Cell Phones For Soldiers

The other day I got a wild hair and decided to clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen. When I did I found 2 or 3 of Mr. K's old cell phones. On top of this, I know we have a few more lying around. Truthfully, I don't know why we even kept them, but they seem like something you don't just throw away...so they stay.

One of my new campaigns is to get things done. I think if Mr. K took an entire month off, we still couldn't get all those little things done. But, I thought if we made a huge ridiculous list that we could plug away at it a little at a time.

Back to the cell phones.

These old useless cell phones have now made it to the list. Find something to do with them.

I started searching the internet for information on recycling old cell phones. The first stat I found was that I wasn't the only one with such a pile. There are 500 million old cell phones lying around waiting to be thrown away.

Cell phones and accessories are made from valuable resources such as precious metals, copper, and plastics - all of which require energy to extract and manufacture. Recycling cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions, keeps valuable material out of landfills and incinerators, and conserves natural resources. Recycling just a million cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 33 cars off the road for a year.

Cell phone recycling and wireless recycling programs keep valuable materials out of landfills, including an estimated $630,000 of precious metals from circuit boards, and enough copper from phone chargers to recover the Statue of Liberty, twice.

So, recycling cell phones is good for the environment.

But, wait...there's more.

You can donate the phone to charity, too. And, that is when I came across Cell Phones For Soldiers. Basically, it works like this...You gather up your old phones and mail them in. The sell the phones to a company that recycles them for that valuable material. The money they get from selling the phones is used to purchase calling cards for soldiers stationed overseas, allowing them to call home.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

This program is cool on so many levels, and you should help out! Click here to donate your old phones today.


Calling Dr. Pepper

No, not that Dr. pepper.

I have been teaching myself to cook for the last 9 months or so. And, being the wife of a restaurant/chef (sort of), my kitchen is filled with lots of gadgets and "good" knives. All I know, is when we first moved in together I was chastised for attempting to place one in the dishwasher. A mistake I have never repeated.

So, I am not what you would call a natural in the kitchen, or any other place where I am required to wield sharp objects. Maybe my husband is right when he says I have ADD. I like to think I just do a bad impression of the quick knife skills of the chefs on Food Network. But, whatever the case, I cut myself a lot. And, not on purpose.

I asked for a mandolin once some time ago. And, Mr. K sighed deeply and said "I don't think I would feel comfortable with you using a mandolin." I asked again, more recently, and he said he would think about it if we could find one that had a really good safety that would block me from slicing my hand off.

As I said, it isn't strictly knives, its any sharp object. 2 days ago I snipped my finger while giving the dog a trim. And, once I got crazy with a block of cheese a gratered my finger pretty good.

It just occurred to me that no one who reads this will ever eat my cooking again.

Anyway, I found this little tidbit, and thought I would post it for all the other inept wannabe chefs out there.

Next time you nick yourself in the kitchen, reach for the black pepper. Run cold water over the wound to clean it, using soap if you were handling meat. Then sprinkle on the pepper and apply pressure. In no time, the bleeding will stop. Turns out, black pepper has analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Pepper doesn't sting, either!

Wonderful Watermelon

When I was little I loved watermelon gum. And, to this day, if I am stuck in line at the grocery store, I will pick a pack and take whiff. It still smells awesome...even if I no longer relish the taste.

Real watermelon, on the other hand, has never been as appealing to me. I know so many people who really love a slice in the summer, but I unfortunately am not among them. To me it doesn't really taste at all. It is just...watery I guess.

And yet, I am drawn to watermelon in a weird way. It is big, and therefore hard to miss piled high at the grocery store. It is colorful...hot pink and green is an eye catching combo. And, I just like the name. Watermelon.

What's even more appealing about this BBW (big beautiful watermelon, in this instance), is that it's beauty is much more than skin deep. Watermelon is incredibly good for you! Like, really good for you. So good, that it would be easier to tell you what's NOT good about it.

First of all, lycopene. A few years ago, we started hearing all about lycopene. It is good for you and you should consume it. Vitamin commercials praised it, and pretty soon ketchup bottles jumped on the bandwagon since lycopene is most notably found in tomatoes. The truth is, the jury is still out on the actual verdict, but there is some evidence which link the antioxident effects of lycopene to decreases in things like cancer & cardiovascular disease. And, even though tomotoes get most of the credit, watermelon may actually be a better source since the high water content makes it easier for your body to absorb it.

Next up, vitamins.

Vitamin A in watermelon helps prevent night blindness and macular degeneration (AKA your eyes getting bad as you age) and boosts immunity by enhancing infection-fighting action in lymphocytes.

Vitamin B6 found in watermelons is extremely useful in manufacturing brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.

Vitamin C is also instrumental in boosting the body immune system and also deters aging and conditions such as cataract.

Watermelon also provides minimal amount of Potassium, which reduces muscle cramps and helps fight osteoporosis, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and strokes.

Finally, as the name would indicate, water. Watermelons by weight are about 92% water. So they are a filling and hydrating snack. And, we all know by now how important water is to our bodies, especially during hot summer months.

There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon ranging in size from less than a pound, to more than 200 pounds with flesh that is red, orange, yellow, or white. It is believed to have originated in southern Africa, and watermelon seeds were even found in the tomb of the Pharoah Tutankhamun. Today the seeds are roasted and used as a healthy snack in many Arab countries because they are high in protein and fiber.

You can check out the National Watermelon Promotion Board for more information than you ever dreamed possible on watermelons. How to choose a good one, festivals in your area, tons of recipes, and LOTS more. I am pretty anxious to try the summer melon soup myself.


Sunburn Cures

If you missed my riveting expose on sunscreen, chances are you ended up with a nasty sunburn.

If so, shame on you!

But, to show that all the nasty things people say about aren't entirely true...I am going to help you out.

Here are some effective ways to take the sting out of the burn:

Lavender Essential Oil. Drip onto the effected area, and very gently rub it around.

Vinegar. Just soak some face clothes in white vinegar, and apply to the skin.

Baking Soda. Just like vinegar, there are a million uses for baking soda, and one happens to be treating sunburns. You can add this to a bath or make a paste and apply it to the burn.

Cold Whole Milk. Not so cold that send the person into shock, but cold. Again, just soak a face cloth and apply to the effected area. Be sure to take a shower afterward or you won't be very popular the next day.

Aloe Vera. Many people know about this one, but unfortunately most OTC "aloe" isn't actually pure aloe, so the relief you're seeking isn't going to happen. Either pop open an actual leaf, or go to a health food store where you are buying the real thing.

Tea. Make a tea using about 4 teabags per quart. Allow the tea to cool to lukewarm. Soak a rag or dark colored face cloth in the tea, and place the soaked cloth onto the victim. This will drip, so do so in the tub, or laying on an old towel.

Water. This is sort of a no brainer, but important to remember. You need to hydrate yourself...inside and out. Take lots of baths and drink lots of water.

Yogurt. Apply a thick layer to the burn and allow it to sit for about an hour, and rinse.

Crushed Ice and Instant Potatoes. This was one of the more unique remedies I came across. I almost want to go out and fry myself just so I can see if it really works. The ice is obvious, but the starch in the potato is helpful as well.

Preparation H. Reduces the inflammation and takes out the sting...everywhere apparently.

Cucumber Slices. Apply thin slices of cold cucumber to the burn and remove when they become warm.

Mashed Strawberries. I wasn't able to find out why this should be helpful, but there you go. Strawberries.

Which Hazel. This has a lovely, and much appreciated, cooling effect.

1 part Tomato & 6 parts Buttermilk. Pour onto the burn and allow to sit for 1 hour. Rinse, and repeat as necessary.

Again, keep in mind, it is much easier to prevent than to treat! Wear sunscreen