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Month: September 2020

the klymaloft sleep pad: a review for all you lady sidesleepers

the klymaloft sleep pad: a review for all you lady sidesleepers

i forgot to review my sleeping pad!

like i said before i went to the bwca, i wasn’t going to skimp on sleeping. i spent $25 on a coop pillow, which i loved, and $110 on a klymit klymaloft sleeping pad, which, once i figured out the right air amount, was actually one of the best low-profile sleeping pads i’ve slept on.

first, let’s just get this out of the way: it’s hard being a lady camper, especially on-the-ground camping. stomach sleeping is no good, and side sleeping can be painful if you’re not properly supported.

on top of that, most of the reviews and people extolling the virtues of sleep pads are men, who don’t have any sort of hip bones that dig into the ground. so, while i was searching for reviews on the klymaloft, and if i should that or the thermarest, i kept staring at these dudes talking about how great these sleep pads are…. and i’m wondering, are they, really, for a lady?

the lack of lady low-profile sleep pad reviews is minimal to nil.


first, i prefer a tent with a cot in it, so for purposes of this review, i’m going to talk about both ground and cot sleeping.

why the klymaloft? 

i had a klymit static v, which was a reasonable addition to my cot sleeping setup, and the pros i liked about it were:

  1. easy to blow up
  2. it held the air
  3. the air chambers made sense

so when i saw that klymit had JUST released a high-end sleep mat, i was like, that may be the one for me. i tried to get klymit to give me one in exchange for realistic lady reviews, both written and video, but no such luck. looks like i’d have to spend the $150 on a comfortable sleeping endeavor. however, klymit was out of stock! so after a little internet sleuthing, i found one for cheaper at left lane sports and snatched it up.


blowing up the klymaloft is definitely not as easy as the static v. if there is one huge con to the pad, it’s how you have to blow it up. i realize that it’s made to use with a pump, but i was not hauling around an extra piece of equipment in my canoe pack, and it only took about 20 breaths to fully blow up.

unfortunately, there is no spigot or spout for blowing it up – it’s placing your moth over a hole in the pad, which has a flippy deal for inflate or deflate. so that’s kind of annoying, but once you get going, it’s fine. just don’t share blowing up duties with anyone, cuz there’s a lot of slobber. oh, and definitely remember to click the outer casing in place; it helps keep the air in.

inflation levels

the first night on the ground i had inflated too much, but i was too antsy to realize it. i didn’t sleep well in the first place so my uncomfortable sleep was just as much the faulty of my anxious brain as it was my overinflated sleep pad. when i woke up in the morning, my hips hurt, which is pretty normal for any ground or tent sleeping for me.

but the second night, i ended up with a little give in the pad, and i slept like a rock. and not just on my sides – i slept on my back, too, with minimal pain in my lower back from too much support. it was slightly less inflated than it could’ve been, because when i was on my sides, there was very slight touching of my hips on the ground.

then the third night i thought, what if it was a little more inflated, but i stuck my inflatable cushion thing under the buns/hips area? that did not work well. it was too firm, and my cushion did not stay inflated.

the fourth night i figured it out. i tested it and made sure it wasn’t too firm, but my hips were still off the ground. it took a bit of adjusting, but i got it, and slept like a rock again.

and the pad held all its air all nights!

cot sleeping

like i said earlier, i was using a klymit static v for my cot, but i was also bringing along a memory foam 2″ sleeping pad with it to put on my cot while i car camped. from now on, i just need the klymaloft, which saves a lot of hassle with the pad. the footprint of the klymaloft is bigger than the static v, but the comfort is worth it.


is it worth spending $100-150 on a sleeping pad? i’ve used the pad for 3 2-day car camping excursions and one 4-day canoe trip to the bwca, and it’s holding up nicely. so far, i do say it’s worth it, but i’ll see how it lasts through next summer before i say that it’ll hold up well. i expect something that i spend that kind of money on to last a while, and i just don’t have the longevity yet. if it holds up? then definitely worth it.

just make sure to adjust it to your level of firmness!

just naw

just naw

i had started a blog post about scotus. i wanted to do some research on nominations and confirmations through our time as a country and how this one compares. and discuss the hypocritical nature of some of our senators.

but i just don’t want to. the idea of it is exhausting and emotionally taxing to me right now. instead i want to make one note on the way it looks like our scotus is going to go: this means fewer and fewer federal regulations* surrounding climate change, which means things will just get worse and worse before it gets better after the point of no return.

and what use is any other legislation if we have no planet on which to live? environment first, losers.

i was talking to megan yesterday about this. she asked how i don’t freak out about climate change and the rising temps and the weird weather we see and what might happen.

i try not to think about that, actually. there is a lot to think about instead of that, things that give me an ulcer on their own, much less how we’re going to handle a heating planet and biome changes and water shortages and mass migrations due to the coasts flooding (it’s already happening – the flooding).


what DOES give me hope about climate change is the resilience of the earth. we saw it when we were all on lockdown, and the air cleared up. what the pandemic showed me was that the earth does not. need. much. for her to get back on track. that gives me a lot of hope.

now, that does not downplay our role as it is. but it does show what human-made pollution does to the earth, and what happens when we curb it. so let’s think about how to make this better before it gets out of hand.

*you CANNOT tell me that climate is not something that is an obvious federal regulatory issue. it is a GLOBAL regulatory issue. water and air and our climate are something that affect everyone on this planet, and despite what jeff bezos would have you believe about going to stupid mars, we’re much better off fixing the planet we live on than terraforming another planet (and we all know how that can go wrong after seeing star trek movies). it takes everyone to fix this, and unfortunately, it’s going to have to affect a lot of people personally before they get on board.


in other news, my facebook fast is still in place. i’m looking at twitter more, of course, and checking out reddit more. i guess the only good thing about not being on facebook is i can hold the false idea that the people i know personally aren’t making stupid comments.

in related news, i just learned that a lady i regularly exchange waves with while out on my run has a trump flag in her front yard -_-

i’ll be so glad when this dumb election is over and can imagine there aren’t any DT supporters in my neighborhood.

in which i paint my cabinets and say “good enough”

in which i paint my cabinets and say “good enough”

when a famous* DIYer comes to visit you, you need to do some DIY, amirite?

i initially asked liz to come visit me to help with something on my roof and go for a run int he woods. then she she stuck the bug in my head to paint my cabinets, even sending me a link to an easy, no-sanding recipe for success. at first i was hesitant – so much work. but the allure of having a helper (nate is no help. he’s more hindrance in home projects) was too much.

so i read the info about how to do this, then made a commitment by taking off my cabinet doors. first, a couple before pics.

my kitchen was classic mid-90s maple. when i moved in, the hardware was gold, if that gives you an idea of how awesomely stuck in the 90s my house was. the hardware change out helped, but the maple is so overwhelming. so, like i said, i took off the doors and committed to a change.

tips for door removal:

  • use some painters tape to number the doors and cabinets. i numbered my lower doors, lettered the upper doors, and roman numeraled the drawers.
  • put the hardware for each section in a baggie and place it in the cabinet/drawer.
  • don’t make a big deal out of not getting the doors exactly even when putting them back on – i’m not a professional cabinet hanger, and neither are you. i doubt anyone will notice.

(not the little red apple thing next to the sink – canning season means fruitfly overload, and they were super annoying.)

then i stopped menards to pick the items needed for my painting project:

  • fancy cabinet paint (i bought $50/gallon dutchboy semi-gloss cabinet paint)
  • primer
  • deglosser
  • paint sprayer
  • a $13 edging paintbrush

i thought i needed two gallons of paint and ended up spending $300. oy. expensive project. good thing menards had their rebate going on.

so, liz showed up and we got to work on saturday. the prep work is the WORST. anyone who’s painted anything knows it’s the worst.

  1. cleaning. before liz showed up, i started spraying all my cabinet doors with 409 to degrease them, then wiped them off. liz cleaned off all the indoor surfaces with dishsoap and a non-abrasive scrubby.
  2. deglossing. the source i used as a basis for this project said this should take the place of sanding. except, the directions were pretty sparse, and the couple videos i watched about deglossing just wiped down the surface. i’m not sure if it actually worked or not, but we deglossed all the surfaces.
  3. sanding. as a precaution, we lightly sanded all the doors. we figured these were going to be the high-touch pieces and needed a little more help with the paint sticking. we just stuck with deglossing the indoor surfaces.
  4. between each step, all the doors needed to be wiped off.
  5. threw some dropcloth down on the garage floor and elevated all the doors on dixie cups (this was a good tip).

at this point, i was already exhausted and over painting my cabinets and wanted to give up. but you can’t just put sanded doors back on the cabinets and call it good. so it was time to paint.

it’s at this point i realized a grave mistake i had made. when perusing the paint sprayers, i picked the one that said it was good for small projects.

(a wagner control spray)

this is not a small project.

it took me 2 hours to spray primer on one side of all the doors. UGH.

that was enough of that. liz was still priming the indoors, but i told her to quit because it was break time. meaning, time for a 4-mile run in the woods. not much of a break, but at least it wasn’t painting related. we got back from the run, then headed into st. cloud where we went to menards and got the big-girl sprayer.

this wagner boasted 8X faster than a paintbrush. that sad first one didn’t even say it was faster than a paintbrush. i actually think it was slower than a paintbrush.

after scarfing down some 5 guys, i headed out to try out my new 8X SPRAYER and ho boy did it ever deliver. i did the first coat of cabinet paint in TWENTY MINUTES.

so, notes on paint sprayers:

  • don’t skimp
  • wear a mask when spraying
  • wear your earmuffs you wear for mowing the lawn or snowblowing. your ears will be grateful

after my coat was done, i went in to help liz finish up the first coat of paint on the inside surfaces. i have to admit, i am a horrible painter, and liz can attest to that. i get paint where it shouldn’t be, i am no good at edging, and i splatter everywhere. but we got through it. man, cabinet contents are messy. at least mine are.

then, mercifully, we called it quits at about 11. i had a beer and passed out.

the next morning, we did the second coat indoors, because i knew the backs of the doors would be a piece of cake with my awesome sprayer. we finished up in about 2 hours. after liz left, i primed and painted the backs.

tonight, i hung all the doors back on the cabinets, which took me about 2 hours to do. like i said, i’m not a professional cabinet installer, so the doors are slightly uneven and at this point i don’t even care, because


i polyurethaned the sides of the cabinets next to the stove and above the sink where my liquor cabinet lives. use water-based! i made the mistake of using oil-based for my side buffet and it turned yellow.

so, what else needs to be done?

  • a couple touchups on the doors where i banged them while trying to get them back on. life needs a control-Z
  • i need to spraypaint my stove hood. at least it’s not 80s almond color and sort of blends in, but i’ll need to change it sometime. while i’m at it, i’m going to look into wiring my under-cabinet lights with it. (for some reason, electrical projects are much easier for me to handle than big paint projects.)
  • i’m going to paint my walls a less vibrant color. i’m thinking a grey-blue or grey-green. i’m hoping to get that done in the next month.
  • and MAN my FLOOR is AWFUL. (that spot is a burn mark from the previous owner.) i might leave that to a professional and do my entire kitchen and weird dining/office area.

i also ended up using just one gallon of primer and paint and was able to return them, along with a couple other things, and saved myself $100 on paint, which is what i had spent on my fancy sprayer, but oh well. at least i saved a crapton of time. i’m going to try to sell the weeny sprayer to some unsuspecting craigslist killer.

let’s take another look, just because.


*she COULD be famous if she’d blog abut her DIY escapades.

weekend of work

weekend of work

day 3 of no facebook, and so far i’m ok with this. i was a little out of sorts not being able to check it out after RGB died, just to commiserate about her death with others and the obvious move the GOP senators made even after setting precedent in 2016 with replacing her.

i can’t think about that now – it’s just so much to take in.

so instead, this weekend liz came to visit me and we painted my kitchen cupboards. i’m still waiting for the backs of the doors to dry, but after they’re hung and up, i’ll do a post about that process. even with the doors off (which makes my kitchen look so incredibly messy), it’s brighter than it was. i think what it will really do is highlight how awful my floor looks. that’s the next thing, i guess. but painting the cabinets took the entire weekend, and now i’m beat.

we also went for a run in the st. john’s woods, which was nice. i haven’t been out there all summer, but i’m going to make an effort to get out there in the next few weeks while the weather’s still nice, the sun is still up, and the leaves look good. that’s always a fun time.

quitting facebook

quitting facebook

after years of waffling over it and a week of seething after watching “the social dilemma” on netflix, today i clicked on the “deactivate” button on facebook and *poof*.

my account is still out there if i want to reactivate, but i think all my comments on others’ posts have disappeared into the ether. it’s easy to reactivate – i just have to reenter my password. after confirming three times for deactivation, one password entry to reactivate seems wrong.

i am already feeling weird withdrawal symptoms, but it’s not like i’ve completely wiped social from my life; i still have a twitter account, an instagram, and of my course my awesome blog here. it’s funny because i remember when i first signed up for facebook (in early 2005 – a somewhat early adopter), i had been blogging already for a while, was trying to maintain a messageboard, and had a pretty comprehensive website. my thoughts were: why do i need another thing?

who knew that other thing would develop into a worldwide thought control experiment.

anyway. to all of you still using FB, good luck in these next few weeks. it’s going to be interesting times. i’ll see you on twitter? instagram? here at my blog? maybe back on FB afterward? we’ll see how this goes.

on a side note: the tag for this post is dual meaning 🙂


a discouraging plastic update

a discouraging plastic update

npr came out with a report the other day about how plastic recycling is basically a lie. i mean, we sort of knew that already, right? but now we learn that the plastic conglomerates knew this in the EIGHTIES when they launched a very large ad campaign to promote plastic recycling because the business was in the tank. it was meant for just bottles, but soon the recycling symbol showed up on all plastic, even when it WASN’T RECYCLABLE. plus, plastic recycling is not like aluminum or metal or glass, where it is infinitely recyclable into the same product; it degrades each time.

Thanks, NPR!

add into that that recycling plastic costs more than making new plastic products, and it’s no wonder that the business model is pushing for more new plastic. that doesn’t break down. and sticks around forever. in a convenience-based society where we like everything as easy as possible. until we’re living in a society that’s basically a trash dump. then what?

i think the biggest thing we need to push for is to put pressure on the manufacturers to create packaging that is not reliant on plastic. in the npr aritcle, then mention that there’s a brand new, shiny plastic-making plant being built. instead of that, why not build a shiny plastic recycling center? or get together a think-tank to figure out how to solve our plastic crisis? maybe it’s hemp-based or bamboo based, both of which are quick growing and take little water to produce compared to trees. a petroelum-based system of commerce is just not working out well, as we’re seeing and living.

the unfortunate thing about this is the petro billionaires have the best lobbyists and the most money to spend on legislation. and they get a lot of their money from government subsidies (see: corporate welfare, hardly a capitalistic system). (meanwhile the average american would go bankrupt from a hospital stay, but that’s a topic for a different blog.)

so what can we do? put pressure on the companies that you know are plastic heavy, and these are the big companies, so many people would need to do this. we know what happens when the public sentiment shifts a certain way, as we’ve seen with organic, more natural food stuffs. if the public can start to push for less plastic, then the big guys will adjust to get their dollars.

slowly, i’m moving toward less plastic packaging in my life. here are the things that i’ve permanently changed from plastic bottles/packaging to either making myself or cardboard packaging:

  • dishwasher soap (dropps)
  • laundry soap (homemade)
  • shampoo and conditioner (bar soap)
  • body wash (bar soap)
  • toilet paper (all paper – no plastic)
  • deodorant (bar based with a simple paper packaging around it, from ethique)

in the next round of necessities purchasing, i plan on changing out my facial soap (to shea butter charcoal bar soap) and checking out what my options are for mascara (besame). i’m having trouble with moisturizer for my face, especially since i want some anti-wrinkle stuff. i have to do some research for the next round.

there’s still a lot of plastic in my life, especially when it comes to groceries. i’m not perfect when it comes to plastic; i like my convenience just as much as the next person. but i think it’s good to work at it. i’d rather have a nice planet to live on than a single-serving package of grapes.

a winding down

a winding down

holy cow, i have been a canning machine! and let me tell you – buying an electric food mill was THE BEST purchase of the last few years. i just canned 14 pints of apple butter yesterday, and if not for that sucker, i’d still be grinding the apples through my manual mill.

i’ve made four batches of pickles so far – maybe 30 pints or so. i may have one more batch out in the garden yet, but it’s been cold this week so i’m not sure if the growth is over or not.

i did a little bit of tomato sauce, but that is such a low result for a lot of work. i don’t necessarily like making sauce because of that.

and my apple tree is INSANE this year. i picked a bushel basket of apples the other day, and i’d bet there are at least 2-3 more. i made some apple crisp, ate some, and made the 14 pints of butter, and i only went through about 2/3 of the basket.

so, if you’ve got any ideas for how to use apples, let me know! i don’t know if i need to make any more apple butter. i don’t eat a ton to begin with, and canning lids are hard to come buy these days.

in somewhat related gardening news, i have 4 peony plants out in my garage, along with 30-ish tulip bulbs. i’m hoping this weekend to remove some of the landscaping rock around my front door and replace it with some spring flowers, maybe a couple other shrubby things, and mulch. the rocks have got to go. (i think i’m going to throw them in my pond.)

on an unrelated note, i’m annoyed that it’s dark by 8 p.m. what is this. seriously. stupid axial tilt.

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