Day in the Garden

Had a good day today- harvested some Hungarian wax peppers some carrots,some kale, a couple of golden bell peppers, beets, acorn squash and two of the puniest watermelons you ever saw
The frame of one of my fall covers

Fall cover bagged- this is one of the large bags I had planned to use on the canopy frame for a roof- but wasn't large enough

The canopy frame- anyone have any suggestions let me know~!
Told you the melons were puny, but i got melons this year! Just don't plant them to close to the apples- don't want them to get a complex!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Okay now play Chopsticks

I found this on my Cousin Krissy's facebook page- using technology to get people to take the stairs? Genius!

Reminds me of the movie "Big"

Working Dogs and Cider Jelly- The weekly challenge update

Proud to be a "working dog"

Been a cold rainy week here in Burien. I gave up on my green house project- need to go back to the drawing board, on that one, Bought Romeo a Dog pack, and made some Apple Cider Jelly using Abbie’s Recipe Used the low sugar recipe. Snaps to Abbie for this recipe. Like having a fresh apple on my toast! Still processing pumpkins

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 23

1. Plant something: Transplanted a honeysuckle vine in my yard that had out grown a pot at my mom’s
2. Harvest something: Tomatoes and onions for the food bank.
3. Preserve something: Apple Cider Jelly- thanks to Abbie for the recipe
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Made some poop bag holders out of prescription medicine bottles. Maybe sell them if I get a booth at next season’s Farmer’s Market.
5. Preparation and Storage: Bought Romeo a Dog Pack. He’s a working dog now! He can help carry some groceries and such.
6. Build Community Food Systems: Getting ready for to say goodbye to the community gardens at the BIAS by joining in on the Night of 1000 pumpkins/Day of the dead celebration on November 1st. Bought ½ gallon of Local Apple Cider at Eat Local store to make Cider Cinnamon Jelly
7. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Apple Cider Cinnamon Jelly, Roasted pumpkin seeds,

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Nothing new to report

Meat Free Mondays: Breakfast muffin and coffee, Lunch- TVP Chik’n patty, mac and cheese, Lunch at work- Cheese and Rye Crackers, dinner Omelet

Ditch The Disposables -Still going strong. Nothing to report.

Buy Hand challenge: Finished the Popcorn movie bags. Getting started on the rest of my clocks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Working Dog

So inspired was I from the chapter in Jenna Woginrich's book "Made from Scratch", on the chapter on Working dogs, I thought here is something I should take action on. So did I go out and get a malamute or some huskies to drag my fat ass on a sled? Nope. I talked it over with Romeo, the wonder dog, and he agreed to try a dog pack for awhile (He had little choice in the matter- I talked he looked at me). I bought my (or rather Romi's) dog pack at REI on the suggestion from the owner of one of Romi's friends last Thursday at the last Farmers' Market of the season. His dog is a little West Highland Terrier and sports a "Ruffwear" pack, (very pricey) he suggested REI. Since I have a membership at REI and a 20% off coupon I thought why not- The pack is big enough to carry Romeo's water bottle and bowl, and maybe lunch when we walk to the park. It does take some getting use to for Romi to walk around with it (his girth expands by 2 inches on each side). Romi had a good time getting it too- I took him inside the REI store, where of course he put on the dog (pardon the pun) By acting like a well behave totally trained dog, except when he was begging for pets, which is most of the time. As far as work, he can help carry home some groceries in it, albeit not much. Fun having a working dog!

Sammy cat already has a job- he is the chief mouser and de-ratter in the house. Romi also does Rat duty-outdoors, but he tends to want to play with the little buggers- they remind him of chihuahuas.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shop Local, Eat Local

The Burien branch of Buy Local is now open at 810 SW 151st. Very cool store. The sell premade frozen meals made on the premise and from local ingredients. I bought the "Coq Au Vin" for dinner tonight, along with some local Apple Cider to make some of Abbie's Apple Cider jelly. They also sell their items in reusable glass containers- You simply make a deposit, like glass milk bottles, and return it. Larger Items some in a foil pan with a cardboard top, smaller ones like 1 serving items come in the plastic tray, unfortunately*. Speaking of milk, they sell milk in glass bottles, And as I pointed out to the owner he should play that up as no supermarket in the Burien area does- although I think I will stick with my Milk Man, as it took so long to find him. Anyway take out you cook at home, sustainably packed. They also have local meats and plan on adding cheeses later. Who could ask for more?
*Upon further review, the single serving lasagne and other dishes are in a cardboard microwave container, with a plastic film on top! Sorry about that, folks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vending Machines go green

I was perusing the inter-web thingy came across this article in Yahoo Green about how in Switzerland, local farmers are taking their goods to consumers not through Farmers' Markets, but through vending machines. I started thinking about the vending machine at work known to me as The Wheel of Death- it has pre-made hot dogs, burritos, and muffins as well as pork chop sandwiches you get the picture. This machine could be stocked with better choices like fresh fruit, salads, soups and milk. But no not in my "health conscious" company-a company whose goal to go completely tobacco free, then sets up a manufacturing plant in South Carolina, in the heart of tobacco country, (good luck with that BTW)- Anyway I digress. When I went to Junior High, back in the '70's, there was one vending machine in the school- it dispensed apples. You put a quarter in and out came a nice crisp fresh apple! Nice to see this coming back. Of course, I went to high school and then there where candy machines, pop machines etc. etc., no apples! There are advantages to these vending machines as well- the farmer gets another outlet direct to the consumer, the consumer gets fresh farm products, and no middle man! Hopefully this catches on in the US.
Would you support this kind of enterprize?

Monday, October 12, 2009

What to do about Jack?

Wondering what to do about that pumpkin your little angels (or you) just carved? Well according to Jeff Yeager, who writes the green cheapskate blog on Daily Green - Use it All- he claims you can use it to make pie (puree) or make a casserole out of the parts you cut out of the pumpkin for the eyes nose and mouth, pickled pumpkin rinds and of course seeds. Recipes on his blog If you still aren’t convinced and want to find a more sustainable way to dispose of your Jack O’ Lantern , and you live in the Seattle Area, you can take it to the Night of 1,000- pumpkins Celebration at the Burien Interim Art Space (B/IAS) across from the Town Square Park in Downtown Burien. Remember to bring a candle to light your pumpkin and become a willing participant in an outdoor art project. They will gladly compost it for you, too.
The community Garden members will also be there to say goodbye to the garden. We don’t know if there will be a spot for the garden elsewhere in the city, the parks department is working hard on it. I am hoping for it. It has been a fun year. More about that in another post soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What to do on a sunday morning

What to do on a nippy fall morning? Go out and clear out the "squash box"
Pretty good haul if I say so myself and I just did- 6 Pumpkins, 2 spaghetti squash, and a bird gourd. Pretty good haul for a 4X4 box and I haven't finished the summer squash yet- or the acorn squash for that matter! Now to puree those pumpkins!

Greenhouses and Christmas Gifts- the Weekly Challenge Update

Week was pretty busy- starting a greenhouse, my Idea of using a very large plastic bag for the roof went hopelessly awry, got an idea from a gardening book for another "greenhouse", and working on Christmas gifts (buy Hand challenge)
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 23

1. Plant something: Started some basil, chives and parsley seeds indoors for a windowsill herb garden
2. Harvest something: Thai Peppers, Kohl Rabi, Corn Salad Greens, Mesclun Greens, Chard, and Lettuce;From the Community Garden: Basil, Tomatoes, beets; Swiss chard
3. Preserve something: Processed and froze pumpkins, Roasted and stored pumpkin seeds;
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Repaired my favorite winter Jacket for work- sewed new buttons, repaired tear in sleeves
5. Preparation and Storage: Found out my Big plastic bag for the greenhouse isn’t big enough, going to use 10 foot wide plastic sheeting- but will keep large bag for another winter gardening project already in my mind.
6. Build Community Food Systems: Did my volunteer day at the community garden; took harvested veggies to the food bank
7. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Pumpkin seeds, ate Swiss Chard, Corn Salad greens, Mesclun greens and Lettuce in a salad;

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Saved some gourd seeds and saved some pumpkin seeds that I did not roast

Meat Free Mondays: Breakfast muffin and coffee, Lunch- TVP Chik’n patties, potato salad, orange, Lunch at work- Cheese and Rye Crackers, dinner Almond Butter and Banana stuffed pita French toast

Ditch The Disposables -Still going strong. Guy at work notice I used my fancy hankie made out of a T-shirt- told him they are the best snot rags! One problem I had this week- Even though not a part of my personal DTD challenge-I forgot my shopping bags at the Farmers Market- so used the plastic produce bags- one vendor was reusing old plastic shopping bags Since I was buying gourds and a few pumpkins, I told him the small sugar pumpkin would fit in with the gourds, saving a bag- all the bags will be reused or recycled. Another problem I had this week was I ate at a teriyaki place, while the food on my plate was an actual plate- they only offered plastic cutlery or chopsticks- not having brought my own I opted for chopsticks- while not plastic, they are made from bamboo, I took them home with me as chopsticks have 101 uses. Julia Child and I beat our omelets with them.

Charging Cradle for the buy hand challenge

Clock for the Buy Hand Challenge

Buy Hand challenge: Made a clock- actually, I changed the face of one for my friends at the coffee shop; making same for my uncle(did not buy a new clock for it- using one I already had), and one for martin(an alarm clock bought from the as-is at Ikea). Made charging cradles for I-phones and blackberries.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Remodeling made easy

My mom wanted the apartment management to do a quick remodel. And surprised they agreed. They also wanted her to sign a lease guaranteeing she would stay for awhile (good tenants are hard to find) Anyway a little negotiation and every one is happy. They did a good job on remodeling the kitchen, instead of wasting a lot they put new door and drawer fronts on the existing cabinets, same with the bathroom, new conter tops and new vinyl linoleun that looks like ceramic. I negotiated drawer pulls for her, I reminded the manager that mom is a little older and it makes more sense for her to have them, and that I would pay for and install them myself. They went for it! here is a pic of the pulls I installed in the kitchen

They are carriage house style pulls, easy to install and easier on the budget! The whole kitchen (19 pulls) cost under $30. I went with standard pulls for the bathroom
Her bedroom bathroom (Master bath has ceramic pulls)
The Hallway bathroom I put chrome to match fixtures and the pulls on the laundry doors.
The nice thing about adding the pulls is they give a finished look to all the cabinets, as well as are more ergonomic for mom, who doesn't break her french wrapped nails opening them. Great look, easy on the enviorment. You can't lose! I also put together her new dining table, and disassembled her old one figuring I would have to get rid of it for her- and Surprise!- She went next door and the gal who lives next door came in and took the old table. Turned out her dining table was broken and this was the perfect replacement. I chuckled and told mom she just "free-cycled." Hopefully Eva her neighbor can find something to do with her old table as well. Everybody wins in tis situation- the apartment management gets to keep mom as a tenant longer, and they got a remodleled kitchen and bathrooms for their property, mom gets a remodel and a new dining table, her neighbor gets a new dining table. Every one wins!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Buiy Hand Challenge- Easy to make Cell Phone Cradles

Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge - 2009
I was perusing Ikea Hacker and found this one there- A Bamboo Blackberry Cradle. It is made from a bamboo soap dish (The Molger) some rubber feet, and a piece of velcro. Simple to make (I couldn't find rubber feet so I used cork instead). While nobody here has a blackberry phone it works well for I-Phone (The Molger is a bit smaller than the actual I-phone, but still doable) regular cell phones and mp3 Players/IPods as well. Makes a great little stocking stuffer. I made 4 of them in a matter of minutes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More news on re-cycling cell phones

Sure when I think about changing cell phones and where to re-cycle them, comes this post on about a new way to recycle your phone- just like going to the cash machine! Soon these eco ATM's will be popping up all over and the machines will soon be able to accept other gadgets like MP3 players, cameras and laptops. The advantage to doing this is you get a coupon for money off on your new phone, you know it is going to be recycled, and for the retailer the ecoATM company makes it beneficial to the retailers by installing the machines at no cost and making the payments redeemable in-store, increasing their sales. It also allows them to apply donations from the machine to their favorite charity.
So maybe I will wait until getting my new phone-

Do you think this is a good idea to get folks to recycle electronics?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

buy hand for christmas

Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge - 2009
I made a clock for my friends at Burien Press. I just took a clock bought from Ikea, and printed burien press' logo on glossy photo paper, inserted it into the clock, put the plastic cover back on- basically you use the clock as a frame! I am also making my Uncle a clock this year. Sorry about the crappy pics- used my cell phone camera! Here are the instructions from my DIY site. And if you have any of these plastic clocks hanging around this is a great re-use for them as well. The clock I am making for my uncle is an old clock that is just lying around!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rave: Boy Scout Popcorn

About a year ago I ranted about schools sending kids out to sell crap. Well this year, I am raving about the boy scouts. Has Rob softened in his old age?


I have a different opinion between schools selling crap because (in this levy state) we don't give the schools enough money to fund arts and sports programs. But the Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts) are a different matter- they are a private organization who do some good in the world. While not a big fan of the Boy Scouts of America per say ( I think they are a fascist group, who discriminate with the blessing of the Supreme Court) I do admire the boys that go through it.

I Digress-

I was coming out of Lowe's today, and here is this little guy, who stopped me and asked if I would like to buy some Boy Scout Popcorn. Before I could say no, This little salesman went in to his selling spiel- and Ron Popeil and Billy Mays would have been proud of this little tyke- the kid even had samples of the chocolate covered caramel corn! Needless to say I bought a box of Microwave popcorn- The popcorn will go into the movie bags for Christmas- and the Boy Scouts of America get $10.50 of the $15 I spent. Not in the spirit of the Buy Hand challenge, but hey a Two-fer is a Two-fer! And I am putting the bags together, myself. (There is a justification for ya)
Anyway, I am glad part of my Christmas goes to support charities, while giving to others, some of who wouldn't spend a nickle to give to any charitable organization. Hee Hee.

It's like peeing in your pants in a dark suit, Kinda gives you a warm feeling, and nobody really notices!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Abbie at the Farmers Daughter, put up this list a few days ago; keeping in mind my love for stealing others good ideas, I copied it and put my own answers in.

1. Venison- deer – Yup, I will confess- I did it- I ate bambi’s mother
2. Nettle tea Nope- don’t have a clue of what part of a nettle to use
3. Huevos rancheros- Si
4. Steak tartare- No way Jose
5. Crocodile-Yup and Alligator, too
6. Black pudding- Assumming I know what it is, I would say yes- (Blood Sausage is a Norwegian Delicacy
7. Cheese fondue- Oh Yeah
8. Carp- Nope- too bony
9. Borscht- Yes I love Borsht
10. Baba ghanoush- yep
11. Calamari- Love Calamari
12. Pho- Phraid Not Funny considering the amount of Pho restaraunts in the area
13. PB&J sandwich- Yes but never had a PB And Fluff sandwich until I was 48
14. Aloo gobi- Nope – don’t know what it is
15. Hot dog from a street cart- Oh yeah baby-I love to live dangerously
16. Epoisses-See Aloo gobi
17. Black truffle- Never had one- the pig ate them all
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes- Are you kidding? I was a teenager in the 70’s Boone’s Farm and Annie Green Springs where good friends of mine
19. Steamed pork buns – Hum Bow? Yup
20. Pistachio ice cream- Love Pistachio Ice Cream, Yes
21. Heirloom tomatoes-Yup
22. Fresh wild berries Wineberries- Berries-Yes Wineberries! Don’t know what wineberries are
23. Foie gras No fattened goose livers for me. Put it in the same class as veal- don’t like how it is raised.
24. Rice and beans- Rice and beans? Si senor
25. Brawn, or head cheese – Yup My grandma made the best Head Cheese – it was like Spam
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper- Yup
27. Dulce de leche- Usually after eating Raw scotch bonnet pepper
28. Oysters- Yup fried okay- raw no way
29. Baklava- Yes! My Auntie made this- very good
30. Bagna cauda -No Idea
31. Wasabi peas- One of my favorate snack items
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl- Not sure the bread bowl was sourdough but have had it in a bread bowl!
33. Salted lassi- Lassie? I never eat dog (not sure what it is)
34. Sauerkraut -Ja boldt
35. Root beer float -Still do
36. Cognac with a fat cigar -Of course when I am feeling continental back when I was a drinker
37. Clotted cream tea- Must admit to it
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O- Never downed Vodka Jello Shots
39. Gumbo -May Oui!
40. Oxtail -Poor ox needs his tail- no
41. Curried goat- - Never have eaten goat
42. Whole insects -Hell No (well not when I was awake)
43. Phaal -see Pho
44. Goat’s milk- Yes in fact I think there is half a bottle in my fridge as we speak
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or- more Probably have
46. Fugu -Excuse me? Fugu No
47. Chicken tikka masala- Believe it or not yes
48. Eel- Nope looks too much like a snake
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut- Yup Love em.
50. Sea urchin -Nope
51. Prickly pear-Yes
52. Umeboshi- Nope
53. Abalone-Yup
54. Paneer-Nope
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal- Oh yeah
56. Spaetzle- Ja Jeg ar Norse
57. Dirty gin martini Back in the drinking days
58. Beer above 8% ABV- Back in the drinking days
59. Poutine Nope
60. Carob chips Yep
61. S’mores- While was never a girl scout, Abby, Yes I have
62. Sweetbreads -tasted do not like
63. Kaolin-Nope
64. Currywurst - nope
65. Durian- nope
66. Frogs’ legs- One big Hell No My dad use to eat those things. Yeeeuck
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake- at the risk of sounding like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally- yes yes yes yes
68. Haggis- No. Just say no to sheep stomaches
69. Fried plantain- Yes
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette -yes. My name is rob and I have eaten chittlings
71. Gazpacho- Yup
72. Caviar and blini- Never have tried Caviar
73. Louche absinthe- no absinthe even in the drinking days
74. Gjetost, or brunost- Yu Yes I believe I have[
75. Roadkill -Nope
76. Baijiu- Nope
77. Hostess Fruit Pie- Hell yes- What country do y’all think I am from?
78. Snail- Hell No What country do y’all think I am from?
79. Lapsang souchong.- No no lap food for me
80. Bellini- Nope
81. Tom yum- Nope
82. Eggs Benedict- Tried them once. At the Revolving restaurant at the Space Needle- I got sicker than a dog. Have not been able to eat them since
83. Pocky- Those little candy sticks? Yup
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant- Never been to a three star Michelin Restaurant.
85. Kobe beef- Yep
86. Hare- Givve me a head with hare, Long beautiful Hare- What? Oh not the Cowsill’s song Bunnies?Yup
87. Goulash- Yup
88. Flowers-Yup
89. Horse- Never—well there was this one time.. so yes!!!
90. Criollo- chocolate Yup
91. Spam -Are you kidding me? The son of Mid Westeners? Yes
92. Soft shell crab- Yup
93. Rose harissa- Nope
94. Catfish- Yup
95. Mole poblano -Yup
96. Bagel and lox- Yup and love them
97. Lobster Thermidor- Nope
98. Polenta- Not a big fan but yes
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee -Yes but I don’t understand the big deal, there are sumutra blends I would rather have considering the price
100. Snake- I have never been that hungry. Damn you would think Chile made this list… and trying to guilt me into eating rodents, snakes (OK Admittedly Hare is a rodent not a song by the cowsills).
62 out of a hunnert- not bad. LOL 38 things left to try and then I will be a complete man (or some guy who has ate a lot of strange things)

Poop Bags and Mouses- the Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 22

1. Plant something: nothing
2. Harvest something: Tomatoes, basil; From the Community Garden: Some basil, some tomatoes, wax peppers, Tomatoes, chard, basil, lettuce, chives; Corn
3. Preserve something: nothing
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something):
5. Preparation and Storage: Got started on my “greenhouse”- used a large plastic bag for the roof, 1X2’s for the frame for door; prepped the ground for it!
6. Build Community Food Systems: took latest donation from Community Garden to the Food Bank- now over 40 pounds of produce donated!
7. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Ate some of the Hungarian wax peppers I pickled

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Got started on my “greenhouse”- using a large plastic bag for the roof, 1X2’s for the frame for door; prepped the ground for it! No seeds saved this week.

Meat Free Mondays: Had the obligatory muffin and coffee for breakfast; Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for lunch; TVP “Pulled Chicken” on some rice tortillas at work, and Almond Butter/ Banana stuffed French Toast when I got home

Ditch The Disposables - Still doing good- no plastic cutlery used this week, happily wiping my snotty nose in nice soft hankies made from old t-shirts

Buy Hand challenge: I bought Romeo a new poop bag holder and didn’t forget about Sammy Cat - he got a new homemade catnip mouse. Bought at the Oktoberfest and Handmade by Gourmet Pet She sells home made cat and dog treats and toys, as well as Dog breed cookie cutters, manufactured and made locally, She sells at local craft shows and on the internet, and a portion of her sales go to the rescue, care, spay and neuter and placement of abandoned and feral animals in Fort Lewis, WA. Hooray! A TWO-FER! Also took advantage of those Halloween sales and got candy to add to the Movie Gift bags I am putting together. And don’t worry I am picking candies like Good and Plenty and Nerds that are packed in a little cardboard box, not plastic. Also thinking about visiting the Bulk Bin at the grocery (the only thing sold in bulk in these parts!) and buying candy in bulk; added candies to the Movie Bags;