Environment

Mothers Day Gifts for the Green Mom: Environmentally Friendly Gift Ideas for Mothers Day

 

Mom will appreciate the thoughtfulness shown by her loved ones who have taken the time the time to explore her interests.

 

Natural Gifts for Mom

Mother’s Day is beautifully timed with the beginning of the gardening season. A flat of flowers, vegetable or herbs for the gardening mother makes a wonderful gift. An ornamental bush or tree is also a thoughtful gift for the environmentally aware mom with a green thumb.

For the crafty mom, unbleached yarns or materials with low-impact dyes can get her creative juices flowing. Search craft stores for organic wools and cottons. Pick up knitting needles and crochet hooks made of bamboo to round out the gift.

Books are always a great gift for any occasion. The book doesn’t have to be specific to green living, but can be targeted at specific areas of living an environmentally life. Books on gardening, crafts, herbs, and do it yourself project are just some of the subjects mom may be interested in.

A water filter accompanied by refillable to go cups is a thoughtful gift for the busy environmentally conscious mother on the go. Not only a timesaver as she will not have to shop, store and recycle those landfill clogging plastic bottles, a water filter will save her money in the long run. She’ll be reminded of the thoughtfulness and support shown by the gift each time she turns on the tap.

 

Personalized Green Mothers Day Gifts

Economical homemade natural products for mom’s beauty routine may also be the perfect Mothers Day Gift. Natural skin and hair care products can be personalized with her favorite herbal scent by adding essential oils to the homemade offering.

A basic moisturizer for mom can be made with equal parts of olive oil and emulsifying wax. Simply melt the wax in a water bath, and mix in the olive oil. Add a few drops of her favorite essential oil and pour into a decorative jar. Tie a handwritten note around the jar with wishes for a Green Mothers Day.

If the perfect gift is still elusive, don’t forget the gift card, which will allow mom to pick out items for herself. Online personalization is available, but even off the rack cards come in so many designs that it will be easy to choose the one that fits mom’s personality.

Emphasize the environmentally friendly theme by forgoing the fancy wrapping and tucking the gift into a reusable shopping tote made of recycled or natural fabric.

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Home Appliances

Jenn-Air 27″ Microwave Electric Double Wall Oven Review

I Review This Unique Double Wall Oven from Jenn-Air

If you desire to enhance your kitchen, and actually add value to your home, than you will want to consider purchasing a built-in wall oven. These types of appliances will raise the value of your home, and will actually provide you with more space in your kitchen, which will induce higher cooking productivity. But, with thousands of wall-ovens to choose from, it can be bothersome to weed out the good and bad. The Jenn-Air 27″ Microwave/Electric Double Wall Oven, Model: JMW9527DA is one of the coolest wall ovens on the market because of its overall design and internal features. Literally every type of consumer will be able to enjoy, and benefit, from this wall oven. Whether you are a large family, single young professional or if you enjoy entertaining, this oven will be able to enhance your cooking to new heights.

Main Product Price:

The first feature about this Jenn-Air wall oven is the overall design. With seductive curved glass and a unique control panel on both the upper and lower ovens, you will be able to enjoy looking at this appliance even when you are not using it.

Yet, looks can only take you so far, it is the performance of this oven that really catches the attention of buyers. With two different ovens, the upper being a microwave oven and the lower a traditional oven, you will be able to enjoy a wide variety of cooking. Within the upper microwave, you can enjoy automatic defrost that is calibrated depending on the weight of the food. The microwave also comes with a total of ten different power levels that work in-conjunction with the auto cooking sensor, which allows you to press a single button to cook your favorite foods. The upper compartment comes with a total of 1.5 cubic feet of cooking space and has a total power output of 1000 watts.

Within the lower compartment you will find your traditional cooking oven. This oven has some of the best cooking features that will streamline your daily use. The most important feature within this oven is the hidden baking element. Instead of having exposed heating elements on the bottom floor of your oven, Jenn-Air has concealed these elements under the floor of the oven, so you are able to have more usable space and cleaning the oven has never been easier. One of the most ingenious features in this oven is the offset rack. This feature can be compared to having an additional position for your racks, and because of its unique design, the overall airflow within your oven has been dramatically increased.

Product Price:

This Jenn-Air wall oven can be found for an average price of $2,100. I highly recommend this appliance for any consumer looking to enhance their kitchen’s appearance as well as their cooking.…

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Home

Old-Fashioned Homemade Popcorn Recipes: Forget the Microwave and Serve Up a Delicious Comfort Food

To yield 2½ quarts (or ten cups) of popped popcorn, use a ten-inch cast-iron skillet with a domed lid and ½ cup popcorn kernels. For smaller servings, adjust these proportions appropriately. For reference, it may be useful to know that an average bag of microwave popcorn also makes about ten cups of popped corn.

Basic Homemade Popcorn Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable, olive or peanut oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil over moderate heat until it just begins to smoke
  2. Sprinkle popcorn kernels evenly into pan, no more than a kernel or two deep
  3. Cover the skillet and “shake”, with one hand on the lid and the other on the handle, using a quick horizontal movement
  4. When the sound of popping diminishes, remove skillet from the flame
  5. When corn is completely popped, remove lid and pour popcorn into serving bowl

Sesame Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 2½ quarts popped corn (from basic recipe above)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Oriental sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderately low heat
  2. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil
  3. Drizzle the mixture over the popped corn in a large baking pan
  4. Sprinkle with salt and bake in a preheated 300F oven for ten to fifteen minutes

Parmesan Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 2½ quarts popped corn (from basic recipe above)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet and add the lemon juice
  2. Drizzle the mixture over the popcorn in a large baking pan
  3. Bake in a preheated 300F oven for 10 to 15 minutes
  4. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top, toss and add salt if desired

Cheddar Bacon Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • ¼ pound sharp Cheddar, finely grated

Directions:

  1. Fry the bacon over moderate heat in a heavy skillet, stirring until it is crisp
  2. Place the bacon on paper towels to soak up excess oil
  3. Put 3 tablespoon of the bacon grease into a cast-iron skillet with a domed lid
  4. Heat the grease until it begins to smoke, then add the popcorn kernels
  5. Cover the skillet and shake, as described above
  6. Pour the popcorn into a large baking pan and toss with the Cheddar, bacon and salt
  7. Heat in a preheated 250F oven for three to five minutes or until the cheese is just melted

Popcorn is a healthy treat and its preparation can be a fun activity for children and adults alike. Experience the joys of making your own popcorn balls, holiday decorations or any of numerous other crafts once you learn the basics of making old-fashioned homemade popcorn.…

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Eco-Friendly

Have an Eco-friendly Holiday: Saving the Earth by Making Less into More

Looking forward to the gifts, food and decorations that holidays give us can be fun.Yet it’s easy to forget that festive occasions like Christmas also add to the pollution, waste and energy consumption the planet already has to bear. Fortunately, there are simple ways to change holiday habits to keep the enjoyment alive without adding to environmentally harmful excess.

The Tree:

Christmas trees are an important symbol of this special day. In the past, trees were often harvested from forests and then cast into dumps after the holidays. Now, if you’re set on a cut tree, a tree farm is your best bet. “For every tree harvested at a tree farm, another 10 are planted to ensure a crop every year,” reminds Homemakers’ magazine. Further, if you put them out for recycling, the trees are chipped and used again. A live, potted tree is also a good option. If you take care of the tree, it can also add to the oxygen circulation in your house year round. Decorating it with homemade ornaments or edible ones like popcorn is also an environmental choice. Try to avoid stringing the tree and the house with lights or replace with LED bulbs.

The Gifts:

Buy less. Many presents bought at holiday time are purchased on the spur of the moment, last minute or without considering long term use. Think beyond the instant of its opening to what will become of the gift in a few weeks or months. If you’re buying battery powered presents, include a recharger and reusable batteries with them. Avoid over packaged items. Buy secondhand: “Try flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage shops for gifts.” Better yet, make your own presents. Homemade jam or chutneys, art, baking, seasoned nuts or dried fruits, or even just a hand designed card with a poem in it create meaningful memories. Or you could give a certificate for childcare, a movie, or a donation in the person’s name to an environmental group or charity. Reuse wrapping and ribbons. Pop the presents in a bag. Don’t forget to recycle all the paper products at the end, instead of adding to the “million extra tons of garbage” that Christmas has been known to produce!

The Food:

Order your organic, free range turkey early. Budget if you can to select only organic vegetables for the feast. Plan your grocery list carefully so that you can save gas by making only one trip to the store. If you can use public transit or walk, do. Carry the food home in canvas bags. Cook only what you and your family can eat, either on the day or as leftovers. Try not to overuse the stove. Compost any food wastes in a backyard or countertop composter. And give thanks for the feast, knowing you’ve done your best to have a truly green holiday!…

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Eco-Friendly | Green Living | Home | Home Appliances

Latest Eco-Friendly Home And Appliances Ideas

It is not only a matter of trend to move into an eco-friendly house, and it is not a secret that such home can save money for the owners. Unconventional energies are now available for more and more people, and you don’t have to spend a fortune today to live in such comfort.

Most common unconventional energies today are able to save up to 50-80% costs, but it is not only about that. A well designed house where angles are calculated to consider heating and air is a major improvement for health as well.

Best materials to use

Materials used to build such a home don’t pollute the environment significantly in any stage of building: design, mounting, or transport. Such materials are not toxic and they have to leave as less debris on the site as possible. A house with a wooden structure ensures a reduced heating cost. Other efficient building materials are straws, mud bricks or even vegetal insulators.

What appliances to get for your green home?

While researching for home appliances for your green home, check for the energy rating and green certification. Appliances like microwave ovens, refrigerator, dishwashers with low energy usage rating, save you money in terms of running costs and also reduce your carbon footprint. Even if they cost a little more it is worth spending on them since the ROI is definitely worth it.

Are there any dangers?

Eco-friendly houses building is relatively new, therefore the demand for such houses is bigger than the offer. If an eco-friendly house is not built right, it might bring more problems than benefits. A wooden framed house which is not well finished is vulnerable to mold, humidity and insects. Moreover, the insulation of such house has to be made of a material that lets the wood breathe and reduce thermal transmission at the same time. It is why you need to make sure the house is built by experienced builders with eco-friendly projects and structures.

The concept of green-house appeared from the need and will of people to protect the environment and to replace traditional concrete buildings with something new. Even if the materials from which these houses can be built are still limited, they are resistant on the long term and they sometimes look like architectural wonders.

Usually, green houses are built to be well exposed to the sun during the winter and shadowed during the summer. The concept of ‘natural’ building means a construction that uses natural elements for maximum effects. A green building is made with care about minimizing the impact on the environment. Besides the actual building projects, other aspects such as efficient illumination and flexibility of the interior space are considered.

What about the costs?

The costs of maintaining such a house are only diminished if the building is also passive, meaning it does not generate pollution. Considering the percentage of energy that you obtain from natural resources, it is possible to save 30-40% on costs yearly. Surprisingly, this is not the main reason for which people choose to move in such houses.

People looking to make this change are usually more interested about their health. The decision to have a baby is one of the most common reasons for which families want to move in a house where it is easy to benefit of natural light and fresh air. Moving in such a house is a decision on the long term; therefore make sure you are choosing the builder with care. As we are talking about relatively new building concepts, most of traditional building companies are not able to build such houses just yet.

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Environment

Green Gifts for Gourmets: Foodies Get Environmental

Today there is a huge emphasis on supporting local farmers and shopping locally. Utilize your co-op and fill up on locally grown goodies. Purchasing goods grown, harvested or produced close to home boosts your local economy as well as ensures that the products are fresh and have not impacted the environment via extensive transportation. As the saying goes, think globally and act locally.

Even better make something of your own. In days of old people gave plates of cookies, baked goods and other homemade treats as part of a Christmas gift. When you make food items yourself you have control over the quality of ingredients. Use fresh locally grown organic products and make a homemade gift from the heart. Some common Christmas food gifts items include sugar cookies, gingerbread, banana bread and party snack mixes. Switch it up a little and make a custom granola blend.

This year reusable shopping bags are all the rage. Stores across the nation are selling bags with their logo. Fill one with cheeses, nuts or local brew from a favorite local food hot spot or brewery. A great bag of local specialty coffee, bottle of wine or growler is always in vogue no matter the season.

For the DIY foodies consider putting together a gift that will return the favor through the bleak winter months, an herb garden gift. Even the most garden inept will be interested in a basket of fresh herbs. Give your foodie friends a gift that will continue to produce throughout the year. Basil, rosemary and thyme can easily be grown in a kitchen windowsill. A convenient location for most cooks. Prepare a do-it-yourself basket with herb plants, growing instructions and harvesting shears.

When it comes to being environmentally responsible there is no better way to make an impact than switching out traditional household cleaning products for eco friendly ones. Try making a gift out of dependable eco friendly cleaning products for the foodie who may not have time to test drive alternative household products for themselves.

There are several companies proclaiming eco benefits but many have very little environmental initiative. Go for tried and proven brands such as Seventh Generation that are generally accessible at most health food or chain stores as well as environmentally beneficial. A gift basket filled with non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaners will reduce exposure to harmful household chemicals. And fewer chemicals mean fewer toxins introduced into the watershed as well as cleaner indoor air quality.

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Green Living

Hip-Hop Goes Green

 

The idea of Young Jeezy and Al Gore walking into a bar—together—may now not be so entirely far-fetched. Perhaps after an initial hasty gander, sure, hip-hop and environmentalism seem like an unlikely pair. But the two social movements actually share more commonalities than they do differences.

Both movements can trace their lineage back to fiery subculture groups that emerged around the same time. Not long before Grandmaster Flash rapped about having a “bum education” and the endless cycle of poverty and violence on “The Message” in 1982, sustainability had become a part of the American consciousness as a notch on the hippie agenda in the 1960s.

Since the days of Public Enemy and the birth of Greenpeace, hip-hop and environmentalism have both benefited from commercial exposure, but grassroots activism remains at their essence. The day when hip-hop artists would work to forward green initiatives was inevitable, and today prominent figures in hip-hop are extolling the values of going green.

 

Not So Eco-Friendly Music Industry Practices

Each year, the music industry leaves a sizable carbon footprint on the planet. From the flashing lights used to power arenas, to the environmentally taxing process of manufacturing and distributing CDs across the country, the industry could use a major makeover.

Rapper Drake Goes Green

While artists and groups like Sheryl Crow and Linkin Park have taken up greening the music industry as a cause, rapper and Toronto native Drake has become a pioneer amongst hip-hop artists working towards reversing dirty energy practices.

In 2010, Drake joined forces with Green the Block (a campaign developed by Green for All and the Hip Hop Caucus) to embark upon the Campus Consciousness Tour. As part of the tour, Drake traveled on a bio-diesel fuel bus to venues with carbon-offsetting practices. The tour also featured a Green Jobs Rally to promote green economy jobs in minority communities.

The Roots Brings Composting to Schools

The Roots are founding members of Green Music Group, a coalition of music artists, industry professionals and fans that aim to bring environmental change to the music industry. The eclectic hip-hop group launched Feed Your Roots in 2007, a campaign to get composting programs into schools. Like Drake, The Roots also travels on a tour bus that runs on bio-diesel.

Russell Simmons, Hip-Hop’s Green Entrepreneur

It would only make sense that one of hip-hop’s most influential figures would be at the vanguard of eco-consciousness within the hip-hop community. Russell Simmons is not only a mogul and an entrepreneur but also a vocal proponent of green issues. In 2009, Simmons was the spokesperson of a contest to find America’s Greenest Campus and was also featured in a commercial that aired on BET about going green. Simmons also follows an environmentally-friendly diet as a vegan.

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Eco-Friendly

Traditional Food Harvest Preservation Methods

 

Keeping garden harvests stored for the winter season can be as simple as freezer storage or as traditional as old-fashioned canning for homesteaders living off the land. No matter the method, the choices are designed to keep the food supply preserved for winter consumption.

While many of the methods require power, several traditional techniques are designed for storing food without electricity. Canning, cool storage, and drying are among the methods most appealing to homesteaders or eco-minded individuals seeking alternative lifestyles.

Freezing and Drying for Vegetable Storage

The most convenient method of harvest storage for most fruits and vegetables is freezing. Sliced, seasoned or sweetened, then stored in special containers, the vegetables can be kept for extended periods. While the preservation period varies due to fruit type and temperature levels, this method provides quick access and flavor quality in comparison to traditional canning recipes.

 

Drying fruits and vegetables alters the flavor and texture of most, but as a means of storage provides one of the longest-lasting methods for preservation. Many consumers love the flavor of dried fruits, perfect for trail mixes, dips, and soups. Basic additives are sometimes necessary for quality production, while techniques range from sun-dried or natural methods to home drying appliances with quick results.

Methods of Canning Vegetables

Traditional canning allowed farmers’ wives and gardeners to fill jars with boiling water and vegetables or pickled recipes, sealed off in airtight jars that could be stored for months. The method often involved heat, steam, and a hot stove to seal jars of produce, but the results filled the family cellar or pantry with fruits and vegetables for the winter season.

Modern-day canners follow much the same process; but many modern recipes offer improved flavors and freshness for the vegetables sealed inside. Other canning method avoid boiling water to encourage crisp or less-watery produce that resembles fresh garden stock.

Root Cellars for Cool Storage

For gardeners with a back-to-basics mindset, dry root cellars and dugouts are one of Nature’s best pantries for storage. The cool shelter protects thick-skinned produce from wilting heat; it also protects potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash from harsh freezes during the winter months.

Traditional farmers stored potatoes and onions in barrels; they stacked pumpkins, carrots, and root vegetables or laid them out on racks. Canned goods could also be stored in deep root cellars to provide additional space for farm families.

Preserving vegetables for winter consumption was a means of survival for rural families. For modern-day gardeners, it can be a means of frugality or enjoyment, making the garden last beyond the few short months of summer and the fall harvest.

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Green Living

Green Living Gift Choices for Pets: Natural Pet Care and Natural Pet Foods

 

Environmental gifts are healthy for your pet. You can recycle products as a green lifestyle gift for your pet. Making green choices in pet gifts will help the quality of the environment. There are different types of environmental pet gifts from which to choose.

You can choose gifts for comfort, safety and nutrition for your pet. Your pet’s skin absorbs whatever is put on it. You can choose natural formulas for pet care such as natural shampoos, flea and tick repellents, skin products, dental products, odor control products, hair care products and litter. Look for natural fabrics and fillers in furniture and beds.

You can buy sturdy pet furniture, steps and gates for your pets comfort. You can make or buy natural pet kibble, goodies, treats and even a pet celebration recipe. Check out your local health food stores for their stock in natural pet foods, treats, supplements and pet care supplies.

Recycling is earth friendly because it reduces pollution and the waste of energy and resources. You can recycle pet products and supplies for your pet’s gift. You can find recyclable pet supplies at second hand stores, flea markets, farmer’s markets, garage sales and through the classified ads. You can recycle grooming supplies, furniture, dishes, collars, clothing and accessories in your area.

Buy sensible pet gift items that will truly enhance your pet’s life. Avoid one time use items or items that will be infrequently used. Look for gifts without unnecessary packaging. Buy supplies in bulk if appropriate. Buy quality items that will last and will not become junk in a short time. Choose items that can be reused.

Choose hemp clothing, collars, accessories and supplies because hemp is a renewable and useful plant source. Do not buy real leather accessories. You can invest in a pet psychic, a pet consultant, dog training classes, and even have your dog join you in yoga classes. You can even also make your dog a promise to take regular long walks as a wonderful gift to be enjoyed by both you and your pet.

You can have a natural celebration for your pet with ethical gift choices as an important part of the event. Do not forget that you will be doing your pet and the environment a great favor when you recycle items for your pet’s gifts. It is possible for your pet to enjoy a variety of environmentally aware gifts for any celebration. Your pet’s level of health and happiness can be raised with the right environmental gift.

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Home Appliances

Refrigerator

There’s a long list of things a man was never meant to do. Changing diapers, painting toenails (for other people) and polishing the silverware come to mind. I’m convinced that cleaning out the refrigerator comes under that heading as well. Most men can gut a fish without problem, but the odor of rotten meat emanating from the chasm of forgotten foods in the back of the refrigerator will make even the stoutest heart take on the demeanor of a sissy. Not that I cried when my beloved Pamela hinted that the refrigerator in question was long overdue for an appointment with Mr Baking Soda and the saucy Ms Vinegar, two natural cleaners she favors, but I did protest.

“But Sweetie,” I whined, “I’ve got to change the oil in the Subaru so we’ll be able to start out vacation with a clean engine. Then I have to….”

“Do not Sweetie me, just clean out the fridge, or work isn’t the only thing you’ll be taking a vacation from. Understand?” She paused at the kitchen counter and gave me….that look. Not the look, that look. The look means I’ve been bad and punishment will include various and sundry tortures including but not limited to deprivation of a sexual nature. That look means it is a holiday, vacation or otherwise a day of no work coming up wherein the keys to the playground are within my reach if I just don’t stupidly mess things up. I understood completely. That refrigerator must be pretty nasty if I was getting a sex bribe right off the bat. A man of greater moral character would have changed the oil and done whatever the other thing was and never looked back. I not only looked back, I drooled at the prospect.

When my wife bribes me with sex, I’m a greedy politician with empty pockets and a long list of earmarks if you get my drift. Disneyland, Six Flags and Dollywood combined can’t hold a candle to my wife when she’s properly motivated. She must have wanted that refrigerator cleaned bad.

Now our refrigerator is not an ordinary refrigerator, it is an almost quarter century old Amana. One of the few appliances bought new by my cherished mother, it was passed on to me with love and has kept my soda and bologna coldly preserved for many years. Until my doctor removed both soda and bologna from my eat this and live list. As with most older creations, the ancient Amana tended to have a few idiosyncrasies all it’s own. It tends to leak fluid for unknown reasons at times, not unlike some people I know. This condensation causes a puddle to collect below the vegetable crisper drawers, allowing mold, fungus, penicillin and possibly the cure for aids to grow unchecked if left to its own devices.

Armed with my two earth friendly cohorts, baking soda and vinegar as well as an automotive ice scraper I headed to the kitchen, dressed not in combat fatigues, but in my pajamas. I figured I still look somewhat sexy in pajamas and they are more comfortable for all the bending and twisting and moaning and groaning required to properly clean a fridge, you dirty minded person, you. With visions of my sugarplum dancing in my head (ever see a sugarplum pole dance?) I zipped the ancient door open.

A general unpleasantness wafted gently through the air, reminescent of fine American and provolone cheese left to rot unnoticed in the lake of rancid water underneath the stuck vegetable crisper drawer. Unable to free the stuck drawer, I quickly began removing the contents of the shelves, wading through forgotten pepperoni, moldy fish and genuine antique hamburger patties. Lastly I removed the entire bottom two vegetable crisper drawers, frame and all. Only then did I manage to free the stuck drawer from the frame, revealing a putrid mass of moldy butter, wet, smelly cheese and a very rotten, malodorous piece of steak. I fought valiantly, my ice scraper flailing like a windmill in one hand, vinegar here, baking soda there and rotten, rotten, rotten stink everywhere. Triumphant, sick to my stomach, but with a bucket of defeated goo, I enlisted the aid of my favorite and only son to hurl the messy concoction outside where it could safely be dealt with when I recovered. From both my sick stomach and my much anticipated reward.

Now I’m forbidden to say just why the refrigerator got in such a mess, but it could be my Sweetie is about to campaign for a new model and just wanted to soften me up a bit beforehand. She would have been better off using the sex angle to blackmail me, but don’t tell her that.…

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