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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lights at the end of the hallway

Well, I'm back. More or less. By the gracious donation of a second hand computer from my best friend and sister, Bonnie, there is the steady glow of my LCD monitor once again! The data thought to be lost in the FRED disaster, can be recovered (at considerable expense).

So, here I sit. Staring at the dashboard and wondering where to start with an explanation of the lessons learned over the last month.

My morning sojourn through the vegetable patch has reminded me to write on the subject of food storage and general gardening. Both of which are skills necessary for survival. Even if it's just a simple matter of canning a few beets and growing some low maintenance staples like potatoes.

I will be posting my gardening adventures on my website www.summerberryorganics.com and other bits on looking after yourself by way of being green on my hippie site www.hippieways.com

For the prepping end of things, I tend to not have a lot of cash to experiment with new gadgets and gizmos. Yes, I have strategically located flashlights in the house, which are checked on a regular basis for battery power. With the exception of rechargeables for my digital camera I don't bother with a lot of rechargeable anything. I have a corded telephone, so no worries about depending on cell or voip in any sort of outage.

I have a small LED lantern that hangs on a chain on the patio that could be brought inside to work with. But in a "down" situation where I'd be cooking on the BBQ, it's fine where it is.

For lights inside...I like to do things the old fashioned way. Candles.

Yep. Candles. Man survived many moons and Canadian winters by simple candle light. Now before you hi-thee off to the corner dollar store, take a moment and reflect...DON'T BUY CHEAP CANDLES. The dime store candles are made of poor quality ingredients and frequently use leaded wicks. Both of these are detrimental to your health. If you are going to be indoors with open fire for any length of time the last thing you want is to be choked out by fumes and soot.

Do a little research into candles and you'll find there are a fairly wide range to choose from. Not all are created equal. Following are listed in order of personal preference...

BEESWAX: Beeswax is a special material, something man is incapable of replicating. It is somewhat brittle at low temperatures, and soft and malleable at warmer temperatures. It starts to become soft around 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit; its melting point is between 143 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beeswax is a very stable material. Researchers and archaeologists have discovered beeswax thousands of years old (in pyramids for example) and pointed out very little deterioration. Beeswax is insoluble in water, in fact it's been brought up from ship wrecks after years under salt water and is still in good condition. The best in clean burning waxes.

SOY: Soy candles are made from soy wax, which is hydrogenated soybean oil. Soy wax is often mixed with fragrances to produces scented soy candles. They are available in supermarkets and specialized stores and can also be bought online. Soy releases very little C02 into the air, and is clean burning. It also has a lower melting point (about 120 degrees) than beeswax and therefore the candles tend to burn a little faster. Soy candles hold their shape well and are very easy to clean up after since like beeswax, they tend to evaporate rather than melt over themselves and leave wax everywhere.

PARAFFIN: Paraffin is a petroleum based product. It tends to burn hotter and faster than beeswax or soy. Paraffin candles have a higher melting point (145 - 150 degrees) than soy and vegetable candles. Not only can this make the candles more dangerous, the candle will burn faster because of the larger flame needed.

Paraffin also tends to lose its shape, especially in pillar candles. It has a tendency to mushroom over and lose its shape as it burns down. Soy and vegetable wax pillars hold their shape and burn a relatively straight cylinder down the candle.

The type of wicks in the candles is equally important. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Candle wicks should be cotton and NOT treated with lead. This is quite common in cheap candles (since it slows the burn time) but it is VERY unhealthy.

My suggestion is to find yourself a good health food store and talk with the manager. MUCH of the time, if you are looking to stock up on beeswax or soy candles they will cut you a very good deal on small case lots.

The sizes of candles are somewhat irrelevant. Tealights (the little round ones) of good quality will generally burn 4 - 6 hours. Votives (the little stubby round ones) will usually go about the same, or an hour or so longer. Pillars (taller, heavier, round) will generally last for about 8 - 10 hours.

Candles don't require any really special storage conditions (dry, clean, accessible) and the batteries don't go dead. They generate light, and are portable. Since they are an open flame, they also generate heat.

My partner, Pat, has always teased me about my tightwad ways. I light candles rather than turn on the furnace. It's effective usually until about the end of October or mid-November sometimes even later in the year.

I have found that 12 tealights and 2 pillars once lit will nicely warm a 12 x 24 room in a little less than an hour. Smaller spaces take less time. For the apartment dwellers in our readership, you could effectively stay warm for 4 - 6 hours with only a dozen or so candles.

Candle light serves a two fold mission. Heat and light. They are both practical and comforting.

Beexwax and vegetable waxes are both renewable resources. Candles are also relatively simple to make (I will save that for future experiments).

These suggestions are based solely on the premise that you will NOT have to grab your bug out and go. Candles wouldn't exactly be a lightweight alternative!

And as with anything of the elemental variety - respect it. Observe all precautions! If you can afford it - get hurricane covers for your taller candles, and always keep tea lights well up from the floor on solid shelves and holders.

What did you learn to do today?

PS: Don't forget to keep a stash of lighters!

Cholera Easy preparation for cure

Germ known as Vibrio Cholerae
Cholera is caused by a germ known as vibrio cholerae. This germ produces a powerful poison or endotoxin. The disease is spread by flies and water contaminated by the germs.

Home Remedies for Cholera
Cholera home remedies and natural cures, Questions and answers

Cholera treatment using Lemon
The foremost among the many home remedies for cholera is the use of lemon. The juice of this fruit can kill cholera bacilli within a very short time. It is also a very effective and reliable preventive against cholera during an epidemic. It can be taken in the form of a sweetened or salted beverage for this purpose. Taking of lemon with food as a daily routine can also prevent cholera.

Cholera treatment using Guava Root Bark
The root bark of guava is rich in tannins and it can be successfully employed as a concentrated decoction in cholera. It arrests vomiting and symptoms of diarrhoea. About thirty grams of the root bark should be used in half a litre of water to make the decoction. The water should be boiled down to reduce it by one-third. This decoction can be taken twice daily.

Cholera treatment using Onion
Onions are another valuable remedy for cholera. About thirty grams of this vegetable and seven black peppers should be pounded finely in a pestle and given to the patient in two or three doses during the day. Onions allay thirst and restlessness and the patient feels better.

Cholera treatment using Bitter Gourd
The fresh juice of bitter gourd is an effective medicine in the early stages of cholera. Two teaspoons of this juice, mixed with an equal quantity of white onion juice and a teaspoon of lime juice, should be given twice daily in the treatment of this condition.

Cholera treatment using Drumstick Leaves
The leaves of the drumstick tree are also useful in this disease. A teaspoon of fresh leaf juice, mixed with one teaspoon of honey and a glass of tender coconut water, can be given two or three limes a day as a herbal medicine in the treatment of cholera.

Cholera treatment using Cucumber
A glass of fresh juice of cucumber leaves with an equal quantity of tender coconut water, given in doses of 30-60 ml, forms a valuable remedy for excessive thirst during cholera. It acts excellently by restoring the acid-base balance in dehydration.

Cholera treatment using Nutmeg
The herb nutmeg is a valuable remedy for dehydration caused by cholera. An infusion made by steeping half a nutmeg in half a litre of water should be given along with half a litre of tender coconut water in doses of 15 ml at a time in treating this condition.

Cholera treatment using Clove
Cloves are useful in cholera. About four grams of this spice should be boiled in three litres of water until half of the water has evaporated. The decoction thus prepared should be given to the patient several times during the day. This will reduce the severe symptoms.

Cholera treatment using Rough Chaff
The powdered root of rough chaff, botanically known as Achyranthes aspera, is also helpful in cholera. About six grams of the powder should be thoroughly mixed with half a cup of water and given to the patient once daily.

Cholera diet
Cholera : Home Remedies suggested by users
Avoid solid food and uncooked vegetables
The patient should not be given solid food till he has fully recovered from cholera.All uncooked vegetables should be avoided.

Give liquid bland foods, lemon, onions and mint
Liquid bland foods will be easily digested by the patient. Lemon, onions, vinegar, and mint should be included in the daily diet during an epidemic of cholera.

Other Cholera treatments
Purification of water supply
Cholera can be controlled only by rigid purification of water supply and proper disposal of human excreta. In case there is a slightest doubt about contamination of water, it must be boiled before use for drinking and cooking purposes.

Vegetables and fruits must be washed with solution of potassium permanganate
All foodstuffs must be kept covered, and vegetables and fruits washed with a solution of potassium permanganate before consumption. Those handling food should wash their hands well before starting to cook.