Toilet lid sink. “Spanky” inspects the job (yep that’s handmade soap you see.)

This past weekend the guys installed the new toilet lid sink (on one of two low flush toilets) in the back service bathroom. Remember, it’s the bathroom where we ran into trouble trying to install the compost toilet… we think we figured out a solution, but that’s for another post. Anyhow, back to the toilet lid sink– after you flush the toilet, incoming water cycles up through the sink before going down to refill the toilet bowl. Water is used twice: Once for hand washing, and a second time for the next flush.   This is not to say that we’ll flush with each use, nor sirreee, we still we religiously follow the rule of “yellow, let it mellow” and wash our hands elsewhere; however, this toilet lid sink will come in handy when we have visitors.

Having seen how this nifty sink operates, the guys said that it could easily be replicated and diy assembled and built more cheaply.   Perhaps when they have free time will they be able to tinker around. In the meantime it serves its purpose right now of saving water. This sink is so ridiculously simple, it’s like my sister says “it’s a ‘duh invention’.”

Thesun shower is being used a lot these days since roof work is a very dirty job (some of us haven’t used the tub in over 6 weeks now). Figuring the plants around the shower had enough water, we are now using a bucket to capture the water so that we can transport the water to other fruit trees in the yard.

Water saving is a big step in conservation of this precious resource, especially here in the West.   In the mid 1990s LA was going through a drought and our city inplemented water rations and raised the water rates.    Unbeknownst to us, this was one of  the turning points in our journey that led to where we are now–Jules smothering the yard under layers of newspaper and tree mulch. Oh, boy, did the neighbors love us… just kidding.

Living in a low income, racially mixed neighborhood, our neighbors weren’t quite sure what these “white folks” were up to.

Our relief from the unusual humid summer is ending soon. Forecast shows a week’s worth of temps way over 100 with high humidity levels. We are enjoying the dry heat while we can since the next few days are going to be brutal. Humidity in LA – go figure.

Continuing on the subject of going from one extreme to the other, a friend just sent me this article about our other homestate of Louisiana.

Drought makes La. feel more like Texas {Yahoo}

After dealing with far too much water, southern Louisianians must now cope with far too little: In the century that records have been kept, the region has never been so dry.
read more

Jordanne taking out nails

This old house

Taking off the roof is easy. Finding “real wood” replacements for some of the damaged wood is another. Our simple California craftsman’s house was built with real 2″x6″ or 2″x4″ wood which no longer can be found except, that is, you are willing to pay the price. Now-a-days wood no longer measures the full 2″x6″ or 2″x4″size and in lumger yards the choice of wood is just awful. Some of it is really, really bad.  We try, but we are far from perfect, especially when it comes to having to work on this house. We have to give in due to money and time constraints.Here’s a funny/sad incident that happened a few months back. A sustainable/permaculture person accused us of contributing to the destruction of the redwood forests for living in a 90 year old house built entirely of redwood. Seriously??

Can’t please everyone, I suppose.

Reclaiming history, one plank at a time {LATimes}

Dealers will hunt for abandoned buildings, race rivals and even dodge hurricanes to get their hands on weathered hickory or aged oak.
read more


The Canary Project {Via GreenLA Girl}

Art combating global warming: The Canary Project photographs landscapes exhibiting dramatic transformation due to global warming, using these photos to persuade people “that global warming is already underway and of immediate concern.”
see photos

Picture proof we’re in deep trouble folks… should I say more?
Amish farmer fights milk law after sting {CNN}

Groups such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to people’s diets, advocate the consumption of raw milk, saying pasteurization diminishes vitamin content and kills beneficial bacteria.For Stutzman, the herd share agreement gives him an outlet for his extra milk. He also enjoys sharing his product with others who would otherwise not have access to it.”We know people are deprived of this real food,” he said
read more

Only in America is it illegal to have the right to eat/drink REAL food.   Perhaps if we drank moreraw milk we’d wouldn’t be so sick. Most of us kids were lucky to have grown up in Florida, drinking raw goat’s milk, which we traded for with our raw honey.   Raw milk, raw honey, clean air and well water — those were the days…   We kids were certainly reared correctly. None of us have cavities and we’ve been blessed that we’ve never had to see a doctor, even at birth (midwives were used for three of us. I had a doctor “deliver” me naturally in NZ.)

Speaking of real food, last week on California Connected, there was a segment on the watering down of organic standards (see below). Hmmm, whengreen goes mainstream it’s time to start wondering if this is a good or bad thing.

Corporate Greens {KCET}

Wal-mart, the nation’s largest grocer, says they are going to increase their organic product offerings. As organics go mainstream there is a debate raging among organic farmers as to what it really means to be organic. Is it what the USDA says is organic, or is it really something more?
View segment

Got answers? Well, this guy’s stumped…
Hawking Seeks Answers on Humanity’s Future {NYTimes}

”In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”
read more

No Comments

  1. Nancy Kelly says:

    Re: the sink/toilet lid, what an absolutely wonderful idea, it should be on every toilet to save water. (Or it could be set up to go into a gallon jug, or bucket for watering?) Where did you buy it?


  2. Gina says:

    I second the toilet/sink being a great resource!

    Also, my husband grew up on a dairy farm and drank raw milk and well water regularly. He has also had no cavities (despite non-regular dentistry) and no major illnesses. In contrast, I grew up in the suburbs, with supermarket milk and filtered/treated water. I have definitely had my share of teeth problems despite regular/recommended care (the “typical” kind anyway). I think you are absolutely correct in that a connection does most likely exists between the “natural” state of food consumption and our health.

  3. Joshua says:

    When green goes mainstream – It’s good for the larger public that need any help they can get. A watered down better standard is still a better standard than the virtual free-for-all out there these days. But for us who want real food and those who started the movement, it’s not so good. Basically, we’ll never have it easy, or a label that we can trust, just trust to be better than the standard. Experience and personal knowledge is the only thing we can truly trust. But “USDA Organic” isn’t the only label out there either.

    All this brings us back to small and local (relatively anyway), where you can know your source. Beyond that, we can just do what we can.

  4. Dan Jezeski says:

    Aren’t home remodels fun? I’m almost finished with my kitchen remodel. Your site inspired me to try and do it myself… as much as possible. I’ve never done windows, doors, electrical wiring, drywall, etc. before, but I wanted to be less dependent on other people. It’s been hard but fun at the same time. Boy, have I learned allot. Keep up the good work. Your site is a constant inspiration for me.

    ~ Milwaukie, Oregon ~