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Monday, January 19, 2015

how to remove wall paper

Summary: Mix equal parts boiling water and vinegar. Spray wall. Wait 5-10 minutes. Remove wall paper with putty knife. This person first removed what she could without the solution. Link:

A critique: Unless you are removing paper in a tiny room, I would recommend using a power steamer - which you should be able to rent at your local Lowe's, Home Depot, or equivalent for somewhere around $30/day, or buy one for not very much more.
DO use the water+vinegar mixture in the power steamer. That is key. The vinegar does make it a LOT easier - but even a cheap power steamer is going to be a lot easier than boiling water in a kettle and using a plastic spray bottle. From
Frugal Living recommends 15 minute wait times. 
Excellent, detailed article: And oh. Says "up to 15 minutes" on the sitting. Warns of leaving liquid on drywall for too long.
A final perspective that clarifies some things:
A much more detailed article that I honestly didn't finish reading:

Now on to fabric softner methods. HGTV teaches one how:

Lifehacker keeps it simple: Just mix equal parts warm water and fabric softener in a spray bottle. Spray the wallpaper in sections, wait a minute or so, and peel off.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Who knew that bacon has (or may have) gluten? The things I learn! I wonder how much what I didn't know extended the time it took for my body to get rid of gluten in the past. I'm on day 6  today and definitely not without a grumbly tummy or pain. How much gluten is slipping into my life without my knowledge?
 - Getty Images/Jeffrey Coolidge
Which bacon brands are gluten-free?.  Getty Images/Jeffrey Coolidge
Updated December 04, 2014.
The vast majority of bacon products don't include any gluten ingredients (bacon generally is made from just pork belly, salt, sugar, nitrates/nitrites, spices and possibly smoke flavoring). However, that doesn't mean your bacon is truly gluten-free — you need to check it for potential gluten cross-contamination.
As it turns out, a few bacon manufacturers guarantee the gluten-free status of their bacon, while many others simply say their bacon products include no gluten ingredients, but may be processed in a shared facility or on shared equipment.
Depending on how sensitive to trace gluten you are, this may (or may not) make a real difference to you, and whether you can eat that bacon without reacting.
• Learn more: How Much Trace Gluten Is In Your Food?
One more point on bacon before I get to the list: some manufacturers of liquid smoke flavor actually use barley malt powder to make their products (barley, as we know, is a gluten grain). If your bacon maker can't guarantee the liquid smoke in the bacon is gluten-free, definitely choose a different product (many of the brands below use real smoke, not smoke flavor, to make their bacon).
Here's my comprehensive list of bacon manufacturers in the United States, along with the answers they provided to my questions about gluten-free bacon, cross-contamination risks and shared facilities/equipment:
  • Applegate Farms. Applegate makes Canadian bacon, natural "Sunday" bacon (the regular crumbly variety that comes to mind when I think "bacon"), plus natural turkey bacon. Most of Applegate's products are gluten-free, according to this list, including all bacon products.

  • Armour. Armour, a division of the John Morrell Food Group, makes raw bacon, pre-cooked bacon and pre-cooked bacon bits. According to a spokesperson, any John Morrell brand will disclose wheat ingredients on the product's label. Armour doesn't use barley, rye or oats in anything it makes. Bacon (and other no-gluten-ingredient foods) may be manufactured on shared lines, but the company follows strict protocols to avoid cross-contamination.

  • Beeler's. Beeler's, a sustainable company that raises its pigs without antibiotics or growth hormones and with ample access to sunshine and socialization, makes several different types of bacon: Original, Pepper, Garlic Pepper and Apple Cinnamon. Company spokesperson Julie Beeler reports that everything Beeler's produces is gluten-free and is made in a gluten-free facility.

  • Boar's Head. Premium deli meat manufacturer Boar's Head specifically labels many of its products gluten-free, including its bacon. (In fact, "all of our meats, cheeses and condiments are gluten-free," according to the company.) Boar's Head's gluten-free list can be found here.

  • Bob Evans. You might think of Bob Evans as a restaurant, but it also makes a long list of products for sale at the supermarket. The company maintains a list of "potentially acceptable retail products" for people with celiac disease, and that list includes bacon and Canadian bacon. Although I asked, the company did not provide information on whether its bacon is produced on the same equipment as gluten-containing products..
  • Broadbent Hams. Kentucky-based Broadbent's makes five different kinds of bacon, including one that's nitrite-free. However, Broadbent's doesn't make any gluten-free claims, and several of the products it manufactures contain gluten ingredients.
  • .
  • Butterball. Butterball is known for its turkey, of course, and the company's bacon product is actually turkey bacon. According to Butterball's Frequently Asked Questions page, only two Butterball products (Italian-style meatballs and frozen stuffed turkey) contain gluten.

  • Dakin Farm. Vermont-based specialty food company Dakin Farm makes several really interesting kinds of bacon, including cobb-smoked turkey bacon. Unfortunately, though, the company does not currently have a list of gluten-free products.

  • Dietz & Watson. This maker of deli meats, sausages and artisan cheeses is certified gluten-free by the Celiac Sprue Association, which requires testing to less than 5 parts per million of gluten in products. Dietz & Watson produces regular bacon and Canadian-style bacon.

  • Farmland Foods. Farmland, which makes a bunch of raw and fully-cooked bacon products, including flavored and lower-sodium varieties, has started to label a few foods "gluten-free," according to a company spokesperson. If that designation doesn't appear, it means the company won't guarantee that the product is free of gluten cross-contamination (despite an apparently safe ingredients list). Farmland will disclose any wheat-containing ingredients (as required by law). The dextrose in its products is corn-based, and the modified food starch used in some products is either corn- or potato-based, the spokesperson says.

  • Godshall's. If you're looking for turkey or chicken bacon, that's what Godshall's specializes in. According to the company's Frequently Asked Questions page, nothing Godshall's makes contains gluten except for the Scrapple, which contains wheat.

  • Hatfield. According to Hatfield's gluten-free products list, Hatfield bacon, reduced sodium bacon and Applewood bacon are considered gluten-free. However, exercise a bit of caution: a company rep tells me some of Hatfield's "gluten-free" products are made on the same lines as gluten-containing products. The company does completely wash down the lines between each product run, the spokesperson says.

  • Jimmy Dean. Jimmy Dean, which is owned by Hillshire Brands, makes three different fully cooked bacons, but they are not tested for gluten, according to a spokesperson, who adds that no Jimmy Dean products are currently considered gluten-free (Hillshire Brands is considering adding more extensive gluten-free labeling in the future).

  • Jones Dairy Farm. This company is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which means its products must test below 10 parts per million of gluten, or GF-10, levels. Jones Dairy Farm, which is a supporter of the Celiac Sprue Association and the Celiac Disease Foundation, currently lists five different types of bacon on its gluten-free list. Still, always check the label, since Jones does make a few gluten-containing items, too.

  • Neese's Country Sausage. Neese's makes bacon as well as sausage, and its bacon does not contain gluten ingredients. Be aware that Neese's does make some products with gluten (its Country Scrapple contains wheat meal), and those products are made in the same facility as the ones that don't contain gluten. However, the area with the wheat is a part of the facility that's separated completely from where the bacon is made, a spokesperson says.

  • Nodine's Smokehouse. This small Connecticut-based company calls its bacon "our pride and joy," and makes many different types. Nodine's bacons are free of gluten ingredients. The company does make two products (its English and Irish bangers) using wheat cracker meal.

  • Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats. Nueske's makes 17 different bacon options. According to the company's Frequently Asked Questions page, everything made by Nueske's (including the bacon) is considered gluten-free. However, some items are made by other companies and sold by Nueske's, so if you're buying anything else, you should double-check with the company to make sure those other products are safe.

  • Oscar Mayer. Almost all of us can find Oscar Mayer bacon easily at a local store. Oscar Mayer is a Kraft Foods Co. brand, which means food labels will disclose the use of any wheat, barley or rye ingredients. However, Kraft does not guarantee that foods with no gluten ingredients listed are completely free of potential cross-contamination.

  • Owens. Owens, produced by Bob Evans, makes one type of bacon. According to Bob Evans' celiac list, it's considered "potentially acceptable" for those following the gluten-free diet.

  • Smithfield. A major producer of pork products, Smithfield makes several bacons, including one that's lower in fat. Smithfield will clearly identify any gluten ingredients on its product labels, so your best bet is to check the label of any bacon you're considering. The company only uses gluten-containing ingredients in a few products these days, and has eliminated them (along with other allergens) at most of its processing facilities. Where allergens are in use, Smithfield employs a strict procedure to limit cross-contamination.

  • Trader Joe's. Turkey bacon and uncured bacon appear on Trader Joe's list of products with no gluten ingredients used. Trader Joe's will not hide gluten ingredients behind ingredient names such as "natural flavors" and "spices," but will not guarantee products are free of potential cross-contamination, either.

  • Wellshire Farms. Wellshire Farms maintains a searchable allergen database that allows you to select for foods free of gluten, dairy/casein, soy, corn, nuts, pepper, garlic and mustard. Fourteen different bacon products — including turkey bacon and beef bacon — appear on Wellshire's gluten-free list.

  • Wright. Wright is part of the Tyson Foods, Inc. conglomerate, and makes many different types of bacon using "real hickory wood smoke — never liquid smoke." According to a Tyson customer service representative, Wright and other Tyson brands will clearly disclose any gluten-containing ingredients on the label. Tyson cleans its production lines between products, she says.
Some people may prefer to make their own bacon at home, using ingredients they trust (potentially with local, humanely-raised pork) and omitting ingredients they don't want (such as nitrates/nitrites and smoke flavor). If you're interested in making your own bacon, check out this article on how to make bacon at home from's Guide to Food Preservation.


Friday, January 9, 2015

my climb from the ash pile

Tonight was supposed to be my big night of getting back on track with preparing for the LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) exam. Starting point: Pull out my folder of logs-n-such, go through application to see what's missing, review logs to make sure I have enough hours even though the person at the health board office in Nashville lied when they said my supervision hours count as part of my required 3,000 clinical hours.  I didn't even ask her a question about that; she just volunteered that information.Weep, weep, WAAIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I don't have 3,000 hours. I stopped my supervision while it was regular and my LCSW supervisor was used to incorporating me into her weekly schedule. I stopped accumulating hours while I was in a position where I was actively and daily utilizing clinical skills. I stopped tracking and marked this as done because you (great Nashville office) told me I was done. I am disheartened and numb. My "studying" pretty much stopped once I made that discovery. I'm not lacking a whole lot and could have knocked it out and submitted the app in January in my old position. Things are different now.... Timing is so important because the Social Work Board only meets once a quarter. One's application and documentation have to be there when they meet or else you have to wait another 3 months to even be considered for permission to take the LCSW test. If I can't submit my paperwork this month..... Making matters worse, what the test is based on changes in July. Hence, if I don't both take and pass the test prior to July 1 I have to retrain my brain because the old information, at that point, will be "wrong". More studying, more to learn. July 1 gives me a lot of motivation to do what I have to do on this end to pass before then. But since I received "complimentary" bad information and therefore discontinued supervision, I figure all I can do is plan and take it one day at a time from here. In my office next week, I can combine old and new logs (I started tracking again in November or so after person from Nashville told me to track until I actually pass the test) to see what my total number of supervision hours really is. I also want to re-total the old to make sure it was counted correctly the first time. From there, I will go through a fresh check list of items needed and make a new list of things to do in order to have my package ready to be mailed. I highly doubt I know where to find any of the transcripts that were mailed to me because I've moved a time or two since then. Even if my hours are lacking, I can do everything else required for the application. For now, I'm going to read and record a little more of my study book. I believe I can do that even with a heavy heart. But my heart is so incredibly heavy. This burden is great. I thought I was beginning to rise from the ashes then a new fire began.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

must have's, can't stands, and wouldn't it be nice-- the 2015 update

I haven't yet mustered the whatever all is required in order to reflect on 2014. It was a hard year and I'm not sure I want to look back. But, I did allow the calendar's turning and related prompting from Lady B to give me the push needed to update the must have/can't stand list I created back in 2009 or 11. Since the original inception, I've also heard people talk about there being things that would be nice but aren't absolutes; I incorporated that idea. Steve Harvey talks about the list almost like a system of pluses and minuses- you want the person to have these 10 characteristics and they have 7 of them. You don't want them to have the following 9 characteristics but they have 3 of them. How do those undesirable characteristics affect the things you want out of a mate? If the bad prevents the good from being, then you might want to move on. I like how he broke it down. So, perhaps more comprehensive, perhaps less rigid, here's my updated list to look back on as I open myself to love:

 Must Have's:
1. Get the credit check before kicking up the relationship in any way. That print out may tell you a few things about how the person really operates, at least financially. How I met your mother showed me a credit check is needed before marriage J.
2. Honesty & Trust
      ~ Doesn't this go without saying? I must be able to trust my partner. I also need for them to trust          me.
      ~ Reading back over back entries, I found this: "'people who lie to you can be trusted to lie to             you. They have a vested interest in the way they tell their stories and if you want someone who is       invested in the truth ( as you might see it) run from the liars.' thanks to a dear friend for that one."
3. Spirituality
     - Christianity is a perk but not mandatory. Being connected to some spiritual body is a plus; I want to know that the person is spiritual without them having to ask them, "Are you spiritual and/or religious?" and waiting for their answer.
4. Respectful
5. Willing to let me know them
A relationship cannot last on fluff alone. I want to feel connected to their soul, feel like it has somehow been shared/shown to me. I want to know what they like to do, something besides make me happy, and I want to know why they're troubled when they reach that point. I want someone who will let me in without me begging to be there. Compatible partners words it as, "Verbal Intimacy... I must know that my partner is sharing their deepest emotional thoughts and desires."
6. Physical Touch
I have this thing, "If you don't want to touch me, then why do you want to date me?" I'm not talking about sex; I'm just a touch-feely person when it gets down to it. Withholding touch is a good way to make me feel not loved.
I'm not into, "We went on a date on Friday. We are monogamous, committed lovers on Monday." However, I can't see forever spending my life with someone who always wants the freedom to date (and fuck) other people. Eventually, it has to be decided that we will be together or we can move on.
8. Good communication 
I've dated enough to know that an earnest attempt to communicate with me is important. We might not get it right but I want to be with someone that's not holding back and continues to work with me to clearly understand each other. Of course, we also need to get to a good place with this. 

1. Fiscal responsibility. On some level, this is a "must" but thinking of Dave Ramsey's belief that we pair we our opposite in this regard, I'm still not sure where I draw the line. Well, good credit is a must. Anyhow, fiscal responsibility.
          * If I hear someone trying to borrow money from someone on our first date, run.Implement the           same rule for dates 2 & 3. Use this rule if I hear them borrowing money often, regardless             of when they begin to do so within my earshot.
       * I want to be with someone that can agree to some common financial goals and work with me to accomplish those goals. I need to be with someone that can and does save. I need them to think about their spending but not be so anal that they don't spend and don't want me to spend. I want to save enough to cover 6 months or more of our expenses should we both lose our income. I want to have a money market account someday, assuming it pays more in interest than the standard savings account. I want to be with someone that can get a credit card but does not aim to rack up debt, someone that can get that item on credit but can suck it up and save to buy it with cash when 0% interest is not an option. I want to be with someone that can flow here with me. I need to be with someone that can calm my money anxious center that needs a storehouse to feel secure.
2. Shared values. We don't have to agree about everything but there should be some commonality. If it seems appropriate to say, "we have different values," it probably means that we disagree on too many things to be a good forever match. Being politically conservative is probably a deal breaker.
3. Has goals they are working towards accomplishing
4. Someone who gives a shit about something beyond their own nose. Being social justice focused is a plus. I'd like to be with someone that might attend a vigil with me. 
5. Family friendly
I adore my nieces and nephews. I am close to most all of my relatives (well, family in the general sense). I need someone who's into that. It would be nice if they have a family that they get along with, people to extend my network of relatives in the long range, people for them to talk about. Short-term, I need them to not be annoyed when I talk about my peeps b/c they are my peeps. I need them to not be bothered by how close my family and I are. I am independent, but I am connected. 
      ~ Again, not sure if this is a need or want. I haven't been in a relationship where this was a problem area. 
6. More flexible/spontaneous than I
Too much so and we wouldn't work but there's that other kind that is perfect for keeping me from getting too bogged down into a funk of having to do so and so and always having a plan. My "J" has weakened over the years and I like that.
7. Able to view things from various perspectives, not stuck on just their view
8. Willing to address issues as they develop instead of constantly running from potential disagreements
9. "Industriousness... I must have someone who is willing to work hard at whatever they do." That one is from compatible partners. I suspect it's a must have but I'll keep it here for now. You know, it makes me think of my desire to have someone that will help me with task, a worker bee. #10.
10. Worker bee-- someone that will help me with projects and tasks
11. Someone that believes in my ability and knowledge

Can't Stand:
1. Gender-typed expectations
I will cook for you if you cook for me. I will not cook for you if you won't cook for me. Well, I might b/c I have to eat but I will not be expected to cook because I'm a woman. If we have children, (1) It's probably your fault and (2) I'm not the sole caretaker. I will not habitually deliver your meals to you and I refuse to fix your lunch. Get the picture? I'm not feminazi, really, whatever that is. I just refuse to play that womanly, mothering (W.I.F.E.)* role.
*W.I.F.E.- wash, iron, fuck, etc.

2. Racist
I want someone who can be kool with all of my friends. Besides, I don't like hate-based things in general.
3. Homophobic
Again, "I want someone who can be kool with all of my friends. Besides, I don't like hate-based things in general." And, I'm kind of gay; you hate me? rly?
4. Negativity
I complain, often, but deep down, I'm an optimist. Some people are always complaining and talking about what they can't do. Those people bother me. 
5. Neat Freak
I am neither a neat freak or super dirty. I want to be with someone who cleans-- you know bleach, Comet, etc.-- but not someone who freaks out over a few dirty dishes or believes that the bathroom has to be scrubbed 4 times a week. ha! It's a roommate requirement.
6. Insist on their way all the time
7. A cheater
8. Anger-- someone that cannot manage their anger

Don't Want:
1. Someone that constantly criticizes or condemns others or is condescending
2. Inactivity
I think this will change long-term, but right now, I like to move. Let me rephrase that-- I think how important this is to me will change 10 years from now, in a sense. I don't want to be with someone who simply works and says, "Hey baby, How's it going?" I guess I need for them to have their own interests and own life. Overlapping interests are good. TV doesn't count. It'd be cute to have a show that we watch or that we watch with friends, but I don't want to be with someone who only likes to sit around the house. I'll feel like I'm neglecting them if I constantly going places without them and like I'm babysitting and harassing them if I nudge them out the door to do something. Be vibrant. I like lively people.