I have found homes for my books and my camping gear in the RV. Books are now in upper cabinets (where they should NOT be b/c of the weight, but that is really most convenient for me). Gear is under the bed. Painting/art supplies are under the couch. Dog things now have a bathroom drawer all their own, plus more dog things live inside the doggie staircase near the bed.
Office supplies was tough. I have two upper cabinets near my desk, and then the hole where the passenger’s legs go in the RV, all full of office stuff. Dan made my desk cubby to hold my printer.
DVDs are in my favorite antique pie chest by the door. We still need to make some kind of support for it to make sure it won’t fall over when we drive.
We added tons of hooks for clothes and jewelry. My Cookie Lee stuff is problematic. Lots of weight and space, plus I had to randomly stick things in various places.
We hung a cable wire with curtain hooks to create a privacy screen in the cab area, and put up some nice chocolate brown canvas curtains I had.
Food in current use is in the pantry inside and I have a deep storage for the rest in one of the basements.
Dan still needs to make a recycling center on the rear platform.
We are looking to order a new side mirror from an RV salvage place. The people are searching for us and that will take a few days. I hope it’s not hugely expensive.
The yoga/workout gear is still kicking around and in the way. I want these things easily accessible so I use them. But tripping over them isn’t going to make my life serene, either.Filed under All About Me, RVs and RVing, mind clutter | Comments (7)
ven at the tail end of winter you can have brilliant blooms, all over your house, for free. Here’s how to force woody branches into flower - the easy way.
- Pruning shears
- Vase, toile bucket, galvanized bucket, floral wall pocket or any interesting, watertight container
- Sugar and bleach as a preservative, with tap water
- A tree…preferably a fruiting tree, a mimosa tree or forsythia type shrub
- Step stool to reach branches
The best time for forcing is when budding has started, but flowers and leaves are not yet open. Choose a tree with lots of branches and select a branch from a crowded area (you don’t want your tree to look lopsided after you are done snipping). Do your lopping on branches at least as thick as your little finger.
Mix one gallon of hot water with a tablespoon of sugar (any type) and a 1/4 teaspoon of non-scented bleach. Let cool and pour in your floral container. This mixture will help feed your branches and keep the water’s fungus and bacteria counts down, long enough for you to completely enjoy your late winter/early spring burst of life and color.
Hammer or snip the end of your branches to help the plant’s capilllary vessels drink lots of water. Trim branches to fit your container. Check how your arrangement will sit and which direction you find most pleasing to showcase. Don’t place in direct sunlight or in chilly drafts. Direct sun will wilt your leaves and cook your buds, while drafts will just make your branches drop whatever they put forth.
Getting started with your own flowering trees
- For more information on trees and shrubs that flower, how to plant and care for them, etc, I recommend this book from Amazon: The Otho Guide to Flowering Trees and Shrubs
- You can also plant your own five-gallon trees and shrubs to get started with spring blooms for your yard, balcony or patio. I have selected the plum and peach trees below for prolific blooming potential:
I felt both hopeful and appalled by a visit yesterday to my local Refuse Transit Station, the place where trash waits to be brought to its final resting place in an Arizona landfill.
Basically, I wanted to see what people throw away.
I try to recycle, compost and donate everything possible. My personal goal is No Net Trash. An unrealistic standard to be true: even native cultures had midden heaps. I figure with a high standard for myself, the end results should be pretty good. I felt inspired to see what ends up going to the landfill in my community.
First I spoke to the employee taking in the trash. I asked him where this stuff goes (to the landfill). I asked if anything gets recycled (some things yes, some no). I asked if people could come to the transit station and buy/bring useful salvage home (the answer is a firm no).
Okay. I looked around the various heaps. A hill of tires gets recycled into components of asphalt. Car batteries and motor oil are recycled. Scrap metal is sold to junk recyclers. All good so far.
Sad limp mattresses piled high to the sky: landfill-bound. Pallets and carpets and construction debris - landfill. Household castoffs - landfill. And a HUGE mountain range of landscape waste - sadly, all to be buried in a landfill.
When I asked why the county doesn’t mulch the green waste, the employee told me that was a really good question and to ask the county supervisor. When I asked about salvage of usable items he repeated his request. I thought that was a pretty good answer, actually. He gave me a list of prices, of what the costs are for bringing our trash to the transit station, so I could be armed with the facts if I ever followed through to speak with the county.
Then I wandered over to the metal heap to actually eyeball what gets tossed. It was interesting and enlightening. This small mountain contained many useful items that could have been brought to a thrift store. While a large bulk of items were large appliances like fridges, stoves, dishwashers and laundry machines, I also saw nice bicycles, a ton of outdoor lounge chairs in great shape, perfectly fine upscale baby strollers, outdoor BBQs, folding camping chairs, metal shelving and wheel barrows.
Some of these things needed a small amount of fixing to be usable, like the bicycles. And some were in great shape and ready for another lifetime of use.
Since this pile was the metal heap, slated for recycling, I couldn’t feel too sad about all these useful items: at least they were not destined for the landfill. Their metal parts would be stripped and recycled.
And I was pleased the tires were to be chipped and reused by the county in our roads. A local resident told me this was a new thing - that only in the last year were tires diverted from the landfill. So a very positive step.
Yet the green wastes really bothered me. I’ve lived in cities that mulch up their yard waste and let people take the nutritious bits for their gardens and landscaping needs. In the high desert, tossing such a source of ground nutrients into aerobically dead landfills is more than a waste. It’s almost a sin.
The useable, salvageable goods are another missed opportunity. Why not let people buy some of these things? We live in a horribly depressed area of the West. There are some very nice items that don’t belong in a landfill. Why not set usables aside for possible purchase? Or arrange for a tax break by letting charitable thrift stores pick them up each week?
It’s probably a matter of looking into the system. Of talking to the county and seeing if there are plans for these kinds of enlightened changes. Maybe such changes are already coming down the pike? Or maybe I can influence my local government into creating a committee, a long term plan, for diverting non-waste from landfills?Filed under Frugal Living, Self-Reliance, green living | Comments (7)
One of the bonus videos for The Biggest Loser showed Melissa talking with Ashley in the ranch kitchen cavalierly admitting she was eating badly at the Oly Training Center, and not paying attention to her calories and not using the online food tracking program they are all to be using.
It seemed to shock Ashley, for whom this is no game. That girl (pink) is seriously in need of regaining her health.
What scares me is that Melissa (red team) and her ‘integrity’ is that she is a lawyer back home.
Also, the whole thing about Lance not coming home until he is 250 pounds is not about his health. They have made it plain from the first eps that he cannot return to his lucrative deep sea diving work until his weight gets back there.
So one way or the other for Melissa, it’s about the money. And I also think she wanted to go home.
It’s clear she does not see herself as overweight or having a problem from everything she says about everyone else in her interviews.
I wonder how Lance will do without Lady Macbeth around. Notice he sunk to the ground in terror when he saw she had gained a pound? I’ve never seen anyone on this show do that before.
In other topics, I was so happy to see Miggy (green) so happy and pleasant. I think 2 things: she operates better without her daughter around, and that she must have been in some chronic pain from the mass and cyst that were removed when they took out her appendix.
Miggy probably was having low levels of infection for a long time. Her fear of ‘weakness’ likely had her denying her physical pain. That would make anyone irritable/grumpy/defensive all the time. Her whole body posture now is of a new woman.
It remains to be seen though, if she will have friends on the ranch, besides Michael. When she was celebrating on the scale, no one seemed to really give a heck about her being so thrilled. There was polite clapping while she spun around in joy. It was kind of a sad moment. And when she hugged Jillian and picked her up, Jillian’s face spoke a few volumes of distaste. Either Jillian is sick of being picked up by contestants (why do they all do that to her?) or she really doesn’t care much for Miggy.
I liked that Bob saw a return to yoga lately for the contestants. We only know what the producers show on screen, so we don’t know if Bob has been doing yoga with people in the last few seasons as much as before, but I am always happy to see the contestants learning how to go within for balance and strength.Filed under biggest loser, fitness, yoga | Comment (0)
I just read a wonderful book on essays from people who do extreme recycling and dumpster diving.
So here is my question: have you ever taken anything out of a dumpster? How would you feel if you got ‘caught’?
I will start: sometimes I grab recyclables from dumpsters and recycle them. Like if a ton of cardboard boxes are in there, or a bag of cans. Usually there is a recycling bin right there and all I have to do is take a second to move things a bit.
Sometimes I see actual goodies in there, which makes me feel confused. Like once I saw FOUR whole unopened bags of Wee Wee pads. Those things, for dogs, are not cheap. I looked around to see if anyone saw me and reached in and grabbed two of them. I figured I would grab the other two as I walked by next time, since i needed a stick to grab those.
Unfortunately, when I came back the other two bags were totally buried by a whole dump load of landscape waste. I still feel badly about this. If I had not let me pride get ahead of me I would have had two more bags of expensive wee wee pads, and also kept something useful out of the waste stream.
It is much easier to take things when people kindly leave them outside the dumpster (like RV lawn chairs - I have gotten about six really nice ones that way and many other useful things). But I feel embarrassed to actually reach in and root around.
I don’t want to have to feel that way. I want to feel pleased to be helping the planet. Yet there is a stigma.
What do others do when you see nice things in and around dumpsters?Filed under Frugal Living, Self-Reliance, green living | Comments (15)
After college, I fully believed I would save the environment, with all my good ideas, my commitment, my knowledge and energy. I really believed that all you had to do to explain what the reality was to people and they would go, “OMG I need to recycle!” or “Right, we will stop dumping fabric dyes into our oceans!”
I thought it would be that simple. The latter half of my 20s was characterized by learning that most people simply do not care. Much disillusionment. It was a very hard learning experience for me.
But helping the environment and helping animals DOES help me. It makes me feel happy. Helping people is nice but not my primary interest. I want to “speak for the trees.” I want to live lighter on the planet, reduce my carbon footprint, create a No Net Waste Goal, see less cruelty and suffering in this world.
When I donated my Seattle car and previous RV to a cause, it was to the Humane Society.
I get a nice glow whenever I think about that.
Do you give to a cause or help others in some way? Does doing so help you back?Filed under All About Me, green living | Comments (5)
I have this deal worked out that if I do everything on my Healthy List, I get a treat. If I do a few things on the list a get a smaller treat.
I created this idea of the last four days because I realized I work best on a rewards-based system. My first thought was that I would get one dollar for accomplishing at least one thing from my list, a dollar a day. Or that I would get $5 if I did EVERYTHING on my list that day.
That way I would earn either $30 or $150 in a month, give or take, if I stay with this.
The problem was, where would the money come from? I couldn’t pay myself - i have no money. So then i asked hubby if he would pay me. He said he would if he had any money, but he didn’t either. I thought of my mom but didn’t want to bother her with this.
We decided I needed a sponsor.
I didn’t feel like asking people to give me money so I could give myself incentive to do good things for myself, so I had to wrack my brains for some other reward.
I settled on massages. Dan agreed that he would do one minute of massage on the body part of my choice if I tackled some of the things on my list, and five full minutes (timed) if I get everything checked off.
So far I earned (and received) a one minute jaw massage for yesterday and a five minute foot massage for the day before. Today I am working on getting my entire list accomplished and will be able to earn my five minutes - maybe for a neck rub.
Here is my Healthy List: (daily tasks)
- Hanging on the chinup bar
- a Yoga sequence or stretching
- 5 minutes Meditation
- at least 15 minutes of something that lifts my Heart Rate
- Take my Vitamins
- Take my Medications
- have Veggies in at least one meal
- have Protein in at least one meal
- have a serving of Fruit, or the equivalent of antioxidants
- Put powdered Fiber in at least one beverage
- Floss teeth
- Exfoliate and Moisturize face and neck
- Do one thing to Pamper myself or provide Me Time
So far this has been a very good list for me. I make sure to set my timer to go off every half hour when I am working at my desk, so I can remember to get a few of these things done.
The One Thing For Me item is variable. One day I read a book in bed during the day. Today I took a nice long bath with scented salts. It could also be getting a pedicure, buying myself something nice, going to a thrift store or walking around down town, being artsy or crafty, working on my Vision Board, enjoying a sunset or looking at stars…whatever little item that isn’t otherwise on any to-do list that will help decrease my stress levels.
What do people think of my idea? I am really hopeful this will encourage attention and accountability to healthy habits for me.Filed under All About Me, Organization, fitness, involvaholic, mind clutter, yoga | Comment (1)