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California Drought: 10 Ways to Save Water

There is no “I” in drought. There is also no “A”.

california drought, draughtBecause I live in Parched City, California, I know you little nanny goats have been dying to ask me what I’m doing to save water. Well, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, what matters is that everyone else is doing it. And I’m here to tell them what for and how to. Did you know we’re suffering from the biggest California Drought ever (if you don’t go back more than 1200 years?)

When it’s yellow, let it mellow

If you go number 2, flush down the poo.
If you go number 1, let it stay, just for fun…..unless you’ve had asparagus.

Put a brick in your toilet tank

If you don’t have a brick, and really, who doesn’t have a brick laying around the house for a rainy day, then take a one quart container, fill it with water, cap it, and put that in the tank. Just think, every four flushes save a gallon of water. If you’re thinking it’s hypocritical to fill something with water when that is exactly what you are trying to save, then just pee in it instead. Unless you’ve had asparagus. If pee grosses you out, then I don’t know, drool in it, but who has that kind of time?

Stop shaving in the shower

And stop visiting Rosy Palms and her five sisters in there, while you’re at it. Recent studies show that doing hand-to-gland combat in the shower wastes up to 45,000 gallons a month, so knock it off, so to speak. You too, guys. Seriously though, according to Water Use It Wisely , shortening your shower by even 2 minutes saves up to 150 gallon per month.

Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before washing

Unless the dishes in your sink have been there a month or more, in which case I would suggest you throw them and the furry animals clinging to them in the trash. And get yourself to an AA meeting already.

Don’t throw ice cubes in the sink

If you’re a klutz like me or your refrigerator is a bitter little jerkface, throwing ice cubes across the kitchen just because you haven’t changed the filter in six years, don’t put them in the sink. Pick them up, stick your tongue out at the appliance with the attitude and put them in a house plant.

Don’t use your garden hose to water your lawn

Use your neighbor’s hose. Obviously.

Make Your Own Water

Enroll in your local university, get a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and make your own water. I mean it’s two H’s and one O, how hard could it be?

Report Leaks

Contact the property owner if you find errant sprinklers and broken pipes. You’ve been cranky anyway, what with the yellow water in your toilet and short showers, so this is an excellent opportunity for you to get all self-righteous and let off some steam and take it out on someone else instead of your partner who has to live with you all the time. Even better? A leaky hydrant means a nasty call to the government – FTW!

Make Your Own Rain

Since we have “dual climate” systems in our cars, Set the driver’s side to MAX HOT and the passenger side to MAX COOL and create your own weather system. Don’t forget a bucket for the center console.

And Another Thing

Speaking of cars, if that little snowflake button on your dashboard doesn’t make snow, take it back to the dealer and don’t leave until they fix it. Call the media and start a protest if you have to.

Talk to People (Bonus Tip)

When you’re at the coffee shop, write #DraughtTogether on your cup. When people tell you that you spelled it wrong, take the opportunity to engage in a conversation. If they won’t engage, simply yell across the store just before they run out the door, “You know the coffee is made with recycled water, right?” Which may start another conversation. With someone else.

  – – –

If you can’t tell whether I’m kidding or not about saving water during this California drought, you aren’t well informed enough about water conservation and should visit Save Our Water for the reel deets, yo.

(Photo lifted from NBC News)

Vegetable Evangelism

Or, How a Vegetable Hater Bottomed Out and Then Saw the Truth, the Light and the Way of Anthocyanins.

Have I ever told you how much I hate vegetables? I hate them THIS MUCH!

That is, until recently. Something happened that has caused me to eat more vegetables in the last three weeks than I have in my entire life. Stuff I’ve never heard of, seen before or even knew existed.

I had 27 meat tenderizers but never owned a garlic press.

meat tenderizers, kitchen utensils, meat pounder

from a previous post entitled My Name is Margaret and I’m a Utensilaholic

Why no garlic press before now? Because I didn’t know what one was or how to use it. Or how to take garlic apart. Or how to cook it. Or anything!

So what happened to me? I found vegetable Jesus.

I was down and out on my luck, eating back-alley pizza for breakfast and half-eaten Hostess Cherry pies for lunch. I was unemployed and living in the gutter with one hand out and the other clenching a brown paper bag concealing a bottle of whatever flavored McDonald’s milkshakes I could find in local dumpsters.

Then one day, I heard some lady preaching about how the fruits and vegetables of our ancestors are much different than what we eat today. How we’ve domesticated all the medicinal benefits of food in favor of asthetics and taste and consistency. I was hooked. I bought the book. I highlighted sentences. And then I went shopping.

Who the hell knows if I’m shrinking cancer tumors or preventing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. All I know is I have learned how to make vegetables not just unyucky, but actually tasty. And it only took half a century. Well, almost. I probably shouldn’t be walking around declaring that I’m fifty years old, especially since it’s still a precious few months away, but who cares, really.

I even signed up for a weekly CSA box. Except I’m experiencing such an extreme veggie makeover that I’m disappointed if they give me the green kale instead of the red kale. Or mostly white carrots instead of purple carrots. And they don’t have hard-necked garlic??? Are you kidding me? With Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, practically right around the corner? Like a true born-again evangelist, I’m a veggie snob. Hallelujah!

If I can get my lazy ass out of bed early enough, I will have to check out the farmers markets around town, because we are not just THE capital (capitol?) of California, we have recently declared ourselves the Farm to Fork Capital of the U.S. Or the world. I forget which. Anyway, surely I can expect uber-fresh and purple veggies from this Farm-to-Fork capital, right?

I would start my own garden except that we host many critters under our deck that would say, “Martha! They’ve just opened up a Hometown Buffet next door–grab the kids we’re going out tonight!” We’ve got birds and squirrels and skunks and they would tell all their friends at Happy Hour down by the river to come over to the All You Can Eat, dine and dash establishment in their backyard. No thank you.

I never ate vegetables before because I figured, why eat nasty or bland or bitter food if I was potentially wasting my time? I assumed our vegetables had no more nutrients left in them, and I wasn’t going to eat them in the off chance they were healthy. I wanted guarantees. And this book does that.

What book am I talking about that I’m not getting paid to endorse?

It’s called Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson and it’s awesome. Full of information like which varieties to shop for, how to store them at home, whether or not to cook them, and what all the health benefits are for each one. For example, did you know that you should let garlic sit for at least 10 minutes after you’ve pressed it before cooking it, or else you lose most of the health benefits?

Look, I’m lazy. And this book convinced me that even I can eat better. I don’t need to go out and buy all kinds of kitchen equipment (I don’t have a food processor or a pressure cooker or a double boiler or a Vita-mix, although I would really like one of those.) The only thing I bought was a garlic press. In fire engine red.

I’m so excited about this whole venture that I want to start a website that helps people who hate vegetables learn to like them through education and tasty recipes. I want them to know how to get the most nutritional bang for their buck and not wasting their time eating the ones that just take up space in our lives. Like iceberg lettuce. Stop eating that crap. It’s a pointless vegetable if there ever was one.

The problem is, was already taken, so I’ve put together an exploratory committee to do some research and I think I found the perfect domain and you may see it coming soon to an Internet browser near you.

Did you also know that cooking potatoes, then chilling them for 24 hours before you eat them (you can reheat them) lowers their glycemic levels and doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much? I know! You want to hear something more crazy? I had vegetables for breakfast. Breakfast, people! Can I get an amen?

vegetables, purple caulifower, hash

Yes, that’s purple cauliflower. Who knew THAT existed?

When I win the award for Best Veggie Hater in a Leading Role, I will be thanking my husband for allowing me to stink up the house and myself with all the garlic and onions.  After I thank the academy and the vegetable Jesus, of course.


Keeping the Romance Alive with “Date Night”

For date night on Saturday, me and my old man went to Bed Bath & Beyond. Got new sheets and finally, FINALLY, a Keurig coffee machine. The procrastination allowed us to invest in the brand new Keurig 2.0 (cue oooohs and ahhhhs). I’m drinking my second cup of Keurig coffee (10 oz., strong setting) this morning. Tully’s Hawaiian Blend.

We brought five coupons with us to the store and when I asked what we could use them on (because the fine print said Keurig products were exempt) she said, “everything”.

“Everything?” I asked, and she nodded patiently like this customer did not comprehend the word.

Enter the “moral dilemma” because: do I point out that the coupon says “no” to Keurig products? Or do I defend myself in court later by saying, well, this long-and-dark-haired chick works here, she’s the professional. She should know. I’m sure they went over this in BBB Orientation and included it in the corporate Welcome Packet.

And then the prosecuting attorney would say, “Ignorance is no excuse for the law, Nanny Goats!” And then my boozing, Bozo-lookalike attorney would scream from across the courtroom, “Objection, your honor! Irrelevant!” And then the judge would say, “Overruled”, and turn to me and say, “Where did you get this Bozo?” and I would say while wringing my sweaty palms, “Errrrm, Craigslist?”

It’s like when the cashier gives you too much change. Do you say anything? Or do you figure you get screwed over so much in life that it’s finally coming around; this extra five bucks is payback for those times when someone shorted me because I never pay attention or count the change when someone hands it to me, I just assume they can count, it’s part of the job description, they had to pass some test upon hiring, right?

Besides, Bed Bath & Beyond has a precedent of ignoring the coupon rules anyway because you can use expired coupons. Like, really expired. Like, last night I handed her a couple that died in 2013. Which is what my online classified clown of a quack lawyer would self-righteously bring to the attention of the sleepy jury to get me off.

The sheets we purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond were a sort of royal egg blue which, after they were put on the bed, looked horrible with the other colors of the bedclothes. I wanted chocolate brown sheets, but the old man said no because it’s harder for him to see fleas. Or earwigs. Or mouse poo. Or maybe it was bedbugs (which, just so you know, we don’t have, but he would never know that if he couldn’t see them either way and plus, in a marriage you have to pick your battles).

Also, who are we trying to impress with our bedroom? No one would know that we lacked interior decorating skills unless I idiotically posted a picture on the internet announcing that our sheets don’t match our comforter.

Man, this coffee is good. I think I’ll go make another cup.

unmatching bedsheets

Not Your Grandma’s Resolutions

You know what day it is, right? This is the day that the whole world comes together and says, “I wish I’d worked more”. No, wait. That’s what people say on their death bed. Or rather, what people never say on their death bed. Also? The green squigglies are telling me that “deathbed” is one word. Also? Happy New Year.

If it’s not too late to declare my New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to name them here. In addition to the Word document boiler template called “New Year’s Resolutions” that provides the 3 default items, I am adding one more item:

• lose weight
• eat better
• exercise
make a podcast about aliens

aliens, new years resolutions

I will call my podcast The Alien Degenerates Show and open it with pop music expertly mixed by my sidekick, DJ Memphis. I will dance to the delight of my live Google Hangout audience and then do a couple of quirky, self deprecating jokes followed by interviews of various aliens of ill repute.

Everybody knows that podcast audiences have no interest in boring goody-goody aliens, they want to see the dregs and baddies of extraterrestrial society who only want to ruin our lives and possibly end them. People want nasty beings with pus oozing out of their dark almond-shaped eyes and glinting scalpels at the ready.

My bucket list of alien degenerates includes the likes of Joel Grey, Jennifer Grey, Zane Grey…you know, all the Greys.

I will intersperse these interviews with golden nuggets of alien trivia in the form of a pop quiz with our audience and give away spaceship rides and private tours to Area 51. Questions like: What was used for the slime on the aliens in the movie, Alien? Answer: K-Y Jelly.

I know!

And then I will end my podcast with famous alien recipes where DJ Memphis will don his mother’s famous red chef’s hat with the ET casserole patch sewn on the front. DJ Memphis and I will take to the studio kitchen and prepare one of Mommy J Memphis’s  favorite dishes of the week like Abduction Pancakes (yum!), or Dark Almond Surprise. My mouth is already watering!

So, if you know of any aliens interested in being on the show (or in one of our recipes), please let us know in the comments. Also, what’s #4 on your New Year’s resolution list?


(Image by Stefan-Xp)

Real Men Do It With Their Hands

Before this upcoming biblical proportion storm arrives and kills us all, I just want to tell you that I loved you and it was fun and I don’t regret anything. Except for that pink rabbit-themed hot tub party in Brother Dinklemeyer’s gazebo where we all got naked, went crazy with Instagram and lost our jobs. I regret that. I’m so embarrassed about the whole thing, bringing a fuschia rabbit. I mean really, who does that?

But that’s not why I brought you here today. Today I want to talk about real men.

Real men make things. They make things. With their hands.

“Make” is a wonderful and creative word. It applies to artists and craftsmen and TV shows. Some TV shows value making things so much, they put it in their name: How It’s Made, to name one.

How It’s Made reveals how all kinds of things are built, manufactured etc. Everything from pencils to super cars.

I don’t watch it but I can’t help catch parts of it now and again because my husband likes to stare at it for hours and hours. And whatever channel it’s on (Discovery? Science? The Dirty Hands channel?), holds marathons of the show. All. The. Time.

how its made

The men (and women) in this show are actual people doing their job. They are not pretty or skinny like Hollywood. And they have real work hands with greasy fingers and scuffed nails.

how its made

Oh, there it is. Right there on the screen. The Science Channel. Duh.

Meanwhile, the show is sponsored by such products as Sears Craftman tools where not-real men tell you how awesome these tools are. Tools that go around corners and shoot laser beams and make coffee.

And the guy in the commercial who is “allegedly” using these Sears Craftsman tools? Not an ounce of pudge or speck of dirt anywhere to be found.

craftsmanThis guy wouldn’t know a hammer if it hit him.

Commercials are supposed to relate to their audience, so I figure the advertising wizards assume that a good portion of their target market consists of yuppie weekend warriors, he-man wannabees with the meticulous fingernails of CEOs and the hair of underwear models.

It’s like these commercials are the romance novels of bathroom breaks.

Or something like that.

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