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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


   Just wanted to say "Happy Thanksgiving" to each of you and tell you how much I appreciate you following my blog.  Be blessed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Power Inverter

1300 watt power inverter


 
    This 1300 watt power inverter is a good addition to our homestead.  We use it to charge batteries for flashlights.  This inverter also has a USB port to charge phones.  It's big enough to handle a small refrigerator.  
 
      In case you are not sure what an inverter is, a power inverter changes DC to AC power.  DC power is the power that runs like a car battery and AC power is what is in your home.  Hooked up to a solar panel, the panel charges up your power bank and the inverter lets you use that power. 
 
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heirloom, Hybrid, and GMO seeds: Know the Difference

    I am pleased to have a guest poster today.  Please welcome Mary!

Hey there! I am so excited to share with you today about SEEDS!  My name is Mary and together with my husband we own and operate Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  We offer over 170 varieties of heirloom, non-GMO, open-pollinated, untreated seeds as well as organic gardening supplies.  I also blog over at Back to the Basics.
http://marysheirloomseeds.com/heirloom-cabbage.html

Today I'm sharing about 3 different types of seeds: Heirloom, Hybrid and GMO.

What is an Heirloom Seed?
An  heirloom seed variety has been saved and passed down from generation to generation. These seeds have been carefully cultivated and are considered a great value to the recipient. Some say an heirloom variety is 50 years old or more.  Some heirloom varieties have been passed down for over 100 years and others for over 400 years.

Heirloom Seeds can be very unique like the Lemon Cucumber or Romanesco de Italia Broccoli and others are just like the produce you buy in the store (only tastier) like the Roma Tomato
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, difference between Heirloom hybrid or GMO seeds, what is a hybrid seed, Back to the basics
Romanesco Broccoli
Heirloom seeds are also Open-Pollinated.  One of the many benefits of planting Heirloom Seeds is seed saving!  Heirloom seeds have also been called "heritage seeds."  Seed saving is how farmers and horiculturist have preserved the integrity of these seed varieties for hundred of years.

What is a Hybrid Seeds?
A Hybrid seed is seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening.

The benefits of hybrids can be a stronger or more disease-resistant plant.  The draw back is that the seeds saved from the fruit or veggie may be sterile for future planting.

What is a GMO Seed?
A GMO, or "genetically modified organisms," are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

You may have heard the term GMO and that many groups around the world are fighting to have foods containing GMOs be labelled.

My biggest concern about GMOs is that they were designed to withstand and thrive heavy doses of cancer-causing pesticides. In my opinion, there should have been more independent research on the potential affects before they are used rather than after.

Mary's Heirloom Seeds, difference between Heirloom hybrid or GMO seeds, what is a hybrid seed, Back to the basics

I have been growing my own vegetables and herbs from heirloom, organic seeds and besides the money they save me the flavor is WAY better than the vegetables available at the supermarket.  It also makes me feel less dependent on the supply and I know what goes on my veggies.

Like us on facebook or follow on twitter.  We are always sharing organic growing info!

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  We just opened up our first seed store and we're thrilled to offer new educational programs for our community.

 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014

   Time really flies by fast and Christmas is just 7 weeks away from today.  So, for the next 7 weeks, each Thursday, up until Christmas time, I am going to be posting the Top Gifts for 2014.  This week we will be highlighting the Top Toddler Girl Gifts of 2014.

  Top Gifts for Toddlers for 2014

Disney "Frozen" toys
   The biggest movie for kids last year by far, was "Frozen" and kids are still in love with the movie and anything related to it.  Here are the top recommended "Frozen" gifts for every budget.


Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls


2.  "Spot it--Frozen Alphabet".  $11.85.  Elsa & Anna help to teach kids how to match letters.  Great educational toy that teaches kids about the alphabet in a fun way.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls




3.  Disney "Olaf"  pillow.  $15.19.  Who wouldn't want to snuggle with Olaf? 

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls





4.  Disney Frozen Dress Up Trunk.  $24.99.  This trunk comes with 20 pieces including 2 dresses, 2 headbands, 2 necklaces, rings, & bracelets.  36 months-6 years.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys



5.  My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll.  $49.95.  Just touch Elsa's snowflake necklace to hear Elsa talk and watch the magic as her dress lights up and twinkles.  Raise her arm and she sings "Let it Go".  Dress lights up, she sings the hit song "Let it Go" and says 15 different phrases.
Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys

Misc. Toddler Girl Toys

6.  Woofer Guitar.  $20.99.  Comes with 3 play modes:  acoustic, electric, or puppy mode. 8 musical buttons and plays 20 sing-a-long favorites.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys

7.  Pink Bilibo.  $26.95.  This toy is amazing and pretty much every child loves them.  It is a rocking chair, a spinning top, a cradle, and a tunnel all in one toy. Award winning.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys



8.  Hansel & Gretel Toy House and Book.  $30.00  Let your young child "unplug" and play as you read the book "Hansel & Gretel" to them.  It comes with the storybook, toy house, 5 dolls, furniture, and carrying case.  You put it together like you would a 3D puzzle.  Hours of fun.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys

9.  FurReal Friends Baby Panda.  $37.49.  An exciting, fun, and engaging toy.  Pet her, talk to her, shake her rattle, or give her the bottle.  She will respond by walking, crawling, talking and by making feeding sounds.

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys

10.  Big Hugs Elmo.  $49.99.  Everyone's favorite Sesame Street character is back again this year but this year he is "Big Hugs Elmo". Elmo likes getting hugs but this year, he can also give you a hug back!  Press Elmo's left foot and Elmo invites your child to engage in one of four different activities.  50 plus animated sounds and phrases and 3 songs. 

Top 10 Toddler Girl Toys of 2014, best toy recommendations for Christmas, Christmas toys for little girls, Disney Frozen toys
    Next Thursday, I will share the Top 10 Toddler Boy Toys of 2014.  Be sure to stop back by then!

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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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dehydrating Yellow Squash

Dehydrating yellow squash, summer squash, dehydrating vegetables,

      Hello.  My name is Melody.  I like to dehydrate.  (Imitating an admission at a support group.)  It's true.  It's almost a compulsion.  If it can be dehydrated, you better believe that I will try to dehydrate.  I'm up to the challenge.  If you have been reading my posts you know that I even dehydrate watermelon, eggs, & milk.  If it is a fruit, a vegetable, an herb, or any kind of liquid (sauce, etc.) I WILL dehydrate it.
        I love to dehydrate; in fact, I prefer dehydrating over canning.  I used to can about everything but it took a lot of time, effort and energy and the jars take up a lot of space.  I have learned that dehydrating preserves the food just as well and takes up a lot less space.  For instance, to can 10 pounds of potatoes would take up a bunch of quart jars (you can only get 2-3 potatoes per jar).  But I can dehydrate 10 pounds of potatoes and they fit into 3 jars is all.

   To dehydrate yellow squash, just wash the squash and cut off the ends.  Once the ends are cut off, use a mandolin (on the thickest setting) and slice the squash into rounds.

Dehydrating yellow squash, summer squash, dehydrating vegetables,




     You do not need to boil the squash.  It will retain its color just fine.  Also, some blogs recommend that you put some oil on the squash but this makes the squash taste awful and turn rancid.  Once it is sliced, just place the pieces on your dehydrator trays.

Dehydrating yellow squash, summer squash, dehydrating vegetables,
  Turn on the dehydrator and let the squash dehydrate about 10 hours.  I just turn my dehydrator on right before I go to bed and the squash are ready the next morning.  Once dehydrated just store the squash chips in a mason jar.
    To use, you can eat these as a snack as they are or use them in stews, soups, casseroles, etc.  To reconstitute, just place in very hot water for about 10 minutes or add to your favorite recipe and cook the dish as you normally would. Or fry it up and have fried squash.  Just soak in hot water for a few minutes and fry as you would fresh squash.

dehydrating vegetables, Dehydrating yellow squash, summer squash

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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Other blogs I have shared this post on include:
Blog Oklahoma
Blog Oklahoma
easy recipes