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)
 




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.











5.23.2016

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




5.11.2016

Hey it's my lucky day - I got 2 scammer emails this morning and this time I won a Rolex through the "electronic E-mail online Powerball Draws For Internet Users"




Seriously?  People actually fall for this one?  How could anyone pause even for 1 second before they hit "mark this as spam and delete" in their inbox?  I don't get it.







Ref Number: ROLUK/9GM/3699
Batch Number: ROLEX-ENGINE0337

Dear Internet User,

Your email ID have won the total sum of GBP1, 000.000.00 (One Million Pounds Sterling) during the electronic E-mail online Powerball Draws For Internet Users.

You are advised to contact the claims department immediately to redeem your prize.

Mr. Clement Brose
Claim Agent
Tel: +447042099529
Fax: +448458740836
Email: apexclaim@foxmail.com
International prize Department

The claim agent will attend to your claim upon the receipt of your response.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!
User Award Promotion Team

I've got another scam email for my readers entertainment....

It's sad to think someone (anyone) could be fooled by this sort of thing but obviously there are thousands and thousands who are.  I don't know how anyone could believe this... even for a second.  I can't wrap my brain around it.  But it wouldn't exist if someone didn't fall for it and respond.  So... if you are searching the internet because you got an email like this and you don't know if it's true or not...  umm, no.  It's not true.  Delete it.




International Monetary Fund

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220 USA
I am Mr. Jones Robinson Director in charge of the compensation funds to scam victims from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It may interest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many correspondence on the uneasy way which people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies across Europe to Africa and Asia and we have decided to put a stop to that and that is why the IMF was appointed to monitor your transaction here in united state and Europe from the (IMF) that your compensation funds gets to you. 
In view of the determination and commitment of this New Government to ensure that every outstanding foreign beneficiaries debts are settled, but to our greatest dismay, despite all the effort made last year to ensure that most foreign beneficiaries receive their payment, record still show that a lot of foreign beneficiaries did not receive their payment due to their inability to settle some outstanding up-front obligation needed by the Monetary Body.
You have truly been swindled by those unscrupulous persons by sending money to them in the course of getting one fund or the other that is not real, right now the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is Monitoring all foreign funds.
In this regard a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of The International Monetary Fund (IMF) investigations it was agreed that  you will be compensated. by the International Monetary Funds (IMF) which has set aside as a compensation to everyone who have by one way or the other sent money to fraudsters in Nigeria. And those not in Nigeria would be paid by the UNITED NATIONS in the United Kingdom
The below website can be more reference:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4320984.stm
NAME:................................................
ADDRESS:.............................................
OCCUPATION:..........................................
TELEPHONE NUMBER:....................................
BANK NAME............................................
Inform them about this notification letter and the transfer of your fund;and if you were not scammed from Nigeria your request would be transferred to the paying Organization.
Yours sincerely,
Jones Robinson
Director In Charge,
International Monetary Fund (IMF).

5.10.2016

News with your morning coffee: Medical errors are third-leading cause of death in U.S.

Source


Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in The BMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's third leading cause of death—respiratory disease, which kills close to 150,000 people per year.

The Johns Hopkins team says the CDC's way of collecting national health statistics fails to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate. The researchers are advocating for updated criteria for classifying deaths on death certificates.
"Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven't been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics," says Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an authority on health reform. "The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used."

In 1949, Makary says, the U.S. adopted an international form that used International Classification of Diseases billing codes to tally causes of death.

"At that time, it was under-recognized that diagnostic errors, medical mistakes, and the absence of safety nets could result in someone's death," says Makary, "and because of that, medical errors were unintentionally excluded from national health statistics."

In their study, the researchers examined four separate studies that analyzed medical death rate data from 2000 to 2008. Then, using hospital admission rates from 2013, they extrapolated that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, 251,454 deaths stemmed from a medical error, which the researchers say now translates to 9.5 percent of all deaths each year in the U.S.

According to the CDC, in 2013, 611,105 people died of heart disease, 584,881 died of cancer, and 149,205 died of chronic respiratory disease—the top three causes of death in the U.S. The newly calculated figure for medical errors puts this cause of death behind cancer but ahead of respiratory disease.

"Top-ranked causes of death as reported by the CDC inform our country's research funding and public health priorities," Makary says. "Right now, cancer and heart disease get a ton of attention, but since medical errors don't appear on the list, the problem doesn't get the funding and attention it deserves."

The researchers caution that most medical errors aren't due to inherently bad doctors, and that reporting these errors shouldn't be addressed by punishment or legal action. Rather, they say, most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.

"Unwarranted variation is endemic in health care," Makary says. "Developing consensus protocols that streamline the delivery of medicine and reduce variability can improve quality and lower costs in health care. More research on preventing medical errors from occurring is needed to address the problem."




Johns Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary's 2012 tell-all book argues that medicine is too often malpracticed. Why did he decide to blow the whistle on his own profession?


Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care














5.09.2016

Just like Mommy and Daddy! Children's Play Coffee Sets! Even a Melissa and Doug Coffee Set!

UPDATED to say I did in fact purchase one of these and LOVED it.  It was for a 2 1/2 year old and it was an instant favorite.  When he first opened it (along with a bunch of other Christmas gifts) he chose this one as one of his first toys to play with.  We also put it up on the counter next to our real coffee maker so he could make coffee just like the adults. It's still a favorite - and still gets played with even today.
 

This morning I am just not up to reading and dealing with the morning news.  Too negative. Too much ugliness, fighting, arguing.  Too much hatred, death and stupidity.  Too much politics!  Instead I thought about children... and coffee.  Then I thought about children and coffee... together; as in children's little play coffee sets!

I popped into Amazon to see what is on the market in play toys now as my 'kids' are all at the age where they drink real coffee if they desire.  But as little ones, they all loved their little play kitchens and itty bitty play household appliances.  Children love to emulate their parents and drinking coffee or having tea parties is usually a part of that "let's play house!" time.

I'm going to start with my 2 favorites and I think you'll see why right away...   SO many people own single cup brewers now, like the Keurigs - that there is a pretty good chance this is the style of "coffee maker" a child is used to seeing these days! 


What do I love about it?  It's all WOOD with a non-toxic finish.  So it's durable (not breakable plastic)!
  • Charming and unique addition to any toy kitchen
  • Includes wood toy coffee maker, cup, creamer and sugar
  • Encourages role play and education learning
  • Non-toxic finishes and child safe materials
  • For ages 3 - 5 years
I also love that this particular brand has a whole host of play toys, play foods, (mixers, toasters, etc.) you can see those in the link above which takes you directly to the Amazon page.  These are also very affordable - under $20.

My other favorite is another wood play set (and by a very well known name if you have little ones you recognize it) - Melissa & Doug!

(UPDATE 2017:  for the record, this is the toy coffee maker set I bought for Christmas last year and it was a HUGE hit.)



This is the most adorable little play coffee maker!
  • Pretend-play wooden coffee maker set
  • 2 mugs, 3 coffee pods, sugar, creamer, spoon, ice cube, and menu card included
  • Lid opens and closes and dial turns to indicate size settings
  • Sturdy, quality construction

As most of you know, Melissa & Doug have a huge plethora of imaginative play toys, sets, etc. and is a very well known and respected brand.  And again, this set is under $20.

______________________________

Those are my favorites, but it might not be everyone's 'cup of tea' (see what I did there?) so I thought I'd link to a few more ideas I found on Amazon but most of them are available through local retail stores and other online retailers as well.  

Casdon Little Cook Morphy Richards Kitchen Set
Toysmith 17-Piece Li'l Tea Tote Set
Children's Tea Set (colors may vary)
Learning Resources New Sprouts Brew It!