Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RV Fridge. Defrosting Tip. Topiaries. New Faucet.

by Mark Polk

Mark's RV Quick Tip:
"Here are some quick tips to help maximize your RV refrigerator's efficiency during the dog days of summer:

  • Turn the RV refrigerator on several hours before putting food in it. It’s best to leave it on overnight and put your food in it just prior to leaving on a trip. If at all possible try not to put warm food in the refrigerator. Putting cold food in the refrigerator and freezer will make it work more efficiently.
  • Always keep a small thermometer in your RV refrigerator so you can monitor the temperature. Food can begin to go bad at about 40 degrees.
  • Don't pack the food to close or put too much food in the refrigerator. Air must be able to circulate around the food for the refrigerator to operate properly. Keep a couple of day’s supply of food in the refrigerator and replenish as necessary.
  • Use a small battery operated fan in the refrigerator to assist with air circulation. Place the fan in the lower compartment blowing upward.
  • Try to avoid opening the refrigerator door too much. Continuously opening the refrigerator door and leaving it open for periods of time will affect the efficiency of the refrigerator.
  • The outside temperature will affect the operation of the refrigerator. In hot temperatures try to park the RV in shaded areas, especially on the side of the RV where the refrigerator is located. You can also install a thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan that will move the hot air out from behind the refrigerator and make it operate more efficiently.
  • The RV refrigerator must be close to level to operate properly."



    Here is a tip about defrosting your fridge


    "Yes, I'm going to help defrost our RV refrig.  That's always a job, putting everything in ice chests, then the defrost process of melting the ice and dipping out the water, then putting everything back.


    We've just recently learned if you take those "thin" 12" x 15" silicone flexible cutting board sheets that you can get in the house wares section of Wal-Mart and cut them to fit the rear wall of the refrig, then slide the wire shelves back in against them to hold them in place and put freezer contents back in to hold them tight against the wall.

    The next time you defrost, all the ice & frost will be attached to the thin sheet and you just have to remove it and dump it in the sink, and you're done in a fraction of the time and effort. Pretty good, huh?"

    From: http://bwcarolhappy-trails.blogspot.com/



  • Ray and I tested out a single lever faucet that I got from Roni yesterday.  We found 1/2" pipe thread to water hose thread fittings,  so that we could hook it up to a water hose, and make sure that it didn't need a new cartridge, washers or something. It checked out good.  It is such a pain to get under the kitchen sink to R & R a faucet, that we wanted to make sure first.

    The new faucet that we installed a few months ago was defective, the handle kept on coming loose, so it needs to be returned.


    Jim the mechanic finally came to get the cargo trailer today, and he wanted me to go down there to look over the estimate for fixing the broken outriggers.  He is going to install heavier ones.


    Ray went with me, as the Yorks and their topiaries are on the next street.  He knows them better than I do, and I didn't want to be tramping around on their grounds by myself taking the pictures.  I might have backed into one of the many goldfish ponds, or run across a real snake or critter.  

    Since Mr. York has been ill, they haven't been tended like they were in previous years.  Some had lost all their plant cover, and were back to the wire frames.  Others were so overgrown that you had to know what they were.


































    Mouse-over for descriptions.


    It is a shame, as they were so beautiful at one time.  Now they will probably all be thrown away.


    Ray and I installed the faucet in my kitchen, put my swivel-sprayer on the faucet, and now I am all set for today.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    How Could They? Topiaries.

     How could they beat such a sweet dog? 

    Kendra Slugoski has the story of Maliha, a badly abused dog getting a second chance at life.

    2-1/2 minute Video:

    "Now, take a good look at my picture. At first it might not look that bad, but look again!  Look closer. The story is that someone covered my head with a bag and then beat me. I am in terrible condition.

    My whole nasal cavity is caved in and it has caused a severe infection. Pretty awful, huh! My nose is literally flat. My teeth point every which way. I cannot breathe out of my nose and I cannot eat properly.

    Nothing can be done yet as I am too emaciated to be put under anesthesia for surgery.  I have to gain some weight before I can get any further help if there is anything that can even be done. You see my injury happened months ago and that will make it more difficult to repair the damage.

    I am a very sweet dog and I don't understand why anyone would want to hurt me."
    Her story: http://www.scarscare.org/Story.aspx?StoryID=269

    "My name is now Maliha. It was chosen for me because it means strength and beauty, for that is what my foster family sees when they look at me."
    Her web page: http://www.scarscare.org/Animal.aspx?AnimalID=732

    If you can help Maliha, please do so.
    I wish we had 'eye for an eye' in our law courts.


    Ray didn't work today, as a neighbor died last night and he went to help the family.  Mr. York will be missed, he was a very nice elderly man.  He is the one who made the animal topiaries.   Some of them are really interesting.   One is a stage coach complete with horses and passengers, and another is a dinosaur eating something.  One is from the fallen branch of a tree, and looks like a giant spider, it doesn't have anything growing on it, though.  In the winter he would build a plastic enclosure for all of them, they were his pride and joy. I had better get a picture, as his family had no interest in them at all.

    As an ex mariner, he had also built a house that looked like three boats, and I know that his widow will move out of there as soon as she can.  She wants to be closer to the Houston area, her children, and grandchildren.

    I took Roni, another neighbor, into the next town to pay a bill, and it was right next door to a big health food store.  We have both been there before, but it is so big it is difficult to see everything at one visit. We will be going back there on Wednesday, when the sales are on.

    Then we went to the big flagship Kroger's and looked around their health food dept. They had some of the same things, but at cheaper prices than the health food store, so Roni wants to go there on Wednesday, too.  She always goes to the smaller Krogers in our little town, so she didn't even know about the things the big flagship Krogers has to offer.

    It was mostly wandering around, and window shopping today.

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Drugs in Milk, Just Say No.

    There are a lot of companies now that won't sell milk coming from cows treated with Bovine Growth Hormone, and more added to the list every day.  (WalMart, Kroger, Starbucks, most hospitals, are just a few).


    American Milk banned in Europe and Canada:

    1. Do not buy milk from cows treated with rBGH. Unless the milk-label states “NO rBGH”, you can assume the milk is contaminated. rBGH has become so widely used by dairy farmers. Most health food stores sell rBGH-free milk.

    2. Contact your local supermarket and find out if they have a policy regarding rBGH and milk. Make clear that you would like rBGH-free milk.
    From: http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/milk.htm

    Protect yourself, and your loved ones by looking at the labels.


    As it is a little cooler in the mornings, Ray and I tackled a job that we have been putting off for a long time.

    We pressured washed the front and back fascia boards on the house. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia_(architecture) )

    That got us going, and we pressure washed the front of the workshop and that side, too.

    Then the rear fascia boards, and the wooden trim around the garage doors, front and side, were painted.

    There is no way that we can paint the fascia boards on the sides of the house, they are too high up, as it is about two storeys, including the big attic.  But they are still in good shape.

    We had it done by quitting time when it turned into another hot day.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    7 Reasons Not to Buy a House, + One More.

    "This article is going to be a contradiction. After the fall that housing has suffered, I think that that, as an asset class, housing will probably be a decent investment going forward. But nobody should ever consider owning a home.

    One of the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public is that owning a home is the "American Dream." It's more nightmare than dream as millions of Americans now know. But it has always been that way.

    Here's why.
    1) No diversification. Most people put the bulk of their net worth in their house and then they borrow money to pay for the rest of it.
    2) It's illiquid. When times are tough and you need cash, you can't sell it.
    3) It costs a lot more than renting. Most people think you are "throwing money away" when renting. Quite the reverse. There are many hidden costs when buying a house:
    4) Transaction costs (legal, real estate agent, title check, inspections, etc.) often come to 7% to 10% of the cost of a house. So you are 7% to 10% down immediately.
    5) Home improvement (adding a bathroom, upgrading the kitchen, installing double-pane windows, landscaping, etc.)
    6) Ongoing maintenance and repairs (periodic roofing, plumbing repairs, yard upkeep, fixing things, etc.)
    7) Your real estate taxes (which will ultimately be more than the tax savings you get on your mortgage interest)
    It's not fun. I'd much rather have my landlord shovel the snow than me shovel the snow. And, by the way, heart failure goes way up during a snow storm. A sedentary lifestyle doesn't lend itself to the arduous task of shoveling our driveways."

    AOL Video
    See full article from DailyFinance: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/credit/seven-reasons-not-to-buy-a-home/19597268/?icid=sphere_copyright

    REIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_investment_trust
    Time  says:

    "Homeownership has let us down. For generations, Americans believed that owning a home was an axiomatic good. Our political leaders hammered home the point.
    Franklin Roosevelt held that a country of homeowners was "unconquerable." Homeownership could even, in the words of George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Jack Kemp, "save babies, save children, save families and save America." A house with a front lawn and a picket fence wasn't just a nice place to live or a risk-free investment; it was a way to transform a nation.
    No wonder leaders of all political stripes wanted to spend more than $100 billion a year on subsidies and tax breaks to encourage people to buy.
    But the dark side of homeownership is now all too apparent: foreclosures and walkaways, neighborhoods plagued by abandoned properties and plummeting home values, a nation in which families have $6 trillion less in housing wealth than they did just three years ago. Indeed, easy lending stimulated by the cult of homeownership may have triggered the financial crisis and led directly to its biggest bailout, that of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    Housing remains a drag on the economy. Existing-home sales in July dropped 27% from the prior month, exacerbating fears of a double-dip. And all that is just the obvious tale of a housing bubble and what happened when it popped. The real story is deeper and darker still. "
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2013684,00.html?xid=aol-direct#ixzz0xvvvNUIP

    The eight reason they did not give, is to change your back yard frequently by going Full Time in an RV.

    As for me, yes, I own a house, but the first time I bought one, I added up the payments, and saw how much that house loan was going to cost me.  It was disgusting what the mortgage company was going to make off this frugal Scot.

    I made a few improvements and within a year I sold it, moved into a motor home and went west to explore the left side of the US and Canada.
    Having saved up for 10 years, and searched for the right house to buy,  I was sorely disappointed.  Not in the house, as it was a lovely brick 3-2-2 in an exclusive neighborhood in the best school district in TX, but in the whole " Now What?" situation.  Kinda like "Is That All There Is?", by Peggy Lee.

    All I could see were years and years of being in the same place, with the same bills, and a very small portion of the payments going towards the principal for many years.  It was disheartening.  I swore I would never be on that end of a mortgage again.

    Several times I built a dwelling, paying for it as I built it, and lost three either due to flood, fire or famine.  (Actually, not famine, I had another place to live, but I was sick, couldn't work, and needed to sell it to feed me and my son.)  Other places I have built, I sold 'owner financed', so I would get the interest.

    So why am I in a house again?  Because it is paid for, and always has been.  Built and paid for as it grew.  It started out just being a TX winter place.  Part of the house that got flooded was salvageable, moved here, and is now my guest house which is rented out to Ray and Shay.  He helps me with the jobs around here, and it goes towards his rent.

    I wanted to halftime, and be a "sunbird',  but I am a widowed great grandma now, and traveling on your own isn't much fun, or feel safe anymore.  There is no way I could go to all the places that I would like to see, so I have to be content to look at traveler's blogs.

    Even if you live in a home that isn't the poshest one around, if it is paid for, and it is where you want to be, then it is really your home, even if it is on wheels.

    This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, all in one month.
    It happens once in 823 years.
    I probably will miss it next time!

    Yes, home ownership does have it's drawbacks.  Ray and I spent the whole morning mowing the grass and raking up the rest of the pine needles.  That long dry spell, and then the rain, made the pines shed something fearful.

    It has started to get humid again, so that was all we did outside today.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Glacier National Park Celebrates 100 Years

    Glacier National Park"2010 marks the 100th anniversary of one of America’s most valuable national treasures: Glacier National Park. Located in the northwest corner of Montana along the spine of the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park, the park’s primary visitor season runs May through October.

    With various film festivals, art projects, legacy projects and other special events occurring throughout the year, it’s a great time to visit the Glacier National Park.

    To see some current images of the park, check out their webcams.

    Below is just some of the information available at http://www.glaciercentennial.org/ about the park and the anniversary celebrations."

    From: http://blog.rv.net/2010/04/glacier-national-park-celebrates-100-years/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RvnetBlog+%28RV.net+Blog+Daily+Updates+Feed%29

    There are still plenty of celebrations, here are the August and September schedules:



    A lovely surprise, it was even cooler this morning, and all three cats spent some time on the screen porch.  In fact our low was 63.5 deg. F.  We haven't had 63 deg. since May.

    Ray and I worked on getting the vertical corner edges of the cargo/stealth trailer ready for re-painting.  Some silly sod had gooped silicone on the trim.  An RV no-no.  That all has to be scraped off, before it can be painted.  I basically got the floor plan measured for the inside, and marked the floor.

    The sun was shining, but there was a breeze so it wasn't too hot. It was 90 deg. while we were working.   Maybe we are in the beginnings of Fall, but that would be early for this area.  Usually August and September are really hot and humid.   I hope that isn't an omen for another hard winter.

    My son, Kevin, came by for a little while, so that was another lovely surprise today.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Building Alaska Hiway. P & N Back in Canada.

    As you may know, my brother Nigel, and sister-in-law Pamala, are visiting here from England, and are having the trip of a lifetime in Alaska, Canada and the lower US.  I follow their journey when they can get in touch to let me know where they are, through FaceBook or Skype.    WiFi has been pretty spotty. 
    This has heightened my interest to know more about AK, the Alaska Highway, and all the other highways, some of which are just gravel.

    Army uses heavy equipment on Alaska Highway
    "When construction began, the engineers quickly ran into a problem. The route on the map did not match the route suitable on the ground. Builders had to construct segments that followed existing winter roads and old Indian trails. Some of the road followed rivers, but that was rare because the builders were afraid their construction would create landslides into the rivers.
    In the summer of 1942, engineers employed 20-ton bulldozers, but were only able to cover six miles a day. That was due to subarctic forest that was so difficult to push through. They built without grades or curves, making their way through the forest — wherever the bulldozer would go. Those segments were not built for cars or trucks — they were built for bulldozers.:
    Alaska Highway

    February 6, 1942 - Alaska Highway construction approved by United States Army.

    February 11, 1942 - President Roosevelt authorizes construction of the Alaska Highway.

    March 8, 1942 - Construction of the Alaska Highway officially begins.

    June 7, 1942 - Japanese invade Kiska Island in the Aleutians. Attu Island is also occupied.

    September 24, 1942 - Northern and Southern crews meet at Contact Creek.

    November 20, 1942 - Official dedication of the Alaska Highway at Soldiers Summit.

    April 1, 1946 - Transfer of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway from the U.S. to the Canadian Army, Northwest Highway System.

    More at: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1729.html

    PBS did a documentary about it, too:

    David Hartman on YouTube:

    This is a 10 minute video, Part 1 of 6.  He explains how The Day of Infamy (7th. Dec. 1941) prompted getting this highway built as quickly as possible.

    There are some ads in it, but it is still interesting, and informative.  The other 5 parts can be seen too.

    Pamala and Nigel Skyped me last night, and they have been on a convoy on The Top of The World Highway, which has been affected by lots of washouts due to rain:

    Nigel & Pamala: "The Top of the World Highway was something else,  they have really been doing a lot of work on it, but the places where it washed away, would have been treacherous in the rain.     Couldn't believe we were doing that, we had about 40 (at a guess) vehicles in our convoy (all sorts), we went on the 2nd convoy as the first was even bigger and left at 8 a,.m., we should have left at 12 but it was not until 1.10 p.m. and it took 2 hours to do 30 miles and then soon after that we hit the Canadian border."

    Here is one of their pictures:

    A tricky bit on the Top of the World

    Can you imagine being on that highway when it is partially washed out?

    Top of the World Highway
    Customs/border crossing on the Top of the World Highway.

    Now Pamala and Nigel are in Dawson City, Canada, and are on their way to Faro and Watson Lake, on the Klondike and Campbell Highways.

    Tok-Dawson-City-Top-World-Hiway (Medium)


    Ray and I jacked up the cargo trailer some more.

    We had to get an adjustable jack stand under it, so we could put more blocks under the jack, and we replaced the wheel.  Then we started to look at what could be done with the paint on it.
    I got out a couple of those floppy paint strippers/sanders that go on a drill, and even though we had already pressure washed the trailer, we still beat off some more loose paint.

    Old-furnace-tube-cargo-trailerInside there was a big vented metal tube, probably to a furnace, which we removed, so that left the vent on the outside. 

    Old furnace vent-cargo trailer

    We removed it, took it in the workshop and banged the vent louvers shut, then put a sheet of white metal behind it, put butyl putty tape around it, and screwed it back on.  It will be caulked after it is painted, and we can insulate and fill in the hole from the inside.

    Ray got called away, so that was it for today.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    An Egg for Every American

    A Bad Egg for Every American? Thursday, August 19th, 2010

    "Investigations into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella have triggered a major recall of eggs involving 17 states and 380 million eggs—that's one bad egg per person in the United States.

    By now, many of us have developed an unnatural but necessary fear of French toast, cake, omelets, egg salad sandwiches and more. Investigations into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella have triggered a major recall of eggs involving 17 states and 380 million eggs (more than one egg per person in the United States, plus a few omelets), and those numbers could continue to grow.

    The affected eggs were packaged as far back as mid-May—an entire season ago.


    The recalled shell eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.

    Q: How do I determine what eggs are affected by the recall? 

    A: Dates and codes can be found stamped on the packaging. The plant number begins with the letter "P", followed by a number (P-1946 in the example below). The Julian date follows the plant number (223 in the example).
    Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter

    It is important to note that both the plant number and Julian date must match. If the Julian date does not match the affected plant number, then your eggs are not currently involved in the recall.

    A list of the recalled eggs and more at:

    August 19, 2010

    Cage Confinement of Laying Hens Increases Salmonella Risk:

    "The HSUS' undercover investigations at Iowa egg factories revealed rampant cruelty and food safety problems.

    An abundance of science shows that forcing hens to endure confinement inside cages increases the risk of Salmonella compared to keeping hens in a cage-free environment.
    In fact, there have been nine studies published in the last five years comparing cage and cage-free egg operations, and they all found higher rates of Salmonella in the caged facilities.
    Even many in the industry agree that cage systems increase Salmonella risk."

    From: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/salmonella.html

    August 18, 2010

    In Wake of Egg Recall, The Humane Society of the United States Urges Industry to Eliminate Cage Confinement Systems for Laying Hens.

    "A multi-state egg recall this week illustrates the risk to public health of cramming millions of hens in cages so small they can barely move an inch their whole lives.

    "Factory farms that cram egg-laying hens into tiny cages are not only cruel, but they threaten food safety," stated Michael Greger, MD, director of public health and animal agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. "According to the best available science, simply by switching to cage-free housing systems, the egg industry may be able to halve the risk of Salmonella for the American public."

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 Americans suffer egg-borne Salmonella infections every year. An increase in Salmonella infections led this week to a nationwide recall of eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa.

    The company confines more than 7.5 million egg laying hens. Every scientific study published in the last 5 years found increased Salmonella rates in cage operations.

    American Egg Board research has shown that that common egg cooking methods such as scrambling and serving over easy and sunny side up are insufficient to eliminate the threat of Salmonella.

    To protect public health, the industry must take steps to reduce risks on the farm, including moving to cage-free operations."
    More at: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2010/08/egg_recall_081810.html

    My eggs are not in the recall, as I buy organic cage free eggs.
    I will not be party to the cruelty of caged hens. The Cage-Free organic eggs cost more, but they taste better and have more nutrients, and they aren't fed genetically modified junk, so they are more healthy to eat.
    I don't eat many eggs, so the cost difference is a no-brainer, might as well eat something that is good for you, and tastes better.
    Jay had some here the other day, and he couldn't believe how much better they taste.


    For the second morning in a row, the cats have been able to go out on the screen porch early in the morning.  It was 70 deg. when I let them out there.   But they were back in by 9.30 AM, at 82 deg., for their breakfasts.

    I made a quick trip into Conroe and turned some papers into SS, and even had a brief interview with one of their agents.  It might increase my check a little, but it takes a couple of months for it to happen.

    A brief stop at the 99c Store turned into a little shopping spree. They have a generic brand of acetaminophen-PM that doesn't make my legs itch, and most brands do.  Just shows you what different chemicals there are in things.  I also bought a bunch of fresh veggies there, as they were on my list anyway.  The cats got a treat of catnip to put in their catnip holder.

    It felt like it was a cooler day, with less humidity, and the wind was blowing, so it didn't feel so stifle-y.
    It was 91 deg. when I got home about 12.30PM, but it has gone up to 96 deg. now, with 40% humidity, so that's not bad for an August day.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    "Do Something" @ Staples. Pine Needles!!

    "New data shows that approximately one million students across the United States are homeless. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the number amounts to an average of one homeless child in every classroom.
    School districts are also in need. Budget cuts and teacher layoffs mean that schools have to make do with less. As a sign of the times, some of these costs are being passed on to students and their struggling families.
    It's not uncommon for class supply lists being handed out to include more than just the traditional pen and paper; some schools are now also asking for general classroom items such as Clorox, garbage bags and hand soap.

    Nobody's saying that these aren't tough times for everyone. But with the number of homeless students and burdened families on the rise, shouldn't free public education, the most democratic path to self-sufficiency America has to offer, be the last thing cut?

    As big as the problems facing our education system are, there are small things we can all to do help.
    Our friends at DoSomething.org have partnered with Staples to collect school supplies for students in need, which you can drop off in the collection box at any Staples store and have delivered to local kids. And our friends at the homeless advocacy organization Hear Us have started a campaign calling on Congress to fully fund programs targeting homeless students."

    Points to Ponder:
    1. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
    2. Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?
    3. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
    4. How do I set my laser printer on stun?
    5. How is it possible to have a civil war?
    6. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
    7. If God dropped acid, would he see people?
    8. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
    9. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?
    10. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
    11. If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?
    12. If you're born again, do you have two bellybuttons?
    13. If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
    14. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
    15. Is a castrated pig disgruntled?
    16. Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "asteroids"?
    17. Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
    18. Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
    19. What happens when none of your bees wax?
    20. Where are we going? And what's with this hand basket?
    21. If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn't the whole airplane made out of the stuff?
    22. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
    23. If most car accidents occur within five miles of home, why doesn't everyone just move 10 miles away?

    Jim, the mechanic, checked my van out yesterday, and said I better have the radiator rodded.    He said he would take it off and take it into Conroe for me.  I still had the cargo trailer wheel in the back of it that needed the tire mounted on it, and a list of things I needed to do, so I went down there and got my van back.

    I called the place where he was going to get it done, and it had changed hands and they no longer do it, they just sell you a new radiator.     All the people that do that around here have closed down, so I searched for someone else, and the only place was in Spring, TX.

    I found out the price for a new radiator, but as we shouldn't have too many more weeks of hot weather, I am going to hold off for now.  I don't know for sure if that is the problem, as it doesn't start to overheat unless I have to let it idle, so I can manage.  It has never got near the danger zone.

    We really are in a 'throw away' society, and you know that they will keep your old radiator and sell it for scrap.   So it is a win-win situation for the shop.

    Ray came and cleaned up my little patio area out back.  The rain had made pine needles drop all over it.  The hot dry weather we have had, has made the pine trees all dry and molt.  As the dogs do their thing in the back yard next to patio, I am always raking that to keep it clean, but now I have a lot more needles there, too.

    There is a space under the eaves of my roof, where the porch roof ties in, and it lets the hot air out of the porch.  It is under the eaves, so rain doesn't come in.  It is covered with screen wire, so birds and mosquitoes can't get in, but pine needles had collected there, too.  Ray took the blower on the porch and blew them all off there from the underneath.

    After he had fixed a lamp for me, he had to go, and I went into town.    I went to the closest tire store, and they won't mount your own tires, as they sell tires!!  But the second store did it for $5.  So now I just have to get it back on the cargo trailer.

    Bear made of pine needles.

    "Needle"-less  to say, not much going on today.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Chalk for Ants in Your Pants?

    "While it might be tempting squash the ten-odd soldiers that take a wrong turn onto your kitchen sill, live ants are actually attracted to the scent of dead brethren and will come running by the dozens to come collect the carcasses.

    Try instead to work toward an ant-free home with these everyday practices:

    -- Store food properly: Store staples in airtight containers, wiping down countertops; seal up and immediately storing leftovers; regularly vacuum up pets' food niblets; don't leave dirty dishes in the sink.

    -- Manage your waste: Take out the trash frequently (every day, if you can) and rinse recyclables before storing.

    -- Seal up openings: If you see an ant column (a line) of ants, follow it to its beginning, and seal up the entry point, and any cracks and crevices around it, with caulk. No caulk? Use petroleum jelly. Then vacuum up the workers with a cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
    Vacuuming (as opposed to squashing) prevents ants from releasing the chemicals that alert other workers to their demise. Safely dispose of the bag immediately. Wipe up leftover chemical trails (just go along where they were walking) with a mild soap-and-water solution.

    -- Block the perimeter: Draw a chalk – yes, chalk – line around windows and doorways; ants looking to invade from the outdoors won't cross the line.

    -- Find a nest: Bait a pill-bottle cap with a dab of peanut butter, jelly or bacon grease. Stand watch and follow the critters back to their lair.

    -- Guard the pantry: Dip a few bay leaves in mouthwash, let dry, and place haphazardly on shelves to repel ants and keep them from raiding the sugar, flour and paprika.

    Clean countertops: Use a vinegar-and-water solution (mix one, equal parts, and store in a spray bottle) as your go-to multipurpose surface cleaner; ants despise vinegar and it's a powerful all-natural disinfectant.

    Doing these things meticulously and relentlessly for three to seven days should reduce the numbers of workers marching indoors to forage for sustenance.

    Keep in mind that ants are inclined to follow chemical trails laid down by other ants who've found food in the past. In time, trails will go cold." 
    More at: http://www.diylife.com/2010/07/29/how-to-control-household-ants/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl8|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diylife.com%2F2010%2F07%2F29%2Fhow-to-control-household-ants%2F

    For natural solutions: http://www.greenpeople.org/webpage.cfm?memid=24565&pmtlevel=0&linkpage=http://www.plusnaturalenzymes.com


    How to tell ants from termites:

    Termites have a thick waist and ants have a narrow waist.
    Termites have straight antennae and ants have elbowed antennae.
    Termites have four wings that are all equal in length.
    Ants have four wings however, two are larger and two are smaller.



    I dug around here, and found another flat screen monitor that works.  I hadn't fooled with it before as the picture is so faint.  It took a lot of adjusting, but at least I can use my desktop again.

    bicycle_lawnmower_thumbnail_0 dog-lawn-mower_thumbnail

    I didn't even hear him do it, but Ray must have mowed, so the 'wispies' are gone again.  I like to leave the wispies for a while, as they have the grass seeds in them, to strengthen the lawn.  But mine is a mulching mower anyway, so the seeds go into the ground.

    I really needed to take the cargo trailer wheel into town to get the new tire mounted, but as it was 24 hours since Pepper and Maddie had their baths, it was time to apply their Revolution. (https://www.revolution4dogs.com/default.aspx

    I was just getting it ready, when a man called wanting to come and look at the AC I have for sale.  He said he would be here in 15 minutes!.  Well, I took an extension cord out to where the AC is, so I could show him that it worked, then I bundled up the trash, put in a load of clothes, and was just going to leave a note on my gate, when the guy arrived an hour late!  He bought it, but it knocked me all off schedule, as I missed the trash man, and it was too late and hot to go into town.  It was going to be 100 deg. here for the third time this year.

    Jim, the mechanic, came by and took my van to try to find out the cause of it overheating.  It could be several things.

    So I hopped in the Puddle Jumper and drove down to Claudia's with the Revolution, and my trash, as the man hadn't got to her place yet.
    Then she told me that she hadn't wanted Maddie clipped, she wanted her to grow out her Yorkie coat.  It was Jay who wanted her clipped, as he bathes her, but doesn't brush her first.  Jay has a nose like a bloodhound and can smell a rat turd in the next block!   He always says Maddie smells, so he is constantly bathing her.   My bad, I should have checked with Claudia!

    Now it is thundering, and pouring down rain.   It has cooled off a bit, but with my van gone, I can't go anywhere today.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Oh! Oh! Dead Possums and Monitor. Grooming

    "When I first read the headline Teacher Fired for Reporting Animal Abuse on School Grounds Reinstated, I was appalled at the thought of a teacher getting reprimanded for reporting animal abuse in the first place. Animal cruelty shouldn't be taken lightly, especially not by the people who are supposed to be teaching children.

    In April, eight dead baby opposums were found on school grounds in Bath County, Kentucky. They had been tortured. Teacher Lorraine Leadingham discovered who the suspects were and reported them to an outside agency. "I took a stand and put my job on the line for it. And I feel what I did was right." She was fired for it. The independent tribunal who overturned her firing saw her good intentions for what they were, especially since school officials were trying to sweep the incident under the rug because the suspects were "children of prominent community citizens.""

    Teachers are required to report signs of child abuse. The same should be true when they have reason to believe children are abusing animals.  It starts with animals and then goes to child or spousal abuse.

    Please Sign Petition: http://animals.change.org/blog/view/teachers_should_be_required_to_report_students_who_abuse_animals?me=nl


    I got up, turned on the coffee maker and desktop computer, and took the dogs out.  Then poured my coffee, went to the computer, and the monitor was a big black cyclops looking at me.  It had power, as the light was on, but that was it.

    So I turned on this laptop, and read at any mail that looked important.
    I didn't know whether to just get another monitor, a better laptop, or what.

    I like my desktop, but I am so tired of all the wires that have to stay plugged into it.  Monitor, keyboard, mouse, power cord, printer, speakers (this one doesn't have built in speakers), cable cord, phone cord, (for when the cable goes out), camera cord, all that stuff that gets tangled up like several serpentines writhing in the back there!

    But a laptop would still have a printer cord, a mouse cord, (unless I bought wireless ones), the cable cord, the phone cord, the camera cord and the power cord.  So it would still be an octopus of sorts, but I think that is what I would prefer.

    But one thing I have noticed is that to be at the right height for typing on a laptop, the position of the screen makes you round your shoulders.

    The monitor on my desktop is on a stand, and then it is on another wooden stand that we made to slip the mini keyboard under,  so I am sitting upright, and don't get a back ache.  Just typing this on my laptop, I am slouching.

    I wanted to head out to Best Buy in the next town and just be done with it, but all they would have would be Windows 7, and I just don't like change.  So that was out!
    I have always had Win XP Pro, and there are too many new technical things to befuzzle me already.  Even a new cell phone, and I am discombooberated for quite a while.

    But I couldn't anyway, as I was grooming Pepper.  So I went to Claudia's and picked up Jay, Pepper and Maddie, the tiny Yorkie.

    Before I started grooming, Jay and I took the other wheel off the cargo trailer, as it had gone flat.  I have a new tire for it, so I just have to get it mounted.

    While I was taking a break from grooming, I had a quick look at some laptops with Win XP Pro on eBay, but there are just so many to wade through, it just got confusing.

    After I had groomed Pepper, and Maddie I took them all home and that was enough for today.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Fly Catcher. Adoption Day.

    "They are like fruit flies, you can see them but never swat them. I looked on the Internet and found a solution. Here's how I dealt with them.

    First find a bottle, like a used water bottle.

    Second pour a quarter - half inch of balsamic vinegar or vinegar or salad dressing into the bottle. Balsamic vinegar seemed to work best.

    Next make a small paper funnel cone with a small opening and tape it in the neck of the bottle. Make sure flies in the bottle can't slip between the edge of the bottle neck and the cone. It should extend about an inch into the bottle and about an inch above the bottle.

    The theory behind all this is the flies smell the vinegar and work their way down the funnel into the bottle and then can't get out. If you want to you can put a drop or two liquid soap into the mix. The soap will break the surface tension of the mix and allow the flies to sink instead of floating on the surface.

    In a few days the flies will be gone. Because you never see more than one or two at a time you will be surprised how many you catch in the bottle."

    An Rver's blog: http://www.movinon.net/Barb/tinythings.html  mentions the same tactic.

    Now there are some who think that you can repel flies by half-filling a plastic bag and hanging it up, (with or without pennies in it), but Snopes says: http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/flies.asp



    Ray wanted to work today. He said he had been so immersed in running family around with all the funeral arrangements for his brother, that he needed to get away from it all, and think about other things.

    So first we unhooked the removable fence that is across a corner of the back yard around some rose bushes. It is to stop dogs from running into the thorns. Pine needles had collected there which is a fire hazard, so we removed them, and hooked the fence back up.

    Pugsy, the vintage 1968 motor home, had got dirty, so Ray pressure washed it. I had intended to put the new carpet in there this Spring, and offer it for sale, but we never got any Spring, it just went straight from cold to HOT.

    It was time to come indoors out of the heat. Ray took the icemaker out of the new fridge, as I have no need to hook it up, and it takes up too much room in the freezer. You know us Brits, we don't use much ice!

    Then we vacuumed the air cleaners, ACs, and the back of the computer.

    One of the SPCA foster moms who lives near me came and picked up Paco and Prime in their carriers, as it is Adoption Day. She is the main helper on Adoption Day, and she will be bringing them back about 6.30, if they aren't adopted.

    Patches is a little difficult for anyone else to handle, so she didn't go. She gets lots of hits on her page on Petfinder.com anyway.

    Last time when I took Prime and Paco, I wasn't here to see how Misty and Patches would take being left here. 15 year old Misty, who is not up for adoption, went around looking for food, as Paco eats everything in sight. I can't leave any dry dog food around, so I have to feed her separately in the Grooming Room. But the rest of the time she is in the house.

    Patches meowed " Where is Prime?", and stayed really close to me today.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Driving Miss Daisy.

    "Many of us love to bring our dogs along for the ride whether we're road tripping or just running errands. But that adorable pooch next to you may seriously endanger your safety if you don't get smart about how you travel with your pet.

    According to a survey of the habits of 1,000 dog owners, released Wednesday by AAA and Kurgo, a maker of pet travel products, two out of three dog owners had driven while distracted by their dog. More than half the drivers admitted to petting their dog while driving. One out of five drove with a dog on their lap and just 17 percent of owners in the study used any kind of pet restraint system.

    "Even looking away from the roadway for two seconds can increase your risk of a crash," AAA National Traffic Safety Programs Manager Jennifer Huebner-Davidson told Paw Nation.
    In addition to creating distractions, dogs can become hazardous to themselves or others during an accident, Huebner-Davidson said.

    In a 30-miles-per-hour accident, a 50-pound dog flying through the air will hit the windshield or another passenger with the force of a 2,400 pound object. Unrestrained dogs are also at risk of running away or attacking emergency responders out of fear, she said.

    Animal harnesses or travel crates that hook into the backseat can greatly limit those risks, she said. Bark Buckle Up, a pet travel safety group, offers a list of safe-travel products. Pet-safety advocates also recommend keeping dogs in the back seat because passenger-side airbags can be deadly to a dog during a crash, even if the animal is buckled in.

    "We'd like to see dogs buckled up in the backseat, just like children," Huebner-Davidson said. "The word hasn't really gotten out yet that it's important. They are very much a part of our family, and we need to protect them, but also everyone else who is in the vehicle."


    In June 2009, two people were killed in a head-on collision when a dog jumped in his owner's lap, causing him to veer his motor home into oncoming traffic.

    - In April, a Minnesota man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pole when his dog started vomiting on him.

    - Horror author Stephen King was badly injured in 1999 while walking along the shoulder of a road in Maine, when he was hit by a minivan whose driver was trying to control an unrestrained Rottweiler."

    From: http://www.pawnation.com/2010/08/18/driving-with-your-dog-can-be-deadly-unless-you-take-these-prec/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl8|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pawnation.com%2F2010%2F08%2F18%2Fdriving-with-your-dog-can-be-deadly-unless-you-take-these-prec%2F



    Of course, at this time of year, your dog shouldn't be going anywhere with you in this heat, unless it is a trip to the vet and straight home again.  No, stops anywhere for anything, unless it is the dog park, and make sure you have water for you, and for your pet.



    "The image of a dog in an oven is disturbing -- but it's making an important point:

    Leaving a dog in a car on a hot day can be just as dangerous as putting him in an oven.
    That's the message of the new Hot Car/Hot Oven PSA campaign by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. The unsettling posters remind us that leaving a dog in a hot car is not only dangerous -- it's illegal. "

    More at:  http://www.petfinder.com/blog/2010/07/15/dogs-in-hot-cars-what-to-do/



    Things have been pretty peaceful around here. 

    No work getting done, except what I normally do, just piddling around inside the house.  Even the cats haven't been on the screen porch lately, just too hot.

    Jay has been helping his mother, and Ray's younger brother was killed in a car wreck, so he isn't working right now either.

    So it has been a quiet few days.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    One Gallon Shower. Dominos.

    3"In our boondocking (dry camping) seminars, we talk about how to conserve fresh-water usage plus decreasing the amount of water going into your grey tank. It fills 2-4 times faster than the black tank. We addressed several water-saving techniques in our last article entitled, "Stay Longer and Stay Free by Boondocking (Dry Camping)."


    A "real" Navy shower on display in the Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, Washington.


    Another easy method is to take more efficient showers. Often called a "Navy" shower, this is a technique the Navy uses to decrease the amount of shower water an individual uses.

    The First Day… Have someone note the total amount of time the shower water is running normally while you take your "normal" shower. Do not time the water dribbling through the diverter……….

    Read more: http://www.newrver.com/rvgallonshower.shtml

    Here's how… Get a container marked off in gallons (a tub, pot, etc.). Put it in the shower, start timing, and run the shower for a total time equal to when you took your "normal" shower. How much water did you use?

    Next, run, catch, and measure the total water you used for your "Navy" shower.""


    But what if your water heater won't work: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2010/08/rv-water-heater-pilot-flame-out.html



    See the winner at the end:

    That's just for fun, today!

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Avoid This Popular Pet Drug Until You Learn the Shocking Details…

    "Traditional medicine for both people and animals is about treating symptoms with prescriptions – not treating the cause of those symptoms.
    It’s not uncommon for pet owners to be unaware the drug their animal is receiving is a steroid. Vets will frequently refer to a dose of steroids as an “anti-inflammatory shot,” or an “allergy shot,” or an “injection of cortisone.”

    cat-blind-at-vet (Small) 

    If you’re not aware your cat or dog is taking steroids, or you’re not knowledgeable about what the drug can do to your pet’s body, you can end up shocked and distraught at the host of secondary side effects brought on by steroid therapy.
    Most disturbing to many pet owners is the discovery that the underlying disease process that created the inflammation is still there.

    cat-really-sick (Small) 

    Suppose your dog suffers during allergy season with symptoms like hot spots, inflamed or irritated skin, or itchy paws. If her vet gives her monthly steroid therapy to control her symptoms, the symptoms may subside but their cause – allergies – is still lurking beneath the surface.
    So your pet keeps the underlying condition, in this case an overreaction of her immune system, and she will likely also acquire a host of secondary conditions as side effects of the steroid treatment.


    cat-No Furballs (Small).bmp 

    Advocate for Your Pet
    First of all, if your pet is currently on steroids, you can’t just stop giving them to him.
    If, for example, you’ve just learned that the prednisone you’ve been dosing your cat with is a steroid and you want to get him off the drug, you must taper him off.

    Read the article at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/08/17/stop-using-pet-steroids-until-you-read-these-disturbing-truths.aspx
    More info of side effects: http://www.crvetcenter.com/corticoids.htm

    I have had three instances where steroids made the side effects worse than the original malady, and I hope none of my animals ever has to have those shots again.


    My doctor's office called yesterday with the results of my X-ray. She said that it showed that I still have some congestion in my chest, so I had to go in there this morning.  Jay went with me, so that we could go to some thrift shops afterwards.

    A nurse weighed me, and I have lost a few pounds.  (I attribute that to only eating real food now, and staying away from refined foods and high fructose corn syrup).

    She asked my height, and I had been told it was down to 5', but she measured and said 5'.1".  My blood pressure is 136/78, and pulse 86.  The doctor listened to my chest, then he had a nurse come in with a little machine, and I had to breathe into it.  The doctor came back in, and was very happy with the results of that.

    So I guess I am OK.  I feel fine, I just get post nasal drip from these cysts in my sinuses, so he thinks that is what gives me the chest congestion.  He said I could have sinus surgery if I really want it, but as I am gradually getting better, I would rather not.

    Three of the several thrift shops in Conroe are remodeling and expanding.  So two were closed, but the biggest one is still operating while the expansion is going on.  We just bought some little things that were on sale half price.  We made a quick stop at a new thrift shop, but their prices were not what one would call 'thrift shoppy'. 

    But I had to get home as the cable guy was supposed to be here between 1-5.  Yesterday, the internet kept on going out, and they were coming to check the cable modem.

    Gee……After I had rushed home, they called saying the outages were because they were working on the cable system all through my subdivision yesterday!

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    72 Inches. Coffee Filter Prayer!

    "Anthony, a college student, was writing a paper on quality of life. He wanted to know what made people happy and if they were content with their lives. He did not want to question common people on the street, but sought the advice of someone who had lived an entire lifetime. At a local nursing home he asked who was the wisest person there and everyone pointed to Joe.

    Joe was an elderly man in his eighties with a body to match his age, setting in a wheel chair, back slumped and head down, drooling from the mouth. But he had a sharp mind and tongue. Old Joe had fought in a World War before founding a manufacturing company and retiring a millionaire. He once bought a yacht and sailed around the world. Anthony knew he had found the man who could explain happiness and quality of life.

    Joe reached in his pocket and pulled out a tape measure and handed it to Anthony and said "this will explain life." Anthony was confused. How could a tape measure explain life? Was Joe senile?

    Then Joe said to pull the tape measure until 72 inches were showing. He explained each inch represents one year of life and the average person has 72 years of productive life.

    Many people are active after 72 years but many also die or are disabled before that time. He told Anthony to run his finger from the end of the measure to inch number 6. That is the first years of a person's life when they learn to walk, talk and tie their shoes. Next, inches 7 to 22 is the years a person is getting an education and preparing for life. Then from inches 23 all the way to 62 is when a person marries, raises a family, works a job and hopefully saves money for retirement.

    The remaining inches, 62 to 72, is the time when a person can do all the things he wants to do in life but never seemed to have time to do them. Anthony looked at those 10 inches and they looked small compared to the 62 inches already consumed. The more he looked, the more he understood what Joe was trying to say.

    What will you do with those 10 inches or years? Did you always want to see the Grand Canyon, tour Europe, ride a motorcycle to Key West or write a book? Ten years is a short period in a person's life and those are the years you can full fill your life long dreams. So get going. What are you waiting for?"

    From: See Ya' Down The Road
    MAXolderthandirt (Small)

    It doesn't seem to be any secret, according to the many wonderful wishes that I had on FaceBook today, that it is my birthdate.  Thank you.

    Ever since I read this when I was about 72, it has preyed on my mind. 
    Once you get older you realize that you are not invincible, and your time will come sooner than you think, and you wonder when and how!

    I haven't done much with the 10+ inches that the Lord has given me.  When I retired, I wanted to RV fulltime again, but now I can see that I wouldn't be happy doing it on my own.  My DH died nearly 10 years ago.  I have too much stuff to sell, parts and tools mostly.   I designed this house, my late DH and I built most of it, so I am very happy with it, I could not replace it, and I don't want to leave it.

    So how about part-timing?  Same thing, it is not the same on your own, and at my age I don't even like to drive into the next town by myself.  I often ask Jay if he wants to go with me, as he is the only person who has time to go. 

    So that is why I don't get the RV road ready again, I just do not feel safe going long distances by myself.  That really hit me the time I drove that Class B out to the Texas Hill Country to see Deb and Rod. http://debandrod.blogspot.com/  I loved visiting with them, but the drive there and back was so tiring, and lonely.  Even though I had to do all the driving after Johnnie got sick, as he couldn't, I was not alone.

    There are lots of places that I would like to see in person, but I am content reading the blogs and seeing the photos of their travels.  Thank you, all you bloggers out there.

    MaxineForgetfulness (Small)

    Every night when I put a coffee filter in coffee maker to set it up for the morning, I thank the Lord for one more day, and I pray that I have done something good for someone, human or animal, for that day.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Fat-Free Foods. Rain Finally!

    Doctor Oz was asked if reduced fat and fat free foods are healthy or if they are actually worse for you than their full fat counterparts.  http://www.drozfans.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/yogurt.jpg
    Dr Oz said that there was a study done at Harvard where they found that people who ate reduced fat and fat free foods actually gained weight.
    Dr Oz would rather see us eat full fat products that do not have synthetic ingredients, than to eat a bunch of chemicals.
    Here is an example:

    "We took a look at three sour cream variations from Tillamook, considered one of the better quality sour creams out there.

    A serving size is 2 tablespoons, with 60 calories for the full fat product, 40 for the low-fat, and 20 for the non-fat version. As you would expect.
    But then we inspected the ingredient lists:

    Regular’s Ingredients [3 of them]:
    Cultured pasteurized grade A cream and milk, enzymes.

    Low-Fat’s Ingredients [12]:
    Cultured Milk, Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Whey, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Locust Bean Gum, Gelatin, Vitamin A Palmitate.

    Fat Free’s Ingredients [12]:
    Cultured Lowfat Milk, Modified Corn Starch,Whey Protein Concentrate, Propylene Glycol Monoester, Artificial Color, Gelatin, Sodium Phosphate, Agar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.

    Basically the low and non-fat options had a big challenge once removing the fat – how to keep the “sour cream” product looking and tasting like a real sour cream? Food scientists started mixing various additives together until they reached the closest possible resemblance.

    And what did they add? Propylene Glycol Monoester is an emulsifier that helps aerate creams (and dough for baking). Corn starch, Gelatin, Agar Gum, Locust Bean, and Xantham Gum help with the viscosity of the product that is lost once the the fat gone. Artificial color is an interesting additive. Probably a combination of colors meant to keep the mix above silky white. Not good."
    More at: http://www.fooducate.com/blog/2010/06/13/when-fat-free-makes-no-sense/

     "Here is what those “healthy food” phrases actually translate to:
    • Fat free, but full of sugar and chemicals.
    • Reduced fat, but increased carbohydrates.
    • Low fat, but high glycemic index.
    • Sugar free, but artificial everything else.
    • No added sugar… because the all natural version has enough sugar to give you type II diabetes anyway.
    • “Diet” food, but it causes cancer in lab rats so don’t drink/eat too much of it.
    Consider the logic that food manufactures would have us believe: fat-free is good for you; jelly beans, jolly ranchers, and cotton candy are fat-free; therefore all those sugary candies are good for you.
    Makes sense? Think about it." It doesn't!
    Read more: http://www.projectswole.com/healthy-lifestyle/20-unhealthy-foods-that-you-think-are-healthy-but-are-actually-killing-you-slowly/#ixzz0uuyoawuM


    The fridge that I put on Craigslist yesterday, sold within four hours, so that is gone.

    It had rained a little in the night, but not really enough to green up the grass.

    Jay and I went into the next town to get my chest X-ray that the doctor ordered a couple of months ago.  Jay went with me, as he had to pick up his mother's prescription, anyway.

    I hadn't slept well, and really didn't feel too great this morning, so I didn't want to go on my own.  But I felt better as time went by.  Jay ate at Long John Silvers, but I just couldn't see anything on the menu that I wanted, so I waited till I got home. (Except for some cheese samples at Krogers Deli!)

    This afternoon the rain really came down, so everything is green again today.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Safe Harbor Farm Workamping. Jobs Done.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Jo and Fred Wishnie's journal of their time at Safe Harbor Farm, Maysville (between New Bern and Jacksonville) near the northern coast of North Carolina : http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-528717

    "We also helped Lynne put on an adoption clinic at PetSmart and that was fun, but still a lot of work. We spent over an hour packing up the van with equipment and dogs. It was an hours drive to the PetSmart (so 2 hours round trip).
    The fun part was seeing all the interested folks at PetSmart interacting with the dogs. I also was more able to learn the individual dogs, the breeds and their names. Each one was in a metal cage with a name card that indicated name and breed and any special notes."

    (I am older than Jo and Fred, so you know what I do at our SPCA Adoption Day, and why I am so tired when I get home!!)

    But Jo and Fred couldn't stay there, so here is an application for any who might be interested:

    More about Safe Harbor Farm: http://www.safeharborfarm.org/


    It was hot, but Ray and I braved the outdoors, in the shade, to get a couple of jobs done.

    PICT0002-1 Jay and I had put the old fridge on our "wash rack".  It is outside the big door of the workshop and made of big grates, like the kind they have around swimming pools, with commercial carpet over it.   So the water goes right through and you are not standing in water.  So much easier than trying to clean it indoors.

    Ray took off the little cardboard back off the fridge, and vacuumed inside the works, and then cleaned the inside and outside.

    While he was doing that, I gave Misty a bath, or rather a shower, and put her in the cage dryer.  Then I blow-dried her to make her fluffy.  I cut her back down some more, as she just HAS to go wriggle around in the dirt, on her back, to rub the clean off! 

    We taped some plastic over the bottom back where the cardboard goes, where the motor is, before he hosed the fridge down. I took pictures of it for the ad, before we moved it into the RVport with the hand truck.  I hope it isn't there long!

    Then we put a jack under the back part of the cargo trailer, and slipped the back blocks out from under it.  My son had blocked and leveled it so it would be sturdy while we were working in it, especially as one wheel was off it, for a while.  The electric tongue jack was lowered and we got the front blocks out.  Thank goodness it was still shady there, too.  Now it can go to the welder.

    PICT0001-1 Now that I am confident that the new fridge will stay at 38 deg. in the fridge and 0 deg. in the freezer, we put the middle seat back in the minivan.  I wanted to make sure I didn't have to return it.  I can start filling it up now, and shut the little fridge down in the Middle Room.  It is so nice to see what is in the crisper drawers.

    Then I changed Misty's sheets in her bed, and mine, and did two loads of clothes.

     IPICT0002-2 have been letting her sleep in my bedroom now after all, she is so good.
    I made her another bed under my bed.

    But she knows she has to eat in the Grooming Room, or Paco will eat her dinner. This is her other bed in there.

     He isn't a Chihuahua, he is a little piglet!

    That was about it for today!

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Battle of The Sponges. Jay!

    One says one thing, and then another says not!

    USDA.gov  says this:

    "Disinfecting wet kitchen sponges by microwaving or dishwashing provides a fast and effective method to improve household kitchen hygiene. Chemical treatments to kill microorganisms in or on kitchen sponges proved less effective than placing sponges in a microwave oven or dishwasher.

    In our study, as in the work of others (Park et al., 2006), wet
    sponges were placed in the microwave oven prior to heating.
    Water in the sponge may generate steam inside the sponge, killing microorganisms in the interior of the sponge.

    Untreated (control) sponges receiving no disinfecting treatment
    had total counts of 7.5 CFU (colony forming units) of aerobic bacteria/sponge and 7.3 CFU of yeasts and mold/sponge.

    Microwave treatment of heavily contaminated kitchen sponges was the most effective method to kill bacteria, with less than 0.4 log CFU/sponge surviving 1 min of exposure, significantly (P < 0.05) less than any other treatment evaluated.

    Dishwashing treatment was significantly more effective than 10% bleach, lemon juice or water applied to sponges, with 1.8 log CFU/sponge surviving after treatment.

    Among chemical treatments, sponges soaked in 10% bleach had populations only 0.3 and 0.5 log CFU/sponge lower than those soaked in water or lemon juice, respectively.


    Wetting sponges before placing then in the microwave oven is also a necessary safety precaution.


    Excerpts from: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/23351/1/IND44126362.pdf


    Then Ms. Franke said this on CBS News:

    "While the simplicity of the microwave method makes it very attractive, Franke says there are many problems with this method and that results can vary depending on whether you're using a small or a big microwave or whether the sponge is wet or dry.
    Franke said every microwave is different, so it's hard to tell which sponge will get hot in which microwave. For instance, it may take two minutes to kill germs in a big microwave but it could take four to six minutes in a smaller microwave.

    She also said there is the chance that the sponge will overheat and catch on fire or be rendered useless. The only way to analyze it is would be to look in a sophisticated microbiological lab." 

    More at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/29/earlyshow/living/ConsumerWatch/main2407163.shtml?tag=currentVideoInfo;videoMetaInfo


    She suggests disinfecting them in bleach, but not all bleaches are "disinfecting", you have to read the label.

    Also, disinfecting them in bleach makes them disintegrate.  They don't last long after they have been in bleach.

    So I just clean mine with some Lysol, if I am not running the dishwasher at that time.




    Not much going on here.  Just the ongoing saga of Jay!

    Jay wanted to work today, but as soon as I picked him up he wanted me to take him into town to get money at the bank.  I knew he was already overdrawn, so I knew he was up to no good, as who needs money if they are staying in the subdivision.  His mother, Claudia wouldn't take him, and there was no way I was going to take him.

    We got a couple of jobs started like raising the front of the new fridge with the adjustment screws, as the fridge door didn't close unless I pushed it.  And as he is tall, he hung the clean cellular blind.  The Super-Clean did a better job on it than the recommended Oxyclean.

    Then some weird looking guys came to my house, and picked him up to take him into town.  Jay got his own way, as usual.

    So I finished re-leveling the fridge.

    While Jay was gone, Claudia called wanting some boxes to pack up the stuff that Jay had strewn all over her house.  She wants him to stay at his own house next door.   His 'friends' and 'klingons' bother her at night, and she is tired of it.  

    She has thrown him out before, but he always wheedles his way back in, as he can't stand to be alone.  Also she buys good food and feeds him, so that gives him more money for beer, etc.

    I knew she shouldn't be carrying that stuff so I went down there and helped her today.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    P & N's Pictures in AK. New Fridge.

    I just got through talking to my brother Nigel, and sister-in-law Pamala, from England, on their tour of Alaska. 

    They have posted more pictures:

    They made it to the Arctic Circle:

    They are southbound now, at Kenai. 


    They saw a moose bathing:

    They saw caribou:




    Nigel waiting for the clouds to clear, to see Mt. McKinley:


    Just peaking between the clouds:

    View from a Forestry Campground:



    Boy! That would be a beautiful view to awaken to!





    Jay and I went to get the new-to-me Frigidaire fridge.  We took the second bench seat out of the minivan, and off we went. 

    When we got there, there was another one, a GE, that they were just testing out after having to put a new compressor in it.  They leave them running for a week before putting them up for sale.  It had the clear crisper drawers, and was a bit narrower and a bit taller, so it was a big decision whether to wait for it.   But the one I had put the deposit on, had a lot more storage in the door, and so we bought that one home.

    We got it up the steps and in the house with the aid of my big wheel hand truck.  We left it in the grooming room to settle down for two hours, while we had lunch.    After emptying the old one into ice chests and the little fridge in the Middle Room, we took it outside, so it can have a good cleaning. The old one got cleaned under it sometimes, but there were still a lot of dust bunnies under it when we took it out!!  Must put that on a list of things to do more regularly!


    Frigidaire3-1 As the Frigidaire was a big wider than the one we took out, it was a tight fit through the interior doors, but we maneuvered it into the kitchen.  It looks good there, even with my lists stuck on it! 

    Jay liked this one better because of the rounded edges and fancy handles.  But as I told him: "Beauty is as Beauty does"!

    Now I just have to get the rest of the mess we made, cleared up today.