Tuesday, August 18, 2009


How to make a maggot bucket instructions included

August 18, 2009

It seems like when you least have money is when things start breaking down. My computer, you know the thing essential to doing my job, is dying. I'm still working with it today, but the ports are all IFFY, sometimes things plugged into them work, sometimes they don't.

I never know when I click enter if the computer will go out for vacation without me or simply take a coffee break. Either way it could take anywhere from a split second to 15 minutes for the next page to load.

I type very fast, and half the time I'm two paragraphs ahead of the computer monitor right now. So despite not wanting to we purchased me a new computer last night. Which in itself lead to more purchases because it is Vista, soon to be Windows 7 and well all my programs are circa 1995 or earlier–read won't work on the new system.

So as I type on the old faithful worn out laptop Gary is tweaking the new one and adding the also newly purchased programs, along with the newer of my old programs from the old computer that he thinks will work. Once he's done that it will be copy and transfer time. That is always "fun"-not, as you well know.

While looking over everything that needs backed up and transferred I realized my computer files are a disaster! Seriously, I'm months behind on my Quicken, and it at best has devolved into a mere electronic checkbook register. My spreadsheets are so far behind they are almost non-existent. If I had to file my taxes this minute I'd not be able to tell you truly what business expense was made when. My genealogy files are a mess. Photos, scans, and other electronic items are in the wrong files. I still have folders from three email providers ago. I couldn't get hacked because a hacker would come in and say "Forget it, her files have already been hit and garbaged."

Only this goes so against my nature. It's got to change. New computer, new programs, time to get organized. So be prepared to listen to me ramble on over the next several months about what I have found I can and can't do with the different programs and the electronic organizing part of my Princess Plan!

Oh that's right, a lot of you don't know what the Princess Plan is. It's something I started the first of the year. I decided at the end of last year our finances, clutter and all around lack of organization was causing us to live like paupers. So I've been evolving a plan to get organized in every aspect of our lives. Once I've accomplished the whole plan we will be living debt and clutter free as Royalty, or I will become the Princess my Papa always called me.

I was making great progress on the plan until the big "retirement" but I am slowly making my way back to where I was when I got the stunning blow of it. My house is...how do I put it...a mess right now. My computer files I've already described, and well our finances are not in the huge snowball I had planned for now, but we are still current on all the bills. Time to get back to the Princess Plan full force.

While I'm home I can do a lot on the house, but when traveling that's another thing. However, this big plan to clean up computer files will work well both home and away. So I start today. First things first.–those email files.

I can be cleaning those up while Gary works on the new computer and then there will be far less for him to transfer. Then when he needs to work on both computers at once I'll attack the house and laundry. At least the computer waited until we were home and had a little time before trying to go on permanent vacation on me.

The kitchen is my big center of attack today. It's basically tidy, but the fridge and other aspects could handle some TLC. That brings me to today's helpful hints.

I use basic cleaners for the most part. Baking Soda, white vinegar, and bleach. I also use Dr. Bonner's Eucalyptus Castile Soap. You've heard of the first three over and over as natural cleaners I am certain, but you may be wondering about the last one.

It can be purchased at natural food stores and is highly concentrated. You can use it for everything from brushing your teeth to scrubbing your floors. I use it mainly on my counter tops. It's highly concentrated, so a bottle of it will last you a very long time. I spray and wipe my counter tops with it because the eucalyptus helps keep fruit and other flies off your counters.

We always have fruit, sour dough starter and other "fruit fly magnets" around, not to mention I live in the country so flies appear out of nowhere and the eucalyptus helps prevent them. I may live in the country, but I don't tolerate bugs in my home. Nasty!

I'm starting with the fridge in there today. Science experiments will go to the maggot bucket. I've mentioned this item a few times before. I've been promising to tell more about it, so I guess now would be a good as time as any.

Any lidded bucket with a handle will do. Our current one is a detergent bucket. Near the bottom of the bucket Gary drilled about eight 1/4" holes, maybe a little larger. At the top of the bucket he put a few larger holes. Into the bucket we put anything not fit for human or animal consumption. This includes animals the dogs kill, birds that die of natural causes, chicken bones etc. The lid is latched on and then the bucket is suspended from a low tree branch near the bird night pen.

We suspend it because I have dogs I don't want to get in to it. Within just a few days the flies have located the rotting food stuffs, crawl in the upper holes and start to lay their eggs in it. These soon hatch into larvae, also known as maggots, who crawl out the lower holes to fall to the ground to my waiting birds. The adult flies generally die in the bucket making more maggot food.

It's gross I know, but the birds get a free source of natural protein they adore, the world fly population is cut down because those larvae never get to grow up and I am truly recycling otherwise inedible food stuffs. It's a win, win situation.

Anyway, back to cleaning and organizing. Most people spring clean. I tend to be a fall and winter cleaner. I love the fall and therefore want my house wide open, fresh and clean that time of year. Fall is not that far off, so today I start.

First the fridge. It will be emptied and wiped down with baking soda and warm water. What doesn't go to the maggot bucket or to our animals will be put back in an orderly fashion.

Then on to cleaning the outside of it. First the vacuuming of the coils and vent area. This part is important to extend the life of your appliance. I have four indoor cats, do you have any idea how much fur that is. The fur will block the air flow and make your fridge work harder, which puts more heat out into your kitchen, which in turn makes your air conditioner worker harder and the power company sings your praises. So clean the coils folks.

The outside of the fridge will get a good spraying and cleaning with a Dr. Bonner 10 (water) to 1(soap) ratio spray because I purchased bananas yesterday and I KNOW there will be fruit flies if I don't head it off now.

Then on to the glass top stove, where a box knife and baking soda will do the trick. Once all the cabinet tops are done and the sinks scrubbed with baking soda it will be Dr. Bonner's to mop with and a the whole house will smell of eucalyptus for the rest of the day. This, as Martha would say, is "a good thing."

So that's the plan for today, we'll how it goes.

Jan who really didn't want to purchase a new computer, but knew it was time in OK


  1. Hello, I was reading your blog and saw that you clean with Dr. Bonner's Eucalyptus Castile Soap. Is this it? http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/EUC.htm

  2. I LOVE reading your blog! What do you use to wipe things when you're cleaning? Sponge, rag, paper towel...

  3. Yes the link posted is the product I use I get it in the 32 oz size and it lasts a very long time. I mix it per instructions and have found it very helpful in controling flies of all sorts. Ants too. The label is also a very interesting read.

    For cleaning and just about everything else I use strictly 100% cotton cloths. At our home we use cloth napkins, towels, dish cloths, wash cloths, mops, and personal wipes. They truly add no extra laundry, are reuseable, sanitary and far more frugal than paper products. Sponges breed bacteria, so I do not use those. I have a blog planned on singing the praises of using old t-shirts and such to clean with for the future. Please check back as it will post soon.