Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Keeping of the House (Mouse)

What we wish to do, is keep the house - clean, orderly, comfortable, but we often fail. Whether or not we fail is in the eye of the beholder.

The house mouse, or other sneaky intruder, might say otherwise!

So how do you make the humans feel "invited" and the rodents "slighted" . . . well, you start to clean one thing at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time. And in between days you throw the trash away regular and wash the dishes before they get too sticky!

After you've cleaned your thing, room, and tossed the trash and washed the dish, you go to work, or you play with your kids or pets or both, or you watch television or check your facebook. When you're done with work and playing, you should wash more dishes and throw away more trash. Then the next day you do it all over again.

If you do this, the humans will love your house but the non - humans probably won't, except for your dog or cat, because they are like humans!

Thank you, have a nice day (of cleaning and playing and work).


Monday, July 12, 2010

thoughts on nature and global warming and keeping the "space you live in" . . .

I (Jen) just came home from a camping trip and so my thoughts are still on the things of nature . . . I love the things of nature . . .

Our camping trip was sort of a fail though, being that the beauty of nature was infringed upon by the degradation of construction and a highway that somebody built too close to the camp ground! Who would do that? I don't understand . . .

I don't understand why we build stuff without considering the ecological effects it will have on our planet, or how it will ruin our recreational activities! Ha Ha . . .

At the same time . . .

I came home to find that the weeds and grass were overwhelming my gardens more than ever, and I couldn't be too sad about it, because I think it's beautiful that no matter what man does to try and control nature - it often finds a way to fight back! Most people have contemplated this upon encountering a blade of grass or a wild flower growing in the crack of a cemented area. While some may consider such a sight a failure of human technology - I see it as a triumphant sign that nature is resilient no matter how much damage is inflicted on it!

Soooooo - global warming? Fact or Fiction? Could mere humans really alter the course of nature? The world heats up and cools down - that's just what it does, , , and right now, it's heating up - no big deal.

Well - if you want to know how the gals over at Jen's Housekeeping feel about Global Warming - I will tell you! We think there is a whole lot of truth to the scientific claim that humans are causing the earth to heat up far more than is natural according to the warming and cooling cycles recorded in the history of our existence.

At the same time . . . when it comes to how we treat our earth - does it really matter if global warming is fact or fiction? I am thinking of the many tips that come from environmentalist on how to reverse the warming trend and they all make sense regardless of whether or not our planet is suffocating in greenhouse gasses! Every tip I have heard and can think of at the moment (using less non-renewable energy, buying local, disposing of paint and batteries appropriately, and so on) have benefits that can and will improve our lives in so many more ways than one! These actions will improve our economic situation, our physical health as individuals and communities, and will simply make for a more pleasant environment to live, regardless of whether or not you believe they are helping to reverse global warming!

In my opinion - debating the issue is ridiculous, because these actions to change our habits as a people, a community, a nation, are all things we should do anyway! Imagine that you buy a house, and then decide that you don't want to put your trash in a specific receptacle, or wash your dishes, or vacuum, , , you got the picture, right? Those things may not destroy the house, but you will end up living in filth and squalor and ultimately your health and your environment will be compromised of vitality and beauty and and and . . . .

Of course - one could argue that over time - failing to accomplish such menial chores could eventually and inadvertently? lead to the degradation of the structure of the house . . . but would it take proving that to make you want to wash your dishes? Do you see where I am going with this? ? ?

From the stand point of simple and good stewardship - we should all be making decisions that improve our over all standard of living - but at the same time, I imagine that more would be inspired to change their every day habits if they felt that it was matter of life or death. So while I don't think it should take proving whether or not Global Warming is real to convince one to make changes in how they live their lives, maybe on some level it is still necessary? Sad, so sad, but probably true? What are your thoughts?

Jen's Housekeeping Service believes that Global Warming is a reality - and so strives to make choices that will contribute to the reversal of such possible negative impacts. BUT - if we are wrong, and Global Warming is not fact - then at least we are washing our dirty dishes and sweeping the floor so that filth and squalor do not take over! We want to help you "love the space you live in" . . . . not just by sweeping your floors and dusting your mantles, but by encouraging you to consider your daily habits and whether or not they contribute to the beauty of our world, or the degrading of it . . . the choice is all of ours for the taking!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A whole other kind of tie dye...

One of the favorite Easter traditions in my house is dying eggs. Some of my earliest memories are sitting with my mom at the snazzy yellow kitchen table (weren't the 70s great?) with the "stinky water" dying eggs just before Easter. Evidence on my favorite color choices would be carried with me for days as the dyes wore off my skin.

Skip forward a few decades, I carried forth this tradition of putting dyes in little cups of vinegar water with my nieces, nephews, and my eldest daughter. It wasn't until I was faced with the potential mess that placing open cups filled with liquid designed to stain in front of my three 18-month-olds that I decided that *maybe* there was a method that would not give me anxiety just thinking about the potential damage. Let's just say the first year, we only had about 8 eggs that were completed with the traditional method before calling it quits.

Last year, I finally decided to give silk dying a try. Winner! The kids had fun, nothing was destroyed, AND I got to re-purpose some old silk ties and an old sheet! (If you don't have any old silk, you can find ties at goodwill for under $2 or so)

First, find some old 100% silk fabric.

Cut the silk into squares large enough to cover your egg -- 6" x 6" - 8" x 8" or so depending on the size of your egg. Tightly wrap the fabric around an uncooked egg or blown-out eggshell (printed side touching the shell) Secure it using a yarn, string, wire, twist ties -- whatever you have on hand (kick up a Green notch by using ones you've saved from your loaves of bread).

After your eggs are wrapped, you will need to wrap a second layer of white or light-colored fabric around the tie-wrapped egg and secure closed. An old sheet or pillow case works great.

(This is before they were wrapped in the white fabric)

Once covered, place them in a nonreactive pot, cover with cold water and 1/4 C of white vinegar*, and bring to a boil. After boiling for 20 minutes, place in a colander to cool. Once cooled, remove the fabric and see the magic inside!

*If you are using blown eggs, put a steamer basket or metal colander on top of the eggs so that they stay submersed without floating to the top.

If you want them to have a hint of shine, you can rub them lightly with vegetable oil. The above shot is fresh out of the wrapping without oil, but they still look cool. Click the photo to view larger, however, remember they were wrapped by three 3-year-olds and a 7-year-old. Tighter wrapping would have made for better coverage on a couple.

You can reuse the silk and white squares to dye your next batch, 3 or 4 times over!

The girls loved this so much -- and I did too when there wasn't a stain in the place!

I'm thinking of adding Fresh Cut Flower eggs or Earthy Marble Onion Peel Eggs ( to this year's adventure on Saturday. I just need to raid Jen's flower garden!

NOTE: Fabric dyes are not food-safe, eat the silk-dyed eggs at your own risk (Some of ours were eaten, and I know others have eaten them as well, but we do not advise this.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kitchen Energy Savers

The holidays are upon us! Since many of us will be spending extra time in the kitchen, we thought we'd share a few energy saving tips that are just as good for your pocket as the planet.

1) Put a lid on it! Covering pots when warming food or boiling water speeds up the heating process, saves energy and keeps your kitchen cooler. Use properly fitting lids--not only will it heat your food faster, but we have a funny family story about a large skillet, a small lid and chicken pockets that ended up being veggie pockets after the lid sealed to the pan and the chicken couldn't be removed!
2) Use your oven light. Opening the oven to peek in on your goods reduces the oven temperature by 25% and increases your cooking time.
3) To preheat or not to preheat . Contrary to most cooking instructions, preheating isn't usually necessary. For foods that require immediate heat (some cakes, pies and souffl├ęs), preheat for 10 minutes or less.
4) Toaster ovens do more than make toast! If you have one, consider using it for small jobs. It requires less time to heat up and less energy to stay hot.
5) Glass is the way to go! Glass and ceramic cookware conducts and retains heat better than metal. Using oven-safe glass or ceramic pans allows you to reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees.

6) Turn the oven off several minutes before the recipes recommends (some sources say even up to 20 minutes). The residual heat from the oven will finish up the job, assuming you aren't opening it to peek.
7) If you have and use the self-cleaning feature on your oven, begin it while your oven is still hot from cooking.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fright On Franklin Drawing Winner

Congratulations to

Judi Thompson

Winner of our drawing for a
$100 Jen's Housekeeping Gift Certificate
from Fright on Franklin 2009

Thanks to all those that participated. It was a great event!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hip, Happenin' Housekeeping...

That's right! Jen's Housekeeping Service has now jumped on the social networking bandwagon. See our "Fan Page" link on the left to check out new things we find of interest. Bear in mind it is a fairly new fan page so there isn't much to it yet.

We will still keep the blog alive, and hopefully will be posting some of our many thoughts soon (I suppose being too busy to turn our ideas into blog entries is a good thing though, right??)

There may be articles that we find of interest, helpful hints we have come across, local events/information we'd like to share, maybe even some discussions or reviews ... who knows what could pop up on our fan page. Feel free to head over and check it out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mark your Calendars for Green Day!

10:00 am - 2:00 pm
C&L Recycling
1515 C Vista Lane (click for map)
  • Free Paper Shredding
  • Meet Local Green Businesses
  • Free Recyclables Collection
  • Recycling Information/Questions Answered
  • Refreshments

Visit for more information!