How to use antiques to make your holiday gift giving a breeze.

So, it’s soon to be the most stressful time of the year, with crowded parking lots, dashes through the aisle for “that” new thing…Whoa nelly!
Lets take a deep breath and rethink, shall we?

The holiday season is supposed to be about showing those we love how much we value them, because during the winter season our ancestors often were cold or hungry, they shared one very meaningful meal with the people they loved, exchanged gifts and love, filled their bellies, enjoyed a yule log, all in hopes of making winter a little easier to bear.

So when you give gifts the season, it’s time to give something that shows you care, something that you put more thought into than the easily available stuff that everyone is getting/giving from retail stores. One way to be sure that nobody else is going to give the exact same gift as you are is to incorporate antique touches into your gifts, they are often one of a kind, evoking of warm past memories, and have the ability to become cherished parts of the family tradition, instead of throw away stuff from Wal-mart.

So here are some fun ideas for making your friends and family feel special this holiday season.

1) Give relaxation: An old footstool to prop up their feet along with a fave book or film and their fave hot coca mix. Foot stools are solid gifts that last, but aren’t invasive..if you know the person really well and have a feel for their decorating style, consider going larger and give them an antique rocker, very few people can resist the comfortable pull of an old rocker and a lap blanket on a cold day.

2) The good guest gift: Parties, parties, everywhere! My grandmother used to get an orange wrapped in a scarf or kerchief for Christmas during the Depression..it’s apparently an old tradition that some families continue to teach appreciation. So here is a great way to update it, and to be sure you are always on the guest list. Find an inexpensive depression glass platter or bowl, the compotes are especially nice, fill with red/green/gold ribbon or holiday gift wrap cut with pinking shears, pretty side facing up with the corners draped/folded over the edge of your platter. Fill with oranges and take to your party, be sure to let the hostess know she can keep the dish.
Another spin on this is to make homemade fudge or cookies and present them in a depression glass candy dish, the green glass is perfect for this, as it can be had cheap and isn’t hugely collectable, so you won’t mind actually using it instead of just staring at it with guilt, and it’s already dressed up to match most holiday tables.

3) Candy used to come in wooden boxes and often those boxes were used long after the candy was gone to store love letters, cards, pressed flowers, etc. Small wooden boxes are readily available at most antique shops for under 20 dollars, so before you give her that cheap box of chocolate covered cherries that have melted and are gross, consider giving her a wood box of her favorites, using tissue paper, line your box, insert something nice and preferably pre-wrapped (Ferrero Rocher, Ritter sport bars, a Toberlone, those strawberry holiday cordials you can get..pick out something classy, folks, don’t go nice on the box and then get them the cheap foil wrapped santa claus chocolates..those are mostly wax, and kinda gross) If this gift is for your sweetie, consider taping a picture of you two together into the lid and writing a sweet message across the bottom corner of the photo (To my darling,______, Love, always, ___) like our grandparents used to do.

4) The crime buff: Flip over a vintage felt hat, preferably a fedora, into it add a season of their fave crime show, Perry Mason is a good stand in if you aren’t sure, it’s Noir but not really racy ,or their fave mystery books, some note pads and pens for writing down witness statements (or grocery lists) and maybe a small package of their fave coffee or cigars (if they smoke). If you have a little money to spend, a vintage typewriter isn’t amiss, but the hat gift basket stands alone nicely. You can use this same idea with a ladies hat to embellish a basket of spa items or perfume, it adds a nice feminine touch and possibly some good photo ops of your gal Friday wearing the hat.

5) The heirloom photo: Find their fave family photo and an antique frame, have the photo blown up to fit the frame and you have an instant heirloom that they can use every day.

6) Betty Crockery: If your intended spends alot of time in the kitchen, depending on what they like to cook, vintage cookware could be a huge hit, if they are a baking fiend, get them a pyrex or fireking dish, a cool vintage rolling pin, and maybe one of those crazy hand held egg beaters (you know the kind) add some boxes of cake mix, or little jars of sugar, cinnamon, and sprinkles, try using a vintage apron to line the bake tray and place your glass jars in there along with the egg beater, place your rolling pin in front of the bake tray and wrap in that cellophane stuff like a gift basket, and you should have a pretty happy little baker. If they like to cook on a stove, consider some nice iron cookware, some seasoning salts/rubs, a nice spatula or knife set (as long as it’s safe)..

7)The crafter ..consider packaging vintage notecards, victorian photos, a small box of buttons, a spool of ribbon, and an old photo album or scrap book together, you can even throw in some well loved photos of you and the friend or of family gatherings, package this in a nice old basket. Crafters also need organizational tools, so a printers drawer, wood boxes, empty sewing boxes and that sort of thing are usually appreciated.

8) the bacon enthusiast : make some bacon roses ( http://www.instructables.com/id/Bacon-Roses/step1/Materials/ ) and put them in a cool vintage vase, that way, long after the tasty bacon is gone, they’ve got a great vase to remember it by.. If your intended is vegan consider putting actual flowers in the vase instead of bacon to avoid confusion. Add fun holiday ribbons around the vase to punch it up a bit.

9) Glamor girl..certain vintage gems never go out of style, so consider getting your gal a blast from the past with 1950’s costume gems, necklaces and bracelets are a great choice as they can be accessorized and tend not to be size specific like rings or potentially annoying like earrings from that era which were usual clip on or screw back. Brooches are a nice choice if your lady is older but most young ladies don’t bother. Consider wrapping the gift in a silk scarf so she can keep using the wrapping ‘paper’ too.

10) The man: Men generally are appeased by things which are tool or car related, but some men are more into vintage pen sets, antique watches/clocks, or a nice set of vintage cuff links. Decide which type of guy you are buying for and find a classy gift accordingly.

Remember to have fun, and don’t forget to pick yourself up something special too, even if it’s just a nice cup of coca and a good book..Don’t let the season get you down, if you are spending it alone, consider inviting others over who might be spending their time alone too.

Keep in mind as well , often what seems like a good gift in wal-mart turns out to be something they will never use, and even though it might be cheaper than an antique gift, the antique will be around long after the junk is gone, it’s an antique because it lasted.

Often cheap gifts from wal-mart make us feel like the person doesn’t really know us, the generic nature of mass buying can hurt feelings, so take a little time to create lasting memories that show the person they are important, and not just someone you had to desperately buy a gift for while you were fighting another mom for Butterschotch pony on Black Friday..

Good luck, and good cheer from us here!

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Waste not, want not : Rag Rugs

Don’t throw away those hole filled, stained ,clothes or fabrics that have come well past their time of usefulness!

In times past, cloth was expensive, and to waste it was unheard of, which is how we ended up with quilts constructed of flour and feed sacks, as well as another useful innovation: the rag rug.
Our great grandmothers would save the fabrics too far gone for quilts, but too nice for dust-rags, and give them a new life, as a rag rug.
Today I am going to tell you how to make one of your very own.

What do you need?
*Old clothes, sheets, towels, or any fabrics that no longer serve their intended function.

*Sturdy thread

*Sharp needle of a middle-heavier gauge depending on fabrics being used, if you are using denims consider an upholstery needle.

*Scissors

*A clip, bent hairpin, rubber band or other item to hold the end of your braid

To start, cut strips out of your fabrics, depending on type and condition of fabrics, try to make your strips down the longest side and around 2-4 inches wide. If your fabric is short, cut short strips and sew them together to form one longer one. Your goal is to end up with three strips at least a yard long each..they can be longer, but I strongly discourage shorter, if your fabrics are too short, sew end to end to end, straight stitches across the 2-4 inch surface joining it to the next, and so on, until you have what you desire, you can also use this method if you wish your rug to have a varied color pattern, by sewing strips of varied colors to each other.

Now, for a ‘professional ‘ look, you can make fabric tubes before you braid, turn them inside out (like pillows )with the seam facing inward, so that you won’t get frayed threads poking out.
For those of you who could care less about the frayed look, take your three strips and bind the top edges of all three together with a tidy straight stitch. This will be the beginning of the rug. You can now have someone hold the end, place something heavy on it, clip it to something, whatever, and start braiding from the closest to your top seam as you can, trying to keep your braid tight but not tighter than you’d plait your own hair. Braid to within three inches of the bottom and secure to avoid unraveling. Now take your top edge and roll it towards itself on a flat surface, like a honey bun. Taking your needle and thread, sew on the desired underside, binding edge to edge where they touch, you can use any stitch you please, most use a zigzag pattern, but whatever you know, continue rolling and sewing until your rug looks like a honey bun and is secured with thread along the ‘seams’ between the braids. When you get to your loose ends, stop, do not secure them, you will sew future strips to them and continue your braid. To add onto your rug sew the next three strips to the ends of your prior strips, tucking them neatly and flatly together, secure them with several stitches each, one strip for each loose end (3) of equal length to each other. If you have unequal ends from your original braid, trim them even to each other before securing your new strips to them. Remove clips and continue your braid as you did before, leaving 2-3 inches at the end. Secure in ‘honeybun’ fashion as before, rolling the new braid around as flat as possible and securing along the seams where the braids touch until all but your loose ‘lead ‘ pieces are bound up.Continue process for next pieces. You can make your rug as big or as little as you please, depending only on your scrap fabric and patience level. When your rug has reached the diameter that pleases you, bind it up like normal until you reach your lead pieces, you will now sew these together as flat as possible on the ends and roll your flat ends upward towards the honey bun until they butt against your last binding seam..bind them against the rug as flat as possible. You can also cheat and sew your end to the bottom side of the rug, but heavy foot traffic may wear them loose again.

A variety of cloth colors and textures will make the rug interesting and colorful , much like its cousin quilts.

I hope this helps you to put good use to all those ‘trash’ fabrics.

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Story post, part 1

My name is John Marcom, and I have completely lost my mind.
I don’t mean to have lost my mind, it wasn’t as if I went on a trip and left it someplace, but at twenty two years old, the only rational explanation I have for what’s going on is that my mind must be gone. After all, not everybody suddenly travels through time and gets shot, do they?
I guess I should start at the beginning, since I’ve always heard that is the best place to start almost any kind of story. Maybe along the way I can find the shreds of my sanity that have melted away, and if I’m very lucky, maybe my mind will come back.
My name is John Marcom, I’m twenty –two years old, my parents own a funeral home and I am their only child. I represent a major casket manufacturing firm as a Sales Consultant. That is a fancy way of saying I drive around and sell my brand of caskets to funeral homes across the country, or at least I try to. Growing up in the ‘Death care Industry’ has given me a slight edge and I’m pretty good at what I do. I have been employed by Danville Casket Corporation for two years, and last year I earned the regional sales bonus coveted by all Sales Consultants. We also sell urns and cremation accessories. “Need a necklace to put your Granny’s ashes in? We are your cremation jewelry experts. “
I’m not normal by societal standards but people in my field consider me normal and competent. I’m tall, athletic, and generally considered good looking. I inherited my mother’s hazel eyes and my father’s wavy, light blonde, hair. I dress nice and often get the attentions of stewardesses and waitresses, though right now I’m still single, much to the disappointment of my parents, who can’t wait to have little John-lings cavorting around the halls of the funeral home.
Other than my parent’s spooky profession, and my well paying, but socially repugnant career path, I consider myself normal and sane. I rent an apartment in a nice neighborhood, I drive a newer model car, and on my days off I work out and watch movies. I keep in touch with friends from school on social networks, and I don’t time travel or get shot at. Except for today, today I traveled back to the Civil War and got a Mimi ball in the shoulder.
I was lying on my own brown, plush, microfiber sofa, watching a football game my own TV and generally minding my own business. It wasn’t as if I climbed into a blue box with a Timelord or anything, I stood up, took three steps in the direction of my kitchen, on my way to get a beer , felt suddenly dizzy and the next thing I know I’m sitting in a shallowly dug trench behind a log.
I realized I must have fallen asleep on the couch so I willed myself awake, with no result. The guy next to me in the trench looked barely old enough to hold a gun and smelled like a mixture of gun powder and rank body odor. He held his rifle over the earthen edge of the breastworks and fired a shot that cracked my ear drums. The smell of powder was around me and a faint smoke hung over our meager cover. The person, or persons he had fired at were obliged to return fire, and I heard the projectiles launched from their guns whiz over us. A sudden burning pain shot through my shoulder and I felt as if the world was shattering in red pieces. I heard my voice scream and the boy solider next to me hollered something I couldn’t quite make out. I dropped to my knees and vomited into the thick, wet dirt, which was splashed with red flecks of my blood. Overhead I heard shouts and yells and the smell of gunpowder was choking my lungs. A man dressed in dirty gray leaned over me and stuck his filthy finger into my wound. The world heaved again and I faintly smelled tobacco. Overhead I heard someone yell “ Ye’ll be alright, son, the ball done passed clean through, quit getting yer vittles all over the ground and put a few balls in them damn blue scoundrels, that’ll cure ya right up, boy. “ I felt a rifle pushed into my hands and the grey tobacco giant was gone, wading his way through the trench to infect someone else’s wounds, no doubt. The boy next to me, who had summoned the man I’d decided to call “the infector”, pressed a flask to my lips. The substance I swallowed from that flask must have been half cousin to the embalming fluid that my folks used to prepare bodies, because it seared its way down my throat, making a fire path to my guts. I momentarily forgot the searing pain in my arm in favor of the searing pain now running rampant in my guts, at least until I felt him splash a little of the same into my slightly charred, gaping wound. This caused my eyes to water and I’m certain I wept great tears of pain while trying to assure myself that at least no germs could possibly survive whatever satanic mixture dwelled in that boy’s flask. He stuffed the offending mixture, flask and all into the front of his tattered coat and started to reload his rifle. I stared down at my own shaking hands and wondered what kind of hell I’d stumbled into.
The wooden stock of a seemingly ancient gun was grasped in my good hand. It looked like something the pilgrims would use to shoot turkey for the first thanksgiving, and not like a weapon with which I could actually defend myself. My fingers were brown and callused, almost as filthy as The Infector’s, with nails chewed to the quick and black dirt under what remained of the nail beds. The bullets kept cracking from all directions, sounding like someone playing with a bull-whip. I stayed hunkered down next to my pile of vomit, which I slowly realized smelled better than my motley brown and gray wool clothes. The boy had shot and reloaded his gun again. I felt him take my old musket from my shaking grasp and watched him load the thing. In my haze I thought “That’ll never shoot, it’s a damned antique!” The boy looked up at me and I realized that I must have said my hazy opinion out loud. “It was good enough for your people in 1812, it’ll be good enough to kill some of these damn yanks, Johnny, now quit acting like we’ve never been shot at before and help me hold these lines, you don’t want to disappoint the folks back home.” He snapped at me as he pressed my now loaded rifle back into my hands. I glanced around and counted at least twelve men in the ditch near us and more in another ditch several paces off, all dressed in varying shades of browns, grays and stolen union blues.
I raised the rifle with my good arm and aimed over the log in the general direction of the incoming rounds. I didn’t intend to actually kill anyone, but I figured that I better shoot at something before my young friend decided I needed more Satan juice poured into my wound as motivation. I still felt sick, but shock or the whiskey was dulling the original pain, though the smell of sick and unwashed bodies was fast competing for the attention of my heaving insides. I closed my eyes and pulled the trigger on the old gun, half expecting it to do nothing, and half expecting it to blow up my other shoulder. It did neither and instead issued a vaguely familiar sounding crack, and some of the gunpowder smoke. I settled down against the earthen wall of our defenses and watched some of the other men around me load and fire guns in varying shades of repair. The firing in our area from the offending Yankees was letting up and the boy informed me that “We’d licked e’m now.” I dug through my pockets, hoping for some clue as to what this nightmare might actually be about. I found a dinged up gold watch, a tiny framed picture of an attractive looking woman, some letters addressed to Johnny Dawson in a pleasantly sloping female handwriting, along with a small snuffbox containing wisps of foul looking tobacco clinging to its tiny insides. I offered it to the boy who gratefully scraped up what was left of the tobacco and shoved the whole wad into his mouth with relish. I pocketed the empty box and watched him. The shooting had died down, with only an occasional crack coming out of the air to my fair right, and a better dressed, but crazed looking man on horseback rushing to and from different positions on the field. The boy settled against the earth next to me and threw a wad of dirt over the vomit I’d left earlier. “Well, Johnny, guess when those bastards are done dying over there we’ll prolly get our orders to move forward and join the rest of Lee’s army. That’ll be right good too, I can’t stand all this being strung out and never knowing what the devil is going on. “ I nodded in what I hoped was a convincing manner. My shoulder felt stiff and painful and I began to wonder if on the way to my fridge , in my nice, modern home, I had hit my head or something, because, try as I might, I couldn’t seem to wake up from this foul smelling, painful nightmare.
The boy’s name was Daniel, I found out later, when the Infector came back by to check on things around dusk. The infector’s name was Joe, and he, Daniel, and I were part of the army of the Confederate States. I listened through half closed eyes as they talked about getting new orders and hopes that those damn yanks would be beat for good soon, because Joe had gotten a letter from home and his wife couldn’t manage the planting by herself, and their daughter Katie was sick with some kind of fever. Daniel ‘s mother hadn’t written a thing and since his Pa was in the army too, he hoped she was managing things okay by herself , but he was awful worried about things at home. Daniel turned to me “You had any letters from Sue lately? I know you were mighty hopeful that she’d marry you when this damn war is over, but if it keeps up I’d worry about her finding other beaux.” He teased. I wasn’t sure who Sue was, much less if I’d heard from her, but I figured that the picture and letters must be from this strange lady that I apparently was courting. “Danny, you know mail isn’t good out here, besides, I’m not that easy to replace, I’m sure she’ll be waiting with bated breath for me to come home.” Daniel laughed and handed me a piece of stale hard cracker that he’d already half chewed on “You better eat this, you always talk like a fool before you fill your belly, Johnny.” I nodded what I hoped was a polite thanks and pretended to nibble at a section of the rock hard cracker. Someone had started a fire nearby and the sounds of making camp could be heard along with the smell of wood smoke and something vaguely resembling burned bread. I closed my eyes and prayed to anyone who might be listening that I wake up at home, in my warm bed and not still in this unholy place.

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Electricity-or ” I can’t live with or without you”

So after yet another fun- time electric outlet scare , in which sparks happened and I had to manually flip the breaker off, since despite the flamey-ness it seemed perfectly intent on not flipping off the circuit..and then I couldn’t get a hold of my husband, which is another post for another time, but in the midst of all this chaos I realized yet again how we both take electricity for granted and how we should be able to live without it if needs be. So my next post will be about either temporary or semi-permanent ways to survive without the electric company in case of a catastrophic problem with your electric…

First things first, what are your first concerns when your electric goes out ?
Mine were:
1)The food in my freezer spoiling
2)Animals getting too hot
3)Light
4)cooking (or lack there-of)
So we’ll address these issues one at a time:
If the power outage is localized and caused by a short storm, you likely won’t be in the dark for long, so just shove all your perishables in the freezer and keep the door closed as much as possible.
If things are starting to look kinda bleak, get your hands on some ice and shove it in your freezer or a cooler for your perishables, if you have a chance to plan ahead freeze two liter soda bottles full of water, you can either use these around food the way Victorians used the giant chunks of ice off the ice wagon or you can drop repeatedly and cut away the plastic casing for smaller format ice, for wounds or household. I usually keep about four of these bad boys in the bottom of my freezer.They will stay ice in moderate temps for several hours, I used several under my laptop for giggles and to keep the broken-fanned thing from melting on a day when it was 103 outside and they stayed ice for 12 hours or better even with external heat from the laptop. If you have those prepped already you can put them in a cooler with items you are concerned about as a old fashioned icebox type of deal.

If you are fresh out of ideas and someplace hot, you can build a bush cooler, which is basically a pot inside of another bigger pot, you pour sand in between the two pots as an insulator then you pour water on the sand..the evaporation causes cooling..you can put ice or cold packs in the bottom of your second pot if you have it but if not put the item to be cooled in the inner pot and cover with a towel or blanket and put the whole affair in the shade..but as a warning this is only good for cooling, not keeping frozen or freezing items, it only gets to 60 at it’s very coolest ..so only consider it as a last resort ..
If you have time to spare and frequently worry about power outages, you can build a cellar which is a pit dug into the ground, sometimes the size of a room, to store food items..the deeper the cellar the better the cooling in theory, though it’ll never match the power of your fridge, it will at least comfortably store your soda/spam/canned goods without making them explode..this method isn’t suitable for perishable goods unless used in conjunction with a cooler/ice box method to prolong the life of your ice by keeping it in a cool dark place.
If you are lucky enough to live near a spring or river, or even a healthy creek, you can build a springhouse, which is a building that water passes through, with a trough in the middle so that the water moves over your semi perishable items and cools them as it flows through your spring house..these often have the trough-house area and a dry storage area, they can be as plain or fancy as you please, with some folks just setting their goods in a basket in the shady ,shallow part of their river or creek with the basket tied down to something “so it don’t float away”..a spring house can store eggs, milk, and cheese, but not forever, it’s not a fridge like we are used to but in plantation days it served as one. Make sure anything you put in the trough of your spring house is sealed in a jar or basket so it can’t get contaminated nor contaminate your water, which presumably you are also drinking at this point.
If you have snow/ice outside then use it in a cooler, or straight up to chill your food..duh..

For your critters you can tote e’m down to your cellar if you have one, where it should be about 10-20 degrees cooler than above ground.
If you aren’t that lucky you may have to put e’m in cages or pens and take e’m outside in the shade and try to find a cool place for e’m with plenty of clean, fresh water, because if it’s hot out then your house will turn into an oven, but until it gets that hot you can open windows and try to get a cross breeze going,  if there isn’t one then you, and they will roast if you stay indoors. If someone you know does still have electric, call and beg their mercy for your pets, and if you have a barn, you can tote your inside pets to chill with your livestock ..but don’t leave your pets anywhere you wouldn’t want to be, and make sure they have water..can’t stress that enough.

If you’ve frozen those bottles as suggested you can put a towel over one and wet the towel down in your pet’s cage, it’ll help cool them off some and give them something to lay on/against that is cool if they get too hot..remember, most household pets, including cats ..don’t sweat like we do so you have to look out for their needs with caution, as they can dehydrate very quickly.

If it’s cold out you handle that situation the opposite way, try to cover your windows and doors with blankets and seal off any parts of the house you aren’t using, try to centralize everything alive into one room or area where you can provide a localized heat source. You can use towels and newspapers to stuff under doors of rooms you aren’t using..but be careful of your heat source, if it is fire or anything that uses up oxygen don’t seal things up too tight, you could poison yourselves..just try to eliminate heating parts of the house you don’t have to use, for example guest rooms are non essential during a ice storm power outage..so close the door, put a towel under the gap in the bottom of the door or hang a blanket over the door to avoid wasting the heat to that area, your furnishings aren’t going to freeze to death, but you and your pets might. , and by putting everyone in one room you have not only less to heat, but also body warmth concentrated to one area. You can also use this close space to cheer each other up by playing silly games. If things are really cold don’t be ashamed to stuff newspaper into your clothes or pet bedding, it does help insulate.

Light is actually one most people do know how to cope with, storm lanterns, camping lights, flash lights, candles etc are common..you can also make tallow torches if you must by putting a wick into saved fat or tallow (I always have some stored for soapmaking) it will smoke alot but works in a pinch

How you gonna fix food?..well it depends on your situation, if you have access to the outdoors you can use an open fire, a camp stove or a dutch oven..you can even make ash cakes if you have a little foil or such handy ..indoors if you have a wood burning stove or fire place you are set, and with adequate ventilation even a camp stove will work.. you may end up eating alot of beans and bacon, or ashcake cornbread, but you won’t starve as long as you have plenty of canned food saved up and a healthy imagination.

I hope this helps some, good luck and remember: You don’t miss that electricity until it’s gone, so if there are non electric survival items you keep putting off buying, maybe now is the time to invest in them, ya never know when they might be handy to have.

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Printed books

So the popular thing now is books on computer tablets or whatever, which I’m sure is lovely..but what if the power goes out and the battery to your voodoo book machine isn’t charged?..What if your access to download a new book becomes restricted by lack of internet connection or zombie takeover? What are you going to read then?..
Books..they aren’t a worthless waste of paper, but rather a real, tangible manifestation that people are still creating and thinking (for the most part) and old books are precious little windows into a time gone by, not just with the story, but the way they were made, the small words we don’t even use anymore …for example: mare’s nest.. nobody uses it anymore .. what does it mean?

mare’s nest
Noun:

A complex and difficult situation; a muddle: “your desk is usually a mare’s nest”.
An illusory discovery: “the mare’s nest of perfect safety”.

I mean ..c’mon folks you just don’t find gems like that in modern writing..
so stop trying to kill paper books..you can’t throw your Nook at a zombie without him laughing..(which may sound more like gurgling) but you hit him with a stack of childcraft books you bought on sale at goodwill, and he’ll know you mean business..

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Darn those socks

Darning your socks or other items is a quick and easy way to save money and make your common household items last longer.. to darn a sock, take a ‘darning egg’ or a lightbulb, and a matching-the-sock yarn or embroidery floss, now,pop your egg/bulb in the sock and use it to go against as you sew.. go around the hole using a purse string stitch, nice and tight and pretty, but don’t pull it , just sew around the edge of the wounded sock area, then starting from where you ended your purse string stitch go behind the stitchline (using the purse string stitch as a support brace for your new stitches, make your stitches going back and forth across the surface of the hole, just nice evenly spaced, in and out single direction stitches (vertical or horizontal, your choice), then, when you’ve done a nice amount go the other way (whichever- vertical or horizontal you didn’t already use), weaving your stitch into the prior stitches, like screening or netting, only try to make it nice and tight without gaping holes, and just weave back and forth remembering each time to pass your thread behind the pursestring line before coming back up for another row..before you hit your last line make sure you are nice and tight, it needs to be tight enough to hold your string without a knot, so make sure your weave is nice and not spacy and full of holes ..then you should be able to cut your thread ..leaving a small tail to the inside of the sock ..now you are done..congrats on saving yourself a little money!

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The American Dream-What is it to you?

I hear alot of people going on about the American Dream..how free this or provided that is a part of that dream..newsflash, folks, dreams don’t cost anything.
The realization of those dreams might cost you, but since nothing in life is free and it feels good to work for what you have, what is the big idea with the modern attitude of ‘Gimme’ ?
I suspect it is because some folks don’t want to work for their version of the dream, they’d rather take away from everyone else’s dreams to be handed theirs, no more consequences, no more action versus reaction.
From being a small child I was always taught that if you wanted something from this world, you got up off your ass, went out and worked for it, with your two hands and two feet, with the brain in your skull and the heart in your chest, you made things happen and as you worked it brought you closer to the things you wanted, and it also taught you to appreciate what you had, it taught you values that couldn’t be bought, like not to steal because that person worked just as hard for what they have as you worked for what you have. Hard work taught alot of us in the school of hard knocks, but along with the calluses and sore muscles, we had pride and integrity that couldn’t be bought or sold. We had the freedom to try an honest thing to get what we honestly wanted, and if it didn’t work out, we had the freedom to chose to try again.
What about all those with open palms willing to sell the freedom to make their own choices about their bodies and minds , in exchange for a temporary free ride, that is neither really free, nor temporary..For what?..So you don’t have to go out and buy a box of condoms?..So you don’t have to actually pay your doctor the fair wage that he worked hard in medical school for? Really? Is it worth it?
Compassion and decency are well and good, and are the foundation of many charities designed to help the poor and needy get the care they deserve, along with hospitals who don’t turn away emergency room patients that can’t pay if their illness or wound is life threatening..I’m sorry but nobody is going to give you a free boob job..your life doesn’t depend on it, and if your occupation does, well it was your choice to become a stripper and if I have to buy my non slip shoes or khaki pants, you can buy your own damn boobies and lipo..
This is about my choice to cut out the middle man, to tell my M.D. ..hey I just want to pay you up front for your services, you don’t jack up your costs and I won’t be too broke to pay you, instead of feeding a giant government insurance monster for services I hardly use and don’t really need or want..and then to be told my money isn’t just for my health, but to support some asshole who sits on their bum and collects a welfare check while buying a designer handbag and driving a BMW..are you f-ing kidding me?..Fire those people at the IRS and then rehire them to invade the lives of those on Government assistance, cause if it’s okay for the gov to invade my privacy when it comes to my healthcare then I want the lives of those whose healthcare I’m also paying for to feel invaded too..
You know what my ‘American Dream ‘ is?..To work hard, to work hard and earn the things I want, to work hard and earn the comfort I desire, and to be left the hell alone by the Government…not to pay for the damn Welfare state more than I do already..

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