4.30.2016

Five Minute History with your Morning Coffee: What was the "New Deal"?


While the Great Depression began with the stock market crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, many factors contributed to the financial crisis, including overproduction, limited foreign markets (due to war debts that prevented trading), and over expansion of credit, as well as stock market speculation.  Soon the country was in the grips of a severe economic downturn that affected most every American.  Some were harder hit than others:  many lost their jobs (16 million people people were unemployed at the depth of the crisis, accounting for about a third of the workforce); families were unable to make their mortgage payments and lost their homes; hunger was widespread, since there was no money to buy food.  The sight of people waiting in breadlines was a common one.

It was amidst this crisis, which was soon felt overseas, that Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as president in 1933.  In his inaugural address, he called for faith in America's future, saying, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  Roosevelt soon rolled out a program of domestic reforms called the New Deal. For the first time in American history, the federal government took a central role in organizing business and agriculture.  Roosevelt initiated aid programs and directed relief in the form of public works programs that would put people back to work.  The new government agencies that were set up included the Public Works Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Security and Exchange Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Tennessee Valley Association, the National Recovery Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps.  These government organizations soon become known by their initials (PWA, FDIC, SEC, NLRB, TVA, NRA, CCC).  Roosevelt's critics charged him with giving federal government too much power and began calling his New Deal "alphabet soup."  The president became widely known as FDR.

Though the New Deal measures alleviated the situation and did put some Americans back to work, the country did not pull out of the Depression until industry was called upon to step up production in order to provide arms, aircraft, vehicles and supplies for the war effort.  It was during the early days of World War II, the economy buoyed by military spending, that the nation finally recovered.  Many New Deal agencies are still part of the federal government today.






Source: 


The Handy History Answer Book, Second Edition (The Handy Answer Book Series)

A concise guide to all things historical, this compendium addresses people, times, and events in a wide-ranging and comprehensive manner, complemented by helpful illustrations and a chronology of major events. Some of the history-making events include the election of George W. Bush, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; spectacular images from probes in outer space, medical advances and debate, and many new scientific discoveries on Earth; a devastating earthquake in Iran and the deadly tsunami in Asia; the downfall of Enron and the comeback of Apple, as well as the dot-com bubble burst. Beginning with a section on historical eras, this popular reference source tracks history and organizes information in 13 specific subject sections, ranging from politics and war to science and religion. It tackles exploration and settlement, technological advances, legal fireworks, financial and business events, social movements, natural and man-made disasters, medicine and disease, and art and culture. This resource is the perfect fingertip, time-traveling guide through the pages of history.


The 2015 release edition;

The Handy American History Answer Book (The Handy Answer Book Series)

4.29.2016

Coffee Talking: Coffee themed curtains for a coffee themed kitchen!

Good Morning!  I'm sipping cup number two of strong, hot, black coffee and while pondering what I might want to chit chat over coffee about this morning, I suddenly thought about coffee themed kitchens and the fact that I don't believe I've ever thought about coffee themed curtains before.

I went looking online for some coffee themed kitchens to start brainstorming ideas and I found everything from cute little coffee nooks to copycat coffee house theme decor.  It's so interesting that you can take something as simple as a 'coffee' theme and have it interpreted and implemented in so many different, wonderful, creative ways!


I'm pretty happy to say that by price shopping Amazon offers, I was able to find many affordable options - and some downright 'cheap' but not in a bad way!  Like, some valances or panels were only about $8 to start.   




Coffee Tier and Swag
  • Complete Window Set
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Measures 57-inch x 36-inch


















Coffee Talk Beige Brown Earthtones 28" Wide X 36" Length Tier Set and 56" Wide X 14" Length
  • Complete Window Set
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Measures 57-inch x 36-inch









 


Achim Home Furnishings 58-Inch by 36-Inch Cuppa Joe Embellished Cottage Topper with 58-Inch by 36-Inch or 24-Inch
  • Includes tier pair and a topper
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Cuppa Joe - Cups of hot coffee, flower cutouts enhanced with gold lurex yarn detailing Solid brown scalloped borders with brown matching tiebacks













Coffee Beans Java Cups Kitchen Window Curtain
  • Two tiers: 60" x 36"; One valance: 60" x 14"
  • 100% Polyester
  • Beige, tan, brown, black
  • Rod pocket







 
Java 56-inch x 12-inch Tailored Valance
  • Measures 56-inch x 12-inch
  • Stripe fabric: 80-Percent Polyester/20-Percent Cotton Solid fabric: 65-Percent Polyester/35-Percent Cotton
  • : Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle; No bleach; Line dry; Warm iron if necessary
  • Measures 56-Inch by 12-Inch
  • Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle; no bleach; line dry; warm iron if necessary








Other accessories to finish the look may include rugs, clocks and wall decor; many items available and affordable through Amazon;


Achim Home Furnishings Braided Rug, 20-Inch by 30-Inch, Coffee
Westclox Coffee Time 3-D Wall Clock



4.28.2016

Pondering over Coffee: The simplest, most basic first steps needed to be prepared for emergencies, power outages, storms and such





Whether it's a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or a man made disaster, there isn't an area to live where you shouldn't prepare to provide for yourself or your family in the case of a disaster.  

All food, water, medications and other items you might need in the event of an emergency of any type as it may take the federal government or other personnel up to 3 days to get help to you.   



"FEMA suggests every family
 or individual has emergency stores 
to last 72 hours."



__________________________________________


I've got three cups of strong, hot, black coffee in me... but it's still too early in the morning for the rest of the world to be functioning and no businesses open, etc. so I thought I'd come and just start chatting over a morning post.  What is on my mind this morning is wicked weather, storms, power outages and flooding.

All have a higher than likely chance of visiting us this week and next.  It comes with the time of year... no big deal.  At least to us.  Because we live on high ground (flooding of the house not a particular problem) and I grew up with a Grandma and father who have a healthy dose of good common sense that I'm blessed to have genetically inherited.

We keep a stocked pantry and plan for emergencies of all different types.  

Our great grandparents and grandparents had gardens. Grew their own foods, canned and froze that food in late summer harvest time to get them through the winter and spring and into early summer when the new gardens would be ready to pick.  They had lanterns and candles for power outages and unless they lived in town, they had wells or springs for water.  When things did go wrong, as they invariably will, it wasn't a "run around screaming with your hands in the air and wait for the government to come rescue you" situation, it was a moment of collecting your thoughts, pulling on your boots and getting to work to help your own situation.

And that is my personality too.

Although it's nice of the government to step in and help during emergencies, it's not something they have to do.  Unfortunately people today are of the mindset they don't have to do anything themselves to prepare or help themselves and the second anything comes up, they are throwing a fit if some government agency isn't rushing along to hand out free money, food, water, etc.  

Do you realize the grocery stores are getting food deliveries every single day?
What happens if storms pulverize those stores, floods disrupt the road traffic, grievances and strikes stop the trucking deliveries or any other scenario comes along?

No food deliveries.  No restocking. No food in the grocery stores.
Soon, chaos, confusion, anger, hungry people... looting, fires and ugliness.

You all know how sheep people rush to the stores to wipe out all the shelves of bread, milk, beer and peanut butter when there is even the utter of a snow storm coming.  Even if you get 12-18 inches of snow as many parts of the US do, more than likely the roads and businesses are going to be closed at most, just one day as we have come pretty far since 60 years ago when things might shut down for 3 days to get up and running again.  I don't know what people think they are going to do with all that bread in the one day the power *might* be out... but whatever.

The point is... if you keep a well stocked pantry, some longer term emergency storage items, flashlights, candles, extra dog food, etc. you don't have to go running around like a chicken with their head cut off.

Now, I did not intend on some well-written, precisely thought out post about this for this morning...  as I mentioned, I'm just sipping coffee and thinking about storms as they are hitting the US pretty hard this week.  And I thought I'd just chit chat over coffee about the basic need to be a little prepared.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to go refill my cup with some fresh coffee, check emails and get ready to start my day.  What I've decided to end with this simple (very very simple)  quick 'plan' for those who have zero preparations.

1.  Get 3 days worth of food, water and medicine in your cupboards and keep that much available at all times.
2.  Only buy/store what you use and like.  Don't go buying 5 cans of beans if you don't like beans. Buy what you like.
3.  Keep in mind you might not have power so have foods that are healthy but don't require power to prepare.
4.  Candles, flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.  It gets mighty dark mighty fast if all the power around you is out.
5.  Remember the 'extras' you need for babies, the elderly and pets. Think; diapers, formula, medications and pet food.

If you do nothing more... or need a very, very basic starting point - that would be it.

4.20.2016

Product Review - the NEW VERSION of the Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack


Life gets busy... ya know?  So I buy a product and I plan to post some thoughts about it and then... life gets busy and it sits in my draft files forgotten!  And this would be one of them.

If you looked at, bought or thought about the Kelty Redwing 50 in the past - look again.  There are two versions.  The older one and the newer one.  Maybe some already know this - but I didn't so I figure maybe some readers out there don't either. 



http://amzn.to/1SkApKN

http://amzn.to/1SkApKN
This is the Kelty Redwing 50.  Before I chat about it, I'll just get some of the features out of the way.
  • Hybrid loading
  • Hydration compatible
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Daisy chain
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Zippered stash pocket
  • Large front pocket with organization
  • Key fob
  • Carry handle
  • LightBeam single aluminum stay
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Dynamic AirFlow back panel
  • AirMesh shoulder straps, waist belt, and lumbar
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Load-lifter / stabilizer straps
  • Sternum strap
  • Hip belt stabilizer straps
  • Removable hip belt
  • Scherer Cinch

Last year I had my husband with on one of my trips to Dick's Sporting Goods and I can't help myself; I always end up in the camping and hiking aisles of every store that offers them - no matter what we actually went there for.  I was trying on packs and fell in love with the Kelty RedStone 60L pack - which my husband noted, and took a picture of the tag so he would remember which one I liked when it came time for Christmas and birthdays.

Well, if you knew my husband you wouldn't be surprised that even with the tag, pack name and product information, he still bought the wrong one for me when he gave me one for my birthday.  He said, "This is the one you liked.  I took a picture of the tag."   Hmmm.   RedStone 60L...  RedWing 50L...  totally different packs.  And I do still hope to get the Redstone 60L from Dick's that I want but no matter - because the Redwing 50 is still a really good pack and I can use it for simple 1 night overnights (or even as a day pack).

This description I found online sums it up pretty well:

"The Kelty Redwing 50 is big enough for a day-and-a-half of backcountry hiking and streamlined enough for use as an around-town day pack. A host of functional features make the Redwing 50 a do-it-all pack.

A single LightBeam aluminum stay and an HDPE framesheet equip the Redwing 50 with lightweight, reliable support. The pack’s Dynamic AirFlow back panel allows warm air to escape so that you stay cooler while carrying weight. A contoured, padded waistbelt offers comfortable load support. Kelty's patented Scherer Cinch uses a pulley-like system to double the tightening force on the waistbelt, ensuring that the brunt of the pack's weight rests on your hips. When you aren't carrying heavy loads and don't need the additional support, you can remove the waistbelt entirely and reduce the weight of the pack.

The curved and padded shoulder straps on both sizes of the Redwing 50 can be quickly and easily adjusted to comfortably fit varying torso lengths. The Small/Medium size will accommodate torsos ranging from 14.5"-18.5" while the Medium/Large fits 17.5"-21" torsos. Load lifter straps relieve stress on your shoulders and an adjustable sternum strap positions the shoulder straps across the chest to prevent chafing under the arms and on the shoulders. Side compression straps help you to cinch and secure the contents of the Redwing 50 for optimal balance and load distribution."




The large main packbag of the Redwing 50 is accessed through a large, zippered front entry that allows the entire face of the pack to open wide for convenient loading and unloading. An additional large pocket located on the front panel provides internal organizational options. Additional features include zippered side pockets, a stash pocket, an ice-axe loop, a carry handle, a daisy-chain attachment system and dual mesh water bottle pockets. A lined interior pocket and built-in tube exit make the Redwing 50 hydration compatible.

It's available in different colors - I have black but it's also in blue, red and green.


The entire front face opens. Laying it down flat on the floor, it opens almost like a suitcase.

I would say this bag is Kelty's way of pushing it as a 'day pack' more than a hiking pack.  Day packs are really popular right now and this design and the quality of the pack, as well as the price, all seems to point to 'day pack' or quick travel pack more so than a 2-3 day hiking, camping, use it hard pack.



26 inches by 16 inches by 12 inches - not too large but it holds a lot
I ended up using mine as a "always packed and ready to go" pack for simple tent camping, hiking or I can grab it as an emergency 'bug out' pack as well with what I keep stocked in it.


It doesn't have some of the bells and whistles and extra pockets that many other packs do

Although I've read the waist belt is 'removable' by first removing the aluminum stay, I've not removed it or even tried so  I have no comment on that

The one thing I don't like about it is there are no pockets or zipper compartments on the waist belt at all.  I miss this!  My other packs all have a small pocket on each side of the waist belt/strap and I love that for 'quick' grab items such as Chapstick, mace, a tissue, etc.


This extra lower back padding is the "Ahhhh"  factor



Here is the older version the new one replaced.  Note a few details are different but the quick and easy way to see if you are looking at the new or old version is the lack of silver trekking pole loops.    Since it doesn't have any straps on the bottom or top to strap on a sleeping bag or sleep pad, I used the loops to attach my sleep pad and it worked pretty well.

 THIS IS THE OLD VERSION THAT HAS BEEN UPDATED


http://amzn.to/23JNtnB


 


I got mine at Dick's Sporting Goods but you can find it at Amazon, as well as some other similar packs;

Kelty Redwing 50 Bacckpack - Black
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack, Twilight Blue
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack, Ponderosa Pine


     













4.19.2016

Quick and Easy Way to Bring Coffee Backpacking or Camping (Related to the Hamilton Beach Single Soft Pod Brewer)

This is another post on Coffee Talking that I had no intention of writing this morning!  But I'm sipping my coffee, hear of a new product coming out regarding coffee (which I'm not going to mention yet because it's only being tested in 4 states and not available on the market yet) so I popped over to Amazon just to SEE if anyone was offering this yet unnamed product... (they aren't) but then I saw these individual soft pods and realized I never mentioned these on Coffee Talking yet! 








Here is the deal... they are individual soft pods to work in single serve brewers that do NOT use little plastic k-cups - like the Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer (you've probably seen these in hotel rooms at some point).  You pull the little 'drawer' out, pop in a soft pod of ground coffee, push it back in, and pour a cup of water into the machine and it brews one cup of coffee.  The soft pod can be thrown away and since there is no plastic (like in k-cups) it's better for the environment too.

(You can currently get the Hamilton Beach single brewer for about $15 - $25 too, which makes it awesome for a personal brewer at your desk or in the office as well as for traveling if you want to bring your own brewer with you to your rental or hotel)  but that's not actually what today's post is about.)



These pods work great for camping and backpacking.

  • Self contained
  • No plastic
  • Can be thrown on the campfire after use
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used to brew in your cup or cut open to use the grounds inside
  • Perfectly measured for individual serving

I bring my coffee all different ways when I go camping depending on what kind of camping we are doing, how I'm going to brew it, how many nights am I camping, and how many people are with me. This is just one of many ways to bring coffee with you - but it might be just the thing you are looking for.

The first time I used soft pods I didn't brew them individually.  I used them in a percolator style coffee maker.  (Coleman 9 Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot).  Because the pods are lightweight and have no rigid plastic parts like k-cups, you remove the stem and basket from your coffee pot.  Insert a bunch of pods into the empty pot, leaving space in the center of course so you can insert the stem and basket back in, pop the top on and put it into your camping bin or backpack.  When you want to make your coffee, remove all the pods and only use as many as you wish.  You can either slice or rip them open to remove the coffee grounds to pour into the basket of your percolator or you can squish the pods around the basket.  (Remember to use the percolator you just fill the bottom with water, place the stem and basket into the coffee pot.  Fill the basket with some coffee grounds, put the top on and put it over your source of heat.  As the water comes to a boil you will see the color in the clear glass top of the pot turn from pure water to light colored tan to brown as the water filters through the coffee grounds.  When it's a nice dark 'coffee' color you know your coffee is ready to pour and drink.

The other way to use the pods is individual cups of coffee.

Place one whole, intact pod into your cup or mug.  Heat your water over the fire or your source of heat.  Pour the boiling or very hot water over the soft pod in your mug/cup.  Wait and let it brew about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the soft pod, throw it into the fire and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.

Usually the pods come in packs of 18 and are available in a few different brands from affordable to 'high end'.  I grabbed a couple links off Amazon to share - like the Folger's Colombian Coffee Pods (Pack of 18) and Melitta but it's just a launching point.  You can use any kind of 'soft pod' on the market this way.  They take up little space, can be stored inside your coffee mug or a small camp coffee pot, can be thrown into the fire when you are finished so there is no garbage to pack out and it gives you a freshly brewed cup of coffee - which for me is really one of the highlights of camping.  That first morning cup of coffee when the sun is coming up and the air is still chilled.





Related products available through Amazon;
Melitta Dark Roast Soft Pod Pack 18 Count
Folgers Gourmet Selection Colombian Coffee Pods (Pack of 18) - Net WT 6.3oz
Folgers Gourmet Selection Hazelnut Coffee Pods (Pack of 18)
Folgers Gourmet Selection Colombian Decaffeinated Coffee Pods (Pack of 18)


Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer and Melitta Coffee Pods, Colombian (Pack of 6) bundle