Thursday, March 29, 2012

Biodynamic Planting Calendar

My normal Spring planting posts haven't come about because I have been dealing with a bad case of environmental conjunctivitis caused by pollen.  Needless to say, the last thing my doctor wants me to do is go outside and start digging in the garden.

While I am not a biodynamic gardening purist, I have to say the biodynamic gardeners that I know have amazing gardens.  Whether it is the biodynamic practices or the fact that biodynamic gardening strongly focuses the gardener on the health of the soil and plants, something is positively affecting these healthy, productive gardens.

I do like to plant following a biodynamic planting guide which is broken down into four different planting times:  leaf, root, flower and fruit.  It is fairly simple, if you are planting a root crop you choose the days that favor the root impulse.  Spinach would be planted during the leaf time, etc.

Recently I have found a decent Biodynamic Planting Guide online.  It is always fun to experiment in the garden, and since the old timers swore by planting by the signs, why not try following one of these guides to see if you have better results in your own garden.

God bless,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Frugal Garden Tools: Machete

I know you've been sitting around wondering to yourselves, "Gee, what kind of machete does Pam use"?  One of my favorite tools is a form of machete that has a sharpened hook on the end for easily cutting down saplings by pulling the tool towards me.

I consider this tool to be frugal because it is a multipurpose tool.  The flat edge is used for cutting through thin brush, while the  hook is used to cut larger stems and small trunks.  It also saves needing to carry several tools with you; just this one does the job.

My machete was ordered from Lee Valley Tools.  This is an excellent source for very high quality tools that, with proper maintenance, should last a lifetime.  Spring has sprung, time to start clearing out the hedges.

God bless,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breast Cancer Screening

So, what's frugal about getting screened for breast cancer?  It's all about catching the disease while it is still small and noninvasive.  Then you can be treated with the less intense methods; saving you physical, emotional and financial wear and tear.

Why am I bringing this up today after breast cancer awareness month has come and gone?  Because I have just passed my five year breast cancer screening (mammogram and sonogram).  Five years ago a nodule was discovered in my left breast during a routine screening mammogram.  It was biopsied and I was diagnosed with a very small, Stage 1 cancerous tumor.

It was caught very early and as a result I was able to treat it will a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) and radiation therapy.  I have been cancer free for five years as of today.  I thank God that I had developed the habit of having regular screenings.

So be medically frugal:  learn to do monthly breast self exams (and teach your daughters) and have mammograms and other screenings as recommended.  Trust me, it's worth it.

God bless,
Pam Moore

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Crazy Bird, Cookie

As you know I have a husband, daughter and, for almost a year now, a parakeet named Cookie.  We have been working with Cookie, so that he is comfortable with us and he has been doing very well.  We are fortunate that he has a calm nature.

Lately, Cookie has been trying to get to the clapper of his favorite toy, a metal bell.  It is such fun to watch him play.

I though I would just share a couple of Cookie pictures with you:

"Oh, hello"

Head inside of bell.

That's our Cookie.

God bless,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Damp Dust During Pollen Season

Dusting with a feather duster, Swiffer or a dry rag may work during normal times, but if you have allergies the best way to get rid of dust is by damp dusting.  Dry dusting only causes dust and pollen to become airborne and then, to be breathed in or to resettle somewhere else.

Microfiber Cloth

Grab your cleaning cloth (I prefer microfiber) and a bottle filled with water.  I sometimes add a few drops of essential oil to the water to make the work a bit more pleasant.  A little aromatherapy while working can't be a bad thing.

Generic Spray Bottle

Do not spray water onto the furniture!  Instead, spray a very light mist of water onto all the surfaces of your cloth.  Then squeeze the cloth to distribute the water throughout.  The cloth should only feel slightly damp, not wet.

Wipe your furniture down without shaking out the rag.  When the rag is completely dirty just get a clean one.  The idea is to trap the pollen and dust, then wash it down the drain in your washing machine.

I use the damp dusting method most of the time.  I only wax or oil my furniture about four times a year.  By damp dusting I avoid a build up of cleaning products which can actually harm the finish on wood furniture plus I cut down on allergens in the house.

God bless,

Monday, March 12, 2012

How Doctors Die (Another Slow Medicine Article)

Yesterday the Tampa Bay Times included an article that so closely echoed my feelings about death and invasive medical care that I knew I had to share it with you.  This article discusses how many doctors choose, at the end of their lives, to refuse medical interventions.  These people who know more about medicine and it's practice than most others, chose to live the end of their lives out quietly, with family and without pain and anxiety.

Here is a link to the article:  How Doctors Die.

This article make me want to have No Code tattooed on my chest or at least get  a really big No Code medical alert necklace.

God bless,

Friday, March 9, 2012

CVS Purchase and Shopping Strategy

I don't usually go over my individual purposes, but I wanted to show you an example of my couponing and shopping strategy.

Each week I go to Southern Savers to make out shopping lists for three stores:  Publix, Walgreens, and CVS.  Another good site is The Krazy Coupon Lady.  Here I can print lists that include the coupon matchups to go with each item.

Then I sit down for about 20-30 minutes to clip the coupons I need.  Then I paperclip each stack of coupons to the corresponding list.  I keep the lists in my car, so I can run by the store at my convenience.

Today I stopped at CVS on my way home from dropping DD off at school.  You must have a CVS card to take advantage of their sales.  You can sign up online or in the stores.

When I entered the store I went to the coupon machine and scanned my card.  It printed out three coupons, one which matched some of the items I was purchasing today.  That meant I had both a manufacturers coupon and a store coupon for those items.  Yay, extra savings.

Then I shopped for the items on my list.  All of them were marked down and I had coupons for them.  Here is what I ended up with:

I spent $13.38 for these items, plus I received $11.00 in Extra Bucks coupons, which means I actually spent $2.38 for these products.  Remember that even if an item isn't something that you may use, you can be sure that the local shelter will be happy to have it.

Happy couponing!

God bless,

Buy The Small Size To Save Money

When you are couponing you have to get away from the idea that buying the larger size will save you the most money.  It may be true that it is less per ounce (which, nowadays is not always true), but with coupons you can save more by buying the smaller sizes.

Here is an example:  If you buy one 32 ounce mouthwash for $5.00 and use a $1.00 off coupon you have spent $4.00 for 32 ounces.  If you buy two 16 ounce mouthwashes for $5.50 and use two $1.00 coupons you have spent $3.50 for 32 ounces.

I know that it goes against everything that we were taught by our mothers and the local big box stores, but when you have coupons, buying smaller is definitely better.

This is also why you should get multiple coupon inserts each week.  It allows you to use several coupons on smaller sizes in order to get the amount of product that you want.

God bless,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pollen Alert

Our very warm winter has caused us to have one of the worst Spring allergy seasons that I have ever seen. My eyes have been bright red and scratchy for weeks now and DD has had the same symptoms plus runny nose and sore throat.  I prefer not to use medication, but must admit that I have occasionally broken down and taken a pill.

Oak Tree With Pollen

The biggest problem has been oak pollen.  It is literally draped over our roof, covering the driveway and covered our cars with a layer of yellow dust.

Covering The Ground

And The Cars

One of our natural ways to fight the pollen is to use a saline rinse to flush the pollen from the inside of our nasal passages using a neti pot.  This is a simple method that has been used in India for thousands of years.  Just follow the instructions that come with the neti pot; there is a slight learning curve, but it is actually very easy.  If you have young children you can use saline drops in their noses to accomplish the same thing.

Stay inside as much as possible, especially during windy times and immediately after a rainstorm.  The rain actually stirs up the pollen that is lying on the ground making it air borne.  If you do go outside change your clothing as soon as you come indoors.  Shower before going to bed at night to wash the pollen out of your hair.  Pets also need frequent rinsing.

I have been running the air conditioning rather than opening the windows; both in my house and in the car.  Anything to avoid coming into contact with the pollen.

As a last resort you may need to use a antihistamine.  Drugs such as Zyrtec, and Zicam can be expensive.  Try some of the older drugs such as Benadryl and Chlortrimeton to save some money.

We are the first to suffer here in Florida, but be prepared if you are further north, it's coming your way soon.

God bless,