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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Living in the north woods has it's set backs

We had a hard freeze the other night I was able to salvage a fair amount of the plants that were in the greenhouse but some are total losses

sad really we lost something like 6 pumpkin plants at least 10 of the tomato plants and some other things as well really stinks I brought in the cold chilled plants and stuck them in the house and they perked up right away which was nice to see I trimmed off the nasty sickly damaged leaves and they got really happy

my poor family still will not be able to eat dinner at the dining room table though it is taken over by plants

Cloth Diapering is not going as well as I would like I want full sets of cloth diapers I guess I need to actually invest in it or make time to do the sewing I have materials and I can do it but sewing with little ones running around is a PITA especially when working with elastic

and of course the table I sew on is take over by plants ... oh well

I have been pretty good at trying more "green" ways of cleaning here are my opinions on some tried and true methods of green and frugal cleaning products and practices

Ivory soap ..say what you like about this stuff but I think it is AWESOME we were broke a couple weeks back and I had some bars of ivory but was out of laundry detergent so I grabbed my cheese grater and made soap flakes (my Dave rolled his eyes at me) I showed the boy (Alex) who does the laundry how much to use and what to do he said OK

we used it on everything it all smelled better looked cleaner and was just nicer than the "store bought" soap for laundry I am impressed I think I will need to do that some more

We have fallen behind on laundry and Dave tried the dryer it works not as great as when in perfect shape but it works well enough to dry clothes so line drying has gone to the side till I have big boys home to watch the little ones more often I cannot trust Nik alone in the house and I cannot line dry laundry carry QT in the Mei Tai I made and chase Nik so...Line drying is taking a rest ...for a short period of time

I love love LOVE using baking soda for scouring powder it works better in the sinks on the counters etc than the Bar keepers friend it does mean more scrubbing but it works well

I still use Bar Keepers friend to remove rust stains our water is horrible and leaves a nasty brownish orange stain on everything so I use it for the clothes that we like to have looking a normal color I dilute it down and soak the clothes in it gets rid of them

I have tried other methods of rust stain removal but they did not work I used Baking Soda combined with lemon Juice (smells great BTW) bubbled up fantastic the sink looked awesome but the rust stain was still there

so if anyone has ANY more friendly way to remove rust without using poison and remember it has to be cost effective too I would LOVE to hear of it

On to the fun stuff

Our Electric bill came a week or so ago and I was pleasantly surprised to see PROOF right there in black and white that our efforts have had an impact and here is how much of an impact

Last year when we turned off the electric heaters and things and were just using 2 fridges 2 freezers all incandescent lights our electric dryer and stove and electric hot water heater and washing dishes by hands our bills were roughly

$300.00 a month


This year our small changes have lowered last months bill to


I am impressed and spurred on to bigger and better things time to be more diligent

gotta get to line drying again

time to get more serious

gotta buy more CFLs

Time to get a new Fridge!!

ok ok I will slow down but I do need a new fridge our old one is over 10 years old so I am on the lookout and sale hunting

That is it for tonight I need some rest poor dear Dave is asleep in the chair that is my sign that it is bedtime!!


fearlesschef said...

My mother always used a paste of cherry pits (it was pink) that she bought from some other granola woman... we had badly stained sinks. I loved the stuff, but I have no idea where to find it. Sorry... I'm not so helpful!

Sue said...

Granola woman I love that term LOL
The baking soda works well along with the lemon juice to clean up the stained hard surfaces like the tub and sinks but it does not work at all on the clothing or shower curtain liner all of which look just aweful with stains on them

just another reason to keep looking at rain catchment systems!

...Dave cringes at all of my plans which tend to be very work extensive...for him

Ryan said...

Wow that is a savings. Did you have all the grow lights last year?

Sue said...

No Ryan I did not have the grow lights on last year at all I did not grow a garden

most of my grow lights as you see from the pictures are the large florescent bulbs those work well I also have a CFL in a table lamp and then I have some more expensive regular grow lights they use more energy but work well for plants that need more heat to grow

I also use a heating pad set on low to get the seeds to sprout you can buy these specifically for this purpose but I use my old back heating pad

the most efficient way to have all the lights going would be to use a timer but we dont use one for this I just turn it on when I get up and turn them off by 9pm ...ish