Diy n95 mask

Let me start by saying, I am not a doctor or a scientist and that I do not make any claims of the sort about this mask or your health. Please follow all federal state and local health guidelines above all else. Do not take unnecessary risks because you think this mask gives you the ability to do so, it doesn’t.

Now that that’s out of the way. If you would feel more comfortable having something rather than nothing when it comes to personal protective equipment then this may be the thing for you. A DIY n95 mask.

Here’s the secret … Wait for it…. Vacuum cleaner bags and/or filters. (Not the paper ones… The white filter ones) it’s basically the same material as an N95 mask. So my solution is to make a washable fabric mask with an inner pocket for a filter material, which is cut from vacuum cleaner bags or filters.

It is not perfect. And please make sure you can actually still breathe through the material and the filter before strapping it to your face, my bags are really really thick so it’s a work in progress. In some cases if the fabric or filter is too thick you may have to consider putting some holes in either to still allow for adequate breathing. But some coverage is better than none.

I’ll update with a pic of my mask when I get a chance.  For now here’s the quick pattern:. Cut a 15in by 7in piece a fabric.  Fold in half and hem all around.  Find the top center and put in a dart on either side of the nose area.  Sew ribbons or elastics to the sides so you can put it on.  Also, take a separate piece of fabric and sew on the inside of it on 3sides (bottom and ea. Side) to create a pocket for the filter.  These are the bags/ filters I used. …. what have you tried, anyone have any other ideas that their using right now?

Reuse disposable items during a shortage

After seeing the empty shelves in every store this week and not being able to get what we want I decided this is a great time to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I am not super green. I love the idea of reusing and recycling but often find myself too busy and it too easy to toss and get a new. Well something’s right now I cant get or I just plain dont want risk it.

I am reusing paper towels. If all I did was dry something clean. Rinse it and hang it to dry and reuse it later until it falls apart or is used on something truly filthy.

I am reusing plastic sandwich baggies and other size baggies. Again as long as their wasn’t anything gross in them, why not. Wash them with dish soap and water and let them dry open on a dish rack. Then put them right back in the container and reuse a few more times before they’ve had it.

Feed bags like for chicken feed. I usually just toss them or put them aside for Ms. P’s art projects but I realized…. they are about the size of a tall kitchen trash bags. Well my stores were out of trash bags and turned inside out I have a bag that looks almost like a normal trash bag and will work in a pinch. Seriously, it holds everything and doesnt tear. But they are not leak proof so make sure you dont make that icky mistake. I secured mine to my trash bin using a giant rubber band. Also dont fill too full because they dont have a great way to seal them… I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do this and nothing has been perfect.

Need a new toy for your baby in a pinch. Ok this one doesnt sound like much but I’m surprised how much Ms. P like it. I took a used plastic peanut butter jar. Washed it out and took the labels off it. Then I painted the inside and let it dry. I took one of my husbands old golf balls and put it inside and sealed the lid. Seriously, she couldn’t open it. Gave it to her and she played with her new rattle all afternoon.

Oh, and for St. Patrick’s day we refused her onesie from last year. Bit how did you get a size 3month onesie to fit on a child that wears 18months. I cut the bottom snap part off and hemmed the bottom all around. So now its aT-shirt and it fit.

I am not suggesting you reuse toilet paper. Eeeew. I am suggesting you get creative and make do with whatcha got for now. Who knows you might save some money and start some new routine.

So what’s in my ‘wheelhouse’ for surviving this Pandemic thing

I have put this list together using online retailers mostly and with the idea that I am not going out anywhere unless absolutely necessary.

1. Amazon doesnt deliver groceries out here yet. Honestly I’ve been doing grocery pickup through Walmart for over a year now and I am convinced it’s the best way to shop. ( Hhhmmmmm… I should prolly write another post on this). But for now please visit bubblebathselfempowerment (s) blog post on her experience. Walmart pickup will be my ‘go to’ way of getting groceries during this time.

2. Please dont overby medical supplies the average person wont need them and hospitals do. I keep masks on hand anyway. You never know when you’ll need them on the farm. I use them when I’m sanding and repainting items, or cleaning out the chicken house. Also, we already keep rubber gloves on hand -again dirty jobs require them. ( Please notice I did not link to any on amazon… I just cant see taking a profit from that sale right now. ) Just whenever the supply returns buy a small bit and keep them on hand.

3. Cleaning supplies. I keep bleach on hand. Because, why not. Also, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you have handwashing soap too. Oh and you’ll need laundry detergent, dish soap, and paper towels- please dont overby paper towels, you need enough for a few weeks plus a little extra cause you’re washing your hands a lot, that’s it.

4. Cold/flu supplies. Again you should already have this. Think about it, many people that get the virus but only have mild symptoms will be told to stay home until its run its course. That means your going to feel very sick but be treating the symptoms with over the counter cold remedies. For me this means: Nyquil, tissues, cough drops, theraflu, herbal teas, chicken noodle soup, gingerale, tylenol…

5. Dont forget about your furry friends. I bought extra of their dry cat food we use and extra litter.

6. Entertainment and fun. You’ll want some Netflix or Amazon Prime to pass the time. If dont you subscribe consider doing so at least right now. Amazon prime will ship most anything you want to your home in 2 days and you have a huge variety of things to watch online for less than $13/mo. Also, dont forget to buy some snack food. Maybe try a deck of cards, puzzle, or board game.

7. And for us, baby supplies. Think a months worth of diapers, wipes, creams, baby soap & lotion. Also, baby snacks!

I feel lucky that my husband works from home and I am a fulltime mom. So no worries for now about finances. But there are so many that my heart goes out to who cannot work, whose business is closed…. I feel that we all need to have compassion and understanding during this time. If you have more than your neighbor does please find safe ways of spreading the love and taking care of one another. Its during tough times like these that we see ones true character.

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Alternative pantry items to keep for emergencies

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links/marketing. The overall focus of my blog will always be content.

As I am writing this, I am a mom of a now 1 year old watching all the pandemic updates and trying to stay home as much as possible.

But to ‘shelter in place’ people need essential items, like food. And if you’ve been to the grocery during all this, then you’ve seen the lack of supply. People are panicking and over buying items. I didnt really want to participate in this hoarding but; unfortunately, I realized if I didnt buy a little extra before the shelves were empty we wouldn’t have our needs met.

So what exactly do you need.  I’m no expert, just a mom, but in my opinion you need the basics for at least 2weeks.  That means  the major food groups: bread/grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein, and some healthy snacks and fun things to help you make it through.  Also yes, you’ll need some toilet paper (not 10years worth just enough, it’s not going to run out).  Make sure you have some paper towells( again not a ridiculous amount)… and laundry detergent, hand soap etc.

Ok, I bought what I could responsibly buy to cover us for 2weeks but I still feel like we weren’t able to get certain essentials because the shelves were empty now what. Here are some alternatives:

*cant find bread. Make some. All you need is flour, sugar, salt, water, and yeast. Find some great recipes online. Also, try this yeast very well liked on amazon

* can’t find milk… buy dry milk! It wont fool anyone into thinking it’s real milk but it’s easily put into recipes and it has a very long shelf life. Also, consider almond milk… again it has a longer shelf life than regular milk.

*fruits and vegetables arent available. They probably are you just need to be creative. Some stores were out of fresh fruits and veggies but had plenty of canned items and it was the opposite in other places I visited. So if they have canned or frozen ones great buy them and if not buy fresh and freeze or can it yourself to make it last. Also, real fruit jerky is an option. Its spring and it wont be long before people with a green thumb will have plenty in their gardens.

*But they were out of meat fresh and frozen, now what? Again be creative. Think Spam, or tuna, or sardines and crackers. All last in the pantry for a long time and are really cheap if your trying to stretch your budget. Consider real meat jerky. When out of protein look to high protein yogurts, peanut butter, or beans.

*No paper towels, order them online. Also, not everything needs paper towels. Consider if you have not been exposed at all just reusing some of your paper towels. Seriously, if you washed your hands and only used a paper towel to dry them with, let that paper towel dry up and use it again later. ( Better for the environment) Better yet it’s called a fabric hand towel people- put a fresh one out daily and launder the dirty ones. Still not ok with this, then make your own ‘non-paper’ towels. Or, if you really want disposable towels and cost isnt an issue, try buying a box of mechanic’s towels. I know this because my husband works on cars. They may be sold out in the paper towel aisle in Walmart but try the automotive section and look for the blue paper towels.

*Out of laundry detergent or handsoap. Buy online or Make your own. Their are lots of great recipes online. Also, you could handwash small laundry items in dawn liquid dishwashing soap.

*Alternatives to all this…. try the baby aisle. I’m serious. We are stocked up on vegetable puree right now of every type. I have peas and carrots and mangoes all as baby food and probably an overstock of it. Also, look at baby snacks. I am addicted to these yogurt bites. And you can find other baby snacks or foods that would supply all major food groups.

*Buy direct from a farmer/local business. Big box stores look empty but my local butcher shop has everything I still need and want plus the ability to easily obtain more to meet the demand.

*Trade while maintaining social distancing. We have beef cattle farm and are wholesale only so we cant sell direct to the consumer but I have a freezer full of beef. I can link up with family and offer what I have in abundance for what I need. Let’s trade! And even when I trade I can still maintain social distance. Everyone wins and it costs nothing.

I just want to encourage people to adjust to our new and temporary normal with a smile and without panic. You can still get all the products your family needs and wants in one way or another. Please be kind to each other, lookout for your neighbors, and share when you can. This too will pass.

New Geese and Duck Enclosure

So we wanted to give the geese and ducks a separate enclosure so we could feed them a less expensive feed and put a small tub pond in with them.  I think we did a great job.  

We used a spare cage we had in our barn.  

We also lined the area around their food and water so the cant tip them over and created temporary shelter for them.  

But the birds favorite part is obviously the pool.  Its just a black plastic tub we had.  My husband bought a drain and installed it. 
More improvements will come in time but I think we are off to a great start.  

Homemade Yogurt

About once a week I make homemade yogurt.  We eat it almost everyday at lunch.  Sometimes I add homemade jam to it and then freeze it for a great treat.  Frozen yogurt- yum.  I love knowing whats in my food and how its been prepared.  This means I have fresh homemade organic (by preference I use all organic ingredients whenever possible) yogurt available almost all the time.  You haven’t lived until you try it.  

You will need:

▪ A 3 quart crock pot

▪2 quarts of milk ( I use 2% organic… can’t wait until I can try it with my own goats milk)

▪Yogurt starter (Some grocery stores sell this in the baked goods section or near the jello mixes.  You can order it online here.  Or you can use 1/3 cup of plain vanilla yogurt.  Yes you need yogurt to make yogurt.  The short explaination is – pasturization kills the good bacteria needed to make yogurt; so you need to get that good stuff in there.  Or you can reserve some yogurt from a previous batch you made and use it. You can do this about 3 times before refreshing the starter.)
Directions: Pour milk into the crockpot.  Careful not to splash.  Put the heat to low.  Put the lid on.  Set a timer for 2 hours 45 minutes.  Walk away.  When the timer goes off, turn the crockpot off.  Set a timer for 3 hours for the milk to cool. Leave the lid on.  Walk away.  When the timer goes off add your yogurt starter & stir to incorperate it fully.  Unplug your crockpot.  Wrap and cover with a towell to retain heat.  This is called leaving it to culture.  Just let it be for 8-12 hours.  There you go- yogurt.  

But its so creamy good, yes I know.  But its not very thick… oh you mean like Greek yogurt.  For a more Greek style yogurt strain off some of the whey.  Whey is a protein filled watery yellow substance.  It can be used in many recipes to boost their nutritional value.  Yogurt will thicken some as it cools.  Enjoy. 

Homemade hamburger buns

We live on a beef cattle farm.  We eat a lot of burgers.  I want to try have good organic food for us as much as is reasonably possible, but our local grocery store doesn’t sell organic buns.  No problem.  I’ll make my own and I’ll make them fluffier and tastier and using organic ingredients… I can make better than store bought.


1 pkg. Active dry yeast (about 2 tablespoons)

3/4 cup warm tap water

1/3 cup organic olive oil

1/4 cup organic sugar (separate off 1 tablespoon of it)

1 farm fresh egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Approx 3 cups of organic flour

1.  In a tall glass dissolve yeast in warm water and add 1 tablespoon of your sugar.  Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to rise and bubble.


2.  Pour into a bowl.  Add the rest of your sugar.  Add olive oil, salt, and egg.  Stir to mix.  20170909_145810


3.  Mix in flour a 1/2 cup at a time until dough can form into a ball and isn’t sticky. (About 2-3 cups).





4.  Divide into 6 or 8 pieces. Shape pieces into dough balls and place on parchment paper on baking sheet atleast 2 inches apart.  Let rest and rise for 10 minutes.  20170909_150724

5.  Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes about 8 rolls.PhotoGrid_1505012168208