Living a balanced green lifestyle

Leave a comment

The Timesaving Tool for All Professional House Cleaners

I wrote an article a few days ago about the incredible tool that picks up pet hair off carpets, rugs, and fabric upholstery better than a vacuum cleaner. It’s the Norwex rubber brush, priced at an affordable $13.99.



Norwex Rubber Brush: 2″ x 6″, not counting handle



This tool is not only a must-have for pet owners, but it has been proven valuable to professional house cleaners. It will save hours and hours of cleaning time, as one professional cleaner friend of mine has attested to.


Here is the article.


If you are a professional house cleaner or know someone who is, the affordable but valuable Norwex rubber brush will prove to be a great gift.



Leave a comment

Pet Hair Problems? No Problem!

This simple Norwex rubber brush is an indispensable tool for pet owners. Please continue reading and I’ll tell you why.

Norwex Rubber Brush

Norwex Rubber Brush. Size: 2″ x 6″, not counting handle

The best $13.99 investment:

(1) Removes dog and cat hair like it’s nobody’s business. This literally works better than even the finest vacuum cleaner for picking up animal hair off fabric upholstery, carpets, and rugs. You know how furry pets have hair that sticks in and lodges into fabrics, rugs, and carpet?

Let me share a dog hair testimony. A professional cleaner friend of mine has a client who has three large dogs that free-range in the house. My friend vacuumed this client’s sofa for 3 or 4 hours, trying to remove the dog hair that was living on the sofa. She was so frustrated. She had bought the Norwex rubber brush from me but forgot about it. Finally she remembered the brush. She went home, got her brush, and went back to her client’s house.

My friend’s words:

“The hair came off in sheets.”

Even today, it’s one of her favorite and most useful tools.

Fine rabbit hair testimony: It even works to extract fine rabbit hair out of rugs when the vacuum cleaner fails to pick up. I did this for a lady who had a fine-furred rabbit. She thought she would have to live with the rabbit hair matted into her rug. I took my rubber brush and began raking up the rabbit hair — something her vacuum cleaner could not do.

(2) Picks up human hair, too. I confess that I’m a shedder. I lose my hair left and right. Not only does it drive my family up the wall, it drives  me up the wall too when I find my hair everywhere. Thank God it keeps growing back; otherwise I’d probably be bald.

I use my Norwex rubber brush to rake up my hair off the carpet and rugs. It is so effective for collecting my hair off the floor.

(3) Doesn’t use electricity the way a vacuum cleaner does. It earns green points here. It saves money on electricity and is quiet.

(4) Cleans carpeted stairs so easily. It is nothing to carry the brush up and down the stairs since it weighs about 6 ounces. Compare that to awkwardly lugging a 20-pound vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs.

(5) Works great for grooming your animals! People use this versatile brush not only to remove hair, but to brush their dogs, cats, and even horses. One lady told me that her horse loves being brushed with it.

(6) Cleans up easily. Okay, so you brushed your fuzzy pet and its dander. Or you extracted some dead hair and skin cells out of the rug. Now you think your brush is kind of icky. Just pull the major hair out of the brush with your hand, and run the brush under running water in your sink (or outside with the hose).

(7) Cleans your fabric window coverings and home and car upholstery. Simply run the brush across window coverings and upholstery to remove hair, dust, and dirt.

(8) Brushes off your Norwex mop pads and dusting mitt. So we’re finally getting to the rubber brush’s original purpose. If you have the Norwex mop pads or dusting mitt (and why wouldn’t you?!), use the brush to rake off the dirty pads or mitt. This is a neater and far more effective way to clean those items, and you won’t have dust flying back into the air if you were to shake them clean.

These are just 8 reasons why this $13.99 rubber brush is one of the best investments you’ll make. And it won’t break the bank.

A great gift for

  • pet owners
  • professional housekeepers (it will become one of their best friends)
  • anyone who has carpeting, rugs, or fabric upholstery and window coverings
  • dog and cat groomers
  • anyone who owns the Norwex mop and dusting mitt

My opinion and more about the brush

If there’s a tool that everyone should own, this little Norwex rubber brush is it. This is no ordinary brush.

The bristles are made of pliable rubber that can work its way into rugs and fabrics to extract even the most deeply embedded hair and stuff. Also, the pliable rubber is gentle on any material you use the brush on. It won’t scratch or tear textiles the way stiff brushes can. It picks up in a way that’s unmatched. (I found cat hair embedded deep, deep in my thick, wool Chinese rug, and I haven’t had a cat in 18 years!)

Order today!

If you want to give the Norwex rubber brush as a Christmas gift, please order by December 15 to allow enough time for shipping.

A companion item

Norwex also has a small, handy lint mitt that efficiently removes lint, dust, and pet hair from clothing and other textiles. Its small size makes it easy to carry with you wherever you go.

Norwex lint mitt (2-sided lint mitt). Size: 4" x 5.5"

Norwex lint mitt (2-sided lint mitt). Size: 4″ x 5.5″

Important final note

Remember, Norwex warranties all their products. However, warranties are only honored if you order through a consultant (like me). Buying from an auction site will void any warranty coverage.



Leave a comment

Save $120 by Ditching the Iron

Two months in a row, my electric bill went down. Now that’s almost fascinating, especially since it’s autumn and the electric bill usually goes up this time of the year.

My little electric company (Tanner Electric, a utility co-op, which is unheard of to most people in metropolitan areas across the country) has been consistently increasing rates since we moved into its coverage zone 13+ years ago. Our bills have almost tripled since we started getting bills from Tanner.

But then something weird happened two bills ago. The last two electric bills have been about $10 less than the previous months’ bills. I thought it was strange but couldn’t do the math. (I admit I’m a writer and not a mathematician.) I didn’t think we were doing anything different to cause this bonus in our pocket.

It Was the Iron

And then this morning I looked at our ironing board. It was quiet, lonely, and unappreciated, and it triggered something in my head. Aha! It was the iron! My husband stopped using the iron two months ago when he changed jobs. He no longer has to wear nicely pressed shirts. Wash-and-wear is all he needs now.


I almost couldn’t believe it myself. Not turning on our Rowenta has put a little green back into our pockets. When I reflect on all the years that we used the iron, whenever the iron would kick on, the lights would dim. I didn’t realize how much of an energy sucker our Rowenta was.

Do you really need your clothes pressed? If I’m doing my math right, a few wrinkles in your clothes could save you about $120 a year!

Our Rowenta might just get a new life as a paperweight.

Leave a comment

Tribute to My Grassfed Beef Friend

I lost a friend last month. His name was Al Erickson (Dr. Albert W. Erickson), a truly amazing man who wrestled bears when he was a younger man, who raised grassfed beef in his 70s, and whom my family watched pole vault when he was 80, when he competed in a decathlon in Seattle.

You heard that right: Al competed in decathlons into his 80s. He had only begun doing so in his 70s! He was modest about it. The first time he mentioned it to me, after he had been competing for several years, he said he didn’t want to make a big deal about it.


Al Erickson-Seattle Times

Al Erickson, at age 82, competing in a decathlon in 2012 (Seattle Times photo)


Al did a lot more in between as well. He was a wildlife scientist (his expertise was in black bears) who taught at various universities, including the University of Washington; participated in treks to the Antarctic; ran a waterfowl hunting club in the Snoqualmie Valley, and more, which I cannot even begin to cover here. I’d say he did enough for a few people’s lifetimes.

When I became a green fanatic 11 years ago (I’ve since become “balanced”), I found Al’s ad in the newspaper, advertising locker beef with no hormones and no antibiotics. I was looking for grassfed beef.

“Locker beef? What’s that?” I wondered, having my roots in the big city. Al and I chatted on the phone, as I quizzed him on how he raised his beef.  “No grain, no feedlots or confinement, no hormones or antibiotics?” I asked. Al assured me that all he did was put his animals on his pastures. We had a warm and easygoing conversation even though we were strangers. Al probably was not a salesman by nature, and his down-to-earth conversation reflected a realness that most customers probably wish for.

My family went out to meet him and to check out his animals, and we became friends. Al was contemplating giving up raising beef cattle, as he didn’t seem to be making headway with it. It was a lot of work, and he didn’t get much return. People balked about prices, not realizing the labor intensiveness and slim profit margin of raising cattle on pasture.

During our first phone conversation when he first admitted he was thinking about giving it up even as I was responding to his ad, I implored, “Don’t give it up. We need you. You’re doing a great thing.” Al told me over the phone that I lifted his spirits. It was what he needed to hear.

With that little encouragement, Al didn’t give it up. He continued to raise cattle on his pastures for the next half dozen or so years. I had the pleasure of working with him to get his grassfed beef business back on its feet, and in two years, he could not produce enough beef to supply the demand.

Al was actually the developer of the grassfed beef enterprise in the Snoqualmie Valley. After his own grassfed beef business was thriving, Al became a voice in Cascade Range Beef, another Snoqualmie and Snohomish Valley-based grassfed beef company, and served on its board in its early years.

Among the unconventional things that Al did, raising beef cattle strictly on pasture (although it was the way beef was produced until the 20th century) was one of them. He couldn’t see raising beef any other way.

I have been blessed to have known this man. Thanks, Al.