Extraordinary Machine

Yesterday (Thursday) was one of those super-mama days. Me and the kids, going strong, all day long, and the household machine was running on all cylinders. Loads of laundry, batches of muffins… gettin’ ‘er done. I like those days, but I was whupped by the end.


Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net/artur84

First things first: I’ve used the soap nuts for about five loads now, and they work great. The clothes are clean; they smell simply clean, with no heavy fragrance. I pre-soaked all the loads, which is supposed to help the nuts work, but I always did that for the kids’ clothes anyway, so it’s no big deal. Now the real question will be how economical they are. I have to see what the price is for a regular shipment (not a trial size) and see how it compares to make-your-own detergent. But the nuts are so darn easy that it’s hard to see me making my own.

The success of the soap nuts vs. conventional detergent spurred me to look up some recipes for make-your-own dishwasher detergent. (Soap nuts can’t go in there.) I see a lot of baking soda and vinegar in my future for all kinds of cleaning. How nice it would be to cut cleaning products out of my grocery order…


So we started the day off yesterday by trekking about 10 miles down the road to the nearest Whole Foods grocery store. I was curious to see what it was like because one is opening closer to me in mid-June. After we dropped my oldest at school, the little kids and me drove down to WF and had a fun time just cruising the aisles. We spent $22 on a dozen eggs from a Lancaster County, PA farm (somewhat local), frozen chocolate-covered bananas, a pint of organic ice cream, organic fair trade bananas, and Dr. Praeger fish nuggets for kids (because they had Dora on the box). I was perhaps most excited to see the bulk aisles: they had bulk spices, bulk grains, bulk beans, bulk nuts… This is something I always hear about on the Non-Consumer Advocate, but had never seen with mine own eyes before.

Thus I am excited for the local WF to open. I could definitely see me phasing some of my ShopRite purchases over to WF. And the kids were so well behaved at WF that I can almost imagine doing regular grocery shopping again (instead of pick-up).

After that little adventure, we came home and I made some Jessica Seinfeld pumpkin/sweet potato muffins. No one but me has eaten them. They are somewhat undercooked. I think if they had just one vegetable, they might have been more popular with the kids. You know something is no good when my daughter, the Bottomless Pit, won’t even try it.

After the muffins, I passed out on the couch a while, while the kids did… who knows. They had napped on the car ride home, so it was a loooong afternoon. Laundry, homework, and then dinner: chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, canned corn, and honey-glazed carrots (courtesy of Green Giant). Everyone ate at least two of the offerings, and that’s what I call a win. 🙂

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