Straw Cozy

Seattle banned plastic, non-compostable straws on July 1, 2018. My inner Martha Stewart convinced me to knit a straw cozy to use to carry my new steel straw around with me, to use when I get a cold drink at a coffee shop.

This project took over an hour with fingering weight yarn…12 stitches on double pointed needles, knit to length, do a row of yarn overs every other stitch, then knit for another five rows and cast off. Make a two stitch I-Cord for the draw string.

A person who sews could make these a lot faster with scrap yarn.

You’re welcome.


Tricking the Brother printer into thinking it has enough toner

Here’s a public service announcement for anyone who uses a Brother printer. These printers tend to give you a message about the toner being low long before the toner cartridge is really empty. Just cover the sensors on both¬†sides of the toner cartridge housing with a piece of black electrical tape, and you will be able to print freely until you decide when the toner truly needs replacing. Which will probably be when your prints start looking faded, not when the company decides it can’t wait to sell you a new toner cartridge. Pictured here is the TN360 toner cartridge. My DCP-7040 can also use the TN330 cartridge.

Cover the sensor (there's one on each size of the toner cartridge) with a piece of electrical tape.

Cover the sensor (there’s one on each size of the toner cartridge housing) with a piece of electrical tape.

Killing Insects…or Not

Let’s say you are averse to the idea of killing a sentient being. Like the Buddhist monk who once sent me a CD with chants on it meant to scare moths away from my bedroom. He didn’t want me to kill them, and I totally get that. I mean, that moth or fruit fly could have been my mother in a previous life, and I’ll get a karma payback for any creature I slap against the wall or flush down the toilet, right?

So I have these two carnivorous plants. This is the butterwort:


It attracts and digests fruit flies. You can see one stuck to one of its leaves. Isn’t that cute?

And here is the pitcher plant:



The pitcher plant supposedly attracts flies. I even found a moth in one of its gaping maws. (And as you can see from this photo, a little green spider with either a death wish or a really clever idea for snatching up a meal has taken up residence there.)

So my idea is that I get these plants to kill the bugs for me, then I don’t have the guilt of doing it, right? The plants are like my pets and they are simply attracting snacks to themselves via their special scents. (Though I am not above chasing fruit flies around the room with the butterwort in my hand hoping the flies will stick to it. Never works.)

What do you do for insect control in your home?

Dream: False Enlightenment


I dreamt last night I had reached enlightenment, briefly. In the dream I became aware of the dream-like quality of the dream, but mistook it for the waking world. As soon as I labeled my experience “the awakening that comes when we realize the real world is actually a dream,” the objects in my mind’s eye stopped shimmering.

I guess this is a good example of how the mind really messes things up with its tendency to label experiences. Have you ever been out somewhere and suddenly think, “Wow I’m having a really great time!” and then it’s all downhill from there? Yeah.

Saddest of all is that this dream I had wasn’t even a lucid dream. I actually thought it was real. Just gotta laugh.