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Archive for February, 2008

9yr old question of the day.Can chickens have twins?

February 28th, 2008 at 07:21 pm

We just got our first double yolked egg. So, DD4 asks me if chickens can have twins......
Humm, I can't find anything on that one. So, I called the extension office and asked the chicken person. He is now calling Columbia to see if anyone knows. If a egg has 2 yolks it should be able to, but is the egg big enough to hold 2 chicks???
Only DD4 would have come up with the question.

10 free/frugal safety tips

February 28th, 2008 at 06:24 pm

Years ago, I used to teach first aid, CPR and home safety. These tips are still just as sound today as they were 25 years ago.

1. If your car has an alarm, keep your keys beside your bed. If you have an intruder during the night, hit the button. The alarm will scare him off. This can also work if you have a medical emergency. After your alarm goes off for a length of time, you have a pretty good chance of a neighbor either coming over or calling to check on you (or to tell you to turn the thing off!). I tried mine, and I can activate my car from all rooms of the house except those in the basement.

2. Keep your cell phone plugged into the charger at night, beside your bed. If someone cuts your phone line during the night in an attempt to silence an alarm and break in, you can still call 911.

3. Parents/adults should sleep with one of the homes fire extinguishers and a flashlight in their bedroom, located between the bed and the bedroom door. If a fire breaks out at night, you have a way to get out of your room and help your family. Keep your fire extinguishers charged and use the proper type for where they are located.

4. Have working smoke detectors and keep the batteries current. A good rule is to change the batteries when the time changes (twice a year). Most fire departments will help you install them or change the batteries. (You provide the device and the battery). I let them install mine after I bought them as I knew the FD was better trained to know the best locations to place them (and had a better ladder!!). In some towns, they will also provide the smoke alarms for elderly persons, people who are on food stamps or for renters.

5. Every parent should take first aid/cpr. It can also save time to know by name drug allergies that your family may have. Keep a list of your medications in your wallet on a card.

6. Keep the following in your first aid supplies. These are often overlooked and can save a life—aspirin and ipecac syrup. Study their uses and administer them (if the situation calls for it) as someone else calls 911 or AFTER you have called 911. Call for your help first, so they are on their way.

7. Make sure your family knows escape routes for a fire, hiding places for a tornado, and where to meet during a major emergency.

8. When out, don’t let little ones where shirts with their names on it. A stranger can lure the child away more easily by calling them by their name.

9. When in a crowd, moms find it useful to dress the family alike. Ours family still does it—when we go to the amusement park, or the race track, we all wear red t shirts. When mine were real little, I even went as far as to write my cell number on their stomach in ink—just in case they got lost. I learned this tip from a co-worker whose daughter was lost at the zoo. The security officer who found her told her to do that on their next trip.

10. Use common sense. It doesn’t hurt to keep poisons and cleaners up out of reach even if you don’t have little ones in your home. Outlet covers can also be of use to stop curious little fingers AND they can also act as a form of insulation for the outlet as well. Teach little ones how to dial 911. Keep medicines in a safe place (top of the refrigerator is good) and out of the bathroom. The bathroom should NEVER be used to store medications for 2 reasons: first, little ones are in there alone, with the door shut---and two, heat and moisture are bad on medications. Ours are in a Rubbermaid type container in the kitchen on top of the refrigerator where little ones can’t get to it. Irons should never be kept on the ironing board. Even if they are cold, a little one can knock it off and onto their head.

If in doubt as to the safety of your home, get down and crawl! Become the height of a 2 year old and see what you can find to put into your mouth, pull on, tip over, climb on……

cant even give it away

February 26th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

As we merged households 18 months ago, we ended up with many duplicate items, and some unneeded ones. This includes a 1970's wood consol TV set, that works, color, cable ready. However, it was made before remote controls caught on, so it has none. We tried to sell it for $5. No interest. We have even tried giving it away--no one wants it. We have put it on Craigslist, offered it to numerous schools and organizations and no one wants it.
What the heck am I to do with it????

10 things I learned from having a house fire

February 25th, 2008 at 09:54 pm

Hopefully you or someone you know or love will never be involved in a house fire. I completely lost my home and its contents in 2001. Having lived through the experience, I will admit it was not like I would have imagined it to be.


1. The most important things are the lives of your family members.

2. Keep good records and an inventory of your home at a second location, such as a safety deposit box. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, but a video of your home, both inside and out can be of great value later.

3. Be generous with family photos and baby photos. We lost all of ours. However, since we were so generous with family members, they still had copies. They were more than willing to copy them for us so that we could replace ours.

4. Copy your baby books/ wedding books. Give a copy to Grandma or save on disc in the safety deposit box. It also is a good idea to keep your birth certificates in there as well. If you do genealogy, keep a copy of your research in the box also. I lost thousands of hours of work.

5. Invest in a fireproof safe for your home. We have all learned to use the freezer. I can tell you the freezer will burn. It is the last to burn, but it can and will burn. Mine did. The documents stored in it were ruined. The plastic liner and insulation melted and entombed them.

6. Install proper safety features in your home. This includes smoke alarms, carbon detectors, fire extinguishers, escape ladders for the second floor.... Make sure things are charged and have good batteries. Make sure your family knows the escape route and where your family meeting place is.

7. Don't assume that since someone has insurance, they don't need help. I found out we still needed help, and we had excellent insurance. As soon as our agent arrived, we were given a check for $500 for things we needed "right now". This included changes of clothing, toiletries, diapers, food... I will tell you, that $500 did not go far. From that point on, we were reimbursed AFTER we had to pay up front. After checking with others fire survivors, the Red Cross, the fire department and other insurance companies, I found that was the norm. In fact, the Red Cross never even showed up. I found out later that in the area I lived in, for the Red Cross to show up, the homeowner has to request it. However, a wonderful couple from our church organized a food and clothing drive for us. This was held 3 days after the fire and was wonderful. We were given gift cards, diapers, food, gas cards, a new cell phone with lots of minutes, pet food, and pet carrier for our cat (who was also homeless now), an inexpensive camera and film to document with.... These items helped to tide us over until we started getting some reimbursement checks from our insurance company.


8. Check with your insurance company to see what type of coverage you have. Do you have enough coverage to cover rising instruction costs? Do you have replacement value or will your insurance only reimburse what you paid for an item when it was originally purchased.

9. Also check your insurance to see if you need to add a "rider" to cover certain items such as art, furs, jewelry, and antique cards. Also, some business items may not be covered--for instance, if you brought home a laptop from work and it were destroyed, your insurance may or may not cover it. If your car is parked in the garage or driveway will it be covered if damaged by the fire department or if the paint is blistered by heat??. Verify that outbuildings are covered. Ours were, but some friends of theirs were not. The fire blistered the paint of their shed and ruined the roof and they had to take care of that out of their own pocket.

10. Check with your local law enforcement agency and request extra police drive bys. We had problems with potential looters trying to take things from our house the first few nights. My father stayed outside the house in the driveway in his car and ran off several.

Last week was a busy week.

February 25th, 2008 at 07:38 pm

Glad it is over. Renters decided to move in earlier, so we spent a good part of the week in my old town painting and getting the place ready. We also had the flu going around, so that didn't help any. Then 2 ice storms hit there and slowed things down. To top it off, my best friend, who is more like a sister, has been on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. She got her kidney yesterday. I've not been to see her yet, due to having the bug, but should be able to by tomorrow.
Today I slept till noon. We all did. We were tired.

Been sick

February 20th, 2008 at 06:15 pm

Thursday we were around someone who was sick (they got the flu on Friday). So Sunday afternoon, we all started dropping like flies. Raw throat, sore back, chest congestion and ear aches. The whole house has it except for DH-who was the only one who got the flu shot (his work requires it due to the nature of his job). I think this fall the rest of us will also get the flu shot.

On the upside, since we are pinned in sick, we have had 2 no spend days this week.

DH has been doing the cooking and is doing a good job of cleaning out the deepfreezes. He found some ribs and BBQ them, and also made some ham and beans.

New challange total

February 12th, 2008 at 08:27 pm

Is now $319.75. Since the last update, I added coupon savings (for items I would buy anyway-such as my suave shampoo that was free after the coupon), an ebay sale and winnings from writing.

Been away and busy

February 12th, 2008 at 01:14 am

I have people moving into a rental house March 1, so we went back down to my hometown and worked on it for a few days. Probably on Wednesday I will be making another trip to work on it some more.

I bought a new refrig for it, did some painting and we were going to replace a window, but instead decided to do away with the window completely. I got the area sheetrocked and the first coat of mud on it, and will do some sanding my next trip.

While dealing with the house, we also had family in from out of state, for a funeral on the wifes side. It was nice to visit with them, although our time was limited. I got to see my 2 year old neice, who I will say is the cutest baby around!!!

We got behind on our school work, but today we homeschooled for a good 8 hours. So now we only have 3 hours to make up.

The post office called today, and they had 2 boxes for me. One is the math books I got for D3 off of ebay, and the other was a box of 28 day old chicks. They are in the basement now, under a heat lamp. It is too cold to do their usual set up outside--it got down below 0 last night, and probably will again tonight. As soon as we walked into the post office, we could hear them peeping.

It has been cold and snowing all day. I've got bread in the oven now--it makes it seem warmer and cozier.

My washer leaked again today. It needs to hold it together for 1 more month, then I can get my new one for cash. But, if it leaks on the next load, I will have to get the new one anyway and just put it on the Sears card.

And lastly, my BIG news, our older chickens have FINALLY started laying!!!

Busy day

February 2nd, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Took the girls to their quiz meet this morning. DD4 came in 4th for her age group for last month for individual scores, so she was presented a ribbon for it today before todays quizzing. Don't think she did quite as well today, in one match her buzzer was not working and it took awhile to figure out when she was buzzing in she was not lighting up for the quizmaster. So she messed several she knew.

On the way back, we stopped at Michaels, and DD4 used part of her Christmas gift cards. They have been taking turns shopping there weekly, so they can use the coupon in the paper for 40-50% off on items.

Then we went to Walgreens and picked up the ink cartridge that had to be refilled due to their error (didn't get filled all the way and dried up after 4 pages) so that was free. Then I used some coupons with their sale items. Receipt started out at $25, then I gave her the coupons. That brought it down to $14.48 and I have around $10 of rebates that I will get back off of that. So, for around $4.70 with tax, I got 6 containers of dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel and breakfast bars. I should be set for dish soap for the next 4 months.

I just hope I can use the receipt--its very faint in some spots--bad ink on the register....

Also stopped at the grocery store-didn't need much, going to cook out tomorrow for the game. BUT, shrimp was 3.99 a lb--normally its 7.99, so we got 3 lbs and will have shrimp, salad and baked potato tonight for supper. The guy even through in about 1/4 lb extra shrimp. He remembered us from before- (New Years Eve they were so busy the had stock boys helping in the deli area, and a stock boy threw in a pound of ice with our shrimp and crab and weighed it-including it in the total. So, when we got home, we had a pound less than we paid for). They had already made good on it, but the manager just wanted to keep us happy! And he did, as we keep going back.

NS Day

February 2nd, 2008 at 01:41 am

Today was a NS day (pretty much-spent 50 cents on a soda, but I found the 50 cents in the parking lot on the way into the building)...OK, it was a break even day-does that count?? That should be about 4 NS days this week, and one day where I only bought fuel.

3 of the items I had listed on freecycle got picked up today. More room in the basement!!! So far, no one wants the free working TV, so if no one wants it for free, I thought maybe I could sell it-so its on Craigslist now for $5. We just want it out.

I lost 2 of the watchers I had on ebay, but I gained one more on another item. Maybe I will get some action over the weekend.