Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Renovate

Welcome to the very first Green Renovate. I wanted my first topic to be something almost everyone who owns their home to be able to do no matter what they owned. If you are a renter you will first get permission and second see if they will do it for you after all it is an improvement to their rental property and you shouldn't have to pay for it. Now for my first suggestion on how to make your home more green with out ripping it down to start over which lets face it... is not only very expensive but also very environmentally unfriendly. I guess I should mention why I believe that.... You see your current home has already used resources from environment ripping it down just means that those resources go into the trash while new resources are used to build the new one. No matter how green those resources are the methods of harvesting them and getting them to your now demolished home site is not and if your are starting from scratch on a brand new piece of property then add in the clearing of natural spaces, destroying wildlife home, and even more pollution to the mix.

My first suggestion will not only help you inside your home but outside as well.


That's right plant a tree... hang on wait not just any tree and not just anywhere. You want to plant a Deciduous tree. This is the type of tree that loses its leaves in the winter. You want to plant it on the southern side of your home. Heck plant two or three if you have the room. By planting a Deciduous tree on the southern side of your home you get year round benefits. In the summer your home gets some protection from the hot sun which means you don't have to run your Air Conditioner as much. In the winter the leaves fall off the tree and allow the winter sun to shine on your home helping to warm it up which means less heating. This means less electricity used which of course means less fuel burns. It also means your are creating new habitats for birds and other animals.

Now this is something that is simple and easy to do and can be very inexpensive. The best site to use to get started is Arborday's site just click here or type in They have all kinds of information about trees, including which ones grow best in your area (I suggest the fast growing variety for shade sooner) the size and shape they will be, how to care for them... . Not only that but for the cheapskate in all of us if you join the Arborday Foundation for $10 they will send you 10 trees. You can mix and match get some shade trees for the south side of your house and get some fruit trees for anywhere else and lower your food bill. Or get all shade trees and share them with your neighbors and have a lovely cool tree lined street for taking walks on. Even if you don't join the site has tons of great information. So get started go check out a tree.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I had to do some research on broccoli. My plants started sprouting flowers before I could pick them. They were still pretty small so I thought I had more time until harvesting them.

I thought since it had flowered I wasn't going to get any edible broccoli from it. But I am happy to announce that after hitting the library I learned that once I cut off the central bunch more will grow. This will give me plenty of tasty broccoli. I just have to watch out and harvest them before they bloom.
I also learned that I probably have them planted a little too close. I have four plants in my container and the books I looked at said they should be about 18 inches apart. But other then a little insect activity they all appear to be healthy plants. Now I just have to see about keeping the bugs away.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Homes.......A Rant and a New Weekly Series

I'm getting a little sick of all these show where people are building a green home from scratch. Yes I know its better then building a conventional home from scratch but they are still clearing out a bunch of natural habitat to build those homes. Not only are they ripping up more and more of our quickly disappearing wild spaces but it is total unrealistic for the average person.

First off if everyone started from scratch there would be no wild spaces left except that which is protected as a national park. It would also suck up so much natural resources we would be fighting over what's left. Not to mention that most people cant afford to do it. While these shows do bring forth some interesting ideas they are for the most part useless to the normal person striving to be more environmentally friendly.

How about a something to show green renovations. Where you are taking homes that already exist, which means less materials wasted since you are not starting from scratch, and show the things you can do to make it a green home. Show the steps that people can do a little at a time to get started on going green instead of a giant expensive endeavor that only the rich can afford. There are things everyone can do no matter what type of home you have even a trailer home can do things to lower costs and help save their natural environment.

Well that is the rant part now to do something about it. I'm going to start a new weekly series on Fridays called "Green Renovate" It will be the simple things that anyone can do to help make their home more environmentally friendly. So I hope you will join me this Friday for my first post and tell your friends to stop by too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back From Vacation

Hi all we are back from vacation. After Washington DC we hit Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, and Bush Gardens. It's all in the same area. Of course it wasn't all vacation for the kids we let the Colonial Actors put them to work. First on the farm.

Billy Helping to haul water
Samantha waters the plants

Then to help build a traditional canoe. Here they are scraping off the burnt wood with an oyster shell.

Helping to build a traditional canoe.
Finished canoe, this was already finished the one the kids worked on had lots left to do and will take several more weeks to finish.

Now if you plan to visit the area make sure you take advantage of Colonial Williamsburg's best deal. If you are a cheapskate like me (or even if you aren't) you'll love this deal.

This is the refillable souvenir mug, it costs $10. Now I know you have probably seen its like in other places but what makes this different is this one gets you free refills for the rest of the year. That's right if your there for a week or plan a second visit its still good. It's the greatest deal I"ve ever seen at a tourist attraction.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Check out this beauty.
We went away for a couple days and when we got back my eggplant had really grown.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Woolworth Four Sit-in Demo At The Smithsonian

Billy was selected to be one of four participate in one of the demonstrations at the Smithsonian. Here he is pretending to be one of the four protesters.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


One more from Ice Age 1
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Wooly Mammoth

How about this guy
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You remember this guy from the first Ice Age movie don't you
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Giant Ground Sloth

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Sabertoothed Cat

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Early Pleistocene Horses

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A close relative of the very first mammal 210 million years ago
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Chinese Pangolin

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Eats Little Fish

Scroll down to see the big fish
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Big Fish

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Last one of the prehistoric seas
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Another Picture of the Prehistoric seas
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I'm going to try sending pics one at a time today
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


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Monday, July 13, 2009

The Smithsonian

We are going to go the largest museum in the United States....The Smithsonian Institution, which is composed of of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. I'm setting up my blog so I can mobile blog while we are there and there will be new pictures through out the day so I hope you come and join me. If you would like to visit the Smithsonian but can't get to Washington D.C. the try one of their virtual tours. is the Website...

And I did a search for Virtual tours and here is the results to get you started. CLICK HERE

I hope you stop by and say hi through the week. I will be able to read your comments but I might not have time to respond. If there is anything you would like to see a picture of Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Little problems

Hi all Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. My Hubby is going for his Masters Degree and has the computer most of the time.

My tomato plants in my hanging experiment is getting yellow leave and no longer is nice and bushy. I think its from all the rain we've been getting.
I think I'm going to have to do some more research on growing tomatoes in a hanging basket. The top is cherry tomatoes and when every I see pictures of them growing in a hanging basket they are always bushy looking and hanging over the edge in a nice neat way. Mine have grown out and hang down looking kind of like they want to break off. I'm going to take some pantyhose and tie the to the Shepard's hook to help keep them from breaking.
The larger tomato plants I have growing out the bottom aside from having some yellow leaves, seem to have stopped growing in size and are getting some tomatoes.
The tomato plant I have growing next to the fence looks much better I have been threading the plant through the fence instead of staking it for support. It has several tomatoes growning on it.
I apparently have some bug issues as my lettuce and broccoli leaves have been getting some holes.
And look at my tiny eggplant just starting to grow. The flowers on the eggplant are very cute. The next time I see one I'll have to get a picture for you.

Slow Summer

Hi all long time no see. I hope everyone had a happy 4Th of July. I've got some pictures to share. Sorry it's been a while between posts but my hubby has a couple Months off in the summer and is working on his Masters Degree so he has all the computer time. He had to head out to work today so I'm taking the opportunity to update my blogs and see what's going on in Blog Land.

For the Fourth of July we decided to do something a little different since we didn't know where to go to watch fire works. There are some fishing boats that offer Fourth of July Tours then go watch the fire works off Jones Beach. It was a really fun way to spend the Fourth of July. The scenery was beautiful.

and before the main show at Jones Beach we could see at least a hundred different shows going on across the bay. These are the best pictures but you get the idea. Its hard taking pictures of fireworks in the distance on a boat bobbing in the water LOL.

Here are a couple of pretty good shots of a some of the Jones Beach fire works. Not as many as I have mine you but a few.

Then of course we had a long boat ride back the kids fell asleep as soon as they buckled their seat belts. Definitely a successful day. I hope everyone else's was just as pleasant