Monthly Archives: July 2011

George Washington Carver by John Perry – book review

About the book:

A generation of 20th-century Americans knew him as a gentle, stoop-shouldered old black man who loved plants and discovered more than a hundred uses for the humble peanut. George Washington Carver goes beyond the public image to chronicle the adventures of one of history’s most inspiring and remarkable men.


My Review:

The book is a biography about George Washington Carver.  Very detailed, completely fascinating.  I learned so much about this man, and more than that, about the circumstances he lived in, the people he interacted with, even the personality conflicts he felt with others.


Like most, I knew Mr. Carver found about a bazillion different uses for the peanut.  I did NOT know that he worked for Booker T. Washington, and had a huge personality conflict with the man for many years.  I did not know that he loved to paint, and debated whether he should study art or science.  I was unaware that he simply chose the name “Washington” as his middle name when asked what it was.  I had no idea that he was so witty and composed around people of high stature and great importance.  All of these facts and more greatly endeared me to this man.


The book tells more than facts about George Washington Carver.  It shares stories, thoughts, feelings, and insights into WHO this man was…not just what he did.  I was fascinated throughout, and yep, you guessed it:  inspired like crazy!  (It may help that Mr. Carver himself was an amazing individual.  Write a book about me and it probably won’t be as interesting.)  I will be holding onto this book and reading it to my daughter as she gets older, sharing with her the treasure I’ve found here.  It’s an uncomplicated read that engages the reader and provides them with great insights.  I’d happily recommend it to anyone else who likes learning about different people in our country’s history.

I’m giving George Washington Carver by John Perry 5 stars:  I LOVED IT!


*I received no monetary compensation for my review.  I received the book free of charge from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

PTC – Are YOU Sick of the Inappropriate Content on TV Today?

Has anyone seen the lineup for the fall on NBC and ABC this year?

I have, and I am appalled.

The Playboy Club at NBC.



Pan Am on ABC- “Passion, jealousy and espionage… They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series.”


Is it just me, or are the television shows coming out getting more raunchy and offensive EVERY SINGLE SEASON?



After reading an article in my local newspaper today, I got to thinking about it.  I’m a big fan of advocacy, of getting involved where I can.  I admit that my focus has not previously been on protecting the airwaves from trashy TV shows.  That will change today, however.



What can we do to keep this kind of stuff away from our children?


  1. First and foremost (and probably most obvious):  DON’T WATCH IT.  Do not support these shows by watching them, even without the kids present.   Of course, we know that simply not watching a specific show does not necessarily mean our kids won’t be exposed.  You can be watching a family-friendly primetime show when a lovely commercial happens to come on, and boom!  Let’s not also forget that kids hear about this kind of stuff through school and friends too.  I feel that we have to do more than simply look away…
  2. File a complaint! You can go to and file a complaint about any particular show that you find offensive.  Get your voice out there, and let the FCC know how you feel!
  3. Contact sponsors of the shows you do not want aired.  Again, you can go to and find a lot of information there about what companies are sponsoring what shows.  Let them know that you will not be supporting their business(es) if they continue sponsorship.  As always, be firm, but polite.  These big companies are not all out to expose us to indecency…they are simply trying to make money.
  4. Get rid of the TV. This may seem extreme, and in some cases it may be, while to others, probably not.  While I haven’t gotten rid of my TV, I have stopped watching prime time altogether.  I won’t lie to you.  I love my Biggest Loser show.  I’m willing to give it up though, if the commercials that air during it aren’t cleaned up.  So…we just don’t watch prime time…PERIOD.

What are your thoughts?  What do you do to control what your kids are watching and seeing?

5 Things Challenge 2 comments

How did you on productivity last week?  Here are my results:



  1. Shampoo the carpets. – YES
  2. Try 2 new GF (gluten free) recipes. – NO (I’ll explain down below)
  3. Finish updating recipes on the blog. –  YES
  4. Go visiting teaching. – YES
  5. Start planning for August’s budget – YES



On Monday I scheduled a biopsy.  In order to find out for sure if I have Celiac disease or simply a gluten intolerance, I need to eat gluten from now until my biopsy.  Just as I was finally stopping the cravings!!!  So, I didn’t make any new gluten-free recipes.  I’m eating gluten for the next 9 days, and oh my gosh, it’s making me so sick, but hey, if I have to do it, I’m gonna do it good.  Tonight, for example, I made myself chicken and dumplings. Oh yeah, baby.


Anyway, I’m just gonna tell it straight.  Knowing that I’m not going to be feeling well this week, I’m not going to make a whole lot of physical effort.  That’s just how it is… :-)


  1. Go back to school clothes shopping.
  2. Buy birthday cards for the multitude of family birthdays coming up!
  3. EAT GLUTEN, and enjoy every second I can of it…(that is, when it’s not making me throw up or giving me migraines or something, of course!)
  4. Stay caught up on laundry.
  5. Work on blogging 3 Month Challenge.


Til next week…


Friday’s Freebies 1 comment


Go here to request a sample of each of the four new Mary Kay fragrances (although as a previous Mary Kay rep, I should tell you that they’re not THAT new…but hey, they’re still free samples.)



Like Exederm on facebook and sign up to get free samples from them.



Like Wilson Farms on facebook to get a coupon for a free Intense Milk, good at any Wilson Farms, Sugar Creek, or Wilson Xpress locations through August 5.


Go here to request a sample of Emergen-C Blue.




Don’t forget to take advantage of the free sample of Prilosec OTC HERE.




Request a free sample from Depends. It says it will arrive in a plain, discreet package.



Free ebook:  6 Adorable Homemade Christmas Crafts for Summer.



Go here to request free samples from Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags.



Like Sofn’free on Facebook to get a free hair care sample from them.



Go here and sign up to get a free sample of Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin.



Go here to request a Fiber Choice sample.







Thoughtful Thursday 3 comments



“Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along.  This applies to play as well as work.  A day merely survived is no cause for celebration.  You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine.  No more busywork.  No more hiding from success.  Leave time, leave space to grow.  Now!  Now!  Not tomorrow!”

~ Og Mandino (1923-1996)

Learn Vest – Spring Clean Your Finances

Anyone here ever heard of LearnVest?

It’s a cool site that sends daily emails to your inbox with frugal tips and tricks.  I’m not gonna lie to ya, a lot of the ideas are ones I’ve already applied, but that’s only because the ideas are awesome, and so am I!! :-)  Right?





Anywho, check it out if you’re looking for new motivation/inspiration/ideas for your financial life…

Learn Vest

How to Make Beef Stock (I assume!) 4 comments

To celebrate Pioneer Day (A Utah Holiday), my daughter wanted us to cook like pioneers.  (She also made me dress up, but I don’t wanna talk about that.)


So…we did a little internet search for “Pioneer recipes”.  Oh my gosh.  Big mistake.  Let’s just say that I didn’t have any squirrel or cow head on hand, and wasn’t really in the mood to gut a pig simply for the purpose of making homemade lard.  (I’m not very adventurous, and I’m not ashamed of that.)


So instead, I decided it was time to use the beef soup bone I’ve had in my freezer for nearly a year now, and make some homemade beef broth.  That’s pretty homemade, right?  Maybe not PIONEER homemade, but it was good enough for me.


I’ve made chicken and turkey stock before, so I assumed beef stock is pretty similar.  I think I’m right…I liked the end result, at least, so I guess it’s all good either way!


So first, I put the soup bone in a big ole pot and then covered it with water.  The picture looks pretty nasty, doesn’t it?  No worries, it will become more appetizing as it goes along…

Add some cut up carrots and some sliced onions (or if you’re like me and don’t ever have onions on hand, you can use onion powder).  Oh, and don’t forget to add some salt.  You want some flavor!

Cook it over medium-low heat, simmering, for 2-3 hours.  Then strain it and pour it into whatever containers you’re going to use.  I froze my stock, but in the future I may pressure can it.  Either way, it’s perfect!  And really good.  (This is the point where you taste it and add more salt if you want, so it’s really tasty in your opinion too!)

Linked up at What’s Cooking Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Wednesday, and It’s a Keeper Thursday.

Building/Updating Emergency Kits – 4

So, how are the emergency kits coming?  If you have not yet joined us in building/rebuilding yours, you can catch up here.



This week we’re going to focus on:




It’s SO important to have first-aid stuff in our kits.  So far we’ve got food and water, the basics like that, but how much good will ramen noodles do us if we’re bleeding to death, you know what I mean?  So this week I want you to add first-aid items to your kit.


Remember, we’re trying to spend no more than $5 a week, so your local dollar store would be a good option.  With $5 you could get packages of bandaids (different sizes/types), antibacterial ointment, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol,  ace bandages, etc.  (We’ll be focusing on medicines next week.)  If you have extras of any of these already at home, feel free to use them and save yourself some cash!!



Menu Plan Monday w/Linky 6 comments

A new week, a new menu.  I feed my family of four with $250 a month.  Each week I’ll share with you the meals I’m planning to make.  Please, feel free to link up your menu plan and/or a favorite recipe.  The more ideas, the merrier!  (An asterisk means it’s a new recipe I’m trying):

Monday – *Cheeseburger Rice


Tuesday – chicken tacquitos


Wednesday – *20 Minute Teriyaki Chicken and Rice



Thursday – *Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes



Friday – FFY (Fend For Yourself), Leftover Night


Saturday – *Cheesy Beef Tostadas (GF if you use corn tortillas instead of wheat)



Sunday – Baked Potato Bar


This is linked at