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Friday, February 13, 2015

3-in-1 Cree LED Flashlight with Magnetized Base

    We really like reviewing the 3-in-1 Cree LED flashlight.  We do a lot of camping and general work on our homestead and this flashlight really has come in handy.  It would be a great addition to a bug-out-bag also.
 
 



   This flashlight is well built and is military grade.  It is durable and looks great too.  For only needing just 3 AAA batteries, the amount of light this flashlight puts out is utterly amazing.  There are 18 white LEDs and 11 red LEDs and a multiple ways to use the light.
      The lighting options are Cree, white, and flashing red LED.  Light comes out the side or the front and the bulbs are listed to last for more than 100,000 hours.  And no that is not a typo...100,000 hours. 


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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Swisher Sweets

   We recently got a chance to review a box of Swisher Sweets cigars.  We had heard of Swisher Sweets before but had never purchased any cigars in the mail before.  The box arrived very quickly and we were pleased with the freshness of the cigars.  The last cigar tasted as good and as fresh as the first cigar in the box. 



   Swisher Sweets are small cigars made in Florida and have been around for a LONG time.  The cigars are not harsh tasting and come in a wide variety of flavors.  They are one of the best selling machine made cigars around.  My husband's favorite is the white grape flavored and the peach flavored.



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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Santamedical Wrist Digital Blood Pressure


Santamedical wrist digital blood pressure monitor




    The Santamedical wrist digital blood pressure monitor is really nice.  I suffer from several medical conditions myself (MS, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes).  My youngest son has heart problems and my hubby is a diabetic too.  Having one of these monitors in our household is pretty much a necessity.  Having it on hand gives us peace of mind.
     This monitor comes in a nice hard case that is small and compact enough to carry in your purse or bag.  The monitor is easy to use and seems to read very accurately.  Some features of this monitor include:  it can store up to 60 different blood pressure readings; it measures your pulse and blood pressure at the same time; it is 100% satisfaction guaranteed; and it self inflates to the right pressure and turns off automatically.  The best part is the price.  Right now, it is less than $21.  What a bargain!

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Dehydrating Broccoli

Dehydrating Broccoli
 
      I love to dehydrate.  It is my favorite way to preserve.   Any fruit or vegetable that exists, I can and will dehydrate it.  Broccoli is easily grown in the garden and we always get a huge harvest from it and can't eat it all before it goes bad so we dehydrate it to be eaten throughout the winter.  By dehydrating it, we can have broccoli whenever we want without running to the store.  
 
    When it comes to dehydrating broccoli, you begin by washing your broccoli thoroughly.  Then cut the florets from the stems.   If the florets are really big, I cut them in half.  Then in a small pot, boil some water and once it is boiling, drop some of your broccoli in and let it bowl one minute.  Remove and add more until it is all blanched.  After blanching, the broccoli is so much brighter and prettier than before.  Now, spread out the broccoli onto your dehydrator trays.
 
Dehydrating broccoli, how to use dehydrated vegetables, dried broccoli, preserving broccoli

 


   Turn on the dehydrator and let it dry for about 8 hours.  The broccoli is done when it is brittle.  To use, just place the dehydrated broccoli in a bowl of really hot water for about 15 minutes.  It can be used just as you would fresh broccoli.  If the broccoli doesn't look "fresh" enough, just soak it in ice water for about 5 minutes and then use.  The cold water improves the look and texture.
       Serve it as a side dish topped with cheese; in soups; or casseroles.  The stems I dehydrated also.  We are not huge fans of the stems so once they are dehydrated I throw them in my Magic Bullet and grind them into powder.  I add some to my green powder and I save some as broccoli powder to be used in dips and as a soup filler.  
 

Dehydrating broccoli, how to use dehydrated vegetables, dried broccoli, preserving broccoli
 

    Store the dehydrated broccoli in mason jars.  It will keep up to a few years but we always use up all of ours over the winter...just in time for the next harvest.  :-)

Many of the links you see above lead to my "Amazon" store Countrified Hicks.  Ordering items from my store does not cost you a penny extra but I do receive a very small percentage as a bonus from Amazon for being an affiliate.  We appreciate your support.  It helps out our family more than you may know. 
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Epica Bellows


    These bellows. are awesome.  My teenage son loves to work with his hands and build things. A few years back, he built his own forge in our backyard and starting making knives out of lawn mower blades and all sorts of steel he found on the property.  He has asked for bellows ever since and never had got him any.  These bellows are not only beautiful but efficient.  I really was shocked on how well made these were and how well they worked.  They are currently less than $20 but I would see paying over $50 for these easily.
Epica bellows
    These bellows really help with his forge but would work great on barbecues or fireplaces.  It is made from sturdy wood and all the hardware is metal without any plastic parts so you know it is durable.  The bellows measure 19"x 7.3" so works great for small to medium sized fires.  Perfect for most individual uses. 

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Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Use an Electric Dog Fence to Protect Your Chickens



How to Use an Electric Dog Fence to Protect Your Chickens

When you own more than one type of animal, the trick is getting them to coexist peacefully. Chickens are excellent animals to raise, and they can contribute so much to your homestead. If you also have dogs, however, it’s important that your dogs are taught not to treat your chickens like playthings or prey.

Some dogs’ hunting instincts will cause them to hunt your chickens, and other dogs might chase your chickens for fun, which can lead to accidental harm or death. If your chickens are bothered by your dogs, their egg laying patterns will be disrupted. In order to protect your flock of chickens from your dogs, you have many different options. An electric dog fence is one way to separate your animals, and there are various uses for it, as well as a few things to consider before taking that route.

Divide Your Yard
If you have one large area that all of your animals use, an electronic dog fence can be used to divide your yard and keep your animals separate. If you already have a traditional fence around your yard, it’s easy to install one boundary wire in between sides to separate your chickens from your dogs. For example, you can cut your yard in half (or in whatever percentages you choose) with one underground wire. Your dogs can be kept on the side closer to your home, while your chickens can occupy the further section (since they don’t need to come inside).

With an electronic dog fence, you have lots of options for dividing your property. If you don’t have a traditional fence already installed, you can use an electric dog fence to create a “dog zone” that’s any size or shape. Creating custom zones with an invisible fence is easy to do yourself. A wire gives a lot more flexibility for custom boundaries than a rigid, traditional fence.

Enclose Your Coop
You can also take another approach to separating your dogs and chickens: creating a perimeter around your chicken coop. An electric fence can be placed around your chickens’ coop and run so that your dogs are kept out. This allows your dogs to have free use of all the space in your yard except for the chicken coop area. An underground dog fence will warn your dogs with a beep first, and then a mild shock, when they’re getting too close to your chickens.

Another option is to use a wireless dog fence to enclose your coop and run. Wireless systems are even easier to install because they don’t involve digging and burying a wire. They’re great for chicken coops, too, because they often use circular perimeters, which fit nicely with the size and shape of most coops.

Add Extra Protection
It’s important to remember than an electric fence alone isn’t enough to separate your dogs and chickens. While an e-collar will keep your dog in its own zone, it will not stop your chickens from crossing over the boundaries. Because of this, an invisible fence is best used as an extra layer of protection in addition to other safety measures. A tall fence may be required to keep your chickens inside their own safe zone. An electric fence along a traditional fence will stop your dogs from digging under, jumping over, or going through the other fencing.

An electric dog fence also will not stop outside animals from entering your chicken coop. Foxes, bobcats, raccoons, and foreign dogs can still cross over underground dog wire. Other tactics like raising your coop, installing motion lights, and using bird netting may be necessary.

Choosing a Fence
There are many different types of electric dog fences that can be used to separate dogs and chickens. If you have electricity for warmth or light in your chicken coop, an electric dog fence can use the same power source. If you do not have a nearby power source, you can purchase a solar panel for as low as $100 in order to power your electric fence.

The PetSafe YardMax is a versatile fence that’s great for separating dogs and chickens. The PetSafe Wireless is another option that works well for chicken coops. For hunting dogs or stubborn dogs, the SportDog-SD-105 is an e-collar with eight levels of correction that can be adjusted to what works best for your individual dogs. Before you choose an electric dog fence for your yard, you can read various online reviews to determine what option works best for your pets and property.

Installing a Fence
Just about anyone can install a DIY electric fence overthe course of a weekend. The total cost of a self-installed wired fence can be as little as $300. If you hire a company to install your electric fence, you’ll spend more than $1200, and most traditional fences cost more than $2000. If you’re on a tight budget, a DIY electric dog fence allows you to still afford quality, reliable fencing to keep your chickens safe from your dogs. The process is easy for even a beginner to do, and installing your own fence will give you intimate knowledge of how the system works. Although electric fences don’t typically break, you would also be able to do your own repairs.

After you’ve installed your fence, the most important factor is training your dog. You must be consistent with training, and you must follow the training instructions to the letter. It typically takes 15 minutes twice per day over the course of two weeks to train your dog on an electric fence. After they learn the boundaries and lose interest in your chickens, they won’t feel the corrective shock of the e-collar again.

If you need to protect your chickens from your dogs, a DIY electric fence is an excellent option to consider. It can help you keep your chickens safe and create harmony between all the animals on your property.

Published in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com. We encourage you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!

   This is Countrified Hicks here.  I only share content that I believe in and I do believe in this company.  Be sure to check them out more and leave a comment because you could be the lucky winner of the $50 gift card.  Go show them some love. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

300 Lumens LED Ultra Bright Lantern Review

300 Lumens LED Ultra Bright Lantern

 
AYL StarLight, 300 lumen lantern, best lantern for prepping



This is a really nice and bright lantern that is perfect for camping, emergencies or prepping.  It is super bright and long lasting.  Since it is an LED lantern, it can be used continuously for up to 6 days.  Most cannot last even half that long.  The LED lights are GUARANTEED for 100,000 hours of use and NEVER need replacing.  All it takes is 3 D batteries for your family's peace of mind to have a dependable lantern at your fingertips.  Best yet, is that it is on sale for just $35.00.  

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