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I'm happy to post that after a long haul, the swine flu symptoms are on the decline around my house. Another happy dance that I'm willing to do is in celebration of the fact that for some odd reason that I'm the only one in the family that got sick.

One of the comments that I got was from a visitor who asked me how I knew that I had the swine flu and not your garden variety seasonal flu virus. The answer to that question is that I do not know for certain because as bad as I felt, I never felt the need to visit the emergency room or for that matter to even contact our doctor for antiviral medications. The reasons that I suspected H1N1 was because I had gotten my regular flu shot weeks earlier.

If I had gotten sick a few weeks earlier, the first thing I would have done would have been to call my doctor to get a prescription for tamiflu. But do you remember my post on how to remove a tick last month? Well, while talking to a medical professional about that I squeezed in some questions about whether or not to get the swine flu vaccine should it become available AND I did my best to talk him into prescribing Tamiflu ahead of the game which failed. He said that unless the seasonal or swine flu symptoms became severe that he would not use the antivirals.
He seemed knowledgeable on the subject so I weathered it out. I ran fever for several consecutive days but here I am now none the worse for wear.

Dear hubby on the other hand has had it tough with the MRSA but I'll be back later with the latest information on that and thanks to all of you that are praying for his recovery.



I’m here to tell you that the swine flu and MRSA infections are a painful match. My family is exhausted and while I feel that every day brings me a little relief from the symptoms, there are moments when I feel that I’m about to relapse...big time.

Of all times for the only adult male in the house to have a full blown MRSA episode this is not a great time and perhaps one of the worst. To give you some background that illness has kept me from sharing, the man of the house has had a little accident that has left him with some cuts and scrapes which at first seemed to be no big deal.

Moms who have been with me for awhile know that my baby (who has asthma and food allergies) got MRSA during a hospital stay. Well, a few days after daddy’s minor accident it is now clear that those abscesses, that we are all too familiar with, are starting to pop up in practically every place that he was scratched. One of them in particular is very painful and nasty, so I see rounds of antibiotics for our family in the future as a preventative measure.

Meanwhile, I’m on about day 5 of the swine flu and weak as a kitten with a houseful of kids and a sick man with a staph infection. The universe is being terribly unfair to dish out a case of the swine flu and MRSA in one single dose. More later, I’m off to scrape up some recipes made from as many anti-viral foods as I can find in the cabinets.



I just got off the phone with a mom who asked me, "Do you think there is too much violence on TV?" Would you like to know what my knee jerk reaction to this question was? Well, since you asked so nicely I will tell you that I almost replied that there was nothing BUT violence on television.

The only reason that I bit my tongue and tempered my remarks was that I realized that I would be wrong because there is some excellent kids' programming available. Sure, some of it is terrible and sets a very poor example for children. And the fact that "Reading Rainbows" has been cancelled hacked me off to no end. But there are a few shows that I let the kids watch.

It's when I go searching for something for my husband and me to watch after the kids go to bed that I can give a definite affirmative answer to the question "Do you think there is too much violence on TV?" Because where adult programming is concerned you have a choice of goofy sitcoms, crime shows, talk shows or reality (oh please) television. Oh yes, and my husband's favorite, sports which I place in the "violent" category much to his dismay.

I have come to the conclusion that if you want to watch something uplifting to clear your head before bedtime, you are just out of luck! Murder, mangled bodies and mayhem do not a bedtime story make.

Every mom I talk to has the same complaint so why is this stuff still being crammed down our throats? I want to know what demographic likes to go to bed with visions of corpses dancing in their heads?

Return to Family Recipes, Babies and Parenting Issues to see what kind of answers I get to the question.




I would rather use pumpkin that I process myself but I have kept a pumpkin bread recipe with canned pumpkin handy for those times when I need to whip up a batch and don't have any pumpkins around.

3 cups of sifted plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or allspice
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 cup Crisco or 2 sticks of margarine
1 tsp of baking soda
2 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
(1) 1 pound can of pumpkin

Line two small coffee cans with waxed paper without poking holes in the paper or leaving seams where your bread batter can leak through.

Sift the flower, salt, baking power, baking soda and spices together.

Cream Crisco or your softened sticks of margarine gradually adding sugar as you cream till fluffy.

Add one egg at a time to sugar mixture beating well after each.

Stir in vanilla flavoring.

Add dry ingredients to the creamed sugar mixture alternately with dollops of canned pumpkin beating after each addition.

Stir in chopped nuts. You can use pecans or walnuts in your pumpkin bread recipe but I can't have either because of baby's allergy to tree nuts.

Pour equal amounts into each wax paper lined coffee can or a wax paper lined bundt cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.

I might catch some flack from my visitors for posting this recipe for several reasons, like the fact that my bread has LOTS of calories, using canned pumpkin instead of fresh and for saying that I use a coffee can as a cake pan. I will address these issues in order:

  1. I already explained why this easy bread recipe calls for canned pumpkin. It's handy and a timesaver and I believe the vitamin benefits are the same as fresh but don't quote me on that.

  2. This bread is not low calorie and I'm not trying to pass it off as such. It's a guilty pleasure that should be limited unless you want to move up to the next clothing size.

  3. My mom always made her pumpkin bread recipe with canned pumpkin baked in two small coffee cans that had been greased and lined with wax paper. It was fun and I don't believe it presents any possible health problems.



I’m all for recycling baby stuff not only to keep the landfills from spilling over but to save money. Not willing to be penny rich and pound poor or spend a dime to save a nickel or vice versa, I bought quality baby clothes and shoes for my first daughter in gender neutral (well most of the time) styles.

Knowing that there would be more little ones coming down the pike (odd name for a vagina, right?) and that I could reap huge financial benefits by using these items to dress, feed and entertain more than one newborn. Some of my efforts were more rewarding than others, but for the most part I was very successful in saving lots of money especially on items necessary for baby’s first year in the nursery.

Here are some ideas for recycling baby stuff that worked best for me. Of course the amount of your savings may vary depending on the sex of your babies and how far apart they were born.

1.Save those gowns and footed sleepers. You can never have too many to change into after a spit up or a diaper failure. Stains don’t matter and the cotton fabric gets softer and more comfortable with each trip through the laundry.

2.My girls’ used crib shoes and socks still look brand new even after being worn by three babies. If you know how much soft soled leather baby shoes cost you know that this is a very good example of saving money by recycling baby stuff. One caution that I would add is to be sure that you store them in a dry place between births as I lost a couple of pairs to mold (or was it mildew) when I put them in a cardboard box on the floor of the closet.

3.Strollers and baby beds are expensive and big money savers so long as you keep up with recalls. I actually came out alright by selling mine and buying newer models used for my second and third baby when storage space at my house was scarce. I didn’t feel guilty because by buying used, I was still recycling baby stuff and keeping it out of the junkyard.

1.Stained outfits were a real downer for me (other than sleepwear). I had more fun shopping yard sales for used baby clothes that were in good shape and friends gave me some free baby stuff that had never been used at all that they had lying around that was too good to throw away but that didn't fit their child.

2.My nursery decorations for each girl were not expensive, but I wanted fresh, new bedding and decorative items rather than crumpled stuff out of a trunk.

3.Check the date on your infant car seats as most car seats are considered unusable six years past the date of manufacture. Once again, keep updated on car seat safety recalls.

Those are just a few tips on recycling baby stuff and if you have some frugal and earth friendly ideas of your own to share please leave them in the comments section on Family Recipes, Babies and Parenting Issues so that we all can do our part in improving our environment.