Life's like that!

May 30, 2009

Heartbreak at 45mph

On the way to Galveston Beach last weekend, we drove past the Gulf Greyhound Park near Houston.

Just looking at the name of this place made me cringe.

Read this article Heartbreak at 45mph by Michael J. Mooney. [Reference by Animal Person].

'A deep, scratchy voice announces their presence over the loudspeaker. "Heeeere comes Hollywood!" The gates open, and eight muzzled greyhounds spring forth in a speedy, thundering mass of bobbing fur, each wearing a brightly colored, numbered jersey. Tiny puffs of dirt follow their sinewy legs. This is the seventh race of the night at Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center in Hallandale Beach, the highest-paying dog track in Florida. It's August 19, 2006. The race begins at 9:23 p.m. At 9:24, the audience will witness something horrid.'


May 29, 2009

About milk and cheese

My dear sister is right.

No more milk and cheese for us after I read this.

'Some people may not be able to tolerate lactose, a milk sugar. One hundred percent of humans are allergic to casein, a milk protein. Eighty percent of the protein in Horizon's organic dairy products is casein, the same glue used to adhere a label to a bottle of beer. Eat casein and your body produces histamines, then mucous. This sludge congests yourorgans. Give up all milk and dairy products for just one week and an internal "fog" will lift from your body.'


Blogging from Cell Phone - Cool!

The message below was a test message from my cell phone.

I saw the instructions on how to set it up and did it in about 3 minutes.

It's not that I am a blogging fanatic, but I just want to see how far technology has advanced in the blogging world.

Now that I see how tech has made things so easy, I can also see how it has made life so complicated.


Test blog from my cell phone.

Video: The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff (20:40)

'From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.'


I Love Mei Mei Lao Shi!

Photo source:

Last month after reading reviews about this DVD 'Dance and Learn Chinese with Mei Mei' on, I decided to order a copy for daughter.

The format for this DVD is very simple:
1. Mei Mei Lao Shi (Teacher) sings the song first.
2. A child recites the song lyrics.
3. A group of kids perform the song.

In the beginning when she watch the DVD, she would sit in her chair and stare at the TV screen. I guess in her mind she might be thinking: 'Finally I see people that look like me appearing on TV!'

Two weeks later she would get out of the chair and start to swaying side to side like the little girls. By then she has learned how to press the play button on the DVD player.

This month, she began to sing the lyrics for some of the songs e.g. Two Tigers and Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars.

During our trip to Galveston Beach, she would suddenly burst out singing some of the songs from the DVD.

Now she wants to wear a long pretty dress to dance like the little girls when she watches the DVD. She also says 'I love Mei Mei Lao Shi!' all the time!

Well thanks to this DVD, my daughter not only learned simple Chinese words, I also lost 5 kg by dancing with her!


The Pain of Losing a Farm

It must be devastating to lose the freedom of living off your land and be dependent on others for your food.

When I read The Milk Mans Wife's blog about the pain that small farm owners go through when they lose their land and cattle, it got me thinking about the pain that farmers in Singapore must have felt when the Singapore government took over their land and made them live in high rise concrete buildings in the early 60s and 70s.

I can understand how horrible it must be for them to surrender their rights to grow their own food and raise their own animals. To have to be confined in small apartment space compared to the vast farmland must have been depressing. To not be able to touch and smell the wonderful soil must have been torturing. And to have to pay for food that they used to grow must have been awful.

Now that I am trying to grow my own food, the satisfaction from this experience is indescribable.

I have never thought that I can depend on my own ability to grow vegetables, and I certainly am still amazed at this discovery.

I have more respect for the effort that farmers put into growing veggies, and I check the fridge regularly for veggies that might expire soon so that I can cook them first.

When I go back to Singapore I have to visit the following farms:
Bollywood Veggies - 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026
Dragon Fruit Farm - 1 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718858
Hay Diaries -
No.3 Lim Chu Kang Agrotech Park Lane 4, Singapore 718859
Kin Yan Agrotech Organic Farm - 220, Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718830

More about Singapore farms on


Gorgeous Flower Outside My Window

This is what I have been waiting all spring outside my window:

Gorgeous flower!

May 26, 2009

March 14, 2009

Can't wait for it to bloom all summer long!


Obituary for Common Sense

Received from my friend, Sr. Basira. Thanks a bunch!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

1- Knowing when to come in out of the rain.

2- Why the early bird gets the worm .

3- Life isn't always fair.

4- and, Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies.... .....

(don't spend more than you can earn)

and reliable strategies

(adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but, overbearing, regulations were set in place.

Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate. teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student.

These only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement..

Common Sense was preceded in death:

by his parents Truth and Trust,
by his wife, Discretion,
by his daughter, Responsibility, and
by his son,Reason.. .

He is survived by his four stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended "his" funeral because so few realized

"he" was gone..


May 28, 2009

Small Space Living Ideas

Love these ideas for small space living!

Small Space Living - making small living more comfortable and enriching

Ikea - Taiwan web site

Matroshka - a compact living concept

Ikea Hacker - the name says it all

Note to self: Must visit the Discount Home Warehouse to pick up flower pots at discount price!

Discount Home Warehouse - architectural salvage


May 27, 2009

我是亞洲人 I am an Asian

I am proud to be an Asian.

I am thankful that I grew up in a country where I see people whom I can identify with.

I am confident of my self-identity because of my mother and the environment that I grew up in.

I am glad that my spouse is an Asian Muslim who has a strong sense of self-identity.

I am relieved that I do not have to deal with racial identity crisis like so many people.

I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to know my roots, who I am and what I can accomplish as a person.

I am looking forward to raise my daughter as a proud Asian Muslim who is at peace with herself and the world.

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There goes my retirement...

My U.S. retirement fund that I am investing in real estate, social bond and stock market just dropped $5K.

It's not too bad considering I still have about 30 years for it to grow, Allah SWT willing.

Some elderly retired Americans had their retirement accounts wiped out due to the recession and Madoff fraud scandal. I feel bad that some of them have to work at supermarket checkouts as cashiers or store flyer distributors.

I am thankful that I still have my retirement fund in Singapore. That will be where I am heading to when I am 65, Allah SWT willing.


Waiting for my dear sister's arrival

In less than a month, my dear sister and her two kids will be in the United States.

While I can understand and feel sorry for her reluctant departure from our family and her friends in Singapore, I can't wait for her to get here.

Although she will be in Ohio due to her husband's enrollment in the Masters degree at the Wright State University, I am glad that I am just four states away (1,020 miles or 1,642 km) from her.

Sometimes I wonder why on earth Allah SWT would put me in the United States, but now I am glad that He did that. At least my sister has a family member in a foreign land to ease her loneliness.

Now is she or am I the lucky one?


Tofurky Italian Deli

Out of curiosity (yeah, sometimes it kills the cat), I bought the Tofurky Italian Deli at Whole Foods Market. Here are the listed ingredients:

Water, vital wheat gluten, organic tofu (water, organic soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride), non-genetically engineered expeller-pressed canola oil, sun-dried tomatoes, natural vegetarian flavors, spices, non-genetically engineered corn starch, basil, white bean flour, garbanzo bean flour, granulated garlic and onion, lemon juice from concentrate, calcium lactate from beets.

I heated the slices in a microwave oven when we stayed overnight at a hotel during our trip to the Galveston Beach.

It took only 1 minute to heat a slice through and it was soft and flavorful. If heated more than 1 minute and 30 seconds, it became chewy and tough.

This type of product is for vegans and vegetarians, and I must say that it tasted so good that I ate all ten slices!

Verdict: Highly recommended.


Chocolate Stuffed Eclairs

I love to eat chocolate stuffed eclairs more than any other kind of pastry. My mother used to baked these when we were young.

Paula Deen has a video on YouTube on how to make Chocolate Stuffed Eclairs

I watched it last night and decided to make it this morning. My craving for chocolate can really motivate me! also has the printable version of this recipe,1613,149190-228193,00.html


1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour
4 eggs

1. Bring to rolling boil water and butter.
2. Take off heat.
3. Add flour and stir with spoon until ball can be formed.
4. Add eggs. Beat like crazy. [I really beat like crazy with a wooden spoon because I didn't want to use the electric beater.]
5. Mix until dough is very stiff; otherwise it will run all over pan.

Homemade Chocolate Stuffed Eclairs

Left: Elcair Dough / Right: Chocolate Stuffing

6. Drop by full teaspoons onto a cookie sheet for individual serving; put in a circular ring or in a strip. [I put the dough in a bag, cut a hole at one corner and press the dough out to make long strips.]

7. Bake 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool out of draft.

Left: Baked Eclairs

Chocolate Filling for Eclair
1/4 cup cocoa (semi-sweet or dark)
6 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups milk
3 eggs

1. Stir cocoa, flour, salt and sugar together in a pot.
2. Add one cup of milk to dry mixture until lumps dissolved. Add the rest of the milk. Turn on heat.
3. When mixture is just warm, add beaten eggs to prevent cuddles from forming.
4. Use a whisk to stir the mixture until thickens. Cool before use.


May 26, 2009

Chocablog: The Chocolate Blog

Image: Cadbury Flake (LOVE IT!!!)

I just read this blog Chocablog and found these questions.

While I will try to be honest about my love for chocolate, it is not my intention to offend any chocolate lovers out there with my thoughts about certain chocolate combination.

Milk, Dark or White: Dark, but I can put up with Milk if I am desperate...

Your guilty chocolate pleasure: Chocolate Eclair. Gimme gimme gimme more!

Favorite childhood chocolate: Cadbury oval shape chocolate tin. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I got very very sick and my mother promised that when I got better she would buy a tin of chocolate for me. Well, I got better and she kept her promise. It made my siblings so jealous of me!

Fruit or nut: Nuts please!

Crunchy or chewy: I love to bite into a crunchy bar. Can't stand the sticky chewy feeling in my mouth.

Give or receive: I love to give chocolates as gifts to share the calories!

Least favorite chocolate: Snickers-Caramel chocolate bar. I tried it once but just couldn't take another bite.


7 weird things about me

Now that daughter is almost 3 years old (Allah SWT willing in September), I think I should let her know at least 7 weird things about me so that she doesn't think that I am the all-perfect domestic diva...

1. My toe nails suffer (physically) when I am under stress.

2. When I was younger I hate to wear panties with little holes. My butt would get so itchy from wearing this type of panties. (Maybe I should let daughter try it and see how it goes.)

3. I used to take long bus rides on my own to see places when I was in secondary school.

4. I love to hug my husband and constantly find opportunities to do so when he is home, but I find it yucky to let my dear sister and brother hug me. (NO SIS! NO BRO!)

5. I love to dip cream crackers in black coffee and eat bread with half-boiled eggs.

6. When I was a teenager I always knew that I will live in another country some day.

7. When I was young, I always thought that real singers sang in the radio studios. I didn't know about cassette tapes until later.


Fifteen Questions

Saw the following questions on A Girl and A Farm

Good opportunity to think about me in depth...

1) What is your favorite day of the week? Friday. Husband takes daughter to Friday prayer at the mosque while I have 1 hour 'me' time.

2) What is your biggest fear? Any harm that touches my husband and daughter.

3) What was your worst subject in school? Geography. The teacher did not know how to teach the subject well (aka did a lousy job) and allowed students to cheat during tests and I hated it.

4) Who did you hug last? My daughter.

5) What websites do you visit when you go online?, and various blogs.

6) What was the last item that you bought? Groceries from Whole Foods Market.

7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Ireland to see the meadows.

8) If you woke up tomorrow and were the opposite sex what is the first thing you would do and why? Build a log house because I will have the muscle to do so! (Assuming I am a well build guy.)

9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle? Not really. I just prefer a pony tail for simplicity sake.

10) What was the last movie you watched? James Bond: Quantum of Solace

11) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments, or interruptions, what would you do? Read to my plants.

12) If you were to win the Powerball, what would you do with the money (besides invest it)?
Build mosques in third world countries.

13) If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? Learn about true Islamic teachings the minute I stopped praying at the Chinese temple.

14) If you had a choice of places to live, where would it be? On a farm, on the beach or on a mountain.

15) What's one thing in your life that makes you happy, no matter what? Listening to birds singing outside my window every morning.


Mustard Plaster

Just read about a folk remedy to use mustard plaster for 'arthritis, cramps, backaches - anything that required a lot of heat.'

I might try this the next time we run out of Bengal for muscle ache.

Mustard Plaster

'Mix this together and put it into a wet wash cloth and fold it over like a sandwich, then put it into a zip lock bag and then into a dry hand towel. Then place it on the area - chest or back but DO NOT LEAVE IT IN ONE SPOT FOR TO LONG!... This stuff works so well you can use it for arthritis, cramps, back aches - anything that requires a lot of heat. '

Mustard Plaster

1 cup flour
2 tablspoons dry ground mustard
enough warm water to make a paste


What Flower Are You?

Just read about this test from The Milk Mans Wife.

I answered a few questions and found out that...

I am a Daisy:
"You are just a sweet person. When a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, you are happy to offer yours with a box of tissues as well. Once in awhile, you wish you could be a little more dramatic but then sensibility sets back in and you know that you are perfect the way you are."

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

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'Bunny sleeping..'

Daughter has been playing on her own with dolls that I made for her.

'Mom, bunny/baby/totoro/birdie sleeping.'

'Mom, bunny pain pain.' (tummy ache)

'Mom, bunny fang pi.' (Chinese word for farting)

Now she is saying she wants a 'mei mei' (sister) to play with.

Allah SWT willing we will have one soon.

Even if we only have one child, we are thankful for the joy and happiness that daughter has brought to our lives.


We have a Cucumber Baby!

After weeks of anticipation, the first cucumber baby finally appears!

A few weeks ago when I read about hand pollination by using a cotton bud or a paint brush to brush cucumber flowers, I immediately do so. I prayed that Allah SWT willing we will have crunchy juicy cucumbers during summer.

All praise to Allah SWT my prayers have been answered with this cute little baby!

This is how the patio garden looks like in late May.

Patio garden looking good!

Soy bean plants are twining beautifully on these bamboo stakes.

Tomato plants are soaking in all the sun on 80+ degree F days.

Sage, rosemary, thyme, arugula, and sensitive plants are happy in this corner of the patio.

Now I am waiting for the first tomato baby to arrive.


May 25, 2009

Beachfront Houses on Galveston Beach

We saw lots of new houses being built on Galveston Beach.

Coconut-design house on stilts

Interesting entrance design

Love the blue color paint.

Even if we can't afford a house on the beach, it'll be fun to rent a RV and stay at a RV park near the beach.


Galveston Beach, Texas - Part 2

I have not been so close to a beach for almost 7 years, so I was so glad to have this opportunity to smell the sea breeze.

Now I really miss Singapore's East Coast.

17-foot-high sea wall along the beach

Graffiti on the sea wall

Umbrellas and chairs for rent on the beach? Bring Your Own!

Turtle spotting poster pasted on trash bins on the beach

If I were to live near the beach, I'd rather watch out for turtles at the beach than quilting!


Interesting Sights Along Seawall Blvd, Galveston Beach

While husband drove along Seawall Blvd in Galveston Beach, I was busy snapping photos.

Giant crab on the roof

'Three Wheels' and 'Four Wheels' rental

One of the hotels along Seawall Blvd

What better way to cool down other than heaps of ice cream on a hot day at the beach...

Giant shrimp flying in the air?

Allah SWT willing next time when we visit Galveston Beach, we have to stop by Ben&Jerry's to get some yummy ice cream...


Rebuilding Property on Galveston Beach

Before we left Galveston Beach we drove along the Seawall Blvd and towards the west side of the island.

The east side of Galveston Beach is public area while some of the west side of the beach is privately owned.

Galveston Island State Park

When hurricane Ike hit Galveston Beach in September 2008, most of the beach and beachfront houses were wiped out.

Photo source:

Photo source:

Photo source:

While the seawall was repaired early this year, We saw many damaged houses still standing and abandoned.

Abandoned small business shop houses

We also saw newly built big bungalows and mansions on the beach front.

Mansion on the beach

Galveston Island City Hall and Fire Station

Beach front houses on stilts

I sure would love to know how much flood insurance would cost for these houses.


Galveston Beach, Texas - Part 1

Last Saturday afternoon husband, daughter and I traveled to Galveston Beach by car. We left at about 3pm and husband picked up bread, smoked salmon, tomato and root beer at the Whole Foods Market in Arlington.

Halfway there on Interstate 45 highway we encountered sudden heavy rainfall with a visibility of 2 cars in front of us. So the wise move was to slow down to 40 miles per hour and watch out for crazy drivers who did NOT turn on their vehicles' headlights.

All praise be to Allah we got there safe and sound at about 9:30pm. We decided to check out the beach before finding a hotel accommodation. The beach was also quite crowded with people and dogs. We had to head back to the city of La Marque, 45 minutes north of the beach, to stay at the Days Inn.

On Sunday we left the hotel at around 10:30am. We arrived at the beach at noon and stayed for about one and half hours. While husband and daughter played on the beach, I had my umbrella and hand-cranked radio while enjoying the cool sea breeze.

We drove to Houston to pray at a mosque before picking up dinner (bread, croissant and snacks) for our journey back home.

All praise be to Allah SWT we reached home at about 10:30pm.

Sunny day at Galveston Beach

Lifeguard post and fishing pier on the beach

My relaxing spot on the beach. Picnic mat kindly donated by my dear sister!

After being on the road and out and about for two days, I am so glad today is Memorial Day holiday so that husband and I can sleep in longer!


Are You a Pack Rat or a Homesteader?

Based on this blogger's top 10 list of differences between a pack rat and a homesteader, I hope I am more of a homesteader.

A homesteader...

1. ... “Uses what he has, and keeps what he needs.”

2. ... places value on something based on the usefulness of the item.

3. ... knows there is a time to take an inventory, go through things that they store, and dispose of things that they have or will have no use for.

4. ... isn’t always worried about gathering more and more.

5. ... organizes their supplies.

6. (closely following 5) ... can find AND use their supplies when needed.

7. ..., because of their organization and usefulness, will always share some saved, stored supplies.

8. ... will rotate their supplies of everything (not just their food) and use it or get rid of it before it becomes a liability instead of an asset.

9. ... will store something because they can imagine a time to use it and a purpose for it.

10. ... isn’t ashamed to have someone to their homestead, because although not everyone will appreciate the usefulness of the saved items, many people will respect the homesteader because they’ve actually seen them use their supplies or have even benefited themselves by use of the homesteaders supplies.


Old Time Wisdom

I am only one,
But I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But I can do something.
What I can do I ought to do;
And what I ought to do
By the grace of God I will do.

Seen here.


Appreciating My Roots

When I was growing up in Singapore, my family celebrated traditional Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Double Seventh Festival. It was fun to spend time with my family on these occasions.

For a long time, I resisted appreciating my Chinese roots and recognizing the significance of celebrating these festivals.

The following phrase from the Holy Quran made me realize that we are created into different tribes with different strengths. We should understand how we can fully optimize our strengths to make this world better, safer and greener for future generations. As my daughter grows older, I want her to understand traditional Chinese values and positive influences of the Chinese on the world.

"O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (Quran 49:13).

O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa). Listen to me. Did I convey this to you properly? People responded, Yes. O messenger of God, The Prophet then said, then each one of you who is there must convey this to everyone not present. (Excerpt from the Prophet's Last Sermon as in Baihiqi)

Allah SWT willing I am going to learn how to make traditional Chinese food e.g. dim sum from scratch and teach daughter when I master the technique.


Chinese Poem: 千里共嬋娟 - 蘇東坡

I love this Chinese poem by a famous Chinese scholar Su Dong Po 蘇東坡.

Hear it here: 但願人長久

明月幾時有 把酒問青天
不知天上宮闕 今夕是何年

我欲乘風歸去 唯恐瓊樓玉宇
高處不勝寒 起舞弄清影 何似在人間

人有悲歡離合 月有陰晴圓缺
此事古難全 但願人長久

我欲乘風歸去 唯恐瓊樓玉宇
高處不勝寒 起舞弄清影

人有悲歡離合 月有陰晴圓缺
此事古難全 但願人長久


Self-Sufficient Family a.k.a. Homesteading Family

As I find out more about how to be self-sufficient, e.g. grow our own veggies, bake our own cakes+cookies+brownies, sew our own clothes etc., I am developing a homesteading mindset.

According to The Homestead Mindset, a homesteading family has some of the following characteristics:

# · Using, re-using, recycling into new uses what one already owns. Known to some as 'making-do.'
# · Careful thought before purchasing any item(s), not just large ticket ones.
# · Making from scratch any number of items: food, clothing, etc.
# · Somewhat of a minimalist lifestyle.
# · Gardening, preserving and stretching food dollars.
# · Free from 'keeping-up-with-the-Jones' disease.
# · Joy in creative depravity.

Also these are the questions that a homesteading family would think about before purchasing any items:

1. "Can I make this thing myself for less expense?" (food, furniture, gadget, etc.)

2. "Do I have something already that works in place of this just as well?"

3. "How often will I use this?" (Hint: If it's not on a regular basis - it's not purchased.)

4. "Can I do without it?" (If you've been fine without it for a while now...hmmmm.....see next question)

5. "Do we NEED it or just want it?"

Allah SWT willing I hope to continue to keep up on our path to be self-sufficient in this world.


Food Storage Calculator

I just found out about the food storage calculator from The Homestead Mindset blog.

Here is the recommended amount of food our family will need to stock up for one year.

Food Storage Calculator

Family members, Ages 7+ = 2
Family members, Ages 0-6 = 1

Food Storage your family will need:

Wheat 375 lbs
Flour 62 lbs
Corn Meal 62 lbs
Oats 62 lbs
Rice 125 lbs
Pasta 62 lbs
Total Grains 748 lbs

Fats and Oils
Shortening 10 lbs
Vegetable Oil 5 gal
Mayonnaise 5 qts
Salad Dressing 3 qts
Peanut Butter 10 lbs
Total Fats 33 lbs

Honey 7 lbs
Sugar 100 lbs
Brown Sugar 7 lbs
Molasses 3 lbs
Corn Syrup 7 lbs
Jams 7 lbs
Fruit drink powdered 15 lbs
Flavored Gelatin 3 lbs
Total Sugars 149 lbs

Dry Milk 150 lbs
Evaporated Milk 30 can
Other 32 lbs
Total Dairy 187 lbs

Beans, dry 75 lbs
Lima Beans 11 lbs
Soy Beans 25 lbs
Split Peas 11 lbs
Lentils 11 lbs
Dry Soup Mix 11 lbs
Total Legumes 144 lbs

Cooking Essentials
Baking Powder 3 lbs
Baking Soda 3 lbs
Yeast 1.5 lbs
Salt 13 lbs
Vinegar 1.5 gal

Water 42 gal
Bleach 3 gal


Weekly Preparation Practice Checklist

Good tips for low-cost practical living!

Weekly Preparation Practice Checklist

1. Serve someone with nothing in return:

Sorry, Mom and Dad, but your God-given, regular responsibilities as parents don’t count for practice in this category. It is the over and above actions. No money has to be spent, just some time, or some effort, or care. This can be any form of service from inside or outside of the family. Practice selfless giving. Expect nothing in return.

2. Spend at least one undistracted hour with your whole immediate family:

This means no television, computers, electronic toys, music in headphones, etc…You get the picture. Take a look at your family’s schedule. We have become a fragmented-family society. Can you actually enjoy your own family? Can they actually enjoy being with you? If called upon for quarantine or as a support system, we’re going to need to be more homebound WITH our family members. Practice now! The idea is to build this up over time.

3. Garden work:

Actual gardening is obviously most productive, but in the winter, it may not be possible. Planning, seed sorting, composting can all still be attended to for a productive garden in the spring.

4. Re-use at least one thing that normally gets thrown away:

. Just look at each item before tossing it and ask yourself the creative question: "Can I use this again or in a different way?" This can be a can, left-over ‘scraps’ of food, or anything.

5. Preserve something:

Dehydrate it, can it or freeze it.

6. Work on longer term food storage:

Keep building that inventory with ever sale that goes on now of non-perishable foods.

First – your one year WORKABLE pantry and then the stock-piled store and ignore stash.

7. Try a new recipe or a new variation of an old one:

Can you create something with alternate ingredients, if ingredients are in short supply? Or make something all together new that is actually edible if you are limited?

8. From WORKABLE one year pantry, make at least one breakfast, lunch & dinner:

Practice now! That is why we push building the year long WORKABLE pantry now and the long-term, store-n-ignore, stash-n-dash hide out food later. Be well versed in using all the non-convenience items that you have for your preparedness. Otherwise, they do you no good.

9. Calculate the cost of at least one meal this week:

This is related to the number 11 on the practice list.

10. Financial preparation:

Working to get out of debt, cutting monthly expenses, saving on utilities, making extra income with an at home or side business, and more all can apply to practice in this category.

11. Work on local food/barter systems:

Do you have a dairy cow? Find someone with a great garden and swap milk for produce. Look for local CSAs and Co-ops. Better yet, get involved and join in one!

12. Research and study something new about sustainable living:

Try the library (yes we still have those). Is there an area of preparedness that you know you’re lacking or just not yet interested in? Expand and grow your mind!

13. Try a new hands-on preparedness skill:

To give all the examples, this list would be way too long. Ideas range from making candles to dehydrating… just get your hands dirty and try it instead of just reading and gaining head knowledge.

14. Do without electricity for one night (from evening until bed-time):

This really is a lot of fun! Candles, lanterns and board games, oh my! You can even combine this item with #2 and double your practice!

15. Cook once this week (in winter) by fire or (in summer)by solar:

Even if it’s hot-dogs over a bon-fire or a pot of beans in the fireplace use the fire for more than warmth. Make a solar oven and bake a chicken, brownies and more. It’s not just fun and it’s a skill!

16. Know in Whom your security and peace lie:

Don’t rest on all this preparedness and hope it will save your soul. Practice living for and knowing the One who can. He brings Peace in the midst of a world gone crazy and joy in the trials. Don’t neglect your relationship with God Almighty and His Atoning Sacrifice for us. Know Him. Know Peace.


17 Healthy Foods for Under $1

All praise be to Allah SWT I found this online article about 17 healthy foods that cost under $1 per pound.

17 Healthy Foods for Under $1

Rice - The processing of rice removes much of its nutritional value. Brown rice retains the most nutritional value and white rice loses the most.

Cost: Rice can be stored up to two years so it makes a good deal of economic sense to buy in bulk. If you buy 20 pounds or more you can find rice for less than 50 cents per pound. It is one of the most economical foods on the planet with a 100 calories of cooked rice costing roughly 3-4 cents.

Oatmeal - Oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber and has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.

Cost: My local Winco has old fashioned oatmeal for 42 cents a pound. I typically have a cup of oatmeal with some cinnamon mixed in for breakfast costing roughly 20 cents.

Potatoes - As long as potatoes are prepared without loading them up with butter or sour cream they can be an extremely nutritious low calorie staple that's high in fiber and other vitamins.

Cost: There are several types of potatoes but you can typically find most types of potatoes for between 40 and 60 cents per pound.

Eggs - A great source of affordable low calorie protein. One egg contains just over 5 grams of protein.

Cost: 20 cents or less per egg with a typical breakfast containing two eggs.

Popcorn - Popcorn is high in dietary fiber and low in calories and fat as long as you don't load it up with salt and butter.

Cost: Loose kernels cost around 75 cents per pound. A typically microwave packet contains 2.8 ounces of dry popcorn kernels which comes out to roughly 13 cents if you pop it yourself.

Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are loaded with dietary fiber and antioxidants. Nearly all apples are under a dollar per apple in the supermarkets produce sections.

Cost: Apples like all fruits are considerably cheaper during peak harvest seasons. Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples run between 70-80 cents per pound, Red Delicious typically run around 90 cents per pound and Fuji apples $1.20 per pound.

Watermelon - Watermelon is a great summertime thirst quencher. It's very filling and low in calories due to the amount of water it holds. It's also packed with a number of antioxidants and vitamins. It also contains amino acids such as citrulline and arginine which promote cardiovascular health.

Cost: You can typically find watermelon for around 40 cents a pound, and cheaper during growing season.

Garbanzo Beans - As with most beans garbanzo beans also known as chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber and are a great source of protein. A cup of garbanzo beans contains more than a quarter of daily recommended protein. Studies have also shown that garbanzo beans lower LDL, the bad cholesterol.

Cost: You can pick up garbanzo beans for a $1 per pound.

Pinto Beans - Like garbanzo beans, pinto beans are packed with dietary fiber that helps reduce the bad cholesterol and is a great source of protein. Pinto beans are among the most affordable beans available.

Cost: 77 cents per pound.

Bananas - Sort of like natures candy bar bananas are a delicious creamy fruit which is rich in potassium and delivers a burst of energy.

Cost: 40-60 cents per pound.

Kiwis –Packed with vitamin C, this sweet tasting low calorie fruit makes an excellent out of the ordinary snack.

Cost: You can often find kiwis on sale three for a dollar.

Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe is rich in Vitamin A and C, and potassium. This sweet, cool fruit is also low in calories. Like most fruit Cantaloupe prices vary greatly throughout the year.

Cost: In-season you can find it for low as 19 cents per pound and out-of-season it can run you up to 60 cents per pound.

Carrots - Have garnered a reputation for improving eyesight because of the beta-carotene they contain. Carrots are low in calories and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are easy to pack and make a great healthy snack.

Cost: Carrots typically cost 50 cents per pound for the large variety and $1.25 per pound for baby carrots.

Lentils - Lentils are a protein powerhouse, one cup of cooked lentils contains more than a third of recommended daily value of protein. Lentils like most legumes are also packed with cholesterol lowering dietary fiber.

Cost: 90 cents per pound.

Grapefruit – Is a fruit so low in calories it even has a diet named after it. Grapefruit is packed with Vitamin C and extremely low in calories. It has a tart taste which helps to quench people's hunger.

Cost: 50 cents per pound.

Nuts – Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are packed with monounsaturated fats which are considered healthy fats. Several studies have shown that nut consumption lowers your risk of heart disease. Nuts make a great snack that’s easy to pack up and take anywhere.

Cost: Almonds $2.98 pound, Walnuts $2.88 a pound.

Water - Water is one of the key building blocks of health. Replacing soft drinks and high calorie, sugary drinks is one of the best things you can do for your health. Drinking plenty of water also cuts down on hungar and food consumption.

Cost: Practically free.


May 22, 2009

Organic Soap That Works!

After husband complain about strong smell from the organic all-purpose cleaning solution that I bought from Whole Foods Market, I looked for another organic cleaning solution that is easier on his nose.

After reading about reviews on castile soap, I decided to give it a try.

'Castile soap isn't a brand but a type of soap made exclusively from vegetable oil rather than animal fat or synthetic substances. The purists feel it should be made from olive oil but there's a wide variety of castile variants that use oil from plants such as coconut and jojoba. The simple nature of the soap means a lesser enviromental impact due to reduced waste stream during manufacture and also faster biodegradability. While castile soaps can have additional synthetic ingredients, usually you'll find if it's marketed under that name, it's a fairly natural sort of product.' -

I ordered two bottles from and they costs $9 less than the ones sold at Whole Foods Market.

All praise be to Allah SWT, I just used it to clean the bath tub and sink, and it definitely works! The smell is mild and soap scum is easily removed.

And the great thing about this product is that it is certified fair trade, which according to Fair Trade Certified:

'Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.'

I also read that for more stubborn stains, mix castile soap with baking soda into a paste and leave it on the stain. I am so glad that I found this product!