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If young George only knew before he chopped the cherry tree

augustinegeorge_washingtonSo the story goes, young George Washington was having fun with his hatchet and chopped his Father’s favorite cherry tree.  When his Father found the tree and confronted George, young George cried “I cannot tell a lie”.  The story continues with his Father consoling young George saying telling the truth is worth more than a thousand trees.

So why the history lesson?  It goes well with cherries.

Yes the truth is worth more than a thousand trees.  That is saying a lot especially since the cherry tree produces one of my favorite fruits, cherries.

Not only are they delicious (I know I know people either love ’em or hate ’em) they are also super good for you!  Cherries fall into the Super Fruit category providing all kinds of healthy benefits.

  • cherriesAnti-Inflammatory ~ Cherries contain anthocyanins which help prevent free radical damage AND inhibit cyclogenease enzymes (Cox) which causes the inflammation response
  • Heart Health ~ Cherries are considered to be a significant source of quercetin which helps prevent heart disease
  • Sleep Aid ~ one of the highest natural sources for melatonin
  • Antioxidant ~ Quercetin, natural antioxidant also high amounts of Cyanidin also an antioxidant
  • Arthritis relief ~ thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties from the anthocyanins
  • Memory Booster ~ another thanks goes to the anthocyanins which are also good for the brain
  • Packed with Vitamins and Minerals ~ Cherries are a good source of Vitamin C & Vitamin A plus the minerals Copper (promotes tissue health) & Boron

With all the health benefits of cherries and their great taste what’s not to love!  Like most fruit and vegetables fresh is best however cherries have a short Summer growing season so in the off-season its juice or dried cherries for me.

Young George may have been having fun with his hatchet but I like to think older George grew the same fondness for cherry tree’s his Father had.

 

Tomato tomahto

Tomato

There’s just something rewarding about growing your own food.  When it comes to tomatoes I’ve learned a few things along the way.

A few hacks I’ve learned may be common knowledge but if you don’t have someone who’s grown tomato plants to fill you in, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Well ~ I hope you learn something new

Whether in a garden bed or container, these will apply

  • Transplant deep.  When you bury the plant, whether you started from seed or bought from a nursery, go deep.  The first two lower leaves should be in the ground.  This gives the plan stability and a boost to start the roots.
  • Give a lot of water right away!  Tomato plants are very susceptible to transplant shock.  Lots of water will help.
  • After a week or so mulch around the plant.  Tomato need moist soil, mulch will keep it from drying out.  Make sure not to water too much so it’s soggy, they can develop blight.
  • As the plant grows remove the suckers.  In the crook of the branch a new tomato plant sucker“branch” will develop.  This is a sucker and takes away from the growth of the plant and tomatoes.

Good luck with your tomatoes and feel free to share more tomato planting hacks, there’s a bunch more and we all learn from each other!

 

“Can you hear me now?”

Believe it or not, sometimes even those of us who fall under the Silver category know a thing or two about technology.  Even all this modern stuff ties back to old school principles.

If you only remember one thing from my ramblings remember this, it could save you hundreds of dollars!Can you here me now

IF YOUR CELL PHONE GETS WET ~ TURN IT OFF!! AND LEAVE IT OFF

As soon as possible turn off the power to the phone and leave it off until dry.  Immediately stopping the electrical current through the phone is the best chance for saving your phone.  This is not a guarantee, but the best chance you have.

The thing is electronics can get wet as long as they are dry when electricity flows through again.  Make sense?  Now bear in mind, unless purified, water contains minerals and deposits SO those will be left behind when the water dries.  The deposits may affect the electronic devices performance again, but if no current goes through the electronic device when wet the less chance of anything inside shorting out.

A reliable way to “dry” your cell phone or any electronic device ~ a bowl of rice, for a FEW days, not hours, days.  Maybe even a week really.

rice to dry your cell phone

Why?  The rice will help absorb the moisture so it dries faster than air drying.  Now in my years I have heard all kinds of crazy attempts to dry cell phones including in the oven, sitting on a furnace…  Guess what?  They melted.  The boards and such in cell phones and electronics are fragile, especially to heat.  With the rice, change it out or mix it around so the phone is in dry rice.

Now anything besides water like soda, adult beverages, juice, might be a different story.  The sugars and additives cause a real mess to electronics.

Going through the washing machine, well that’s just toast.  Sorry.

So aside from a limited understanding of electronics and years of hearing stories, how do I know this?  Experience!

  • Smart phone in the lake ~ it took a week to dry out (had a little flicker in the screen after that but still worked)
  • Digital camera in the river – this one took over a week
  • Bluetooth speaker in the rain, overnight – took a long time to totally dry but has worked great since.

Green clean ~ More than a new trend

Folks have been “green” long before the most recent trend, or even before the last time it was a trend.  Picture the hippies or those that lived “naturally”.

There was a time before household cleaners were mass-produced when cleaning was with household products like homemade soap and vinegar.  Synthetic soaps weren’t created until WWI when animal fats and other soap ingredients were in short supply.

So why does it matter now?  There are a lot of great products in the market to make cleaning easier and totally disinfect the whole house.  That’s great however you can also get the same results with a few basic items, they cost much less and are a little more earth friendly.

  • Window Cleaner ~ I learned from a professional window cleaner what his secret was to beautiful shiny, streak free windows, dish soap and a squeegee. (both he and I prefer Dawn but any dish soap will work) It doesn’t take much, just a teaspoon or so of dish soap to a couple gallons of water.  Now that the outside is taken care of lets move in.
  •  Indoor window cleaner ~ I’ve tried many, many, many different cleaners and combinations.  The best I found is good old-fashioned white vinegar water and news paper.  What?? Newspaper?  Yes, bunch up a sheet in a ball, spray the window with vinegar water and wipe with newspaper.  The easiest way to clean and stay streak free.  This works on mirrors too.
  • Vinegar and baking soda will clean just about anything in a kitchen and bathroom.  This combination will also work for removing stains in carpets, sprinkle baking soda over the stain, pour vinegar and watch it foam.  Let the combination soak then rinse with water absorb up the liquids.
  • Gross drains ~ pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar.  It will foam and clean the drain as it goes down.  The same can be used to clean garbage disposal, I would add a lemon too for a nice smell.
  • Use vinegar in carpet cleaners instead of soap.  Sounds crazy but it’s well know that dirt sticks to the soap residue in carpets.  When you add white vinegar to the water in the carpet cleaner (from 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water up to 50/50 mix) it not only helps loosen the dirt, cleans the fibers and disinfects, it also doesn’t leave a residue.
  • Daily shower spray ~ you guessed it, vinegar and water.
  • Add about a 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to help kill orders, freshen the laundry, whiter whites and brighter brites.

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A penny saved…..

A penny saved is a penny earned.  Very true and as my Grandma would say “It only takes 100 pennies to make a dollar”  we would look at her with a deflated look and say “But Grandma, it takes 100 pennies to make a dollar”

Perspective

When I see a penny I think of my Grandma and that lesson.  She’s right and the pennies do add up.  One thing I’ve learned and it makes an impact ~ at the end of the day, put your change in a jar.  Maybe even a bill or two.  It won’t take long and the jar will be full.

Even better, tuck away the full jar. You’ll be surprised how fast the total will grow.  Why do you think credit card and banks offer “round-up” programs?  It works!

Penny jarsignature

No more tears 😭

Do you cry when you cut onions? Doesn’t everyone?

You could use dehydrated onions as a substitute (*truth be told, I do add in some dishes just because PapaS doesn’t mind a little flavor but doesn’t like onions)

Dehydrated aside I also heard you can cut the onion under water.  I haven’t tried this because, well it makes me nervous.  The idea of water and a knife seems slippery and easy to have a mishap.

Years ago I started helping at a dinner fundraiser for the Auxiliary I belong to.  The ladies would spend days prepping for this dinner, part of which include chopping veggies.  As the newest helper I jumped in with a sweet lady Harriett.  She was as you guessed, cutting onion and no one else was helping saying their eyes teared to badly.  Harriett was sitting in a chair with an onion in one hand, pairing knife in the other and a pile of onions on the table.  From Harriett I learned the secret~

For fresh chopped onions with no tears follow these simple steps…

  • using a paring knife cut a cone out of the bottom of the onion (be careful) ~ you’re trying to get the center bulb out of the onion. Without getting too scientific, this contains the part with the most “oils” which contain the enzymes that are released and cause the tears.

no tears cutting this onion              the secret to no tears with an onion

 

  • after removing the bulb cut off the top, and now it’s easy to peel off the outer layer of papery skin
  • cut slices starting at the end and working to the top

no tears cutting this onion

  • hold the slices together, place the onion on end, slice again making chunks

chopping an onion with no tears

Done! Quick and should be no tears 😊

chopped onion no tears

 

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Relief for those sore and tired muscles

The age old adage to a good life ~ Work hard, play hard

Does your good life have you aching with tired or sore muscles?  Soak in an epsom salt bath.  Epsom salt can be found at most drug stores and grocery stores.  Add 1 cup of epsom salt for a smaller adult and 2 cups for a larger adult to a regular bath.  Soak for about 40 mins.  Why so long and how does it work?

Both magnesium and sulfate are found in epsom salt and can be readily absorbed through the skin.  Like a reverse osmosis process, the epsom salt will help pull the salt and toxins out of your body through the skin.  This takes about 20 mins.  Then your body can soak up the magnesium and sulfate which is the next 20 mins.

Epsom Salt

Magnesium helps reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and oxygenation.  The result is muscle relief.  Even if you’re not sore, regular epsom salt soaks just feel good and are good for you so relax, it does the body good!

soaking bath

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Enjoy fresh flowers longer

Fresh Flowers

I LOVE fresh flowers.  There is just something about having a bouquet of flowers that brightens a room.  The hard part is how to keep them.  Flowers seem to wilt and lose their petals within a couple of days which just brings a room down.

So how do you keep them fresh longer?

  • always cut the stems when you put them in the vase and each time you change the water – just like our bodies , when the stem is cut a “scab” is formed and they will stop pulling water
  • flowers, like all plants, need water – in addition try these to help feed the flower
    • add 1/4 cup of soda to the water (if you want the clear color in the vase use 7UP or Sprite)
    • add 2 Tbls Apple Cider Vinegar plus 2 Tbls of sugar to the water
  • make sure to replace the water and whatever you add every couple of days.

Enjoy!

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An Apple A Day…..

An apple a day may keep the doctor away or so the saying goes.  Whether or not that’s true an apple burns more calories digesting than it contains.  So is the case with many other fruits and vegetables.

Zero Calorie Foods

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Food eruption in the microwave?

Does the inside of your microwave look like something from a science fiction movie with crusty globs, comprised of layers from each of the last few meals?

A free and easy way to clean without all the chemicals, water.  How?

Easy ~ fill a small microwave safe dish (I like glass)  with a cup or two of water.  Place in the microwave and cook until boiling and then a little more.  About 3 – 4 minutes, although microwave times do vary.  Let it sit for a minute or two so the steam soaks the globs.

small water dish in microwave

Carefully remove the dish using a hot pad or oven mitt.  Air can be trapped and bubble when you move the dish, I’ve had it happen.

With a damp sponge or cloth wipe down the inside of the microwave.  If it cools down or you have some stubborn spots just heat the water again.

You can also spray and wipe down with white vinegar along with the water technique for an added boost.

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