Before rumors start that I hopped on the back of a Harley Davidson roaring through my po-dunk farm town in a leather-clad moment of Bridges of Madison County desperation to follow my heart's desire of romance and excitement and passion, I figured I better post something.
No, the truth is much more boring than that. I didn't meet a scruffy, muscle-bound, charming stranger with haunting blue eyes. Instead I've racked up over 7 hours of volunteer time this week and I've still got 5 to go--namely, I agreed to help replant a garden at Happyland Elementary. I'd grossly underestimated how much time that project would take. You'd think that I, of all people, would know better, wouldn't you?
I've learned a few other things this week. This morning I discovered that applying hand lotion before practicing yoga is a Very Bad Idea. Particularly when moving into Downward Dog. With slippery hands on a yoga mat that position quickly becomes Face Plant.
I've also been researching various topics for a New! Top-Secret Book Project! Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) there is no such thing as a safe air freshener or spray? Not only did I discover ALL! CAPITALIZED! WARNINGS! telling pregnant women to avoid these products, there's consensus that they're quite dangerous. Whether you're using a Glade Plug-In, Ferbreeze or some store-brand can of spray in your bathroom, they're all made with the same chemicals used in paints, paint thinner, fuel and varnish--terrifying things like formaldehyde and phthalates. The chemicals in these products are linked to cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, hormone disruption and dizziness. Pretty darn scary if you ask me. Reader, I'm begging you to rid your house of these products STAT. For your health and for your family's. Here's a link to one of the articles if you'd like to read more.
I've never bought any of these products because a) they're unnecessary, and b) I've always been suspicious of their effectiveness. I've got asthma and I'm sensitive to smells and airborne particles, so I avoid fragrances, chemicals, sprays and cheap perfumes as a general rule. But it's astonishing that these products are even allowed to be manufactured and sold.
Now it's your turn to share some information with me. I finally finished washing all my windows and screens and I'm keeping the screens off the windows this winter until springtime. I figure I can mend the holes more easily over the winter months, they'll stay cleaner, it'll make it easier to wash the storm windows again come springtime if they're off, and without the screens we'll have less obstructed daylight coming in--especially with the long winter ahead. I've never done this before, so I'm asking seasoned window-washers what is the established screen protocol.
Spill it, reader. Screens on or off? And do you use air sprays and air fresheners?