Friday, October 24, 2008

Fru-gal-ity *updated*

I like that it has "gal" in it. In the 'good ole days' the word "gal" and "guy" was used more often than "chick" or "dude". Speaking of simpler times, I have spent the last couple days researching some do-it-yourself things, and on the top of my list, is laundry detergent, out of sheer determined curiosity (or, the fact that I've run out, and am days away from shopping day) I found a couple recipes. One for powder, and one for liquid (or, gel, as it were). I prefer liquid over powder for the plain old reason that the powder collects in the crevice of the lid of the washing machine and it bugs me. You know that crevice I'm talking about. Yeah, that one. I can't have anything in there.

Turns out I should be able to make my own laundry detergent with Arm&Hammer Washing Soda, Borax, and bar soap (your choice). Oh, and water, - if you want to make the liquid kind. The cost per load will be around $.03. THREE CENTS. C'mon all you farmhousewife wannabe's - that's classic! Three cents per load of laundry?? Now if I could just turn the barnyard gasses into electricity to run the dryer (during the winter only, of course) I'd be the Queen of my farmhouse castle. Wait, I already AM the Queen.

A 'fabric softener' is white vinegar added to the rinse cycle. (I'm thinking there's no reason my Downy ball can't hold vinegar for that purpose, right?)

Crazy right? Make your own laundry detergent. I know what you're thinking; Costco has it in bulk for $xx.xx - but here's the thing - you have to drive to Costco (which, for me is about an hour away) and there's also the issue of the emptied plastic container - which if not recycled will last about a million years in the landfill.

Frugality is good. I would even go so far as to boast that 90% of what is in and around our little farmhouse is second-third and even fourth-hand. Thrift stores, flea-markets, antique shops, are our Saks-Fifth-Avenues of choice. Reduce - Re-use - Recycle. We should all do it.

Besides, it sounds like fun to mix up a five gallon (used paint container of course) bucket of glop.

Again, I can't say it enough. Life is good.

p.s. I must give credit where credit is due - I found a likely laundry detergent recipe here and also here, which incidentally, was my favorite. I bounced around his site for just a little while (hours!) and thoroughly enjoyed it! I highly recommend you do the same!

Dr.'s Appointments

It's true. I have been to see the Doctor. She told me "there is no cure for you. Just keep doing what you're doing".

Imagine my surprise?!

  • Lowered my cholesterol (must be those farm-fresh eggs, I heard they were lower in cholesterol than the store bought ones)
  • Lost some weight (maybe the gardening, wood-floor-mopping, and toddler chasing)
  • The results of the blood tests of which they tested what seemed to me to be a million things all came back negative. That's positive. Affirmative. Whatever.. you know what I mean.

So now I have no excuse! On the other hand - I do have to have surgery to repair my eardrums, and have a small bump removed from my back. But seriously, now that you're as bored as having sat in a waiting room, I'll end the medical stuff.

Being a farmhousewife is apparently good for one's health!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Huh? Wha?

I saw a lot of things, people, and places when I visited SoCal earlier this month that serve as poignant reminders of why I live where I live. Having been born and raised in SoCal - I became blind to the blatant fact that it's a desert. Devoid of much rainfall (incidentally, since the season had begun, there were zero inches of rain - that's July, August, September, and the beginning of October with NO WATER from the sky) and just, ...brown. I mean, brown is a nice color. The comforter on my bed, in fact, has brown in it. How do I love thee (brown) let me count the ways;

  • love the look and smell of leather (think horse wear)

  • in keeping with the horse theme - think horse - brown is a good color for a horse

  • love the golden brown crisped skin of a roasted chicken

  • brown shoes (a girl must have several different pairs of brown shoes - it's non-negotiable)

  • otherwise a mystery is the brown that one cleans out of a barn. It went IN green. Go figure.

So, back to SoCal. You see, it took me living somewhere else for a year and a half to really realize how much I appreciate living somewhere else (where it is GREEN) (we'll talk about green later).

It does have it's good points - like....uh, rainfall? Which of course is really helpful when you're having a picnic. Or outside at all. (was that a sentence?) Anyway, I once defended SoCal with a passion. And now, I jokingly and seriously say; you couldn't pay me enough to move back there. Oh, back to good points; okay...uh - close to shopping, close to beach close to mountains. But the trade-off is smog, traffic, mean people, brown-ness, and of course, the earthquakes and lovely Santa Ana Winds that set SoCal on fire every single year.(timely enough -those Santa Anas where whooping it up the day we flew back to NC - dust storm and all) Those that live in SoCal passionately defend it because - well, because they live there. I did too.

On the last Friday we were there we went with family to Disneyland and had a ball. A three-year-old is just prime for a day at Disneyland. He had a blast! And we didn't even have to rent a stroller, but we did have to take out a second on the mortgage to pay for it all (which makes me think of airports, and how they get away with charging $4.69 for 20 oz. of water. And we think gasoline is expensive?).

At the end of the day, after walking to the tram, and then walking to the car after the tram, I saw a VW exiting the parking structure. A Jetta, black, and shiny, and...IT WAS A GLI!!!! (those of you who know me, know that I'm a VW freak) Naturally, I turned to gaze at it longlingly, with fond memories screeching around every corner in my mind and then...

I saw the license plate.

It said;


I found this extraordinarily amusing and laughed the whole way home. I miss my Jetta. And I have been known to say "Huh? Wha?" quite often as bad as my hearing was. It was the final chapter of SoCal for me, epitomized so well by 1. a car (out here, nobody cares what you drive) and 2. the Huh? Wha? was a reminder for me that living in SoCal was so fast, you scarcely had time to listen to anyone, let alone yourself.

What is this leisure time of which you speak?

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