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Organize Your Purse at the Car Wash

by Debbie Bowden

With the recent winter weather, and subsequent road salt, we all are taking our vehicles to the car wash. This is a perfect time to organize your purse and immediate surroundings in your car.

Start with your purse. Take out your wallet, remove all the unnecessary bits of paper, put your money in order, and smile at the picture of your kids (or significant other, or pet for that matter). Set the wallet aside. Move next to the largest item (say a makeup case). Take everything out, throw away old and unused items, and replace everything neatly. Set it aside. If your purse has inside pockets, do the same routine – remove, trash unnecessary items, replace, set aside. Do a quick wipe of the inside of your purse and put everything back. Viola! Your purse is organized (and I bet the car wash isn’t even at the rinse cycle yet).

Move on to the immediate surroundings in the car. Empty the console in the same method as your purse, wipe everything down with a hand-wipe, and put your stuff back. Repeat the process with the glove compartment, door pockets, etc. Do a quick wipe of the dash, squirt some Febreeze, and you are done. As is the car.

Household Quick Tip #1

Quick tip for removing wrinkles

Use water and sunshine to remove wrinkles!Use water and sunshine to remove wrinkles!by Debbie Bowden

Ironing is a necessary evil. But who has the time? So, the ironing piles up and piles up until you’re facing a rack-full of wrinkly garments.

Here’s a tip to remove the wrinkles without the ironing board.

Put your dry clothing on a hanger, button up the shirts, hang the slacks with the crease, and clip the skirts nice and tight. Now, take it all outside to the clothes line. (If you don’t have a clothes line, I advise you to invest in one if you’re able. It saves a ton in energy costs). Hook the hanger over the line, and spritz everything down with water from a spray bottle. As the breeze goes through and the sun shines down, the wrinkles disappear! By the end of the afternoon, that pile of ironing smells fresh and looks wrinkle free.

Note, this trick will not remove stubborn wrinkles and the clothes don't have a pressed/starched look. But for everyday cotton and cotton-blend shirts, pants, and skirts, it is a time-saver, a money-saver, and an energy-saver.

Be Green (as in environmental stewardship) by Managing Green (as in dollar bills)

by Debbie Bowden

Protect the planet and save money tooProtect the planet and save money too
The clutter that many Americans face is because we used to buy more than we needed (or at least more than the space we have). Even in these tough economic times, it is tough to not buy stuff. It is the basis of our economy. We want to grow as a nation.

However, a dollar spent ends up being a dollar cost. The cost is in space – both your space and space at the landfill. When you run out of space and de-clutter, more than half of the stuff will go to the dump.

What it all boils down to is this -- too much stuff comes from too much buying. Building sustainability at home, at work, in your community, starts with better resource management. And resource management starts with not wasteful spending.

Now is the right time for better resource management with a halt to wasteful spending, and thus discover space to live in!

I've Got Too Much Stuff!

Let's talk about that word "stuff." It's a nice word that describes everything one could want to organize -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's a label for all the clothes in the closet, all the holiday decorations in the attic, all the trinkets around the living room, all the extra plastic food containers in the kitchen. It's the cast-offs, the mess, the debris. It's the nice vase from your favorite aunt, the jacket you wear once a decade, the lasagna pan you use to bake that delicious apple crumb.

"Stuff" isn't judgmental. The old adage, "One man's junk is another man's treasure," is true, true, true! It is important to not question why someone feels the need to keep a piece of notepaper yet get rid of a perfectly good hammock.

Chickens are tough!

One Tough ChickenOne Tough ChickenIt has started getting cold here on the shore. (Not as cold as Tok, Alaska, -78F last I heard) It has been getting down into the 20s at night and, of course, we are concerned for the newest members of our family.

This is our first winter with chickens and I have been having nightmares about getting up one morning and finding 8 chicken-sicles hanging upside down from the perch in their chicken coop. Guess what, chickens are a lot tougher than they appear.

Poinsettia Lovers' Heaven

Santa TreeSanta Tree

Homestead Growers/Gardens

By: John K Johnson

The Mid-Shore Homeschool Cooperative took a field trip last Monday to Homestead Growers, to see one of the largest independent, single-location garden centers in the United States. Homestead Growers is the wholesale, growing division of of Homestead Gardens. The wholesale division is not open to the public, but educational tours can be arranged.

A Toasty Alternative to High Heating Prices!

Hearthstone PhoenixHearthstone Phoenix

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Are you dreading the approaching winter? Trying to find the balance between freezing and paying $10,000 for heating oil? Is Florida starting to look better and better? Fear not - help is at hand!

Our primary source of heat is our beloved woodstove. We have friends that heat with corn or pellet stoves - but wood just seems more - real to me. Our wood stove keeps us warm and saves us money - while providing a beautiful focal point in our country living room. I love our stove!

Please note, however, not all wood stoves are created equal! We began with a large, cast iron stove that had been with the house for years. There was nothing wrong with it - but it was hard to light, hard to maintain the fire, and seemed to burn through an inordinate amount of wood...

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