Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Horses. Uncomfortable Bra? Cargo Trailer Wiring.

To some, oven-dried taste better than the regular sun-dried tomatoes.



For the ladies, about bras:

You were measured by a qualified attendant at the bra shop.  You bought several bras that fitted and that felt comfortable. 
But after a while, one bra was comfy, but even the ones that were exactly the same, felt uncomfortable, and by four o'clock you wanted to tear them off.
Mark bra where comfy Well, that was my predicament, maybe it hasn't happened to you. 
I found it was all in the strap adjustment, so on the comfy one, I marked the straps.   Once I had them all set at that adjustment, I ran a tack of sewing across them, to make them stay where they should.  I hope this helps any ladies with that dilemma.


Jay and I worked on the cargo trailer's 110v. wiring some more.  One of the new GFI outlets that I had just bought, turned out to be defective. 
One of the side screws just wouldn't "bottom out", and tighten up on the wire.  Fortunately, I had another one, and it worked fine. 

Originally the forecast was for 25 deg., so we made some more preparations for a below freezing night.  The big light bulbs were turned on in the shed that houses the caulk and paint to keep the chill off them.  The water hoses were all strung out and drained.  The water to the house's outside faucets and the sink on the screen porch, was turn off at a master shut-off in the garage.  Another outside faucet that is in the RVport was wrapped. 
Then they changed their minds, and it isn't going to be that cold.

It was sunny, so the cats could be on the porch this afternoon for a while, then the temperatures started dropping today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fever! What Does It Do? Family Talk.

No, not that kind of 'fever'.


"According to the AAP, a fever can help your body fight off infection. Many illness-causing microbes do best at the body's normal temperature.

A fever raises the temperature beyond which certain microbes need to reproduce. A fever also kicks your child's immune system into high gear, spurring the rapid production of bug-clobbering white blood cells.

A small but growing body of research shows that letting a fever run its course may reduce the length and severity of such illnesses as colds and flu.

As for the concern among parents that fevers can have harmful effects, these instances are very rare. The brain has an internal regulatory mechanism that prevents fevers caused by infections from getting higher than 105 or 106 degrees.

Body temperature must get above 108 degrees to cause damage. Temperatures this high are caused only by exceptional circumstances, such as central nervous system disorders or heatstroke.

More at: http://www.parents.com/baby/health/fever/fever-benefits/


Fever – Perhaps the Most Overtreated Symptom of All

"A great number of people have completely misunderstood fever, and believe that fever can be dangerous in and of itself – especially when the fever occurs in a child.

It's important to realize that fever is your body's backup defense mechanism when your primary ones – mainly your immune system -- fail. Your first line of defense is your macrophages, which gobble up any invading microbes.

As long as your immune system is strong, you may not even realize you've been exposed to a troublesome bug.

If you are still under the impression that having a fever or 100 or 101 degrees Fahrenheit is an indication of a dangerous situation, relax! It's not!

Many infectious agents do not survive in elevated temperatures so your body increases the temperature in an effort to eradicate the infection. It is a healthy response.

Unfortunately, most parents end up giving their child potentially toxic doses of fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen when, in reality, their child's temperature is ideal for accomplishing healing. Worse yet, there are parents who administer aspirin at the first sign of fever, which actually poses a far greater health risk than any fever could, as aspirin may cause Reye's Disease, which can be lethal.

Mixing aspirin and ibuprofen can also be deadly under certain circumstances.

The Many Benefits of Letting Fever Run its Course

In order to put your worries to rest, it's important to understand the functions a fever serves, and why a rise in temperature is beneficial. Naturopathic physician Colleen Huber has done a marvelous job of explaining this in a previous article on my site, which I've summarized here.

First, the two functions of fever are:

  1. To stimulate your immune system.
  2. To create an inhospitable environment for invading organisms. That is, to turn up the heat high enough that the invading microbes cannot live.

It would be far more helpful to think of a fever as a healing response rather than a symptom of disease. And, raising your body's temperature to between 102 to 103 degrees F is actually the ideal range of a fever because this is the temperature range in which microbes will be killed.

In addition to directly killing the microbes through heat, fever has a number of other benefits, including:

  • Creating more antibodies -- cells trained to specifically attack the exact type of invader that your body is presently suffering from -- produced more specific to that bug than any pharmaceutical.
  • Producing more white blood cells to fight off the invading microbes.
  • Producing more interferon (which blocks spread of viruses to healthy cells).
  • Walling off of iron, which bacteria feed on.

The Best Way to Treat a Fever

Contrary to popular belief, the best course of action is usually little or no action when it comes to fever.

Rather than working against it; trying to lower your temperature, you should work with it and allow it to run its course. The only time you need to worry or seek medical attention is if it rises very high, very fast. This could be a sign of an infection too serious for your body to handle.

To support your fever, naturopathic physicians recommend either fasting or eating foods such as broths and water because fever slows down peristalsis. Once your fever has broken, you can start eating solid foods again.

Fever is also best supported with plenty of good-old-fashioned rest.

When is Medical Attention Warranted for a Fever?

  • Infants less than 1-month-old -- Seek care right away for fever greater than 100.4 degrees F in this age group. While waiting for care, breastfeed as often as the baby desires as your breast milk will also create antibodies against pathogens in your baby's mouth.
  • Infants from 1-month to 3-months-old, with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F, if they appear ill. Again, breastfeed on demand while waiting for care.
  • Children between 3 months and 36 months, with a temperature above 102.2 degrees F, if they appear ill.
  • All age groups -- temperature over 104.5 degrees F.

More at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/26/scary-symptoms-that-are-really-no-big-deal.aspx


Remember that fevers themselves are helping the body get rid of the illness, so fevers are not dangerous for most children and infants over the age of 3 months.


"Just what is a fever and what does it do?

Fever is not an illness. It is an elevation in body temperature, usually in response to a viral or bacterial infection. When an illness is detected, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus increases the body's metabolism while decreasing its ability to disperse heat.

The makers of such drugs as Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin (ibuprofen) certainly want you believe that fever is something to be suppressed. However, because fever helps the body combat viruses and bacteria by retarding their growth and by stimulating an immunological response, reaching for a drug to bring down a child's fever may delay recovery. A growing body of research shows that letting a fever run its course may reduce the length and severity of such illnesses as colds, flu and other viral syndromes. In studies of children with routine infection, those who were treated with antipyretics (fever reducers) stayed sick longer. "

From: http://www.attachmentparentingdoctor.com/fever.html





Because we got all out of synch, with the holiday, I had to go shopping in the next town today.  There were several things that I didn't get last Wednesday, due to the crowds.  

I found most of the things on my list, and when I got home my son, Kevin, unexpectedly came to visit.

Then, another surprise.   Pamala and Nigel, (my sister-in-law and brother in England) Skyped me, so Kevin and I talked to them for a long time.  They had missed seeing Kevin when they were here in the US this summer.


So this was a real family day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Songbirds in Peril. Getting Ready For Winter.

To all those who love birds, before you get too busy, please help the migrant songbirds:

American Bird Conservancy logo


All they need is your zipcode.


"A major source of bird conservation funding has expired, and without reauthorization, the well-being of our beautiful migrant songbirds could fall victim to federal spending cuts.
Senators need to hear from bird conservationists like you today that the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act must continue to be funded.


Will you give 2 minutes of your time to help?
NMBCA is the only federal U.S. grants program specifically dedicated to the conservation of our migrant birds that is available throughout the Americas. It has a proven track-record of succes, advancing conservation for many declining species, such as the Cerulean Warbler.


Please use our automated system to tell your Senators how important the NMBCA is, and encourage them to take up S.690, a bi-partisan bill introduced by Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) to reauthorize the Act before this session of Congress ends.


Thank you for your support in ensuring that the NMBCA reauthorization is passed."


Anne Law
Deputy Director of Conservation Advocacy


Photos: Baltimore Oriole by Ralph Wright; Black-throated Blue Warbler by Bill Hubick




It is supposed to go below freezing again on Tuesday night, so Ray put the vinyl back up inside the screen porch to protect the plants in there.  Vinyl stays clear, and is hardy, not like plastic, so we use the same pieces over and over, each year.

Also, if it is warm enough, the cats can be out there during the warm part of the day.


Then Ray sanded and primed the outside of the back door of the cargo trailer.


Jay screwed the fabric covers on the 100+ ft. long trough of aloe vera.

It was made right next to the hedge, as there is an underground watering system for the hedge there.


Then Jay went up on the three roofs and blew the pine needles off them.   

I was raking it into manageable piles, but it didn't all get done before it was time to quit for the day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Human Food' Can Be Beneficial for Your Pet. Stick Blender Surgery.


How about giving your pet some of that leftover turkey and veggies as treats?

"Human, edible foods can be very healthy for your pets. Throw away the concept of “cat” food and “dog” food, and just think “food” -- food that grows in the ground or comes from animal products.

A whole generation of pet owners is afraid to feed anything but over processed rendered food to their pets. But there’s no way you can create abundant health in an animal by providing only the minimum nutrients it needs for survival. Dogs and cats have a living food requirement, just like you do.

The food you feed your pet should be biologically suited to meet your dog’s or cat’s needs. Dog and cat chow may be nutritionally “complete,” but it is akin to your drinking a meal replacement shake three times a day for the rest of your life … or giving them to your kids in lieu of fresh foods.

Your pets need living foods on a consistent basis to achieve optimal health.
So, yes, you can and should offer your pets some of the very same foods that you enjoy. And since those foods are at a much higher grade nutritionally than typical dog or cat foods, they may be the healthiest foods your pets have ever consumed.

As you know, I recommend you feed your dogs and cats an all raw, nutritionally balanced living food diet. In my opinion, the only viable excuse to not to feed your pets a species appropriate diet is cost. Feeding raw food cost more than dry food.  However, raw fed animals have fewer health problems, which mean lower vet bills over a lifetime. If you cannot afford to feed your pet an all raw diet, don’t deny your pet’s access to living foods throughout the day, in the form of treats.

If you are unable or unwilling to feed your pet a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced, raw food diet, then I strongly recommend you compromise with the next best choice: USDA-approved canned foods (and supplement with raw)

Veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbled and canned food) is the number one cause of illness and premature death in modern dogs and cats.

My last choice would be a dry food (kibble), made from human-grade ingredients with little to no grains, and LOTS OF WATER.

Remember, treats (even really healthy treats) should not constitute more than 15 percent of your pet’s daily food intake.

Berries are one of the best treats you can offer. Bite size and packed with antioxidants. Many cats enjoy zucchini and cantaloupe.  My favorite training treats for dogs include peas, raw nuts (remember, the only nuts you should never feed your pets are macadamia nuts).

A salad without dressing, but with plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, is also good for your cats -- your pets are chewing on your houseplants for a reason, after all.

Avoid giving your carnivorous companions biologically inappropriate foods, including grains, such as oats, soy, millet, , wheat, or rice. Dogs and cats do not have a carbohydrate requirement and feeding your pets these pro-inflammatory foods creates unnecessary metabolic roadblocks to health.

Furthermore, there are certainly some foods that are toxic to feed to dogs and cats such as grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and onions. Never feed your pets these foods. "
Watch the video and read more at:

If you don’t want your dog to beg at the table, don’t give her tidbits from your plate. If she sometimes scores a delicious morsel when she barks, whines and stares at you while you eat, she’ll diligently try those tactics whenever you sit down for a meal.

Remember – A dog that begs at the table may well be trying to move up in rank, since the top dog eats first and the lowest member eats last.

The best way to feed people food is at a designated feeding time in your pet's own dish. If you do this consistently and avoid feeding directly from your plate -- your dog shouldn't bother you at dinner time for anything more than a pat on the head.

Do not feed 'cold cuts', or most hot dogs. They are high in salt and nitrates. Can lead to kidney and digestive problems. ( Same applies to people, look for nitrate free hotdogs.)

"Dangerous & Unhealthy Commercial Dog food treats and foods Rawhides and dog treats- HOOVES and OTHER TREATS: are generally NOT recommended.

Most rawhides have chemical that cause cancer.  But if you do still want to use them from time to time as a treat it is important that if you do give them that they are of the highest grade and US manufactured.

Therefore make sure you buy ones made in the USA and are UNBLEACHED.  Do not buy the white ones as they are full of chemicals. Good quality rawhide should only get gooey and gum up when chewed, never chip off. If they chip -the chips can get lodged in the little dip in their esophagus and they can choke on that.
As many as 40% of all dogs are allergic to cow skin rawhide chews.

NEVER give COW HOOVES! They splinter and sharp pieces have killed many dogs. Better alternatives are pig ears, nylabones, and American made bully sticks - however ALWAYS be with your pet when they are eating these as there is always a danger of a piece breaking off and splitting. Nylarbones are not detectable on an x-ray.
Also when giving Pigs/Cows ears it's best to give basted or natural - NOT SMOKED. That puts a carcinogenic coating on it.  Unbleach/natural lambs ears are another better choice. Always supervise your pet when chewing these types of things.

Greenies - are the latest popular treat to become deadly. It is found that they can be slippery and if a piece slides down the throat the dog can die. Also some animals are having problems digesting. For now we recommend you avoid them till further changes are made.

Also supervise any chew treats! Also read labels. Many commercial dog treats contain: BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin & propylene glycol– and corn syrups/sugars that cause cancer. Do NOT use treats with ANY OF THESE THINGS! "

Stick Blender.

The other day I had a big stalk of celery that needed to be used up.  I wasn't going to be making any stews or anything like that,  so I thought I would make some cream of celery soup.

I cooked it for a few minutes in my little WeeOne electric pressure cooker, and ran my stick blender in the pot.  I had done this before with my cheapie from Dollar General, but this time I used my more expensive immersion blender.

BUT, I hadn't noticed a big difference in the placement of the blade, and I got celery strings caught up under it. 
I thought the blade would pull off, but we all tried, and it didn't.

So I had to resort to medical tools to get the strings out.  Hemostats and a dental probe!

Next time I will use the cheapie for anything stringy, it didn't bother it at all.

I love my stick blenders, and wouldn't be without one.

I could have "strung" each piece of celery, but it is easier for me to run the cooked celery through a strainer, and discard what doesn't go through.  The birds like it.

Just telling you this, so you will know what to look for when buying one.

This morning the low was 25 deg., and I hadn't covered the aloe vera trough out back, but thankfully it seems to be alright.

At 11.00 AM it is 56 deg., so it quickly warmed up to a sunny, warm day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Visit. Raptor. Cargo Trailer.

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”   -W.J. Cameron

Yesterday, Leo drove Jay and me 50+ miles to Claudia's daughter Susan's new house.  (Jay is Claudia's son, and Leo is their neighbor and old friend of Claudia's.)

Susan sold her big city house in San Antonio, so that she and her new husband Kevin, could build this smaller one in the country near here, in adjacent Waller County.
Nearly everything is made of stone.


This is Kevin's workshop, by the pool and hot-tub.

Which is overlooked by this lovely covered patio, with fireplace, built-in BBQ, big TV, and it is a lovely outdoor area off the kitchen.  Most folks sat out there in the 80 deg. weather.

Jay                          Outside patio                Susan's- Kevin


Jay top left.
Claudia's other Son-I-L right.
Claudia and Wes, her nephew.     YES, that Wes! From Bachelorette.

They also have a Rapture toyhauler travel trailer:

Bedroom in nose of Rapture

The master bedroom is cattywompus in the nose of the trailer.


The kitchen leads to the garage for their Harley, and converts to an extra bedroom.

Our Thanksgiving:    Wesley said the prayer.
Smiling-dog There were a lot of people there, and way too much food.

Even though one of the deep fried turkeys was stolen by one of the dogs.

There was also roasted turkey, a spiral-cut ham, several dressings, corn, beans, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, watery mashed potatoes (who ever made them, needs lessons!), sweet potato casserole topped with walnuts, rolls, and other items and pies too numerous to mention.  And a whole lot of left-overs.

Maybe someone will think to make a turkey based Shepherd's Pie.  The oven should dry out those mashed spuds!


It was a lot of work, but a good time was had by all.

Then the temperature started dropping like a rock, and it was drizzling, on the way home.

Last couple of days:
Jay and I did some more work on the cargo/stealth trailer a couple of days ago.

Taking-it-apartWe attacked the 110v. wiring this time.  The breaker box didn't have any connectors, or bushings, where the wires go through into the box to protect them.  So we took out all the wires and breakers, and added connectors and bushings.

While we were at it, we tidied the whole thing up, and made a schematic and diagram of which breakers go to which circuits.  We added two more outlets on a dedicated circuit, to the future kitchen.  All this has to be done before we can put back the insulation, and start on the walls.

Paco & Maddie
As Jay's mother, Claudia, (who had the new liver), was at her daughter's house, we brought Maddie, the tiny Yorkie here to be 'work dog'.

She and Paco were watching work, that is all they are good for!

Maddie, Paco, Misty

The side lot, where we work, is not fenced, so Misty joined them in the puppy pen.

The sky was a yellowy colour when I drove down to get Jay, and I thought we were in for some bad weather, but that blew over, and it was just sticky and warm that day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank Our Troops. Tomorrow is Black Friday.Wild Turkey.

As the holidays begin with the traditional Thanksgiving meal, let us give thanks for one and other and to those who serve our country where ever they may be servicing.

Thank you one and all for your service to our country.

I'm packing plastic


Bird of the Week   Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey. By: Michael Stubblefield

"Unlike its domesticated cousin, the Wild Turkey is a long-lived, shy bird that is also an agile flyer. Birds can sometimes be seen foraging in groups, often separated into males and females during winter. Populations have recovered from historic lows of perhaps 30,000 birds around the early 1900s to around 7 million today thanks to conservation efforts led by the hunting community and state agencies. The turkey was favored by Benjamin Franklin to be the U.S. national bird but lost out to the Bald Eagle.
To help support ABC's habitat conservation efforts for this and other bird species, click here.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at ABC!!"


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day. Thanks. Fage. Baby Bellas.


"The season of driving over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house is upon us. Addressing three aspects of driving will help make holiday trips -- or any trip -- safer and more comfortable.
Holidays are times of good cheer and family road trips. They are also some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in accidents on three upcoming holidays. In order of increasing driving danger, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve are statistically risky times to be on the road."
More at: http://autos.aol.com/article/protect-your-passengers/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl4%7Csec3_lnk2%7C179520

Be thankful for those in your life.

The United States
"In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim's fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.
The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.
In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Observance of the day began in 1879.
Biblical lessons from the harvest
"Is there any connection or correlation between the Feast of Tabernacles and Thanksgiving Day? The seventh chapter of the Gospel of John describes Jesus Christ observing the Feast of Tabernacles.
In his New Testament Commentary, for John 7:2, David Stern writes, “The festival also celebrates the harvest, coming, as it does, at summer’s end, so that it is a time of thanksgiving. (The puritans, who took the Old Testament more seriously than most Christians, modeled the American holiday of Thanksgiving after the Sukkoth [or Feast of Tabernacles]).”'

 A History of Thanksgiving Day in the United States

A History of Thanksgiving Day in the United States. (Painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris, Wikimedia Commons)1621: The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts, lasted three days.
1639: Although records from the early years are incomplete, a proclamation of thanksgiving for September 1639 survives, as do proclamations for 1644 and for every year from 1649 onwards.
1775: Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Continental Army besieging the British troops in Boston.
1777: Thanksgiving was for the first time proclaimed by a national authority, the Continental Congress, for all 13 states. It was kept on Dec. 18 by Gen. George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
1863: President Abraham Lincoln established the national holiday of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.
At that time, Abraham Lincoln warned, "We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven... we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God."

Today was shopping day in the next town.  Jay went with me, but he was very miffed that the thrift shops were closed. 
The forecast was for 83 deg., so I was wearing a sleeveless dress, and we ran the AC there and back. I had the AC on in the house, for the animals, too

We went to Lowes to get parts for the cargo trailer:

Locite Power Grab Adhesive; as it can be used on Styrofoam.
Small electrical boxes; as they had to be shallower than the normal ones.
Regular and GFI outlets.  Shallow junction boxes with covers.
Gusset angles; for where electrical wires go around the wooden corners to protect the wires.
Heavy duty metal repair straps; for where they just had cut grooves in the wood for the wires.
Several nail stops; to protect the wires that were going through the studs.
Plastic bushings for the breaker box.
And a new patio door handle, with lock, for the guest house.
We don't want to be stapling into the wiring when we put up the new paneling in the trailer!

Then I stopped at Krogers, Jay didn't want to go in, as he is there so often with his mother, so he sat in the van under a shade tree, and read one of the Reader's Digests that I keep in there.

Yesterday, Jay had brought some ham to me, to make into ham salad.  Remember, his mother is still at her daughter's, so then he leans on me to feed him.  BUT he had also brought some mayonnaise, and celery for the construction thereof.  
I had ground up the ham, celery, a hard boiled egg, and doused it with real lemon juice and dill weed, and kept it separate from the ham.  I wanted to have some myself, but I don't eat mayonnaise.  First, because it is so unhealthy, even the light. Secondly, because it has mustard flour in it, which makes me feel ill.

So the stop at Krogers was for some Fage. (Fa-yeh!)
All natural Nonfat Greek Strained Yogurt, in the refrigerated health food section.

Jay made some with his mayo, and I made some with my Fage.
I couldn't believe that Jay liked mine better, he is so picky!  He even tried some as a spread on toast.  He said he is going to throw out his mayo and get some Fage.
At least in my small way, I can help Jay and his mother to eat healthily.  I know I would be very picky about my diet if loving parents had donated their 13 year old's liver to me!

Some refrigerated sliced Monterey Baby Portabella mushrooms were on sale, and when I was checking out, the lady behind me said  "Those are good", so I replied
"Yes, and I sauté them in Coconut Oil as it is good for you, and Olive Oil is bad for you when it is heated."
She asked me if Krogers sold coconut oil, so I told her where it was.  http://www.montereymushrooms.com/VitaD.htm

I think I will make a scrumptious dish with them, to take to Claudia's daughter's house when I go tomorrow.

Y'all have a very happy and safe day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Safe 165° Holiday & Safe Traveling for You and Your pets.

Do you have your food thermometer handy? 

Nothing is worse than coming down with the collywobbles from eating improperly cooked or re-heated food.

"As Thanksgiving approaches, cooking the traditional turkey dinner gives rise to anxieties and questions. A few simple steps will not only ease your holiday fears, but will ensure a delicious and a safe meal for you, your family, and your friends.

Preparation,  The day before Thanksgiving:
Make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your holiday meal.

Check to make sure you have all the equipment you will need, including a roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey and a food thermometer.

Wet and dry stuffing ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated separately. This may also be done on Thanksgiving Day. Mix ingredients just before placing the stuffing inside the turkey cavity or into a casserole dish.

Thanksgiving Day:
If you choose to stuff your turkey, stuff loosely. The stuffing should be moist, not dry, since heat destroys bacteria more rapidly in a moist environment. Place stuffed turkey in oven immediately. You may also cook the stuffing outside the bird in a casserole.

Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey.
A whole turkey is safe cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the bird. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. All turkey meat, including any that remains pink, is safe to eat as soon as all parts reach at least 165 °F.

The stuffing should reach 165 °F, whether cooked inside the bird or in a separate dish.
When turkey is removed from the oven, let it stand 20 minutes. Remove stuffing and carve turkey.

Storing Leftovers:
Cut the turkey into small pieces; refrigerate stuffing and turkey separately in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Use leftover turkey and stuffing within 3-4 days or freeze these foods. Reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165 °F or until hot and steaming."

From: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Countdown_to_the_Holiday/index.asp


Traveling tips: http://www.familywatchdog.us/tips/thanksgiving.asp

and:  Padded seat belt harnesses.

A 25-pound, unrestrained dog can become a deadly, 1000-pound projectile in the event of a 40 mph crash. Vehicle pet restraints also prohibit your dog from distracting you while driving.

Riding Safely with your Dog

"Each year thousands of dogs are killed or injured in car accidents. You can be sure your dog rides safely with you by securing the dog with a seat belt. Run the seat belt through the back of the dog's harness as shown in the photos below.


2 large dogs in seat belts




2 large dogs in seat belts.



1 large dog in a seat belt



Run seat belt thru back of harness and secure.




a medium sized dog in a seat belt

a small dog in a seat beltMedium-sized dog in seat belt.

Small dogs need to ride safely too.


If you leave the dog in the vehicle, always release the dog's seat belt so the dog is not confined in one position for a long time.

Leaving a pet in a parked car on a warm day can be deadly. It only takes a few minutes even with the windows cracked for a dog to suffer from heat stroke, brain damage, or even death.

Avoid putting the dog in the front seat because of the airbag.

Put the harness on the dog and the dog's identity tag on the harness. Use the harness on the dog only when travelling or when the dog is on a leash.


"Remember to always put the dog ON LEAD, when leaving the vehicle. All it takes is one second of distraction and your dog is gone forever. "

From: http://www.k9sardog.com/dogsafety.html


Strapping down is important.

Or put your dog, or cat, in a carrier large enough for them to stand up and turn around. Strap it in, through the handle, with a seat belt.  If the carrier is too big for the seat belt to go around it, tie it firmly with some rope, or small ratchet strap, around the seat, either on the seat, or put a larger carrier in the back, and strap firmly to the next seat forward.  Bungees won't work for this.  In a motor home, you will have to find a secure place to strap the carrier.


You could be fatally injured if your pet, in or out of a carrier, becomes a projectile in an accident.


Do not let them hang their head out of the window, it damages their eyes, and they can injured by flying debris.


Feed them a small meal about three hours before you leave.


Take a little water bowl and some water for your pet for when y'all take a pit stop.


Get out and walk around at least every two hours or 100 miles.

This is to prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis, a silent killer) 



"These are times where the food is in abundance. Foods like chocolate is poisonous to animals and poultry bones can split and cause your pet to choke and/or puncture vital organs. Make sure to keep your pet(s) on their regular diet and keep the table scraps to a minimum."

Courtesy of the Houston Humane Society, click here for additional seasonal pet tips.



Hoping that these tips will keep you safe for Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hummingbirds & Otters. Cargo Trailer.

I hope you enjoy hummingbirds, as much as I do, and that you haven't already seen these three videos:

And the otters, they were always our favorite critters to watch at the Zoo.


Last couple of days:

The weather has veered from tank tops to long sleeves, and back to tank tops, again.  That is what I like about Texas winters.  Usually, we have several nice, warm, sunny days in between a few cold days.   Right now I am running the AC, but there is another cold front coming in, just in time for the holiday!

We have been doing more to the cargo/stealth trailer.


Jay and I cut and fitted some Styrofoam board insulation into the door.  It hadn't been insulated before.  Then we added wood to the inside of the door.


Ray primed it.  We didn't want to do any work inside the trailer as we had the wheels off, so it was on jack stands.  This was so that Ray could paint around the wheel well rim, before we screwed down the new wheel wells. 
Also, it will be easier to apply some weather membrane around there, once the wheel wells are in place, with the wheels off.

So, Jay and I packed the wheels.  Well, I was 'gofer' for this and that, and as I have done it before, I knew what we would need.



We had gasoline and grease over all the tools, and the gloves were a nuisance, so we got rid of them!

From underneath: wheel well weatherproofed.

While the wheels were off, we screwed down the wheel wells on the inside, and weatherproofed underneath the wheel wells with weather membrane.

I crawled under the trailer and laid on my back, to take this picture.  But I had been under there several times before, on each side, to make sure the wheel wells were in the right place before Jay screwed them down.  Also to measure how wide and long the strips of weather membrane needed to be.  Good thing I am still limber.  Of course, I have to grab onto something to get back up!

These were the messiest jobs we have done for many a day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where is it Raining? Sweeteners.

Traveling?  See where it is raining:


I know you are busy, but please read before going shopping:

Before you load up on sugar or sweeteners during the holidays, please take a look at what some are made of, where they are, and what foods to avoid to protect your health.

Diet sodas, if you look at the ingredients, are loaded with ASPARTAME.   http://supersweetblog.wordpress.com/list-of-products-containing-aspartame/  
They have sneaked it into many other foods, too, just like they have High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is in nearly everything.

"About Sweeteners:Artificial Sweetners

This additive is sold under the names Equal® or NutraSweet®. There are thousands of everyday products that contain aspartame.   To name a few, yogurt, sodas, pudding, tabletop sugar substitutes, chewing gum.
"Aspartame is everywhere, from soda to salad dressing! Now let's look at what it's "contributed" to America's health...
After receiving some 10,000 consumer complaints, the FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms linked to aspartame -- including death.

Other symptoms include headaches, migraines, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma, and cancer. It also appears to worsen or mimic the symptoms of such conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue, and depression...

Why so many? It could be because aspartame attacks your body at the cellular level so it can negate all kinds of medications Americans take, including antidepressants, Coumadin, cardiac drugs, hormones, insulin, vaccines, and many others.

It is a deadly neurotoxic drug masquerading as a harmless additive.

I can hear you asking: "Ok, so what can I sprinkle into my coffee?"

Let's run through the usual suspects then I'll tell you what I've been using...

A spoonful once in a while is fine, but in time, too much sugar can lead to diabetes, which will lead to heart disease, renal disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic retinitis (blindness), diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the list goes on and on. (Even so, next to aspartame, sugar looks almost attractive!)

A very dangerous new chemical -- because in order to make sucralose, chlorine is added to sugar! Ever spilled chlorine bleach on your skin? No wonder that research by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center showed that years of sucralose use can lead to serious compromise of the immune system and neurological disorders.


Yuck. Despite those famous animal studies, I actually don't count saccharine as much of a cancer threat to humans.
But face it, saccharine tastes like the chemical experiment it is. Enough said.

Yes, it's natural. Yes, it's safe. But no, it tastes nothing like sugar. Some brands are OK, but others leave a bitter aftertaste.

Almost gets a perfect score. Natural, tastes like sugar, good for your teeth, doesn't spike blood sugar. On the down side, it gives some folks the trots when first using it.


 Erythritol is a sweetner made from sugar alcohols.Erythritol is a sweetener made from sugar alcohols. Many people believe the benefits of erythritol significantly outweigh the health dangers posed by the substance. Erythritol health risks include common, non-harmful side effects that gradually disappear or require treatment with common over-the-counter medications, such as erythritol diarrhea.

Many doctors and nutritionists agree that erythritol is the healthiest, safest and lowest-calorie sugar alternative out of all sugar alcohols used as sweeteners. In 1999, erythritol was reviewed by the WHO/FAO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and was given the highest food safety grading possible.

The erythritol health effects include diarrhea, bloating, gas and a rumbling sound from the stomach and intestinal tract. These side effects disappear in a few days as the body gets used to erythritol. If desired, these erythritol health effects are treatable with over-the-counter stomach medications.

Erythritol is not recommended for use by patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach disorders. In such patients, erythritol and its own side effects increase and aggravate the symptoms and side effects of the stomach disorder. Erythritol is not dangerous for such patients, but it may cause more discomfort for these patients than patients without stomach disorders.

Erythritol is used in different foods as an artificial sweetener, and it is safe for consumption by diabetic patients because it does not raise insulin levels. Some bulk foods like diet sodas and sugar-free cereals, cakes and juices are sweetened with erythritol. Erythritol is not as sweet as sugar, requiring that more be used to sweeten foods. Even when it is used in foods, no erythritol health risks are present--only such benefits as longer freshness, softer dough and even the control of crystallization.

Read more: Erythritol Health Dangers | eHow.co.uk http://www.ehow.co.uk/about_5544369_erythritol-health-dangers.html#ixzz15vUrIPr8

Children are the largest consumers of erythritol. Many teens and young children chew gum on a daily basis. If a child complains of stomach problems after chewing gum, erythritol might be the culprit. "


It is made from Genetically Modified Corn.
"Human health, of course, is of primary import to us, but ecological effects are also in play. Ninety-nine percent of GMO crops either tolerate or produce insecticide.

This may be the reason we see bee colony collapse disorder and massive butterfly deaths.

If GMOs are wiping out Earth’s pollinators, they are far more disastrous than the threat they pose to humans and other mammals."    From: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/three-approved-gmos-linked-to-organ-damage/

HFCS  is cheaper than sugar that's why the companies use it, and it is addictive, so you buy more.
It is in everything, store bought bread, sodas, and even Stove Top Stuffing:  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Kraft-Cornbread-Stove-Top-Stuffing-Mix-6-oz/10313597

 "A number of studies conducted over the past few decades indicates that consumption of HFCS is connected with a wide range of health concerns. Here are a few of the more important health dangers of high fructose corn syrup you should know about:
  • 1. Significant Risk of Weight Gain & Obesity…….

    2. Increased Risk of Developing Type-2 Diabetes…….
    3. Hypertension and Elevated “Bad” Cholesterol Levels……
    4. High Fructose Corn Syrup & Long-Term Liver Damage…….
    5. Mercury Exposure from HFCS…….."

  • Read more about these 5 items at: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers/

  • It is also made with caustic soda.
    You will be surprised at the list of foods containing HFCS:
    and: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20090127/mercury-in-high-fructose-corn-syrup

  • Foods made with natural sweeteners will cost more than those made with cheap chemical sweeteners, but they sure are a lot cheaper than doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions.

    So please, put on your glasses, and READ THE LABELS on everything before you buy it, every shopping day.