Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Order From Charge Back Scammer

Remember I recently wrote this post about the scoundrel who did a charge back on my website, String Baby? He accomplished the scam of stealing from my website in the US, all the way from the city of  Perak in Malaysia. His credit card company assists him in stealing from online sellers by doing charge backs. If this was not the case, he'd be in jail. Would he not? How can a credit card company such as Visa not see the trend in these buyers doing charge backs within a month or two of every online transaction they do?

American Express allows their customers to do charge backs for items they purchase and sellers are not allowed to challenge it. Nice perk from American Express! We no longer will accept a payment from American Express cardholders either.

Now being a blogger and networking world wide, I find this fact of international citizens doing crimes a real shame. I have met many bloggers from Malaysia on a site I belong to called Bloggers. I am disappointed to have to be on edge over these people. If it was up to me, I would not be selling to anyone in a foreign country so I could avoid this situation. 

"Attract Overseas Buyers
Going global? It's easier with our international selling guide."
From Paypal's front page today!

Paypal encourages you to accept international sales, then turns around and on the transaction page tells you that their seller's protection page will NOT protect YOU in case of a problem. Paypal tells you that it is the cost of doing business, meaning the charge backs are to be expected. If you are a buyer, well then you can do all the charge backs you desire. Hopefully, Paypal will be history for me soon!

Well this encik badrul placed another order yesterday! So it makes 3 orders he has placed. One is already in charge back status. One he has not done yet and now this new one. Paypal accepted this new order even though it should have been flagged in some way. I issued a refund this morning.

If you receive an order from this man, woman, child or whatever.........................

encik badrul
no 84, jalan bilis, taman lela 2b
taiping, 34600
perak, Malaysia

don't accept it!  Refund the payment immediately. Otherwise, Paypal will charge you a $20. fee for their time of processing this charge back, even though.............they are the ones accepting the payment. Time to look for alternatives.........

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering Our Veterans

Lucille and Robert Lupole 1942

Martial Duty

Just twenty-four years ago, my son,
I sent your daddy from me.
To fight for a cause, which all men said -
Which would make us free for Democracy.

You were only a baby, a bundle of love,
I remembered you pulled his hair.
Then he kissed us goodbye, and boarded the train,
To leave us waiting there.

Tho' I wanted to cry, I hugged you close,
And smiled as I waved your hand.
Yes- we waited son, but he never returned,
For he died in "no man's land."

Now, they have taken you away, my son,
And when you said goodbye to me,
I heard the same cry as long ago,
"To make us free for democracy."

But go, my son, and do your best,
For I know you'll return to me,
To take your place in a peaceful world,
As a man of men among the free.

Written by a soldier at Fort Hancock, NJ
February 1942

My Father, Michael Dran 1942

My Husband, Larry Lupole 1971

My Father-in-law, James Robert Lupole 1941

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Planting My 2012 Garden Today

I started my garden today. Planting it for the second time this year. In the spring I started it with cool weather plants and then we got freezing temperatures. I may have been able to save it if I had gone out and covered the beds up. I did not. I did find a row of peas growing among the weeds in one bed though! If you would like to read more and see more photos of what I did today, please check out my blog post, Gardening With Determination on my new Homesteading On The Internet website. Thanks! 

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asking For My Readers' Help Today

I belong to a community on The Blogfrog, called The Redhead Riter's Community. Our group there is pretty close knit, and we support each other if we can, in many different ways. Sometimes it is just making each other laugh, or offering of advice, or a shoulder to cry on. If I need advice or support, that is the first place I head. None of our members there are the kind that put you down for anything you post. Sometimes we may not agree with each other, but we state our opinion nicely, not in a hurtful manner.

When it was brought to my attention, that Joan, of A Bad Marriage Is Fattening, and Rich Beyond My Wildest Dreams, was posting some desperate conversations yesterday, I had to take a look at them today. I hadn't been there much over the last couple of days. I was working on updating my eCook books and never had a chance to go there. I read the posts about trying to get our members to place a vote for Wendy, who is the owner of children's hair salon called Cool Kidz Cuts. It is located in Chico, CA.

Now The Redhead Riter has sent out a plea to everyone, to please vote for Wendy! Her salon is going to be moving to another location within the next year. That is expensive. Can you imagine moving her salon supplies and equipment?  Not only is it expensive, but it a lot of  work too! She is in a contest to win a $250,000 business grant from Chase and LivingSocial. They will award twelve individual grants to small businesses.

Now why does Wendy deserve our votes? She has worked hard to support her family after her husband suffered a very severe work related accident. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to get through this time! Let's all rally behind Wendy and help her win this grant.

Here are the detailed directions on how to place your vote, One Person Can Make A Difference! Follow the directions there and vote for Wendy. All the information you need is on Red's blog post. Then share it on your Facebook page and Tweet it. Try to share and tweet it at least once a day. You can only vote once so get your friends to vote too. She had 66 votes this morning, when I voted.

We need 250 total! Come on!  Let's help Wendy win!! 

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Turn In The Road

I have been working hard these last few weeks on changing my blog over to its own URL. I will still post on this blog presently, but will give you a glimpse of the new one. The new blog will be more centered, so if you are looking for basic homesteading information, it will be found there. It is brand new, so bare with me while I build it and work the bugs out of it. If there are topics you would like me to write about, send me message on the contact me form or comment here. I am more than happy to research for you if it is not something I am doing. Learning together with my readers is my enjoyment!

So join me over at Homesteading On The Internet and see what you think. I am using WordPress software but hosting it myself. That gives me more control over it. We are going through some major changes around here right now. Until I know what direction to take, I thought this would be the best thing to do. For now. Thanks for sharing a part of my homesteading life! It has been quite a journey.

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buying Cheese In Bulk

Have you ever gone into a store and found a great deal on cheese? It makes me want to buy a grocery cart full of cheese! Many times the stores limit how many you can purchase at that price. I have a friend who goes back many times during the week to buy more. What a pain that would be for me! I love having cheese almost daily. Especially since it is an important part of my low carb food plan. I have found a way to afford buying cheese in bulk, and preserving it for the future.

A Goldmine! Dairy Products In Larger Sizes!

The store I do most of my shopping at, MaineSource in Binghamton, NY, is a restaurant supply store. It makes sense that buying in a store such as this, that not only do you get excellent quality food, but larger packaging and quantities. And prices! Talk about frugal buying, that is the place I do it. In fact, on your receipt it tells you how much less you would have paid, if you bought more. The dairy coolers in their store is a real treat! They sell all kinds of dairy products, and they are all available in larger sizes, as well as the regular size packages.

Larger Bags of Cheese

How do you store the cheese for the future, so you do not have to eat it all up quickly? Cheese can be frozen. I do not have a freezer, but if you do, it can be frozen quite easily. Some cheese does not freeze well, and the taste may be off a bit. It can be more crumbly then usual, but it is still usable. Using it in cooking shouldn't make much of  a difference.

My Canned Cheese

The way I store the cheese that I buy in bulk is to can it. Yes, I said, "can it." I know there is controversy on the safety issues of canning cheese or butter. But I do both. It is the only way I can keep it, because I don't have a refrigerator at this time. I have used Jackie Clay's method most of the time, because it is easier. Her  cookbook, Growing and Canning Your Own Food, probably has her recipe in it. For now though, this is the method I use, Canning Cheese. When I take it out of the jar to use, I use a grapefruit spoon to take chunks out. It can be used easily in all cooking, grilled cheese sandwiches and on cheeseburgers. Not the same as fresh. To use in a salad or for cheese and crackers, you would have to buy fresh for that. Cooking with the canned cheese was quite easy. Everything came out great for me!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spring Rain Turns Everything Green

The Backyard

I worried about not getting enough snow or rain earlier this year. Shouldn't have even thought about it. We are getting plenty of rain now (NY). The lawn is growing as fast as my husband mows it. I am not kidding! He is mowing it weekly with barely five days between each mowing. Our area is known for lots of rain, and the areas around us suffer from flooding almost every year. I hope that is not the case this year. Living in the state forest though means we do not get flooded. I am thankful for that.

The Drive-Way

It is a happy time for us, seeing the leaves come back on the trees. The seeds I put in the garden earlier this year did not do well. Our freezing temperatures must have got them, even though they were cold weather plants. The peas seem to be the only ones so far I see coming up. Maybe some of the others will come up but I am not counting on it. We normally plant our garden in late May and early June. It is just that this year, so far, I did not start my seeds like I usually do.

The Horses' Paddock

We have had some pressing issues here and that is my only excuse for not starting seeds early enough. If I get some time, I might start some seeds in the next few days and see what I get. Many times I have planted seeds directly in the garden and got a good harvest. So I am not too worried about it right now. I have plenty of seeds for this year's garden so I can start at anytime. Our lettuce is coming up already and with this rain, I am sure we will  be eating fresh salad in a matter of days.


Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Hazel and Michael Dran

In honor of Mother's Day today, I am putting up some photos of my wonderful mother, whom I miss every day of my life. She used to say to me that death is so final. So true! In my family many times Mother's Day would fall on my father's birthday too. So we'd have a double celebration. This year it is on the same day once again. It is my my father's 93 Birthday and he is still the most special man that I have ever known. It is the 9th Mother's Day without my mother.

Daddy and Mom

My parents were married for seven and a half years before they had children. My mother and father were pretty well set by the time the had my brother in 1950. They were in their second house which they paid cash for. We lived on State Road in Binghamton, NY, which is a rural area of Broome County. Later they moved to other homes and eventually to Florida and back. I used to wish they stayed put in one place. But I would have missed out on so many life experiences along the way!

Mickey and me

They loved each other so much and it was always apparent. I always remember them hugging and kissing in the kitchen after they got home from work and Mom was making supper. No matter what they always came first with each other. Even with us kids, they still came first with each other. My brother and I had a wonderful childhood, and we did so many things together as a family. I never saw them fight or argue in 60 years of marriage. I know some people will say that I just did not see it. But either of  my parents would have told you the same thing.

Our first house on State Road

Looking back, all I can say is that life was good. And I was very fortunate.

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Daddy!

Happy Mother's Day to My Wonderful Mother In Heaven And Who I Miss Daily!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Low Carb Foods Are Good

Eating a low carb diet is not that hard after you get the first three days under your belt. In the beginning you will probably eat more because you cannot eat snacks, sweets or those fillers like bread, potatoes and pasta. It doesn't matter though. "Eat until you are not hungry," is what Dr. Atkins always said. Now what diet ever told you to do that before? I remember those years of Weight Watchers, measuring out my low-fat foods. Starving after I finished a meal. Then going to my weekly meeting after sticking with it and starving all week to find I lost half a pound. I'd cry! My Weight Watcher leader would tell me I was a slow looser and did not have as much weight to lose as the bigger loosers. It was frustrating to me because I exercised a lot too.

Now known as Atkins '72

It wasn't until I discovered Dr. Atkins' books, that I found my answers. In 2009, I finally made peace with the losing weight riddle. Not only losing weight, but the health issues that made me miserable. Every time I have wandered off the low carb path, I KNOW, it is my fault and what I have done to deserve my misery. If I stick to it as my only way of eating, I will be fine.

Cheese is healthy!

What kind of food do I eat on a low carb plan? I know many people cannot imagine a life without bread. But that is exactly what I do. There are low carb breads you can purchase or make, but I find it easier to not eat it at all. I believe breads and related products are just fillers. My mother said my grandfather would push bread on everyone at their supper table, saying, "Come on, take more than one," as he pushed two or more slices on their plate. It filled everyone up at the table. Nobody left the table hungry. Probably all had a "carb bloat" after supper!

Bacon is not the bad food you think it is!

Some of my favorite foods are essential on the low carb eating plans. Foods like bacon, sausages, turkey, tuna, salmon, chicken, eggs, real butter, real cream, salad, full fat mayonnaise and salad dressings. I can make good tasty meals with them. No more snacking on worthless snacks. I can eat fresh vegetables and berries from my garden. If I am smart, I keep a bowl of tuna salad or some deviled eggs prepared in the fridge for those snack attacks. Pretty easy to stick to!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2018

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

Battery Powered LED Candles

It only takes a matter of time before new technology replaces old. In the old days, women spent hours making candles for lighting their homes. It wasn't always safe and many homes burned down due to a candle toppling over or a child playing with it. Making candles now is a hobby and they sell all types of kits and have classes to teach that old art. In my opinion though, as a "modern homesteading" woman, I like new technology. It gives me time to do other projects. Making candles isn't one of them. 

Battery operated lights is something I have recently learned about. Since I generate my own electric, I am always on the look-out for new ways of using lights in my house. These lights are actually candles that have LED lights in them. There is no flame to worry about. In my house I always worried about my playful cats going after a dancing flame and knocking a candle over. You don't have to worry about that with these flameless candles. I especially like the fact that they are operated by batteries and not an electric cord. That would spoil their effect, don't you think so? They can be put right into a plant or flower display and no worrying about catching on fire. What fun they will be at Christmas! 

Flameless candle with timer wavers like a real flame. It is fun to entertain with these candles. You can have a house full of them for a special effect.  And yes, they are like real candles. They look like a wax candle, are made with wax and smell of wax. I have a feeling that most people would never know they were not real candles with a real flame. The candles with timers can be programmed to turn on and off when you want. Have them on when you get home and turn off when you go to bed. What could be easier? A real candle cannot be compared to these! 

I know many people will scoff at these new type of candles, but it wasn't that long ago when people were the same way about cars, microwaves and electric teapots. Living the way I do, I like many things of old, but I am smart enough to welcome the new technology that makes my home easier to run and safer too. Having a supply of these candles for when your electric power source is out would be another great use for them. Keeping a stock of batteries so you don't run out would be a good idea and I intend to do just that. What do you think? Would you be willing to give these candles a try?  I know for me, I can't wait to try them! 

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
Unless otherwise noted as above

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Tree Is Art In A Forest

A natural stump in the forest

The forest is full of interesting shapes, forms and colors. Depending on what time of year it is, there is always something that gets my attention. If I was younger, I'd love to live in the middle of a bigger forest than the one I live in right now. More of a wilderness area than this forest. Our forest is pretty tame compared to others. Right now, it suits me perfectly.

The bark of the cherry trees become like this often

There are many kinds of trees and they are distinguished by their leaves, bark, fruits or nuts, and texture. The bark of the tree will adapt to the situation to help the tree survive. It isn't always typical of its characteristics to identify a certain tree. Insects live under the bark, feeding on it. Birds, like Chickadees, store their food under the bark of the trees. I watch them do this all the time. Wild animals chew on the bark and a tree has to repair itself, many times through out its life.

Another stump in the forest with an interesting look!

Trees die and the stumps waste away after a number of years. Some trees die and rot while still standing, still producing leaves in the spring. In a forest you will see a number of  stumps rotting away. Old trees have lived a long life usually, unless they are killed by a disease, a lightning strike or an animal chewing on them. Eventually they will fall and rot away. Forest life goes on.

Some kind of fungus on the bark of a tree

Fungi lack the chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize so they need to feed on something  that does. That is why you will see trees with it living on its bark. Fungi needs organic matter for its food. It grows right onto, or into the food source, even penetrating the leaves. Needing nourishment like animals and people do. Getting it from the trees. Mushrooms are the most common fungi that people recognize.

Woodpeckers love the old dead trees of the forest!

 The trees in the forest are works of art if you study them and spend time with them. In my previous life, I spent some years visiting art museums in big cities. To tell the truth, not one masterpiece compares to the art I find in the forest. Take a walk in a forest this year and see what I mean. Stop and observe the trees. Take a child with you and ask them what they see. They will teach you how to see the art in a tree. It is the real art of this world!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Modern Homesteading Is Our Future

Modern homesteading is not really like the old homesteading methods of doing things. Many people on homesteading forums or in the magazines will comment on the fact that you are on a computer so you can't be a homesteader. That is not true. In fact, you can do whatever you choose to do. No rules! Besides now is the best time to homestead using modern technology to make things easier than before. Using solar panels to live off-the-grid is modern technology. So is using a pitcher pump to bring water up your well. Maybe it is not the newest form of technology but it was in its day.

The best modern tool of all is the computer for modern homesteaders. Using it to a get help or learn how to do something. I cannot tell you how much the computer has helped us. My husband has used it to learn about the alternative energy system and how to set up various parts of the system. I use it for recipes, various methods of canning foods, how to best use our old fashion root cellar, etc. So much information out there! And then all the friends I have made online and the forums I belong to. I'd be lost without it!

The most important element in modern homesteading is to raise your own food in a garden. Anyone, anywhere can grow a garden. Even a small one will give you food. A couple raised beds in your yard, a few containers on the deck or porch and you are off to a good start. A barrel for potatoes would be a nice addition. Growing your own food will certainly help your food budget, and put you on the road to self-sufficiency!

Seeds aren't very expensive either. Buy a few packets of heirloom seeds and then you can save your seeds for next year's gardens. Save some every year. Trade with others. You can see how important this is to do if you start researching Monsanto. Then you will know this the way of the future and the future of your family. In this post, my friend, Annie, shows how to start your seeds. Take a look and get started. That is all it takes. One little step at a time. Instead of wishing you could do this, do whatever will take you toward that goal. Now go buy some heirloom survival seeds and plant them!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole