Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Y'all ~

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day ~

Friday, October 12, 2012

FRIDAY's Stockpile for CHEAP

Why would anyone want to stockpile for less?  Well if you have time to prep and do all the prepping research then you have time to save money on the things you buy.  We don't pay full price and neither should you!

Let's look at it this way ~ what is the number one problem with stocking up on water water water....  I don't care how good your water is you or your family will get tired of just water.  That's called water fatigue.   And I imagine that's why someone picked leaves to put in the water and made TEA.....

What if I told you that you could order HUNDREDS of packets of koolaid for roughly $5

Kool Aid is having a National Catalina (Coupon that prints when you buy a featured item)  this month at KMart if you buy 21 envelopes of Koolaid for 10 cents it will print a $2 off your next purchase coupon.
you can use that on your next purchase of Koolaid, so you buy 21 MORE for 10 cents each ($2.10) minus the $2 coupon and you just got 20 envelopes free! Guess what, it will print ANOTHER COUPON for $2 off, so you keep "rolling" until you have bought as much Koolaid as you want to stock up on...$5.10 plus tax would get you 651 packets of Koolaid....  that's 31 transactions.... so be prepared to hang out at Kmart for a while. It's worth it to prep for less!   Want to learn more?  Click on the We Use Coupons button for more info.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hot Food is Important

Here's three ways you may NOT have thought about cooking, but could be interesting. We have an alternative to charcoal, DIY stump oven, and DIY solar oven.  Hot food during a crisis is important.  It gives us comfort and soothes rattled nerves and is all around good for family morale.

Bic FlameDisk
Bic has introduced a new product it's called the FlameDisk.  The major flaw with this product is its fuel. according to the product's website  "FlameDisk uses ethanol as the main fuel ingredient. Our ethanol comes from corn, a renewable resource. "  Yeppers there's a hitch in that plan with an 80% failure in this year's corn crop.  This product may end up to be hard to find.   It does look interesting, and is extremely easy to use.  Seems it would be an excellent item to have in your preps for emergency cooking.  Here it is in the bottom of a Weber grill.  I think based on the shape it's perfect for kettle type grills such as Weber. the cook time is expected to be 35 to 45 mins.  We have stocked some of these because its easier than stocking charcoal for the grill, and we can barter them.

Items Required: Grill, Lighter, Bic FlameDisk

Here's the link to Bic's site:  FlameDisk

DIY Tree Stump Grill
This just looks like FUN.  If you're cleaning debris from a storm and your chainsaw is handy give this a try.

Items required: Log, Chainsaw, newspaper

  1. Cut the log evenly on both sides so it stands up freely. Then cut it into vertical segments most of the way down the length of the log.
  2. Stuff in some newspaper into the cracks as deep as you can get it, leaving a wick at the bottom, and light it up.
  3. That's all there is to it—the log burns from the inside out, and you have a simple, handmade stove....

DIY Solar Ovens:

You don’t need four burners and a gas line to make some great-tasting trail food. All you need is plenty of sunlight. Make your own solar oven and feed the whole group. Solar ovens work by bouncing sunlight off a reflective surface into a pot. The hotter the pot, the faster your food will cook. It’s easy to make—and cheap.  
You can make your own! Lots of plans online, and Boy Scouts everywhere have done this as a camping project, with that said there are many Solar Ovens you can buy.  They can be pricey, and the sun has to be shining.  Also it takes a long time to cook in a solar oven.  There are many more designs online, but this one will get you started. Here is an example of a Boy Scout solar oven:
  • A pizza box
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic window covering
  • Permanent marker
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • String
step-1.jpg STEP 1: Line the inside bottom of the box with foil.
step-23.jpg  STEP 2: Cover foil with black paper and tape in place.
STEP 3: Set the plastic under the box and trace the outline of the box.
step-4.jpg  STEP 4:Remove the box and draw another outline 1⁄4-inch inside the first outline and cut along inside line.
step-56.jpg  STEP 5: Close the box cover, and draw another line 1 inch from each side.
STEP 6: Cut along the lines on the front and sides—not the back.
step-78910.jpg  STEP 7: Open the cover and line the inside with foil.
STEP 8: Glue foil in place.

STEP 9: Cover foil with the cut plastic and tape in place.

STEP 10: All layers should be airtight and wrinkle-free.
step-1112.jpg  STEP 11: On the outside of the box cover, attach a string long enough to keep the flap open and let the sun shine in.
STEP 12: Once you have the oven, all you need is the sun. Choose a spot that will get at least several hours of direct sun away from any strong wind.

Solar cooking takes a little practice. Try this recipe first:
Solar Oven S’mores  Ingredients:
  • Graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate bars
  • Marshmallows
Place graham crackers next to each other on the bottom of a black cast-iron pot. Black pots are best because they absorb and retain the sun’s heat better than light-colored pans. Top each cracker with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Put a glass lid over the pot and place the pot in the center of your solar oven. When the marshmallow is gooey, take out the crackers and add the second layer of graham crackers on top to complete it.
What did you do today to Prep?   Today We placed a bulk order for 400 items.  Retail was $910 when we applied our coupons we saved 95% our out of pocket will be $50 plus tax.  Pick up is Saturday. Prepping for less is important.  We didn't have $910 for these items but we did have the $50  If you don't use coupons you should seriously consider it.
Note:  Happy Birthday Dad. We love you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prep Today?

What did you do TODAY to prep?  Anything? Buy a small bag of beans?  an extra can of soup? Are you a small scale prepper?  Maybe a large scale prepper? Something as small as keeping the dishes done and the laundry clean counts a bit towards prepping.Why? Can you imagine if you had five loads of laundry and a stack of dishes to do but no power? So in that sense yes housework is prepping; keep your house in order.

For September I issue this challenge to you: Do something however small to prep everyday this month. Everyday along with a regular message I will update what we did that day to prep. 

Here's a recap so far on what I've done.  Keep in mind I also do research daily.

  • 1st  Saturday Placed Pre-order for 400 Zone Bars Pick up Tuesday cost: near free; Hubby ("THE" Prepper) attended HAM festival and purchased additional communication equipment
  • 2nd Sunday Placed Pre-order for 100 Bic FlameDisks (free via coupon) Pick up Thursday
  • 3rd Monday Updated and reorganized BLOG; started annual inventory of supplies
  • 4th Tuesday Picked up Zone Bars, clipped Coupons from 8-26, made list of items to watch for sale, checked coupon website to track which stores would give me biggest bang for our buck, placed an order for interesting books and a few "items"
  • 5th Today placed order 25 pounds of honey powder and new pool cover, special ordered 100 packs of Yakisoba to donate to food bank sourced location for pallets for fencing

You are not in the journey alone.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Empty shelves...

A picture is worth 1000 words.  We all know some folks must see it to believe it.  Are you prepared? While these photos were from the result of panicked buying before the recent storm; Here is a visual this is what shelves will look like when the whole world goes sideways...

If the shelves look like this will you be able to feed your family?  

Thanks to: Tiany Lindemann Davis for these photos

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Prepper's Awareness

A year ago, I posted a pop quiz.  Some of you did quite well ~ while others were concerned about the lack of preparedness.  It's time to review.  We've discussed that prepping takes work. Some folks have been prepping for a while, some are just starting out.  Even if you THINK you are just starting out you may be surprised by the things you already have on hand.  So lets take a Prepper's test this one I have  sourced from page 16 of the 2011 LDS Preparedness Manual ~ let's take a look here:

Preparedness Pop Quiz

1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home? YES - NO
2. Does your family know what to do before, during,
     and after an earthquake or other emergeny YES - NO
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds that can fall
     during an earthquake? YES - NO
4. Do you have access to an operational fl ashlight in every
     occupied bedroom? YES - NO   (use of candles is not recommended
     unless you are sure there is no leaking gas) YES - NO
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet
     against broken glass? YES - NO
6. If a water line was ruptured during an earthquake, do you know
    how to shut off the  main water line to your house? YES - NO
7. Can this water valve be turned off by hand without the use of a tool?
     Do you have a tool if one is needed? YES - NO
8. Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is
     located? YES - NO
9. If you smell gas, would you be able to shut off this valve? YES - NO
10. Gas valves usually cannot be turned off by hand.
      Is there a tool near your valve? YES - NO
11. Would you be able to safely restart your furnace when
      gas is safely available? YES - NO
12. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places? YES - NO
13. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher? YES - NO
      Do you know how to use it ? YES - NO
14. Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance
      and other papers stored outside your home? YES - NO
15. Do you have a functional emergency radio to receive
      emergency information? YES - NO
16. If your family had to evacuate your home,
      have you identified a meeting place? YES - NO


17. Would you have sufficient food? YES - NO
18. Would you have the means to cook without gas/electricity? YES - NO
19. Would you have sufficient water drinking, cooking,
      & sanitary needs? YES - NO
20. Do you have access to a 72 hour evacuation kit? YES - NO
21. Would you be able to carry or transport these kits? YES - NO
22. Have you established an out-of-state contact? YES - NO
23. Do you have a fi rst aid kit in your home and in each car? YES - NO
24. Do you have work gloves and tools for minor rescue/clean up? YES - NO
25. Do you have emergency cash on hand? YES - NO
      (During emergencies banks and ATMs are closed)
26. Without electricity and gas do you have a way to heat
      at least part of your house? YES - NO
27. If you need medications, do you have a 30 day supply on hand? YES-NO
28. Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is
       an extended water shortage? YES - NO
29. Do you have a supply of food, clothing, and fuel where appropriate:
       6 months?  YES - NO     
       For a year? YES - NO
Some folks believe we are only 9 meals from anarchy.  What if an emergency lasted longer than 3 days? a week? a month? 6 months? a year? longer? How prepared are you?

Many of the above items can be addressed with little to no money.  Start there.

~ You are not alone in your journey ~

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chickens for eggs are a good idea

Farmer Randy owns Rooster Hills Farm.  On his website he talks about the nutrition of eggs... I figure that it's ok to share his info with you here.  Keep in mind if you are local ~ you can get everything you need from Farmer Randy and Rooster Hills... Even his world famous HENPEN that has been featured on National TV Hens make great pets, and they earn their keep!

HEY Farmer RANDY Is it necessary to refrigerate my eggs?This is a GREAT question. Let me be very clear with this topic. The government requires you to refrigerate your eggs. It is not a matter of health...it is simply a matter of law. Therefore, I MUST tell you that you MUST refrigerate your eggs! It's the law. Now, with that said, let me tell you what happens in other countries. The USA is the ONLY country in the world that requires its citizens to refrigerate eggs. And there's a good reason for that! Pharmaceutical companies pour millions of dollars into campaigns for politicians to get elected. In turn elected officials "reward" the pharmaceutical companies with legislation that helps them sell more drugs.   Let me explain: When a hen lays an egg, her goal is to hatch that egg (ours is to eat that egg). Since she can lay only one egg each day, it takes her 10-14 days to lay a "clutch" of eggs. When her clutch is full, she settles down on the eggs and heats them up to 101 degrees. Inside that egg is an enzyme named "trypsin," which causes the egg to begin to develop when the hen heats it to 101 degrees. If the temperature falls below 50 degrees the trypsin dies...this is mother nature's way to telling the hen not to hatch the eggs because it's too cold for the chicks to survive.Trypsin also lowers cholesterol. (Something the pharmaceutical company would rather do by selling you drugs!) Pharmaceutical companies know that your refrigerator will kill the trypsin in the eggs. So, the favor they got from the newly elected politicians was legislation that requires us to refrigerate our eggs.  A second enzyme that your refrigerator kills (at the command of the department of public health) is Lanamine. Lanamine is responsible for healthy joints. But, if your eggs are meeting your body's demand for lanamine, then the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be able to package and sell their drugs...and politicians wouldn't have campaign money to spend. So...refrigerate! Lets keep those politicians politicking!  I recently learned of two other enzymes in eggs that die when refrigerated, but I've not been able to run down the benefits from those enzymes. But, I bet the pharmaceutical companies know! I think I'll ask them.

Hey Farmer Randy.....Should I wash my eggs?If you pick up your eggs direclty from the henhouse, you DO NOT need to wash them. We use a damp sponge tp knock off any dirt on them and then put them on the kitchen counter. Why? When the hen lays an egg she puts an antiboitc coating on the egg. This protects the egg from things like salmonella from getting into the egg. However, if you wash off the antibiotic coating, you wash away the protection. It's interesting to note that the government also requires egg distributors to wash the eggs before they sell them. Isn't that interesting?

Hey Farmer Randy Why Buy Free-Range Eggs? 
Compared to factory farmed eggs, eggs from pasture-raised hens have:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2x more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3x more vitamin E
• 7x more beta carotene
Source LINK~> Meet Real Free-Range Eggs

Nutritional Values Comparison for Eggs
Fat Calories..........................50.................87................9
Total Fat..............................6g ................9.6g............ 1g
Saturated Fat........................2g................2.6g..............0g
Trans Fat..............................0g.................0g................0g

Total Carbohydrates.............0g ................1g................0g
Daily Values
Vitamin A...............5% (273IU)..........9% (472IU).........1% (49IU)
Calcium..................3% (29.7mg)........4% (44.8mg)........1% (6mg)
Iron........................6% (1mg)............15% (2.7mg).........2% (0.3mg)
Selenium............... 15% (17.7mcg)....36% (25.5mcg)......4% (3mcg)

Eggs are a very good source of Protein, Riboflavin and Selenium and a good source of Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron and Phosphorus. Source LINK~> Nutritional Data for eggs

If you decide to visit Farmer Randy, be sure to let him know I sent you!

Friday, August 31, 2012

OPEN for business

I hope you enjoy the changes!  As promised I have a store that's OPEN for business.  Over the next several weeks I will be adding items so keep looking!  By late September there will be some exciting handmade items for gifting...   And there was no nifty website programmer or store designer just lil ole me!  Thanks for taking this journey with me!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Expired Meds still good?

The Government feels GI Joe can take meds as long as 15 years past the expiration date, then so can we right?  Get smart stockpile your meds  see the link here to the  DOD Shelf Life program

I am offering a re-post of the following article because not only is it a GREAT information, but there is rumor it might disappear from its original source.  All credit is given to the original author Laura P. Cohen and The Wall Street Journal.  Originally published March 29 2000

Drugs Frequently Potent Past Expiration

By Laurie P. Cohen
The Wall Street Journal March 29, 2000
Do drugs really stop working after the date stamped on the bottle? Fifteen years ago, the U.S. military decided to find out.
Sitting on a one billion dollar stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every two to three years, the military began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter.
The results, never before reported, show that about 90 percent of them were safe and effective far past their original expiration date, at least one for 15 years past it.
In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, says he has concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty notes that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set.
The expiration date doesn't mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful.

Marketing Issue

"Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons," says Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement last year. "It's not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover."
The FDA cautions that there isn't enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs needed during combat and which tests only individual manufacturing batches, to conclude that most drugs in people's medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date.
Still, Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, says that with a handful of exceptions - notably nitroglycerin, insulin and some liquid antibiotics - most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. "Most drugs degrade very slowly," he says. "In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years, especially if it's in the refrigerator."

Manufacturers' View

Drug-industry officials don't dispute the results of the FDA's testing, within what is called the Shelf Life Extension Program. And they acknowledge that expiration dates have a commercial dimension. But they say relatively short shelf lives make sense from a public-safety standpoint, as well.
New, more-beneficial drugs can be brought on the market more easily if the old ones are discarded within a couple of years, they say. Label redesigns work better when consumers don't have earlier versions on hand to create confusion.
From the companies' perspective, any liability or safety risk is diminished by limiting the period during which a consumer might misuse or improperly store a drug. "Two to three years is a very comfortable point of commercial convenience," says Mark van Arandonk, senior director for pharmaceutical development at Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. "It gives us enough time to put the inventory in warehouses, ship it and ensure it will stay on shelves long enough to get used." But companies uniformly deny any effort to spur sales through planned obsolescence.

Why Not Longer?

Now that the FDA has found that many drugs are still good long after they have supposedly expired, why doesn't it advocate later expiration dates for consumer drugs? One reason is that the consumer market lacks the military's logistical reasons to keep drugs around longer.
Frank Holcombe, associate director of the FDA's office of generic drugs, says that in many cases a manufacturer could extend expiration periods again and again, but to support those extensions, it would have to keep doing stability studies, and keep more in storage than it would like.
Mr. Davis adds: "It's not the job of the FDA to be concerned about a consumer's economic interest." It would be up to Congress to impose changes, he says. As things stand now, expiration dates get a lot of emphasis. For instance, there is a campaign, co-sponsored by some drug retailers, that urges people to discard pills when they reach the date on the label.
And that date often is even earlier than the one the maker set. That's because when pharmacists dispense a drug in any container other than what it came to them in, they routinely cut the expiration date to just one year after dispensing. Some states even require pharmacists to do this.
Meanwhile, poor countries - under urging from the World Health Organization - often reject drug-company donations of much-needed medicines if they are within a year of their expiration dates.
It isn't known how much of the $120 billion-plus spent annually in the U.S. on prescription and over-the-counter medicines goes to replace expired ones. But in a poll done for The Wall Street Journal by NPD Group Inc. of Port Washington, N.Y., 70 percent of 1,000 respondents said they probably wouldn't take a prescription drug after its expiration date; 72 percent said the same of an over-the-counter remedy.
"People think that, upon expiration, drugs suddenly turn toxic or lose all their potency," says Philip Alper, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco. In his own practice, Dr. Alper says, "I frequently hear - from patients who can't afford medicine - that they have thrown away expired drugs." He says companies should be required to test drugs for longer periods and set later expiration dates when results warrant.
Some manufacturers first began putting expiration dates on drugs in the 1960s, although they didn't have to. When the FDA began requiring such dating in 1979, the main effect was to set uniform testing and reporting guidelines. As now required by the FDA, so-called stability testing analyzes the capacity of a drug to maintain its identity, strength, quality and purity for whatever period the manufacturer picks. If the company picks a two-year expiration date, it needn't test beyond that.
Testing for a two-year expiration doesn't initially entail holding a drug for two years. Rather, the drug is tested by subjecting it to extreme heat and humidity for several months, then chemically analyzing each ingredient's identity and strength. (After the date is set and the drug is marketed, testing continues for the full two years.) The FDA also uses chemical analysis in testing for possible shelf-life extension; it doesn't test on human subjects. Testing conditions are such that any medicine that meets, say, the standards for a two-year expiration date probably lasts longer, the FDA and drug companies agree.

Still Good

Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts two-year or three-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, says the dating is "pretty conservative"; when Bayer has tested four-year-old aspirin, it remained 100 percent effective, he says.
So why doesn't Bayer set a four-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes "continuous improvement programs," Mr. Allen says. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, he says, and testing each time for a four-year life would be impractical.
Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond four years, Mr. Allen says. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin's pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, says, "I did a study of different aspirins, and after five years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable."
Only one report known to the medical community linked an old drug to human toxicity. A 1963 Journal of the American Medical Association article said degraded tetracycline caused kidney damage. Even this study, though, has been challenged by other scientists. Mr. Flaherty says the Shelf Life program encountered no toxicity with tetracycline and typically found batches effective for more than two years beyond their expiration dates.

Plea from the Air Force

The program dates to a U.S. effort begun in 1981 to increase military readiness by buying large quantities of drugs and medical devices for the armed forces. Four years later, more than one billions dollars of supplies had been stockpiled. The General Accounting Office audited Air Force troop hospitals in Europe and found many supplies at or near expiration. It warned that by the 1990s, more than $100 million would have to be spent yearly on replacements.
The Air Force Surgeon General's office asked the FDA if it could possibly extend the shelf life of these drugs. The FDA had the equipment for stability testing. And because it had approved the drugs' sale in the first place, it also had manufacturers' data on the testing protocols. Testing for the Air Force began in late 1985. In the first year, 58 medicines from 137 different manufacturing lots were shipped to the FDA from overseas storage, among them penicillin, lidocaine and Lactated Ringers, an intravenous solution for dehydration. After testing, the FDA extended more than 80% of the expired lots, by an average of 33 months.
In 1992, according to the FDA, more than half of the expired drugs that had been retested in 1985 were still fine. Even now, at least one still is. Such results came as a revelation for Army Col. George Crawford when he took over military oversight of the program in 1997. He is a pharmacist, but "nobody tells you in pharmacy school that shelf life is about marketing, turnover and profits," he says. (The drug makers don't agree that it is, however.)

How It Works

The military's base for the program is a dingy barracks room in Fort Detrick, Md. There, a group headed by Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Russie, who recently took over from Col. Crawford, tracks drugs that are near expiration at defense facilities all over the world, selecting many for retesting. They are shipped to the FDA, which sends them to its laboratories.
The FDA's lab in Philadelphia recently tested five automatic injectors containing an antidote to chemical poisoning, which were purposely held for three months in conditions even hotter and more humid than the FDA requires in consumer testing of drugs. The FDA tested the drug contained in the injectors, pralidoxime chloride, by separating its ingredients and measuring the strength and quality of each, then applying a computer model to determine whether a shelf-life extension was warranted.
The injectors' original expiration date was November 1985. The FDA had retested them periodically ever since, each time approving their continued use. The batch, made by Ayerst Laboratories, now part of American Home Products Corp.'s Wyeth-Ayerst unit, is 18 years old. It is 15 years beyond the expiration date applied by Ayerst. The FDA found it is still good.
A spokesman for Wyeth-Ayerst says it "uses scientific data to establish expiration dates" and "tries to have the longest possible dating on products that scientific data supports." The company is aware of the FDA retesting program. It says it can't comment specifically on the injectors tested by the FDA.

A Few Fail

Shelf-life extensions are "intentionally conservative," the FDA's Mr. Flaherty told military brass in a 1992 speech. He says that if the agency extended an expiration date by 36 months, it had concluded the lot would retain all of its safety and efficacy for at least 72 months. A very few drugs aren't retested. The military has found that water-purification tablets and mefloquine hydrochloride, for malaria, routinely fail stability testing beyond their expiration dates, so it has removed them from the program.
Also excluded are large-volume intravenous solutions, such as saline. "We don't like to test those," says Col. Crawford. "Not because we can't, but because it would be politically sensitive if G.I. Joe was lying in bed and saw it had originally expired three years ago."
Mr. Flaherty has said that while he tested a handful of drug batches that didn't even make it to their expiration dates, most drugs were "surprisingly durable." In one instance, he says, drugs labeled for room-temperature storage had been kept for two years in a warehouse in Oman that averaged 135 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. Upon expiration, the drugs, which included the local anesthetic lidocaine and atropine, a nerve-gas antidote also used by eye doctors to dilate pupils, "were well within the standards for potency and other quality characteristics," he says.

Stable Molecule

One medicine the FDA has endorsed for extensions is ciprofloxacin hydrochloride tablets, an antibiotic marketed by Bayer as Cipro. One batch had an expiration date of March 1989. More than 9 1/2 years later, the FDA found the tablets still good; it then extended some of them for 18 more months and others for 24 more months.
Albert Poirier, quality-assurance director for Bayer's pharmaceutical division, says he isn't surprised because Cipro "is a stable drug molecule" in tablet form. "We go for a shelf life that will be safest for patients," he says. "We want the drug to be used up within three years. We wouldn't want a patient to have it for 10 years because they'd have an old package insert" that might omit new information or contra-indications and because "we'd have no control over how they'd store the drug during this time."
Another extended drug is Thorazine, a tranquilizer chemically known as chlorpromazine tablets. Batches bearing December 1996 expiration dates - unused and unopened, as is the case with all drugs evaluated in the Shelf Life program - were tested in July 1998 and extended for two years. A spokesman for the maker, SmithKline Beecham PLC, says it applies an expiration date 24 months after manufacture. "We think that is the appropriate expiration date," he says. "We don't benefit from short expiration dates."
Some other drugs the FDA has extended at least two years beyond their expiration dates are diazepam, sold as Valium; cimetidine, sold as Tagamet; phenytoin, sold as Dilantin; and the antibiotics tetracycline and penicillin.

Big Savings

On a cost-benefit basis, the program's returns have been huge. The first year, the Air Force paid the FDA $78,000 for testing and saved 59 times that sum by not needing to replace the drugs. After other services joined, the military from 1993 through 1998 spent about $3.9 million on testing and saved $263.4 million on drug expense, according to Lt. Col. Russie.
Says Mr. Flaherty: "We've cost the pharmaceutical companies hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of new stuff to the Department of Defense." More than 12 years ago, Messrs. Flaherty and Davis explained the program to drug-company chemists at a meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Woodbridge, N.J., going into detail about how the FDA decided whether to extend a given expiration date. Mr. Davis concluded by noting how much the U.S. had saved by extending shelf lives instead of "destroying large quantities of still-useful medical products..."
Mr. Flaherty says the FDA was keenly aware that if its methodology was flawed, or its results incorrect even once, its credibility would be attacked. Yet FDA officials say that during the program's 15 years, drug makers have never objected to any of its procedures or findings. "They may not have liked what we were doing, but they weren't able to challenge it," he says.

The Message to Civilians

While the military is finding it can keep most drugs longer, civilians hear quite a different message. For instance, a campaign called the National Expired and Unused Medication Drive has collected and destroyed 36 tons of drugs since 1991, says its founder, Kathilee Champlin. Ms. Champlin, of Colorado Springs, Colo., says her interest derives from experience working with the elderly and seeing how hard it was for them to keep track of all their medications. She says she wasn't aware of any FDA program to extend drugs' shelf lives.
Her group has gained sponsorship from the some big drug retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. It sponsors the campaign to be "a good corporate citizen," says Frank Seagrave, vice president of pharmacy merchandising. "
We believe that people should dispose of unused prescription medicines a year after they get them," he says, adding that Wal-Mart sometimes gives people a free bottle of vitamins if they bring in expired drugs.
Many pharmacists also play a role in shelf lives. The U.S. Pharmacopeia, a not-for-profit scientific group that develops standards for the drug industry, urged in 1985 that pharmacists set expiration dates at no more than one year if they were dispensing drugs in a bottle other than the manufacturer's original packaging. "New containers may let in more moisture and heat than the container the manufacturer used for the stability study," accelerating the drug's degradation, says the USP General Counsel Joseph Valentino.
The recommendation became a USP requirement in 1997. As a result, "the majority of pharmacists shorten the manufacturers' expiration dates" on prescription drugs to one year or less, says Susan Winckler, an official of the American Pharmaceutical Association. In fact, in 17 states, pharmacists now are legally required to do so. Ms. Winckler says shortening the dates makes sense because many people store drugs in moist bathrooms. She says the one-year rule is "motivated by product integrity and not by profit."
By Dr. Mercola
We can clearly gain some valuable insights from this incredible piece in the Wall Street Journal and sent in by ever-diligent Michael Belkin.The key from the article is "shelf life is about marketing, turnover and profits." Over the course of the past two decades, U.S. spending on prescription drugs increased from $40 billion to more than $230 billion. If drug companies convince you to empty out your medicine cabinets annually, those profit margins could increase even more.
I find it absolutely incredible that the military spent from 1993 through 1998 about $3.9 million on testing and saved $263.4 million on drug expense. So, on a personal level, unless you have nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics, you may be able to use your medications far beyond the expiration date on the bottle. I believe the major tragedy is that many Third World countries needlessly discard the drugs that are sent to them and could actually be saving lives due to lack of appreciation of this concept.

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The key from the article is "shelf life is about marketing, turnover and profits. I find it absolutely incredible that the military spent from 1993 through 1998 about $3.9 million on testing and saved $263.4 million on drug expense.
We can clearly gain some valuable insights from this incredible piece in the Wall Street journal and sent in by ever diligent Michael Belkin.
Unless you have nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics, you can pretty much be safely assured that your medication expires years beyond the date it says it does. I believe the major tragedy is that many Third World countries needlessly discard the drugs that are sent to them and could actually be saving lives due to lack of appreciation of this concept.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sweet without sugar

Stevia seeds are so tiny, you have to be extra careful when handling them.

Paper towel method:
Place seeds you want to germinate in to a moist paper towel. You must to keep them in a warm place. Start indoors 8-10 weeks before last anticipated frost. Lightly cover and keep moist.

To retain moisture, simply put your wet paper towel within a ziploc plastic bag at germination, the outside shell of the seed splits and a tiny, white sprout called taproot pops out. When you see those little taproots coming out of the seeds, gently place them(root down) in to the soil Place in a south facing window or under grow lights until seedlings emerge. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.

Keep your soil equally moist for the next few weeks. Don't drown them! Over watering presents a big problem Transplant to individual containers when seedlings have at least two pairs of leaves. Be careful not to overwater your stevia. Only give them a drink when you need to prevent wilting. Before transplanting into the garden, but after the last frost, "harden off" plants by setting in a shady location outdoors for one week. After last frost, set plants out in the garden, spacing 18" apart.

Stevia is ready for harvest 40 days after transplanting. Or keep it as a plant ...This herb is 300 times sweeter than sugar. The small, green leaves are a sugar-free natural sweetener. Try fresh leaves in drinks or as an edible garnish. To make Stevia powder, dry individual leaves on screens or pull the entire plant and hang to dry. Store dried, crushed leaves in a airtight container


According to HealthFA.com:
Studies have shown the following benefits from using Stevia in your diet.

> Sugarless with no calories
> Will not affect blood sugar levels (neither up or down)
> 100% Natural
> Up to 300 times sweeter than sugar
> Heat and freezer stable (ideal for cooking, baking and freezing)
> Non-fermentable
> Flavour enhancer
> Plaque retardant Anti-caries (prevents cavities)
> Recommended for diabetics
> Non-toxic
> Extensively tested in humans and animals with no adverse effects.

Now that's what I call SWEET! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Don't forget shoes!

The number one item missing from stockpiles everywhere....Shoes.

You may consider yourself to be a well stocked prepper, you have a bag in your car, a different bag at home, first aid kits, food, TP... Now I ask you this... Do you have appropriate footwear in your bag to get you home if you are in dress shoes and you have to WALK home or to the nearest gas station etc?  Now there's a foot of snow... are those shoes still the right shoes?  6 inches of water....  are they STILL the right pair of shoes?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  For adults this is an easy enough fix because our feet don't change too much.  But what about your kids Nieces, nephews, grandchildren?

Have you stockpiled basic outfits for all seasons for each child for at least 3 to 5years?  Did you include the next several sizes of shoes too? Coats/Jackets?  Gloves?  If the world goes sideways I want our children to have the basics covered.   You can do this by shopping at Good Will stores this month all kid clothing is $0.49 per item  Remember there are season "extras"  Here's a hint try and buy coats bigger so kids can wear them for 2 years at a time (example you child wears a size 3 so buy 3 coats in size 4,6,8 then you have child covered for 6 years. ) A new wardrobe for each child can be obtained for as little as $20 from Good Will this month. This basic wardrobe includes ~ a coat, 2 hoodies, windbreaker, gloves, hat, 3 pairs of shoes, 5 pairs of jeans, 5 pairs of shorts, 7 long sleeve shirts, 7 short sleeve shirts, 6 sets of PJs (3 summer, 3 winter) keep in mind buying the coat, hoodies, and windbreaker can be worn for 2 years if you get larger size will reduce the cost of the next years "wardrobe". For each child my goal is to have 4-5 years of a basic wardrobe stockpiled. I can do this for $80 for each child   We always buy panties and socks new these will be the most expensive items to stockpile.  

Yes my kids get new clothes and new shoes for school... but I can't afford to stockpile 5 years of brand new clothes so, if the world goes sideways at least they won't be naked or barefoot! Bonus ~ no one will care where I got their jeans! 

Don't forget the shoes!

Monday, August 13, 2012

All servings aren't created equal...

How many servings per person should you store? Well a can of Spaghetti-Os says it will feed two people.... but my kids can kill a can in a sitting.  When you eat, how many "servings" do you really eat?  Do you know how many calories you'd need in a day if the whole world goes sideways?  Don't let an emergency food provider sell you on the idea of one serving per person.  When you're buying remember:
  • Men/teenagers usually will need 2 servings
  • Women 1.5 servings
  • Children under seven 1 serving

Someone who is really working (physical labor) needs more than an office worker sitting all day.  My grandfather often talked about a "working man's meal" ...  those folks working hard physically need 5000 to 6000 calories a day to have the energy to work.  So if the whole world goes sideways and your planning on splitting wood, gardening, raising chickens, walking instead of driving....   you will need MORE food than you do right now in modern society.  It also needs to be higher QUALITY calories...  A box of Twinkies while tasty, doesn't have the needed nutrition. Focus on protein.  Do you have a year of protein stored?  No?  Figure out how much meat you THINK you need and add more. Remember to always do the math.  We use 2 pounds of chicken per meal for our group.  If I was going to have half our supper meals as chicken, I'd need 2 LB x 7 meals x 26 weeks or 364 pounds of chicken. The other half of our protein will be turkey and various cuts of beef .  You need a personal plan on your family's protein.... that's your homework for the week.

Even though I won't be pressure canning all our meat, I will keep enough jars on hand so if our freezer goes out and we lose the backup generator I will have the ability to can whatever is in the freezers so I won't loose our protein.

Once you start obtaining your protein you'll want to store it a couple of different ways here are some ideas:

  • Can it at home (requires pressure canner and glass jars)
  • Freeze it raw (Use a Vac sealer to protect your investment)
  • Cook some of it, then freeze it already cooked
If the whole world goes sideways having a year's supply of protein stored gives you time to find an alternate source of meat while not worrying about your family starving.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Secrets in the attic?

I get told by folks all the time how they want to use attics or garages for stockpiling.  You can look at videos online and find many people showing off their stockpile in an unheated space.....  If it isn't a temperature controlled environment, then you are limited as to what should be stored in the space. Wild swings in temps can destroy a stockpile. So what would I store in an  attic?

Things I WOULD store in the attic
(Keep in mind I would store things in plastic bins clearly labeled...)

~ Paper products, without adhesive (paper plates, napkins, TP, tampons but not pads)
~ wrapping paper
~ Christmas/Seasonal decorations
~ garbage bags
~ Ziploc bags
~ foil
~ EMPTY canning jars
~ fabric
~ tents
~ sleeping bags
~ blankets
~ out of season clothes
~ old furniture

 Things I would NOT store in the attic:

 ~ Any  Food/Drink items
~ Can goods
~ products with "sticky" or elastic, or spandex
~ HBA items
~ detergents
~ water
~ meds/first aid
~ gas, kerosene, propane, lamp oils
~ candles, matches, lighters
~ batteries
~ electronics or Faraday cage/boxes
~ seeds
~ junk/clutter broken or unwanted items ~ just get rid of it

Friday, March 23, 2012

Medicinal Herb Garden ~ A Real Solution

I often am asked about where to start with herbs or veggies.... and who to purchase what from.  As you know from my numerous posts I am a solution person.  I don't dwell on gear or gadgets but try and provide useful information that you can use TODAY. I wanted to be able to say go buy XYZ ~ from ABC for this excellent price.  However, the more I looked the solutions out there are way overpriced. Yes I said overpriced.  Seed Vaults... Really?  Most of those are alot of airspace!

So after much soul searching I have partnered with an heirloom organic supplier to provide an herb garden at a really affordable price.  These are the seeds I am using in our gardens.  These are the seeds you can count on.  For $29.00 you can plant these 18 Medicinal Herbs.  I am not a doctor, I encourage you to get a good book on herbal medicinal remedies you will find these herbs are an excellent basis for healing.

The real deal ~ Medicinal Herb Garden, (18 seed packets), organic: A set of herb seeds that would embody the foundation for a diverse medicinal garden that would contribute to every aspect of health and well-being, and making this set of seeds available to people at a very low cost, so that more would find it possible to buy them and realize the benefits.. 100% USDA certified organic seeds from our garden to yours.  There are 18 packets in all, packed in earth-friendly recycled paper .
  1. Astragalus,
  2. Holy Basil (Kapoor Tulsi),
  3. Gobo Burdock,
  4. Mixed Calendula,
  5. German Chamomile,
  6. Echinacea purpurea,
  7. Elecampane,
  8. Evening Primrose,
  9. Brown Flax,
  10. Lemon Balm,
  11. Marshmallow,
  12. Official Motherwort,
  13. Stinging Nettles,
  14. Cayenne Pepper,
  15. Garden Sage,
  16. Official Valerian,
  17. Wood Betony
  18. Yarrow
Available to you for $29.00 plus $5.55 shipping total cost $34.55
This is barely over our cost. And, you don’t have to choose.   Check other sites, Check with other preppers ~ this is really the greatest BANG for your buck.  If you're interested, I accept paypal and some web genius will be setting up my site so you can click and order but if you want them now you can email me: prepperswife (at) GMail (dot) com that is also the email for paypal payments.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Start today ~ Step up your game

Start today.
Start small. Go big,
Whatever you do ~ Do SOMETHING to prepare 
Easiest: Store water 3 gal per person per day remember to stockpile water for your pets (even goldfish need fresh water)  Preps for free? Maybe.  Look around your house what do you already have? Make a list of your everyday items and how they can pull double duty in an emergency List what else you could use items for, and where in your house that item is...  If it lives in the junk drawer ~ dump the junk make it a prep drawer a place where you can stash stuff you might need in a hurry in an emergency..

Already prepping?  Step up your game today... what have you been putting off?  Make a list of a few things you can do and get done this weekend.  Use today to plan, and this weekend to act on your list.  Hardcore preppers ~ where are you?  Time to evaluate your prepping goals and move forward.  Do you have all your bases covered? There's always something you can be doing, but don't forget to make time for life.  You can be prepared for your world to go sideways and still have fun.    Knowledge is power ~ reading this post give yourself some credit that counts as prepping research in my book.

March Madness ~ We're checking in on getting checkups so we know where everyone is physically.  This is living and prepping. What have I been putting off?  PLANTING.  So today we're planting all our seedlings and starting our medicinal herb garden.  On a Thursday... this is living AND prepping.... Our kids are involved too, they love playing in the dirt.

What are you doing to be more prepared in case your whole world goes sideways?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vinegar in Pet & Car Care

Preppers need to stock items that have multiple uses.  It only makes sense.  I don't know of anything as versitle in our stockpile as vinegar.  Do you use vinegar to its fullest potential? Vinegar kills the flu virus and seasons salads... did you know you can use vinegar in Cleaning, Gardening, Health, Laundry, Kitchen, Pet Care, and Car Care? We have looked at each over the past couple of days, today let's finish our look at vinegar by exploring both pet care and car care benefits.

Let's start with pet care.  Humans aren't the only ones that can enjoy the many uses for white distilled vinegar-even our four-legged friends can benefit.

  1. Give your dog a gleaming coat by spraying or rubbing with a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 1 quart water. As a bonus, you save the cost of an expensive shine product used on show animals. (Works even on a horse!)
  2. Keep a dog from scratching its ears by wiping them out regularly with a soft cloth dipped in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
  3. Remove skunk odors by wiping down the animal with a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water, followed by a plain-water rinse. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Discourage a cat from sitting on a certain windowsill or other surface, or from scratching upholstery, by spraying vinegar on the item. Test on small area to be sure there won’t be discoloration.Keep a cat out of a garden area by placing paper, a cloth, or sponge there that has been soaked in white distilled vinegar.
  5. Get rid of the deposits and water lines that form in aquariums and fish bowls by wiping them down with white distilled vinegar and following with a good rinse. For stubborn deposits, soak for several hours or overnight.
  6. Keep the birdbath clean by scrubbing it often with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse well.
  7. Keep flies away from horses or other outdoor pets by spraying a mixture of water and white distilled vinegar around the area where the animals are.
  8. Remove cat litter odor by pouring ½ inch of white distilled vinegar in the empty litter box. Let it stand for 20 minutes, swish it around, then rinse with cold water.
  9. Kill fleas by adding a little white distilled vinegar to your dog or cat’s drinking water.
  10. Stop a dog from barking with a spray bottle filled with equal amounts of water and white distilled vinegar. When the dog barks, spray the vinegar water in its direction but not in the face.
  11. Remove pet odors. After cleaning, cover the area with baking soda. Let it stand overnight. The next day vacuum up the baking soda and wash the area with white distilled vinegar. Rinse and let dry.
  12. Cats hate the smell of vinegar. If you have a cat that is marking its territory around your house, spray the area with white distilled vinegar then rinse with a hose.
  13. Stop cats from fighting with each other with a spritz of a white distilled vinegar and water solution.
  14. Prevent cats from eating your plants by spraying the leaves with a solution of white distilled vinegar and water.
Now let's look at car care... Because white distilled vinegar has so many wonderful uses as a cleaning agent, it’s no surprise that it is also perfect to use on some of your bigger cleaning projects—namely automobiles. The next time you’re washing your car, shift into high gear and really make it shine with a little vinegar.

  1. Keep car windows frost-free overnight in winter by coating them with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water.
  2. Polish car chrome with full-strength white distilled vinegar on a soft cloth.Remove unwanted decals and bumper stickers by covering them with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar, or by repeatedly spraying them with full-strength white distilled vinegar. They should peel off in a couple of hours.
  3. Rid the windshield wipers of road grime by wiping them with a vinegar-soaked cloth.
  4. Remove the leftover odor after a rider has been carsick by leaving a bowl of white distilled vinegar overnight on the floor.
  5. Get rid of hard water stains on your car with a rinse made from 3 parts soft water to one part white distilled vinegar.
  6. Wipe vinyl upholstery with a mixture of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.
  7. Remove winter road salt residue on car carpeting by spraying with a mixture of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water, then blot with a soft towel.
  8. Remove the hazy film that builds up on inside windows by spraying with white distilled vinegar.
  9. Remove dirt and stains from car carpeting with a mixture of half white distilled vinegar and half water.
  10. When doing car maintenance, soak rusty bolts and screws with white distilled vinegar to make them easier to remove.
  11. Loosen chewing gum stuck to carpeting or upholstery by soaking it in white distilled vinegar.
  12. Create an all-purpose window cleaner with a few ounces of distilled vinegar in a quart of water.
  13. Give leather upholstery an extra shine by cleaning it with hot white distilled vinegar and rinsing with soapy water.
  14. Make your car extra shiny by adding a few drops of white distilled vinegar to your bucket of water.

 So now let me ask you this, after 5 days of reviewing the value of vinegar ~ how many gallons are you going to store in your preps?

Vinegar & Laundry

Preppers need to stock items that have multiple uses.  It only makes sense.  I don't know of anything as versitle in our stockpile as vinegar.  Do you use vinegar to its fullest potential? Vinegar kills the flu virus and seasons salads... did you know you can use vinegar in Cleaning, Gardening, Health, Laundry, Kitchen, Pet Care, and Car Care? We'll look at each over the next couple of days, today let's look at it's value in the LAUNDRY.  Looking for brighter whites or bolder colors? The answer just might be white distilled vinegar. It’s a safe and inexpensive way to boost the power of your detergent and add a little more muscle to your stain remover. With vinegar in the mix, your clothes have never looked better.
  1. Prevent lint from clinging to clothes by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the wash cycle.
  2. To remove soap residue that makes black clothes look dull use white distilled vinegar in your final rinse.
  3. Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.
  4. Some stains on clothing and linens can be soaked out using equal parts milk and vinegar.
  5. Before washing a mustard stain, dab with white distilled vinegar.
  6. Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.
  7. Remove perspiration odor and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.
  8. Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water. Then run a normal cycle with detergent.
  9. Remove smoky odors from clothes by filling the bathtub with very hot water and 1 cup white distilled vinegar. Hang the garments above the steaming water and shut the door so the steam can penetrate the fibers.
  10. Keep the steam iron clean and in good working order by getting rid of mineral deposits in steam vents and spray nozzles. Fill the water chamber with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and distilled water. Set it in an upright position and let it steam for about 5 minutes. When the iron is cool, rinse the tank with water, refill and shake water through the vents onto an old cloth. Test before using.
  11. Remove scorch marks from an iron by rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn’t work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.
  12. Remove musky smells from cotton clothes by sprinkling them lightly with white distilled vinegar and then pressing them.
  13. Get water and salt stains off shoes and boots by wiping them down with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.
  14. Give patent leather shoes and bags a better shine by wiping them down with vinegar.
  15. Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.
  16. Eliminate manufacturing chemicals from new clothes by adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the water.
  17. Remove soap scum and clean the hoses of your washing machine with white distilled vinegar. Periodically run the machine with only a cup of white distilled vinegar in it—nothing else added to the wash cycle.
  18. Bring out bright colors by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  19. Fluff up wool or acrylic sweaters (hand- or machine-washed) and rid them of soap smell with 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar in the last rinse water.
Tomorrow we'll finish our exploration of white distilled vinegar and its many uses when we examine how it improve pet care & car care.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vinegar & the Garden

Preppers need to stock items that have multiple uses.  It only makes sense.  I don't know of anything as versitle in our stockpile as vinegar.  Do you use vinegar to its fullest potential? Vinegar kills the flu virus and seasons salads... did you know you can use vinegar in Cleaning, Gardening, Health, Laundry, Kitchen, Pet Care, and Car Care? We'll look at each over the next couple of days, today let's look at it's value in the GARDEN...White distilled vinegar provides many safe and natural ways to protect and enhance the garden.
  1. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
  2. Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
  3. Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.
  4. Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandbox with white distilled vinegar.
  5. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
  6. Get rid of the water line in a flower vase by filling it with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar, or by soaking a paper towel in white distilled vinegar and stuffing it into the vase so that it is in contact with the water line.
  7. Clean out stains and white mineral crusts in clay, glazed and plastic pots by soaking them for an hour or longer in a sink filled with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar.
  8. Remove crusty rim deposits on house planters or attached saucers by soaking them for several hours in an inch of full-strength white distilled vinegar.
  9. Clean a birdbath by scrubbing it often with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse well.
  10. Get rid of rust on spigots, tools, screws or bolts by soaking the items overnight or for several days in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
  11. Neutralize garden lime by adding white distilled vinegar to the area.
  12. Avoid skin problems after working in the garden by rinsing your hands in white distilled vinegar.
  13. Increase the acidity of soil by adding white distilled vinegar to your watering can.
  14. Eliminate anthills by pouring in white distilled vinegar.
  15. Cure a cement pond before adding fish and plants by adding one gallon of white distilled vinegar to every 200 gallons of water. Let sit three days. Empty and rinse thoroughly.
  16. Sanitize outdoor furniture and picnic tables with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar.
  17. Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white distilled vinegar.
  18. To catch moths use a mixture of 2 parts white distilled vinegar and 1 part molasses. Place mixture in tin can and hang in a tree.
  19. Keep rabbits from eating your plants. Put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden.
  20. Remove berry stains on your hands by rubbing them with white distilled vinegar.
  21. Clean plastic patio furniture with a solution of 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
  22. Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1 ½ quarts of water.
  23. When cleaning an outdoor fountain, soak the pump in white distilled vinegar to remove any mineral deposits.
  24. Clean a hummingbird feeder with white distilled vinegar—soap or detergent can leave behind harmful residue.
 Tomorrow we'll look at the benefits of using vinegar in the laundry