Posts made in November, 2010

Bring It, Mother Nature

Posted by on Nov 23, 2010 in House Stuff, Preparedness | 1 comment

Bring It, Mother Nature

Have you heard that we’re in for the worst winter since time began?  Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it’s supposed to be brutal.  Just last week I said, bring it, Mother Nature.  Try me.

Well, if this morning is any indication, this season is not kidding around.  We got about 3 inches at our house last night.

Even though we’ve been busy with the beginning of lots of home updates (before and after photos soon!) Ray had the foresight to do some important winter prep last week before things got snowy and frozen.  This will mark our third (and probably worst) winter in our home, and over the years we’ve collected some crafty/DIY  techniques for winterizing that have served us well.  There are two main tasks for having a warm and dry home this winter.

1. Prevent frozen pipes

Start outside by wrapping any of your exposed water pipes (as well as any pipes on external walls in the basement) with insulated material to prevent them from freezing.  Our spigots stick out unusually far, so we like to wrap them in clean, dry rags with a plastic bag duct-taped over the top.  You can also purchase styrofoam cones made specifically for this purpose, or just use anything else you have lying around. The most important thing is to add a waterproof layer (like plastic) on the outside.  Soggy rags wrapped around your pipes will do no good once they freeze solid.

Once the temperature drops, we leave the cabinet doors under our sink open in order to allow the air from inside the house to keep the pipes a little warmer.  Another alternative is to let the faucet drip all night, but we’ve never done this for obvious water-wasting reasons.

2, Locate and prevent drafts

Here’s an awesome trick for locating less-than-obvious drafts: Light a stick of incense and hold it near the edge of a window, door, or even baseboards of an external wall.  If the smoke blows around or gets sucked outside, you have a warm air leak.  Our house is almost 100 years old with single pane windows and little insulation, so we have plenty of drafts.

If you can stick the incense entirely through the window like we can, that’s an entirely different problem.

Crafty solutions for drafts include:

  • Caulk
  • Homemade draft-blockers (I sewed a tube of polar fleece and filled it with rice).
  • Insulated curtains (I used thermal multi-layer material, but you could also use batting, wool, fleece, old comforters, or any thick material that will act as a blanket for the window.)

Stay warm and dry today!

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Buckwheat Hull Pillows

Posted by on Nov 18, 2010 in House Stuff, How-To, Wellness | 3 comments

Buckwheat Hull Pillows

Ever since I read about buckwheat hull pillows I’ve been wanting to try them out – craftiness and ec0-friendly, toxic free living combined into one project?  Yes!

So a couple of months ago I purchased some organic cotton and followed this zippered pillow case tutorial.  I ordered my organic buckwheat hulls from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I used about 2 pounds in my pillow (I like really flat pillows) and Ray’s pillow is sitting around 3-4 pounds.

They took some getting used to, but we’re both loving our new pillows.  Buckwheat hulls are great because they offer firm but flexible neck support.  You have to dig a little divot for your head, and they’re kind of loud when you roll over – but it feels great to be sleeping on something organic and sustainable.  Plus, the cases are fully washable and the hulls can be aired out during washings.  These will last us for years and years!

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3rd place finish and one hell of a 2010 Season

Posted by on Nov 1, 2010 in Ultimate | 1 comment

2nd Place Finish at Worlds.

Tied for 3rd at Nationals.

Another season full of great memories with a terrific cast of characters has come to an end. 2010 has been one of the best years of my life. I got hitched. Was able to travel across Europe with friends and family. And was coaxed out of retirement/time-off to join the fish for another magical run through Nationals where surprises (good and bad) seem to lurk around every corner.

I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded with so many wonderful and inspiring people in my life (and BJ). Thanks to everyone who called/texted me with happy birthday thoughts, I am anxious to get back to Seattle to see everyone.

What does the future have in store for me? I don’t know and I’m not ready just yet to move on from this season.

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