Monday, December 31, 2012

Wheelchair Accessibility and Transportation

Part one of our newest video is all about the basics of wheelchair accessible driving as the driver (my husband's perspective) and as a passenger seeking transportation without having to transfer out of her wheelchair (that is my perspective! Click here to watch Part One.

Before we were getting married, my husband to be's vehicle was not suitable for modifications that were needed to enable me to also get inside, to travel together. We began praying specifically and God, always knowing our needs, within a few weeks, voila! In our local Auto Trader magazine, was the vehicle we had been praying about. Our city isn't a huge one, so to find a fully modified wheelchair accessible van was truly a miraculous event for us. As you can see in the video, it has all the features we needed so Craig could drive.
It didn't originally look like it does now. The person who owned it before us, had this full size Ford F150 van, modified at an awesome place called, Sparrowhawk. Check it out.

If you have any questions or input, please email us at
Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Knead Bread Recipe Part 1

Kneading Bread Matters
Don't "they" say that if you are trying to sell a home, bake some bread and it will cause people to want your house??? True or not, who knows? Whatever the answer, doesn't it smell delicious!
Yum, home baked bread. For many it isn't something they have ever considered doing on their own. After all, isn't home made bread difficult and doesn't it require a lot of work? The whole kneading thing is a key part to making a successful loaf of bread. It is the formation of gluten strands, that can only be achieved by kneading. Check out this "How to Knead Dough" video, from All Recipes.
As for me, the only way I would ever be able to make home made bread, was with a bread machine. Unfortunately, it didn't survive long. I suppose it was because I was so thrilled to be able to make home baked bread, pizza dough, bagels, and buns, that I over worked it!
Contrary to what some believe, that a bread machine disqualifies bread from being hand made. We say, yes, we acknowledge that kneading your own bread and all that goes with it, makes it as hand made as can be. However, for those of us who use it because it is the only way to produce the closest substitute to home baked bread, we say, bake on!

Save Money!
Making your own bread, regardless of the method actually makes great budget sense. A decent loaf of Artisan bread at our local market ranges between four to five dollars. To purchase the ingredients, flour, yeast and salt means a fraction of the cost and great tasting bread to boot. (Don't forget the water can come from your tap!)

A Food Wish Comes True!
It was over a year ago, that I stumbled upon one of my favourite recipe food blogs, Food Wishes. Without a bread machine, the possibility of bread making was impossible. Then I saw this ! Never before had I heard of bread that didn't require kneading! Kneadless to say, get it, kneadless! :o) within minutes, I was making bread. All it required was flour, yeast, water and salt and the ability to stir. Oh yes and a total of about twenty one hours. My husband and I tried variations of Chef John's recipe and none of them failed. Over and over, it worked. We eventually came up with our own version, but all the credit goes to Food Wishes.
Aside from me being able to make our own home baked bread and pizza dough, my husband Craig is now the number one bread baker in our home. Even with his poor bent fingers, thanks to arthritis, he too, can easily stir up a loaf of bread. Click here to watch it!

So whether you have limited arm strength or movement or arthritis, the No Knead or Kneadless Bread making method is for you!! It is so rewarding to know you can do something you never thought possible! Wanting to share this awesome opportunity, we have created part one of our Kneadless Bread Making video.
Part two is coming shortly.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Laundry, Craig Style

Is doing laundry when wheels are your "legs," a challenge? The answer is, it can be. The resurgence of the front loading washing machine has been a blessing, many may take for granted. You'll see how awesome it is as you watch, (click this:  "Laundry, Craig Style.")

Ancient Laundry Methods, Survivor Style?
Some love it, others deem it a necessary evil and yet others, have the means to hire a laundry service! All this talk about laundry brings to mind one memorable, "laundry" moment....We are big fans of Survivor. No matter where on the planet the contestants are, they must outwit, outlast, and outplay each other. Something else they must do, is their laundry. Imagine thirty nine days with same undergarments...on second thought, don't.
Over the past twenty five seasons, we the viewers, have witnessed many laundering occasions using the oldest methods we can imagine, scrubbing clothing with water and sand or rubbing them on a rock. No smelly soap, just grit and water and then the good old fashioned hanging them up to dry method! Oh and as you'll see at about minute number 7:49, in the video above, the boiling water method. This clip is worth a view, because in this setting, a colourful and very unique survivor, named Tarzan, a plastic surgeon, mortifies fellow female survivors, as he seeks to drop his clearly, "spotted" underwear into a boiling pot of their laundry! Watch him defend his skivvies. Only on Survivor.

We can only imagine how thankful the ladies, must have been, knowing that laundry machines awaited them back home.
Back to "Laundry, Craig Style."
Aside from the pointers you will see in this video, I want to add a few things...Craig is the laundry guy, but most of the time, I have the great young ladies that I get to hire, to act as my "arms and legs," and have them fold and/or hang it all up according to how we would like it done. It works well for us for us.
If you have a top loading machine, back in my apartment days, with coin operated machines, I used a metal hanger, stretched out into long hook so I could pull out the clothing out,  I couldn't reach. A reacher is also another great device.
Laundry Hints
1. Directions: For best results, follow the directions on your laundry products.
2. Detergent Matters: Caution, use High Efficiency Laundry Soap for Front end loading washing machines. It really matters. We found out years after that using regular detergent can shorten the longevity of your machine.
3. Mildew?: For front loading washers only, please always leave the door ajar a little once the load is removed. Again, we learned the hard way. After smelling mildew or mould in the laundry room, we were informed that a slight puddle of water always remains under the drum which therefore, smells bad!
4. Keeping Bright and White: Separate clothing. To keep whites, white and bright colours true, do not mix darks with brights or whites.
5. Water Temperatures: Cold water wash with cold rinse is what we use most of the time. It saves on energy and keeps colours from fading or running. However, we do like to wash things like sheets and other items that can be soiled more, like towels- use warm wash, cold rinse. It is a matter of opinion. We are sure Martha Stewart has much better advice than we do!
6. Stains?: Stains can only be removed when they are fresh. Once a stained item is washed and dried, the stain is set. Shout, Stain Away and other Oxy type stain removers seem to work well. But follow directions.
7. Avoid Fuzz Balls: Wash towels separately. We have learned through experience that washing clothing with terry cloth produces those annoying little fuzz balls a.k.a. pilling.
8. Washer to Dryer: Always shake out wet items before you put them into the dryer. This helps to shorten dry time, and because the items are opened up and not in a ball, the wrinkles will be less. (We avoid ironing at all times.)
9. De-Lint: Always clean the lint filter before drying clothing.
10. Dryer Setting: Depending on the size of your load and what it is, you need to select the appropriate setting.
11. All Balled Up: Sheets always tumble into a big giant ball, usually with other wet clothes inside. We find that for best results, you should pause the cycle after about fifteen minutes and toss the sheets. Bring what is inside, outside. Sometimes we do it two to three times, it helps everything to dry properly and avoid severe wrinkles.
12. Ironing Underwear?: Just kidding, we don't iron anything. But, it is true, there are devoted Martha types who do iron socks, under wear and sheets! You decide.
13. Once Dry: If you leave clothing in the dryer too long, you will be faced with a lot of wrinkles. Best way, shake out all dry clothing and lay them out on a surface until you can fold them up. Or fold right away. We always fold the clothing first because it doesn't matter to us if rags, towels and such are wrinkled.
14. Share the Load: If you love laundry great then do it your self. But if your loved one prefers folding, then let them fold and you can wash....