Friday, December 16, 2011

Homemade cleaners

Here are some of the cleaners that I use. I buy my Baking soda ( Sodium Bicarbonate ) in bulk at the feed store ( IFA ) they sell it to feed to cows but I figure that sodium bicarbonate is sodium bicarbonate no matter where you buy it. Just a lot cheaper this way.

Hope all of you have a great week-end
    Multipurpose Cleaner

    1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
   1 cup household ammonia
   1/2 cup white vinegar
  1 gallon warm water
Mix ingredients and pour in a spray bottle, store the remining cleaner in tightly capped container. Works like 409
Dilute Bleach
1/4 cup liquid bleach
1 quart cold water
I pour in to a spray bottle and us like clorex clean-up

Magic Mirror Cleaner
     1/4 cup dawn        1 cup alcohol
    1 cup ammonia

Mix the ingredients and pour into spray bottle and spray on. Note: I washed my mirrors with a wet rag before I used this the first time to get the residue from the old cleaners off the mirror or it will streak.

Soft Scrub

    3/4 cup baking soda
    2 TBL dawn
   1 cup water
   2 Tbl bleach ( optional)

I mix this in an old dish soap bottle. You do need to shake before you use. You can add a little more baking soda if you want it a little thicker. I add the bleach but it is not necessary.

Be sure to label each bottle.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homemade Gatorade and Pedialyte

   I love these two recipes I don’t have to use the pedialyte
now that the girls are older. We do use the Gatorade
all the time my husband likes it better then the store bought.
     At the beginning of summer I will buy about a dozen gatoaids on sale then I reuse the bottles all summer. I hold on to all store bought bottles (gatoraid, Soda,good water bottles I don’t keep the flimsey water bottle they get holes in them to quick ) that I can get. I have saved all the ones from this summer so hopefully I wont have to buy any more for a long time .

Home Made Pedialyte
2 Quarts Water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
1 packet sugar-free Kool-Aid*
*optional but gives flavor
   Mix all together well and store in refrigerator for no more than 3 days. You can also freeze this into ice cubes to put into child's cup or bottle. You can also make Popsicles from it.
     Tape this inside a kitchen cabinet door for easy reference. There's nothing worse than a sick kid in the middle of the night and you know that you have this recipe but can't find it and/or the stores are closed! I showed my pediatrician this and she actually hands it out to her patients. I have used regular Kool-Aid since it is optional anyways for even more savings (they go on sale 10 for $1). I never substitute the salt substitute, regular salt dehydrates. If you don't have it on hand don't add it. This recipe has saved a bundle verses the named brand Pedialyte and even the store versions. I figure that 2 quarts costs about .25 using the regular Kool-aid.
 Homemade Gatorade
1 pkg unsweetened kool-aid (any flavor)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon salt substitute (potassium chloride) 2 quarts water
Just stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Chill.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Preserved Lemons

If you are not sure what those are, I do not blame you. I wasn’t so knowledgeable about them a while back, either. Preserving citrus gives you an easy way to add tons of lemon/orange flavor to a dish without using very much. They’re preserved in a salt-brine and after hanging out in a jar for a month, the skins are soft and ready to be minced into your favorite dish. The uses for preserved citrus are endless, you can add them to couscous with roasted vegetables, mince into fresh salsa, chop up with green olives and garlic to garnish fish or chicken, garnish ice cream or … I’m sure you can use your imagination here. Why preserve the citrus, you ask? Preserved citrus is to fresh what smoked meats are to raw meats. Still delicious, but with more depth, more flavor.

I kept mine pretty simple and didn’t add any extra aromatics, but if you choose to, they would add another dimension of yummynessHalf Gallon-sized jar
6 to 8 lemons (Meyer would be great, but I wasn’t able to find any)
2 extra lemons for juice or however many is needed.
Your favorite coarse salt
small chili pepper (optional)
bay leaf (optional)
Wash and scrub Lemons very good I added a little peroxide to my rinse water ( with listera being found in so many places better safe then sorry )
Slice the pointy tips off the lemons. Slice in half from the bottom to top, and then slice each half again, from bottom to top. I don’t cut all the way through.

Pack each lemon full of salt and put some on the outside Press into jar and give another good sprinkle of salt. Repeat until your jar is packed firmly with lemons. Use the remaining lemon’s juice to squeeze into the jar. Press them in there really good.
squeeze into the jar. Press them in there really good.
Cover the jar with a tight lid and let the Lemons and the salt sit for several days. .
The Lemons will be ready to open and use in a few weeks. The Lemons should keep for up to a year. They do not require refrigeration, but most people opt to keep them in a refrigerator
When ready to use, they should be rinsed off well and the meat of the lemon should be removed. You only need a little rind, minced well, to pack a whole lotta citrus flavor into dishes.
You can do the same thing with oranges

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Homemade cough syrup


    Layer the onions and lemons alternating between each in a gallon jar pour the honey over the lemons and onions then pour in the brandy and schnapps I store mine in a cool dark place for a couple weeks before I use it will keep up to a year if stored in a cool dark place.
    Give adults 1 TBL children under 12 give a ¼ tea. Do not give to children under 1

Here is a couple of other recipes I found but have not tried I plan to try them next time one of us gets sick
Ingredients:1 cup freshly chopped onion
About 1/2 cup raw honey
Plus any of the following (optional):1 tsp. Cloves (whole or powdered)- specifically good for pain relief
1-2 Tbsp. Comfrey or Slippery Elm (dried or powdered)- Comfrey is particularly good for healing, and Slippery Elm has more of a reputation for soothing and coating the throat
1-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped Ginger root OR 1 tsp. Ginger powder- Ginger increases warmth, circulation (important for healing) and the overall effectiveness of the syrup
**You can include all of these optional herbs, but at a maximum of 2 Tbsp. extra herbs total

Directions Put chopped onions and any herbs of choice into a small stainless steel or glass pot (not alumnimum). Add enough honey to cover the onions ( for me, this seemed to be about 1/2 a cup, though I didn't measure exactly).
Turn the pot on low heat and slowly simmer. The honey will soften and become liquidy, and you want to keep the temperature very low while allowing the herbs to steep in the honey. It's best to keep a lid on to help keep all of the medicinal properties of the herbs in the syrup, and just take the lid off to give it a quick stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn't burn at all (though the temp. should be low enough to prevent this).
Give it 20 minutes of simmering, then remove it from the heat. Strain the onions and herbs out and store the remaining honey (which might have flecks of herb in it and this is fine) in a small glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge.
The syrup can be used as often as needed, up to every half hour. Here are the dosages:1 tsp. for a younger child
1 Tbsp. for anyone 10 years and older

Home Remedy for CoughThe ingredients are a combination of spices and nutrients with no unpleasant medicinal side effects -- no drowsiness, no dry mucous membranes, no cautions about using machinery or driving.
The recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982. It seems to work for all kinds of coughs but especially for that dry hacky cough that keeps you awake and hangs on long after the cold is over.

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
Mix and take by the teaspoon.
The recipe doesn't indicate how much to take. Consider the beneficial effects of the individual ingredients:

Ginger (zingiber officinale)has long been used and recommended for arthritis and bursitis, because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. According to Home Herbal, by Penelope Ody, D.K. Publishing, June 1995, ginger is a natural antihistamine. It has also been used for for motion sickness and nausea, and in addition, it's known for relieving chest congestion, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, Herbal Medicine Chest

 Cayenne (capsaicin)reduces pain, according to Herbs for Health and Healing, by Kathi Keville, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 1996. The same substance that makes cayenne peppers hot relieves the pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message from nerves in the affected area to the brain. According to Home Herbal, by P. Ody, cayenne is warming and stimulating, it is a good cold remedy and eases chills and will even ease the lingering pain from shingles.

 Vinegar has so many healthful uses. See this article, Vinegar: Ancient Medicine and Popular Home Remedy in Connections Quarterly, Summer 1998 Issue.

Monday, December 12, 2011

       Hope everyone had a great weekend ours was very busy we had a pig to cut up I like cutting it our selves as nothing goes to waste I render the fat in to lard that I use in my soaps and we make our own sausage we also cure our own hams and bacon then smoke them. So good
     We went and cut our Christmas tree the roads were snowy and we got stuck. We were in my truck which has nothing in it but a shovel. So grateful for the family that stopped to help us. I have been going to get an emergency kit in the truck for some time now this was my wake up call I kept thinking what if no one had come by so I am putting a list together of what needs to be put in there and am going to get it put in as soon as I get the list put together I will post it. Everyone should have an emergency kit you never know when you made need it

Freezing and Dehyrating Onions

I go to Napi every year and buy enough Onions and Potatoes to last all year this is what I do with the onions I will write about the potatoes at a different time This is so nice I always have onions and when they are out of season I’m not paying those high prices.
Freezing Onions
    I peel them and quarter them and put them in the food processor to chop them then I put them in quart jars leave about an inch of head space I use old flats on them put the rings then put on date and put in the freezer. I keep a jar in the fridge at all times then when I need chopped onion I just get out how much I need. When I empty ajar, I pull one out of the freezer and put in the fridge then it will be thawed out when I need it…
    I also freeze onion slices I cut the ends then peel then cut in half and then slice I put these in sandwich bags about 1 ½ cups worth then I put about 8 of the smaller bags of onions in a double Ziploc bag I double the large bags so the taste and smell of the onions don’t seep in to the other foods ( if you reuse you baggies as I do this is a good use for the used ones )
Drying Onions
    I cut the ends off and peel then I slice them about 1/8 of an inch thick lay them on the trays and dry on med. until they are brittle. After they have dried, I put them in the food processor and chop them. You can store them in quart jars or in baggies, I like the quart jars they are

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to beat the flu

I found this at herb I think it has some very important information so I wanted to share this with all of you.
How to Beat the Flu!By
Flu Time
Well it’s Flu time again unfortunately! Thankfully so far we haven’t had a major Flu epidemic, such as the dreaded Bird Flu. However any strain of Flu tends to be very unpleasant and can sometimes be lethal, so it’s important to help the body be prepared.
Many people think that any immume boosting herbs will help fight the Flu, but that’s certainly not the case. Echinacea and Astragalus, for example, should be avoided especially in the active Flu Stage, as an increase in Cytokines brought on by a stimulated immune response can lead to a Cytokine Storm and actually ravage the lungs.
Anti-inflammatories and anti-virals are therefore thought best to help the body cope with Flu strains, especially should we ever encounter an epidemic such as Bird Flu (H5N1).
There are three herbs that I would choose to fight flu, namely:Ginger, Green Tea and Lemon Balm. This is based on their anti-viral and anti-inflammatory action, but equally importantly because none of them are thought to specifically boost Cytokine response.
Taste, safety and cost are also considered and these are generally regarded as very safe. Caution should be taken with Lemon Balm if pregnant or breast feeding, if you have a Thyroid condition, or Glaucoma.
Each herb was chosen for very specific reasons. See below:
Ginger Root: This herb was chosen because it contains 10 anti-viral compounds and is a stimulating herb that is warming to the system, making it a wonderful warming cold and flu remedy. It is also thought to be a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems, relieving headaches, soothing sore throats and reducing fever. All these symptoms are commonly associated with Flu. In her book ’10 Essential Herbs’ author Lalitha Thomas describes the properties: “The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes (quite similar to the chemical action of turpentine) and an oleo-resin called ginger oil. These two, and other active ingredients in ginger, provide antiseptic, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating, and mild constipation relief qualities along with a potent perspiration-inducing action that is quite effective in cleansing the system of toxins.”
Lemon Balm: This herb is another excellent herb. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, sedative, and thyroid-regulating. It is often used to treat children with fever, flu, and colds. In adults, it treats colds, headaches, depression, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and nervous stomachs. In addition, it is a soothing, sedative herb that can relieve tension and lift depression. This is important as people do get very tired and fed-up when fighting the Flu. If you can start to FEEL better your body will heal much better.
Green Tea: Green Tea possesses one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). Even moderate doses have an effect. In addition, Green tea is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It is thought the tea acts at the cellular level by inhibiting inflammatory pathways to reduce inflammation. The tea’s high content of polyphenols is likely to be responsible for its high anti-inflammatory activity. It has been shown to REDUCE THE RELEASE OF PRO-INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINES. (reference:
Make a mug of Green Tea and add tinctures of Ginger and Lemon Balm, also a dash of Lemon juice for Vitamin C, and drink several times a day!Garlic is another great herb for helping fight Flu. I haven’t added into my top 3 as it’s hard to add it to a warming beverage and drink it! But try regularly adding it to food. Be aware though, that too much Garlic can cause the Red Blood Cells to burst, causing Anaemia, so don’t go overboard with it! Again I haven’t added Goldenseal to my top three as it is very expensive, therefore not easily available to a lot of people. But if you can afford it, take it!
I believe this is an excellent combination of herbs that are easy to take, taste nice and are not too expensive.
Goldenseal is another great herb that is both antiseptic and immune stimulating, increasing blood supply to the spleen. The spleen is the bodies staging area for the fighting cells in your immune system. Berberine is present in goldenseal, and activates macrophages (special white blood cells), which are responsible for destruction of bacteria, fungi, viruses and tumour cells. (Info taken from:
Please Note: This kit is NOT a substitute for the Flu injection and these herbs will not give you complete immunity from colds or Flu. What they aim to do is reduce the likelihood of catching an illness in the first place. And if you do become ill they should hopefully reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms, and help you recover afterwards.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Keeping Chickens Laying in the Winter

   Well the cold weather has finally come L . So glad we got a lot of winterizing done last weekend, got a couple more loads of firewood , Lights on all the animals water so they won’t freeze up ( we put them on a timer so they won’t be on during the day. I use a timer on everything that is outside if not it sure runs up the electric bill. ) Hay bales around the dog and cat houses and hay inside them, Than we got the chickens ready for cold weather so they would keep laying all winter. Now all I need to do is get plastic on the windows in the house , should have already had this done.

Keeping Chickens laying in the winter

   If you do these couple things they should lay all winter long. My Grandma taught me to do this, and she always had fresh eggs in the winter
  Put a light in the coop we just hang on from the ceiling, it keeps it a little warmer and the chickens think the days are still long, then keep a light on the water that keeps it from freezing and keeps the water a little warmer .
  One of my daughters did a science experiment on this one year and the chickens with the light and warm water did lay more eggs.
  And don't forget the extra protien like meat scraps or fat. If you have old meat in the freezer that is freezer burnt that is a good use for it. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to roast pumpkin seeds

I have finally started getting my pumpkins canned, I save the seed and roast them.I cannot eat sunflower seeds so these are nice to have on hand.
    Slice the pumpkin in half scoop out the inner seeds. Place the seeds in a colander and soak in salt water about 3 or 4 hours then drain water remove strings and rinse I let mine sit in the colander overnight to get out as much water as I can . Pat dry with paper towels.

   Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray (I did not have olive oil so I just sprayed with vegetable oil) and spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer. Then respray the seeds.

   Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes, checking and moving them around after 10 minutes.
Cool and store in an airtight container.

Variations:Spray seeds with oil and then choose one of the following seasonings to use before baking at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.
sprinkle seeds with cinnamon sugar
Sprinkle seeds with garlic powder and salt
Sprinkle seeds with Cajun seasoning

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade toothpaste

I have started making my own toothpaste because it is a lot cheaper then the store bought kind and it is a lot better for you and it has no fluoride which is extremely harmful.
Here is how I make my homemade toothpaste:

½ Cup Baking Soda
2 TBL Glycerin
1 tea peppermint extract.

     Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, I store mine in small glass jars every one has there own jar of toothpaste. Just dip your toothbrush in and scoop out.
     I have also made a cinnamon variation. Instead of using peppermint oil, I added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a few drops of cinnamon oil. This did turn out a little bit hot for the girls, and I'm not sure if I like the ground cinnamon in the paste -- cinnamon oil only might be a better choice This toothpaste recipe is very easy to experiment with as far as flavoring,

Here is another recipe that I found I haven’t tried it yet .
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 small packet of stevia powder
20-25 drops of peppermint oil*
1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork.
*Add about half of the amount of peppermint oil to start, and test the toothpaste to see how much you want/like.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hard Times Ahead: How To Be Better Prepared

I read this here at new life on a homestead it pretty much sums up how I feel and part of the reason I have stated this blog so I could share some of the things that I am doing to be more self sustaining. A very good article about what is coming and what we need to do.

I know the media is telling us that things are looking up. I know they say unemployment numbers are dropping. And we’ve all heard them saying the economy is on the rebound. But frankly, I’m just not convinced.
The thing is, they have to tell us that. If they told us the truth, that we are most likely heading into a much deeper recession, yes maybe even a depression, then panic would sweep across our nation and runs on banks would cause pandemonium.

Businesses are continuing the layoffs and cut backs.
And all of this printing of money out of thin air has caused inflation to already begin creeping into the market. Have you noticed your grocery bill going up lately? Those of you on a tight budget may be realizing that your money isn’t going as far as it used to. We’ve definitely noticed the price increases, and have had to raise our food budget to make room for it.
The term “
I’d like to offer a few suggestions…
1. First of all, realize that the Lord is in control.
2. Build your food storage. I’ll try to elaborate on this more in another post, but it is so important that you have a good amount of food on hand. I would suggest building up a year’s worth of food supplies; canned fruits and veggies, grains (wheat, rice, sugar), beans, pasta, powdered milk, water, etc. This is a great way to prepare for hyperinflation or economic crises, job loss, or other disasters. I’d even go so far as to say that it is more important that you have a food storage built up than a large savings account. If hyperinflation were to set in, those digits you see in your bank account will not be worth one dime. Food would be a more valuable asset than worthless paper. And if you were to lose your job, food would be one less thing you’d have to worry about spending money on.
3. Consider buying silver.
People, this is NOT GOOD.
If our currency loses it’s value, how will we buy or sell? Yes, bartering would make a huge comeback!
Again, what if that paper money you have is suddenly worth nothing? Changing some of your savings into silver bullion is definitely something to consider. Don’t think hyperinflation could happen? Do a little research into every case of hyperinflation in other countries. You’ll see it’s for real, and we are doing exactly the same things that brought it about in every other instance. If we don’t do something to stop this out of control spending, I don’t see how we can avoid an economic collapse.
I like the idea of using silver coins because they are much more affordable than gold, and would be more spendable due to their smaller values. Now, I’m not suggesting that you turn all of your cash into silver coins, but I do believe it would be wise to have some on hand for emergencies. You can buy it at local coin and jewelry stores, or order online.
4. Start a Garden.
*If you are able to have a few chickens for meat and eggs, you might as well get started on that too!
5. Guns and Ammo.
6. Get out of debt!!
7. Gather supplies you would need if you were to live without electricity.
8. Get to know your neighbors.
9. Stock up on herbal medicine supplies and books. Don’t forget your vitamins.
10. Collect several “living off the land/survival” type books.
11. Learn Forgotten Skills.
Whatever you do, please do something. If you only do one of these things, at least you’ll be a step ahead. I wish I knew what was going to happen with our country. I wish I knew if things would pick up and get back to normal soon. If only there were some way of knowing exactly what is lying in store for us. But we don’t know. And we cannot trust the media to tell us. We simply have to be prepared to be able to take care of ourselves and our family should the hard times hit. Don’t be caught unprepared.
I’m sure I missed some really good ideas for being prepared. Have any other suggestions you can share with us??
Sewing, cooking from scratch (and No, Hamburger Helper is not considered from scratch!), soap making… go visit grandma, you could probably learn a lot!!
If you can’t get on the internet to google how to skin a rabbit you’re gonna be in a mess!
These are the people you may be turning to the most in desperate times.
I’ll probably have to do a whole post on this subject too!! But basically, think about how you would live day to day without power or heat and A/C. Cast iron cookware for cooking over a fire, a clothes line, solar panels, hand well pump, non-electric appliances, a wood stove… you get the idea.
Check out Dave Ramsey. Seriously.
Sounds hard core, but if things do get bad you will need to be able to defend yourself and your family, and hunt for food. Ammo is getting more and more expensive. It would be nice to have a good stockpile of it. While you’re at it, a good hunting knife and fishing rod would be very useful too!
Even if you’ve never gardened in your life, now is the time to start growing something! Even those of you with only a balcony can do some container gardening. Grow something!!
Do you guys realize that the Federal Reserve is pumping money into our system at an unprecedented rate?? We have never in our history done anything like this before. Do you know what happens when money is printed over and over and over with nothing to back it??
We are not to fear the future, but do our best to prepare for it.
A recent report states that 1 in 5 Americans is either out of work or underemployed. That number is staggering! That’s 17.5 percent of Americans. Unfortunately, that doesn’t even include all of the people who have given up a job search!hyperinflation” looms overhead. But what can we do about it? How can we be prepared should things get really bad before they get better?