I wandered over to the Martha Stewart website for some pumpkin carving inspiration. There are things I really love about Martha Stewart, some of her recipes are absolutely top shelf. My ultimate favorite is her Chocolate chip cookie breakdown, three different recipes for the cookies texture you want. When ever I make chocolate chip cookies the soft and chewy version is the one I refer back to time and time again. OMG. I used to get up at 5 Am to bake these cookies for my softball team. MMMM!! I also made my friend a cookie cake using this recipe, just poured it into a pie plate. OMG OMG!! It was SO good!
Martha Stewart’s Halloween projects are always phenomenal. I got my first Martha Stewart Living subscription was I was 15. (Yes, I am a dork) Another great Halloween project of her’s, that I did, was a Halloween window monster, (sort of resembling a dragon). The dragon was cut out of black plastic landscape sheeting and taped on to the window and then the body was filled in the green kraft paper, it was awesome on a picture window!
Anyway, there are so many great ideas for Halloween decorating. I loved Martha’s carrot nose pumpkins, and i used the only carrot from the garden for the nose! LOL! One thing, the pumpkin and the carrot do desiccate, so it’s best to only make it a a few days ahead. Or you can do like me and replace the carrot with a pepper when the hole is too big.
I used Martha’s transfer method from the magazine. Draw your face on paper, tape it to the pumpkin and transfer the design with a pin.
Have a Happy Halloween!
We had our first real frost last week. It got down to 34 over the night and frosted the windshield. In my experience, the garden survives the first front only to succumb to the second, harder, killing frost. Anyway, the frost event meant I have to bring my tenderites inside.
October is lovely. It’s the only month that it is is safe, (cool enough and dry enough) even pleasurable to open the windows. In humble explanation of the f-ugly fly paper, the open window weather means we are testing our holey, ripped screens, that are torn beyond repair and would you believe, not removable! Can anyone tell me how to clean the outside of window with un-removeable screens? (My arms are NOT made out of silly putty.) Humph, maybe the screen will rip more, so I can peel it back to wash the windows. They are those stupid paned windows too, real panes, not one piece of glass. Awful to clean and the glazing is coming off. I’m just waiting for a pane to pop out. (Curse you landlord, “reaping where you have not sown” (Thank you Karl Marx for the quote) Hmmm. I apologize for the rant, but I’m feel, how should I say, punchy this morning! Actually I’ve been feeling punchy this entire year. I think my entire tone has become more conversational in a deranged sort of manner, now that I don’t have to continually deal with documents written in contrived legal-speak. Anyway. It’s all too much to think about. So overwhelming. The bad economy and everything else this mad world throws at us. That paragraph was almost exhausting. I think I can now continue in a more subdued tone.
Those aren’t even all the plumerias! I cringe to think how much more space these plumerias will take up with they are all in 3 to 5 gall on pots, or when I have to move. DH is so sweet, these stay in our bedroom all winter. (tiny house) I hope it will look more manageable when the leaves come off. There are also a few avocados, a strawberry guava, and an annona squamosa jammed in there. Definitely not healthy in term s of air circulation again. Good thing the leaves are already coming off. Sign. Summer is really over and Indian summer too? Where is it?
Okay this is old news right, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We all know reduce comes first because it is the most important. Stop the chain of pollution at the beginning. Reuse is great, becuase it means you are not only using something again, but you are are also reducing by not using or buying something else. Recycling is last but not least, it’s almost the same as reusing. Paper and plastic products undergo reincarnation in the processing and subsequent remanufacturing. We don’t have the power to change global policy but we can start change on our own at home.
Just by evaluation my household needs I found a lot of way to use the three Rs.
Reduce packaging by buying economical family sized products.
Avoid individually wrapped servings. Even buying a 2L of soda and drinking from tumblers can save a lot of packing from entering the recycling process.
A lot of packaging is plastic (petroleum) Amazon.com offer toys and other products that come packed directed in an amazon box, reducing a lot of packaging and the hassel of removing the molded plastic shells.
Reduce energy cost by insulating your home. This doesn’t mean spending a fortune having the walls restuffed, but rather take some simple non-permanent measures, like making draft dodgers and using shrink film on the windows. I LOVE the window kits, so easy to install and it makes a night tight barrier from the cold a must for any home with single pane windows. This particular package claims you can save up to $190 per year. Great stuff, you’ll notice a difference as soon as it’s installed!
Reflective solar curtains are also a great way to keep out the hot sun in the summer, also a very economical product with a noticible effect.
Reusing packing is a great way to get more use out of a produt before it becomes “garbage”
Single serving yogurts make great pots for seedlings or cuttings, making it worthwhile to buy small containers instead of a pint.
Reusing grocery bags is a fabulous way to prevent trash from littering the environment. We all know that an outrageous number of plastic shopping bags, 500 BILLION, are used around the world each year. 30 Billion plastic shopping bags are used in the US alone! Of course it takes a ton of oil to make that many bags, about 12 MILLION barrels worth! A lot of the 500 Billion bags end up as litter, where they hand around for a long time. Sometimes the bags are where we can see them, blowing across a parking lot or median. Sometimes they are found flood debris, but more often they in parts of your ocean-backyard that we don’t see. Places like the “Eastern Garbage Patch,” (sounds attractive, huh?) contains an enormous amoust of plastic debris that is harmful (no duh) to marine life (spell check just changed that the martian life) and shore birds like the Albatross. Marine animals also become entangled with debris or they can die from a stomach full of plastic garbage, lighters, bottle caps….The saddest part, only 1% of plastic bags are recycled annually, so take advantage of those plastic bags drop offs at the grocery store.
You might think, in the middle of the bag controversy, that paper bags are the way to go. Save all that oil. Get a nice brown bag. Most often baggers put the paper bag in a plastic bag so the bottom doesn’t drop out and and so you’ll have handles to grab. The truth is, the pulp and paper industry is a major industrial energy consumer, the largest industrial water consumer, and the third largest polluter behind the steel and chemical industries.
Grocery bags don’t have to be a guilty pleasure because there are so many great (re)uses for them. For plastic bags try Simple Human’s super garbage can that secures that loops the grocery bag under the can’s handles. This stainless steel wonder makes recycling grocery bags sexy. Even at 24.99, it will pay for it’s quickly, no more buying expensive trash liners, that waste use more petroleum. Beautiful, sturdy, effective. No more fishing the handles out of the garbage. Of course you always want to use two bag, in case a hole or rip is hiding, you never know. Better safe than sorry, or in this case, better safe than cursing.
Paper bags, use them to wrap packages in a pinch. Also great for cooling cookies, especially at Christmas time. Cute the bag into a flat sheet, unload the cookies, cool the sheets down outside and bake your next batch!
Don’t forget to recycle! The little things DO make a difference!