Power Tools for Women. Review; Ryobi Tool Set.

Ryobiset

I am a handy woman but I wasn’t always.

I remember the first time I needed a piece of wood cut but my husband wasn’t home to do it for me. Then I thought to myself “my husband isn’t here to do it for me?!!! Why can he do it but I can’t?!!!”

So I went into the garage and looked around for what I thought was the tool I needed for the job.

It was electric.

Plug it in.

Draw line on wood where I want it cut.

Hold it steady.

Pull the trigger.

Wow! It cut the wood! Oh my gosh I cut the wood!

I was cutting all sorts of things after that. Its so funny, one minute of teaching myself how to use a “man’s” tool opened up my whole world.

My husband sure does regret not being home that day because he hasn’t had his tools to himself since! HAHAHA

Since then I have evolved a little. I started with some no name brand jig saw to a circular saw. I think the circular saw is my tool of choice for pretty much anything that needs cutting. Also the only tool I have right now for carpentry projects that I would like to look somewhat decent. I have plans to get a chop saw sometime soon hopefully. For now I will do what I can with what I have (and I actually love this circular saw too!)

At our homestead we have the Ryobi 18 volt circular saw.

Its fairly light weight which is great for me since I don’t have very strong wrists. Its very easy to use and understand. It cuts nicely and has multiple safety feature so you don’t accidentally cut your fingers (or toes) off.

We have this circular saw as part of a 5 Piece tool set. You can find it at Home Depot or HERE. We’ve had the set for at least 3 years now and it still works like new. The batteries hold their charge like they are new. I’m very happy with the quality of this tool set.

This circular saw has been my go to tool and I highly recommend it for women for its light weight and ease of use.

I also love the sawzall (reciprocating saw). It has come in handy for all those odd jobs and its great for yard work too. Again, a simple design that is easy to use and is light weight.

The drill is great. But I will say that it feels a little heavy for me, but its manageable. There are smaller drills available on the market but if you want a drill that has a decent amount of power, you aren’t going to find one lighter than this. Again, simple design and easy to use. I can’t complain.

I have never used the impact drill. I haven’t had a need for it. But my husband has used to and it worked. We still have it. That’s all I can tell you about that. You can find sets with out the impact drill at Home Depot or HERE.

Over all, this is one of the best investments that we have made as far as machinery is concerned.  Both my husband and I used it almost daily. WE have definitely gotten our money out of this set.

Advertisements

$25 a month cell phone service and $20 rebate code! Review: Republic Wireless.

The number one reason I homestead is to save money. I may have to invest a bit of money and a lot of energy now, but it will pay off down the road when we are living self sufficiently.

I am not new to finding ways to save money. I am admittedly cheap. I hate paying more for something than I have to.

Let me start by saying that I have had Verizon Wireless for my cell service provider for 10 years. I got tired of paying almost $200 a month. So we switched to Straight Talk. That saved us about $100 a month but the service sucked. Bad.

We had Straight Talk for about a year. We hated it, and the phones, the entire time we had them. Then we moved to our new home. We had Zero service inside the house. Unless, of course, you were leaning against a window, then you could get like 1 bar.  Most of my phone calls were made on the front porch or the car pool line. This had to change.

I did some research on wifi phones because we have Comcast and a great internet connection. Thats where I found Republic Wireless. It runs off of wifi when there is a good open signal around . If you don’t have a good wifi signal, it runs off of the sprint towers like a regular ol’ cell phone. This phone is set up to automatically detect open wifi signals. So, say your in a grocery store with no cell phone service. If the store is offering free wifi, your phone calls will be crystal clear and you’ll have streaming data.

I love this set up. Its perfect for me and our home, where I spend most of my time. I could see this being perfect for someone who spends a lot of time indoors as well. If your in the office all the time, this is just what you need. And if you live in the city, where there is an unlimited amount of open wifi signals around you, this is a no brainer.

As far as cell phone service (without a wifi connection) through sprint, well, when I’m in my home I get about the same amount of service as I did when we were with Straight Talk. I think our home is in a dead zone. But in a way, I’m ok with that! When I’m away from the house I get great service through Sprint! I can download things, and write posts to the blog with with no problems. Thats a massive improvement over Straight Talk. I couldn’t even get Google Maps to find my location on my Straight Talk phone.

The best part about it is that unlimited 3g service is $25 a month! Thats even cheaper than Straight Talk!

You can actually get a $5 a month plan that runs on wifi only.That would be perfect if I never left our property, which I would be fine with honestly, but unfortunately I do have to leave occasionally. I am considering purchasing a second phone to leave at the house as strictly a home phone. Think about it, home phone lines are at least $25 a month (for the first 12 months). Save yourself $20 a month.

Republic Wireless also offers a $10 a month plan that has unlimited wifi, calls and texts and cell service through sprint. But no data when your off of wifi. I tried that the first month and discovered how much I need data. I like to write posts to my blog and Facebook when I am waiting. Apparently I always have to be doing something.

I can switch my plan up to twice a month if I want to. So, I COULD get the $5 a month plan if I know that I will be spending most of my time at home that month. Then I could switch to the $25 a month data plan and they would prorate the difference. I have actually done this and it was extremely easy. I did it right off my phone. But honestly, I am saving so much being on the $25 a month plan, that I may as well just stick with it. And that is a big deal for me. Cos I’m cheap.

Over all, I love this service. It is genius! And the service will only get better as technology catches up to Replublic Wireless. Free wifi is being offered at more and more places and before you know it it will be everywhere. Then I will switch to the $5 a month plan. 🙂

If you are interested in signing up with Republic Wireless, follow THIS LINK and both you, and I, will get a $20 discount on our bill. Hey, I’m cool with that. Discount shows at check out.

Design Your Own Rain Boots

We love rain boots. They are our choice of foot wear on this homestead.

My youngest daughter wanted a pair of Boston Terrier rain boots but I wasn’t willing to pay the prices some companies were charging. We decided to make our own.

First I found a pair of cheap, plain black, rubber rain boots. The boots have to have a mat finish. No glossy surfaces.

Then I did some research. I read a few blogs that gave directions on how to do it but all the reviews said that the paint peels off or cracks very easy. It became obvious that acrylic paint won’t work. I needed rubber paint.

I researched rubber paint. Which lead me to LIQUID ELECTRIC TAPE!

I made a trip to Home Depot and found a small selection of 3 colors of liquid electrical tape. White, green and red. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted black (how can you have a Boston Terrier without black?) but they were sold out. I grabbed a bottle of white.

Next I drew my design on a piece of card stock. I carefully cut the design out with an exacto-knife. I now had a template.

I positioned the template where I wanted them on the boot, and traced it with a pencil.

Since I didn’t have black, I filled the entire tracing in with the white liquid electrical tape and added black details with a Sharpie. I used a paint brush to apply the liquid electrical tape. It worked just like acrylic paint, but a little thicker and I had to work quickly because it dried fairly quick.

We have had these boots now for 6 months and the liquid electrical tape is still right where I put it. No cracking or peeling. They’ve waded through puddles and ran through grass. They’ve had chickens pecking at them and dogs scratching them. Still attached perfectly The Sharpie has faded a bit. I would definitely use the black liquid electrical tape if I weren’t too cheap and lazy to go buy a bottle.

You can make any design you choose! Have fun! Please share a picture with me when your done!

The Best Homestead Resource Around!

I want to share with you something that has been my number one resource for homesteading. The Ladies Homestead Gathering (LHG).

If you have never heard of it, LHG is a basically a group of local women homesteaders. BUT ITS SO MUCH MORE!

LHG is a wealth of information contained in the minds of the hundreds of members. Every one of these women are willing to share their knowledge with you. This collection of women all have their own unique talents and skills. There is more information combined in this group than ANY book could ever hold.

LHG currently only has chapters in Georgia and Pennsylvania but they are growing in leaps and bounds. If you are interested in starting a chapter contact them and they will be glad to walk you through it.

There are Face Book pages for each chapter where you can post questions or brag about collecting your first chicken egg! We also meet once a month to have discussions on everything homestead. From Ham Radios to Lacto-fermenting, Chickens to Chiggers, Soap making and herbal remedies, these meetings cover everything. LHG also has a network of farms, such as Lazy B Farm, which is owned by the LHG founder, Cyndi Ball. These farms hold classes on things like bee keeping, processing chickens, shearing sheep and canning, just to name a few.

LHG also holds an annual womens retreat and a national camping trip. I haven’t been to either yet, but I hear they are a hoot!

Not only is there tons of information available through LHG, but there is not a better place to find support or make new friendships. Since I have been an LHG member I have seen these wonderful ladies share resources and information, help solve problems, gather on Farm Work days to help members get their homestead projects finished, give support when making hard decisions such as culling and selling animals they love. I’ve also seen members help the injured and be a shoulder to cry on through the grief of the loss of a loved one. I have only been a member for a few months but in that time I have never felt more supported and valued. LHG is not just a priceless resource to me, the women in these groups have become friends like I have never had before.

Please take a moment to visit the National Ladies Homestead Gathering website here, or visit their Facebook page here for more information.

LHGLOGO

“The National Ladies Homestead Gathering exists to provide a welcoming environment, where women can share new ideas, celebrate victories, address challenges and cultivate community with like-minded women. All women are welcome who have a dream, calling or desire to be more self-sufficient. Single or married, in the planning phase or a veteran homesteader – every woman has something to contribute or gain from coming together.” -LHG

Review. Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar

Zulka Morena Pure cane sugar has an outstanding flavor ALL BY ITS SELF! I caught myself dipping my finger into the bag more than I needed too!

Zulka Morena claims to be NON-GMO and unrefined. You are supposed to use it cup for cup in replace of white cane sugar, but I have found that it has so much more sweet flavor than plain white sugar, that you can actually use a little less with amazing results.

The bag says that it “tastes like biting into a fresh sugar cane.” They aren’t lying! It truly is delicious.

The ONLY thing I would bring up is that it does turn recipes slightly darker than white sugar does. Obviously if the sugar is darker then the product it is used in will be darker too. Seriously not an issue. And since it is unrefined there are a few darker bits of what I’m assuming is sugar cane. These darker bits look like debris when used in Jelly recipes. But honestly, I like the look. It looks like its home made rather than processed.

Over all, I will say that I will never use white sugar again. The price was only a few cents more per ounce than white sugar. It is totally worth it.

You can buy it here or at Wal-mart.

sugar