Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I'm Reading

One of the blessing of working as a school library media specialist, was that my WORK involved reading. Other teachers had papers to grade. I HAD to read children's books and novels. Believe me, it was a real "hardship." (NOT)   Once I began retirement, I gave myself a year to read anything I wanted even if it was pure "fluff" and not very good literature. I read some titles that I would recommend and some that I won't admit in public that I read from cover to cover:) 

 DH gifted me with a Nook this past Christmas.
Our public library system, Gwinnett County Public Library, is fantastic. He chose this brand of e-reader because I could request e-books from our public library. I discovered the Seaside Knitting Mystery Series through my library e-books. Sally Goldenbaum is the author of the series. Each book in the series is well-crafted with a fabulous setting, unique characters and well-developed plots.
The series begins with Death by Cashmere
Followed by Patterns in the Sand

 Moon Spinners
A Holiday Yarn

and the latest edition, The Wedding Shawl. I was able to read the first four in the series on my Nook. Our library does not yet have The Wedding Shawl in e-book format.  One of the blogs that I read and follow daily is Bookin' With Bingo.  This blog features wonderful reviews, author interviews and book giveaways. I was fortunate to win a copy of The Wedding Shawl from this blog. 

Another great blog for book recommendations is Books on the Knob. This blogger keeps readers informed of e-books that are on special from book publishers or one-line bookstores. The book are often free for that day. Some are reduced in price. Most of the recommendations are for books for the Kindle, but does include books for the Nook. I've downloaded many more books than I can read, but my Nook has space for these and many more. If I think I might read it someday, I download it.

I'd love to continue sharing The Wedding Shawl with other readers. Let's do a quick giveaway for this hardback copy of The Wedding Shawl. Just leave me a comment sharing the title of a book you've recently read and enjoyed. I'll do the random number "thingy" on Friday, September 16th.  Happy Reading!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Laundry Detergent

I get these "ideas" at time. They don't always make a great deal of sense, but that doesn't seem to matter.  I seem to become "obsessed" or "possessed" by an idea. One of my recent "wild ideas" was to make our laundry detergent. Several years ago,  Lori had photos on her blog of making her own laundry detergent. I had never heard of anyone doing this nor had it ever occurred to me that this could be done. So the first step was to "Google" homemade laundry detergent. The site that interested me the most was "10 Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes. " There are recipes for liquid soap and powdered soap. Liquid soap tends to make a mess all over my laundry area (couldn't be that I make the mess:) so I choose one of the powdered soap recipes. 

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #4
Picture of Cup Of Powdered Laundry Detergent - Tipnut.com2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
  • Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
  • Use 2 tablespoons per full load.
Recipe #4 seemed to fit my needs. All three ingredients that I needed were located at my local grocery store. I wasn't able to find the Fels Naptha Soap so I substituted Ivory Soap.

We own a cheese grated, but I thought it might be a good idea to purchase one just for my soap making. I could hear my DH and son commenting that the Parmesan cheese tasted like soap:)
These are the tools that I used. The cheese grater to grate the bar of soap, the one cup measuring cup to measure the Borax and Washing Soda, the 2 cup measuring cup to measure the grated soap and a large metal mixing bowl.

Perhaps the most difficult part was finding a container for the freshly made laundry soap. This jug was originally purchased  for lemonade. When I was cleaning the basement, I purchased cat litter for the paint cans I needed to put in the trash. I purchased this one because it had such a nice bucket that I could recycle. It may work when I make bigger batches, but it was too big for the 3 batches I recently made.
Instead, I'm using it to store the opened boxes for borax and washing soda.
My "boys" have approved of our new detergent.  Our clothes are clean and smell good. I haven't done a cost analysis, but plan to the next time I purchase supplies. This "wild idea" has been a successful one for us. I most definitely will continue making our own "homemade laundry detergent."