more than just food handling

I wrote a while back about changing the food handling gloves I was using to a more expensive but much better-fitting product.

food handling glovesI really love the new gloves and use them frequently. What I’ve learned is that they’re good for more than just food handling.

When I repair something with super glue I am not the most dexterous. I tend to get the glue on my fingers which is a real annoyance and a pain to get off. Using the gloves takes care of that.

I recently opened the battery compartment of our label maker to change the batteries. I saw that one battery had leaked. I put on two gloves to clean up that mess.

They’re great to have on hand.

a disappointing season

container gardenMy blog and Facebook friend who lives on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe (I am terribly envious) recently wrote about the success she and her husband had this year with their vegetable garden. I wish that I could say the same.

Terry puts a lot of work into our container garden. She plants things like tomatoes which she doesn’t even like because she knows that I enjoy them. She has planted bell peppers, Anaheim chilies,and other vegetables as well. The results this year were disappointing. We got a few small tomatoes early in the season, the occasional bell pepper, and some Anaheim chilies recently. There is, in fact, a nice tomato coming on right now, and some bell peppers on the way. And we do have an ongoing supply of green onions, which I enjoy. But that’s really been it.

I don’t know what the secret is but we certainly didn’t find it this year.

something more solid

4 drawer chestWhen we were getting ready to leave Gilroy one of the things we got rid of was a four-drawer dresser that was in the second bedroom. When we got here I realized that I could have used it for some of my clothes.

Trying to economize, we bought a four-drawer fabric chest. It worked, but it was wobbly. We both3 drawer chest kept our watches there at night and when opening or closing a drawer a watch would often fall off as the chest vibrated.

We finally decided that the thing was simply too much of a pain. While still needing to economize we found an attractive, solid three-drawer unit that fit very nicely into the bedroom.

Big improvement.

doing the right thing

Everyone pretty much knows that it’s not legal to put batteries or fluorescent lights in the household trash. But municipalities don’t always make it easy to dispose of such things. In Gilroy we could put batteries in ziplock bags and place them on the top of our recycle toter. There wasn’t a good solution for fluorescent lights that I recall.

household hazardous wasteHere in Hemet the options are minimal. The waste disposal company will provide a box for household hazardous waste for some outrageous fee. Other than that there are periodic household hazardous waste disposal events at the landfill in the canyon between the San Jacinto Valley and Beaumont, at the other side of the pass.

So on a recent Saturday we packed up three years worth of household hazardous waste and headed off to the landfill. I was intimidated by the line of vehicles and all the trucks, but the staff there provided us with a shortcut and we quickly dropped off all those batteries and fluorescent lights. Easy enough.

I suppose most people just toss that stuff in the trash despite the fact that it’s not legal. Terry and I, however, do try to do the Right Thing whenever possible.

LED lighting has come into its own

Like most of us I have been using CFL light bulbs as the incandescents have been phased out. They work well, but being fluorescent they are somewhat toxic as they contain trace amounts of mercury.

I have long had my eye on LED lighting, but that was traditionally on the expensive side. No longer.

A while back I needed to replace an indoor flood in the kitchen. What Lowe’s had was a box of reasonably priced LEDs, which I bought. The light was clear and bright. Very nice.

More recently I needed to replace two CFLs in my office that had burned out and I saw that I only had one in the cabinet. I make a point of buying the daylight part of the spectrum as that helps alleviate my winter blues when the days are short. I went to Amazon and found that the daylight LEDs were cheaper than the daylight CFLs. Now that is a major reversal. I bought a box and am pleased with the bright, clear light I get.

We can now move away from CFLs and migrate to LEDs. That is a Good Thing.

new Birkenstocks

I had my most recent pair of Birkenstocks for a very long time. I don’t know how long, probably ten years, perhaps more. They are made to last.

new BirksBIrk insideRecently, however, I noticed some nasty chafing on the top of my right foot. Taking a look I saw that the leather had worn through, exposing the underside of the buckle. Yikes!

I don’t make purchases lightly these days, and Birkenstocks are not cheap and rarely if ever on sale. They are an important part of my day, however. I put them on each evening. I knew that buying a cheaper brand of sandal simply would not be the same.

So I chose to spend the money, and I’m glad I did. I’m expecting another ten years out of this pair.

Sprouts isn’t perfect

I love Sprouts market. They have a great service deli, quality produce, a huge bulk foods section, quality vitamins, and a variety of interesting offerings in their grocery and frozen food sections.

Sprouts does, however, have its faults.

Sprouts TunaI enjoyed the brand-name frozen food offerings they had but they were a tad on the expensive side. I was happy when they offered a selection of house-brand frozen meals. I bought three. Big disappointment. I found all three virtually inedible. A message posted to their web site resulted only in a minimal apology with no offer of compensation.

Then there was the house-brand tuna. I had purchased two cans. I knew something was amiss when I saw that Terry had put one empty can directly in the recycle toter outside rather than just tossing it in our kitchen recycle bin. She said the smell was overwhelming and she had to get rid of the can. A number of weeks later I found the tuna in the other can dry, dense, and barely edible.

Sprouts has a lot going for it. But sometimes they don’t seem concerned about quality.