Tag Archive: DIY



It’s time once again for Cooking With Ghostie!

Today we will be making powdered drink mix, which is super-easy. You only new a few items and there is almost no prep time. My cats could probably make this if they had thumbs. I’m sure Martha Stewart or that chick with the cooking show, Whatshername, has done this before – but I haven’t, so there.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • approx. 1 cup sweetener of choice (I’m using sugar)
  • 1 envelope unsweetened drink mix
  • airtight container
  • funnel (optional, depending on container)
  • candies (optional)
  • grinding apparatus (optional)

Mmmm, peach mango.

Measure out about two-thirds of your sweetener into your container and add the drink powder on top, using your funnel if the opening is narrow.

It will look a bit like bad sand art.

Add remaining sweetener and place lid on container. Small jars and bottles work best, I love this one I picked out of the break room trash can because the top is wide enough for a spoon, but anything that you can close up tight will work.

Now shake! You really have to work it to get the fine powder to disburse evenly into the sweetener. You could also pour everything into a bowl and stir, but that’s not much fun.

And that’s it; just add 2-3 spoonfuls to a glass of water, stir, and you have a ready-made drink.

It's like a tiny waterfall of sweetness.

A few tips;

  • Replace some of the sweetener with ground-up hard candy – I like mixing in Dum-Dums but any candy should work. If you do not have a mortar and pestle you can put the candy in a plastic bag and crush it into a powder with a rolling pin or canned good. You can get an interesting mix of flavors this way.
  • The 1 cup measurement is just a guideline based on the instructions on the drink mix packet, you can use less if you prefer your drinks less sweet.
  • Use the mix to sweeten your tea, unless you are one of those heathens who drinks it unsweetened.
  • Make sure the container you use is clean and throughly DRY before mixing up the powder. It will clump.
  • You can make up pre-measured packets using a bit of plastic wrap, I suggest adding a “jacket” made out of paper and tape to keep them from getting punctured.

Be prepared to get some odd looks if you whip out a small packet of white powder in public.

Enjoy!

Please do not attempt to drink your monitor.

The Mystery Project


We all know I’m crazy, right?

Here’s just one example – NaNoWriMo started on November 1st. About a week before NaNoWriMo started I was cruising through the swaps over on Swap-Bot – just looking – when I noticed an unusual swap called “Geeky Crafts!”

So of course I clicked on it to read the description.

The swap was this – we had to send a handmade item to our partner that reflected one of their geeky passions. I wasn’t really planning on signing up for a swap, but as I was really intrigued by it, I signed up.

For a major project.

Six days before NaNoWriMo started.

Again, crazy.

After partners were assigned I scrolled through my partner’s profile looking for ideas, and discovered that my partner Shadowspun likes Batman.

Who doesn't?

Among the many crafts listed on her profile, my partner mentioned that while she does appliqué she has never understood patchwork. So I got to thinking about patchwork, and Batman, and crafting, and doing doodles, until I thought of something interesting.

I did a pixel drawing of the Batman logo and thought – Hey, I could make that out of fabric and turn it into a tote bag!

So I sat down and figured out how big I needed the squares to be, how much fabric I would need of each color, that sort of thing.

Bring forth the math!

I wanted it to look like a charm quilt, with a lot of different shades, so I bought four shades of black and three yellows.

Ooh, fancy.

I had settled on 1-inch squares, with added seam allowance each one was 1 1/2 inches. The piece was 17 X 19 so I had to cut out 323 tiny little squares.

That's a lot of tiny little squares.

And you just know anytime I try to do something like this, I end up with lots of “help”.

The very helpful Simon.

The extremely helpful Firefly.

And my ever-vigilant sewing buddy, Fearless.

Pretty much every other step was “Remove cat(s) from crafting surface.” This was especially fun when it came to laying out all the pieces – Fearless with her mile-long feathery tail was lots of fun.

Hence the reason for the spray bottle at the top right.

The basic idea is simple – sew together in pairs, then quartets, then groups of eight, etc … larger and larger until all the tiny little pieces are sewn together in the right order.

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Progress halfway through, it's already much smaller than when all the blocks were laid out individually.

One of the cut squares on top of the finished piece.

Voila! The finished logo.

Of course, once the logo was finished, I still had to make the tote bag. That part was pretty fast, since I’ve made dozens of tote bags, but it still took a while.

It looked much better once the border was on. You can't really tell because the colors are a bit washed out, but the yellow is made of patchwork pieces of the yellow.

I did a bit of quilting to the logo so it would be stable if it got washed – all the seam allowances made it pretty stiff so I just used a piece of plain white muslin instead of using any batting –  and sewed a bag and liner.

For the lining I used a sparkly bat Halloween print.

The finished bag, modeled by Mother Dearest.

SOme of the seams didn’t line up perfectly and if I had more time I would have torn the stitching out a couple of times and redone it, but I was on a tight schedule and didn’t really have time for do-overs. It galls me to send out something that is less than perfect, but my partner left me a wonderful note that she loves the bag, all the more so because she doesn’t do any patchwork so it isn’t something she would ever have done, so I guess it was okay. I can still see every wonky line though.

It was a hell of a lot of work, and if I had known how long it would take I might have chosen something else to make, but it turned out so good I didn’t want to send it. I have plans to make another for myself once NaNoWriMo is over.

Brrrr…


It’s Monday again, a day most people (including myself) head back to work and are not terribly thrilled about it. For many (again, also including myself) this means coffee.

Ahhh...coffee! The nectar of the gods.

Or, if you really need a jump-start – espresso.

Ahhh...espresso! Nectar of the twitchy gods.

The only problem with this is that in the summer, when it’s so blasted hot, drinking hot coffee will just make you hotter.

“But Ghostie!” You cry; “Coffee is always served hot!” Not always, my dear deluded reader. In recent years there has been a rise in cold coffee drinks made available at various fast food and gourmet coffee shops. The coffee is still brewed in the traditional manner, but is poured over ice and tarted up with cream and sugar. All that fat (from the cream) and sugar adds a lot of calories, making your daily dose of caffeine into something closely resembling a milkshake. All that ice also dilutes the coffee once it melts, which affects the taste.

Now, you can do this at home (brew your coffee as you normally would and pour it over ice) which is a perfectly acceptable solution. You could even make your own coffee ice cubes if you don’t want to dilute your brew with water ice. If you are especially good at planning, you can brew your coffee the night before, adulterate it as you see fit, and then store it in the fridge overnight so it will be icy cold in the morning.

There is also another option, one that doesn’t use a coffeemaker at all. You can cold-brew your coffee. You may have never heard of this method, it is not widely used because of the time involved, but it makes a tasty cup of coffee that is actually less bitter and a bit stronger than a hot-brewed cup. All you need is a clean container, coffee grounds, water, and some method of straining out the grounds. (I use a sieve lined with a coffee filter, but anything that will get the grounds out will work fine. If you have a French Press, you can use that.)

I'm using a clear jar, but any container with a lid will work. Large yogurt containers are good; they can be stacked easily if you want more than one batch going at the same time.

Here’s what you do;

Step 1:

Add your grounds to your container.

Like so.

I’m using two scoops (about four tablespoons) each of Folgers Black Silk roast and Cafe Bustelo espresso roast in a quart jar. This sounds like a lot, and it is, but there is a reason for this. The end result will be a concentrate that you mix with cold water or milk to make the final beverage. You could use less to make a weaker brew, but instead of being able to make a half-gallon of cold coffee drinks, you would only have a quart for all your troubles. You could also add more grounds if you wanted it stronger, but the more you add the more water they will absorb and the less actual coffee you end up with. It’s a fine line, really, and I’ve found this amount works best for me.

Step 2 –

Add water to your container.

Like so.

The grounds will float at first; you can either put the lid on, if you are using a container with a tight-fitting lid, and give it a few vigorous shakes, or you can just stir it throughly.

Oooh ... swirly.

There’s a tuft of cat hair on my knuckle because Fearless kept jumping up on the counter to see what Momma was doing and I kept having to get her down until she got bored and wandered off to take another nap.

I dream of ... cheese balls and ponies.

(The cat hair is an optional ingredient.)

Once the grounds have been stirred or shaken in, they will absorb some of the water. You can add additional water if you like.

Like this.

Step 3 –

Put the lid on and wait. You can leave it out at room temperature or stick it in the fridge, I do a little of both. I’ll make the coffee in the morning, after I’ve used the last of the previous batch and cleaned out the jar, and leave it on the counter while I’m at work. Before I go to bed I stick it in the fridge so that when I strain it in the morning it will already be cold. The time you leave it can depend on your schedule, I would recommend at least eight to twelve hours, twenty four is ideal. You can leave it longer than that but it won’t really make any appreciable difference. There’s only so much coffee you can get out of the grounds. Giving it the occasional shake, if your container will allow vigorous shaking, will help. If you are using a French Press to brew in, I recommend removing the inner plunger workings when you put it in the fridge, just as a space saver.

Step 4 –

Using the straining method of your choice, strain the grounds out of the coffee concentrate. As I’ve said, I use a sieve lined with a coffee filter resting over a mixing bowl. The sieve alone would catch most of the regular grounds but the finer espresso grind would go right through and leave a thick sludge in the bowl. If you have a French Press – just pour everything in, depress the plunger, and pour.

A word of caution – most of the grounds will be on the top of the container, forming a thick plug. Either shake the container or use a utensil to break up this plug before pouring or when you try to pour out the coffee (maybe, let’s say, while trying to take pictures for your blog) the plug will be forced out all at once and grounds will go everywhere.

Before straining. You can see the plug in the neck of the jar - the slightly lighter, bubbly-looking band of brown.

During straining. It's best to do a little at the time.

Almost finished straining.

Once as much of the liquid has strained through as you can get to, gather the edges of the filter and twist into a pouch, GENTLY squeeze the remaining liquid out of the grounds as if it were a tea bag. Discard grounds and filter as you normally would.

Once most of the grounds are in the filter you may notice that the volume of the stream dripping out the bottom is reduced. I’ve found that tapping the edge of the sieve or shaking it slightly will help the liquid strain easier. While it’s dripping, clean the container you plan on keeping the concentrate in, either by washing the container you made it in or getting out the container you plan on storing it in.

Step 5 –

Pour your concentrate into the storage container and place in the fridge. You can keep the concentrate for at least a week, but I usually drink all mine in two or three days.

The final product. Notice the level of liquid is lower than before it was strained, this is the amount of liquid absorbed by the grounds. (and some that spilled out when I forgot to break up the plug)

Using this volume of grounds and water produces almost a quart of brew that is stronger than regular coffee, closer to espresso, but with a less bitter taste. If you wanted it very, very strong you could add more grounds after the straining process and leave it for another day. I’ve never done it, but it would be an interesting experiment to try.

The concentrate can be used full strength like an espresso shot, or diluted with water, milk, or creamer. I would not use the powdered non-dairy creamer (or coffee whitener if you live in America’s Hat) in this because the fine powder doesn’t dissolve readily in the cold liquid. If I run out of regular milk or liquid creamer I’ll use the powdered NDC but I’ll dissolve it in warm or hot water ahead of time and let it cool. The same goes for sugar; it will dissolve in cold liquid but it doesn’t like to so it’s a good idea to dissolve it ahead of time. My personal favorite serving method is to mix the concentrate half and half with chocolate milk, it has a nice mocha flavor.

Mmmmm...

Like most things you can do yourself, making cold-brew coffee at home versus buying it elsewhere will save you a lot of money. Even if you use only premium beans you can still make gallons of of coffee for the price of a few cups from a coffee shop.

You can buy fancy cold-brewing apparatus, but the idea is the same; mix grounds and water, wait, strain.

Some set-ups are fancier than others.

The only different between making one yourself out of a jar and buying one of those expensive cold-brewers is the money you spend. It’s also fairly “green” since you don’t use any electricity for brewing the actual coffee, only chilling it. The granola-licking hippies out there should like that.

If you decide to try cold-brewing, please leave me a comment letting me know how it worked for you.


I was driving to work one morning, thinking about things as is my habit, when I realized I hadn’t written about my litter boxes.

I may have mentioned that I think of odd things while driving.

I am unusually proud of my litter boxes, because I made them myself. Granted, it wasn’t that hard, but still – I made them.

Back when I just had Simon, I had a standard box you can find at any Sprawlmart or pet store – it resembled a large dishpan. I got one of the “deluxe” models with a cover, to cut down on the smell. (This was back when I was living in my camper.) Then the kittens came along and it was very clear, after cleaning out the box three times a day, that I was going to have to do something else.

But what?

I already had the largest litter box available (they just didn’t make litter boxes any bigger) and the lack of space meant I couldn’t just buy another one. I was stumped until I realized that while they didn’t make litter boxes bigger, they did make larger plastic containers.

No, I'm not going to post pictures of my litter boxes. Sicko.

I ventured out to Sprawlmart’s storage section and found the perfect solution – a thirty gallon storage tote. Five (very careful) minutes with a sharp knife and there was a seven inch square hole in one end about eight inches from the bottom. Why seven inches? Because that’s how wide the handles are. I filled it with litter, it took most of a twenty-eight pound bucket, and then popped the lid on, congratulating myself on a job well done.

And now the cost breakdown

  • A regular far-too-small-for-anything-other-than-a-single-kitten  litter box, around ten dollars or so.
  • A fancy “extra-large” covered model, like the one I had, can go for twenty-five or so.
  • The even fancier self-cleaning models cost over a hundred, but that’s really overkill in my opinion.
  • The thirty gallon tote, which can accommodate two cats at the same time, cost me less than nine dollars.

This is quite a savings, in more ways than one.

When I cut the hole in the end, I measured the depth of the old box and added an inch or so, making the tote slightly deeper than a standard litter box. It’s not much and the cats have no trouble getting in and out, but that inch or so spread out over the entire box really increased the volume of litter I’m able to use. Most litter boxes are no more than about six or seven inches deep and you never fill it to the top, that’s just a recipe for getting litter everywhere.

Even the “extra-large” boxes are barely big enough for one cat; Simon had a hard time turning around in his, the small amount of litter in the bottom made it lightweight and prone to rocking back and forth when “in use,” and the top popped off constantly.  The larger footprint and heavier weight of the tote makes it much more stable. This is especially nice, since all three of my furry darlings like to dig during their private time. Sometimes I think they just go in and dig for fun.

Keeping all of this in mind, when it became clear that Simon was going to have to be put in a permanent time-out the protect Nikki, I didn’t buy a regular litter box; I bought a tote. I didn’t need one quite as big as the thirty gallon job, so I got a slightly smaller eighteen gallon one, which is perfect for one cat. It cost me a little over five dollars. I do have one standard litter box, I bought it to use when Simon hurt his shoulder and I had to keep him caged for a month, the tote was too big to fit in the cage. It was very messy, with litter getting everywhere, and I was glad to put it away when Simon’s shoulder healed.

If you’re thinking about getting a cat or currently have a cat or cats and you are fed up with too-small litter boxes, go get yourself a tote. Since they are fairly air-tight, it’s a good idea to leave the lid off from time to time to help the ammonia evaporate. I leave the lids off of mine about once a week and give the litter a good stir every time I clean it out to help things along.

Bonus tip!

While there is very little litter kicked out of the totes since the sides are so high, there will be some as the cats go in and out. Putting a mat down in front of the opening solves this problem nicely.You can buy an expensive one for at least ten dollars, if not more…

Aww... it's kinda cute.

Or you can be smart and get a rubber doormat.

I find the kind with the little pegs works the best.

The doormats I use both came from Family Dollar and cost three bucks a piece. They do both say “WELCOME” instead of being cute little paw shapes, but it’s not like the cats care about that sort of thing. The cats walk over the mat and the little rubber feet knock the litter off their feet, even Fearless’ fuzzy clodhoppers.

Her fuzzy, fuzzy feet.

They reduce the amount of litter getting tracked through the house down to almost nothing and I don’t have to comb litter out of Fearless’ foot-fur every night. (Yes, I’ve done that. It’s not nearly as much fun as it sounds.)

The Castle


When I moved in to my parents’ house, I had no furniture. I had lived for several years in a travel trailer where everything was built-in. Since Mother Dearest has collected furniture for years she already had a bed and a futon and chairs and tables, that sort of thing, and I had … a small fridge and several sets of the wire cubes that you connect with little plastic connectors.

These guys are awesome for small spaces; you can put them together and take them apart as needed without a big hassle and they take up almost no room when broken down.

I had a cat climbing tower as well, a little one that was about four feet tall and worked fine in a small space when the kittens were little, but as they got bigger it became clear that it was not going to work.

There were some structural integrity issues.

So I decided to build a new one. It would have to modular, made from reasonably priced materials, accommodate around forty-five pounds of assorted cats, and be something I could do with my limited woodworking skills. It would also have to fit in a wide but shallow space in front of a window and beside a closet door.

To the Habitat Store!

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This served as the base for the castle. It's a kitchen cabinet and cost fifteen dollars.

For those who are wondering how that thing could possibly be a kitchen cabinet, you should know that it’s upside down. It was originally mounted over a sink and the tall part on the right would be on the left of the sink. It had the primary requirement of being narrow, the castle had to fit against a wall and still allow a closet door to open.

We snagged a few loose drawers as well, one for two dollars and one for three, and headed home to modify my new purchases.

Thank goodness for Mother Dearest and her power tools.

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Mother Dearest has forbidden me from posting any more pictures of her on Facebook. But we're not on Facebook, are we?

There was much figuring done and then the sawing of holes and scrap lumber was found to make legs that would raise the whole thing to window height.

complete

Fast forward to the final fitting to make sure all the holes are in the right place and everything fits. Mother Dearest is being gracious as always.

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Backside view with all the pieces in place. Mother Dearest got fed up with me taking her picture; she flipped me the bird and retreated to the front steps.

The whole thing was brought inside to be painted; bright turquoise on the outside and deep teal that looks almost black with yellow stars on the inside. I originally painted the inside yellow, ironed on butcher paper stars, painted around them, and took the paper stars off. it looked horrible so I had to go back and paint over the yellow areas with the dark teal. Instead I cut even more stars out of yellow paper and decoupaged them to the inside.

Trying to paint something this big in a house full of cats who live to find new and interesting places to sleep proved to be quite a challenge. At least I knew they would actually use it.
I covered the ramp leading from the bottom to what became the middle tier with burlap so it could be used as a scratching board as well. I made the decision to leave the legs unpainted and rubbed them with catnip oil. The rear ones have become Simon’s favorite scratching posts.

100_2851.jpg  I had lots of “help”.

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They were absolutely thrilled when it was moved to its final place.

The final pieces, the two drawers and a little landing on the left by the portal leading from the bottom to the middle, were added about a week later.

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They were thrilled all over again. It was like it was a new castle.

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Thank you for spending so much time and energy making a nice high place for us. Now go away.

Laundry Day


I suffer from eczema and have very sensitive skin, a little genetic legacy from my Dad (who has really, really sensitive skin.)

A lot of things can cause my eczema to flare up, the most common culprits are chemicals found in everyday products. Most laundry detergents leave me feeling like my skin is on fire. I could buy really expensive detergents that would drain my already shallow bank account. So I make my own. It’s pretty easy too.

What you need –

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This stuff.

Soap –   That’s a given. You need around eight ounces. I’m using soap I made myself specifically for making laundry detergent, but you can use something else. It doesn’t really matter what brand it is, all soap is pretty much the same. I’ve had good results with dollar store bars as well as the big bars, like Zote or Octagon, sold as laundry soap in the supermarket. If you do a lot of traveling you could just save up all the little hotel soaps, making this virtually free. [EDIT: DO NOT USE HOTEL SOAP! It contains some sort of foaming additive that will cause your soap pot to foam like a shaken soda and possibly burn you like it did me. DON’T DO IT!]If you have sensitive skin like me, try it out on your skin before making detergent out of it.

Grapefruit-seed extract (optional) – It’s the stuff in the little dropper bottle, it is a preservative sold for soapmaking. I add some just to be sure the soap won’t go bad but it’s not necessary. Soap isn’t really know for going moldy.

Fragrance (optional) – If the soap you are using is unscented or only mildly scented, you can add some fragrance or essential oil. I make my laundry bar soap unscented so I can change the fragrance if I want to, I just add a little essential oil in the end. Orange or lavender are especially nice (the larger brown bottle in the photo is five-fold orange oil, which is pretty cheap and smells just like fresh orange juice), but if you want bacon-scented detergent then go for it. I use about a tablespoon for six gallons, but you can add more or less depending on your tastes.

Borax – This is a naturally occurring mineral and can be found in the laundry aisle. The best known brand is 20 Mule Team, the box recently changed so it’s no longer green like mine but white. You’ll need two cups to make my recipe, but feel free to adjust the amount. I have really hard water and have found this amount works best.

Washing Soda – also called soda ash, you should be able to find this in the laundry aisle. The kind I use is made by Arm & Hammer. Again, I use two cups be feel free to adjust the amount according to your needs.

Note: Borax and washing soda can usually be found with the bleach and laundry additives but you might have to look very carefully, the Wal-Mart I get mine from usually tucks it away on the very bottom shelf.

100_3424

They are the red-headed stepchildren of the laundry world.

A large pot – at least a gallon, preferably more

Long-handled spoon

knife or grater – for cutting up the soap

bucket – this recipe makes a lot! The bucket I use once held kitty litter and holds about six gallons. I transfer about two gallons into a smaller container (which also once held kitty litter) and keep it in the laundry room so I’m not tripping over a big bucket.

*****************************************************

Okay, this is really easy.

Step 1

Bring water, about one gallon for every eight ounces of soap you use, to a boil. While it heats, use the knife or grater to cut the soap into little pieces and drop them into the water. It doesn’t have to be a fine powder, bigger pieces are fine. It will just take longer for them to melt in the water. The bars I’m using are only about four ounces each, so I’m using two of them.

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Step 2

Once the liquid is boiling and the soap has dissolved, it’s time to add the borax and washing soda.

  It MUST be boiling or nearly so.

The washing soda won’t dissolve in cooler water, it will just form lumps in the bottom of the pot. Add a cup at the time, slowly, while stirring. The mixture will go cloudy after the washing soda is added, that’s normal. It will become more translucent once everything has dissolved.

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Starting to ad the washing soda.(I didn’t have enough) The borax has already been added. Notice how translucent the liquid is.

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Shortly after adding the washing soda. Very cloudy. When it finally cools it will be close to this color.

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Washing soda and borax have dissolved and the mixture is once more translucent. It won’t stay like this. If you are adding scent or preservative, this is the time to do so.

Step 3

Here is where you have some options. What you have created is a concentrate; if you do nothing it will cool and reach a thick, pudding-like consistency. It is usable, but it doesn’t work too well in cold water washing. It does make a wonderful stain treatment at this strength and I usually dip a bit out into a washed-out cream cheese container to spot treat clothes and the carpet.

To dilute into a more usable consistency, take your bucket and run about a gallon of the hottest water your tap can provide into it. Carefully pour the concentrate into the water.

It will be very hot and can burn you! 

Stirring constantly, add more hot water until it’s as full as you like. Leave it to cool, it will take several hours, and you can give it an occasional stir or leave it alone.

All done!

My bucket holds about six gallons and that makes for a thin laundry soap using this recipe, resembling egg drop soup when cool. This works good for me, I tend to use too much soap so watering it down a bit means I actually use less when I splash in my regular amount. When my mother makes hers she uses less water and it closely resembles yogurt. I use about a cup of mine per load, while Mother Dearest uses about half that. I also use mine to wash my dishes, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and just spray it over the dishes in the sink before I start washing them. Works wonderfully.

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The finished product. When the hot concentrate is added to the relatively cooler tap water it cools a bit and gets cloudy again.

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Fearless is a helper.

If you did like I did and forget to make sure you have enough washing soda, prepare as usual. When you finally get your missing ingredient, scoop out about half a gallon of the mixture and bring it to a boil and add the powder. Let it dissolve and return the liquid to the bucket and stir vigorously.

If you want a more homogeneous end result, stir continuously while it cools (a vigorous stirring every few minutes for about six hours is good). An immersion blender works great for this. Mother Dearest does this, but I don’t mind the egg drop soup look. I store most of the mixture in the bucket and fill a big jug to keep in the laundry room. I just give it a hard shake before I use it to make sure it’s stirred up good.

A word of warning –

WATCH THE POT CAREFULLY AND DO NOT LET IT BOIL OVER!

You will not believe the mess it makes. You just keep cleaning and cleaning and there’s still soap everywhere. It happened to me once and I still have nightmares.

It’s hard to break down how much this would cost, since there are so many variables. Depending on what kind of soap you use, how much washing soda and borax you use, and so on. For me, using homemade soap and this recipe, it costs less than two dollars to make six gallons and it lasts me for several months.

That’s pretty cheap.

It’s also very customizable, depending on your needs and your tastes, which is what I like about it. I’m always fiddling with different scents and amounts, but this is my core recipe.


Power bands.

The freaking things are everywhere.

Famous athletes, those who wish to be famous athletes, those who watched a famous athlete on TV once; it seems like a lot of people are wearing the things.

But they don’t work. AT ALL.

Because it’s a shiny sticker and a rubber band. You cannot affect someone’s athletic performance with a shiny sticker and a rubber band unless you duck-tape them over the athlete’s eyes, and even then you are negatively affecting it instead of positively affecting it.

According to the True Believers, this magic sticker somehow affects your body’s something-or-other field, and gives you greater endurance and stamina and you can shoot lasers out of your eyes and shit bricks of  platinum. I don’t know, I tend to stop listening to bullshit after a while.

While it’s well documented that the magic stickers are worthless (Unless you are buying them from the Power Balance folks, who charge $100 for ten of the little moneymakers. Whores don’t have that kind of profit margin) in the interest of  furthering pseudoscience and not having to come up with another blog topic, I have decided to have my own little test. Since I’m not going to waste $30 of  my  brandy-money on silicone and shiny stickers, I came up with an alternative;

A gum wrapper and a rubber band. I am a genius.

Uncanny, isnt it?

The band in use. It looks just like the original.

Hour 1 – I feel normal, no sign of wing-budding yet but I am optimistic.

Hour 2 – Some tingling in the extremities, a feeling of profound cold over the rest of my body. I decide to get out of the freezer and see if I can remember where I put my clothes.

Hours 3 – 5 – I am one with the universe. I can feel the heartbeat of every blade of grass and see the colors of the moonlight. I will frolic with the children of the west wind and they shall fear me.

Hours 6-10 – Dammit, they are on to me! It was that rat-bastard Pedro, he sold  me out to the Walrus King. I told the apple, you can never trust a kumquat! I find that little raisin and he’ll be prune juice. Pickled kumquat spinach juice! Hey, you ever notice how weird a word looks when you write it over and over again?  Like apple. Apple. Aye pee pee ell eee. Apple. it’s just odd, that’s all.

Hours 11-20 – APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE  APPLE

Hours 21-24 – I am the very model of a modern major mineral, not vegetarian organ-grinder something something, something-something  … PICKLES! Beep the pickles, but slowly. Slowly! :MANICAL LAUGHTER:

:24 hours later:

Ah-hem.

That was probably a bad idea.

To whomever owned the lavender Audi, I’m sorry about the thing with the pickle relish and the fire extinguisher.