Friday, October 24, 2008

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

I've tried very diligently to move this blog to the new location. Apparently, it isn't working so, instead of repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, I've decided to let what ever happen, happen.

For individuals who want to see all of the new posts at the new blog location, please do so by going to Blulow.com. If you prefer to stay here, that's okay too because if you'll notice on the right side of the blog, there is a synopsis of the latest posts from the new location. While I won't be updating this blog directly, it will automatically display any new content.

The great thing about the internet is that it's all about choices.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moving to a New Host


The Blulow Blog is in the process of moving. I haven't quite figured out a graceful way to make the transition, so, while I'm in the process of figuring it out, you may visit the new location at www.blulow.com.

All of the posts that you see here, are over there.

See ya there!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Trials and Errors of Composting

We've moved to a new location, www.blulow.com. Please read this post at our new home.

I don't know if it's just me, but I've got to warm up to this composting process. Don't get me wrong, I am 100% for composting, but it's the logistics that I seem to have some issue with.

Last year I purchased a composting bin. Compost BinI was very excited about composting (and still am). I put the composting bin together and placed in an area in my yard. I read the little brochure and started composting.

I added yard clippings and household wastes, mixed, stirred and added the appropriate amount of water. I was so thrilled that I was doing my part to help the environment. Everything was going swimmingly until my 8-legged friends started to spend more time at my bin than I did. Additionally, I realized that I placed the bin in an inconvenient area of the yard.

Then there was the issue of accumulating household waste in an indoor container to save for the composting bin (that stuff packs a mean punch when you take the lid off). I guess I had not thought out the process long enough, or maybe I wasn't a dedicated as I thought I was. Composting is not for the feint of heart. You've got to have the right mindset.

Ashamed and upset up with my allowing my 8-legged friends to scare me away from my composting efforts, I decided to find out how could I get around it. Not wanting to give in to my immediate gratification upbringing and toss everything in the trash, I decided to analyze my logistical problems, which included but were not limited to:

  1. Educating my family on what is compostable (steak bones are not)
  2. Moving the compost bin to a more convenient location (I prefer the kitchen, but hubby nixed that idea).
  3. Accumulating household recyclable trash
  4. Those darned 8-legged friends.

As of this post, I have not resolved all of my issues. I did, however, move the composting bin a little closer to the house and now that winter is over, I've started to accumulate household waste Recycling Truckagain (I'm still trying to determine which container is best). As far as the spiders go, I put diatomaceous earth all around the bin to kill those that are brave enough to challenge me. I'm having another go at it.

I thought about using a worm-composting bin, but I'm not totally sold on that idea as yet (although the thought of indoor composting is sounding better each day). I'll keep at this for a while. Who knows, maybe it's like learning to write with your left hand (if you're right-handed), the more you do it, the better you get.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recycling Furniture

We have moved this post to our new blog site. Please stop by www.blulow.com to read it.

Well here's a new one on me. I came across a site that has
Almost Free Furniture
.
Couch
Apparently you can buy and/or sell all types of gently used furniture for a fraction of the original cost.

In today's economy where prices are rising (especially gas) and salaries are not, it makes sense to look for alternative ways to furnish your home, apartment, college dorm, etc. By the same token, instead of throwing away your gently used furniture, why not sell it? Someone else could probably use it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

White Vinegar - A Natural Weed Be Gone!

This post has been moved to the new blog site. Please stop by Blulow's new home to read how vinegar handles pesky weeds.

Yet another use for white vinegar. Pour some on your pesky weeds, give them about a week and watch them dry up, turn brown and whither away.

I poured white vinegar on some of the weeds that always grow in-between the bricks on my patio. A few days later, look at the difference. The one with vinegar is drying up. Once they're dry, they're easy to pull up.

Untreated
Untreated Weed
4 Days
4 Days after Vinegar

I'm hesitant to use this method on weeds that are mixed in with viable grass. It might kill the surrounding grass as does the chemical products sold in home supply stores. Who knows, maybe I'll try it on an inconspicuous portion of the lawn and report my findings.

In the meanwhile, I'm thrilled to be able to use a natural product to remove the weeds from the patio.

One word of advice…use a funnel or something that will aim the vinegar to just the right spot. I attempted to pour it straight from the bottle into the cracks of the patio and got more on the bricks than the cracks.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Money and Energy Saving Tips

I came across this neat little pamphlet from the US Department of Energy called Energy Savers, Tips for Saving Energy and Money at Home.

Energy Booklet

It gives great practical tips on how to make your dollar stretch further and save on energy costs.

Did you know that draining a quart of water from your water heater every three months helps to get rid of sediment and thus improve your water heater's efficiency? Check out page 17.

If you use a natural gas stove and the flames are yellow, did you know that means that your stove isn't burning efficiently and my need an adjustment? See page 25.

There are tons of neat little money saving tips. It's worth a read.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Truly live green and grow your own herbs

We've moved to a new site. Please visit our new location for the latests posts and comments. Our new home is www.blulow.com

I am not what you would call an outdoors type of person. It's not that I'm against the outdoors, but there’s something about the spiders, mosquitoes and the unidentifiable bugs that, well…bug me. My little bug problem tends to put a damper on my gardening experiences.

While I enjoy a home-grown fruit or vegetables just as much as the next person, losing argument with the squirrels and deer caused me to abandon my back to Eden notion of growing my own food.

Not one to totally give up, I’ve decided to grow my garden indoors. I'm starting small with basil. Basil is my most favorite herb. I try to put it in just about everything I cook. However, every time I go to the grocery store to buy dried basil, I gasp because each time I go the price gets higher and higher.

Determined to blulow my life, I went to my local home gardening store and spent about a buck and a half on basil seeds. My daughter planted them I a clay pot with organic soil. While my thumb is not the greenest of thumbs, the basil has sprouted above the soil (an indication that I’m doing something right).

Over time, I hope to dry and preserve some of the leaves while using fresh basil as I see fit. If all goes well, I’ll try something a little more challenging like parsley, then maybe tomatoes, then carrots, then potatoes, then watermelon, then….

I guess I got a little carried away. I should wait for my basil to grow first before I take on more than I’m able to handle. Let’s face it, I just recently figured out how to keep my houseplants alive.