Kraft & Yellow Food Dye


Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful they are going to take yellow food dye out of macaroni & cheese but come on.  If you are going to try to do something meaningful, don’t you think you should get the GMO out first?

English: A closeup of the side dish of macaron...

Macaroni and Cheese

Kraft Yellow Petition Update – 175,000 signatures and growing

We want to take a moment to share that this petition is honestly much bigger than just macaroni and cheese or even Kraft. There are many large US companies that use artificial dyes – as well as other additives like GMOs – in their food products here  that are not used overseas. Everyone from General Mills to Kellogg’s to Pepsi,  McDonald’s  and of course Kraft, have formulated safer, better versions of their products for other countries and this petition is a vehicle to let these companies know it’s time for American consumers to get the same.

I quit buying their macaroni & cheese, in fact I’m in the process of going all organic because I don’t think we should be forced to eat something that is killing our bees and butterflies.  This stuff is dangerous and should be banned but for now, I’ll settle for labeling.

If you’re a parent and you’re still feeding your children this stuff, shame on you.  Your children will have health problems and most will die prematurely because of your decision.  Think!  Do your homework.  Protect your family against this invisible intruder.  Just because you can’t see the danger, doesn’t make it not real.

I know it’s costly to buy organic but for most of us, it’s just a matter of eating a couple more meals at home and being smart about your purchasing.  The price of organic is coming down, start small.  You didn’t start buying it all at once, you don’t have to quit cold turkey but think about what you’re eating.  Make a conscious  decision to eat healthier, less fast food and more natural stuff like homemade macaroni & cheese, instead of it’s GMO counterpart.  If you don’t buy it, they won’t make it.  I promise you that.

So, spend your money wisely.  Know the companies that you buy from, call them and ask if they use GMO products.  Let them know that you care about what you eat.

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Preparing For Winter Fun

Thermal underwear is great to have in the cold mountain snow but there is more to preparing for a trip to the mountains to play in the snow than loading up the snowboard, tire chains and filling up the gas tank.

Pier 39 in San Francisco

San Francisco, Pier 39: Fisherman’s Wharf

It’s not uncommon to see people running around Twain Harte in the dead of winter in shorts. I asked one man what he was thinking and he told me he had decided to make a day trip to the mountains and forgot to pack his pants.

Mountain weather can change quickly and temperatures drop like a rock when the sun goes down. So, please don’t forget your pants at home.

I have to laugh at that because I remember one early fall day over ten years ago when our family made a trip to Pier 39 in San Francisco. We wandered around shopping, watching the seals and sampling the local  eateries. When the sun went down, the temperatures took a nose dive and even though I was wearing a sweatshirt and a coat, it was so cold, we shopped for  and purchased jackets – and grabbed a blanket from the car.

I had planned to quote Mark Twain just now: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” But,  according to Snopes, it’s not true. You have to admit, it could be true for most Californian’s. However, since I’m from Michigan — well, let’s just say  San Francisco doesn’t come close in comparison to a cold Michigan winter.

When you know you will be out in the cold weather, be sure to bring along extra socks, wool is great at keeping the moisture away from your feet. The snow in the Sierra Nevada range  tends to be wet and heavy. Warm socks, gloves and hats are essential. As a rule of thumb, bring twice as many as you would normally bring to ensure having a dry set available.

The DOT does a terrific job of keeping the roads clear and over the past several years new signage has been erected. As such, most people make their round trip to Dodge Ridge in safety but there are times when, due to vehicle failure, a motorist can get stranded. It’s always better to be prepared for just such an emergency.

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Save your clunker

Advice your mechanic never gave you that could save you thousands…

Saving the family car

If you are nursing your old clunker in an attempt to avoid the expense of purchasing a new one, you are not alone. Many families are really feeling the pinch of high housing costs, high gasoline costs and stagnant wages – unless of course you are working for minimum wage, in that case you are still not setting the world on fire, but at least you received a wage increase recently.

Our family has been driving a 1995 Mercury Mystique for the past six-years or so and I’ve done my best to keep up with the maintenance on it. Two months ago we had a front-end alignment done, new brakes, and we added new tires all the way around. I felt really good about getting these needed repairs done and knowing that our car would last a few more years. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In the process of making all these repairs, I had the radiator and the transmission both flushed, the oil changed and even purchased an expensive engine additive. Immediately after the radiator was flushed, we blew a tiny radiator hose, leaving us stranded for the very first time. Fortunately, we were stranded in our own driveway. A tow to the garage and later that day we were good to go. No big deal, until…

The transmission began to slip a few days later, then we lost second and fourth gears. Big problem. We checked with a local transmission shop to see if it could be repaired: no such luck. These transmissions are known to have problems and the only solution was to replace it, at a cost of $3,000.00 – nevermind that the blue book on the car is only $950. We were recently offered a mere $100 for it on a trade-in towards a new vehicle.

This is the second time this has happened to me and I have no one to blame, but myself. The tranmission specialist informed my husband and I that had I not flushed the transmission, in all likelihood it would have lasted for quite some time.

I’m not saying you should never flush your transmission, quite the opposite. It’s very important to flush the transmission each year, but if you are unable to afford the expense and you let it go for a few years, skip it altogether. Flushing the transmission after it hasn’t been done for several years can cause the metal chips to break free that collect in the transmission and gunk up the gears, resulting in the very transmission problems you were trying to avoid in the first place.

The very same thing happened to our last vehicle. It worked fine until after I had the transmission flushed, only that time we merely lost reverse. We drove it for a year with no reverse, which got very interesting at times.

The moral of the story is if you haven’t kept up on the maintenance of your transmission, don’t try to play catch-up. You won’t be doing yourself or your vehicle any favors. We learned an expensive lesson. I only wish someone had warned us sooner.

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