Monday, February 11, 2019

Using A Bottled Water Dispenser

My bottled water dispenser

When I first moved from my house in the country, I had someone bringing water in my canning jars. The city water here in Norwich, NY, does not taste or smell good. It has stuff added to it I am sure. So I knew I needed to have a source of good water. That was a lot of work for the person bringing it to me. He had to fill each jar and bring them to me, which took gas and not to mention the time. What changed my mind about it was seeing how heavy the jars of water were when you put a lot of them into a box and have to bring them to my apartment (even though I have an elevator). He never complained about it but I felt it was too much for him.

Canning jars for storing water

Then I was gifted with a bottled water dispenser. At first I did not want to use it. I was afraid of the quality of the water in the bottles. That it would not be as safe as the water being brought to me from my house. Then I remembered seeing specks of paint every now and then in the water (from my house). Even when I  still living there. The pitcher pump which is how we got water since the house does not have running water would drop chips of paint off. So now that I was free to choose........I decided to go with the bottled water dispenser after all. I am very glad I did!

Hot and cold dispensers and storage underneath

The one I have is made by Kenwell and is electric for hot and cold water. I do not use it plugged in. I only need it for the room temperature water. It has a dispenser handle for each. I find it very easy to use and fill a jar with water from it and then take it into my kitchen for whatever I need it for. I keep two bottles of water in the refrigerator for drinking if I want cold water. I keep a container of water for heating in an electric pot so it is always ready if I need hot water. Not difficult at all.

The bottles can be bought filled at any grocery store

My friend who bought it for me, put it in place and set a bottle of water bought from the store in it. I have it in my bathroom since my kitchen is very small and has no place to put something like this. I have two bottles and my friend refills them at his house from his spring water system. So I do not have to buy the water at the store. In the future, I could if needed. It is much easier to have the water like this than all those individual water jars. I will say I use a bottle a week or about that. I never really kept track. It is a good way to have water when living in a city and hooked up to the city water system.

It does not take up much room either

I am an affiliate of Amazon and others and will receive a small commission it you click any links to their site and make a purchase. It does not cost you any more money. It is the way I keep my site going. Read my Blogging Disclosure for more information.

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, February 08, 2019

Growing Greens and Herbs In My Apartment

Herbs growing in my apartment!

Growing salad greens and herbs in an apartment? In New York? In the coldest months of the winter? Well, yes. I am doing just that using the Mircle-Gro AeroGarden Harvest, an indoor hydroponics garden kit I bought online last year. I wanted to grow salad greens for Rabbit, my pet house rabbit. Moving from the country meant I had no way to forage under the snow for greens for him. I used to get him a lot of plants that were down underneath the snow and still alive. So looking for a solution on YouTube, I found a ton of videos on the indoor gardens. I was hopeful after watching them, as it is the one downside about moving here from my house, where I had a large garden.

Set up in a location away from my bedroom

The brand of indoor garden I bought, the AeroGarden has 6 pods, they come with 9 too but is more expensive. There are some that are real fancy with other options. This one was just a bit over a hundred bucks on Amazon and I did not want to go any higher than that. I figured if I want more plants, once I learned how to use this garden kit, I could get another one, but used on eBay. The pods are available on Amazon. They have a variety of seed pods such as herbs, salad greens, tomatoes and peppers, as well as flowers. The herb pods came with the kit. I wanted the salad greens instead, so I ordered them when I bought the kit. Now I just got around to planting the herb pods and they are doing really well.

Seed pods have sprouted!

The seed pods come with a plastic clear dome cover to use when you first plant them for each pod. As soon as the plant sprouts and is touching the top of the dome, take the dome off. They should take off growing! Mine grew very fast and are nice looking plants. If you wanted, you can start the plants this way and transplant into a garden. Since I am living in a city apartment with absolutely no yard, I have to keep them in place where they are. I did not want to have to move them from one place to another. The light though, is very bright and stays on for hours depending on what plants you have growing. It is programmed by the type of plant and the LCD panel will tell you when to add nutrients and other information. A bottle of nutrients comes with each kit and pod package.


The plants grow in water, not soil. You have to check every few days to see if it needs water added. Then pour it in up to the spot that says "add water to here." It uses advanced hydroponics and is really very simple. As I learn more about this method, I may buy just the pods and nutrients and use other seeds of my own choice. Read the reviews on Amazon and you will get ideas of what you can do with this indoor garden. 

20 Watt LED Lighting System

The 20 watt LED lighting system is programmed to allow plants to maximize  photosynthesis, which results in rapid, natural growth with abundant harvests. It does too. My salad green harvest was plentiful. I picked handfuls almost daily. Enough for Rabbit and my own dinner salad.  The LCD control panel tells you everything you need to do. Just pay attention to it and check your water level. The panel turns the lights on and off automatically. So you don't even have to worry about that either.

Genovese Basil leaves are a good size, smell good and are tasty!

I might get another one, which I would like to, but the light is so bright I have to cover it with a box at night. If you have a separate room to put it in that would be good. It is a useful night light....but a bright night light! I pick the herbs and then try to use them in whatever I am cooking or fresh in a salad. Rabbit is fussy about the herbs and picks at them. The salad greens he ate all of them with no problem. It is pretty nice to have fresh salad greens and herbs growing year round inside my apartment. I would recommend this particular indoor garden kit to anyone who wants to try growing a garden inside. Happy harvesting!

"Mmmmm, I approve!"

I am an affiliate of Amazon and others and will receive a small commission it you click any links to their site and make a purchase. It does not cost you any more money. It is the way I keep my site going. Read my Blogging Disclosure for more information.

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Surviving Dental Work

I wrote this blog two weeks ago, the day I came home from having my teeth extracted. I did not get back to it after that. I just want to say before you read it that I have been healing and now have not needed the pain medication as much. Maybe once a day in the evenings. I am looking forward to going back to the dentist for the dentures next week.

In 1977, my teeth were great.

Today I had a large number of teeth extracted. I am not sure exactly how many but more than a few. Right now I wanted to lay down while I wait for the numbness to wear off. Except that even if I am well propped up, I can feel the blood draining down my throat, so I am not going to lay down after all. Sitting here at my computer is more comfortable, if I can relax and go to sleep. The numbness has been wearing off a little bit at a time. I started feeling the pain. I have pain medication to take but until the numbness wears off I cannot swallow it. The water runs out the front of my mouth instead of me swallowing. So I have to wait. My boyfriend, Sonny, crushed up a number of the pain pills and put them in separate dishes for me to mix with water when I take them.

Winter weather

Normally going to a dentist would have made me a bundle of nerves. This morning though, our weather was freezing rain and slick roads. So I was concentrating on Sonny's driving to get us there. I guess it was God's way of keeping it out of my mind, thinking about the teeth being extracted. Riding with him anywhere is usually enjoyable since he listens to NASCAR radio all the time. That was also taking my mind off the appointment also.

My appointment was at ten and we were right on the dot. They took me in immediately and the dental technician (I am not aware of what her official title is) was friendly and bubbly and talking to me about her dogs and children. She made an impression of my upper and lower teeth. Soon the dentist came and he was friendly and told her what instruments he would need as he looked at my chart. He came back in a little bit and put my chair back and started giving me shots. I must have made a little moan when he did a couple of them, and he said he was sorry, with a lot of compassion in his voice.

Then he left again, as did the technician also. So I was in the room alone and I started praying for it to go quickly and as painlessly as possible. Soon they were back and I was completely numbed. He put my chair back down and went to work. I must say the actual extractions did not hurt nearly as bad as the shots had been. Once you get them done, the rest of the process is easier. He said we were all done and I managed to tell him that he was fast. Which he was. My appointment was at ten and Sonny and I was on the highway headed home and I looked at the clock and it was 10:47.


Now I am home waiting for the numbness and bleeding to stop so I can take one of those pain pills. I found I cannot swallow with my tongue numb. I still have a mouth full of gauze biting down to stop the bleeding. But I want to take a pain pill now! I figure all the discomfort I am in today is my own fault. Years of neglecting my teeth. In my younger years, I went to my dentist every 6 months and some years, I didn't even have a cavity. Eating the wrong foods, drinking soda instead of water and no dental visits contributed to this day. I can't blame anyone but me. I should have looked and found a way to take care of myself on my own. Which is what I am trying to do now. I have help and support from Sonny though and he takes good care of me.

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Pets Are The Best Companions


Almost everybody has a pet, some more than just one. When you take in a pet it appears like you are doing it for the pet, but no, it is actually for you. A pet adds so much to your home and your life. You are never alone. Even if you are going through something bad, like a death in the family or a divorce, or some other tragic event.....your pets will still need you to care for them. They keep you focused so you cannot let the dark hole of depression swallow you up.

Mickey and Carrots

When you are a child, having a pet is fun and it teaches children to care about someone other than themselves. If the pet is the family pet, then everyone shares in the care of it.......or that is how it should be. If it is one child's pet alone, than that child should care for it as much as possible with adult supervision, of course. When I was growing up things were so different from today. In my house our dog ate leftovers, no bought dog food. That was fine in those days and in our house, I was a "finicky" eater, so we had plenty of leftovers. My parents were not the kind that made you clean your plate.


After we moved to Florida in 1962, I was allowed to get my first cat. He was an orange kitten I named Tiny. My brother and I soon had an assortment of pets after that. Cats.........lots of cats, hamsters and a pet rabbit. Her name was Carrots, and my brother brought her home from school one day. I kind of forgot about Carrots until the day a white rabbit showed up in my barn many years later. I had a pet red hen who bonded closely with me and she was a pet that I enjoyed very much. Of course, everyone who reads my blog here, know about my horses and my beloved dog, Nikita Blackwolf, who passed away in 2013.


Getting a puppy taught me a lot more about dogs than I had ever known. I never had one of my own as an adult. Getting Nikita in the winter of 1998 when she was just 6 weeks old was a learning experience for me. She was with me more, because I was home with her and my husband was driving an over the road truck. He was only home on the week-ends, but she adored him right from the start. Boy, did this puppy test my patience! She needed a lot of attention at that time. I trained her quickly though and she turned out to be an extremely intelligent dog her whole life. Sometimes I wondered if she was training me instead!

Rabbit, my house bunny

One area I see that pets are essential is for people who live alone. A pet gives you someone to talk to and care for. I know for me, living alone, I have my pet rabbit to be responsible for. To feed him and clean his cage. Although he does not live in the cage, being a free roaming bunny. When I go anywhere, I am aware of not leaving him home alone too long. I like to keep my apartment clean and uncluttered for his safety. Other pet owners who live in my building have pets, mostly dogs and cats. The dog owners have to walk the dogs outside and that is good for them too, getting them outside for fresh air several times a day. Whatever pet you choose, they will give you more love than you could ever imagine and are well worth the work and time. Plus, if you are living alone, they truly become your companion.

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My DIY Disabled Kitchen Design

The high cupboards in my kitchen I cannot reach easily.

Even though I live in a senior housing apartment building and my apartment is handicapped accessible, my cupboards in the kitchen are too high for me. For anything in the upper cupboards above the bottom shelf, I have to stand on a stool or chair to get anything out or put away. Since that is not too smart for me to do anymore because I live alone, I decided to organize the items I use the most and put them in an easy reaching location for me. As much as I love the minimalist look of having cleared counters, I cannot do that here. I have been watching tons of YouTube videos on organizing kitchens and getting a lot of ideas. Nothing worked completely for me. I had to come up with my own design.

This cupboard is the only one wide enough for dinner plates, but way too high for me!

Cupboards that are high are not only difficult for someone in a wheelchair or someone short (like me!), but if you have difficulty reaching up above your head. For me that is very painful and one reach can affect me for the whole day. As you can see in the photo, I have kind of a mess in that particular cupboard because it is hard to put stuff away above my head. Most of those items I don't use that often. So if I need it, I can wait for someone to help me (my son or boyfriend) when they are here. 

Bowls in this basket

I love baskets and decided some on the counter would work for other items. I put my small bowls, like my bowls from Corning or Pyrex custard cups in this basket because I use them often. Here they are easy to get or put away. Even though on the corner rack, I have some bigger bowls, these are the ones I use most often. I think the baskets keep it looking neater and more organized. It is easier for me to do this since I live alone, but even if you are living with a spouse, this is still doable. Having a large family would make it harder due to not having enough room. But then, you would not be living in a studio apartment as I am!

My hand mixer and immersion blender are kept here.

This basket is a bigger and sturdier basket than the other one. Both of them, all of my baskets, in fact, came from the local thrift store. In this one I keep my electric hand mixer and the immersion hand blender. So much easier to have it right there when I can get it out without much fuss. I realized after watching a few YouTube videos on organizing a kitchen, that if some items are not in plain view, you might not use them as much. It is due to forgetting you even have them or thinking I can get by without using it since it is so much trouble to get out. Now I use the electric mixer more and it has the beaters right here with it. No searching for it in a drawer or cupboard. Which I did all the time!

Kitchen Corner Shelf Organizer

I tried using  baskets for the plates on the counter, but they rubbed against each other and I was afraid of breaking and chipping them trying to get one out. I wasn't sure what to do with them. I hate having them stacked up. I decided to see what Amazon might have in the kitchen organizing category. Amazon did not let me down! They had the perfect answer. This organizer is actually made to be in the cupboard, but it works this way too. Makes it so easy to grab a plate real quick and no more trying to reach up into a cupboard for it. This one is also made to stand on its side and the plates would be standing on their edges. I like it better this way for my counter. This little rack is my favorite thing! I love it!

As you can see in this photo, there is plenty of room on my counter for food preparation. I am always figuring how to make it easier and having less work is one of my top priorities. 

I am an affiliate of Amazon and others and will receive a small commission it you click any links to their site and make a purchase. It does not cost you any more money. It is the way I keep my sites going. Read my 
Blogging Disclosure for more information.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Best I Can Be At My Age

Not the most flattering picture, but my hair was long.

After I got myself all settled in to my new city life, I wanted to work on my appearance a bit. Since I am in my later sixties I am aware that I will never look like I did in my twenties, nor do I want to. What I want to do is to look and feel the best I can at the age I am now at. I had let my hair grow very long and it was really too long. Hard to prepare foods when your hair is in the way all the time. Not good for kitchen work at all. One of the reason I had stopped getting it cut at the hairdressers was because we did not have the money. I am serious. Our money was very scarce back then and we had no extras. Unless it was money to be spent on essentials, not luxuries.

After having my hair cut off!

So a few weeks ago, my boyfriend treated me to an appointment at Teasers, the hairdresser around the block from me. Sophie, my hairdresser took about 10 inches of hair off! Can you believe it? Yes, she had me donate it. So I am happy that I did not have to see my hair laying on the floor around my chair. I felt good about that because my hair was very healthy and shiny. I hope it is welcomed by whoever gets it. I had her cut it about shoulder length with bangs. Now it is easy to wash, dry and style. I love it! It is more stylish. Now I don't look so much like an old hippie from the 60's.

The entrance to the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY.

Soon I wanted to do more. So I was looking for a place to get my ears pierced. I had pierced ears for years and always wore earrings and other jewelry. Then I got into the homesteading lifestyle and it seemed senseless to do that. Rings would get in the way working in the garden or kitchen. Soon I was not wearing any at all. My holes in my ears had closed up and when we needed money I sold most of my good jewelry on eBay. I just have a few pieces left. Next thing I know, my boyfriend is taking me to the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY. My old stomping grounds! I spent an awful lot of time in that mall in the 80's. It was my favorite place to be in my previous life.

The Piercing Pagoda

We ended up at the Piercing Pagoda picking out a pair of amethyst studs. This is where I had my ears pierced originally long ago. I must say the woman who pierced my ears was very quick and I barely felt it. The piercing was free with the purchase of the earrings. I have to leave them in for a month before I can start wearing other earrings. I still have a few pairs of my earrings left which I did not sell on eBay. Now I am having fun looking at the jewelry on eBay! Uh oh!

Living in the state forest

People think I must have been living in a third world country to have gone without things that most take for granted. No, I was only 6 miles from the closest town. It was a matter of not having enough money for these things and every penny went for bills, hay, gas and what was left went for food. No extras. I was not in the position to go out and find a job. When I did, I had to spend money for gas to get to the place to apply, then go back for an interview and then it would be a dead end. Nobody would hire me for I could not walk very good and had to use a cane. I felt like that put up some sort of warning to them not to hire me. Because they probably thought my health was not good would mean lots of sick days. Though that has never been the case with me. I am rarely sick. My knees are bad and that is really the only thing that affects me. My walking ability without a walker or a cane is not good at all.

So here I am. Not living the homesteading life any longer. Less work. More fun. Time to enjoy doing things I like to do. Less worry. Much happier!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole