Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am sick. I didn't realize how sick I felt until I came into work. Since we are a one car family, and my husband was just out two days, being sick himself, I couldn't really drive myself home. Strike one for not living anywhere near a bus line.

I should have stayed home today, because being sick at work means I am less productive, and that I am endangering the health of my co-workers. (I'm not deathly ill, but still.) I will probably be at home, sleeping, most of the day on Friday.

Apologies for the sparse posting as of late, and thank you for continuing to come back.

Hope your weekend will go better than mine will!

PS. what are your favorite pick-me-ups for when you are sick? Either symptom relievers, or attitude brighteners? (When I had chicken pox, and had to stay home, I remember getting to chew bubble gum, play with Legos, and do word finds. It was a great way to keep 6-year-old me from scratching myself into misery.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blog Hop!

As you may recall, I'm participating in the Green Blog Hop, hosted by Going Green with Noah. 

If you want to join in the hopping fun, or just check out the other hoppers, just click on the button or the link above!

From Going Green with Noah:
This blog hop is for anyone interested in going green, is a new greenie or has been a greenie for a long time!

The purpose of this blog hop is to network and connect with other people who share in the joy and commitment of trying to go green in their lives....even in the baby steps.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cell phones? And, yes, I am alive

Things have been getting hectic here in my real life, which leaves me less time to blog, or to pursue new and fun blog-y type things.

First, I have a question for all of you out there in reader-land. What do you do for phones/cell phones? I'm about 95% sure that we could be paying less for our phone service. And, really, that 5% is probably just wishful thinking because I don't want to research it. (Remember, I am a bit lazy.)

We've been with the same company for about five years, and momentum is pretty much what has kept us with them. When my brother-in-law was visiting this past weekend (see, I really did have stuff going on!), his phone got better reception than ours. He has a newer phone (newer than mine by about a year, newer than my husband's by about three) and a different provider. Hmmm.... maybe we should switch. But the thought of fees paralyzes me.

Should we switch providers? We only have cell phones, but don't talk on them much, so we rarely, if ever come close to using up all of our minutes. Most plans I have seen have way more minutes than we need. What about pre-paid? When confronting that option, I'm paranoid that I'll always be running out of minutes/data, or will keep using it us, causing it to cost more in the long run.

Enough complaining? What do you all do, and how did you arrive at your solution.

Also, the tomato plant I thought was down for the count seems to be coming back! Looks like a few days of heavy rain and me leaving it alone were good for the tomato-soul!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blog Hop!

As you may recall, I'm participating in the Green Blog Hop, hosted by Going Green with Noah

Despite being too busy to blog like I should, I found a few new ones to follow, and quite a few giveaways. (I'm still a total sucker for free stuff.)

If you want to join in the hopping fun, or just check out the other hoppers, just click on the button or the link above!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomatoes. I may be obsessed with them.

My posts seem to be revolving around the little orbs.

Recently, a few of the tomato fruits had actually started to redden (or turn orange or yellow). Since I couldn't remember which plants were which, and I didn't really know what color they were supposed to be, I just let them be.

I also had several fruits with cracked skin, and couldn't remember if I needed to prune them off as soon as possible, or just let them alone. I chose the latter option. A few of these ended up being sacrificed under a nearby bush as I didn't want to chance biting into a bug, and they looked like they had bore holes in them. (that being said, I don't really know a bore hole from an infected one... so... my husband was talking about taking out that particular bush anyway...)

I took the rest of my bounty inside, rinsed them off, and cut around the split skins and bruises. (yeah, left them on a bit long) All in all, quite tasty. And I'm quite proud of myself, even if they only amounted to a snack so far.

Any gardening successes to report?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shampoo, Tomatoes, and me

Just an update on the JR Liggett bar. I still like it. It still is doing a great job. And my shower time has been greatly reduced. So reduced that I don't really have a time to turn off the water whilst I do something else and then turn it back on.

My tomato plants are hanging in there. One that appears to have been the victim of a varmint attack (as several branches are leafless) has a few fruits on it, and as of a day ago, maybe one flower. I feel as though I'll be saying goodbye to that plant shortly.

In happier tomato news, some of the tomatoes are ripening and getting color. Since I don't actually remember which plants are which variety, I'm not sure which ones are supposed to be yellow versus red, but guess that'll

Here's a question for you veteran tomato gardeners: If the skin has split on a tomato, should I clip it off now, or let it ripen and just eat it?

How are your summers (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyhow) going? Any garden experiments?

Anyone else having water heater issues this year? (was just looking back - in February, the one in our apartment had issues, then recently the one in our new house did, too! Am I destined to take sponge baths or cold showers?)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog Hop

I'm participating in the Green Blog Hop, hosted by Going Green with Noah. See the Blog Hop Button Here!

 (pretty neat, huh? I mean the fact that I actually got a graphic in the middle of my post. I am a weird mix of computer-competent and computer-illiterate.)

This looks like a great way to find more green and frugal resources online. Hope it helps you, too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shampoo Crisis Voided

That little bit of shampoo stretched out for quite a while. My husband got his own, and I was able to search through my collection of previous shampoos to keep from running out completely.

Then we moved. Then the water heater stopped working. (Right about the time I finally used the last of my shampoo.) Through a series of frustrating events, we weren't able to have the repair guy come out for about a week and a half to two weeks. (Yes, we had tried to re-light the pilot, but it wouldn't take because of a burnt out part!) With my hair washing schedule thrown into the mix, there was a good long stretch (at least a week), where I didn't wash my hair.

Things I did try while waiting for the water heater to come back to life: a cold shower (I chickened out), bar soap (gift) while washing my hair under a faucet, and scarves wrapped around my head.

In the middle of the Great Water Heater Disaster of 2010, I had a wedding to go to. Luckily for us, my uncle lives close, and we used his shower the night before the wedding. Also lucky for us, there was a block of hotel rooms rented for the wedding, with one standing open, so we could use that and its hot water.

With no hot water, I wasn't really washing my hair, and when I did, I was using the above mentioned bar soap (which had been a gift, and I'm reasonably sure didn't have too many bad things in it). When the water heater was fixed, I needed shampoo. So back to the drawing/research board. I settled on the J.R. Liggett shampoo bar, mainly because I knew I could find it in at least one area store, and had read good reviews about it. Oh, and the lack of sulfates was a big plus. I've been using this bar for a week or two now, and so far, so good.

There you have it. Because I know you were on pins and needles, waiting to find out about my shampoo and hot water situations.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shampoo Crisis Denouement

Back in April, I declared that I was running out of shampoo. And I was. I started writing a follow up post a few times, to chronicle what was going on, each time a little surprised at how long the shampoo that was so near to running out was lasting.

About a week after the above mentioned post, I started a follow up post (that never was posted). In it I mentioned that my shower schedule had been up-ended, but in a desire to avoid using up the precious commodity and not to wash my hair more than once in a 24 hour period, I did things like water-only and conditioner-only. Water-only being a method where you scrub your scalp as you normally would, simply sans soap. Conditioner-only is where you scrub your scalp as you normally would, using conditioner only.

Things that helped me get by with this (as there is an adjustment period, where your scalp is used to a certain schedule and amount of oil-strippage due to washing and has to...adjust to the new regime) were: (1) the weekend and not worrying about it, (2) buns gather hair together, and tuck the drier ends next to the oiler scalp, helping the oils distribute naturally, (3) these methods do scrub the scalp of sebum build up.

That was about one week, stretching my shampoo supply well into May.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Holiday Catch-up*

I'm alive, promise.

Belated Happy fourth to you. Hope you had a fun and safe holiday weekend! (If it was a holiday for you. If not, well, still hope it was relaxing and safe!)

We were away this weekend, visiting family, so my poor tomatoes didn't get watered. On the way back, we noticed that the river by town is lower than it was. This means that not only did I not water the plants, but neither did the sky. The poor branches were a little droopy, and some of the leaves looked burned up. I hope that they will have perked back up after being watered yesterday. Killing a total of 6 tomato plants would neither be green, nor frugal.

You know what is pretty awesome, though? Leftovers for lunch. I brought in leftover spaghetti today, and as always, it didn't disappoint. Last night, I didn't do anything fancy, just browned meat, added sauce and boiled noodles (whole wheat ones, thank you very much). I could have made may own sauce, but didn't. (Maybe I'll have enough tomatoes to try my hand at it!) Could have doctored up the sauce, but didn't.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon getting home from work, via the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Sounds daunting, huh? Well, aside from finding the necessary documentation amid our boxes, the process here is relatively painless, especially when compared with previous states where we've lived. The efficiency of this state's motor vehicle/licensing division must save them money. We have been to a few different locations, and when I switched my license over to this state, I braved the branch location on a Saturday morning. I had to wait, but (a) it was Saturday, and I was ready to wait and (b) the line still moved. I don't think that this state is employing significantly fewer people (based solely on what I've seen on the front-end, customer service side of things), but they still move people through efficiently (and politely).

What was fun about it? Since we moved to a different county, our vehicle taxes were lower. It was only $10-20, but, hey, we'll take it!

* I titled this after writing. Please tell me you chuckled a little bit at a "catch-up" post about tomatoes....