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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tickle Your Funny Bone

As a medical professional and a fellow mom... I get it.
I am on Instagram, just to follow my children.  I am not savvy with it and I don't pretend to be.  I can Facebook better than most of the teenagers around me and often get asked advice.  Don't ask my advice on Instagram.

I totally get it.

Go pee before you read this.

How Not To Use Instagram by Grass Stains

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vermicomposting Blog Party

I've never hosted a blog party before... go figure!  So, here it goes with Link Party #1

This link up is to share your vermicomposting ideas.  I want to know how you grow your worms, how you recycle your waste with worms, and what methods work for you.

Link your blog by clicking the link below!  Make sure to link the post and not your main page.  You may be featured on Cackleberries!!

There are four simple rules to my link up parties. 

1. Follow me and notify me that you are following by leaving a comment.  I LOVE COMMENTS!

2. Visit at least 3 party participant's blogs.  That's easy!

3. Link, link, link.... that's what makes this fun.  Share to social media.

4. Don't forget to grab my Name Dropper button if your blog is featured.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's that Font?

If you follow me, you know I love to get crafty.  I use one of those electronic cutters with some computer software that lets me use any font I have installed on my computer.  If you know me, you will know that I have HUNDREDS of fonts.

I use my cutter to cut out fabric for applique and quilting.  I cut vinyl for decals and I cut paper for scrapbooking.  Cutting out letters in different fonts are probably the number one thing I cut out.

Here's my problem... Going through every font to see which one I like the best is for the birds!


Wordmark is an online tool that allows you to see all your fonts.  All you do is type the word in the little square at the top and then click "Load Fonts" and viola! The word appears in every font you have.  The best part? It is FREE!  Visit their ads, visit their page and give them a big thank you!!

I just typed "Jill Dunn" in the little box, and look at that! I am just giddy right now! Gotta go cut out some letters!!

click photo to enlarge

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cloth Pads

I understand this post isn't for everyone.  This is not a new idea people...

Women have used these since the beginning of time. (Thanks Eve.)

I just want to make you aware that there are alternatives out there and give you something to ponder.

So, here it goes...
*Cotton is more natural than sodium polyacrylate and dioxin, common ingredients found in disposable pads.
*Most of us own a washing machine.
*Cloth pads are super cute, customizable to person, needs, color, size, shape, thickness, length, material, flow, etc...
*It is your body, take charge of it.

If any of the above statements and/or links didn't convince you to switch or, at least, keep an open mind, read this article. The problem for me is that there isn't enough concrete research on this to "prove" how potentially harmful disposable pads are in order for me to say with certainty that they should not be used.  As a nurse practitioner, I want research studies, evidenced based practice to back up my beliefs, patients who report their stories in a medical journal.  I just can't find any.

Think about this. (Just playing the Devil's advocate here.) Studies are often driven by money, correct?  Well, if millions of women are paying big money for "necessary items," why study something that will hurt that income?  I do hope it makes you think.

However, I did find many, many blogs by women who are so obsessed with cloth pads and the benefits of them, they blog about it! Some rave of comfort and some rave of cuteness.  Some want to save money. Some write about it changing their life; less cramps, less pain, less flow, shorter menses duration. Others just want to put less garbage in the landfill while watering their gardens with the wash waste water (not for me), but whatever blows your dress.

Personally, I think the more natural something is, the better.  If you are having any of the above mentioned problems, research or not, what does it hurt to try?  Do your own experimenting.

I probably should mention that these are also really great for occasional bladder leakage.  I have made some for an older family member who is on a tight budget and she loves them.

If you are worried about dye in the cute patterns, use organic, natural material that has not been dyed. Again, customizable. :)

From researching this topic (reading many, many bogs), here's what I have learned about constructing a cloth pad. You decide what your needs are.

You can use used material such as shirts, wash cloths, blankets, etc. Wash it thoroughly first!
Thorough descriptions of some materials linked here.

There are a lot of styles out there.  Whether you are purchasing or making our own, explore different styles to see what you like and what will best suit your needs. Here's a few from other sites:

(I have no affiliation with these sites.  I'm just trying to put all the info I find into one place for you. There are probably hundreds of sellers out there as well as people who post their own patterns to buy or for free. I have linked these images to their sources as a courtesy to the stores for using their images.  Feel free to post your own links too!)

These, from Luna Pads, have exchangeable pads made separate from the wings held in place with rickrack. You just change out the pad during the day and keep the wings in place. Some designs like this allow you to stack multiple pads on the wings so you can adjust your flow. I have seen this design in square pads also.
Glad Rags have wings that double as pockets and stacking multiple pads inside the wings can adjust the absorbency.
Etsy, as well as eBay, are also a great places to order from individuals and to get ideas to create your own.  A quick search will quickly give you lots of ideas.

The thing to remember is you can customize.  Don't make a hundred pads before you try out the style.

When creating your own, here's the materials that are recommended.  Of course, you can mix and match the materials.  When I made them, I used flannel for the entire wing, top and bottom, with a lining of PUL so the urine would not leak through the pad and/or wings onto her garments.  I was afraid the PUL would be too sticky or hot if touching her skin, so I put it between the flannel. 

Top Layer Materials
Think absorbancy/wicking and softness because this layer is next to your skin
Minky - soft, short pile that wicks to inner layer
Cotton 100%
Fleece - wicks through it to absorb it into middle layer (helps keep top dry next to skin)
Velour (try for 80% cotton or bamboo in this polyester blend) - wicks and feels dryer than flat fabrics
Organics such as bamboo, hemp, linen, ramie
Felt - not as popular, but wicks through and resists stains

Middle Layer Materials
Think absorbancy while attempting to keep it thin, but you can use as many layers as you need
This layer can be removable for quick drying. You can put several middle layers into one set of wings (bottom layer) depending on the style of the pad so you can adjust your absorbancy as needed. 
I suggest trying several styles out and even mixing and matching your materials
Cotton quilt batting - stitch it down to prevent bunching
Cotton  - those holey husband's t-shirts need a new use
Terry cloth - those stained, used wash cloths/towels you don't want your guests to see work well
Flannel - great for liner but may need more for heavy flow pad
Double napped flannel
Microfiber - very absorbent, but may need to be changed often

Top Wing Material
This layer will touch your thighs. Waterproofing this layer adds extra undie protection.
PUL (polyurethane laminate) - with cotton or polyester side on top (next to skin) and film between top and bottom wing

Moisture Barrier/Waterproofing (optional)
Added between layers of wings OR behind absorbent padding
Waterproof Polyester
Synthetic fleece or wool - not waterproof, but helps while remaining breathable
Ripstop nylon - harder to sew
Felted wool - not recommended for the dryer
Fleece - high quality (Polarfleece or Windbloc)
Procare - less flexible PUL

Bottom Wing Material
Helps keep pad in place
Corduroy - especially if going "wingless"
Flannel - helps keep in place due to "stickiness"
Felt - helps "stick" to undies

Snaps (I am a fan of KAM snaps, but use whatever works for you)
Tabbed wings - wide tab on one wing that slips into a loop on the opposite wing

Helpful tips:
Wash all material before cutting and sewing
Do NOT use fabric softener, it will make fabric less absorbent
I think the best idea for cleaning I have seen is to take a gallon pitcher or decorative pot with lid filled with cool water and a splash of vinegar, if desired, to toss them in until wash day.

When sewing a pad, the easier the better. I basically took an overnight disposable, traced it, modified it, and cut out a pattern.

I hope this post has given you some ideas. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Here are some pattern links to get you started.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I found a really cool blog about soil cube makers.  I am really interested in this and I want to learn more.  Until I can blog about it, here's the link... Daily Bread Living

Soil cubes are are little blocks of soil used to start seeds.  The roots air prune themselves, as long as the cubes are not touching, then the roots can grow into the cube beside it.  It is easier on the plants because there is no root shock when transplanting.  You don't have to peel the bottom off the containers that decompose.

From my various readings, to make soil cubes, you simply mix water with your seed starting soil until it becomes the consistency of oatmeal. I am not interested in using peat, since it is not considered a renewable resource. 

Soil cube makers can save you money since you can use it over and over.

Maybe I will be able to post a tutorial later.  I have tried to contact Daily Bread Living's blogger for more information.

I'll call this entry: To Be Continued...

Photo from

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Don't get ticked off... Get the ticks off!

It is a silly title for a not so silly topic. Ticks are not just gross, they can also be dangerous to our pets, as well as us. We have outdoor dogs and no matter what prevention or remedy we try, they still get ticks. I cannot touch them! That is why I got married. Having a handsome, manly man around to do that job is the way to go!  However, my manly man works, so it isn't always possible to have him do it.  I can't stand to leave them attached and alive.

Today, I noticed a very big, blood sucking, disgusting tick inside my dog's ear.  It was one of those that got bigger with each gulp of blood.  Like a balloon from a horror movie. What to do?? I had to take matters into my own hands.

I remembered something about cutting a "v" into the end of a plastic spoon and scoop the tick into the slot to make it come out. I tried that and it worked, but not as well on all the ticks.

I also remember, as a teenager, arriving at the home of the boy I used to babysit just to discover his mom holding a pair of pliers with blood droplets all over them and the front of her shirt.  Do not try to remove these balloon ticks with pliers! They explode!

I opted for my own reinvention.  Grabbing a plain, disposable plastic fork and my kitchen shears, I went to work. I turned this...

Into this...

I suppose I could have left the tines long, but the tick was inside the ear and I couldn't get it into the end of the "v" of the tines. Now, all you have to do is catch the little blood sucker between what is left of the tines and keep pushing it toward the bottom, or the "v" of the tines... Continue on until the tick pops out. It worked great!

I purposely cut them at an angle. It gave me different slot sizes to choose from.

I couldn't get it to work on the flat ticks, but those are okay to grab with the tweezers, before they get engorged.  Just be sure to grab them in the head and not the body. If you squeeze the body, you can make them expell bacteria back into the dogs skin and cause infection.

So, what do you do with the ticks you remove?  If my dad has visited and he pulls it, he tosses it to a chicken.  Problem solved. If removing several, I may get a little cup of bleach and drop them in as I remove them. If it is one big one, I have been known to flush it (picture a huge sewer tick coming back for revenge).  When the ticks are flat and I just remove one, I pinch it between tape and toss it in the trash. This method works well with fleas too.