Friday, August 31, 2018

Coolest Pinball Arcade Basement Ever - Diner Booths and Full Kitchen in the Mix

I had a cousin that was visiting some family that lived somewhat near and so they asked if we could have a little cousin reunion last minute.

I have around fifty cousins on both sides of my family. I love having a large family and enjoy getting together with most of them. Some are much older and some are younger but there is a wonderful group near my age we have had so much fun with over the years. 

I have a unique thing that most families don't have in the fact that my dad is a fraternal twin and an identical twin. Here is a blog post about that. 

Having three people the same age and getting married around the same time made for kids of the same age along the way. I have a bunch of cousins within a year or two of my age due to the triplet situation. 

I love my cousins and wanted to support the reunion but it made a super long day of driving for a short amount of visiting with the actual cousins as the one hosting was headed out of town early the next morning so he didn't want a late night. 

I arrived late which didn't help due to the amount of traveling. I was in awe of his home from the second I entered. It is BEAUTIFUL! I really wish I could have gotten a tour of the entire place but was grateful they were willing to allow us to see what we did. I will share a bit more on all that later but just wanted to share the basement with you in video and picture today. 

Watch the video because I couldn't do it justice in picture. It is every teens dream basement! So fun! I tried to play each of the games but didn't have the time as I wanted to spend it visiting with my cousins but I did get to play many of the games and I haven't played a pinball game in at least 15 years or more. 

I loved that the first game I played was "Wizard of Oz" and it had a Rainbow sign on it and one of the bonus wins is you see the rainbow horse of a different color in the glass ball! It was so cute as it made me think my mom was enjoying the party as well! Click here to see why rainbows remind me of my mother. 

These games are brand new, out of the box, state of the art, graphic, stereo sound all with headphones gorgeous in top hit show, classic movies and more. The games had me laughing out loud a few times with the funny things they said in "The wizard of oz" and "Shrek," "Star Trek" and "Walking Dead" etc. I think the party could have gone on for a few more hours but we didn't have as many cousins as we would have liked to see there but the ones that were able to make it, enjoyed it!~ 

It is the ultimate Teen home! I was grateful he was willing to open it up before heading out on vacation and glad I got to get hugs from some of my favorite people! I am blessed with a wonderful family! 

Have a Blessed and family filled day! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dehydrating Banana Peels - Nutrition - Pesticides - Taste - How To Eat Them

I dehydrated a banana box full of bananas. I had mounds of peels and thought about how I have learned that many pits have nutritional value and wondered if banana peels also have nutritional value.

I did a quick internet search and found that they are edible and do have some nutritional value. I was super busy that day but quickly cut up a few trays of banana peels and dried them.

They contain Lutein which is good for the eyes. They contain high amounts of potassium. They contain an amino acid Tyrosine. They are high in antioxidants and the greener the peel, the more antioxidants they contain.

You can boil the peel and drink the tea or put the boiled peel in a juicer. You can eat the boiled peel. You can fry the peel which they do in some countries but they didn't suggest what I had in mind but I do feel like maybe I was inspired to look up that information as I do need help with my eyes as you know as they are yellow and I take Tyrosine in pill form so it was good to know it is in the peel. It helps with mood. Potassium helps regular heart function and we all know the benefits of antioxidants.

It wasn't until I was in bed at night when my mind had time to process information that I thought about the pesticides on the banana peels. I know that they spray bananas with lots of pesticides as they don't want to transport poisonous spiders in the banana boxes into the US.

What I didn't know before doing more research, was the amount of antifungal sprays to keep them from molding in transport. They have done testing on bananas in large amounts due to the high amount of sprays that they put on them. The test results say that due to the peel, when you eat the banana, there isn't much of the spray on the bananas but there is on the peel.

In searching for more information, I found that some worm farms won't use banana peels in their mulch for the worms because the amount of pesticides on the bananas have killed off the entire bins of worms.

That information made me laugh thinking maybe I should just eat a ton of banana peels to get rid of my parasites if it kills off earth worms, perhaps it would kill the parasite. Of course that was all in humor, but it did make me question how much pesticides and antifungal sprays I eat as I have at least one banana a day for the potassium as I don't do well if I don't. I was interested in how much poison we get in just holding the peel while we eat the banana.

I hadn't really thought about it much. I was sad that I didn't have the thought to dehydrate the banana peels when I had several boxes of organic bananas as that would have been interesting. It is reported that the peels are stringy and fibrous but my plan all along was to make them into a powder like I do the dried bananas and add a little of the powder to my protein shakes in the morning to get the vitamins that are in the peels. I am sure I probably wouldn't even taste it as they are flavored and I add bananas and other fruit daily anyway so a little peel powder wouldn't hurt.

I am throwing the container of dried peels into the mulch as I don't want to take any chances with the toxins on the skins but it has given me the idea and option to dry them if I get anymore organic bananas in the future.

Here is a post how I make banana flour and baby food from dried bananas.
Here is a post how I make banana flour and pancakes with that flour. 

Have a Blessed and Healthy Day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Things I wanted To Blog But Didn't - Food Bank Bananas, Corn and Some Jewelry Sort

My life has been so crazy the past few months. I just can't even share how many things that have happened that I have wanted to blog about and just haven't due to so much going on. I think that just the past two weeks, I have stuff I wanted to blog about and haven't been able to do it. I have been so busy that I haven't even taken pictures of many of the things I wanted to post about.  

In the past two weeks, the food bank has started calling me again. I haven't gotten calls for at least six months or more. I have been so tired that I told them I just couldn't distribute things. I had started to feel better recently and had the thought that it would be nice if the food bank started calling me again as I am out of all the frozen mushrooms, onions, mangos etc that I froze when they had overages. 

Not two days later, they call me saying they have boxes of bananas. I had wanted bananas as princess Five's favorite dried fruit is dried bananas with the edges curled in so she likes the slices from the ends. I thought it would be nice if I made all the bananas edges so instead of slicing them all down one direction, I sliced the edges off in four making the center of the banana a square. 

This way, I got four skin edged dried banana tubes and then I froze the center of the bananas for smoothies. It took me a little more time to do it that way but I wanted to be able to send princess with dried bananas that are her favorite. 

The next week they called and told me they had 4 cases of bananas and four of corn. I spent hours and hours cutting corn off the cobs and Princess Five shucked four banana boxes of corn on the cob so I could cut it off and freeze it. I didn't finish until about 4 a.m. and had been working for hours but we were headed out of town so it had to be done. 

I also drove around distributing bananas by the case if I could but some in bunches. I also froze a few zip gallons of bananas on cookie sheets to use for smoothies as well. 

All that is mixed in with Princess Four moving to college, a family day at the temple in another city along with family pictures. Finishing off sewing clothes for Princess Fives mission and starting to pack bags. Several Birthdays in there, and I am totally exhausted again. I am having some health issues that I will share another day most likely but for now, I am totally exhausted and I am just going to post a few more jewelry videos tonight as I didn't take pictures of the corn and bananas. My kitchen has stuff everywhere, I have had jewelry piles on my dining table for about a month as I can't seem to find the time to sit down and finish bagging it all. 

I have gotten some of the other areas of the house cleaner but am falling behind with the busy of it. I hope I can start feeling better. It seems like I just start getting better and then something else shows up... I will share about that later. 

Have a Blessed Day!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Review of Best Bus From Washington DC to New York for $30

Before we went to DC and New York, I spent several hours researching ways to get from DC to NY. We looked at flights, trains, renting a car, taking a bus and when I contacted my cousin who lives in NY and whos brother lives in DC, she suggested taking a "Bolt Bus" for $30. 

I was very excited about this as my only public long distance bus experiences were on a greyhound bus when I was about 10. I started doing research and spent hours looking at the reviews of many different bus lines that drive routs between DC and NY. We had thought about visiting family in Pennsylvania but it just added so much on the cost and time that we opted out and just did DC and NY. 

In my research, I found that Bolt Bus had many horrible reviews. They often have issues with no air conditioning and I don't do well with heat so that would have been an issue at the end of July. I also found many reviews of broken down busses on road sides for hours waiting for rescue or waiting in the rain on the side of the road for a bus that never came and no email or notifications of them not coming or being canceled. 

I read about clogged toilets, smells, Wi-Fi never working on any of the trips etc. The only good thing that was consistent with Bolt Busses was that they give out $1 trips last minute and you can go to NY or back etc for $1. I met people who actually had paid $1 for trips on their busses. If you don't have a time limit or don't care about Wi-Fi or air conditioning at cooler times of the year, this may be the bus for you getting a ticket for cheap. 

I also looked at Mega Bus and they had better reviews. All the busses had the same price points of about $30 to $35 for the trip. So, if money is considered, it is all the same. 

The best reviews on many sites went to "Best Bus" and so I felt confident in purchasing out tickets a month ahead of time because I had done so much research. They had four trips a day each direction. The reviews said that one time they had a breakdown and they hired one out from another company and due to the late start, the person was given a refund as the trip wasn't on time. She didn't ask for the refund and understood that breakdowns happen but they just automatically refunded her. 

I was worried about my luggage getting taken from the under compartment but that issue was quickly resolved. I realized they have a wonderful system in place. Each pickup has a driver and a host. Neither is ever alone with the luggage. The host and the driver put the luggage in and lock the compartment and it isn't opened again until you read the drop off. There are a few pick up stops in the same city before leaving and they count the passengers together to verify the numbers so a driver can't say someone didn't show. 

Pick up is just on a street corner so take an umbrella or rain poncho in your luggage as you may need it. All of the busses are this way. However, they did have a parking garage pick up so we could have taken a Lyft or uber to that site to stay out of the rain but seats may be more picked over at the second stop. You have to give the stop of your pick up when you buy the tickets so you can't change pick up spots last minute. 

Your name is the ticket and you just give them your name when entering. The bus was spotless. The seats were clean and spacious. There were spring loaded foot rests for short people but for people with long legs like mine, there was adequate leg room so I didn't have my knees in my chest. 

The toilet was clean and big enough to fit me and I am not small. There were several plugs under the seats both plugs and usb plugs. They handed you a bottle of cold water as you got onto the bus. They had cup holders and put a trash bag on each seat so you could collect your trash keeping the bus clean. I appreciated that the bus had seat belts as well. I was on a trip and one of our busses crashed and people died from our group so that is an issue for me.  

Getting on the bus, the driver handed those of us in the front row or two free sun glasses. Princess Two was all over those. The air conditioner worked great and I appreciate that announcement that the driver gave before leaving asking everyone to be considerate of the others not talking on the phone loudly, not using the toilet if not feeling well as he would pull over asap if there were "stinky" issues so that we didn't all have to smell it. He let us know there would be a food and bathroom break half way for 20 minutes and said if people were cold or hot, to let him know. It was wonderful! 

We arrived when they said, they left on time. We had overhead storage on the bus so you didn't have bags around your feet. I had an empty seat next to me which was great. It was mostly full though so that was great. I arrived early at the pick up so I could get a seat near the front as I get car sick sometimes but since most of the driving was highway, it was not bad. Because we had the tickets early, we could have arrived late but maybe just not sat together. As it was, we sat across from each other and could visit but we were tired so the girls slept. 

I would for sure use the bus again. I think the value of the price was really good. I enjoyed watching SNL skits while driving as I watched a movie and didn't want to start another so the WI-FI was great for watching youtube. Trains cost us twice the price for all of us depending and since Pen station (Pennsylvania station) is under construction, we ended up taking a Lyft to our destination as I didn't want to haul luggage through the smelly NY streets. We left from Dupont Circle in Washington DC to Pen Station stop in New York. It really was a great trip and I suggest it highly. 

I'll be writing about our Lyft / Uber soon.... Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ilse Sharing Her Life and Stories of Being in a POW Internment Camp in WW2

Ilse is a friend of mine. She lived near a friend of mine and when I was serving in a leadership role in my congregation, I visited her a few times. 

Later, as her sight failed, she had a hard time seeing if her home was clean. She would do what she could but several women in the church got together and deep cleaned her home and I gave her my number telling her to call me if she needed anything. 

She had dogs and two of the three passed away soon after that and she asked me to help her take her remaining dog to the groomer so I loaded them up and took them to get groomed. With her eyesight getting worse and living alone, her family decided to have her live with family so they moved her to another city to live with a nephew but he had small children so it was hard for her being so far from her son and living with babies so she moved back into town.

I didn't know about her moving back into town and was SO happy this morning to get a call from a friend asking if I would be able to take Ilse home after our main church meeting. I was so happy to know she was back. 

Years ago when helping her, I would ask her questions about her life and found out that she was held in interment camps and her father and brothers were in prisoner of war camps / prison. She lived in the camp for four years from age 12 to 16. 

I asked her if I could video tape her story as I found it so interesting and I tried to ask her questions to get her talking. I was so interested in how the war affected her life and that of her family. One of her brothers was killed when a torpedo hit his ship while he was in the Navy and her brother-in-law died due to lack of food and stress. 

She shared that they would be fed red rice with vegetables twice a day and she couldn't digest it so they planted sweet potatoes as things grew well in the climate there and she ate sweet potatoes for four years straight and ended up getting Beriberi due to lack of vitamins in her diet and swelled up. 

 After the war she was shipped as a refuge to Holland and they lived with her aunt because Holland had been flattened due to bombings. After a month they found and moved into a one bedroom apartment for the entire family. They lost everything during the war.  

I thought it was amazing that she has lived such a long and prosperous life having had such trauma in the middle of her teen years. 

Hearing her story makes me so grateful to live in the United States and during a time when we haven't had war on our soil and that we have all been able to attend school and I have never had to go without food. I pray that my children will never know the suffering and struggles that so many had to endure due to the wars. 

I am grateful to have the opportunity to know Ilse and learn about her life and see how she was able to overcome that and immigrate to the US. She is such a sweet and loving woman and at nearly 90 she is so alert and her memory is better than mine. I think there is so much we can learn from those who have gone before. 

I am blessed to have the chance to video her as I was so sad I missed that opportunity before. I suggest you take the time to interview your family members asking them the questions that you may want to know after they have passed on. I was grateful to be able to do that with my father recently this past Valentines Day. Here is a link to that post. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Princess Four is Officially Moved to College - Date Night with Princess Five

It was a hard day for Princess Five to help load up her sisters car and see her drive down the street knowing she won't be living with her most likely ever again. 
Emotions ran high as Princess Four had her car loaded and was giving hugs but was super nervous driving to college many hours away and knowing that her sister would be leaving before the holidays to serve as a missionary for 18 months. 

Both girls were clingy not wanting to say "goodbye" but it had to happen so Princess Four left and Princess Five and I were missing her already. She is such a bubbly person and even today she came out waving her hand above her head and clapping singing along saying, "I picked out all the songs for today, I love this playlist!" and she was singing along with songs about being happy and gratitude and new beginnings. I just love that she is looking forward and not back at her life as so many can and do. 

She moved into her apartment and let me know she made the long drive safely and that she loves her roommates already and let me know of a few things she would need at the new place that we hadn't planned for in our packing. Each student housing has different things they offer or not. So, I had some of the items and will find the others as we are going to see her on Saturday so that is handy. 

I told Princess Five we would have a "date night" and go to a movie and she said she would rather watch a red box and have sushi so I picked up two movies and two sushi rolls and spent the night finishing sewing up all her items that needed sewing or mending. She just kept finding things that needed a tweek here or there and there were a few wool sweaters that had a few moth holes that needed mending that she found in the ebay stuff I had stored for 20 years that she liked so I fixed those 80's sweaters for her and she can take them on her mission. It amazes me how the 80's clothes are so "in" right now as I think they were awful then. ;-)

Princess Five is getting excited to serve as a missionary and packed up her wool skirts and shirts today into one suitcase as she won't need those items until after she leaves Mexico near Christmas time. She is hoping to find temporary work for the next two months before she leaves now that her sister is moved out and most of her mission stuff is ready. 

The house is finally getting a bit more cleaned out and totes are getting stored and we are getting rid of more and more things as they whittled down what they want to keep and what they want to get rid of rather than storing it. 

I have one more skirt to hem and a dress to hem tomorrow and then finally, I think all of her stuff will be finished. I have a button to fix on a coat she is leaving so we don't lose it also but it makes me so happy to be able to get all these things off my list.

I thought I would share one of my jewelry sorting videos I did with Princess Four last week. I am sad she won't be around to do more with me as she made it fun. Enjoy! 

Have a Blessed and family Filled Day! 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Princess Four is Headed Out - Last Minute Mending For My Girls

I am fairly good at keeping up on mending. I bought some clothes for the girls at a clearance sale a month or so ago. I got home and immediately fixed all the zippers, did any mending needed and put the clothes in the girls rooms. 

They got home from working and started their packing and sorting and I altered Princess Five's dresses and skirts because she was home when I did all the fixing but Princess Four wasn't home. So, her pile got stuck somewhere and as she was packing up all her stuff to move to college tomorrow, she found her clothes that needed some altering. 

I didn't think it would take all that long as I have sewn for years and for the most part I got all the clothes finished rather quickly. There was one dress that is mustard color and has little raccoons on it that she LOVED at the sale. It was a 2X and had a broken zipper. I fixed the zipper after getting home but needed her around to alter it. Oh the nightmare of it all! I had to nearly take the entire thing apart and re-make it. It has a lining as well so I had to take in darts, pleats, seams, etc and finished it after 4:30 a.m. 

She is leaving about noon to head to her new college and has been very stressed trying to get appointments with advisors etc as she is looking into Chiropractic school now but wants to finish her bachelors degree first. She is 70% finished as she has two associates degrees so she is just trying to declare a major and may finish in one year depending on what she chooses. 

I finished getting her things packed up that I needed to do for her and paid some bills as well as running errands but it was a very busy day moving her stuff into several piles for storage and moving to college as we couldn't really finish packing until she was ready to go with many things. 

I am REALLY going to miss having both girls around. They are always giggling about things and super cute quoting thing back and forth. It has been such a joy having them home these past few weeks. 

I told them I should have taken pictures and show how to alter the clothes for a post but I was so tired and wanted it finished that I didn't get any pictures. I am just going to post another jewelry sorting video and pray that things slow down a bit soon..... 

Have a Calm and Blessed Day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Almost Finished with Mission Shopping - One Lucky Princess Five and 111 Blessings

We are nearly done! In the past few days, we were able to find the two boots we needed for her mission at a fraction of what we paid for Princess Fours boots when she went on her mission.

We were able to order some Ugg Boots online at a discount to what they would be in the local retailers and they have free shipping and returns. 

I ordered them two nights ago at 7 p.m. and they came today! We live in a small town in the middle of nowhere so for them to make it in under 48 hours is really impressive. 

Princess Five tried them on and they work great. They can be worn without socks or with one of the wool socks we got at Costco that Princess Four said worked so well on her mission in a cold Japan. 

I stopped at the second hand store today looking for galoshes as we looked at several different types and the ones we wanted that Princess Four said we really popular were no longer available. 

I found a pair today that looked new with some garage dust on them but the interesting thing about these is that it had a draw string at the top which I had not see before, and they had a wool insert to help keep your foot warm. 

Most galoshes are big, bulky and open at the top. These were calf high as she didn't want high boots as they are hard to wear and don't usually bend at the ankle causing blisters on the heel. These had waterproof canvas sewn to the top with draw strings which would keep water and snow out and the wool liner is brilliant! She can then wear them out in the snow with wool socks and even if her feet did get wet, the wool would still keep them warm! They were $4! 

We were able to get her Uggs for just under $150 and the galoshes brought it to about $150. I paid about $70 if I remember right for Princess Fours galoshes and she ended up not using them at all and left them in Japan and ended up using and keeping the Crock brand galoshes we got at a second hand store for cheap. So, Yahoo for finding lots of great shoes and boots for Princess Five and now we have everything but some socks if I remember right. Yea for that! I think one more trip to Walmart would get us everything else she needs. Here is a post where Princess Four got her Uggs. That post is just about two years ago!

I bought some hair lightening kits today to do both girls hair. I did Princess Four tonight as she is heading to college this week and I trimmed and did Princess Five's but will need to do a touch up before she leaves in November. 

I had to smile when we ordered her Ugg boots online and the order confirmation number had a 111 in it! That has happened over and over as we get stuff she needs. Click here for one of the original 111 posts. I am so grateful that we have been able to get what she needs on sale, clearance, and second hand stores. Things have worked out well and she is getting excited having all her stuff ready! 

Have a Blessed and organized Day!