Category Archives: housekeeping/cleaning

an oil and vinegar wood furniture polish/cleaner


I recently read about a homemade wood cleaner/polish that can be made with pantry ingredients and thought it would be one small thing that I could accomplish while I’m off work for a bit. It has the benefit of being cheap, very green and is actually good for wood furniture.

We have a lot of wood furniture in our house – antiques and second hand furniture are what we used to furnish it (or, as one friend who helped us move put it, too much old stuff). Some pieces get dried out and occasionally need a little something extra to bring them back to life. This combination seems to do the trick – the vinegar provides a cleaning agent and the oil conditions the wood. Wood furniture with a matte finish cleans beautifully with this; it will fill in tiny scratches, it covers some water stains and helped darken finish that had dried out and lightened. It can be used on other finishes as well, but may need to be buffed off or used more sparingly on glossy finished furniture.

I put it to the ultimate test and used it to try to make the old crackled and dried out church pew that sits on my front porch look good again. There isn’t a lot that can be done for the crackled and baked finish on it, but the oil did darken it up and gave it some protection against drying out again quickly. It looks much better in my opinion (though I can’t do anything about the chew marks on the arm rests that were a puppy teething incident).

desk before and after

The tall hormonal kid’s desk before and after the wood polish – good results

church pew before and after

These photos don’t show as much of the transformation as I would like – but the pew looks dramatically better now.


Oil & Vinegar Wood Furniture Polish/Cleaner

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 3 parts olive oil

Pour oil and vinegar into a jar, seal tight and shake to mix before each use. Apply to furniture using a rag or microfiber cloth.

Linked to GNOWFGLINS, A Pinch of Joy, Frugally Sustainable

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enjoying a quiet February and a quick tip and video for t-shirt folding


I haven’t been adding much here lately. I have to admit that I am liking the quietness of February and don’t feel too pushed to try anything new this month. We’ve been cooking and baking tried and true recipes, we’ve been back and forth to hockey, there was a sleepover with some friends of the girls last night and tonight we have some more friends coming for dinner. Just the usual, but without the feeling of rushing around.

I found this neat little video and after trying it out a couple of times to master the steps, I proceeded to refold all of the t-shirts in my closet (I know that there is probably therapy available for obsessiveness like this, but it seems harmless enough). In two seconds t-shirts are neatly folded, just like Sheldon Cooper and his cool little folding contraption thingie, but without the need for the folding contraption thingie. I bet you try it out after watching the video.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday

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slow living – september

I’m not sure what we did slowly this month – it went by so fast it blurred. September is always more like the start of the year for us; everything begins at the same time and none of it feels particularly slow. The beginning of the school year was the biggest event.

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish.


This has been a month of rushed meals as we try to adjust to hockey practice on two nights a week. Meals are simple, quick and easy. Occasionally we even eat at the arena, but next month I would like to do some advance cooking to avoid that bellyache. There is not much you can say about food cooked in a hockey arena. Their high-end menu item is sugar coated donut holes called Beaver Balls. Yep, you read it right.

I wrote about trying a kohlrabi slaw and a honey lemon ginger tea mix that is nice for colds and sore throats (or even just mixed into a normal cup of tea for a pleasant drink on a cold evening).


We tried hard to keep up with the last of the garden this month, continuing to freeze tomato sauce – roasted, passata and marinara. And then I gave up and froze a bunch of tomatoes whole, gave some more away and let the rest just go. I just can’t look at another tomato and want to do something with it. We’ve also made fermented jalapeno hot sauce, hot pepper jelly, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions that we put in the freezer.

We braided onions from the garden to store them longer term over the winter, froze a mountain of beans and cut up and froze more peppers. Our freezers are pretty much full.


There was a lot of reducing going on this month. Unfortunately most of it had to do with our bank balances. New school shoes, school supplies, piano lessons, hockey equipment and hockey fees. Ouch. We did manage to find most of the equipment that we needed at a used sports store – otherwise the impact would have been much worse. We are able to take the outgrown equipment in on trade to offset the cost of new (used) equipment. And when you consider that every inch of their bodies are padded to play hockey, that is a lot of equipment.


I made a natural essential oil febreeze-type spray to deal with some leftover onion cooking smells in the house and attempt to tame the monster smell in the hockey equipment bags. We’ll see how that goes. Those bags really do have a life of their own. The tall kid won’t let me wash anything – it might spoil her team’s current winning streak. If you can call 3 games a winning streak.


The tall kid grew half an inch this month. My 11-year-old looks down at me, and I’m 5’6″. It must be something in the tomatoes.

We’ve harvested beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, kohlrabi, squash and potatoes. We missed the boat on the cabbages; same as the broccoli, we didn’t pay any attention for a few days and they split and turned brown. Apparently they can’t wait like I thought they could.


I’m still working on the sweater for the tall kid. I haven’t picked it up much this month, but have at least finished the torso and have started on a sleeve. I hadn’t thought about this when I started knitting with a patterned yarn – but the pattern repeats slower in the body than it will in the arms – will this make it look odd when it’s finished? Should I quit now?


I read a couple of books this month and picked up a few more that I’ve been flipping through. My book club has started up again, but I’ve decided to give it a pass for this year. We are already out of the house several nights a week and I am looking for an excuse to uncomplicate my life.

{Enhance – community}:

The dad has taken on the bulk of this category this month. He is co-coaching the tall kid’s Peewee hockey team and is volunteering once again with Ducks Unlimited.


We’ve been enjoying the company of friends and family again this month. Even with the busy-ness of school and sports, we’ve managed to fit in some visiting and dinners with company.

We attended my brother’s wedding just this past weekend. It was a beautiful day and a lovely wedding in a conservation area setting. The girls had a blast feeding birds out of their hands on the hiking trails, then schooling a bunch of grown ups on the dance floor afterwards.

We had a death in the family this month – not something that would normally go in the enjoy category, but he was young, fun to be around and my husband, his mom and his sister were able to enjoy a visit with him a few weeks before his death. He is missed, but will be well remembered.

Another busy, alternately happy and sad, but interesting month.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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