Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Preparing For 2012

Yesterday I started thinking about the new year coming up.  It's easy to notice all the stores practically bulldozing holiday items out and replacing them with every exercise gadget or tool out there.  Lucky for me I don't even need to worry about those aisles.  Have I been to "boot camp?"  No.  But I do jog and I do enough physical labor around this homestead that it's complete loo loo in the head to think I will drive to a gym.

I was thinking all the usual things yesterday.  I'll have to change the banner.  I'll have to write a post.  What direction is this going anyway?   That was the big question I thought about all day today. 

In the mean time here's a pic of something I built on Monday.  It's a BBQ/fire pit.  I copied it from a picture I saw in Mother Earth News magazine.  I know it's not worthy of BHG but where it lacks beauty it prospers in functionality.
  Thank you for looking at that.  In case you're wondering about the bits in the rest of the pic, there's some other rocks I own on the left.  In the back is one of the garden beds with black shade cloth to keep out deer and naughty dogs, and then some bits and pieces of garden tools.

Back to the big question about the new year and what direction to go in.  I had deep deep thoughts on that subject.  Without going into detail, I think we all have people in our lives that we try to please and it never really happens.  No matter what we do it will never be enough.  So I've decided that I won't endlessly try to please someone when they really have no intention of ever resolving things.  Take what you want out of that.

The next big thing for the new year is not only for me, but an appeal to all of you.  2012 is going to be a big year.  I'm talking really big.  One for the history books.  There's so many things happening right now and it's going to become even crazier in 2012 as many things sort of converge at the same time.  There's also that pesky end of the world prediction.  I don't put any faith into it but it's still there. 

My goal is to be a prolific journal writer for 2012 (and hopefully blogger).  I believe the year 2012 is going to be studied immensely in the future (that whole end of the world thing) and there'll be much interest in what us "ordinary" people were doing and what we thought about those things. 

This could be a chance to set the record straight and prove we weren't all getting ready for the Mayan countdown, though I know some of you are.  It can also be a challenge to add something great to your life and one day others will read about it, too. 

I hope to see you all in 2012 and look forward to creating, crafting, gardening, and building many, many new things.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Do The Bad Guys Like Your Hair?

About 2 months ago we all decided that it was now Fall, even though our local temps were still...well, melting the skin off our bodies.  I decided I would do some Fall decorating.  On my head.

I was curious.  I'd never been a redhead.  I was fascinated with the look of vintage curls.  (Did blondes really have more fun?)  Would it go with my skin tone?  Would it make me look older or younger?  Why don't I like my natural color?

The last question is easy to answer.  As a child I had blonde hair.  Sun bleached, wonderful blonde hair.  Then it started to change to brown.  Not chestnut or some other exotic word for brown.  Just brown.  Boring brown.  Blah brown.  I hated it.  Since then I've changed that color hundreds numerous times.  But I had never been a redhead.

The color choice was easy.  I didn't want bright red for this first adventure.  I wanted something red but safe.  So I chose burgundy.  It's red but also brown.

Now I must explain this pic.  I'm not standing there ridiculously posing by pointing at nothing.  I took this for my Facebook profile pic to interact with my cover photo on Facebook Timeline.  Which is something you'll never see because none of you will go set up your Timeline.  A little irritating... But I digress.

Since the color change Rowan has made a point of saying to me almost every day, "You still have red hair."  She doesn't like it.  She's the only one who doesn't like it.  We frequently have conversations about it.  Like this morning before school.

"You still have red hair."

 "Yes, Rowan.  I like it."

"Did you ask everyone?"

"Yes."  Not really.

 "Even the bad guys?"

"I don't know any bad guys.  But if I did I wouldn't ask if they liked my hair."  Maybe I would.

"Satan's a bad guy.  You could ask him."

"I definitely won't be asking if Satan likes my hair.  What color do you think it should be?"


"I might do that in the Spring."

"Well, until then you could just make it brown."  She said brown.  She has no idea how hard I've tried to get away from brown.  Devil child.

"Oh look.  Your bus is here."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Trip Back To Normal

I was reminded the other day that my blog was suffering from cobwebs.  This is true.  The blog has become a place of squalor and dank dark corners.  It was the pretty new dress that now sits in the back of the closet untouched.

Another friend pointed out the positive, "Hey, at least you know you have readers that pay attention."

Until this afternoon I hadn't had a trigger event.  A trigger event (I made that up) is when something happens and I feel compelled to write a post. 

Basically this summer was the worst summer in recorded history for us.  There's others that will dispute this and say it was actually the best summer they'd ever had.  Experiences are relative.

At this house we spent the first 4 weeks battling a stomach virus which would not go away.  It would pretend to go away and then sneak back in during the night.  Kind of like that one relative that always out stays their welcome.  After that we had a couple weeks reprieve and then Jace came down with pneumonia.  It was bad enough that the doctor wanted him to go check into the local hospital.  Being a man chicken he refused.  He was then forced to endure MY nursing.  He hates that.  It means he will get well by my sheer force of will power.  That and I make him take his medicine on time, not at any-ole-time like he would do.

There you have it.  We were worn down by plagues and disappointment.  We didn't get to enjoy any summer vacation plans or swimming lessons. ( Believe me, if your kid has a tummy virus, you won't enroll them in swimming lessons.)  By the last week of summer we were begging to be released from all this torment.  We prayed daily that somehow school would start earlier and we would feel like things had changed. 

Finally the day arrived.  The first day of school!  Rowan showed her excitement by getting up at midnight and putting her clothes on to make sure she wasn't late.  We are now into week two of school.  She loves it.  I love it, too.  We are enjoying our time away from each other since we spent the summer in quarantine.  This year has brought something new.  It's all day school.  It feels a little odd.  I felt myself wondering, "what am I supposed to do with all this time?" 

I have found an answer to that question.  Get other women with that same dazed look to do things together.  It's brilliant.  I have found one woman who enjoys going to see movies and her husband doesn't go to movies.  I have another friend who likes to try different places to eat.  Another friend likes to go to farms and yarn shops.  Another friend is giddy with delight that she can do something with someone her own age.  Really, you should see her face when we talk about meeting.  Big grin, sparkly eyes, and giggling.  The list goes on but suffice to say I have become very busy and actually need a planner to keep track of all the activities.

Today, though, really let me know that we are out of summer and back into a regular routine.  We are in fall.  Rowan came home today and I looked at her.  I asked, "Didn't you wear that dress to school yesterday?"  She replied, "Yes, but I like it so much I wanted to wear it again."  Uh huh.  (Her Father let her wear it)

Things are back to normal.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Avocado Ice Cream

In case you've become weary of the old standby flavors of ice cream, I thought I would share a recipe I found for Avocado Ice Cream.  You can get this recipe and other ice cream recipes from the June-July issue of MaryJanes Farm.

MaryJane's Avocado Ice Cream
Prep Time: 15 minutes       Makes: 3 cups

1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1.  Combine avocado, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a blender.  Puree until completely smooth.
2.  Pour mixture into a 2-quart baking dish.
3.  Cover and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.  (Can be transferred to an air-tight container and kept in a freezer for up to one month.)
4.  Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Use an ice-cream or watermelon scoop to serve.  Top with fresh fruit or mango salsa.

This tastes mostly like lemon sherbet.   And if you're wondering about pairing it with watermelon like the picture, DO IT.  It tastes amazing! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Old Folks Didn't Have the "Green Thing"

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.

So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building.

They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind.

They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a

handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.

They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

~Author Unknown~

Friday, June 24, 2011


No, the Rapture didn't take me.  According to a poll taken, most people were too busy to be raptured.  I was one of them. 

In fact, I was so busy I wasn't able to blog.  Or read other blogs (guilty look.) 

I'm getting to the end of the remodel and I've decided to let half the garden go.  I had to sit down and make a list of things I wanted to do and things I wanted done.  Both of those lists are so long that they can't possibly fit into my little list of time available.  I hacked and chopped projects off my list that were requiring lots of time but no results, like 50% of the garden. 

I have a little more catching up to do.  I'm working on some business logo changes and all the behind the scenes stuff it involves.  I'm also working on SOOO many other things filing my nails and I'm looking forward to finding some time to write about them.

Thanks for your patience.  The above picture is my new logo without the business name.  Because a business named Intermission might be silly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All Raptured Up

I know it's been awhile since my last post.  Nothing has really compelled me to blog.  Until...word broke out on the Facebook about Rapture 2011. 

This got me thinking.  What is the proper etiquette for such an event?

Sara is wondering if she needs to clean her floors.  Now I'm wondering if I should do that, too.  What else am I missing?
  • Do I leave out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk the night before?

  • If I'm not chosen, do I get coal in my stocking?

  • What's the right Rapture outfit?

  • Are there any Rapture sales going on at the mall? 

  • Did Kate and Will get married before the Rapture on purpose?

  • I want to go to this craft show on Saturday and it doesn't end till 7 p.m. but the Rapture is supposed to happen at 6 p.m.

  • Is it 6 p.m. Eastern time or Pacific?  Because if it's Eastern then I can stay for the whole craft show. 

  • If it's Eastern time, is it fair for people in California to have a heads up warning?

  • Should I have a pinata at my Rapture party?

  • What's the perfect Rapture gift for that person who has everything?

Maybe you've picked up on my sarcasm and that just maybe I don't believe this will be happening.  I have a few reasons why I believe to not believe.

  • The remodel isn't done yet.  If I do get Raptured up I'll be in serious insurance hell for not finishing it.

  • I'm scheduled to work the following day and I don't get that lucky to think I'll be getting out of going to work.  If any of my coworkers get the Rapture I'm gonna be so mad because it'll leave more work for me.

  • I don't think there's enough Prozac in existence for dealing with millions of people disappearing.  

So if the Rapture does come then I hope you enjoyed this last post and it was nice knowing you.  If it doesn't come then we'll move on to some captivating posts about gardening.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Lately I haven't been blogging.  The season of Spring brings many, many activities, and especially so this year. 

Instead of blogging I've been living vicariously through all of your blogs.  Some of you are very serious writers and some of you have a natural talent for letting words flow, especially if it's something funny.  Some of you are complete freaks.  That's what I like about the blogging world.  Too many times we can get in a rut with our thinking but the blog world opens the eyes and shows the big picture.  And how not to take life so seriously.

Since we had our vacation it's been a struggle to get back into the swing of things.  I'm reticent to do exactly that.  It feels like I'm losing my grasp on nature.  On vacation it wasn't about being inside, it was all about being outside in the woods, the sun, the snow.  Once home it's all about getting things done in the house.  Waking up for school, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, making beds, back to real jobs, back to hobby businesses.  There's less and less time spent outside. 

I'm mourning this loss.  I sit outside and read under trees until the sounds of lawnmowers drown out the sounds of birds and the dog shepherding the cat for the millionth time today.

We've planted the garden but it doesn't seem to be doing as well as last years.  Maybe our heart isn't in it as much.  We did figure out that we need to keep planting something every week.  I started more seedlings yesterday.  Jace planted more rows of corn and microgreens.  I planted peppers, cilantro, and basil.  The tomatoes are "waking up" and starting to stretch upwards.  One plant already has a baby tomato.  If things keep growing it looks like we'll have a nice crop of watermelon and canteloupe.

On the inside of the house we have the kitchen/masterbath remodel in progress.  We (I) am moving things to other rooms, consolidating, throwing things out.  It looks like we have an official start date for the last week of April.  We know the contractor and he has this great business practice of starting a job and working on it till it's actually completely finished before starting a job for someone else.  This makes him very sought after.  Of course I'll have some pics for you to see when we're getting underway and the finished work. 

So that's about it for now.  We're getting by, although reluctantly.  Time keeps marching forward.  Summer will be here and it'll be time for swimming lessons and harvesting. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yosemite National Park

The other week we skipped town and went on vacation.  This was no small secret.  I managed to keep it quiet for 7 months.  Because as we all know my blog caters to the more criminal element.  I knew you'd all be dying to break into my house knowing I was gone.  In the end this could have actually helped...

I came up with clever plans to save money.  We shared the car ride with a friend and her daughter who also wanted to explore out West.  We only thought about finding an orphanage a few times to drop off the yammering chatterbox in the back seat who wanted to know, "are we there yet?"

We stayed in a budget hotel.  I had joined their hotel club discount program and reserved the room 7 months in advance.  We shared the hotel with a friendly bunch from some logging company.  By friendly, I mean they would all open their room doors any time any noise or other door happened to open.  We figured they were thinking some bombshell model was just strolling the halls hoping to find some guy from a logging company she could shack up with on first sight.  We played tricks on them by opening our door just to see how many of them would open their door.  Then we would shut our door and laugh hysterically, because we're grownups. 

Rowan really enjoyed getting to see "big snow."  We took her to ski one day.  She was very frustrated, but determined.  She whined and complained and didn't listen to the ski teacher.  Somehow she made progress and by the end of the day she was zooming at 1 mph with a smile as big as Texas.  I, on the other hand, had mastered the bunny slope and made the stupid mistake to go down the "more difficult" trail.  I made it down...eventually.   My friend learned how to snowboard but couldn't turn.  They are henceforth to be known as the Bullet for their straight-shot-speed-of-light technique down the slope. 

This was the only bear we saw, thankfully.  

We spent a lot of time hiking.  Pictures truly can't capture the rare beauty.  A picture can't grasp all the sounds and smells that surround you in that moment.

Pictures can tell a story.  Like the one about a 5 year old who was whining and had to be carried part of the way.  She was our bear repellant, but she really did so well.  One day she hiked 5 miles.  And she slept like a rock!  

One day out hiking around, this cute little kitty came out of the woods, silently.  We never heard a thing.  One minute it wasn't there and the next it was right in front of us.  Rowan had to be held back as she insisted she wanted to pet the "nice kitty."  I was nervously trying to take a picture and figuring out what I would do in case it attacked us.  In the end, it never even looked at us.  It was hunting after something else.  It slowly stalked and disappeared back into the woods, never making a sound.

We came home and have since learned that the park was hit by a horrendous snow storm and the whole place was shut down. 

We also came home to a flooded kitchen and master bathroom.  So if you guys had broken in maybe you could've turned off the water coming out of the pipe under the kitchen sink.  My time is now spent dealing with this inconvenience.  In the next few weeks months, we'll be having a quarter of the house gutted from floor to ceiling and replaced.

But my mind and my heart are still here...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Code Class Is Killing Me

Remember when the weather was all yucky and we were in the middle of that thing called winter?  Well, I was really bored and reading my email.  Between the intriguing mail about finding local forklift operators and meeting my true love Nigerian prince, I had an email for a code class.  It was from a known source.

I vaguely remember reading it, thinking it couldn't be that hard if it was free.  It would probably reinforce my use of the strike through symbols that people love to see so much.  Especially repeatedly.  I think there may be a strike through anonymous group for those who can't help themselves from using it.  All. The. Time.  Stop it.

Last week I received my "Welcome to this unbelievably beginner class.  It's so easy that we're teaching it in kindergarten."  I clicked the sign in link and put my little registration info and password in.   How hard could this be?

The window (or is it a screen?) opened up with the course curriculum.  Holy. Cow.  I have homework.  And Tests?! 

This week I'm to read through 2 lessons, do my homework (with or without the extra credit), and take a short quiz if I'm "feelin lucky."  I am not.  Why, do you ask?

6 hours after starting the Introduction page.  You read that right.  Six hours after working on the introduction page I was hopelessly stuck.  I wrote the instructorbot.  No reply.  The husband was no help.  "Oh you'll figure it out."  It's like a bad dream where everyone speaks calculus and you keep saying, "I haven't even taken addition yet."  But when you say it it just sounds like, "sllf''s sojfoa ffd! lol fjkepp, right?" 

The problem was I had two files that I needed to use but I couldn't get them open.  I looked for a program to open them but they all wanted $29.95 to do that for me.  I had just about given up when I was reading a review for the updated browser I'm using.  In the comments someone said they didn't know why they had posted that baby screen shot, it wasn't necessary.

Hold up.  I don't have that baby screen shot on my puter.  Where is it?  So I reread and found it was in the Tools section.  Just like a...hmmm...I was going to say just like a man to leave the tools in the toolbox, but around here the man leaves his tools all over the house. 

I open the toolbox and then drag and drop those two files and like magic they open up.  I was so humbly thankful.  This means that part of my class will not be spent taking a sledge hammer to the computer.  I also had visions of throwing it out the window.

My lessons and homework this week have to do with learning HTML and CSS, which is not nearly as fun as CSI.  I'm currently working on my homework which consists of

  • 3 paragraphs

  • and must include

  • the HTML and CSS stuff the lessons covered.

    Basically, this blog works as a great editor to see if the tags I write are in the right place and the web page will look right.  You'll be seeing some experimentation and little bleebloop tech stuff.  You know, like strike throughs, bullet points, paragraphs, and highlighted sections in big fonts with emphasis.

    Thanks for putting up with it.  I hope it will eventually improve the look of my page.  Unless of course you happen to see my Nigerian prince on a forklift.  Please send him my way and I'll just pay someone to fix my page with the inheritance money.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    The Obligatory Spring Post

    I know you are probably wondering how No Poo is going.  Well, let me tell you...I caved!  I caved like a big...thing that caves.  Let me take you back.  Last Friday I did the baking soda wash and I got my ratio wrong and used too much (I think) baking soda.  The hair was icky.  I had to be somewhere Saturday and no way was I going without good hair.  So I washed with shampoo...It felt so wrong and so right at the same time.  Herbal Essences was telling me what a failure I was.  I was telling it to shut up and lather or I'd be switching to its' arch rival Garnier. 

    An interesting development is noting that I haven't had to wash my hair since.  That's weird.  4 days.  Smells good.  Looks good.  Oh, I will wash it.  I will try not using shampoo again.  We'll catch up on this later.

    Someone has decided that their true name is now She-Ra, Princess of Power...mmm hmm.

    That's a gun holster in case you're wondering.

    We're also eagerly anticipating spring. We're working hard (me, not so much) at tilling the soil and getting the gardens ready. Here's what we found the other day...

    Total throw up.  These are grubs.  What you can't tell in the pics is that they are 3 inches long and fatter than your finger. 

    Obviously I asked Jace if he wanted to become a locavore.  Rowan just screamed like a little girl.  What a sissy.  I was standing many yards away using the zoom lens.  

    Spring is here.  And it's a big, fat worm.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Homestead Debacle and More No Poo Hair

    A comment from yesterday's post asked if I knew about the scandalous debacle about trademarking Urban Homesteader and Urban Homesteading.  I do know about this such debacle.  I will try to keep this short.

    A family in California wants to trademark the words "urban homesteader" and "urban homesteading."  Right now, as I understand it, they hold a supplemental trademark.  This means they have a certain amount of time to prove that their use of the words is exclusive to only them.  Meaning, all of us other urban homesteaders don't use those words.  This is ridiculous.  I wrote that it was a fluid and everchanging movement and trying to narrow it down so finitely is a disservice and rather insulting to the rest of us.

    Yesterday was the day many, maybe thousands, of people peppered Facebook, Twitter, and their blogs with those words.  One part was to post your visitor tally prior to your post and then after your post.  My visitor tally for yesterday was 112.  You'll be surprised to hear that once again 90% of the visitors were actually looking at the post about henna in my hair. 

    The other thing I was trying to accomplish with my post was to not specifically say why I was writing the post that way.  I wanted it to look commonplace and not give exclusivity to the trademark seeking louts.  For me, if I wrote it saying, "I'm writing this because of that family," then it gives them exclusivity and wouldn't show generic usage.

    So if I get a letter in the mail saying I should stop using those words I will show it to you.

    Today was Day 2 of No Poo Hair.  I'm doing rather well.  Last night I washed my hair with conditioner only.  Here's my pic.  I wore it up today because I just do that a lot anyway.  It looks and feels fine.  I'm not surprised.  I have a feeling the real test of sticking it out is in another day or two. 

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Of No Poo Hair and Homesteading

    First off I want to mention the visitor counter.  I installed it long after this blog was rolling.  My official visitor count as of right now is 5,761.  When I track my stats, an overwhelming amount of visitors appear on days I blog about my hair.  I'm talking over 1,200 people have read about me using henna in my hair.  Just thought I'd mention that little factoid.

    Today at my little urban homestead I will again be talking about what I've done to my hair.  I hope Blogger's servers are prepared to handle the incoming traffic of my hair groupies.

    Thanks to the internet and the library (ancient way people research things), I've been able to expand my efforts in urban homesteading without fear of horrible consequences, i.e. losing a limb.  There are so many involved in this that it creates a wealth of information, free for anyone who wants to learn.  It's an interesting movement that is fluid and ever evolving.  With so many people participating there could never be a finite location or singular ownership of the idea.  The things I've managed to conquer:  productive gardens my family can use as a source of food (in winter we would starve, but I'm working on it), a real compost pile,  crocheting wearable items, making household bath and beauty products, cooking and eating better, exercising, canning, and giving back to others in the urban homestead movement without a price tag attached. 

    On to the hair.  I know you're asking what I'm talking about.  No Poo Hair?  Some of you may know about this and have even contemplated it, maybe even tried it.  The No Shampoo Method is to use alternatives to shampoo to wash your hair and still come out with clean, managable hair. 

    I have tried several different recipes, some from videos off Youtube, and all of them had failed me.  I ended up with what I call "sticky hair syndrome."  This will make the hair look and feel like you have never washed your hair, sticks together, and is uncombable.  It's disgusting.  I was depressed thinking I wouldn't be able to go the distance in this urban homesteading project. 

    Well, last night I decided to try again but I cut down the traditional No Poo recipe...a lot.  The traditional recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water.  Generally, people need 2 cups of this to get all of the hair wet.  I opted for putting 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water (16 oz.).  I made a total solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda to 32 oz. of water, since I have long hair.  I poured it onto my dry hair and made sure it all got wet. 

    The apple cider vinegar rinse I use is 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to 20 oz. of water.  I rinsed my hair 3 times with this solution.  The apple cider vinegar acts as a conditioner for me. 

    Lastly, I rinsed 3 times with only water.  I just had to wait for it to dry....

    Here's my result for day 1 of No Poo Hair.  My hair feels like it usually does when washed with shampoo and conditioner.  I'm very happy with the results.  I've read the stronger baking soda solution is good for people with curly hair and the weaker solution is more appropriate for people with straight hair. 

    I'll keep you updated and include any variations I might add, such as any other natural conditioners or essential oil usage.  I hope you found this urban homesteading project useful.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Cost Saving Tip and Homemade Arthritis Ointment

    Even though that title sounds incredibly boring, there's two important pieces of information I want to pass on.

    Last week I decided we needed some more vegetable storage space.  The crisper box wasn't cutting it since we've increased our vegetable and fruit buying.  The stuff just won't fit.  Instead of being a good homemaker vegetable lady and storing the vegetables cut up and in prim and proper bags, I just threw them in the fridge.  Well, as so often happens, I'd get lazy and not feel creative in my cooking.  By the end of a week those vegetables were looking pretty sad, if not angry and threatening to riot.  So in the compost they would go. 

    One day I thought if I got an extra storage bin then maybe those vegetables would last a little longer.  It turns out that's true.  I bought vegetables last week and they are still looking fresh as daisies.  This is going to save me a lot of money.

    Now for the homemade arthritis ointment.  It might be good on aches and pains, too.  Starting last fall I noticed some twangs in my knuckles.  It wasn't enough to limit my activities.  Just a gnawing soreness.  It's persisting through the winter.  I decided to research for some home cures.

    I came across this recipe:  2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  I put it into the jar and stirred and stirred and stirred some more.  It did not want to blend.  I still applied some and it really did work.  I left it alone for an hour and when I came back it looks like it's starting to blend on its own.  Oh sure, you'll have a little vinegar smell (very little) but the soreness is all gone!  This recipe will give you 2 ounces.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Good Prevails Over Evil Part 2

    And Justice was served!  And apparently it tastes like Jello...

    If you follow this blog then you'll remember my rant about this picture.  Or rather, the comment one "lady" left about it.  You'll remember that I only posted it to try and win a subscription to a magazine and I was feeling iffy about entering it. 

    Well, today I received an email saying this photo would be in their slideshow. And. It. WON in its' category!  Vindication is Mine!!!    What did Rowan say about it winning?  "Bo-ring"  hmmph.  I say you gotta grab victory wherever you can. 

    Apparently they also like my foot because this picture is in the slideshow, too.  It didn't win in it's category.  I don't mind. 

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Because Good Always Prevails Over Evil and Other Spring Fairytales

    Last week we received snow.  I know many of the people up North were sitting on the edge of their seats wondering if the stupid people down South would be able to survive.  Much like the times when we Southern people sit around and laugh about the poor folks up north who are sweltering when it hits 80 degrees.  Thankfully, we did survive and we didn't have to do anything drastic like interact with the crazy neighbors because we never lost our internet.  Score 1 for good over evil.

    An update to my last post:  The therapist has declared that Rowan is normal!  The words were, "She's normal and very happy."  In fact, it seems just the act of everyone noticing what her social skills are has made her more sociable and less anxious.  We'll continue seeing the therapist but only every other week, and frankly I think they are going to cut us loose after the next session.  The down side?  We finally get the top of the line health insurance and this is the best diagnosis they can give us?  She's normal?  C'mon.  Score 2 for good over evil.

    We are all eagerly anticipating spring right now.  Things are abuzz with energy.  There are plans for gardens and projects are being mapped out.  The arm wrestling over who gets which garden beds are complete.  The seeds are ready.  It's like the revving of engines at the Indy 500 before the flag.  Spring conquers winter.  Score 3 for good over evil.

    I lost a blog follower.  I think he was from South America.  He's been replaced by Cheeseboy.  Hop to his blog if you get a chance.  He's like the Activity Director on the cool kids' cruise ship.  Score 4 for good over evil. 

    I wish I had a great ending for this post, but I don't....

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Fretting and Baloney (bologna)

    It's been a week here.  I could say it's been SO busy but that's not really true.  It's been the usual.  I work on the weekends now.  This is not MY business.  It's the job I won't ever talk about because I'd like to keep it and I wouldn't do something dumb like post it in my Facebook profile and then bash someone about eating Jello.  Because, Dude, someone could read that and not like it and forward it to that company and then said person could lose their job.  I am not that kind of person...on most days. 

    It has been a week, though.  I've been fretting about Rowan.  What I am about to tell you is strictly confidential, which is why I'm blabbing it all over the internet.  There's a reason to my madness.  I'm not particularly worried about her being accepted into some ivy league college, so if this comes back to haunt her, I don't think it will matter much. 

    Rowan has an issue that we are dealing with head on and with all the force of a hurricane.  If you know me, then you know when something hits my radar it is addressed swiftly and with full power, resources, and determination.

    She's having adjustment issues (in awesome shrink talk).  To preschool.  Think about that.  If I don't tackle this now then she is doomed to become an outcast.  Forever to walk on the fringe of society.

    Well, maybe it's not that gloomy.  The reason to my madness is that it should be discussed.  I think we are all aware of things being swept under a rug and not spoken about.  At our house I need to make sure this is not a secret issue, in all things I do.  And since blogging is one of the things I do, this will now be a part of it.  We will not call it Rowan's Mental Health.  So where does this story begin?

    Last year Rowan went to a Pre-K 3 class and all was well.  She knew everyone's name.  She was on top of all the social goings-on of the other 3 and 4 year olds.  She even did imaginary play at home with these kids.  Reenacting classroom scenes, doing problem solving by asking her ghost friends.  This year is different.

    This year, we are now in January, a full semester into school, and Rowan cannot tell us anyone she goes to school with this year.  I thought at the beginning of a school year it might take a little while to learn the new kids' names.  However, the time has long passed for that.  Be nice, I did notice before the winter break that this was happening. 

    We were planning on discussing this with the teacher at the next parent-teacher conference but then we had a little nudge to do something more.  Mostly, Rowan wanting to go to the restroom All. The. Time.  We thought she might have a bladder infection, etc.  We took her to the doctor to have the physical part checked out.  All o.k.  So now we are dealing with the psychological. 

    Today I did 3 things.  1)  I enrolled her into gymnastics.  A group activity with other kids not in her classroom.  Also, an activity I think she might like as it involves jumping on things like furniture.  We watched youtube videos of spectacular gymnastic feats this evening to inspire her to Olympic greatness.  We did not watch youtube blooper videos of gymnastic fails.

    2)  We had a parent-teacher conference.  There were some nagging questions I had.  Like, how did Rowan come home with great social skills on her report card yet have no knowledge of who she went to school with.  The teacher gave me the usual "she has no problems in class."  Then I took my glasses off.  This is my last straw sign.  I was determined to keep my cool and not blame the teacher.  I actually need her on our side.  I explained that sometimes there are other children who are problems in the classroom and they require so much attention that the good children start falling through the cracks.  The teacher liked this idea.  She also suggested that while most kids are already forming cliques, Rowan doesn't have an interest in that and wants to be friends with everyone.  I suggested Rowan has too many choices and it's making her crazy.  I also suggested we do this:  The teacher keep on working on her squeaky wheel problem students but stop giving Rowan too many choices for activities.  Give her two choices.  The teacher likes this and also participating in our next step.

    3)  Counseling.  This is such a dirty word, isn't it.  I am determined not to think so.  I am determined to get Rowan through this now and not deal with who knows what when she is a teenager.  What's the counseling for?  Because I, nor Jace, went to Super Duper Parent School and we've reached a brick wall on what to do.  We also know there are answers and skills to help us.  We don't think she'll need medication, she's often remarked as being a very good child in public.  We think she'll, and us, will get some skills for coping and interacting with others and making friends.

    What I'm afraid of?  We'll all end up in counseling.  Jace and I both grew up in homes that we are now repeating life problems, though less.   What I'm hopeful for?  Like I really have to say.  A healthy, happy child.

    Got any suggestions?  Please let me know.  As always, thanks for "listening" to my blog.


    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    How A Bike Rack Tried To Kill Me

    I wanted to post this earlier but I was afflicted by an upset tummy.  I have noticed this happening more and more and seems to coincide with the days I get up to get Rowan off to school.  This is part of my reasoning for wanting to homeschool.  I think my body is rebelling and saying, "You did the school thing growing up and now I'm not getting up early anymore!  I will make you pay for getting me up too early."  And it has.  Lucky for me Jace is getting her up tomorrow.  I don't suppose I could homeschool only on days that I have to get up with her. 

    Speaking of bad attitudes about school, Rowan was sent home a sort of test.  It has come to the teacher's attention that many of the kids can identify every letter of the alphabet and numbers and colors...when they are at home, but not in the classroom.  Rowan is one of these.  Our conversation at the last parent teacher conference consisted of the teacher saying she might not be cut out for school and should probably find a nice career in prison.  She could only identify 5 letters and 3 colors.  At home it's a different story.  She can identify 24 of 26 letters, she can count to 30 and knows all her colors, she's doing kindergarten level math, and we've started working on reading.  A classical example of not being able to test under pressure.

    Now to the bike rack.  In this weekly stroke of genius, I thought I should get a bike rack.  This is to help me get my bike to town so that I can spend hours and hours of riding with a gentle breeze through my hair and sunshine on my face. 

    My first obstacle was finding the darn thing.  I finally found one at Walmart.  It listed my car as acceptable for using this rack.  And no assembly!  Oh, how hard could this be? 

    I opened it.  So far so good.  I managed to make it look like it did in the picture.  Then I got tangled in the straps.  All I could think was Jace was going to come home to find me bound up in this rack thing unable to move.  I finally managed to get untangled and get the thing outside. 

    Once outside I did manage to put the bike rack onto the car fairly easily.  But then I had it too high, then too low.  That back window wiper thingy kept getting in my way. 

    Now that I had the bike rack on the car, I had to put the bike on it.  I had to lift the bike.  Hahahahahaha.  I'm a going to have to practice that.  I finally had to wait for Jace to get home to help me figure it out.  But we managed to get it strapped down and I drove around a little to see if it was stable.  It's still on there.  I'll let you know if I'm actually going to be able to manage to use it in town or if I'm going to just drive around looking cool like I might ride my bike somewhere.

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Triple J Farms... Mui Romantico

    I'm posting to plug Triple J Farms blog.  I noticed they were following the person who finally looked at my blog in Alaska...not to mention the 2 people in South America.  I was really stressing about Alaska since Sarah Palin lives there and I thought maybe she might be The One. 

    I'm supporting Triple J Farms  because it's THE most romantic, real blog I've seen in a long time.  I followed them before reading any posts, only because of their description line.  It might seem kitsche, or frivolous.  It says, down home and honest to me.  It appeals to my Live Better motto.  I hope you follow them...

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Making Butter....mmm

    Today I made butter.  I feel very Modern Pioneer.  That's a catchy name.  I just made it up. 

    Food is starting to become a real hot button issue.  People are beginning to not like overprocessed items or chemicals in their food.  I know I don't.  As I've become more educated about the things in food, I'm also learning how to change some of the things in my kitchen.  One thing I'm changing is butter.  It's really easy to make and we don't usually eat food drowning in it. 

     To make butter you will need heavy cream, a mixer of some sort, and salt is optional.  I used a food processor and 32 ounces of heavy cream for this batch.  I've also used one of those small food choppers to make smaller amounts.

    Simply pour the heavy cream (salt) into your mixer and push the on button.  It will take 5-10 minutes of mixing.  It will first become whipped cream.  Then it will become really whipped cream.

    When it becomes butter you'll know it.  It'll suddenly "seize" and look like scrambled eggs sitting in some water.  That water is buttermilk, which can be saved but I pour mine out. 

    You'll want to rinse the butter in cool water to make sure all the buttermilk is gone.  This step will help the butter last longer.  

    I packed the butter in a small container and pressed down to get all the water out.  This recipe made 1 lb. 2 oz. of real butter.  

    It's yummy.  It's fresh.  I know what's in it.  I'll be switching to organic cream next.  You can also use the cream from goat's milk, though it'll be harder to find.  Other options would be to add honey, garlic, or herbs.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    No Impact...Day 7 & 8

    Day 7 is a pretty short post.  The challenge was Giving Back.  I was supposed to be volunteering my time (or good manners) and give back to the community or open the door for people or walk old ladies across the street.  I had to work all day (read up at 4 a.m. and not home till 7:15 p.m. then to sleep to repeat the next day), so I didn't really do all those things.

    I'm actually not very comfortable getting into great detail about how I do give back.  Oh sure, I have a blog that screams "Look At Me!" but when talking about charitable contributions I don't want to post "Look at what a good person I am.  I am great.  I am fantastic. Blah blah blah."  And maybe it's just silly.  I'm going to list the four things I do but that's it.  No further explanation.

    I donate to my local Women's Shelter
    I donate to my local Food Bank
    I started a community Trade Day
    I send money to Yosemite Conservancy

    Day 8 EcoSabbath.  Today was supposed to be a day of reflection.  To reflect on the past week.  To enjoy family and friends.  I went to work.  I reflected on the past week, but it was more a sense of relief that I made it through the week.  Relief that I could go back to my "regular" way of life.  That I could be low/no impact on my own terms and not under pressure.

    I'm making some permanent changes and I'll write about those in regular posts.  Something like how a bike rack tried to kill me. 

    Here's something I know you've been waiting for.  A picture of my trash for the entire week. 

    Just over 4 cups.  I could probably have recycled some of this down even further.  

    Isn't this a cute picture?  This was the one and only thing I regret about doing this experiment.  Not the jello, not the picture.  What I regret is that I posted the picture.  I had mixed feelings about doing that because it opens the floodgates to strangers.  I posted the pic on the Yes! Magazine Facebook page for a chance to win a year's subscribtion. 

    One person felt it was their duty to point out the evils of jello.

     "Cynthia Koons- Is this JELLO???? Do you know how they make the stuff??? They have animal bones/carcasses shipped from South America and then boil them off for the gelatin, the people who work in the factories are prone to getting anthrax on their skin!

    January 6 at 6:09pm · LikeUnlike"
    She really likes the "?" key.  You can also read my nice, yet polite way of saying, "Hey, I don't know you and thanks for being a jerk!" if you go to the Facebook page.
    The truth is that it's boiled off for collagen, not gelatin, smarty pants.  Only the strictest vegetarians avoid gelatin and it's already in numerous foods that we all eat.  My family is not vegetarian. 
    Basically, I could've done without that comment, as the experiment was hard enough as is.  I was hoping this would've been a completely positive experience, but as the saying goes, "there's one in every crowd."

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    No Impact...Day 6

    Today's challenge was water.  I had big plans for this one.  I had even practiced last week.

    This is bathtub laundry.  See Rowan's doll?  She's waving at you.

    We had great fun stomping all over it.  We even used a natural laundry soap.  In the end it was a real pain.  Maybe if I only had a few items to wash every day this would work better.  So maybe what we should cut down on is how many outfits a 5 year old should wear in one day.  Just sayin. 

    Although I won't be giving up my washer, I do have serious plans about the dryer.  I did in fact buy a laundry umbrella last summer.  Once it's installed then it will dramatically cut down on the use of the dryer.  That'll be a huge energy savings.

    Back to the challenge.  Today was bill paying day.  Today I just happened to pay the water bill.  This time I took a good look at it.  I noticed something really great.  The No Impact information states that "The average American uses 1,189 gallons of water per day."  My water bill says we use 175 gallons per day.   And that's for 3 people!  So that's around 58.3 gallons per day for me compared to 1,189 gallons for the average American?  Yeah, I'm not cutting out my washing machine.  

    I can very happily say that we aren't watering our yard or washing our cars on a regular basis.  Bath time is always a shared event.  Rowan, very often likes to dress as a mermaid and jump in. 

    One weird thing I did today was weigh my mail.  On Fridays I go through the mail and pull out what we really need.  There's never much that needs our actual attention sooner than once a week.  Today I weighed the mail we really needed versus the mail we don't.  My results are 1.5 ounces of useful mail and 13.6 ounces of junk.  That has a lot of implications.  I'm receiving 13 times more stuff than I need.  The mail carrier is carrying 13 times more stuff than he needs to.  He's using more gas, etc. etc. than is 13 times necessary. 

    Basically it was a low eventful day.  I did do my first canning project, which will be another post next week.  Tomorrow's challenge is Giving Back.  I'll be working at my real job for the weekend so I won't be volunteering time for any organizations in town as suggested.  I'm not sure I'll have anything to post, but you never how things will turn out.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    No Impact...Day 5

    OMG!  This thing is lasting forever. 
    Today's challenge was Energy.  I didn't drive anywhere so this specifically meant No Electricity...for me.  Since the 2 wimps non players can't play like a big girl I have to leave some electricity on.  Specifically I left the clocks plugged in and the fridge on. 

    I did use some electricity for work, which is allowed.  I just couldn't rationalize doing some things and calling them work related.  I'm also doing this post because I don't have solar power to hook up my computer to.  Otherwise, unless it's business or related to this challenge I cut myself off from all other websites till Monday.  Just shoot me now.  I do get to check Facebook since that's where I'm receiving some instructions on this experiment and I have a business page and I'm really trying to rationalize it. 

    Jace is starting to take a little bit of pleasure in all my imposed suffering.  Take today.  He made coffee with the coffee pot, and he shared.  Very nice of him.  Afterwards he said, "you can turn off the coffee, I know the electricity is burning you." snicker snicker snicker.

    Tonight, he knows I can't watch a movie or turn on a light unless he does it for himself and I can share since I'm in the house.  He has figured out that he gets to choose what movie will be on.  So unless I want to sit in almost dark then I will be watching Blazing Saddles...again...for the 254th time.  The reason I say almost dark is because I have some oil lamps that will be used for reading and navigating in the dark. 

    The only anxious things that have happened today are getting this post in because I want to really give the no electricity thing a try tonight.  It's been a very relaxing day not having anything distracting me.  The other thing was getting dinner ready before the sun sets.  This meant I had to start cooking by 4 pm.  It's now almost 5 and I am just waiting for the turnip casserole stuffing cheesy thing I made to finish cooking.  We're also having the pan sausage and a salad of greens all from the farmer's market. 

    Tonight I will truly be going over to the dark side... Tomorrow's challenge:  Water...I think

    No Impact...Day 4

    I got in late last night and didn't want to mess with posting, so here's yesterday's post and there will be another post later before the sun goes'll see.

    As promised, here is my bike.  It's  a very laid back ladies' bike.  I feel a bit like the evil neighbor on the Wizard of Oz when I ride it.  I want another basket in the front.  Actually, I wish my little dog would ride in the basket on the back.  That would be cool.

    Day 4's challenge was Food.  Specifically to only buy food that is produced locally.  I did well with this.  With careful planning, I can easily make this work for my family.  My farmer's market is open on Tuesdays, so I planned ahead for this challenge by buying food on Tuesday.  There's other local/natural food sources close to where I work that I could practice planning and using more for increased efficiency in this area.

    These were the things I found at the market and will eat.  There were some other things that didn't appeal to me.
    Starting from the left:  Spinach, Blackberry Preserves, Local Honey, Turnip, Tomatoes.

    Grass fed pork pan sausage, Bison Meat, Carrots, Garlic.

    Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Pecans, and Eggs.

    I don't have a local source for milk yet and that's something we aren't going to give up.  Looks like I'll be doing some more investigating.  I found there's really an abundance of local food if I take the time to look around.  The grocery store really "blinds" you to all the other possibilities out there for food sources.  

    The last thing I did was go to the local meetup I organized.  I brought my own cup and they were happy to prepare my mocha and put it in there.  We don't grow coffee locally but I thought I was doing pretty good by buying from a local business, that offered it's space for the meetup, and I used my own cup.  I also have my own silverware in my purse now.  That really made me aware of how much I hate using restaurant utensils.  I think I will continue this practice.

    The meetup was very successful.  I found out there's a lot of people that are very resourceful in my town.  There's a couple that want to grow a garden on their roof and see if they can get other buildings to join in.  Another family is partially solar and collects all their rain water.  One man has learned and lives low impact and only lives one street away from me. 

    Things we accomplished was getting to know each other and making a plan for the next meetup.  We're going to do a trade day.  We'll promote it and invite people to bring their items they don't use, but are still in good condition, that they would like to trade or give away.  Everyone really liked this idea.  It keeps it in the community and out of the landfill.  I like Goodwill and Salvation Army but you never know where your stuff goes.  I'd like to try this as a step before I drop things off for donation.  We'll also have a small amount of time to bring up "Needs."  This will address things people need or need to have done and what they are willing to trade for it or the possibility that someone might have the item in need to lend or give.  

    Day 5's challenge is energy.  I'll have another post before the sun goes down! 

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    No Impact..Day 3

    I knew a few days ago I would not be able to do this particular challenge as well as I would've liked.  The timing was all wrong and so was the weather.  Today's challenge was Transportation and Take Action.

    I was thwarted in the transportation part because today was Market Day and the weather was out to get me.  Let me write you a picture...

    I have mentioned that I live in the country.  Eight miles exactly from the edge of town.  Those eight miles are a dangerous, trecherous journey of hills, narrow shoulders, and drivers who think they're in the General Lee. 

    Let's add to this that it was raining and I'm new at riding my bike in traffic again.  I had visions of wiping out and sliding through intersections.  Plus, it was freaking cold just standing still.  I wasn't about to add wind speed. 

    Most of you also know that I have a booth at the local farmer's market.  This requires me to drag a 6 foot folding table around, not to mention all my fabulous wares that I sell.  In my ignorance I just couldn't fathom how I would strap a 6 foot table to my bike without looking like an airplane and thus causing other drivers to crash into each other from staring at me thus making me lose control and go sliding through the intersection. 

    Taking public transportation was out of the question also because of the table issue and there doesn't seem to be any public transportation either.  I did succeed at the lowest level of participation, which was to group all errands together on one day and drive the shortest, most efficient route.  Yea me.  And since I rode my bike to the store the other day, I'm going to count that.  I will also try to get a pic of my bike up tomorrow.

    The other part of the challenge was Take Action.  It suggests taking part in their approved choices of organizations and notifying your congressman or senator about unclean air and water.  I did not like these choices.  I made up my own choice. 

    Part of the purpose of this whole experiment is learning to make things better in your own community.  So shouldn't that be where you participate, at your local community level?  I organized my own event for tomorrow evening.  I thought it might be very helpful to have people meet who are doing the No Impact Week, already living their life by these standards, or those who need a few tips and a little encouragement to make that transition of less wasteful/more resourceful.  I contacted the owner of a well known coffeehouse/live music/people ride their bikes place.  He saw me and said, "I know you!  I buy your stuff at the market."  So I've got free meeting space once a week if I want.  I'll let you know how it goes.

    Tomorrow's challenge:  Food

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Hideous Mind Blowing Terrors...or 7 Days of Posts

    If you follow with even the slightest smidge of interest then you know I am participating in No Impact Week.  It's a 7 day countdown of reducing waste and consumption.  It's not an all or nothing, just adapted to fit my life right now.  One part of the project is to blog about how it's going, the good and the bad, and to post every day.  So this I will be doing. 

    Today's challenge is Consumption.  Starting today I'm not to buy anything new except food.  It's ok for me to buy second hand or thrift stores.  I can also get an item through trade or gifting. 

    Jace and Rowan are not "official" participants, which means they get to cheat whenever they want.  Like today.  I planned to take my bike with me to the store and Jace was tuning it up a little and says I need a grease gun.  Except I can't buy one, I remind him.  So he might bring home a grease gun...thing.  I will try to make him wait till next week when this is over.  I'm pretty certain the bike will hold up for a week without it.

    I did go to the store by van and by bike.  This is a compromise I have worked out.  I live 8 miles from the edge of town.  The roads are little more hilly than I can manage with my weak chicken legs.  I decided to park at the edge of town and ride my bike to the store and back. 

    I did buy only food and as luck would have it I found a couple of freebie cards and a $25 gift card to the grocery store in my wallet that I had forgotten about.  Score! 

    My evaluation of today is that shopping was more of an experience for me.  I wasn't negotiating for a parking place.  In fact, I got to park closest to the door, practically in the store.  I also would never have gotten the chance to speak to the bum nice gentlemen who wanted to know if he could buy my bike. 

    Tomorrow's challenge:  Trash