I used to live in hurricane country and I also used to live in tornado ville. I can't say one is worse than the other really. If I had to choose, I'd say hurricane because it is all over destruction. But at least people can prepare for it. Here are some tips.
Putting tape on your window wont really stop something from coming through it, but it will stop the glass from shattering all over the place and possibly injuring someone.
And remember to throw the patio furniture in the pool if you have one, or take it inside. Yes, even the heavy-as-shit stone table will fly when the winds hit 70-80 miles an hour. Let me put it to you this way; during a hurricane a friend of mine and I were outside by my car. The wind was slowly but steadily pushing my parked car out of it's parking spot. I quickly put the parking break on. Now you try and physically move your parked car out of it's parking spot. You better believe the high winds of a storm can pick up that heavy stone table and plant it in your neighbors back window.
With Hurricane season now upon us and tornado season in full swing, here is a good check list to have so you and your household are prepared.
Here are recommendations on what to do before a storm approaches:
-- Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are, and if you need help or are safe. The Red Cross has a Hurricane App available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. A First Aid app is also available.
-- Use hurricane shutters or board up windows and doors with 5/8 inch plywood.
-- Bring outside items in if they could be picked up by the wind.
-- Tape your windows with an "X" of masking tape.
-- Clear gutters of debris.
-- Reinforce the garage door.
-- Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
-- Fill a bathtub with water.
-- Get full tank of gas in one car.
-- Go over the evacuation plan with the family, and learn alternate routes to safety.
-- Learn the location of the nearest shelter or nearest pet-friendly shelter.
-- Put an axe in your attic in case of severe flooding.
-- Evacuate if ordered and stick to marked evacuation routes, if possible.
-- Store important documents - passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds in a watertight container.
-- Have a current inventory of household property.
-- Leave a note to say where you are going.
-- Unplug small appliances and electronics before you leave.
-- If possible, turn off the electricity, gas and water for residence.
Here is a list of supplies:
-- A three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day.
-- Three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.
-- A can opener.
-- A battery-powered radio, preferably a weather radio.
-- Extra batteries.
-- A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.
-- A small fire extinguisher.
-- Whistles for each person.
-- A seven-day supply of medications.
-- A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.
-- Cell phones and chargers.
-- Contact information for the family.
-- A sleeping bag for each person.
-- Extra cash.
-- A silver foil emergency blanket.
-- A map of the area.
-- Baby supplies.
-- Pet supplies.
-- Wet wipes.
-- A camera (to document storm damage).
-- Rain gear.
-- Tools and supplies for securing your home.
-- Plastic sheeting.
-- Duct tape.
-- Dust masks.
-- An extra set of house keys.
-- An extra set of car keys.
-- Insect repellent.
-- An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor.
-- An axe in the attic.
-- Household bleach.
-- Paper cups, plates, and paper towels.
-- Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.
I have been fiddling around with making my own laundry detergent for the past couple months and I think I got it.
I’ve been skeptical that it wouldn’t compare to my current detergent and that the savings would be too negligible to be worth it. Does it really get the job done, save me money, and make my home more natural? Plus, unlike Purex, many detergent companies do their testing on animals. I look at my cat, and that is just not acceptable.
Chemicals in store bought detergents:
A lot of information has come out in the last ten years regarding the toxicity of household cleaning and cosmetic products. Many of the products, which are FDA approved, contain disease inducing chemicals. Did you know that deodorant has enough traces of aluminum to lead to Alzheimer’s? Or that dryer sheets are covered in fragrant chemicals which have been proven to cause liver cancer? Or that Tide has been required to lessen the amount of the cancer causing agent 1,4-dioxane?
I’ve known for some time about the political side of FDA approved products and how bad many household staples really are for our bodies. I know that the majority of the negative chemicals in laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheet are fragrant chemicals. There’s a constant push to have a long last scent for days after washing your clothes, so manufacturers keep adding more and more chemicals to meet the demand.
You’ll see in the recipe that I included Purex Crystals which is a fabric softener. Granted, I’m using a significantly smaller ratio of this softener to what I was typically using, but I’m considering eliminating it completely and using these Homemade dryer balls to soften up the clothes.
Laundry Costs Breakdown:
My laundry costs are already low. I experimented with the less expensive name brand detergents and found a combo that costs $13.00/2 months for detergent and dryer sheets. That’s $78/year for everything! Many family’s using more expensive brands spend $100+/year.
So let’s say, for the ease of calculating, you do 2 loads of laundry a week, a dark and light. There are 52 weeks in a year.
2x52=104 That would be 104 loads a year.
If you do even more laundry than 2 loads a week, it is even more of a savings. Especially if you have a family. This could be a savings of $100+ a year.
What you need for the recipe,
The Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 (4lb 12oz) box of Borax $3.38
1 (3lb 7oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.24
1 (3lb) container of OxyClean $7.52
2 (14.1) Bars of Zote Soap or 3 Fels Naptha $.97 each
1 (4lb) box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $2.00
1 Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener or Downy Unstoppables $4.00
The first step and the hardest, is to grate the soap. But once that is done it is now time for mixing.
I layer each of the ingredients into a clean, large bucket. Be sure to mix it outside because it will be dusty.
Then I stored it in a large seal-able container in the closet. I reused the 'Purex Crystal Softener' container as my laundry detergent dispenser, it comes with a handy measuring cup on top.
But wait! Here’s the real zinger; when combined, the detergent is the equivalent of a “bucket full” of detergent in which each load of laundry only needs 1 to 2 tbsp of the soap. THAT’S right, ONE TABLESPOON! Basically, you just made a years’ worth of laundry soap for 23 bucks.
It was easy to make and probably took me a total of 15 minutes. I enjoyed making the detergent, especially because I knew I wouldn’t need to do it again for another year!
For me, this small change in my laundry routine is well worth the $50 savings. For some families, I know the savings will be even greater.
So a little while ago a friend of mine said I should write down my diet.
Well it’s not really a “diet”. Diets don’t work. I tried doing a diet once where I wouldn’t eat any processed foods—it was hard. Not the eating of the food, but the finding of the food. Because I couldn’t always bring food into work and finding un-processed food outside of my own kitchen was beyond ridiculous.
Anyway, this had got me thinking in another direction. Which I soon started. The rules are simple; if you make it, you can eat it. Nothing is restricted. Nothing.
You want Ho-Hos? Go ahead.
You want lasagna? Enjoy it!
You want chocolate chip cookies every day? I'm with-ya.
But you have to make it. Everything. From scratch. No mixes, or packaged meals allowed.
It really makes you think, how badly do I want this? Is it worth the effort?
And you’re thinking; I don’t have time for that! I'm a crappy cook.
I don't have time either, but I have learned to schedule one day on the weekend to cook, and when I cook, I make a lot. Like if I make chili, I make 3 months’ worth. I then portion it and freeze it. (I highly recommend saving glass jars, or buying some preserving jars if you do this.) And you're only a crappy cook because you're out of practice.
Currently in my freezer I have homemade ravioli, corn dogs, breaded chicken, spaghetti sauce, sweet potato casserole, rosemary bread, waffles, cookie dough, I could go on. But it is all homemade. No mixes, or instant meals. I do have frozen peas though :) Even ice cream should be homemade. Target has ice cream makers for $25!
Again, a part of the mentality is, how bad do you want it? With the advent of the internet, recipes of all types have become accessible to the everyday person.
In short, the food and meals are better for me. No preservatives, low processing, no extra added salt or sugars. And they are pre-portioned by me. So I don’t over eat, or left feeling hungry. And you’ll eat good, yummy food! The first time you walk by all that pre-made food, chips, cookies, frozen dishes, canned meals in the grocery store will shock you. If you’re consistent with setting one day on the weekend to cook one dish, it will happen.
Plus, if you do this, you’ll get better at multi-tasking your cooking time, meaning; when I make spaghetti sauce, I will also make pizza. When I roast a chicken, (afterward) I also make stock, then soup, and stuffing with that stock, also chicken pot pies. If I’m cooking ground beef, I’ll make chili, taco meat, and hamburgers all on the same day. I try not to waste anything.
How to get started.
How to get started on doing this? Well don’t treat it like a diet. Treat it like a life style change. A change you have to start slowly, or it will never stick.
The best way to do it is to pick a dish from a restaurant you love. A dish that would not last 2 days in your frig as leftovers. Go online and search for a copycat version of the recipe. There will probably be a kazillion recipes, so just be critical with what the author states as the ingredients. For example: when I looked up P.F. Changs Lettuce Wraps, one author stated to use ketchup. Now I know there is no ketchup in the lettuce wraps I’ve eaten, so just watch what they state as the ingredients. Copy it into a word program to save it and print it. Pick something that won’t be too terribly hard to make, or you’ll get discouraged if it doesn’t turn out. Also, before you double or triple the recipe size for freezing, be sure to test it.
Just start from there. Slowly, you’ll replace all the items in your pantry, frig, and freezer with homemade meals, and snacks.
And the equivalency of me ‘falling off the wagon’ is when I eat out, though technically the restaurants (supposedly) are cooking from scratch also, which means I’m still adhering to the rules. And I'm not talking about fast food crap.
*You want potato chips? Fine, make them.
*You want cheesecake? Mmm, cheeeesecake...
*You want pizza? Don’t forget to buy the yeast.
*You want hot wings? Look up a hot wing recipe.
*Mac N Cheese. That’s an easy one, just remember to add some bread crumbs on top for some crunch. 'The Yard House' has a yummy macNcheess-look it up.
* Tacos? Pull out the rolling pin, you gotta roll out some tortillas
* Krispy Creme Donuts....*droool* That's right! Nothing is off the table. IF you make it, then you can eat it. The goal is to try to make everything! Icing and all, from scratch.
One of my favorite recipe sites is epicurious.com. You can build your own recipe box from tons of other recipe sites. You can even make a grocery list off of the ingredients from the recipes you want to use.
This “diet” does not take into account for the fresh vegetables and fruit I buy, but these items have a short preserving life. They are added weekly to the meals I have created months ago. You can preserve them, but it takes dry ice.
There are a few things I do not make such as cereal, spaghetti noodles (because I don’t have a noodle press or hanger) and condiments (though occasionally I make salad dressing, <Old Spaghetti Factory Pesto dressing is to die for.>) I find the preservatives in condiments are helpful if you don’t go through them quickly. I have a bottle of ketchup that will probably last until it expires...
The next step, is of course, having your own garden to cook from...
Is anyone else a little disturbed by all the species reports coming in? You know, the frogs, the bees, and the butterflies? I’m not into being an alarmist, but this is alarming. Mother Nature doesn’t mess around when she feels it’s time to create a balance again. What will happen when key species begin to seriously fail?
The poor bees. Because of greedy corporations and bureaucracy it may be too late for them. The American Honey Bee is close to extinction because of this...
What is that theory? A butterfly flaps it's wings in Central Park and creates a typhoon on the other side of the planet. It should be fairly obvious why these species demise would be detrimental to us.
What Mother Nature has in store for us will not be pleasant. When She does take action, I will laugh at the naive people surprised by this, because all the signs are here.
It's quite simple; Mommy doesn't get mad, she gets even.
I find it curious the amount of autistic children who have been diagnosed with the disease in the last 30 or so years.
Is it because they weren't diagnosed before, or miss-diagnosed? Or is there really an explosion of the amount of children with autism?
I saw an article last December 2012 and wondered if I would see it in the news. I did not see it anywhere...
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania revealed that many infant monkeys given standard doses of childhood vaccines as part of the new research, developed autism symptoms which ultimately questions the safety of these vaccines. Now I know this is nothing new, that there is a group out there that strongly believe this. The problem is, there has not been a thorough investigation into this. If it turns out to be true, then the CDC will end up with you-know-what all over their pristine faces. So they are in no hurry to see if these findings are accurate.
That we are still giving children mercury-based vaccines is just unbelievable to me. I understand vaccines help eliminate or control dangerous outbreaks, but something had to have changed in the 90's to make this many autistic children come to the fore. If it isn't vaccines, what is it? The reason I think it maybe vaccines is because typically many of the children are fine and completely healthy before they are made to get the vaccines. But then, shortly after, they show signs of autism.
Bottled water myth
Think that bottled water you're gulping is better for you than the free stuff out of the tap? You're not alone in your misconception.
Might it taste better to you? Sure. It may have fewer minerals in it, more minerals in it, or different minerals in it than your tap water, which affects the taste. Do you prefer to drink water that's had the fluoride removed? Fair enough -- though your children's teeth might not thank you for it later. Are you of the opinion that mineral water has health benefits that regular water does not? More power to ya.
Safety, however, is a different matter.
Municipal water sources are highly regulated for safety, with mandatory contaminant checks happening hundreds of times per month; bottled sources are evaluated more like four times per month. And those evaluations, along with safety standards and levels (and definitions) of purity, are regulated mostly (and in some states entirely) by the bottled-water industry itself, meaning it's often voluntary. Many instances the leading brands of bottled water companies actually take the local tap water source and merely send it through a filter and then bottle it. Then sell it to you as "Spring water".
Have sore muscles, or an aching body from the flu? Try a Detox Bath.
I don't know about you, but I just can't shake this flu/cold I have. But this helps. Though, so does chocolate :)
This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or otherwise take the place of the advice of your licensed healthcare practitioner. See your doctor for advice first.
Prepare your bath on a day that you have at least 40 minutes available. The first 20 minutes are said to help your body remove the toxins, while the second 20 minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water. Soaking in Epsom salts actually helps replenish the body’s magnesium levels, combating hypertension. The sulfate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints.
Fill your tub with comfortably hot water. Use a chlorine filter if possible.
1. Add Epsom salts.
For children under 60 lbs, add 1/2 cup to a standard bath.
For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 1 cup to a standard bath.
For people 100 lbs and up, add 2 cups or more to a standard bath.
(It is basically calculated for every 50 lbs = 1/2 cup of salt)
Epsom salt is very inexpensive and can be purchased in decently sized bags or cartons at discount stores in the garden center or pharmaceutical area. Very large bags can be ordered from garden centers.
2. Add 1 to 2 cups or more of baking soda.
Baking soda is known for its cleansing ability and even has anti-fungal properties. It also leaves skin very soft. Large bags can usually be found in the swimming pool chemical area, but the boxes from the bakery aisle will work fine.
3. Add anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 cup of ground ginger or fresh ginger tea.
While this step is optional, ginger can increase your heat levels, helping to sweat out toxins. However, since it is heating to the body, it may cause your skin to turn slightly red for a few minutes, so be careful with the amount you add. Depending on the capacity of your tub, and your sensitivity.
*Most people sweat profusely with the addition of the ginger, and if you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after getting out of the tub, you can continue to detoxify through perspiration for another couple of hours. This is especially beneficial if you are trying to rid the body of a bug of some sort, like the flu, or a cold.
4. Add around 20 drops of aromatherapy oils, for a standard bath.
Again optional, but many people love the fragrance of such oils and for many, the oils have particular therapeutic properties to take advantage of. There are many oils that will make the bath an even more pleasant and relaxing experience such as lavender, as well as those that will assist in the detoxification process (tea tree oil or eucalyptus).
*If you prefer, you can use fresh herbs. Add mint leaves (warming), lavender flowers (soothing), chamomile (soothing), or anything else that suits your mood. Also there is grapefruit seed oil, rosemary, and thyme Swish all of the ingredients around in the tub, then soak.
Again, 40 minutes is recommended (the longer the better), but aim for at least 20. You should start sweating within the first few minutes. If you feel too hot, start adding cold water into the tub until you cool off. Get out of the tub slowly and carefully. Your body has been working hard and you may get lightheaded or feel weak and drained. On top of that, the salts make your tub slippery, so stand with care.
For all my flu-y friends, here is a recipe for homemade cough syrup. I have some in my fridge right now. It works and its real simple to make.
The good thing about this stuff is you can't overdose, and you can take it with your other medications because the ingredients are all natural.
If you want it to have the funky effect of NyQuil, I'm sure you could add a splash of whiskey :) But only if it doesn't mess with your other medications.
*A little thing extra I do is take a Ricola (Org.) lozenge and put it in the batch I'm heating up. So the menthol in the lozenge melts a little into the mixture. You don't have to melt the entire cough drop, think of it as a treat at the bottom of your cup when your finished.
Guide to Filtering Water
Your typical water filter, like Brita or Pur, only removes some metals and chemicals which may make the water taste better. But these filters do not protect you against what you really need protection from, like viruses and bacteria that can be harmful to your health.
A Guide to Water Filters
Many but not all available home water filters remove Cryptosporidium. Some filter designs are more suitable for removal of Cryptosporidium than others. Filters that have the words "reverse osmosis" on the label protect against Cryptosporidium. Some other types of filters that function by micro-straining also work. Look for a filter that has a pore size of 1 micron or less. This will remove microbes 1 micron or greater in diameter (Cryptosporidium, Giardia). There are two types of these filters — "absolute 1 micron" filters and "nominal 1 micron" filters but not all filters that are supposed to remove objects 1 micron or larger from water are the same.
Guide to Storing Water
A preparedness supply kit should include one gallon of drinking water per day per person.
What to store water in:
You can store water in food grade plastic or glass containers with tight fitting screw-on caps.
How should I treat the water for storage?
Be sure that the water you are treating is drinking-quality water to begin with. To treat water for storage, use liquid household chlorine bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use bleach with soaps or scents added. Add the bleach according to the list below, using a clean, uncontaminated medicine dropper.
Stir the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Chlorine should be detectable by odor after the 30 minute waiting period. If the water does not smell like chlorine at that point, repeat the dose and let it stand another 15 minutes. Place caps on containers and attach labels describing the contents and when each was prepared.
Where should I store the water and for how long?
There appears to be more than just water in our water supply. Everything from pharmaceuticals, to poisons metals, to deadly chemicals. What's in your water supply? Check here. To the right, on the linked page, is a box asking for your zip. Fill in the appropriate blanks to find out what is in your water supply.
It's amazing to find out what you're taking a shower in, or cooking your pasta...You can always use a water filter. As long as you regularly keep the filter changed, your run-of-the-mill activated carbon filter (think Brita) filter will get rid of or reduce lots of those pesky additions like: Bad tastes and odors, including chlorine. A standard 53-certified filters also can substantially reduce many hazardous contaminants, including heavy metals such as copper, lead and mercury; disinfection byproducts; parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium; pesticides; radon; and volatile organic chemicals such as methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE), dichlorobenzene and trichloroethylene (TCE)
In my next post I'll give a break down which water filters can protect you the best, because they're not all the same.
But if you ever find yourself in a "Boil Alert" or "Boil Water Alert Advisory", those filters wont work. Boiling water from 3-5 minutes is your only sure bet to kill off any harmful bacteria like the Cryptosporidium. This nasty critter is the cause of most water born illnesses. Some filters remove them, but boiling water is the only sure way to protect yourself from this bugger. But boiling doesn't take out harmful metals or toxins. You would then need to send your boiled water through an appropriate filter.
I have an ultra high sensitivity to the taste of water. The only water I have ever tasted, that did not taste funny, is Fiji Water. It is especially easy to taste the 'funniness' of water is when it's warm.
But during a Boil Alert, it's good to realize all the water coming out of the pipes, is contaminated.
Although chemicals (e.g., bleach) are sometimes used for disinfecting small volumes of drinking water for household use, Cryptosporidium is poorly inactivated by chlorine or iodine disinfection. Cryptosporidium can be removed from water by filtering through a reverse osmosis filter, an "absolute one micron" filter, or a filter certified to remove Cryptosporidium under NSF International Standard #53 or #58 for either "cyst removal" or "cyst reduction." However, unlike boiling or distilling, filtering as just described will not eliminate other potential disease-causing microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Ultraviolet light treatment of water is not effective against Cryptosporidium at normally-used levels.
Links to official sites:
Articles to read:
Drugs in Our Drinking Water?
U.S. Must Rethink Policies on Water Supply
Pharmaceuticals in Our Water Supply Are Causing Bizarre Mutations to Wildlife
What the Frack is in That Water?
The “when” appears to have been 1993. The why, seems a little convoluted to me. It appears the FDA approved nationwide to feed milk cows a steroid hormone called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), also known as rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin). FDA allows the use of the protein hormone rbGH to increase milk production in dairy cattle. Thus, hormones can increase the profitability of the meat and dairy industries. Because rBGH use results in more cases of diseaese, dairy farmers tend to use more antibiotics to combat the infections, the residues of which also may end up in milk and dairy products. These residues can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals and contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria, further undermining the efficacy of some antibiotics in fighting human infections. Furthermore, recent research has shown conclusively that the levels of a hormone called “insulin-like growth factor-1″ (IFG-1) are elevated in dairy products produced from cows treated with rBGH. Canadian and European regulators have found that the FDA completely failed to consider a study that showed how the increased IGF-1 in rBGH milk could survive digestion and make its way into the intestines and blood stream of consumers. These findings are significant because numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. Let’s not even get into the pesticides used in the feed these animals eat.
Who knows what the long term affects will be of feeding growing kids these steroids. All I know is as soon as they started adding hormones and antibiotics I started getting stomach aches after I drank milk.
I can only drink certain organic milk without getting sick. And it tastes like the milk I grew up with before it was changed in 1993. I’ve tried the alternative milks, and they just don’t taste right. So if you find you can’t drink milk, but you’re fine with all other dairy products, then try organic. And FYI, not all organic brands are the same. Certain brands can give me a stomach ache, too.
Things to read
* I wanted to add: there are also some ice creams I can't eat. Certain brands I have no problem but they're typically the expensive brands, and I don't eat cheese too often. I've never had a problem with cheese though.*
Did everyone see that study on Parabens?
Essentially all breast tissue taken from cancer patients was loaded down with Parabens-they aren't saying it causes the cancer yet-but you be the judge.
Please play it safe and trash everything that has them in it. Thankfully only my conditioner and shampoo had it-but check everything. Deodorant, lotions, soaps, even toothpaste. I had a lotion from Bath and Body Works that had it, too. Another article for your information.
Hey, I also found some of my make up had it-check everything.
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Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!