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Paige's Highlights

1. Waste not, want not. In preparation for all the home-steading and canning and such that I'm wanting to be doing in a year or two, I've decided to start saving canning jars from the store. When I was out shopping yesterday, I found plastic Ball lids--not the kind to can, but good caps for the jars I already have, dry storage of beans and such, and good to test the jars that I'm hoping to accumulate. I'm curious to see how many I can save from the recycle bin--and spare my wallet from the cost of buying! So far, I haven't saved any of the regular jars, but I found some really yummy spaghetti sauce--without HFCS--in Ball jars! Makes for cheaper sauce than the "cheap" stuff when you take into consideration the value of the jars (~$1 each).
2. Self-repairs. Here's a great website to help with all those little things that might break. It's a parts shop for appliances and gives advice and tips on how to fix things yourself. I HATE it when things break. Dan is great at fixing things and this past weekend we managed to avoid a nearly $120 bill to replace the motors on our van windows (Maine requires fully functional windows to pass inspection). A pretty drive out in the country to a junkyard, about an hour worth of finagling, and $2 for our parts and we were able to convert them back to hand crank windows--and we now have our stinking sticker! Dan's basically amazing. :)

3. Homesteading Today. A website entirely devoted as a discussion board to various topics on self-sustaining living. They have boards on every kind of livestock, cooking, energy sources and more. I really liked the discussion on saving money and frugality.

4. Wonderful Honey. Here's an article from Mother Earth News on the benefits of honey. And despite what the article insinuates, we actually DID get taught about honey in PA school and it's uses as a wound dressing (one of the good things of "liberal" New England--alternative therapy). So, that's actually scientifically well-known about the osmotic effects on bacteria. So far, they've yet to figure out a way to become resistant to physics. I would underline their concerns about giving raw honey to babies or other people who are suffering from weakened immune systems (transplant patients, chemo patients, etc.). That botulinum toxin is nasty stuff.
5. Chipotle Smoked Peppers
. Dan and I are particular fans of peppers, salsa, and most things Mexican. This looks like a good idea and I can't wait to try it! Even better, it gives me yet another excuse for him to make me a solar powered dryer. (See an earlier Highlights for pictures of the design I like best). Poor Dan, I'm going to keep him SOOO busy when we get our own place....chicken tractors, cider presses/grinders, solar dryers, houses, workshops....whew! Aren't I just lucky that he likes building things.

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