Compost Cab


We all know about Cash Cab

… the cab that goes around New York and Chicago and picks folks up and has them answer questions for cash.

Well, meet Compost Cab!

If you live in the Washington DC metro area meet your new best friend to sustainable living.  The Compost Cab will come to your home or business, drop off a bucket, and later pick up your compostable scraps.  Then they will bring you ready-to-use compost.  They take out the middle man.

What an awesome way to help the earth and help yourself!

I live about 37 miles away from Washington DC, how the crow flies.  They don’t pick up in my area yet, but I’m eagerly anticipating expansion to the rest of Northern Virginia.  I currently bin compost on my own but I’d love to compost more items that take longer and are more of a sanitary concern so close to my home like dog poo.




The Meltdown

Today was… exhausting.

I remember having days like this as a child.  I used to tell my mother that my mouth and body were doing one thing while my mind was saying another thing, all together.  There was a total lack of control.  These were the days that all stimulus outside my own mind overwhelmed me.  All I could do was panic.

These days sucked!

Today my son, the Mysterious, had such a day.

It started after he went to the park with one of his friends.  They got back around 1:20.  He didn’t want to do anything after that.  I made him wash his hands.  He melted down.  I tried to get him to lay down and take a nap.  That made him meltdown.  I asked him if he wanted a snack.  You guessed it… MELTDOWN!

That is pretty much how our day went until bedtime.  Meltdown after meltdown, drama and more drama.

I got so frustrated today.  These should be days that I look back at how I would have felt as an Aspie kid and adjusted accordingly.  I didn’t.

I know I should have understood.  But I’m an Aspie, too.  There’s only so much screaming I can put up with before I have to walk away, ticking as I go.

I now know he needs his unwind time before I start asking things from him.  And yes, that even includes me asking him to wash his hands.

Tomorrow I owe him an apology.

Shout Out to My Old Man

Happy Anniversary, hun!

It’s official we’ve been married for…

That’s right… count ’em.  4 Years! 

I know a lot of you reading this may be thinking, BIG DEAL!

4 years may not be a long time but we’ve packed a lot into that short 4 years:

  • Our daughter, the Adventure was born 2 months shy of our first anniversary.
  • We bought our first home and moved to a different town.
  • We’ve been through 5 surgeries between myself and our son, the Mysterious.
  • I lost a job and my husband found one.
  • We’ve had major vehicle and home repairs.
  • We’ve lost some family members and gained some.
  • We’ve lost some friends and gained some.
  • We’ve grown together… as a couple.

I’m proud to say that I love my husband more with each adventure we tackle and I hope that continues to be true as we continue the journey.


I Need Practice

I have a reoccurring ganglion cyst that grows inside my knee.  The first time I had surgery was about a month and a half after my husband and I got married (that was only 4 years ago).  In October 2010 I had to undergo knee surgery, again.  I’ve been off of work ever since.  In short… my knee sucks.

Since I have been off of work I feel like I’ve gotten a bit out of practice with my social niceties.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m polite to people.  It’s just, recently, I’ve taken to not being as patient as I once was.

Most people who meet me wouldn’t guess at my Aspie tendencies.  But they’re there, under the surface.  Usually, I strive to be engaging and sociable but it’s painful.  Most of the time I hate looking someone in the eye.  It’s painful and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway.

Since I’ve been off of work, it has become increasingly more painful to do so.  I guess I’m out of practice.


July’s Thrifty Recipe: Chocolate Frozen Coffee

I decided this month’s recipe should be a treat.  It’s summertime, after all.  We need something to cool us down AND perk us up in the morning.

Chocolate Frozen Coffee

Step 1: Make coffee to your taste.

Step 2: Pour coffee (or leftover coffee) into ice cube trays.  I always make an extra cup of coffee so I can freeze a few cubes so I always have some on hand.

Step 3: Put ice cube trays in the freezer and let freeze.


Step 4: Store coffee cubes in a plastic container in your freezer until you’re in the mood for this drink.


Step 5: In a blender combine your choice of milk, chocolate syrup, and coffee cubes.  Adjust amounts to taste.  Blend until the drink has the consistency of a milk shake.

Step 6: Add any kind of topping you want (whip cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce) and ENJOY!


Make your mouthwash (bottle) last longer.

Want to make sure your kids don’t make a mess using their mouthwash AND save as much money as possible, too?

Let me frame that.  My son uses ACT for kids mouthwash.  Their bottles feature a lovely squeeze top that allows just enough for a swish, which means he won’t be pouring it all over the bathroom.

BUT… ACT mouthwash is something I find few coupons for.  So I decided that I was going to find a way to take that bottle apart, clean it, and refill it with mouthwash that I could get at a much cheaper price using my coupons matched with local deals.  I find these at Hip2Save.  If you don’t follow this blog… you should.  You’re missing out.  The wonderful folks at Hip2Save put out a dummies guide to matching your coupons and the weekly sales at Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS.  Sometimes they give Target and Toys R’ Us, too… LOVE IT!

Here’s to the task at hand…

To refill an Act mouthwash bottle:

Simply take a pair of pliers and pull out the tube insert.

Act Mouthwash How To 1

Then wash and fill with another mouthwash.  Then jam that squeezy tube thingy back into the bottle.  I had to use a butter knife to poke it back in but it worked like a charm!

Act Mouthwash Bottle

My son still gets the spill-resistant, fun-looking bottle at a fraction of the price.  Yay!

love DB


Southwest Chicken Chowder



This is a very yummy, very inexpensive soup to make.  You can make it however you like but I usually make it as a leftover soup.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken for making stock or 1/2 gallon chicken stock – $5.00
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (with or without chiles) – $2.00
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained $0.78
  • 2 cans black beans, drained – $1.20
  • chili powder – on hand
  • cumin – on hand
  • salt – on hand
  • sour cream and/or cheddar cheese – $3.50 for both

Total Cost = $12.48

Total Cost per serving = $1.56

To make your chicken stock:

I start with a leftover chicken.  I get a rotissery chicken every Friday from Giant Foods for $5.00.  It’s a hot deal.  I make my chicken last a little longer by making stock from it.

1.  Pick off all the leftover meat and set aside for later addition to your soup.

2. Put the chicken carcass in a one gallon crock pot and cover with water.  Set on high and cook for 24 hours.  Make sure you add more water about 12 hours in.

3. After your stock has finished cooking, run liquid through a strainer and your stock is complete.

To make Southwest Chicken Soup:

1. Start by putting your chicken stock in a 6 or 8 qt. stock pot.

2. Add the following:

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (with or without chiles) with juice
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • salt to taste
  • chili powder to taste
  • cumin to taste

3. Put soup on stove top at low-medium heat for up to 3 hours, uncovered.  Let it reduce to a stew consistancy.

4. Add leftover chicken during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

5. Serve with sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese and your favorite bread.

Depending on how much your family members eat, this can serve up to 8 people.  If you’re serving my husband, expect only 4 people to be able to eat.



Double YUM!


Southwest Chicken Chowder
Serves 8
Write a review
205 calories
23 g
37 g
5 g
19 g
1 g
361 g
433 g
7 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 205
Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 37mg
Sodium 433mg
Total Carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 7g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 gallon chicken stock or broth
  2. 2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
  3. 2 cans diced tomatoes (with or without chiles) with liquid
  4. 1 lb frozen whole kernel corn
  5. 2 cans black beans, drained
  6. salt to taste
  7. chili powder to taste
  8. cumin to taste
  1. 1. Start by putting your chicken stock in a 6 or 8 qt. stock pot.
  2. 2. Add diced tomatoes with liquid, frozen corn, drained and rinsed black beans, salt, chili powder, and cumin to taste.
  3. 3. Put soup on stove top at low-medium heat for up to 3 hours, uncovered. Let it reduce to a stew consistancy.
  4. 4. Add leftover chicken during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  5. 5. Serve with sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese and your favorite bread.
The Creative Recycler

In Search of Prayer

Have you ever experienced one of those weeks that makes you sit back and count all your blessings?  You know, one of those weeks where you go, “my problems are really not that bad.”

For those kind of weeks (and for all the others), when you need a little extra prayer, visit

I love this organization.  Here’s their mission statement.

Bringing together anonymously those needing prayer and Christians willing to pray for them; calling and equipping people for this work.

Essentially, you fill out a prayer request form and six intercessors pray for 21 days on your request.  If one of them is led to scripture that is insightful towards your prayer request, they pass it along.

Check them out.  Because a little extra prayer can’t hurt.

Why am I pissed off?

I’m pissed off.  Why?

Read This.

Can you guess the part that pissed me off?  I’ll give you a few moments.












Ok.  If you guessed this part…

“Rodney and I sat across from a developmental pediatrician who listed all the things RJ would never do in life — from never being fully verbal to never playing sports, which was a stab in the stomach for my ex-quarterback husband,” Peete says.

…you’re right.

What pissed me off was the way the doctor handled the situation.  The only time you should use the word “never” when handing someone news that is hard to handle is to say “Never give up.”  Just because a child is labeled with a non neuro-typical label doesn’t mean he or she will amount to nothing. People on the Autistic Spectrum are exceedingly bright whether or not they can speak or show affection.  It pisses me off every time I hear a story like this.

People on the Autistic Spectrum ROCK!

EVERYONE (including but not limited to doctors, teachers, therapists, parents, coworkers, extended family members) would do well to follow this example released by The Huffington Post: Learning to Embrace Autism

In other words… adjust the way you view autism.  Try less debilitating disability and more unique way they process their surroundings.

What do you think?


A year goes by fast.

My father died a year ago today.  I thought it would be fitting to put up a pleasant story about my father.  If you didn’t follow my previous (and now defunct) blog there is a copy of what I wrote last year, when I found out he had died, at the end of this post.

A lot of what I learned about life and survival I learned from my father.  My father taught me to use my wits from an early age.  One of his favorite things to do with me during my visits with him was playing board games… specifically Chess and Monopoly.  He was a man who valued calculating his next move both in a game and in life.  For us these games were not only a fun bonding experience but also a life lesson.  A lot of parents are easy on their children and let them win which is something my father never did.  He would let me lose time and time again and get frustrated time and time again.  But every weekend I visited the Monopoly game would come out or the Chess board.  He didn’t let me give up.  He kept pushing and pushing.  When I made a wrong move he would let a few more turns go by, show me the mess I had gotten myself into, and use it as a lesson.  He always told me the proudest day for him would be the day I beat him fairly, on my own.  I never did.



This was posted October 20th 2010.

Last week I found out my father is dead.  He didn’t die last week or even last month.  He’s been dead for quite some time.  March 30th of this year, to be exact.  I found out because my mother has been having some abnormal reoccurring dreams.  All of her dreams are fundamentally the same.  She’s having trouble finding him, she’s afraid something is wrong, when she finds him something has happened with his heart and he’s dead.  She felt like someone was trying to tell her something.  So she Googled Robert Henry Butler to see what would pop up.  She found his obituary.

Here’s a copy of his obituary which hints at why I didn’t know until now that he is dead until now.

This was taken from The Winchester Star newspaper:

Robert Henry Butler,

68, of Bloomery, West

Virginia, died Tuesday,

March 30, 2010.

Mr. Butler was born at

Washington, DC on July

12, 1941, the son of the

late Dennis F. and Dorothy

Quick Butler.

Mr. Butler is survived

by his wife, Margery

Butler of Bloomery, WV;

daughter, Sherri Ross of

Minneapolis, MN; a sister,

Pat Butler and her husband,

Steve Taylor of

Woodstock; and a brother,

Ret. Col. Dennis Frederick

Butler and his wife,

Rosemarie of Seattle, WA.

Service will be private.

My mother was pissed when she read it.  I was less surprised.  She was pissed because, if you notice, I am not mentioned in the obituary as a survivor.  I knew this is how it would be.  My father and I were estranged.  Those of you who know me know the story of my past and more importantly the story of my past with my father.  So I won’t speak ill of the dead.

I will give a brief history of our estrangement.  Our relationship came to an abrupt pause during my 16th year when I wrote a letter.  A letter that my counselor, at the time, was very impressed with (good for her).  It stated that I was terminating our relationship for my own reasons spawned from our own nasty history.  I sent it certified mail so I knew he had received it.  Some of the fall-out from that included his mother (my grandmother of whom I’m her namesake) called me to tell me I was a bitch and my father’s unexpected arrival and then removal from my high school.  A few years later I, being in college with a child of my own, decided to reinstate contact at about the age of 22.  That turned into a few choice letters, phone calls, and then my father ambushing me at a class.  I could tell he was anxious to see me.  I went to see him a couple of times.  I brought my son to one such meeting at his home.  As soon as we (my father, my son, and I) were the only ones left in the room he proceeded to confront me about how none of what had happened was true.  He couldn’t let it go of the lies.  So for the good of my own sanity and my son’s that was it.  I didn’t contact him anymore and I ignored his contacts.  I received a letter a few months later stating that he hoped I was happy with myself and I would be written out of his will and I would not know when he died.  I left it at that.

So there it is.  I’m not surprised.  I’m not sad, either.  I don’t really know what I am.  I feel like an ugly part of my life has closure.  But to me it seems so cold.  He was my father and I will remember the good times and the bad and I will give a fitting farewell to the man who is at the origin of most of my fears.

So here are pictures of him during the “good times” when he was young and his life was before him.  Before getting kicked out of the military, before jail, before my mother and myself.  Just… before.


The left picture was taken in August 1946.   My guess is he’s the one all the way at the top.  He would have been 5 in this picture.  The right picture was taken at some point during his days in military school at Massanutten Military Academy.  It’s during his high school years, anyway.  There is no date listed.



Goodbye and I hope your soul finds rest.