Friday, March 31, 2017

Diesel is learning how to kayak!

Well the kayaking is moving into the living room. Yep! Diesel and I are going to get used to sitting in the kayak. Practice sitting still - getting in and getting out.  Sounds crazy but we are putting on our life jackets and getting used to our kayak.

Sitting in the kayak on land is one of the best ways to get your dog used to kayaking. Diesel must learn not to jump out. He needs to be able to follow simple instructions about getting in and out of the kayak.

I have a leash that will attach to my waist leaving both hands available to paddle and save him if he jumps in. 

I belong to a few Kayaking with Your Dog Facebook Groups.  Excellent recommendations on how to get Diesel ready for kayaking.

Here are a few of the suggestions:

  • bring a rug
  • bring a cushion
  • life jacket with handle on top
  • leash
  • attach leash to kayak
  • attach leash to you
  • train on land
  • praise often
  • short trips at beginning
  • zero tolerance for not following commands
  • bring water & food
  • bring sunscreen for Diesel's nose
  • bring water toys to play when not in kayak
Real water kayaking pics will be available end of April. We have a trip planned to go south and do some kayaking!  Getting ready for the Wisconsin Kayaking Season!

I've added some Velcro squares to the sections in front - so that Diesels paws will not slid. I am sure I will learn more when we hit the water in April.  Check back for more pics of Diesel & Bluebell.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hullavator by Thule

This week I had my Hullavator installed on my Jeep.  The Hullavator by Thule is the easiest system to load a kayak on a vehicle.

My Jeep Liberty is a bit tall for me to manually load a kayak on top. That and the fact that I am NOT getting younger. Each darn year I get older and older. Like a bad virus! 

Since I am not getting younger I wanted a rack system that would allow me to continue Kayaking or years to come.

Here is my Jeep with my Hullavator and my friends new kayak on top. 

My Jeep with Hullavator and no kayak.

 My Jeep with  Hullavator bars removed - just rack and crossbars
It is a very nice system.  Since I will be using it a lot on my upcoming vacation. I will be posting about what to and what not to do!  LOL  I can only imagine what I will get myself into while vacationing.  Trouble is my middle name!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Neal's Yard ~ Essential Oil Book

 I have found the BEST Essential Oil book ~  
The book is full of great information about essential oils.

The book is divided into seven sections:
1. Understanding Essential Oils
2. A - Z of Essential Oils
3. Base Oils
4. Essential Oil Recipes
5. Healing Remedies
6. Glossary
7. Index

I love oils ~ I use them everyday to improve my quality of life.
Right away I had to check what was said about my favorite oil - GINGER.

Did you know GINGER ~ 
Eases digestion
Revives a tired mind
Helps combat colds
Relieves muscle pain
Relives headaches

I have arthritis in both wrist. Every day I add Ginger Oil to my Lava bracelets. It is amazing how much it helps with pain.  I also drink Ginger Lemon Honey Tea every night to help with digestion

 I am excited about making some of the recipes in the book. Using natural products I think is key to living a healthy life. 
Exfoliating Body Scrub 
Toning Body Oil ~ Perfect for summer
Argan & Avocado Facial Scrub
Rose Bath Bombs
Immune-Boosting Blend - Perfect to help prevent illness.

Only $13.36 that is $6.59 off retail

An instructional reference guide to essential oils and aromatherapy from the experts at Neal's Yard Remedies, a trusted source for natural health and beauty products.
Learn how to harness the healing powers of essential oils for treating maladies and improving mental and physical well-being. Use homeopathic alternatives to treat everyday health issues, including acne, PMS, insomnia, and indigestion, and rebalance your energy, enhance your focus, and release stress.
Whether you live an all-natural lifestyle or you are just beginning to use alternative methods to eliminate synthetic chemicals from your everyday products, Essential Oils is packed with authoritative information to answer your questions. This visual guide features comprehensive profiles of 88 essential oils, full-color photographs, and helpful guidance for using, blending, and storing.
An illustrated A-to-Z reference section helps identify the most useful oils, plus shares tips on application methods and massage techniques, and up-to-date safety recommendations help you learn how to use them for maximum benefit.
Essential Oils can help you improve your overall well-being and start you on the path to a more natural you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Glide stops blisters and chafing ..

You guys know I am a Hiker.  I am always worried about blisters.  I found a great lotion that stops chafing and blisters.

Glide is easy to apply 
Long Lasting 
Sweat & Water Resistant
No Fragrance
100% Natural
Will Not Foul Gear
Used by our Military Operations & Training
Never Messy
No Parabens
Never Wet or Greasy
Allergen Free
Made from Plant Ingredients
Made in the USA

Perfect for your feet - under clothing  really any where your skin is vulnerable to rubbing, sweat, and water.  I know when it is hot I sweat under my bra - Glide is perfect to stop chafing.  On Friday I used Glide under my bra while hiking. The temps got to 80 in March in Wisconsin. That is HOT for us.  I was pleased that the Glide worked! No chafing. I also liked the fact that I applied Glide when I got dressed and it was still working when I finished my day. No need to reapply during the day.  That is a huge plus when hiking all day.

I am super excited to use Glide on my hiking adventures in Arkansas in April. I will be hiking for 2 weeks in the Hot Springs area.  I know the best of socks & shoes sometimes cause blisters.  Blisters are something I definitely want to avoid. I plan to apply Glide daily.

After Hot Springs my next adventure is the Appalachian Trail the end of May. I am planning on hiking a section in Pennsylvania. I will definitely be giving Glide a workout. 

Check back I will let you know how Glide holds up to two weeks of hiking Arkansas and hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bump It Off and Brush It Away

I have found a amazing gadget. Bump It Off and Brush It Away is turning into my go to gadget.  I use it doing laundry, kitchen, Diesel, and my body.

My dog Diesel is a Smooth Fox Terrier. He sheds all the time. I was amazed at how the Bump It Off and Brush It Away worked for removing his hair. The best part was he liked it.  He acted like he was getting a massage - very relaxed and zen. So I am sure that it felt good on his skin. Check out the pic - one swipe with the Bump It Off and Brush I Away grabbed quite a lot of Diesel's shedding hair.  The Bump It Off and Brush It Away is very easy to clean. Diesel's hair came of really easy. Then I just washed the Bump It Off and Brush It Away in soap and water.

I cleaned the Bump It Off then I used the Bump It Off to get the hair off the couch.  I am VERY IMPRESSED!  Check out the hair the Bump It Off picked up from the couch!

The Bump It Off and Brush It Away is also great for washing dishes and getting out stains in clothes before washing. 

I was very excited to try the Bump It Off and Brush It Away as a tool to exfoliate my skin.  I purchased a new tanning lotion that required exfoliation before applying.  The Bump It Off and Brush It Away did a excellent job removing all the dead skin from my legs.  

The Bump It Off and Brush It Away is sold individual or a four-pack.  I keep one in the kitchen, one in the bath, one in the laundry room, and one with Diesel's products.

I have a few wedding showers this summer - The Bump It Off and Brush It Away would make a perfect gift.  I am positive the more I use my Bump It Off the more uses I will find for this great useful tool.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Blubell" is looking good

8/24/2017 - The detailed moon decal would not hold up. Too small of decal sections - I removed the decal - it kept coming off. 
The back Sun decal and the name Bluebell did great and still look very nice. 
If you add decals make sure they are wide vinyl sections.

I wanted to make my kayak different from every other kayak.  

I decided to order some vinyl decals that are perfect for a kayak.  

Check out  Bluebell ~ she is looking good!

If you are interested in who I purchased my decals from - comment below and I will respond.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

How to make hand grip cushions for your kayak

8/24/2017 - This did not hold up for the entire season. The glue would not hold the foam. I finally removed both sides of foam and now wear gloves.  
This winter I am going to try something else. 

My kayak "Bluebell" did not have padding on the rim of the kayak opening. Making it hard on the hands when I picked it up. 

To solve this problem -  I took 1/2 inch pipe installation - cut it to fit area - then glued with 6000M all purpose glue.  

This is a very inexpensive fix.  I'm not sure how long the molding will last. Put for $1.25 for 4 sections - but I am fine with replacing as needed. Many of the kayak models that have padding cost over $150 more. That is a lot of padding at $1.25!

I will keep readers posted as to how it wears once I start using it. Living in Wisconsin it is still cold here - 19 degrees! In the middle of April I am headed to Hot Springs National Park for two weeks of camping and kayaking. I will definitely be testing out the molding in Arkansas.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Believe in Yourself Project

Believe in YourselfA new charity called the “Believe in Yourself Project” is helping to replace the poor body image that afflicts many girls and women. This image is heightened by what the traditional fashion industry deems as beautiful: Women are expected to appear a certain way and live up to a manufactured and unrealistic notion of what beauty is. At the same time, strained finances can prevent many girls from keeping up with what’s trending or cool, making them feel isolated among their friends for not being able to afford clothing that is deemed as "in" socially.

In an attempt to promote a positive body image, Believe in Yourself aims to help women feel better about themselves and their physical attributes and to promote healthy self esteem among young girls at an early age, empowering these young women to take on active social roles within their school communities.

Over the past year, UsTrendy  Founder and Believe in Yourself President Sam Sisakhti has given formal dresses to underprivileged high school girls and college students across the country, for them to wear at their school dances. Donations began last winter, and Sisakhti reports that many of the girls in the program have had the self confidence to attend their first school dance.

Over last decade as CEO of UsTrendy, Sisakhti has grown increasingly concerned with the cyber bullying and body shaming that he has seen online. At the same time, he realized the enormous social pressure that many young girls feel to try to be hip and socially cool by wearing clothing that is seen as stylish. Many girls are unable to afford these fashions and can often feel ashamed socially.

These observations inspired Sam to launch the Believe in Yourself Project, a foundation that will provide needy girls with dresses for upcoming dances and at same time promote a positive body image through speakers and mentors.

This week, girls with limited financial resources in the NH Area received dresses.

"It was such an amazing and humbling experience to hear the stories of the girls and see their excitement about receiving a brand new dress to wear for their upcoming dance. Many of them said it was one of their first new items that were not handed down" says Sam Sisakhti.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Homemade Lip Gloss

So far for 2017 I have spent hours outside this winter. Hiking has brought back the joys of cold crisp days in  Wisconsin. I had forgotten how the air smells fresh. How beautiful the landscape and trees are in black and white. How ice crunches and how slippery mud is!

Being outside for hours was doing a number on my lips. My lips were extremely dry and cracked.  I decided to start making my own natural lip gloss. My Lip Gloss is turning into a favorite of my friends and family.

Here is my recipe for 
Homemade Lip Gloss

1/3 cup of Avocado Oil
1/3 cup of Beeswax
1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup of Grape-seed Oil
1 Teaspoon of Vitamin E
Essential Oils of your choice 10 - 15 drops

Mix Avocado, Coconut, Grape-seed Oils in a medium size sauce pan. Add beeswax and melt all ingredients.

When oils and beeswax are totally melted add Vitamin E and Essential Oils.  Mix well.

Immediately pour into lip gloss tubes. When lip gloss has set - add top to each tube.
All of the lip gloss tubes in the pic were made from one patch of the above lip gloss recipe.

For this patch I used Lemon Essential Oil - great for healing and the smell is delicious!

You can purchase the lip gloss tubs from Amazon ~ they are a very reasonable price. 

I also make great BODY LOTION  ~ I will post that recipe soon. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bluebell has Landed!!!

Yep, landed right in my living room.  Diesel and I are training for our 2017 Kayaking Season.

I belong to quite a few Kayaking Facebook Groups. Since this is Diesel's 1st experience with kayaking - I wanted to make it as stress free as possible.  I posted about Diesel's needing to learn and I received so many great recommendations.

Here is our plan:
  • Each day we sit in our Kayak - increasing the time as we count down the days
  • We wear our kayaking safety devices - which I purchased on Amazon
  • I wear a waist leash that is only for kayaking - losing Diesel on the water is not something I want to do. I purchased a very nice waist leash from Amazon. Before Bluebell arrived I would leash Diesel to me and we would clean house. It was a great way for him to get used to the waist leash.
  • I have simple commands for kayaking: - Jump In - Sit - Lay - Stay - Jump Out and of course LOTS of Good Boy!
  • Diesel always gets in kayak 1st then I follow
  • I always exit kayak first then Diesel follows.

So far training is going great. Diesel is not nervous or excited about the kayak. 

In fact it is turning into the "same old same old" thing we do in the living room.

We plan to make our madden water voyage during our vacation in April to Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. Arkansas will be much warmer in April than it will be in Wisconsin.

I will have 5 adults there to help get one 25 pound Smooth Fox Terrier to behave while kayaking!  Sounds crazy but this is serious stuff!  I have many kayaking trips planned for 2017 - it is key that Diesel is a worthy Kayaker - he will not want to be at home alone! 

I do have a few modifications that I plan to make on the Kayak.  Inside the areas where Diesel's front paws are - I want to add a non skid rubber to the kayak. To prevent his feet from from sliding.  Also, on the bottom of the kayak I want to look for some type on nonskid covering that I can add - covering that will not be sticky or course on my skin.

I plan to check out all the items this Friday night at Canoecopia in Madison. Canoecopia is the Largest Paddling Expo in the World!   I am positive I will be coming home with lots of fun stuff for our 2017 Kayaking Season!

Make sure to stop back to check out what I bought!

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I love GINGER!  My favorite is Crystallized Ginger made using organic ginger and organic sugar.  It is my go to snack when I want something sweet!

I do not make my own - I buy from the Lagrange General Store.  They make the BEST  organic crystallized ginger!

I like crystallized ginger because of the taste but I also like that it is a natural remedy for my arthritis plus 1/3 cup is about 100 calories.

Being active with arthritis is so important - being able to eat healthily and be active is a win win!

Ginger is know to aid in:
Gastrointestinal Relief
Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Protect Against Certain Cancers

I work at our local hospital Emergency Department.  I have not gotten sick from any of the nasty viruses going around.  When I start to feel like a bug is coming my way - I make a patch of Ginger Root and Salt. I know sounds nasty - and yes it it is not the best tasting thing in the world! But it works! I cut up ginger root into small pieces. I place the cut up ginger in a baggie and then I add about a teaspoon of regular crushed sea salt.   I chew the small pieces through out the day. It is amazing how the salted ginger dries up my nasal cavities. 

A few other ways I use Ginger:
  • I add a few drops of Ginger essential oil in my water once a day. Helps with my arthritis.
  • I add Ginger essential oils to my homemade organic lotions 
If you have never tried Ginger - I definitely recommend you give it a try.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Canoecopia 2017

If you are a kayak or canoe lover - you have got to check out Canoecopia.  Canoecapia is the worlds largest Paddling Expo.  Lucky me I am only 1.5 hours away!

The expo is held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The event starts on Friday March 10th at 4pm and ends on Sunday March 12th at 5pm. 

Here are the daily hours:
Friday ~ March 10th ~ 4pm - 9pm
Saturday ~ March 11th ~ 9am - 6pm
Sunday ~ March 12th ~ 10am - 5pm

Tickets cost $15.00 per day or $25.00 for a weekend pass (under 17 get free admission)
Parking cost $7 per day per car or you can purchase a weekend pass for $19.50

Now you know Where and When and How much is time to share just WHAT Canoecopia is!

Canoecopia is a water lovers dream expo.  

Presentations Click HERE ~ Click on the page ~ there are over 100 presenters 
for the event!

Over 100 Exhibitors ~ Click HERE for a listing

Since I am a new kayaker I am super excited about the event.  We are planning on arriving at 4pm on Friday. I for sure want to speak to the kayak rack presenters.  We are hoping they can answer our questions and recommend a perfect system for me and my Jeep.

I also want to check out the paddle companies - I have a paddle but I am feeling the need to get myself another paddle! LOL

Clothes is also on my list - I am hoping that there will be quality kayaking clothing available to check out. 

I guess you could say my card will be tired by the end of the night!  

Make sure to check back for pics about the event and also about my treasures I 
find at the expo!

If you go to Canoecopia on Friday night I will be the crazy lady with the wild gray curly hair checking out everything and acting like a child in a candy store!

Hope to See You There!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I Am Ready for Spring!

I am definitely ready for Spring.  This year winter in SE Wisconsin has not been bad - but it has been long enough for me.

New Years Eve my friend and I decided on when and where we would camp for the Spring/Summer of 2017.  Let me tell you we have a fun camping season planned.

I will be camping in April in Hot Springs, Arkansas - my yearly family camping trip. I am so excited to get the camping season on the road.

Last year I purchased everything I would need to camp in my Jeep. After numerous camping trips I feel I have perfected the art of camping in a Jeep Liberty.  This year I did buy myself a car top carrier for the 2 week camping trip to Hot Springs, AR in April.  This will be my first camping trip with Diesel (my 2 year old Smooth Fox Terrier).  This is going to be very interesting. Because Diesel is not only going to learn how to camp. He is also going to learn how to Kayak. Yep, Diesel will be a camping, hiking, and kayaking SFT!

He already has developed some serious Hiking skills. He even carriers his own backpack.   Diesel and I hike at least 10 miles a week.  His favorite times are hiking with my friends and their kids. He loves playing in the snow.

Last week in Wisconsin it was 72 degrees on Wednesday and 19 degrees on Saturday (the day this pic was taken).  Not only was it cold we also had about 2 inches of fresh snow. 

The warm days are fantastic - but they also make me crave SPRING even more!
Only 19 more Days