Simple Living

Information, recipes and resources for health and home, body and spirit.


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Thanks for Reading

Grr Arg

 

I have reached my one year anniversary as a blogger and it’s been a really great year.  I’ve moved out-of-state to my new home at Creekside manner and I’ve loved the friends I’ve made both in person and online.

For those of you who haven’t been following me long, my health issues have been getting worse and so I’m having to pick and choose what and where I spend my energy.  This blog posts to my domain, Tumblr, Google+, Facebook and Twitter and I have additional posts going out through the day on Facebook and Twitter.

While my blog is my voice, it has not turned into a financial resource that I’d hoped it would become.  I will continue to write and post occasionally but I will be cutting my Facebook and Twitter feeds down to new posts only.  It is my hope that I can then work on other projects and to supplement the dwindling income from my “day job” due to my waning health.  I aspire to eventually be able to publish a book, as well as a cookbook, sell a few articles and possibly a few paintings and will chronicle it here as I go along.

I thank you all for your support and staying with me.  I look forward to sharing future posts and reading your comments as time goes on, and as always…

 

{{{hugs}}}

 

Maggie


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All Natural Wasp Remover

As most of you who follow me know, I have COPD which is why I’m so passionate about non-chemical ways to do things. Fumes are not my friend.  My sister was a severe asthmatic from birth so we’ve always been mindful about toxins and fumes.

Then today in my email I found a link for a DIY Wasp Remover and I followed it to a YouTube video and I’ve got to say… GENIOUS!

As soon as I go grocery shopping again I will get a big brown paper bag (another great reason to go to Aldi) so I can put this on the front porch where we’ve been getting wasps!

It’s frugal, it’s non-toxic, you don’t have to worry about kids and pets being around chemicals; and you don’t have to worry about getting stung while trying to spray a can of poison!  And no worries about asthma attacks or COPD exacerbation either!

 

{{{hugs}}}

Maggie


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Water, Water Everywhere and Not A Drop to Drink

“It’s easier to get free wi-fi than it is to get free water and people act like there’s nothing wrong with the world”. – Fidel Littlelight
Homeless - bottle of wather

Rick Wood gives food and water to a homeless man near his tent under an overpass near downtown Birmingham, Saturday, March 29, 2014. (abc3340.com)

Water has turned into a huge commodity. As a former retailer I can tell you that water is one of the most profit bearing items in a store.  I used to be able to get cases of water for less than $2 each (making the cost of each bottle roughly 9¢ a piece) and the suggested retail price was 99¢.  That’s a heck of a margin huh?  

In fact, have you seen a water fountain recently? Probably not.  Usually only in schools and hospitals anymore, with an occasional sighting at an office building (leftovers from days gone by).  They’re getting harder to find, aren’t they? Now imagine you’re homeless.  Where do you get a drink of water?

I understand that even if it’s within your means, many people are not comfortable handing cash to the person with the sign at the intersection and I don’t disagree.  Sadly there are scammers out there and there is no way to determine who is legit and who just figure it’s a great way to make a buck.

Shortly after I stopped living in a shelter I was back living with my parents.  My mom needed to go for a therapy appointment due to an injury, so I dropped her off and used her truck to go grocery shopping.  When I got back, there was a man in the parking lot begging for money from everyone he could find talking about how he, his wife and child were now living on the streets and hungry.  When he approached me, I let him know that I had no money but that I had just gotten done grocery shopping and walked him to the back of the truck asking if he had the means to cook and started pulling out groceries for him.  He thanked me and turned down my offering of food, then proceeded to go skittering off to the fast food drive thru next door to return to his quest for cash.

Please do not take what I’ve said as a reason to never help someone with a sign.  There are many, many needy people who need our help and cities and municipalities are really aiming to put the homeless population out of sight and out of mind.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to read my piece on the homelessness – Insights into the Dark  - I would ask you to check it out when you have a chance.

16-oz-water

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to challenge everyone who reads this to buy a case of bottled water. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just whatever you can find at the best price, and keep it in a cooler with a little ice. As you’re driving around town doing errands and you see someone with a sign, sleeping on a piece of cardboard or a park bench or under an overpass – offer them a bottle of water.  It’s a small kindness that goes an incredibly long way.

I think a case of water at Wal-Mart is around $3.50 and at CVS you can catch it on sale for $2.  While you may not be willing to hand someone cash, offering them a bottle of water that cost you 9¢-15¢, that would cost them a dollar or more at the nearest shop is a huge help.  Can you think of any other way to help that many people for under four dollars? 

It’s a frugal way to help and it’s a great way to help your fellow-man.  Thanks for listening.  

{{{hugs}}}

Maggie


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Powerhouse Breakfast Cookies

When you don’t have time to make breakfast or need an afternoon snack to keep you going, these are the way to go.  No chemical preservative and are also amazing crumbled up with some vanilla yogurt!

Powerhouse Breakfast cookies

Powerhouse Breakfast Cookies

  • 3 1/2 cups quick oats (they are finer cut and more powdery)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups Peanut, Almond or Sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 3 Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 dried cranberries or raisins (or both)
  • 1/3 Chocolate or carob chips

Mix all ingredients together. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper.  Flatten the tops slightly as these cookies do not rise or spread when they bake.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-16 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze in a freezer bag.

Back to School Tips & Tricks at Lunchtime

Everyday a mountain of trash is needlessly thrown away at lunchtime, creating environmental problems, health hazards and wasting hundreds of dollars for every family packing a lunch. School trash cans nationwide are overflowing!

Have you thought about going green at lunchtime? ECOlunchbox is an elegant solution to this problem of lunch waste.

With news about the health dangers of plastics growing, green consumers are seeking out non-plastic food containers as well as generally avoiding potentially leachy synthetics when it comes to food packing.

Plastic water bottles. Granola bar plastic packaging. Plastic chip baggies. Plasticized cardboard juice boxes. Cheese stick plastic wrappers. Paper napkins. Plastic yogurt cups. Brown bags. Plastic utensils. Plastic Ziploc baggies.

How to Pack A Waste-Free Lunch:

  1. Cloth napkins by ECOlunchbox are great for everyday and make great gifts
  2. Snacks packed in nifty stainless steel ECOdippers and ECOpods by ECOlunchbox are healthy for people and our planet.
  3. Sandwiches, and other main dishes, fresh fruits and, fresh vegetables, and treats packed in a non-toxic & reusable stainless steel ECOlunchbox bento
  4. Reusable utensils are also great.


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Why Is The Internet So Personal?

Why do people see something that someone writes and assume it applies to them or go out of their way to apply it to themselves?

Kindness

I’m seriously perplexed about this one.  I’m finding more and more that people seem to find everything as an insult and they go out of their way to find it!  Do you have any guesses?  I know I don’t.

I found this funny video (below) that was shared to a blog for “mommies”.  The person making the video intended it to be a tongue in cheek explanation to their single childless friends as to why she couldn’t just pop out for dinner or coffee like they used to.  Since she put it on YouTube it’s gone viral.  Even though my own daughter is now 23 years old, I still “remember when” and found it not only funny but relevant.  I’ve known even recent friendships that have gone awry because of this very thing.  Lives take on different paths, it happens.

Anyway, it’s a funny look at an overwhelming “Mommy day”.  Comments I saw were outrageous!  People commenting about how if you can’t handle your kids you should get rid of them!  Comments about how the video was “a stab in the heart” to women who can’t have kids.  Comments expressing the resentment of how pregnancy and babies are treated as celebrities in this country. Even comments disparaging the parenting & organizational skills of the woman who made the video!

I don’t understand this.  Why the need for personal attacks?  I know I’m using this as an example, but I think we’ve all seen behavior like this all over on practically every subject so it’s not exclusive.  As far as this example, why go to a site that you’re clearly not interested in or represented by only to be offended because the content somehow makes you feel challenged about your personal life choices?  I don’t know about you but I don’t have to look to find negativity in life, I work to avoid it.

I’m at a loss as to why we can’t just say “I enjoyed that” or just close the page and move on.  If there is the need to post opposing comments, why do they have to be personal attacks?  Why can’t we be nice anymore?  As a nation we’re now regularly talking to kids about bullying on a regular basis, but I don’t see much difference in some of this behavior.  I’m also going to say that going out of ones way to be offended is not being very kind to yourself.  Why would you work to put yourself through that?

Kind to yourself and others

As a blogger, I do hope you enjoy what I write about my life, my experiences, feelings, etc…  I hope we connect and find common ground and can share ideas.  I look forward to comments and suggestions and I must say, I have had some really great feedback. Thank you all so much.

At the same time, if you don’t enjoy what I write, that’s okay too.  I don’t like all blogs or all authors.  It would be foolish to think that everyone who reads what I put out here will fall in love with it.  Even Hemingway was a love him or hate him type of writer.  If you read one of his books and don’t care for it, it would make sense not to read another.  You wouldn’t blast him with letters telling him how badly he sucks as a human being.  (Well he’s dead so I really don’t think he’d get offended, but you get the idea.)

I read a blog post just yesterday from a woman (aptly signed Mama Bear) that was an eye opener.  She’s a single mom whose son works part-time at the local grocery store.  When she picked him up from work she asked how his day went.  He began to tell her how he had a great day, that is until some woman came through his check out line and made a point of letting him know how she noticed his acne… not a passing comment mind you; rather a very pointed, one-sided conversation – all so she could hand him her business card for her skin care products!  While she may have meant well, she pushed so hard for the sale that she never considered putting a teen into a very self-conscious, awkward position as you continued to point out his personal flaws in front of other customers and co-workers.  How considerate!

Just today a friend on Facebook  expressed frustration with someone who had posted something rather controversial. Instead of the original poster defending their position or simply saying “my wall, my views”, the poster chose to mock those that responded with views that countered her own and then deleted them as friends.  Why bait people?  If you don’t want to befriend people of opposing viewpoints then don’t.  Face it, we all know which friends are “with us” on certain topics and who will debate.  If you don’t want to hear from them, why not just say so or unfriend them.  Why make it such and antagonistic event?  I really don’t get it.

So here’s to being nice and to thinking of others before we speak.  I wish you the best in your day and your endeavors.  I support your right to your personal decisions and I hope you have found peace with them.  I hope the happiness you find in your daily life spills over to support and raise up others.  If you’re unhappy, reach out.  We should all be here to help, not to tear others down.

If you need to talk, message me.  No seriously, I’m always happy to lend an ear and to make new connections. Please don’t tear others down.  We’re all humans dealing with pain, challenges and difficulty and we all deserve to be supported and happy.

{{{hugs}}}
Maggie


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The Lost Art of Courtship & Conversation – Part 1

Courting tends to be a thing of the past in the country.

701880_27364471 

Attraction tends to outweigh the need for compatibility, which later can make a relationship harder to maintain.  Even in my own relationship history, there has only one person that I connected with as a friend before the relationship changed into something more.

For those who haven’t been following me all that long, I have separated from my husband with the intent of divorcing.  I’m rather gun shy so to speak and would rather avoid a relationship altogether than go through the dreaded “rebound”.  I’ve had enough upheaval without adding to personal pain and drama.

Recently a friend has expressed an interest in pursuing something more than our current friendship, which I am interested in as well.  Living two hours away from each other makes it very easy not to be hasty and to be able to truly find out more about each other as individuals before advancing our relationship further.  This is truly the first time someone has ever said that they’d like to get to know me better and it didn’t mean to get undressed.  The conversations have been absolutely amazing and insightful, including one evening of sitting on the phone while playing a game of online Scrabble together.  

The amazing part for me is that not only has it given me a greater insight and understanding of a dear friend, but it gives us both the option of taking a step back and still retaining the friendship if we decide this is not something we want to pursue in the long run, without ruining the friendship.  While I don’t see that happening, I find the entire concept amazing and almost surreal.  Having come of age in the early 80′s, this sadly is not how my generation generally handles relationships and dating.  I’ve literally been on less than a half-dozen pre-relationship dates in my life.

So the other day, I was surfing online when I found a list of “50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked Before”.  I grabbed them and mentioned it and was delighted that my friend was just as interested as I was.  We only got half way through the list and it was one of the most enjoyable, insightful conversations I’ve ever had.  I can truly see where services like eHarmony and Match.com really have an edge into helping couples find the right person since we’re not really skilled in the art of courtship as a society anymore.

Having such a wonderful time learning about each other has led me to add a few more of my own questions as well as to explore the internet for some additional questions as well.  Since this has turned into a rather long list, I’m going to be posting it in installments.

I encourage you to check them out and ask them of a current partner, someone you’re dating or talking to online.  If you’re not in a relationship currently, ask a good friend to make them a better friend.  Sometimes we need “dating practice” even if we’re in a relationship and after all, getting to know someone better is always a good thing.  

  • 1. What’s your favorite candle scent(s)?
  • 2. What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
  • 3. Did you ever have an imaginary friend?
  • 4. How old were you when you got married?
  • 5. How many states have you been to? Lived in?
  • 6. What’s your favorite mixed drink?
  • 7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike?
  • 8. How many oceans have you gone swimming in?
  • 9. How many countries have you been to?
  • 10. Can you eat with chopsticks?
  • 11. What breed(s) of dog do you like?
  • 12. What would you name your son/daughter if you had one?
  • 13. What’s your favorite kind of cereal?
  • 14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
  • 15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?
  • 16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series?
  • 17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?
  • 18. Where would you still like to travel?
  • 19. What was the last concert you went to?
  • 20. Have you ever taken karate lessons?
  • 21. What’s your favorite genre of music?
  • 22. What was the first amusement park you went to?
  • 23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?
  • 24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray?
  • 25. How long have you known your oldest friend?
  • 26. Do you know sign language?
  • 27. What foods will you not eat?
  • 28. Do you eat spicy food?
  • 29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?
  • 30. Red Lobster or Olive Garden?
  • 31. Thrift stores or yard sales?
  • 32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?
  • 33. What was your nickname as a child? 
  • 34. Who’s your favorite person in the world?
  • 35. Would you rather live in a rural area, in the suburbs or in a city?
  • 36. Can you drive a manual transmission car?
  • 37. Can you sleep with the TV on?
  • 38. Have you ever driven without a license?
  • 39. What’s your favorite flavor of Pop Tart?
  • 40. What was your first car?
  • 41. Have you been to the Rocky Horror Picture Show?
  • 42. What are your favorite children’s movies?
  • 43. Do you own a suit?
  • 44. What’s the last present you got?
  • 45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?
  • 46. What flavor tea do you enjoy?
  • 47. How do you like your steak cooked?
  • 48. What religion were you raised to practice?
  • 49. Where did you go to high school?
  • 50. The Grinch – Boris Karloff or Jim Carrey?

Let me know if you think of other questions and I will add them to the list for the follow-up posts.  Also, I’d love to hear your feedback! Post them in the comments section below.

 

{{{hugs}}}
Maggie

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