Friday, July 31, 2015

Know your snakes!

Recently, a man from my area was bitten by a rattlesnake while camping in Elk County. From what I understand, he was simply sitting by the campfire with his family when the snake bit him. Unfortunately, the bite was fatal.

This past week, a dog was bitten by a copperhead while walking with his owner along a local walking trail. He survived, but not without some scary moments.

I came across the following chart on the MD DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service Facebook page today and thought you might find it helpful. While I'm not frightened of snakes and actually like them, it's good to know which ones to steer clear of, right?

Be safe,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

TBT -- Chill Out!

For this week's Throwback Thursday and in honor of the 90+ degree whether we've been having lately, I decided to revisit a post from July 2011. I hope you find the info helpful. 

Image by Peter Griffin
Between the introduction into the world of hot flashes and night sweats and the insanely hot weather, I am desperate to find ways to cool down.
So you can imagine my delight when this month's Good Housekeeping magazine decided to address this very issue in an article.

Here's what I learned:

  • AC (no kidding). Keep it set between 70 -75 degrees when you're home. Set it to 80 degrees when you're not. Bottom line on this -- if you let your house get too hot, it will take a lot more energy to cool it down. But make sure you don't have any heat-producing devices (TVs, computers, lights, appliances, etc.) located close to your thermostat. Some of you may be gasping at the recommendation to set it so low while you're home. But for me and my hot flashes, that's just the way it is going to be. Note: If your central AC unit is more than 12 years old or if your portable unit has been hanging out the window for more than 10 seasons, you may want to consider replacing it. The result could be a 30% savings on your electric bill.
  • Location, location, location. If at all possible, put your portable AC units on the north side of your home. Or plant some nice shade trees near the unit. Keeping your AC out of the sun can lower your energy use between 10% and 25%.
  • Keep the shades drawn. When sunlight is streaming through your windows, the temp inside your home can rise by as much as 20 degrees. Whoa!
  • Turn on the fan. Circulating air feels 8 degrees cooler. But make sure you turn off the fans when you're not in the room. After all, they don't actually cool. They just make you feel cooler. If you don't have or don't want to use your AC, consider buying a couple of window fans -- one that pulls air in and another that blows air out.
  • Set up a dehumidifier or two. We actually have 3 running in our house.
  • Take a cool shower or lukewarm bath. Supposedly, this will cool your body 25 times faster than hanging out in the breeze. Make sure you run your exhaust fan for at least 20 minutes afterward to dry out the air.
  • Remove your plants. I know I'm always telling you to load up your rooms with plant in order to help remove toxins, but in the heat of the summer, they actually are counterproductive. Plants produce moisture, thus making your indoor air a bit more humid.
  • Grab a sterling silver dinner knife. According to Heloise, this old-fashioned (and green) trick is pretty effective. Simply press the flat part of the knife against the back of your neck or inside of your wrist. Since your blood vessels are close to the skin in those places, the cool metal will immediately cool them. No sterling in the house? Grab an ice cube instead. It's a bit messy, but it will work.
Uh oh. I feel a hot flash coming on. Think I'd head down to the silverware drawer. If you have any tips of your own to share, please do. I can use all the help I can get!

Trying to keep cool,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Life Hacks to make life easier

We all love Life Hacks. Whenever I see them on Facebook, I'm eager to scroll through them to see what tidbits of life hack wisdom I can glean. So I thought I'd share a couple of my own that just might help you out a little in your everyday life.

This morning, I was preparing an egg casserole for my husband and my cousin who was visiting from Lancaster County and thought it was the perfect time to share these life hacks.

I have a little clip thingy (I don't know the technical name) from a scarf or something I bought awhile back. I found it's perfect for hanging on the handle of my cupboard in the kitchen whenever I'm preparing a dish from a recipe card. I just clip the card to it and it's right in front of me the whole time. Before implementing this idea, I was constantly misplacing the recipe card in the midst of putting together a meal. It would end up underneath an ingredient container or something. And it always ended up dirty from messy hands or spills. Genius, don't you think?

When it came time to grease the casserole dish, I just reached inside the fridge and pulled out a Kerrygold wrapper. You see, every time I unwrapped a hunk of Kerrygold butter, I noticed there was a decent amount of butter left behind on the inside of the wrapper. Then it dawned on me: save it and use it to grease pans and casseroles. So that's what I do. And it works perfectly. How's that for a "green" life hack?

There you go. I'd love to hear some of your favorite life hacks. Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Wishing you a magical day,

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Dark Act -- Who betrayed us with their votes?

I'm still fuming over Congress's passage of The Dark Act. Since I'm from Pennsylvania, I wanted to share the list of PA representatives who betrayed us, all of which happen to be Republicans.

Charles Dent
Michael Fitzpatrick
Tim Murphy
Ryan Costello
Patrick Meehan
Bill Shuster
Tom Marino
Scott Perry
Keith Rothfus
Glenn Thompson
Lou Barletta
Joseph Pitts
Mike Kelly

There you go. PA traitors. For a list of representatives' votes from your state, click here.

We have to keep fighting. Our children are counting on us!

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