Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brown is the New Green

For those who do not know... Andy, my brother, sold his beloved Chevy truck and bought himself a fancy shmancy Ford F350 Diesel.

Andy has decided to start using used oil from local restaurants to make Bio-Diesel (or as we lovingly refer to it as "Bio-Andy" since our dear Willie Nelson's bio-Willie is no longer). This is his super duper bio-making machine :)

What's my part in all of this bio-diesel talk? One of the byproducts from making BioD is glycerin. Many people simply dump this stuff out. That is not an environmentally good way to deal with it. We are making soap out of the glycerin. If you look on your common cleaners and soaps you will notice that they use glycerin too.

The jar on the left is made with mixed oils (veggie, canola, soy). The the jar on the right is made with peanut oil. Both have the bio-diesel layer on the top and the glycerin layer is settled on the bottom.

Until we get our still made, I am cooking the glycerin layer in buckets in the sun for two days and then sticking it in a pot on the BBQ to boil it.

Once cooled, I mix water, a caustic, and a few drops of scent into the glycerin. A few minutes of stirring and I have soap!!! Since we are using oils that are liquid at room temperature, bar soap is VERY difficult to make. Our liquid soap is gentle and safe to use as shampoo and body soap, safe enough to use as a dish soap, tough enough to use as a degreaser and laundry soap.
This is Andy's site he is very slowly building. He started building it only a few days ago.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

An update about absolutely nothing....

A quick update since I have been MIA for a while...

My aunt has been here from England. I haven't seen her in 12 years, so it's been great visiting with her. I have seen her all but one day while she has been here. She's so much fun!!!! My grandparents took her to CA to visit all of the family (being that my grandparents, my parents, myself and one of my two brothers are the only ones here in Dallas). Of course, I saw this as an oppurnity to get some sewing/knitting done.... and then I pinched a nerve in my back. How did I accomplish such a wonderful thing??? I was picking zucchini in the garden. I stood up and that was that. I have been on the recliner for 4 days now in pain. So, another day or two sitting still and my aunt will be back in Dallas and I'll be spending my time with her. The Wii and I have become best friends. It goes between my brother and my house all week long. I have it during the days. Andy and Jessica have it during the nights. Wii Sports is darn tootin' fun! Christian even plays!!! I got Carnival Games for the kids and have fallen enamoured with it myself. Keely's nearly as good as I am!!! Colin likes to play Sonic & Mario Olympics (I think that's what it's called). When Jessica and I get to gether it becomes an all night extravaganza of Sports and Cooking Mama. It's kind of a lame game, yet it's kind of fun at the same time. Um.... my garden is producing me with daily zucchini, squash and tomatoes. The kids have enjoyed helping me pick the veggies. I have been enjoying the nightly squashs!!!! YUM!!! I do have one problem being that my giant Pink Brandywine (beefsteak size) tomato plants have gotten so big they can't stand stand anymore. They have mutilated the cages they are in. With the back issue, I can't fix them either. I really hope that the wind doesn't knock them down and snap the stems *crosses fingers*. Yeah... I think that's about all right now....


PS- excuse the typos and randomness of the brain. Vicodin tends to leave my brain a little wacky.