Monday, August 26, 2013

A great article about...Sex

Now that I have your attention, :) today's blog post I am sending you to a another blog because this article at  has to be the best defense of reserving sex for marriage I have ever read..

Please read and share with all you know especially if they have teens;  they can share with their teens. "Why Sex Is So Addicting"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why I buy gallons of vinegar...

We have some of the hardest, scaliest water around. A new coffee pot works great for a week or two and then needs descaling. While there are commercial coffee pot cleaners, I use white vinegar which is much cheaper. If my coffee pot is really bad, I may have to run it through several times. Vinegar is also used to clean my front loading washing machine and diluted vinegar is used on the mirrors, windows and walls.

One day I noticed how bad my sink was, especially around the faucet and handles. I tried scrubbing with Bar Keepers Friend and nothing happened. Then I remembered the vinegar.

As you can see there is a lot of calcification and this is what it looked like after scrubbing.

First I tried to wrap vinegar soaked rags around it, but it wasn't enough. 

 So I removed the handles, and soaked them in vinegar. I was surprised to see how much calcification there was under and inside the handles.

With the handles off, I could now put the vinegar soaked rags around the parts that hold on the handles. I made sure the rags stayed very wet with vinegar.

In the corners of the top of the sink area and all around the area of the faucet was calcified and I just poured vinegar all over it and let it sit. After about an hour or so, I started wiping everything down. It was amazing, I could just wipe it off, no scrubbing.

Doesn't this look better? My whole sink shines from cleaning it with vinegar. I did not dilute the vinegar. I just poured it on and then later rinsed and dried. 
 Now to do this as soon as I see the calcification and not wait so long. 

Has your sink ever looked like this? What do you use vinegar for?
Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm bringing home a Baby Bumble Bee...

Finally, warm weather has come and so with it hanging laundry outside. I love the fresh sunshine and warm breezes on the towels and blankets. Every once in a while I forget about the laundry, especially at the beginning of the season. It was almost dark when I remembered the towels I had hanging outside. Not wanting them to blow off the line (the wind had picked up and 2 were already down) or be all wet in the morning from the dew, I went out to quickly get them. When I grabbed the first towel, I heard the loudest buzzing around me, ever! It stopped and I looked around and saw nothing. As I was taking down the towels I kept trying to figure out what that sound could have been. Laundry off the line, I went inside the house. Laying the towels down to fold, I soon found the source of the buzzing…an absolutely humongous bumble bee started flying around the kitchen!
No, he wasn't cute like this!

Kids started running and screaming and I looked frantically for the fly swatter. I didn’t find it, which is probably best as this bee seemed to be the size of a hummingbird and a fly swatter wasn’t going to do anything to it. So I grabbed the broom. I try swatting at this thing thinking, “I must kill this and not get it angry. I cannot allow this bee flying around my house stinging the children.” Meanwhile the kids are yelling, “That must be the queen bee! It is so big.”
Attack bee is what we saw.

I swat and miss, bee changes direction and so do I. Swat again, another miss, another change in direction.  This seems to go on forever, although I’m sure it was only seconds. Swatting again, the kitchen door opens and there stands 19 yo, door open, looking at his mom with a broom in the air, hearing his siblings screaming. Since he opened the door in mid-swat, I yell, “Look out!” I actually hit the bee and it falls at my son’s feet. I see it start to move and yell. “Step on it!” His size 10.5 shoe calmly steps on the bee and suddenly the bumble bee didn’t look as big. We swept it outside and pushed it through a crack in the deck to make sure no one stepped on it. Especially 22 yo who is VERY allergic to bees.

Kids still yelling that it must have been a queen bee, I start to relax knowing this momma bear was able to protect her cubs and not get stung in the process.

And I have decided that all laundry will be taken down while light enough to see clearly, or they can blow away and get wet. I never want to see a bumble bee in the house again!

Friday, April 26, 2013

*The* BEST Granola!

I just have to share an inexpensive granola recipe that I think is the BEST! The original recipe came from the HillbillyHouse Wife (almost to the bottom of the page, Raw brown Sugar Granola), years ago. I have tweaked it for my family, doubled it and have made it using 3 different “fats”: margarine, butter or  organic coconut oil. Coconut oil is my favorite followed extremely closely by butter. I know margarine is not at all healthy but there are times it is the only thing I can afford and I realize others are in the same situation.
I will post the recipe 2 ways, one with butter or margarine and the other with coconut oil.

The Best Granola 1:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 cup brown sugar (NOT packed, just lightly spoon into measuring cup)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 9-10 cups rolled oats
In a large 5 quart saucepan melt the butter or margarine, sugar, water and salt together over medium heat. Stir it well until all the sugar is melted (2 or 3 minutes should be enough).. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the cinnamon until well mixed then add your oats and stir. You want to coat the oats with the brown sugar and margarine, so keep stirring until everything is moistened. Divide the granola onto 2 cookie sheets, the kind with sides. Bake it at 350° for 10 -15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, the sides should be a nice golden brown. If it isn’t put in for another 2-5 minutes, watch carefully. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the granola to cool right there in the pan. In the winter, I leave it in the oven with the oven door cracked open. This warms the house and cools the granola. When the granola is cool, break it up into small pieces and transfer it to clean coffee can, or other type of canister. I use a Rubbermaid container that is made to store bread.  This makes 20- 1/2c servings.

The Best Granola 2:
  • 1 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup PACKED brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2+ Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 9-10 cups rolled oats
Follow the same directions as above; cooking time may be a little longer. For both recipes, the granola will be soft when warm; it hardens when cooled.

The granola I make uses a lot more cinnamon than the original recipe called for and less brown sugar. I have used both quick oats and old fashioned with great success. They each have a different taste and texture. Since I also make my own yogurt and strain it, I have quite a bit of whey in the refrigerator and freezer. In place of the 1/2c water I have substituted 1/2c  whey and no one has noticed. You can always add 1 cup nuts and or 1 cup raisins to the cooled granola, but I’ve never found a need to do so.

This granola is cheaper than store bought and my kids prefer it. Most the ingredients I get at Aldi’s: Oats (42 oz) $2.19, brown sugar (2#) $1.29, and cinnamon (4.25 oz) $1.00. I buy Kroger’s Value margarine (1#) $.65 and I buy my butter at whatever store has it on sale for around $2.00 a pound. The cheapest place I have found for Coconut Oil is Amazon. I don’t have a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or something similar to compare their prices. My favorite brand of Coconut Oil is Nutiva and I usually pay $.50 an oz. 
Approximate cost for 20 (2 oz) servings: $2.20 or $.11 serv. (margarine),  $3.00 or $.15 serv. (Butter),  $6.00 or $.30 serv. (coconut oil). Even with the expensive coconut oil the granola is cheaper than most granola cereals, unless you buy on sale with coupons. Plus you control the ingredients.
If you try this, let me know how you like it and any changes you make.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Too busy procrastinating!

Yes, that is what I have been busy doing, procrastinating. There is so much I need to do and haven't done. And then I have so many things I want to share with you, but I don't sit down to write them. Nor do I clean the house, or do enough laundry to even put a dent in it, or a host of other things that I should be doing. What do I do then you ask? Some days even I wonder. That's the problem with procrastinating: time flies by and there is nothing to show for it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't just lay in bed all day, unless I have a massive migraine. Some things get done, the "urgent" things...others might call it "the last minute" needs. I tend to do things at the last minute because I didn't do it before. :(

I know there are different names for my "problem", SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive), Messies, and I suffer from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). I've read all the books and at least started many of the "methods": 3x5 cards, Mt. Vernon cleaning and flying. I do fine for a little while and then, poof! back to the way it was. Each of these methods are good and have helped many people, just some people (me) seem to have a harder time keeping from falling back into the old procrastination ways.

So now what? Well a change needs to be made. Starting Tuesday (too much happening to even try to change before Tuesday, no really), I will go back to being a FLYbaby. I've fallen before, but this time I will be like a baby bird, and keep trying to FLY. I know I can't do it on my own, I've tried and failed. I'll eventually have to teach my kids and husband to FLY but it can be done. I know that God wants me to succeed. And He has promised that even though I am weak, I can do all things through Christ (His Son).

Are you a procrastinator, SHE or Messie? Have you ever tried to get get your house in order and failed? God gives you the same promise He does to me. He will strengthen you; just look to the Son and we can FLY to Him together. Let me know you are joining me. We start Tuesday. :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Start of Summer....I Hope Not!

Today's Cast of characters: Dearest Husband - almost older than dirt
                                          Myself - as old as dirt
                                          Mr. Scientist- 10 yo
                                          Miss Dancer- 8 yo
                                          Destructo Boy- 4 yo
                                          Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor- wonderful neighbors of over 30 years

No, this isn’t about the temperature outside, although at 50 degrees the children thought it was too hot and needed popsicles, of which we had none.
It is more about when you hear a crying child and other children screaming, “Blood, Blood!”

The 3 kids were finally outside playing nicely. They had made an obstacle course and were having a lot of fun. All this exercise then demanded a healthy snack, so oranges were pealed and taken outside. Plenty of water was drank (or is that drunk?) and all was well… or so I thought

While I was doing dishes, thinking how lovely my children were, I suddenly hear crying and screaming about blood. Now, this reaction can result from a small scrape, so I wasn’t too excited. I went to the door, opened it and saw all 3 children running towards the house, like something was chasing them. With the yelling of “blood”, maybe it was a vampire? No, even with all the vampire books and shows, I knew they weren’t after my kids.

 As the children came up the deck, Destructo Boy was crying, holding out his hand and yelling blood. His hand was covered in blood and I ran to the kitchen sink, threw on the cold water, shoved over the clean dishes and got ready to find the source of the blood. That was when Mr. Scientist yelled about  Destructo Boy’s head. Source of blood found and there was a lot!

“Stop the bleeding, stop the bleeding” was running through my head as I a grabbed a clean wash cloth from the drawer. Seeing the gash I knew I could not just apply pressure, but I needed to close the wound.  I stood behind him, leaning him against me I grabbed with the washcloth the skin above the eye and pinched it closed and applied pressure.  Of course while doing this my mind was racing: do I need an ambulance, wow look at the trail of blood on the kitchen floor, how can I let go of him, why didn’t I take a shower and get dressed today, what do I do now? 

I sent Mr. Scientist to go get “Mrs. Neighbor”; he comes back and says, “She wasn’t home but Mr. Neighbor is coming”. OK good, now I’ll have another adult because I’m not feeling very adultish.
Mr. Neighbor comes, looks and responds, “Oh ya, that’ll need stitches.” Hmm, I’m not feeling better yet. I give the job of holding wound closed to Mr. Neighbor and go look for the butterfly bandages. Now, why is it that whenever we need a bandage all we can ever find are the butterfly ones, and now when I need them, I can’t find them? After what seemed like forever, I find some and making sure they were butterfly strips and not Breathe Right strips I take them to Mr. Neighbor.

We go outside, where there is better light and more room, and start applying the strips all the while Destructo Boy is busy looking at his blood covered hand crying that there is still blood. Miss Dancer went and got a wet washcloth to wash his hand. Then we thanked and said goodbye to Mr. Neighbor and let Mr. Scientist and Miss Dancer hold Destructo Boy while I got dressed.

Once the blood was off Destructo Boy’s hand, he never cried again. We went to our nearest Urgent Care (20 minutes away) and met Dearest Husband. Destructo Boy did great. He hadn’t seen his head and when he saw it in a mirror there, he let out an “ouch!” No stitches but lots of glue. The blood mixed with the glue and now his head looks worse than it is. The gash was a little over an inch long and deeper than I wanted to see.

Destructo Boy and his boo-boo. The darkest horizontal line is the gash, the lighter , long horizontal blood is where my finger got glued to him...I'll leave that for another post. 

Everyone is fine today and things are back to normal here. As a matter of fact the kids are playing nicely  outside with sidewalk chalk… Miss Dancer just came in and told me they are drawing “dead bodies”. “We are pretending to stab ourselves with the chalk and then draw the dead body. Mr. Scientist drew me but then he drew me fat!” Yep, things are back to normal.

Destructo Boy wanted his picture taken doing his Zombie pose. (That's what he calls it)

Update: I've been asked how this happened. Well after the obstacle course and oranges they decided to make a balance beam type of thing. We now know Destructo Boy can't balance. And that balancing activity has been banned.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Too much chocolate? Is there such a thing?

Chocolate…I really enjoy it and so do my kids and husband. But do we need a dozen solid chocolate bunnies? Or a basket of solid chocolate eggs? No. But I absolutely refuse to waste food, even unhealthy food. So what to do with all that chocolate?

I take all the solid chocolate and bag it up for later use. Here are some ideas of ways to use your chocolate:
  • Shave it to use as desert decorations
  • Chop it by hand or in your food processor to use in place of chocolate chips in recipes
  • Melt to make a chocolate fondue
  • Break into small pieces to use in place of chocolate bars on s’mores
  • Chop and mix into ice cream for your own home made flurry
  • Melt and use in place of chocolate syrup: on ice cream, in milk or in a shake

This is definitely not an exhaustive list. I'd love to know how you use leftover chocolate. Share your ideas in the comments.