Liquid gold: You may call me VINEGAR!
When you find an easy, accessible and inexpensive household product that does so much, it’s hard not to sing its praises! Today, I am raving about white VINEGAR and how it's changed my life!!
Now as a child, I hated being asked to wash windows, because all we had was watered down vinegar with newspaper, and at the time, my only thought was 'This stuff stinks. Why can't we buy the blue stuff my friends’ use?'.
I have a feeling my sisters are going to read this and say, ‘We could have told you how great it was if you had just been listening!’ hahaha
Ok, ok...Now I get it, this stuff rocks!!
Let’s learn a little more about VINEGAR before we use it all about house:
Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Historically it has had a great variety of industrial, medical, and domestic uses. (this has been paraphrased from Wikipedia. To read more follow this link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar)
My house is hooked up to city water, and while it has less scale residue than hard well water can cause, I still get buildup in visible areas. One place that absolutely drives me nuts, is the upper edge of my stainless sink in the kitchen where I constantly battle with dried water rings. These are the kind that you can’t just wipe up, or scrub with your dishcloth of soap and water to remove.
The first thought I had was to go buy stainless steel polish to really buff up the shine. Although after some research, and reading other reviews, I was worried that some of those options might be more abrasive to the finish of my new steel. I knew it was time to find an alternative, so I did a quick search online, and found the solution (don’t mind the pun)
For the area that I was looking to deal with (the kitchen sink), using an undiluted concentration of vinegar for 5 or 10 minutes did the trick. I simply soaked a paper towel and placed it over the trouble spots. Once it had the time to soak, all it needed was a wipe to see the ring-free shine!! After that I was hooked, and started searching the house for other places that needed a direct hit from my new friend.
And there were. Namely in the bathrooms, which I felt deserved a little TLC anyhow. The edge in the bathroom shower was in much need of help. I actually thought the finish had been worn off on the shower ledge, because no matter how much I soaked it in cleaner, or scrubbed it with my toughest sponge, there seemed to be no change. So, I took my VINEGAR to the bathroom, and I was amazed...again! (ok, it clearly doesn’t take much to amaze this gal, but I’m ok with that 😉 It had even removed a hair dye stain that I had been looking at with despise for a couple years – YAY!
If you are looking for a more calm solution for around the house, let’s say for glass and mirror cleaning, use a 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water solution, poured into a spray bottle, spray, wipe and done!
I’m including a great link to Readers Digest as an incredible source for many uses of Vinegar around the house - from carpet stain cleanup, removing candle wax to purging bugs from your pantry....Freaking Amazing!!
The next thing I’m going to try is unclogging and deodorizing the drains, so wish me luck and please comment your wonderful VINEGAR tips below if you have some to share...
Single is a loaded word, especially when you’ve past your mid thirties and you haven’t quite ‘settled down’ yet. It's packed with judgement, pity and plenty of questions! And that’s just between me and myself!
What must other people be thinking?
I imagine it goes something like this... ‘What’s wrong with you, and why, after all these years haven’t found a suitable match!?! Is it a personal choice? Or is something so wrong with you that I shouldn’t set you up with my cousin?’
Ok, maybe those aren't such crazy questions. And if you're at the same place in your life as I am, you’ve probably asked those and many more questions of yourself in the wee hours of the night while clutching your pillow tight with your whole body waiting for the crack of dawn.
Singledom can be a scary place, notably when your biological clock keeps ticking and it’s a little more atomic and a little less digital than you’d like! You might still want a few domestic things in your life, and it won't just happen by wishing.
From early on, I had expected my life to take a path I had been raised to believe it would. And if you are a woman of comparable age, then perhaps you were raised to think something very similar... grow up, get married, make babies and live ever after (happily or unhappily). But, that’s simply not the case for all of us, and certainly hasn’t been for me.
I often look back and laugh at a cluster of memories in my teen years. I was about thirteen or so when one of my uncles pulled me aside and said “Lisa, you be picky, make sure you pick a boy that treats you right. I still open the door for your Auntie, and you should have the same, so be picky”. I smiled and said “ok”. His words were sweet and I found his concern endearing, although dating was still a few years off for this gal.
I then reached my mid-teens, the same concerned uncle said “Lisa, you stay picky. There are lots of great young men out there, you just have to watch for them”. I smiled and said “ok” as I kept my eye out for all these amazing young men that I figured were going to be placed before me to sort through to get the very best.
It wasn’t more than a couple years after that (almost into my twenties and still single - if you can imagine!) when his tune had changed and he looked at me slightly strained “Lisa, don’t be too picky”.
Geesh, give a girl a chance!! And why the rush to marry me off?! Well I sure showed him – no early settling for this woman!
I’ve been lucky in love, and not so lucky in love. I have loved deeply, and also not so much (in the best possible ways... if you know what mean ;D )
One thing I have figured out thus far, when you truly like and love yourself, all things 'single' seem bearable. It's also an important lesson to learn, since you might be enjoying a fair amount of your own company!!
Single and thriving continues, so on with the hunt!...even if I have to kiss a few toads along the way!!
Growing up in a home with a mother who could seemingly grow anything - whether from seed or snipping, was an amazing thing. And her mother had clearly passed down her talent, because her apartment balcony was filled to the brim (and blooming over) with bright colored flowers and deliciously fresh aromas. Long since passed, there is nothing that brings me back to grandmas tight hugs, big kisses and soft cheeks quicker than a walk past a full summer garden.
This must mean that growing flowers and gardens is genetic right? Wrong! Oh so wrong (insert hanging head emoji here). Turns out this is a lifelong journey for me with a 'win some, lose some' sort of battle.
I was once cruelly mocked for saying "...I tried to keep the plant alive, but I don't have green fingers!!"
What chance do you have when you can't even get the saying right?!? I guess if you're a naturally gifted grower like my mom and grandma, you only need a thumb that's green!
Slowly, and with lots of practice, I hope to someday reach the level of grace in growing that I wish I had simply inherited from my maternal side.
Last summer, I spent a great amount of time outside with a plan to give the front walkway a much needed face lift. I cut down large hedges, re-configured the area layout, built planters and finally set about growing the most beautiful annuals and perennials from the discount bin of the local garden center.
But, as most Northern growers have experienced, the harsh winters and unpredictable frosts can have an effect on your most brilliant attempts. With spring now in the air and the snow slowly melting away, my small plants are re-emerging in the most glorious shades of dead brown.
As I wait and hope they are just sleeping...and will return to the glorious greens I remember so dearly in the pictures on which I reflect upon...I'll prepare my backup plan of hitting up the local garden center once more and try again this year.
I'll be adding new phases to this journey as they come to pass and
you watch, these hands will turn green yet!!
"Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea -- any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Goodbye!" -Bilbo Baggins
What is a certified homebody to do when their conscience compels them to DO something in the public sphere? Especially when the thought of going to a new place, with new people, and maybe even demonstrating [!] sends them into a cold sweat and stays their feet before they make it to the front door?
Well, I'm not entirely sure. Start a blog for one. Change the way you live at home for another. Talk about issues with the people in your life enough to get them thinking, but not too much that you become annoying [I hope!].
I have been house-bound for a couple years with little ones, but I can't use that as an excuse anymore. The time has come for me to branch out, get involved in the larger environmental movement and meet like-minded people who are as freaked out about the issues and committed to changing the way we live as I am ... and unfortunately, that is well outside of my comfort zone.
One day, riddled with guilt and frustrated by my own limitations, I googled "Activism for introverts" and lo and behold, I found I wasn't alone! There are many out there who want to do more but whose natures limit them from taking on the stereotypical 'activist' role. And much to my relief, I found a talk that valued introverts precisely for what characteristics and approaches they bring to the table.
As someone who has also retreated to bathroom stalls to re-group, this talk was a balm on my frayed nerves. I must find ways to effect change that utilize my strengths rather than wasting time fighting my limitations.
I have since found blog posts and websites with lists of helpful suggestions. I have no similar list to offer yet, because I want to actually do the things myself before recommending them to you.
If you feel likewise, I hope you will join me on this, another quest made necessary for those of good conscience in our day and age. Maybe with a little patience and kindness towards ourselves, we will start to embrace, as Bilbo himself did after his own adventures, his gleeful warning to Frodo: "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you will be swept off to."
Until next time,
In the opening words of "I Will Never, Not Ever Eat a Tomato" by Lauren Child: 'I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny.'....well, I have this little sister, Lisa, who is petite and very funny too and is also what I consider a 'fussy eater'. However, what she likes, she loves and enjoys with gusto!
So when she asked me to create a 1-Ninja cup smoothie that she will love...I was excited and up for the challenge! Although I will give myself the push to drink a smoothie that is super healthful but maybe not-quite-so-awesome tasting, I know that if Lisa doesn't care for it - it's not going to happen! And it needed a great name...
Sexy Mama 1-on-1 Smoothie
1/4c Fruit Plus Veggie Juice(until you no longer crave it extra sweet), 1tsp green powder, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tsp hemp seeds, 1/2 a small banana, 1/2 an avocado, 1tbsp spinach(frozen), 1 tbsp kale(frozen), 1/2c blueberries, 1/2c mangoes, 1/2c. pineapple.
Fill smoothie cup to maximum level with water, screw on lid. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
All my fruit and veggies were frozen but if yours are thawed, add ice cubes! Adjust the fruit measurements if you prefer a more pineapple-y flavour or blueberry flavour. Just keep the ratio of 1 part veggies to 2 parts fruit for Tastiness. Tip: Add the juice or a bit of water before adding the powders and seeds so they don't stick to the bottom.
Spirulina, Gelatanized Maca Root and Moringa Leaf - I use equal parts and blend together and store in my pantry in an air-tight container. Super easy!