Friday, July 31, 2009

Dr Bronner's Magic "All-One!"

At first glance, this seems to be an unusual, but unassuming soap. Upon closer inspection, however, the design appears to be words.  Inspiring passages which have an evangelical spin, but if you read it, they are kind of hopeful more than religious (if you don't count the God references). "We are all one! Exceptions? None!" Seems nice that they try to make everyone equal.  In preparing this essay, I read up on the history of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap on their website, and I gotta say, it's actually pretty interesting.  Having lost his parents to Nazi Germany, Dr. Bronner, living in America, became somewhat of a folk hero, for his ideas on bringing man together through peace and understanding, and his "Moral ABC."  There was even a documentary made about him.  The writings on the package are all his original teachings, which he started printing on there to help spread his message. 

The smell is a fresh peppermint, made with organic materials, which now always reminds me of bathing in the river on camping trips, since that is where we use this soap.  It's good for all-over. But there are other flavors on their website now (also, quite a scary picture of Dr. Bronner himself, I think), so I might investigate getting other ones to use all the time.  Rose sounds nice.  As for the other uses, I haven't tried any: baby, car, toothpaste, dish detergent, etc. I did use it to shave today. The big bottle also has a lot more messages, from figures such as Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln.

We affectionately call this "Jesus Soap," but really, Jesus is not mentioned anywhere on the bottle, only implied...and sometimes that is just the same. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Canoe Trip

As promised, proof positive that I went camping. The site was great, perfect for a large crowd, with space for the canoes and rocks to hang out on by the water. We had paddled down the river 10 miles to get there, 10 canoes deep. We were tired, and arms were aching. But the weather held up nicely, it had been hot and breezy most of the day. I survived Day 1 without incident; that was a victory for me. The trouble came after dinner, when it started raining. It was light enough to hang out for a little while, but once it got too heavy, most of us went to bed early.

Later, I was still awake, but had no idea what time it was. The lights were finally out in the other tents, and it was pitch dark outside, except for the glow of the smoldering fire, and the occasional flash of lightning. I could not tell if it was sheet or bolt lightning, it was beyond the trees. But it was probably the brightest I've seen. It was already raining, but then, the thunder and downpour came. The rain lasted the entire night; by morning, skies were clear and the day looked promising to continue down the river. Things went pretty smoothly the whole day (8 more miles), and noone even tipped a canoe!

This is camping: no electricity, no toilet, no luxuries...just you and nature, and, for some...your entire kitchen, just smaller and made of lightweight aluminium. It is unreal how much they have out there for campers to bring along. All the bedrolls and air mattresses and pots and cookers and utensils. The sporting goods store even had a portable blender. A BLENDER! Because after I paddle a canoe 10 miles, I really want a daiquiri.

I guess my point is, neither of us is much of a camper, but for one night, I think we both did pretty well. The trick is to just face facts: you are not going to be home and comfortable, might as well put up with it best you can with as little fuss as possible, and it will all go smoothly. And of course, if you are going to bathe in the river, make it a religious experience with Dr. Bronner's!*

*This is what we "in the biz" call a "teaser."

Friday, July 24, 2009


This weekend we will be going camping and canoeing. For those who don't know me, I am not much of a nature girl...meaning, "I hate nature." I find it's generally full of dirt and icky things. Not that I have a problem getting dirty once in a while. The problem is that after possibly getting dirty, I will bathe in a river and sleep in a tent. Thank goodness for Dr. Bronner*.

I will be sure to post a review of our trip next week. Until then, my friends, here are some pics of flowers that are NOT outdoors: a bouquet from That Guy for our anniversary. He's so sweet. :) (As you can see I like taking plant pictures on macro. It's a disease, but I don't have insurance right now to get my prescription filled.)

*Post to come.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I am thrilled to be the proud owner of a brand new Library Card! AND they are a Pals Plus Library! Whatever that means, I'm not sure! I guess it's good!

Things are so modern now, they even have keychain versions of the card, for the look that says "My brain is so full from reading these big, thought-provoking books that I cannot be expected to remember my card too!"

It had been so long since I'd been in a library, I took some time to just browse the shelves and acquaint myself with all the literary treasures which await. I should have done this right when I got laid off; it could have killed a lot of boring days. But NOW, I can't get a job-I have too much reading to do! ::sigh::

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good Things Take Time

This is Amish Friendship Bread. It takes a long time to make. And by "long time," I mean "ten days." The idea is, you receive starter batter from a friend (in this case, TG's mom); it's made from milk, flour, and sugar. It sits on the counter for a few days, unrefrigerated, and all you do is stir it (mine was in a ziploc bag). After a few days you add more milk, flour, and sugar, and it starts to actually bubble. I guess there's chemical reactions going on that can't happen in the fridge. The bag gets full of air (gas?) and you have to let it out every day. From the smell, which is not unpleasant, it seems to turn into something related to yogurt.

On the tenth day, you add more stuff (the Amish call everything "stuff"), and then dish out three cups of batter in containers to give to others to start (hence the "friendship" part). The rest gets eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla pudding, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, all mixed together, and baked. You can add in different things like fruit and chocolate chips - streusel on top would be great, as the final product is similiar to coffee cake: sweet and moist. I chose chocolate chip and plain. These were really good...I was pretty skeptical at first, what with the non-refrigeration and all. But with the time it takes to wait for it, I'm not sure I would make it again unless someone gives me starter again. I'm more of an instant gratification type of girl, you know?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Suburban Hero, Pt 2

Here is our second thrilling installment of "Stewart, Suburban Hero"!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009


We have an ongoing joke around here: "Every day is Saturday." Ah, unemployment. So when every day is Saturday, and a holiday weekend comes up, whatever do you do? We went down to a friend's mother's house down the shore, where there were three other couples, two babies, a few random people, and four cats. The original intention was to drive down Friday, but the traffic was going to be so bad we would have had to leave at 7am. At 9:30 on Thursday night, TG suggests going down that night. As bad as that prospect seemed, it was the lesser of two evils, so we went.

We basically spent two days poolside, relaxing and getting sunburn. For myself, I was happy to get out of the house for a while and really kick off the summer. There was talk of going to the beach both days, but noone seemed overly interested in actually GOING. It is a bit of a hassle to get all the stuff together and go. At night we roamed the boardwalk. I had a Kohr's Orange-Vanilla swirl ice cream, which I haven't had in years, and it was amazing. Pizza at the Sawmill was another flashback for me, and it was great as well. The sunset both nights was so beautiful, and a nice contrast to the craziness around the boardwalk, with the rides and people and lights. I wish I had a camera, but TG has an iPhone, so all these photos are from there. Thanks hun! :)

View of the pier from the beach area, and the backyard at Dolores' house.

Kohr's, and a nice sunset.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Bacon Salt

Remember this guy?

He told me to say hello to you. "Everything should taste like bacon" indeed. Here is a list of what I used this on (so far):

• Creamy pasta salad (twice)
• Sprinkled on diced tomatoes
• Chili - it was just ok - I do not recommend this application
• Bread and Butter - soo good!
• Fresh mozzerella - SOOO good!

I really must look into a chicken dish or something with it...that was the original intention, I just haven't found a good way to incorporate it yet. Any ideas out there?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dangerous Muffins

These muffins are pop-able. They are tiny morsels of yummy that are very addicting.

Sugar Donut Muffins
Credit goes to vanilla kitchen. I think I will take her advice next time and add jelly in the middle, they need just a bit of flair.

Just look at that yummy sugar on top!

For size comparison...a quarter.