Living a balanced green lifestyle

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How to Get Rid of Stinky Dog Odors in Your Car – Part 1

I bought a used car last week. With the price of gas at nearly $4.00 a gallon, commuting with my SUV was really adding up. I was filling up my tank twice a week, at about $50.00 per tank. Let me do the math: Uh, $50 x . . .  Let me just say it was too much!

So I got myself a 1998 Honda Civic HX with low miles and that was nearly stock. This car gets about 40 mpg. I didn’t want a hybrid; hybrid batteries are a whole ‘nother story. Let me tell you, I had been looking for a Honda Civic HX, VX, or CX (the three Civics of the older vintage that get the highest fuel economy) for about the last three months, but my car shopping story will have to wait. I’m here to tell you about stinky dog odors.

Well, my husband and I went to buy this car, and when we got there (200 miles later–yes, such a car with this few miles, good condition, and nearly all stock is worth a 200-mile drive), the driver’s side window was rolled all the way down. I soon understood why.

The sellers said they had gotten the car detailed yesterday, just before they posted it on Craigslist. They said the detailer overdid the shampoo and they were letting it dry and air out. What an understatement. The entire dash area glistened with an oily sheen. Looked like Armor All was applied like it was the Blue Light special. The car reeked of chemical fragrance. And beneath the overwhelming chemical odor, you could still smell dog.

Well, the car, as I said, had low miles and was in really good condition, and I was tired of paying $400 a month in gas. So I was willing to overlook the poor, chemical-laden detailing job and underlying stinky dog smell and plop down my money (via PayPal, no less, because it was Sunday and all the banks were closed). I waved the stinkyness off as being cosmetic and something I could manage when I got home.

I drove the car back–another 200 miles–with the windows rolled down. When I got home, my clothes and hair reeked of the chemical fragrances with underlying stinky dog. There was dog hair, which the detailer missed big time, floating all around. Wow, this was the worst detailing job. (If I knew who the detailer was, I’d have to go on Yelp and give them a 1-star review.)

Now that I’ve given you all this background information, I’m out of time and will have to pick up in Part 2. But I’ll just give you a hint about what I did. It involved

  • a vacuum cleaner,
  • lots of natural odor-eliminating sprays (Norwex and other),
  • Norwex microfiber and other microfiber (with water, of course),
  • the Norwex rubber brush (for the gobs of dog hair that the detailer missed),
  • a refrigerator coil brush,
  • baking soda,
  • and a lot of elbow grease.

Since I avoid chemicals like the plague, all of the above items that I used do not involve chemicals. I was trying to get rid of chemicals! You cannot get rid of chemicals with more chemicals.

A week after I drove home in my new used, reeking car, it smells 90 percent better and is 99 percent cleaner. There’s still a little more to go, much of which will involve dissipation over time.



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Wash Your Car with Rain Water in 3 Easy Steps

It’s the middle of January in the Northwest, and I washed my car. With captured rain water and a Norwex Enviro cloth. And nothing else.

I had a dirty white vehicle and had been thinking for the last couple of weeks that maybe I should get the dirt off. Then the day turned out sunny and mild, almost spring-like, making me want to do something like wash the car.

My full 50-gallon rain barrel was sitting just 20 feet away from my parked vehicle. The inside of the rain barrel was kind of, well, gross. Like, full of healthy algae crawling up and down the sides of the rain barrel. But when I filled my bucket at the rain barrel spigot, the water came out actually pretty clean.

I got my Norwex Enviro cloth completely wet in the rain water and went to work cleaning my vehicle. This technique is a little different from using a hose but nevertheless very effective.

  1. First, I poured the rain water on the area that I was washing to get the area completely wet.
  2. Next, I wiped/washed the area with my wet Norwex cloth. If you have read my other posts, you will know that, again, with a Norwex cloth, you do not need soap.
  3. Then I poured more rain water on the area again to rinse away the loosened dirt and grime.

Repeat on all sections of the car until it’s all clean.

Yes, you can wash your entire vehicle just with captured rain water and a Norwex Enviro cloth. No soap is necessary and your car will be just as clean as if you had used soap.

Save money on soap and water and be green, all at the same time.

Where to buy a Norwex Enviro cloth

Since Norwex is a direct sales company (meaning, the products are not sold in stores), you will need to buy from a Norwex consultant. Essentially, consultants take the place of the store.

Please go to my website and purchase your Norwex Enviro cloth.

All Norwex microfiber have a 2-year warranty. However, there is no warranty if you buy from a third-party source (such as an online auction site).

Check out my other post on the amazing things you can do just with water and a Norwex Enviro cloth! Other Norwex product tips are available at

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Fats Can Be Good for You

The right fats are a good thing. In fact, about 60 percent of our brain is made of fat. It’s the artificial fat that we must avoid. The ones that are plastic-like, you know? Our bodies cannot process these because they are not real food. At best, your body will excrete them. At worst, they will collect in your body since your body can’t digest them, and the accumulation of these fats will cause problems.

My authority on fats? The Bible.

We read in many places that people gave animal fat to God as a sacrifice and had fatted livestock for their party food (for example, Numbers 18:17 and Luke 15:23). If fat was a sweet savor to God, it must be good enough for us. Ah, there’s nothing like the aroma of a little fat on the edge of my steak under the broiler.

Butter is also awesome. It is made from the fat, or cream, that rises to the top in cow’s milk. And about milk, I do not buy homogenized milk because the fat has been corrupted in the sense that its structure has been changed through the homogenization process. The fat particles are made so small that they can enter into your bloodstream where they don’t belong. I do not buy low-fat or nonfat milk because the fat, which is the most nutritious part of the milk, has been removed.(Here’s a lot more information about real, raw milk.)

The truth is, drinking whole milk will not make you fat any more than diet drinks will keep you slim.


The milk fat is yellower than the water portion of the milk and rises to the top.
Now that I don’t get raw milk much anymore, I buy Twin Brook Creamery’s non-homogenized but pasteurized milk in glass bottles. (At least it’s not ultra-pasteurized!)

In the old days, after farmers removed the fat to make butter or just to have cream, they threw away the watery stuff that was left or fed it to the pigs. They knew there wasn’t much nutritional value in it. The watery stuff today is marketed heavily as the nonfat or low-fat milk that everyone should drink because, you know, you don’t want to get fat. Wow, what a clever marketing strategy so the dairy industry doesn’t have to throw the water portion of the milk away anymore and can now make money on it.

We need our fats — the right fats. It’s especially true for our growing kids. To give them low-fat or nonfat milk and other low-fat and nonfat foods, to me, is robbing them of an essential food. I raised my kids on whole milk (non-homogenized, and for many years, raw, or unpasteurized) and did they ever have a weight problem? Never.

Just remember to avoid the artificial fats. Real fats are good, but, of course, balance and moderation are necessary.

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7 Things To Do With the Norwex Enviro Cloth

With the new year just underway, I’ve decided I am going to be a better housekeeper this year. So guess what? I’m using my Norwex Enviro Cloth more! It is THE most versatile cloth I have ever owned, and I’ll share 7 ways that you can use it — just with water, of course.

Please go to the bottom of this blog post to buy Enviro Cloths. (You can’t have too many of these cloths. Plus, they make great gifts.)



Regular Enviro Cloth: 13″ x 13″
Kids Enviro Cloth: 10″ x 10″
Travel Enviro Cloth: 6″ x 6″


7 things to do with the Norwex Enviro Cloth

  1. Clean your windows and mirrors in your house and car.
  2. Clean your leather furniture and leather accessories such as purses and shoes. (Caution: If your leather furniture or item is not dyed deeply but rather just surficially, the Enviro Cloth may remove some of the dye. Test on an inconspicuous area first.)
  3. Clean your greasy stove and range hood.
  4. Remove stains from your carpet or other textiles. See the amazing before-and-after photos below. To remove stains, rub lightly and blot the stain with a damp Enviro Cloth. Rinse out the cloth and repeat until the stains are gone. You will be amazed at the stubborn stains that did not come out with that expensive (and toxic) carpet stain remover you bought. For REALLY persistent or years-old stains, try the Norwex Carpet Stain Buster. 
  5. Wipe your screen — computer, TV, phone, et cetera.
  6. Mop your floors (while the Norwex mop is patiently waiting to get crossed off your wish list).
  7. Dust your house. This last item calls for a dry Enviro Cloth. Dust your wood furniture, baseboards, and anything else that you would dry-dust. The dry cloth PICKS UP dust, not move it around the way other dusters do.




These are just 7 ways to use the extremely versatile Enviro Cloth. Many people who own the Enviro Cloth didn’t even know they could do all this and more with this single cloth!

Besides the 7 uses I list above, be daring and try it out on other things. You will surprise yourself when you see the amazing things this awesome cloth can do.


What to do when your cloth gets stained, dirty, and greasy

Wash it out in hot water. If the stains and gunk are too much for just the hot water, I soak the cloth in a sink of hot water with a sprinkle of Norwex Power Plus Laundry Detergent. For spot treatment of stains on the cloth, I use a couple of drops of the Norwex dishwashing liquid. These two cleaning agents clean better than any detergent or soap I have ever used. You use so little of it and get powerful cleaning results.

Norwex says you can boil the Enviro Cloth up to 4 times a year when it gets really, really dirty. Just simmer the cloth in a pot of water for 10 minutes. This releases the grease and gunk. I like to add a sprinkle of the Norwex detergent to the water.

Keep in mind that, like any cloth or fabric, the Enviro Cloth will stain over time. That’s just what happens when you use it. So if you’re like me, I keep several Enviro Cloths around so I can dedicate one to my greasy kitchen, one for my non-greasy windows, one in my car, et cetera.


Buy Enviro Cloths

As you know, Norwex is a direct sales company, which means Norwex products are not carried in stores. So in order to buy these awesome cloths, you need a Norwex consultant (me!). Here are the links to buy your Enviro Cloths:


A clean house is better than a dirty house! The great thing about using Norwex cloths is you can clean tons of stuff just with water. This cuts out other cleaners (especially those awful toxic ones) in a huge way, saving you lots of money.





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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.


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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.



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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.