Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making Things and Growing Things

I was really loving the mild weather we had in May and early June. Until last Friday, we'd only had 2 or 3 days of temps in the 80's, and only low 80's at that. But summer is here for sure now! We've had increasingly higher 80 degree temps the last 4 days; today is supposed to be close to 90, and tomorrow we're supposed to hit low 90's. (I'm sure you southerners are weeping for us).

I may not be liking the hotter weather, but our vegetable garden sure is.

This picture was taken June 3rd:

And this was taken today, almost 3 weeks later:

The Sugar Peas are going crazy. They're blooming, and we should see tiny pea pods soon. Some of the blooms are pink/purple instead of white. How fun!

Flowers in the long flower bed under our big front windows are starting to fill in a little.

Some potted flowers on the front porch.

Inside, I've knitted a couple more dish cloths. This is a cute checked pattern. I really liked this yarn (2nd Time Cotton), mostly cotton with a little acrylic.

And this cutie is a wash cloth pattern by knitter/designer Susan B. Anderson, who has an awesome knitting blog that I love. The butterfly was knitted with Tahki Cotton Classic yarn, which is a lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for. But I already had the yarn for something else I never did, and I thought it was perfect butterfly colors. It's so soft and delicate that I don't think I will be able to use it as a wash cloth and mess it up!

And last, I experimented with making my own liquid hand soap.

There's a ton of varying recipes on-line for homemade hand soap. But basically all you do is shred/grate a bar of soap and melt that into a pot of boiling water. I used a huge bar of soap (8.8 oz., about twice the size of an average bar) from Trader Joe's that's all natural ingredients. I didn't want it to turn out too runny, so I was cautious with the amount of water at the beginning. I ended up having to add more water 3 times before it didn't harden as it cooled, and I liked the consistency. I used 16 cups of water total; which made one gallon plus 2 cups of soap all together. All for the price of one bar of soap. Cool!

I also tried a homemade mix of Washing Soda, Borax, and salt for a dry dishwasher detergent (plus vinegar as a rinse agent). On it's own, it didn't get the dishes as clean as I would like. So we tried using half store-bought and half homemade mix in each load, and that's working better. Besides being cheaper and less chemicals, there's no more of that white residue left on some of the dishes, that was driving me crazy.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Wow! You've really been busy! It all looks/sounds wonderful.

I've been taking Alteril a natural sleep supplement you can get at Wal-Mart. It seems to really do the trick for me!