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  1. Sparrow
    Latest Entry

    Well, as I've been typing on this blog here and there, it turns out that it doesn't appear to the rest of you unless I hit the publish entry button. :shrug::24:

     

    Here I was fussing at myself for not keeping up with it like I wanted to and the little bit I was doing wasn't even going out.

     

    Oh well live and learn.

     

    A special thanks to the little birdie who let me in on what I was doing wrong. :bouquet:

     

    Only one more official day of school left, then next week to do the required paperwork and get it sent off. Hopefully after that I will have more time for me to get on here and explore and learn some more.

     

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!!

  2. I must apologize for my absence in this month of May, in all truth it has been just a combination of school-finals and work related projects hitting all in this month.

     

    I'm writing this article as to, hopefully, create some insight in the importance of field sanitation in populated areas. Anyone who knows me personally knows I hold a strange fascination for epidemiology, particularly bacterial epidemics. Recent events in India, Eastern Europe, and Vietnam have bothered me a bit, and the focal point of these worries are the growing numbers of cholera outbreaks.

     

    For those who have not been exposed to what this diseases is, I will give a short summary.

     

    Cholera is a bacterial disease that is transmitted from person to person by ingesting food or water that has been contaminated by cholera vibrios. This bacteria, produces massive amounts of toxin in the linings of the small intestine of the host, causing extremely-debilitating diarrhea in its victims. The most frightening parts about cholera is that it can be rapidly fatal if not treated (can be fatal in less than 24 hours if not treated) and how quickly it can spread in a less-than-perfect world.

     

    In all honesty, the United States has not seen a serious cholera outbreak since the first decades of the 20th century. But with the downturn of the economy and Cold-War style thermonuclear rhetoric on the news all day, one can not rule out the possibility of our way of life changing drastically.

     

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Symptoms of Cholera Infection:

     

    Depending on the health of the individual infected, symptoms can begin to manifest between 12 and 48 hours after infection. Many of these symptoms are shared with many other gastro-intestinal infections, most notably salmonella.

     

    - Rapid onset of diarrhea.

    - Vomiting

    - Muscle cramps.

    - Fever.

    - Reduced urine output.

    - Some people experience increased heart-rate.

     

    - Most notable symptom of Cholera infection is the appearance of the infected individual's stool, commonly called 'rice-water'. It will have a gray-ish appearance and lack little substance.

     

    Treatment:

     

    As scary as the symptoms sound, treatment for cholera infection is relatively simple, but is time consuming.

     

    - The number one factor you must consider in treatment is your own personal protection. Cholera cannot be transmitted by inhalation, but by placing a disposable covering over your face is a very good idea for the simple fact that it will force you to not touch anywhere around your face. Non-latex gloves is another mandatory item, the bacteria cannot be absorbed into your skin by simple touch, but this will keep you from contaminating other items by touch. Personal protection is key.

     

    - Second is controlling the spread of the infection. Sterilization is key here. In a household setting, plastic sheeting and lots of spare linens are ideal. Strip the current bedding from the resting area and lay down a layer of plastic sheeting, then the patient can use the spare linens for resting purposes. Any porous items (such as stuffed animals and the like) should be removed from the area unless they can easily be replaced. When a caretaker is changing the bedding, great care should be taken to bag and seal all items in question for disposal, burning is ideal...but items can be sterilized with non-potable water and chlorinated bleach.

     

    - The main cause of widespread outbreak in the third world is the lack of adequate waste-water management. Fecal matter making its way into the water system is the main cause widespread infection. That being said, if modern plumbing is available, the patient using the normal toilet is fine as long as sanitation concerns are met. The toilet should be throughly cleaned using chlorinated bleach after use, the floors should be mopped and all touched surfaces should be wiped down as well. All toilet tissue used should be placed in a bag and sealed. After the 'episode' has passed, make sure the patient does not have any fecal matter on their backside, aid them in washing their hands properly before flushing and helping them back to the resting area.

     

    **Side note, very important one. Anyone with a severe gastro-intestinal infection where extreme diarrhea is a factor, you should not leave the person alone in the restroom. Extreme diarrhea has been known induce hypotensive shock (sudden drop in blood pressure), which can lead a person to become disoriented and pass out...very bad thing as most restrooms have multiple hard surfaces and sharp corners. Individuals with high blood pressure, are taking blood-thinners, or blood pressure lowering medication should be aware the episodes of extreme diarrhea can increase the affects of sudden blood-pressure drops. Those individuals with those particular afflictions should be carefully observed.**

     

    - With the sanitation concerns out of the way (safeguarding those in the household and community), now we get on to treating the patient, which is actually...the easy part. The human body can easily destroy the bacteria responsible for Cholera, the reason it is so deadly though is that the bacteria kills by attrition, quickly depleting the body of vital fluids and electrolytes. So in a situation where no medical care can be reached, cholera infection can be treated by treating the symptoms and letting the body do its work.

     

    Oral re-hydration salts are a very good item to keep in your homes in large quantities because of the variety of uses, but here is a simple recipe for making your own (note, for type-I diabetics, simple salt water in the same proportions will suffice).

    .

    1 liter (1/3 of a gallon) of water.

    8 teaspoons of sugar

    1 teaspoon of salt

    1/2 cup of orange juice (or a 1/3 of a banana potassium is what you're looking for)

     

    - Keep the patient very WELL hydrated to replenish lost fluids due to the diarrhea, water and other juices are fine as long as the patient is taking in proper salts and sugars in their foods. Potassium intake is important to help with the abdominal cramps. It should be noted that urine output will be abnormally low during the worst of the infection and this is how you will tell when the worst has passed. If all goes well, the diarrhea episodes will drop in frequency after 2-3 days and urine output will increase. Patient sterilization and isolation practices should continue for up to 2 days after stool consistency and urine output returns to normal.

     

    **A few notes to all this. This disease is especially dangerous for children under 5 years old, so special precautions should be observed if small children are at risk.

     

    Severe cases of cholera infection may require IV intervention to assure fluid/nutrient replenishment and antibiotics many be needed (where the immune system may already be weakened).

     

    During an infection, it is advised that the household should treat their water by normal chlorination treatment and/or boiling practices. **

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Disposal/treatment of contaminated items:

     

    Items that can be destroyed, should be destroyed by through incineration. But linens can be cleaned by being soaked in chlorinated water (copious amounts of chlorine can be used), then re-washed in standard treated water. This water should not be used for drinking afterward.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Conclusion:

     

    Remember that infection control is key when dealing with anyone suffering from the Cholera disease. Many people in the third world know how to treat cholera, but outbreaks still happen because proper sanitation is not observed. I've read first hand accounts of aid-workers who are observing family members, treating their loved ones, wash their hands in the same wells that everyone else in a village drinks out of...thereby spreading the infection. Poorly constructed outhouses leak into the drinking water system. When proper sanitation is practiced and these simple measures of treatment are practiced, Cholera drops from a 50-60% mortality rate to 1%.

     

    In closing, be smart and be safe.

  3. I will tell ya, Murphy lives with us ! Sometimes it's just one step forward and two steps back.

     

    Our simple plan to set up four 55 gal drums to collect rain water has turned into a major deal, sigh!

     

    First we must install gutters on this old country home- $700.00. Ok, so we bite the bullet and decide to have it done. We have needed gutters for a while as water tends to go under our house when it rains and that is not good.

     

    Our 2 story home has what I call a "barn roof" meaning that the sides of the roof come all way down the side of the 2nd floor and end at the ceiling of the first floor. The house has is "barn shaped".

     

    The gutter man can not install the gutters until we cut back the overhang of the metal roof. It falls 4-5 " past the fascia and should be no more than 2 inches hanging over. On top of that the main electrical cable coming into the house is attached with a stress relief thingy onto our fascia before it goes into the electrical panel. The bracket for that needs to be moved down onto the side of the house freeing up the fascia for the mounting of the gutters.

     

    Nope, we can't do anything as simple as that! Now it would be to low and not up to code. Sigh! Eventuaally, we will be installing a new electrical panel when hubby finishes building his new work shed and he wants to run all electrical underground. So that will have to wait.

     

    We have decided to just put the gutter on the side of the house that will have the rain collection set up located. It will at least cut down half of the water that runs under the house and we'll have our rain collection set up which will save us wear and tear on the water pump and save some on the electric bill.

     

    Great, we are back on track! Thursday hubby trimmed back the excess roofing from back side house and plans to pressure wash the whole roof this weekend.

     

    He wakes up Friday morning with a very red achy eye. A microscoptic piece of tin had gotten into his eye in spite of having goggles on. By Friday night he can barely stand the irritation any longer and all attempts to wash his eye out has failed to remove the foreighn particle.

     

    Off to the ER we go at 11:30 pm last night. We were there until 6 am this morning! The doctor was able to remove the tiny piece of tin but there is rust in his eye also and he must burr it our with a "burring" tool, something like a tiny drill. However a piece to that tool is nowhere to be fouind in the hospital so now the procedure will be dragged out until Monday. Sigh.

     

    Needless to say today has been a washout. We slept in til about noon and both of us are just tired so for now we will rest up, heal and resume this small project next week.

     

    Perserverance is key !

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    Recent Entries

    babysteps
    Latest Entry

    So I know Stephanie noticed I was gone... did anyone else? :P

     

    I don't quite know what happened... my password was working fine, and then suddenly it didn't. And it was RIGHT in the middle of getting the garden planted, so I wasn't online much anyway, so I decided I'd get back to it when I had time... yeah. You know how *that* goes.

     

    SO... a nice long update, since my last blog entry was when Philip graduated which was a million years ago (or at least it seems like it!)

     

    The garden is planted and doing great. Except for the beans, which something is pulling out as fast as they sprout. I think it's birds. We finished up our Awana year and I'm enjoying the break... I love the Cubbies, but OHMYGOODNESS they are exhausting!

     

    And then Elizabeth decided she wanted to do a market lamb for a 4H project.

     

    Oh let me TELL you about that week. :wacko:

     

    So. On Monday, in the pouring rain, we went and got a 4 month old wether. Elizabeth named him Toby. On Tuesday we discovered that he could jump over the gate of his pen. Caught him, put him back. Added another rail to the top of the gate.

     

    On Wednesday Elizabeth came in from feeding him and announced "Toby has his grain bucket stuck on his head!" Rescued him from the grain bucket. Didn't get pictures. Pity.

     

    On Thursday, some friends came out to shear Toby and brought us another lamb. Because, you know, sheep get lonely if they're all alone. This one is just borrowed from them till after fair... when Toby gets sold, Suzy goes home. Suzy, by the way, is only about 2 months old and about half Toby's size. This is an important detail. And Rachel has decided that Suzy is hers till she goes home.

     

    Friday morning, though, was the highlight of the week. At 6am I wake up to hear a sheep baaaaing right outside my bedroom window. Hmmm. The barn is NOT right outside my bedroom window.

     

    Oh crud.

     

    I shot out of bed and pulled clothes on. Ran to the barn and checked the sheep pen.

     

    One sheep. Not two.

     

    Oh CRUD.

     

    Came back to the house as Betty was coming out. My MIL had heard the baaaing too, and was quick enough out the front door to see Suzy disappear into the horse pasture.

     

    Our horse pasture does NOT have sheep-tight fencing.

     

    NOT GOOD.

     

    (At this point I think I should add that because Philip is working night shift these days, we stay up veeeeery late at night. So please keep in mind that he and I are both running on less than three hours' sleep.)

     

    Philip and I grabbed a sheep halter and ran down into the horse pasture. Which is TWENTY ACRES. Of blackberry bushes and poison oak, mostly.

     

    At 8am we came back to the house, soaking wet (at least it wasn't raining that day, but everything was drenched from the rain we'd had the whole week) and without a sheep. We did, however, find some wool caught on the barbed wire fence at the back of our property line.

     

    Ok. So Suzy has left the property.

     

    I got Cathy (the gal who we borrowed Suzy from) on the phone. One of the fabulous things about living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone else. Cathy works at city hall, and was able to pull up names and phone numbers for all of the people who own property north of us and let them all know that we had an escapee 4H lamb. Then she came out to our place and she and I started hunting again.

     

    At noon (yes, it has now been 6 hours) we quit, having talked to all of the neighbors who were home. Cathy went back to work and I decided to try to salvage at least a little of the school day.

     

    At 4:30 one of the neighbors calls me. Someone has spotted Suzy. I call Cathy at city hall and let her know. She pulls up aerial maps of the area, and we decide to meet at the property where the sheep looks like she's headed.

     

    And at 7pm, THIRTEEN HOURS and SIX AND A HALF MILES later, Cathy, her husband Rick, Philip, Elizabeth, and I manage to catch Suzy.

     

    When we finally got her home we take a good look at the sheep pen. Suzy, who is much smaller than Toby, had managed to squeeze UNDER the bars of the pen. That issue has been remedied.

     

    So that was last week. THIS week we had to take Toby down to the fairgrounds for the official Weigh-in for 4H.

     

    Now, we don't have a truck. It's on the "to get this year" list. We *DO* have a trailer that I can pull with the van. But the trailer is open at the top, which isn't safe for hauling an animal in.

     

    So guess how we hauled Toby to the fairgrounds yesterday?

     

    IN MY VAN.

     

    I learned a few things from that. First of all, sheep don't corner too well. Each time we went around a corner or came to a stop, he fell over. (Which was highly amusing, but I digress.) Second, sheep are very vocal when they aren't happy. Third, the guys at the fairgrounds aren't used to seeing a sheep in the back of a minivan, and they react in quite funny ways. And Fourth....

     

    Sheep poop a LOT.

     

    *sigh*

     

    Glad to be back!!!! :woohoo:

  4. DenimDaze
    Latest Entry

    15% off at Harmony House foods - having a stash of commercially dried and sealed in a plastic jug vegetables, freeze dried fruit or precooked beans is a wonderful thing.

     

    In everyday life, the 'pantry stuffer' is amazingly convenient. If you happen to be out of celery - no problem! rehydrate some. Recipe call for shallots? or leeks? You've got it covered! I love it. Having a jug of jalapenos has also been convenient for my heat loving teenage sons <g>

     

    The free shipping is nice too...

     

    'MOM' is the coupon code.

  5. In looking at what I can make from my pantry, how about Fire Sticks! those really hot hard candy!

     

     

    Grandmas Super Hot Cinnamon Hard Candy

     

    Greetings, thanks for taking the time to stop by! I am going to show you how to make some excellent cinnamon candy. I guarantee if you follow the instructions here, this will be the best cinnamon hard candy you have ever tasted!

     

    First you need to round up the simple ingredients.

     

    * 2 2/3 cups Sugar

    * 4 cups of light corn syrup

    * 3 tsp. Cinnamon Oil - Also known as Cassia Oil

    * 1/2 tsp. Red Food Coloring

     

     

    You will also need some cooking utensils:

     

    * A good Candy Thermometer

    * Assorted Measuring Cups, Teaspoon Measures

    * Cooking Sheets

     

     

    If you have a hard time finding the cinnamon oil, go to your local pharmacy. Most Pharmacists can order food grade cinnamon oil for you. The bottle shown in the picture above came from Eckerd Pharmacy.

     

    Before we go much further, I want to warn you that cinnamon oil is very powerful stuff. Do NOT get it in your eyes! Do not taste it by itself. It will burn your mouth badly. Don't leave it where kids can get into it. It smells really really good and would be tempting for a small child to taste.

     

    Combine the Sugar and Corn Syrup in a large pot. Heat on high until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium high.

     

     

    After the mixture begins to boil, The mixture will need to boil between 15-20 minutes to achieve the 'Crack Stage' 300-310. Check the temperature and stir frequently during cooking. The mixture will begin to turn a brownish color during cooking. This is okay. It is also okay if you smell a slight burnt sugar smell during the end of the cooking.

     

    While you are waiting for your candy to cook, grease two non stick cookie sheets with Vegetable Oil.

     

    I like to remove the candy mixture from the heat right when the temperature gets to 310-311 degrees. It will be a brownish color when you remove it. After it stops bubbling and cools a few seconds, add 1/2 tsp. of red food coloring.

     

    Allow the candy to cool some more and then add 2 1/2 - 3 tsp of the cinnamon oil.

     

    I HIGHLY RECCOMEND YOU DO THIS STEP NEAR AN EXAUST FAN. DO NOT HOLD YOUR FACE NEAR THE CANDY WHEN YOU ADD THE CINNAMON OIL. IT IS VERY POTENT STUFF. SOME OF THE OIL WILL STEAM OFF AND IT WILL BURN YOUR EYES AND FACE IF YOU ARE TOO CLOSE.

     

    Stir the candy well after adding the cinnamon flavoring. It is very important to get it distributed well through the candy.

     

    Pour the candy out onto the greased cookie sheets. Be Careful. IT IS VERY VERY HOT and will burn you badly if you allow it to contact your skin. It is much HOTTER than boiling water. Use pot holders to handle the hot cooking pan.

     

    Allow the candy to harden for about 30mins to an hour and then you can break it up. Cover it with a sheet of wax paper when breaking. It will shatter and tiny little pieces will go everywhere if you dont cover it with something.

     

    You will note that the edges and points on this candy are kind of sharp when you break it up. In order to avoid this, you can score it with a knife or use a ruler to make break lines in it while it is still warm. If you are serving it to small children, make sure you break off the sharp points before serving.

     

    she has pictures!!!!!!!! http://grandmascinnamon.tripod.com/

     

     

     

    This is the basics for all hard candy, hold the cinnamon oil and add lemon extract, or peppermint, or what ever flavor you like. If you dare, when hot, roll small pieces of candy into a ball.

     

     

     

    not to be canned

     

    Banana Nut Bread Jam

    10 ripe bananas, pureed (need 3 cups)

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    4 cups granulated sugar

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, minced

    1 box pectin

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

     

    Mix bananas, walnuts, lemon juice and powdered pectin in large kettle.

     

    Stir while bringing to a full rolling boil. All at once add sugars.

     

    Stirring continuously, heat until full rolling boil. Continue to heat 1 minute.

     

    Fill jars to 1/4 inch of top seat with two-part lid and ring. Boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

     

    Makes about 3 pints.

     

     

     

    Hawaiian Bannans < DON'T CAN THESE EITHER

     

     

    Ingredients

     

     

     

    * 12 slightly green bananas

     

    * 2 1/2 cups fresh lime juice

     

    * 1/2 cup water

     

    * 2 1/2 cups sugar

     

    * 6 teaspoons butter

     

    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

     

    * 6 cinnamon sticks (1 to 1 1/2 inch)

     

    * 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

     

    * 1 teaspoon salt

     

    * 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

     

     

     

    Directions

     

     

     

    1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

     

    2. Peel and slice bananas in 1 inch chunks and add to boiling syrup-all at once.

     

    3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes-stirring very gently.

     

    4. Ladle into sterilized jars.

     

    5. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at altitudes up to 1000 feet.

     

     

     

     

  6. Biography of Dr. David Jeremiah

     

    Dr. David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, felt God’s calling on his life at a very early age. Born February 13, 1941 in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Jeremiah was raised in a family deeply committed to ministry. At the age of 11, the Jeremiah family moved to Dayton, Ohio where his father, Dr. James T. Jeremiah, was the Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio, and in 1953 became the President of Cedarville College in Cedarville, Ohio.

     

    As Dr. Jeremiah was sensitive to God’s leading in his life, he followed in his father’s footsteps. In 1963, Dr. Jeremiah received a Bachelor of Arts from Cedarville College. In that same year, Dr. Jeremiah married his college sweetheart, Donna Thompson who also was attending Cedarville College as a business major. He went on to earn a Masters degree in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1967. He completed additional graduate work at Grace University and was granted the Doctor of Divinity degree from Cedarville College in 1981.

     

    In 1969, Dr. Jeremiah began Blackhawk Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and developed a Christian school grades K through 12. In the 12 years he served as pastor, Blackhawk Baptist Church grew from 7 families to 1300 members. He also launched The Bible Hour television program.

     

    Dr. Jeremiah heeded God’s call, and in 1981 he and his family moved to California where he became the senior pastor of Scott Memorial Baptist Church, now Shadow Mountain Community Church.

     

    Shadow Mountain Community Church is one of the largest churches in San Diego County. It is also the home of Southern California Seminary and Christian Unified Schools.

     

    As Dr. Jeremiah began his ministry at Shadow Mountain, he felt God’s calling to continue the broadcast ministry he started in Fort Wayne. In 1982, Turning Point Ministries became a reality.

     

    Today, Turning Point's 30-minute radio program is heard nationally and internationally on over 1800 stations.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~

     

    From Dr. Jeremiah's website - http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/default.aspx

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    I understand that the Bible is open to interpretation by scholars and by theologians.

    I believe that there are things that we will not understand until God Himself reveals it.

    I believe that no *one human man* has all of the answers.

     

    So as I write and try to discuss and paraphrase or even quote word-for-word, take each bit with a "grain of salt"... meaning... understand that this book is ONE MAN'S INTERPRETATIONS of Biblical prophecy. Only God Himself knows how accurate it is.

     

    For generations, men have claimed to "know" that God was ready to set His final plan into action. People have died, have waited, have left crushed and disillusioned by believing a person's self-proclaimed knowledge of "God's Will".

     

    The key is to live *every day* as if it is our last. Not one of us is promised even one next breath. So live your life in the way you know you should. *I* don't have that way or the answers, but you can find it through Christ, and the Bible is the guidebook.

     

    Cat

     

     

  7. Thanks for stopping by.................

     

     

     

    I had hopes of putting the story I wrote here in a new blog but just couldn't get it to work?

     

    So you have to go to the fireside forum and look for it?

     

    SUMMER DAYS by Michael

     

    Sarah Johnson's Story about the summer of 1881

    at the Family farm on the Prairie

     

    Mainly a book for kids but you all will enjoy it - only 7 short chapters long.
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    Recent Entries

    Necie
    Latest Entry

    On Tuesday, Richard said: 'Ya ought to do something with that chicken in the basement fridge. What day did we butcher them?'

     

    Me: Uh, I don't know. Tuesday? (my day off)

     

    Him: A week ago?

     

    Me: Nooo! (hmmm) What day is it?

     

    Him: Tuesday!

     

    Me: Oh....No, it wasn't a week ago, but I thought we did them on my day off. We butchered chickens and THEN I went to work? Musta been Friday or Saturday. <shrug>

     

     

     

    Then I remembered that a lady had shown up to buy some pullets while we were butchering. I HAD written that down in my little record book- '5 pullets--$25--March 27'. FRIDAY! SHEESH!

     

     

     

    So, I figure if I start writing things in here a bit about what I've done for the day, then this can be one more place to go when I think: 'Now, where did I write that down at?' :24:

     

     

     

    Today...(actually yesterday since it's after mid-night):

     

    Jason (DS1-23) and I went to the elevator and got 100# goat feed, 100# rabbit feed, 100# layer mash, 50# barley and a bag of pine shavings.

     

    Chicks started hatching last night so it's time to rotate chickens. There's only 4 chicks (14-18 wks old) left in the little coop, so I shut them out in their run and cleaned the coop. Put down some wood pellets and pine shavings and put waterers and a new feeder that Richard made me today IN the coop (usually the food and water are out in the run). Then had to catch the 4 little buggers and put them in, (cuz I guess they were afraid of the new bedding :rolleyes: ), and shut them in there. Then Jason and I crated the 23 chicks (7-11 wks old) that were in the large brooder in the barn and put them in the small coop with the other 4 chicks. They will stay shut in there until Saturday, then hopefully when I let them out Saturday morning they will have enough sense to go back in Saturday night.

     

    Made some chicken and noodles out of the butchered roosters for dinner for Richard and Jason, then I went to work.

     

    Pretty boring day, huh?

     

     

  8. Today started as another ordinary Minnesota day.

     

    We have been slowly warming up to springtime. Our Northland weather systems have a distinct reluctance to sacrifice the familiarity of snow and ice and refuse to transition into spring willingly. Two steps forward and three steps back, spring comes peeking around the corner eventually but winter usually has to be dragged kicking and screaming out the door first.

     

    This day was one of the good ones. Temps were holding steady around 30 degrees which classifies as a "scorcher" in this neck of the woods at this time of the year. Smiling to myself and dreaming of the soon-to-arrive-near-tropical temps of summer, I got on with my day.

     

    Then the phone rang.

     

    It was my sister. She was breathless with excitement and said "Guess where work is sending me next week??? Just guess!! You will NEVER guess!"

     

    Off the top of my head, I flippantly said "Please do NOT tell me they are sending you to Hawaii or something."

     

    She said "Hawaii or something!" :)

     

    Wow.

     

    And then came the stunner: "You should come with me!"

     

    Huh?

     

    "I am serious, sis! You would only need to pay for your plane ticket and your food. The hotel and car rental are already taken care of!"

     

    Holy smokes!

     

    I stammered out some pretty legitimate excuses but she had some pretty impressive answers for each. Bemused, I said I would look into the details of it and hung up.

     

    Could this even be possible? Surely not.

     

    Researching plane fares online, I was stunned to find one for $652.00, round trip. Oh my.

     

    In the blink of an eye, I had suddenly moved from the realm of the improbable to the completely feasible.

     

    But what would dear husband say?

     

    I called him at work, waking him from his rest period in the process. He listened groggily, asked if we could afford it (well, not really, lol), said sure and then lectured me on the ramifications of getting myself blown apart in a plane crash and the (in his opinion) measly amount of life insurance we have on me at this present time before hanging up. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

     

    Whatever.

     

    Like I can control THAT anyway.

     

    Unsure of myself, I log onto the shoutbox here at Mrs S and take an impromptu female opinion poll. Should I go? Amazingly to me, my dear friends said yes, encouraging me to step out and be courageous. Oh wow. In my lifetime I have traveled to China to get my daughter, and to South Carolina for my sister's wedding. The only way I survived the trip to China was to follow my husband's directive to stay close to him and not wander off. A world traveler I am not. But I would like to be one....

     

    Then the flurry of phone calls really began. I started tracking down older kids and grandparents, scouting babysitters for a week long outing. All the while, I am dreamily thinking about tropical breezes, island beaches, splashing in the ocean (wow!) and pondering whether or not I would blind people senseless in my bathing suit with my Minnesota-winter-cadaver-white skin. That is, assuming I could even ~find~ my swimsuit. Or bikini. Or fit in either one.

     

    I am starting to get pretty excited though.

     

    Then I connect with my sister again. We try to hammer down a schedule and realize we have to pare a few days off the seven we were hoping for, due to conflicts and schedules back here in the frozen tundra.

     

    Wait a minute.

     

    The cheapest flights we can now find are right around $1100. Major bummer. Way too steep for this girl's pocketbook. We search and look, hunt and dig.

     

    That's about as good as it gets.

     

    Poof! goes the dream. My sister is disappointed. Another time, maybe.

     

    But you know what? I didn't mind.

     

    For the space of a few short hours, I got to realistically dream and imagine a great adventure. And I didn't have to leave home or spend a penny to do it. There were no delayed flights, bad weather, obnoxious travelers, lost luggage, expensive food, or bad guys to worry about.

     

    There was just a happy expectation that something good was coming my way.

     

    And it did.

     

    :)

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    my boss is retiring soon and i will be getting the postion and for now no extra pay and no offical title,but all the work it is coming up soon and i am geting very nervous. when our work picks up they say there will be the title and a pay increase can not wait we can really use the pay increase. my boss will go from being my boss to me being their boss the person is only going to work a few days a week. i hope this makes sense.

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    Dear Procrastination,

    I am so glad I have this tool, of writing to you, it will allow me to express my feelings about you and the role you are playing in my life. Procrastination, you have really jumbled up my life. When I realized how helpless you make me feel, the lies you tell me, how much of the devil is in you, it certainly ticked me off. I do hate the grip you have had on me in the past, and the insiduous way you still, so subtly, sneak into my every day life still, despite the actual fact that I am working to get rid of you. Despite my low energy, my chronic fatigue and fibro affecting me and my back getting painful periodically.

    My place is small and still cluttered, and it is distracting and frustrating that it takes me so long to organize it, partly because of the above factors, but mostly because of you Procrastination, as the physical stuff is improving. Having to wait constantly to be able to go get things just to organize my place is a sore point, I admit, with lack of money and transportation at hand. The clutter is a distraction and you use that as a weapon with me. Make it seem overwhelming in my mind. But, Procrastination, you can take ANY issue, any concern or worry, and you make me feel absolutely rotten all the way through me if you can. ( You can be quite successful with this, especially when I see how much others do get done from day to day. )

    Well, Dear Procrastination", I have been and will continue to take steps, babysteps some days, bigger steps on other days, when I feel true, clear, strong motivation or need to do a chore, a projec, hem up some second hand pants, tear up and throw out cardboard, a tedious task here since I cannot recycle from where I reside, move that pile of books, clean my kitchen or my bedroom, simply to make that little effort that truly overcomes you and I know I am now winning battles more and more with you.

     

     

    Arby

     

    P.S. BTW, The Lord is on my side in this matter! He can do anything! You, Procrastination, are nothing compared to Him. As long as I remember this and remind myself, I will win the war against you, Procrastination.

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    samantha
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    I went out today and loaded up on supplies. I've got a good start again now, so I feel better about what I have although I still have a long way to go before I can breathe easy. But can you ever breathe easy, no matter how much you have? For every one thing I bought today I can still think of ten more things I need! But at least now I can pick up a few extra things every time I go out.

     

    I've been recording everything on paper with the expiration dates and where they are so rotating won't be so difficult. This is a full time job!

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    Well it rained on us today so we couldn't start planting. Looks like its going to storm all day tomorrow too. I did let dd plant a pot of common yarrow today since she is so excited. I was afraid she'd have a meltdown if I didn't let her plant "her garden". :lol: She's so cute. She is so excited about the garden. She's going to be my big helper this year. :wub:

  9. Years ago (in 1999), when I first joined MrsS, we had a forum called Extreme Realities, where we discussed self defense with all sorts of weapons (remember the reverse Z?). Some of you might remember Armorer leading that forum...

     

    well, he taught me a lot, and inspired my husband and I to buy compound bows, which we learned how to use, and although they are not ideal weapons for self-defense, they are certainly better than nothing, and are definitely useful for hunting should the s**t hit the fan and food become scarce.

     

    Being (at the time) a city dweller, I was a bit nervous, especially since the crime rate was rising as our population swelled over a million people. Although we lived in a good area of town, it was becoming more and more common for gunshots to be heard close to come, and violent crimes happened within blocks of where our young children played.

     

    One night, I awoke to a noise in the house. I listened in the dark, just to be sure. I often heard noises, and often woke my husband, only to have him climb back into bed, annoyed that there had been no reason to be rousted from sleep at 3:00 a.m.

     

    That night, though, the noise was real. My husband got out of bed and grabbed his samurai sword. I joined him, compound bow in hand, an arrow nocked and ready.

     

    We crept downstairs, knowing every spot on the floor that creaked, careful not to alert whoever was in the house. As we approached the lower level, the sounds grew louder. There was definitely someone there, rummaging through boxes.

     

    We came to the last set of stairs (we had a four-level split), and my husband went down, then stood outside the door, his sword ready. I stood at the top of the stairs, my bow ready, prepared to put an arrow through the throat of whoever had invaded our home.

     

    Then, in a moment I will never forget, our interloper came through the family room door. And I will forever be thankful for the training that Armorer gave us... that we learned that our minds are our primary weapons. That we need to think first, before we act. And thank goodness we did.

     

    There was our six year old daughter... sleep walking.

     

    I learned a lot that night. I learned that I could master my fear. I learned that I could think my way through a scary situation. I learned that I was not a victim.

     

    It was one of many things I have learned at MrsSurvival.

     

    I will be forever grateful for it.

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