Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Genesis 8/1/10

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Welcome to Genesis II

I am known for my ability to discover great cleaning products. Products that really do remove, repair, or clean whatever you've got that needs to be repaired, removed or cleaned.

After reading several articles on the negative effects of home cleaners, I became concerned about the air quality of my home and the environmental harm to our water systems. I searched dozens of sites for inexpensive alternatives.
Yes, you can purchase good organic cleaners that are not tested on animals, dye free, perfume free, toxic free and such, but your pocketbook will take a hit.

Even I am an enormous fan of Caldrea and Mrs Meyers. To be honest, it may not be so much for their organic nature as their scent. How can you resist scrubbing the kitchen counters with Geranium cleaner? I admit that I cannot, and even use the Peppermint scent during holidays.
I digress....

Now sometimes we must all resort to the "store cleaners" because well,
they are the only thing that will work. It is not environmentally
sound to dispose of something we cannot clean with organic cleaners.
Used only when necessary we are still helping our world.

For alternatives, here are some ideas that I particularly liked and some
I have personally used for many years.

Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips using Vinegar and Baking Soda: Inexpensive, environmentally friendly and readily available everywhere.

* To stop unpleasant odors from permeating throughout the entire house, boil a cup or two of vinegar in a pot in the stove. The vinegar will absorb the odors, while
all those sprays just mask the odor and many people like me find them just awful.

* Burn the pot roast? Soak a towel in vinegar, wring it out, and wave it around the room. No one will know what you did. I did this and it worked fine but I burned fish, not a pot roast.

* Clean the coffeepot: Hard water can clog a coffeepot and cause yucky buildup inside it. To remedy this, pour 1 cup vinegar in your coffeepot, fill the rest of the way with water, then run it through a cycle as usual (without coffee grounds in the filter). Rinse the coffeepot out. Fill it with fresh water and run another cycle without coffee to rinse the inside of the coffee maker. I've done this one for years.

* Remove mineral deposits in your teakettle by filling it with water and adding a half-cup of vinegar. Let it stand overnight, then rinse with clean water and dry.


* A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors. OK everyone knows this one, but then after a month or so, I replace and then pour old one down the disposal to freshen it too.

* Similarly, baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.

* To clean washable surfaces, sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth. Wipe, then rinse with clean water.

* To remove stale smells from food containers, fill with hot water and baking soda, then let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture. Rinse. Usually no need to repeat.

* Get rid of the funky smell in that lunchbox: Soak a piece of plain bread in vinegar, then place it in the lunchbox overnight and the smell will disappear! Wish I knew this one back when.

* To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

* To remove scuff marks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors.

* For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, and then add hot water. Let soak overnight; I added a TB of dish liquid and there was virtually no scrubbing...yes, it was the fish....

* The disinfectant properties of vinegar have been verified by numerous studies including those conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, as reported on 48 hours (on CBS) in 2000. A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses, Heinz can't claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show “48 Hours” had a special years ago with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.

* Clean sink and tub with full-strength vinegar. Simply apply with a sponge, wipe clean to a sparkly shine.

* Clean your ceramic tiles with a solution of 1/4-cup vinegar to one-gallon warm water. If the grout between your tiles is looking bad, dip a toothbrush in full strength vinegar and gently scrub, then rinse well.

* Get rid of that nasty, grimy dirt that builds up around the ends of faucets by soaking paper towels in full strength vinegar and wrapping them around the faucet end. Let sit for one hour, and then clean as usual. I really soak the towels until dripping and tuck inside a ziplock bag and rubber band to faucet. If that fails, fill the bag with vinegar and band up around so the end of the faucet is submerged. * Be cautious with some of the new expensive finishes.

* Unclog the shower head: Mineral deposits from hard water can cause a sputtering, clogged shower head. Place the shower head in a pot, add enough vinegar to completely cover it. Heat the vinegar to just below boiling, then remove from heat. Allow to sit several hours. The acid in the vinegar will eat away the deposits. Rinse the shower head well, and it's ready to go again.

* Soap scum & hard water spots on the tub and shower stall? Soak a sponge in full strength vinegar, wipe, let stand for five minutes then rinse with clean water. Water spots on sliding shower doors disappear after cleaning with half water and half vinegar solution.

* To remove stubborn stains from most surfaces, use a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.

* Hairbrushes and combs can be cleaned in a baking soda solution. I am shocked by how many people never clean their brushes and combs. Think of all the "product gunk" we use these days. So, maybe this is one you should do today?

* Windows: A solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water is a well-known window-washing trick. Dip black and white newspaper pages into the solution and wipe the glass until it's almost dry. Finish wiping with a dry newspaper page. The streaks will disappear and the window will shine. Of course if you don't wear gloves your hands will be filthy and then you need another cleaner....OR

* Windows: Mix 1 cup vinegar with 5 cups water, and you've got a great window cleaner. If you must have blue window cleaner, add a few drops of blue food coloring! Or make it pink, purple, green, your choice.

* Stains on your carpet? Combine 2 tablespoons of detergent, three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Work mixture into the stain, but don't soak. Blot with clean cloth.

* Many glues spilled on carpet or fabric can be removed with white vinegar.

* A pet accident on your carpet? Blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Dab the spot with equal parts vinegar and warm, soapy water. Blot again with a clean, white cloth until no more liquid is absorbed.
If your animal continues to stain the place, try spraying vinegar on the spot. The smell should turn him off.

* To remove scents from a carpet, sprinkle with baking soda. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes, then vacuum. Repeat as needed.

* Clean toys by using 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart very warm water. Submerge in this mixture (or wipe with a cloth dampened in it), then rinse with clear water. I then ran them through a hot rinse cycle in the dishwasher.

Never mix Bleach and Vinegar! It is TOXIC

* Antiperspirant Stains on clothing:
Blot the spot with paper towel dampened with a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Wash as usual in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.

* Remove laundry stains: Rub a small amount of vinegar gently on fruit, jelly, mustard or coffee type stains and wash as usual. No more stain!

* Glue -Loosen the dried on glue by soaking a clean cloth in vinegar and saturating the spot until it's gone.
* Grass - Mix 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Apply the solutions to the stain and blot. Repeat the process, as needed, then wash as usual.

* Lint Remover:
Keep lint from clinging to your dark clothes by adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

* Mildew:
Dab vinegar on the soiled areas to kill the mildew. Let the item sit in the sun for a few hours and then wash separately from other items.

* Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to refresh "stale" clothing. Why spray it with chemical scents that only mask the odor?

* To remove grease stains, either add baking soda to the wash load or pretreat the stains with a baking soda paste.

* Unclog a drain: Dump 1 cup of baking soda down your drain and follow it with 1 cup of vinegar. When they mix, they foam and expand, cleaning your drain. Allow a few minutes for the mixture to do it's job, then flush with hot water for several minutes.

* Disinfect and clean wood cutting boards: Rub with vinegar to disinfect and clean. If your cutting board has deep grooves, you can also soak the board in vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Dry very thoroughly.

* Cut grease: When washing greasy pans or dishes, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your soapy dishwater.

* Clean the dishwasher: Vinegar reduces soap build up, so throw a cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and let it run a full (empty) cycle once a month or so.

* Loosen food grime and clean the microwave: Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for 10 minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, VERY carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean!

* Kitchen grease: Put straight vinegar on a cloth to remove grease from kitchen walls or stovetop.

* Linoleum floors: Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar in a bucket, then mop or scrub your floor with the solution. Rinse if needed.

* Scouring powder: Combine two tablespoons each of vinegar and baking soda for an effective scouring powder.

* Prevent mold and mildew in the shower: Wipe down tile or Formica shower walls with a sponge or cloth dampened with water and vinegar. The vinegar will clean the walls and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

* Remove rust: To get rid of rust, soak items in vinegar (do not dilute). This will work on any metal.

* Remove residue and styling product build up from hair: Every few shampoos, rinse your hair with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 warm water to remove all the build up and get rid of that dullness. Cheaper than special "cleansing" shampoos.

* Stickers and sticky residues: Rub a few layers of vinegar on the area and allow to soak. Then wash off with a wet washcloth.

* Eyeglass cleaner. Place a drop of vinegar on soft cloth for lenses.

* Bumper stickers: Soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it over the bumper sticker. Allow to soak a few minutes. The bumper sticker should peel right off. Rub vinegar over the area to remove the sticky residue, if necessary.

* Use vinegar to polish the chrome on your car. It will shine.

As my final note today:
Here is a cool site for Families with kids and Teachers

One more thing, forgive me, I know this is long, but I priced
a gallon of store brand vinegar today $1.59

OK - Now It Is Your Turn

If you have any questions about the rules, please

contact me, but here they are in a nutshell:

Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however,
this is NOT the forum to exploit for give-away promotions,
to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.
The link should be DIRECTLY to your post contributing
to Project Genesis, not just to your blog.
There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to
recycle furniture and garage/thrift sale finds, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.
I reserve the right to edit ANY participants.
In other words play nice, please.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bloom where you are planted

I received the following comment during the week from Monique who wrote: ... we want to sell our place and search for a new home we can make our home. We both know this is not our place to be. So Rhonda, would you recommend us to make our place a home right now or save our love for the next place?
We are afraid that if we are going to love this house, we never, ever could sell it. Do you know

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is where I work

Today we're travelling to a Canadian dairy farm.  Look at all those cute cow bottoms waiting patiently.  I love this workplace and I'm sure Marlyn, whose home we are visiting, enjoys her work very much.  
She writes:
"I wish to share with you my favourite work spaces. I would love to say I have just one, but rather I enjoy two.

There is nothing more joyful then to arrive in the barn at 5am to

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The never-ending feast

It's been a while since I wrote about our garden so that's where we are today.  Most of you know that Hanno and I have been gardening for many years but I have to tell you there is always something new to learn.  It's a never ending feast - both in culinary and intellectual terms.  It keeps us on our toes, it gives us delicious organic food fresher than anything we could buy and it's part of the


The other day I was asked, "Just how many pitchers do you have?"

I had to count - well, there are 54

At one time I had many more, but several years ago
I purged all but these, my curvaceous favorites.
Some with, but most without,
raised designs of wheat or leaves.

Gentle curves with pouty lips.

Clustered in groups and lined in rows.

All shades of cream or white. A few now so weathered they
might be called "tan." Crazing of the mature ladies,
alerts to the aging of us all.

A few scallops here and there, these are the fancy girls.

From large to small and every size in between.

An Australian rebel; passed down from Grandmother
to Father, and then to me.

Please visit all the other White Wednesday gals at
Faded Charm hosted by Kathleen.

Create Change - The World Will Thank You
Project Genesis August 1st

Monday, July 26, 2010

Answering some comments and a gentle warning

I am often overwhelmed by the generous nature of the comments left behind like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs in the woods. Those breadcrumbs can be followed and at times  they lead to the most wonderful places.  Sometimes, someone picks up on a tiny thing and that makes me smile, knowing they know what I know. Stephanie and notesfromthefrugaltrenches both noted my reference to Doc Martin.  For

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I had a wonderful weekend pottering around doing this and that, and I even had a sleep in my chair, wrapped in a blanket, after watching Doc Martin that I'd recorded the night before.  Hanno has been away this past week and will fly home today.  He went back to Sydney to help my sister, Tricia, deal with the realities and the real estate agents as she put her house on the market to sell it.  It's

A Week Away

7 days and counting till our second
Project Genesis
Sunday August 1st

If you linked last time, we hope you will return.
If you missed it, here's another chance.
If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about,
please Click HERE .

I had set a goal of 10 links for the first Genesis with
hopes to add an additional 10 each month as word spreads.
We beat the first goal by three. Whoo Hoo!
So, depending on how you look at it, we only need 7 this time to meet goal
or if we get an additional 10, we'll still be ahead by 3.
It's a win - win, and in today's world, I'll accept ANY positive.

If you have any questions about the rules etc, please
contact me, but here they are in a nutshell:

Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however,
this is NOT the forum to exploit for give-away promotions,
to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.
The link should be DIRECTLY to your post contributing
to Project Genesis, not just to your blog.
There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to
recycle furniture and garage/thrift sale finds, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.
I reserve the right to edit ANY participants.
In other words play nice, please.

If you missed it the first time here are those wonderful
videos again. Teachers: Great for your students to view.

Thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers for my friend Paula.
Her Mom passed away very peacefully this morning.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dumb clucks saved from themselves

It's cold (for here) and raining.  I just filled a bowl with old bread, a sprinkling of milk powder and warm water and took this most prized of all treats to the chook house.  I'm not letting them free-range today.  It's too wet, they walk around in the coldness like dumb clucks and I worry they might catch cold.  Of course, they never do, but that doesn't stop me.
I brought my crocs out and

Saturday Zism's

In my line of work, I get asked a lot of "what would you do with this? where would you put this? where did you get this? what do you use?" questions.

Being a lazy Saturday, though it should not be, because I have a Zillion things I should be doing.... I thought I'd share a few favorite Zism's from the past couple weeks.

*Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
We rarely have pop in the house; only for parties, and what is left over after parties, so when I spotted this on the shelf and thought hmm, what could it hurt, let's give it a go, I want you to understand this was a rare occurrence. Now it says it is enriched with antioxidants blah blah blah..I just find it refreshing.

* Lipton Cold Brew Family Size Teabags
This is not new but I simply could not survive without them, Lipton, can you hear me, if you ever think of discontinuing them, I want the entire remaining inventory.

Lipton? listen up!
I fill a gigantic pitcher with cold water first thing every morning and add 4 bags. In about 15 minutes, I have the freshest tasting ,clear iced tea to get me through the day....remember? no pop in the house....If I forget to remove the bags in 2 hours, I still have the freshest, clearest tea. Scrap that sun tea... it always went cloudy by the end of the day.

* GQ August Issue
I never look at or purchase but darling daughter sat in Barnes and Noble yesterday laughing so hard, so loud, that her nose started to run, and I had switched to a smaller purse before we left and didn't grab everything as in.... Kleenex....can you see where this is going? Laugh out loud, nose running funny. It is their 134th comedy issue.

* An American Mom in Paris
Discovered this blog a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I finally finished going back through and reading every post. I'm in love with this family. Honest, hilarious, poignant and what else can I say, other than I highly recommend you check it out, bookmark it, become a Follower and tell her I sent you across the ocean. If that doesn't make you do it, how about this?

This is COCO.


The Mother of my dear friend Paula, is leaving this world very soon.
Paula and her brother have rushed to TN to be with her.
Please join me and add their family to your prayers.

Suzan with a Z not an s

Friday, July 23, 2010

Everything is a Hummin'

Things have been hummin' around here.
My little Mac has been busy delivering the kindest words
from all of you; encouraging me, wishing me well, and making
me so grateful that I started this blog a couple of years ago.

Humming in the trees too....

I had never succeeded in keeping a journal in all the years before and
this was my final attempt in another format.

I never imagined the blessings that would come along
for the ride. Friendships in new and wonderful ways that would fill
my heart and keep me company into the wee hours of many nights.

To my precious friends of many years,
to those I have met here
and now regard as dearest friends, to
those who occasionally stop by to chat and I wish to know better,
and to those I have just met in the past two days because of
Where Bloggers Create:
I am so grateful.
My life is richer, fuller and more blessed
because you are in it.
Each word of encouragement and
affection alters my world, and makes it
a happier place to be.
I am hummin' along reaching out to every comment and email
as quickly as I can. Until then.

My simple thank you.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bangles and Baubles

Still playing in the studio.
Made these to wear with my jeans.
These brass pieces remind me of English biscuits.
Food and Jewelry...what else is there?

Along those same lines....
Friends took me out for lunch yesterday and one of them
Heather French, showed me some bracelets she had recently made.
Many of you will know Heather from her quilt patterns, the most
famous being the very popular French Roses pattern.

Re-hinging my jaw after dropping it, I knew I just had to show
you these beauties.
Jewelry Photography is not my forte, ( I apologize Heather)
but trust me these are simply gorgeous,
and they are for sale! Yep, one of kind, to ooh and awe over, to
wear with your everyday and your very best.
I own one and I have yet to wear it without being asked
at least once each time.. "where did you get that?"

Signature pieces, but then so many more pearls,
vintage buttons, crystals and dangles in each one.
Lobster clasps with chain extenders, so they will fit 6 1/2 x 7 3/4 " wrist

Pyrite, Japanese glass pearl, lampwork bead,
12mm swarovski crystal, quartz, vintage key, vintage brass button

Pyrite, vintage rhinestone pin, pearl, peridot,
pineapple quartz, agate, vintage crystal, brass button
$140.00 SOLD

Vintage crystal, cherry quartz, vintage button, pearl,
rhinestone bead ball, vintage key

Large beaded bead, vintage Japanese drop, rutilated quartz,
lampwork disc, agate, vintage rhinestone, pyrite,
vintage aspirin swarovski shape crystal
$140.00 SOLD

Email me
Additional pictures and info will be provided by the artist.

(Postscript...two sold in first 30 minutes after I posted,
so I called Heather and she will make similar ones if
you are interested)

Coming up soon
Please join us!

Create Change - The World Will Thank You
Project Genesis August 1st

This is where I work

From last week's postal room in outback Australia to a music room on the Isle of Skye.  This blog covers all areas.  I really liked reading this because it reminded me of my own mother who studied classical piano at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney when she was young.  Today's work place is Ann's. I'm sure you'll enjoy her story.

Ann writes:"This is my Music Room here in the small village

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Karen and Jo

Dear Karen and Jo,

Words won't do.

There is simply no way to describe the wonderful day
I have had because of you both.
The email from Karen saying that my studio was chosen to be in the
Where Women Create magazine was the beginning of a whirlwind of calls,
comments and emails from blog friends around the nation and the world.
To say I am thrilled, isn't enough.
To say my daughter was so proud and happy for me, isn't enough.
To say I am humbled and honored isn't enough.

Words won't do.

Hopefully, my most heartfelt gratitude and thanks will suffice.
I am truly grateful.


Flexible simplicity

This is a continuation of yesterday post on living within a "simple life" framework.  The areas we're focusing on today are:being green
the work we do
BEING GREENThis can be quite challenging for many of us.  It requires that we change our habits and often they are habits of a lifetime.  When you live a greener life you can get rid of as many chemicals in your home, which include

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thanks for the B-day Wishes

My thanks for all the birthday wishes via comments, emails, facebook,
cards and phone calls, especially the singing ones that came today.
It is so very nice to be remembered.


The Attraction Of Simplicity

Chania put out a call for simplicity.

My darling daughter responded with these shots.
Please visit Chania's blog and spend some time wandering around her site.
There are wonderful ideas and stories to discover.

Maybe you have some simplicity shots of your own?
I'm sure Chania would love to see them, and you
might just win a prize.


Create Change - The World Will Thank You
Project Genesis August 1st