As of this moment I have 4 gadgets that always need to be charged.  This always seems to be a major chore, trying to find the correct cord and an open outlet to use. I try to keep them plugged in somewhere at all times, but, I always seem to unplug them to use the outlet for something else.

I have even plugged my phone in the bathroom while getting ready for work.....just so I won't forget it!

I searched the internet for something large enough, modern enough and priced within reach. You guessed it......a big fat "0"!

Hmmmm......trying to use my tired old brain.........

GOT IT!!!!

My breadbox was from 2 kitchen styles ago.  It was teak wood with cute little cut-out hearts. Does not go with my kitchen now......sooooooo........with a drill and a little high gloss black spray paint.......I now have a charging station which I absolutely love more than anything I could have bought........

As you can see from the pics below, there is plenty of room inside the box to store all the extra adapters and batteries.  Slots for 7 devices(should be plenty) and looks sleek with the door closed!

Everything is now in one place right by the front door! Cost to me? $7 for the power strip with USB plugs!
I had the breadbox and spray paint already.  

Michigan in the Fall!!!!!!

Around the time of the year!
I absolutely love Michigan!

Around The Yard

I am just learning and plan on doing a little landscaping. I am starting out pretty good with plants, overgrown as they are, that have been there for many years. It is not easy, however, trying to separate grapevines and climbing roses. I had a Japanese Fern die on me, which is VERY hard to kill, so this should be extremely interesting. I also am able to practice my photography skills.

Lessons Learned in an Emergency

Where I live in Michigan, we are very lucky when it comes to mother nature. But once in awhile......she DOES get her panties in a bunch! Especially this past year.

Now, I am NOT complaining about our mild winter. Although she could have been a sweetheart and gave us a dusting of snow for the holidays. Spring and summer are something else! We have had very little rain and pretty hot days(but often low humidity, which is fine). She tries to make up for the lack of rain all at once it seems. We just had our first major power outage in a very long time. I always think I am prepared for almost anything, but sometimes I get relaxed about things.

So here is my list for emergency preparedness.

Generator!!!! Plus extra gas cans WITH gas in them. And, if you have not used the genny in awhile, make sure it is working BEFORE you need it! Yup.....lesson learned there!!! 5 miles to get gas and an hour in line at Lowe's(no power there) for parts to get it going. Big happy dance when it finally turned over!!!Link
Know your wattage........go to this site and it averages then calculates for you.

If you can't afford a generator or they are sold out EVERYWHERE.......get one of those super duper 12V power packs. They are the next best thing. Especially with a power inverter.

Of course, if your generator is working great and it's big enough, half of this list is obsolete.

Lots of heavy duty extension cords! I have this covered because I love Christmas lights:)

At least one big cooler. Immediately take out everything in your fridge you think you will want and put it in the cooler. Then leave that door shut!!! Unless you open it to put bags of ice in it.

ICE!!!! Always keep bags of ice in your freezer AND full ice trays as back up. This will hold you until you can get bags of ice at a store. Huge lesson for me!

Make sure everything that is rechargeable is charged!!!! This includes cordless tools. You may have to board up something in a storm. Another lesson learned here. Label those charging cords so you know what goes with what.......uh huh! I did not do that! From now on I will!!!

Many batteries in all sizes! No further explanation needed.

Candles are okay(not safe), but camp lights are better. Rechargeable, crank, battery or solar. Get them all if you can! Try to get a Dietz kerosene lantern.

Nightlights that come on automatically when the power goes out!!!! Big lesson learned here.....especially when you have pets you trip over.

Battery powered am/fm radio

Small TV or battery powered TV and portable DVD player......remember......keep them charged and label those cords!

Cards and board games......could be awhile.

AA battery cell phone back up power, available on Ebay. USB cord AND car cord.

Battery powered fans!!!

Water!!!!! A gallon a day for each person. Don't forget the furbabies! If you know ahead of time, fill up your tub for flushing toilet or to just dump water over your head because it's 98 degrees out.

Hand sanitizer and wipes

Spray bottles! Yup.....spray bottles. I used these to cool the dogs down around their necks. I also created a shower with them. Fill one with liquid soap and water and another with plain water. Spray yourself with the soapy stuff and rinse with the other. It doesn't waste water as much and when it's hot any kind of shower will feel awesome!!!

Now.....the hair(sigh). You can use baking soda to freshen and absorb oil. If it's long, just throw it up. You can also get thermacell curling irons(Conair).......which I now have one on it's way. Another lesson:)

Battery or key wind alarm clock. Your genny might run out while you're sleeping. Yup....another lesson! Don't forget your cell phone has an alarm clock feature. Just change it to the loudest ring and take it off silent mode.....I DID remember that!

Thermometers to check your food when the power comes back on.

And those cheap magnetic battery LED work lights at Harbor Freight? Priceless!!! Hang them and stick them anywhere you can! Those will be your new lighting for awhile. And leave one on the fridge always! You will always know where one light is at least!

The number one lesson I learned is to keep the major emergency supplies together and organized. I am putting everything possible inside the big cooler and then one big tote on top of that. The smoother things go the better. I tell everyone I will be like a Nascar pit crew next time....LOL!! You might actually enjoy a power outage! It IS possible.... if you're not running around town getting supplies. Have a cook out and eat outside by candlelight. Play games you haven't played in years or gather around your fully charged DVD player, place it on the coffee table and gather on the couch for movie night.

Finally, please check on your elderly or sick neighbors in any emergency. Offer to take them in or to a cooling/warming center. Some won't leave their pets. Let them know you will take care of them AND keep an eye on their home. You could get a thank you in the form of some gooey, wonderful, fresh baked cookies:) YUM!!! can't fight mother nature!


I realize that most of the above was for spring/summer power outages.  Probably because I had never been through a bad winter one......until NOW.   Yes, Genesee County Michigan was one of the hardest hit areas in the ice storm of 2013.  Most of us lost power 4 days before Christmas.  Power restoration ETA from the utility company was Dec. 28th.  Yup, a lot of Christmas plans changed for everyone!

But enough about that, because it all worked out.  But I need to add a big item to the must have list.


I actually survived 3 days WITHOUT the generator(would not start) thanks to 2 kerosene heaters.  Super toasty warm the whole time.  Used my camp shower, AA USB battery charger for my phone and butane curling iron to straighten my hair.  Everything in the fridge went in a cooler on the screened porch and freezer items were in boxes.

I also used an old cell phone for my alarm clock(yes, still had to go to work) to save my smartphone(my lifeline) batteries.

Knowing this storm was coming, I fully charged my back up battery and did my laundry a day earlier than normal.  Then I went to bed and hoped for the best.  Nope!  Middle of the night Saturday, only light in the house were my power outage night lights, which I L-O-V-E!!

But unlike most, I wasn't going crazy trying to buy water, batteries, heaters, etc.  I wasn't sitting out in my car charging my cell phone in winter.  I was toasty warm and playing games on my phone.  Caught up on some much needed sleep, also.

And the best part of it all?  All my outdoors holiday lights were intact!  Branches fell all around them but they survived.  Got power back an hour before dark on Christmas Eve and could not wait to turn them on.  I hope they brightened up someones day, because as I am writing this, I know many people still have not had power restored.

Pic below was 2 days after the storm........all that havoc yet so beautiful when the sun came out.


Somehow my very favorite summer tank top came out of the wash with something all over it. A few other things did too, but I REALLY love this shirt so that was my main focus. And let me add that I did not notice these stains until AFTER it came out of the dryer..........I know.........not good.

I tried AWESOME(which I love)......nothing:(

SHOUT......forget it.

I bought OXI Max.......still nothing. I even let it set for at least 24 hours with these stain removers.

So off to the great wealth of intellect in the great big world called Google. Wow are there a lot of things people swear by. It was stain remover overload!!!

I narrowed it down by using the things I had in the house. Peroxide and Dawn dish soap. 1 part Dawn to 2 parts peroxide. I did go splurge on a pretty pink(of course) small spray bottle. Sprayed my fave shirt and set it aside until the next day. Then I sprayed it some more, threw it in the wash and crossed my fingers........

Yup.......99% gone after 2 weeks of trying:) I say 99% because I know where the stains were and I can ever so slightly see them. No one else would ever know. And these were bright blue stains on pale pink.

So, I guess not all the fancy dancy store bought products are always better. I will use my new stain removing miracle instead! And if you would like a paste to scrub into stains, all you have to do is add baking soda to the mixture.

So don't throw out those stained clothes!!!! They can be saved!!!!!

Retirement Surprise!!!

A good friend retired after 40 years..............and she thought I wouldn't get her? Hahahaha! That is a giant cardboard turtle on her windshield. She collects turtles:)

But then I was nice too.........Get it? Bye Bye Bernie(Birdie)

Try It To Believe IT!

I really need to shout out to the whole world about the best pain reliever I have ever used! I was falling asleep one day, Dr. Oz was on, and he was doing a segment about painful joints and the best thing to do for them. Okay.....I'm awake!
You see, I have very bad arthritis. My whole family has suffered from it. My sister was crippled because of it. So.....let's see what Dr. Oz has to say! Of course, I was expecting to hear "glucossamine" which I already take daily. But no. It was a gel. Really? Are you kidding me?
Yup. A gel. Arniflora Arnica gel to be exact.
So....I get up....sluggishly stumble to the computer to do my own research on this "gel".
Well, guess what! It seems to be some sort of miracle stuff! I have to try it:)
It was thee best decision I have made in a long time.
I had pulled a muscle in my neck coloring those horrible gray roots. It was extremely painful. The no sleep kind of painful. Last time it took my neck 2 months to heal. Could not wait for my gel to arrive!!!
Well, I get home from work, see my package, and rip it open like a 5 year old Christmas morning!!! smell. How odd. Oh well. I rub it on and 5 minutes later I noticed my neck felt about 90% better. You see this arnica gel not only relieves pain, it repairs and heals. So I put it on a few more times over a couple days and guess what? Neck was 100% again! The arthritis it my hip? Forget about it!!! Feelin' good!!!
I beg everyone to just google arnica. Do your own research like I did. It is safe for 2 year olds and also pets. How wonderful is that?
No animal testing or by products.
Trainers and pro athletes use it.
It reduces bruising tremendously.
Here is the link where I found the best deal.

Arnica is also more readily available as Arnicare by Boiron at Walgreens,Walmart and on the web. Someone posted a link in the comment section and it seems to be a good price. It also comes in bath salts and pellet form, which I am giving my elderly dog for pain management. I am also using a thin layer under my eyes for puffiness and on my eyelids(DO NOT GET IT IN YOUR EYES)
I am still pain free and get "thank yous" from MANY people that now use it and love it! I carry it with me like hand lotion and constantly let people try it. Their faces look like little kids. They light up with amazement........I kind of get a kick out of it!
I have about 40 people I know using this(and their extended list of people). We have found out that it works awesome on sunburns and a guy I work with tried it on poison oak, out of desperation, and his itching stopped in 10 minutes and he was cleared up in about 24 hrs.