More Shower Curtain Smarts

Wow. Who knew that a short, two sentence post about switching from a plastic/vinyl shower curtain to cloth would generate so many questions? Melanie said: Boy, in theory I agree with you, but I always seem to go with plastic because they’re so much easier to keep mildew-free in my house. As someone who lives […] Read More


Shower Curtain Smarts

Next time you need a shower curtain, choose fabric rather than plastic. Fabric shower curtains are easier to wash and reuse, and don't emit toxic fumes like PVC curtains do. Photo: Flickr user kissyface under Creative Commons […] Read More

Making Tough Changes

With the encouragement of my son, I finally did something I've been meaning to do for a long time: I gave up my kitchen sponge. That may seem like no big deal, but breaking lifetime habits is hard. I've been listening to all the talk about just how scungy sponges are and how they harbor […] Read More

Gopher mound

Eradicating Gophers in the Garden

Gophers are not a problem here in the islands, but as a longtime California gardener, I know how damaging they can be. If you're new to gardening, you may not have given these underground pests much thought - yet. One minute, there’s no sign of them; the next minute one of your pampered plants has […] Read More

organic, turf, lawn,

Five Reasons to Replace Your Lawn with Vegetables

I recently wrote for GeekMom about Julie Bass and her family's fight with the City of Oak Park, Michigan over a front yard vegetable garden. The city wants the Bass family to remove the vegetable garden and put in lawn and shrubs like their neighbors. Obviously, I think this is ridiculous, but let me expand […] Read More


Harvesting Basil

Basil is one of those wonderful garden plants that just keeps coming. Unlike radishes and beets that are done once you harvest them, basil plants provide their pungent goodness for months if you can stay on top of them. Basil should be harvested regularly to prevent flowering. To do so, simply use scissors to trim […] Read More

Grainy mustard - it's a snap to make at home!

Homemade Grainy Mustard – Yes, Really

Mm. Mustard. I love mustard. But those fancy pants Dijon mustards give me a headache. I can get organic Dijon that comes in plastic. Or non-organic Dijon in glass. (Go figure, right?) Then it occurred to me that this is yet another product we've become accustomed to buying ready to use, when there's a perfectly good […] Read More

July Challenge: No Bottled Drinks

I heard lots of success stories from the people who tackled the no drinking straw challenge. And the one local food a day challenge seemed to go well. But now I'm really going to ask you to stretch a bit! Throughout the month of July I invite you to go plastic bottle free. Yes, in […] Read More

More on Leaf and Tree Hoppers

Remember back when I posted about hand picking leaf hoppers? I've learned some things since then. 1. It seems that what I have are tree hoppers rather than leaf hoppers (who knew?). 2. And thanks to a Facebook community member (thank you, Brenda!), I've discovered that some little black critters - that look nothing like […] Read More

Mini bags for buying bulk spices

Mini Bags for Small Bulk Items

No more little plastic spice bottles in the trash! Learn to make sweet fabric bags for purchasing bulk items in small quantities.