Green 'n clean carpet follow-up

I meant to spend some time with a few rugs this past weekend, testing out the Earth Friendly Products Carpet Shampoo. Between Fox officially crawling (and trying to crawl up the stairs) and prepping for a 30 day detox I didn't get to all of the rugs, but I did try out the goods.

The EFP shampoo is more concentrated than the Bissell (uses 1.5 oz to Bissell's recommended 2.5 oz). It also uses essential oils for fragrance rather than artificial fragrance, which meant I didn't end up with a migraine post-use. In fact, the EFP fragrance was pretty much undetectable after the rug dried, the Bissell lingered for the next 24 hours or so.

Did it clean as well? Absolutely. I cleaned this small rug from C's and my bedroom, one that sees the most traffic in that room. Though it's relatively new, it needed some attention. For several weeks M had a nighttime cough that I approached with Hyland's Cough Syrup (disappointingly, I realized it has Sodium Benzoate, so out it goes) and raw, local honey. There were spots of gunk across the carpet thanks to the combination of those 2 sticky substances plus nighttime doses.

A quick steam and the dirty water that cycled back into the tank was a murky medium brown. I still had some clean water and shampoo in the tank, so I used it up on an area of the main rug in the den...that very same rug we'd cleaned 2 weeks ago. The 3'x5' area of that rug cycled black water back into the tank. Total yuck to the nth degree.

The visible results: The sticky mess from the bedroom rug is gone. A few of the stains on the larger carpet are significantly less visible than they were after the Bissell round. 

The short of it: I'm glad I researched and decided to try this particular carpet cleaner! While I'm pretty sure nothing can return our carpet to it's new glory, I can definitely breathe easier having little hands and feet playing on it all the time.

Simply Put

Today my heart aches for my beautiful state. Yesterday a constitutional amendment was passed that limits marriage in vaguely defined terms.
"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."
The implications from this are huge, but more than anything I feel ashamed to  be "privileged" by marriage. Without getting into personal views or furthering hateful speech towards anyone of any belief, simply putting this issue up for vote has blurred the already illegible lines between church and state.

Paloma's Nest tile for the inclusive.

American made goods for the DIYer/adventurist/homesteader

Although Charlie and I have decided to give each other a surround sound system rather than a bunch of small things, I keep finding things I think he'd really enjoy. Of course, sometimes I'm totally off about that zany fella, but anyway...

All of these items are American made, too! What do you think? Have an adventurist/homesteader spouse for whom you need gift ideas? Here are the sources:

an equation of simple human kindness

I find Occupy Wall Street compelling. I feel connected to it in a way, mostly because of my own history working for corporations that have no seeming regard for the quality of life of its employees. . . well, the employees doing the face-to-face work with the consumers. As a store manager for one such corporation I was admonished on several accounts for hiring employees at $8 an hour. That's $8 an hour, with no guaranteed number of hours per week, no benefits, and one free beverage a day. I hired a few twenty-something musicians, but also had a fair share of family bread winners working for me. for. $8. an. hour. people with kids, no guaranteed income, no family health insurance.

Yep, they're making your $4 latte, ringing up your clothes at the mega store, and bagging your groceries.

I no longer work for that company but could tell you countless stories of profit margin winning out over the opportunity to treat their workers with simple dignity. Needless to say, I don't buy their products either.

Those experiences as corporate peon have shaped the values we hold dear in our household today. All preachiness aside, asking corporate giants to be kind and respect each individual for their skills, talents and abilities isn't anything new. This is exactly why we DIY.   It's also why we vote with our dollars.

Companies that value me receive my valuable money.  It's an equation of simple human kindness that we can all opt to invest in.

Want to know about the goodies I've picked out to go with this post?

Quill and Arrow Press Vonnegut postcard made in Penland, NC
Aurora Shoe Co. West Indian shoe made in Aurora, NY
Raleigh Denim made just up the road in Raleigh, NC with fabric made in Greensboro, NC
Shuron Eyewear made in Greenville, SC.

Kids's shoes handmade in the USA by Austin, TX-based Bear Feet kids's shoes