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The crack of the matter is…

Are you ready for an earthquake? Are you ready for when the big one hits? It’s coming to southern California, that’s a guarantee. San Andreas fault. Are you ready? I am going to help you get ready for an earthquake by sharing what I will need for a kit. Everyone’s will be different but run along the same lines.

First let’s talk about earthquakes. An earthquake is when the earth shakes and it happens all the time, you don’t feel them usually. Why do they happen? Pressure builds up along fault lines, sometimes the pressure gets released. When the pressure gets released the energy flows thru the planet and shaking begins. A fault line is a crack in the earth. There are active fault lines all over California. Thats where you get the San Andreas fault line, it’s there and it’s scary.

The Ridgecrest earthquake hit with a magnitude of 6.4, the big one will be 11 times stronger than that! San Andreas fault will be 7.8 or higher. 1,800 fires could ignite after the quake with 1,600 being big. Many of them will grow and move to make even bigger fires.

According to inventor, Kerry Sieh big quakes like this happen on the southern San Andreas fault every 45 to 230 years. It’s been 161 years since we had one. We are not far off that 230 year mark and it could happen anytime. It will happen the San Andreas fault it’s a guarantee. Let that explode in your mind!

What do you do when an earthquake hits? STOP!!!!!!! Do not run. Outside is usually more dangerous than in. DROP, get down on the ground before you fall down and get hurt. TAKE COVER, get under something to protect your head and neck.. HOLD ON, things could get rough, stay there. Do not get in a doorway.

How do you check on loved ones? The fastest and easiest is to reach by text. If you have wireless, you can check in on facebook’s crisis response feature. Can you just leave town? Yes, if you have money, gas and you have a safe road to travel. Though this usually can not happen. Most roads are gone and you do not know what lies ahead, it could be worse. Better to stay put.

What are the dangerous of staying? FIRES, according to report 1,800 fires could ignite after the quake. WATER SUPPLY, contaminated and VIOLENCE, looting and violent crime usually happen.

The community asked what should we have prepared? Earthquake expert Lucy Jones laughed, because the idea that everything you need will fit in one bag is crazy.

Who will help us? Strangers help with the most compassion right after the event. Eventually FEMA will come.

What else can you possibly have to deal with? Bills! What? A major earthquake and your talking about bills? Yep, mortgage will still be due. Car payments and loans.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to have your documents safe. Keep deeds, titles, insurance, birth certificates and social security cards in a fireproof box.

Ok, enough depression. Let’s talk about what you will need. Each family is different, with different needs and problems. This is a guide for what I will need to get my family through. It will fit most of your families. This will cover 10 people, so there’s a lot!

You need a bag for each person ready to go!

1 gallon of drinking water per person to last three days, so I need 10 gallons of drinking water

A bag for each person containing:

a couple flashlights and led lights

Three days of imperishable food. Canned and dried items. Pantry items

a dust mask

box of moist towelettes for cleaning, hygiene

pliers can be for so many uses

cell phone with chargers and backup batteries. I can buy a bunch of burner phones for this

our prescription meds, very important

kids medicine such as motrin, benadryl and allergy pills

kleenex box for daughter

Our glasses along with backup glasses, you don’t want to be blind that could be horrific

cash, everyone should have a little bit to spread it around. Do not keep it all in one bag

Sleeping bag or warm blanket


complete change of clothes for a cooler temp. To stay warm at night or if your clothes are ruined

two rolls of toilet paper

a pillow or something soft for my back

matches in waterproof container

feminine supplies, could also be used as bandages, filters

mess kits, like camping. Metal bowl with lid you can cook and eat out of these and they include silverware and a cup, all metal. The mess kit could also serve many purposes. Boiling water, carrying water. Bowls to collect berries and nuts if need be

my daughters back up blankie

toothbrushes and toothpaste

hair ties

backup pair of shoes and lots of socks, socks can be used for so many things. To keep our feet dry and warm. As well as water filter, bandages and to carry little things if you are out foraging

dog food, bones or something for entertainment and water for both dogs for three days

a towel for drying, lying on, changing, additional warmth

bandana to keep hair back, to signal for help

Things to have for all to use:

hand crank radio or battery with extra batteries

a couple first aid kits

plastic sheeting, which can be used for a number of things. 8 large sheets should be enough

duct tape, what can’t you do with duct tape? I am bringing several

2 boxes of garbage bags, which you can also use to carry if something gets broken, can be torn apart to help with more shelter , so many uses

tums, pain medicine

a couple of manual can openers

paper maps

Things to trade for supplies we might of forgot. Extra batteries, extra can openers, extra garbage bags


A couple very sharp knives. For cutting things we need to form shelters, cutting food and to protect ourselves in case

paper, pens

books, puzzles, notebooks, cards and crayons for the kids

led lights

leather gloves

These are the things my family would need to get through. Take some time read thru the list. It might fit your family to. I add or take away from my kit as my needs change every year.

Now we have doove in to what earthquakes are, the San Andreas Fault and what I will need for supplies, that cracks it up!

by Arwen Champion-Nicks, Misha Euceph and Mary Knauf

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It’s Coming Up Curry!

Curry refers to a great variety of things. You can find many varieties all around the world, but it all has the same roots. Let’s dive in and find currys origins.

Lets begin with the curry leaves. The leaves are not the powder. Curry powder is a mixture of spices from around the world that could contain curry leaves. The curry plant is completely different and it’s not edible.

Curry leaves belong to the citrus fruit family. There aroma is divine. You can use their leaves like bay leaves.

Curry powder is a firework of different spices. Curry powder can have from five to fifteen spices. Some include; cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and black pepper. Curry powder is a british idea. Britain brought the flavors of many different lands to the British colony. Curry being one of them.

It began as meat and or vegetables with a spicy gravy, Then each country adapted it to make it there own. That is why you never get the same curry when you are traveling the world. It’s always a surprise since each country has there own interpretation.

In Japan, curry is often mild sweet dish. In Thailand fiery chiles and coconut milk are more soup like. Who hasn’t heard of Jamaica’s famous goat curry? In India, curry is not to be found. You would have to order Malai Kofta or Dum Aloo to get something even like curry.

Let’s take a closer look at two of my favorite curries. First up Australia’s green curry. A loving winter favorite. It has been in Australia for decades.

The star of green curry is not what it’s cooked with but unique spices that explode in your mouth with it, the essential addition in the paste is green chillies. They must be green and mature, ready to harvest at peak. The best curry paste is a mix of ripe green chilies, tiny fiery scuds, coriander seed and roots, galangal and kaffir lime zest.

Sujet Saenkham Green Curry Paste

80g fresh long green chilies, stems removed and roughly chopped

50g fresh small green thai chillies, stems removed

5 cloves of garlic peeled

1/2 stick lemongrass, thinly sliced

1 red shallot, sliced

20g piece galangal, peeled and sliced

10g piece turmeric, peeled and sliced

30g shrimp paste

20g kaffir lime rind

1 tsp ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

200ml water

Place chilies, garlic, lemongrass, shallot, galangal, turmeric, shrimp paste, lime rind, spices and water in a blender and blend into smooth paste.

Green Chicken Curry

300g jasmine rice

2 tbsp bran oil

1 brown onion cut into thin wedges

105g green paste

400ml coconut milk

300ml chicken stock

450g chicken breast filets, cut into 1 inch strips

1 green capsicum, seeded, thinly sliced

100g snow peas

1/2 bunch colander, leaves picked

1 cup bean sprouts

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 limes cut into wedges

cook rice as directions

heat oil in lg frying pan over med hugh heat, add onion until softens, add paste cook stirring two minutes

add coconut and stock. bring to simmer. add chicken, capsicum and snow peas cook through

chop half the colander leaves and add to curry, stir in fish sauce, sugar and half bean sprouts. squeeze lime juice

top the curry with remaining bean sprouts and corrander leaves, serve with rice and lime wedge.

My Favorite curry is African Coconut Chicken Curry. With taste of smokey chicken in cream sauce you will be in love! Gluten and dairy free!!

Kuku Paku is African Chicken Coconut Curry. Kuku means chicken in Swahili. Paku refers to a dish made with coconut milk. Paku is is also a word for delicious.

Delicious it is! Over rice makes a creamy yummy dish. As we read earlier curry comes in many shapes and forms from different countries. I prefer African Coconut Chicken.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself, you won’t regret it. Juicy crispy skin, yummo.

African Coconut Curry

2 pounds skin on thighs chicken

Spice Mix

1/2 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tbsp paprika powder

1 tsp salt


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 tbsp ginger, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp curry powder

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 can of 9 ounce coconut milk

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup oyster sauce

2 bay leaves

3 russet potatoes peeled and chopped

2 bell peppers chopped

parsley for garnish

preheat oven to 350, you want to use a skillet that can go in oven too

combine spice mix, sprinkle on both sides of chicken. heat skillet with olive oil. add chicken, skin side down. cook until both sides are brown and crispy transfer to plate

turn med heat in same skillet add more olive oil and cook onion until it becomes tender

add ginger and garlic stir fry 30 seconds to release aroma

add paprika and curry powder stir until well coated

add chicken stock,coconut milk, peanut butter, oyster sauce and bay leaves, stir bring to boil

add potatoes, peppers and chicken, transfer to oven to bake 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice

Enjoy this creamy dish!

The Guardian, Juan-Carlo Thomas, July 2015

Julie R Thompson 5/31/2017

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Crisp autumn air, it’s time to prepare!

Who doesn’t want to keep there sunshine of plants protected in winter months? I have solutions for the Southeastern United States. As fall is upon us, plants are preparing for dormancy. You may think all activity in the garden has stopped. There is a lot going on under the soil until it freezes. It’s capturing soil nutrients and moisture.

Most plants explode in the spring, growth slows in fall because of shorter days and cooler temperatures. To grow plants faster we fertilize and irrigate. To choose the right way to prepare you have to understand how they are damaged by the cold.

Dormancy is suspension of plant growth. Plants may stop growth or appear dormant. High temps and draught can do this and send a plant to go into dormancy. If nurtured with water and as temperatures decrease, growth resumes. At fall growth starts to slow down. Vegetable and flower buds are formed for the next year. Fall practices as applying fertilizer, pruning, and protection are vital. Failure to provide these can result in injury or death during winter of your plants.

Fall frost makes the plants start to become dormant. As dormancy continues, plants begin energy storage and leaf coloration. During winter, plants acquire hardiness.


Location of plants also effects winters hardiness. Species from southern areas in the US get cold weather later in the year and develop less mid winter hardiness. In the southeastern US, moist warm falls are common. Some areas don’t receive their first frost till late November. Unfortunately temperature can favor growth in these areas even to the last frost. Plants can become injured if not protected during this time.

The use of nutrient control with winter hardiness is critical. You can oversupply or cause deficiency. This is something you must take into consideration. If using liquid fertilizers stop about six weeks before first frost date.

Most people usually plant in pots in spring. Growers also have to pot plants year around depending on species of plant. If you pot in fall you should reduce fertilizer to prevent injury. If you want to apply fertilizer in the fall wait until aboveground ground plants are dormant. Fertilization will prevent early growth and decrease nutrients being released early.


The part of the plant that enters the soil is the last to have full winter hardiness. Plants that receive very dry weather during the fall are less able to handle severe winter conditions. Drought in the fall leads to the reduce of storage of nutrients, plants may not get enough stored energy to bud break.

Watching volume of irrigation is one away you can control the plants. A .10 leaching fraction is important. Leaching is determined after the irrigation has ended for the day. Collect and measure the amount of water in each bucket. The water in C1 bucket is total volume applied and amount in C2 bucket is amount leached. C2 divided by C1 equals the leaching fraction. This is a easy way to see whether the volume intended is actually being applied.

Plants do need water from time to time in the winter, as water freezes it gives off heat that can be captured. Watering plants before a freezing will allow it to store water.


Do not prune within six weeks of first frost. Late fall pruning is not recommended it can create wounds. These wounds do not close until growth starts in spring, making it easier for decaying organisms to begin in the wounds.


Plants lose moisture through leaves first and very fast. They are drying out. Very windy areas and cold yet sunny days with little bit of wind can cause severe desiccation. Wind injury can be fatal. if the soil freezes, no moisture is there for leaves. The plants can’t be killed by wind.


When selecting where you want to put the plant, seek out an area with coverage that reduces plant damage in winter. Avoid area with excessive wind, frost pockets and abnormal early warming in spring or fall months.

Wind barriers can prevent windburn. Large trees, bushes can help with windburn, windbreak blocks wind and raisies it upward. Moving upward reduces air movement across plants.


Light duration can affect plant dormancy. Plants grow slower in shade. Growers remove shade in September to harden the plants and reduce splitting. Removing shade from active plants may cause sun scald. You can remove shade to increase hardiness during the short period after new growth has hardened but before the cold has kicked in.

Apply mulch after plants have hardened. Mulching before initial frosts insulates the plants. In the southeastern this is after November 15th.

If temperatures have been below 50* F for many days after August first,then plants probably will be able to flourish in the extended cold. If temperatures are above 68* F for many days than plants may not be as strong and require extra coverage.

Ways to protect plants

*water citrus and avocado trees to prevent fruit splitting

*stop feeding tropical trees in September

*use straw bales to protect from wind

*mulch in and all around plants using newspaper, hay or composted material


Place double layer of white poly on house with a inflator fan. Place an independent heat source in house. That can be portable forced air heater that runs off fuel or electricity. Permanent propane, electric, or wood fired heater can also be used.

Taking these steps can save your plants in the months coming up. Insures you another year of beautiful plants and hopefully many more to come.

Dunwell, W. and R. McNeill overwintering nursery crops. accessed october 6, 2009

Ivy,R L., T. E. Bilderback and s. l. Warren. 2002. Date of potting and fertilization affects plant growth, mineral content, and substrate electrical conductivity. J. Environ Hort, 20:104-109

Clemson Unv. Agricultural Service laboratory.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

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Lemon Thyme is so Divine!

Me? Take a walk? I am not that kind of person. Stress was eating at me. I needed an escape something to take my mind off things. How about a walk my husband suggested, knowing I don’t have patience to just take it all in. I am busy! I guess that’s what lead to the tons of weight on my shoulders. So I will do it. Just me and nature, walking to clear my head.

I started my walk as all walks go. Serene, quiet and peaceful. I was actually starting to feel better, more calm. Strolling through the woods with a a song in my head (can’t quiet my brain) That didn’t last too long. Soon I was looking for things to do, couldn’t quiet my idle hands. So I started looking for flowers, all kinds seeing there beauty helped me. I felt better already. That’s when I started seeing plants I didn’t know. So I made a game of guess the plants. It was fun. I was finding plants I knew and finding plants I didn’t know. This lasted sometime before I came across herbs. I was finding herbs that I had in my herb garden at home and herbs that I never knew existed. This entertained me for a while. Especially the herbs I didn’t know existed.

To at last I was about to finish my journey when I came across a herb I never seen before that intrigued me. I looked on my phone it told me that it was thymus citriodorus. First thought to be a hybrid but now a distinct species discovered in 1811. Yes, I had my phone. I know it was supposed to be a calming walk but I couldn’t leave it. With taking my phone I discovered so many things that I would never of known existed. Especially lemon thyme. Who knew. We all do the lemon slices and thyme twigs in a chicken but this was a game changer. Two in one! I was so excited. I gathered some up to take home.

When I got home I showed everyone my prize. Got in trouble for not making it a calm walk. For me it was a great walk I did find some calm but I also found something I didn’t know exsisted. Lemon Thyme together as one, the possibilites!

I immediately started my search for recipes. Most were ordinary, things I have seen before that were using lemon and thyme separate. I was looking for more unique ideas. Then I found it Lemon thyme blueberry cornmeal bake. How new, how interesting this would be. Way more interesting if I changed some ingredients and made a whole new dish. Blueberry lemon thyme cobbler. So it was born!

I have been baking for 20 years. I have made so many things. Recently I fell in love with french pastries. I decided to get my french pastry degree and start a cottage business. Eventually to be moved to a brick and mortar. Specializing in french pastries. So finding new things to cook with really excites me, even better if I can find a pastry recipe.

So back to baking. I had fresh plump blueberries and my fresh lemon thyme ready to go to make this appealing dish. I got to work and my work paid off just smelling it. I could smell the mixture of fresh blueberries and lemon thyme together and it smelled delicious. I could hardly wait to try this new dish.

The texture of plump blueberries bursting in my mouth, the mix of blueberries with the lemon thyme and with the crunch was delight to my senses. The lemon thyme was so divine in this dish!. I am glad to share this recipe with you.

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Cobbler

Prep time 20 mins—-cook time 50 mins—-total time 1hr 10 min—-servings 6/7

155 g rolled oats

62 g flour

100 g brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

113 g unsalted butter cubed

2 tsp fresh lemon thyme chopped fine

1 tsp almond extract

840 g fresh or frozen blueberries

1 lemon for juice

Preheat oven to 350

Use 1 tbsp butter to grease 8×8 baking dish

In mixing bowl add rolled oats, flour, and sugar, whisk together. Add the butter cubes and cut in. Add the lemon thyme and almond extract. Mix to crumbly

Toss the blueberries with lemon juice and and pour into dish, pour crumb mixture over top. Bake 50 minutes until fruit is bubbly. Serve with a big scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

  1.  “Thymus citriodorus”Plant Heritage12 (2). Autumn 2005