5.31.2016

Father's Day, Wedding, Graduation or Whatever Gifts: A Coffee Mug, Traveler Mug, Beer Glass or Wine Glass that WON'T TIP OVER

  • Mighty Mug Biggie
  • Mighty Mug Go
  • Mighty Mug Biggie SS - Stainless Steel
  • Mighty Mug Solo
  • Mighty Mug Mini
  • Mighty Mug Ice
  • Mighty Mug Barware : Double Old Fashioned (Stemless)
  • Mighty Mug Barware : Pilsner - Set of 2
  • Mighty Mug Barware : Pint - Set of 2
  • Mighty Mug Barware : Wine Stem - Set of 2
Check it out....  


The Mighty Mug Barware collection grips to any smooth and solid surface such as your table, desk, counter, or bar.

Sorcery? Trick of the eye? No, the magic is in patented Smartgrip technology.
    • Powered by Smartgrip Technology, knows when to grip/ lifts naturally.
    • Comes in Set of 2 glasses
    • BPA Free
    • Made of Crystal Clear Unbreakable Tritan Plastic


Now... I'm off to go refill MY mug with another strong, hot, black coffee.  I've been up since 3:20 am and it's now just after 5:00 so I think a little more caffeine is in order to keep me going til bedtime.  Have a good night!




Start your search either on the Mighty Mug website or through one of these Amazon links;

Mighty Mug Go Travel Mug (Red)
Mighty Mug Go, Black
Mighty Mug Go Travel Mug in Blue
Mighty Mug Solo SS, Silver
Mighty Mug (Black)
 




This one is here for me... (it's just an article I want to save re; more natural healing and less chemicals)

This article is saved on my personal site for me...  but it's public too.


The Allegheny Plateau, sprawling across northern Pennsylvania and beyond, is an ecosystem of forested hills, with land that supports black bears, bald eagles and wandering turkeys, as well as a patchwork of wild herbs: burdock, jewelweed, chamomile and sheep sorrel. Cellphone reception is spotty and gas stations are few and far between. Tucked away among the streams branching from the Cowanesque river is a cluster of small white and tan buildings, including the office of John Keim, an Amish elder and community healer.

In the 1980s, Keim’s young son was scalded by a pot of boiling water, burning off his skin from collarbone to waist. Hospital care was out of the question. Previously, two of Keim’s cousins had been burned in a fire and spent three months in an Indiana hospital. Every week, relatives had sent letters describing how the children screamed as their wounds were cleaned and their bandages changed. Reflecting on that, Keim says, “I just felt it was so inhumane. I would not ever take a child to a burn unit.” He wanted to be autonomous of what he viewed as a brutal system.


Keim and his wife treated their son at home. Initially, they applied a salve of herbs and wrapped the wounds with gauze, but the gauze sunk into the boy’s flesh. They needed a dressing that wouldn’t stick.


In his book Comfort for the Burned and Wounded Keim writes, “I thought of how God created the Earth. I honestly felt He kept the poor in mind while Earth was being created.” He tried to think of things in nature that might help a poor person treat burns. Hitting upon waxy plantain leaves, he gathered a hatful from a nearby field, scalded them so they would be pliable, and used them to wrap his son’s wounds with a layer of herbal salve. Within five days, new skin covered the boy’s body. He had survived.

***
When you think of the Amish, you don’t necessarily think solar panels, but here they are – six of them − on the roof of a horse barn in Holmes County, Ohio, home to the world’s largest Amish settlement. The barn, and the office above it, belong to Marvin Wengerd, who is Amish and serves as a liaison between his community and their non-Amish healthcare providers.

“If you ask the average Amishman on the street, ‘Why don’t you have electricity?’” says Wengerd, “he would say something like, ‘It connects me to the larger world and makes me dependent on the larger world in ways that I find troubling.’” Many further object to television and the internet because they promote vanity and sexual impurities, rather than Biblical values. For his part, Wengerd uses electricity in a limited capacity – for example, to power his office lights and phone. But thanks to the solar panels, which feed a battery, he’s off the grid, not dependent on the government or the oil industry for power.

 Plain communities might point the way towards a better concept of autonomy, one that balances patient choice with patient responsibility.  The Amish and other groups such as Old Order Mennonites refer to themselves as “Plain” because they choose to live a modest lifestyle centred on their faith and separated from the rest of the world. There is some diversity between Plain groups, as each community creates its own rules for everything from clothing to technology use. In general, though, Plain people complete formal education in eighth grade (aged 14), use horse and carriage for daily travel, reject mains electricity, and interact with outsiders in a limited capacity. In most Plain communities, individual families and businesses sell furniture, produce or handmade quilts to the wider population, whom they turn to for services such as banking and emergency taxi rides.


The biggest and most complicated cultural intersection is the modern health care system. Plain people often advocate for more freedom in deciding when to go to a hospital, how to get there, and what interventions will be used. In short, they want greater autonomy.


“Patient autonomy” is a relatively new concept in Western medicine, and its significance depends on your perspective. On the one hand, patients report feeling lost in the system − stripped down to a gown and underwear and pressured to follow doctors’ orders. On the other hand, doctors can face demands for unwarranted treatments. With their unique cultural traditions, Plain communities might point the way towards a better concept of autonomy, one that balances patient choice with patient responsibility. One that we might all learn from.


***
For nearly two-and-a-half millennia, the doctor−patient relationship in Western medicine was defined by doctors’ ethical obligation to act on behalf of their patients. The Hippocratic tradition established what came to be called the “beneficence model,” in which doctors are expected to seek to prevent and treat injury and illness while “doing no harm” to their patients. This tradition provides the ethical basis for everything from prescribing vaccinations to advising patients to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.


Following World War II, Western medicine began to shift toward an “autonomy model” of care. In 1966, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article outlining nearly two dozen instances of experiments that had been conducted on humans without their informed consent. This was followed by news of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a 40-year research project conducted by the US Public Health Service, in which treatment was withheld from poor African-American men with syphilis. In the 1970s, advances in medical technology also raised a host of new ethical questions. Increasingly, the public wanted a say in matters that were once the purview of doctors and researchers alone.


In 1979, a federal commission released the influential Belmont Report, which put forth three foundational principles for experimentation on human subjects. These were incorporated into subsequent guidelines for clinical practice: autonomy (including respect for the individual’s right to make informed choices), beneficence, and justice (the fair treatment of all). Notably, the Belmont Report did not specify how these principles should be weighed and prioritised against one another.

 For Plain communities, autonomy in healthcare − and in life more broadly − is deeply tied to personal responsibility.  If a patient wants to decline standard care or use an untested remedy, should a doctor grant this autonomy? And in the case of sick or injured children, who gets to decide: parents or health professionals?


For Plain communities, autonomy in healthcare − and in life more broadly − is deeply tied to personal responsibility. This is perhaps best exemplified by their choice not to have insurance. Rather, when someone gets sick, the church collects alms to help the patient cover expenses. Marvin Wengerd estimates that, collectively, the 30,000 Amish in Holmes County spend $20–30 million a year on healthcare.


“Personal responsibility is still huge among us,” he says, adding that Plain people “think there’s a lot of harm in divorcing the cost from the patient.” He describes communities in which individuals are beholden to their brothers and sisters in the church to make wise health care decisions that don’t cost the community more money than necessary. As a result, Plain communities are highly interested in health education and disease prevention.

***
“Welcome to the clinic,” says Susan Jones, a “twice-retired” nurse with short blond hair and cobalt-blue glasses, who has worked with a community of Old Order Mennonites in southern Kentucky for 20 years. Our van has stopped at the top of a dirt trail adjacent to an unadorned two-storey home with grey siding. Just a few feet from us, a horse stands idly, hitched to a black carriage. This particular group is conservative even by Plain standards, and before my visit Jones gently instructed me to leave my voice recorder in the vehicle.


Health Promotion Day, the reason I’m visiting, includes a one-hour talk on a topic chosen by the Mennonites. Today’s theme: heart arrhythmias. Several health professionals are in attendance, including Steven House, a doctor who treats Plain patients in his primary care clinic in rural Glasgow, Kentucky. They, and roughly a dozen Mennonites, sit in the living room, listening intently while a medical student describes the intricacies of heart anatomy.

Since 2001, Health Promotion Day has been held once a month in the home of a local Mennonite family. The community actively shape the programme by deciding what kind of information and services they want. The aim is to improve the community’s health by providing a one-hour educational session, followed by a primary care clinic where people can receive tests including ear exams and blood pressure readings that might determine whether they need to visit a hospital. Following the talk, House and the medical student field questions. “What percentage of people have a skipped or delayed heartbeat?” asks one Mennonite woman seated on a chair by the home’s wood-burning stove. The second question addresses blood clots and fibrillation. Before long, my notes are a muddle: defibrillators, warfarin, hawthorn berry (which the Mennonites use to regulate heart rate), and pacemakers. I’m lost, but the Mennonites press on. Among the final questions is, “Where is the line when you know you need to see a doctor?”


 “We give doctors headaches,” she says, apologetically. “I feel compassion for them.” In a long navy dress and a white bonnet, a Mennonite mother sits on the bed in a small room off the kitchen, describing her family’s encounters with the healthcare system. She describes how once she visited a gastroenterologist seeking a diagnosis, but not treatment. Depending on the case, the community might prefer to spend its money on a farm for a young married couple, rather than on medication or testing, she explains. “We give doctors headaches,” she says, apologetically. “I feel compassion for them.”


House says that non-Plain Americans “are finally figuring out that in our healthcare system resources are finite and everything costs somebody something.” Plain communities, he says, understand that because they pay for their care. In his experience, autonomy to the general American public means, “I get whatever interventions I want or need, and I get however much I want or need, regardless of the cost.” Plain communities on the other hand “are very independent, which is part of their autonomy”. They want to know how diseases develop and what they can do themselves to prevent a disease or its progression.


“They’re like dream diabetic patients,” says House, “because they want to do whatever they can” − whether it’s eating better or exercising more − to improve their condition and lessen their reliance upon medication.

***
After successfully treating his son’s burns, John Keim wanted to help his people. He went on to refine his therapy, eventually creating his own honey-based ointment called Burns and Wounds (B&W), which incorporates plant-based ingredients such as wheat germ oil, aloe vera and myrrh. He settled on wild burdock leaves as his preferred dressing, observing that they help relieve pain.


As word spread, Keim went on to care for hundreds of burn victims over the course of 25 years, eventually training other Plain people so they could work within their communities.


Today, Amish stores sell four-ounce jars of B&W for $7, and community healers collect and store boxes of dried burdock leaves. For non-Plain people accustomed to high medical bills, this low-cost approach to burn care may come as a revelation.

 “There were five doctors who promised I would be behind bars,” says Keim.  But health professionals have looked askance at this do-it-yourself approach, arguing, for example, that scalding the burdock leaves doesn’t fully sterilise them, theoretically putting the patient at risk of infection. Further, they maintain, in some cases skin grafting is absolutely necessary to save a patient’s life. When Plain families started coming to hospitals requesting treatment for dehydration and shock yet refusing skin grafting, conflict arose.


“There were five doctors who promised I would be behind bars,” says Keim. Roughly 15 years ago, he says, private detectives came to his home to talk with him and “it got into the prosecutor’s office.” Ultimately, the prosecutor decided not to make a case against him.


It wasn’t the first time that Plain communities have come under legal scrutiny. Over the years, some Amish parents have been challenged over the care of their children and even faced criminal charges for their choices. In some of these cases, the medical system has been wrong. In 2013, for example, an Amish family decided to halt their daughter’s chemotherapy, which they believed was killing her. Hospital doctors believed the girl would die without the treatment, so the hospital went to court. When the parents lost their power to make decisions about their daughter’s care, the family fled to Mexico. Two years later, they were all back in Ohio, where the daughter appeared active and healthy, according to a judge who visited the family farm.


Recently, a two-year-old boy was treated with B&W and died at home. His parents received probation after pleading no contest to charges of child endangerment. Wengerd, who was familiar with this case from newspaper reports, suggests that the parents – who had left the Amish and worked without the support of Amish burn dressers – likely didn’t recognize that the situation was “over their head.”


Wengerd and Keim both know that Plain people, like all people, are fallible. This is why they want to coordinate with hospitals. “We don’t want a casualty that puts B&W into a bad light just because we’re ignorant,” says Wengerd. “That’s one of the prime reasons for Pomerene [the local hospital] and their involvement. We need that medical oversight. We’re not opposed to them.”


Keim even acknowledges a role for skin grafting within the B&W protocol, saying, “I would be so happy if we could get together and discuss this. I know, when you’re highly educated, it’s hard to step down. I know pride has something to do with it. And, of course, finances also. That’s a block we’re not able to remove and we’ll have to deal with it.”


***

“A lot of folks think genetic testing is very expensive and can’t be done,” says Erik Puffenberger. “We’ve shown just the opposite.” He’s the lab director of the Clinic for Special Children in Pennsylvania. In a 2012 report in a scientific journal, Puffenberger and colleagues estimated that the pioneering genetics work at the clinic saves local Plain communities $20–25 million a year in medical costs.


The clinic was established as a non-profit in 1989 by Caroline and Holmes Morton. Holmes had graduated from Harvard Medical School and then completed a fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he had helped identify 16 Amish children with a genetic disorder known as GA1, short for glutaric aciduria type 1 (one of the metabolic diseases tested for in newborns using a heel prick).


At the time, GA1 was thought to be extremely rare; however, thanks to Holmes’s work, we now know that while only 1 in 40,000 people among the general Caucasian population have it, it affects 1 in 400 Amish people. Holmes also soon learned that the Mennonite community had high rates of a different genetic disorder, maple syrup urine disease (MSUD, named after the sweet-smelling urine of affected people).


Because Plain communities originate from relatively small populations, they experience a high level of certain diseases not often seen in the wider population. (Conversely, certain diseases that are present in the wider population are virtually nonexistent in Plain communities.)


Against the advice of colleagues and mentors, Holmes and Caroline (whose background was in educational administration) decided to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – home to the world’s oldest Amish settlement – and start a clinic devoted to diagnosing and treating Plain patients with genetic disorders. Holmes insisted on having an on-site lab, where patients could be tested quickly and affordably.


Babies with GA1 and MSUD are unable to break down certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. If these amino acids and their by-products build up in the body they can prove fatal. In the past, babies and children with GA1 and MSUD would become sick, and many died. Along the way, Plain communities incurred incredible hospital expenses. Now, thanks to early genetic testing harnessed by the clinic, babies can be screened at birth for the genes that cause these disorders. Once identified, they’re fed a special baby formula that restricts particular amino acids. As these babies develop into children and adults, they must follow a special diet, which allows them to remain healthy.


 With their big families, good genealogical records, and small founder populations, Plain communities are ideal subjects for identifying genetic variants for common diseases.  The clinic’s average patient bill is just $140, and often includes genetic testing that would cost Plain families hundreds if not thousands of dollars elsewhere. This is made possible, in part, by private donations and collaborative projects connecting the clinic with nearby hospitals and universities. Perhaps most surprising is that over a third of the clinic’s yearly $2.8 million operating budget comes from benefit auctions organised and supplied by Plain communities, where everything from quilts to wooden clocks to buggies complete with LED lights is sold.

The clinic itself is located in a field on a piece of land donated by an Amish farmer. The structure was built by Plain people in the traditional way: by hand, using hooks and pulleys. This pine and timber structure houses advanced genetics equipment. It’s a unique mix of old and new, low-tech and high-tech, Plain and non-Plain.


With their big families, good genealogical records, and small founder populations, Plain communities are ideal subjects for identifying genetic variants for common diseases. Researchers at the clinic discover 10–15 new disease-causing variants each year, and they expect this rate to increase. One of their recent discoveries is a rare variant that’s strongly associated with bipolar disorder. Says Puffenberger: “What’s really important here is if you find one gene, then you learn a pathway, and you know that gene interacts with 10 other things, so those other 10 genes also become potential targets” for therapy.

Despite the clinic’s success, there hasn’t been the same degree of uptake of its methods in non-Plain healthcare. “It’s actually a hard sell to the medical–industrial complex in this country that we should be investing all our effort in preventive technology,” says the clinic’s medical director, Kevin Strauss. But he believes that the US healthcare system can’t afford not to put genomic medicine to work in a preventive, cost-effective way.


The clinic has estimated that its costs per outpatient are about a tenth of those for government-backed Medicare and Medicaid (which cover adults as well as children). This is achieved through an innovative medical model that prioritises affordability, prevention and research designed to close the implementation gap – what clinic professionals describe as the gap between the “avalanche” of data acquired through projects like the Human Genome Project and the many patients who have yet to benefit from that data.

***
Despite their focus on prevention and use of community healers, Plain patients do spend large sums on healthcare. The Mennonite woman I met at Health Promotion Day told me that her ten-year-old daughter was recently treated for appendicitis with complications. The community paid just under $10,000, which she described as “fair.” I met another family nearby with a young child who was recently diagnosed and treated for colorectal cancer. The girl spent 15 days in the hospital. The hospital bill alone was $19,000, negotiated down from an original $172,000. The child’s mother praised God for the discount.


 For Americans with health insurance, it may come as a surprise that hospital costs are negotiable.  Plain communities often negotiate discounts, which hospitals are willing to offer in exchange for payment in full at the time of service. “I will tell you, they are very conscientious about cost. They are very business-savvy and will shop around,” says Eric Hagan, the administrator for the Medical Center at Scottsville, Kentucky. Hagan and Susan Jones have worked to strengthen the hospital’s relationship with the local Mennonites, offering, among other things, a prompt-pay discount.


For Americans with health insurance, it may come as a surprise that hospital costs are negotiable. Indeed, pricing is so murky that most of us don’t know the actual cost of our care. Prompt-pay discounts are rarely advertised, but according to Plain people, they’re quite common. One rural Kentucky hospital offers a 25% discount. In Holmes County, Ohio, Pomerene Hospital offers package deals for self-pay patients. Anyone – Plain or non-Plain – can contact the hospital’s Amish advocate for details.


“We negotiate our bills because we have to fight the cost,” says Wengerd. He and others in the Plain community worry that healthcare prices will escalate so dramatically that they will be forced to abandon their self-pay tradition and instead rely on Medicaid or Obamacare.


 Long before Obamacare, Plain communities achieved what the rest of America had not: universal healthcare coverage.  In all their talk of personal responsibility, there’s a distinct echo of Republican rhetoric. The Amish don’t vote, says Wengerd, who describes himself as “politically illiterate.” But, he says, “If we voted, we would be Republican.” Because of their faith, Plain people are against abortion and, often, against contraception. They don’t believe in evolution. Men and women are expected to adhere to traditional gender roles. Wengerd recalls that during the 2004 presidential campaign, George W Bush met with Amish from Pennsylvania and Ohio, the two states with the largest Amish populations. He says Bush explained that they were living in swing states and that they could, he paraphrases, “save the nation from the strength of the liberal Democrats who would ruin it.” As a result, some Amish voted for the first and only time in their lives.


But some Plain beliefs differ markedly from those of conservative Republicans. Because of their faith, Plain people believe in “non-resistance”, which is why they don’t support war or bear arms. And in some of their practices – buying and building property for young couples, pooling resources to cover health expenses – an outsider might even call their approach to communal living socialist. After all, no Plain community would expect a family whose child had cancer to face that burden alone.


Long before Obamacare, Plain communities achieved what the rest of America had not: universal healthcare coverage.

***
Coming from an ethic of thriftiness, many Plain people distrust the motives of hospital administrators and even doctors themselves. They believe a profit motive can influence courses of treatment. They are also keenly attuned to unnecessary expenditures within the system. (One Plain woman I spoke with questioned the need for fancy carpets at a nearby clinic.)

“In the Amish world, healthcare is seen as a ministry,” says Wengerd, “which is exactly what healthcare in the [non-Plain] world used to be.” Remember apprenticeships and house calls? The doctor used to be viewed like a minister who sacrificed his life for the patient, but there has been a shift. “The patient now sacrifices his livelihood for the doctor’s wellbeing.”


 “The patient now sacrifices his livelihood for the doctor’s wellbeing.” And yet, increasingly, hospitals have been allowing Plain burn teams to treat their own patients with the B&W burns treatment. They are motivated partly by a desire to reach out to Plain communities so they don’t forgo hospital care. But they are also motivated by results. “We were intrigued by the outcomes,” says Hagan, whose hospital has allowed local Mennonites to use B&W there for about five years.


Pomerene Hospital also allows B&W, having first run a small five-person study to document the healing process. Their findings lent support to what Plain communities had been sharing anecdotally: in patients with first- or second-degree burns, the burdock leaf dressing changes caused little to no pain; none of the burns became infected; and healing time averaged less than 14 days. More recently, the University of Michigan laid the groundwork for a study of how safe and effective B&W is, though results are not expected for several years.


Pomerene does not have a burn unit, so patients with severe burns are transferred to larger centres. Staff at some of these have come into conflict with Plain patients and their caregivers, but others have been willing to work with them. For instance, Holmes County patients currently seek care from Anjay Khandelwal, co-director of MetroHealth Comprehensive Burn Center in Cleveland, Ohio. They don’t allow patients to use B&W in the hospital because it’s “not an approved drug on formulary”, but they will release a patient to the care of Plain burn teams once stabilised.


Khandelwal and colleagues travelled to Holmes County to meet with Amish elders, including Wengerd, who spent several years as a volunteer burn dresser and worked with Pomerene Hospital on its B&W study.

It was here that Khandelwal learned that Plain people don’t sue. When the Amish told him they understand doctors are human and make mistakes, he had to pause to let that sink in. To them, he was not simply a member of the medical establishment, but an autonomous individual doing his best, given the choices and information before him. Khandelwal was profoundly moved: “No one says that to us. No one accepts that.”


Lawsuits aside, allowing B&W to be used can be emotionally difficult for healthcare professionals who have been trained to save lives at all costs. Steven A Kahn, a burns specialist at the University of South Alabama, co-authored a 2013 case report, published in the journal Burns, describing the following encounter:


A 25-year-old Amish man was brought to the hospital after gasoline vapours combusted during a farming accident. The man’s clothing ignited, causing third-degree burns across much of his body. With surgery, his chances of survival were estimated to be 50 per cent. Without surgery, zero. The man’s family insisted he would only want B&W for treatment, though if he were to go into cardiac arrest, he would accept CPR. An ethics consultant determined that the family had provided ample evidence to support their claims. So the hospital team consented to B&W only, and the man died 38 hours after his injury.


“When we have the tools to make someone well but are unable to use them for reasons beyond our control,” says Kahn, “it can make us feel ‘helpless’” – a word used by one of the burn nurses on his team. Still, he believes they made the right choice in allowing the family to be the patient’s voice.


Back in Holmes County, Marvin Wengerd talks about the future of Amish healthcare: “I don’t want to push the medical world beyond their comfort zone,” he says. “We’re not asking them to understand our religious beliefs, but we’re asking for intelligent compromise that says their way of looking at it is not the only way of looking at it.


“We have our own set of values and worldviews that are distinct and just as valid. We don’t always win our cases, but enough of them to make it worth the work.”


This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

5.29.2016

Emergency Food Storage Kits - Example for 4 people for 1 Year ( or 1 person for 4 years)

Random rambling over my morning coffee............


A topic you would think I would discuss far more often on my blog but it ends up I rarely discuss it.  Why?  Because starting to write about it in any way, shape or form is like pouring warm water into a pile of fresh, healthy yeast.  It starts to grow, and grow and grow; and soon it's spilling over the edge of the cup and onto the counter and down the counters.  It's a topic that just grows into huge, long posts because there is just much to say and so many topics umbrella'ed under. (I think I may have made that word up, actually.)

I end up getting overwhelmed and deleting the whole post.  But... I'm going to try this again this morning.  Chatting over coffee with the topic of "just what does 1 year worth of long term emergency food storage look like?"  "What do I need for one year of food storage?"  (And trying to stay on this one and only one topic....)

And guess what?

NO ONE can tell you that.

NO ONE can know that.

Because 'that' 1 year list is going to be different for everyone.

If you are just getting started in long term emergency food storage, that's probably not what you want to hear.  I know I didn't.  I wanted someone to give me a list of exactly what I needed and how much.

So, that's what I went looking for (back in the day... before the internet was the huge monster it is today).


Here is a list (on a fairly old, now yellowed, lined piece of paper) I found online in numerous places at the time, and hand-wrote back in the 'early' days of me wanting to do long term emergency storage for our family.

MINIMUM PER YEAR PER PERSON

300 lb. grain, pasta, flour
75 lb. beans; pinto, refried, black, navy
75 lb. milk - powder and evaporated
65 lb. sweetener; sugar, molasses, honey
4 lb. shortening
2 gallons oil
2.5 lb. leavening agents; yeast, baking soda, baking powder
5 lb. salt
45 gallons water for cooking plus 2 quarts a day for drinking, plus more for sanitary

Apparently I was supposed to store hard wheat, dried beans, powdered milk and water.

Where was I supposed to get this 'hard wheat'?
What was I going to do with hard wheat?
What do I make with it?
How do I use it?
Why do I want something like that in my food storage?
Honey?  I HATE the taste of honey!
Molasses?  The kids hate the taste of molasses! And what do I do with molasses anyway?
Beans? The only beans our family regularly ate was refried beans in burritos. 
Milk?  I don't drink milk.  I don't like milk and haven't drank it since I was about 2 years old. 
What do I do with 2 gallons of oil?  You can't fry hard wheat or beans, that's for sure.

This list made no sense to me.

Canned goods, extra packaged foods store bought cans of food items made more sense to me.
So in the beginning that's what I did.  Extra peanut butter, granola bars, canned goods like green beans and ready to serve soups.  I also filled up empty milk jugs that my husband and kids finished off, and stored them with water under our son's Captain style bed.

A year later I realized the expiration dates on the food in the box in the basement meant we had to bring all that food up and start to use it up, and the water I stored in the milk jugs?  Had evaporated!  Some were empty and others had barely an inch or two of water left.

Clearly I was doing it wrong.

More research was needed.

"STORE WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE"


Seems simple to those that 'get it' and confusing to those who have read it for the first time.

What and how you store up your pantry for emergencies depends on what you and your family eat.  What allergies do you have?  Do you know how to can foods?  Do you live in an area of the world prone to certain disasters but less likely to experience others?  Do you want to plan to leave your home in case of emergencies or will you batten down the hatches and stay put?  Do you live in the country or the city?  Do you have a well or other water source?  Do you have a pregnant woman or baby in the household?  Do you have pets to plan to feed as well?  Do you have to follow a certain diet for any health reasons?  Do you have serious health or medical issues to also plan around?  Do you have skills?  Do you know how to cook and bake by instinct and by scratch or do you typically buy your food through a drive through on the way home from work?  Do you have a garden or space for one? Do you prefer to store foods you can just add hot water to and it's done?  Would you rather just buy up a years worth of MRE (meals-ready-to-eat like the military provides to soldiers)?

See where I'm going with this?

THIS is why no one can tell you what you need or how much you need.

300 pounds of hard red wheat in storage is just going to waste if you have no idea how to use it. 

This where I have to fight with myself to stay on topic...  let's get to the example list of 1 year worth of food the title mentioned.

I'm going to skip all I want to say about using a mixture of canned goods, home canned goods, freezer foods, dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods, fresh foods from a planned garden, raising chickens and having a water source or a good water store.  I'm going to have to post about that later because this post is getting too long.

Yesterday I was making another regular small purchase order for our pantry storage and although I normally skip the large, "one stop shopping" kits, I decided to use it as the basis for this post. 

This is ONE current list of of what ONE company says is a good list to store for 4 people for 1 year.  

It's a generalized list obviously, and not personalized with all the considerations I typed out above.  This particular list is released by a company that specializes in dehydrated and freeze dried foods (keep that in mind). 

But it's a good starting to point to see what one company thinks will feed you and 3 others for a year in hard times.




http://amzn.to/1NV1GXU

Grains, Oats, and Rice
  • 30 Hard White Wheat (51 servings per can)
  • 6 Creamy Wheat Cereal (36 servings per can)
  • 64 Long Grain White Rice (47 servings per can)
  • 4 Elbow Macaroni (26 servings per can)
  • 60 Quick Rolled Oats (22 servings per can)
Soups and Gravy
  • 2 Creamy Potato Soup Mix (33 servings per can)
  • 2 Vegetable Stew Blend (40 servings per can)
  • 1 Beef Gravy (38 servings per can)
  • 1 Chicken Gravy (38 servings per can)
  • 2 Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Mix (21 servings per can)
  • 2 Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup Mix (21 servings per can)
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon (921 servings per can)
Vegetables
  • 6 Dehydrated Potato Flakes (30 servings per can)
  • 2 Dehydrated Potato Shreds (21 servings per can)
  • 2 Dehydrated Potato Slices (28 servings per can)
  • 4 Dehydrated Potato Dices (20 servings per can)
  • 3 Freeze Dried Sweet Corn (23 servings per can)
  • 1 Dehydrated Chopped Onions (217 servings per can)
  • 2 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets & Stems (28 servings per can)
  • 3 Dehydrated Diced Carrots (29 servings per can)
  • 3 Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery (36 servings per can)
  • 1 Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers (113 servings per can)
  • Dehydrated Spinach Flakes (45 servings per can)
Baking
  • 1 Honey Powder (340 servings per can)
  • 2 Honey Wheat Bread & Roll Mix (49 servings per can)
  • 2 Honey White Bread & Roll Mix (49 servings per can)
  • 1 Buttermilk Biscuit Mix (no leavening) (31 servings per can)
  • 1 Iodized Salt (1474 servings per can)
  • 1 Shortening Powder (178 servings per can)
  • 2 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (45 servings per can)
  • 2 Blueberry Muffin Mix (40 servings per can)
  • 1 Brown Sugar (529 servings per can)
  • 2 White Granulated Sugar (595 servings per can)
  • 3 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (45 servings per can)
  • 7 Blueberry Pancake Mix (19 servings per can)
Fruit
  • 22 Honey Coated Banana Slices (21 servings per can)
  • 3 Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries (18 servings per can)
  • 3 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries (22 servings per can)
Dairy
  • 8 Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk (39 servings per can)
  • 18 Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative (93 servings per can)
  • 4 Chocolate Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative (57 servings per can)
  • 1 Cheese Blend Powder (43 servings per can)
  • 1 Butter Powder (204 servings per can)
  • 8 Dried Whole Eggs (71 servings per can)
Protein
  • 8 Beef Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (40 servings per can)
  • 8 Bacon Flavored Bits Vegetarian Meat Substitute (192 servings per can)
  • 8 Chicken Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (41 servings per can)
  • 3 Taco Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (30 servings per can)
Beans
  • 2 Pinto Beans (52 servings per can)
  • 2 Lentils (48 servings per can)
  • 6 Black Turtle Beans (49 servings per can)
Drinks
  • 3 Apple Delight Drink Mix (103 servings per can)
  • 3 Orange Delight Drink Mix (99 servings per can)
  • 4 Enriched Bleached All Purpose Flour (92 servings per can)
Special Entrees
  • 6 Spaghetti Marinara with Freeze Dried Beef Entrée (20 servings per can)*
  • 6 Freeze-Dried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Entrée (14 servings per can)*
  • 6 Asian Style Teriyaki with Freeze Dried Beef Entrée (20 servings per can)*
  • 6 Freeze Dried Beef Stroganoff Entrée (14 servings per can)*
  • 6 Chili Macaroni with Freeze-Dried Beef Entrée (24 servings per can)*
Bonus Emergency Pail
  • 1 Emergency Food Supply, Grab ‘n’ Go, 72-hour Kit (below)
Augason Farms® 72 Hour Grab n Go Pail includes:
  • Food for 1 Person for 12 days, 4 people for 3 days
  • 12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 203 servings of product combine to make 36 delicious meals
  • Average of 2063 calories per day
  • Shelf life of up to 25 years* unopened
  • No hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or added MSG
  • Reusable 4 gallon-sized pail with handle — weighs less than 14 lbs.
  • Self-filtering 22 oz. Water Bottle with Microbiological Filter
  • FireOn fire starting disk
Food Items Include:
  • Cheesy Broccoli with Rice (18 servings)
  • Vegetable Stew Blend (24 servings)
  • Creamy Potato Soup (18 servings)
  • Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (20 servings)
  • Instant White Rice (27 servings)
  • Vegetarian Meat Substitute Beef (flavored) (18 servings)
  • Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup (18 servings)
  • Morning Moo’s ® Low Fat Milk Alternative (60 servings)





   


On a similar note, I went looking (on Amazon because I'm an affiliate of theirs) and found a similar kit listed but this time they turned it around and called it a 1 person kit for 4 years.  (I don't know anything about the sellers on Amazon; I'm just linking and putting the product description here for discussion purposes but yes, you can buy these kits through these links).

Augason Farms 4-Year One Person Emergency Food Storage Kit (336 Can)


$3,123.75 and  FREE Shipping
  • 19,681 total servings
  • 1,833,420 total calories
  • 52 food varieties
  • 336 #10 cans
  • Up to a 30 year shelf life

Product Description

The Auguson Farms 4-year 1-person emergency food storage can kit is packed with over 52 different food varieties in (336) #10 cans. You'll stay completely nourished with 19,681 servings and 1,833,420 total calories. Includes breakfast items, entree items, desserts, bakery items, and snacks. No matter the case, this kit is an absolute essential in an emergency: it's easy to transport and includes all your food storage needs. Make the wise decision and let Auguson Farms give you a peace of mind that's as indispensable as it is delicious. Family owned and operated since 1972, Auguson Farms believes that great taste is a tradition worth preserving. They'll provide you with delicious peace of mind with their food essentials. Augason farms recognizes that today's consumers are more concerned than ever before about what kind of foods they eat, and want to provide their families with food that is safe and the best quality.  Please discard oxygen absorber after opening. Best when stored in a cool dry place at temperatures between 55 degree and 70 degree F (ideal humidity 15%). with your health in mind, all food pails are FDA compliant and BPA-free. Perfect for food storage, emergencies, survival, camping, and everyday use. 

30 Hard White Wheat
8 Creamy Wheat Cereal
60 Long Grain White Rice
4 Elbow Macaroni
60 Quick Rolled Oats
4 Creamy Potato Soup Mix
4 Vegetable Stew Blend
1 Beef Gravy
6 Dehydrated Potato Flakes
4 Dehydrated Potato Shreds
2 Dehydrated Potato Slices
1 Honey Powder
2 Honey Wheat Bread and Roll Mix
4 Honey White Bread and Roll Mix
1 Buttermilk Biscuit Mix (no leavening)
2 Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Mix
2 Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup Mix
1 Iodized Salt
1 Shortening Powder
2 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
2 Blueberry Muffin Mix
7 Six Grain Pancake Mix
1 Brown Sugar
2 White Granulated Sugar
4 Dehydrated Potato Dices
1 Dehydrated Chopped Onions
2 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets and Stems
4 Dehydrated Diced Carrots
3 Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery
1 Dehydrated Sliced Mushrooms
1 Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers
18 Honey Coated Banana Slices
5 Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries
3 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries
4 Dehydrated Apple Slices
8 Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
18 Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative
4 Chocolate Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative
1 Cheese Blend Powder
1 Butter Powder
8 Dried Whole Eggs
10 Beef Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
10 Bacon Flavored Bits Vegetarian Meat Substitute
8 Chicken Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
3 Taco Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
2 Pinto Beans
2 Lentils
2 Baby Lima Beans
2 Black Turtle Beans
2 Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 Chicken Bouillon
3 Apple Delight Drink Mix
3 Orange Delight Drink Mix
4 Enriched Bleached All Purpose Flour
2 Potato Gems
2 Buttermilk Pancake Mix
2 Dried Scrambled Egg Mix



BACK TO MY COMMENTARY

Looking over the first kit,  to feed 4 people for a whole year you would have to be very careful with it, ration it well, bake bread products daily and know how to cook and bake well enough to be creative with meal making.  You also would need a way to grind the wheat, and you don't know whether or not you would have power at the time, so a manual grinding (mill) might be in order. 

The second list is very similar to the first.  Again, lots of hard wheat so making your own bread would be a staple although you can also cook wheat berries into a pilaf or sprout them and eat them as sprouts, etc.

WHY I DON'T BUY A KIT LIKE THIS:
I'm going to go back to the personalization topic and the 'store what you eat and eat what you store' topic.

  • I know how to cook and bake very well and can throw meals together without recipes
  • I have a solar oven to bake in which expands my cooking choices
  • Our family has no 'young' children and we don't drink dairy milk.  One of our daughters has eczema and dairy products cause it to flare up and break out terribly.  We would only use the milk products for cooking and baking.
  • I don't like imitation meats and one child has a severe allergy to products with a lot of soy in them
  • We don't like nor eat Cream of Wheat products

I did buy two smaller kits to get a jump start.  These included various freeze dried fruits and vegetables, a couple imitation meat products that I can use in small amounts with other dishes and some basic mixes for biscuits.  I then regularly purchased more products as our budget allowed; freeze dried meats, more fruits and vegetables, baking ingredients and canned meats like Yoder's Bacon.

I buy the foods I know I can use in cooking and baking, my family likes and eats.  I do not buy foods I know we don't like or would be a waste of money for us.  

EXAMPLES:

  • I hate dehydrated banana chips, but we love the freeze dried bananas so I invest in those instead even though they cost more.
  • We don't like flavored water drinks like the apple or orange drinks so I don't bother.
  • I don't buy heavy into complete entree's you just add water to, because I find cooking easy and would rather buy cans of freeze dried meats, tomato powder, seasonings and pasta, rice separate and make my own.
  • I don't think thin soups are filling so I avoid buying large cans of soup mixes and instead prefer hearty stews
  • Pancakes are easy, just add water and taste good, and can be made in a variety of flavors by adding dried blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.
  • Granola and quick oats are hot, filling, taste great and can be made in all sorts of flavors by adding cinnamon, dehydrated apples, blueberries, powdered milk, creamer, freeze dried strawberries, maple syrup or any creative flavors you can dream up!

YOU might do well with more home canned goods because you are a whiz at that!
YOU might do well with a mixture of dried goods like beans and wheat and store bought canned goods.
YOU might love breakfast foods more than anything else and want to eat things like pancakes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and biscuits for every meal.
YOU might have a baby and toddler in the house and need extra rations of dried milk and formula on hand.
YOU might love vegetables and eat a vegetarian lifestyle and not want any meat products in your store but instead, bulk up on peanut butter or other protein foods.
YOU might be a single person who is content to buy a years worth of MRE's and not bother with ANY of this canned 'stuff'
YOU might ONLY want 'easy quick' add water prepared entrees; teriyaki chicken, beef stroganoff,  chicken and rice; pouches you just add hot water to, let set for 10 minutes and eat!  NO preparation or skills necessary.
YOU might be happiest with a large supply of dehydrated, canned and freeze dried meats but use your own home canned fruits and vegetables and grow as much as you can in a garden assuming the emergency or disaster allows you to (depends on the issue at hand).

Only you can sit and look at the listing of options, decide what is best for your family and start to purchase accordingly.  Perhaps the listings above will be a good starting point to help you with your own personal plan.  How much meat?  How many cans of vegetables and fruit?  How much dried milk?  Canned ready to use flour or hard wheat you grind yourself?

__________________________________________________________


Many, many more options are available, at all different prices. 



Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage All-in-One Pails Kit - 1 Year - 4 Person

$3,616.96 and FREE Shipping



Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit (1 year/4 people)

$4499 and free shipping



5.26.2016

Geesh! I had to threaten to sue just to get off their email list....


While this was originally intended to be a 'venting' post at one time, I found that now that I'm not in the middle of it, and it's a done deal, I don't feel like writing about it in the heat of the moment like I did then.  So, I'm getting another cup of hot, strong, fresh, black coffee and I'll chat about this topic for a bit over morning coffee.

It's about how I tried (and tried and tried) to get OFF the email list of a very large, well known company for six months before I finally had to resort to threats of suing them and quoted the law to them.

________________________

 
Random topic - rambling over morning coffee....

Normally it's not a big deal to unsubscribe from an email list of a well known, large company in the USA.  The large retailers follow the law and it's pretty easy and standard to unsubscribe, get the 'sorry to see you' message and within 3 business days are you off the list.

I didn't mind getting emails from this company at first, but we have zero need for any of the products now, nor have we ordered from them in about 4 years... and their emails were getting tiresome and too numerous!  They sent at LEAST one email every single morning without fail but usually at least one or two more a day on top of it.  I tried to ignore them, just hitting 'delete' each morning but I was getting sick of 2-3 emails a day so I finally decided to unsubscribe.

I started to unsubscribe through the links they provide, in 2015.  It was the last week of November or first week of December and they were probably trying to flood the email boxes of their customers for Black Friday and Christmas but I was bothered by the over-sending by their marketing team and finally decided to unsubscribe.


Easy to unsubscribe from well known, legit retailers emails in the USA


I know this company is there.  I've ordered from them a couple times in the past and IF I WANTED TO ORDER SOMETHING, I knew where to find them.  Plus, I am on their mailing list and get their mail catalogs too!

Unsubscribed.
Got the "You have successfully unsubscribed message.


Typical unsubscribe 'success' confirmation & suggestion it might take 3 days to completely be removed from marketing emails



But they didn't stop.
After about a week I unsubscribed again.
Waited.
Nothing.
Again.

Sometimes I filled out the check boxes to say why.
Other times I typed a THIS IS MY 6th ATTEMPT TO UNSUBSCRIBE, PLEASE TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST into the comment box.

No matter what I did or how many times I tried, they would not stop sending emails.



Unsubscribed 'success' too many times to count... but the emails NEVER stopped.
 

Yes, I could have just called them spam and started to block them from being SEEN by me.  But that wasn't the point!  I did not want to be on their list.  I wanted them to stop SENDING them.

I started to wonder if the marketing director did this on purpose in order to look good.
Getting hundreds or thousands of new email subscribers and not LOSING any would make his or her numbers look GREAT leading to some kick-butt bonuses, salary increases and promotions.  Their monthly reports would look stellar.

All because they didn't actually honor the 'UNSUBSCRIBE' requests of their email customers.

Finally, in the Spring of 2016 I started to make it daily habit to "UNSUBSCRIBE" every morning while I sipped my coffee.  First task of the day.  Unsubscribe.
Again.

Through March and the beginning of April I still could not get the email marketing to stop. 
I also decided to start taking a screen-shot of my requests and making sure I had images of my attempts to get them to simply remove me from their marketing emails.

I didn't want to call the company on the phone... that doesn't help all the other people trying to unsubscribe through the email link - this was about trying to get the company do what they LEGALLY WERE REQUIRED TO DO.

You see, there is a law about unsolicited emails and opting out. 

Penalties: Violators can be assessed up to $16,000 per contested email. Senders also can be fined $250 for every email they send after the subscriber opts out and $750 per email if a plaintiff can prove the company "willfully" ignores the opt-out request.

Mid April I started to note this in the comment box.  NOW would finally start to honor my request?





I would not only take a screen shot, but I would time stamp and date them in my files.
It became a quest.  I had a file specifically for these screen shots.

Finally I wrote a lengthy comment in the unsubscribe box.
I quoted the LAW to them.  Quoted the $16,000 per contested email plus the hundreds of other dollars I was owed for each and every ignored request should I decide to sue to them.  I also sent an email to their customer service link explaining how I had been trying to unsubscribe for almost 6 months and again, mentioning the screen shots I've taken and date/time stamped of my requests.

NO I had no intention of suing.  Ever.  I am not that kind of a person. But I do believe in honesty, work ethic and justice.  I absolutely wouldn't ever sue or something as silly as emails... but someone else WOULD.  And they needed to realize ignoring the customer's requests could harm them and the company with big fines should someone sue.

Well, my email to customer service finally got someone's attention.
The emails finally stopped.

It's just ridiculous it took almost 6 months, numerous requests, screen shot images and quoting the law to them to get them to stop.

For the record I will probably order from them again at some point the future... but I may do it over the phone with the catalog number in front of me (as if I'm an 87 year old woman who doesn't use the internet)  because Lord knows I do not want to go through this hassle AGAIN by placing an order if means another 6 months of trying to get OFF their marketing list!  Ha ha.

Anyway...   eh.  It's done now.  And well, it's just the coffee talking again.











5.25.2016

Diary of an Unborn Child - the speech contest prose that shocked me as a fourth grader and taught me something awful existed in the world; called abortion


Back in the 1980's I attended a school that educated grades first through eighth.  One of the things the 7th and 8th graders got to do every Spring was take part in a regional speech contest.  Before the contest they would practice by visiting the different classrooms and reading their speeches to the younger kids in order to grow comfortable and hone their poetry and prose.  Although they could choose readings of their own choice, I later learned and saw that every year when the speech contest was done their speeches, stapled on colored construction paper, were tossed into a box and put on a shelf for the next years kids to go through if they wished.

Because of the box being saved, there were a couple speeches we 'little ones' heard year after year - others were brand new.  We 'littles' in 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th graders would ooh and ahh and discuss them afterwards and call 'dibs' on the ones we wanted to read when we were finally able to take part in 7th and 8th grade! 

A few still come to mind after all these years...  mostly in bits and pieces but others, I can recall almost the whole thing. 

The Little Matchbox Girl  (loved it the first two years I heard it but oh, how that one was over done! I wanted nothing to do with it nor to hear it any more by the time we were in 4th or 5th!)

Belinda and the Dragon (I still remember the name of the girl I first heard read this one!  I won't give her last name away online but Dee, I still recall watching you stand in the front of the class and read this...  I had never heard it before that but not only did I choose this as one of my readings when I went to speech contest, but it's one I found at our local library years later and went on to read to my own children when they were small).

"I'm writing this down so you'll know how it feels to be pushed and pushed until you can't take it anymore!  I've been swimming for seven years in competition.  There's a meet every weekend in the summer and once a week in the winter......"  I don't remember the name of this one, but I remember a good portion of the lines.  I recall the names of 2 classmates who chose this as their reading when it was finally 'our' time to choose readings.

And finally...  getting to the point of this post!!!  (Yes, for the record I am having my 5th cup of coffee today so I'm blaming it on the coffee talking again....)


DIARY OF AN UNBORN CHILD

I think I first heard a girl named Theresa read this to the class when I was in 4th grade.  I was happily listening, picturing her words playing out as images in my mind of a happy little baby... and then, the last line.  What?!  What!?  I was so confused, shocked and sad.  I almost wanted to cry.  I didn't understand abortion back then, didn't understand that last line...  I wasn't alone.  Silence followed her reading and then slowly, we clapped as we had to clap for all the older students who were reading to us.

This prose became the hot topic of 4th, 5th and 6th graders alike.  Whispered explanations, shock, sadness.  We were midwestern kids from a small town in the heartland in the mid-80's.  Killing an unborn baby was unbelievable to us... unheard of.  Babies were to be gushed over and loved and cherished! 

And that was (I think) the first time I learned about what abortion was - explained to us by the 'older kids' and forever being burned into my memory was this reading, which thankfully, I was able to find online.



OCTOBER 5: Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.

OCTOBER 19: Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother is. And I am.

OCTOBER 23: My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be: MAMA.

OCTOBER 25: My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.

NOVEMBER 2: I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those little legs will raise me to my mother’s arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.

NOVEMBER 12: Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are! I’ll be able to stroke my mother’s hair with them.

NOVEMBER 20:It wasn’t until today that the doctor told mom that I am living here under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy, mom?

NOVEMBER 25: My mom and dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don’t even know that I am a little girl. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.

DECEMBER 10: My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder what kind of hair mom has?

DECEMBER 13: I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?

DECEMBER 24: I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup. You’ll have a healthy little daughter, mom!

DECEMBER 28: Today my mother killed me.

—Anonymous





5.23.2016

From the News: A Mother's Nightmare - Pregnant and In Labor: Tested Positive for Meth But Have Never Done Drugs...


Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/luxury/parenting/2016/05/23/went-into-labor-and-tested-positive-meth/84651054/

Source: http://narrative.ly/i-went-to-the-hospital-to-give-birthand-tested-positive-for-meth/

Yes, it's another story from the news about CPS and Hospitals being wrong...  such a hot issue with me and the news are filled, daily with these stories.  At the very least, this Mother did not have her child taken from her (thank God) but the psychological damage done is something that can't be taken back.  The hurt, fear, depression, frustration...  no parent should have to go through this when they've done absolutely nothing wrong.

For the full story you can visit the sources above - I'm just going to share snippets.  I found the story on USA Today and then read the more detailed version at the second source listed above.



"....About seven or eight hours into her labor, a nurse followed her into the bathroom.

"Just so you know, you've tested positive," she tells her.

Thoughts fill Maggie's head - but nothing could prepare her for what came next.
Maggie Downs and her son, Everest.

Maggie Downs and her son, Everest.
(Photo: MARISA MCDONALD PHOTOGRAPHY)

"You tested positive for methamphetamine."

Maggie laughs to herself, thinking that the hardest "drug" she ingested during pregnancy was Tylenol. She offers another urine sample.

While waiting for the results, Maggie's labor progresses. Her husband plays "Push It," the Spotify playlist she created, and focuses on a picture of Beyonce, her inspiration for the day.

Contractions rip through her body like electric shocks, causing the baby's heartbeat to drop each time.

In the mist of this, the nurse returns to her room with the latest test results.

Maggie comes up positive for methamphetamine again.

“This isn’t right,” she screams.

Her husband is livid.

“You tell them," he yells to the nurse. "I don’t care who you have to call. The lab, the social worker, the doctors. You tell them they’re wrong.”

The nurse tells her that the baby will be tested for drugs and that Child Protective Services will be contacted to evaluate her fitness as a parent. She's told she can not breastfeed her baby.

Maggie is speechless and in a state of shock. What on earth could possibly be causing this horrific mix-up?

Her hands shake as she makes the connection."



"My inhaler," she says, realizing that's what's causing the positive result.

Maggie suffers from asthma and takes puffs from a prescribed albuterol inhaler, which was obviously cleared with her doctors during pregnancy.

Her husband and doula race against the clock, scouring the internet for information about asthma inhalers and drug tests.

He flips through through articles from Drugs.com and CBS News as proof, frantically waving his phone in front of every nurse who walks by.

Maggie pleads for one more test to prove her innocence.

"The more I insist I'm not on drugs," she says. "the more I sound like I am."

“You can take this up with CPS,” a nurse tells her, showing absolutely no emotion."







".... For the next three days, Maggie recovers from surgery while trying to breastfeed her son. Nurses are reluctant to hand him to his mother, calling her irresponsible.

“This woman tested positive for methamphetamine,” nurses say to one another during shift changes. “She has been briefed on the risks associated with breastfeeding, and she refused our advice. She is breastfeeding at her own risk.”

A social worker visits on the day Maggie is set to take her son home. He says her son's drug test is negative and that he doesn't think she's on meth.

But his hands are tied."







..... "The weeks that follow are dark," she says. "I don’t know if I would have experienced the same level of postpartum depression without failing those drug tests. But I do know most other mothers don’t spend their first few weeks with baby the way I do – the shades drawn, peeking out from behind the blinds, examining each car that drives past. Every phone call, every knock at the door, every pop of gravel in the driveway sets my heart racing. Every night shreds me to pieces, wondering if my son will be whisked away by morning ... It seems insane to think someone could take my child away, yet testing positive for meth once seemed insane too."

Three weeks pass, and the hospital social worker calls. He tells Maggie's husband that further testing revealed that she was not taking drugs.

"My son is asleep against my shoulder, and I don’t want to disrupt him," Maggie says. "Instead I walk over to the patio door, pull open the blinds, and for the first time in weeks, let the light in."



5.22.2016

Mr. Coffee Pour! Brew! Go! 16-Ounce Personal Coffee Maker with Insulated TO-GO mug - Orange, Blue, Pink and More!

How fun!  Rainbow bright colors for a personal coffee brewer! 

I don't own this one - (yep, there are still a couple coffee brewers I don't actually own!  Ha ha) but I saw this today and loved it.  Comes in all these bright and fun colors but also comes in midnight black for a more understated presence in your kitchen or dorm.

I did some online research and the average price for these are $22 - $25, regularly $29.99.  However; as crazy as it sounds, there are some available on Amazon for over $90 and JCPenney had this one today for $39.99.  Do not buy this if it's marked over $30. 





  • Reusable filter
  • Dishwasher-safe insulated mug
  • Compatible with the Oster MyBlend
  • Brews up to 16 oz
  • Brews straight into included travel mug or cup of your choice
  • Compact size Great for Kitchens and Dorm rooms
  • Removable filter basket
Available in various colors:
Tangerine Orange
Bubble Gum Pink
Caffeine Blue
Midnight Black
Sour Apple Green




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