Catching My Dinner.

If you already have a pole and line and a place that you can go, fishing is an inexpensive form of recreation and a great way to get free meals. It’s also a relatively easy hobby to learn, as long as you get casting down – I have tried teaching it on multiple occasions and all it takes is a little practice.

Fish are a great source of protein and are low in saturated fat. If you catch your fish straight from the water, you don’t have to wonder about where your fish came from. Fresh wild fish tastes very different from frozen, canned, and farm-raised fish. By different, I mean better. I also sincerely believe that knowing what it takes to get food on a plate by yourself is a valuable life lesson.

A white bass.

A white bass.

With all that said, here is the first white bass I’m ever going to eat. Unfortunately, the fishing was slow today and I didn’t catch anything. I was lucky that my partner landed this one and was generous enough to give it to me. One fish is barely enough to make a meal for one person but I didn’t want to waste it.

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Fillets in the jar – the jar was previously an applesauce jar that I’m reusing for food storage.

I managed to get two decent fillets out of this one. Filleting fish is probably the only other learning curve to catching fish but there are a myriad of instructional videos on the internet to help. For white bass, they recommend removing the red section of meat – apparently it doesn’t do much for the flavor – but I hated wasting all the meat so I left it on. The guts went to Gunther as a treat and the rest of the fish went into my compost bin. To store the fillets until I’m ready to cook them tonight, I put them in a jar with water and placed it in the fridge. If you have a decent catch at the end of the day, any meat that isn’t going to be immediately used and can be frozen for another night.

If you’ve never fished before, here are some steps you can take to start:

  1. Get some fishing gear. Don’t make things complicated – all you need is a fishing pole, some lures, some hooks, and a stringer to keep your fish on. You don’t have to buy bait – lift up a couple rocks, gather some worms, or catch crickets and grasshoppers. Fish actually prefer the latter and it’s cheaper.
  2. Find a place to go. Lakes and rivers are public waters and most have accesses you can fish from.
  3. Learn the regulations. Buy a fishing license. There are rules about what fish you can keep, how many, and what size. Learn these or you may be paying off a citation in the future.
  4. Just do it. Experience is the best teacher. Cast the bait in the water and wait. My advice is, if you’re a first time fisher-person, find someone who already knows the sport so they can show you the ropes. Seniors are invaluable when it comes to things like this. Plus, you will make a new friend.

In conclusion, save money on food and entertainment and go fishing.

“You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.”

– Mitch Hedberg

Ditching Shampoo – The Final Verdict.

I can safely say I’m out of the no-shampoo adjustment period. I was experiencing straw-like, greasy hair for about a week. I did some reading and it was suggested that I might be overusing the apple cider vinegar, so one night I used baking soda only and woke up the next morning with a mane so fabulous, I couldn’t believe it.

No teasing, no brushing, no styling.

No teasing, no brushing, no styling.

Literally, this is me getting out of bed (as if you couldn’t tell) – hair has not been brushed, washed, teased, or curled in the last four days. Thus, my advice to anyone who is having extra greasy hair – stop using the vinegar unless your hair feels dry, then adjust as necessary.

Since beginning this endeavor, I have been washing only three to four days. Even on the fourth day, I can do a water-only wash and get away with it.

Some pros since ditching shampoo:

  • Less acne. I have less acne on my forehead and back.
  • Less buildup.
  • Less itching.
  • More volume.
  • More curls.
  • Washing my hair less = more time out of the shower doing more important things.

Some cons:

  • My hair brushes are full of fuzzy white stuff. It’s the sebum on my hair, which is good, but messy on the brushes. I have to wash my brushes more often in the shower to keep them clean (I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap). Totally worth it.
  • Takes a little more time to wash, but difference is minimal and definitely made up by the time I save not washing my hair every other day. Scrubbing my scalp with baking soda takes a teensy bit more effort than a sudsy shampoo but still totally worth it.

Question: How do you make your hair smell good?

  • I use perfume. I have always put perfume in my hair because hair clings to scents and makes them last longer. When I’m going out I spritz on my favorite scent (Juicy Couture). This isn’t completely natural, so when I’m feeling extra-anal about my hair and skin care routine, I will use essential oils like jasmine and peppermint. I also have some oil-based, all-natural perfumes I use as well. I put a couple drops in my hands, rub them together, and scrunch into my hair.

Question: My hair is tangly, how do I make that go away?

  • Tangles happen when there is a PH issue. Adjust the level of apple cider vinegar you are using and use some coconut oil on the ends of your hair. This could also be due to hard water – hard water can leave behind a lot of buildup. Try using a clarifying shampoo once every couple of weeks.

Now, as if you didn’t need more reasons to ditch shampoo, let me add:

Shampoo is costly. If you go completely natural and organic with shampoo, it is even more costly – up to $15 for a reasonable shampoo/conditioner combination of which you will use up in two months. Cost of baking soda and vinegar that could last up to a year? $5.00.

Read more about ditching shampoo here.

How To Get Organized – A Zero Waste Friendly Version.

An organized corner of my cabin.

An organized corner of my cabin.

When I read articles on getting organized, I’m frustrated that they advocate the throwing away of items and don’t emphasize recycling, reuse, and my favorite – selling. So I’ve decided to write my own ‘get organized’ how-to article. Enjoy.

Start by choosing the space you want to organize. A space can be as big as an entire room or as small as your desk.  If you hate organizing, do one space a day. Don’t burn out by trying to do everything at once.

Make FOUR piles. I like using trash bags or laundry baskets to sort the piles.

  1. The ‘doesn’t belong here’ pile. Anything in the space that needs to be in another space goes in this pile. You will be tempted to move things as you find them – don’t. Wait until you are organizing the space it belongs in to put it where it belongs.
  2. Donate pile. Anything you don’t want that can’t be easily sold, put in this pile. This pile also includes items you want to give away to specific people
  3. Yard Sale pile. In this pile, put items you think can be sold in a yard sale, at the pawn shop, or some other way, like on craigslist or Facebook.
  4. Recycle pile. If it’s paper, plastic, glass, metal, tin, cardboard – it can be recycled.

There is NO throw away pile unless the item absolutely cannot be composted, recycled, donated, sold, or given away. If the item does not fall into any of these categories, then you can throw it away.

There is also no ‘what if’ pile. If you have to hold an item and think about it, it needs to go. If the item is sentimental and not important enough to have on display, find a home for it. Otherwise, it does not belong in your home.

DO NOT think you need to create more storage space by buying things. This is wrong. Before you think about creating more storage within your home, you need to go through the process of organizing every space. Then, once you’re finished, you can evaluate what kind of storage you need and how to implement it. Beware of buying new containers – they can encourage you to buy more, waste more, and create more clutter.

There should be no junk drawers in your home– just drawers for miscellaneous items you use occasionally. If you have ‘junk’ because ‘maybe’ you ‘need’ it, suck it up and put it in a pile.

Bonus! Organizing your car:

Immediately put the items you need to donate and sell in your car. Any coupons you have should always be kept in your car as well. You need some sort of open container to keep in the trunk or backseat to house these items. Trash accumulates in a car very easily. Bring a bottle with you for water and coffee, refuse plastic and paper, and recycle anything that comes into your car instead of carelessly throwing it in the trash. Remember: when you throw something away, where you do think away is?

Happy organizing!