Dec 14 2010

NOW!?!? We have to start NOW!?!

Yes! Now is the time to starting thinking about
germinating seeds indoors next spring.

Successfully germinating seeds can become a passion.
Providing just the right conditions to nurture baby seedlings into
“food producing powerhouses” is fun and budget profitable.

The backyard vegetable garden used to be commonplace. There was a time where every family had a little plot in their yard where they grew fresh produce for the table. But, the emphasis on getting all of our goods prepackaged and ready to eat has, in the last fifty years, caused basic gardening skills to be lost. And the Victory Garden generation of World War II is slipping away so that hands on knowledge of food cultivation is disappearing. At least it has been, until now.

Now, with food prices going up and more people wanting to have independent food sources that are dependably free of poisonous chemicals, home gardens are in vogue. Jump on board if you haven’t tried to grow things at home. It is so easy and so productive, you will be amazed and wonder, “Why haven’t I tried this before?”

Here cucumbers are being transplanted to both sides of a
homemade net trellis. They will grow vertically to save
space. This will also keep the cucumbers off the ground
so they are evenly developed and easy to pick.

We started vegetable gardening in earnest in 2008, hoping to actually live off of the garden and put a dent in food costs. Gardening to provide dependable sustenance is different than just putting out a few tomato plants every year. We found it took planning and perseverance, all well worth it, but realized one really has to think ahead.

That’s why I am sharing the way we do things so you can learn some time saving tips we had to figure out the hard way. I want to put it out there so that anyone who is interested can provide food for themselves and their families without making the mistakes we did in the learning process. This way you can make your own mistakes and not have to repeat ours.

So, this post is the first in a series of five that will overview the seed germination process starting today and ending Saturday, December 18, 2010. That way, you have time to absorb each entry, make plans, rest on Sunday and, when you are ready, start ordering what you need to get a jump on the home germinating crowd.

Thinking ahead and “getting a jump” is what you want to do if you haven’t got what you need at home. The first year, we didn’t start to get our ducks in a row (radishes in a row?) until everyone else had the same idea in the spring. We found that distributors were sold out of many items we needed and had to work harder to change our plans accordingly.

If you can find time during the holidays to put this all together, it will give you an advantage. Ordering anytime before the end of the year will work to your favor. But, no worries as most people won’t start until mid-January and things probably won’t start selling out until the beginning of February.The problem is that there are so many people turning to growing their own food that many of the garden shops are not ready for the demand.

Toward the middle of February is when we will set up the nurseries and I will show you what we do to make it all happen in time for spring planting. I can’t wait to share the good times. Woo-Woo! It is so much fun.

Coming tomorrow, Wednesday, December 15: Planning a Food Garden

Most of my book recommendations are suggestions. I don’t
mean to be aggressive, but this book is a MUST HAVE. Order
it at once! It has more information for the money than
most others and will broaden your concept of vegetables
planted in space wasting rows.Yes, indeed!

Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work

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Filed under: Food,Veg Garden — admin @ 10:15 am Comments (0)
Dec 08 2010

Mike Dooley

I grew up with a mother who was a reader of Norman Vincent Peale’s long standing best selling, The Power of Positive Thinking. Choosing to see life as a glass half full rather than as half empty was a concept I learned to experience at an early age. And, I believed it has served me well. Learning to see the challenges in life as benefits brings immerse power easily used to navigate uncertain waters.

Nowadays, the same concepts are popularly championed by many authors, speakers and web sites. Presented with varying view points and directives, positive thinking, or positively visualizing good in your future, has a way of creating significant benefits in your life and in that of those you love. I like to study all that these positive people have to offer. Showing a strong belief in the eternal good that is always happening is what religions call faith. And a strong faith, believing that G-d has a plan no matter the immediate hardship, will carry a person through to the good times.

Here, Mike Dooley, featured in the book The Secret, gives a presentation to Toastmasters about visualizing good and having it made manifest:

Mike Dooley has an inviting way of speaking to teach that
believing in good will cause wonderful things to happen.

Mike Dooley is the author of the book Infinite Possibilities and is the webmaster of the Totally Unique Thoughts web site providing a great deal of information on the concept.  It will expand your horizons and encourage you  to allow good to come into your life, if you haven’t already discovered this for yourself. But, even so, a good review helps to affirm the belief and stimulate it into action. See what you think and let me know!

As Mike Dooley says, “Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones!”

If you have an interest in this concept, hover your mouse
over the links below to preview these two books:

The Secret


Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams

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Filed under: Head,Vision — admin @ 5:11 pm Comments (0)
Dec 07 2010

Santa’s getting ready for you! You’d better plan for Santa!

It’s that time of year. The time to set out the cookies and milk on Christmas Eve is almost here. And the time to have Christmas fun is now beginning. So, try going to these web sites not only to keep track of Santa and all that he will be doing this holiday season, but also to enjoy lots of good times.

NORAD will be tracking Santa’s flight around the world from the time he leaves the North Pole until he visits your home. so to get in the know about the Jolly Old Elf, click here.  For lots of Christmas games and puzzles, go here.

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Filed under: Heart,Kids — admin @ 7:22 pm Comments (0)

Dr. Edward Bach

“This work of healing has been done, and published and given freely so that people like yourselves can help yourselves”

– Dr Edward Bach, 1936


Dr. Edward Bach (September 24, 1886 – November 27, 1936)
was born in a village called Moseley, near Birmingham, England.

Dr. Bach studied medicine at the University College Hospital, London and obtained a Diploma in Public Health at Cambridge. He was a house surgeon and a casualty medical officer at University College Hospital. He worked at the National Temperance Hospital and practiced for over twenty years in London as a Harley Street consultant and bacteriologist. After research in immunology, he developed an interest in homeopathy, and joined the laboratories of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital in 1919. He developed seven bacterial nosodes (the seven Bach nosodes), which have received only limited recognition.

Despite the success of his work with orthodox medicine he felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and to ignore the people who were suffering them. He turned to alternative therapies. He believed that illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind. Symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states. In 1928 he began work on his own remedies made from plants. At the age of forty-three (1930), he gave up his lucrative Harley Street practice and left London in order to concentrate on finding a new system of healing involving plant remedies. He was sure a new system of medicine could be found in nature and so he left to work in Wales and the English countryside. In spring and summer he discovered and prepared new herbal remedies, and in winter he treated patients for free.

By 1932 he had discovered the first of his 12 remedies. These he used on the many patients who came to him for treatment.

In 1933 he began making the second group of remedies, the 7 helpers.

In 1934 Dr Bach moved to Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire. It was in the lanes and fields round about that he found the remaining 19 remedies that he needed to complete the series. He would suffer the emotional state that he needed to cure and then try various plants and flowers until he found the one single plant that could help him. In this way, through great personal suffering and sacrifice, he completed his life’s work.

Bach decided to spread his knowledge among the people. Dr Bach published his work, principally in public lectures and in magazine articles. In particular, he wrote articles and gave lectures between 1933 and 1936 in relation to the remedies. He advertised his herbal remedies in two of the daily newspapers. This brought him numerous inquiries from the public, but the General Medical Council disapproved strongly of his advertising.

Just as he had abandoned his old home, office and work, so now he abandoned the scientific methods he had used up until now. Instead he chose to rely on his natural gifts as a healer, and use his intuition to guide him. One by one he found the remedies he wanted, each aimed at a particular mental state or emotion. His life followed a seasonal pattern: the spring and summer spent looking for and preparing the remedies, the winter spent giving help and advice to all who came looking for them. He found that when he treated the personalities and feelings of his patients their unhappiness and physical distress would be alleviated as the natural healing potential in their bodies was unblocked and allowed to work once more.

Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire

Dr Bach passed away peacefully on the evening of November 27th, 1936. He was only 50 years old, but he had left behind him several lifetime’s experience and effort, and a system of medicine that is now used all over the world.

For the full web page on Dr. Bach and
his reprinted articles, click here.

Spend a few moments learning about the way
Bach Flower Remedies heal. They jump start the
frequencies of the body’s higher spiritual nature

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Filed under: Food,Health — admin @ 5:05 pm Comments (0)
Dec 06 2010


In the best of situations, children will see
living outside of four walls as an “adventure,”
depending on the attitude of their caretaker
adults and the level of deprivation.

For most Americans, the deep poverty of homelessness has always been an “other world” phenomenon. It was something that happen “over there” when we used to read about children living on the street in India or begging for pennies in what we use to consider “third world countries.” It was something that we associated with being mentally ill, perhaps, people who “didn’t fit in” to the regimentation of having a regular job and living in a regular way. “Bums” we called them to separate ourselves from them even further, as if the warm bed we could return to at night wasn’t enough.

Now, however, many of us are being taken down a peg as we realized that, “but for the grace of G-d, go I.” People who fit in “just fine” to the system of regular jobs and regular houses are being left high and dry financially so that, all of a sudden, their regular jobs are gone and their regular house soon follows. It’s a shock. Hard to understand that we don’t have a right to own what we consider is ours.

So, now with new foreclosures and all sorts of financial losses, people who used to point fingers at those who are poverty stricken are realizing, well, gee, it can happen to anybody. It happened to me. Truly nothing is promised to us and we must learn to survive losing what we consider most dear.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness was working on helping those without a permanent address before the housing crisis and economic crunch. Now, they are in full swing easing the burden of many at every level of society and ranging from rural to urban locations. The National Alliance to End Homelessness web site has many visual aids to demonstrate the numbers and locations of homeless persons to better assess the need. For instance, this pie chart shows the geographic distribution of homeless in the United States.

Here is a Shelter Calculator that assists social workers with the relationships between shelter demand, length of stay, and minimum required shelter bed inventory. Wow! So much to think about for all those people needing comforting.

Homeless people, like any other group of individuals have varying talents and abilities when it comes to digging deep within their spirits and summoning up the endurance to pull through hard times.  A positive attitude sure helps as you can see from this woman named Pat Peplin. She wrote a song about Living at Walmart. Not only is the tune catchy, but hey, if I ever have to look to a homeless future, I’ll go live with Pat. I know where to find her. Does the National Center to End Homelessness have a geographic locator for Walmart parking lots?

Pat Peplin sings her ballad with
an endearing sense of humor.

WOW! Just what I need to find Pat! A WALMART ATLAS. If things get much worse, I’m a coming, Pat. Leave a light on!

All those who want to go live with Pat Peplin, hover your mouse over this link to preview the Pat Peplin locator:

Wal-Mart Atlas

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Filed under: Roof,Without Walls — admin @ 7:16 pm Comments (0)
Dec 04 2010

Ed Slott reveals the sad truth of IRAs.

Ed Slott is mesmerizing in his manner of speech. I love listening to him.  I feel better informed about lifetime saving realities and on top of my game when I view his videos and read his books. The bottom line? The tax free accounts most people fund all their working lives don’t give a valid return. As this goes against everything proposed by the nationally accepted plan of savings and it’s conversion, this might be hard for you to believe. But, Ed Slott’s presentation were was convincing enough for our family to place our 401-K assets into other investment avenues.

Think about this: Ed Slott says that if “you like staring at zeros on a piece of paper,” you are well served by your IRA plans, but if you want lifetime assets to eventually cash in or pass down to your family, you are in the wrong ball park. It just doesn’t work the way you have been lead to believe it does.

I couldn’t possibly lay it all out for you as well as Ed Slott, so here is a video to broaden your saving horizons. Click play to learn how you can better your retirement and your family’s inheritance:

Video #1-3 seem to be missing on, but this
one explains the basics. At the end, look over to the
right hand side and find #5 & 6.

Ed Slott has a very informative and polished web site to access by clicking here. By the way, there is a workshop for financial advisers on March 25 & 26 in Washington, D.C. that beckons to any financial professional interested in helping clients provide the best for themselves later in life and for their heirs.

Although you may not have heard of Ed Slott as yet, the bio on his web site lists a few of his many accomplishments. He has been “named “The Best” source for IRA advice by The Wall Street Journal and called “America’s IRA Expert” by Mutual Funds Magazine. Ed is a widely recognized professional speaker and collaborated to create the nationally aired Public Television specials, “Lower Your Taxes Now and Forever with Ed Slott” (2010), “Stay Rich for Life! with Ed Slott” (2009), and “Stay Rich Forever & Ever with Ed Slott” (2008).

Ed Slott also established the IRA Leadership ProgramSM and Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor GroupSM, which were developed specifically to help financial institutions and advisors, financial advisor firms and insurance companies become recognized leaders in the IRA marketplace”


On his web site, Ed Slott offers a newsletter power packed with essential information.  Look for this banner:

Experts are baffled by the complex IRA tax laws and their corresponding rules. Yet, you must know them and how to apply them CORRECTLY to any particular situation. Otherwise, you will be hit with excessive taxes and possibly even penalties that can consume the lion’s share of your life savings.

Protecting your nest egg from needless taxation is the main purpose of this newsletter.


I betcha, once you watch Ed Slott’s video and look at his web site, you will be looking forward to reading his books.  I can’t say which one is better as they all provide insights that knock your sense of the IRA savings world off its moorings.

Here is one of his books for you to preview by hovering your mouse over the link:

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb . . . and How to Defuse It: A Five-Step Action Plan for Protecting Your IRAs, 401(k)s, and Other RetirementPlans from Near Annihilation by the Taxman

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Filed under: Money,Sugar Bowl — admin @ 7:14 pm Comments (0)
Dec 03 2010

Socks can be objects of beauty and comfort,
not just utilitarian.

Socks: an item we are used to picking up discount stores by the packaged dozen. A utilitarian item so necessary we don’t consider them a snugly luxury, perhaps. But! What if your socks were nice and soft and absorbent natural fibers and made your feet feel like a million! Then you might call them a luxurious asset and greatly appreciate an introduction to a homemade model.

You can buy these hand knitted socks on Etsy by clicking here.

Hand knitted socks are just yummy. I crochet, so I stand in awe of anyone knitting socks. I am amazed by those who knit them, because anything on circular knitting needles or more than two knitting needles makes me nervous. Recently, I was fascinated, though, to be seated next to a woman knitting socks for her husband at a Scottish Country Dance in Alexandria, Virginia. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the needles as she rhythmically moved them in a sequenced dance around and around the tube of a sock in production. It was fascinating to watch the sock grow in the short time we were together.

I don’t knit, but I am going to sign up by clicking here
for these delightful knitted sock patterns! Maybe the bug
will bite! Best part of all, the patterns are FREE for your
e-mail address. They are really scrumptious. I want to move
to upstate New York so I can wear them EVERYDAY!

Just like there are knitters whose love to make sweaters, and those who specialize in mittens and scarves, there are knitters who love to make socks. The time it takes to make one is extensive. Even with the knitting machine shown below, one of the machine knitters is proud it “only” took eight hours to make one! So, knitting socks is a labor of love. In addition, the final product is so comforting, many consider it worth the time spent. And what a gift to a loved one it is.

Dorret, from YouTube has a series of four videos that show
her working needles to knit socks. Love it!

I always read the comments under YouTube videos. You learn so much from the other viewers, especially on the instructional YouTubes. Notice that one viewer mentions Dorret’s method of casting on stitches using two hands and the single knitting needle seated vertically between her hands. I was not familiar with that method either. I am like the viewer in that I hope Dorret will provide another YouTube showing her method for casting on.

Making socks with a circular knitting machine. I think this
makes me more nervous than multiple sock needles.

The knitting machines appear complex, but it would seem that once the basics are mastered, the only problem would be in the monotony of working with the machine over and over. The circular knitter seems dated and I can imagine a mother with ten kids trying to fit this task in with every other one required by the household. Circular knitters would be necessary time savers. If you are interested in learning more about this unique labor saving device, you’ll find you are not alone.  Click here to visit a remarkable web site devoted to circular knitting machines. It’s amazing!

Knitting socks with a flat bed knitting machine.

Flat bed knitting machines knit squares or rectangles that are then sewn together, so the resulting product will always have a seam. Round, circular knitting cannot be done on a flat bed machine. As on all knitting machines, it is the SIZE of the type of yarn that determines the machine to be used, rather than the type of project. For example, socks can be made on a circular knitting machine or a flat bed. The type of sock produced will depend upon the size of the yarn used which is, in turn, determined by the size of the latch hooks on the selected machine. 

As I read up on the knitting machines, I realized that there is much to know before one considers the purchase. For a great discussion on the good and bad points of hand vs. machine knitting, click here. Angelika’s web site puts it all down in black and turquoise and it helped me understand the various technologies much better. When you reach Angelika’s web page, go down to the article, ” “What Every Hand Knitter Should Know Before Buying a Knitting Machine”.

If you want to handknit socks, try this excellent book:

This book has 5 stars from its reviewers. If it interests
you, hover your mouse over this link for a preview:

Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)

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Filed under: Clothes,Readymade — admin @ 7:13 pm Comments (0)


QUILT SHOW & Artisan Boutique


Friday, December 3rd  9:00am – 6:00pm

Friday, December 4th  9:00am – 4:00pm


Admission/Donation $5.00


Kensington Armory
3710 Mitchell Street
Kensington, MD


Plenty of Parking


Quilt Raffle and Silent Auction

Quilting Demonstrations for All Ages

200+ Traditional, Contempory & Art Quilts

Artisan Boutique for Holiday Shopping

Calico Elephant


NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase, MD
has been meeting continuously for 32 years.
1978 – 2010

For a nice full page brochure on the
NeedleChasers Quilt Show this weekend,
click the basket block below.

For more information go here or call (202) 723-1859

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Filed under: Quilting,Roof — admin @ 7:11 pm Comments (0)
Dec 02 2010

It can be a real challenge trying to run a family efficiently and make sure everyone’s needs are addressed. It’s hard enough when the kids are little and shorter than you are because you have a fighting chance as long as you can run faster than they do. But, what happens in the teenage years when they sometimes equate size with superiority?  Just because they are now taller then you, it seems they think you’ve “gotten stupid.”

Enter Jean Tracy, MSS.  I found Ms. Tracy’s website while looking for information on making household chore charts, including how to decide what chores are age appropriate for what child. What a wealth of information I found. The woman is wonderful. Very pleasant, down to earth and to my tastes, realistic with a heavy dose of common sense thrown in.

Jean Tracy, MSS

Ms. Tracy’s welcome says, “I earned my Master of Social Work degree from Bryn Mawr College. Parenting Resources grew out of my experiences as a mother, a teacher, a marriage and family counselor for over 20 years, and as an author and speaker.” And I believe every word! She seems great to me. Try going to her web site, by clicking here, and see what you think. Nose around because there is lots of information and it will take a while to settle in.

Now, remember, if all else fails, you can always simplify things and follow Anita Renfroe’s methods instead:

If you haven’t seen this video, today is the day!
It’s a big hit at our house, but I know each member
of the family has a different reason for thinking so.

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Filed under: Family,Heart — admin @ 7:10 pm Comments (0)
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