Oct 14
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – November 2014


When Dean came home the other afternoon he wondered where our cat Bu was. I had a very busy day and when I stopped to think about it I realized I had not seen her all day. She is a social cat who usually likes to pester me when I am working on the computer in the morning and always sits with Dean in the evening. She is usually seen around the house in various places throughout the day.

Dean and I both started searching, but Bu was not in any of her favorite spots. We searched under the furniture, in my sewing room and even in the basement where she is not allowed. I recruited our dog Chia in the search and she was eager to help, but we were no further ahead in finding Bu. Our son and his wife even searched high and low with no better luck in finding our cat. We finally concluded she must have escaped in the  darkness when Dean left the house that morning.

We were very concerned for her as she never ventures outside and it was a cold windy day. That night I posted a lost pet alert on Home again webpage ( a pet micro chip company). Later as I was walking past the basement door I flipped on the light and looked down. There was Bu sitting lazily at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for someone to let her up. We couldn’t believe she was down there, it was searched no less than 8 times by 4 different people and a dog. I guess when a cat doesn’t want to be found they won’t be, but we are vey happy she decided to grace us with her presence again.

Oct 14
by Maryclaire Mayes

My Very Special Blankie

my very special blankie

As some of you may know our first grand daughter Faith was born with serious heart defects and Down syndrome. She has been through two open heart surgeries and many health issues. Faith is always the strong one through all her trials giving us strength and love.

My Very Special Blankie is written by her other grandmother “Memere”. It is an endearing story of how a grand mother uses a colorful crocheted blanket that she made for her to tell  bedtime stories to the delight of her grand daughter.

Proceeds will go into an account for Faith.

Oct 14
by Maryclaire Mayes

5 Fall Skin Care Tips

5 Fall Skin Care Tips

1. Choose gentle cleansers that don’t strip your skin of natural oils.

2. Pick “Fragrance Free” if you have sensitive skin. “Unscented” could mean it has small amounts of fragrance to mask the odors of ingredients. (all of Alabu’s unscented products are fragrance free)

3. Skip toners, if you are using a gentle cleanser you don’t need them and they dry out your skin.

4. Moisturize after you cleanse. Plant-based moisturizers that include natural oils, and essential fatty acids penetrate skin better and contain beneficial nutrients for your skin.

5. Hydrate; make sure you are drinking enough water. We tend not to get as thirsty in the fall & winter but our body still needs it.

Oct 14
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – October 2014

got stuck

We always think we should try to get away, but for one reason or another we never seem to get there. This year we did make plans and even though there were many other things that got it the way, we managed to get way for a long weekend for our 35th anniversary.  

We both have fond memories of Long Beach Island NJ vacations with my family, so that’s where we went.  We love it there in the off season. Every morning we go to the beach to see the sunrise and return at the end of the day to catch the sunset.

At the south end of the island there is a wildlife preserve that they open to 4×4 vehicles in the fall. The manager of the hotel we stayed at said it was ok to drive on it without a permit, but we opted to go and buy one. We were so glad we did. Dean is pretty much of an expert driver. Driving in snow is no problem for him. But sand proved to be a different story. We drove out following the rules of the permit and got stuck about a 1/4 mile out. As much as Dean tried to get the truck unstuck it just got worse. And just to add a little extra adrenaline into the situation the tide was coming in and it was already a few feet from the tires. Every time Dean tried to get us unstuck the truck slid a little closer to the incoming waves. We called the number on our permit paper and they gave us a number to call for a garage.  They said the minimum to tow us out was $300. Fortunately a kind couple stopped and took pity on us. The solution was as simple as letting some of the air pressure out of our tires. Dean was able back up and continue our trip. Dean called and cancel the tow, but it didn’t seem like they were in any hurry to come to our rescue anyway.  It didn’t take long for Dean to really get the hang of driving on the sand. We even took some fellow vacationers out to the end of the preserve for a little bird watching. We are so thankful for the couple who stopped to tell us the secret of driving on sand. 

Aug 14
by Dean Mayes

View From My Window – September 2014

We have been thinking of going solar for sometime and now we are happy to say we have finally done it. In 1986 we built a tiny passive solar home. It worked well  and was a very comfortable home. Family emergencies moved us north to live with Dean’s father and we missed our little home.

After a few years we were on our own again and we dreamed of building another passive solar home but doing a full passive solar house just didn’t work out. We did incorporate many passive solar designs to take advantage of as much of the sun’s energy as we could afford at the time. Since we have a large south facing roof, it is a perfect set up for a solar photvolactic system. So now in addition to our super insulated house and solar gain through the windows, we have a 10kW photovoltaic-solar system on the roof to making electricity.  This will supply all of our electrical needs with a capacity to convert our hot water over to electric which we plan to do in the near future.  We use a lot of hot water here at Alabu