Friday, April 22, 2016


I got a new comment on the original post so I thought I'd do an update or whatever it is when you discuss something again.

It seems, per the above mentioned comment, that the spandex scourge has spread to BOY JEANS!  MAN PANTS!  That wasn't the direction it needed to go.  It needed to go away. 

And yet, in the past several months I have found several pairs of jeans in thrift of course, that are 100% cotton!  Imagine my joy.  Part of it is I'm slightly thinner and even one size smaller increases the selection whether thrift or retail.

One pair is a practically new pair of abercrombie and fitch.  I would not normally wear that brand, and yet, they are cotton and they fit.  Others are ralph lauren, which I've known for a while has a model that fits my physique reasonably well.  And finally, yesterday, I found the holy grail of 100% cotton thrift girl pants....carhartt. Wow.  They are basically new, though no tags.  Girl pants in the lower waisted (I have possibly the shortest waist on the planet), yet 34" length.  Hard to get even in retail.  They were, by my standards, extremely expensive.  $6.00.  With no discounts available.  But you don't leave that in the store.  The company does not make this model anymore sans spandex but with straight legs and a low waist.  Even some of their double front pants have spandex.  WTF?  Seriously carhartt (I'll capitalize that when you start showing ME some respect and make real pants again).  Stop with the stretchy BS.  I do not want baggy knees and butt, looking like I dropped a load over lunch, halfway through my work day. I also wear work pants multiple days, but try that with your spandex nonsense and I end up with pants that are only the intended diameter at the calf.  Jodhpurs anyone?  I suppose it would be handy if I had a sudden case of diarrhea and had to walk home.  Wouldn't leak out on my shoes.

Anyway, these are great. I'd rather have the brown version, but one takes what one can get when one does not want spandex.

As for the stretchy man pants.  Yes, I agree with my commenter and would go as far as calling them an abomination.  I have been shopping the men's racks for 100% cotton jeans for a few years, with limited success but it was better than the women's stretchy pants.  And now, I must be ever vigilant over there.  It's a shame because even in the thrift world, men's clothes are cheaper.  Just like in retail. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

In the Bee-ginning, There Was the Pun, and the Pun Was Bad

So I got bees and there seem to BEE an endless supply of bad bee/honey/hive puns out there.  I've shamefully produced too many myself, now that I'm the BEE-yatch in charge of 2 hives.

Bees and equipment provided by a grant to a local group!  Yeay!  They also paid for our training which makes this a fairly thrifty endeavor.  And no, you can't have any honey!  That is the first thing TOOOOO many people have said when I mentioned I was getting bees..."Can I have honey."  No, I don't have any and the first year's production is for the bees and if they die, there won't be any anyway so let's let that go for a bit, shall we?

Best pun so far was a young friend who came up with "Beesus loves the little children."

Here is a little photo essay on the bee package and the un-bee-oxing.

The package:

 That's what the bees and a queen arrive in.  3lbs of bees.  The can in the middle is the sugar syrup they have fed off of on the trip.  The tile is what I'm going to cover the can-hole with as I get the queen out.

Here she is.  Inside the screen box.  you can't see her well but I didn't want to dick around any more.

She's got a white dot on her back and is twice the size of the others so easy to spot.  The white dot indicates a 2016 queen.  There is a color rotation so you can keep track of which queens survive the longest.  A couple of years is supposed to be pretty good, but like all old ladies, the eggs dry up and it's time for the next generation.

Hive box at the ready

Hive box with feeder (black thing...feed them sugar syrup while they acclimate and until there is enough food out and about in the world), a few frames for comb, and a gap to set the box of bees in.  More frames go there probably tonight because I can't not check on them so I'll feed them and check and take out the package.

Here is the package in there:

The little metal thingy on the middle frame is where the queen cage is hanging.  You take out a cork in the bottom of here cage, replace it with a minimarshmallow.  The worker bees will eat through there and by then will have accepted her as the queen.  She didn't birth them so need to acclimate.  I took the tile off to let the bees least I hope to god I did!  Crap, now I want to go check.  Anyway, you SHOULD uncover the hole and let the bees out.  Then put the various components of the top on.

Here's another hive

I installed the bees here by pouring them in.  The brush is to get them off surfaces and not crush them with reassembly of the hive box.  I put the frames from that gap back in.  We'll see which one does better.

 Here it is with the frames in:

The package with remaining bees (they don't really all want to come out so fast) sitting in front next to my hive tool.  Used for prying things and pounding things as needed.

Close-up of the bees:

And some bee diarrhea on the rubber tub I had all my stuff in:

Like many of us, bees get a bit of diarrhea in the spring, what with the diet change and not wanting to poo too much in the house all winter or however long they've been in there.  There were yellow stripes all over the place including the bottom of my jeans.  Funny.

 And finally, my great grandfather with his bees in 1920:

Friday, April 15, 2016

8 Years No 'Poo Update

Well, so far so good.  I'm still "no 'poo" and still using the baking soda scrub with apple cider vinegar rinse.

This is slightly difficult to maintain when traveling, especially outside the US where I may not know the local word for either product.  In those cases I've used a good scrubbing of my scalp under hot water, followed by a rinse with whatever acid I can get (any light colored vinegar or lemon juice diluted in water), and a cold finishing rinse.  Works well.

A few times I've been traveling in the US and too busy/harried/tired to get to a store after a flight to get vinegar and baking soda, or I forgot.  In that case if I've got no acid source (batteries are NOT an option...or I would have stolen them out of the remote at a variety of hotels), I do a conditioner only job.  Just we the hair good, scrub the scalp with fingers to get up the 'druff and larger crud.  Then glop on lots of conditioner and work it through well.  Then rinse. Keep rinsing.  Still rinsing.  Always rinsing.  Finally, a cold water rinse.  It works OK but there is some itchy scalp from the chemically product my head is no longer used to and it doesn't last as long as the baking soda/ACV method on my hair.

It's been pretty easy doing this off-grid in the summer.   A jug of water in the sun for the day is plenty hot enough to wash hair at night.  For the cold water rinse...the ice water melting in the frozen jug in the cooler that's always there does the trick.  well!

Winter off-grid with no home shower has been tougher.  When I travel the first thing I do upon arrival at a hotel, if I drove, is get out the baking soda and ACV and have at it.  Then again before I leave at least a rinse with vinegar and cold water.  I've conditioner-onlied at the gym (where I shower most of the time) but it takes a while and one doesn't want to hog the public shower.  I've also gone to a friends' house and bogarted a shower and hair wash. 

It's nearly warm enough to go back to the outside washing which is my favorite now.  Uses the least water and I throw the used water on the shrubbery so it's not wasted.

As for the hair.  Still nice.  Most days when I've washed my hair it's too slick to stay in a pony tail so that's about the only day it's down.  People often compliment it.  There are broken bits here and there, but there always were and they correspond to where my pony tail holder hits (yes, it's metal free, but my hair is thin and wispy compared to most), where my glasses hit, or some other mechanical breakage source.  I don't think I can blame the no 'poo.

And pretty non-greasy even if I have to go 10 days without a wash.  I do go to the gym and lift weights and get sweaty so it isn't that I'm just keeping it clean.  There IS less dust in the winter around here so that does help keep the hair less grimy.  Anyway, as long as I brush it well with a boar bristle brush a time or two a day, I can get away with 10 days without a wash.  I'd rather wash more often.