December 29, 2009

Going Green with a Carpet Sweeper

"What you need is an old fashioned carpet sweeper," my husband told me as he cleared the dishes one evening.

We'd recently purchased a new dining room rug, a brown plaid that complements our mission furniture. We'd never considered that the crumbs that faded into the background of our old Oriental would stand out in high relief on the new dark background.

I vacuumed a few times, but it really was a pain in the back to haul that appliance up and down the stairs. I also tried sweeping, but that didn't work very well. So I'd been trying to ignore the crumbs when my husband made his suggestion.

"Do they even make carpet sweepers anymore?" I thought to myself. "And where in the world do you buy them?"

December 13, 2009

Graham crackers

My mother used to say "you learn something new every day." Now, from the pages of the AARP Bulletin, the new fact for today:

America's first serious health care reformer was Sylvester Graham (1794-1855), the inventor of the Graham Cracker, which is still a nutritious snack.

Reading more about this early health care crusader, I found some of his nutritional theories fairly sound: avoid chemical additives, use only whole-wheat flour and don't eat meat. But Graham also advocated hard mattresses, cold showers, abstinence from alcohol, coffee and tea, and sexual restraint. And the purpose of this was also odd: he hoped to cure lust.

My mother had another saying that's also applicable: "Everything in moderation." A good suggestion.

December 10, 2009

‘Tis the season….for catalog overload

We were out of town for less than a week, but in that short time a full tray of mail accumulated for us at the Larchmont Post Office. All of it, with the exception of the Larchmont Ledger, the Sound and Town and a few holiday cards, was colorful catalogs that we will never peruse.

Over the past few years I’ve made a concerted effort to go paperless. Bank statements and phone bills, credit card statements and department store promotions pop up like clockwork on my computer screen. We’ve let lapse subscriptions to the magazines that, month after month, went from the mailbox to the coffee table to the recycling bin, without ever being read. And we’ve dutifully notified retailers through that we do not want their glossy promotions. (Besides, in this economy, I'm trying to support our local retailers as much as possible.)