Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two More Questions Answered

Mommy Kerrie from the Kerrie Show asked

how can i remember to take my cloth grocery bags when i go shopping???? i have so much junk in my diaper bag and van as it is!

I have a couple of suggestions (on these suggestions I'm going under the assumption that you keep all your bags togther stuffed into one bag.)
#1 Keep them with your shopping list and coupons. By keeping them in the same place it will be hard to forget them when you grab your list.
#2 Stick a note on your front door or dashboard where you will see it before you go shopping. This one is a little messier looking but once you get into the habit of grabbing them before you go you can get rid of the note.
#3 If you take your kids shopping with you assign them to grab the bags before you leave. This ones results will vary from kid to kid but most kids love to help when given the chance. (though remember if they forget them not to get too mad you've forgotten them too LOL )

#4 If all else fails then clean the car and set aside a spot in the car for the bags and return them to that spot as soon as you finish emptying the bags.
If any other readers have any suggestions for this one please post a comment. We could all use some help in how to remember things :D

my2boyz from MY 2 Boyz asked...

I am green..or I try to do you handle cleaning? More importantly killing nasy bathroom germs?
The first thing you should remember is that Most bathrooms are cleaner then most kitchens. (they've done studies ) so unless your bathroom is extra grungy then Good old soap (not antibactierial soap its bad for the environment) and water will kill the germs you are worrying about.

If you need some extra scrubbing power say that ring around the bathtub try taking a lemon and cutting it in half then pour some salt on it and scrub. Salt is a mild abrasive that will clean with out scratching and the lemon will help power off the grime (why do you think its in so many commercial cleaners)

To clean the mirrors try Equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle .

For the toilet try Baking Soda and Vinegar: Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then squirt with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. Cleans and deodorizes.
I hope these help you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time to Answer Another Question

Melanie from Living with me

I would also like to know about the light bulbs. We have considered buying the better ones (I don't know what they are called). But they are so expensive. And I don't think they light up the room as well. What do you use? And do you find that they really last longer?

Lets start with what I use. I use Compact Fluorescent bulbs in about 90% of my lights. I am renting and this is all I can use because it is not my house so I can't renovate if I want to use something else. I do have a couple of solar lamps that I like to set out to charge during the day and use at night inside (they are meant for using on the patio and such) it adds a nice glow at no extra cost. Most of the time I don't turn on the lights at all Especially during the day. Even on cloudy days I have plenty of light from outside.

LED lights are more energy efficient but not as popular because they are more expensive don't give off as much light and you would have to renovate your home because as far as I know they don't have any that will just screw into your current fixtures like compact fluorescent do.

I also have a couple of lamps that have Incandescents bulbs in them. Yes they waste more energy but they are brighter (and fluorescent give me a headache when I try to read by it) so I use them when I read at night.

My suggestion to anyone looking at Lighting in their home is to use bulbs as needed. If you need a bright steady light for reading or sewing or anything were you need good lighting use a incandescent bulb. For general Lighting where you need to see well use Fluorescent bulbs and where you need light to see around the room use LED lamps (think romantic dinners, watching TV, etc)

Now as for how long they last I can't say about LED's because I haven't had the chance to use them on a regular basis. I have had the same fluorescent bulbs for about 6 years now ( when we move we take them with us and replace the incandescent bulbs that were there when we arrived) so I do think they last longer the incandescent bulbs.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can I now say Award Winning Blog?

Thank you Sherrie and Michelle for the awards. I know I'm suppose to pass them on but I'm going to have to wait a bit for that.


Here are the winners of the Crazy Green Contest
I had 8 Entries and planned on 11 winners so they all win.

I will be contacting them on their blogs to let them know they won. I haven't answered all of the questions yet but I will. All heck has broken loose the last couple days and I've had to do an emergency replacement of one of our tanks. It cracked all the way from top to bottom and I had to make a new one to replace it. It took three days to do.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Last Day for the Contest

Today is the last day of the Crazy Green Contest so if you still want to enter click the heart over on the right and get your question in. I will be answering a couple more of them tonight.

I'll announce the winners and the prizes on Monday because weekends are family time and I don't get on as much.

I've been very busy the last couple days you may have noticed my lack of posting here or on your blogs. I've been getting the frog habitat ready. My Hubby decided the little tank was going to be too small and purchased another one. So I've been getting it fixed up with half land/ half water setup. I love designing my own tanks but it was a bit of a rush job because we don't know when the tadpoles will be here. There delivery date was suppose to be yesterday but they were a no show. I've also been looking for a part time job. Guess where I interviewed today.....

How appropriate would that be. I'll have to switch all my blogging to the evenings but the extra money means a trip to Disney World while the kids are still young enough to enjoy going with us old uncool parents LOL. Well that's it for now I'll be back on later after I finish the tank (and paying a few bills :P )

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Little Baby Animal

Who doesn't love pictures of a Little Baby Animal?

Cute puppies, sweet little kittens, even baby cows are adorable.

All Little Baby Animals are so cute and cuddly RIGHT? Go check out the picture of the newest members of our animal family at Cats and Dogs Turtles and Frogs and decide for yourself.

Ok enough with the shameful promotion of my other blog I don't do that often but its new and it's quiet an interesting picture (at least I thing so LOL).

There is still time to enter the Crazy Green Contest it doesn't end until Friday all you have to do is click the Button over there on the Right and post a question in the comments section. That's it you'll be entered and right now you have a really good shot of winning I'm giving away 11 prizes and have only had 3 entries. Thanks Ladies for entering.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've Been TAGGED

I've been Tagged by Sherrie over at Boogers, Screams,Headaches and Dreams
A fun creative blog that I enjoy reading.

Ok, so this tag is supposed to be 8 random things about me. Hear goes:

1. I spent 10 years in the Air Force and have been to all but 2 Continents Australia and Antarctica. I have been to Chile, Egypt, Kenya, England, Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Japan, Okinawa, Crete, Greenland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, There is a couple more in there but I can't remember the name of the city I was in so I can't find the country :P Old age will do that I guess LOL Hey wait I"m only 39 :P.

2. I've lived in 10 States and visited another 6 : Lived: Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, California, Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York. Visited: North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington and Washington D.C.

3.I love to read. So much so that when I get into a good book I can't put it down until it's done. House work and Hubby be damned LOL. My Hubby says I ignore him too much when I'm reading. The only thing that comes before finishing a good book is my kids :D

4. I have 2 kids My daughter Sam and My son Billy. My mother told me it was because I was so determined to be different from my sisters that I had a daughter first. They had sons first.

5. I walk the kids to school every day.........well almost every day when that wind chill kicks up forget about it.

6. I love to play video games. I have several systems because I like to play RPG's and puzzle games and they only make so many for each system.

7. I love snow. Most people are against winter because it's cold. I don't mind the cold because you can always put on another layer to keep warm but you can only take off so much when it's hot. Snow makes everything look magical even if its only for a little while its still beautiful and peaceful.

8. I want to go Kayaking in Alaska. I have to save up and lose some more weight before I can even think about it but it is something I really want to do. I also want to hike the Appalachian Trail this will probable be a retirement trip since it takes over three months to hike the 2,175 miles. I'm working on getting in shape for it though. I have takin the miles off the web site and every day I walk on my tread mill at least 2 miles a day (not inclucing the walking I do to get the kids and stuff). I hope to move up to 5 miles a day soon.

Now here are the RULES for this tag:

1. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.
5. For the recipients, leave a comment for the person who tagged you, so they can go and read your answers.

I'm Tagging:

Barry from An Explorer's View of Life He has some wonderful stories if you stop by you must read his 6 part story of Lindsey.

Bev from BevB's Backyard she is from Queensland, Australia humm one of the continents I haven't been to yet.

Kelli from Gohn Crazy a Stay at home mom with a crafty side.

Olivia from Life of a work at home mom she posts her tips and stories about being a work at home mom.

Mom or Mum Wars I love how she referers to her hubby as "Him Downstairs" it makes me laugh I wish my hubby would go downstairs and stop trying to read over my shoulder all the time LOL

Kerrie from The Kerrie Show lovely stories of life.

Shaunalynn The Art and Science of Parenting she has a great brag post right now so If you want someone to listen to something your proud of go post.

Thrifty Thumpers who is also having a giveaway right now ( I said also cause I'm having one too why haven't you entered the button is over there on the right)

Ok that is my eight go take a look.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Question 3 of the Crazy Green Contest

Comes from Mom's Mind at Thrifty Thumpers...Who is also running a contest right now so stop on by and enter her's too.

What part of living green do you feel has been the most challenging to become accustomed to?

This was a little harder to answer because there are several things that are challenging.

For Example we move every few years because of my Hubbies Job. So every couple of years I have a new house to figure out how to make green as possible and if we are renting I have to figure out how to make it as green as possible without altering the house in any way. Renting is a royal pain when it comes to being green.

Another challenge is my green wish list far exceeds my cash flow. There are things I would like to do but can't afford (and since I'm renting can't do right now anyway). I would love to put in solar panels. I think it is something they need to do more research on and improve to make it more affordable for the masses.

The hardest thing for me personally is packing my kids school lunches. Not just making sure they have a variety of good food to eat (my son is super picky) but when they go to school with their home made goodies they see what their friends are eating and come home with "Why can we have this and that?" "My friends get to eat (insert junk food here)." I know I'm teaching them to eat healthier then a lot of their peers but I worry about making them feel alienated from their friends.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Come See

Well I've only had 2 question entries for my contest so far so I've been working on something else. I've been wanting to do a pet blog for a while now. And after reading the wonderful story of Lindsey at An Explorer's View of Life By Barry. I have finally gotten of my duff and have it up and running. Please stop by and say hi. Just click Crickets Picture and it will take you right there.

If you still want to enter the Crazy Green Contest Just post your Question to enter. You can click the heart on the Right or just post a question here. I only have two entries and 11 prizes to give away.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Crazy Green Contest 2nd Question

Ok before I answer my second question, I want to point out the little button over on the Right It looks like this: It's a direct link back to the contest post if you want to enter. So far I only have 2 entries.

My second question entry is from Jami from Confessions Of a Stay At Home Mom. Click the link and show her some love. I hope she like the button I made for her :D

1. We have a small recycle center at our dump. And they only accept cardboard, aluminum cans and newspapers. The closest one to accept anything else is 30 min away. So my question is, "How can I better store my tin cans, plastics, and magazines until I take them off?" (We don't own a truck to be able to haul away large trash cans or tubs.) Congrats on your new 12th follower!!!

Thanks for the Congrats Jami. I don't know the size of your car so It will be hard to give exact advice but there are several different types of storage containers out there. If you take a measurement of your trunk you can figure just how big you can get. Then when you're ready to take your trip to the recycling center you just have to grab the bins and go.
You might also talk to the small recycling center to see if they can expand what they take. If there is enough interest from the locals then they may consider it a worthwhile expense.
Remember to wash out your cans and plastic items so while you are waiting you don't attract insects or rodents. If you can squash them flat. This is mostly for the plastic items since squashing a tin can isn't that easy.
As for the Magazines instead of taking them to the recycling center take them to your doctors or dentists office (we all know how old those magazines are ) or any other place that has a waiting room where new reading material would be appreciated (mechanics, barber or beauty shops). This way the magazines can be read over and over again.

I hope this was helpful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Crazy Green Contest 1st Question

My First Question From the Crazy Green Cheapskate Contest Comes from Sherrie from Boogers Screams Headaches and Dreams. She even made it easy for me to give her a link with this swell button. So click the button and show her some love.

1) What made you decide to go green?

I started playing around with going green when we bought our first house. It was actually a trailer on an Air Force base Trailer Park. I think they are all closed now which is a shame because it gave Airmen a way to afford their first place without breaking they bank. There was a little spot in the back where the previous owner had a small vegetable garden. It had been a long time since I was able to have a garden so I was very excited. I started from seeds. I had tomatoes, peppers, beans and I even tried corn (just four stalks of it). In a black garbage can I started my first compost pile. The black color helped keep it warm in the winter months and when I turned the soil in the spring I added it to the garden. It wasn't full decomposed but I figured the rest would break down in the soil. The tomatoes peppers and beans did great the corn grew tall but got some kind of growth on it. It looked like it might be some kind of insect hive but there was never any sign of bugs. (to this day I still have no idea what it was).

3 Years later when I became pregnant with my daughter we moved out of the trailer and into a house. The backyard had about 12 trees and in the fall I started a huge compost pile. We set up a wire fence behind our shed and to keep it hot without turning it all the time I got a composting tool which is basically a short pole with a handle on one end and wings that fold in when you push it into the pile and open up when you pull it out to create new air passages.
When my daughter was old enough to start drinking milk we started buying organic milk. At the time there were several news stories and articles about how girls were entering puberty at earlier and earlier ages and though my husband and I hadn't seen anything to confirm our suspicions we decided it probable had something to do with BGH's. We decided that Samantha would get organic milk to help keep any possible side effects away from her.
Our final push to green living and as much organic food as we can afford happened when Samantha started 1st grade . The school wanted me to do a survey about my daughters behavior. She would talk constantly and would get up and do things while her teacher was giving lessons. (see where this is going?) The survey the teacher completed showed that she might have ADD and they started hinting that it might be a good idea to get her tested. Well having don't a research project in College on ADD/ADHD I know there is no REAL test they can give a child to show that they have ADD/ADHD they just watch the kid and decide whether or not they had it. We decided that there was no way we were going to give our child a personality altering drug we would try everything else possible. We started at the doctor's office and NO we didn't tell them the school though she had ADD. We asked for sleep tests, thyroid tests and had some other things tested. These were things that we looked up that could cause a child to have the same behaviors as a child that supposedly had ADD/ADHD. None of these were the problem.
Then we came across the Feingold Diet. I vaguely remembered seeing it when I was doing my research paper and started reading up. The Feingold Diet has a very simple concept. Artificial Flavors and Colors and Certain preservatives are made from Petroleum (that's right the same stuff you put in your car.) The HUMAN Body is not meant to digest Petro and has a negative reaction. Included for some children the same symptoms as ADD/ADHD. Well there was nothing in this diet that could hurt us so we decided to give it a shot. In two weeks my daughters behavior at school improved about 90%. The thing that sealed the deal was I had decided to go ahead and give them some blueberry waffles we had in the freezer so they wouldn't go to waste (you know the kind that don't have any blueberries just blueberry flavor chips ). My daughter was pinging off the walls for hours after having them.

Sorry that was so long. Now your second question.

2) What type of light bulbs are the best if going green? We've tried the ones that are swirly, and you know what...well, some have blown too quickly, so I'm not very impressed. Or -- do you HAVE to buy the name brand?

I use compact fluorescent. I don't really pay attention to the brand I tend to go for what is on sale. I haven't had any burn out yet but if they burned out really quickly you might try contacting the manufacture they may replace them. If I owned my home (we are renting right now) I would look into installing recessed LED lights which are even more energy efficient they fluorescents. (sometimes I think about buying some of the solar powered LED Christmas lights and put the solar panel in the window and attach the lights to the ceiling ) They tend not to be as bright as fluorescents though. So I think a mixture of the two would probably be best. LED's for general lighting and fluorescents for when you need more light like when your reading.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

10th.................Make that 11th Follower

I was waiting to get my tenth follower to hold my next contest and while I was surfing all the cool blogs out there I got my Eleventh.

So in honor of this momentous occasion I hear by start The Crazy Green Contest 2. (The first was in November). Now to enter is easy just post a question in the comments section. That's it It can be any question (keep it clean) about me, going green, how to (if I don't know I guarantee I can find out).

There was going to be 10 prizes Now I'll make it 11. I don't know what they will all be but they will be in keeping with Saving Money and Going Green. So what would you like to know?

OH I ALMOST FORGOT: Contest will end Jan 23 2009 and winners will be picked at random. (I'll drop your name in a hat and let my daughter pick) I will answer every question and include a link to the blog of the asker.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm joining the S.W.A.K. Carnival going on!

It's going on at WE Are THAT Family Blog

It's dedicated to hubbies on Valentines Day which is right around the corner. It even comes with a cool button. So come join the fun and visit We Are THAT Family for your own button.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nature Saves the Day

My hubby brought me home a Discover magazine the other day. In it along with the Top 100 Science Stories of 2008 ( Like The Rise of Slime , Plants Inspire Better Solar Power and Fish Farming Threatens Wild Salmon) the was a wonderful article called The magic Forest: Where Poplars are Purifying the Planet.

In Argonne, Illinois they are using Poplar trees to clean up contaminated ground water. They train the roots, of these very thirst trees, to search deep in the earth for water. The trees then suck up the contaminated water and move it up their trunks to their leaves where in evaporates and the sunlight breaks down the chemicals and renders them harmless. In the summer one tree can move about 26 gallons of water and they have a whole forest of trees working to clean up the man made mess. So instead of using electricity to pump the contaminated water to a treatment plant the trees do the work powered by the sun making it doubly green.

Now if we could find such clean solutions for all our mistakes maybe we won't have to worry about global warming.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Look What I Got

Aren't those just the cutest little pepper plants you have ever seen. Of course now I have to decide which to pull to thin it out. Poor little pepper plants.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Choosing Vegetables

In an effort to decide what Veggies to plant I've been consulting a book called Gardening in Small Spaces, written by Marcus Schneck. It talks about all the different aspects of gardening when you don't have much room. (although the pictures they have show yards with a great deal of space) In the back is has a list of Vegetables best suited to growing in a container.

The ones that he suggest are: Beans (pole), beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, muskmelons,onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, squash, swiss chard, and tomatoes. With his listed vegetables he offers advice on how deep the container should be and how much soil it should hold so that the plants have the necessary room to grow.

Based on this list I've decided to try growing broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, onions, peppers, spinach, squash and tomatoes. Now I just have to wait for my seed catalogs to arrive so I can start choosing the varity I want. I'm look for compact plants from companys that sell heirloom seeds and organic seeds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green.........Sometimes

Kermit the Frog had it right It's not easy being green.... at least for me right now LOL.

I'm an avid recycler but right now I'm almost ready to chuck it in the trash. I'm up to my elbows in recyclables because or recycling day is on Thursdays.

If you check your calendar you will notice that BOTH Christmas and New Years falls on Thursday. That mean I can't put out the recycling for Three Weeks and on of those weeks has Christmas in it. So you know what that means tons and tons (well maybe not that much) of cardboard just waiting to go to be recycled taking up my house and garage space. Not to mention three weeks of Newspaper, cans, bottles, ect.....

It's driving me absolutely nuts!

Like I said It's Not Easy Being Green!