I like activities that make me stink, but people don’t always want to be around me during or after them and I also like hanging out with people. Store bought deodorant has been scratched off the options list, so I had to make my own.
Grab your ingredients:
The first time I made a batch of this stuff, I used an old deodorant container like the red one pictured above, and it worked great all winter, but when the summer came about, everything melted and it became a mess…so this time, I am repurposing a friends old hair product container.
Combine a 1/4 cup of Cornstarch and a 1/4 cup of Baking Soda:
Now take 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil and add that, however, I liquify it by placing it in a cup and letting it sit in hot water like so:
After you pour in the liquified Coconut Oil, add about 10 drops of your essential oil (whatever scent you want)
Now mix it all up, you may initially get a clumpy mixture like this:
If so, simply add more coconut oil until your mixture is silky smooth:
Now you are ready to load your container:
Let it harden a bit in a cool dry place and you are ready to go! I have been wearing this through full days of biking and kayaking and it has proved far superior to any store bought deodorant I have ever used. Enjoy it and let us know how it works for you!
Making bread is super satisfying, it tastes better when you make it yourself, and it means more when you bake it on your own in order to break it with friends and family. This is a very simple loaf but it should be good to get you started and hopefully inspire you to bake some more stuff on your own.
First off, let’s see what we need, other than a bread pan and a mixing bowl, here is your ingredients:
1/4 cup of milk
5 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
5 teaspoons of butter
1 pack of dry yeast
3 or so cups of flour
Take your mixing bowl and fill it up with hot water, just so you can warm your bowl a little bit before getting started. After it is full, dump it out.
Now put a cup of hot water in the mixing bowl and pour in your packet of yeast.
Mix in the yeast real good until you don’t see anymore clumps, it will look like this.
Now melt your butter and pour it in the bowl along with your sugar, salt, and milk. Stir that up real good so those ingredients all come to a nice clean mixture with no clumps, and then add about 2 cups of your flour.
Start mixing that flour in.
Initially, the mixing is going to be real easy as it’s fairly thin, the consistency will look something like this from your first 2 cups:
Now, you are going to want to continue mixing and adding flour, keep your flour out this entire time as you will need to keep adding it to the mixture as well as powder your working surface in a moment.
Notice the mixture is starting to get a little thicker as more flour is added, your hand may start hurting right about now as well from the mixing, but the pain from the mixing helps the flavor in the end.
The fun part is coming up, but first, this is about what your mixture should look like at the point your bowl mixing is complete:
That mixture is very hard to stir and holds it’s shape a little bit. Now comes the fun part. Grab a handful of flour and rub it all over your hands letting the flour cover your work surface, get a good coat over both your hands and the counter. Go ahead and dump your mixture on top of your floured surface:
Now you will be working the mixture with your hand, kneading it for about 10 minutes. During this process I continue adding flour to my hands and the counter where I am working. Just keep punching, pounding, throwing, and folding the mixture, powdering up your hands and work surface as you go so that the mixture doesn’t stick too badly.
Just look at how fun and cool this process is:
After 10 minutes of working the mixture, you should have a good solid bit of dough that isn’t too sticky. Work the dough into a ball and set it in your mixing bowl, either use your previous bowl after cleaning it, or grab another mixing bowl.
You are going to let that sit and rise now for an hour, above you see what it looks like right after kneading it, and below, you will see what it looks like after rising for an hour, but first, notice that I left the flour on the counter…keep it there for now:
Wow! Look at that rise! Now, go ahead and dump that dough back on the counter where you left the flour. Punch it down, flatten it and shape it into a rectangle:
In the photo, I hadn’t completely finished shaping the rectangle, you are going to want it about as wide as your bread pan like the photo shows, but you are going to want it a bit taller than in the photo. You want to then roll the dough up like so:
And then fold the ends under so that it will fit into the pan.
Now spray your pan with some non-stick cooking spray and set your dough into your pan:
Now set your pan in a warm spot to rise for another hour. At the end of the hour your dough will have raised to about twice it’s size:
Now set your oven for 400 degrees fahrenheit and bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Here is what it looks like before you bake it:
And here is what it looks like after:
It smells incredible, it’s looks beautiful, and It tastes wonderful!
You won’t ever get a loaf that beautiful from the store. Now slice it up and pop some slices in the toaster, add some homemade elderberry jam for the best toast in the entire world.
This is a very low quality recording of sister Louise, a resident of skid row, singing, “Our God is Real.”
Though the recording quality is very low and the song itself is cut off, there is no denying the heart and talent in her voice. I am trying to work out a way to track a few songs from her as soon as possible.
In time I would like to start a project where we go down to skid row and track some of the many artists who call the street home. We would like to bring attention to the problem, and a voice and a face that can not be denied.
I will be keeping you up to date on the project, but until then, check out the Jonah Project and try and get involved with the great work they are doing in Skid Row, Los Angeles.
Composting for the Urban Dweller 2.0. What to compost?
The basics of composting are simple. Most people know they can compost fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, and grass clippings. But what about that tea bag you used this morning? Or the fur that collects in the brush when you groom your cat?
The following list is meant to get you thinking about your compost possibilities. Not every item on the list is for everyone, and that’s fine. Imagine how much trash we could prevent from going into the landfills if each of us just decided to compost a few more things. Here are 75 ideas to get you started.
From the Kitchen
Coffee grounds and filters
Used paper napkins
Pizza boxes, ripped into smaller pieces
Paper bags, either ripped or balled up
The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors
Plain cooked pasta
Plain cooked rice
Paper towel rolls
Stale saltine crackers
Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
Cellophane bags (be sure it’s really Cellophane and not just clear plastic—there’s a difference.)
Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which can be toxic to plants)
Old herbs and spices
Cereal boxes (tear them into smaller pieces first)
Melted ice cream
Old jelly, jam, or preserves
Stale beer and wine
Paper egg cartons
Paper cupcake or muffin cups
From the Bathroom
Used facial tissues
Hair from your hairbrush
Toilet paper rolls
100% Cotton cotton balls
Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks
It might be a good idea to bury these items in your pile. Just sayin’.
Cardboard tampon applicators
Latex condoms (eh…?)
From the Laundry Room
Old/stained cotton clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces
Old wool clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces
From the Office
Bills and other documents you’ve shredded
Envelopes (minus the plastic window)
Business cards (as long as they’re not glossy)
Around the House
Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister
Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
Subscription cards from magazines
Leaves trimmed from houseplants
Dead houseplants and their soil
Flowers from floral arrangements
Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pit
Party and Holiday Supplies
Wrapping paper rolls
Paper table cloths
Crepe paper streamers
Jack o’ Lanterns
Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor fall decor
Natural holiday wreaths
Your Christmas tree. Chop it up with some pruners first (or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)
Fur from the dog or cat brush
Droppings and bedding from your rabbit/gerbil/hamsters, etc.
Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird cage
Not all of us live in fabulous solar-powered eco-dwellings. Many of us live in cruddy, old apartments and have mean landlords who look like they tie women to railroad tracks in silent movies. It can be hard to be a “green renter”. One of the common misconceptions about renting is that an apartment dweller is unable to compost. That is not true. Here is what is true.
Figuring Out the Best Method of Composting For You Figure out how much food waste you create. Hate crusts? Eat a lot of shelled nuts? Do you have a balcony? Some spare room?
Determine the best place for compost: Under the sink, in a closet, on the balcony, in a window flower box.
Obtain something to compost in: A plastic/metal box, a garbage can.
Punch holes in the base and sides of your composting box.
Get a tarp or a tray to go under your compost box.
You will need some soil or fertilizer to start. Place a three-inch layer of soil into the box. You will also need to sprinkle in a handful or two of dry bedding. This can be leaves, newspaper, (no colored inks or glossy mags) straw, dry grass clippings, cardboard, nutshells.
Learn what can and and what cannot be composted. (read my next posting).
Shred, pulverize, cut your compostables as finely as possible to speed process.
Add equal parts dry bedding to the compost heap.
Stir the compost every week or two.
Add a handful of fresh soil every fortnight to refresh microbe supply.
If composter emits odor, add more dry bedding. If its dripping liquids, add more dry bedding.
Create another compost box.
Once your original box begins to get full, scoop out fine soil-like compost into your new box. You should have one box for finished compost and one box for compost in the making.
Using Your Compost Now that you have a compost bin. You’re going to want to use your compost. Here are some suggestions.
Neighborhood composting projects where applicable.
You know all those times that you went to an Andrew Jackson Jihad show and bought a shirt, but then got ultra bummed when you wanted to wear the shirt but had an even stronger desire to be wearing a v-neck? DIY V-neck tutorial to the rescue.
Take your cool crew neck shirt and then get out your seam ripper.
Seam rip away until you’ve disconnected the collar pretty much from one shoulder seam to the other.
Now snip the collar right in the middle of what you have loose.
Fold the shirt below the collar in half so that you can evenly cut away the part of the neck that you want gone.
Cut away and you should have this:
Check out that sweet V….
Now you will want to stretch the two sections of the collar that are hanging loose as they will need to cover a little more ground than they had to prior to the mod.
Now make your way over to the sewing machine. Line up the end of one of the loose sides of collar with the V.
As you sew the collar back on just stretch the collar and shirt together so that they are the same length and don’t bunch up.
Now do the same with the other side.
Now fold one side of the collar over the other where they meet at the V.
Stitch it up! I usually do this last few stitches by hand. Now go outside and show everyone how much you like Andrew Jackson Jihad and let them check out your awesome chest tattoo at the same time!!!
If you enjoy trains and you enjoy biking you will enjoy riding the trails throughout West Central Wisconsin.
The majority of these well maintained trails are part of the Rails-to Trails Conservancy located across the United States. These bike paths are built on former rail lines. A number of the replacement rails are located nearby. If you yearn for the sound of the engine riding along the rails you will get your fill on many of these trails.
In West-Central Wisconsin the bike paths meander through swamps, bogs and along rivers and streams. In addition, you are always bordered by rolling hills and beautiful bluffs, Wisconsin’s version of mountains. You will have the opportunity to travel up close to picturesque farms throughout the region complete with cows, horses, chickens, ducks, sheep and pigs. Those animals are indigenous to this part of the country. You will also come across some non traditional animals like buffalo, llamas and peacocks.
The La Crosse River State Trail is 21.5 miles long. This trail runs from Onalaska to Sparta. The trail is a connecting link between the Elroy-Sparta State Trail (32.5 miles) and the Great River State Trail (25 miles from La Crosse to Trempealeau). Recreationalists have nearly 80 miles of biking and hiking between Elroy and Perrot State Park near Trempealeau.
Towns that line the paths are like a step-back in time. The 21st Century seems undiscovered as the towns have a 19th Century appeal. The streets, storefronts and grain elevators are from a bygone era. Children still sell lemon aide from their wooden crate stands. Farmers in the area, not to be outdone by the little ones, have stands themselves, many left unattended with a coffee can on the checkout counter for an honor system cashier. They offer fresh produce, flowers and fruit.
The grade of this type of trail is relatively level throughout Wisconsin. The length of the ride is determined by you, the rider. All trails are well marked regarding the distances you will travel. You could spend a couple of hours on a 15 - 20 mile ride or, if you are feeling really energetic, you could do a 50 mile ride and see a lot of really incredible country. Remember to bring along water and energy bars!
If you are an established rider and would like to travel further, many of Wisconsin’s trails lead through or near a state park. Remember to make reservations. You will need a park permit in addition to the overnight camping permit. Many towns along the route offer a Bed & Breakfast if you would really like to relax in total comfort.
Explore Wisconsin and the different levels of biking trails located throughout the state at the website below.
The joys of sailing include the yearly prep for the boat. It’s dirty work, but you might as well enjoy it, because it’s gotta be done!
The list is long, but here’s what I did today:
- changed spark plugs on the outboard. The best moments in sailing are when you shut off the engine and it’s just you and the wind, and when you need the engine, and she fires right up!
- change the lower unit oil - there was a good bit of water in there - that’s not good.
- clean the air filter - gotta look on line to figure out how to take the air filter holder apart. Stay tuned on this one.
- fill the tires - they leak over the winter, and need 90 lbs (!) of pressure.
- Check the wheel bearings - there’s two kinds - some just need a squirt of grease from a grease gun, some need to be dismantled every couple of years - depending on how much use they get.
Check the trailer lights, clean the inside, test run the engine, make sure the license tabs are current - yet to go. It’s a beautiful day, and the only thing better than working on the boat, is sailing her.
Submitted by Chuck Roost
Thanks for the submission! Let us know how the sailing season treats you, maybe a few photos from the adventures.
First things first, what is a hobo? Most of you have probably already pictured something in your head, and if that picture is the guy you try to avoid every day because you feel slightly bad not giving him your change, that picture is incorrect, for the man I just described would technically be labeled a “bum,” one who neither travels, nor works. A hobo, unlike a bum, works just as hard as he travels, which is very hard indeed, and before we continue, I might as well throw in the third type often mixed in with this culture, the “tramp,” one who travels continuously, yet rarely works. So a “hobo,” is a migratory worker who often travels via the railways though typically without the consent of the railroad.
Traced back as early as the end of the “war of northern aggression,” the hobo lifestyle began as soldiers were trying to get back home, many would hop trains, while others would catch out west looking for work. As the numbers grew, so did the culture. In the 1930’s, during the great depression, the culture was forced upon many men. Though many were forced into the culture, many also chose it for its various benefits, benefits that many would not understand, but that still attract people to this day and will, it seems, until the end of time.
There are a few thoughts as to the origin of the word “hobo” itself. Todd Depastino, the author of “Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America,” suggests that it is a variation of the term “hoe-boy,” which means “farmhand.” I however, and many others, would like to think that it is a corrupt abbreviation of the phrase, “homeward bound.”
With a very brief history of the hobo lifestyle covered, I want to get into the point of the article, to share with you the hobo ethical code, and some of the hobo symbols.
In the year 1889 during the National Hobo Convention in St. Louis Missouri (yes, you read that correctly, there is a hobo convention.) there was a code written and then voted upon, establishing it as a set of laws to govern those within the hobo community.
1. Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you. 2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times. 3. Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos. 4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again. 5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents and crafts. 6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos. 7. When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you. 8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling. 9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help. 10. Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible. 11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member. 12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard. 13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society. 14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home. 15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday. 16. If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!
Before moving on, I would like to mention that in No. 10, to “boil up,” literally means to boil your clothing and belongings in order to kill off lice, bed bugs, or other critters that may have hitched a ride along with you.
And now for the hobo signs, or hobo symbols. This is a system of communication developed by hobos to provide other hobos with direction, warning, or a variety of other information, these symbols would often be chalked onto a fence post or left some other way that any other hobo could spot it and take heed.
If you have never spoken to a hobo before because of a lack of understanding, or perhaps a fear of the unknown, I hope that reading the hobo code, and the history presented above will open you up a bit and you will take advantage of the next opportunity you get to learn a great deal from these very educated free men.