Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Celebrating the American Spirit

With all the hoop-la going on in Ferguson MO there is an important story that has been much over looked. While the looter's burned the shops around them one Ms. Natalie watched helplessly as her cake shop burn to the ground. She is owner of Natalie's Cakes and More. While she had nothing to do with the Brown Family or what happened to their son yet it was taken out on her. Her lively hood gone.

As loving and caring that Americans are someone came to her rescue. A fundraising website was set up in her name to raise funds to help her rebuild. With the help from complete strangers the site has raised almost $300,000. The President of U.S. did not help. Her local state representative did not help. Her governor did not help, neither did her Mayor. Get the government out of the way and "we the people" will take care of each other.

Please visit  http://www.gofundme.com/NataliesCakesnMor for more information or to donate. No donation is to small.
Want more amazing stories by average people? A Path Appears has more. Much more. I really enjoyed reading this book. The authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WunDunn really did their research on how people not government helped their neighbors, family and community. They really went into detail on how non-profits work, why and what happens when non-profits don't function correctly.

They go into details on many of their favorites and how to research a non-profit's reputation.

When one finishes reading this book you will be more clear on non-profits. The problem you will face is which one to donate to?

I found the answer to my dilemma came from The National Riffle Association. Mr. Bloomberg and others like him keep pouring money into taking away our Second Amendment The Right To Bear Arms. The NRA spokes person said something like this, Yes it is true that many people out their have lots of money and I do mean lots of money. However, we  not only have a lot more money we are a group of many.  For every member we take in $5.00, $10.00 or more and this adds up to much more than most billionaires have.

So when you decide how much and were to donate remember it's not just your money it is everyone's money that adds up. Let's say you donate $5.00. Times this by everyone that donates the same it adds up!

One more story before I close this article. In Sunday's Seattle Times is a story about Plains Kansas. This small town survived a Dust Bowl but lost a lot. So the community of about 1,150 residents have been slowly rebuilding their town. The residents formed a nonprofit foundation and set up a fundraising website for others to help by donating what they can. Many others drive 25 miles or more to shop, eat and do their part to help. 

Now this is what I call, "power to the people" Big government step aside here we come!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Costco Members Score a Touchdown

In 2014 Hillary Clinton's  book Hard Choices hit the store. At the same time so did America Imagine A World without Her by Dinesh D'Souza.

 For those that do not know much about Mr. D'Souza he went to college with many of those now in the government. Included in the book are the Clintons, Obama, Elizabeth Warren and others. His book tells the truth about some of them and is considered controversial.

As for Hillary Clinton's book Hard Choices since I have not read it yet so it would be hard for me to comment. I only know it is about the choices and sacrifices  Bill and her had to make over the years.

Costco's CEO Mr. Craig Jelinek was caught between a rock and hard spot. Many founders, former CEO's, executives and directors are openly Democratic and back Obama were faced with a dilemma. While America was selling better than Hard Choices it was decided to pull it off Costco Shelves in all their stores. One can only imagine the difficultly of this. Here you run a store to make money yet you wish to remain loyal to your party.

Some say the decision came from the White House others claim the book just was not selling even though the sales tell a different story.

Little did CEO Craig Jelinek know just what he stepped into. A Costco customer found out what they planned on doing and it hit social media sites faster than a forest fire! It did not take long before the Tukwila Washington office was slammed with phone calls, e-mails, letters and even some that cut up their Costco Cards vowing never to shop there again.

The pressure of the consumer was greater than the white House. So it did not take long before America was back on the shelves in all stores in the USA. Since then more have been ordered. My mom would have been so proud of this power of the purse action.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Feeding The Hummers

I know it has been along time between posts. I am sorry. I have been busy finding lots of products made in America to let you know about. So welcome back and enjoy all the good things to come.

I love humming birds. They are beautiful, make a lovely buzzing sound and so much fun to just sit back and watch. The few that come to my feeders do not seem to be afraid. Not sure if that is a good thing or bad.

I found this wonderful glass and plastic feeder at Home Depot for only $9.95 plus tax. The best part of this find is that it is 100% made in the USA. Even better it is sold by perky pet.

It comes apart for easy and through cleaning. There is an ant guard as well as a bee one. So you can feed your hummers and keep the bugs away.

Since it is reasonably priced I plan on buying several more in the near future. While it does come with it's own premade humming bird food I prefer to make my own. There is some dispute as to whether the red dye is harmful. So to be on the safe side I make mine.

Here is what you will need:
  1. 4 cups water. Tap is fine or you may use purified.
  2. 1 cup sugar.
In a medium sauce pan pour 4 cups water. Heat until steaming but not boiling. Add 1 cup sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Bring to a full boil and boil at least 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Pour into feeder. remaining maybe refrigerated for up to two weeks.

The top cover is the ant moat. Keeps them out!

The yellow is the Bee guard. Someone I work with mention they can fall out but go back in place easy. With or without them the Hummers still come. So no worries if they fall out.
Want to know more about Hummingbirds and their migration?  Follow this link to the migration map.

Interested in helping them tract the Hummingbirds in your area? You can submit your sightings as well.

Next week I'll talk about my great gardening tool! See ya then.

March 19, 2014
I just had to add some exciting news to this blog. Just in a new shipment of feeders. These hold a whopping 30 ounces, have six feeding stations and are so easy to clean. Yes they are still made in the USA. However they are slightly more expensive. Available at Home Depot for about $16.99 plus tax. I feel they are worth every dollar I spent.
 Above: As you can see it comes completely apart for through cleaning.
 Above: the feeding station top comes off the bottom to be sure one gets it really clean.

  Above: The underneath side of the feeder. You may use either a spray bottle set to stream or a water pick like one would use for their teeth to clean the yellow daisies. keeping these clean helps ensure your hummers won't become ill.

 Above: the flat top helps it stay upright and stable while you fill it.
 Above: The wide mouth allows for easier filling.
 Above: Filled with almost 30 ounces of the water mixture left over from earlier.

 Above: cleaned, filled and ready to go up!

Above: just monuments after I took this picture a Hummer showed up to feed but left before I could snap another picture.

Above: my new find hanging and waiting for the gang of six to feed!
 Well not a gang of six yet. But three discovered the feeders.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reward Cards: are they worth it?

Reward Cards are all the rage. Every store has one.  Most people use them. However are they really worth it?

Well that depends on how much you are willing to give up. Nothing is free.

First you give up privacy. Every time you swipe that card the store knows who you are. How much you spend. How often you shop. What you buy and if you are a creature of habit what days of the week you shop. Even the time of day!

So if don't mind them snooping around then the rewards are worth it.

Know your store and their policies. One store I shop at has the same price for everyone. It's the points you earn by being a card member. The other store offers discounts for it's members plus points.

Find out what their coupon policies are. Some stores allow the member discounts, the paper coupons found in  their weekly sale flyer, plus a manufacture coupon others do not. One store I used to shop at only allows their store coupon that I find in their weekly sale flyer or a manufactures coupon. But not both.

Always keep an eye on your account information. A mix up at my local Fred Meyers gave way to me losing my rewards points to someone else. Years ago I signed up for a rewards card. Over the years we have linked our current phone  number to the card. One day I lost my card. So I was using my alternate ID which is my phone number. Now almost three years later it came to my attention that some how some one else had that same number as their alternate ID.

So I spent two days trying to straighten things out to save my points (334) to be exact. To know avail. I was simply told I did not exist in their computer. Even though I had written my card number down they still could not find me. I was told that some one else had my alternate ID first so tough. Who in their right mine remembers a phone number 3-4 years old?

The end result is I will no longer shop there. First, rewards members should be ask to up date their account information from time to time. Especially if it is 12 years old. Second, people should never use an old phone number as their alternate ID. This is out of  respect to some one else that gets that number and pays the phone company for it.

Since it is recommended one use a number for your alternate ID that is easy to remember. What could be easier than your current phone number? When you change your phone number please update your alternate ID and release it for some one else.

Here is to lessons learned.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Doing Business in the Information Age

Meet Microplane. This company makes graters. Any kind of grater one can use in the kitchen.

They have also mastered a new way of doing business. Teaming up with three different countries enables them to put everyone to work.

First, they make the blades in America. After all this is the most important part of any grater. So why not let the best country make them.

Second, they are assembled in Mexico. So why not let a "smart" country but them together?

Thirdly, the rest of the parts are imported. Honestly who cares but it does provide a job for someone. So why not? I do not mean to be rude here but I am so sick of China monopolizing everything.

I found most of my collection at the local Fred Meyers but they can be purchased directly through Microplane .

Meet my collection. R-L: Artisan Series, Original/classic, Citrus Tool.
Proof that the blade is made in the USA!

The Ultimate Citrus tool is perfect for zesting Lemons, Lime and Oranges. Great for garnishes and scoring. Comes in many colors but I chose yellow.

The Microplane original/classic series works wonders on spices such as nutmeg, etc. If you desire only one this is it. It can handle all of the above with ease. Comes only in black.

The Artisan Series is a coarse zester. Makes short work of carrots, hard cheeses, coconut, ginger and of coarse chocolate.  Comes in many colors but I choose red.

The only one missing from my collection is a Cheese Grater. Fred Meyers was sold out so I will have to go one line. There are so many of these to choose from it may take some time.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Waring Company

Fred Waring, a very popular entertainer, helped shaped the American made Waring Company.
From 1930 to 1940 he spent his time entertainer others.

Then in 1950 Fred came up with an idea very much ahead of it's time. He invented the first ever blender in recorded history. He named it the "miracle mixer" but later changed the name to Waring Blender.

The Waring Company has been making quality restaurant supplies and equipment for over 78 years. It started in  American and after all those years is still made in America.

Today they offer two lines of products. Waring Commercial is for those in the food service industry. Waring Pro is for homemakers. From blenders to toaster ovens the modern home maker can now own appliances made for the pros.

My latest find, a Waring Pro Blender, is just what my kitchen needed. It's simple retro design fits my old country kitchen perfectly. The base is solid metal, heavy and strong. The motor is powerful and yet simple. The blades are sharp and strong. The motor comes with a five year warranty. Can you say that about your blender?

The pitcher I made of heavy glass with classic lines molded in. For me this is the best part as I find plastic very unsanitary. And all this for a mere $99.00 plus free shipping. No tax. WOW!

My new found Blender in Chili Pepper Red.

550 Watt powerful motor. Proudly made in America!

Since I wanted something simple it's two speeds are perfect.

Look how lovely the retro feel looks on my container.
For more products visit Waring  I purchased mine through Wayfair.  Wayfair is an online store that offers low prices, free shipping on orders that qualify and shopping points.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cutest Little Bundt Cakes In Town

I am so excited about my latest find. Since my old measuring tools have lost their markings to let me know what sizes they were I went in search of new ones.

I found so many made in China. I learned that the stainless steel ones are  not only imported but are designed in two pieces. This design allows them to bend and weaken.

Lucky for me I found Nordic Ware. This company has been around well almost forever. It is still family owned and operated since the 1940's. Why are private or family owned companies so important? Because they are  not ruled by share holders. As soon as a company becomes public it loses it's objective.

Since the family owns it they can say where, when and why. They know the importance of all things made in America and have strived hard to fulfill that commitment.

Now for my little treasures. The red measuring cups are shaped like little Bundt Cakes and are molded in one piece. Their markings for sizes are also molded in so they will not wash away. I can not wait to start cooking/baking with them.

The spoons are a beautiful old fashion teal blue. They,too, are one piece mold! The five piece set includes 1/8 of a teaspoon for those tiny bits!

Finally, the best surprise of all. My order would have cost $8.00 to ship. By adding $6.00 more to it I qualified for free shipping. So I said to myself: "Mary why spend that money on shipping when you can buy one more small item and get free shipping? This way you have something to see for your money." So I did just that. With Christmas nipping at our heels and baking on my mind I chose this four in one no wait 8-in-1 cookie cutter.

This lovely made in America cookie cutter is hard plastic. It has two side with four Christmas designs on each side. Sugar Cookie Dough watch out we are coming.

Not only does this company care about where the products are made but with what they are made. All the plastic items sold are BPA-FREE!

Can you see it?? The cute little shape of a small Bundt Cake.

Another view of my cups.

My spoons. It is hard to see but they too are shaped like tiny Bundts.

Notice the surprise spoon? Yes, it is a mere 1/8 of a teaspoon
One view of the cookie cutter.
Flip side of Christmas! !