Let's get wishy washi
Remember all the creativity with blue painter's tape at the Capitol two years back? Washi tape is the more colorful, apolitical decorative juggernaut from Japan that will do for your home what ScotchBlue did for the marble corridors of state government. Originally a type of paper made from various tree barks (but also bamboo, rice and other grains) and used in traditional Japanese crafts, it's now available as an inexpensive and easily removable tape, often used in decorating kids' spaces but also drafted into service for any number of crafts and projects. Washi is available in scads of colors and patterns at most craft stores and at several sites online including wishywashi.com. Create indoor hopscotch, the blueprint for a playhouse, cards, gift wrap, lampshades.... Just don't do tape anything on the Capitol.
Rancho Gordo, here in Madison
Fans of rare varieties of dried heirloom beans, especially anyone who may have at one time placed a mail order from California's Rancho Gordo (the nation's great popularizer of heirloom bean varieties) can now purchase those same beans right here in Madison. The cooking supply store the Kitchen Gallery, 107 King St., has been stocking a limited number of Rancho Gordo products, including Yellow Eye, Good Mother Stallard, Midnight Black and Classic Cranberry beans and hominy ($6.50/lb.) While the Rancho Gordo website offers 30-some varieties, many more than are on the shelves at Kitchen Gallery, it's a decent option if you can't wait for a mail order. Good Mother Stallard, popular in chilis and soups, create a great bean "broth"; Yellow Eyes are also good in both chilis and soups.
It's a spa... for your car
If you don't have time to do the grocery shopping, Metcalfe's and the Willy Street Co-op deliver. If you don't have time to take Fido or Fluffy to the veterinarian, there's Paws & Claws mobile veterinary service. And if you don't have time to go to the car wash, let the car wash come to your car. Green Steam Mobile Auto Spa (608-288-6772) is not just convenient, it's a green, water-friendly option. Green Steam uses only about one gallon of water to steam-clean your auto inside and out - much less than used in the drive-through style at the filling station. No chemicals in the cleaning, inside or out. A basic-level package includes an inside-and-out cleaning, takes about an hour, and costs $69.