I am grateful for many things, one of which is living in this mountain community. Just breathing in the clean air fragrant with pine, cedar and fir lifts my spirits, until: I get a whiff on the air current from someone’s dryer in the neighborhood spewing out the poisonous smell of some commercial dryer sheet (Bounce, perhaps). Or, the quiet of a Saturday or Sunday morning is disturbed by the neighbor’s leaf blower in the futile endeavor to blow leaves around, at least off his property for the short term, until it blows back, a never-ending cycle — a Sisyphean task.

Those dryer sheets? Toxic. Those leaf blowers? How about raking now and then, maybe every other weekend, thereby giving yourself and your neighbor a break from the cacophony.

Why not take the opportunity to help keep this a beautiful natural environment for all of us to enjoy?   There are alternatives to destructive habits if we choose to look. Research and consider eco-friendly and/or DYI products that work with, not against, the planet, which benefit all the beings that call this home.

For information, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/01/safe-solution-fabric-softeners.aspx.

Emily Roossein



  1. Reply to Emily Roossein:
    The average age group on the Hill is between silver hair and no hair. Along with that vintage calendar comes arthritis pain in the joints.
    1) Raking leaves manually is doable when there are young healthy people to do the task. But The Hill is mostly old and older people.
    2) Laundry dryer sheets: Consider the 1950 alternative, hanging clothes on a clothes line in the front and backyard, visible to the public, which DOES look like trailer trash transient hippie commune living.
    Also, hanging clothes on the line, doesn’t work too well. Birds love to land on the freshly washed clothes and poop. Squirrels are crazy to begin with, well that’s more to get crazy on.

    To solve your dilemma Emily Roossein, please post your phone number and email, and the Town Crier readers will contact you directly, so you can volunteer your abundant time and youthful energy to rake the fire hazard leaves off other people’s property, and also, you might also be volunteering your time to hang other people’s laundry to dry on the line.

    Do you disagree? Do you want OTHERS to live their life the way that YOU dictate and the way YOU approve? but don’t want to be part of the solution either?

    Have you heard this line before?
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    Over the LAND OF THE FREE and the home of the brave

    The QUEEN of ENGLAND has no jurisdiction in Idyllwild.

  2. Okay Becky. I got this. About ninety percent of my property up here can only be efficiently abated of pine needles by hand raking. I find it almost zenlike, enjoy the days spent doing this knowing it’s great exercise and truly does eliminate a major source of fuel that could otherwise decimate my grounds and possibly our house itself. The underwriters for my home owners insurance company have become extraordinarily pissy about frequent abatement of grounds and the roof of our house, even dispatching photographers up here to ascertain if I’m in compliance with their strict abatement requirements. I can certainly understand their concern and I have no problem keeping our property hazard-free. I’d much rather rake pine needles than spend years filing claims with our insurance company and rebuilding. Now, the other ten percent needing abatement involves areas (roof, patio, deck, driveway) more readily handled with a power leaf blower. I have used a 28cc gas “homeowner” leaf blower with a wind speed of 170 mph for many years. It was okay at our previous home, but not fully powerful enough for use up here. Simply put, it takes too long to complete the job and I’m concerned about the noise pollution I create for the neighborhood and, of course, our loyal dog who clearly is annoyed when I run it. I’ve done some research on leaf blowers and plan to upgrade to a “professional grade” 65cc 232 mph blower. The result will be less time necessary to do the job and less noise for the neighborhood. Also, these newer model gas leaf blowers produce less air pollution. Anecdotally, A neighbor employs a groundskeeper to abate her small deck and sidewalk and pays an hourly wage. The groundsman uses a corded electric blower with minimal wind speed you’d expect from an electric blower. It produces an annoying loud sound from the electric motor and takes him several hours to get the job done. It’s my considered opinion that more powerful gas leaf blowers reduces the running time to get the job done and makes everyone happier. Please do take heed idyllwild.