I just love making homemade stuff! Whether it’s cooking, cross-stitching or crafts, DYI household things, I love to experiment and bring out my inner Mad Scientist! I saw a post on Pinterest and had to try it….now, I’m on my 3 batch. Homemade laundry detergent. Like any worthy Mad Scientist, I tweak things to tailor it to my family, so here goes!

5 gallon painter’s bucket with a lid
A long spoon (I use a long wooden spoon)
Cheese grater or food process (I use an old fashion cheese grater)
4 quart pan
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Laundry Soap
1 cup Borax (I use 20 Mule Team)
A bar of Naptha or Zote soap
Optional: Essential Oils (I usually use Peppermint Oil with a little Thrive Oil, or Lemon….Refreshing!!!)
Optional: 1/2 cup OxyClean

In the pan, heat 4 cups of water to the point of boiling. Fine grate the bar of Naptha or Zote soap and put into the hot water until melted, about 10 minutes or so. Fill the painter’s bucket, half way, with hot water. Stir in 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Laundry Soap and 1 cup of Borax into the bucket of hot water. Add the OxyClean and essential oils if you want…I do! Then stir in the melted soap and fill the bucket with hot water, close to the top, stirring well. Place the lid on tight and let set for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, stir the soap again. It will be VERY gelatinous! Don’t freak! It’s supposed to be that way. I use about 1/2 cup per load. This lasts me about 6 months, washing 2 or 3 times a week.

The total cost of buying the main ingredients (Borax, Naptha/Zote soap and Arm and Hammer Super Laundry Soap, cost about $10 and will make about 4 to 5 batches!


Happy New Year!!!
I have to admit, that 2016 was the worst year of my life. I lost my Dad in April. Daddy had Alzheimer’s disease for about 13 years, but really lost his life to a fall. He lost his balance, fell and broke his hip. He came through surgery just fine, but went downhill with his recovery. I think Daddy knew it was his time, he had his family around him and his Angel to carry him home. There are many other losses my family suffered, whether loved ones or circumstances. That being said, I say goodbye to 2016 with sadness, memories of joy, new opportunities thrust upon me. I welcome 2017 with anticipation, assurance and hope. I pray for well-being, prosperity, good health and joy for you all! Keep your faith!

Now, down to business. In continuing with items you will need for your bug out bags….
Don’t forget important papers. Make copies of all of them to keep with and keep the originals in a safe place, ideally a fire-proof safe. These should include:

Driver’s License/ID Cards/Student ID Cards/Passports/Naturalization-Immigration/Visa papers/Social Security Records
Adoption/Foster Papers
Birth/Death/Marriage Certificates
ATM Debit Card and Pin numbers
Bank Account information
Bonds/Investment papers
Business Insurance, Licenses and Records
Cash/Checkbooks/Credit Cards and all information including contact numbers
Court documents/Divorce papers
Debts-What you owe and to whom
Employment Benefits Records/Contracts
Real Estate-Mortgage information/Deeds/Mineral Rights/Warranties/Home purchase records
Dental and Medical Records/XRays/Insurance/Immunization Records/Prescriptions
DNA Samples
Emergency Contact List with names/addresses/phone numbers/relationship
Family History Information/Pictures/Wills-Inheritance Records
Home/Property/Vehicle Inventory…Jewelry,Firearms,Crystal,Silver,heirlooms,etc. Serial numbers/Individual pictures of all items.
Life Insurance Policies/Burial Information
Membership Cards and information
Military Records
Property/Vehicle Tax Records
Safe Combinations/Safe Deposit Box Information
Tax Returns/Filings

I’m sure there are other documents that are tailored to your individual families. This list is to help with a broad outline of important papers and information. Obviously, many of these documents won’t go in your bug-out bag, but have them in a safe ACCESSIBLE place, if you’re not carrying them with you in an evacuation situation. Making copies and keeping those in a safe secondary location, other than your home or business, will be your back up….just in case. Start 2017 with enthusiasm, focus, energy and planning… safe!


Are YOU ready for a zombie apocalypse?  Well, are you?  I have to admit to being a Walking Dead freak.  I know TWD is not for the faint of heart, but it’s actually one of the best prepper teachers there is.  Zombies aside, if indeed when, there is a break down in society, are you prepared?  I’m going to do a series of posts on this page to help with common sense actions you can take in the event of an interruption in the way we function in society.  Whether you live in the country or a major city, there are measures you should take now.

  • Have a plan for your family.  In the event of a catastrophic event, have a plan where to meet and a secondary place to go if your home is unavailable.  Remember, communication may be limited, so it’s vital to know ahead of time what to do that is best for you family.  While phone calls may be interrupted, many times you are still able to text, so check your cellular plan. Conserve your battery life, since power may be interrupted and you’ll be unable to recharge batteries.
  • Have a “Bug Out Bag” for every member of your family.  This can be a duffle bag, back pack or suitcase.  Just remember that you may want a bag that’s hands free.  We have heavy duty canvas back packs.  I spray them, inside and out, with Scotch-Guard as a water repellent.  It’s important to pack shoes, socks, underwear, extra clothes, toiletries, medications.  Ours also include rain ponchos, a small role of plastic garbage bags, clothes line, duct tape, toilet paper and bug spray.  Water proof container for lighters/matches.  We also have solar lights which are awesome! Each carries a medicine kit with Benedryl, aspirin/acetaminophen, scissors/knife, bandages, antibiotics/ointment, nitril gloves, N95 masks. We have a halogen tool that’s attached to the outside, extra ammo/weapon.  Don’t forget snacks, water, eating utensils, pens/paper and a Bible. I also recommend carrying a copy of important papers: passports, driver’s license, mortgage, insurance, wills, emergency contact information.
  • For families with small children, don’t forget diapers, baby food/formula, coloring books/crayons, stuffed animals and binkies (blankets).

Regarding the stuff listed above, if you buy the small vacuum sealed garment bags, seal as much in them as possible.  This will not only help with additional water proofing and keeping things organized, it reduces the mass amount in your back pack, allowing more items to be put in.  Taking the cores out of toilet paper rolls, will allow the toilet paper to be flattened as well.

Hopefully, this will at least get  you started and give you food for thought.  In the event of an emergency, you may not have time to pack, so it’s important to be ready at the drop of a hat.  Tailor your bags for your family and take charge of your life.

connor-and-lt(Connor and one of our grandsons, LT)


Hellooooo Fall!  Don’t you just love this time of year?  There are several things on everyone’s mind…football, hunting, Halloween/Thanksgiving…just to name a few.

We are avid hunters in our family.  Whether it’s dove hunting, deer hunting, duck hunting, we love it.  The freezer is always full from our forays into the woods, ponds or fields.  We started our kids, boys and girls, early in life with an appreciation of the outdoors and to respect nature.

For deer hunting, Connor uses his Browning 30-06, bolt action.  He is a natural when it comes to shooting…he hits what he aims for.  I also use a Browning 30-06 when I go with them.  Randy loves his Remington 30-06, and it’s usually a great competition between the guys.  I just love going, mainly to commune with nature, take pictures and zen. The memories we make are the best part of hunting, venison in the freezer is a close second!




Enough can’t be said for the power of the country porch!  A porch is more than just an appendage of a home!  It’s a place for gathering, for reminiscing, for “me time”.  The perfect porch has a rocking chair…or several.  A small table for books that are put down, for that steaming cup of hot coffee as you watch the sun rise or ice cold fresh squeezed lemonade for hot, hazy summer afternoons.

Yes, we utilize our porch…our neighbor’s porch too.  Many of life’s plans are formulated and dreams are visualized from that comfortable chair.  Schemes are hatched, love is found and life is made better.   Whenever we need to solve Life’s problems, the porch is the place to be.  Problems are fleeting because you just can’t be sad for long on The Porch!

A View From a Country Porch
A View From a Country Porch