Book Giveaway!

Vinegar Fridays
Vinegar Fridays

If you take a peek around my blog, you will find “Lynne’s Lab,” where I blog about doing my best to “go green.” I have been making my own household cleaners and toiletries for almost two years. My “green epiphany” began when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I started researching alternative and holistic methods of slowing down the progression of his disease.

My research opened a whole new way of looking at health – mainly, the prevention of disease. Our family now eats more organic and locally grown foods, less processed foods and we have done our best to rid the house of harmful chemicals.

I met author Hana Haatainen Caye, who is known as the “Green Grandma,” at a training conference in Chicago. The two of us connected, as when we both hit mid-life, we could see the benefits of being more aware of our environment, and the health risks that come with many commercial products. As we were talking, we shared information, and started following each through social media.

And, when I had the opportunity to review my fellow blogger’s book, I was excited to do so.

As consumers, we succumb to advertising, and many times we find ourselves purchasing foods, household cleaners and toiletries that have adverse side effects. Harsh chemicals that leach into the water system, vapors and fumes that can overwhelm users – there is a whole lot of bad stuff in our foods, cleaners, shampoos and make-up!

The Green Grandma offered a weekly feature on her blog entitled, “Vinegar Fridays.” Each week, she discussed a new use or tip for vinegar, and her readers loved it. After a year, she stopped the feature, thinking her readers were growing weary. But they didn’t. Green Grandma’s readers missed Vinegar Fridays. So, with the encouragement and support of her family and her blog followers, she edited her posts, did additional research, added recipes, more tips, and her book was born.

From using vinegar in the kitchen – in cooking and cleaning – to using it in the laundry room, to cleaning indoors and out; for skin and health care, pet care and critter control and more, Green Grandma covers numerous topics. Though she admits these are her opinions and she isn’t claiming scientific evidence to support her opinions, quite simply, the proof is in the pudding. Distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are multi-purpose items that have stood the test of time and have been used for generations.

For years I have been using distilled white vinegar and water for cleaning windows, and I’d never use anything else again. I also use it for disinfecting the kitchen and bathroom and mopping the floors. Not only does it kill germs, there is no lingering perfume-chemical smell. And the house smells fresh! The vinegar smell dissipates quickly. (Quick side note – I had our furnace checked out for the winter, and our heating and cooling serviceman recommended cleaning the humidifier’s water intake/out-take pump with vinegar, and flushing with water, explaining that bleach was too harsh on the vinyl out-take hose!)

From this book, not only did I learn more about vinegar and its uses, but I enjoyed Hana’s writing. And, Vinegar Fridays is a great resource – I keep my copy handy in the kitchen with my favorite cook books. It is great to have all these tips handy and in one place.

If you are a resident in the U.S., and would like to be in a drawing for a copy of Vinegar Fridays, please fill out the RaffleCopter form for a chance to win. Deadline for entry is midnight on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

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For more green living info and tips, or to order a book, follow and/or click on any of these links: Green Grandma on Facebook and Twitter and the Facebook page for Vinegar Fridays!

Let me know your favorite use for vinegar in the comment section.


To the gal who almost side-swiped me…


You probably don’t know this, but you almost took me out this afternoon. Your passenger-side mirror was one inch from my driver-side mirror. Yes, I was in my own lane. You, my dear, were not.

I understand that sometimes we drift, and get it back together after a near-miss. Sometimes an animal runs across the road, and we react to avoid hitting it. Or a driver in the opposite direction looks like they may hit us head-on. So, yes, I understand all that, and I am forgiving.

However, young lady, none of that played out. And you wouldn’t know, because your eyes were gazing at your lap, because that was where your phone was perched.

You almost caused an accident today because you were texting. And you don’t even know it.

I dropped my speed down, as I would rather see what you were up to, and avoid any mess you may create. I watched you weave all over your lane. Then you made an illegal turn, and cut someone off, because you were not paying attention. I prayed for the others on the road who would cross your path. And I gave a prayer of thanks that you were no longer an immediate threat to me.

Honestly, I don’t really care what your reasons were for texting and driving. I don’t care if you had a fight with your boyfriend, or your BFF went into labor or your wedding dress didn’t arrive on time. I don’t care if your kid puked at day care or your mom was rushed to the hospital. There is absolutely no good excuse for you to text and drive. And, if you were just coordinating lunch plans, then I admonish you even more. You always have the option to pull over into a parking lot and converse. You do not have the option to text and drive.

You see, there is nothing so dang important going on in your world that you have to take me out of mine. I want to eat dinner with my family. I want to hear my daughter sing at her next concert. I want to go to dinner with my husband and watch my granddaughters play.

Young lady, you may think you know how to text and drive, because it is part of your daily routine. I, as a witness, can tell you this: You can’t text and drive. Really, you can’t. I watched you. It is only because other drivers are paying attention that you have been successful to this point. You had no idea what was happening on the road. You had no reaction time. Oh – and here’s a newsflash – it is against the law to text and drive. But I am sure you know that. You are above the law, because, well, you think you have this skill mastered.

You are young, but you are not invincible, as many in your age group believe. My mid-life wisdom has taught me just how precious each day – and life – is. And, your life is precious, too. Don’t you want to live a little longer?

You are the reason I am apprehensive each time I get behind the wheel. You are the reason I am afraid to let my daughter take the wheel as she learns to drive. You are the reason I tell everyone “be careful” as they head out the door.

Thankfully, I am okay – just angry and a little shaken up over the incident. I will get over it, and I have already forgiven you for scaring me on the road this afternoon. I made it home safely, and I thank God for that.

But, would you please listen? And share with your friends? You can not text and drive. Period. You may think you can, but eventually, you will have to stop. And, most likely you will stop because you will learn a very hard lesson as to why you can’t text and drive. When you eventually plow into another car, and yes, that will happen, I just pray that you don’t kill someone.

Honestly, angry as I am, I really don’t want you to have to pay a tragic price for your stupidity. And the rest of us on the road, well, we really don’t want to be victims of your recklessness.

Have you had enough of people texting and driving? Let me know in the comments below.

© Lynne Cobb – 2013

Update: This post was featured on Midlife Boulevard on Dec. 18, 2013!