No Chaos No Order

June 30, 2014

Sharing poster for Riverbend Hospital

Filed under: heart, relationship — fairyguts @ 4:45 pm

While Robin stayed at SacredHeart Hospital at Riverbend, I found a source of comfort along the hallways: posters made by families showing how their kids grew and developed. So I made one of Robin for other families!

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June 23, 2014

Memoirs of a Sony Walkman

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 6:15 am

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I continue to sort, organize, and dispose of things. I came across my old Sony Walkman and I felt a well of emotions about it, but no interest in using it ever again. It had been in a box for over 25 years and I have finally come to feel at ease donating it to a second hand store.  But I decided to record something about it here.

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It was likely a gift from my parents.  I used it in high school, listening to music as I fell asleep and
waking to music with the alarm function.  I could program so many radio stations and it got really good reception, so I had several to choose from! It would play cassettes on a constant loop, switching from A side to B side and back again, so only battery life limited the constant music.



2014-01-11 22.00.43Looking at the stop/play/FF/RW buttons still elicits a tactile response in my finger tips.

College found me using it again at night, but often I’d listen to a radio station that had just the right white noise.  Mixed tapes were my studying companions at the library as delivered by this handy friend.

Super cheesy now, but I had a waist pack just for this with a pocket for extra batteries and space for two other tapes.

Strange how important this was to me and the nostalgia and friendly gratitude I feel for my old Walkman.  It still worked when I put it in the box for donations. Now that I write this, I regret getting rid of it, but I know that tomorrow (and the next decade) I won’t think about it again.







May 24, 2014

Kid photo update

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 5:24 am

Still pretty overwhelmed by the chaos.  I don’t get very much done during the day, so any progress is slow and I don’t think to post about it.  Here are a few recent photos. I can’t believe Duncan is already so big!

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December 31, 2013

{this moment}

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 8:24 pm

WOW – I’m really behind with thoughtful photos! But, rather than flood the blog, here are a few recent photos from Christmas:

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{this moment} – A [Sunday] ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. As inspired by Collecting the Moments … One by One and SouleMama

September 30, 2013

Landscaping at our new home

Filed under: health, home — fairyguts @ 12:18 am

Our new house does not have a very big yard and very few established plants. And some of the ones that were here weren’t to my liking.  Two FREE posts to craigslist and I had takers for the unwanted plants in nearly 10 minutes.

The first to go was 5 rose bushes. I like rose flowers, but these were big, leggy bushes, with big thorns and a very light fragrance. I decided I’d rather go with a highly fragrant trellising rose in a different color and give these guys a home with someone who appreciated them.

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This small hydrangea was oddly placed and interfered with parking as well as having sadly drab colors.  I know I could change the colors with soil additives, but hydrangeas are not high on my favorites list.

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Now we have open holes, but it’s ready for me to put something I really like in there! Like more native plants!

September 29, 2013

{this moment}

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 8:23 pm

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{this moment} – A [Sunday] ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. As inspired by Collecting the Moments … One by One and SouleMama

Finishing up in Corvallis

Filed under: heart, home — fairyguts @ 6:36 am

Here’s a bunch of photos just about how CLEAN we got the Corvallis house before we left and the native plant garden I left.  I guess, mostly for my memory, but its not so interesting that I want to make a scrapbook page about it.

Here are some pre-weeding pictures:

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And here are the post weeding pictures:

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The native plant garden



Fairy Lantern


Sword Fern


Fox Glove, Oxalis, and Wild Ginger


Deer Fern


Maiden Fern


False Solomon’s Seal


Lady Fern


Solomon’s Seal (hard to see, above the ginger)

Such a pretty house!!

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September 28, 2013

Major upheaval.

Filed under: home — fairyguts @ 5:21 am

I guess we just didn’t have enough chaos going on. Last month we bought a house, moved, went on a four day road trip to California, moved some more and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, and CLEANED.  I have been recovering and avoiding fainting due to the heat and my pregnancy.  I guess, at this stage, I could be prone to fainting just from moving quickly. And my arms fall asleep all the time.  It disturbs my sleep and irritates me the rest of the time.

Here are some “before” photos to show where all of our stuff landed after our slap-dash move.  As time progresses and each room’s chaos is tamed, I’ll share more photos, but this is where we started:

The patio by the front door:



The office as you come inside:

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Into the house past the office and back towards the door again:

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A peak in the laundry room and then the kitchen, dining, and living space:

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The funky display area in the main room:


Random, nearly empty hall closets:

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Guest room:

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Craft room:

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Master suite:

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And finally, where all the stuff ended up, the garage:

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We’ve already moved many things out of the garage and into the house. The kitchen is nearly unpacked (we think we’ve found all the kitchen stuff!) and organized and, if you’ve followed me on Facebook, we spent a lot of time on the laundry room (complete post on it’s way!).   We are busy, busy!

I would like to try to come up with a ‘style’ or ‘theme’ for our house to help me decorate.  This is something I am not good at and often end up with boring spaces because I’m such a fanatic of “functional.”  Should be a fun adventure!



September 26, 2013

Experiment: all purpose cleaner

Filed under: health, home — fairyguts @ 1:15 am

In my research and experimenting with home made laundry detergent, I decided I needed to test my all-purpose cleaner.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been using home made household cleaners for several years now to avoid lung irritation and had been using combinations of baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, and/or borax.  “All Natural Non-Toxic cleaner” recipes have similar ingredients and inflated claims of efficiency, but some ingredients are not compatible, resulting – most visibly – in precipitate solids.  What part of these cleaning recipes are actually useful?

I made a lot of decisions which significantly narrowed the scope of this experiment.

  • Freshness.  I had read on some blogs that you had to make your cleaner fresh each time you used it.  I considered using two spray bottles per cleaner: one would be made up and used for the the full duration of the experiment (over several weeks), while the other bottle would have a fresh batch made up each time.  I discarded this option primarily for logistics: I didn’t have another 6 spray bottles.
  • Specialization.  I thought about testing a variety of both all-purpose AND glass cleaners.  On reflection, I decided what was different about these two types of cleaners was that one had to leave no residue.  I decided I would prefer all of my cleaners to leave no residue, so I would only test one type of cleaner and make residues a condition of cleaning determination.
  • Vinegars. In my reading, there were claims that orange peels soaked in vinegar increased its cleaning effectiveness and improved the smell.  I made some and used it as one of my cleaners to test this claim.
  • Situations.  I created a list of situations I would like to test the cleaners on including: greasy walls, dust build up, food drips on cupboards, finger prints, bug smeared windows, mildew, and soap scum. For the experiment, I needed to be able to recreate these situations in equal amounts and, although I thought of ways to test most, logistics were prohibitive. I felt testing oil and dried food would be sufficient at this time.
  • Measurements.  I looked up ways people measured cleanliness and, in manufacturing settings, there are some high-tech light refraction methods, but they often use black light and white glove visual inspection with “pass/no pass” identification.  I decided I would just use visual inspection, as I would in my daily cleaning routine.
  • Wiping cloths. Since these experiments inform how I clean my own house, and I am a microfiber devote (although, perhaps I should do a third experiment!?!) I elected to use the same ones I have been using for years.  I had enough new cloths to have one specifically for each cleaner. I debated about washing the cloths between each soiling type and elected not to, since this would most closely reflect how I would use it.

Hypothesis:  Home-made all-purpose cleaner made with water and vinegar cleans better than cleaner made with borax or castile soap.

Prediction: Home made cleaners made with a combination of vinegar and baking soda or vinegar and borax are problematic because of the neutralizing effect the ingredients have on each other (depending on concentrations).  Additionally, cleaners made with borax and castile soap create precipitates which damage the spray bottles and leave particulates on the surface being cleaned.  I predict a cleaner with only vinegar and water will clean better than a cleaner made with castile soap or borax.

Independent Variable: All-Purpose Cleaners

Dependent Variable: Two soiling types (olive oil and dried food on glass).


  • (6) Home made all-purpose cleaners

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2 c water and 1 T borax
2 c water
1 c water and 1 c vinegar
1 c water and 1 c orange vinegar
1.5 c water and 2 t castile soap
1.5 c water and .5 c vinegar and 1 T borax


  • (5) Glass tiles
  • (6) New microfiber cloths.
  • Soiling types (olive oil and food (cake batter, mustard, raw egg))


  1. Soil each tile with equal amounts of soiling (olive oil or dried food).
  2. Spray the devoted microfiber cloth three times with the cleaner.
  3. Wipe.
  4. Evaluate (pass/no pass)
  5. Repeat 2, 3, and 4 until pass.


Olive Oil -

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  1. N N P
  2. P
  3. P
  4. N N N N N
  5. N N N N N P
  6. P

Dried Food -


  1. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N+
  2. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N
  3. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N N N
  4. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N+
  5. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N+
  6. N N N N N N N N N N * N N N N N N N N N N % N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N+


* At this point, cleaner #2 has cleaned the best, but not completely. I changed the method by squirting the glass directly and letting sit for 1 minute before resuming the spray-and-wipe method.


% Again, #2 is the best so far with #3 a close second.  I squirt each glass with cleaner and let sit for 3 minutes.  All but cleaner #2 and #3 needed more than 20 more wipes to finally pass.


The orange oil vinegar cleaner itself left an oily residue on glass, so no matter how much I cleaned with it, it left a smear. Here you can see particulates, too.


Conclusion: Plain water was the most successful all-purpose cleaner.  Further tests need to be conducted to determine if other detergent recipes with a variety of ingredients and their ratios are more or less effective than plain water.

Discussion:  This experiment has prompted me to reduce my cleaning supplies even further. Even though pure water was the best cleaner in this case, I will continue to add vinegar to my cleaning solution.  I like the smell, supposed mineral-dissolving-properties (not tested here),  and the reported bacteria, mold, and mildew killing properties.  Paired with my baking soda pastes, I believe this is all I’ll need for my home!

September 22, 2013

{this moment}

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 8:22 pm


{this moment} – A [Sunday] ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. As inspired by Collecting the Moments … One by One and SouleMama

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