I ran across this tip on another blog recently but figured I’d never have an opportunity to try it out. So imagine my conflicting emotions when I came across a scratch on our brand new bamboo floors (oh no!) that was a perfect candidate for this treatment (woo hoo!). Ray must have thought I was crazy when I pointed out the scratch and then hopefully asked, “do we have any walnuts?”
We just happened to have a bag of walnuts leftover from the grain-free pumpkin pie, so I grabbed one and took it for a spin. I simply rubbed it firmly along the scratch, then gently wiped away the oily residue. Two seconds later, the scratch was practically gone! The scratch was pretty minor to begin with, but I actually had a hard time locating the scratch for the “after” photo.
Excited, I crawled around the room, secretly hoping for more scratches. I found a few more offenders that my walnut took care of.
Small Business Saturday is this weekend. Support your local small businesses!Read More
I’ve received a few requests lately for our homemade laundry detergent recipe. We’ve been making our own laundry detergent for a few years now and we absolutely love it. There are two main reasons why this stuff is awesome:
1. Its less toxic than commercial detergent. Typical soaps leave behind a lot of crap that can be absorbed through your skin, and our bodies are in constant contact with things that have been washed in detergent – underwear, sheets, towels, etc. Don’t get me wrong, our stuff is plenty toxic, but it washes pretty clean. Your clothes don’t come out smelling like a spring rain lemon lavender rain forest. They come out smelling like nothing, which is what real clean smells like.
2. It’s dirt cheap. We spend about $10 a year on detergent supplies and they last forever.
For the skeptics out there, I swear, this stuff just works. Here’s how I know. I spent a week in Spain several years ago and practically lived in my Patagonia puffy coat. It also served as a blanket/pillow on trains. When I got home the thing was filthy, especially the collar, where there was this gross sheen of makeup and grime. I doused it in Shout and then washed it once in whatever commercial detergent we were using at the time, and it came out of the washing machine looking exactly the same. I was bummed and threw it in the closet, only to be worn when doing yucky yard work. A few weeks later we made our first batch of homemade detergent, and I decided to wash it again. That jacket came out clean as a whistle and I was sold.
We’re able to find all of the ingredients at our local Fred Meyer:
One bar of Fels Naptha soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1/4 cup OxyClean (optional)
Step 1. Grate the Fels Naptha on a cheese grater.
Step 2. Mix in the other ingredients and you’re done!
Don’t worry about the mixture being homogeneous, just give the container a shake before each use. Use 2 tablespoons per load. We add the soap first and start the cycle on hot for about 60 seconds in order to allow the soap to dissolve a bit, then switch to the desired water temperature.Read More
Last weekend Ray and I participated in The Long Walk, an open-source art project commissioned by 4Culture and the Seattle Department of Parks and Resources. Basically, it was a 3-day walk from Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls using the King County trails system. But also, the project leaders hoped that The Long Walk would “clear a path and provide a trail, as it were, for you (as a part of our temporary collective of itinerant, playful, trail trampers) to autonomously create an interstitial culture and engage in poetic reciprocity with your fellow walkers, the Regional Trail System, and the diverse surroundings we will be traveling though.”
The group consisted of about 50 people, ranging from young to old, from artsy/theatrical to well, me. Ray and I were mostly interested in doing the walk because it was so unusual. Who knew you could walk to Snoqualmie Falls? How cool would it be to say we did?
I’ll just come out and say it. The walk was fucking hard. I can typically hold my own in these types of situations. I’ve hiked until I puked. I’ve ridden my bike from Seattle to Portland. Twice. C’mon, I thought. I can walk for three days, no problem. We didn’t even have to carry our camping stuff!
The walking became a problem right around when the blisters started appearing. For some people the “hot spots” sprouted within the first few hours. For others they came on more gradually throughout the weekend. A few people never developed any blisters, like Ray, whose feet are practically hooves after playing Ultimate in tight cleats for so many years. I had baby blisters by day 2 and angry papa blisters by day 3.
Parts of the walk were pretty disappointing, such as the hours we spent trudging along the highway with the sun beating down and cars roaring past. At times these highway portions were outright dangerous, and other times just plain annoying. The asphalt hurt our feet and the surroundings hurt our spirit. But there were also hours upon hours of beautiful, shaded trails, river crossings, and good company. Not only were our good friends Nathan, Morgan, Jacob and Ryan along for the walk, but the rest of the walkers were generally fun, funny, and interesting people.
In the end, all but 3 people made it to the falls on foot, and I was one of those 3 people. The group had stopped at a diner in Fall City, 2 miles out from our final destination. We had to hike about 1.5 miles off the trail in order to get to the diner, and with each slow, blister-squishing step, my determination dwindled. I had blisters on the balls of both feet and one pinkie toe, and two bug bites the size of small children clinging to the back of my leg. I know I wasn’t the worst off out of our entire group, but for me, it was enough. After lunch I caught a ride to the falls with the other 2 quitters and it was one of the best decisions I made all weekend! To put it into perspective: the car ride took about 8 minutes. But the trails were so circuitous and the walkers were so worn down that the first walkers didn’t start arriving at the falls for two more hours. So I got an iced coffee, stared at the falls, dog-watched, lost my sunhat and just chilled out. It was amazing.
Our ride home was an off-brand party bus – the outside looked like Metro but the inside had a dance-floor area and neon lights stretching down the insides. I really wasn’t in the mood to party but it was a weird and ultimately fun way to end the weekend.Read More
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