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Archive for August, 2007

Checkmate

My husband Richie is a pretty great chess player.  He first played when he was a kid but took it over again when someone gave him a box of chess boards to use in his GT classroom.  Richie started playing himself and has really done well the past few years.  Right now he is playing in the Arkansas Chess Association State Championship! Good luck Richie!

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Hello! It has been a while since my last post. My computer harddrive crashed last Saturday! Although we will be able to pay someone to retrieve most of the data we have temporarily lost all of our documents, pictures and all of my business stuff! So…..my advise to you it to back-up anything important right now! Burn it to a disc, save it to an online backup site, put it on a flash drive. My computer was working fine Saturday morning. I had to step out of the room for a moment and when I returned I was greeted with a blue screen with multiple “Fatal Errors”!

Our new computer will arrive sometime this week so I hope to get back to making more regualr posts at that time. Thanks for sticking with me!

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I have been doing some research about gardening and such. My husband and I have talked about making our house and land more sustainable.  We are planning on adding a LARGE garden next spring and some small livestock the following year.  We have also looked into the possibility of adding Solar Panels to our house.  Our house is quite small and doesn’t take a ton of energy.  Our average montly electric bill is only about $45 for our whole house.  I have been researching solar power and came across the coolest thing ever!

This is a JUICE BAG! They are available through rewareproducts.com.  This particular bag is the beach bag.  While it is a little pricey ($249.00) it is really cool.  This bag is made in the USA with fabric made from recycled soda bottles.  On the side of the bag is a 7 watt flexible solar panal.  This solar panel is attached to a standard CLA (car lighter adapter) allowing you to plug in anything with a CLA attachment.  Think cellphones, ipods, mp3 and any 12volt electronic device!

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While I really appreciate the tiny little table I have as a workspace in our guest room, I have come to realize that it is not ideal!  When HGTV came earlier this summer we temporarily removed the guest bed and I had the whole room for my crafting! I LOVED IT! I was able to keep things neat and organized, there was enough room so I could leave my ironing board up all the time, it was just great.  I loved the space and enjoyed being in it. I felt crafty all the time and I was creating more stuff than ever.  Since moving the bed back in I dread coming in here.  I have to constantly move stuff around.  Space is an issue and it just doesn’t look cool like it did when HGTV was here.  Well Richie and I have been looking into possibly adding the portable building above to our property.  This would serve as my studio!  Isn’t it great!  The working space is 10×12 and it has a 4 foot porch which I just love.  It has a 10×8 loft inside which could be used as an additional guest area if we put some mattresses up there. There is also a 10×4 loft which could be used as storage.  Richie has said I could get it but now I just have to save up the money!  It costs around 3,000$! I have saved up about 300$  Maybe by next summer I can save up enough!

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I love crafting and I am always hunting the web for crafty goodness.  Recently I came across a site called Cut Out + Keep.

Cut Out + Keep, a Scotland based site, is full of great craft projects, recipes and all kinds of great stuff.  Their online magazine has some interesting articles about indie business and music.  Recently the site hosted a competition to create a piece of artwork using garage sale items.  The prize was a book titled Garage Sale America.  I entered a photo of a wind-chime I had made earlier this spring for a swap on Mary Janes Farm.

My wind-chime is made out of an old pie plate and old silverware.  My wind chime was actually selected as one of the winners in the contest!  Last week I received my book!

Garage Sale America is a great little book showcasing many different garage sale finds.  Bruce Littlefield does such an excellent and thorough job of describing his garage sale adventures you feel as if you are traveling right along with him.  Along with great finds there are tips, tricks and hints to making the most of garage sales and finding the greatest deals.  A resource section in the back of the book will direct you to some of the countries greatest, longest and largest sales.  This book is a must have for any serious garage saler or thrifter!

Thanks Cut Out + Keep!

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I have to have this!

Check this out!

This is a must have for any gardener and a STEAL at only $79.00!  Here is a link to the online webstore http://www.solutions.com/jump.jsp?itemID=10880&itemType=PRODUCT&path=1,3,474&iProductID=10880

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Guidlines For Eating Well

Many cities are lucky to have an abundance of resources for local and organic foods.  Many, my city included, do not.  Typically Local Food refers to food found within 100 miles of your home.  I am not in an area where this is always possible and I suspect many of you are not either.  I have two great resources I would like to share with you.

www.localharvest.orgis a great website.  Search-able by state or product this database will point you in the direction of local food, produce, products, CSA’s and farmers markets.

This is a great site for general information about eating local. I found the following Guidelines on their web-page. I think these guidelines offer a great wrap up to my Eat Local series.

Guidelines for Eating Well

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic. This is one of the most readily available alternatives in the market and making this choice protects the environment and your body from harsh chemicals and hormones.

If not ORGANIC, then Family farm. When faced with Kraft or Cabot cheeses, Cabot, a dairy co-op in Vermont, is the better choice. Supporting family farms helps to keep food processing decisions out of the hands of corporate conglomeration.

If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business. Basics like coffee and bread make buying local difficult. Try a local coffee shop or bakery to keep your food dollar close to home.

If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Terroir, which means ‘taste of the Earth’. Purchase foods famous for the region they are grown in and support the agriculture that produces your favorite non-local foods such as Brie cheese from Brie, France or Parmesan cheese from Parma, Italy.

Hit the farmers’ market before the supermarket. Plan your meal around local ingredients you find at the market.

Branch out. Maybe your usual food repertoire could use some fresh ideas. The farmers’ market provides a perfect chance to try a new ingredient when it’s in season, and lets you talk to its grower to find out the best way to prepare your new food. Flirt with your food producer!

Feed the freezer. Can’t cook every night? Worried about your fresh produce going bad? It’s easy. Make lasagna with local tomatoes or a soup packed with fresh veggies and freeze it! You can also make personal size meals for a brown bag lunch.

Thanks for taking the time to read about Eating Local.  Remember it’s not about building a city in one night but about laying the foundations one brick at a time.  So go out there and support a local farmer.  Many of us receive praise and thanks in our daily jobs.  Most farmers do not.  If you can’t buy from a local farmer, at least say “Thank You!”

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