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DIY (Do It Yourself) Irrigation

Hey gardeners, if you spend your days dragging around hoses to make sure every beloved plant gets watered, then this PSA tidbit is for you. That was me, for 7 years  –  moving hoses like a mule. We moved into our house in Steamboat II in 2013, promptly put in a new perennial bed along our front walk with the cardboard-lasagna method , and began taking divided plants from friends and the You Dig It program to fill it in. It’s a long bed, the length of our 40-50’ walkway, and about 5’ wide, so yes, that meant I was dragging around hoses to water it because the water pressure in our older home isn't strong enough to push water through more than one 3/4" hose. Mondays it was the front of the bed, Tuesdays it was the back of the bed, and so on. We even put in 2 berms at the edge of the yard, to reduce our grass acreage, but because of our lack of a watering system, those fill-dirt piles sat there for 4 years without water or plants, an eyesore to the neighbors, I'm sure. Ov
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Top Five Favorite Holiday picks

Looking for last minute gifts for a good price from a retailer you know will deliver in time? Here's my Top Five Favorite Holiday Picks plus a few bonuses! Happy holidays! #1 Sleep Innovations Currently marked down to $370 from $650 for king size* We've had a Sleep Innovations mattress for 13 years and loved it. Every time we came home from travels my husband and I would both say how we'd missed our bed the most. So it came time for us to buy a new one and were pleased to find this mattress at a fraction of the cost of both traditional mattress and memory foam as well. Is a quality brand, and a firm yet relenting and supportive mattress. It comes compressed in a 3x4x2 box that's easily delivered, and easy enough for one person to set-up and let expand. We let it expend and air out for two nights. By the second night, it was ready, and as before, the best night sleep! The box it comes in is compact and manageable Cutting off the plastic on our new bed!

Kombucha experiments

For Christmas this year, I got a Kombucha making kit from my husband that he purchased through an awesome resource - The Kombucha Shop . I didn't get cranking right away, but once I did, I couldn't stop! And as those of you know that have gone before me in this, the scoby invasion is a big reason why! Kombucha starts with the Scoby, a symbiotic culture of healthy bacteria and yeast, a gelatinous, cellulous biofilm that is also known as a "mushroom" as it resembles the top of a mushroom. Many other products start with a culture like this - vinegar, ginger beer, keifer, and my other most recent experiment, sourdough . Cultures are good for the gut, the immune system, brain health, and the overall health of the body - 3/4 of our immune system resides in the gut, and a healthy gut means a healthy body. As you know from my many other experiments, research, and tinkerings, I love a good science project. So this was the ideal present for me! The full kit comes wit

10 years with Andy's Idea Factory!

I'm super excited!!! 2019 marks 10 years with Andy's Idea Factory! Am I supposed to feel old or accomplished or a mix of both! That warrants a new template  –  so hopefully this new style is both easier to read and find what you're looking for! What started as a fun way to share my quirky ideas and findings (oh boy, I love to research!), has now become a great resource for thousands of people, and that brings me such joy! Some years were more creative than others  –  or rather, some years of creativity were better documented! The most posts were written in 2010 when I was really focusing on blogging . I launched 5 blogs between 2007 and 2012! Some years, I was really busy doing other things - I only found time to write 4 posts in 2011, but I was helping to run a really important training project for Amtrak on handling customers with disabilities. So that's ok! The following year, 2012, I posted 19 blogs  –  that was the year I was really into discovering henn

Gluten-free Vegan stuffing with Cranberries, Quinoa and Kale

Not your typical stuffing, this recipe was inspired by reading several other vegan recipes but ultimately governed by what we had in the cabinets and fridge, and both Craig and I were pleased with the result. If you've been reading my blogs you know I've been gluten free since 2008. I have been experimenting with gluten free beads and sampling bakers since then and am recently very pleased with The Gluten Free Explorer (found at Natural Grocers), and their breadcrumbs are in this recipe. But the quinoa is a nice touch, it gives it a fluffier result I think, and having both gives it balance. The fruit is new for me but I like it! I love cranberries and how great to put them in stuffing! The apples stayed crisp and also add so much flavor. The celery and kale are a great combo, giving the color of this dish a spectacular look for the holidays! Let's get to it! (All veg organic and chopped fine) 2 cups cooked tricolor quinoa 2 cups Gluten Free Explorer Breadcrumbs 1 red

Gluten-free Sourdough bread adventure

Throughout my decade of being gluten free, I had never heard this before, but recently at a friends house, I heard a rumor that the gluten in bread breaks down in the process of fermentation with sourdough. The study that this rumor has seemingly sprouted from was done on just 15 subjects in Italy. I won't get into how the wheat in the US is far different from the wheat in Europe, but suffice it to say, it's not the same. At first, this rumor was exciting. Could I actually have bread again? I was sure willing to try! So I took a chunk of my friends long-aged sourdough starter, fed it for a few days (that's the fun part!), and made some sourdough bread! Much to my dismay, the answer is no, I can not, but it sure was an exciting thought! I've been GF long enough to know the immediate physical sensations when I'm going to have a reaction, and I don't press my luck. I had a small piece of this DELICIOUS bread and gave it away, knowing full well tha

Cat's Claw for... everything health!

I have been amateurely studying the benefits of herbs on health for over 25 years now and I've recently been adding Cats Claw into my regime, along with what I always and forever will take  –  whole food concentrates & plant based protein . In addition to that I rotate in a few things for my thyroid, inflammation, and gut health (selenium, magnesium, D, homeopathy, CBD) and in recent months, thanks to what I've been reading from The Medical Medium, Cats Claw is one of them. I've really noticed my body craves it now, if I skip it, I feel my physical being seeking it out. I travel a lot, more so this month, and I think that's why- it's extra immune support, which we need when we are on the road even more. This infographic from Dr. Axe sums it all up perfectly. Learn more here . I'm a firm believer that plants heal, and this her specifically is one of the ancient ones, used in Peru since the early days of herbal healing. If you are clearing out