Monday, June 29, 2009

Mail ordering gummy vitamins during a heat wave.

Do I even need to add "Bad Idea"?

I Emailed Lucky Vitamin to see whether or not I'd kill my husband if I sliced the gummy vitamins that had melted on one side of the bottle either during delivery or during the Texas heat of this month waiting for me to notice their arrival on the front porch.

They told me: "Yes, this sometimes does happen during the summer months. We always suggest refrigerating the vitamins for sometime, then they will be fine to consume. Product like this is temperature stable, not like a fish oil or probiotic, so you should be fine. Thank you for shopping at Lucky You, Customer Support1-888-635-0474."

So, I tried to slice the glob in half. I was even successful in that.

Slicing the two halves into 30 pieces each, however, was LESS successful, as the glob was just as viscous as it could be and even the sharpest knives stuck to it.

It's currently in the freezer awaiting my next move.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Locks of Love Revisited.

Diane was nice enough to send me this link which is less than flattering in its discussion of Locks of Love, an organization to whom my kids donate their hair every five years or so, and an organization I pimped here recently.

Diane doesn't have a dog in this hunt, and neither do I. Seems like the folks criticizing Locks of Love are complaining about two things: 1) Kids with cancer aren't being helped in favor of kids with Alopecia Areata (an autoimmune disorder which causes hair follicles to shut down), severe burns or radiation therapy. Only 3% is offered to cancer patients. 2) Most of the hair donations aren't used to make wigs. "In 2002, LoL received enough hair to make approximately 10,000 hairpieces. Yet cites they only made 113 wigs from human hair in that same year along with 61 other pieces for a total of 174 hairpieces. Where did the other 9,826 potential hairpieces go? "

Check out the article if you're considering donating hair. If you decide Locks of Love isn't for you, a few other organizations are listed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Recycle caps with Aveda.

As I mentioned previously, I'm not finding much in common with many of the envirowacko bloggers these days. I'm still drawn to Beth, however, because I, too, find myself going crazy to eliminate the plastic.

Just today learned from a guest blogger at Beth's place that those plastic caps that local recyclers won't take CAN be recycled through Aveda Salons.

I'm not one to get my hair professionally done, but it looks like Aveda Salons are pretty worldwide, so I just might show them some love in the "do my hair" department once I get enough caps saved. Certainly, I'd send them my business over salons that didn't think environmentally.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Death Week.

It's been said that deaths come in threes, but this week's deaths started with the dad of one of my best friends in the world.

THEN, No. 2's dog (at 15 yrs) was to be taken to the vet to be put down because ... well, she was worn out.

THEN, Ed McMahon died.

After that, we lost Farrah Fawcett ... same age as ME!

Then ... Michael Jackson, who was the favorite of the pre-first and first grade classes when No. 1 attended Morgan Park Academy in 1984.

Maybe THIS is what turned many off to Michael. I want to say, "Doesn't even LOOK like Michael", but Michael prided himself on changing his appearance.

I was never smart enough to either make videos or manage to get multitudes of people to hate me for wanting to change my appearance. I was always a Michael fan, though. R.I.P., brother.

He was ... "BAD.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Take a look over on the right to the Million Can March.

I'm not "into" counter-protesting conservative tea parties like the folks at Les Enrages, but I couldn't help but notice that my box for charity has been sitting in the corner of the dining room while we did the "No. 1" month followed by almost a month now of "mememememe", and the cereal in that box might have passed its expiration date.

Definitely time to get back into the groove of including charitable giving in the weekly food shopping. Even if we don't need to buy anything for ourselves, there are always items that we can get for free or very little by combining sales with coupons offered in Sunday papers.

Coupon Mom ROCKS!

Check out the new at the right. The need is ongoing even when WE get distracted.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner.

Crunchy Chicken made a post this morning that I can totally relate to (for the first time in a LONG time), and I have too much to say about the subject to put it in a comment on her blog.

I'm not AT ALL on the same wavelength wiith most of the online envirowackos I once read almost daily. Farmer's Daughter mentioned herself the reason why I stopped being interested in many of the environmental blogs. FOOD seems to consume everyone these days. Food's important to life and it IS something that we can do something about environmentally, but we're in our 60s and it's NOT a good idea for us to suck down pies or liquors made with entire CUPS or (as in one CC recipe) an entire POUND of sugar. Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise, people. Stop with the sugar!

I felt pretty good about the job I did self-catering my daughter's outdoor wedding reception from an envirowacko point of view. The wooden plates I'd ordered didn't arrive on time so the wedding planner suggested some black plastic numbers that I said, "Yes" to and absolutely hated once I'd seen them, but we did glass jars for drinks that people could take home with them, reusable serving dishes, etc. So, the crappy plates got sent to the dump and the napkins got burnt in the fire pit with the recyclers taking all the beer/liquor bottles, pop cans, etc. I put away all the plates today and Em made a slight stink about that, but I really want to get away from using paper plates.

I felt less good about the job a painter did painting our foyer and hallway with environmentally friendly paint. Em felt less good about that, as well, as it costs about $38/almost gallon - It's not a complete gallon, but comes in a plastic recyclable can which our recyclers threw back on the lawn. It also took FIVE gallons to cover white on white and we still need to touch up in some places that didn't cover AND it stunk for DAYS on end. It's advertised to have no CHEMICAL smell, and it didn't stink like chemicals, but it STILL stunk.

So, I'm not interested in painting anymore because I didn't want to lay down a toxic primer (as the painter suggested) so I could have the envirowacko paint as the top coat without laying out billions of dollars to paint. The most environmentally friendly thing I can do is not paint at all and that works for me right now.

Plastic and aerosol use still drives me nuts. After switching to home-made lemonade, iced tea, and frozen pomegranate juice for Em, he spotted a sale on 2 liter Minute Maid and stocked up. [sigh] I just finished the LAST can of spray starch and won't buy any more. You may also notice small candles and books of matches in our bathrooms as I wean Em from the aerosol sprays.

Haven't bought ANY new clothing in years, actually PREFERRING the options at our local Thrifttown, AND I prefer the "look" of cotton, so I need to iron my clothes. Frugal Living showed me how I can make my own spray starch (not wanting to go back to the soaking the clothes in starch of my ancestors) AND a pseudo bleach.

So, in many ways I'm getting MORE environmentally friendly (and even MORE enviroWACKO), but in other areas I blindly accept that Kroger's frozen vegetables in plastic bags are more healthful to me than the dishes that Abby, Chile, or Crunchy make from scratch.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Garden Update.

Mentioned a while ago that I've been picking green beans since maybe middle-end of May, having planted some Top Crop Bush Beans that Diane sent me in 2004 along the west fence mixed with the strawberries in the back, now mixed with a bunch of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, etc.


I planted two sequences of these green beans in the same area so I could reap the rewards for an extended period. The second sequence hasn't yet fruited I don't think, and I'm about to plant a third sequence elsewhere of a different green bean variety (AGAIN using 2004 seeds from Diane).

We had severe storms a week or so ago that resulted in the same fence section of our neighbor's fence that got replaced LAST year when storms sucked it out of the ground being pulled up and crashing onto my rhubarb plants. Em and I picked it up LAST Thursday and while I ran to get our recycling to the curb as we heard the trucks coming, he set the fence on the neighbor's side so that if it fell again it would fall on HIS yard ... which it did.


Planted hybrid tomatoes and hybrid green peppers in the garden area behind our bedroom windows, but we'd used that plot as our 2008 compost and the volunteers rose up demanding space this year. There are acorn squash, blue hubbard squash, onions, and others that I haven't yet identified.

Same thing's going on in what we're using THIS year for our compost after planting hybrid tomatoes and hybrid green peppers (1st of which were picked today).



Those are two cantelope volunteers which could be ready to pick in maybe a week.

First day of the season in which I decided to do some solar cooking this year, and I failed MISERABLY in providing Em something to eat before he left for work.


I suggested he get takeout before work as I slunk down with my tail between my legs after realizing that I had nothing that could even cook inside with the time remaining before he left. Who knew clouds would congregate over my house as though in a fundamentalist gathering?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Locks of Love.

When we saw No. 3 when he came down for No. 1's wedding, the first thing I noticed was that he'd cut his hair. He's a regular donor to Locks of Love, as is No. 1. He just doesn't like his image to be displayed on the WWW.

No. 1 doesn't mind her picture plastered all over the web, and she also did the donate thing this week.


Minimum length of ponytail is 10 inches.


She lost 10 pounds. :-)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Wedding Reception.

Cousin Carolyn's gift was sentimental (and No. 1's a sentimental person).
Jake was the Best Man and he and Barbara (his wife) are wonderful people.
Happy (who hosted No. 1's wedding shower) and her husband, Jeremy, shown along the lake. If you look hard, you can see the reception in the background. Photobucket
Chris, Jo Ann, and Nanette were also out by the lake chillin'. I called Chris "My Porter" because anytime I wanted something hauled he hauled it. I dropped off several coolers of food at this place, but I never touched any of it after that except to finish some last-minute baking. These kids laid out the entire buffet including crockpots (with minimal instruction). Photobucket
Crap; I have borrowed coolers and probably can't remember who I borrowed them from.
There's Jessica fishing. Photobucket
Chris and Jeremy: Photobucket
Mel and Brian (both wonderful people). Thank you SO MUCH for all you did to help. Photobucket
Here's Brian again with Evelyn. Evelyn is the one who said, "I'm here for you; ANYTHING you want me to do I will do." Photobucket
The others just DID anything I wanted them to do, but Evelyn made it clear that she was my slave for the day.

More Pics.

Interesting to see photos from others showing things I totally missed. Looks Like No. 1 had a similar opinion on the pain involved with hair doodles.
Also, I knew Dave was going to sing a song or two to my daughter on their wedding day, but I missed it.
There are several fairly accomplished musicians in this crowd, so there's never a shortage of entertainment when they're around. I was disappointed that we didn't get dance music for that patio area by the lake, yet I can't imagine when we could have squeezed in the time for it. Maybe (like so much other stuff) I just MISSED the dancing part. Heh.

The bachelorette party was, IMO, lots of fun. I'd never been to one before and wasn't even sure I was supposed to be invited to this one. Who invites their mom to watch them act a fool? Kids who know their mom can act a pretty good fool herself.
I'm really proud of this next shot. Do you realize how hard it is to capture on film a ring hitting the target with the delays inherent in digital cameras?
Five of us spent the night at the hotel. They offered a GREAT free breakfast in the morning. Melinda and Evelyn did a wonderful job hosting this event. I can't say enough good things about No. 1's friends. I love them all. As I said before, GREAT people.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Better camera wedding pics.

Yes; there was a girl maybe aged 11 who followed No. 1 everywhere while she wore that dress holding it up and off the ground. Fortunately, for the young girl, No. 1 changed into street clothes before things got jumping.

No. 1 Got Married.

Took a great picture of the first green beans from my garden a while back and need to get out there and pick more, but somehow green beans didn't seem like news with No. 1 getting married and all the pics I had of the Bachelorette Party, and now the wedding. Even with No. 2 and No. 3 in town for the first time in a long time I had to keep saying, "This is NOT about ME."

Oddly enough, Ken called today to see how everything was working out for me. Remember Ken? He's the guy who tilled the mushroom soil into my yard and got the whole thing going this past Spring. My garden is working out beautifully this year (so far), not JUST because of Ken; nature has been wonderful to us, giving rain, more rain, and more rain followed by sun, sun, more rain, sun, more rain, sun (rinse, repeat). These plants (and more than half of them are volunteers from throwing all our food scraps in the garden areas) think they're in heaven, but will soon realize that they're in hell when the rain no longer comes and I forget to use some of the rain water I've collected on them.

I'll get back to thoughts of gardening while No. 1 spends the week in Puerto Rico on her honeymoon this next week, but for now, here are some pics from the Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, and Wedding.

For YEARS No. 1 has said, "When I get married, I want it to be outside and I want BOTH my dads to walk me down the aisle." Well, she had pretty much the world's longest aisle down a hill laden with bumpy tree roots, so it probably took two men to hold her up on that walk (in high-heeled shoes so the gifted dress would fit right without alterations). I look at that pic and wonder who was more nervous.

The wedding was held behind the house of the wedding planner (and school chum from UTA) who lives on a lake in Irving, Texas. It made a beautiful backdrop, as you can see here.

Summer was both the sitar player AND officiant. Everything about her performance in both roles was flawless. In fact, outside of burning to a crisp an entire pound of bacon (MY doing) and failure to get delivered the wooden plates I'd wanted (warehouse oversite somewhere), and running out of time before two planned side dishes were made (I made enough food to feed 12 armies and almost missed the wedding because I wasn't done making food), the entire thing went off without a hitch.
No. 2 (shown on the right above) did my hair and makeup as well as No. 1's hair and makeup. It is SO MUCH FUN to have someone else do your makeup ... with brushes of all kinds that tickle you all over your face. The hair thing ... not so much. She put it up and that required tons of pins and clips, some necessary and some as adornments, but they all pretty much hurt and it felt WONDERFUL to take it all out at end of day.

Everything I cooked turned out wonderful (so they told me) and looked great on the buffet table. No. 1's friends, Em, No. 2 and No. 3 slaved themselves to my every need. How often do you hear "I'm here for you. WHATEVER you want done, I'll do."? GREAT bunch of people. I don't want to hear any more of that bullshit about how the youth of today is this or that. They're the youth of today and they're GREAT people.

The grounds along the lake where the wedding was held was so expansive (for our purposes) that a quick look at some of the pics might lead one to think few people came. It was HOT (Duh ... this IS Texas, afterall) and people found shade both during the wedding AND the reception. One resourceful family even brought their fishing poles. Don't know if they caught anything, but there were fish in that lake. This is one of my favorite pics because I totally missed this. In fact, I don't know if she even threw her bouquet.
One bad(although not really bad) thing about shade along a lake kicks in when trying to take photos. The after-ceremony photos were taken on the way other side of the property with the lake (again) used as backdrop. Lots of trees and nice shade there, which meant that people stayed cooler but the pics came out so dark that they had to be lightened to see who we were and then the whole lake thing got washed away. /just sayin'.

Photobucket Photobucket

Will be posting more pics all week long, maybe going back and forth from wedding pics to bachelorette party. I think you'll be able to discern the difference in events.