This 3/4 length sleeve top... I wear a lot... on days that it is not too hot but not too cold either... it's just right, so when I dripped something on it I was sad. I grew more sad as every attempt to remove the spot failed.
...until my friend Connie invited me to a Norwex Product Presentation at her house and I won a prize when my name was drawn. It was a tiny bottle of Norwex dishwashing liquid. The label indicated that it could also be used as a "stain remover for clothes. Remember a little goes a long way." With my optimism meter on the low end, but determined that the spot was not going to outsmart me, I decided to give it a try. I squirted a little on the spot, rubbed it in, and the spot began to disappear before my eyes! Yes, it did. It really did! I was as happy as the girl pictured on the front of the Norwex catalog. The dishwashing liquid/stain remover impressed me so much, I went straight to the phone to order a bottle which will be delivered in the next few days... ready and waiting for the next spot that dares to defy me.
Note: The wrinkles in my top are because I pulled it out of my soiled laundry hamper to take the photo. After I launder it and toss it in the dryer with my Norwex "porcupine" dryer balls, it will be wrinkle-free. Yes, I know... I should be a Norwex consultant.
Recently, my friend Connie invited me to a Norwex Enviro Products presentation at her house. The sales consultant demonstrated how to clean without chemicals. I purchased a pair of dryerballs that have porcupine-like protrusions that "lift and separate laundry while softening fabrics. This reduces drying time, static cling and wrinkles - naturally without chemicals." They really do work... and are such a pretty lime green color.
I also purchased this microfiber mitt that "attracts and absorbs the finest of dust particles allowing for less frequent dusting." I used it to swipe my very dusty computer screen. It lived up to its claims.
The final product I bought was Antibac Enviro Cloths in a lovely pink color that "clean everything using only water leaving a bacteria free surface. The antibacterial agent is embedded in the microfiber so, when the cloth is used to clean surfaces, it will remove 99.9% of the bacteria on that surface and destroy that bacteria (in the cloth) after a few hours." I am excited to give them a whirl, but I am a diehard fan of Melaleuca Ecosense products. My general cleaning threesome includes MelaMagic Heavy-Duty Multi-Purpose Cleaner that I add to my bucket of water along with Sol-U-Mel stain booster made from "Melaleuca Oil and other naturally derived ingredients". I spray Sol-U-Guard Botanical Disinfectant that "is proven to kill over 99% of bacteria" on surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. It is "made from plant extracts with pleasant aromatherapeutic vapors". All three products leave such a clean scent in the room.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Today’s mileage: 4.75 mile bike ride
Total Mileage for July: 24.75 miles
Bible reading? Yes.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today’s mileage: 0
Total Mileage for July: 24.75 miles (same as yesterday) I need to pick up the pace if I'm going to reach my 50-mile minimum goal for the month. If gardening could translate into mileage, I'd be well over my goal. I have been shovling and spreading mulch to inhibit weed growth and retain moisture. That's nearly completed, so I have plans to hit the bike trail at the end of this week.
Bible reading? Yes.
This morning, the yard sale circuit on my bike netted me a cheerful red suitcase. I carried it home by looping the handle over my bike's handlebar. After scrubbing the dirt and scuff marks, it was ready to use as storage for my embroidery supplies. It's got elasticized gathered pockets along three sides in the bottom section to tuck some little things.
Over a four-year period, I have purchased every color of DMC floss so that when I am ready to start an embroidery project I have what I need. I organized them in Ziploc bags with two holes punched along the bottom edge to loop two metal rings. It works like a Rolodex address/phone number filing device. I placed 5 colors in each bag with a label identifying the enclosed floss. The bags, with holes punched in them, are available at Joanns in the embroidery supply aisle. My daughter Jessica uses an alternate method using an old metal file drawer that works great, too. While on the subject of organization, check out some of her other creative ideas for organizing craft supplies.
When we arrived back home after pedaling our 9 1/2 mile yard sale loop, we needed a serious snack. Upon peering in the fridge and pantry, I came up with an avocado that I spread on Doctor Kracker spelt crackers that are sprinkled with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax. I topped it with wild caught salmon (as opposed to farm-raised), a cucumber slice, and a cherry tomato. A sprinkle of Johnny's Seasoning Salt and some freshly ground pepper and we were good to go... along with a small juice-size glass of POM 100% pomegranate juice.
Note: When purchasing Johnny's Seasoning Salt, you have the option of ordering a variety with msg and one without. I order the kind without msg.
April 4, 2009
Today's mileage: 9.5-mile bike ride
Total mileage for April: 15.5 miles
Bible reading? Yes.
I have been wanting a label maker for a number of years so, when this model went on sale at Staples, I moved on it. It is a Brother P-touch Model PT-2700.
After installing the computer software included with the machine and flipping through some pages in the instruction book, I was anxious to get started. My first project was to label the jars that store my seeds for sprouting. I chose to add a border with tiny blossoms.
... and here are my seeds, labeled and ready to go.
Mar. 3, 2009
Today's mileage: 2 mile walk
Total monthly mileage for March: 6 miles
Bible reading? Yes.
Before I went to bed last night, I thought about what my ideal productive day spent at home would look like. I concluded that it would need variety and consist of what I dubbed "4 Cs"... cook, clean, clerical, and craft, so I set out to plan my day. (I would not count making a bed, washing dishes, laundry, and other everyday tasks. I would count only extras so that I experienced progress.) I started my morning cooking a new recipe... a wild rice pudding sweetened with maple syrup that we ate for breakfast. It is a keeper worth sharing after I tweak it just a bit. Next, I cleaned two bathrooms and organized a corner of my craft room. Clerical came next with two hours spent on taxes. Finally, I earned my craft time... I dug out this Old Mother Hubbard teaching resource sheet ©1967 and put it in a frame. I purchased it at an outdoor antique sale that I attended with our youngest daughter Jessica in the adorable little Florida town she lives in. This nursery rhyme sheet is one of 12 that is included in the packet. I was drawn to its lovely colors.
The light streaming in is not part of the picture. It is sunlight from my own window that I caught at just the right time of day when I took the photo. It adds a cheeriness to what could be perceived as a dismal predicament for Mrs. Hubbard to be in.
Old mother Hubbard
went to the cupboard,
to fetch her poor dog a bone,
but when she got there
the cupboard was bare
and so the poor dog had none.
My "4 Cs" strategy turned out to be a real motivator today. I'm going to plan another for tomorrow.
Feb. 17, 2009
Today's mileage: 2 mile walk
Total monthly mileage: 46.25 miles
Bible reading? Oops. The day slipped away.
I want one...
I grew up on a 160-acre farm ten miles southeast of Brainerd... surrounded by other large farms. We had a "party line" where several neighbors shared the same phone line. To make a call, you gingerly removed the phone off the wall hook so as not to disturb someone in case it was in use. After waiting patiently and checking intermittently to see if the line was free, you could then place a call. If you were snoopy, you remained on the line barely breathing and listened in. Think about how many phone lines, towers, and cables... not to mention phones... that we have today. Convenient... but necessary? I'm not so sure.
From Martha Stewart's Blueprint Magazine, I acquired a list of "100 Reasons to Get Rid of It". Now and again, I will share some web sites from that list that I think stand out... ones that will assist us all in simplifying our lives by reducing the stuff that clutters it up because... "People burn 55 minutes a day looking for things, 80% of what we own we never use", and this one hurts... "1.4 million Americans suffer from chronic hoarding and clutter"... I do love a good yard sale, thrift shop, and antique store. Well, I say let's commit ourselves to decluttering to "reduce housework by 40%", because... "Less is more." -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci
Inevitably, I choose the wrong checkout line in the grocery store and end up waiting for a bagger to run after a product that a customer mistakenly picked up other than the one she intended... or a price check causes a delay. I know you've been there. To pass the time, I begin to browse the headlines on the covers of magazines. Sometimes I'm even enticed to buy one. When you've stood in those lines and gazed at magazine covers often enough, you begin to notice the same topics turning up from one year to the next. January magazine covers always highlight getting your life organized... "End Closet Clutter"... "21 Ways to Get Organized"... "Organizing Solutions"... and on and on. Is it because it's the start of a new year and we are determined to turn over a new leaf... make a New Year's Resolution? I think it has more to do with it being wintertime. We spend more time indoors, so we feel an urge to put things in order around us because that is our world and we want it to be cozy and efficient. Therefore, I set out this morning to make a difference in a corner of my kitchen where I store my baking supplies. Here is what my cupboard looked like before I began.
Here is what my baking supply cupboard looked like afterwards. I moved everything across the room because I read in one of my organizational books that it's most efficient to set up your baking area between the stove and the sink because you use them frequently... not next to the refrigerator as is commonly thought. The reasoning is that you can get whatever supplies you need from the fridge in one trip and carry them over to your baking area Rachael Ray-style. Not every kitchen has appliances that are installed so as to be conducive to this arrangement, but if you do... it makes purely good sense to me.
I now have one cupboard devoted to ingredients used in making soups, casseroles, etc. with herbs and seasonings, dry beans, pasta... things like that. Another cabinet section stores supplies including spices, sweeteners, dried fruits and nuts... anything for baking. Dick installed a two-tiered rack on the door's interior that holds my spices. I alphabetized my herbs and spices in both cupboards to prevent duplication. To fit my plates, bowls, and beverage glasses into one cupboard section, I weeded out the excess which I placed in a Goodwill box. The shelf allowed me to stack salad plates above the dinner plates for more efficient use of space. I used a similar shelf in my baking cupboard.
My daughter, Jessica (fortandfield.blogspot.com), knows how much I like to organize so she shared an idea from the February 2008 issue of Country Home Magazine featuring an apron draped around a door. I used a full apron, but the article suggested hanging a half-apron by "tying the apron strings around a cupboard or pantry door and securing with double-sided tape." The pockets can be used "to store grocery lists, coupons, and other shopping necessities." I used my pockets to hold the week's menu and coordinating recipes. Besides being useful, the apron adds a pretty burst of color.
This is me, now that Christmas is but a happy memory. I am enjoying the solitude of my own living room as the maddening crowds in the stores scramble for the remaining items of drastically-reduced gotta-have sale items. (Drawing is from my collection of vintage cookbooks titled "The Casserole Book" illustrated by Kay Lovelace and published by Culinary Arts Institute Copyright 1956.)
This morning, upon checking out, a guest gave me this gift of a dishcloth she made for me. On this first day of autumn, I am struggling with letting go of summer, so I am happily washing my dishes with this dishcloth bursting with summer colors.
Tucked away in the corner of a kitchen cupboard under boxes of brightly colored drinking straws and napkins sporting roosters and blooming geraniums, I chose some pink and lime green yard sale paper plates for Dick and I to eat our lunch on today... one final summer celebration.
O.K., I'm now ready to greet all of the Indian Summer Days that this season has to offer. To welcome the first day of autumn, I placed this candle in the middle of my kitchen table. The bird proudly perched atop the candle's lid reminds me that this new season, like summer, is awash with color... just different hues.