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Decorating with whitetail deer antlers - why and how

In America, the whitetail deer is ubiquitous in cities and countrysides. It's part of our heritage. Many people like to watch deer, feed them, and decorate with them.

We are no exception. Ever since we became home owners, we have been involved with deer. Mostly because they jump into our garden and eat all of our trees. But...despite their tree chomping ways, they are still gorgeous to look at. They are powerful, silent, and graceful.
There is something wonderful about bringing nature into your home. We decorate with plants and flowers, but started branching out into more natural and rustic items. Birch branches, petrified wood, antler sheds, rocks and stones, and even fossils. 
Something about incorporating nature just makes us feel more c alm. Not as calm as spending time in the forest or walking through garden trails, but calmer.  It's also unique. It's not often you find pieces of nature at the store. You have to hunt for them, or find them from someone else who collected …
Recent posts

How I got rid of the warts on the bottom of my foot!

Once upon a time, my children were in swimming lessons. Many times per week, I would take them to the pool, watch their lessons, wash them off in the communal showers, help them get dressed, then race back home to make dinner. This went on for years until they could wash and dress themselves.
Why the stupid intro? Because I am convinced that walking barefoot around that pool (as was required) and into those wet community showers caused a wart to grow on the bottom of my foot. It was a hard, flat plantar wart.

Sadly, I never photographed that wart. It was humongous. Big, ugly, and painful. I treated it for years with over the counter wart medicines. I tried to freeze it off, burn it off, cut it off.

Nothing.

This went on for years. I kind of just gave up and realized I would have this wart forever. I was greatful it wasn't spreading and new ones weren't popping up. I became leary of public pools/showers - having wet feet.

One of our cats had really dry beans. That's not the…

How can I prevent Alzheimer's Disease

How can I prevent Alzheimer's Disease  Alzheimer's disease destroys lives. My father was taken by the disease at the age of 55. He died from the disease at 62. For a long time, we didn't know what was happening to him. The doctor's said he was fine, but they were wrong We were never fully sure until the autopsy, which confirmed he had Alzheimer's disease. Because of our experience, we are motivated to get to the bottom of Alzheimer's. Why does it happen? How can we prevent it? 
The medical community was of limited help. They knew how to keep our dad from harming himself and how to keep him comfortable when he was dying - but that's it. They could not stop it. They could not make his life better. They could only keep him alive and sedated. 
We started researching. There is a lot of information out there, but none of it is concise. None of it is written for regular people (with the exception of alzforum.org) and a lot of it is biased toward drug discovery.
Ever si…

Cocoa Shell Mulch In the Home Garden

After 20 years of gardening, I've tried it all! Square foot gardening, no till, double dig, organic methods, commercial fertilizers, and back to eden mulching.

Because I garden in raised beds, I have a big problem with moisture retention. Raised beds dry out so much faster than gardening in the ground. Back to Eden recommends mulching deep to provide an environment conducive to earth worms, to retain water, weed suppression, and to provide compost materials as the straw mulch breaks down. There are pros and cons to this. The biggest con - slugs on strawberries!

But it does help with watering - a lot. And for that, it's worth reworking. I think I found a solution that is the best of both worlds.

Cocoa Shell Mulch

Cocoa shell mulch is a lightweight mulch so it doesn't provide a deep bedding environment conducive to slugs. It also heats up in the sun (due to it's dark color) and that is less exciting for slugs, but great for heat loving plants like tomatoes.

It is easy an…

Yes! You can make lasagna without boiling noodles!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention! For the last few years, I had been buying no boil lasagna noodles. They were so much easier - no boiling, no extra pots, no waiting. But then it happened. I don't know why, but my pans never hold the exact number of noodles in a box. And when we had guests over for dinner, I was 4 noodles short of a whole lasagna pan.
So I did what any rational person would do.
I slipped 4 regular lasagna noodles into the dish without boiling them! The result? Nobody could tell the difference. Every noodle was cooked to perfection. Since then, I stopped buying the more expensive "no-boil" noodles and have only bought the regular noodles. I have found a few tips and tricks to make sure it turns out successfully.

How to make lasagna without boiling the noodles and have it turn out perfectly every time
You must add extra liquid. This means, either take your sauce jar and fill it with water - OR, the even better option is to take a can of whole tomatoes (…

Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine 4452 Review

Every once in awhile, it's time to make a change. We decided it was time create a real craft room and to upgrade our old beginner brother sewing machine for a heavy duty singer 4452 sewing machine.

Sewing machines are an investment, and it's best to go with a quality machine that will still be functioning 30 years from now. This is why we chose the Singer 4452.

SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE BENEFITS32 build in stitches including 7 stretch, 6 basic, 18 decorative, and fully automatic 1-step buttonholesAutomatic needle threader! The directions are printed right on the side so you don't have to consult the manual.High speeds. The Singer 4453 can sew up to 1,100 stitches per minute and can handle thicker fabrics than an average machine.Adjustable stitch length and width with an easy dial turn.3 needle positions, for buttons, zippers, cords, and top-stitchingFree arm - so you can easily sew all those hard to reach spotsIt's ready to go within minutes of coming out of the…

Buying vs Renting a House

Trying to decide between buying or leasing a house? We're right there with you! Our son is off to college and renting for the first time, so we have thought long and hard about both options. We have over 40 years experience renting and buying homes, apartments, and land. We'll break down the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision


Buying Vs Renting a House Home ownership is the American dream. But nobody ever tells you the full cost of home ownership - the heartaches, the stress, the maintenance, the lack of liquidity, the real dollar cost. Or maybe they do and they forget the benefits. We aim to break that down so you can make an informed choice.


Major Issues BuyingProsCons
Financial - You take all the risk and will have to put up a large down payment. If property values rise, you get all the gain. If they fall, you lose. Either way, your money is locked into the house until you sell. Property taxes, insurance, rates and maintenance costs increase every year. When y…