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Diary of a New Homemaker

May 8

A Stroke

It occurred in early December.

Nov 24

In Which I Am Burned Out of My House

On November 13th, at 2:30 in the morning, we ran for our lives from my home of 27 years.

Newest Article

10 Truly Multi-Purpose Kitchen Tools For A Clutter-Free Kitchen

If you're looking around and wondering how you wound up with 15 spatulas, 12 wooden spoons, eight or so ladles and six kitchen electronics (half of which you have no idea what they do), then it's time to break open some drawers, clear off some shelves and take your kitchen down to its useful and clutter-free basics.

In our kitchen, which is comfortable for one person but a tight squeeze for two, we've narrowed it down to tools -- outside of essentials like pots, pans and mixing bowls, of course -- that are not only used on a regular basis, but serve at least two purposes, if not more.

Autumn and Back to School

Fall Thankful Harvest Hanging
Fall Thankful Harvest Hanging

An apple basket pieced wallhanging for autumn
by Mary Wilkins
Editor, Sew What's New

From Our Archives

Cat Litter--and Sea Otters?!

Dear EarthTalk: How is it that flushing cat litter down the toilet has negatively affected sea otters? What is the responsible way to dispose of cats' waste?
--Margo Boss, San Dimas, CA

According to Dr. Melissa Miller of the California Department of Fish and Game, cat feces can contain Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that gets into feline systems from the eating of infected rodents, birds or other small animals. When cats later expel these parasites in their droppings--sometimes hundreds of millions at a time--each can survive in soil for over a year and also contaminate drinking water.

Most municipal sewage treatment systems are not designed to filter out Toxoplasma, and so the parasites also get into storm drains and sewage outflows that carry them out to near-shore ocean waters. Here, researchers have found, sea otters prey on mussels, crabs and other filter feeders that can concentrate Toxoplasma. Hundreds of sea otters have been found dead on California beaches in recent years with no obvious external injuries, and Miller and other scientists think that Toxoplasma may be the cause.

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