Types of Rain Barrels

Rain, rain, come again. Fill up my rain barrel for me, then you can fill another, and another. In the Pacific Northwest, with its overabundant rainfall, we often think that rain barrels are a ridiculous idea. However, the Pacific Northwest also comes with its summer time droughts, so rain barrels are actually an extremely sensible idea in this climate. In other climates that are more prone to drought, sensible gardeners have been using them for years. What styles of rain barrels are available for your garden? The traditional drum-style rain barrel can be wood or plastic. There is an area … Continue reading

Rain Barrels for Water Conservation

Do you melt in the rain? How about your garden? Instead of watching your garden soil run away in the rain, collect your rainwater using a rain barrel. Rain barrels and water harvesting are a water to save on home water use during the summer drought. There are many styles of water cisterns that suit different gardens. As we move into spring, installing a rain barrel is a great way to summer proof your garden! Rain barrels come in many different styles, from simple wooden barrels to water storage tanks, to rain harvesting that doubles as a planter. Every style … Continue reading

What is a Coupon Train?

The other day, a friend in California posted on Facebook that she was looking to start a coupon train and I had no idea what she was talking about! But, being a green blogger, I figured I had better investigate this, especially since I did my blog on extreme couponers. Ever go through the paper and see a good coupon, but you just have no use for it? That is the purpose of a coupon train. The way I’ve found it to be, the person that decides to start the coupon train comes up with about $100 worth of coupons … Continue reading

Diary of a Cat Care B&B: Neither Rain, Nor Snow…

I’ve been living the mailman’s creed lately: neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail will keep me from my destination. The Pacific Northwest has been hit with a pretty big snow system over the last week or two (feels like years at this point). In my neck of the woods, we had more than a foot of snow. In other places where I’ve lived (like Vermont), that much snow isn’t out of the ordinary. Around here, they just aren’t set up to handle this much of the white stuff. To make a long rant about snow short, it’s been … Continue reading

Collecting Rainwater

Did you know that the average American uses 101 gallons of water a day for their home and yard? As climate changes bring about increased drought, this number will become even more shocking than it already is. Some homeowners are choosing the green option of collecting rainwater. Rainwater can reduce the reliance on city water and save resources, especially as water ordinances and restrictions are becoming tighter and water more scarce. While non-purified rainwater should not be used for drinking, there are so many other uses for it. Rainwater can be used to water lawns and gardens, do laundry, fill … Continue reading

What is a Rain Chain?

Rain chains are getting very popular these days and are springing up around homes all over the country. The trendy design shows are featuring them, and I even saw one that was built for Designed to Sell, a television show where the players help homeowners fix up a home before putting it out on the real estate market. Rain chains have been traditionally used in Japan to elegantly funnel water down from a roof. While in North America, many of these rain chains are often attached to gutters, they are mainly used for decoration. You can even create a fountain … Continue reading

How to Use a Choke Chain Properly

When I wrote about why we never leave home without Murph’s choke chain, I mentioned a recent incident where I ran across someone who took exception to my using a choke chain on Murph. It’s not the first time it’s happened. I wasn’t always key on the idea of a choke chain myself. I remember thinking, “Wow. That seems like kind of a mean way to discipline a dog.” But that’s before my neighbor shared a video with me where a guy gave a great explanation on how to use a choke chain humanely. (Unfortunately I don’t remember either the … Continue reading

Why We Never Leave Home Without Murph’s Choke Chain

Murph’s leash and choke chain Spring fever is most definitely in the air. Since we’ve had some spells of excellent walking-in-the-park or on longer-walks-through-the-neighborhood weather recently, Murph and I have been getting out more. So has everyone else. Inevitably we stop to chit chat. Sometimes with strangers, sometimes with people we already know. Some of these encounters are pleasant, some are not. Lately I’ve had two people on separate occasions comment about Murph’s choke chain. Mainly they’ve expressed unfavorable opinions about the use of them. “I think that is so cruel. Those things are so painful,” one lady said to … Continue reading

The Top Pets Blogs of 2007: January – May

Aimee and I, along with the occasional guest blogger, tried our best to bring you informative, interesting, and entertaining articles this past year. But you seemed to like some more than others. So I decided to do a Year in Review recap of the ones that you responded most to. What Makes a “Top” Blog? Even though you all may enjoy most of the blogs we write, not all of them inspire you to leave comments or rate them. Those that received star ratings made the Top Blogs cut. January 2007 Top Blogs Assistance Dogs of the West and The … Continue reading

Questions and Answers about Chaining

Are you dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals? Chaining or tethering is a common mistreatment of animals. What is chaining? In short, chaining or tethering is keeping an animal for months or years at the end of a chain. The dog is left outside in extreme temperatures and may not have access to adequate food, water, or shelter. Putting your dog in an outdoor run or on a lead for a few hours is NOT abuse if your dog is brought inside at night, given attention, food, and water, and gets regular veterinary care. If you need to leave your … Continue reading