Cleaning, Fragrance and Commodities


    MRSA: Current Affairs

Allergy Management

Commodities to Watch Bee Talk

                    Pet Food ReCall:  Menu Foods


Roseanne Barr and Acorn.Org


Allergy Management.  Update: Member's Mark Loratadine (Sam's Club) is FAR less expensive than Claritin and just as effective for daytime relief and their version of Benedryl for night.  Yep, this subject got thrown in the last minute.  Over 35 million people suffer with allergies.  Many people make their own bath and body products because they are hypersensitive to commercial skin care preparations.  I understand that--but I never truly appreciated it until I recently succumbed to acute allergic responses myself.  I have not been an allergy sufferer since I was 7 years old and hospitalized. No one ever figured out what set me off--but I could not breath on my own back then and for a good 3 weeks I was swollen like a baby piglet.    At age 7 I had also had a rash that equaled second degree burns.  I never forgot lotions with scent would burn my skin and have to be washed off, as much as my skin was painfully dry. If the lotions contained no scent, alcohol or cheap fillers--I could have benefited greatly and found relief.  Titanium Dioxide powder is greatly calming, better than calamine I think-- and I drop a few ounces (dispersed well) in my warm bath water.  Hot water is never good for skin conditions.  A constant fan kept my skin cool back then.  Years passed with no event. 

Age 44, I got hammered with tree pollen, of all things.  About three weeks ago-I thought I had pink eye, but not sure where I caught it.  Both eyes were itchy and burning--day and night.  This came and went several times a day, starting on a Friday, so the Doctor was on hold for a few days.  Pink eye usually stays until it is treated.  I also had skin rashes that came and disappeared through out the day.    Almost impossible to focus--it became clear after the lawn guy mowed my lawn on Sunday, two smoke detectors went off--on the second floor of my home.  They were responding to a dry smoke from cut grass and so was my body as I found.  Florida had little humidity and all time record pollen in the air in March.  Average wind blows the microscopic dusty pollen around.  It can be assaulting to an allergic person.  I would have never figured it out if this did not happen.  Many people don't.

Assault on the body is how it feels and immune system is under siege.  Benedryl helps some 80% but keeps me tired.  My personality went from boisterous to bea-ach of the century.  I said some mean things--and I was not sorry at all.  I have been mean, and scared.  Unable to wear contacts and eyes hurting from so much rubbing, the bath seemed my only relief.  Depression soon followed.  Severe allergies can make a person feel discouraged.  Good thing I do not have a real job--or I would have been canned, trust that.  I do feel bad for those who must work through it.  This is very hard to do.  Readers I shared this with said "SEE what we go through?" and were exceptionally sympathetic. One reader asking "Allergies are worse than what non-sufferers think, aren't they?"  Yes, they sure are.   Now that I understand it, I need to manage it.  From my position I am able to talk with people and see what works for them.  Frustrating, I am one of the two un-insured Americans, so I need to isolate what is wrong quicker than insured people.  I cannot afford a series of tests to have tests. And the meds are expensive. So far I hear the script Zurtech is very good.  Claritin OTC, containing Loratadine is outrageous, like $20 for ten pills.  A friend told me Sam's Club sells some 300 pills for just over  $10.  They sell it under the name Member's Mark Loratadine and that has helped greatly and it is non drowsy.  I still use Benedryl at night because it also helps sleep.

This April will be all about reclaiming energy. Even after the pollen has subsided, I will keep allergy solutions as a Mabel priority.  The only good news about this--allergies are not contagious.

Cleaning and MRSA: Super Bug- Super Mom


One of our top employees, Nebraska, has been getting all of the press.  Let's see, just this month of February, 2007, Mollie and her baby, Isabella, have had a 6 page spread in Self Magazine, been on The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NBC, Your Health Today and the Montel show.   Over 23 million viewers, not counting re-runs.  Sometimes with Judea, (Grand Ma) and my total right hand.  By the time they grabbed Judea too, I was like, "Montel, I need them back...." and "they better be paying you for all that!"  I swear I am lost without Judea. 

They were treated very well and had travel paid for, but that was about it. 

Since that is the case, more interesting stuff in a book I am helping her co-write--Super Bug-Super Mom.  I was hardly surprised, soon after these events,  Reporters decided to "write a book" about MRSA and that is where I drew the line.  I said "if their plane touches the Nebraska ground....."  Thank God Bill, Judea's husband had the same sentiments by then.  I am sure the Reporters were just going to pick up the dinner tab--if that.

The story is of interest because 2 1/2 years ago, Mollie's baby was one of the first infants to survive MRSA, a super staph infection hard to knock out.  Both Mother and infant were dealing with it, shortly after a wonderful birth with no expectation of any problems.  What surprised me, is no one asked Mollie what helps her from getting re-infected.  She went through many products over 2 1/2 years, to find what does work.  Mollie felt she was not allowed to say much on national TV, only "what was asked" type of thing.  She also had to sign waivers that she could be ridiculed and so on...need I say more?

So, go to if you would like to talk with her or hear her story--(the full one due out soon.)  You can bet she is getting a lot of Catalytic lamps from Joanne at Makes-Scents.  They are actually working on an all natural blend for super duper air purification, for the lamps. 

Dealing with MRSA is a lifestyle, once exposed.  She has to clean all of the time.  Interestingly, her loving husband, Brian, never got it.  Mollie is getting calls from all over the country.  People wanting to vent--who simply got it from a gym, working out, or other normal places.  So, as I said, check Mollie's site out if this is of interest to you or a loved one.  They are good people.
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About Acorn Dot Org
This is one of Roseanne Barr's favorite organizations. Because it takes time to really study a group--I know she has spent a lot of time with and has been very active in promoting it.  In part they defend housing, which is really important in this market and economy, as well as build housing.  In her professional life-Roseanne is making an awesome come back.  Showing us Baby Boomers we can drop the weight and we can look stunning--as she does.  (Just when we became complacent with a box of chocolates and ask ourselves, is, sex, after all, over rated.)  She looks great and reports she feels great.    She sets example to us now, and she set precedent when we were young and trying to cope with our "teenagers," now adults.  I loved her show as I raised my kids, and it helped me feel "normal."   
If you got to see her, recently, on Larry King Live--you would recall--Roseanne could not say enough about  I watched the segment and got such a hoot on how she can handle live interviews and dodge any "heated" question with her, "ya know," and smile....He could not pin her down and that was funny--he is the best and she took him to another level!  He could only chuckle and move on to the next question.  (Like he thought he was ever going to get a serious answer from her...) I guess he admitted he never used a computer.  She lives on one.
Seriously, does a lot and I have researched it.    We do need community reform and more support systems for our youths.  They are a commodity.  These are the same youths who will be caring for us when we are old!  We need to set example as adults.  I think the most important point is that Acorn is out busy "doing" and not "talking" as well as very active within our own communities.  If you want to study up more on what is doing in your area, click here.    And yes, being from Utah, she really loves the Mabel site.  She said doing crafts is pretty much in the bloodlines if you were born in Utah. In my spare time I will be glued to her new HBO series To see more about Roseanne's Foundation in association with Acorn, click here. Click here to simply donate to her cause--on her site via Pay Pal.
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I love her attitude, let's not talk, Let's Do It!  Not to mention she can get away with saying a lot of things I cannot.  Her site is a mix of philosophy, current affairs and the impacts of such on our families.  Some comments do require an open mind, but most bloggers share a common goal, World Peace.     The thing with Roseanne, is you do not always have to agree with her to like her, and vise versa.  She does speak up and has an opinion.  She has always been a platform to voice the working class, and still is. and her Blog are really interesting.  She is very active with her site and causes, as well as open minded and determined to make a difference with our youths and world.
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Bee Talk & Commodities to Watch:  Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
Deborah R. Dolen
Honey Bees are finally making national news and getting some press, but not all of the press they deserve.  Because 1/2 of the bees in the United States have "not made it" and the other 1/2 is "not known until the snow subsides..." it is my opinion you will see any related product sky rocket by summer.  My ego will be fine if I am wrong, but better safe than sorry.  I truly think this is important.  In 2006 I finished writing The Beekeeper's Digest.    I learned a wealth of information on how important they are and how naturally antibiotic their by-products.  While trying to interview beekeepers last year, I found a lot of beekeepers in the states were hanging up there hats and changing careers.  They just could not keep up with the cost of infestations and other set backs, such as lower honey prices from China and Argentina.  And I noticed more and more honey bees taking up residence in residential neighborhoods and being exterminated by simple fear.  Seeing that upset me quite a bit. A true beekeeper can gather a honey bee swarm pretty quickly if contacted.
People ask me why the bees are dying?  I think the honey bees are just tired or disoriented by pesticides.  Perhaps the reason for showing up in someone's garage and not heading home.  Honey bees have been through some 100 years of different infestations, pesticides and pollution in general.  Mexico and Canada report "OK" bees.  Interestingly, we do not allow them to be imported--and the feeling has been mutual between countries.  "Wink" our bee expert, lives in Canada and just got back from Washington, D.C. reporting it will be an issue for the States.  He complimented the head of my state, the Florida Department of Agriculture, and said he was a smart man, asking all the right questions and truly caring.   "Wink" is really "Winkler" named after Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.  He had a clever mom and we think he is a great man.  Wink sent me this chart of states reporting dead honey bees, so we could get an idea of the scope:  Click thumb nail to open...
It is Winks impression the States may lift the honeybee import ban, and allow some honey bees in from other countries.  He says it is doable, just a matter of if they will do it, and if we will get enough honey bees to replace the states needing them.  Honey bees pollinate strawberries, cucumbers, almond fields--just about 30% of our produce. 
If you like bee products, I would be buying anything you like related to bees.  I suggest adding a little to your grocery list each week.  (It may be a rare treat by the holidays.)  This includes: a jar of honey, 100% Strawberry Fruit Jam and other berry jams, and canned almonds.  That is what I am adding each week.  I feel it cannot hurt.  I am also securing beeswax, because I use it so much.  But I will be more prudent in use.  (Such as still making my lip balm but trying not to waste it on candles--if truly in short supply.) 
In the meantime, I do hope more people take up beekeeping as a hobby--if they have the time and ability.  I plan to do so--it is a great way to help. The most interesting story I came across when writing the Beekeeper's Digest was by a man who could not get anything to grow on his property.  Frustrated, he called his Department of Agriculture, who came out and immediately identified the problem.  No bees in the area. So, he took up beekeeping as a hobby, loved it, and his land flourished--as well as his neighbors.  Now that is the power of the honey bee!
And to support this effort of hobby, I am giving away my Beekeeper's Digest PDF. Click here to download that.   It is a great read, even if you do not plan to keep bees, it has my formula's and everything.
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Deb Roy's Face Cream Formula, Vermont
I want to share my face cream with you.  It is so simple and I have left it in my bathroom
for months without growing mold. I call it Lavender Moon Cream.

3/4 cup lavender infused oil, I use apricot oil.

1/2 oz. beeswax
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup aloe vera juice
1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essential oil
1/4 teaspoon patchouli essential oil
I also infused 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon with 4 oz. of fractionated coconut oil.
There was a little sent of cinnamon. I had to heat it in my yogurt maker.
I has been so bloody cold up here it didn't get much heat from the sun.

I think this is a great formula--but more so for the hands and feet! And we would recommend the microwave for melting, but perhaps Ms. Roy prefers not to ruin the healing elements and that can happen when you heat any product too high. I know her well enough, to know this is her point by using a yogurt maker.  Yogurt makers tend to stay under 108 degrees.  In general, we advise adding the "good stuff" after the product has cooled down--but still liquid enough to introduce additives--such as any healing balms.  


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Note to new people:  This year we are seeing a slew of "new" people.  They are just learning how easy it is to make your own bath products.  If you are new, please read the Archives, you will learn a lot!  Making lip balm and balm sticks is so easy, it is one of our first topics years ago.  And I created Q&A here.

Pet Food Recall:  Menu Foods: Still Not Admitting All Brands: They Never Will
Pet Food recall: I am getting a lot of mail on this issue because people want to know what they can feed their pets (below.) I knew when Menu foods announced a "few brands" and "some cans" affected, it was going to be a lot more than the company initially admitted.   I also knew a "few deaths" was an understatement.  The dot com vet sites are reporting more like 461 cases of kidney failure so far.  True, a few were just cases of old age and came at a bad time where it is easy to misconstrue.
Within 21 days they had to admit to some 53 brands of dog food and 40+ of cat food--way later post note some dog biscuits.   I know animals died while the jerks at Menu Foods prepared that list of pet food brands to be pulled.  It took them three weeks to post the list from the time nine of their own corporate test cats died at the start of March.  Yes, they tested their bad product on animals.  They were hesitant to admit just how many brands they had was the hold up, while at the same time--more pets did die.   And it took a good ten days for them to come up with their public strategy.  When they had their 15 minutes they tried to limit the issue to the northern states.  That is, to make like the CEO is angry also and hope the consumer can identify with him and lead the consumer to believe the impact is limited to a few northern states.  Yeah, "act angry."  He did not loose a family pet because he would not feed them the corporate crap.  At first-they listed four brands and reported just a "few deaths" at the onset.  I think 9 of just their own cats is more than "a few" and they did not need to test animals to find out.  Click here for the recalled Dog food brands and Cat food brands.  They did say it was wet pet food manufactured from pre Christmas 2006 to date, (now extending the dates back farther) but failed to say it was almost any gravy type can out there.  Most reporting says you cannot believe Menu Foods or the sector of dates they provided.
We did learn what they did not want us to know.  Most "upgraded"  or "premium" food is the same stuff--different wrapper.  I think the brand rip off over the years hurt everyone, including those people who could not afford "premium" food and felt bad they could not.  Bottom line?  The budget folks were not missing a thing.  Those who paid for premium food were ripped off over many years.  Menu Foods is hoping the deaths minimize the other problem associated with this mess--which is the obvious: most branding is a rip off.    Menu Foods is done, toast-a-munda, but they have an ethical and moral duty to clean up the mess. They have to stick around to some extent because they are a publicly traded company.  I do not think they can withstand the lawsuits--because future income won't be there to cover it.  Diamond, Professional and Country Value were issues Christmas 2005.  Menu has still not disclosed EVERY brand they make!  According to Tammy Bruce, a few reporters called and asked about brands not on the list.  Although made by Menu Foods--Menu did not have to admit any brands beyond the Cuts and Gravy products in question.  I think we know enough.  They will not come clean unless they are held above hot coals.  They are hoping, wrongly, to spare what brands or profit centers were not affected--or they do not "think" is affected.  The fact is--they do not "think" and all they know is pet food is a huge profit center.  Their slowness to react has caused most of the damage.
What to do?  A lot of people are tired of questionable canned food, and are cooking for their pets. Your pet will have to adjust when taken off commercial food.  Do expect that. Chicken and yellow rice, or eggs, can be a  good meal on a dogs stomach until you have a better game plan.  Before this out break, we recommended cooking for your pet as a cure for pet ailments--such as cancer.  Ketcherside talked a lot about it.  Most people do not have time to cook whole foods for their pets.  We understand that.  Dry food, high in protein is another good step.   We also are updating my Animal Lover's Cookbook as that is getting a lot of interest and Baby Let's Eat because some adults have to be on a baby food diet.  The updates should be done by April 1st and will be sent to anyone who ordered the older versions.  Many people are ordering the e-book and want to get a head start.
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