Friday, January 28, 2011

Addendum to Cold Weather and Animal Care

I previously wrote a post about how we care for our animals. After reading it, I thought I should put a clarifying addendum to it. You can read the post here.

Our new chicken house is not fully complete as I mentioned earlier. We are wiring it for electricity, insulating and putting up walls inside. Our weather is normally very cold and snowing during the winter.

Until we get things finished we do use an extension cord for our heat lamps for our chickens. The extension cord we use goes directly from an outside outlet to the lights. We DO NOT hook extension cords together. The extension cord is an Outdoor Weatherproof Commercial Cord.

Please, if you are not familiar with electricity, use of extension cords, heat lamps or unsure of any thing related to it, consult an expert before setting up heat lamps for any of your animals. If not done appropriately a fire can occur. I fortunately have a husband and father-in-law who are very familiar with electricity and construction.

January Knee Update

I went to the Orthopedic this past Wednesday. My knee is improving. I'm now allowed to do light-weight bearing on it, as long as I don't have pain. I have isometric exercises I have to do for strengthening. I'm to wean my self off the brace. For those who know me, of course I took the brace off immediately and walked out of the doctor's office with it in hand.

I still have swelling. He said another part of my knee is inflamed. (I forgot what he called the area.) I'm again applying ice (even as I am writing) and heat to get the swelling down. It is a little tender today. I had two teenagers from our church here today to help me clean and of course I had to hobble around showing them what to do.

He basically told me to listen to my body. If it hurts, slow down. I'll try to do that. Sometimes I get so busy, I don't realize until it is too late, I'm hurting and should have stopped sooner. Nurses don't like to be stagnant.
Not climbing stairs yet. 
Next appointment will be March 21st. We will see what happens then.

Frugal Tips-Bathroom

Here is my next post of frugal tips for Friday. These tips I use in the bathroom.

  • Don't wash hair twice. Once is enough. Saves on shampoo.
  • Wash hair every other day. Also saves on shampoo.
  • Take showers instead of baths. Saves water and utilities to heat the water.
  • Keep hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees. Higher increases your utility bill and may scald children or the elderly. 
  • Squeeze toothpaste from bottom to top, when finished cut open and ensure you have all toothpaste out.
  • Clean bathroom with vinegar and water—salt for scrubbing.
  • Use bath towels at least three times. They don't get dirty from just water. As a nurse though, I don't recommend more than three uses because towels can rub off normal skin bacteria and skin cells. 
  • Don't run water when brushing teeth.
  • Install a low flow toilet or add a bottle of water inside the tank to cut down on water usage.
  • Use a bucket to catch cold water when taking a shower until it gets warm enough for you to get in. Water plants with it. 
  • Install a low-flow showerhead.
  • Install a tankless hot water heater. Look for rebates or tax credits to assist in cutting cost.
  • Use a little inexpensive conditioner as shaving cream instead of the expensive shaving cream. (When shaving legs)
  • Dry disposable razors to have them last longer.
  • Rinse hair with a 1/4 cup of apple cider. Works well and cuts away any residues from hair styling products.
  • Use a little baby oil to soften skin instead of expensive lotions.
  • Don't wear makeup or minimal makeup when going out.
  • Use sugar to exfoliate skin.
  • Use baking soda as a face exfoliate.
  • Use a small amount of baking soda mixed in a little shampoo to rub away residues from hair.
  • Limit time in showers or turn shower water off when lathering and turn back on to rinse.
  • Use vinegar and water to mop bathroom floor. Vinegar is acidic and will kill bacteria.
  • Make sure your toilet doesn't run continuously. Either put a dark color of Kool-aid into the tank or squirt a colored shampoo on the inside of the bowl. If there is a leak the Kool-aid will stream down or if using shampoo you will see the water run through it.  
  • Turn off faucets fully to make sure there is not a drip. 
  • To decrease spreading germs, give each family member a cup to rinse with after brushing teeth. Do not reuse. Illnesses are costly—not just financially. Loss of school, work and family time too.  

I hope you find these tips helpful. If I find I have forgotten something I will add them into my last catch all post.

Beautiful Day

Today, was another unusually warm day. My girls, all six of them loved the weather; perfect for scratching around and following me, hoping for food. I unfortunately didn't bring any food this time. My hands were a little preoccupied with a camera and my crutches.

"Got food?"
"Where's the food? I want table scraps!"
"We'll go back to scratching since you are empty handed."

Thankfully my girls are forgiving when they don't receive scraps. They keep providing food for my family. We've gathered 91 eggs so far this month.
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