Category Archives: Lifestyle

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    Creative and Inspirational People

    Creative and Inspirational People

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    Creative and Inspirational People 

    Creative people have a deep respect for the very essence of everything around them.  It is as if they have a thirst for all things new and exciting.  Who wouldn’t want to be around a creative and inspirational person?  They are uplifting, kind, and filled with a wonder for life.  They can light up a room by just walking in with a smile on their face. They are usually highly intelligent in their own right and  don’t flaunt it unless challenged in a negative way.

    They will bring you strawberries in winter, and sprinkle glitter on your papers just to make you smile.  They draw you out of your head and make you think about things in a different way.  A way that has light to it.  A way that seems easy to follow. Go there!

    Creative people aren’t obsessed with who they are, or what they may or may not have done in the past.  They are comfortable in the moment. They engage others in a willingness to be open and fair;  listening and absorbing every spoonful of what you have to say.  They are excellent listeners!  They are interested in you, and they want to explore a friendly relationship.

    They are comfortable in the moment

    They can have an open dialogue with you and not come across as pompous and unfair, nor self-conceited.  They live life in the moment!

    1.They are really interested in you!

    2. They seek to know you as a person  in the moment! Your past is irrelevant.

    3. They aren’t interested in long  stories about themselves. They live in the moment and can talk about subject ranging from rocket science to hopscotch, arts to football.  As long as it is in the moment they are with you.

    4. They won’t lecture you, nor drill you with facts, or try to control you with words, actions or deeds.  They keep their emotions in check and keep that part of their life private where it needs to be.  They are greeters, not whiners.

    It may be a little over -whelming to meet and greet with these types of creative and inspirational people at first.  Especially if you aren’t used to that upbeat type of personality. They are rare and well sought after – for a good reason.  They are so refreshing – you will be looking for ways to incorporate  them into your lifeimmediately.  But how?

    How do you keep the attention of a highly creative and inspirational person or group of people?

    1. Listen to them, not the thoughts in your head.

    2.  Do not lecture them.  The worst thing you can do to a creative and inspirational person is to lose their respect.  Lecturing on your “know it all” issues  is a deal killer.

    Because they are so loved  and respected by  so many, I would hesitate before I spoke badly in certain circles about them.  Many carry clout you are unaware of. They are the darlings of society.  It’s not about money or education, it’s about truthfulness, kindness, and a mutual respect for others.  These people thrive on fairness.  Many are community volunteers.  They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.

    They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.  

    If you have an inferiority complex, creative and inspirational people are not  who you want to take your complex out upon.  Save those talented folks from your momentary lapse of good judgement, and instead learn to mimic what they do.  Pretty soon you may find out you have something in common with these inspiring people.  Once you learn to keep your own feelings in check (and your mouth shut), you will find you have plenty of positive things to talk about. These folks really do have their stuff together.   Learn from them.

    -Be creative and learn to listen and hear more than the thoughts in your head.

    -Be inspirational and allow others to know you on a different scale, a scale filled with meaningful thoughts and actions.

    -Be prepared to hear positive solutions, and positive reinforcement on concrete ideas based on sound intellect, working knowledge and experience. The term precise comes to mind, or in-eight.  It’s just natural for them.  Don’t judge, rather follow their lead.

    These people can be  addictive to others who haven’t experienced first hand what it is like to explore life to the fullest.  They can shape and mold an organization with just a smile and a friendly chat. They love to wrap people in a PEACE bubble and make them feel appreciated and excepted for who and what they are.  People have value just living in the moment.  Remember to keep negativity from creeping its ugly head into your new found PEACE bubble.  Learn to hold your tongue and avoid your own mind talk. Crawl out of your own head and live in the moment.  Be creative and inspirational!

    Crawl out of your own head and live in the moment


    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.








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    Working in a Tourist Town – with a Professional Team

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    Working in a Tourist Town – with a Professional Team.  A Real Team!

    I’ve worked on a multitude of different professional teams in my lifetime. Some were good, some were so-so, and some were just flat out disappointing. One particular team that I had the privilege to be a part of, rocked in every dimension. It was at the Moab Chamber of Commerce, back when I was first starting out in the business world, almost 26 years ago. The Chamber of Commerce at the time was located in the same complex as the local Grand County Travel Council.

    If you can image tourists from all walks of life, business professionals looking to relocate to the area, and local entrepreneurs seeking all forms of statistical information lining the counters and desks – that is where you would find me. Phones ringing off the wall, a million questions coming at you, and staff running around trying to get literature out to the visiting masses. That was my world.

    There were a number of things we as a team had memorized by heart, besides the brochures, and all the local attractions:

    ·       The restrooms are located around back and just across the bridge over the small dry creek

    ·       Please don’t forget your sunscreen and take plenty of water

    ·       When asked where the Arch was, we would go into a 2-minute informative speech about Arches National Park, and the many Arches contained inside the park

    ·       Yes the Chamber board is made up of elected local business owners and concerned private citizens

    ·       Economic development packets are available at our office or downtown at the County office

    ·       The film commission does not have an office in our building. Yes we have a brochure

    ·       The pool, movie theater, bike repair, and where to eat were all hot topics

    As you entered the building, there was a small room off to the left as you walked in. Housed in this room were tons of brochures and flyers on the local and recreational areas. An overhead TV played continually the lengthy jingles from the ads that help to teleport visitors minds to the great attractions that lay before them as they ventured out into the red rocks that surround my hometown.

    Often sunburned and chapped lipped youngest, fresh off a river or jeeping excursion would run to and fro before exhausted parents could gather them up in an attempt to quiet them.

    Our miracle gals behind the front counter were Jacque, Melissa, and Annie. One of them would burst out with the candy jar and take that heavy parental load off the parents and make little frowns turn into smiles as the children would gladly take the candy and whatever paraphilia was given to them. Stickers and pens, key chains and other free swag kept the kids at bay, while mom and pop looked over the brochures, planning their next family adventure.

    Tucked away in the back were Judith and Rene. They were also working steadily on the next travel council brochures and upcoming travel events. They were designing some of the first displays for their overseas trips to sell the world on the idea of the Grand Circle tour ( Zion,BryceCapitol ReefArchesCanyonlands and Grand Canyon national parks).

    Val and I had desks next to each other out in the open for the world to find us.  She could be found busy entering all the travel information requests and filling out forms and making labels for all the seasonal guiding companies who came in weekly for marketing information. I would be planning Chamber events and dealing with the business community concerns, planning parades and Chamber luncheons, and making my own packets for relocation and small business development.

    Five o’clock was a good time. We did things together. We celebrated each other’s life moments. We had Saturday coffee down the river road or gathered at someone’s house for a team get together.  We all knew our rank in the organization, it was team member. Sure we all had titles, but friend was the best one.

    So many organizations have lost the title of team and friend. Those titles have been replaced with negative titles that strip the humanity from a person and leave an empty soul in its place.

    Being part of a tourist team means

    You get up and help the gals or guys behind the counter when she or he is swamped with tourists and customers

    You grab the Chamber phone and ask for a number and get a callback

    You help your teammate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing

    You help your teammate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing

    You gently bring out the fire extinguisher when you light your best friends 30th birthday cake at 7:30 in morning

    You lock up when others can’t

    You open the building up with a smile on your face and you do it all over again with each other helping along the way

    Being a part of a team and helping to meet goals and deadlines. Just getting to the bank or the post office can be difficult. Your team helps you with even these small steps.

    Group hugs – priceless

    Watching a team member move away, or move on to bigger adventures is bittersweet. But we celebrated each other’s success and we acknowledged the fact that they were a part of who we are today – because they were in our lives.

    NOTE: My life has moved on in many directions since 26 years ago. I can say today that I enjoy my new team, and I’m excited about the adventures we will explore together! It’s those rare teams of people that life throws together at odd points in life that add value and memories of a job well done. Embrace it.



    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    Change how you think - and you will change your life

    Change how you think – and you will change your life

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    By nature, you are happy, caring, respectful, and have a deep appreciation for those around you. You are a good person. Yet some days you feel like “meh“.

    It’s a jolt to your happy-go-lucky self, to have to put up with other people who don’t feel good about themselves; or anything in general. In fact, they feel so bad about themselves and their plight in society, that they want to make everyone around them feel just as miserable. They like to control, their bossy, whiny, vindictive, and they want to be YOUR friend.

    Don’t pay the ransom – I escaped!

    I escaped from the “meh” mindset – and so can you. Change how you think, and you will change your life. Getting caught up in “thinking” about what others say and do really isn’t in your best interest. By doing that, you end up becoming paranoid, defeated, you lose creativity, and your peaceful way of life gets disrupted. The “meh” can wear you down over time.

    I drive mean people nuts – I know that. But that is really not my problem, it is theirs. I am able to articulate the positive emotions that bring me joy. I say it to their face. I am able to move on quickly when face-to-face with mean people. I do it deliberately and with no remorse. The less space (time) I spend with them the better. By giving up more space to them, I wouldn’t be making any headway with them – so it is just as easy to nip the conversation in the bud and move on quickly.

    I drive mean people nuts – I know that. But that is really not my problem, it is theirs

    The chances are that mean person in your life, will continue to be mean. If they were mean when you first met them, they will continue to be mean; while looking for ways to bring you to their level of “meh“. They want to know what you are doing. Don’t tell them. Not unless they have a “REAL” need to know. But I would still hold back. Less is more.

    Yes, they will think all kinds of cruel and untrue things about you. Yes, they will close their doors, and with others who have been sucked into their “meh”, laugh and talk about you.

    Still – don’t tell them anything. Just stand your ground, far-far-away from them. Are you feeling better yet? You should! There is an old saying “What other people think about you, is none of your business”. It’s true, and the sooner you learn to ignore it the better you will feel. I’m going to tell you why.

    I’m going to tell why!

    Start to fill your mind with happy thoughts. Who knows, you may be one of the very few who are escaping the daily torment, while your co-worker is getting hammered by this guy or gal. Ever hear your co-worker complain that they go home each night feeling anxious, worried, and defeated? It’s because they made the decision to stay and listen to “meh”. They don’t know how to get out. They would rather be laughing with you – the happy one.

    You need to be surrounding yourself with happy people. Do things for yourself. Things that make you feel important. Because you are important. Be open to others who are also open. Take walks, or look out the window and view the world outside. Call someone special, listen to a nice song. Pet your dog, travel, go out to dinner with friends, and laugh a lot! Factor in these type of behaviors into your daily routine, and practice them religiously.

    If you change how you react, plus your response time around mean people, you will start to gain back your positive mojo again. Once you have finally shut the “meh” up – don’t look back. Don’t feel sorry for them either. Not unless you feel a “meh” coming on.

    Change how you think, and you will change your life. You will be happy at your job, or with a relationship again. You will feel more creative, and full of pep. You will be glad to greet new challenges with a willingness to be active and helpful. Life is what you make of it – so, change how you think – and you will change your own life.

    Change how you think, and you will change your life.

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    It’s the simple things in life

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    It’s the simple things in life, it really is. The simple things that make you feel good about yourself, others around you, and the world.

    I think that one of the worst things you can do is to listen to your own thoughts and try to rationalize and dwell on a stupid mistake that you might have made. There is no rationalization, you just made a mistake, own up to it, and move on. Maybe you feel that those around you really don’t know you, or understand your potential. You are just going through the daily motions of working and hoping someone will notice something good that you did that day. That’s not a good work environment.

    If you are relying on others for your happiness – it won’t happen. You are responsible for your own happiness. You have to dig deep within yourself to find that spirit of truth, warmth, and happiness. It’s there – that positive wellness. You just need to start tapping into it.

    How do you change a negative situation? You change your thoughts. You start to input positive thoughts to replace the negative ones. How? You might ask. Start by doing some of the following:

    1.      Say to yourself “I am worth it”. Say it a lot. Send yourself reminders to say it! Post it on an I love me Board“. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself. You are worth it

    I love me Board ~ J. D.

    2.      Build new relationships with others in your office, and socially outside of work

    3.      If you know you are going to meet with rejection or criticism from a fellow co-worker if you ask them a question – don’t ask them! Seriously, don’t ask them. Ask someone else, or look it up yourself. Avoid their office

    4.      I understand that sometimes you have to ask a negative co-worker a question, but do so when you aren’t alone with them, so you have someone else there with you, who can see and hear the situation

    5.      Don’t allow your co-workers to take advantage of you, especially when they take extended and frequent breaks. They aren’t your boss, and it’s NOT your responsibility to babysit their job – it’s theirs. Tell them no, you are busy doing your own work. Don’t be guilted into anything!

    6.      Don’t be afraid to say “NO”

    7.      Let me say that one again. Don’t be afraid to say “NO”

    8.      If you work overtime – or pull a shift straight without any breaks, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty if you leave at a different time than he or she does. You’re on the honor system

    9.      Stop saying “I’m Sorry”. There are a million ways to correct an error without leading off with “I’m Sorry”.  Some things just need an adjustment to get them working correctly. It doesn’t mean you need to apologize for every tiny thing. Fix it if you can, and move on

    10.  Believe in yourself, and treat yourself to good things. Treat yourself daily. See #1 above for the reason why.

    It is very important that you take time for yourself. Time to relax and reflect on the things that you care about. Taking trips, and looking after your health is good for refreshing the spirit within you. When you take care of yourself, you are much more able to fight off the dreaded negatives that might pop up in your way.

    Setting Goals

    Set a goal for yourself. Start by losing some of that negative baggage in your head. Start packing positive thoughts, and use those positives each day.

    If you feel yourself slipping into temptation, and feeling down – make sure you have some backup. Find a positive buddy if you can. Someone whom you can talk to, and know that what you say won’t be broadcast to the entire office, the community, or some social network!

    It’s the simple things in life, that can lift you out from under the bus that you might feel is sitting on top of you. Set some goals! But set realistic goals.

    If you set your goals too high, too soon, you might lose your momentum. You can have long-term goals – but you need small milestone goals along the way as well. Treat yourself well, and treat yourself often! Milestones!

    Treat yourself well, and treat yourself often! Milestones!

    I will be honest, some days it is hard to stay positive, and stick to my goal. But what I have discovered is if you immediately come back with a positive, after a negative confrontation – you can de-escalate, and/or completely defuse a situation. Nine times out of 10, coming back with a positive will work in your favor.

    Goal Helpers – For Directing Positive Thinking

    ·        Do good always

    ·        Always smile and greet those you work with each morning, especially the grouchy ones

    ·        Thank people when they help you, and even when they can’t. At least they listened

    ·        Tip the waiter or waitress, even the bad ones

    ·        Pet your puppy dog

    ·        Wave at your neighbor or say Hi

    ·        Hold the door for someone

    ·        Complement someone when it is earned

    ·        Treat yourself daily to positives

    ·        Laugh often and loudly. Laugh at yourself.

    Keep up the positives and soon you will begin to see the positives coming out in others around you. Never give up, and never give in. You can change your own environment! Just stay positive.


    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    The year is 1982, and my little family was green before green was cool

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    The year is 1982, and my little family was green before green was cool. Fast-forward to 2018, I wonder if our ideas and what we learned in the early 80’s could outlast the years. I thought so. If nothing else, it would get those creative juices flowing for those who like to tinker with new ideas. We were green before green was cool.

    We were green before green was cool.

    As I have aged, I’ve been judged for a lot of things – one being that I’m not an environmentalist. I think too “locally” to ever be a true environmentalist. I’m too old school. That term environmentalist (or conservationist) unfortunately, has been improperly used by some to lump together a whole segment of the population that doesn’t transcribe to a certain set of ideologies. That term may be used globally, nationally, or regionally, but unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily applicable to each demographical region or sect.  I’m what people call “a local“.

    I’m what people call ” a local“.

    Welcome to the 80’s!

    I take in the view of my garden and lush fruit trees in the yard – it’s a joyful time. Sitting in the back of yard with my two daughters ages 1  and 3. They are digging happily in the sandbox under the grape canopy that trellises over the back patio. It is cool and the flowers make the atmosphere pleasant and inviting. There is a large orchard just a hop-skip-and-jump from my backyard.   The farmers are starting to setup truckloads of fresh produce, and my spouse has headed down to the pickup area to retrieve the bushels we have ordered.

    A lot of plants are coming into the season, and I’ve been busily getting my canning jars prepared, and setting up my cooking area. Can’t wait to taste the apricot jam and grape jelly, that we as a family will prepare together.  I  also anticipate that those bushels of peaches will be a  sweet treat, and the babies will love them.

    My own little garden has a number of seasonal vegetables ripe for the harvesting. I like to freeze our vegetables, so part of the cooking that will take place over the next day or so, will involve some blanching to prepare and store our own little backyard harvest.

    It’s 1982, and we were living off the land, and having fun doing it. We were gardening, hunting and fishing, gathering our own wood for winter, and inventing and using our own innovations to create a sustainable home environment for our little family.

    We didn’t have a label back then. By 2018 standards, we would have met a lot of the criteria for the label of an environmentalist.  But those ideological labels for the working class hadn’t been invented yet. We were just known as good neighbors in the 80’s.  I was a typical stay at home housewife, and my spouse who worked long hours on a drilling rig were just looking out for our small family and home. It was the way things were in the 80’s – in the small industrial mining community of Moab Utah.

    There were roughly around 8000 people countywide, winter, spring, summer, and fall. The population didn’t fluctuate much.   The air was clean and clear, and the landscape was pristine. The mountain trails were well maintained, and the cattle roamed free. It was a great place to work and raise a family.

    When innovation and being green wasn’t cool

    Batch Solar Water Heater

    We used to enjoy experimenting with the newest little fads we would hear about. Solar power was a fad just coming out in the 80’s. I subscribed to all the DIY solar books back then!  It was something we could tinker with as a family, and we did. Our little experimentation with solar power had people driving by our home taking pictures of our creations. We even had people knocking on our door wanting to ask questions.

    Our first creation was an outside solar hot water heater, made out of nothing more than an old freezer box, and water tank. We didn’t even get a building permit – we just built it. For 2018 – I suggest you get a building permit.

    If you can get a good water heater that doesn’t have a lot of sediment in the bottom – that will be wise before starting this project. A lot of times you can pick up used water heaters for free when people are doing remodels in their homes.  For the box that your water heater will sit in, we used an old stand up freezer (freezer boxes are better than refrigerator boxes) for the shell. We saved the freezer door so that in the winter months we could cover the front to protect it from the elements. We also had two small children, so of course, we had to childproof the box. The outside cover had grooves we could side the cover into and then lock it down into place for storage.  We used real locks

    Plumbing is very important – you want to use good plumbing materials because if you plan to bring pipes into your home to reach your inside water heater, you don’t want any leaks or breaks.  You want to be able to shut off your outside tank from your inside tank for the winter months as well.  You’ll need a damper to shut that flow off. Then blow the pipes for winter.

    Building the unit is easy, it’s the plumbing that will need your attention the most.

    When constructing our model, we experimented with different angles for our tank and then anchored the unit into place once the angle for optimal water flow was right. On the Inside of the box, we used a CURVED reflective Parabolic cylinder material that helped reflect the sunlight (prism) on the back and sides of the tank. We covered the front with a thick weather durable clear material that allowed unobstructed reflective sunlight inside the box.  All the pipes and fixtures were hidden, and the unit sat neatly next to the outside entrance to our family hot water heater. We received the benefit of using both tanks having them located so close to each other.

    Of course, a little flower garden box covered the bottom of the shell so that it looked like part of the connecting house.

    Use your wood stove to heat water

    We used our solar water heater up until it started getting too cool in the fall. Since we lived in the desert of SE Utah, we benefited from the dry heat and longer summer days. Placement of your tank around your home for the best amount of spring and fall sunlight is important.

    You can construct a top mount tank on your home, but that will require a lot more “innovation” on your part, as well as money.

    We tinkered with using a wood stove to heat the water up in the winter months, but with small children in the house, we hadn’t mastered how we would hide the pipes. So, we opted to not do that project in 1982. But we did have a design created. Here are some ideas on the internet for the innovative types:

    Wood stove tips

    We went through a couple wood stoves when we first started out. We finally were able to get a stove that was comfortable for our home.  I liked the ability to have a large open face fire for comfort, plus have a cooking top when I wanted to slow simmer stews or make soft candy.  In the 80’s we tinkered with installing blowers on our wood stove, so the hot air could be pumped into the vents in the house. Most of these items now come standard with wood stoves in 2018.

    There are some tips you should look into before you buy your first stove. Caution: Preparing your roof, walls, ceiling, and floors are “critical”!

    Collecting firewood without harming the environment, plus getting the necessary wood permits are things to consider when you start looking into wood stoves. In 2018 many people like wood chips stoves, but in the 80’s they weren’t yet available.

    Winter boxes for plants

    In the winter months I liked to experiment with out of season plants. My greatest success was with strawberries.  I was growing strawberries near a bathroom window. For some reason this area of the house was the only place they would grow. I was disappointed in the kitchen window.

    Since I wasn’t planning on doing any hardcore inside growing – I just stuck to window boxes. You can experiment with a lot of different designs and test your own indoor growing skills.

    Cooling your home

    During the summer months, I only had the standard gas bill that lets you maintain service. Electricity was the biggest cost in the summer months because we had to keep the lights and TV on. With a 1 and 3 year old, Sesame Street was a MUST have!

    We had hardly any air conditioning costs. We used what we liked to call – the grapevine method.  Our own terminology of course.  In the desert climate, our design for our home worked great, because we did not have all the humidity to contend with.

    This project was a no-brainer – but fun for us as a family. We had rather large grapevines that grew up and over a shaded patio area, and attached to the side of the house. Large windows could be opened to allow the cool drafts of air to come in from the shaded area outside.

    We also had roof vents installed that helped circulate the air inside the entire house. Since heat rises, we rarely had to use fans to circulate the air. In the heat of the summer, the temperate outside would range between 85 and 98. Inside the home, it was always a cool 70 to 73 degrees (with a slight breeze).

    The roof vents had dampers installed so if need be, we could seal them off to maintain the inside air temperature.

    On those days when the temps reach over 100, we would adjust the cooler on low, or set up an overhead fan in reverse to help pull more hot air upward out of the roof vents.

    The trick we learned was to install a cool mister within the grapevines themselves. If you put moisture on the vines in the early morning, that was best. It was cheaper than using an electric swap cooler or refrigerated air conditioner; it helped conserve both water and electricity.


    Food storage – canning & freezing ideas – and working with game meats

    I’ve used both boiling water canners and pressure cookers. I’ve learned how to properly dress out a wild game animal, and prepare it for freezing as well.  While we also wanted to get a smoker, that didn’t happen – we were caught up in too many other innovative projects that kept us too busy in 1982.

    Thinking about canning?

    You have to prepare for canning. I got lucky because my spouses’ great aunt had a lot of additional canning jars that she gave me. I just had to buy the seals and lids. You can pick up a lot of additional canning jars at yard sales also. Check community online groups to see if anyone has jars they want to sell you at a low cost.  Be prepared for closeout supermarket sales – you would be surprised how easy it is to get started. Share with a neighbor and split the costs.

    You will need to get yourself a good size pressure cooker that you can fit up to at least “8” big mouth quart jars in; for canning meats and some vegetables.   Make sure the seals of your pressure cooker are new and not worn.  Know how to take care of those seals and to clean your cooker properly.

    The topper (the weight) needs to set evenly on top of your cooker but allow for steam to escape. The cooking gauge is critical – you need to follow the canning directions so you don’t undercook or overcook. You have some studying to do if canning is your next new experiment. Safety of your equipment, food handling, and of course proper cooking temperatures and time are all factors to think about.

    Canning Trivia

    Knowing how many bushels of peaches will yield you X amount of jars is a must.  Get out your calculator and start adding. Being stuck with way too much product is an expense and waste. If you don’t have a fruit and vegetable dryer – you might want to invest in one. This could save you money in the long run; for when you miscalculate. It happens to us all. You can always bake pies!

    You can always bake pies!

    Get a group of your family together when it comes time to prepare your fruit for canning. Cutting and pealing time is expedited when you have help.

    Here is a helpful canning link to get you started:

    Kids and Family Favorites

    Fish (something you probably didn’t know)

    Trout fish, canned, tastes like tuna fish. Yes, you can make tasty sandwiches with it, or use it in salads. A dab of salt and a ½ teaspoon of vinegar in each canning jar along with the prepared fish helps to soften the bones during the pressure cooking process.  The same process they use for tuna without all the icky additives.

    • To properly skin a trout fish, first freeze it in water, and then when you defrost it, the skin slips off easily in one pull. I don’t like trout skin – so this was something I had to learn real fast

    Jams and jellies 

    Apricot jam is great on pancakes.  Sliced peaches and pears can be a family treat during the cold winter months. No preservatives, no additives – kids love them, especially over homemade ice cream.

    Cold storage root cellar

    You can create your own root cellar area under or near your home where you can store things like onions, potatoes, pumpkins, and all those nicely filled canned jars of love. Do some research on this one. Make sure small animals and creepy crawlies can’t get into your supply either.

    Hunting and the outdoor experience

    I get it! Not everyone likes meat. But the principles behind storage are pretty much the same when it comes to protecting your food supply.

    I get it! Not everyone likes meat

    Could be you like to hunt deer, elk, rabbit, or go fishing, etc. There is a lot of wild game that can be hunted, it just depends on where you live. Hunting is a sport and a livelihood for many. You also have the bow, black powder, and rifle seasons to factor in. What works best for you and your family– is ultimately up to you when it comes to hunting.

    Then there are elements like hunting licenses, gun care, camping, and boating,  that also add to your well rounded outdoor hunting experience.  Don’t forget those. We used hunting season as quality family time. Mountains, camping, hunting, and boating are kind of synonymous with our family.

    Preparing for long-term food storage

    So you just bagged your first 7 point buck of the season. How you dress out your prize hunt and prepare it for long-term storage is very important. A deep freezer is a great way to store your food when you have bulk game meat. Some people like stand-up freezers, while others like chest freezers. I prefer the standup, but it’s all about what you like.

    Specially designed freezer bags and wrapping paper are a must to avoid freezer burn on your food.  If you use baggies, make sure they say, “FREEZER BAG” on the outside. Then you need to carefully wrap your food as well. Have you thought about freezer paper? I prefer freezer paper over aluminum foil. I could never get the whole aluminum foil thing.

    Properly dating your food containers is equally important. Whether you are freezing meat or freezing fruits and vegetables – there is some preparation involved.

    You can’t just slap your food into a sandwich baggie and throw it into the freezer! That would get you in a whole lot of trouble at my house. Freezing vegetables for example – let’s use corn. You first need to do a process called blanching. I prefer to freeze vegetables over canning them.   But I prefer canning fruits (and some meats) over freezing. You must find out what works best for you.


    When I factor in all the man hours and standard costs from the 1980’s and compare it with 2018 – it is similar. Why? Because it was free, sustainable, and we did it ourselves.

    • In 1982  I  was spending about 30 to 50  dollars for electric and gas combined during the middle of winter.  My conventional neighbor was spending 180 a month combined during the height of winter.
    • In 2018, you would still spend around 40 to 50 dollars combined just for standard utility fees. Your conventional 2018 neighbor will spend around 180 upward to 300 a month!
    • In 1982 I spent maybe 80 a month in the winter at the grocery stores for general staples items. We bought in bulk in the summer months, so the lean winters weren’t as harsh.
    • 2018 – that is still doable. You just need to know when and where to shop.

    Today in 2018, am I an environmentalist? Probably not. I don’t live like I was in 1982 – but neither do any of my neighbors. Even the environmentally inclined don’t live like I did in 1982. Their carbon footprint (an ideological term of the new era) is about the same as mine.  Yet my neighbors consider themselves environmentalists because they think globally. I think locally, and therefore I am judged as a non-environments.  I am what you call “a local”.

    I am what you call “a local”.

    I lived in the 80’s when green wasn’t cool. In the 80’s we were innovating and experimenting with the tools and mechanics that the next generation would learn from.