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.

 

Embracing my inner “geek”

Last summer, I remember there was a really, super-hot day towards the end of June. At the time, my dad was in the hospital. I couldn’t focus on much, so I hopped on Facebook and posted something silly like, “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk”.

And the conversations began.

“I always wanted to try that,” replied someone. “Does it work?” asked another.

Admittedly, I have always liked science experiments. Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, Mentos in diet soda, watching celery sticks and Queen Anne Lace drink up food coloring, microwaving almost-stale Peeps…the list goes on and on. So when my cousin almost double-dog-dared me to fry an egg on the sidewalk, what was I to do?

Out the door I went, egg in hand. And a camera, too. Then, like a giddy school girl, I’d run back in the house to update my followers on my experiment. And for the record, the egg started cooking. Kind of a soft-scramble due to the way the egg hit the ground. I was laughing and taking pictures. I’m glad the kids weren’t home, because they’d have been mortified to know that people walking their dogs were staring at me. But I digress.

Of course, I shrugged off the incident as therapy for a rough time period in my life. But the other day, while I was cleaning, that summer-time experiment memory came back and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Then it struck me – I might be a geek.

Serious – I think I am! Maybe because I did some techincal writing recently and learned about things like cloud-based applications and gigs of data and cool stuff like that, but I think there really is a geek hiding within!

Here’s why. We live in what designers like to call “mid-century modern” house. Basically, it’s a small ranch a little older than me, that has a old bathtub that refuses to come clean. Each week I’m scrubbing the blasted thing to no avail. Stinky cleaning products in hand, I run in to the bathroom, hold my breath, spray and scrub until I need to breathe, run out of the bathroom, gasp for air, plug my nose and repeat.

Until I decided enough was enough. This week would be different. And, like a semi-mad scientist, I started to experiment with less-stinky, homemade cleaning products.

A sinister smirk appeared when I started to sprinkle baking soda everywhere. Then, with my trusty spray bottle in hand, I doused the baking soda with the vinegar. Bubbles erupted and fizzing hisses greeted me! This was both entertaining and educational – and it worked! Boy, did I have a blast! Who knew cleaning could be so much fun! Plus, I could breathe while scrubbing, which made my job so much easier!

Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? It’s not like I haven’t played (safely) as a scientist before. I’ve made my own laundry detergent, mixed my own Easter egg dye and made window cleaner. I’ve helped my kids with science fair projects. Where was my head?

Gosh, I wish I hadn’t ignored my inner geek, because when I did embrace it, cleaning the bathroom was, well, it was kind of fun.

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb