Sunday, August 30, 2009

INDEPENDANCE DAYS CHALLENGE, WEEK 6

1. Plant something - Nothing this time.
2. Harvest something –Green Peppers
3. Preserve something – 25 lbs Pickled Onions
4. Reduce waste – Recycling cans, using cloth napkins and handkerchiefs, using homemade laundry soap, saving old jeans to reupholster a chair with. Mom and Dad bought a new Frig. and Stove, I took their old ones (Brand new to me), my daughter received my frig, and a young couple that my son works with took my stove.
5. Preparation and Storage – Bought extras of groceries. Bought and set up shelving for food storage.
6. Build Community Food Systems – Went shopping at a locally owned grocery store instead of the large corporate store.
7. Eat the Food –Tomatoes diced, Broccoli.
8. Learn something –
Continuing to take the Preserving food at home online self study course offered thru the National Center for Home Food Preservation and the University of Georgia, Reading about raising Llamas
Finished reading The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure by Catherine Scott-Clark.
9. Simple Living – Continued making Christmas gifts. Canned an extra dozen pints of pickled onions for my dad’s birthday present, they are his favorite.
10. To Do –* Sew DGD school clothes

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This week only free craft ebook downloads at Fave Crafts

Fave Craft's five free Craft eBooks will help you find just the thing, whether you are a rookie crafter or a veteran expert.

In the first eBook, Low-Cost Kitchen Crafts eBook, find fridge magnets, easy painting projects, organizing crafts and decorating ideas along with knitting crafts.

In the second eBook, Quick and Thrifty Crochet eBook, find 25 easy crochet patterns such as dishcloths, small baby items, flowers, plus much more!

In the third eBook, 24 Quick and Easy Knitting Patterns eBook, find Afghans, knitting for baby, knitting for kids, winter hats, scarves and mittens and plenty more.

In the fourth eBook, Lace Knitting eBook, find Afghans, clothes, scarves, patterns for kids and babies and plenty more lace knitting patterns just for you.

In the fifth eBook, Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts eBook, find Christmas ornaments, home decor, greeting cards, kids holiday crafts along with some great gift ideas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great Christmas Crochet Pattern Idea for the Grandparents

Crochet by Numbers is a great website I found where you can turn your personal pictures into Portraits of Fiber. Todd's crochet portraits have been featured in the March/April 09 issue of Crochet Today Magazine. He probably best known for his crotchet portrait of Pres. Barack Obama.


On his website he has some Free patterns, Lots of patterns for sale for $5.00, or you can email him one of your own pictures and for the fee of $30.00, he will send you a grey scale pattern for your picture. The gray scale patterns can be crocheted in any shade of color. He also has own his website a section of training tools with video and lots of pictures to teach you his simple technique. Once you learn how to read his pattern the only crochet stitches you use are the initial chain and a single crochet stitch. I don't usually buy many patterns, especially one for $30.00, but it will be well worth it to present a crocheted family portrait afghan for a Christmas present. And I found some free pattern there that would be great presents under the Christmas tree.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Red Cross Offers Flu-Prevention Tips for Kids



As parents and teachers know, children have a way of picking up colds and other illnesses at school. As the number of swine flu (H1N1 Flu Outbreak) cases increases in the U.S., it becomes even more important to teach kids how to stay healthy.
Teach Good Health Habits
Proper and consistent hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of flu. Teach kids by example by showing them proper hand washing technique:
Wet hands with water and apply an amount of soap recommended by the manufacturer to hands.
Rub hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and giving added attention to fingernails and surfaces where jewelry is worn.
Rinse hands with water.
Dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
Use towel to turn off faucet.
For younger children who may rush their hand washing, have them sing a short song such as Row Row Row Your Boat , or the Happy Birthday song, which will ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds. Placing hand-washing reminders at children's eye level will also help them become consistent hand washers.
Teach kids to adopt these other healthy habits in order to prevent the spread of germs:
Avoid sharing objects such as utensils, cups, and bottles.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards. If tissue-less, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not your hands.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.

Parents should also prepare for the potential spread of swine flu by talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick. Also ask your child's school or day care if there are plans to encourage sick children to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.

Educational Tools 
Parents and teachers can reinforce kids' hand-washing habits by using tools such as The Scrub Club® , an interactive Web site that offers free materials to raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing to fight germs and prevent illness. The fun, Web-based experience is complete with educational materials, music, games and cartoon "Webisodes."

The Scrub Club® is being used by hundreds of schools nationwide, and teachers continue to integrate the Scrub Club educational activities into their daily curriculum. These educational materials are currently available in French, English and Spanish.
+About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Help I’ve Turned into my Grandmother

When my husband and I were in our first year of marriage we would often drive down to the Ozarks and visit relatives. When visiting grandma, we would often snicker that grandma was getting a little eccentric. Grin, she had some quirks.
     There was that thing about her front door. It was uncovered and always faced the brunt of any storms approaching, so needless to say, it needed painting every year. Grandma had watched a science show on TV about acid rains, so of course it needed to be painted because of the acid rains that frequented her part of the Ozarks.
     Being frugal, she washed her plastic food bags and reused them. She recycled before it was in vogue.
     Then there was the water, Grandma heard about the boil water order posted for her town, but I guess she never heard when the OK was issued. 5 years later she was still boiling. After she passed on some county officials did a water test on a local sewer system and put some dye in it, guess what the dye showed up in the local streams and drinking water.
     Grandma had become a “vegetarian”. Organic peanut butter and green onions for breakfast? For her being a vegetarian was probably more of a financial statement than a lifestyle statement. But my cousins often regaled us of stories about going out to eat with grandma and watching the other restaurant patrons quietly put down their forks after grandma had loudly and adamantly regaled those at the table with information on the inhumane treatment of meat animals and information on stockyards.
    Every morning my Grandmother always took a nice “healthy walk” down the country road in front of her house. The Ozarks were also receiving the benefits of her “healthy walk”. She collected bags and bags of road side trash while walking.


Of course back in the eighties Grandma seemed very eccentric. But as I drink my filtered tap water, watch http://planetgreen.discovery.com/ on TV and finish putting together my homemade version of a countertop plastic bag dryer I realize that I’ve turned into my grandma.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The girls are here


Chili Sassy

Check Out This Website

Been wondering how I've been doing these fancy scrolling images and the smiley faces, hearts and such in my blog posts. Well I came across this great blog, Fantastic Find on which she states that she loves sharing good things, and boy doe she ever. On two of her posts, HTML Code Fun in Posts and HTML and ALT codes she taught me how to do all these fancy things. But that's not all, check out her great website for lots of freebies, free cookbooks, $$ savings, free music, and lots of frugal fun.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Can't Wait for Tomorrow

smile



The reason, late tomorrow afternoon Sassy and Chili, two adolescent Llamas come to live with us. I've wanted to raise llamas ever since I was in Bolivia with the Army, but my husband has been very anti llama. I tried all my feminine reasoning with him, and still no go. Then I wake up this morning and my son tells me that a friend of his is giving us two of his llamas if we want them. I say heck yea, but dad said no lamas, to which son replies dad said he doesn't care just don't expect him to tote them water. DS spent all day putting up fenceing in the back field for them. Tomarrow i'll have to help him finish it up and buy some feed, then he will pick them up in the late afternoon.
I haven't even met them yet and i'm already in

PS, I see chickens in the spring



INDEPENDANCE DAYS CHALLENGE, WEEK 5

1. Plant something - Nothing this time.
2. Harvest something – Tomatoes, Green Peppers, last of the Watermelon
3. Preserve something – froze 10 lbs broccoli .
4. Reduce waste – Recycling cans, using cloth napkins and handkerchiefs, using homemade laundry soap, saving old jeans to reupholster a chair with. mailed off 2 books thru the paperback swap and ordered 2 books also,
5. Preparation and Storage – 10 bottles BBQ sauce, whipped up another batch of laundry soap
6. Build Community Food Systems – Went shopping at a locally owned grocery store instead of the large corporate store.
7. Eat the Food –Tomatoes diced, and sauce.
8. Learn something – Continuing to take the Preserving food at home online self study course offered thru the National Center for Home Food Preservation and the University of Georgia,
currently reading The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure by Catherine Scott-Clark. This is the (true) story of two journalists who embark on a quest to find out what happened to the Amber Room. The Amber Room was a room in Catherine Palace in St Petersburg that was decorated with panels of amber mosaics. During World War 2, with the Nazis heading towards St Petersburg, the Russians packed up as many treasures as they could and sent them across the country to be safely stored. But they were unable to pack up the Amber Room, so they tried to conceal it in situ. This ruse was unsuccessful. The Nazis dismantled the room and relocated it to Konisberg Castle in Prussia. When the war ended, the Russians went to recover the room - but it had vanished. Where was it? Was it still in existence? There was evidence to suggest that it may have been moved again - but to where? The story is told from the point of view of the two authors, as they sift through archived data in both Russia and Germany, and also try to track down any surviving witnesses to that time. It's very easy to read and surprisingly gripping. Not a dry history book at ALL.
9. Simple Living – Continued making Christmas gifts.
10. To Do –* Sew DGD school clothes * Blackberry jelly

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great crochet and Knitting organizing templates

Well now that my Kitchen is pretty much organized it’s time to turn to the craft room. I found these great crochet/knitting page organizers to download for free. Designed by Grace Schnebly and posted at
She states “Ever since I started knitting, I have been looking for a way to keep track of all my FO’s as well as the projects on my to-do list. I wanted a book that was fun and easy create, that could be totally customizable to fit my needs, and that I could continuously expand. We created these six journal template pages to do exactly those things. These templates are free for you to download, so you can print out as many as you would like to create the knitting journal of your dreams.” –Grace
There’s a template to download for:


* a Knitting Journal,
* a Crochet Journal,
* a En Queue for projects ready and waiting in line… keep track of all the projects you’ve already got the yarn for—even decide how high it is in priority,
* a Liste D’attente to keep track of what you have in your stash with this waiting list for your yarns,
* a Vouloir Faire so next time that killer yarn sale comes around you'll know exactly what to buy before it's out of stock, a Needle Inventory so you never wonder if you have a pair of size 3 DPNS? Or how about a size G crochet hook,
* a Mes Notes to keep your notes all in one place and easy to find. These pages are great to have if you need more room to fill out notes on other projects or if you want to start writing down ideas for an original pattern,
* a Mes Conceptions a few of these handy sheets in the back of your journal and you will always have space to sketch your designs,
* Graph Paper to chart out your own color or lace designs. Choose either a square grid or a rectangular grid that is closer to the shape of a stitch.

All these templates are downloadable as PDF’s

INDEPENDANCE DAYS CHALLENGE, WEEK 4, Late post this was last weeks.

1. Plant something - Nothing this time.
2. Harvest something – Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Watermelon
3. Preserve something – 14 pts diced tomatoes.
4. Reduce waste – Recycling cans, Use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs, using homemade laundry soap, saving old jeans to reupholster a chair with.
5. Preparation and Storage – Reorganized, began extended shopping list.
6. Build Community Food Systems – Nothing at this time.
7. Eat the Food –Tomatoes diced, and sauce.
8. Simple Living – Began making Christmas gifts.
9. To Do –* Sew DGD school clothes * Blackberry jelly* Make new batch laundry soap

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Never Sneeze into Your Hand


With all the news coverage on the possibly of a severe upcoming flu season I was checking out the CDC website "With the new H1N1 virus continuing to cause illness, hospitalizations and deaths in the US during the normally flu-free summer months and some uncertainty and about what the upcoming flu season might bring" Quote from the CDC. I came across this article on the Farmer's Almanac Website on tips to help eliminating germs in your home which may prevent some illnesses.

Here are a few ways to help show germs to the door:
Allow fresh airflow in your home daily. Open a window or outside door for a few minutes each day.
Change the filter on your heating and air conditioning system at least once every 3 months.
Change your toothbrush after recovering from a sore throat. In the winter, change your toothbrush monthly.
Disinfect doorknobs, light switches, and all cabinet knobs when there is sickness in your household to prevent spreading germs to other family members.
Soak drinking glasses used by sick family members in the sink with warm water and a teaspoon of bleach for five minutes before washing.
Wash bed sheets and towels in the hottest water possible, adding ½ cup vinegar to each washer load.
Don’t share pillows with sick family members. Sick persons should use their own bed pillow when resting on the sofa.
Take Vitamin C supplements, or eat fresh citrus fruit.
Always wash your hands after using a Kleenex or caring for the sick.
Never sneeze into your hand. If a Kleenex or handkerchief is not available, sneeze into the inner elbow of your shirt sleeve.
When you are sick with a fever, chicken soup, herbal teas, and ginger ale are soothing and help keep you hydrated.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

INDEPENDANCE DAYS CHALLENGE, WEEK 3

1. Plant something - Nothing this time.

2. Harvest something – Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green Peppers, Green Beans

3. Preserve something – Need to get my butt in gear.

4. Reduce waste – Recycling cans, Use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs, Bought a pressure cooker and a neat spice rack at the thrift store.

5. Preparation and Storage – Stocked up on spices.

6. Build Community Food Systems – Bought 2 qts. of blackberries at the local farmers market.

7. Eat the Food –Tomatoes diced, and sauce.

--I thought I add number 8 to the list so I can’t procrastinate anymore--

8. To Do –
* Sew DGD school clothes
* Can tomatoes
* Freeze green beans
* Blackberry jelly
* Freeze green peppers

Sunday Marks an Eleventh Anniversary, That I Hoped to Never Think About Again.



Eleven years ago, my husband and I were trying to weed eat about 2 acres of overgrown lawn. We didn’t have much money then, so a riding lawnmower was not an option. With the push mower down it was pretty hard work. Our 16 year old daughter was off swimming with friends, and our 12 year old son, with his friends, were climbing the walls.

My son always wore his bike helmet, at least I always told him to, then watched him put it on. I guess I never realized he didn’t, if I didn’t nag. DS and his friends just wanted to help us, I just wanted to get finished and in a hot shower, I finally told them to go ride their bikes and let us work. After we finished I was in the shower when my husband began screaming to get out our DS was hit by a car. I still remember getting dressed, dripping wet as I was running to our car.

Snippets of a nightmare. My son with blood dripping out of his ears and nose, my husband screaming at the police demanding to know if that was the ###### who hit him, the scared teenager in the police car, then my husband making an about face as soon as our son called daddy. Did you ever chase a helicopter some 60 miles to a children’s hospital? Finding out he was in a coma when we arrived. As a nurse I was my own worst enemy, I knew all the worst case scenarios.

He came out of the coma, trying to climb out of bed, stating he had to take a shower. The relief when he was laying in his ICU bed 15 minutes later playing a video game. Traumatic Brain Injury, both ear drums imploded, Cerebral fluid leaking from his ears, and his hysterical insistence that he take a shower every 15 minutes. The ENT Dr. telling us he was almost deaf in both ears, The Neuro Psych Dr. telling us will probably have a very clean kid, water was his coping mechanism.

Short wiring in his brain. His brain no longer told him when he was thirsty. I could give him a plate in the kitchen and tell him to take it out to his father at the BBQ, and he would make it half way there before he would return asking what he was supposed to do with the plate?

Things got better over the years. The Dr. sliced an ear almost totally off, and he had 60% more hearing in one ear when the surgery was done and the ear sewed back on. The short term memory loss improved. Showers are now for getting clean, stress relief and when he’s sick, he will still empty out our hot water tank and I have to lay down the law if it’s a bad day with more than 3 showers. Still has a lot of migraines, missed a lot of school from them and we had wondered how he would ever work, when he would average 4 migraines a week, But over the years they have decreased and he’s learned how to work thru the remainder.Ds is now 23 years old, He has a great job the Department of Transportation, Got his license to drive 18wheelers when he was 18yo, so young most jobs couldn’t hire him because their insurance wouldn’t cover a driver that young. He can do anything he wants to.

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