Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty'

Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty': supposedly moles don't like them

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How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard:

'via Blog this' human hair, castor oil, garlic plants and chocolate lilies

Garden Care : Protecting Bulbs from Critters | Bachmans

Garden Care : Protecting Bulbs from Critters | Bachmans:

'via Blog this' Get some Tree Guard to soak bulbs in, make a mixture of castor oil, liquid soap and water to pour over the area, reapplying after rains, sprinkle area with blood meal.

How to Keep Squirrels Away From Tulip Bulbs | Garden Guides

How to Keep Squirrels Away From Tulip Bulbs | Garden Guides:

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Five Common Tulip Pests and How to Stop Them

Five Common Tulip Pests and How to Stop Them:

'via Blog this' squirrel and moles are a problem here, guess I need chicken wire.

Researcher offers toil-free tip to plant tulips

Researcher offers toil-free tip to plant tulips: top planting information. Good to consider since I am thinking of planting along the fence line since it doesn't get as much water as our traditional spot in the front does.

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Planting Tulips | DoItYourself.com

Planting Tulips | DoItYourself.com:

'via Blog this' Plant in area that doesn't get lots of summer water, chose large uncracked bulbs, they like ample sunlight.

Tulip Planting, Growing Tulips, Planting Tulips, Tulip Horticultural information - - White Flower Farm

Tulip Planting, Growing Tulips, Planting Tulips, Tulip Horticultural information - - White Flower Farm:

'via Blog this' ph 6.0 to 6.5, plant before ground freezes, remove blooms when they fade and let leaves yellow before removal. Replenish every two years. Don't water in summer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make Your Own Brown Sauce for Chinese Dishes

Basic Asian Brown Sauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

In a saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch.
Stir in chicken broth and soy sauce. Cook and stir until mixture bubbles.
Lower heat and add chopped garlic. Cook until thickene

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

10 Fantastic Towns for Fall

10 Fantastic Towns for Fall:

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MISTY'S MORNINGS: gluten free post.

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Never a Dull Moment - Marvelous Mommy Monday–Homemade Toothpaste!

Never a Dull Moment - Marvelous Mommy Monday–Homemade Toothpaste!:

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My Heart Art: Want Royalty-Free Artwork?

My Heart Art: Want Royalty-Free Artwork?:

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My Heart Art: 52 Lists - Week 13 and A Quick Tip for MESSY Artists!

My Heart Art: 52 Lists - Week 13 and A Quick Tip for MESSY Artists!: The thick brown papers in between stock at big box stores are perfect for covering space for messy art work.

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Find Things to Do In Kansas! | Kansas Sampler Foundation

Find Things to Do In Kansas! | Kansas Sampler Foundation:

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Yahoo! Finance - Financially Fit

Yahoo! Finance - Financially Fit:

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31 Days Projects

There is currently a blog party going on through The Nester's blog where participants use the 31 days in October to post every day on a particular subject/project of their choice.  I guess the is the 3rd year for this party.  I am really enjoying some of the bloggers subjects and thought I would use this post to mention some of them.

  1. 31 Days of Anti-Laziness by 2027 is one that speaks to me is a huge way.  I like the humor she presents her topic with, the shear simplicity of it and the fact that she is getting some of those pesky things done and then asking herself, "now why did that take so long for me to just do it" or similar thoughts.  I would like to replicate this 31 day project myself so look for entries on that in the coming months.  The link in this entry will take you to the main page of Jenna's blog.  I was unfamiliar with this blog until the 31 Day Project but I find her to be adorable.
  2. 31 Days of Bible Women by Stef Layton is a great little study on women in the Bible, Stef has written some great entries on these women and I am enjoying them.  They all give you something to think about.  I was unfamiliar with this blog until the 31 Day Project, it looks like her focus is on living a Bible based life.
  3. At Shaggy Baggy, the blogger is facing her fears so to speak of vegetables.  She is making it a point to add vegetables to each day this month.  Really good idea and one that I should implement ASAP.  So far the entries that have appealed to me are the Eggplant Fries, Southwest Layered Salad, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, Super Easy Broccoli, and Cauliflower Hash Browns.

A Day in the Life of a Once a Month Cleaner - Steady Mom

An excellent article full of very wise words. The last two paragraphs talk about freeing yourself from unrealistic expectations that no one asked you to do anyway and about not frittering away time on insignificant details.  Awesome wisdom imparted in those words and for the whole article click on the link. A Day in the Life of a Once a Month Cleaner - Steady Mom:

Some other wisdom from this blogger is:

  •  My cleaning motto is "work smarter, not longer." I aim to focus on what matters - cleaning for order, peace, and hygiene. Anything else is an unnecessary distraction.
  • I like cleaning what really needs to be cleaned. If I can see dirt and remove it, I feel I'm helping my family. But if I'm working on something just cleaned a few days ago, it seems a bit pointless.
  •  If the cleaners could deep clean my whole house once a month, why couldn't I? Turns out I can, and I've been doing so for the past three months.
  • Here’s how it works. I searched online for a traditional cleaning checklist (Here’s an example) and created my own based on our home and what needs to be done every four weeks.
  • The focus for the rest of the month becomes keeping the house tidy and doing any essentials–wiping the bathroom or vacuuming the floor. It’s amazing how a tidy, uncluttered house can fool people into thinking it’s clean.
  • Here are the benefits I’ve found in once-a-month cleaning.
  • 1. It isn’t always on my mind.

    By cleaning every four weeks, I’m only deep cleaning my house 13 times a year–hooray for that!  
     My calendar lets me know exactly when the house will be clean again. Nothing hangs “undone” over my head.

    2. It reflects our family’s values and helps me combat perfectionism.

    I honestly don’t want to be remembered for having an immaculate house. 
    It also helps me combat perfectionism–by working this way I’m declaring that ‘this level of cleanliness is enough.’ I’m not striving for something that isn’t really important to me anyway.

    3. I’m cleaning when it really needs to be done.

    In the past, when I cleaned on a weekly basis, my rotation list would occasionally tell me to clean something that didn’t look dirty. I found it hard to get motivated.
  • 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why we bought a Costco membership…

Why we bought a Costco membership…:

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FAQ: Costco Best Buys | Faithful Provisions

FAQ: Costco Best Buys | Faithful Provisions:  Need to read this in more depth.

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Vanderbilt Wife: 31 Days of Reading Well: Day 4

Vanderbilt Wife: 31 Days of Reading Well: Day 4:  Check for comments for further recommendations.

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Vizu Panel

Vizu Panel: Research This

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Outfits for All Occasions

Outfits for All Occasions:

Let’s face it, ladies, we wear many fabulous hats in our busy lives, and sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough minutes in the day! Who has time to run home to consult her closet before the next iCalendar commitment? That’s why strategic style is an essential element of a well-balanced fashion diet for every gal-on-the-go. It’s all about starting with a foundational ensemble that you can build on (or in some cases, deconstruct!) to take you through from day to night!


Bundle up for kick off, then shed a few layers and toss on your Necco Belt to arrive sleek and chic to the after party!


A statement belt can do wonders to take your sweet daytime style up a romantic notch.


Go from supermom to style maven simply by throwing on a sleek ponte jacket and statement accessories.


A big day followed by a low-key night doesn’t meet you have to look boring. When you’re professional posh by day, let your hair down and loosen up at night!


Mesmerized by your fabulous faux fur shrug, no one will ever know you did yoga in your ponte pants this morning!

cabi-outfit_for_all_occasions-brunch_to_broadway-3A fashionable front tuck truly transforms! Create an oh-so-lovely hourglass silhouette by tucking the flowy Ruffle Tunic into your Miranda Skirt, and finish off your theater ready look with the Salt & Pepper Coat.

cabi-outfit_for_all_occasions-field_trip_to_book_club-3Comfort is key for a bus ride with the kiddos, but add in some personal flair for an evening with your creative cohorts.

The Benefits of Bone Broth | Nourished Kitchen

The Benefits of Bone Broth | Nourished Kitchen:

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Eliminating Sugar- Frugally, Naturally

Eliminating Sugar- Frugally, Naturally: I need to read this article again when I have more time.

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Onion Soup Mix

I got this from Heavenly Homemaker, an awesome site, by the way, for frugal, healthy recipes. (Only she uses gluten... so most of her recipes don't work for me. Oh well...)

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder (make your own by whizzing up dried onion flakes in the food processor or coffee grinder)
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt (you want celery salt that is mostly salt with just a bit of celery seed- not pure celery seed ground up, or your soup mix will be bitter and not have enough saltiness to it)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sucanat or sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1. Mix it all up. Shake it very well, because the heavy spices will settle to the bottom.

That's it!

4 tablespoons of this onion soup mix equals 1 packet of onion soup mix.

Decor Adventures: How to Grow Pumpkins

Decor Adventures: How to Grow Pumpkins:

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How to avoid the after school slump (and grump) with these fruit and veggie snacks — Simple Mom

How to avoid the after school slump (and grump) with these fruit and veggie snacks — Simple Mom:

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Why the Body Requires Minerals - Essential Nutrients | Suite101.com

Why the Body Requires Minerals - Essential Nutrients | Suite101.com:

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Chromium Facts: Health Benefits, Food Sources, and Deficiency Symptoms of Chromium | Suite101.com

Chromium Facts: Health Benefits, Food Sources, and Deficiency Symptoms of Chromium | Suite101.com:

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Adult women in the United States consume about 23 to 29 mcg of chromium per day from food, which meets their AIs unless they're pregnant or lactating. In contrast, adult men average 39 to 54 mcg per day, which exceeds their AIs [14].

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Chromium

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Chromium:

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7 Things To Know About Food Cravings | The Diet Channel

7 Things To Know About Food Cravings | The Diet Channel:

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crave sweets - add trace minerals
crave sweets -- you may have overgrowth of yeast in intestines

Do you crave chocolate?
You have a calcium/magnesium imbalance. Women crave chocolate before their menses due to hormone changes. The magnesium in chocolate helps create a sense of relaxation by making long-chain fatty acids. However, chocolate has chemicals in it that are psychoneurotic chemicals. These chemicals can create highs and lows. An alternative is to have mixed greens everyday. Mixed greens are a great source of magnesium and help with the craving for chocolate. You have a nutritional deficiency, and a hormonal imbalance.

Do you crave sugar, pop, breads, pasta, and potatoes?
Generally, people who crave sugar have poor fuel-burning capacity in their bodies. You really need minerals. You can have huge fluctuations in your days, real highs and then very low lows. You are often moody and irritable, and feel fatigued with low stamina, often blaming “getting older” as the reason for your reduced energy. You have a nutritional deficiency and a hormonal imbalance than could lead to hypoglycemia or pre-diabetes.

Do you love to eat Pizza and bread?
You most likely have a yeast problem. Emotionally, you can have mood swings up and down, with chronic allergies and digestive distress. You have a sugar/hormonal imbalance, and nutritional deficiencies. You also have digestive issues with poor metabolism, weight gain, and increasing fatigue.

Vitamin Deficiencies Associated with Chocolate Cravings

According to Russell J. Martino,Ph.D, individuals who constantly have a craving for chocolate may actually have a deficiency in vitamin B or magnesium. Chocolate cravings can be curbed by increasing amounts of raw nuts, seeds, beans and fruits in an individual's daily diet. In addition, the supplement flax seed oil may also assist in lessening the craving for chocolate.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/268187-cravings-vitamin-deficiencies/#ixzz1ZjeB7Qv8

If you are often craving chocolate, it can actually be the bodys way of telling you that you are lacking the vital and very important mineral, magnesium in your body.
When your body is lacking of a certain vitamin or mineral, it will send you signals to motivate you to eat certain foods which contain the items your body needs to function properly. And when it comes to magnesium, chocolate comes to the top of the list.
Magnesium has many vital functions for your body. The lack of magnesium can cause insomnia, mood swings and nightly muscle cramps. Especially runners or highly sportsactive people need magnesium to prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium produces serotonin, which is what makes the body feel relaxed. Without it, your body will not get into balance after for example a long run, and your muscles will never relax, which will cause the cramps.
Other than this, magnesium fills out many functions in your body, and is important for your nerves, your growth, energy, digestion and brain. Together with calcium and, I would say that magnesium is THE most important mineral.

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/392611_craving-chocolate-your-body-needs-magnesium#ixzz1ZjfX0vjF

Chocolate and Moods - I think you may have heard of endorphins, the chemicals made in the brain that cause feelings of pleasure, and cheer you up. Chocolate stimulates endorphin production in the brain, this is why you often crave chocolate when you are emotionally upset. Chocolate is also high in something called "amines" , there are good and bad amines in the body and in food and chemicals in the environment Unfortunately chocolate is loaded with the bad, toxic type. The body needs to neutralize these bad amines and does it with an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO). When you eat a lot of chocolate, and on a regular basis you keep these MAO levels high, this then creates a second problem which is a depletion of some good amines, serotonin and dopamine. A lack of these good brain chemicals creates depression, sleep problems and more food cravings. If these levels are low on a consistent basis they can create a wide variety of symptoms:

  • Cravings for carbohydrates
  • Vague muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Binge eating
  • Tension headaches, migraine headaches
  • PMS headaches, mood swings, and body aches
  • Generalized fatigue
  • Joint swellings
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior
  • Addictions (alcohol, smoking, stimulants)

  • 7 Supplements that Help Stop Cravings

    The ability to stop cravings is important for any diet. Cravings for sweets or junk food can be difficult to resist, and indulging in those cravings can lead to set backs in your diet and workout programs. Cravings usually indicate a nutritional deficiency in your body. Taking certain vitamin or mineral supplements can stop cravings before you indulge. Here are the 7 supplements that can aid in your ability to stop cravings.

    1. Chromium

    Cravings often occur because blood sugar is low. Chromium aids in the regulation of your blood sugar by helping insulin get the sugar quickly to your cells. This helps to stop cravings for food high in carbs and sugars.

    2. L-Glutamine

    L-Glutamine is an amino acid that sends a message to your brain that a craving for sweets has been fulfilled. It can be helpful to stop cravings that are particularly strong. Dissolving the powder under your tongue can help stop cravings faster than taking a tablet.

    3. Magnesium

    Magnesium offers several benefits when it comes to the craving of sweets and chocolate. First, like chromium, magnesium helps with the regulation of insulin and blood sugar. Secondly, magnesium helps to balance the emotional part of the brain, and a deficiency of magnesium can increase the craving of chocolate which stimulates that part of the brain. Finally, magnesium can aid with stress and insomnia which can contribute to unhealthy cravings.

    4. Pheylalanine

    Many cravings occur because our brain chemicals are imbalanced. An amino acid known as pheylalanine can help raise your endorphin levels to help restore balance of brain chemistry. If you overeat because of emotional problems, this supplement can help stop cravings.

    5. Trace Mineral Supplements

    Deficiency of these required minerals can lead to cravings of salty or sugary junk foods. Many supplements exist that can help you get a proper amount of these trace minerals that may be lacking in processed foods and will aid to stop cravings.

    6. L-Tryptophan

    Low levels of serotonin have been known to cause cravings. The amino acid L-tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and its use can help stop cravings by increasing the production of serotonin in the body. In addition, L-tryptophan requires the use of several vitamins, such as vitamin C, zinc and folic acid to produce serotonin, so taking a multivitamin in addition to an L-tryptophan supplement is beneficial. The supplement 5-HTP can also be used in place of L-tryptophan.

    7. Zinc

    Deficiencies of zinc lead to a decreased sense of taste. Due to a lowered sensation in your taste buds, your body begins to crave high sugary snacks since those types of flavors are more pronounced. By taking zinc supplements, you can stop cravings by satisfying your taste buds with an increased sense of taste in everything you eat.
    Cravings for sweets, chocolate and junk food can many times be attributed to a nutritional deficiency in some other area. Taking these supplements can help to stop cravings like these, but it would be better to make sure you receive the proper nutrition in everything you e

WallBuilders | Presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.

WallBuilders | Presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.:

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Trust Us. We’re the

Trust Us. We’re the: book recommendations

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Low Salt Foods

Low Salt Foods:

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Avoid Foods High in Sodium

The following foods usually contain large amounts of sodium. Try
 to avoid or consume only
 small quantities. See Low Salt Products for lower sodium alternatives.
  • Bakery items — bagels, artisan breads, donuts and pastries
  • Canned foods — soups, meats, fish, sauerkraut, beans and
  •  vegetables
  • Convenience items — frozen dinners, pizza, cereals and
  •  packaged mixes
  •  (such as pancakes, food “helpers,” stuffing and rice dishes)
  • Dairy products — cheese and cottage cheese
  • Deli items — bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, 
  • smoked meats or fish,
  •  sausage, sardines, anchovies and mayonnaise-based salads
  •  (like coleslaw 
  • and potato salad)
  • Snack foods — crackers, chips and dips
  • Condiments — Dijon mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, salad 
  • dressings, pickles,
  •  olives, capers and salsa
  • Sauces — gravy, barbecue, pasta, teriyaki and soy sauces
  • Baking needs — self-rising flour, baking and biscuit mixes,
  •  bouillon cubes, batter and coating mixes, packaged
  •  seasoning mixes,
  •  breadcrumbs, corn syrup, cooking wines, meat tenderizers,
  •  monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking powder and
  •  baking soda
  • Beverages — tomato and vegetable juices, Bloody Mary
  •  and chocolate drink mixes

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From Dear Lissy

Keep in mind that for most women crying demonstrates anger or frustration more than true sorrow.  It's the male equivalent of a good left hook.

Growing Lawrence

Growing Lawrence:

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Eat Wild - Kansas

Eat Wild - Kansas:

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Red clover is in season: Foraging and medicinal use - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com

Red clover is in season: Foraging and medicinal use - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com:

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Natural treatment for seasonal allergies - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com

Natural treatment for seasonal allergies - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com:

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Biking 101: How to find great bike trails in Kansas City - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com

Biking 101: How to find great bike trails in Kansas City - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com:

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Foods that prevent colds and flu - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com

Foods that prevent colds and flu - Kansas City Alternative Medicine | Examiner.com:

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ten little known ways to save money when building your survival food storage stockpile

Great article at The Survivalist Blog - click on title to read the entire article.

1) Coupons. At Walgreens and CVS you can get stuff for free practically every week… vitamins, body wash, hair clips, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash. You pay out-of-pocket, then they give you rewards dollars to use next time, and you keep rolling them.

Walgreens also has store coupons in their circulars for cheap food pretty much all the time. If there is a BOGO sale and you have a BOGO coupon, you get both items free. Search the internet. I use SouthernSavers.com and they list all the deals and coupons for you.

If nothing else, think of these as potential barter items, but the vitamins are definitely a good item to keep on hand when you’re not getting the nutrition you should and your stress level is through the roof. To me, Wags and CVS trips are fun. I go in and get over $200 retail value, pay maybe $20, and get $15 back to spend next time… that’s pretty typical and it doesn’t include rebates that some manufacturers offer.

2) Clearance Aisles – My grocery store has a clearance section where (for example) I’ve been finding cans of pinto beans for 20-cents, and they aren’t close to their expiration date nor are they damaged, they just aren’t selling or maybe the brand shut that line down. Even outside the clearance aisle they have bags of beans for 99-cents every day. Throw a bag in your cart each time you shop. (and find some recipes to make them taste good or you’ll hate yourself after the first week… did you know they have pinto bean pie??? It actually sounds good.)

3) Amazon Subscribe & Save - I ran across this when I was looking for healthy, portable, food that doesn’t require refrigeration for my husband who is currently in Afghanistan, plus I also realized that I could keep some on hand for hurricane season.

You subscribe to their shipment service and get a 15% discount, shipping is free, plus they ship your order automatically in 1, 2, 3 or 6 months increments that you choose. They notify you prior to shipment and you can cancel one shipment or all shipments.

This is not a Guthy-Renker kind of cancellation, you do it on their website, it’s automatic, no one hassles you – it’s GREAT!!! I buy pouches of applesauce (baby food, but hey… it’s good), dried fruit, shelf stable sandwiches, etc. On occasion they even offer additional coupons to entice you in; if it’s something you would have bought anyway, that’s a great deal!

4) eFoods Global - They will send you three free entrees of your choice. You have to watch a video that tries very hard to get you to become a distributor… do as you wish, I ignored it. During the video they have a few poll-type questions, answer however you choose.

After that you select your entrees and pay $10 for S+H, and they deliver it to your house. I got one followup email asking if I’d tried it yet and what I thought, but after that no contact, no hassle. I didn’t give them my real phone number, so I can’t say if they tried to call or not, but I doubt it.

I was hesitant to pay the S+H, but my husband thought it was reasonable, and after the box arrived it did seem to be… the bags were larger than I expected and the weight of them probably did justify the cost. They look delicious (I am not a distributor).

5) Thrive Foods – This site has pouches available so you aren’t investing in #10 cans unless you want to / need to (but they do have #10 cans). They also have interesting items like freeze-dried shortening, powdered eggs and freeze-dried butter. Hell, I want it just because every time I buy shortening it goes bad before I use it, and since I married a Cajun… I need to learn to cook gumbo. They also have a “Q” where you set a monthly budget, add the items you’re interested in, and they will automatically group and ship the items to you. (also not a distributor)

6) Coleman Camping Meals – If you don’t want to order anything online, these are available at Target in the camping section and are probably also available at other places where they sell camping equipment. My husband said the cheesy pasta was really good.

7) The fish aisle (for if it REALLY gets bad) – I never knew this, but fish use antibiotics, and you don’t need a prescription to get them. Farm supply stores carry them as well. I hope never to need them, but if I do, I have them. Amazon.com has several suppliers of amoxicillin, tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, penicillin, etc. I saw some at PetSmart, but it was in powder form (not a capsule) so I passed on that.

You shouldn’t use antibiotics if you don’t have to, and until it gets to the point that there is no doctor to prescribe them to me I have no intentions of ever using them, but it makes me feel better to know they’re there. That said, you need to know how to use them, so you will also need some sort of PDR or nursing book, I found an AARP guide to pills at my local used bookseller for $10. Raw garlic also has antibiotic properties if you want to go that route instead. Google it and the info is out there.

8) Clove oil – Good for toothaches. Lavender oil – a topical disinfectant, also repels fleas. Cedar oil – magic against bugs and safe for humans and pets, young and old.

9) Church of Latter Day Saints – I don’t care if you’re Mormon or not, and neither do they. They offer #10 cans of several pantry staples at less than a lot of the emergency food type websites. They also have a starter kit that I ordered once. There is no followup contact, they slip a pamphlet in the box and they’re done:

10) Bath & Body Works – Believe it or not… They regularly have 5 for $15 or 7 for $20 antibacterial soap sales, especially around Christmas time. It’s an inexpensive way to stock up on soap, and not just soap, but soap that smells like heaven. I’m not just saying that because I’m a woman, I think that when things get bad you need a little normalcy in your life and things that make you feel good… treats if you will.

That said, I once had a nightmare that the SHTF and someone warned me that I shouldn’t go out there smelling all good when everyone around me stank or I’d stick out like a sore thumb; everyone would know I wasn’t suffering. Sometimes dreams can be very insightful… but blending in is another topic altogether… Smile

What you stock up on and in what quantities is up to you. The trick is not to concentrate on just one aspect of prepping, or to get bogged down by the enormity of the task.

Start with what is most immediately possible where you live… on the west coast that’s earthquakes, on the gulf coast it’s hurricanes, in the north it is snowstorms. Branch out from there and tailor it to your needs. Little by little you’ll start to build up a stash that will give you piece of mind.

Please share your ideas in the comments below…

Originally at: The Survivalist Blog dot Net -Copyright © 2011 · M.D. Creekmore · All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 2, 2011

Quick Bathroom Redo

Quick Bathroom Redo: I can't believe I forgot to post pictures of the
bathroom after I painted the cabinets.
I did forget to take before pictures though...errr.
I hate when I do that. : )
Well...just picture yucky oak builders grade
cabinets with no handles.
Now, let me make it known that
not all oak cabinets are created equal.
My parents actually have some pretty oak cabinets.
Mine were not so lovely.
After the kitchen redo,
I was kind of hankering to redo the bathrooms.
Enter tons of snow and plenty of free time.
We had a little break in the snow and ran to
Wal-Mart before the next snow came in.
I grabbed these supplies and got started that night.
I wanted to do them a little differently than the
kitchen cabinets, and try to avoid all of the sanding,
so I thought I would give some new products a try:

-TSP alternative
-stripping pads

VERDICT: I love this method!
It was the easiest pre-paint prep ever!
It totally stripped the surface!Step one: wash with the TSP alternative
Step two: scrub like crazy with the stripping pads
Step three: wash them off and dry them....Prep done!
No shiny...just matte and ready to paint. : )
Then I just painted them.
It's important to take your time with this.
1. The first night, I did two coats on the back sides of the
cabinets, the faux drawers and the main bathroom cabinet.
2. The next day, after plenty of drying time,
I turned the cabinets over & painted that side
--again two coats. Let dry.
3. Later that night I distressed the edges of the cabinets
using my handy dandy nail file method and
asked my sweet husband to drill holes and attach
the knobs for me and rehang them.
4. We left the cabinets open to allow them more drying
time over night...just to be sure. : )
Yea! So much better! I also painted the little book holder
that you can see in the above picture. It used have a little
palm tree on it that I had painted to match our other bathroom.I used a little white paint and then distressed it with some black paint.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A BIG Announcement! "A Year on a Homestead" Video Series

A BIG Announcement! "A Year on a Homestead" Video Series

All About Yellow Jackets, Bees and Their Kin, Wasps, Hornets: Gardener's Supply

All About Yellow Jackets, Bees and Their Kin, Wasps, Hornets: Gardener's Supply:

'via Blog this'

Maiden D'Shade: Metallic glaze tutorial

Maiden D'Shade: Metallic glaze tutorial:

'via Blog this'

Three Dogs At Home: Picture That!

Three Dogs At Home: Picture That!:

'via Blog this'

You can aparently spray paint mats from old frames. Hmmm

Three Dogs At Home: Design is in the Details

Three Dogs At Home: Design is in the Details:

'via Blog this'

Use this idea for painting our brass fixtures.

Eye Exercises

Very interesting information for anyone whose eyesight is not perfectthese exercises strengthen the muscles around the eye.

  1. Rotation: Imagine a huge clock right in front of you, and slowly move your eyes from 12 to 1 to 2 and all the way around 5 times. Focus at each stop. Then do it 5 times in the opposite direction. Repeat 3 times a day.

  2. Alternating focus: Focus your eyes on something quite close, and then on something about 6 m (20 ft) away. Continue alternating your focus from close to far for about 5 minutes, and do this 3 or 4 times a day.

  3. Pencil pushups: Hold your finger or a pencil up at arm’s length and focus on it while slowly moving it to your nose. When the image doubles, move your finger back a bit and focus on it for a few seconds. You should do 10 repetitions 3 times a day until you can bring your finger to the tip of your nose without it appearing double.

  4. Relaxation: Rest your eyes regularly if you’re reading, working at the computer, or doing other close work. This means that every thirty minutes, you should take at least 30 seconds to focus on something distant. (A friend’s son was ordered to take a five-minute break every 20 minutes to save his eyesight. Same principle, I suppose.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy Grilled Vegetables


I could eat these easy grilled vegetables every day. And in the summer, we almost do. Sometimes it's just one type (green beans rise to new height done this way!) or a couple (zucchini and onion), but most of the time we grill a variety.

And you know that if I love something, you will be hearing about it sooner or later- so today I'm happy ecstatic to share how we grill vegetables, so you can eat them everyday, too.

We used to just grill slices of single vegetables - you know, slice the zucchini (or tomato, or onion...), carefully place them on the grill, and turn them with tongs until they were ready to eat. It usually took up a lot of room and was more work.

Then one day last summer we found a grill basket in the back of a cupboard that Brian's folks had given us and decided to grill up a few vegetables with it.

Oh. My. It was love - deep love - at the first bite. Why had this been sitting in our cupboard for so long? Who knows, and who cares, because this basket is in almost daily use during the grilling season.

With a grilling basket (a wok-like "pan" with holes), you can chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces without worry - as long as they are bigger than the holes they won't fall through the grill'

After the vegetables are chopped (it's best to make them about the same size as you're able), just toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, LOTS of garlic, and some red pepper flakes for a bit of spiciness.

This is perfect for using up handfuls of veggies- either as they're ripening from the garden, or what you need to use up from the fridge. This time my bowl contained both- just a few mushrooms and a red pepper from the fridge plus onion, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, carrots and potato from the garden.

I don't usually add potatoes, but I had just harvested some that I wanted to use up, and in order for these, the cauliflower, and the carrots to be done in the same amount of time as the other vegetables, I microwaved them with water to steam for a few minutes - just until they were crisp-tender. I sliced the potatoes pretty thin, but I should've pre-cooked them a bit more, because they still took longer than I wanted.

the best way to cook them is to start them over high heat for a few minutes without stirring. This seems to get some of the juices cooked out and starts the nice charring effect.

Then he stirs them around a bit, closes the lid and lets them cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they are nicely browned and cooked through (though still crisp), with spots of wonderful, grilled-marked goodness.

  • For an Asian flavor add some sesame oil and soy sauce instead of the olive and salt. And for spiciness, our favorite Sriracha sauce adds a nice bite.
  • For a Middle-Eastern or Thai flavor try adding a teaspoon or so of curry powder and tossing them with a can of coconut milk after they're grilled and serve over rice.
  • Purposely make extra to have enough to add to a pasta salad the next day.
How will you use these vegetables?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cutting the Grid Apron Strings, One Appliance at a Time...

Very interesting article on practical ways to look at being less of an energy user from the homestead revival, suggest you visit Amy's site to see the entire entry plus the comments, link is my title.

I've been thinking a lot about reducing our electric and natural gas bills as of late. Who hasn't? It's a crazy world out there and prices keep rising, not to mention the fact that as a culture in general, we're very vulnerable in the area of electricity and fossil fuel dependency.

Our goal or focus as a family has been to 1) reduce our utility bills and 2) to become less dependent on utility companies in general. Living "off grid" meant either going with solar or wind power and producing our own energy. There really wasn't any other alternative in our minds.

But after reading a few blogs, conversing with Brenda of Freedom Acres Farm, and then reading Michael Bunker's book, Surviving Off Off-Grid, I've learned a lot over the last month and it's changed my mind a bit about our choices.

Going on solar power or wind power should only be seen as an intermediate step because you're only trading one dependency for another. This isn't to say you shouldn't use solar power, wind power, or some other alternative power source, but it isn't the grand solution to end all issues. Seeing solar as a way to ease into a life of less dependency is a more realistic option. And before one can even consider an alternative power source, you've got to cut back on your current dependency. Brenda really helped me see the need for this (thanks, Brenda!).

Now if I were to suddenly go through my house and trash every electrical appliance or gadget, I'd certainly have a mutiny on my hands, quick as a wink! And I won't attempt to list all our energy dependent appliances, but what I'm trying to do is cut the apron strings to the grid one appliance at a time. Let me give you an example...

This has been our coffee pot for the last several years. It's usually used on a daily basis, heating the coffee for about 2 hours before the hot plate shuts off unless we think about it and turn it off manually (not often). We like it a lot except that it stopped working the other day despite my regular cleanings and maintenance. Normally, we would have immediately gone out and purchased something similar, but this time, I talked with my husband about considering alternatives.

One option that we already had in the back of a cabinet is a French Press. I purchased this a couple of years ago when we were traveling, attending a retreat, and I needed my own low-acid coffee. It's a straightforward alternative in which you place the grounds inside the bottom, pour boiling water over them, stir, let steep for a minute, and then gently press the plunger down over the grounds. You can then pour your coffee. The French Press is easy to clean and simple to operate.

The drawback to the French Press is that it can't go directly onto a heat source (at least mine can't), the glass could easily break, and it doesn't keep the coffee hot. Think of this as an immediate coffee maker in which the coffee should be consumed as soon as it's brewed. Mine will make about 3-4 regular cups, so it's fine if you have a small group. However, if you want another cup, you'd need to start over.

A second alternative was an old fashion percolator; my husband's preference. We purchased this stainless steel model at an army surplus store before our camping trip to the coast. Another uncomplicated device, which holds coffee grounds in a basket containing small holes, while pumping heated water up a tube into the basket, allowing the water to wash over the grounds and then drain through the holes back into the pot. The cycle repeats itself until it's brewed to your preference. Since the holes in the basket are small, large grounds don't come through, but smaller grounds do. Some opt to use a paper filter inside the basket to prevent this.

The percolator can go directly on the heat source, keeps the coffee hotter, and can serve more people. Plus, you don't need to start over for that second cup.

Now both of these alternatives require an initial purchase, both of which probably required some kind of fossil fuels to fabricate and deliver. But neither require an on going fuel source other than the simple heating of water, either in the pot itself or another receptacle. An open flame from a campfire would do the job. Neither of these options would I leave on for 2 HOURS to brew. I'm actually hoping to try the percolator on my wood stove this winter to see if it will get hot enough to actually work. If so, that's a heat source I'm already using, but I would be using it for more than one purpose.

Both options brew coffee differently than a drip coffee maker and thus both cause the coffee to taste a bit different. I don't know how to suggest testing this to see which is to your liking other than asking around to see if a friend has one of these to borrow. There will always be those who insist one is preferable over another. Let me just say, we're foodies to a certain degree, and a good cup of coffee is to be relished, but the truth be told, in time, you'll adjust to whatever you have - a probably like it.

One thing to consider if you are opting for the French Press... get a thermos. The kind that they use in coffee shops. Fortunately, I already had one and this did not require a new purchase (see mine in the photo). I can't tell you the number of times I've used this thing! Well worth the purchase price, I can assure you! In the winter, I use it for my hot beverage bar if I'm not using my electric tea kettle (which I'm reconsidering now!). Just heat one large batch of water each morning, pour it in the thermos, and you have hot water all day long. Instead of using electricity several times a day, you're only using it once a day, unless of course, you decide to heat your water on the wood stove!

Now you might be thinking that this little change isn't much and so why bother? What's the difference in a little ol' coffee pot? It's a small change indeed. But little things add up over time. Imagine changing 12 of your appliances over the course of a year? One per month? That would start to make an impact, now wouldn't it. Maybe not in terms of the world, but in your own immediate world, it certainly would! And if you're considering solar power, you're more than likely going to need to reduce your electrical usage if you want to go off grid anyway.

If we were to install solar realistically (and believe me, we've looked into it with 3 different companies), we could only generate 60% of what we are currently using. We'd still need to purchase the additional 40% of electricity - ON A GOOD DAY! That means, to be totally off-grid, we'd need to reduce our energy consumption by 40-50% before the solar was ever installed. Puts things into perspective a bit more, doesn't it?

Ryobi Power Usage Meter
A power meter will help give you an idea of how much each appliance is using in terms of kilowatt hours and how much that's costing you as well. We purchased ours, but I understand some local libraries will allow you to check these out if they have them. A quick google search showed me several right off the top. Once again, you may feel that your appliance isn't using that much electricity, so why bother. But a drop on the bucket adds up!

Obviously, each person will have that one appliance they just don't want to give up and they'd rather pay to use it. This is exactly why we should be allowed to govern our own lives and not have the government tell us what we can and cannot use. What's important to me, may not be important to you and visa versa. But it's good to know there are alternatives, what they are, how to use them, and if possible, obtain them as a back up. Just in case.