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Archive for March, 2010

HydroRight Drop-In Dual Flush Converter and Hydroclean Fill Valve

Save water.  Save money.  Save the environment.

Here’s an interesting water conservation tool!  Toilets with dual-flush features have been on the market for quite some time, but they cost significantly more than a standard commode.  This handy-dandy device is available to convert any toilet into a dual flushing machine just by replacing the valve and flapper at a very low-cost.  We purchased the HydroRight drop-in dual flush converter for $21.80 and the HydroClean water-saving fill valve with cleaning tube for $13.43 from Amazon.  Shipping was free.  Both parts come with a 5 year warranty from MJSI, Inc.      

What’s the advantage here?  A dual flush toilet offers two choices for each use:  flush a little, or flush a lot.  Considering that about 90% of flushes are for liquids, using only a portion of the tank water for those flushes eliminates much water waste and lowers monthly water bills.  The box claims to save the average household at least $100 per year.  The device is also designed to save wear and tear on working parts which should save time and money on repairs over the years.  The fill valve we selected also cleanses the bottom of the tank with each flush, reducing sediment buildup that could lead to damage over time.    (more…)

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As if we didn’t love them enough for their whole grain, low-fat, crunchety goodness, Frito Lay (a division of PepsiCo North America) is now packaging Sun Chips® into 100% compostable packaging starting on Earth Day, April 22, 2010 thereby eliminating the use of petroleum based packaging material for the product.  This is an industry first.  (more…)

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How thoughtful!  

Potato plant container garden gift

My red-headed Canadian friend, who is skilled at container gardening, gave me this lovely potato plant yesterday.  She even included a large container for transplanting – a repurposed household item with drainage holes punched in it which is just my style.  This is quite exciting because I have never attempted to grow potatoes, nor have I much experience with container gardening.  So, with her willingness to help me along, we’ll see what becomes of my little tater in his new home on the deck of Mrs. Frisbie’s House. 

Raised bed kit from Silverback

Another cool mamma at our play group told us that Sam’s Club has a good deal on a 4×7 raised garden bed kit.  I’ve seen the same kit in catalogs at a much higher price.  It’s made in the USA of recycled materials.  I mentioned it to my Silverback and guess what was on the back of the truck when he came home today!  Woo-hoo!  Now I can transplant my overgrown strawberries to a proper home.  I had the brilliant idea a few years back to line my perennial flower bed with 70-some strawberry plants.  I’m happy they’re happy, but they are really taking over.  I’ve given away a lot of plants, but I’m sad to say I’ve composted more than I’d like to admit.  The overall look wasn’t what I was going for after all.  I am looking forward to setting this up (I’ll post my progress when the day comes) and snuggling my little sweeties into a more organized environment.  He may regret encouraging my obsessions, but I want to say “Thank You” to my Silverback.

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It’s weather like this that makes me want to throw open the windows, wash the curtains, sweep off the porch, and nag Silverback to move the furniture so I can exterminate the dust bunnies hiding beneath.  It’s so important to keep our environments healthy, but is there truly a “green” way of cleaning?  Should we just go to the store and buy the products in the spray bottles with green leaves printed on them?  I think not, but let’s explore the possibilities.

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Me and Pookah ready to plant

According to Martha Stewart, the leading authority on all things finicky, we are to plant our peas directly in the garden on March 17th.  It’s an easy date to remember and some feel this tradition encourages luck in the garden for the entire season.  Since her garden is one region cooler than mine, I take her advice pretty seriously.  Some years, the ground could not be worked in mid-March and I have had the unlucky circumstance of having to plant my peas a week late.  In case you were wondering, they taste just the same.    

Although it lacks scientific reasoning, it is a nice tradition and something to look forward to as it is the first chance I get to work the ground each year.  I admit, I’m not a real fan of peas as a sidedish, but Pookah and Silverback love them and even if no one here ate them, I would still grow them simply because I think they are lovely little plants, curling up a trellis, cheerfully reminding us of homegrown goodness with their bright green color that seems to say “Spring is here” in every way. 

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Has anyone looked down lately?  Do you see a little green emerging from the tulips, daffodils, and crocuses?  Is there anything more cheerful than spring flowers?  They paint the landscape that has been so bland through the winter months.  What a message of hope and promise!  What better way to start the day, than to have a look around at these adorable little flora?

In our yard, the first flower to emerge is the snowdrop.  I wanted to share it with you. (more…)

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During phase 1, we planted our seeds in a loose, moist soil, covered them, and placed them in a warm safe place.  We checked them carefully every day for the first signs of life.  Once we see the tiniest bit of green, we know the seeds have germinated and we must immediately remove the cover and begin Phase 2. 

This is the phase where light becomes necessary.  The objective here is to encourage a sturdy, upright sprout as the first leaves, called the birth leaves, unfurl. 

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