Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interstitial Suspension

I started writing this post in the waiting room at the Toyota dealership. What started as an oil change morphed into further repairs before I had twenty words on the page.  

Ironically, I was googling "interstitial suspension" when the service manager brought me the news. Doesn't "interstitial suspension" sound like part of a car's mysterious innards? Something that, once broken, is going to have you maxing out your credit card and tearing out your hair? 

In spite of sounding like an item you'd find at the parts counter, the term has nothing to do with cars. In fact, I'm still not sure what exactly it is. Apparently it has something to do with paper towels.

The TED Talk below is more than a year old, but I saw it for the first time last weekend. Yep, that's what Hubby and I do on romantic weekends away. We lounge in bed and watch year-old TED talks on the interwebs. Among other things. Gotta come up for air sometime.

As much as I enjoy them, I sometimes find TED Talks beyond my technology, entertainment and design experience. This one I get. This one warms me to the cockles of my little, green heart. This one is brilliant in its simplicity. In fact, it's so simple I'm already putting the concepts into practice. 

Go have a watch. See you you can figure out what Mr. Smith means by "interstitial suspension".

Did you catch the statistics there?  Thirteen billion pounds of paper towels used annually by Americans alone. Paper towels are so lightweight I found that number staggering. The whole roll of paper towels in my kitchen doesn't  weigh a pound. I know. I checked. A new roll weighs 7.8 oz, and that includes the cardboard tube. 

A couple of years ago I bought some wash cloths at the dollar store.  I keep them on hand for paper towel-y jobs around the house.  In fact, I'm still using the same ones, and I've never used paper towels for drying my hands at home.  

And yes, I still use paper towels from time to time. There are some things that I just can't bring myself to clean from the counter/floor/ceiling and then clean from the cloth. Ewww.

My paper towel use at work was another story. I wash my hands a lot at work.  My job brings me into contact with some grubby, much-handled stuff. There are times when I think a bio-hazard suit should be part of my professional wardrobe. 

In an effort to reduce waste, I used to use the tea towel hanging above the staffroom sink to dry my hands. That is until I got scolded by the manager for inappropriate towel use. The tea towel was meant strictly for dishes. I had obviously missed a memo. 

The paper towels at work are those brown, folded ones that may, or may not, be made from recycled paper. Their absorbency is just slightly above that of aluminum foil. I use several to dry my hands while cursing the waste, cursing my employer for providing such cheap-ass, ineffective paper towels, and cursing the fact that in spite of the 3/4/5 paper towels I use my hands are never quite dry when I'm done.  All that cursing only to find out I was using the paper towels wrong. Who knew?

Well now I do. And so do you. Having tried Mr. Smith's shake and fold technique I can tell you it works. Even with cheap-ass paper towels my hands are dryer than if I had used 3, or 4, or 5 paper towels. In fact, my hands are completely dry with only one paper towel. I still haven't a clue what "interstitial suspension" is, but it works. 

I hope you'll try it. It will help save 571,230,000 pounds of waste, it will get your hands dry, and I won't be the only idiot standing at the sink flapping her hands like she's trying to achieve lift off. Just make sure you use the paper towel to dry off the mirror, and possibly your bathroom buddy, when you are done. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

For Reasons That Elude Me...

...I've decided to participate in Visible Monday once again. I'd find it it ironic that reason eludes Elusive Laurie, but I regularly feel like I have no idea what's going on. This is just more of the same. 

Last week I discovered that the consignment shop near my workplace was going out of business. As a result, this jacket was marked way down. I wasn't sure what I'd find to wear with it, but for five dollars I knew I would figure something out. Hubby took these pictures on a rare sunny day after a walk and a lunch date. 

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out the other visible women at Not Dead Yet Style

Monday, February 18, 2013

Visible Dragon Lady

I'm taking part in the Visible Monday Link-Up over at Not Dead Yet Style. I wish I could tell you why I'm doing this, but I can't currently explain it to myself. I'm not a style or a fashion blogger. I'm not sure I want to be. Most days I'm happy being Elusive Laurie.

I've been lurking on Patti's blog for a while. Something about the Visible Monday project resonated with me. That spot in my gut that vibrates when my intuition is trying to tell me something was set abuzz, and I knew I needed to do this. I'm terrified. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Hi. I'm Laurie, and today I want to be visible.

Given the content of the internet I'm most grateful it was Patti's blog that inspired me. I don't know that I'd be comfortable showing any more skin!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Still Dreaming

As I recently mentioned, or more likely whined about, I've had the flu. For a week I rarely wore my glasses, wore shoes, wore a bra, flossed my teeth, preened, cleaned or cooked. Looking at that list now I'm rather disgusted, though at the time I was too sick and tired to care. The only thing that I missed was having home-cooked meals. 

Hubby took up the banner for the first few days. Then I infected him too.  Our usually careful eating habits wilted away like the kale in our fridge. We spent almost a week surviving on processed foods. We had KD for the first time in years, and in our weakened states it took both of us to make it.

Looking back, I wonder how much my less-than-stellar diet contributed to my continuing tiredness. We did our best, but neither of us felt up to the prep or clean-up required to feed ourselves. Once we finished the home-made borscht and split-pea soups in the freezer we were at the mercy of the food industry...and our cravings for comfort foods.

Smoothies and miso soup have both been suggested as easily-made, nourishing options. Sadly, though I enjoy both, and they would certainly have gone down easily, they don't have the substance I was craving. Neither did the home-made carrot-ginger soup that still sits neglected in my freezer. 

I need a better plan for having frozen, home-cooked meals on hand for those times when cooking isn't an option. The problem is that I don't have many recipes that freeze well.  I have even fewer recipes that freeze well and provide the kind of comfort I want when I'm sick. That's where I'm hoping you will help. I would love it if you would share your favourite recipes for healthful comfort foods that freeze well. 

I'm sure with enough prompting my family and friends will help.  Because of this, I feel a bit ungrateful admitting that I have a dream-team of bloggers I'd love to hear from too: 

Meghan at Making Love in the Kitchen
Rose-Anne at Life, Love and Food
Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food
Kristin at Cook Bake Nibble
Samantha at Samantha Menzies (formerly Bikini Birthday)

I've lurked on their blogs so often that I'm willing to bet they have awesome recipes that would fit the bill. Here's hoping they stumble by with some suggestions. Maybe I can get the Queen to make them tea.