a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Simply Easy and Instant Composting!!!

A compost pile takes dedication to do it right. Honestly, we are not that dedicated. Since we don't work our pile, it takes a couple of years for it to properly break down to where we can use it.



Now we simply place our kitchen fruit and veggie trimmings and scraps, and egg shells in a  blender -- 1/2 to 3/4 full --- add water and blend away. This garden smoothie is not  very appealing to humans, even though it usually smells good,  but the earth and the earth's worms love it!

How simple is that?  

We happened to have a second blender stored away in the back of a cupboard. For what reason and for how long we don't remember but the color gives a clue! 

We simply placed our avocado-colored blender  in a corner of our counter, near an outlet, and fill it as we go. It is quite colorful, and even sorta attractive in an artsy kind of way---until you blend it. I'll leave the blended description to your imagination. 

 The blender lid not only contains any odor there might be, it prevents those bothersome fruit gnats from flitting around. (I don't know where the gnats originate and how they so quickly find our  fresh fruit or veggie pieces but they do!) 

If you don't have an extra blender, just store your trimmings in a container in the frig until you are ready to whip up your garden smoothie.


  • Make a small shallow trench ---- a few inches away from your plants ---either around each or in a row alongside, pour it in and cover it with a little dirt or some leaves. Treat your garden one section at a time, moving along  with each blender's worth.  
  • If you have a compost pile or area, pour it in,  and cover it lightly with a little dirt or leaves. It will really help speed the process.

  • Do not add any meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or oils! Egg shells and coffee grounds are the only exception I can think of off hand.  I don't add cooked leftovers of any kind. 
This simple process, an almost immediate  banquet for the garden is one of those "duh," why didn't I think of this years ago things!  

We are always learning --- on our own, from one another and with each other. I hope my blog is continuing this learning process.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What If . . . Can Safety Hints Help Keep You Safe?

Hopefully, you have been following my series of What If . . .? posts on precautions to help keep you safe.
Probably, this will be my last post on this topic --- but you never know. 
Strongly, I encourage you to click back and read the previous four if you haven't already. It is  . . . 
Likely, these helps you read will come back to you if the need ever arises.
Simply little tips and safeguards that could save you lots of sorrow and possibly your life. 

Little things that could mean a lot!

I know I have said it before but once again I will state 

Each of us has a special internal "warning system."

Holy Ghost - Holy Spirit - Guardian Angel - Comforter - 
Still Small Voice - Intuition -Prompting - Sixth Sense -
Gut Feeling . . . 

No matter what term you choose to use for these feelings, it is always very important to listen to them and act upon them! 

Since we have been taught to be polite to others we worry about displaying actions that may appear rude--even when our internal feelings are on high alert.

Note from Gail: My 7th grade teacher was a man (probably in his fifties) who teased a lot, told inappropriate jokes and held a classroom dance each Friday afternoon. He held the girls too close when he danced with them. For some reason I was at school early one morning and he happened to be in the hallway. Just the two of us. He started joking and "jokingly" tugging me towards our classroom.  I was too young (we didn't grow up as fast back then!) to know what was going on but felt the warning, "jokingly" resisted and pulled the other way and finally, "jokingly" --- scratched his arm. He let me go.  I later, hesitantly told my mother, who worked at the school, and begged her not to tell anyone.  I never heard another word but he was, not too much later, released from his teaching position.

DO NOT IGNORE THESE FEELINGS even if you feel they are inconsequential or would cause possible embarrassment. 

Increasingly, the same electronic devices which reportedly make our lives faster, easier, and more connected can also be increasingly detrimental.

Our private interactions using supposedly private actions are, in reality, making our actions and our lives increasingly public. The genius of our electronic transmissions are increasingly intercepted by the geniuses out there who are up-to-no-good, taking advantage of this technology by developing their sordid technology. 

Many of these devices allow our personal information to be tracked, stored and transmitted to many sources without any approval or even awareness on our part --- and without it being a crime, as in identify theft. 

When we use "savings cards" or similar at stores, they are in reality, or at the very least additionally, tracking our habits through our purchases. And, they are using this information to further their causes, however varied those causes may be. 

GPS devices track our whereabouts, even when we are not asking them to. 

All of this is presented and reported to be for our own good and even our own safety. 

And we, caught up in the hectic of everyday existence, just go along with it and think how wonderful it all is.  Think again!

Back in the day I worked in a library. Back then, libraries contained  almost totally ---- books! And, back then most of our private information was exactly that --- private.

If you are not familiar with reverse directories, they were/are a special type of book that, instead of looking up an address and phone number by name,  allowed you to look up an address or  phone number and find out the names, etc. of those who belonged to them.  The reverse directories of those days were kept behind the counter, where they had to be requested, only used in-house, and even then, needed to be signed for in order to look at them. Sounds like overkill? Maybe. But even with all of those precautions, we sometimes didn't feel good about the people who wanted to look at them. 

Today we are an information highway at the mere touch of a screen --- an information highway that can be easily and quickly traveled by anyone for any reason.  An informational source that can even provide photos of our homes and our streets. 

Before you dismiss me as paranoid, take a few minutes to consider what I am saying. 

Many, if not most, things which have been invented to serve us, manage to have unsavory individuals find a way to distort and abuse their intended  helpfulness.  

Compared to today's world, I lived in a safe time, in small safe communities, and even then, had experiences where I heard (and fortunately heeded) the promptings I received. 

Times are becoming increasing dark and that makes  listening to our internal warning system increasingly important. 

The following is from the book "The Gift of Fear---Survival signals that protect us from violence" by Gavin De Becker.

“...what many others want to dismiss as a coincidence or a gut feeling is in fact a cognitive process, faster than we recognize and far different from the familiar step-by-step thinking we rely on so willingly. We think conscious thought is somehow better, when in fact, intuition is soaring flight compared to the plodding of logic. Nature’s greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is never more efficient or invested than when its host is at risk. Then, intuition is catapulted to another level entirely, a height at which it can accurately be called graceful, even miraculous. 

"Intuition is the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why. 

“...the root of the word intuition, tuere, means ‘to guard, to protect.’”

“Can you imagine an animal reacting to the gift of fear the way some people do, with annoyance and disdain instead of attention? No animal in the wild, suddenly overcome with fear, would spend any of its mental energy thinking, ‘It’s probably nothing.’...We, in contrast to every other creature in nature, choose not to explore — and even to ignore — survival signals.” 

Even when intuition speaks in the clearest terms, even when the message gets through, we may still try to second guess ourselves.

The Word “NO”

“No" is a word that must never be negotiated, because the person who chooses not to hear it is trying to control you. In situations in which unsolicited offers of assistance are appropriate, such as approaches by a flight attendant, it is simply annoying if you have to decline three times. With a stranger, however, refusal to hear "no" can be an important survival signal, also with a suitor, a friend, a boyfriend even a husband.

“Declining to hear “no” is a signal that someone is either seeking control or refusing to relinquish it. ... If you let someone talk you out of the word “no” you might as wear a sign that reads, ‘You are in charge.’”

And, again:

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)


While the odds of  something happening are remote, it is very important to consider, in advance, things you could do to help yourself if faced with an emergency situation. 

I'll once again ask the question that began this post. . .

Can Safety Hints Help Keep you Safe?