Saturday, June 28, 2008

What to Do If You Break Your Pinky Toe

Nothing. Okay, not nothing: tape your broken pinky toe to the nearest other toe, ice and elevate and take some ibuprofen or Tylenol. If you go to the doctor and they confirm it's a broken toe (by X-Ray), the doctor will tell you the same thing.

I broke one of my pinky toes when I was a teenager by banging it against a chair as I was whizzing around my bedroom. I broke the other one last Tuesday when I was whizzing around my kitchen, trying to make yogurt. In order to make yogurt, you have to monitor the heat of the milk very closely so as to keep the probiotics healthy and happy. So I was whizzing. Also, being pregnant, I am extra clumsy these days, forgetting I have about 22 extra pounds on me and that my center of gravity is a bit off. So now I have an impressive dark purple streak running down the center of my right pinky toe. I figure it's just another way my body is telling me to slow down and quit the whizzing already.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


In my book, I confessed that I bank at Bank of America. I also wrote about how I learned from my friend Melissa Scott all about compound interest. As far as I can tell (and this from talking to a rep at my local branch) Bank of America doesn't give compound interest if you just open a simple savings account, only if you open a CD (which involves locking up your money for a specified period of time, usually 6 months minimum.)

So my questions are:
1. Is there a better local bank than Bank of America? (Florence Savings Bank, Easthampton Savings, etc.) Or national branch?
2. Is it unusual for banks not to give compound interest on simple savings accounts?
3. Where Would Jesus Bank?

Monday, June 16, 2008


A reader told me that I have it wrong about the compost jar by the kitchen sink. I had written that you should keep the lid closed because compost stinks! She corrected me, saying that compost only stinks when you keep the lid closed and let the smells fester. If you leave it open, it airs itself out. I've been trying this for a week, and she's right. BUT--now we have a fruit fly problem. Any suggestions?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Question About Health Insurance

This might vary state by state, so please indicate which state you are writing from when posing responses.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, and are currently in a good (okay, not necessarily "good"; safe--not fun) job with benefits, how terrifying would it be to quit your job and seek a new one? I have heard awful stories about women who are in the middle of a pregnancy and lose their insurance when switching jobs.

Please share your experience and knowledge below!

Poor Woman's Air Conditioning

RIght now, it's still in the 90s, even though it's 7:30pm. According to the downtown Northampton Silverscape clock, the mercury hit over 100 today, so today isn't the best day/night to try this. This works best on moderately hot days with coolish nights (even low 60s will do).

1. When the sun goes down, open all the windows in the house.
2. When you get up in the morning, resist the urge to listen to the birds, and instead close all the windows again.

Your house will stay remarkably cool this way. It is, I admit, much more high maintenance than turning on an air conditioner, but much much cheaper and better for the environment. Plus, some people hate the quality of air produced by air conditioners.

Other a/c free suggestions:

-take many many cold showers throughout the day
-put ice packs on the back of your neck
-put up curtains or blinds in the windows of rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight
-eat Gazpacho and watermelon

Katryna and I played at the Sustainability Festival in Coventry Rhode Island last Saturday. It was very hot, and a good day to be convinced that we should install solar panels to the roofs of our houses. Our friend and heroine Cheryl Wheeler has done just that, and in summer months, her household generates so much extra energy that it spills over to their neighbors (and they get the credit on their electricity bill!) Right now, the government pays half of the costs, so if you have an extra $12000 hanging around, this would be a great use for it.