Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homemade Mouse Trap

3 Easy Home Made Mouse Traps

by The Bug Doctor
Did you know that the standard mouse snap trap wire slams closed in 38,000′s of a second? That every year over 400 patents are applied for just for mouse trap inventions? To date all total there are 4400 patented mouse traps while only about 20 make any money. The first trap was invented back in 1897 by James Henry Atkinson a British inventor and his prototype of the wooden snap trap with springs and wires has not changed much at all since then. In the 1980′s glue boards were invented and widespread use was like a wild fire until people realized that the mouse died a slow and agonizing death usually squealing and dying from exhaustion. Emerson wrote the famous line;
If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon or make a better mouse trap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods. The world will make a beaten path to his door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Actually the message was about quality of workmanship towards success rather than specifically about mouse traps but in either case he has been proven prophetic.
Not do be out done many homeowners have sought to one up Atkinson and start their own 112 year streak of mouse trap dominance. Here are a few of the ideas and you can decide if they’re up to the challenge. Click on the pictures to enlarge and leave a comment as to which one you like or tell us of one of your own. The spinning can looks simple enough; run a wire through a beer or soda can and suspend it over a bucket of water. A stick or ruler is placed so he can climb up the bucket and peanut butter is put on the can to entice the mouse. When he gets to the can it spins like a log in water and he falls. Of course the mouse drowns in this scenario but you can leave the bucket empty but you’ll need to release him after he is caught.
The liter bottle trap is promising; Cut a plastic soda bottle 3/4 of the way up and invert the top spout into the base. Secure it with glue or tape and put bait such as peanuts or seed in the hole so it drops to the bottom. Grease the funnel with cooking oil or butter so the mouse gets no grip. Place the trap near a shelf or something so the mouse can jump or climb to the inverted top. Once in the funnel the only way is down, he won’t be able to climb out and you can release him to a safe place. This trap is also useful in that it can double as a fruit fly or gnat trap.

The modified snap trap approach is a little more difficult to make but can provide good results; A rat snap trap, coffee can, small gauge wire and some hardware cloth with some screws is what you’ll need. First attach the trap to the can by screwing the wood just under the tongue (trigger) to the front of the can. Next cut the cloth about a 1/2 inch bigger than the size of the can. Place the cloth on the back side of the can and mold the edges slightly down around the edges. The concave or protruding side up, use your wire to attach it to the spring loaded snap wire of the trap. The long trigger release arm goes through the cloth and sets the trigger. Test the trap out to make sure the release arm does not block the cloth from covering the entire mouth of the can when it shuts. Bait the back of the can with nuts or peanut butter and set the trap. (you can also attach a board for stability to the back of the can) Catch the mouse alive and release him away from the home.
Well we’ve come along way in mouse traps but as you can see sometimes simpler is better. I’m not sure if any of these will usurp old Henry’s contraption but when you have a mouse infestation who cares, as long as you get your mouse. Before you get to cocky however, consider that the mouse has also had 112 years to study the problem and he hasn’t been sitting idle. Almost all of my mouse calls come after the do it yourself bugman has failed to round up his furry friend and I marvel just how a mouse can escape some of the gauntlets I see. Maybe while we’ve kept to the simple time tested methods the nation of mice have spread the word and gone high tech.


Homemade Lotion

Non-Greasy Homemade Moisturizing Lotion

A homemade lotion that I can use throughout the day without my skin feeling like a grease pit!
As a family, we usually go through several bottles of lotion during the cold, winter months. But, I must say that I have been generally unhappy with the homemade recipes I have tried in the past for several reasons:
  • Many recipes contain borax (love borax for cleaning, not so much on my skin).
  • They’re just to greasy. Like “can’t hold on to anything” greasy.
  • Some recipes involve ingredients that are hard to find.
And the lotions I find on store shelves are:
  • super expensive
  • they don’t work
  • ladened with chemical preservatives that I’m not okay with 
For all of these reasons, I decided to continue on my quest for the perfect non-greasy homemade moisturizing lotion.
I’ve finally found it and now, as always, I’m sharing it with you!
Lotion Making Method

Gather the Ingredients
-1 cup aloe vera gel
-1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
-3/4 ounce beeswax, grated or broken into small pieces
-1/2 cup almond or grapeseed oil
-1 tablespoon cocoa butter (I added this for a slightly more luxurious lotion during the winter, but this is optional.)
-10 drops essential oils of choice (optional)

With a makeshift double boiler, over low heat, melt beeswax and oils.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and essential oils.
Pour the melted oils into a blender and allow them to cool to room temperature. This is a vital step in order to prevent separation. Once cooled, with blender on low speed, slowly and continuously pour in aloe vera mixture. Run a rubber spatula aganist the sides of the blender to incorporate all ingredients. Blend until the mixture has the look and feel of lotion. Note: This step may also be performed in a mixing bowl with the use of a handheld electric mixer.  
Pour the lotion into sterilized jars. You can use sterilized canning jars if you have them on hand. I keep a jar on the bathroom counter and one in the refrigerator. The lotion will keep for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

-Almond oil and grapeseed oil are readily absorbed by the skin thereby leaving the non-greasy feeling.
-My favorite essential oil combination for this lotion is geranium and lime!
-This lotion is not only perfectly moisturizing for these winter months, but with the addition of aloe gel, I anticipate this recipe will carry me through the summer as well! I think it’s going to be perfect for those after-to-much-sun days.
-Best of all, I like that this recipe contains NO chemicals. It is as pure as any healthy, nutritious food you would eat. Rubbing something into your skin is the same as putting it into your mouth, so I’d rather use good things like almond oil, aloe vera, and natural beeswax. Not to mention, this lotion costs a fraction of the retail price when compared to it’s commercially-prepared counterparts.


Lotion ingredient list:

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel, 24 oz (680 g)
Jason Natural Cosmetics Pure Beauty Oil, 5,000 IU Vitamin E Oil - 4 fl oz
Organic Beeswax Block Yellow 1 Lb
NOW Foods Sweet Almond Oil, Moisturizing Oil, 16 ounce
Now Foods Grape Seed Oil, 16 Ounce
RAW Cocoa Butter 1 Lb
Aromatherapy Top 6 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Basic Sampler Essential Oil Gift Set- 6/10 Ml (Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap Eucalyptus and Mint

Homemade Liquid Herbal Hand Soap and Body Wash: Eucalyptus and Mint

Homemade liquid hand soap — the kind you make from grated bar soap — isn’t really a new concept.
Pinterest is loaded with tons of really great tutorials from bloggers like these:
So, when we used up the last batch of homemade liquid soap the other day, I thought I’d inject a bit of herbal goodness — just to spice things up – and see how it turned out.
The results…amazing!
I’m in love with my new herbal hand soap and body wash!
And here’s how it happened.
Homemade Liquid Herbal Hand Soap and Body Wash
-1 4-5 ounce unscented handmade bar soap, grated
-6-8 cups pure/filtered water
-1 ounce dried eucalyptus leaf
-1 ounce dried peppermint leaf
-essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint

1. Grate your bar of soap. I use my own handmade bar soap. Note: If you’d like the recipe perhaps I could share it…is anyone is interested!?! 

2. In a large pot, bring 6-8 cups of pure/filtered water just to a boil then remove from heat. Infuse the dried eucalyptus leaf and peppermint leaf in the water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and compost the plant material. Note: I like to use 6 cups of water. Using the lesser amount produces a thicker liquid soap…more appropriate for use as body wash. Not to mention, we waste less when the soap is thicker.

3. Return the eucalyptus and peppermint infused water to pot. Bring just to a boil once again then reduce heat to low.

4. Add grated bar soap.

5. Stir continuously until soap is completely dissolved. Note: Be patient, this could take a while.
6. Remove from heat entirely and allow mixture to cool — stir occasionally throughout the day. Note: I leave the pot on the kitchen counter and stir the soap whenever I walk by throughout the day. It can take 8-10 hours for the soap to thicken.
7. Add essential oils until desired scent is reached. Note: For a batch this size, I generally add 1/2 teaspoon of each eucalyptus and peppermint.  

8. Pour into storage containers and/or a soap dispenser. Note: A glass mason jar is appropriate for storage in the cabinet, but for use in the shower…we’ve always just reused an old body wash container. Glass in the shower makes me nervous with the little ones! Something like this is perfect.
-I choose not to add additional vegetable glycerin — as many of the recipes call for — because I use my own handmade soap. Handmade soap is rich in the natural glycerin that is produced through the soap-making process.
-Eucalyptus and Mint is an invigorating herbal combo. It’s a great way to get going in the morning and great for the respiratory system. You’ll want to keep this blend on hand during the cold and flu season for sure!
-Get creative! Experiment with other herbs and essential oils that you already have on hand.
Now it’s your turn! Have you made liquid soap from grated bar soap? Have you made it with herbs? What’s your favorite method?
And as always…if you really enjoyed this post I would be so honored if you’d click this link and subscribe to the blog!
To those of you who have been committed readers, I sincerely thank you.

Frontier Eucalyptus Leaf Cut/Sifted Certified Organic, 16 Ounce BagFrontier Peppermint Leaf C/s Certified Organic, 16 Ounce BagEucalyptus Essential Oil. 10 ml. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade.Peppermint Essential Oil. 10 ml. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How To Treat Pneumonia

What to Do for Pneumonia

In this X-ray, pneumonia covers most of this child’s left lung (which is on your right when looking at the picture). It looks white because there’s not just air in there; there’s fluid and swollen tissue.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH
I have a confession. I’m a pneumonia survivor. And it wasn’t walking pneumonia either. I was in the bed for a week.
Yes, a few years ago, The Survival Doctor ended up a whimpering mess, dependent on other people’s care. It took a good month to feel like doing much walking. But I was lucky. Each year millions in the U.S. get pneumonia, and over 50,000 die. In a prolonged disaster situation, that number would be much higher.

Symptoms and severity of pneumonia can vary greatly. Me, I thought I was as healthy as a horse, doing just fine, wasn’t even feeling sick. Then, out of the blue, I had a teeth-chattering chill. I just shook all over. After that, I started feeling weak, my heart beating fast. I wasn’t coughing much, but I took my temperature, and it was over 102 F.
I took a couple of Tylenol and crawled in the bed. Soon my bedclothes were soaked in sweat. After the Tylenol wore off, I had another chill. The cough started next, but I thought I had the flu. Now I wasn’t thinking right because anytime anyone comes to my office, otherwise healthy, and they’re running fever, I ask if they’ve had a shaking-all-over type chill. If they have, my first thought is pneumonia.
Well, luckily, after a couple of days of lying in the bed, my wife made me see a doctor, of all things. I mean, I am a doctor. Although he couldn’t hear much in my chest, a chest X-ray proved the diagnosis. I started on antibiotics, but it took me a good week to feel able to go back to work, and a month before I felt like doing anything like going on a walk.
How Did I Get It?
I came down with pneumonia just before my daughter Leigh Ann’s wedding. Though I didn’t have the walking pneumonia type, I managed to deliriously walk her down the aisle—and promptly get driven home to bed. I couldn’t even stay for the reception, so you know I’m not exaggerating when I say this thing can get bad.
Pneumonia can be divided into two very general types, community acquired and hospital acquired. The first is what will be more prevalent during a disaster—especially if many people are sheltering together.
Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)
I expect I got mine from breathing in bacteria left in the air from someone coughing. It could have been in some public place as easy as it could have been in my office.
Walking Pneumonia
There’s really no such official diagnosis as walking pneumonia. If you have pneumonia and you still feel like walking around, you have walking pneumonia. Okay, it is true that usually this milder version is caused by the bacteria called mycoplasma. And it’s usually treated with some sort of erythromycin antibiotic like azithromycin (Z-Pak) or clarithromycin (Biaxin) or some sort of tetracycline, like doxycycline.
Pneumococcal Pneumonia
One of the most common types of CAP, and the kind I probably had, is caused from the bacteria pneumococcus. We usually treat these with erythromycins or quinolones (Cipro, Levaquin, etc.).
Legionnaire’s disease was first diagnosed in 1976 after several people attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia came down with severe pneumonia. A bacteria now called legionella coming from the air-conditioning vent was isolated as the cause. The pneumonia can be severe but usually responds to erythromycin.
Pneumonia from the klebsiella bacteria is found in chronic smokers. Ciprofloxacin usually kills it.
In addition to bacteria, viruses are a common cause of CAP. Rarely a fungus can cause it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Community acquired pneumonia can often be treated on an outpatient basis, but it can also be severe. You may need hospitalization, and people die each year from this type.
Hospital Acquired Pneumonia (HAP)
You are classified with this type if you’ve been in the hospital for more than a day or two and you get pneumonia. Many types of germs can cause HAP—things like MRSA from staph, other bacteria such pseudomonas, and fungi. HAP is usually treated with two or three different IV antibiotics. I won’t go into this type any further for the obvious reason that you won’t be seeing it out of the hospital
Pneumonia Diagnosis If You Can’t Get to a Doctor
As with my case, shaking chills and/or sweats is a clue, but high fever for any reason can cause that. Suspect pneumonia in someone who also has fever and a cough. Chest pain or discomfort is another clue, but it’s less common.
Often, if you have a stethoscope or put your ear on the person’s chest and you know what you’re listening for, you can hear crackles in an area of one or both lungs. If your hair is long enough, rub a few strands together next to your ear. That’s what one type of crackles (medical term—rales) sounds like. Sometimes rales can sound coarser.
Many people with pneumonia get short of breath with exertion. Some are short of breath at rest.
How Contagious Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is contagious but not highly so. When treating someone who has it, using a mask would be of small benefit. Better would be having fresh air if possible, along with taking the typical disease-prevention precautions such as washing your hands.
It’s very hard to get an exact cause for the pneumonia even if you’re in the hospital. Fortunately, any antibiotic in the ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, or tetracycline family usually treats the community acquired type. Rest and fluids help also. Bring down the fever with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
I usually save the ciprofloxacin for smokers or those who appear pretty sick. Of course, the really sick ones—the ones short of breath who don’t respond to an asthma inhaler, the ones who can’t keep down fluids, the confused ones—I usually send to the hospital.
People with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, or emphysema, are at higher risk for complications also, as are even healthy people over 65 and under age 2.
The most common community acquired pneumonia is caused by pneumococcus bacteria or comes on after a bout of the flu. You already know about the annual flu vaccine, but you may not know that there’s a pneumococcus vaccine you can get every ten years. It doesn’t prevent them all, but it can cut down on your risk considerably. It’s usually recommended for people age 65 and older or who are at high risk for complications.


Monday, November 19, 2012

How To Make A Knife

Here's how to make a sharp useful knife made from a butter knife:

Here's how to make a hunting knife from a butter knife by rubbing it on wet pavement and wrapping the handle with cord. It looks and feels good in the hand.

This project was inspired by a family I stayed with in Kenya. The only utensil they had was a sharpened butterknife shared by about twenty people.

Select your "blank":
Test your butterknives by bending the blade with your fingers. The farther you can bend it without it staying bent, the better it is.
Instead of a butter knife, you could use a saw blade or any piece of metal.

WARNING: I will be showing a bunch of OPTIONAL steps using tools.
For purist "no-tool" knifemaking, just skip all the steps using tools.
Or just substitute "with a rock" for the name of the tool.
Your knife will be fine.

Read More:

SGT KNOTS® 550 Paracord - Black - 1,000 Feet50 Buckles 3/8" (10mm), Mix of 10 Colors (5 of each)

550LB Nylon US Paracord Rope 50 Feet (Neon Yellow)Paracord Planet 100' 550lb Type III Black

Rothco 550-Pound Safety Type III Paracord (100-Feet, Orange)Multi Cam Parachute Cord Nylon 7 Strand 550lb Tested U.S MADE 100'