Thursday, September 30, 2010

Libman Spray Mop-

A few years back I traded my wall to wall carpet for my faux wood vinyl tile floor in my house. Then the problem was how do I clean the floor easily. All these spray mops (Swiffer, Mr. Clean) are great, but what if I want to use my own cleaner? And what about those swiffer pads? Disposable convenience? Makes the mind swim thinking about how to make a greener life and still keeping a clean floor.

Well the Libman mop company had come up with a better way- the Libman Freedom Spray Mop. What makes this mop better than a swiffer? Well for one, it has a Detachable, 18 oz. cleaning solution bottle that allows you to use and refill any solution you choose. "Vinegar and water mopping solution anyone?" And it doesn't use batteries! The pads? The pads are premium microfiber cleaning pad enhanced with three scratch-free cleaning strips,

they can be removed and machine washed up to 50 times before it needs to be replaced.

Right now you can get a $5 rebate coupon for the Libman Freedom spray mop
So while not the best solution, a much better one for clean floors with greener living.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review nor recieved any compensation whatsoever- Just thought it was a good idea and wanted to spread the word!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I needed a soap dish in the bathroom. All I had was an old shower head, some fittings, and an old wall mounted soap dish minus the wall mount. Just a matter of putting everything together. And yes the shower head is a heavy enough base for the soap dish.

This blog post is linked to:2nd Time around on "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words blog", Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage; Show us what your working with @ Me and my Bucket, Getting Crafty on Hump Day @ Nikki's Nifty Knacks

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEW or rather Used Bookstore

I always like discovering new 2nd use type stores. I was strolling through Burien during the Oktoberfest and found a new used Bookstore- Bumbershoot Books. Really nice little store, LOL I bought 2 cookbooks- one on the George Foreman grills I own, and one on Norwegian Cooking, called Eat the Norway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Small Change

One Small Change- My new small change concerns my cell phone. Or rather how I charge it. My change is going to be: start charging my cell phone using my car charger, taking advantage of the free 12 Volt electricity made by my vehicles batteries rather than using more electricity. I plug it in when I go to work by the time I get there it is fully charged! , or simply charge it in one of the work vehicles if I decide to take a bus that day. How sweet is that? I mean I gotta go to work anyway, so why not let some of my commute be of some advantage? I would love to have one of those solar chargers but not in the budget at this time. Anyway a small change but still a change!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update- Oktoberfest edition

This last weekend was Oktoberfest in Burien- complete with carnival rides, food vendors, street fair, ubiquitous beer garden and live music. Had great weather yesterday, a few showers today.

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 35
1. Plant something: nothing
2. Harvest something: Last of the peppers, cucumbers
3. Preserve something: Dehydrating the last of the peppers
4. Waste Not: Found a metal box- can use as a tool box for my glue guns; replaced the lid on my work coffee mug with a lid from another mug.
5: Want not: bought some drill bits.
6. Preparation and Storage: nothing
7. Build Community Food Systems: Not exactly a food system, but took mom’s recycling and put in my bin (her apartment doesn’t offer recycling)
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Made some fried bread. Never made before. It is Great. No more waiting for a year for oktoberfest for elephant ears. LOL.

Growing Challenge "Extreme Evangelist Edition"- Starting to clean out my pots and such. Starting to prep the community garden spot for a small fall garden

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pie Fries

One of my fave things to munch on at Burien Press is something from the High Five Pie Company called Pie Fries. My Aunt Orinne used to make these. Sort of.

Left Over Pie Dough
Egg for egg wash

Preheat oven to 350. Simply take some leftover pie dough and roll it out, Give a quick brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, take a pastry cutter (pizza cutter) and slice into strips about 1/2 inch wide. and bake @ 350 degrees until a golden brown. Great use of the rest of the dough.

My auntie use to make a large sheet of pie dough and bake it with the cinnamon and sugar and let everyone break off a piece to eat. One of the best things about pie baking time at Auntie's house!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Things Green Things

I was reading the Greenists last week, and they had had a guest post from Andi, the owner of Good Things Green Things. She was telling the story of Audri who was diagnosed with Embryonic Rhabdomyosarcoma a very aggressive form of soft tissue cancer, and it requires very aggressive treatment as well.

So that's where I got the cool little candles, some home made soap and a home made kitty toy for Sammy Kat. Hey Christmas is coming! Turns out that this month at Good Things Green Things, it’s all about Audri. September 1st through the 30th, they are donating 50% of candles sales and 25% of all other sales to Audri’s charity- Once more the entire order came shipped in eco friendly packaging.
So do some early Christmas shopping and help out a kid. A Twofer. Now that's what I am talking about!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Beet It

Was picking some produce at the community garden and was attacked by this Mutant Beet. Romeo was not impressed. I picked some other veggies too while I was there. Trying toget the last of the summer harvest picked. Of course any more beets like this, I will be in beet pickles until next summer!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hamburger Gravy!

When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite things. Well the other day I happened to look in the freezer and had a pound of local raised grass fed hamburger I had bought at the farmers market this summer- so I made one of my favorite comfort foods- Hamburger Gravy

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped

Place hamburger in a large, deep skillet. Cook onions in a drop of oil just until translucent. Crumble hamburger and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle flour over cooked hamburger. Stir until evenly coated and all fat is absorbed.
Place skillet over medium heat, add 1/2 of milk and stir until gravy begins to thicken. Add remaining milk until desired consistency has been reached and gravy comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve over mashed or boiled potatoes, white rice, bread or toast or biscuits. Add fresh chopped onion if desired.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Independance Days Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 34
1. Plant something: Garlic
2. Harvest something: more Red Cayenne Peppers, some late cucumbers, apples
3. Preserve something Making and freezing apple tarts. Made some more pepper flakes
4. Waste Not: Took out some of my “made from junk” lanterns to take to the Aglow arts festival from last years festival
5: Want not: Got a new umbrella and a reusable lunch sack from a group at work. Is SWAG. Need to fix it up ala Condo Blues.
6. Preparation and Storage: Cleaned out the pantry- local food drive
7. Build Community Food Systems: donated some food for a food drive.
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Cucumber salad

Arts Aglow lights up community

Who says Burien ain't a good times town? Where else would you find a whole lot of people who don't have the sense to come in from the rain who make an annual event out of making paper lanterns and such and parading all over town on main streets? It was the annual Burien Arts Commission Art's Aglow festival. There were bands, stilt walkers, puppets and a lot of enthusiastic folks making lanterns and then parading around with their creations around Burien Town Square Park.
The salmon again swim up the rain garden.
This salmon got lit up along with some houses.
One of many popular "lantern puppets" this wily coyote took over from last years Chinese dragon.

Even Romeo gets all duded up for the arts aglow!
Even the recyclers get out- besides my lantern made from a crystal light container, other recyclers/ re-users get in the picture - the park was lined with these lanterns made from pop bottles

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rob Johnson- Apple Farmer

I was out taking some stuff out of the garden and happened to look at the columnar apple trees- one of them had 3 apples on it. That's 3 more than last year! Two of the "apple sticks" are still growing and have no apples yet. These three and the apples that grow over the fence will make a nice pie or cobbler!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Making a Mono Pod

I wanted a mono pod for taking pictures with. I see all sorts of DIY Projects for these. Usually they involve hacking a hiking pole. Well I didn't have a hiking pole. I had a telescoping extension utility pole for window washing, painting you name it

I started my mono pod project by taking the tip of the end of the telescoping pole and inserting a
1/4 - 20 bolt in it and a couple of nuts on the business end of the bolt.

The nut drove the bolt head up into the pole tip to a nice tight fit. I put a second nut on for security.

And there you have it an adjustable Mono Pod ready for picture taking!

This blog post is linked to:2nd Time around on "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words blog"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vanilla Aroma- The Weekly Challenge Update

I officially threw down the holiday guantlet by starting to make some gifts this week... give a boy some sugar, bourbon and half a pound of vanilla beans and watch him go to work!

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 33
1. Plant something: Some lettuce seeds, chard, radishes
2. Harvest something: Red Cayenne Peppers
3. Preserve something: Dried Cayenne peppers in the dehydrator- To turn them into pepper flakes and jar them. Making Vanilla extract and Vanilla Sugar for Christmas.
4. Waste Not: Obtained a couple of pieces of foam rubber that were discarded to make a cushion for Romeo’s trailer (Hey I got a nice new soft bike seat… I figure he needs one too!)
5: Want not: Got half a pound of vanilla beans to make Vanilla extract and Vanilla Sugar for Christmas presents.
6. Preparation and Storage: Got half a pound of vanilla beans to make Vanilla extract and Vanilla Sugar for Christmas presents
7. Build Community Food Systems: The community garden board got the parks department board to agree to let the community gardeners go from year to year on their plots. And the parks board said more gardens could be added if demand is there.
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Pepper Flakes, Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Extract

Growing Challenge "Extreme Evangelist Edition"- Nothing much new to report- just working the community garden plot. The community garden board got the parks department board to agree to let the community gardeners go from year to year on their plots. And the parks board said more gardens could be added if demand is there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thanks Stadium Pal!

David Sedaris is on of the funniest guys I have ever heard on NPR! Brother of Amy Sedaris, another hilarious celeb, his essays are just Gut Busters. I found this You Tube from the David Letterman show on one of his best essays.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vanilla Holidays

What??? Vanilla Holidays??? Christmas for crackers???
Is he crazy- talking about Holidays already- hell Maude- school just started, and he is dreaming of a white Christmas... that boy is nuts!!
No Harold, I am not crazy... I have just been making christmas presents.

First I been making Vanilla extract, simply following instructions found on Abbie's Blog. and then making Vanilla Sugar. Here is how to make Vanilla Sugar:

You Need:
1-2 vanilla beans,
1 airtight jar
regular granulated sugar.

Fill the jar halfway with sugar. Cut the beans into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces and stick them into the sugar. Add sugar to cover the beans. Close the container and place it into a cool dark closet. You may wish to wrap the jar into aluminum foil ( some people say it works better). The vanilla sugar will ready for usage after 3 weeks.

Add sugar to the jar if needed. The beans will release the aroma for about two years. They are still good after that, but they will need heat to release more aroma, that means they can be used for making a custard.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lemon Cucumber Reefer Pickles

Yes I did! I made some reefer pickles out of a few lemon cukes I grew! I had some leftover pickling juice from when I made Kohl Rabi Pickles, so I heated it up and made a jar of refrigerator chips out of the lemon cukes. Hate to waste good pickle juice! Here is the regular recipe:

6-8 Lemon Cucmbers

Pickling mixture
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

Slice lemon Cucumbers into thin slices; pack in a 1 quart glass jar along with garlic, bay leaf and fresh dill.
In a saucepan, combine pickling mixture.
Heat, stirring, until it boils and sugar is dissolved.
Pour boiling mixture over lemon cuke slices, filling jar completely.
Cover jar. When cool, refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before using to let flavors blend

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I make Red Pepper Flakes

I LOVE SERENDIPITY! When the planets allign to give me a subject for a blog post it is so cool!
There was a comment or two yesterday asking how I make red pepper flakes- it is really simple, so this one is for Lisa! (:
First, what I do is spread the peppers in even layers in a food dehydrator. No Dehydrator? I think you have one and don't know it... The Oven! Spread the red peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet and dry in the oven for 8 hours or overnight at the lowest temperature you oven will allow. If you have a gas oven, the pilot light heat is probably enough.

Remove the red peppers from the oven or dehydrator when they are dry and brittle.

Option A for crushing:
Fill a gallon sized freezer bag with the dried peppers. Put the freezer bag in an old pillowcase.
Use a rolling pin to crush the peppers. Apply pressure as your roll the pin over the bag.

Option B for crushing- Put some of the dried peppers into a food processor or a coffee grinder and process away

Remove them from the bag or food processor when the peppers are crushed as fine as you would like, and store in a container with a shaker top.

Store any extra red pepper flakes in a clean storage bag or jar with a tight fitting lid.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hot Time in the Ole' Green House Tonight!

I was out in the greenhouse picking some of the fruit off an jalapeno pepper. Don't know yet if I will dry them, pickle them or make pepper flakes. Adding the greenhouse was great for self pollinators like peppers, not so much for my mini cantaloupe, as it needs a pollinator, and I apparently was not it's type.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Independance Days Update

Well getting more use to the bike- got a new wider, gel filled seat for it. Neat thing about this seat is it has a built in L.E.D. flasher. saved the old seat in case anyone needs one. Still can't get Romeo excited about the trailer. but these things take some time

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 31
1. Plant something: nada, however am planning fall garden
2. Harvest something: Kohl Rabi, Dill weed, bay leaves, carrots, lemon cucumbers
3. Preserve something: Pickled Kohl Rabi, pickled lemon cucumbers
4. Waste Not: Got a different seat for my bike - a little more plush for the tush. Saved the old one in case some one needs a seat.
5: Want not: Got a different seat for my bike - a little more plush for the tush.
6. Preparation and Storage: pricing storage sheds VS building one from scratch
7. Build Community Food Systems: nope
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Pickled Kohl Rabi- using Kohl Rabi, carrots, dill weed and bay leaves from my garden; reefer pickles out of lemon cucumbers and dill weed from the garden as well

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pickled Kohlrabi

In the garden, the KohlRabi is coming out swell--- now to preserve it for a while longer. I found this recipe at Recipe Land .com of course I had to make my little changes to go with what I grow!

3 each kohlrabi peeled, sliced (I used 2)
2 large carrots Or I used 6 "baby" Carrots I grow thumbelina and little finger
2 each garlic cloves crushed
1 each bay leaf
3 large dill weed sprigs

Pickling mixture
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

Parboil carrots for 3 minutes.
Mix kohlrabi and carrots; pack in a 1 quart glass jar along with garlic, bay leaf and fresh dill.
In a saucepan, combine pickling mixture.
Heat, stirring, until it boils and sugar is dissolved.
Pour boiling mixture over kohlrabi, filling jar completely.
Cover jar. When cool, refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before using to let flavors blend

Friday, September 3, 2010

One small Change

One small change for September, I am going to start showering with the bathroom door open, Mrs. Bates be damned. This allows me to take a shower without running the exhaust fan, helps humidify the house. Humidity a problem in the Seattle area? Well yes, when you heat with electricity. My house can get very dry in the winter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mom resorts to Name Calling!

I was eating lunch at Mom's, making small talk, and I was talking about the weatherman predicting rain- Mom said she wished it wouldn't and I Said "But Mom we need the rain". Her eyes narrowed and she pointed at me and said "You are such a conservationist". LOL

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Money saving Ideas Compliments of Crunchy

Haven't done a piggy back post in awhile....

Today Ms. Crunchy had an interesting topic- How do you save money ? She linked to this great post from the simple dollar. And for the most part I agree with them both. But I have a few of my own to add in the fray

REPAIR- If I had said it once, I will say it again- Don't throw out if you can fix it save the money and do it. I just had to fix my reefer- turns out all that was wrong was a corroded thermostat. Simply clean off the thermostat! I found this out asking questions of the HVAC guy at work - our HVAC guys also do refrigeration!

  • Conserve- saving water, electricity, gas is a money saver, too

  • Quit Smoking- Works for me. I saved enough the first four months to buy my bike.

  • Pay off your credit- self explanatory

  • Christmas time is coming start making your gifts!
Surprising to me is that Crunchy, queen of challenges, doesn't mention that all of the ideas or rather a good portion of them are answered in her challenges. Buying nothing, DIY, Self sufficiency, growing your own, etc. are all just ways to save money. Really. And they help you be nicer to Mama Earth.