The Wild Side

IMG_2362I grew up on the wild side, and never really wanted to leave it. Therefore when the day came that I had to, I felt my circumstances had been depleted in some way. This was of course ridiculous, it is just that one gets used to what one knows, or at least I did.

However now, years later, I am nothing but thankful that I am here and the critters are there. For you see it may be just one mile of distance, but the difference in that distance is night and day, because within that mile, there is one very busy boulevard, which keeps the bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and deer away from me.

Thus I am able to have this:IMG_1974

And this:image

For when theseIMG_2355come down into the neighborhoods with the cool of the evening, they devour the gardens, and in the dark of the night it can be dangerous to have them bounding across the roads. I have been lucky so far and have managed to slam on the brakes and avoid impact with these beautiful, but oblivious creatures.IMG_2357

And then there are the bears that have loloped over and down the mountains, and jumped over my brother while he enjoys a cup of coffee on his patio in the mornings, which because of the distance, don’t raid my fruit trees and trash cans.FullSizeRenderThis particular one was spotted by a friend as he was out for his morning ride, but then again anyone who lives above the boulevard has to be constantly vigilant and make enough noise when coming or going in the dark.

The fearless coyotes don’t carry off my outdoor animals.IMG_2361

I don’t have to think about or worry about the mountain lions which roam wherever they darn well please.IMG_2358

The raccoons are everywhere since the live in the storm drains and have unhindered mobility. However we have a dog that manages to keep them away for now.IMG_2360

Still, they are cute critters and I much prefer them to the possums we had living in our hedge once. Those things were terrifying in the dark as they hissed and rattled to chase you away, and with their glow in dark eyes, it worked.

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The squirrels are abundant, but I suppose everywhere has squirrels nowadays. For they are even down here in the traffic busy flat lands. I wonder how they will adapt when the utilities finish putting the telephone and cable wires they use to travel, underground.

 

At least we don’t have peacocks parading and holding up traffic like the town next door. What can I say, you really must be thankful for the little things.

Such is life in the suburbs

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I’m Lazy Like That

Wow, I guess I am lazy. I keep reading posts regarding the making of laundry soap and I am tired before I even finish. It doesn’t have to be as much work as so many people make it out to be. So instead of high jacking someone’s comments, I will let it all out here.

First off, I might grate the soap, or if I have time because I didn’t let my soap run out, I just place the bar in a pot of water, put it on the back of stove, and wait for it to melt all by its lonesome self. I have no qualms about waiting a few days if I happen to forget about it, and if somewhere along the way during the melting process, I decide to pick up the pace, I start a low flame under the pot and speed up the process. The thing to keep in mind is that you are transforming the solid ingredients into a solution, and things must fully dissolve, so have plenty of water in your pot, and keep in mind that heat is your new best friend.

Anyway, with the soap fully dissolved, if I haven’t already turned on the heat, I start the burner on medium low, and stir when I remember to. Then when the soapy water is clear and mildly steaming, I add 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda, being sure to stir enough in the beginning, to keep the powder from sticking on the bottom.

After I have added the borax and soda, I stir occasionally as I remember, (my kitchen is in the center of the house so I pass through it frequently), then when the solution is clear and syrupy looking, I pour it into my home depot bucket by the washing machine. I stack two together to not have to reach to the floor as the bucket empties.

Wait! I forgot to add, I fill my large soup pot with water, and begin the process of bringing it to a boil somewhere along the way. I cannot say for sure where, since it all depends on how much of a hurry I am in. You will need the boiling water when you are done with your solution.

So now I have the solution in the bottom of the bucket, and if I remember to start my water boiling at the right point, I pour the pot of boiling water in on the top of the soap solution and stir well, briskly. If I forgot to start the water on time, I keep the soap solution on the stove on low until the water boils.

Now, my daughter is not like me and boils a second pot of water to fill the bucket up the rest of the way, but I am too lazy, and anyway, I keep our hot water heater really hot, so instead of more boiling, I just fill up the pot I cooked the soap in, with my don’t let it touch my skin hot water from the tap. I do this a few times to finish filling up the bucket, and briskly stir again. This has the added benefit of cleaning out the soap cooking pot, and I also use the water that runs from the tap until it runs hot, to fill the sink for dish washing.

So, it cost a few dollars to make five gallons of laundry soap, along with the initial expense of two home depot buckets, a long handled spoon for stirring, and a twist on lid that fits the home depot buckets. I leave the lid a bit tilted and unsealed because I like to leave the long handled stirring spoon in the bucket so I don’t have to look for it, and because the solution will separate from the water with temperature changes and such, so just stir it back together again.

For a boost I will add a cup or so (I don’t measure) of washing soda to the bottom of washer tub when doing a load of whites, it helps with brightness. I also add a cup of white vinegar to every wash cycle and 1/2 cup to the machines fabric softener dispenser, so I don’t need fabric softener and it completely eliminates odors. The smell of vinegar disappears when the clothes dry, and they are softer than I have ever achieved with store bought stuff.

I use this homemade soap for delicates, as well as heavy dirty loads. I just let the water fill a bit and then pour the vinegar and soap directly on the damp clothes where the water comes in, and so far, nothing has faded or fallen apart.

There is an added plus with the homemade stuff and vinegar, when I hang clothes on the line, they never stiffen and get rough like they used to with store bought detergent, but they do smell.

Like warm days and sunshine…..sigh.

Blessings Belinda

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A little bit of me

Gail loves God pinged me with a liebster, and seeing that liebsters include a list, its party time 🎉

Really though, I always enjoy reading the answers people give if I have been reading their posts for awhile, so I add my answers here below with the possibility someone who reads here might feel the same, and it’s a list!

Gail’s Questions:
1. What time is it where you are? Bedtime….sigh. I should have resisted the lure of my iPad. I will be feeling it tomorrow.
2. What kind of mood are you in? Now that I think about it, pretty good actually. Thanks for asking.
3. Do you have a favorite bible verse? In the beginning God created, (all this delicious stuff in the middle until), The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
4. Do you have a favorite hymn/song? Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

5. What’s the weather like where you are? Absolutely fabulous! Fall is the time to visit Southern California. Sunny days and cool nights usually through Christmas. Still, I have to admit, I covet a bit when I see catalogs with boots and sweaters and layers, but being stuck with flip flops and shorts in winter does make up for it just a wee little bit 😉
6. Tacos or hot dogs? Generally tacos, and if fish tacos always, but a good chili-cheese dog with all the fixins, yum 😍
7. Chicken or burgers? Burgers for sure. I eat a lot of chicken because it is good for me, affordable, and I like it okay, but given a choice I am a beef kinda gal all the way. 
8. How many posts have you made so far? That is a good question. Humm? I had to go look, and there are just over three hundred, not including the fifty or so I have deleted over time. This surprised me a bit. I would have thought I deleted more than that, interesting.
9. What is your favorite color? I don’t have a favorite. For most of my life I would answer orange just to not have the discussion of favorites. That being said, I am more fond of some color combinations than others, like the colors of fall, a basket of richly dyed Easter eggs, or the hazy gray blue purple pinks of dawn.
10. How do you stay calm when upset? I get sick when I get upset so I tend to work very hard at staying away from controversy and drama. I live in a self inflicted small little sphere I rarely venture out of, because well, I like to be well don’t ya know.
11. Do you have a salvation testimony? Yes. It all happened one day in a Chinese takeout. We go out for a Chinese feast every Christmas. How apt.

I now have reached the point in an award where I should ping others and ask them questions. I have decided to take a different approach to this than I have done in the past, and instead of creating a list to share, I will reblog posts. I think it is a much more effective way for me to share when there are so many wonderful possibilities available.

However, I now feel selfish that I have not shared the need for completing a list with others. I mean come on, I love um, maybe you do too. So have a go at one or two, or all of these questions in the comments if you like.

1. Why do you blog?

2. What do you do that is work, and did you chose it, or did it find you unawares?

3. What is your favorite book or movie, and why?

4. What is one thing about your life you would change if you could?

5. With unlimited resources, what would be your big dream for God?

❤️Blessings Belinda

Ps. Have fun if you’re so inclined. I would love to read your answers.

 

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