Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I was researching cabbage because it gets so little press. Here's what I found:
How much to eat. You can't have too much, but five weekly half-cup servings is a reasonable goal. "
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38865802/ns/health-cancer They wrote:
"Java lovers who drank 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 40% decreased risk of brain cancer, compared with people who drank the least in a 2010 British study. A 5-cup-a-day coffee habit reduces risks of cancers of the pharynx and mouth almost as much..."
You gotta love that information!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I watched as my friend plugged in a street address to the free downloaded
Google Earth site. The cursor flew to a home address over 800 miles away, and I could see the streets and town layout from the comfort of home.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
One of many, including
Studies Link Veggie Consumption to Lower Breast Cancer Rates tell us that simply eating more carrots can reduce our risk by 17%.
Experts tell us that we must stop smoking, exercise, maintain an acceptable weight, eat some fruits and vegetables, limit alcohol consumption, reduce stress and get some sunshine.
These are all free, easy things to do.
Yet, 45 million Americans still smoke. Untold millions are exposed to second hand smoke. Third hand smoke, the chemicals that remain on clothing and hair, is now raising concerns.
Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress. Our muscles need to move, our bones can't stay strong without movement and sunshine. Muscles built by good old fashioned exercise burn calories, maintain core strength, increase balance and longevity.
Its embarrassing that as a nation we continue to grow fatter. Sixty percent are over weight or even obese. Studies prove that this fat is killing us with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes. Experts predict by 2050 one in three Americans will be diabetic.
Eating some fruits and vegetables, especially carrots and cruciferous vegetables -- collard greens, cabbage, broccoli -- is not expensive or hard to do. Gardening should be taught to every school child. I love the fact the White House is into gardening. Gardening gives us our vitamin D through sunshine. Just 15 minutes a day, without sunscreen is all we need. Maybe some classes on how to prepare vegetables would be in order too.
Limit alcohol. A glass of wine is good, some say. Excess kills.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are asked to fund research, go on marches, wear pink.
I'm sorry. I have many friends who are survivors, so its not like I haven't witnessed the trauma.
But, when are we going to start doing the things we already have proof works? Instead of looking for a pill (that many of us probably couldn't afford anyways) or a vaccination (that years down the road may be found to cause heart attacks) couldn't we start living the Cure?
Pills are not the answer. HRT, hormone replacement therapy was touted as a safe way to deal with menopausal symptoms. Some of us were talked into getting on them. Now, HRT is shown to be instrumental in breast cancers.
How many drugs have we seen pulled off the shelves due to long term negative and deadly side affects? New evidence shows phony drugs hitting the shelves, so that even if you thought you were buying the Cure, it could be just cellulose imitation.
I believe in drugs, as a last resort. I am all for science and medical advancements.
However, in our search for the Cure, what are we looking for? An easy answer, a drug we can pop in our mouths while ignoring all the research that has shown us the way to a healthy lifestyle?
Right now is the time to reduce our cancer risks. One day at a time, little by little. Or, go whole hog and get on the Cure Train. Eat right, exercise, don't smoke or drink, stop stressing and get some fresh air.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I had the mechanic take a look at the fan which moves the air in the heating and cooling system. It just wasn't putting out like it used to. The dealership had quoted me some serious hundreds of dollars to replace it. But first, check to be sure it wasn't just some leaves or debris that got stuck up in there, they advised.
So after the muffler was done, my mechanic took off the fan motor and brought it to me. All this pink stuff was jammed up in the fan wheel. An acorn shell dropped to the ground as he spoke. "There's more insulation the box", he said. House insulation, rated 13R. I know cause its the stuff my studio is insulated with.
But, that was years ago. I had thought the fan was slowing down due to old age.
A mouse built its house under the hood of the Geo, but he was no where to be found. I foreclosed on him; we threw the nest away.
Everything is cleaned, repaired and purring.
The wind is bringing these gorgeous leaves to the ground. I shall celebrate my Geo's new wind with a walk in the woods.
I took this inside clip of my studio to be sure the lighting was good enough to shoot a video for YouTube last week. The art on the wall I made with mic, wood, canvas and found objects. The sewing machine is my trusty Brother brand.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We've completed our external frame conversion.
This short clip above shows how I have placed all my gear on my ultralight frame and utilized the bags we've been making this week.
As you can see, I have a sleeping pad and tent sack of nearly the same length, cinched on at the bottom. My main bag is placed above it. It provides a nice ledge for the top sack to rest upon. Still, that in itself is not enough security for the top food bag. This bag is the one we added the bottom loop to, and have a brand name tag serving as a cinching loop as well.
If you have trouble at first getting a stable load, readjust your bags and remember that silnylon is quite slippery. The bags need to be longer rather than fatter to allow for ample purchase of the cinching strap.
All of the footage is being edited for my YouTube channel and will be available by Friday.
Thanks for following. If you have any questions, please write.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I cut a piece of silnylon 20 inches wide by 40 inches long. This allowed me to have two side seams which will have gross grain ribbon inserted into the sides at four locations, forming loops to serve as anchor points to the external frame.
After the pocket was firmly attached, I laid right sides together, cut and placed my fabric loops , and sewed the side seams. I always double stitch (two rows of stitching) for reinforcement. Back stitching will secure the stitch, much like making a knot when hand sewing.
Square off the bottom corners. See the video at
for a step by step demo on making stuff sacks.I also have it uploaded on yesterday's blog.
After the bag was completed, I tested it on my frame to be sure it hung well. Then I added the casing for the drawcord closure.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Today we are analyzing all our available stuff sacks, the gear we plan to use, and taking measurements.
Because none of my available stuff sacks are very large, I'm going to make one tomorrow.
My pack is 14 inches wide, and I would like to have one central bag about 14 inches long by 4.5 inches deep. On that sack I will sew a mesh pocket for water bottles.
This video was made about a year ago showing how to make stuff sacks. Its really pretty easy and like all other skills, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
I'm writing details on http://www.thefemalesurvivalist.blogspot.com
If you have an external frame pack that you are converting to a packless system, but do not want to sew bags, simply buy some large stuff sacks and be prepared to modify them with a little hand sewing of anchor points. We will show you how to do that tomorrow.
has a trail tested review and results from my Pacific Crest Trail hike where I used this system for over 1500 miles.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Today we stripped the external frame pack. We took off the silnylon pack that was large enough to accommodate a Garcia bear canister. We removed extra straps, padding and clips. It weighed just under 2 pounds. If you are converting your external frame pack to the packless system, prepare by stripping your pack, and placing all the hardware in a secure place.
All the pins and rings were kept in our "found objects and hardware" box.
External frames have many excellent features: the ability to adjust straps and hip belt to the owners needs, renewable and sustainable functions by remaking sacks to cinch on, long life expectancy, ultralight, inexpensive, versatile, and comfortable.
One perk of an external frame is the ability to lean it up against a tree for a back rest on breaks or in camp. Its also very easy to pack when it stays upright.
Assemble all the possible stuff sacks you may own for possible use with the packless system. We will discuss using them, or sewing the Main Bag tomorrow.
for more details.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I've been collecting jokes, good quotes, cartoons and inspirational writings for a couple years now. This little book is easy to carry anywhere. When the day gets rough, I read a good joke, and feel much better.
One day we were chatting with a friend in Cozumel. It seemed to digress into a one upmanship, each successive story had to top the last.
Finally, our friend said, "I respect your need to piss on the hydrant."
It broke up the competition with laughter.
We were watching Six Feet Under and one of the key characters, a teenage redhead told her friends in exasperation, "In hell it must be Christmas everyday!"
There are profound ones, like from the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves: " When was the last time I ran free?" and from a Shaolin Buddist the verse: Never sit when you can stand, Never ride when you can walk, Never lean.
Simple lines like this remembered at the right moment can turn everything around. No way can I remember them all. Hence, the book.
Sometimes people will collect books, magazines and newspapers because they contain a few memorable paragraphs. Cut them out, add to the little book, and recycle the rest. You'll be able to find it when you need it with this organizational tool.
Monday, October 11, 2010
This pack was used in Montana on the Continental Divide Trail and sewn to accommodate a Garcia bear canister. Next week, I will reconfigure it to the Packless System. Read more about this at Trailquest's Packless System. I used this system on the Pacific Crest Trail. Testing, and results are posted on that page.
My home page http://trailquest.net/BRindex.html
has gear lists, trail journals and more I hope will inspire your efforts.
You will need an external frame pack, some silnylon fabric, a sewing machine, and some simple hardware. If you'd rather modify what you have around home, choose some larger stuff sacks and be prepared to do a little hand sewing.
Any external frame will work. I got mine at a thrift store for $5. You can find them at garage sales, church basement sales, a hiking buddy, your relatives, up in the garage. Look around and you're sure to come up with one. They are nearly indestructible and designed for easy adjustments. Don't worry if the pack on the external frame is shot. We're going to replace that anyways. You can order new sholder straps or hip belts from Campmor.
I love my external frame pack. Stripped down it weighs under 2 pounds and will carry anything I need. Sherpas use them all the time for carrying heavy loads into the mountains. If you only need a few things, you can strip off the extra bags and carry just one sack.
So where do you get some fabric? You can order fabric, Velcro, hardware, Cuban fiber, zippers, fleece, just about anything you'd ever want from the links posted below. I've worked with each of these companies and would highly recommend them.
http://www.owfinc.com/ 208-402-0110, orders:800-693-7467
http://noahlamport.com/ These people mainly do fabric.
I'll post these links on the Favorite Links page attached to my BrawnyView blog for easy reference.
See you here next week.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
My complete video on processing and cooking with Acorns is now uploaded to
I'm pretty happy with it. I took all the footage myself, holding the camera while doing stuff, so its real.
site also has recipes.
I've found some wild acorns, much smaller, which taste great without processing to remove tannins. Those I will keep for raw eating, adding to baked goods, like muffins and banana bread.
are three sites where you can find more facts about acorn nutritional data.
Thanks to all my friends for their continued encouragement.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I pruned some wild muscadine vines, placed the clippings in jars of water. I plan to plant the clippings when roots have formed. I planted some fruit with their seeds as nature would do earlier this week. Hopefully one of these methods of propagation will work. Muscadines can be eaten raw, made into jam and jelly, or fermented to produce red wine.
This butternut squash has a bounty of seeds which will be dried and saved for next years garden. I bought heritage seeds, not hybrid. Plants grown from heritage seeds can produce year after year. This is the way old timers grew gardens. Pioneers brought seeds with them from the previous year's crop as they moved west.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This fall I'm collecting acorns. I'm calling this whole thing "The Acorn Project". My cooking skills will help as I prepare various dishes using this high fat, good protein source that literally falls from the sky. Free for the taking.
Ok, its a bumper-crop year. The wildlife around here won't suffer, and I'm discarding anything with worm holes in it.
A girls got to have something to do. I'm not working this winter; taking sometime to explore options like writing, sewing, visiting family, and sharing stuff with my online friends.
Check out my http://www.thefemalesurvivalist.blogspot.com
blog for crazy happenings, gear reviews, book reviews, alternative gear projects and more.
I'm really into the acorn project as a sustainable food source. I've read about Native Americans collecting enough acorns for two years during "masting" seasons such as we are experiencing this year. They also used to burn off areas of forest to kill bugs that invade acorns. Happily, oak trees are very tolerant of quick moving fires, making them the survivors in these burns. This gives them the advantage in the forest, providing future generations with acorns as well.
After the shell, or husk is removed, there are several options for preparing and storing the acorn meat which has the tannin removed.
We hear about acorn flour much more than simply using the nut as a salad garnish. I find the grinding of acorns and then shaping them into cakes a little more time consuming. Hence the exploration of chopping and mincing for preparation. Note: the processed dried acorn meat can break teeth. Rehydrate as you would any dried food by pouring boiling water over the nut meats and letting them soak up the water before using.
You can also dry the acorns in the shell for storage. Several websites mentioned that acorns can become rancid if left in warm or bright light because of their high fat content.
The Acorn Project will explore various ways to remove tannins, remove the husks, recipes which are cost effective and "green", and culminate in a video posted to my Youtube channel. In keeping with my low carbon footprint, minimalistic lifestyle, all these methods will be easy to duplicate by the triftiest of people.
Stay tunned. Happy Hunting and Gathering.