Friday, December 16, 2011

When life gets in the way, get back to Natural!

November and December are all about family and love and all that other crap !
I'm sure this sounds extremely selfish or snarkey or what have you. But for the fair part of my life these two months have traditionally been known as a difficult time. For our family, in the last 8-10 years it has become, "What the hell is ganna happen this year?".
I'm stepping aside from the usual blog of " How to's ". To spout off some personal philosophy, so get ready!
I spent a fair part of my teenage years with depression, like a numerous amount of teenagers.
My parents sent me to therapy , I ran the gambit of anti-depressants. All of which failed , they only made me into a walking drone of a person, made me sick, or just made my symptoms worse with added psychosis.
Until my parents had started reading about something called St.Johns Wort. If your not familiar with it. St. Johns Wort is a beautiful yellow flowering plant, that is used for treating depression. It has very FEW side effects ( makes you photo sensitive-you tan/burn easy and or light is just brighter to your eyes, and if you are pregnant it can cause uterine cramping which could lead to a miscarriage). BUT when used properly it is a WONDERFUL herbal antidepressant! So at the age of 16 I started taking it.
I happen to have a Dr who was very comfortable with the use of herbal/homeopathic meds, which helped a lot!
I'm comfortable enough to know when I need it and when I don't. Right now is one of those times of year when I just naturally start up my SJW. I'm also prone to having seasonal affect disorder, Minnesota winters=Seasonal affect Disorder.
A few years ago I had my gall bladder removed, and didn't realise that my depression came back with a vengeance. What some people don't realise is that when your body suffers a trauma such as surgery, your depression can come back. I know.. weird!
After I recognised what was happening I started seeing a therapist again who actually happened to be a homeopathic therapist. She suggested that I try using Flower Essences because of my successful history with SJW.
Copied from FES
What are Flower Essences:
Flower essences are herbal infusions or decoctions, made from the flowering part
of the plant, which uniquely address emotional and mental aspects of wellness.
The first 38 flower remedies were formulated by a British physician, Dr. Edward
Bach, in the 1930's, although new remedies from other plant species are now
How do flower essences work?

To understand how flower essences work requires a
recognition that the human being is more than a physical body, but also
incorporates a "body" of life energy, a "body" of sensitivity and feelings, and
a spiritual essence or Self. Flower essences are energetic imprints of the life
force of plants which interact with these subtle bodies of the human being, and
evoke specific qualities within us. We can say that they work in a similar way
to inspirational music or art, which carry meaning through the vehicle of sound
or light, while the flower essences work through the medium of water.
Modern physics has known for nearly a century that matter
and consciousness are intertwined. However, medical science still generally
works with a nineteenth century model of the human being as a mechanism in a
world of machines. We expect that in the coming century medical science will
develop ways of studying the impact of consciousness on health, and we will
learn more about the ways in which flower essences work. However, empirical
research, which consists of the collection of case studies and practitioner
reports, will remain the primary source of knowledge about how flower essences
So now you have a little bit of a better understanding of the stuff I use to keep me Rock'n and Roll'n!
I've tried to be as natural when it comes to my med's. All with the exception of my A.D.D.
So far I've yet to find much that can replace Ritalin, Its what works. I've had a few Dr's try to switch me to something that was a non stimulant but why fix something that isn't broke?
In the last year or so I have change quite a bit of how I eat (Good fats- avocados,coconut oil,lots of eggs) and I've noticed that I don't need as large of a dose of my A.D.D. meds. Here's a clue... your brain is made of fat... your brain needs fat to function. Our society has become afraid of fat because they think it will make them fat. SUGAR makes you fat, it messes with your insulin levels and if it isn't burned off quickly (which it is designed for). It gets stored as yep.. you guessed it Fat!
I'm not a super uber eat all organic type, because we cant afford it. But we try to get as much farmers market meats during the spring and summer. We grow quite a bit of our own veggies during the spring and summer too. Nothing is better then walking in the back yard and just eating straight out of the garden.... Little dirt wont hurt you !

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Halloweenie one of sorts

Since I was old enough to comprehend the fact that if I wore a costume and walked up to someones house "THEY WOULD GIVE ME CANDY and... I can DRESS UP??!??!?"
I'm a Halloweenie!
About 8 years ago I started setting up the front yard display , much like those freaks who put out xmas crap the day after Thanksgiving.
Last year I started making some of the props and decorations.
I used to just buy a lot of it after Halloween on clearance, no use in paying full price (Unless you really want it and or think its going to sell out fast-rarely does this occur).
Actually my birthday is the week before Halloween so my mom would give me all my presents (yard decorations and such) the week after.
So this leads me to the reason for this blog, If you can see it, Try to make it. There are SOOOooo many online resources for making pretty elaborate Halloween yard decorations, animatronic's and even full blown light displays. I'm about 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to my building know-how. So I'll start with something that is pretty easy to make but still will impress.
My skull headstone fountain

  • First you need the medium sized Cauldron (They sell them EVERYWHERE during Halloween-so check the dollar store)
  • Then you need some Pink Foam board (Its used for hot tub cover insulation its about 2 inches thick) - Hardware store ( cut for your desired shape for head stone, Measure the foam so it fits snugly inside the fountain. This is Foam remember it will float a bit if its too loose.
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Foam Skull- I cut the back portion of the skull ( Everything behind the Coronal Sutu- for you anatomy buffs) I'm pretty sure this skull came from one of those "grab bag" style bags of foam bones.
  • 9/16 Clear Tubing- Cut it to your desired length (Hardware store)

  • 30 gallon per hour fountain pump-(Garden supply store, Walmart)
  • Mist Maker with LED- Sometimes they are called fountain mister, or Fountain FOGGER.

This next Item is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL! Its technically a surgical cautery pen, HOWEVER , they do sell them at Joanne's or Michaels in the Bead section(They don't call them Surgical cautery pens, I believe its a hot cutter pen?-This is what I used to engrave the words and cut a more precise opening for the tube to be placed in the skulls nasal cavity.

  • Ok Now for the fun, take your time! Carve the Head stone it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Use Acrylic Paint because its weather friendly. You can use straight gray or look up some stone technique painting tricks on youtube if you want it fancy.

Depending on where you place the fountain determines weather or not you want the back painted, I place mine against a wall so the tubes don't show as much.

(Editing notes- You can carve the letters and paint them before you paint the full headstone-its up to you)

  • Wait till the paint has dried then carve the letters for what ever you want for "Wording" on your headstone. The cautery works wonderful just remember, its hot and your melting foam. ALWAYS be in a well ventilated area.

I'm not a technical person by any stretch of the imagination, so bear with me. This was done purely by trial and error. As a matter o-fact I have A.D.D. like you wouldn't believe.

  • Glue the skull near the top of the head stone with the hot glue gun, after it has cooled/dried . Paint the skull to match the stone.
  • Then with either the cautery or something sharp (I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU IF YOU GET HURT-MAKE AT YOUR OWN RISK) Cut the hole through the nasal cavity that goes all the way through the headstone. This is where the tube will drain water to look like the nose is constantly running.
  • Also you might need to "Work" the clear plastic tube over the fountain pump to fit. It will be a tight fit but it will stay attached pretty well.
  • Place the fountain pump in the back/bottom of the cauldron, fill with water till it starts to come out of the tube (Don't forget to plug in the fountain)
  • Adjust the flow of the pump to your desired drippage.

Once this is all done then place the fogger inside the front of the cauldron, you can run the cord along side the head stone to camouflage the cord.

If you have any questions you can find me on The Garage Of Evil- Its a Halloween How To site

Here is a link of the fountain in action

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living the dream

Roughly 12 years ago I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for the first time.

I went with my boyfriend at the time who was always talking about how much fun it was, how magical it was.

That hour changed my life.... Yes I only got to spend an hour because the moron I was dating at the time got us lost (looking back I still feel like an idiot because of how easy it is to find ).

I didn't get to make it back till 2 years later, The weekend after Sept 11th. Everyone who was in attendance that weekend was all looking for the same thing, an escape from the nightmare we all shared a few days earlier. To top it off I had just found out that I was pregnant with my oldest child a that week . I was 20 years old, my second year of college and single. I was a complete mess.

Walking into grounds that afternoon changed my life, some people say (and I agree) that the first time you walk through that gate it feels as if you have come HOME.

It really is so hard at times to describe what it is that brings me back, I often describe it as "My Happy Place".

Where else can YOU become apart of the story?
Music from every corner, wonderful crafting merchants, costumes, dancing, singing, flirting,playing.
There is No Judgement, Everyone is Family there.
Plus the added bonus for someone like me is the HUGE pagan community that frequents fest.

This year I joined the Shakopee Jaycees and now I'm living the dream, Selling beer for a wonderful organisation that helps the community.

I've worked for another non-profit since shortly after I graduated High school, so I'm familiar with how things work.

I attended a few meetings of the Jaycee's before Fest started.I went through orientation, got to know a few of the people in the group.
I was signed up to work at Mac's Pub. The secret of all great secret pub's at MN RENFEST. Its right behind the pavilion and the jousting area.

So my adventure begins, after the first weekend of working out there I was given the option of being a "Silent Hawker".
To those who aren't familiar with the Hawkers at any Renaissance Festival, I pity you. These are the people who YELL AT YOU from a distance to lure you into purchase their goods. In my case the pub that I work at : Mac's Pub. We have live music that plays there all day long, you can't yell at people and disturb the music- NO BUENO!
So my friend Jim, who also works at Mac's pub created "Silent Hawking", by making wooden signs that have funny pictures on them. A lot of people were sceptical when Jim first made these signs; "Really , you think these are going to work?"
Let me tell you.. THEY FREAKING WORK!
When people ask me " What do you do out at Fest? "
I tell them.. " I stand on a bench for 4 hours a day (2x 2hour shifts) holding wooden signs, enticing people to buy beer. I smile, wink, make faces, occasionally get propositioned".
In the first time that I was a silent hawker I must have gotten my picture taken at least 50 times.
For a little while I contemplated making a "Fan Page" on facebook.
Well that only took another week.
I created the page also to tell all the little funny stories that happen while I'm working at fest along with all the pictures people take. The trick is finding the pictures!? So if you happen to stumble upon photos of "Romani Jax"- Help a Girl out and tag them! Oh and "Like" my page while your at it! LOL
Now to the whole purpose of this post, when you find something in your life that you love so much you cant even explain it, you must experience it. Get involved and DO IT.
If the joy in your life is lacking, find the things that make you happy and DO IT!
There is nothing worse then having that feeling of "Maybe I should have, I wish I could have.. blah blah blah.. "
The people in your life ,who truly understand you , WILL UNDERSTAND!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Knowing when to Back the eff away!

So our "Dream Home" became "That of which Nightmares are made".
Its taken me about a month to accept walking away from the"Dream" house. It wasn't quite as heartbreaking as I make it out to be.
The best way I can describe it is that it was like finding an injured animal, thinking you could take it to the vet, and then finding out that you have to put it to sleep and walk away.
We knew walking into it that we had a few things we needed to fix. But then those "Minor" things turned into what could have been a "MAJOR" financial nightmare for a family of our income level.
We knew there was water damage that needed fixing, peeling paint that needed to be painted and a corn stove that needed to either be installed properly or removed.... NO problem.. right.. WRONG.
We were given a decent amount of time to go in before we closed to repair these problems . So it started with myself going to the house and painting a few small spots on the exterior of the house.. no prob.. done.... only took like an hour.
The next step was for us to remove some sheet rock that had been damaged from water leaking..... Here's where the nightmare begins.
So when we initially looked at the house in March, There WAS NO EVIDENCE of water damage....That is because it was MARCH..... everything outside was frozen. If we had seen water damage and or mold we would not have put a bid on the house. Flash Forward to June- VA appraisal says .. "Mold and Water Damage".
My instinct was to get a little worried, The Hubz... not worried. He's handy, he can fix things. We looked into how to remove mold. I learned that If its not a significant amount, you can do it yourself. Its not that hard, Find the source of water, fix that. Then remove the mold, bleach and clean up. Then properly dry the area(Fans, De-humidifiers).
WELLLLLLLL here's where it turned into a shit storm. My mother kept telling me this entire time to go there when it was STORMING... then I could see where the natural source of water was coming from . So that's what I did.
There was a pretty hard storm that Friday morning. ( The evening before The hubz and I removed about 60% of the infected drywall). I showed up at the house while it was pouring rain. The moment I opened the front door I could hear the sound of splashing water coming from the basement. I ran down the stairs, to find the basement window POURING water into the basement. I ran back up the basement stairs through the kitchen to the back of the house to see water falling directly from the CLOGGED GUTTERS, falling straight down to the basement window. So my stupid ass decides I'm going to bail out the window like a man in a sinking dingy, all the while there is an electrical storm. I then proceeded to rig a piece of plywood against the window so the water would hit that and run down into the lawn... It didn't matter because after about 10 minutes I found out that the water from the clogged gutters was running behind the siding of the house and going DIRECTLY into the basement window still.
Here's the basement window looking frighteningly enough like an Aquarium.... This was 10 minutes AFTER I bailed them out. You can see the water pouring down both sides . What you don't see is to the immediate left is the POWER BOX to the whole house.
So here I am, sitting at the top of the steps of this house , crying like I did when I had to put my cat to sleep. There was nothing we could do but to WALK AWAY... I text the hubz( he was at work). Told him this house was going to become a money pit. And that was that, DONE.
Walked away, It hurt because we were so close to being home owners. So now we are taking a break from this and when we feel its right we will start up again. At least its nice to not be as stressed out.
Thinking back on this I kept on "Asking for a sign" weather or not this was the right place. When I went in the back to bail out the window, a HUGE flash of lighting and the loudest crash of thunder I had ever heard.
I also learned the most important thing, NEVER MESS WITH THE 4 Elements, when it comes to a house because, Earth, Air , Fire and Water mean business!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting a deal on a house.

Getting a deal on the house of your dreams, while living the nightmare of a short sale.
Add Image
The hubs and I have been together since April-06 We had actually met 2 years prior while I was working at the local country bar.... (I know, You never pictured Moi working at a Country bar-I was selling pull tabs for a charity). We were married in April of 2008.
So now to the guts of the story, We have been living at my Mothers house this whole time... well... I've been here my whole life, never moved out. Never needed to. We have our little agreement with my Mom, we cover a large portion of the bills as rent.
As things go, we need more space! The kids need space. I would like to be able to OWN something, Be able to make the changes We want. So back in March the hunt began for our home.
First thing is first: Listen To your Parents and Friends when it comes to house hunting, They know a thing or 6.
We found a house that we absolutely loved - the first one we walked in. It was old, needed work. Which at first didn't bother us. But there was still something that just didn't feel right. So we went and looked at a few more houses.
On our 6 or 7th house we found our dream house. It was the first one that both the Hubz and I had the collective... " Yes , I really like this one!" 5 Bedrooms 3full bath's and the icing on the cake... 6 car garage! I can still hear Craig's surprised " HOLY SHiiiiiiiiiittttttt!" echoing through the garage when John our real estate agent opened the garage door.
Now for the pain in the ass news.... its a short sale.. ughhhhhhh!
For those of you who don't know what a short sale is, remember this: Its a LONG SALE.
In theory a short sale is when a mortgage is in trouble of being foreclosed on and the seller/owner is trying to sell it before the bank takes it away from them. Banks don't like to do this because they take a loss. BUT from a Buyer's point of view , You can get one hell of a deal!
The house we put a bid on , we will be paying 58% less the amount the current seller paid for it in 2007. HUGE Savings !!! HUGE!!
I had been wanting to start house hunting for the past few years so I started buying books on buying homes, with emphasis on Foreclosures. Because of the fact you can sometimes get a SUPER deal ! But with a deal comes the crap.
We put in our offer on the house March 28th 2011, fully knowing that it could be 3 weeks -It could be 3 months..... It will be 3 months as of tomorrow. We are sooooo freaking close I can taste it!
The process started with us putting in an offer, and signing what felt like 40 pages of the same thing over and over.
Our Real Estate Agent John kept reminding us " This is a short sale..... The winner in a short sale is the patient person, If you really want this house you have to be willing to wait it out. "
So began the waiting game, in the mean time we kept on looking online at houses to see if anything sparked our interest.
When someone puts an offer in on a short sale, it roughly takes about 2 weeks for the bank to even see the file on their desk . Thanks to the shit storm of foreclosures in the past few years, this department of the bank is a VERY busy department.
After a month and a day, we got the notification that the next step was the BPO- Broker Price Opinion. To put it in layman's terms... Someone from the bank is ganna drive by the house and see if it is priced appropriately for the neighborhood.
In the mean time most of the negotiations and counter offers that came after were all minor, (Negotiating the percent that the seller will pay for closing, title company stuff )
If you are planning on buying a house , Look into what the local county has for first time home buyer deals, The house we are purchasing right now is in Dakota County. Depending on your income you can pretty much get all your closing costs paid for with the first time home buyer bond program. The catch is that you have to take a home buyers class... TOTALLY WORTH THE MONEY!!! We took the 8 hour class on a Saturday morning and learned so much about the home buying process, not only from the teacher but also the stories from the other people taking the class.
So as of the last few weeks the biggest hurdle we had was finding out that the house had a second mortgage. In a short sale, ALL the money (our money)goes to the first mortgage. The second mortgage wants to get paid too. So the mortgage insurance policy that was taken out on the first went to the second mortgage.... You following me still??... Well guess what they wanted more then the policy was paying..... ( $5000 policy--- they wanted $10,000) ... So we Wait..... and wait.... Then comes the phone call from our agent.... "The second mortgage is willing to make this go faster if you contribute towards the additional $5000".
My first reaction... HELL NO! That's not my problem.... Patience is the key... and that key will open the front door to my new house! Let them continue their monetary cat fight! All the while The Hubz and I sit back and save more money for the house.
So WHAM BAM.... Fast Forward to This morning.
I receive an email from our Real Estate Agent John , stating that we have a clear to close letter from the mortgage insurance company and the next few steps are getting an Appraisal, getting an Inspection and then a lightening speed closing!
Wooooo this has been a long wait but my life's lesson for this year has definitely been PATIENCE!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Bound and Determined , watching endless youtube video's,I taught myself how to crochet. This insanity actually started 2 winters ago, when I wanted a sweater with a skull on it. So I started searching "Skull Sweater" on google. Low and behold I found a website with a knitting pattern of a skull sweater. My first reaction was "YES!!!" then it was..." Oh shit I have to learn how to do that. "

So , like I always do, I jumped in before testing the water. I started with learning the basics of knitting. And I learned that I suck at knitting. Then I remembered that seeing an infomercial from a few years back for a machine called "The Ultimate Sweater Machine". Shortly after that I purchaced one and started with the basics of "getting to know" the machine. My first real useable item ended up being a pillow case because I couldnt quite understand how to do a lot of the crappy patterns that were given with the machine. It really took me an entire winter of messing around with the machine to figure out the tricks of it. Once I got the hang of it I started looking for patterns.

FYI: Finding patterns for the USM is not an easy task. You can convert most patterns from books to it but its a pain in the ass. When you have kids running around you all the time it makes for some hard concentration. Then I found a few youtube video "How-to's" to make some easy projects (Mittens, Scarfs, Hats). I made a few pairs of mittens and a bunch of scarfs, it was fun. Then one day I thought, "What the Hell are you doing.... Our Family Doesn't Knit... They Crochet!!!"

And when I say "Our Family" I mean seriously.

Dad,Grandma(Mom's mom)My Aunt's on both sides, and so many others. My Mom is the only rogue knitter out of the group. My Grandmother can do both , and from what I've learned, most people do one or the other its rare if you can do both well.

My Father.. yes I said my FATHER, is a fabu crocheter or as I like to refer to it as "A member of the Happy Hooker Club". I am still in the "Prospect" stage (S.O.A. reference). But I'm turning out pretty decent stuff.

Below are two items my Father has made, The Butterfly table cloth was a wedding gift to My Husband and Me.

And this was my Brother and His Wife's Christmas Gift.

Let me get sidetracked for a moment because that's what I do.. Back in the early 1970's when my Grandfather was in the hospital (Mom's Dad) dieing of brain cancer. They would all go to visit, and most of the down time would be spent crocheting to pass the time/keep them busy/keep thier minds off the fact that Grandpa was in so much pain. Finally after being so completely driven crazy with boredom my Father said to my Mom and Aunt and Grandma and my Great Aunt Ella.

" FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, Someone Teach me !"

Little to everyone's surprise my Dad happend to be the only one out of ALL of them who could read a pattern.

And when I say read a pattern I mean he could understand the foreign language that is crochet patterns. (Google one, you'll be freaked out at first... Promise.)

As soon as my Great Aunt Ella found out he could read patterns she would buy them and have him make a sample and she would take it apart so then she could make what ever the item was. This is actually very common in my family,we are visual learners. Its only been the last few years that I have been able to read a book and comprehend how to do something with out pictures to dumb it down for me.

I live in a house that is filled with hand made blankets, so many infact that I have called cousin's asking if anyone DOESN'T have one to let me know, so I can pass one down thier way.

Skills like this are slowly disapearing because everyone is getting so disconnected from the old ways. If you don't have someone to teach you how to do this then teach yourself! Its really not that hard. Its a great skill to learn because you now have endless ways of making gifts or things for you house. At times it can get a little out of hand because you find yourself asking " hmmm should I really make this? Do I really need a toilet bowl cozy?" Know your limits! hahaha..

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Play in the Dirt... ITS GOOD FOR YOU!

Photo is from June of 2010

As far back as I can remember, I've had a garden at my house. Its been easy to slack this year in gardening due to the crappy ass weather we've had.

Honestly I don't EVER remember EVER it snowing in May. Well Its happend more then once this year/month and frankly.... This weather just sucks.

So to my suprise my sister in law Amanda, brought me some plants a few days ago.

A cute little flat of pansies and the perfect amount of strawberries to fill my strawberry pot!

And So it shall Begin!!!!

The Theme for Today's Blog is to keep Gardening Simple, and Gardening will keep your Sanity :)

A few years ago The Hubz and I started doing "Square Foot Gardening" after reading about it in Mother Earth News---- Yeah, its a magazine that is just as hippy sounding as the name. BUT... Don't fear the hippies... I secretly am one myself!

And now your asking.. "What is Square foot gardening??

To put it simply, Raised Bed gardening . Instead of using the Row method, use one foot squares. You grid out your garden and plant within the square. You can plant/grow according to how many people are in your household too. I highly recomend getting this book if you are a gardener.

Remember those days of it taking hours to weed a huge garden. That won't happen anymore when you SFG. Your only weeding a 4x4 box . The soil is so light that a few pinches and the weeds are gone.

The soil is a mix of Organic Composted Manure,Pearlite, and Peat Moss. You don't walk on it like you would a regular garden so the soil is always light and moisture rich.

The only fertilzer you need is Blood meal or Bone meal. This way your keeping it chemical free.

I still do a standard garden for things like corn (You can do them in the SFG, but I dont want to use up that kind of space for a few stalks of corn)

I grow potatos in huge plastic buckets that you would get at Target,Menards,Home depot . I use light potting soil for them so I can use my hands to dig them out.

I have started calling my gardening hobby "Dirt Therapy". On the days that I'm feeling especially disconnected with things and I need a reality check. I head out to the back yard and cram my hand in the dirt and start planting, plucking, seeding, sifting , digging, searching sometimes eating what is growing. It helps a lot. Some people meditate, I play in the dirt.

How to make your Dyson work like its brand new!

I wanted to originally try to post things that EVERYONE can do. This post happends to be a special exception.

I have a Dyson Vaccum. I love it, sometimes more then most people should love a vaccum. After about 6 months of regular use, I began to notice that it wasnt quite getting as good of a job done.

I use this thing sometimes in upwards of 3-5 times a day.

I have kids... I have cats... I have a Minnesota winter that brings the beach indoors every winter.

I realize that not everyone has a spiffy vaccume like this, but if you do this will help keep it running like its brand new!

What you will need :

  • Torx 15 Screw Driver

    Looks like this

  • Paper towels

  • Baby bottle Brush

  • Possbily a Hair Dryer if you want to do a speed cleaning.

Step One : Remove canister from the vaccum

Step Two: Open and remove two filters from the top of the canister

Step Three: Remove the screws with the Torx 15 screwdriver.

Step Four: Remove the White Plastic top of the cyclone canister.

Underneath the white plastic top there is black rubber washer type thingy, I dont know what its called. Shown in the next photo

Pull this piece out too.

Now your left with the cyclone assembly ready to be cleaned.

Here's a shot from the bottom of the canister, Look how nasty mine was before I rinsed it out... BARF!!

Step 5: Rinse, and Rinse and Rinse till you think you can't rinse no more through the top of the cyclone part, Then... Flip it over and rinse it again and again from the bottom. Yes, This is gross, but it will be worth it. Then take the baby bottle brush and scrub out each of the cyclone tubes then rinse again. I use the kitchen sink because of the sprayer blasts all the dust and crud out.
Once you have thoroughly washed out the cyclone part of the canister, then rinse and clean out the clear can part of the canister. Lay out paper towels and let them DRY OVER NIGHT!!!



But if you are the impatient type... THEN AT YOUR OWN RISK.... you can use a hair dryer on the setting with no heat to dry it. BUT..... and that's a BIG BUT..... I AM NOT RESPOCIBLE FOR YOU BREAKING YOUR VACCUM, or electricuting yourself! MKAY..... GOT IT... GOOD!

Now, Remember those two filters from the begining of this "How To". Rinse those out as well and let those air dry for at least 12 hours and or overnight.

When everything is dry, Re-assemble and Enjoy!

I recommend cleaning out the Dyson every few months. It keeps it running like its brand new.

Also if you happend to see one of these little lovely's at a Pawn Shop ( I've seen MANY !!)

SUPER CHEAP compaired to brand new retail price.

You now know how to properly clean it out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What the hell do I do with all this crap from my garden?

Let me introduce you to my friend Mason,

No, Not the boy across the street.

This Pretty Blue Jar!

Last summer , My husband came home with a box full of them. And said "Here, now we can keep all the tomatos,and Cucumbers and Beets, that you have no idea what to do with at the end of the season. "

My reaction was... Crap now I have to learn how to do this and NOT blow up the jars in the process.

First things First, The Fast and Easy/Cheating way to sanatize your jars.

Take Jars, Rings and Lids and throw them in the dish washer, NO SOAP. Put it on the Hottest/ Sanatizing setting, and KAPOW! Sanatized. Keep the dishwasher door shut inbetween canning, and pull the jar's out while still hot to fill them.

I started with making pickled Beets, We didnt have too many . So I wasn't worried I'd be stuffing tons of them in jars. I had lucked out because My Mom had found a recipe box at my Grandma's that contained TONS of recipes from a few generations back,Specifically My Great Aunt Ella. She was my Great Grandfather's Sister.

Tragicly she was murdered about a year before I was born. So I never met her. I do however have her name as One of my Middle Names. At times I wonder if when I'm Cooking or Crocheting if she's the one who takes over when my brain goes on Auto Pilot.

Anywho, while going through the box-o-recipe stash. I found a pickled beets recipe!! SCORE!!!

Your First Lesson in making Pickled Beets.......Cutting up Beets=Magenta fingers, Magenta EVERYTHING. Invest in some Gloves!

Aunt Ella's Pickled Beets

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 cups vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon all spice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Peel and slice the beets, bring recipe from above to a boil , add peeled beets and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then pour in the jar's and the heat will seal the lids.

The longer they sit the better. I just opened a jar this week from last year.

They were SOoooo Nummy!!!

Laundry Soap Recipe

A few months ago , my favoriote Pagan Podcast host Sparrow from the Wigglian Way posted on her Facebook that she was going to start selling home made laundry soap powder. This facinated me because I was getting into this whole "I wanna make EVERYTHING" kick. So I started looking up recipes for laundry powder online. Its so simple , But really most great secrets are that simple :)

Here's what you need:

  • BORAX(Found it/Got it at Target here in MN)

  • ARM AND HAMMER WASHING SODA (Found it/Got it at Cub )

  • BAR OF SOAP- Suggested , Ivory, Fels Naptha , The more basic/Natural the better( I used Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap- Found in Spa/Makeup isle at Target).

  • Cheese Grater to grind up the bar of soap

  • Plastic Cereal Container

Thats it. No seriously... that's it!

The original Recipe I found called for One Cup of Borax, One Cup of Washing Soda and a Bar of Soap gound up. Mix it in a bowl with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes.

I made a double batch .

I use anywhere from 3TBSP per load to a 1/4 cup, It all depends on what I'm washing.

The first load I washed was white towels, and I DID NOT use any fabic softener and they came out fluffy and nice.

Lately I've really gotten tired of OVER PERFUMAGE ( yes I make up my own words) of things. Half the time I can't even smell what its supposed to smell like. All I smell are the chemicals and cheap additives they use to preserve the "FRESH SCENT". How about It just not smelling like arm pits and feet. Cause really that's all we are looking for when it comes to our clothes smelling fresh.

Now the real test will be when one of my kids comes inside covered in mud or grass stains. I guess time will tell.

In Praise of Hestia.... The trials and tribulations of being a stay at home Mom.

This particular Blog was inspired by a friend who told me I should share what I know, when it comes to being a domestic Momma :)

Everyone wants to be "Green" these days. Well screw that, I want to be Old Lady/Farmer-ish. There is something very satisfying about knowing how to do stuff yourself. I once told my Mother " You know, if the grid ever does go down and people are left with out technology, I WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF MY FAMILY". I know this sounds very paranoid but there's nothing wrong with knowing how to survive.

One of the best things anybody can do is READ! I try to get my hands on as many books on Self sufficiency,Gardening, Homesteading and just getting back to the roots of LIVING.

It really came down to having a "Want" and turning it into a skill.

There are so many resources out there to teach you things. People just feel they don't have the time. MAKE THE TIME! If its something you really wish you knew how to do THEN DO IT! My Grandmother once said " Once you've learned how to do something Nobody can take that away from you".

Part of the reason why I've taken on doing a lot of this stuff the old way is because there's days when I feel I've lost touch with TRUE REALITY. When you spend as much time as the average person infront of a computer screen you lose touch with it.

In the last year or so I've really wanted to focus my energy on getting my household under control. Minimalising the amount of products that are used because there is nothing worse then opening a cabnet and finding 6 different types of the same product half to 3/4 full , staring you in the face.

Just because something is the "Greatest, Newest, and Best" doesnt mean you need to use it. That just means that thier Marketing department is trying to get you to spend your money on it to make profits for them. The first time I realised this was when I bought Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface cleaner..... After I bought it and used it I felt like the biggest fool when I read the ingredieants! ITS JUST A 10% BLEACH WATER SOLUTION, that they charged me $3.99 for. I can get a whole jug of bleach for less than a dollar!

After that I started looking up Old ways to Clean:

Vinegar can be used to Clean Damn Near ANYTHING... Just don't use it to clean Pearls... THEY WILL DESLOVE!

Bleach isnt always what its cracked up to be so I don't use it as much.

I actually made my first batch of Laundry Powder yesterday and to my complete surprise , ITS AMAZING! I didn't even use any fabric softener.

The Hubz and I are in the process of getting a house, so once that all starts then I'm going to attempt to start making soap, and Yes I will share all the wonders of that mess when it starts.