Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recycled Candle

Every Monday, our local Thrift Store has 25% day. Needless to say, I go to check out any deals. I know that Mother's Day is coming up, so I have been on the look out for items to recycle into other crafts.

I stared out with a glass goblet (for lack of a better term) with a lid ($0.75), a white non-scented pillar candle ($0.75), a nice smelling green and yellow candle ($0.50), and some seashells (had on hand).

I melted the wax of the large white candle and poured it into the goblet, reusing the wick. When it was almost set up, I added the green layer. When it was almost set, I put 4 seashells around the sides. I then added the yellow layer, and then more white on top.

Be sure to almost let you layers set before adding the next layer. For more on candle safety, Click Here.

I also picked up two small pans and a wooden spoon to use making this candle. Make sure that once you melt a candle that is already scented, you declare that pan "candle making only" otherwise your food will take on the taste of the candle.

I am happy with the results. I don't think it looks too bad for my first time making a candle in 20+ years! This is going to be for my step mom for Mother's day, so don't tell!

Move Over Paula Deen!

My mother and grandmother love to watch Paula Deen. I have caught her shows a couple of times and know she has a love for butter. I think I found someone with a greater love for butter than her!

Arya can now apparently open the fridge herself. I looked over at her and she was chomping down on a stick of butter! And, this is not the first time! One day at dinner, she grabbed the butter off of the table and began eating it.

I love butter myself, but not this much! Nothing like adding a little cholesterol to your diet!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Old Time Home Remedies

A few years ago, I interviewed my grandmother for an oral history project and we talked about a lot of different things. One part of the project that made me "famous" was the part about her home remedies.

I thought I'd share these to bring a smile to your face or even maybe bring back a memory. I would highly recommend NOT using any of these remedies.

My family has deep roots in Appalachia, so that should explain some things.

The words in bold are my questions to her. I wrote her words exactly how she spoke them to me:

Tell me about healthcare and doctors when you were growing up

“Well there just wasn’t too many doctors back in those days. Especially if you lived in the hills (of Kentucky) like Mom and Dad did. And the doctors that were doctors didn’t have to have the schooling like they do know. I can remember a story that Mom told about one of the doctors back then:

She had a little sister about two named Fay. In 1917, Fay caught the flu along with the rest of the kids (16 in all). Fay was the first to have it. Pa (Dorothy’s grandfather) called the local doctor to come over. He was a drunk, but it was all there was. The doctor came and gave Pa a bottle of something and told him to give it to Fay. He did and she never got better, in fact she got worse. There was another doctor around visiting and Pa had him come look at Fay. He asked Pa what he had been giving her and Pa showed him the bottle. The doctor told Pa that the other doctor had given him a bottle of poison. The first doctor was so drunk he did not know what he was doing. Fay died shortly there after. Mom said she remembered Dad getting all the whiskey in the house and throwing in the fire. He never had a single drink after that.”

“A lot of ways we solved our health problems were by home remedies.
• Congested chest – mix turpentine and lard, rub on throat and chest cover with flannel. (As a personal note, I can remember my great grandmother making this for me as a small child; and it worked great!)
• Sore throat- eat Vic’s salve
• Bee sting- spit chewing tobacco on bee sting
• Ear Ache – blow cigarette smoke in ear. Or, put human urine in ear with a syringe.”
Was it your own urine or someone else’s?
“I don’t remember. Anyways,
• Stomach Ache – mix turpentine and sugar to form a paste. Eat.
• Toothpaste- baking soda and salt.
• Cuts – pour turpentine over area.”

“We had a disease going around when I was about four or five called the Seven Year Itch. It was a horrible rash. Mom would fix us a bath and pour liquid Lysol in the water. It burned like crazy, but we stopped itching.”

“I don’t know if you call this a home remedy or not, it is more of a wife’s tale. If you had a wart, you’d take and rub an ear of corn over it. Then you would dig a hole and bury the cob and place a rock over it. When the cob rotted, your wart went away.”

It’s amazing you all aren’t dead from eating turpentine and bathing in Lysol
“This was just the way things were done back then. We did not think anything about it. We could not afford to go to the doctor every time one of us was sick.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mama's Vegetable Soup

This soup is so good! It is my grandmother's recipe and it's easy to make! The best thing is, this soup freezes well!

Mama's Vegetable Soup

1 large can tomato juice
1 can green beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
3-4 potatoes, peeled and chunked
2-3 cups shredded beef w/ juice*
Salt & pepper to taste

Pour juice into pan and add rest of ingredients. Cook on medium high heat for 30 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

*I make this soup the day after I have beef roast. I cook a London broil in my roaster pan. I add enough water to barely cover the roast, seasoning salt, soul seasoning, and parsley. I cook it for 5 hours on 295*. After the 5 hours, I cut up my potatoes and cook an additional hour. Any leftovers, including the juice goes into making the soup. I had fresh green beans with the roast last night, so they went into the soup instead of canned.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just For Men

Just for men; a soothing soak for tired and achy feet. Well, it's not really "just for men", but it does make it sound more manly. Ryan tried this over the weekend and loved it! His feet were killing him from being on a ladder all day doing the siding. He soaked his feet for about a half of a hour and said they felt great.

I think I have about a $1 invested in the soak, including the jar. This would make a really nice gift for Dad for Father's Day. Or, even Mom for Mother's Day.

1/2 c. Epsom salt
1 chamomile tea bag
1 peppermint tea bag
5 drop blue food coloring, optional
decorative jar with sealing lid

If using, mix food coloring with salt. Open both tea bags and add to salts. Mix well and pour into jar. To use: add entire jar to hot water foot bath.

Chamomile has many healing properties as does peppermint. Chamomile promotes relaxation, alleviate stress and relieves pain, while peppermint is a muscle relaxant and helps manage stress.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Well, lately I have been hearing a lot of hype about homemade laundry detergent. I've heard how it washes clothes better and is so much more cheaper than store bought detergent. I did several searches on what ingredients go into homemade detergent and all have the same basic 3 ingredients; washing soda, Borax, and baking soda. So I just picked one and made a batch up.

I took and old shirt and tried to stain it with the most common stains I come across in our laundry. They are: ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, cooking oil, marker, and grass stain. I then took the shirt and cut in in half and tossed it into the washer. I washed both with cold water on the regular cycle. I did not use any stain treater so I would have accurate results on the detergent alone.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the manufactured detergent did a much better job on the clothes all around! It lightened the stains much better than the homemade.

I think it looks like here that the mustard on the homemade side is darker and more set in than on the manufactured side.

There is no smell on the clothes after they have been washed. If you like that clean, "perfumy" smell when you clothes come out of the dryer, like I do, homemade soap is not for you. The homemade soap did, however, take the urine smell out of Jaiden's sheets.

Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it for yourself:

Homemade Laundry Detergent
3/4 c. Borax
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 c. baking soda
1/4 bar of Ivory soap, grated
Mix all ingredients. Add 1/4 of a cup to washer. This soap will not suds up.

Side note: I found the washing soda at Kroger grocery store. My Walmart did not carry it. At Kroger, it was in the laundry aisle with the stain treaters and fabric softener. It comes in a big yellow box with the Arm and Hammer logo. It is different than baking soda.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Young Love

This is Jaiden and her boyfriend, Nakai. They hold hands when they walk somewhere together. They hug and kiss each other on the cheek when it is time to leave. They are so cute together!
Nakai has a power wheel car and when he lived two house down, he would come over and pick her up! It was so cute! He would even get out and hold the door open for her!

We took the kids to the carnival tonight that was 2 blocks away from our house.

I just noticed that they are holding hands again!

This is the kids with the prizes they won. The other little girl is Liberty, Nakai's sister.

Jaiden throwing darts to win a prize.

Jaiden and Arya riding on the trucks.

I made this very inexpensive plaque for Jaiden's door. I got the plaque at Dollar Tree in the craft section. I painted it with one coat of purple paint. I used a black sharpie to write her name. I got a thin white ribbon and threaded it through the rivets to hang it. Jaiden loves it, that's all that matters! It almost looks as though the name was been burned in. My cost was a whole $1.00!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Word Play Answers

Some of these are so dumb, that you're going to hit yourself!

Answer: Card Shark

Answer: A Salted Peanut

Answer: Egg Plant

Answer: Dr Pepper

Answer: A Nightmare

Answer: Tap Dancers

Answer: Gatorade

Answer: Pool Table

Answer: Light Beer

Harsh Punishment

Am I being too harsh on the girls?

In all seriousness, I have never locked the girls in the cage, but now that I have the idea......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chinese Take Out Box

If you have a little time on your hands, why not make a Chinese Take Out Box? They are fairly easy to make, but are time consuming!

I have tried my best to make this as less confusing as possible. I used spray adhesive to attach all material and cardboard sides together. You could use hot glue, but I was afraid that there would be lumps in the material.

Heavy Weight Cardboard (HW)
Light weight cardboard (LW)
Silk fabric
Quilter's spray adhesive
bamboo handle

1. Cut HW & LW cardboard into the following sizes:
Rectangles 2 HW & 2 LW: 2 1/4" x 4 3/4"
Squares(bottom) 1 HW & 1 LW: 3 1/2"
Sides: 4 LW & 4 HW: 4 3/4" on top 3 1/2" bottom & 4" tall.

2. Lay HW sides of box out so that the sides are touching.

3. Spray adhesive on card board and attach INSIDE fabric.

4. Turn over and fold ends to back for a clean edge finish. Spray in place

5. Attach INSIDE fabric to HW bottom and LW rectangles. Fold all four sides to the back and secure on the square bottom. Fold back and secure 3 sides, leaving one long side on the rectangles.

6. Attach OUTSIDE fabric to 2 LW sides. Flip pieces over and turn fold tops over to back. Spray in place. Leave sides and bottom of fabric for now.

7. Attach OUTSIDE side to end the end of the backside of the inside side strip. Make sure to match edges.

8. Attach other side piece. (The OUTSIDE sides should be attached to inside back of #2 & #4)

9. Match the inside sides to make a box. Use the unfinished edge of the OUTSIDE side to attach sides, so that you now have a box.

10. Sit HW bottom on bottom of box. Use the unfinished bottom edge fabric from the OUTSIDE side to secure the bottom.

11. Lay out LW side and HW rectangle on fabric. Leave about 1/2" space in between top of side and rectangle. Attach fabric. Repeat for other side and rectangle.

12. Fold back sides and top and secure for a fished edge. Leave bottom for now. Your piece should look like the one in the picture.

13. Attach INSIDE rectangle to back of OUTSIDE rectangle.

14. Attach to box. Be sure to match edges. Attach unfinished bottom edge of side to bottom of the box. Repeat steps 11-14 for last side.

15. Attach OUTSIDE bottom to the bottom of the box. Turn over and attach bamboo handle.

Word Play Fun

Can you guess the play on words these pictures represent? Some are easy, while others may take some thought.Answer: Whole Milk

I'll post the answers on Friday. Until then, have fun and don't get too frustrated!!