Just In Case …

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Happy Saturday!

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DIY – Nine Cleaners from Everyday Household Stuff

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Every home owner has been blinded by the shiny TV and magazine ads of various cleaning detergents and chemicals that promise quick and fantastic results. And still, we often forget that nature has always been the best alternative for home cleaning and maintenance that can be perfectly done without using any toxic ingredients and threatening the health of your family members.

You can now forget about the detergents piled in the drawer under your kitchen or bathroom sink that not only take a lot of space, but are also harmful to your skin, too expensive and sadly, their price does not always match their actual quality. In fact, your kitchen hides some treasures you have not even suspected, which will help you clean your home quickly and easily without putting your family and pet’s health in danger.

Ketchup

Did you know that tomato ketchup is an excellent alternative to all expensive detergents when it comes to cleaning your copper and brass cutlery. Put some ketchup of a soft sponge or a piece of cloth and scrub the dark spots on them. Then, wash them thoroughly and use a soft towel to dry them out.

Bread

You can use the soft part of a slice of bread for cleaning the dust from various paintings and picture frames.

Oat flakes

You can use a handful of oat flakes to scrub your hands after you have worked in the garden or have been occupies with domestic cleaning tasks. Soak the oat flakes in hot water and make them in a thick paste you can use on your hands. Then, rinse it out with water.

Rice

You can use rice in order to prevent damp from penetrating your kitchen drawers. Sprinkle some rice in the drawer’s corner and it will absorb the damp perfectly, preventing it from spreading. Rice can also be used when it comes to cleaning some dirty glass bottles that are too tiny to reach their bottom with a sponge. Mix some rice with a glass of water and white vinegar, fill the dirty bottle with it and shake well. Then simply empty it and rinse well.

Black tea

Black tea is perfect when it comes to cleaning dirty or rusty gardening tools. The same applies to kitchen tools and cutlery. Just boil some tea, leave it until it cools down and pour it in a large bucket where you can soak the dirty and rusty tools for a few hours.

Glycerine

Glycerine can be bought in every drug store and pharmacy. It is a “thick” fluid which is absolutely harmless to your skin and can be used for cleaning hardened drops of paraffin or wax. First, you need to make sure that the paraffin or wax drop is hardened. Remove the wax with a sharp knife and then treat the stain with a cotton pad impregnated with glycerine. Scrub it well until the stain is thoroughly cleaned.

Fizzy water

Fizzy water can be used for cleaning the darkened stainless steel surfaces. Simply impregnate a soft sponge or cotton cloth with fizzy water and scrub the surfaces or make them sparkling-clean.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is an excellent solution that can help you clean various stains on your carpets. When you spill something on the carpet, mill hill carpet cleaning advises you to put some cornstarch on the surface and leave it absorb the fluid for 15 to 30 minutes. Then, carefully vacuum clean the space in order to remove the cornstarch without spreading it around the whole place.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice is a powerful cleaner when it comes to various dirt accumulations in your home. It will dissolve grease and will also deodorise surfaces for a long time, leaving them perfectly clean for you to enjoy.

This great article contributed by Evie  🙂

Who knew of all these wonderful cleaning solutions!?  Love it!  I think the crowd over at Fiesta Friday would appreciate some good tips on everyday household cleaners, I know I do!

What is Fiesta Friday you ask?  Click the link and join the fun! 🙂

Until next time …

Thanks for reading!

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Favorite Scary Tales Of Brazoria County

In honor of Halloween, here is a post for all you fright seekers, ghost and goblins, witches and warlocks.  Warning!  If you scare easily take heed. 😨

Growing up in the south, in Texas, there were always plenty of spooky stories surrounding the swamp land of Brazoria County.  Tales of days gone by, and the people who lived and died here, some not so good.  As a kid, I remember hearing these ghostly stories, always popular at slumber parties and around campfires.  Huddled together in our sleeping bags, on a chill autumn night, roasting marshmallows on the open flame, our eyes wide with terror as we watched the fire dance and listened ever so closely and quietly …BOO!

Here are a few of my favorite scary legends, true or not …Maybe you will decide for yourself.

The Chupacabra 

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One Saturday night, in the 8th grade, I had a group of my friends spend the night.  Around dusk, we were out side playing and something dark swooped down out of the sky.  It came just close enough to give us a scare and send us all running to the house.  Later, as we were discussing what we saw, some of us said it looked like a large bat, one girl however, said it was “the chupacabra” sometimes called “goat sucker.” The chupa what???  Everyone wanted to know.  She then explained to us that it was a well-known legend in Latin American countries.  A wolf/devil/bat looking creature with spikes, claws, and scaly skin would fly down out of the sky at night and eat small animals and maybe even people.  Ranchers would tell stories of this creature and how it ate their livestock.  I never saw the chupacabra again, but I never forgot the story or that night.

The Ghost Of Bailey’s Prairie, Or Bailey’s Light

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As the legend goes, the ghost of old man Bailey is seen at night, carrying a lantern and roaming his land, know as Bailey’s Prairie in Brazoria County, Texas – forever searching for a jug of whiskey that was supposed to be buried with him.  Apparently, legend states, the jug was stolen by slaves who were digging his grave and he searches for it to this day.  This is a popular story amongst the locals here, numerous folks have gone searching for the light and some who tell it, testify that they have indeed seen the lantern of  Mr. Bailey.  The mysterious light is known to even chase unwanted visitors clear of the land.  I’m thinking maybe he doesn’t want to share his whiskey! 😉

Haunted Abner Jackson Plantation

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Abner Jackson was a sugar plantation owner in Lake Jackson, Texas.  His business was prosperous for a while until the Civil War eventually took its toll and Abner went deep into debt, became ill and died. Upon his death, Abner’s oldest son, John, took over the family business. He tried to hold the family business together and achieved a small fraction of success. However, his brother George, who was said to be a drinker and a gambler, did not have his brother’s eye for the business.  When he tried to claim his rightful part, his brother John denied him, and further humiliated him publicly.  George retaliated by shooting John six times and then took a machete and cut off his head.  The story goes that George tossed his brother’s head into the lake and that John was buried without it, the head never to be found.   As if this were not enough, George was never prosecuted and took over control of the plantation.  Old George did not stay long enough to give much credit to this, running off after only a few nights, screaming in terror of something macabre trying to kill him in his sleep.  John is said to still be walking the grounds of the old plantation and surrounding land, forever haunting, and forever searching for his lost head.

I hope you enjoyed tales of a haunting nature …until next time …

Happy Halloween!  🎃

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Arlene

Raising Your Child To Be A Well Rounded Adult

The greatest gift of all is our children, they are our future.  These small humans learn and grow through influences and teachings, nurturing and support of adults.  Our responsibility as parents is to ensure they receive the proper support system to build the confidence needed to follow their passions and dreams and become a productive, successful, functioning part of society.

But how do we prepare our children and raise them to become all they should?  Early Child Development classes teach that a crucial time in a child’s development is the first five years.   Your child’s brain, in the first five years of life, absorbs higher and develops quicker,  than any other time, meaning that learning, health and behavior are crucial at this time.

Later, as they begin school, other factors play a role in their development.  A child’s environment, at school, home and in his community, can have a large influence on how they learn and grow.  Conditions such as social skills, language and culture all come together.  Children, at home and in school, need structure and rules, they need to have a set of behavioral boundaries and feel secure in their environment.  How you help your child deal with these experiences is important to their wellbeing.

As parents, we have numerous roles; mother, father, friend and teacher, it can be difficult to carry out these roles, especially with both parents working.  However, your relationship with your child is extremely important.  How you interact with your child has an enormous impact on their social growth, how they will act in relationship with others.  Spending quality time with your children is an important part of their development.  Studies suggest that children who get more attention and love at home are less likely to act out at school and in social situations.

The road to parenthood is not always an easy one, it is ever-changing and as your child grows, so do his needs.  Parenting mistakes are inevitable, but learning and growing along with your child is part of the process.  With patience, love and understanding you are on the path to raising a well rounded adult.

Thanks for reading!

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Arlene

 

Random Things I’ve Learned From My Teenager

Definition of teenage

  • : between 13 and 19 years old

  • : relating to people who are between 13 and 19 years old

  • :  of, being, or relating to people in their teens

Source: Merriam-Websters Learner’s Dictionary

As this definition is true, it says nothing of the teenager themselves.  It certainly does not prepare you for the teenager or explain their actions, their moods, their texting codes; m@*$,  translation …meet me at Starbucks.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.

 

Teenagers are a whole different type of human, they are almost alien in some ways.  That child you raised from birth now becomes someone different.  An adolescent in the process of developing from child to adult.  It can be a difficult time for teens and parents alike.  It takes patience and love and a little humor to bring us through the teenage years.   Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.  🙂

1.  No Public Nonsense – It is NOT acceptable to wave and call your teenager’s name in a public place, such as WalMart, drawing attention to them.  This causes a reaction of embarrassment and shock, a look of pure disbelief and horror on their part and don’t be surprised if you are ignored.  This, in turn, defeating the purpose of why you waved and called out to them in the first place.
2.  Their Knowledge Exceeds YoursToast without butter or jelly or any delicious spread is simply plain toast, not dry toast. This from my son who seems to have become an expert in culinary arts. Hmm …dry toast, plain toast, naked toast, still the same piece of toast. I am the one eating it, and I shall call it what I want.
3.  The No Hug Zone You have now entered what I sometimes refer to as “The No Hug Zone” There will officially be no more hugs outside of the house, what so ever! Hugs are only permitted, on occasion, inside the household, as teen sees fit. I knew the day was coming, but are we ever ready?
4.  Beware Of The iCloud! – In case you didn’t know, the iCloud stores photos, videos,  music, apps, etc. – for all your devices. This can also mean your families devices as well. This is NOT always a good thing. So just be sure you have your settings adjusted or you just might end up sending and saving something you didn’t intend, to other family member’s phone or Apple device. Oops!
5.  The No Adult Zone – Teenagers do not want to talk to adults and will avoid this at all cost! I once saw my son walk all the way around the other side of the food court, at the mall, to avoid running the risk of talking to one of his teachers. This also applies to a friend’s parents, the pastor, neighbors  or any person who is old, which is basically anyone over 35.
6.  Healthy Is Not Good. It doesn’t matter if Michelle Obama says so or not, healthy is not good. My son will skip lunch rather than eat healthy. Heaven forbid anything healthy would actually taste good! They may eat healthy food, at your request, but if you are not around than back to junk food. His diet would consist of pizza, candy bars and packages of peanut butter crackers.  
7.  Not Wearing Clothes Is A Thing – Okay, only around the house …but still! Getting dressed on the weekend consists of a pair of boxer shorts. He walks by me to get a drink out of the fridge and I feel like I’m in an episode of “The Middle”. I tell him to put on some clothes and he says his friends do it too. Teenagers!
8.  It Is Not Cool To High Five Anymore – This one I have no problem with, as I was never a big fan, but still I know adults who use the high-five at any given moment for various accomplishments, celebrations or other at-a-boy occasions that come around. Mom alert! Your teen will let you know that this is no longer cool.
9.  Life Will End If They Have To Do Chores – When my children were younger they loved to help me around the house. They wanted to sweep, or mow or water the plants for me. Now, when I ask my teenager to do any of these things, I am confronted with a groan or moan and a million reasons why this is not a good idea for him.  Gone are those days of Mother’s little helper!
10.  If You Want To Get Their Attention…Bring Up Christmas – Nothing gets the attention of my teenager quicker than to talk about Christmas gifts. Of course, I may have no intention of Christmas shopping at that time, they don’t have to know this now. I know, It’s bad…but clever. Just roll into what would you want for Christmas, followed by well that may not happen if you don’t mow the lawn. Next thing you know your lawn mower is purring away guided by a reluctant teen who really wants an iPhone. 😉
With a recipe of patience, love, laughter and wine …we will get though these years just fine. 

 

My son (in the middle) and his friends being silly, being teenagers.

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Thanks for reading!

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Arlene

Accepting And Living With Alzheimer’s- Peach Cobbler Snack Cake

As I set across the table today from my beautiful 92-year-old Mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, I realized that it didn’t really matter if she knew me or she didn’t.  She was happy, with me, talking to me, being with me …in the moment and the need for her to know who I was …seemed no longer important.  The fact that my mother didn’t remember the past, as to who I was, or what her life had been didn’t matter.  What mattered was the present, the moment.  And in that moment, as we set there at the table, she was happy.  Laughing and smiling …giggling actually, her bright brown eyes twinkling.

As I left I looked back and heard her say, “What a sweet lady, I’m so glad I got to meet her.”  My heart is so full.  ❤

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In younger years my Mom and I would bake together.  Here is one of our favorite southern dessert recipes that as a girl I loved to make, and still do.

Mother & Daughter Peach Cobbler Snack Cake

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This post is part of Fiesta Friday.  Come on over and link up, join the fun!!

Happy Baking!

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Mother & Daughter Peach Cobbler Snack Cake

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup granulated sugar plus 3 teaspoons, divided
  2. 2 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  3. 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  9. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Spray an 8-x-8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine 3 teaspoons sugar, cinnamon and corn starch. Toss peaches in the mixture and coat evenly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together milk and butter. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.

Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Press sliced peaches into the cake batter and place some on top. Put in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Homemade Whipped Cream

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  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle

Pour the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl, and whisk using a large balloon whisk. Whisk for approximately 3–5 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage. You will notice the cream form large bubbles on top, the bubbles will disappear and the cream will start to form ridges.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

 

Being A Mom

Today is Mother’s Day, my day, for I am a Mom. I have the most amazing, rewarding and hardest job on the planet.  Being a Mom means so much to me.  From the very first moment that I saw that little face, to the first step, to graduation day and everything in between, my life has never been the same.  One big roller coaster ride of sorts, full of fun, with ups and downs, tears and laughter and the knowledge that I would never want it any other way.

Mother's Day

I wear many hats as a Mom.  The Chief Executive Officer of my household.  I am also a personal chef, a mediator, an administrative assistant, a housekeeper, a banker and finance manager, a taxi driver, a judge, a teacher and a friend.  Each one of these hats is an honor and pleasure to wear and I do so proudly.

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Being a Mom means giving up things and making sacrifices, it means always putting your children first.  Being a Mom takes maturity.  You have to be mature enough to be able to do that, to put yourself aside and do what is best for your children.  It is a selfless position that requires patience and time and more patience.

To be a Mom means I am always at work and will never retire.  I gladly accept this as it also means a life full of priceless rewards; benefits and pay in the form of love and happiness, pride and joy. Being a Mom means I have the best job ever.

Here’s to being a Mom!  🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s out there, Dad’s who play the role as Mom, all you step Mom’s and Guardian’s …take a bow!  Today is for you!

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