Monday, July 28, 2008

Showing your toenails this summer?

Since it is summer, lots of women are wearing sandals. I put my sandals on for the first time this year last week. I would like to paint my nails, but I am not sure about all the ingredients in nail polish. This link from the Green Guide (Nail Care) give pointers on the least toxic ways to have attractive toenails.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Keeping deer out of our gardens

Deer are a problem for our gardens in Duluth. How do you keep deer out of your gardens?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How walkable is your neighborhood?

When my husband and I had to move for a job almost three years ago, we purposely chose a neighborhood that we could easily get to work and shop by walking.

Today on the National Geographic's website "The Green Guide," the blog "The Ecopolitan"
by Jay Walljasper is featured. He discusses the "walkablity" of your neighborhood. This calculation come from the site "Walkscore."

I plugged in the numbers for my neighborhood, it came out to 72 which means it is a very walkable neighborhood and it would be possible to get around without a car. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.

Now, if we would just buy a condo near his office we could have a walk score of 95 !

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pick your own berries this summer

Prof. Cricket loves any chance she can get to go outdoors. She would just love to be a farm dog and romp around outdoors all day long. This summer, even if you don't have your own garden, you can get out of doors and have some fun picking your own berries. Dessert never tasted so good as when you picked the berries yourself.

I remember when my daughter was little we picked berries with our church group. It was relaxing to get out of town (we lived in Seattle) and see the rural areas. Plus, it was an social event for our church group. Kids of all ages think it is great fun. Later, at the church, people made strawberry shortcake.

If you are near Duluth, Minnesota try Finke's Berry Farm. The strawberries are ripe at their farm in Carlton. Be sure to phone ahead. The farm is located at 2331 Co. Rd. 4. Call 384-4432 or see for more information. Raspberries will be ripe later in the month or early in August.

Get creative, join together with others in your area to have a jam making party.

Greens, radishes, spring onions, and other fresh foods are available at farmers' markets now.

If you are in the Duluth, Minnesota area check out the Association Sustainable Farming Association's website for a list of area markets, including locations and times. (

More information will be posted on the Slow Food Lake Superior website,

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Purchase grass-fed beef at a farmers market

Eat locally grown food.
This ground beef was purchased at the Farmers Market in East Hillside from Green Pastures. Green Pastures Dairy is located in Carlton, Minn. and the cattle eat grass.

It is kinda expensive, but most Americans eat too much red meat. I made hamburgers tonight. It would have been easy for my husband to eat a one-half pound burger, but I made him a quarter-pounder and made sure he had lots of extras to fill him up.

Learn more about grass-fed beef at Eat Wild.

Green Pastures will be having an open house on Aug. 2nd.

Here is their contact information:
Green Pastures Dairy
2353 Bromfield Road
Carlton, MN 55718
(218) 384-4513

We also sell our products at the Duluth Farmers Markets every Saturday,
from June through October.

Duluth Farmers Market
14th Ave. E. & 3rd St.
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Monday, July 07, 2008

Poison yards? Keep children and pets of the grass for their own safety

Prof. Cricket and I walk at least two times a day. I had her pose by this sign. I suppose I should be careful, it says to keep pets and children off because the lawn has just been sprayed with a weedkiller.

Do you really want you yard to be poisonous to children and small furry animals?

What do you do to keep your yard free from weeds? Please post your comments.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Save Energy, clean behind your refridgerator

When I was a kid, my mom told a story on herself. As a young women her refrigerator did not work so she called a repairman. He came over and vacuumed the back side of her refrigerator. She said she was embarrassed, but it did fix her refrigerator.

A refrigerator uses about 15 % of your household electricity.

A couple years ago I went to the Green Energy Fair in Duluth and I listened to a talk by Tony Mancuso. (He figures out lots of innovative ways to save energy for St. Louis County.) He also talked about how you could increase the efficiency of your refrigerator if you clean behind it, and he had some examples of brushes you could use. So, I purchased this nifty brush that Prof. Cricket is posing by, but I never used it.

About a month ago our refrigerator started making all kinds of funny noises. It was very loud. So I spent a good hour using the brush behind the coils and especially the areas close to the floor and near the fan.

Now our refrigerator isn't making any more funny noises and it is quiet.

Here is a link on how to clean the coils for your refrigerator

This above example talks about removing a plate. I did not do that.

Here is another blog, Brave New Leaf, with a post about how to clean the coils: