Coronavirus and cleaning

We live in a very unique time with all the threats of coronavirus, COVID-19 surrounding us. People aren’t going out (shouldn’t be going out) unless absolutely necessary, there’s social distancing happening when we do have to get together and grocery stores are sold out of water, toilet paper and basic cleaning supplies.

We’ve talked about and heard about how to wash our hands – Alton Brown’s video is great, until the very end. There’s been debates about if hand sanitizer is actually effective when taking on a virus (again, see Alton Brown’s video about why not). The thing I haven’t seen a ton of is about cleaning surfaces and being careful when cleaning your home and objects in it.

No sob stories, anecdotes or anything here, just a “let’s think about this for a moment” post. Be careful as you deep clean during this time. A big thing not being mentioned that we need to avoid is chemical burns. If you’re using bleach or hydrogen peroxide to clean, you MUST dilute them. The Clorox website, as well as others, say 1:30 ratio, which means 1 part bleach to 30 parts water. So if you’re filling an empty, clean spray bottle, you have to know how much the volume of that spray bottle is and do some math.

You also have to make sure that spray bottle (or whatever you choose to dilute chemicals in) is CLEAN of old chemicals. Remember from high school chemistry, you’re going to want to put the bleach in first then add water slowly. If there are old chemicals in that container, bleach may react terribly with it.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is another used chemical for cleaning that must be diluted. Did you know you can buy H2O2 in various dilutions already? YOU STILL HAVE TO DILUTE IT WITH WATER FOR CLEANING USAGE! I found this website for various dilutions but it seems 1:11 is a good solution for everyday use.

We also don’t think about how using chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide react with our skin with extended use, even if it is diluted properly. Make sure you wear gloves when you clean using chemicals, even the pre-made Clorox wipes (or an equivalent). Wash your hands with soap after using chemicals.

Better yet, consider using vinegar as a cleaning solution. You still have to dilute it but it’s a lot safer for you, your kids and your pets to use in cleaning. There are a TON of websites talking bout using vinegar as a cleaning solution.

Also, as a little self-plug here, I sell Norwex towels. If you’re interested in cleaning with NO chemicals, check out my Norwex website –

Thanks for reading through this personal PSA. Have a great day and enjoy time to yourself, your family and pets during this time.

So, you want to be a music performance major?

I’ve had a few students who have recently come to me, wanting to be music performance majors when they get to college. Students I’ve talked to about becoming a music major have all been interested in one day becoming a band director so this was a bit of a new thought process. The most recent student is mid-way through sophomore year so I feel like it’s critical to get everything on the right track now. So, here are some things I’ve come up with. If I’ve left anything out, please add in the comments.

  • Start private lessons with a college professor.
  • Skype lessons with as many professional musicians as I can connect with them.
  • Summer programs like Tanglewood or Interlochen.
  • Find as many performance gigs as possible.
  • Figure out where professional performers went to school and look into the current procedures of auditioning at those locations.

What else?

Thanks for any input in advance.

Have you joined?

Jamie Oliver has a new show on TV called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Have you seen it yet? He’s doing some potentially amazing things for the community of Huntington, West Virginia. And the thing is, the problem isn’t just there. If you’d like to support the Food Revolution and sign the petition for better food in schools, go do it! Good on ya, Jamie!

Earth Day 2009

I’m not quite sure what “special thing” I’ll do today for Earth Day but I have come to truely believe in the last few years that our home has an expiration date if we don’t consciously work at it, we’ll see that expiration date. I may not be the most resourceful person at it yet but I think about what else I can do almost every day…and put as many things into action as I can, as often as I can.

Living in Texas and being a band director, there are a few things that are difficult to do, like not driving myself everywhere all the time. I am really excited to see that there is a great possibility for a high speed rail system across the US (see below for planned major routes). According to The Austinist, one of those dots on the red line that meets the grey line in the middle of Texas is Austin!!

I’ve mentioned in the past about my garden and compost. New veggies have been planted and some of the peppers from last year are coming back. I started the 2nd box but it still needs more soil (I guess I forgot how much each box needs when I bought this year’s round of soil!) so I’m not sure I’ll get anything planted for the spring season but for sure, I’ll get something in there over the summer that I can harvest in the fall. A little reading must be done so I do this well.

I’ve started to replace light bulbs in my house with the compact flourescents and I even installed an automatic switch for the front porch light. I’m trying to be more conscious of water usage but when Pfema loves to play in the other bathroom sink as I’m getting ready in the morning, it’s hard not to let that faucet drip a little for that time frame. When I first bought my house 3 years ago (can you believe it’s been THREE years already?), the first thing I did was install a programmable A/C controller and I try to have that set quite conservatively, seeing as I’m not home as often as I’d like to be.

The next set of home projects I’ll be working on is finding somewhere I can regularly recycle (the trash companies available in my neighborhood either don’t recycle for my neighborhood or cost too much and take away so very little that it’s not worth it) and change the landscaping of my yard (both front and back) so that it’s more water conservative.

Little steps, folks. Little steps. 🙂

Diane Goryzcki services

From Cathy Humphrey of AISD. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend either….

Diane Goryzcki Service(s) will be held:

Visitation – 6 p.m. Today and Friday
Weed Corley Fish Funeral Home
3125 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Saturday, October 4
10 a.m. Interment at The Austin Memorial Cemetary
2800 Hancock Dr.
Austin, TX 78731
3 p.m. Episcopalian Church of the Good Shephard
3201 Windsor
Austin, TX 78703

A Musical Tribute to Diane will be held on her Birthdate at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 9 at the Hays Performing Arts Center. Please let me know if you would like to bring a performing ensemble.

Cathy Humphrey
Band Director, Covington Middle School
(512) 414-5397