Friday, October 31, 2008

More underwear

Sorry the exposure's so bad!

One Less Car Underwear--Limited Edition!

Um, and this picture is full-size so y'all can click on it to get your undies super-sized, if you dare! Boo! Haha! Happy Halloween!

Orange and BLUUUUUE!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ways to make coffee: Paper, cloth, or pure gold

I was tooling around on one of my favorite new blogs to read, Nom, nom, nom! and she was giving her take on how she makes coffee. I can relate because I use a death-dealing, bisphenol-A plastic Melita maker, as well. She combines paper filters with one of those gold filters (which she claims you can find at a garage sale but I have never, ever seen one). It's an ingenious method of putting the paper filter in the Melita maker, then puting the gold filter on top of that and then puting the coffee in the gold filter. That way she can get rid of the coffee grounds without damaging the paper filter and can reuse the paper filter because, let's face it, the gold filters by themselves suuuuuck...

A few months ago (when I was foot-loose and fancy-free; that has sadly ended) I posted about making a Melita-style filter using fancy cheese cloth and some old bias tape I had lying around. Boy, I wish I had more time to sew stuff, because I'd make that Nom, nom, nom! person a filter.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Need-a-Bag? project update 10.18.08

Note: The Need-a-Bag? project was created to promote sustainable bagging at the Hwy 441 Alachua County Farmer's Market each Saturday morning. We supply reusable tote bags reclaimed from thrift stores and garage sales. The Need-a-Bag? project also utilizes old tank tops as tote bags by sewing up the bottoms (these are called t-totes). We invite you to read the other posts on the project by clicking the "Need-a-Bag? Project" label at the bottom of this post.

It was a little busier today at the farmer's market. It is a nice thing to see. Because DG and the old man went to the FOL book sale at early o' clock, DJ was enlisted to help with Need-a-Bag? this morning. He was a great help! When we had gotten to the bottom of the bin he noticed there were all these plastic bags and was like, "if you're trying to discourage people from using plastic bags, why do you have this pile of plastic bags." Good point, son, now let's change the subject!

We also got a bag back! And we also got another bag! And, it was not even Jean who donated it! I think this is the beginning of stage two -- people are realizing that we will do this every weekend and are not hoarding bags. Hooray!

Stace said that when she and her husband went to collect bags later that morning there were 7 left on the fence. We probably had close to 20 out there, so business is picking up.

This weekend also marked the first usage of the new fabric labels. I was unable to get the paper backing off so sewed the whole thing on a couple of cloth bags before leaving for the market. It takes way more time to tack the label on the bag with a few stitches at each corner than slapping on a paper label, but I think it will be worth it in the long run because it will wear better and last longer than the paper labels after repeated washings.

The fact remains, though, that sewing the labels onto each bag will be more labor-intensive, something that Need-a-Bag? Project Associates do not need to be messing with. That is why I propose a concerted effort to find a Bedazzler at a garage sale or thrift shop for attaching the labels. They'll be securely attached and they'll be all shiny and pretty.

Top Photo: The Need-a-Bag? Project's first corporate sponsorship. They thought they were being all smart by taking the "?" off, and they didn't put the web address for the AE blog like I asked, either! Feh.

Got the photo of the Bedazzler from

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Update on Charlie's Soap

Well I was wrong about rinsing out the washtub with vinegar. You use a double scoop (two tablespoons) of the soap with some old rags and run the machine through the entire cycle. I had a bunch of rags that I was going to wash, anyway, so right on.

First, the 5-gallon bucket is dang heavy and, unfortunately for me, the old man had already gone to bed. Bend the knees, that's my advice.

Anyway, my first impressions are good -- they give you a tablespoon scoop taped to the top of the bucket -- the bucket is type 2 plastic so entirely recyclable.

Update: I've used Charlie's soap for 3 loads and it is working very nicely. It essentially works like the petroleum-based detergents I've been using up until now, so at least it's not under-performing. The laundry also smells fresh, like it's been line-dried. I'm so going to miss that sharp, weird, synthetic flower smell but I have to get beyond that.

Here's a link to the babysashanmom blog that has lots of good information and links -- mostly pertaining to washing diapers with Charlie's soap, but all of the information is directly relative to other clothing.

Charlie's Soap has arrived

Hi, sorry to Dan who posted a comment about what my impressions are of the Charlie's Soap. Well, Dan, I was lazy, as usual after making a declaration such as, "I'm buying a buttload of Charlie's Soap everyone!" Of course, I've just received it in the mail this past Friday. I will tell you this about Charlie's Soap, their customer service is tops and it was free shipping for orders over 25-dollars in the U.S.

Promise! Will try Charlie's Soap immediately! In fact, I have a load of laundry sitting right next to me. I think I have to rinse the washer tub with vinegar to get all of the scum off from those nasty, un-eco-friendly detergents, so will commence to do that now. I promise! Here I go...wait, oh, a new email just came in...

The Overflowing Box of Veggies: My CSA gives me more food than I can that bad?

Just a short post to point readers to this article on about one writer's experience with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that is probably across the board relevant to many CSA participants around the country. Jacob Leibenluft, a.k.a. The Green Lantern, gives the main talking points about CSA's everyone should be aware of, such as that CSA's help decrease carbon emmissions simply because they are distributed through local farmers, thus decreasing the use of petroleum to cart them to and fro; also, CSA's are the best way to know how the food you are eating is being grown through an actual communication with the farmer; local farmers are more accountable to folks than some faceless agro-corp somewhere in the Himalayas. And, of course, CSA's are the best way for a community to support their local farmer; a CSA share enables your family to have the best foods to eat in your area, and you keep a small business farmer doing what he or she loves best. Such a deal.

Anyway, here is a post from about a year ago on where to find a farmer's market near you, and also on the Japanese phenomenon, Chisan Chisou. Also, here's a post about foodsheds.

If you want some direct info about where to find a CSA near you, go here.

Swiped the photo from the Slate article

Monday, October 13, 2008

Update on using cloth handkerchiefs

Waiting for class to start and I'm feeling sleepy and still a little sick from a cold our family went through last week. So, I've been using lots and lots of hankies for the copious amounts of snot I've been dealing with. Before this turning point I was using the hankies for the odd nose-blowing, but more for little personal housekeeping issues; a couple of spilled drops of coffee on my desk when I'm in class; a quick napkin when I'm eating. Now, however, I'm using up the flannel wipes-turned-hankies almost as fast as I can wash them. Luckily, I ran across a sizable largesse of handkerchiefs at a garage sale this past weekend (along with some bitchin' White Castle mugs [they're square!] and sunglasses that make me look like Lee Majors). Also finally cut up a skirt that I was planning on making a tote bag out of but really it's more of a handkerchief, or handkerchiefs, as the case may be.

Got the pic from The Daily Ping...raise your hand if you remember Dynamite...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Need-a-Bag? project update 10.11.08

Note: The Need-a-Bag? project was created to promote sustainable bagging at the Hwy 441 Alachua County Farmer's Market each Saturday morning. We supply reusable tote bags reclaimed from thrift stores and garage sales. The Need-a-Bag? project also utilizes old tank tops as tote bags by sewing up the bottoms (these are called t-totes). We invite you to read the other posts on the project by clicking the "Need-a-Bag? Project" label at the bottom of this post.

It was very misty at the farmer's market Saturday morning, and it looked like another weekend of low turnout. However, I've been noticing more of a variety of items for sale. I got some squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Starting today I'm going to try a new technique, preparing food on Sunday for some of the week, so we're not relying on frozen pizzas and take-out for most of it.

The market is melting, after all, and I'm going to have to live by my wits more. Maybe I should take the advice of my friend, Bren, and start using coupons and savings clubs to make ends meet. It's hard for me to spend that much mental energy on that form of money saving, but I might have to try!

Anyway, with the squash and zucchini I'm going to make no-noodle lasagna as per my friend's new dietary regimen that I'm trying for three months, to cut simple carbs and sugars from my life. Giving up bagels and M&M's is going to be hard, I'm afraid.

Anyway, we didn't put out new bags but we still had some from weeks ago. They're starting to get smaller in number so after the farmer's market we went to a few yard sales and started buying more of them up. DG even got some super deals.

Start looking for our new labels, as well. We've developed a new spiel to put on our labels, which will now be made from printable, sew-in fabric. Here's what the blurb now says:

The Need-a-Bag? Project provides free, clean, reusable shopping bags to Farmers Market shoppers. Please take as many bags as you need. Whenever they start to pile up at home, bring them by and toss them in our drop box so that we can wash and re-circulate them.

For more information and updates on the project, please go to:

Thank you for supporting Need-a-Bag? and enjoy your shopping day!

Short, sweet, and to the point -- bring the bags back at some point, why don't you?! I apologize for getting testy and realize it is our fault for not making that point in the beginning; maybe now we can start phase two of the project, encouraging people to perpetuate the project's mission by allowing the bags to circulate and by beginning projects at their own farmers markets.

Like, we need someone for the Wednesday downtown market and if anyone wants to monitor and organize the project at that market we would help in any way we could, short of actually doing the work of being there every Wednesday. That's your job, soon-to-be-named Need-a-Bag? Project Pioneer!

"Men want to be him; women just want to touch him" -- quote and pic from Gator Envy

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen Bike Mechanic Tourism Campaign

I had a lovely comment from Zakkaliciousness (this word is as much fun to type as it is to say out loud!) of Copenhagenize who reminded me that, as I implore all the bike mechanics from Hogtown to move to Copenhagen, I'm potentially inflicting this lovely, historic city with snotty, arrogant young men. Well, rest assured, Zakkaliciousness, it was never my intention to suggest that. Really, I think once a lot of these guys crossed the border to Denmark they would straighten up immediately, especially when people started warbling at them in Danish. They would get all wobbly-kneed like Americans get when talking to people with a British accent. I suspect it would be much the same in Copenhagen. Also, I would encourage every one of them to watch this:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Calling all Hogtown Bike Mechanics, Move to Copenhagen

Will somebody please tell me what's up with the bike mechanics in this town?! Please? I've had yet another annoying encounter with one at the least-annoying of the bike shops here. I think it has to do with being ridiculously young, male, and being really, really into bikes. There's a certain culture that I just don't understand and maybe this is my first "senior moment" that I've been warned about. No, wait, that's when you forget that your glasses are on top of your head and stuff. Never mind.

So, it's just me, right? There's just something I find grating in this type of urban professional and I'm the only one, right? My friend, Hil, never has these problems. But she's different because her dad used to build bicycles in Indiana, Breaking Away Land. So all the mechanics think she's cool. Pah.

So, anyway, all the snotty, arrogant bike mechanics in town should all move to Copenhagen, since there's apparently a dearth of them in that town.

Update: I've chilled out about bike mechanics after an evening's contemplation. I like to rant first and think later, because that's just how I roll. Also, I had the opportunity to talk with bicycle guru, Frog, who compared the bike culture in Hogtown to the record store culture in Hogtown. It was like religious epiphany (much like many of my conversations with Frog) and it suddenly all crystallized for me! The same hipper-than-thou mentality is at work. Thank goodness it's just that and something I'm not grasping about popular culture. Whew.

Got the cool poster pic from Copenhagenize [the planet]: Life in the World's Cycling Capital

Need-a-Bag? Project Update 10.04.08

Note: The Need-a-Bag? project was created to promote sustainable bagging at the Hwy 441 Alachua County Farmer's Market each Saturday morning. We supply reusable tote bags reclaimed from thrift stores and garage sales. The Need-a-Bag? project also utilizes old tank tops as tote bags by sewing up the bottoms (these are called t-totes). We invite you to read the other posts on the project by clicking the "Need-a-Bag? Project" label at the bottom of this post.

Because, as usual, I haven't updated in 2 weeks because there was not much love happening at the farmer's market last week. This week, however, I noticed more items. Perhaps the produce famine is beginning to abate. This made me think that perhaps DG and I should get back on our game, so we did the whole shebang -- put out signs, put out all of the bags we had (including the 2 bags we brought), drop box, etc. It looked like the Need-a-Bag? project Saturdays of old. I hope Stace had more fun today, as official Need-a-Bag project associate and putter-awayer, putting away a whole ton of stuff instead of the paltry couple of bags left on the fence by the end of the market day. Yay! More work!

Also, DG sent out an email to her work associates, after someone sent an eco tip about remembering to bring your reusable bags to the market -- also, it was saying that you didn't have to buy the bags they have at the supermarket, now, you could use bags you already have. That's a major leap in conciousness in our consumer-driven culture.

So, here's the letter DG sent:

Dear concerned colleagues*:

Is this:

I’ve been trying to do this but I can never remember to bring the blasted bags!

a familiar source of shopping stress? If so, please take heart: there is an organization dedicating to eradicating URBIS (unused reusable bag irritation syndrome). It’s called Need-a-Bag? and it can help you!

If you have a bunch of those re-usable bags piling up unused in a closet somewhere and causing annoyance or guilt feelings, please bring them to the farmers’ market on Saturday any time from 8:30 AM to 11 AM, and drop them in the Need-a-Bag? dropbox. We will launder them and put them in circulation.

Furthermore, if you happen to forget your re-usable shopping bags when you shop at the Saturday morning farmers’ market, you need not go home with plastic bags because Need-a-Bag? is supplying clean, donated or thrifted, re-usable shopping bags free to all interested farmers’ market shoppers.

Consider spreading the relief to more venues by starting a Need-a-Bag? franchise of your own! (The Wednesday downtown farmers’ market? The plantation* market? The* supermarket?) Contact information and the latest installment of the story of the project so far are here: (Click the “Need-a-Bag?” link at the bottom for the full saga.)

Yours for guilt-free shopping,


*changed names

I like how she made up a new acronym, URBIS (Unused Reusable Bag Irritation Syndrome) to aptly describe that feeling of "d'oh!" when you get to the market and realize you've forgotten your bags. It rivals my own, "eco-fatigue," to describe how saving the earth can be a pain in the butt sometimes, and make you sleepy.