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Chicken Farmers Beware, Barbie’s Body, EMF Questions and More in Today’s Monday Morning Mix-Up 7/15/2013

What an absolutely beautiful Michigan weekend we had! We were at the lake with family and had a great weekend off, especially after I worked a long 16 hour day on Friday. Read all about my trip to the Baker’s hearing and also, if you want to fall off your chair in shock, read my conversation with Randy, a chicken farmer, in the comments at that post (same link as the post about the hearing). And I see that the Bakers have put up their blog post on the hearing which you can find here.FB-pong

  • Is anyone else getting more and more concerned about EMFs and cell phone issues and cordless phone dangers, etc.? It’s so hard to worry about everything. If you know of one good article where I could read up on the latest and get some concise advice, would you share it in the comments? So far, the only thing I’ve done is get my Pong iPhone case and we use Earthing Mats. What kinds of changes have you made? HELP!
    water bottles
  • Anyone have dandruff issues? If so, you may want to read over the comments at this Facebook post.
  • Have you seen this post from a while back? How to make big batches to save time!
  • Speaking of worrying about everything, we’re still slowly but surely phasing out plastic stuff around here (although anything with BPA is long gone) – I’m thinking of getting some of these water bottles. (Free shipping on orders over $25.) Some on Facebook said they had one break, but many more people said that even when dropped over and over, on cement, they did not break. Have any of you try these before?
  • This picture went nuts on Facebook, ha! (source)


  • But THIS is the image I liked – Barbie with NORMAL proportions. (source) What do you think? Some said she reminded them of Skipper, this cracked me up, do you remember Skipper?!


Jenny's mint-ice-cream-1-of-2FB-Brandon 300

  • Watch this interesting video about a small struggling business and see if you might be moved to help Brandon, a Meatsmith who is trying to survive but is being buried under all sorts of paperwork and bureaucratic mumbo jumbo.
  • Do you want to hear a neat story about forgiveness and healing? Listen to this interview with Maya Angelou. (Thank you to my friend, Maureen, for sharing it!)
  • One more Facebook conversation for those of you with pets – this reader’s dog had MS-like symptoms
  • RealFoodWednesdaysI’ll see you here later this week for Real Food Wednesday! (Did you know that participating is a great way to get more traffic to your blog OR to learn more about Real Food and get some great new recipes, too?!)


  1. I love the LifeFactory water bottles. We have a number of them and one of the glass sippy cups for our son. I buy them as gifts for people, they’re awesome. Out of the 7 that I’ve purchased one did break but I believe that was because it hit the corner of a solid wood desk right in the middle of one of the hexagon cut outs. Even then it didn’t shatter, the bottle simply cracked within that one hexagon. The only reason I even knew it had cracked is because it started leaking water. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t have noticed. I had that particular bottle for over a year before it broke. They’re very durable, we drop them on the cement constantly and I have a one year old that likes to throw them. You should definitely get one.

  2. Kelly – No feedback on that particular bottle, but I’ve been a huge fan of CamelBak bottles for years. They were one of the very first to make a BPA- and pthalate-free bottles, and they now offer a .75 liter glass bottle with an outer liner that cushions it from bumps and dings. My kids will be the first to tell you I’m the world’s biggest klutz, and my glass CamelBak has sustained MANY a drop onto cement, asphalt, and tile floors, as well as many slams against our solid-surface countertops, and it’s still going strong! (Also, as a total klutz, I like that they offer the straw/sip valve, because with tip-and-sip bottles, I generally end up soaking wet.) Just a thought. My next investment is going to be their insulated Stainless Steel bottle for my icy-cold drinks in the summertime!

  3. Wow. Timely conversation re emfs. I’ve known for a while I am sensitive to wireless routers so we would turn ours off at night. I always know in the morning if we have forgotten as I wake up with a headache.

    Recently we have moved and things have moved to a whole new level for me. I now have to contend with several neighbors’ wireless routers and a smart meter right outside our bedroom! It took a week in the new place for things to get really bad. I woke up feeling like someone had wrapped my brain in something really tight. My head was throbbing and I felt like my brain was inflamed, actually swollen…. That’s when I realized not only had we left our router on but that we had the neighbour’s router signal full strength in our bedroom. Waah!

    We have tried several things – covering the wall in tinfoil, moving the bed within the room, grounding mat. This didn’t work so for now we are sleeping in the lounge. Things are slightly better but I still have headaches, aches and pains, insomnia and utter exhaustion. Today we have covered the smart meter in aluminium foil and moved the bed even further away from where the smart meter is.

    Next steps include ordering a shielding canopy & full grounding mat for the bed (eye wateringly expensive), grounding the foil around the smart meter. Arranging for an emf specialist to come to assess our house and discuss what else else can do. Talk to the electricity company about replacing the smart meter with the old kind. If these next steps don’t work I am not sure what we will do… Moving is no guarantee of improvement as how do you know you won’t get a new neighbour with more wireless etc….

    Would love to hear how other people deal with these types of sensitivities…

    • Check out “orgonite” — it neutralizes EMFs. You can make your own or purchase it online. Google it to find out more information. A customer of mine made me a whole batch and gifted it to me, which was awesome. I have these gorgeous pieces of orgonite in my bedroom, my office, even my kitchen! Near anything that has electricity in my house.

      I also have a grounding mat that I use under my desk in my office (I work from home) and an earthing sheet in my bedroom to sleep on.

      Good luck.

      • Thanks Rebecca, I’ll do that! I had heard about orgonite in my readings, but not done anything about it.

        By the way. Had the best night’s sleep last night after having wrapped the smart meter in tinfoil. HUGE RELIEF – I actually feel joyous because I feel normal again… Amazing – I have to say though, this may not work for others, as in our situation the smart meter is on a house adjoined to ours that faces us (as we are 3 units joined together (so 3 smart meters all together :(). I have read that if the smart meter is attached to your house and you cover it, it can make the pulses (or what ever you want to call it) more intense in your house… so use this technique with caution. Other people put lead lining inside their house (at the site of the smart meter) to protect from the smart meter, or even use aluminum pans (smart meter was outside kitchen – I read this in a smart meter post by Sarah The Healthy Home Economist).

        Anyway…. If this makes such a huge difference for me, cannot wait to see how the canopy helps!

  4. I purchased my first lifefactory bottle at Whole Foods about 4yrs ago and now have 3. I use to carry a mason jar around and this is a lot safer and have dropped with no breakage so far. I like the wide mouths better as can clean out green juice left overs with a bottle brush. It is harder to drink from the wide mouth, but I think Lifefactory is or has come out with a drinking spout. I had not heard or seen the Camelbek bottles here in Va. Looks like the $ are about the same, but seeing the site more glass is showing.
    I am so glad to hear Maddie about your experiences with the complications and wireless stuff. When I stay at my mother-in-laws I can never sleep and it has been going on for years now. My husband has a masters in computer science and I had asked him about all the wireless in our home, and the anxious feelings and not sleeping and he said it was my age. I will have to check into this and also have him read your comments. I even gave up using the mirco 5yrs ago, but he still uses. Hope your health and well-being will improve.

    • Thanks Leonora, I have to say it helped me immensely to read about others’ experiences on the internet to know that I was not going insane!

      I haven’t read this yet, but here is a book (pdf) of experiences of people with electro-sensitivy: It’s from Sweden. Can you believe over there electro-sensitivity is not only recognised it is classed as a disability and I think that you can get financial funding form the government to protect yourself and your home – soo cool.

      p.s. I have a degree in computing systems and work in the Telco industry… The times I have mentioned this at work I get sideways glances and comments about it being psychosomatic….

  5. I love the Barbie with normal proportions. I do Crossfit and that is what a lot of the women look like (only with a little more muscle definition). The other Barbie looks like all the women who have plastic surgery and bust enhancements, yuk!

  6. Regarding the chicken farmer, I read his story from another link on your latest Bakers Green Acres update, I think. I’m not totally in sympathy with him, though I raise chickens myself and am an advocate of urban homesteading. The number one rule for success in raising chickens in an urban or suburban setting is not pissing off the neighbors, especially if there are local ordinances against keeping chickens. (Disclaimer: I’m in a rural setting, but houses are still fairly close to one another in our neighborhood because of how the properties are laid out. And my neighbors either have their own chickens or don’t mind the sounds.)

    And the *way* you keep chickens makes a great difference. They can be smelly, if you don’t manage the manure situation. (I prefer the deep litter method and lots of ventilation, because that’s the healthiest for chickens, takes the least work and doesn’t smell, but that’s just me. Some people clean the whole coop out and replace the litter weekly. I guess if you don’t have anything else to do, go for it.)

    Chickens can be noisy, even without a rooster. Depends on the breed and the individuals, and whether they have sufficient room. The noise doesn’t bother me, but I wouldn’t want to subject an urban or suburban neighbor to things they had no reason to expect they’d have to put up with. The urban homesteading movement is still nascent, and not everyone is on the bandwagon. We’ll get further if we don’t ignore the needs of neighbors.

    • Well-said, as always, Jeanmarie. I was probably skimming too much and missed some of those important details in that story!


    • I read more too and I definitely got the impression that he is purposely being run out of town. I keep about 35 chickens on a suburban acre. They do make noise but not as much as the neighborhood dogs, kids, motorcycles. Eight hens is not a lot of noise. In one report, the person who wrote the ticket could not see, smell or hear the hens. We all make noise and smells and part of being a good neighbor is not ordering people to use their property according to your own standards. If he feels he has a legal basis, I am glad he is standing up for his rights. Any of us can have our gardens and livestock taken by the government and we need to stand up for the right to provide for ourselves. This is no different than the neighborhood bullying of people who grow food in their front lawns in the “wrong” neighborhood.
      This reminds me of a family who has a vegetarian neighbor. They asked them to stop grilling meat because they found the smell offensive. Um, no!

  7. You can shield your meter by the following cheap fix:

    For $10, everyone can shield their smart meter. Get a one gallon paint can, clean it up or buy an unused one at home depot. Sometimes they will give you one. Also buy a small role of aluminum screening and also buy two 7 inch hose clamps. Cut the bottom out of the paint can and place it over the meter. Use one of the hose clamps to secure it to the smart meter. The can is a little larger than the meter. The can will bulge a bit when secured tightly. Then cut a piece of the aluminum screening that will fit over the end of the can facing away from the wall it is mounted on. Use the other hose clamp to secure the screen material. Trim as necessary. Take the remaining screening material and mount it behind the meter on the back side of the wall the meter is attached to. This prevents the emf from the meter radiating back through the wall as the meter is omnidirectional. The meter can still transmit your electrical usage to the power company. For people with the meter mounted on a pole or elsewhere, get the aluminum screening and drape the screen over the meter and all around the back side of the pole.
    You are now shielded 95%. I don’t have an emf meter, but the youtube videos I have seen do things similar to this and they block the radiation quite well.
    I have now grounded my paint can by using an old piece of extension cord. I just inserted a bare end under one of the hose clamps and then down to a grounding strap that was placed there by the telephone company to ground their equipment. You can always use a short piece of ½ in copper pipe and pound it into the ground and attach your grounding wire to it. Or bury a piece of solid core copper wire and attach your grounding wire. Works for me.
    I am also in the process of acquiring crystals, liquid resin, metal waste from a machine shop, muffin pans to make my own orgonite.

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