Avoid Using So Much Paper & Plastic ~ Some Handy Tips!

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1. Cloth napkins

I made the switch to cloth napkins last year and have never looked back. I started with a dozen cloth napkins my husband and I received found at a garage sale, but have added to my stash over the years. (The frugal side of me loves finding cloth napkins at bargain prices.) I love that they wear well – they’re sturdy for dabbing food off of faces or wiping off sticky hands. And after they’re washed and dried, they look like new.

2. Dish cloths

I’ve always used kitchen towels, but within the past couple years I’ve started using dish cloths, too. My mom had influenced me to stick with disposable scrubbers and sponges, but after being disgusted at the thought of germs, I bought a pack of dish cloths. I love using them. It’s so easy to wash a sink full of dishes with them, clean up messy counter tops and tables, then stick them in a load of laundry so they can be reused.

I’ve noticed a paper towel commercial has tried to discredit dish cloths by claiming they’re covered in germs– that would be true if they were reused and rarely washed. Just be sure to wash and dry them after each batch of dishes, and you’ll have a clean, cheap, and reusable solution.

3. Reusable glass containers

After investing in a couple sets of reusable glass containers, plus lots of leftover canning jars, I’ve virtually eliminated using plastic wrap or aluminum foil. I used to depend on the disposable containers to cover leftovers. Originally I bought the glass containers so I could throw away every plastic container in my kitchen in an attempt to get BPA out of my home.

Now that I’m exclusively using glass containers, I also save glass food jars and bottles. The shapes and sizes can be a little odd, but they’re free. And I’ve found they’re perfect for storing homemade dressings, soups, and sauces.

4. Cloth diapers

My children were not cloth diapered but I sure wish I had.  We would have saved SOOO much money. With all of the different varieties of cloth diapers that are available, many really are as easy to use as disposable diapers. Surprisingly, the laundering process isn’t disgusting. (I promise) The environmental benefits are huge – you’re not adding tons of diapers to landfills.

5. Handkerchiefs

For generations, people wiped drippy noses with handkerchiefs – I knew I needed to try, too. During cold and flu season my family still uses paper tissues if we’re frequently blowing our stuffy noses. But for sniffles or a good cry, I love using handkerchiefs because they’re so gentle. And I adore my late grandmother’s hankies, because they’re so pretty and vintage looking.

What ways have you reduced paper and plastic use in your home?

 

Summer Rainbow Fan

rainbow-fan-01I’ve seen this posted in a few places lately ~ and it’s such a simple but creative thing to do.  Kids will LOVE it!

All you need is:

A fan, a screwdriver to remove the fan blades, and spray paint –   I recommend Krylon or Rustoleum  spray paint any color you wish.

For something even more trippy… use glow in the dark paint!

Brighten up any room this summer with this cute rainbow fan. 🙂

Stop Animal Abuse ! Stand up and Speak up for those who can't. We need all the voices we can get !!

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They come in all shapes and sizes, different colors, different breeds. They lick you and give you kisses when you are sad and are always happy to see you. They love to cuddle and they are always want to please you. They help those with disabilities, they comfort sick kids, they find drugs and bomb and even souls to lay to rest. The have helped to keep our boarders safe, have saved many peoples lives over and over again.

 

Yet……. in Nova Scotia…….. you can kick them, you can hit them with a belt, you can leave them in a car to over heat, you can steal them, you can sell them, you can abuse them, you can leave them outside on a 4 foot lead 365 days a year 24 hours a day in all weather conditions. You can do this in your yard or even a public parking lot and there can even be witnesses, you can do it in front of your children too and in Nova Scotia YOU may get a warning not to do it again…..maybe or….well…..nothing. Nothing will be done to you, you will not be charged, you will not lose your animals, you will no go before a judge.

 

In Nova Scotia if I tell someone “I will kick the hell out of you” I could be charged for “uttering threats” under the criminal code of Canada. If I threatening to kill your dog (just words) I can go to prison for up to 5 YEARS! But you can do whatever you want to your dog and in NOVA SCOTIA……that’s OK!

264.1. Uttering threats

264.1 (1) Every one commits an offense who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat

(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;

(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or

(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.

Punishment

(2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

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(3) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) or (c)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction

 

I personally witnessed a full grown man take off his thick black belt and beat one of his dogs repeatedly. I was in shock. I had extreme concern for the dogs so I phoned the police. I was hesitant to walk over and speak to the man myself as he had a weapon and if he could hit a defenseless dog what would he do to me. I waiting an hour for the police to arrive. The officer wasn’t too familiar with animal abuse laws; his words not mine. Despite the man admitting he hit his dog with a belt; he offered an explanation to the police that it was because she was chewing on lawn furniture. I was informed by police; despite my willingness to give a statement and testify in court. It was considered a “he said; she said” and no charges would be laid! I was very confused. I said he hit the dog with a belt, he admitted he hit the dog with a belt; the only thing in dispute is the why! In order for something to be a crime there needs to be “intent”.. Was this mans intent to hit his dog? Yes he intended to did hit the dog. Yet no charges.

 

Two, possibly 3 dogs in his possession; one on a short lead tied to a tree with no access to food and water. The more vicious one in a fenced pen filled with garbage, no food, no water. Our mail on this street has been suspended due to one of the dogs going after the postal worker. I have been recently told by neighbors they think there is a 3rd dog inside.

 

I have contacted the NS SPCA on May 16th and asked them to launch and investigation and they stated they would do so. I have contacted the media asking for assistance. This incident happened on May 11th and today on May 17th the dogs are still living in garbage with no access to food and water when they are outside and are still at serious risk of being abused every day.

 

Ironically the day before on May 10th/2013 a scuffle between MLA’s that happened in a bathroom at Province House. “Officers were initially called to Province House after a member accused Paris of assaulting him during a heated altercation in the men’s washroom.” Guess what MP Piercy Paris was CHARGED!! Is this not “he said he said”? How is this any different that what happened with the dog being beat with a belt? All the media reports such as the one here say this of the incident at Province House. Oh wait “I feel I was assaulted,” he said. “I’ve filed a police report, and I’d just like to leave it at that.” Keith Colwell had stated.

 

Well I feel a DOG was abused and I feel DOGS are still at risk of suffering from grievous bodily harm and/or death. Why won’t they take my police report? Hello! Tax payer here !!

 

I contacted Scott Armstrong our local MLA, but I have not received any sort of response 🙁

 

If you see an animal at risk and are compelled to intervene please be aware of your own personal safety. People who abuse animals WILL abuse people. Animals that are afraid or spooked or have been beaten or starved could be aggressive.

 

If Possible:

  • Take Pictures
  • Take Video
  • Record time & dates
  • If you witness something 6 times, report it 6 TIMES!

 

I understand fully how passionate those can be who believe in something for the better; however we must leave our emotions to the side a tad to be able to deal with the situation appropriately to promote change. More Violence does not prevent Violence. It breeds Rage !

 

If you see any animal that you think may be at risk please call:

 

Emergency 911

NS SPCA 1-800-703-7722

Email: Animals@spcans.ca

Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477

Local Police

 

 

If you want protection for our animals PLEASE take a moment out of your day and email or send a letter to your Local MLA!

 

I have been in contact with many people since this incident and it appears there is lots of interest in perhaps a protest to demand protection for our animals. This is not something I could do all on my own however I am more than willing to take part 🙂

 

I will be updating this post on any follow up, updates, etc on the situation. The Facebook Group People for Dogs is where I keep updated on Animal issues for Nova Scotia.

 

Feel free to comment or leave suggestions or concerns in the comment section.

 

~ Together we can be the Voice for those who cannot speak for themselves ~

~Say No to Animal Abuse ~

 

 

 

 

Summertime = Bee Stings ~ What's Your Cure?

bee_stingIt never fails.  Every summer at least of us will get a bee sting. What’s the best treatment?  I’ve tried them all…

Removing the stinger is always the first thought – but here are some helpful cures for those painful sting sites that I came across recently.  Some of them sound a little “out there” to me – but I suppose you never know until you try!

“Sweet oil, applied immediately, cures the sting of wasps and bees; and if the sting is left in the wound, it should, if possible, be extracted with tweezers” 
“Spread a plaster of salad oil and common salt”
“Immediately after taking out the stinger, get an onion and slice it, and apply it to the stung place, and it will give immediate relief”
“Reduce swelling with a paste of baking soda and water” 
“The treatment in ordinary cases consists in extracting the stinger and applying some vinegar and water, or an ammonia based solution.” 
“For bee sting put a pinch of cut tobacco on it”
“Immediate relief from a bee sting can be secured by covering it with a piece of lean raw meat.” 

“Rub a bee sting with the juice from peppermint leaves.”

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“A mixture of vinegar and clay applied to a bee sting.”

“Castor oil is said to be an infallible remedy for the stings of bees and other insects. It appears to counteract the venom.” 

“If you would prefer to treat bee stings naturally, use fresh cow manure.”

“A fresh tomato leaf is said to be a perfect cure for a bee sting.”

“After removing the stinger, rub parsley leaves, wormwood, mint, or fresh honeysuckle berries to treat the pain”

“Rubbing a wet aspirin on the area where you were stung can help neutralize some of the inflammatory agents in the venom”

“Another home remedy for bee stings is to tape a penny over the sting area and leave it on for at least 15 minutes.”
bee-sting2

“Take fresh papaya, and slice off a slice. Apply it to the bee stings for about 1 hour.”

“Lime water, ammonia water and camphor are excellent remedies” 

“Coconut oil relieves the itching, pain, and swelling of bee stings”

 

What’s YOUR best treatment for summer bee stings?

 

Infants & Technology ~ Is There Really An App For That?

ipadIs All Technology Bad For Infants?

We see many different points on view on today’s technology? Let’s face it we really can’t avoid it, it’s everywhere. I recall not log ago an older person I know had a cell phone for emergencies only use; they have had the phone for FOREVER!  They needed a new one but she wanted something similar to what she had. A flip phone, that weighed a ton. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. It’s difficult enough to get a battery for a first generation blackberry much less a flip phone from 10 years ago.

We often here opinions on what’s too young, how much is too much! Thoughts on age before you introduce them to this media, lots of discussion.  Regardless of which side of the technology see saw you are on; the fact is; it’s hear and not going away.  Since it’s not going away we need to learn how to embrace it and see the up side to it all!

Once upon a time you would go to the doctors office and there would be toys and books for the kids to entertain them while they wait for the doctor. Magazines for Mom or Dad to pass the time. In today’s society due to germs and so many other factors, most offices have removed these options due to hygiene reasons. Keeping these items clean and sanitized is a big job.  Take a few toys or books with you is a great idea however you run the fear of the toys being on the not so clean floor 🙁

My grand daughter Devyn is  9 months old; as some of you are gasping for air already; that’s ok  I recently won a Mini Ipad in a great giveaway:) I was browsing in the App store last night when I checked out Fisher Price ~ I was curious as when my baby was a baby that was 11 years ago ~ I found these amazing free apps and it had my curiosity. Really an app that’s interactive that is suitable for an infant; no way!!

Giggle Gang snagged my attention first! It was sooooooo cute! They laughed and you could touch the screen anywhere and more little giggling things all in different colors would keep appearing and disappearing on the screen, with all these great sounds! The colors were amazing and I was entertained on both level 1 and level 2. I had to check out the rest of the apps. I personally thought they were cute and the length was appropriate for a small child, but I’m a grand mother so we both know my opinion doesn’t count 🙂

The real test was going to be Devyn!  She sat up on Nannie’s knee and we turned on the Ipad. I showed her how to touch the screen and away she went ! She was quickly giggling and laughing and totally amazed. I was super curious now so I was eager to try one of the books (You can talk or sing, ti’s great), I was in total amazement as I watched Devyn touch the cow when it said touch the cow and before I could show her what to do next she tapped the arrow to turn the page……. WHAT??

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Needless to say these apps passed both Nannie & Devyn’s approval ! These would be great options to pass the time while you wait for the doctor and the only thing you need to worry about cleaning is the screen 🙂

 

Ipad fisher price

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These are the ones I downloaded for the Ipad however I noticed they were all available for the iPhone too.

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Get your Free Apps 🙂

 

Moving This Summer? Here's A Few Basic Tips & Checklists

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We have moved sooo many times ~ we’ve become pros at it!  

We actually moved into our last place that was literally 2 blocks away and it was just as much work as moving across the province!

Here’s a checklist of the most important things to think about when preparing for your moving day:

 

 Determine what items are to be discarded and hold garage sale or give away

 If doing some of your own packing, arrange to purchase cartons/boxes

 Advise post office of new address and effective date

Send change of address to:
Telephone and Cell Phone Company
Schools & Work
Bank and credit card companies
Government – provincial & federal
Vehicle registration & insurance
Power, gas or oil
Drivers license
Newspapers
Cable/internet

Obtain veterinarian records for pets if leaving the area

Ensure pets have a safe place to be in the new place with food & water for the day

Arrange to have utilities disconnected & reconnected at destination

Arrange for telephone disconnection & new connection for moving day

Forward you mail with Canada Post

Defrost refrigerator and freezer

Discard flammables, including aerosols, propane tanks, etc.

Drain fuel from lawn mower and other power equipment

Collect valuables to be taken on your person (i.e. jewelry, documents etc.)

Make a floor plan of new residence for yourselves & the movers

Pack an overnight bag for each of you ~ you won’t find anything the next day otherwise!

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Easy, Non-Toxic Way To Rid Your Yard of Fire Ants

fire ants

Pesky fire ants making mounds in your lovely yard?  Try this non-toxic way to get rid of them.

Simply pour 2 cups of CLUB SODA directly in the center of afire ant mound.

The carbon dioxide in the water is heavier than air and displaces oxygen which suffocates the queen and the other ants. The whole colony will be dead within about two days.

Each mound must be treated individually and a one liter bottle of club soda will kill 2 to 3 mounds.

 

Baked Chicken Chimmichangas ~ So Simple!

chicken chimichangas

So easy and so tasty ~ a fun & frugal family dinner!

A great meal for under $10.00!  (Note: I used leftover turkey instead of buying chicken and just shredded some sharp cheddar that I had in the fridge).

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
8oz pkg. cream cheese
8oz. Pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions, for garnish
sour cream
salsa

Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.

Fold in chicken.
Divide among flour tortillas.
Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.
Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Turn chimi’s over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

Enjoy!