Saturday, May 31, 2008

How To Remove a Tick the Fast and Easy Way

I must be the world's expert in removing ticks from people and animals. After so many years of this odious chore, I have my favorite ways of getting the job done safely.

First, a few words about how NOT to remove ticks, and why.

Although these tricks are popular, don't remove a tick by touching it with a hot ember such as one from a cigarette, or cover it with fingernail polish. It has been proven that these tactics can have a few nasty side effects, including Lyme's disease.

Aggressive removal methods causes the attached tick to regurgitate before it backs out. Diseases ride in along with the vomited material, and so there you have it. Disease-carrying tick vomit inside of you. Yuk.

Fortunately, there are better ways of removing a tick.

One of my favorite ways of removing a tick safely is with a 'tick spoon', called Ticked Off. It is the easiest, fastest way that I've ever tried.

This small spoon has a deep bowl with a "v" notch cut into it. Slip that notch under the tick and slide the critter right off, without ever touching the tick. That's it. No more worries about the tick's head and mouthparts remaining behind to fester. Because the tick is removed in one swift motion, the tick never has a chance to spew potentially dangerous vomit.

Once you try this gizmo, you won't want to be without one! They're cheap, so get a few. (About $6 for three)

I get mine from . For their current page listing, type into the search box, the key words: Ticked Off. Jeffers is one of my favorite places to shop. I've enjoyed their top-flight customer service for the past 15 years, and their prices on pet and farm and ranch supplies are some of the lowest around.

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This article and recipe is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #2: HOW TO MAKE HOME REMEDIES THAT REALLY WORK. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Homemade Honey Cough Syrups That Really Work - Now Backed By Science

Honey works better than many over-the-counter cough syrups. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (December 2007) shows that honey works better than a leading cough syrup drug, dextromethorphan.

It looks like they've finally discovered what our grandmothers knew all along. Honey is good medicine.

An excellent article by Anne Harding for Reuters Health news service highlights this study with an interview with one of the study's authors, Ian M. Paul of Pennsylvania State University.

Here is an excerpt from the article reporting the results of the study.

To investigate, they compared buckwheat honey, a honey-flavored dextromethorphan preparation, and no treatment in 105 children who had sought treatment for nighttime coughs due to colds. Parents were surveyed on the day of the doctor's visit and on the next day, after those in the treatment groups had given their kids honey or dextromethorphan at bedtime. Among the three groups, children given honey had the greatest reduction in cough frequency and severity, and the most improved sleep, as did their parents.

There are several explanations for why honey might ease cough, Paul and his team note; its sweet, syrupy quality may be soothing to the throat, while its high antioxidant content could also be a factor. Honey also has antimicrobial effects.

Honey isn't recommended for infants younger than one year old, because of the rare but serious risk it might cause a type of food poisoning known as botulism, Paul said in an interview.

For older kids, however, it is generally safe.
He and his colleagues used a dosage identical to that recommended for cough syrups: half a teaspoon for two- to five-year-olds, a teaspoon for six- to eleven-year-olds, and two teaspoons for children twelve and older.

My favorite simple cough syrup is plain honey. Sometimes I dress it up a bit:

Basic Honey and Lemon Cough Syrup

3 or 4 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup honey

Take one or two teaspoons every other hour or as needed. Thin it with a tiny amount of water, if desired. If water or lemon juice is added to honey, keep it refrigerated.

Most coughs come complete with a sore throat. Here's an old remedy for that.

Cajun Sore Throat Soother

Mix equal parts of honey and lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper, or Tabasco sauce. Before you know it, the cayenne pepper will help zap the pain of a sore throat, and will help speed healing. Honey and lemon are soothing with a healing antimicrobial effect. Honey, lemon and that's a potent triple whammy.

If you'd like to experiment with a whammy of a different kind, try one of these old favorites. They won't cure the cause of coughs, but they are guaranteed to make you feel much better.


4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons whiskey


4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons whiskey


1/2 c. whiskey
1/2 c. honey
Juice of 1 lemon

You can take these syrups by the spoonfuls (take 1-2 tablespoons every 3 hours) or add a couple of spoonfuls of the prepared cough syrup to a cup of hot water or tea. Mix all ingredients well before taking.

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This article and recipe is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #2: HOW TO MAKE HOME REMEDIES THAT REALLY WORK. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Adulturated honey looks, tastes and smells exactly like pure honey, and is more common than you think...

Adulterated Honey is found on more store shelves than ever before. Why is this happening? What can we do about it?

A recent survey shows that a little over 36% of commercial bee hives have been lost in the United States since last year. Last year wasn't so hot, either. The Apiary Inspectors of America reported a huge loss of about 32%.

This is shaking up the honey industry pretty hard, and rather than deal with it honestly, more than a few companies are turning to shady practices to keep afloat.

Adulterated honey has always been around, but is becoming more common these days. Many in the honey business are being stung harder than ever before where it hurts the most, in the wallet.

Cleverly adulterated honey, with a bit of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and quality flavorings added, can fool even the most sophisticated tastebuds. Done right, the doctored up honey can also fool the eye and nose. Often the only way to detect impure honey is by laboratory testing.

The sad thing is, although it's easy enough to test adulterated honey, catching the violators is the hard part.

Malcolm T. Sanford, professor, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida nails it: "All too frequently, the trail leads to phantom producers and distributors, hiding behind false labels and cash transactions." Only when enough people contact food inspectors, legislators and other policy makers with solid information can some effective action be taken."

Here is some practical advice he wrote in a document published by the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service:

As in the past, the beekeeping industry is the first line of defense against adulteration. A "self-policing" program, sponsored by the American Beekeeping Federation continues to be in effect. Suspicious honey is tested and, if found adulterated, the Federation notifies the proper officials and sends a report to the person who sent the sample for their follow-up. In spite of the recent adulterating activity, the Federation is receiving very few samples.

Feeding bees sugar syrup and/or HFCS and extracting "honey" containing these products is also adulteration. Thus, beekeepers cannot be too careful. Even small amounts of adulterants are detected by tests currently in use. It is impossible to tell adulterated honey by either taste, smell or color. The only real evidence comes from defined techniques certified by the National Association of Chemists. Experience has shown, however, that adulterated product has one or all of the following characteristics:

1. No flavor, just sweet.
2. Very light or very dark
3. Molasses flavor
4. Consistently low price

In addition to the above characteristics, adulterated honey has often been associated with "rustic" labels and "Mason" type jars. If you see suspicious product, contact :

American Beekeeping Federation
P.O. Box 1337, Jesup, GA 31598
Phone: 912-427-4233
Fax: 912-427-8447
Email: info@ABFnet,org

They may want a sample of it, along with this information:

Date ____________________

DESCRIPTION OF HONEY SAMPLE: (include the label or copy the information on printed label including size of package, brand, name and address of packer or distributor)_____________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

Where purchased:___________________________________________
Date purchased:____________________________________________
Code # on Jar or label_______________________

If only the packer's name appears on label, name and address of distributor:

____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

Reason why honey is suspected of being adulterated_____________ ______________________________________________________________

Name and Address of Sender_________________________________

Coming soon...amazing healing benefits and other uses for honey.

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Banging your head against the wall?

'tain't all that bad...

Banging your head against the wall uses 150 calories an hour.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Up-to-the-minute global earthquake news links

Get up-to-the-minute earthquake news from around the globe. Whoah...what a weird sensation it is to watch the pulsing red dots glowing all over the world to indicate currently occurring earthquakes! Check out this cool map from

And this site has a nice view of the world's earthquake 'footprints'.

Here's one map from that site