Posts from the ‘It’s not easy being green.’ Category

2 minute rant

So remember back a looooooong time ago, like, oh say, last year, when we’d go to the grocery store, buy our food, and come home with 13 or 14 plastic bags of groceries.  I want to know why now it is acceptable for baggers to shove the exact same amount of groceries into 4 of the bags I brought from home.  It’s ridiculous.  I realize that I don’t have “lifting restriction” tattooed on my forehead, but seriously, I could only bring one bag in at a time.  It’s not like I bring the bags for the 5 cent refund either.  I brought 8 bags.  Use them.


Rant over.


She blinded me with science

Actually, I spent yesterday cleaning my silver jewelry…with SCIENCE!  Bear with me, the pictures are still from my cellphone.

First, you line a small pot with aluminum foil.  Throw a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in, fill the pot with about an inch of water (or however deep you need to cover your jewelry.)  Bring it to a boil.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

I tried to take a picture of my silver so you could see how dirty it was.  This was the best picture I could get.

Dirty, tarnished, silver

Dirty, tarnished, silver

Once the water is boiling, take it off the heat and drop your jewelry in.

Tarnished silver in the pot, nine days old...   Um.  Sorry.

Tarnished silver in the pot, nine days old... Um. Sorry.

It works very well.   Apparently tarnish is made up of sulfur (which you will smell) and sulfur likes to bond with aluminum more than it likes to bond with silver.   Something like that anyway.  All I know is my silver is nice and  clean and I didn’t have to try and polish in those little tiny crevices.



So here’s the best part of this cleaning method.  It’s all stuff you have in your own home.  It’s so easy even a lazy cook can do it.  And you don’t have to use commercial silver cleaner (seriously toxic stuff).  You will, however, need to rinse your jewelry unless you like wearing gritty earrings.

The plastic thing.

Everybody’s got their thing.  Since my cancer diagnosis one of mine has been an somewhat irrational fear of plastic.  It’s human nature to want to find a reason why something happens, and one of those things I’m suspicious about is the prevalence of plastic in our daily life.  Especially as a conveyance for food.  Doesn’t it seem strange that we are so quick to judge China and all it’s questionable manufacturing practices, and yet there are carcinogens in our shampoo, formaldehyde in our baby soap, and BPA is still present in many of the containers that hold what we eat?  Canada banned BPA last year and the baby bottle and water bottle industry has recently gotten on board.  Now before you think I’m all anti-plastic, I’m not.  It has it’s place.  I just think it needs to stay away from our food.  Especially hot food and liquids that can cause the chemicals to leach more quickly into it.  I still use plastic to store things, but I don’t microwave it.  Recently I found a coffee mug (actually my MIL found one and I ran out and got one the next day) that has a ceramic liner, rather than plastic like the rest of my mugs.  Now if only they made one that will fit in my cup holder.

Made by Contigo, purchased at Target

Made by Contigo, purchased at Target

Sometimes I’m smart.

In my house, we use a lot of honey.  In Colorado, this is a problem because it often crystallizes when it gets too cold.  In the old days, I would have stuck the little honey bear in the microwave, melted the crystals and enjoyed my tea without a second thought.  Now I second think everything.  And I don’t microwave plastic anymore.  This made  sad.  For my honey still crystallized. 

Discouraged, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond looking for ye olde honey pot with wooden honey stick.  What I found was much neater.

Ye Olde Restaurant Syrup Pitcher!

Ye Olde Restaurant Syrup Pitcher!


(and yes.  I still can’t find the camera.  Ask me how much this is killing me.  Ok, don’t.  It’s killing me.)

A much neater option.  Works perfectly.  When the honey hardens, I just unscrew the cap, stick it in the microwave for a few seconds and voila!  My tea is happy with its honey.

Sometimes I am smart.

Everybody’s got something to hide, except me and my monkey.

I wish I had a clever way to tie that in, but I don’t.  I just like that song.

I realized this morning that I haven’t really posted an update (which would be nice for all the people who read my blog to see how I am.)

I’m ok.  I have hair.  It is red.  I’d post a picture but I can’t find the camera.  (I will be really sad if I lost it.)  I ache a lot.  Who knows why.  Could be tons of reasons.  I ached before I knew I had cancer.  I had an ultrasound of my thyroid done because it was enlarged and bugging me.  Haven’t heard anything yet so I’m going with the “No news is good news” cliche.  I’ve been on Tamoxifen for a while.  Weirdly enough I’ve started having hot flashes again.  Again.  Don’t know why.  Lucky me.  

I have a lymphedema evaluation on Monday.  I think we caught it pretty early.  So that’s good.  Who knows.  I’ll know more on Monday.  I’m at pretty high risk for it.  I’m a big girl.  I had the axillary node dissection.  I had radiation where the nodes used to be.  I have a 3 year old that still wants to be picked up.  All those things factor in to risk.  Lucky me.

Cancer things aside, I’ve been a busy girl.  Play-dates for the kids, accompanying gigs (which actually led to another one in April.  Woo!), trying to do some volunteering.  Basically trying get my life organized.  I’m not an organized person by nature.  Which is weird.  I totally thought I was.  But I’m not.  As it turns out, my mother is a totally organized person and I sponged/modeled myself after her when I was a kid.  Left to my own devices, I’m pretty fly by the seat of my pants.  So I’m trying to channel my mother.  I would try to channel my mother in law because she keeps an immaculate house, but I think I need to start with baby steps.  I did take 3 bags of clothes to the G0odwill.  It’s a start.

In my pursuit of being greener, I quit buying paper napkins.  I replaced them with cloth napkins from the dollar spot at Target and bandannas from Hobby Lobby.  Once I had enough to have a rotation with the laundry, I find I don’t miss them much.  I still use paper towels, but I’m working on that as well.  🙂

But mostly, PirateCancerMommy is in the closet on a poorly organized shelf; taken down only when I have to see the oncologist or late at night when I can’t sleep.  Instead I have been doing the things I couldn’t do last year.

Lucky me.  🙂


PS.  My heart and prayers go out to Lisa’s family and friends this week.  She was a wickedly funny lady and I miss her already.

All aboard the potty train

The boy is diaper free.

We don't need no stinky diapers!

We don't need no stinky diapers!


I will say though that automatic flushing toilets have NOT made the process any easier.  He is mortified of them.

Martha’s Gone Green!

I have been using (when I remember) my own bags when I go to the grocery store.  The other day I received the Martha Stewart email (yes I know.  Leave me alone.  I think her crafts are cool.) with a pattern for making grocery bags out of old tee shirts.  If they hold up, I think this is brilliant.  I have a million concert tees that I’ll never wear again that are just screaming for a new use.

Link to Martha’s pattern.

Cool, huh?


Cider Vinegar Fly Pool of Doom

The only down side to receiving heaps of lovely home grown tomatoes are the nasty tiny little flies that seem to accompany them. Now I am a fly freak. Can’t stand them. The worst torture device for me would probably be to lock me in a room with tiny little flies and no fly swatter while L does her air raid siren cry. Anyway, one day I read a post on Purple is a Fruit, just about the funniest mommy blog ever, and she was talking about having a fly problem and her solution. A little cider vinegar with a little oil to break the surface tension in a bowl with plastic wrap on top. Poke a few fly sized holes in the top and voila! Instead Fly Pool of Doom! I have 9 flies already! It’s probably a bit sadistic that I count. Just don’t tell the DH. He’s really more of a catch and release man. 🙂

Sometimes it’s easy being green…

I’m always looking for ways to satisfy my inner hippie. My latest attempt was crocheting my own Market Bag from Knit.1’s green issue. I switched the direction of the handles so that I could hang it on the back of my stroller for extra storage as well. The black bags are from Safeway of all places. They now offer shopping bags made of recycled materials for 99 cents! The price was right and they hold twice as many groceries as the plastic bags. Granted they’re heavier then too, but hey, my arms need the workout.

Satisfying the Inner Hippie

So I’ve always been slightly curious about cloth diapers.  My friends and sister think I’m nuts.  But anyway, I’m too cheap to spend the money just to find out I didn’t like them, so I made my own fitted pocket diaper.  My husband is very proud of me finally using my sewing machine, seeing as I’ve not used one since 7th grade home ec.  So I bought some flannel on the remant rack at Wal Mart (no flames please!  Some of us just have to go there some times!)  Basketball print even, since my need for low price superseded my need not to gender stereotype.  Anyway, I looked online until I found a pattern for Home Ec rejects, got it all sewed together and realized I had made it too small.  So I found my trusty seam ripper, took it apart and added tabs.  Bleah.  So after about 4 hours work (not in a row, had to be a parent in between), I had myself a relatively cute basketball diaper.  Tried it on the boy and he promptly pooped in it.  I’m not sure if that’s a rejection or an approval.  But anyway, my inner hippie is somewhat satisfied for the moment.  Now I just have to make more than one.  Ugh.