Sunday, November 3, 2019

Back To Old School

After getting back from my trip to Savannah, Ga. with my BFF Louise last month and editing almost 500 pictures that I took with my digital & on my phone I got an idea to

get out my old 35mm camera that I used 35 years ago. I ordered a roll of B/W film & hopefully I can get some sharp winter pictures. I do love the ease of digital but sometimes it's good to do photography the way I learned it many years ago so I'm going back to old school for awhile.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

  • Medical Uses For Baking Soda

  • Baking Soda (image by pixabay)
    Some folks in the preparedness community consider themselves ready for any disaster if they have some food, water, and a means of personal defense. Being prepared, however, is more than that. You have to be able to treat medical issues. And not just that: Attention to hygiene is equally important in preventing some of those issues.
    Those concerned about a long-term event should know that the expenditure of various supplies over time will be a major problem. What will you do when you run out of one item or another? You have to find substitutes that can serve double (and triple) duty. The more versatile the item, the more useful it is to store.
    Arm & Hammer baking soda was not named for oil tycoon Armand Hammer, although he eventually bought the company!
    Baking soda is one item you should have in quantity. Yes, baking soda. Many years ago, one of our readers wrote an excellent article on baking soda in survival settings. He opened our eyes to its many uses.
    Baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda) is a popular and inexpensive household product. You can actually mine deposits of it if you live in parts of California, Colorado, and Mexico (as well as Botswana). It has been historically used as a leavening agent for baking bread and does a fine job absorbing odors in your refrigerator.
    Baking soda is not the same as baking powder. Baking powder contains baking soda, but it also contains an acidifying agent and starch.  Both produce carbon dioxide which causes baked goods to rise and, indeed, you can substitute baking powder in place of baking soda (usually, you’ll need three times more baking powder), but you can’t use baking soda when a recipe calls for baking powder.
    Are there medical uses for baking soda? The answer is yes. So many, in fact, that you might want some around even in normal times.
    You can treat insect bites and itchy skin with it. Some find it effective for poison ivy. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply like a balm onto the irritated area. You could shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it onto wet skin.
    Baking soda can help unblock nasal congestion by adding a teaspoon to some hot water and inhaling the vapors.
    For those who suffer from acid reflux (heartburn), eventually the Tums and Rolaids will run out. Baking soda was what they used before these products came into being.  Just add a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water after meals.
    Recent medical studies, including one published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, suggest that sodium bicarbonate tablets may help slow progression in those with chronic kidney disease. The researchers concluded, “This study demonstrates that bicarbonate supplementation slows the rate of progression of renal failure to ESRD and improves nutritional status among patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).”
    Baking soda has mild antiseptic and drying properties, and helps keep a wound clean. When a wound is healing, repeated cleaning of the area can result in dry skin and a hard, itchy scab. Baking soda can help soften and remove the scab once the wound is no longer painful or draining. One treatment regimen uses 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda with a half cup of water. Leave the paste on the wound for 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly (be aware that it might burn a little).
    You’re not medically prepared until you’re dentally prepared. In long-term events, the family medic will have to deal with a number of dental problems that crop up. Baking soda can be a replacement for toothpaste. Add a little 3% hydrogen peroxide to it and use it as a rinse for bad breath.
    Adding baking soda to boots keeps your feet drier, less smelly, and help prevent blisters. A little in the right places can prevent general chafing or body odor.
    Off the grid, you might run out of things like disposable diapers. You’ll be using cloth diapers like your ancestors. A little baking soda in a diaper might prevent diaper rash. If the baby already has diaper rash, a couple of tablespoons in the bath water can decrease the irritation.
    Speaking of children, your four-legged children (and you) might benefit from some baking soda to deodorize pet bedding and cat boxes. Cover the bottom of litter boxes with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. Eliminate odors from your pets bedding by sprinkling some baking soda and wait 15 minutes. Take the bed outside and beat it like you would a rug.
    You can also bathe pets using baking soda. It’s good for getting rid of that wet dog smell. Taking it to extremes, it can help after your less-than-friendly encounter with that skunk that lives in the woodpile.
    Bad hygiene, bad health
    That last one addresses hygiene more than health, but they are intertwined. If you don’t have good hygiene, you eventually won’t have good health. Baking soda can be used to scrub down kitchen counters, wash clothes, and even cleaning out a car you had to sleep in for a week while bugging out.
    Before you head in for lunch after digging a latrine at your new retreat, you can use some baking soda as a hand cleaner. It will gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on your hands.
    As a general cleaner, baking soda can be used for just about everything from cookware to silver. For stubborn stains on fabric, try soaking overnight with baking soda solution or scrubbing with baking soda on a damp sponge.
    After using sponges for a while, they can begin to smell like mildew. To clean your sponges, mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water.
    Going even further afield, baking soda can be used on septic tanks, drain pipes, and can even neutralize battery acid corrosion in cars and generators (disconnect battery terminals while cleaning).
    Baking soda can also discourage bugs like ants and roaches; some people use it to keep snails from eating their plants and some say it works to stop rabbits from coming around.
    You can extinguish minor grease and electrical fires with baking soda. When baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame.
    Fresh baking soda and vinegar fizzes
    How can you tell if your baking soda is still fresh enough to use? Simple, just take a bowl with some baking soda in it and pour some apple cider vinegar on it. If it’s good, it’ll start fizzing like crazy. Use a large bowl.
    It’s important to know that survival is not always about guns, ammo and tourniquets. Our ancestors used what they had to live full lives and you might have to go back to the basics one day in times of trouble. Baking soda might just be handy.
    Joe Alton MD

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prepper Moves- Enough To Keep You Busy Watching This Winter

Thanks to Prepper Press for this list
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – After surviving a car accident, a woman finds herself in an underground bunker with two men. They tell her a massive chemical attack hit, and their only hope of survival is to remain inside. But what’s really going on?
127 Hours (2010) – Based on a true story, a mountaineer and adventurer becomes trapped when a boulder falls on his arm. Five days pass as he considers his options, leading him to one choice: amputate his arm and try to make his way back to civilization or remain pinned to the canyon wall.
Alaska (1996) – Jake Barnes ferries supplies in remote Alaska. He goes down in an airplane accident, and after the search party is called off, his two kids go off on their own to find him.
Alive (1993) – Based on a true story. After a plane crash in the Andes mountains, members of Uruguay’s rugby team respond to their situation in different ways. Once all food runs out, they face a difficult choice: eat one or more of their deceased teammates, or die.
All is Lost (2013) – During a solo sailing voyage, a veteran mariner finds his vessel taking on water after hitting a stray shipping container. With radio and navigation equipment disabled, he sails into a storm and barely escapes with his life. With supplies dwindling and the sharks circling, the sailor is forced to face his own mortality.
Alone in the Wilderness (2004) – This documentary tells the story of a man who, in the 1960s, built his own cabin in Alaska. Using video footage he shot himself, he traces how he selected his site and built his log cabin. The documentary shows his day-to-day activities as he eked out a living alone in the wilderness.
Aftershock (2012) – A group of travelers in Chile are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits. They quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare. Bloody and gory.
American Black Out (2013) – A docudrama covering the impact of a cyber attack on the United States that takes down the power grid.
American Experience: Influenza 1918 (2018 PBS) – A documentary covering the worst epidemic in American history. As the killer virus spreads, hospitals hit capacity, death carts roam the streets, and city officials dig mass graves. It killed over 600,000 people. While this and the following documentaries aren’t “prepper movies,” they are still worth adding.
American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl (2019 PBS) – A documentary detailing the stories of people who endured drought, dust, disease, and death for nearly a decade.
American Experience: The Crash of 1929 (2010 PBS) – A documentary covering the fateful year of the big stock market crash. The rich kept getting richer. Everyone believed in the stock market… and then…
AmeriGeddon (2016) – A terrorist organization aligned with the United Nations disables the United States’ power grid and institutes Martial Law. A dedicated family of patriots armed with strong survival skills and the remains of the Second Amendment hope to reclaim freedom.
Atlas Shrugged (2011) – A three-part film based on the best-selling book of the same name. A railroad executive and a steel mogul form an alliance to fight the increasingly authoritarian government of the United States.
Blast from the Past (1999) – A drama/romance film. Adam Webber has lived his entire life in a fallout shelter. When the family’s food supplies grow thin, Adam’s eccentric father sends him on a dangerous restocking mission. Adam learns that the rumors of a nuclear apocalypse were false.
Blindness (2008) – A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant blindness. Those first afflicted are quarantined in an abandoned mental hospital. Criminals horde food rations and commit horrific acts. A woman whose sight is unaffected follows her blind husband to quarantine.
Britain Blackout (2013 Documentary) – A “documentary” on YouTube that shows a family who preps and the blackout that follows.
Bushwick (2017) – A walks into a bloodbath on the streets of Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Texas is attempting to secede from the Union, and militia forces have descended upon New York City. The woman takes shelter in a man’s basement, and he agrees to help her traverse the treacherous five-block stretch to reach her destination.
Captain Fantastic (2016) – A drama/comedy. A man, his wife, and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington state. Isolated from society, the parents teach their kids to think critically, train them to be physically fit and athletic, and guide them in the wild without technology, demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When the mother dies, the father must take his children into the outside world for the first time.
Carriers (2009) – When a virus threatens to wipe out humanity, two brother and their friends set out across the desert in the Southwest to escape the pandemic. The friends soon learn that the darkness within them may prove deadlier than the pandemic.
Cast Away (2000) – A FedEx executive (Tom Hanks) is in a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. The only survivor, he washes ashore on a deserted island. He learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson.
Chernobyl Diaries (2012) – A group of tourists hire an extreme-tour guide to take them to Pripyat, Ukraine, where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was abandoned after the 1986 nuclear disaster. After exploring the ghost town, they find themselves stranded… and not alone.
Contagion (2011) – A woman returns from a Hong Kong business trip, and attributes her malaise to jet lag. Two days later she is dead, and doctors tell her husband that they have no idea what killed her. Others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic strikes. Society begins to collapse as a blogger fans the flames of paranoia.
Defiance (2008) – Nazi soldiers are killing Jews by the thousands. Three brothers escape and take refuge in the forest where they played in childhood. Seeking a way to avenge their loved ones, the brothers turn their daily struggle for survival into a battle against the Nazis.
Deep Impact (1998) – A comet could hit Earth and end all human life. The government keeps the crisis under wraps, but reporter uncovers the truth, forcing the President to announce his plan. Astronauts will land on the comet and lay explosives, hopefully deterring it from its course. If not, humanity will have to prepare for the worst.
Dirty War (2004) – A docudrama, London politicians believe they are prepared to deal with a terrorist attack. They are tested, however, when detectives fail to uncover an extremist plot in time. A “dirty” bomb detonates outside a subway station. The city must pull its resources together to prevent the terrorists from striking again.
Empire in the Sun (1987) – A privileged English boy is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. He is captured with an American sailor who looks out for him. The boy maintains his dignity and youthful spirit, acting as a beacon of hope for the others captured with them.
First Blood (1982) – Rambo! A classic movie. Vietnam veteran and drifter John J. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) wanders into a small Washington town in search of an old friend, but is met with disdain by the local sheriff. Rambo flashes back to his time as a POW in Vietnam and unleashes his fury on the officers. A manhunt ensues.
Goodbye World (2013) – I watched this and other prepper movies while on the elliptical machine. It was… meh. Friends and strangers find shelter in a remote cabin after the collapse of the power grid leads to mass panic.
A Gray State (2017) – A man works on a film about a future in which the government limits civil liberties. When he and his family are found dead, conspiracy theorists believe they were assassinated by the government.
Hannah (2011) – Raised by her father in the Finnish wilderness, a teenage girl has trained all her life to be the perfect assassin. Her father sends her on a mission, and she stealthily makes her way across Europe while evading agents sent after her. As she draws closer to her target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and begins to question her humanity.
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010): A documentary that follows the indigenous people on the Siberian Taiga living in a village on the river Yenisei. The area can only be accessed by boat or helicopter. They live close to the land where time stands still.
How I Live Now (2013) – Based on a novel of the same name, as conflict in Europe escalates, an American teen fights to survive in the English countryside.
How it Ends (2018) – In the middle of an apocalypse, a man tries to reach his pregnant wife thousands of miles away.
Into the Forest (2015) – In the remote Pacific Northwest, two sisters fight for survival after an apocalyptic blackout.
Into the White (2012) – Two World War II enemy fighter pilots shoot down one another’s planes over a desolate landscape. They then find themselves face-to-face on the ground. In order to survive, they must set aside the rules of war.
It’s a Disaster (2012) – A drama/comedy, four couples having Sunday brunch become stuck together in a house when they learn the world is ending.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972) – Now list of prepper movies would be complete without this gem. A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Unequipped for the task, he comes across a seasoned mountain man who teaches him survival tactics. As life continues in the mountains, Johnson finds himself a native bride and an adopted son. However, their existence is threatened when Johnson angers the Crow Indians.
Jericho (2006 TV series) – This is a very popular TV series among preppers. A mushroom cloud appears on the horizon and for the residents of a small Kansas town, it could mean they’re the only Americans left alive. Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into mayhem. Secrets are revealed, personal agendas take over and even the most sensible people become paranoid.
Leave No Trace (2018) – A father and daughter live in Forest Park, a nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. But when a small mistake tips them off to authorities, they are sent on an erratic journey back in the world to find of a place of their own.
MacGyver (1985 TV series) – A questionable addition to this list of prepper movies, I know. Maybe it was my childhood memories of the show that pushed me toward adding it. MacGyver has an extraordinary knack for solving problems with everyday objects, which comes in handy when he creates a clandestine organization to tackle high-risk missions around the world.
Miracle Mile (1988) – Musician Harry Washello sits down at a Los Angeles diner, where he takes an interest the waitress (Julie). The feeling is mutual, so the pair arranges a date for later that day. But Harry picks up a random pay phone call from a frantic soldier who warns of a nuclear attack that will hit L.A.. Harry finds Julie and the two do everything they can to escape to safety.
Monsters (2010) – NASA discovered the possibility of alien life and a probe was launched in order to collect sample. After crashing during the re-entry over Central America, new life forms appear. We follow the story of a US journalist escorting a girl back to the United States.
My Side of the Mountain (1969) – Based on a book of the same name. Thirteen-year-old Sam Gribley decides to emulate his hero, writer Henry David Thoreau, by living self-sufficiently in the Canadian woods. He befriends both a local librarian and a traveling folk musician. All goes well until winter comes on.
Phase 7 (2011) – English subtitles. A man protects his pregnant wife from their neighbors after the apartment is quarantined.
Prepper (2016) – This movie was difficult for me to watch. The acting and dialogue needed improvement. A high school teacher undertakes a mission to prepare for impending doom and the total collapse of society.
Quest for Fire (1981) – In the prehistoric world, a Cro-Magnon tribe depends on an ever-burning source of fire, which eventually extinguishes. Three warriors set out on a quest for more. They make their way across a treacherous landscape full of hostile tribes and monstrous beasts.
Red Dawn (1984) – We all know and love this movie. Not quite “post-apocalyptic,” but it’s righteous. World War III hist and mid-western high-school students become guerrillas.
Revolution (2012 TV Series) – Fifteen years after an unknown event caused all electricity to stop working, plunging the world back into the dark ages, a small farming community enjoys a slower pace of life, but danger lurks. After the militia kills a man who supposedly had something to do with the blackout, his daughter and two others set out to find the truth about the past.
Right at Your Door (2006) – After dirty bombs explode in Los Angeles, an unemployed musician seals himself in his house. However, his lover arrives home after the seals are in place and must remain outside.
San Andreas (2015) – California’s San Andreas fault triggers a devastating earthquake. As the earth cracks open and buildings crumble, an search-and-rescue helicopter pilot must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife and their daughter to safety.
Seven Alone (1974) – In the 1840s, a family decides to brave the journey to Oregon in hopes of a better life. While traveling along the trail, their wagon train is attacked by natives, which results in the father’s death. Then the mother dies of pneumonia. The oldest child must lead his brothers and sisters to the new life his parents wanted.
Surviving the Game (1994) – Based on the short story, The Game. When a homeless man hears about a job as a hunting guide for a group of wealthy clients, he gladly signs on and is taken to a cabin in the middle of a Pacific Northwest forest. The next morning, however, Mason is awakened to learn that he’s the prey the men will be hunting.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) – Based on the book of the same name, the Robinson family flees the reign of Napoleon to start afresh in New Guinea. When their ship gets wrecked, the family takes refuge on a deserted island. They learn to live in the wild, have various adventures and build an impressive house in a tree. Life is good, and the question of whether to return to civilization looms.
Take Shelter (2011) – Curtis LaForche lives in a small Ohio town. He begins having terrifying dreams about an apocalypse that threatens the entire family. Rather than confiding in his wife, he begins building a storm shelter in the backyard. His strange behavior causes tension in the family and community.
Testament (1983) – News breaks that a series of nuclear warheads have dropped along the Eastern Seaboard and in California. As people begin coping with the aftermath, the Wetherly family tries to survive. They try to support each other while taking in other survivors.
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975) – Gotta love these older family movies. They don’t make them like this anymore. Skip Robinson leads his wife, son, and daughter on an exodus from Los Angeles. At the site of their new home in the Rocky Mountains, Skip builds a log cabin, and the children befriend wild animals. They discover that, in the wilderness, each day brings its own adventure.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – An enormous superstorm develops, setting off catastrophic natural disasters throughout the world. Trying to save a boy, a crew must travel to reach him before it’s too late.
The Defiance (2008) – In 1941, Nazis are slaughtering Jews by the thousands. Three brothers manage to escape and take refuge in the forest where they played in childhood. The brothers turn their daily struggle for survival into a battle against the Nazis.
The Divide (2011) -A nuclear attack thrusts nine strangers together in the basement of their New York apartment building. They are trapped with no hope of rescue, and only horror on the other side of the door. As supplies dwindle and tempers flare, they become increasingly unhinged.
The Earthling (1980) – Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Patrick Foley has returned to his native Australia to die in the peace and quiet of the wilderness. His plan is complicated, however, when he meets a young boy who just lost his parents in an accident, and takes him under his wing. Located far from any civilization, Patrick continues on his mission, but decides to teach the child the skills he’ll need to survive after his mentor is dead.
The Endurance (2000) – A historical documentary. The Endurance recounts one of the history’s greatest tales of survival, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1916 expedition to Antarctica.
The Edge (1997) – A plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. Together with the two other passengers, photographer Robert Green and his assistant devises a plan to reach civilization. However, his biggest obstacle might not be the elements, but a man who may be having an affair with his wife and would not mind seeing him dead.
The Grey (2011) – Alaskan oil refinery workers, led by a sharpshooter, are flying home when a storm causes their plane to crash in the frozen wilderness. Only eight men survive. As they trek toward civilization, they must battle injuries, icy elements, and a pack of hungry wolves.
The Reliant (2019) – A currency collapse leads to rioting and anarchy. In the city of Zanesville, Ohio, one family prepares for a quick exit out of town. Rick, a father of five, having barely survived being caught in a riot, orders his children to quickly prepare to leave. Without weapons to defend themselves, they are resolved to try to hide from the ever-encroaching marauders all around them.
The Revenant (2015) – A great movie. While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, a frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member of his hunting team kills his young son and leaves him for dead, he must use his survival skills to find a way back to civilization to seek vengeance.
The Second Civil War (1997) – A satirical comedy. An immigration issue spins wildly out of control for those involved, ranging from the President of the United States, to a news producer.
The Survivalist (2015) – The Survivalist was an obvious addition to this list of prepper movies. A survivalist lives off of a small plot of land in the forest during a food crisis. Two women show up looking for food and shelter, threatening his existence.
The Survivors (1983) – Screwball comedy with Robin Williams. Two men meet on the unemployment line. Demoralized by how long it is, they go to a diner, where they witness a murder by, a notorious hit man. They soon realize that he is now targeting them. One of them cracks under the pressure and enrolls in a survivalist school to learn how to defend himself.
The Tomorrow Man (2019) – Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come, and Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. They try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.
The War Game (1965) – A hypothetical Chinese invasion of South Vietnam triggers a new world war between East and West. The anticipation of a nuclear attack leads to mass evacuations in a small town. When a stray missile actually explodes, the ensuing firestorm blinds all those who see it. It’s not long before the fabric of society is ripped apart owing to radiation poisoning, a lack of infrastructure, and rioting.
The Way Back (2010) – Denounced by his wife as a spy in 1939, Janusz is in a remote Siberian labor camp. He is determined to escape. A blizzard provides the perfect opportunity, and he and a small group of fellow prisoners make a break for it. Escape was the easy part. They now face a 4,000 mile trek on foot through the frozen Himalayas.
They Live (1988) – This one I added because it’s fun. A wanderer without meaning in his life discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, he notices that the media and government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination.
Threads (1984) – No list of prepper movies is complete without this one. Young lovers’ quiet lives in Sheffield, England, are threatened when the Soviet Union and United States go to war. After a nuclear attack destroys a NATO base 20 miles away, the town falls into chaos. They are separated as the fallout spreads, and she must struggle to survive alone in the post-apocalyptic landscape.
The Trigger Effect (1996) – When a blackout hits, it doesn’t take long before Matthew and Annie start breaking the law to protect themselves, but when the power stays out for several days and violence erupts, they decide to drive to Annie’s parents’ home. They must stop along the way to steal gasoline, but those with resources are desperately guarding them.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spicy Pickled Radishes & Onions

  I am a big fan of most things pickled or fermented. Yesterday I did something a little different & the results are great. I took 2 bunches of  thinly sliced radishes, 1/2 sliced thin large white onion,&  2 sliced hot peppers & put them in a 1/2 gal jar, then added 1C. Cider Vinegar, 4T. Sugar, 2t. Salt & 1C. Hot Water. Then they went in the fridge
  By this morning the color had come out of the radishes, everything turned pink & the flavor is amazing. We are grilling burgers later & I can't wait to put some of this on one. It is suppose to last 3 weeks in the fridge, but I don't think it will make it that long.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Tomato Paste

 I have finally started drying & freezing  produce from the garden. It was a month late in getting out since we got hit by a tornado the last day of April. I am drying almost everything, just to save space. I did the onions almost a month ago, okra  & tomatoes  have been on going for the last couple of weeks. The dehydrator has been going almost non stop. Most of the tomatoes have been dried with sea salt, this last batch I strained & cooked down for 2 days to make paste to freeze. There have not been enough cucumbers to make pickles, but enough to eat daily & the basil is going crazy & I will be making pesto to freeze this next week. We still have major work to do on our property from the storm & it got so hot, so quick that we just gave up for the summer. When it starts to cool down we will get back to work on our outbuildings & property. There is still such a mess to deal with.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Decoration Day

Forgotten Tradition: Picnicking in a Graveyard, Decoration Day

I came to age in a much simpler time than my children — TVs were filled with static and came in shades of black and white.  Church, too, was considerably simpler.  We didn’t have worship teams or giant screens on the walls showcasing the lyrics to the latest chart topping praise song.
Nope.  Instead, we had hard wooden pews and broke down hymnals, but when the saints would open these musky old books, boy would the glory fall upon our tiny mountain church.  We may have been on the backside of an unnamed and forgotten Virginia ‘holler’, but on Sunday mornings, we met with God!
Church was important to our family and the only Sunday we’d ever miss came around this time of year each spring.  It was on this day that we’d all gather together early Sunday morning for the simple task of cleaning the headstones in the neighboring cemetery next to the old church building.
It may have been the day of rest, but on this particular Sunday, you could rest assured that you’d go to bed tired from having cleared brush, trimmed around bricks and scrubbed headstones until they were shiny.
The day would be filled with tears, as widows, sons and friends would weep at the sight of simple concrete or marble markers which told the story of lives that were no more.
The day would also be filled with history lessons from Granny who would walk through the graveyard with an almost glimmer in her eye.
“This is my brother’s grave, he fought in the Great War.”
“This is where my cousin is buried, she had a little mean dog that would always bite me… I wish I could remember that dog’s name.”
“Over there is your Pa’s grave, you would have really loved him if you’d ever gotten the chance to know ’em.”
After all of our morning labors were complete, one by one, the hatches to those old Fords would open and some of the most gaudy flowers your eyes have ever witnessed would be packed through the church yard and into the graveyard.
Flowers would be solemnly placed onto tombstones by loved ones and by the end of the afternoon, every grave would have some type of decoration.
Then came my favorite part of what we called “Decoration Sunday”, the churchwide picnic in the cemetery.
It may seem like a ghastly thing to someone from this generation, the sight of families laying out blankets alongside the headstone of a passed loved one and feasting upon fried chicken, but for us, it was a tradition.  A classic American mountain tradition that would culminate with a game of hide-n-seek or tag in a freshly decorated Appalachian graveyard.
We did not run from death as so many these days seem to do, nor did we attempt to amuse ourselves with devices that removed the thought of our own demise to the back-burner of our consciousness.
Instead, we embraced death.  The songs we sang all reminded us that we would all soon face death and as a result of this awareness, we were able to live. Truly live.
Decoration Day has become a forgotten relic of a bygone era in America, but I for one, appreciate the reality that I was around for those history lessons, picnics and games of tag in an Appalachian cemetery.

Friday, May 10, 2019

This Is Why We Prep

I thought I was busy before, but trying to raise a 9 yr old., rebuild what we need to after a F2 tornado (5MPH shy of an F3) hit our house & property & get the garden's going to be a very busy summer. I'm feeling blessed that we all made it thru it, especially when I was on the first floor in front of a picture window when it hit our house. Chick was terribly shaken, but she is now doing well after alot of TLC. Jim & I are spending every day either working or having people come out to give us estimates. We have a huge amount of work to be done.Just within the last couple of days have we finally felt ourselves. This has been a very traumatic experience.
If we had not been so self sufficient we would not have fared as well. THIS IS WHY WE PREP!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Tornado Update & Update Again 7-2-19

We finally found out that the tornado that hit our place was 5 miles an hour short of an F3. At this point we are still waiting for ins. to show up & it is very hard to keep calm when there is only a tarp keeping the whole house dry & there is severe weather coming again next week. 2 of our neighbors have a total loss. It is raining  now & I am so worried we are going to have issues. Jim has been clearing brush all day. I have been taking pictures of everything he's doing for ins. as well as for us. We have lost most of the trees we have planted since we built the house. Pretty much my flowers are shit for this year, but  one iris bloomed for me this morning. Maybe it's a sign. On a side note.....when they tell you to take cover, do it. Jim & Chick made it to the basement, I did not. I never want to go through that again. I came back upstairs for something & it hit as I was standing  5 ft from a 4ftx7ft window. I never want to hear that noise again.
Update 7-2-19: Our neighborhood is still trying to recover. All of the homes that border our acreage to the east are a complete loss. That's 4, possibly 5 homes. I can throw a rock at these places, they are that close. Thank God, no loss of life or injuries, but total loss of everything for them. We are very lucky. The house is done, finally, & now we will spend the rest of the summer working on the outbuildings, trees & fence all around our property. It's been very stressful to have strangers on our place, it's not something any of us are use to, but again, we are to the point where they will not be coming & going out of our house & that's just fine with me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Our house & property along with several of our neighbors got hit by a tornado last night. We have major structural  damage to our house as well as damage  to our shops. We are alive, shook up, freaked out, but alive. Nothing else matters.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wed. Morning Gift

My 9 year old picked this for me this morning before school. It was too precious not to get a picture of. Love that girl!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Busy Early Spring

    The last month & especially the last two weeks have been some of our busiest ever.There is always so much to do, but we have also had the added work of going though every box & paper of my MIL's.
    As with so many her age & with dementia, they hoard everything from used zip lock baggies to paper bags & rubber gloves. Jim went through alot of it last fall when we moved her into assisted living, but there was a box trailer full of furniture & "stuff" that we just now had time to do. Not knowing what we needed to keep, donate or just throw away has weighed on us. One day we just got to work on it. There is a little furniture left but we are hoping that someone in the family will take it.
   The garden is ready to go. Soil is worked & this morning I  planted onions, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries & birdhouse gourds. We actually had snow two days ago, but then yesterday was in the 60's. I have 12 tomato plants hardening off, 12 pots of basil, oregano & rosemary going so far.
   During all of the gardening today I also started 10 trays of jerky, bottled 2 gal. of raspberry wine & baked a huge pan of homemade biscuits. Good grief. Tomorrow will be yard day. It takes me 3 hrs to mow each week & that is terribly tiring at my age, but when I was 30 years younger the big yard seemed like such a good idea, not so much now. Everyone need to think about how work need to be simplified as they get older. I just wish I had.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Benefits Of Peroxide

1. Take one capful of hydrogen peroxide (the little white cap that comes with the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. (I do it when I bathe.) No more canker sores, and your teeth will be whiter without expensive pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash.
2. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep them free of germs.
3. Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters.
4. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.
5. For fungus on the feet spray a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry.
6. Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to 10 minutes several times a day. My husband has seen gangrene that would not heal with any medicine but was healed by soaking in peroxide.
7. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will.
8. Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your 50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold or plugged sinus. It will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.
9. If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it for 10 minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.
10. And of course, if you like a natural look to your hair, spray the 50/50 solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will not have the peroxide-burnt blonde hair like the hair dye packages but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, reddish, or dirty blonde. It also lightens gradually, so it's not a drastic change.
11. Put half a bottle of peroxide in your bath to help get rid of boils, fungus, or other skin infections.
12. You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing, pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.
13. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no smearing, which is why I love it so much for this.
14. Another place it's great is in the bathroom, if someone has been careless, has peed on the floor around the toilet, and it's begun to smell of urine. Just put some peroxide in a spray bottle spray. In the blink of an eye all the smell will be gone and the bacteria eliminated!
I could go on and on. It is a little brown bottle no home should be without! With prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's a way to save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Can We Go Back Soon?

You know, there are some moments in life that make you stop whatever you are doing, take a deep breath, smell the ocean, relax..... My God, I miss Charleston. Thelma, are you ready for another roadtrip?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Only In Eureka Springs

Only in Eureka Springs,Ar.on Christmas Day will there be blues music blaring from the Nativity.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Thank You!

We are sitting on a rooftop deck overlooking historic Charleston & I see I've  passed 100,000. Thank you!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Finally Out Of The Tropical Storm

We Are finally starting to see blue skies. It has been a very wet day in Winston Salem, but on the way back to Charlotte the sun came out. It's the first time we've  seen the sun since we started our trip. Now back to Charleston for the real vacation.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

No Hurricane Is Going To Stop Thelma & Louise

 We fly out tonight!  We are not going to let bad weather effect our trip. It'll just be part of the adventure..... & it's going to be a heck of an journey.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Another Snake In The House

  Yesterday I was on the mower & saw Gardenchick waving her arms from across the yard, as we have taught her to do to get our attention. She was yelling that there was another snake in the house. This one had been right under her feet curled up in a room in the basement. Poor child was frantic.
  Yes, sure enough it was a snake, a  baby Prairie Kingsnake in Jim's office right by his desk. You have to really look at these close because they look so much like copperheads. Regardless, it's a snake, it's in my house, it must go.
   When Jim got home he was trying to find out how this one got in & he figured out that it had to be in some of the gardening or pool stuff I have been moving in for the winter. So, moral of the story, check things before you bring them in. Two snakes in one summer is more than enough for me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Labor Day At The Creek

   Yesterday we took a much needed ride to our favorite creek. Gardenchick played in the water, we searched for rocks & relaxed. There has been alot going on here lately. We are in the process of getting my VERY reluctant MIL into assisted living & it has been very stressful. Hopefully as soon as the move is over things will get back to somewhat normal & I will be posting on here more as it gets into fall, my favorite time of year. There just might be two bucket list wish's granted in the very near future & that will give me alot to write about. Until then we will try to get MIL packed, moved & settled.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bacon Jam

 Yields: 1 cup
1 lb. bacon, cut into 1” pieces
1 onion, finely chopped

4 shallots, mined
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c brown sugar
¼ c maple syrup
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain, reserving about a tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until onions are caramelized, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in garlic, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, chili powder and cooked bacon. Bring mixture to a simmer; then reduce heat to low. Cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the onions are jammy, 7 to 10 minutes.
4. Let cool before transferring to jar. Serve with cheese and crackers, or on a burger.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Honey is a wonderful tool for healing the body, both inside and out. It is moisturizing, exfoliating, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory: all boons for our skin. Plus it soothes throats, relieves upset tummies and even fights off hangovers. But keep in mind that not all honey can be trusted.
1. Wow wash: For a moisturizing face wash, cleanse your face with honey. It’s very simple. Wet your face, scoop out a little bit of honey and smooth it over your face. It will spread easily. Massage into the skin, then rinse with cold water.
2. Pimple power: Banish unsightly pimples by dabbing just a bit of honey on the blemish. The natural antibodies in honey should help heal the pimple without harsh acne medicin
3. Hair helper: Make a simple moisturizing hair mask with honey. Smooth honey over the ends of wet hair and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Then simply wash your hair as you normally would.
4. Hair rinse: This highly diluted hair rinse technique can help smooth fly-aways and increase shine. Combine 1 teaspoon honey with 4 cups warm water and pour over hair. Do not rinse out.
5. Bathe in honey: Add 1 tablespoon honey and 10 drops lavender essential oil to your bath. The honey will help moisturize your skin and the antispasmodic properties of lavender will help ease tense muscles.
6. Burn balm: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, honey can help heal burns. For a minor burn, apply a cold compress, immerse the burn in cold water, dry the area, apply honey and cover with gauze, refreshing daily.
7. First aid: A natural antibiotic, honey can help heal wounds. Dab honey on a clean wound before applying a bandage
8. Sore throat soother: Help ease the pain of a sore throat by swallowing a tablespoon of honey.
9. Steel your stomach: Honey may help coat and comfort an upset stomach. Soothe a nervous tummy by adding honey to lemon and ginger tea.
10. Workout booster: Supercharge your next workout by taking a spoonful of honey beforehand. The blend of fructose and glucose may give you an energy boost for endurance activities, plus you’ll reap the benefits of the antioxidants and vitamins in honey.
11. Be fruitful: For a special fruit bowl, drizzle herb-infused honey on berries and toss. It makes a great breakfast or a sparkling dessert.
12. Sleep tight: If you need a sleep aid, try a teaspoon of honey. Honey may help the body absorb the compound tryptophan, making us sleepy.
13. Hangover help: The readily absorbed simple sugars (fructose and glucose) in honey go straight into the bloodstream and help you bounce back if you were overserved.
14. Say cheese: Fancy up your cheese plate by drizzling honey over goat cheese or blue cheese.
15. Cough suppressant: Studies have shown honey may be more effective than the commonly used cough suppressant dextromethorphan, found in most over-the-counter cough medicines. Take a spoonful to help quell coughing. Note: Do not give honey to babies younger than 2 years old, due to a risk of botulism.
NOTE FROM BLUE MOON: Honey is the only cough medicine we give our 8 yr. old for a dry cough. It works better than any store bought medicine.

Sunday, August 5, 2018


Whether simply entertaining or now backed my modern science, old wives tales are fascinating. In the absence of modern medicine and conveniences, women (and men) of the past had to make due with what was available to them. They were self-sufficient because there’s was no other way to be.
On Facebook, in a Off-Grid and Homesteading group I belong to, someone had the brilliant idea to collect other members’ old wives tales. The post quickly had more than 800 comments.
Most old wives tales were followed by other members adding how their grandparents used to tell them that, or that they do what was recommended and it works every time! Some helpful members even commented on how that particular old wives tale is now backed by modern science.
I was so taken by this string of ancient wisdom, passed on to 1000’s of others via this very modern conception of social media, that I copied and cataloged all of their wisdom.
None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA. Some of these I wouldn’t even recommend, but included them anyways as part of an interesting glimpse into our ancestors’ lives.
I am also going to print a copy of this post to keep on hand in case of a long-term power outage. Living off the grid or without access to modern medicine might make some of these old wives tales invaluable.
I hope you enjoy what I’ve collected, and add even more down in the comments section! I’ll keep this post updated as I learn even more!

Bee Stings and Bug Bites

  • Mud, jewel weed, raw honey, tobacco, plantain, dandelion or mullein, a paste of baking soda and water were all used to treat bee stings or bug bites. You can make a little packet of baking soda and paper towel. Put the packet on the sting and pour some vinegar over top.
  • Apply honey for a bee sting, Vinegar for a wasp.
  • Create a soap and mustard poultice with bread in it. Applied as hot as possible to “draw” everything out.
  • Apply a damp tea bag to the bite or sting. The theory behind this one is that the tannins in the tea dry the skin out and draw out any inflammation or poison.
  • Create a poultice made from mud dauber nests and water and apply to a bee or spider bite.
  • A slice of raw potato can also draw out poisons.
  • In a similar fashion, a poultice made from baking soda and water works.
  • Apply a slice of raw onion on a sting.


  • Apply a poultice made from soap and sugar. Leave overnight.
  • Apply a poultice made from Epsom salt.
  • Soaking the area in warm soapy water will soften the skin and make the splinter swell.
  • Place a small piece of bacon over the splinter overnight. It should be easier to remove in the morning.


  • Mayonnaise hair mask to suffocate lice and then comb them and the eggs out.
  • A vinegar wash and hot hair drier will supposedly kill lice.

Old Wives Tales About Treating Colds and Flus

  • Mix together a hot toddy or 1 Tbsp of honey, 1 Tbsp lemon and 1 Tbsp whiskey.
  • Another version of the hot toddy calls for a teaspoon, 1 Tbsp of honey and about 4-6 drops of eucalyptus in warm water.
  • Drink the juice of one raw onion.
  • Slice an onion and cover with a bit of honey. repeat until jar is full. Cover and let set for 24 hours. Strain and toss the onion for cough syrup.
  • Create a poultice of dried mustard and warm water then spread it on rags and lay the rags against your back for 20 minutes, then front for 20 minutes. Repeat every 2 hours.
    • Another version of this is to just apply the poultice to the sick person’s chest until it dries.
  • Breathing dried mullien smoke will supposedly bring up all the phlegm from your lower lungs.
  • Strong star anise tea – 3 cups water, 1/2 cup star anise, simmer for at least 20 minutes with lid on to capture steam. You can reuse the star anise twice more. Inhale the steam, drink the tea with a little honey. Drink 4x a day.
  • Put a clove of garlic in eat sock. As you walk, the clove is crushed and absorbed into the skin.

Old Wives Tales To Get Rid of Warts

  • Wake up early and wash your hands in the morning dew.
  • Break the stem of a dandelion in half and apply the milk to your warts.
  • A continued application of iodine is supposed to get rid of warts.
  • Rub a dried bean on the wart and bury it in the ground. By the time it rots, the wart is gone.
  • Rub a piece of raw beef on your warts and bury it.
  • Another version has the patient rub a piece of raw bacon on the wart and bury it in the backyard.
  • Some people “buy warts” by rubbing a penny on them. That person can never spend the penny or the warts will come back.
    • In Cajun French people who bought warts were called “traiteur” or “faith healer”.
    • In Appalachia, buying warts is considered an old conjure woman spell.
  • Rub a wart with a white rock (or cloth), wrap it up and put it in the middle of a cross road
  • A 7th son could remove a wart.
  • Bury a potato under a tree and walk away and don’t look back.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar with the mother.
  • Rub chicken bones on warts at night.
  • Rub half of a freshly cut potato on a wart and bury the other half in the yard.
  • If you nail a snail to a fence the wart will supposedly fall off.

Old Wives Tales to Treat Acne

  • Catch the morning pee of a pregnant cow and dab it on face and anywhere else needed. Leave dry for 15 minutes and rinse. Repeat every morning until it’s gone.
  • Rub a urine-soaked baby diaper on your face.

Purifying the blood

  • Dandelion wine is supposed to help purify the blood. Check out my post on How to Make Dandelion Wine to try it for yourself!
  • The story goes that slaves would take medicinal doses of 100% pure gum spirits of turpentine to stay healthy, and that, in the past, school children would line up to take a spoonful of turpentine with sugar.
  • Not necessarily “purifying the blood” but in the olden days in Appalachia, people would take a spoonful of caster oil every Spring for an intestinal “Spring Cleaning”.

Old Wives Tales to Treat Burns

  • Applying any type of vinegar should take away the pain from a burn or sunburn. Soak a washcloth in vinegar and let it sit on the affected area for 3 minutes.
  • Create a medicinal oil made from St. John’s Wart, harvested on St. John’s day – left in the sun for a few days.
  • Liberally apply the gel from an aloe vera plant (my Grandmother used this every summer on me).
  • Press a white potato, cut side down, on the burn.
  • If you burn your finger cooking, grab an ear lobe to take the pain away.
  • If you burn yourself cooking, apply an egg white.
  • Make a strong tea and soak a cloth in it and apply to sunburns.
  • Tomatoes can supposedly treat a burn.
  • Apply a poultice of mullein leaves on a burn.

Stomach Aches

  • Tea made from the roots of queen of the meadow.

Old Wives Tales About Treating Boils

  • Apply salted pork to the boil.

Ingrown Toenails

  • Apply a thin slice of onion under your band aid to draw out infection.

Treating Arthritis

  • Eating raisins soaked in gin is supposed to help with the pain from arthritis.
  • Poke berry wine or a salad made from the leaves of the poke berry bush.
DISCLAIMER: all parts of the poke berry bush are poisonous, however many parts have been used by all peoples medicinally.

Sprains and Bruises

  • Apply witch hazel topically to any muscle pain.
  • Apply a poultice of epsom salt and leave it on until it dries.
  • Rub butter on any bumps and bruises
  • Keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol with mint and aspirin in it for sore muscles.
  • Iodine for bruises
  • A poultice made from comfrey can be applied to bone bruises or broken bones.
  • Rub tiger balm onto sore muscles and wrap with a hot, steamy towel.
  • One reader’s grandmother would rub WD40 on anything that hurt.

Cuts and wounds

  • Break open a puffball mushroom over a cut to stop bleeding.
  • Spiderwebs have often been used to clot blood as well. The idea is that spider webs are high in Vitamin K, a naturally blood clotting compound. If you’re interested in the chemical components of spider webs, check out this study.
  • Let a dog lick a wound if they’re interested in it.
  • Spanish moss pressed into a wound will stop the bleeding.
  • Lamb’s ear absorb blood and help it clot more quickly. It also contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Create a plantain poultice for cuts. Native Americans and old timers would create a “spit poultice” where they would chew up a leaf of plantain and create a poultice with their spit.
  • Press a piece of plain white bread onto a cut to stop the bleeding.
  • Pine resin has also been used to treat wounds.
  • Honey was used for wound healing by the Native Americans before the United States was established. It has antibacterial properties and seals the wound to protect it. Now the medical community is getting on-board and selling “Medihoney”. I personally have used honey with great success on proud flesh on my horses.
  • Applying kerosene when you step on a nail or shut your fingers in the door will supposedly take the pain away immediately.
  • Apply chapstick to cracks on hands or feet daily to protect and reduce the pain.


  • Peel the bark off of a tickle tongue tree and chew on it to instantly numb.
  • Put a whole clove against your gum to treat a toothache.

Old Wives Tales to Treat Fever

  • Cut 2 onions in half, put them in panty hose and the sliced sides were tied to each wrist and each ankle.

Restless Leg Syndrome

  • Put a few potatoes in bed with you while you sleep.
  • Place a bar of Irish spring soap under the sheets in your bed and sleep with it.


  • Rows have to be straight because God wants everything straight as an arrow.
  • Rows should run North to South.
  • When planting seeds, always plant three in a hill – one for the good, one for the crow, and one to grow.
  • You can make a spray from tobacco and use it as a pesticide – not good for certain types like tomatoes.
  • Plant crops that grow above the ground during a waxing moon, and plants that grow below the ground on a waning moon.
  • Burying a piece of iron next to your roses is supposed to make them more fragrant.


  • Green walnut juice is supposed to treat ringworm.
  • Tobacco juice as well.
  • Applying fingernail polish to ringworm supposedly suffocates the fungus.
  • Burn a paper bag and blow the ashes away after it’s burned down. Once cool, dab your finger in the resin and apply to the ringworm.

Old Wives Tales to Treat Foot Fungus

  • Soak feet for a few minutes in a mix of 1 cup of turpentine in very hot water.
  • Make trumpet vine “tea”  from the leaves to treat toenail fungus and athletes foot. Soak your foot in it daily. It takes about 6 weeks for toenail fungus because it’s in the bed, but about two weeks for athletes foot soaking twice daily.
  • Make a thick paste from green walnut husks and water. Paint the feet.
  • Put walnut leaves in the shoes.
  • To cure athlete’s foot, one member recommended soaking your feet in warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Dry well and rub Vicks into your feet to moisturize. Let your feet air dry and use only cotton socks. You may want to get rid of all of your contaminated shoes and use bleach in your shower – spray and leave it to dry for 20 minutes before rinsing with very hot water.
  • Another option is to pee on your own feet in the shower, and then wash them clean.
  • Mix the tobacco from a few cigarettes with fresh warm mud in a disposable bag. Leave the affected foot in the bag for half an hour. Throw bag away. Repeat every few hours with a fresh batch of mud. If you don’t have cigarettes available, use loose leaf tea.

Old Wives Tales Concerning Babies

  • Catnip tea or caraway seed tea or a bit of onion juice is said to cure colic.
  • Toast a piece of bread completely black, then soak in boiling water. Let it cool will supposedly also treat colic.
  • Cabbage leaves will dry out a breastfeeding mother’s breasts and help wean a child.
  • Cabbage leaves will also help “draw out the milk” and treat clogged milk ducts.
  • Breastmilk will supposedly help treat eye infections like pink eye, diaper rash and ear infections.
  • Urine was also dripped into the ear to treat ear infections.
  • Fill a sock with rice and warm in a microwave. Place on the ear for an ear ache or the jaw for a toothache.
  • Another person’s grandma would put warm sweet oil on a teaspoon and pour it in their ears for ear aches.

Predicting the Sex of a Baby

  • If you’re craving salt (potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn) you’re having a boy.
  • If you’re craving sweets (ice cream, chocolate, and candy) you’re having a girl.

Diaper Rash

  • Crush up a mud dauber’s nest until it’s a fine powder and apply to the baby’s bottom.
  • Cornstarch can be applied to a baby’s bottom to absorb any moisture and protect from future diaper rashes.
  • Some women would brown regular flour in a pan or in the oven and use, cooled, on diaper rash.
  • Put rolled oats in a sock or cloth bag and add to a warm water bath.
  • Pure lard will supposedly clear up diaper rash as well.

Asthma Attack

  • Take a shot of apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar in a pinch) to stop a sudden asthma attack.

Old Wives Tales Concerning Animals

  • Apply raw eggs and milk or sardines to a snake bite
  • Chopped up onion to draw out the poison. If you don’t have an onion, you can use a potato.
  • Consume mall amounts of tobacco as a dewormer for parasites.
  • A bath made from poke berries to treat mange on your dogs.


  • Rub a gold ring on a sty to make it go away.

Luck or Superstitions

  • Never wash clothes on New Years Day – you could wash somebody out of your family.
  • Don’t sweep someone’s feet with a broom.
  • Don’t sit directly on the ground.
  • For ghosts or haunted areas, hang a measuring tape on the door handle. (Jamaica)
  • For ghosts, leave change outside of the house and a candle in the window. (Ireland)
  • For ghosts or bad spirits, leave a braid of garlic hung by the door.
  • Open up your front and back doors as the New Year rolls in to let out the bad things and bring in the new.
  • Bringing in eggs after dark will bring bad luck.
  • If you happen to drop silverware (or in some versions – a dish towel), it means company is coming.


  • Keep a pair of metal scissors in the freezer. Whenever someone has a nosebleed, put the cold scissors on their back on bare skin.


  • Mint or lavender will supposedly treat a headache.

Cold Sores

  • A poultice made from instant coffee and water, applied to a cold sore many times throughout the day is supposed to kill the Herpes virus and prevent cold sores in the future.


  • A damp washcloth or rag, sprayed with a mixture of white vinegar and essential oils can replace dryer sheets.
  • Having spiderwebs in your house will supposedly make it warmer. (A great excuse not to dust!)
  • Peeing on stains on clothes and scrubbing it well before washing it supposedly gets rid of stains.
  • Throw a whole potato into every tomato dish to absorb the oils. (The reader who submitted this one also commented on how the kids would fight over who got to eat that one oily potato!)
  • Another idea was to throw a whole apple into vegetable beef stew to make it more flavorful and add a bit of sweetness for an hour or two.
  • Use a small amount of sugar to cut back the acidity of any tomato dishes.
  • Sprinkle black pepper around where you find mice droppings to stop them from coming back.

Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac

  • Oatmeal baths to reduce inflammation.
  • Bleach mixed with water or witch hazel to dry the blisters.

Predicting the Weather

  • Red at night traveler’s (or sailor’s) delight. Red in the morning, travelers (or sailors) take warning.
  • If a dog is eating grass it’s going to rain.
  • You can tell the weather for tomorrow by looking at the sky when it’s dark out. If the stars are out, it will be nice tomorrow. No stars, then you’ll get some sort of precipitation tomorrow.
  • For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall during the Winter.
  • If you notice more than the usual amount of spiders around, it will be a harsh Winter.

Issues of the Mouth

  • Make a tea from the bark of a red oak tree. Swirl in your mouth to treat infected gums but DON’T SWALLOW.