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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dealing with the angst of being me.

I bet, if my mother had been a Famous Person when she had me, and if she had had any idea of the 'me' I would turn out to be, she would have named me Angst.  I have been worrying about the planet since the first Earth Day.  (I was a toddler.  Really.)  I worry about recycling - I can envision my trash on a landfill.  I hear sheep bleating in the middle of the night when there is none to be heard.  I read Joel Salatin and feel I must be just like him.  Visions of polar bears swimming in an endless search for ice floes pop up in my mind's eye.  I have to approach the cat litter aisle in my local pet mart with my eyes closed, so I don't see the cats and kittens up for adoption.  That can be painful in so many ways.

Some of my latest angst-driven moments have revolved around laundry detergent.  (It's sad, ain't it?)  I have been making my own since: a) it's cheaper; b) it creates less waste that must be recycled or, gasp, thrown out; c) I know exactly what is in it; and d) it is the thing to do if you are a true homesteader.  The problem is, the one ingredient that I have such a hard time finding is ... time.  Time to make it.  You can search every dang cupboard in my house and you will find no time.  No time in the pantry.  No time in the drawers or closets.  Yet, the weekend approaches and laundry looms.  Tired of losing sleep over the laundry soap dilemma, I took drastic action.  I ordered it online.  The good news?  I found a totally good, non-toxic, non-bad-for-the-environment detergent that is reasonably priced.  And, after opening the box and finding a compromised box seam which allowed a goodly amount of soap powder to scatter about the shipping box, the Seller agreed with my assessment that a plastic bag was in order (reusable, of course) and gave me a $5 credit for my trouble.

The bad news?  I envisioned my box and it's carbon footprint as it came lumbering to me.  And then I headed for the Merlot.

24 comments:

  1. I'm reading Joel's book and am completely inspired to live better than I am! He is so passionate about the earth, he's awesome! I haven't made my own laundry detergent yet, I guess I need to do that but I have an issue with TIME also ☺

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    1. Kelly - Isn't he great? I am having a hard time putting the book down (which may have a great deal of influence on that limited commodity...time).

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  2. I have been making laundry detergent since finding several recipes on different blogs. First I made the liquid type, then I found one for powdered, like it much better, I bought a small Ninja at Wally World just to grate the bar of soap, now I am looking for a round container with a tight locking lid to roll around to mix the boxax and washing soda along with the powdered bar of soap from the Ninja, that would eliminate all the stirring. Should be able to make batch is less that 10 minutes, including getting out supplies.

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    1. TL - I am looking at this blip in my self-sufficiency as a stop-gap measure. I have the ingredients for powdered (which I, also, prefer) and will make a back-up batch when I do find the time. What is a Ninja? Besides, the obvious, that is.

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    2. Tombstone Livestock: If you go to any grocery store with a bakery, they will often give away the frosting buckets with the lids, which lock down very tightly. At the minimum they sometimes charge around $2 for the buckets.

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  3. My grandmother used to make her own laundry detergent and prided herself at having her laundry on the line before anyone else did on Monday mornings......her laundry was so white it was dazzling. Needless to say lye was the key ingredient. I am surprised she still had skin on her hands.
    Are you sure you feel comfortable visiting me.......I use Wisk!

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    1. Sylvie - Oh, heck. I guess that puts the kabosh on my asking you to do my laundry when I'm there...;o) It's amazing that any of our grandmothers came out unscathed. I try to put my linens on the line when the sun is out good and strong.

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  4. Some days it all gets so overwhelming (the state of the world and the environment) That I figure I should just take up smoking and heavy drinking. Then maybe it wouldnt bother me. But instead I just take solace in the things I do to live lightly on the earth. And some days that just has to be enough or we would never get out of bed.

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    1. Jane - You are right. I think that sometimes, having the world opened up to us via the Internet can be a bad thing - it was easier when you didn't know just how much unhappiness there was out there. I do believe that it is important for everyone to do their bit, no matter how small. Of course, your bit is no small matter, my dear.

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  5. Ugh, we think alike. I remember when there was panic on the news that we were running out of landfills and we were going to bury ourselves in our own garbage. I was around 10 then. I got my little red wagon and went down the road picking up trash to recycle, like that would help. Problem is I still think that way. I'm still recycling, reusing, you name it. Part of me thinks this is hopeless what good does it do for me to walk to the store when some old fart is. In his car running the air conditioning while he waits for his wife. I try to not see everything and tell myself at least I don't have a guilty conscious.

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    1. Penny - Can you imagine if we ALL took our little red wagons and picked up trash to recycle? Or, how about this -- NO ONE threw their trash on the road! Now there's a novel idea. You just keep on doing what you're doing. Maybe it will catch on.

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  6. Wow. I think I just found my twin. ;) Please pass the Merlot...:)

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  7. Dear daughter of mine has been making liquid detergent for herself and me for a few years now, but I would like to learn how to make the powdered stuff. (The liquid is a little hard to keep "mixed up." As in . . . it separates._)

    On days when I'm feeling the world is going to hell in a hand basket, I get cranky and feel my working hard to "do the right thing" is of no value. But most of the time, I know in my heart that saving our environment has to begin at home, with each and every one of us doing all we can.

    I'd drink a glass of that merlot with you tonight but I ended our dinner meal by dumping my glass of (red, of course) wine all over my placemat, white top and the lap of my light colored blue jeans. So I guess I've had enough.

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    1. Mama Pea - I used to make the liquid detergent, too, but decided to go back to powder for the same reason - too much shakin' needed to get it remixed every week.

      So much of what's right begins at home, doesn't it? It's good to know, after reading these comments, that there are a lot of us kindred souls out there.

      Salt! A friend of mine in Holland turned me onto this - dump a lot of salt on the stain, with a tiny bit of water and let it set. Then rinse it out and most - if not all - of the wine stain will be gone.

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  8. I made homemade laundry soap and it just didn't work for me. Clothes got dingy, so I bought some non-toxic stuff too. Clean clothes now :) No merlot for me, I'd be lights out early...

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    1. Nancy - Mine seemed to work okay. We'll see how this new stuff does on this week's laundry. I am counting on my Merlot to send me off to lights-out!

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  9. I just made some laundry detergent this past weekend. We were all out, and I needed some clean clothes. It hadn't gotten done earlier due to.... yes, you guessed it..... a lack of time!
    There are many bottles of wine here at my house leftover from my hubby's memorial. Getting a little tired of seeing it, I just gave away a bottle of merlot to my neighbor a few nights ago. If you lived close by, I'd give you the rest!
    ~~Lori

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    1. Lori - I was so sorry to hear about your loss. Just remember, wine improves with age (as do we all, right?) Wish I did live close by - I'd share a glass or two with you out on the deck.

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  10. Time. That about sums up all of it. We pay either with money or time! I have to say that the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent around here are not especially easy to find nor cheaper. That saves the the angst on that one. :)

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    1. Leigh - Lucky you! I can find all the ingredients and, they ARE cheaper. So, all I can rely on to get out of making it is no time to do it.

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  11. We all just have to do the best we can - it's all anyone can do!

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  12. I love this post and can totally connect with the angst you feel. Well said.

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  13. I had the same problem as Nancy, the clothes just kept getting dingier and dingier... Maybe I had the wrong ratio of ingredients or we (hubby) get extra dirty or it's the water. (sigh)
    By the way, a Ninja is a supercool, easier to clean, little personal blender thingy that I would have IF I hadn't just recently bought a regular blender.

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