When I received my food dehydrator, it did not sit idle for more than 10 min. for the first two weeks. I ran that thing non stop, morning and night, dehydrating everything I could get my hands on. I wanted to get a baseline of times and temperatures of as many fruits and vegetables as I could, charting the results as I went along. My end results may be different than yours as western Washington has quite a bit of humidity which definitely makes a difference. These next 3 posts are what worked and what didn’t. Broccoli      I bought the 2 lb. bag of broccoliRead More →

Before I get into the coffee snob part, I need to preempt with a short back story. When I first received my Ivation food dehydrator, it was spring so strawberries were the first fruit I dehydrated from a local road side stand. I couldn’t believe how red the inside of the berries were compared to the the ones I bought from the grocery store that were white inside and near tasteless. My Philosophy was your end product would only be as good as the quality ingredients you start out with. This philosophy transcended all food and drink including Coffee. I was doing a lot ofRead More →

I am not new to food dehydrators, just a little behind the times. In the mid 70’s, dehydrators were the new hot (more on hot a little latter) kitchen appliance every self respecting Mother Earth News reader wanted in their home. I don’t remember the brand I bought, but do recall it was round and had multiple stacking trays that revolved around…..are you ready?…..a light bulb, which was the heat source. Most things I attempted to dehydrate were less than impressive. My banana chips always failed by comparison to the crisp snappy ones I bought in the store. The one thing I did excel atRead More →

In Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out, a very grim scenario will unfold if our electrical grid goes down.According to a congressional commission tasked in 2008 to identify the impact of an EMP attack, (available on line), it is estimated that only one in ten of us would survive a year into a nation wide blackout. The rest would perish from starvation, disease and social breakdown. How could this happen? Terrorists groups for one. Another is from rouge nations like North Korea.Their missiles don’t even have to reach our shores from theirs. A Scud missile launched from a freighter near our shores would do the evilRead More →

It’s rarely just “one thing” that contributes to a problem. In Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out he hits on multiple reasons for our power grid to be vulnerable for failures. The following are just a few. Regulation Gridlock  Energy is produced by one company, transported by another and and then handed off to local power companies. Prior to 2003, the electrical power industry standards were voluntary. When it was deemed regulations was needed, the Critical Infrastructure Act never made it out of committee. For what ever reason, the 2 Billion needed to protect the electrical grid was too much money. Energy transported across the countryRead More →

Talking about losing our electrical grid can get you some pretty cynical stares. Folks seem to think you have watched too many Mad Max movies. In reality, we have already experienced some significant stressors on our electrical grid. I learned about 2 of them in Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out. In August, 2003, a sagging high voltage power line in Ohio, brushed against some overgrown trees. This was suppose to trip an alarm, but didn’t. Three other lines failed the same way. As the surrounding grid took on more current from the failed lines, the overburdened lines fell like dominoes. Within 90 minutes, the largestRead More →

A church friend of mine loaned me a copy of the book Lights Out by Ted Koppel. It was the spark that got me thinking about emergency preparedness. Koppel was not some obscure author I never heard of. He has won numerous awards in a slue of journalistic categories so he comes with a great deal of credibility. His book is about the threat our country faces from a potential EMP (electro magnetic pulse) attack and how prepared we are (or not) for such an event and the impact it would have on us. He “names, names” of department heads, both former and current inRead More →

We have an outbuilding that is divided into 2 sides; one smaller side for wood and the other larger side for miscellaneous tools. Even though the fire wood side is packed floor to ceiling, it has worked well for the past 12 years. This is just the kindling……2 rows deep Nevertheless, son Giver Man decided our wood needed to breathe better so our wood could dry out more effectively. We gave him carte blanche to make it happen. Siding before the demolition…yeah it’s pink! First to go, was the rickety siding. Too ugly and deteriorated to reuse, he bought 1” X 5 1/2’ boards, andRead More →

After being somewhat of a workaholic my whole life, I quit my last “outside the home” job in 2014. It was the beginning of summer and after a 12 year hiatus from gardening, I could not wait to get my fingers in the soil again. I was jealous of my friends who had shared their ginormous zucchini squash and luscious homegrown tomatoes that actually smelled and tasted like the tomatoes I remembered from my childhood. I had heard about Lasagna gardening from a friend so decided to give it a try. If I had to sum it up, it’s like layering a bunch of soilRead More →

Since my kids are intricately woven in my life, I talk about them a lot. Like any self respecting mother, I could go on for days about each of them, but I will make these intros brief here. Since this is my blog, not theirs, I have chosen to identify them (and refer to them in my blog) by what I see as their key attribute. From oldest to youngest….. Family Rock, oldest son, lives in another state with his compassionate teacher-wife and their twin daughters. The back story is, this is the son I gave up as a young woman and reconnected with 34Read More →