Sunday, March 31, 2013

Travel In Your Own Area

Wishing you could travel but don't have time off of work or lots of money? Try exploring your area. Every town has highlights that we often overlook. A day trip in your area can be fun. Make a plan. You don't have to go to the major landmarks. Gather a picnic lunch and head out the door. Here are a few ideas of things you can do:

1. Take photos of as many different animals as you can. You don't have to have a destination in mind. Just drive around and explore. 

2. Go to an outdoor concert. Check your local area. Hubby and I found a vineyard that has outdoor concerts a few times a year. The cost was around $20 for the both of us. You are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and chairs. There was even a couple that brought candles. There was wine tasting and sweets sold from a cart. 

3. Take a ride to see all the historical homes in the area. Some offer free tours. Even if you went as a kid with a school group, go see them again, this time as an adult. 

4. Go visit your State Parks. Walk the walking trails. Take photos of all the different trees, rocks, or wildlife. 

5. Last, but not least, go Geocaching. You will never be able to say that don't know where to go. Geocaching takes you to places that you had no idea existed. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps Review

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products, free of charge, from Brothers All Natural, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them. As with any product, my experiences may be different than yours. 

A few days ago I was lucky enough to receive a sample pack of Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps to try. Their Fruit Crisps are 100% Fruit. No added sugars. I was so happy about that. They are freeze dried and not baked. The result is a light and airy type treat. I was given several different types. The first one I opened was the Strawberry Crisps.

I was surprised. I was expecting the typical dried leather type fruit. These were more like air puffed. They are light and melt in your mouth. I instantly gave one to my Hubby and one to my son. They loved them. 
  We tried the Mandarin Orange Fruit Crisps  next.

 I had tried using a food dehydrator on oranges before and were not happy with the outcome. These were like the Strawberry ones. They were light and puffed. My son liked these the best because they were sour. He ate the rest of the bag before we could get anymore. 

Brothers All Natural has so many different varieties. I loved the Apple Cinnamon and the Strawberry Banana the best. If you are looking for a delicious snack with no added sugar check out their website They have variety packs and lots of other things. These are perfect for our outdoor adventures and for anyone that is looking for a snack for kiddies to take to school. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wisdom from Dad

A couple of years ago I was going through an extremely stressful time in my life. I had been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, I was dealing with people trying to hurt my family, and work wasn't going the way that I wanted it to go. My father has always been the one that I look to for sound advice it tough situations. Besides being a good man and father, he has a way of looking at all sides of an issue before giving his advice. During that time, he gave me many words of wisdom and he told me to read Desiderata. That time in my life has passed now as do all tough times in our lives and new ones take their place. I still go back and read it sometimes and get filled with  strength needed to face new challenges. 

    Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

      Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
      and remember what peace there may be in silence.
      As far as possible without surrender
      be on good terms with all persons.
      Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
      and listen to others,
      even the dull and the ignorant;
      they too have their story. 

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

           Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass. 
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
                     But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself. 

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prepare for Disasters Part 2

Medical Supplies

The second part of this series is about medical supplies. During Hurricane Katrina, our local hosptial became low on medications. Some hosptials were short on staff because they couldn't get to work. Road closures and flooding made it near impossible to get to a hospital. 

Do you have enough medical supplies on hand? Imagine over a month of stores being closed. Here are a few items to keep on hand in case of an emergency:

1. A First Aid kit is a good start. Make sure there are bandages for large wounds in it. 

2. An Eye Wash Kit is a great thing to have.
3. Tweezers for splinters and other uses.
4.  Alcohol for cleaning wounds and hands.
5. If you have time, fill all prescriptions. 

6. Pain relievers and antihistamines

Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for more emergency preparing tips. 

Check out Tender Corp First Aid Kits for the best in First Aid Products. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Geocaching Country Road

Another beautiful day of Geocaching. Hubby and I set out for the day's adventures. We found a string of caches placed down a country road. Our trusty walking sticks were a must in this area. 

It wasn't long before we found our first one strapped to the base of a pine tree. 

On our way to our next cache we watched a momma and baby deer cross the road. As always, I couldn't get to my camera in time. 
We went back to looking for this tricky one.

A few more miles and a few caches later we came across a really cute one. Birdhouse caches are one of my favorites.

We stopped and enjoyed the view of an old cypress tree. 

Total finds for the day = 11

Monday, March 25, 2013

This Really Works!

This is a very strange topic, but one that I just had to post. Being a female that loves being outdoors is not easy sometimes. I have taken Piglet out for the day in the country, only to have to turn around and find the nearest bathroom. Geocaching is so much fun, but again, sometimes the search for a bathroom is almost as difficult as finding a cache. Fishing, well, have you ever tried to straddle a bucket while a boat is rocking from the waves? I laugh just thinking about how graceful I am NOT. 
I started searching for something easier. I found Freshette. I bought this product from 
 I was skeptical about it at first. Hubby and I even had several great laughs about it. But it works!!!  It is as simple as the instructions they give you. I have to say that standing up was very strange for me. Once you get over that part of it, you will be amazed how well it works. Just rinse with your bottled water and put it back in the bag that comes with it when you are done.
I highly recommend this for any woman that loves the outdoors. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

5 Tips of What Not To Pack When Traveling

  Hubby use to pack the car with all of my luggage before every trip. My bags kept getting bigger and bigger. Pretty soon, packing the car to go anywhere looked like I was moving out of my house.  I'm not an expert traveler. Over time,  I have just chosen a path of minimal packing.  I enjoy buying a few items when I get to my destination. I once bought the best handmade soap on a trip to Colorado. Here are a few tips: 

1. Toiletries. Basics are great. Please do take your toothbrush and tooth paste.  Leave all the perfumes, huge makeup cases, twenty different types of hand lotion at home. Use this time as an excuse to buy one when you are there. 

2. Soap. Most hotels have soap for you in the rooms. If they don't, go to a local store and buy something. Sometimes you can find the best handmade soaps on vacation. 

3. Convertible Pants. Nothing stands out better than a tourist wearing these things. A pair of khaki pants or a pair of khaki shorts look so much better. These are just goofy. 

                           4. Books or other reading material. If you absolutely have to take something to read, one book is enough. If you need more, buy one when you get to where you are going.

5. Too much underwear. Three pair of undies is enough. You can always wash and hang them up to dry. 

Remember vacation is about relaxing and experiencing new things. You can't do that if you bring your home with you. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Prepare for Disasters Part 1


   Here in the south Louisiana we are use to preparing for hurricane season. Every year when a hurricane is in the forecast to hit our area, it amazes me to see people scrambling around for last minute items. I wondered why anyone knowingly waits until the last minute to gather all the items that they will need.
    In the next few weeks I will post some helpful tips to prepare for all sorts of disasters. Most of these will pertain to hurricanes due to the fact that it is what I know best. The tips however, will be useful for everyone in any sort of disaster. As a first responder, I have first hand knowledge of what happens when people do not prepare or are not prepared enough for an emergency. 
   After living through the disaster known as Katrina, it made all of us here on the Gulf Coast on edge. For a little while anyway.  Katrina has been behind us for a few years now and a sense of complacency has started to take effect with some. Was it a once in a lifetime storm? Preparing now will save everyone from the mad dash to the stores for essential items that may not be there. 

First thing that is extremely important. Money. I know money is tight for everyone, but there should be a small emergency fund in ready cash. During Katrina, the banks were shut down for weeks and no one had access to their money from an ATM. Generators were great to have, but how will you buy gas if you can't access money from the bank?

If you don't have a fund for emergencies, start now. How much you will need will depend on your family's needs and whether you are riding the storm out at home or leaving town. Keep this money somewhere safe, but where you can grab it and go if the time comes.  

Hurricane season starts June 1st. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fishing on the Brain


   I woke up today with a deep desire to go fishing and of course, I have to work. The cause of this desire was the delivery of my new rod and reel. 

It's an Ugly Stick. Not because it's ugly, that is the name brand. As I stare at it, I am daydreaming of being on the boat with Hubby, and the ice chest full of fish. That's why they call it daydreaming. The last fishing trip we took was before the freezing temperatures ran us  
inside for the rest of the winter. It was great spending time together. But I believe the fish were plotting against us.


Hubby, Dad, Son and I headed out to Delacroix, La. We had about the worst luck. Engine problems and a lack of fish make for a rough day. Even Dad, the expert fisherman, had no luck. 

You know it's bad fishing when this is all you get.

   Coming back to the dock empty handed was a blow to our egos. Seeing another boat with an ice chest of speckled trout added insult to injury. 

With that being the last fishing trip, it is time to make up for it. I would love to hear from my readers about their fishing trips. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

White Clover Jelly

 Yep, the honey bees will just have to share Spring's bounty. 

   I have always been intimidated by canning. About a year ago, I finally got the courage to try my own hand at it. My first attempt was with blueberry jam. It came out more like syrup, but tasted fantastic. After some trial and error, I perfected it. I'm not an expert, but I have become pretty good at it. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is the best book on canning that I have found. It has so many recipes and it perfect for all levels of canning. It also encourages you to experiment with your own recipes. What I really wanted was a good Clover Jelly recipe. I found one on the internet that was close to what I needed but not exactly.This is my recipe and I hope you enjoy it. White Clover Jelly tastes just like honey. 

White Clover Jelly recipe 

2 cups White Clover infusion (tea): steep 3+ cups  packed flowers in 2 cups boiling water. In a sauce pan.Turn off the heat and let it sit for at least 2 hours.

1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 box of Pectin (Sure Jell is what I used)

Go outside and pick about 3 cups of Clover. Flowers only, not the stems. Carefully rinse them with cool water.
Make your Clover infusion. While it is cooling, push the clovers down into the water. 

Once the Clover infusion has cooled. Strain the "tea" with cheese cloth. A NEW pair of pantyhose works great too. I cut one leg out of the pantyhose and stretched it over a canning funnel. It worked perfectly. 
I then squeezed out the last of the tea and threw the pantyhose away. 

Get your canning pot ready with enough water that it will cover the jars. Bring to a boil. 

In a large stock pot, add Clover infusion, lemon juice, and sugar. Keep stirring.

 Bring to a boil that you can't stir away. Add pectin and boil 2 minutes stirring constantly. Turn off heat. Ladle into hot sterile jars. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel. Put lids and seals on.  Place jars in canning pot. Make sure they are fully submerged. 

Bring to a boil. Boil 20 minutes. Remove Jars and place on a towel. Leave them alone until fully cooled. 

Enjoy on toast or biscuits.

Note: After canning several different things, I have found out that the amount of pectin differs sometimes. One box worked perfectly in this recipe for me. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Itchy Itchy!

Every year my dear husband finds his way into poison ivy. Or maybe it just finds him. He has had it so bad that doctor visits were necessary. I started searching for some home remedies and have come across a few that we will try this year. Do you have any of your own that you have tried?


 To use banana as a home remedy, you need to rub a paste of mashed banana on the affected area. This remedy can provide a soothing effect and help an individual in getting quick relief from the problem of poison ivy. An individual can also rub the inside part of a banana peel on the affected area to cure the symptoms of poison ivy.


Apply cooked oatmeal, cooled of course, on the affected area. It can reduce the rashes and itching resulting from poison ivy. Another option is to take a bath with lukewarm water containing oatmeal. Now I'm wondering if adding bananas would make it work twice as good.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil is applied to the area and creates a soothing sensation almost immediately. I'm not sure if it will cure it but I bet it feels great. 


 Fels Naptha

Once you have been exposed to Poison Ivy, wash the area of your skin with it. Also wash your clothes with it to get rid of the resin. This has been used for over 100 years.