Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering Memorial Day

Having a wonderfully calm and enjoyable Memorial Day, making a pinata for DG's birthday next week. Tried to get DJ involved by making it a shark, but after he decided the paper mache goo was too yucky, it began morphing into...a dolphin? A birdfish? Not sure.

Thinking about the soldiers who have fought for our country in many thankless, violent wars. Like my dad, who fought at Guada Canal during WWII and lived like a junkyard dog in the jungles, never really fully recovering mentally or physically from the experience. And also thinking about my friend and mentor, Russell, who died this past December. Russell fought in France during the same war; he went into the army a mathematician and left as an artist.

Update: The old man informs me that the pinata is an Icthyosaurus.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Need-a-Bag Project Update 05.16.09 -- Remote Post

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.

Due to my son's 7th birthday celebration, I was unable to attend the farmer's market today, but DG reports that it was busy, there was one bag left from last week, she put out a ton of bags from the Peaceful Paths Thrift Shoppe (because they are a seemingly bottomless pit of cheap tote bags), and was given some tote bags from our intrepid garage sale guru and Need-a-Bag? Project Associate, Jean. Thank you, Jean!

DG also reports that the drop box (the saga of which I have detailed here and here) is now located next to the citrus and caladium booth (that's right, folks, get your caladiums!) where Erika-of-the-fine-and-tasty-citrus-and-now-caladiums can keep a close eye on it. No empty donut bags going in there, I'll tell you what!

Did you know that some dishliquids go bad?

...At least Seventh Generation's Lemongrass and Clementine Zest dish liquid does. We bought some for the house and I guess we had it for about 3 months or so, and it started to turn brown. I didn't think anything of it, and then started noticing that the sink stank more than it usually does when it's full of dirty dishes. When I used the liquid I noticed that the smell was getting a little sharper...and finally, it was just plain rank. I started to use it this afternoon, realized that the ever-present stench in our sink was indeed coming from the bottle of dish liquid, and when I opened up the top, discovered that a fine patina of mold had coated the ENTIRE inside of the container. Out you go!

So, until I can get a bottle of the Lavender Floral and Mint (which did not seem to go bad), we're using the Dawn Dish detergent I was reserving for oil-based stains on clothing and really, really greasy dishes. I posted about Dawn here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Make Flip Flops from a Yoga Mat - wikiHow

Make Flip Flops from a Yoga Mat - wikiHow

as I will never learn how to use a scroll saw or a hack saw or whatever extremely dangerous power tool you would need in order to cut through radial tires for a pair of home made sandals like they used to wear in post-WWII Germany, I've decided that the only alternative would be to make these awesome flip flops from an old yoga mat. So, when I wear out my old yoga mat from all that yoga I'm doing (so, like, in 50 years), I'll turn them into an awesome pair of flip flops!

Got the pic from the above wikiHow article

Monday, May 11, 2009

Yards of Distinction

I decided to roam my street and actually start talking to my neighbors, instead of just waving as I speed past in the car. One thing I've been wanting to do for awhile is a post about some of the cool yards we have on our street. Then I realized we have two types of cool yards on our street; yards that are different from your normal grass and shrubbery, and ones with front yard gardens. This post will be about the former, and I've dubbed these, "Yards of Distinction."

The first photo is of our friends Jackie and Adam's house. In reducing the amount of lawn they have by using mulch, and landscaping with native plants, they reduce the need to water it every five seconds. The palm in the foreground is one they planted with the placenta from the home birth of their first child.

The next Yard of Distinction is my neighbor Dawn's house -- she inherited this yard from the previous owner who was a landscaper, but here again is a perfect example of reducing the amount of water you use when replacing the lawn with pebbles, and thirsty shrubbery with hearty, tropical plants like bamboo. She also added the cool low stone wall. Note: Dawn wasn't home when I took the photo, but I had mentioned about a year ago that I was going to photograph her yard for my blog, so I think that counts, doesn't it?

The next post will be about the cool neighbors on our street who have front yard gardens. There were a lot of them!

Need-a-Bag Project Update 05.09.09 -- More construction! Missing Drop Box!

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.

As you can see from the photo, they're starting to remove the roof from the main she
lter of the farmer's market. What does this mean? Are they going to replace the roof or are they preparing to demolish the whole structure??? I guess we'll find out, huh?

Remember how last week I was decrying the use of the drop box as a trash receptacle, rather than its appointed purpose (a drop box)? This has been an ongoing problem, but apparently it got so bad last week that Concerned Need-a-Bag? Project Associate Erika-of-the-fine-and-tasty-citrus removed it from its normal spot at the fence, and this week? Nothing. A big, black hole where the drop box used to be. It's somewhere else, now, and a regular trash receptacle has been placed nearby to accept all u
nwanted chicken biscuit wrappers. Here is a picture of my son, looking puzzled at the disappearance of the drop box -- see, the sign says, "Got a Bag? Leave a Bag! (Drop Extras Here)" But there's NOTHING there!

What are we going to dooooooo??!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Need-a-Bag Project Update 05.02.09 -- with construction pictures!

Here are some photos of the construction progress at the 441 farmer's market -- the first one is from a couple of weeks ago, and you can see it's all leveled. And then this week, there was a beautiful new permanent canopy. How is it different from the old, permanent canopy that was there a couple of weeks ago? Well, I think the old canopy was more like a wooden lean-to affair, and there was enough shade for the farmers and their produce items -- NOW, there's enough room for farmers, their produce items, and the strolling shopper who doesn't want to get sun stroke.

And sunny it is, folks, and hot. And the market was the "get me out of here, it's crowded," kind of crowded that makes we want to flee for the hills. But, I did get a couple of pints of delicious strawberries that are now in season, an acorn squash, some zuccini and yellow squash, a bunch of carrots, some onions, and some red potatoes. I'm waiting on the corn, though, which should be coming soon -- I can't wait!

And some kind citizen donated a huge stack of Winn-Dixie polyprop bags and some polyprop bags that have a plastic, two-piece handle that snaps together -- a "Grab-n-Go" I believe they're called. So great -- thank you, anonymous good citizen!

And, my mom-in-law has become a Friend of the Need-a-Bag? Project. And, I have a confession to make; I never told her about my crazy Saturday morning rompings doing the project for the almost year and a half I've been doing it. I'm a bad daughter-in-law! But, she chose to ignore my slight (wonderful woman that she is) and told a friend she volunteers with at the FOL about the project, and her friend gave us a whole slew of cool polyprop bags for the project! Yay! Thank you friend of my mom-in-law, and thank YOU, mom-in-law, for supporting your crazy DIL's obsessions.

I think we're going to have to make a sign for the drop box that says, "This is not a trashcan" because people continuously throw their used tissues and ice cream sandwich wrappers and what-not into it. It's really disgusting, and is causing more laundry work because we have to re-wash the bags that are in the bottom, next to all the used tissues and gum wrappers. More work = sad Need-a-Baggers. It is not a trashcan! It is a drop-box! Stop it!!!

And here is a lovely kitteh bag someone lovingly hand-crafted and embellished with shiny chocolate fudge syrup. You can click on it to get a close-up -- Yum!

Friday, May 01, 2009

HaHa! License plates are statements, too!

I was sitting behind this huge Nissan Titan pickup on my way to DJ's school and it took me a few seconds before I realized the license plate was speaking to me! It said, "My CO2" and luckily I had the old trusty camera in the glove box. Before I could get a wider shot of the whole back end to show the enormity of this truck, it started pulling away and, darnit, it is hard to try taking a picture while driving, I've discovered.