Monthly Archives: February 2014

Keeping Kids Busy During the Holidays

Many parents around the world dread the holidays. These are periods when they have to keep up with their kids and ensure they aren’t up to any mischief. It’s also a time of trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy. TV might be a good option but unfortunately, kids don’t learn much from TV nowadays. Sending them off to relatives might be a good option, but, kids also want to be around their parents. So what can be done? Planting flowers, drawing, and getting a new pet might be the right answer for you.

Keeping kids busy during holidays need not be a hard or expensive task. There are a couple of inexpensive ways of ensuring the kids learn and have fun at the same time. Here are some successful ideas I have applied on my kids.


Children are naturally curious about their environment. In addition, they want to express their ideas and feelings. And which better way to do this than through art. Before my kids break for the holidays, I always ensure that there are art supplies waiting for them at home. They’re usually eager to use the crayons and paints I buy. Besides the fun part associated with creating art, my kids get to develop their cognitive and motor skills. Their drawings get better each day and, they are pretty find of the skylanders coloring pages and the new Disney’s Frozen coloring pages I have bought them in the past.

The reason why I love art as a way of keeping my kids busy during the holidays is that it doesn’t require that I keep an eye on my children. However, I always have to be around when they complete their art sessions and supervise the cleanup process.


I love gardening and, enjoy the time spent with the kids around the garden. If you have enough space in your compound, gardening ca be a great way of keeping your kids busy. Children love getting their hands dirty. Gardening is a great learning opportunity for kids. Whether you want to plant a vegetable or flower garden, getting the kids to help out is the perfect way of ensuring they learn as well as spend some time with them.


Once in a while, I take my kids out camping. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive vacation abroad. There are many camping sites around the country. There are several reasons why camping is a great way to keep the kids busy during the holidays. First, getting away from home allows them to explore the world. Secondly, there’s no TV or the daily stuff they encounter daily. The kids get to know that there’s more to life than what they come across daily. It simply helps them develop their imagination. Third, camping allows me to unwind. I can simply forget about my daily hassles and enjoy the wild. Finally, alone time with the kids encourages them to open up. We can talk freely and have fun out in the wild.

Keeping kids busy during the holidays need not be a hard task. There are many ways to ensure that the kids have fun and still learn.


My Tiny Problem

Those pesky little critters are at it again. My body is itching all over. I have spent a good part of the day in the shed with my horses and now this.

Ever since I bought this farm I have been in love with my horses. I usually groom them every chance I got and often take strolls in nearby fields with them, enjoying nature.

Now that I have recently been separated with my wife of many years, I have been given more time with them. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be happy or sad but what I am sure of is that I will not spend my time sulking around thinking about things, instead I will devote my time and energy  with these magnificent creatures and everything about them.

But what I cannot stand is these pests that come with horses.

I think my horses have fleas.

I have a couple of dogs and cats lying around the farm. I don’t particularly know if they’ve got fleas or not but I usually make it a point to have them bathed and taken care of regularly. Maybe the horses got their fleas from them. I don’t know. Do horses get fleas?  It is my belief that with their thick skin, horses don’t get fleas. Sometimes there might be some on them just crawling around but they won’t survive because they have nothing to eat because of the thick skin which they would have a hard time penetrating into.  Maybe they got it while being around other animals in the farm. Maybe the fleas are just hitch hiking with the horses to get to a more suitable host like a dog or a cat. I have done several searches in the internet about horses and their parasites but never did I encounter fleas being one of them. Lice and ticks yes but never fleas.

Although some people might not want think so, fleas are almost next to impossible to eradicate completely. Getting fleas takes no more effort than bad luck. Sometimes just being in close with a person that has fleas gets you fleas. And with the fleas habit of multiplying quickly you soon get an unwanted infestation in a very short period of time. And often you don’t know it until you’re itching all over your body as I am experiencing right now. It’s hair-raising just thinking about fleas on human.

So what will I do now?

Some says the use of Ivory soap for bathing animals is effective and that it gets rid of the fleas faster than any flea killer could. Some say using citrus sprays or yeast helps fight off these pests. Pennyroyal oil is also recommended to discourage fleas. A neighbor of mine also suggested the use botanical dust mixed with boric acid to kill the fleas’ eggs and larvae. He says that the adult fleas typically lives just one week without blood from their hosts while the fleas’ eggs and larvae can live several months and that makes it important to kill the eggs first.

Armed with these suggestions of cures, I will fight the battle to save my beloved horses and myself from the dreaded itch critters. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and your Diet

Maintaining proper nutrition and exercise is the key to living a long life. It is inevitable that we will grow fatter as we age. That’s because nature dictates that our bodies will continue to loose muscle mass and store more fats as we grow older. Sadly, I am no exception to that rule. I have been feeling heavier these days. It is believed that every year after the age of 30, your body starts to lose about half a pound of muscles tissue, which is then replaced by a similar amount of fat in a process called sarcopenia. That led me to think of a way, which can be done, to at least, minimize age’s effect on my body. So besides exercising regularly, I have found out, that controlling my carbohydrate intake really do wonders in keeping my body stay trim and healthy.

We need carbohydrates to function properly. They are our body’s primary source of energy. But excess carbohydrates are converted into fats which are then stored by our bodies. It is then imperative that we choose the carbohydrates that we consume. A good source of carbohydrates is fruits and vegetables, but they too differ in the amounts of carbohydrates they contain, so we must also be watchful of them in our diets.

Knowing what the amount of carbohydrates is contained in fruits and vegetables can be classified from where part of the plant they came from. For Vegetables they are as follows:

  • Leaves ( least amount of carbohydrates )

–          Contains the greatest amount of fiber in the plant, also contains phytonutrients.

–          Examples of low carb vegetables are spinach, herbs and lettuce.

  • Stems and Flowers ( very low amount of carbohydrates )

–          Examples of these include artichokes, aubergene, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.

  • Fruits ( moderate amount of carbohydrates )

–          The fruit of the plant is the part which harbors the seeds.

–          Examples of these are beans, squash, eggplants and okras

  • Roots ( very high in carbohydrates )

–          Contains the greatest amount of carbohydrates in the plant.

–          Examples root vegetables are yams, potatoes, cassava and taro.

For fruits, there is another way of classification on how much carbohydrates are contained in them:

  • Berries ( lowest carbohydrates )

–          Low carb fruits under berries also have the highest amount of antioxidants.

–          Examples of berries are blackberries, blueberries, cranberries and gooseberries.

  • Summer Fruits ( very low carbohydrates )

–          Examples of these are peaches, apricots and melons

  • Winter Fruits ( moderate carbohydrates )

–          Grapefruit, citron, pomelo and oranges are examples of citrus fruits.

  • Tropical Fruits ( high in carbohydrates )

–          Mangoes, durian, jackfruit, rambutan and bananas are fruits with high sugar contents.

So for a leaner, healthier body, choose your carbohydrates intelligently. The largest group of carbohydrates in our diet must always be vegetables. We must also limit foods with added fats and refined sugars, such as sodas and candies, which are packed with calories and carbohydrates but low in nutrition. Although it’s hard to strictly maintain such diets, the eventual result will be a body that is to die for, No, to live for.