Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Song of Ruth

Ruth In The Fields by Merle Hugues, 1876
"Wherever you go...I shall go. Wherever you live, so shall I live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God too."

We used to sing this song at church, and sometimes during weddings. At the time I just understood the lyrics as they were, but now knowing the story behind the song, it seems a bit odd (?) singing these verses at a wedding, now that I think about it... but I digress.

Have you ever been at a difficult situation... I mean a REALLY difficult one, one that took you out of your comfort zone, and clinging to God seems to be either your only option, or the last thing on your mind?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodbye, Mr. Muscle

And no, I'm not talking about The Muffin Man.  Although he's quite worried about saying goodbye to HIS muscles soon if he doesn't start working out again.

Have you ever tried cleaning your sink and faucets with baking soda? Nothing short of amazing! @_@ It gets all nice and shiny and squeaky clean like new. Also works great on stained pots and pans. The Muffin Man also recently used it to clean the bathroom and shower area. He claims he's never seen the shower floor so clean before. I also have a spray bottle with a solution of half-n-half vinegar and water that I use as a general kitchen cleaner for the stove, countertops and fridge.

Why all of a sudden this green-cleaning shenanigan?
Just so you know, I'm not a PETA-maniac or tree-hugger fanatic who'll judge anyone carrying Alcogel or go around naked protesting on the streets, okay? But, from experience, I can tell you I'm quite happy with these 2 home-based cleaners so far.  Our stove has never been as grease-free and clean, and the kitchen sink no longer clogs up or gives off this weird sewer-like smell it used to do once in a while.

We used to go gung-ho with Lysol before, and Mr. Muscle was our best friend... that is, until his kitchen cleaner literally erased all the numbers and markings on our brand-new stove...Argh! Scary huh? Anyway, except for some Pledge and leftover glass-cleaner, I've stopped buying commercial cleaners at home and switched to good ol' baking soda and vinegar recipes.

Why? I dunno... I guess now having a baby at home made me re-think all the fumes I smell from regular cleaners... that CAN'T be good for him. And cleaning with homemade cleaners isn't a new thing to me... I've been reading about them since I was a kid... while my friends read Sweet Valley Twins and Love Notes, I read my mom's Good Housekeeping and Better Homes & Gardens magazines =p. But I guess trying them firsthand made me a convert hehe. And it doesn't hurt that it's safe for my family and good for the environment, too!

Now, the bathroom no longer smells like chlorine after cleaning, and I'm at ease using cleaners around the Muffin Baby. The slight vinegar smell doesn't bother me and it goes away after a few seconds anyway, and keeps odors away too.  To keep ants and bugs at bay, we use organic Citromint oil -- you should try this stuff! works really well, and smells good!

I've tried these on laundry, too. When I received some of my niece's baby clothes, a few had some 3-year-old milk stains that just never washed off. I tried one of the tips on using baking soda and then vinegar during the wash and rinse cycles, and the stains disappeared! Like brand-new now. :) 

If you want to try out homemade cleaners, here are a few links to get you started!

Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips

Do not use vinegar on hardwood floors or unsealed grout.
And don't use baking soda to clean important silver, like jewellery or heirloom silverware. Although some sites say it can clean and shine silver, you might ruin it permanently and you're better off having them cleaned or polished professionally or with a silver polisher.
Also be sure to use distilled white vinegar, or at least 5% acidity.  (actually there are some hardcore moms online who  use vodka for cleaning.  weh.) 


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