I am currently sick with a cold that comes with a pretty bad cough, so I’ve consumed a lot of cough drops. I used Halls for a while but ran out, so I switched to a kind of cough drop made in England called Jakeman’s Throat and Chest Menthol Cough Suppressant. The flavor I am using is Chili and Lime. This is a nice flavor and these lozenges not only help with my coughing, they also help to soothe my sore throat.

If you’ve never heard of these cough drops before, they work really well and I like them better than Halls. If I want to take a nap or lay down uninterrupted by coughs, you can have one of these and you will hardly ever cough. In addition, if your throat is sore, either just from the cold or from coughing as in my case, these cough drops also soothe your throat. The flavor, chili and lime, is quite flavorful. At first, the chili can actually make you want to cough but then you get used to it. Menthol is what you will taste the most, but it is a good flavor.

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product a big ten.

by John

Use Your Change! Why Not?

Posted: October 23, 2014 in Articles

IMG_0721At his work, my brother gets a lot of change from tips. A lot of people, if they get change back from their order, they’ll just put it in the tip jar and the workers will split the loot after the restaurant closes.

Dink, like a lot of other people, does not spend his change. He just saves it up and eventually asks our mom to trade for some bills. Once he had over $30 in change!

While Dink doesn’t really like using change, it’s money, and it adds up to a lot of money, too! If it just ends up it sitting in a bag that collects more and more change, then all that ends up being is wasted money.

Luckily, our mom gladly takes it and uses it a lot even though it makes her purse very heavy. When she goes to the grocery store and she has a lot of change from one of Dink’s trades, she goes through one of the self-check out lanes when the store isn’t busy and pays with coins alone.  Once it paid for the whole lot of groceries!

Change is just a slightly less convenient form of money. Yes, it’s heavy and takes some concentration to count it out haha, but it’s money and I don’t understand why people don’t use it. In fact, if people just used it in their every day transactions, they wouldn’t wind up with such huge collections of it.

This Is a Wind Egg

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Articles
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Um, Mrs. Chicken, is that a joke? I think it is. One of our chickens laid a really tiny egg. I mean, really tiny. Our sister wanted to eat it this morning and we were reminded to ask Mr. G (what our dad calls Google) if there was anything wrong with it. Turns out there was nothing wrong with it at all and in fact, they are given the name “wind eggs”.

Wind eggs don’t really have a yolk as you can see from the picture.

To give you an idea of about how small this egg was, it’s measurements were 1 3/4″ long with a 4 1/4″ diameter, while a normal egg is more like 2 1/4 ” long with a 6″ diameter.

We’ve actually gotten a few massive eggs that have double yolks, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a mini yolk-less egg. The pictures don’t quite capture how small the egg is, but we’ve included the pictures anyway.

Isn’t life grand? So many wonders and new things to learn and see.

When he has time, my dad makes bread from scratch – he grinds the wheat in a mill, makes a sponge out of yeast, water, and sugar, and so on. We all love our dad’s bread way better than any store bought bread. When he makes it, he makes 6 loaves but we still eat it all in a week. It’s good with almost anything on it, peanut butter, Nutella, jelly, etc. but I like it best with a ton of butter on it.

The secret to making soft smooshy bread apparently is to make a sponge, not putting too much flour in your dough (keep it quite sticky up to the last rise in bread pans), and adding some white flour.

These days, we are trying to save money by eating very simply and homemade bread fits right in with that plan. Four of our suppers are pretty darn inexpensive. We have a “potato night”, for instance tonight was potato night and we had loaded baked potatoes. That included broccoli, cheese, chili, butter, and sour cream on our baked potatoes. Then we have “cereal night”. Last week we had cream of wheat and maybe we had a little bit of ham with it. Next is “bean night” – that was Monday and we had baked beans made from dried beans which are very inexpensive. Lastly, we have “egg night” from our nice chickens :) We make lots of scrambled eggs and with any luck, our dad has made some wheat bread and we have a thick slice of it to go with our eggs.

Anyway, here’s our dad’s whole wheat bread recipe in case the millions on the internet are not enough for you.


Grind up 4 cups of wheat berries, this will result in about 5 to 6 cups of whole wheat flour. All of this will go into the bread and the remainder of the flour will be white flour.

Make a sponge by combining 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar, 5 tablespoons of yeast and a cup of warm water. The water can be very warm, but not so hot that you cannot hold your finger in it; if it is too hot it will kill the yeast. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it has risen to form a sponge. While the sponge is rising prepare the following.

Combine a half a cup of quick oats (old fashioned oats will work as well) and 4 cups of warm water (again, warm, not hot).

Combine a half cup of olive oil and a half cup of honey.

Once the sponge has risen mix in the oat and water mixture and the oil and honey. Continue to mix as you add the wheat flour one half cup at a time. Once you have added 6 cups of wheat flour, add 2 tablespoons of salt. At this point the mixture should still be loose, not a stiff dough. You want to mix the salt in after some flour is mixed in so that the salt will not kill the yeast.

Continue adding all the wheat flour and then add white flour until you have a stiff, but still sticky dough. This usually takes about 5 cups, but may be more or less, each batch is a little different. Don’t let the dough become too hard and stiff,

Knead the dough for 5 minutes (we use a Bosch machine). The dough will be sticky. If needing by hand you will need to flour your surface and add more flour occasionally.

Once kneading is complete, put dough in a very large greased bowl and set the dough aside to rise until it has doubled in volume (about 30 minutes to an hour).

Turn the dough out to a flat surface and cut into 5-6 sections. Shape each section into a loaf and put into greased loaf pans. Each loaf should fill the pan no more than half full to prevent the loaf rising too far out of the pan. Grease the pans generously to prevent the bread from sticking as it bakes.

Let the loaves rise again. This will be shorter than the first rising, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 24 minutes. The loaves should be a nice dark brown on top.

Leave bread in pans for no more than 5 minutes. Remove from loaf pans and let cool on a wire rack.

I was reading in my history book about Abram. This is a story that I already knew from the Bible, but the history book goes into much more detail. One thing it’s more clear about is why God changed Abram and Sarai’s names. Both Abram and Sarai’s names were connected with the moon-god at the time, named “Sin”. Yahweh changed their names to Abraham and Sarah in order to include the syllable “ah”, the first syllable of the covenant name “Yahweh”.

Whether or not this reason is true, we don’t know, so we are actually writing this article to ask if anybody had ever heard of this before. We always wondered why their names were changed and it seems as if this explanation could be true, but the book offers no real proof, and we’re just wondering if they have any. Does anybody know if this is true?

Also, on a completely unrelated note, it’s fall now, and a lot of people are having bonfires. If you are one of them and like many Americans, are planning on having roasted hot dogs and marshmallows (smores), for your own good, please read the USDA reccomendation on how to roast marshmallows: US Forest Service Asks: How Does Your Marshmallow Roast? Can you believe people actually get paid for writing stuff like this?

And that reminds us of something else, while we’re at it.  Ever hear of those little ditties like “Click it or Ticket” or “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”? How’s that for a job? Do you think we could get hired with “Drive 55 or Pay 95″? Yeah – maybe there is some talent to it, huh.