Tip for the day — Tame those pesky caliche dust bunnies!

As I’m sitting here looking out the window tonight, we have a cold front descending upon us and the winds are kicking up and gusting from 40-45 mph. It takes a lot to shake the Silver Bullet and she is certainly shaking tonight!

As I see dust devils forming and swirling all around us, I thought of how I solved a particular situation regarding my lids for leftover containers.

Last week, Bob was getting a container out to put some leftovers into and noticed the lids (which sit in an open basket on the roll-away butcher block stand) had a film of caliche dust on them. He asked me if they were safe to use or if he should wash them all. Actually, he asked it I should wash them all but… never mind.

I told him that most of them had been washed recently, but they seemed to be a magnet for this incessant dust. I don’t have room in the cabinets to put them and no drawer space available for them either. Sooooooo…

I had a brain storm (Bob says they are brain clouds but we won’t go there right now).

We have an expanded queen Sleep Number bed and we love it. But that size is not common at all so it’s impossible to find sheets to fit it in the store. Besides, I love the way Sleep Number makes their bedding accessories and the quality of their sheets. I also love the way they pack their sheets… in a heavy-weight, zippered plastic bag.

Before I continue, the reason I needed to order a second set of sheets if because it’s almost impossible to keep one lonely set clean when someone is usually sleeping on them. With our shifts on this job, the bed is never empty for vert long. And even with our own washer/dryer, it’s hard to have enough time to get the sheets done up before the next sleep shift.

So I finally ordered a second set of sheets from Sleep Number.

I don’t know about you, but I never want to throw away those neat bags with zippers on them, but I never know what to do with them either… until now!

Dust-free lids... just a matter of recycling 😀

As I pulled the sheets out of their zippered bag, an idea hit me. Wash & dry all the lids in the basket (including my measuring cups) and give them a dust-free home inside this bag. It sits well in the same spot on the roll-around table so they are handy. Best thing is they are always clean. Even the lids to my biggest containers fit with ease. And all I had to do was recycle the bag the sheets came in. A FREE solution. Can’t beat that!

Hope this tip is of use to you. I welcome you to share any tips you may have that would be useful to others. Just leave a comment to this post and all the people who follow the Blue Heron blog can benefit from your experiences.

Till next time,


One more thing… as you know, we are working a twin gate here on the ranch. A couple of weeks ago we got new neighbors. Jerry & Charlene are delightful people! They are originally from Amarillo and have been full-timers for about 5-years now. We’ve chatted over the fence many times since they arrived. When Bob went to town today, I decided to go visit. We have slowed way down and it’s nice to have the time to go next door and visit with our neighbors.


8 thoughts on “Tip for the day — Tame those pesky caliche dust bunnies!

  1. What a great idea! I had to wake DH at 3 a.m. to take down the awning because of the wind gusts. We weren’t suppose to get the wind till 10 a.m. but it cam early. So DH just stayed up and I got to go to sleep early. Yesterday we had the air conditioning on and today we put on the electric heater for a bit….crazy weather!

    Thanks for your blog. It’s nice to read about someone else doing this kind of work.

    • Yeah… that wind was wicked and hit us around 4 am. We had taken our Gazebo down yesterday in anticipation. Glad we did! Or poor Bob would have been awakened. Do you work nights also?

  2. Nice idea. I never throw them away. I have several at home with stuff packed in them. Keep the ideas coming i enjoy reading how other gate guard are coping with the dust.

    • Yep, the dust is nasty. And if you are super busy, it just keeps piling up. But this is still a good job with good money. I’m glad we found it. Although, I had to go to town today and that 9.2 mile drive to the hard road was horrible after the rains. Yuck!
      Glad you like the tip. I also have a lot of things in containers, as much to keep the food smells from attracting critters as to keep the dust out of everything at least!

  3. I am totally appropriating the term brain clouds! It suits my normal state of mind to a T!
    I keep most of my yarn and comleted projects in those wonderful blanket bags. My entire family knows to keep them for me. As much of my packaged food as possible is also decanted into plastic containers . In fact I have been known to by certain snacks for Jim because I need the container.
    Hoping to join you, Debbie, Bobbie, and the rest on a gate later this year.

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