Free-for-Me Friday: Tire Service

I’m not sure how I learned this one but I’ve known it for years and I am constantly surprising people with this information;

Town Fair Tire will service your tires for free, no matter where you bought them!

Seriously.

Flat repair (or in my case yesterday, nail removal and patching), tire rotation, and snow tire change-overs.  All for free, no matter what brand of tires you have, no matter where you bought them.  The only catch – wait! – is it’s a bit of a wait.  They automatically quote 90 minutes which I’m not quite sure why, maybe to cover their butts in case a job runs long.  If you are dropping your car off, I suggest being clear if you don’t plan on leaving it over night – I once dropped my car off and walked to my night job, instructing them to call me when it was ready.  I called about an hour before they closed to find out, they actually were already closed and my car was locked in the garage!  What a mess, I needed my car to get home and for my day job!  As luck would have it, the bartender of the restaurant I was working at was dating the local police dispatcher; he called the emergency contact number and got the manager to come release my car back to me!

No mater what, like I’ve always said “If it’s free, it’s for me!”, the wait is worth it!

 

[button color=”#eeeddc” background=”#315e62″ size=”large” src=”http://townfair.com/free_services.shtml”%5DTown Fair Tire[/button]

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Recipe: Apple Blossoms

Recipe: Apple Blossoms

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Armagnac, Cognac, Rum
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Butter, divided
  • 5 large tart Apples, peeled & cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, divided
  • 18 sheets frozen Phyllo dough, thawed
Instructions
  1. Pour Rum over raisins in bowl – Set aside to plump (15 mins)
  2. Heat 2 tbsp Butter in large skillet over med-high heat
  3. Add apples, saute 5 mins or til beginning to brown
  4. Add raisins and rum, cook for 2 minutes or until alcohol evaporates
  5. Transfer to bowl, still in 1/4 cup sugar
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  7. Melt remaining Butter
  8. Brush 12-cup, 1/2 cup sized muffin pan with melted butter
  9. Unroll Phyllo and keep covered with damp towel to keep moist
  10. Work with one layer at a time, brush with Butter and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Sugar
  11. Top with another sheet and repeat steps to make 6 layers – do not sprinkle top sheet with sugar
  12. Cut stacks into 4 squares
  13. Press 1 square into a muffin cup letting the edges hang over
  14. Fill with 1/3 cup apple mixture
  15. Brush edges with Butter and fold up to cover filling
  16. Brush top with Butter to glue it together
  17. Repeat to fill all 12 muffin cups
  18. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown
  19. Cool 10 mins in pan then carefully remove from mold and cool on rack – Serve at room temperature

 

How to Heal: Part 1a – Body; Chiropractic

I will start this by saying I completely understand how money works.
I understand living paycheck to paycheck, I know it may not seem like I do, but before my shift in mentality I had no savings and more bills than cash.
Please do not dismiss any of these options based on lack of money,
creativity can stretch a budget immensely!

In my case, I was paying $62/week for health insurance.  My deductible was $250.  I was healthy and not on any medications.  My only issues were excessive sweating and a pinched nerve in my shoulder.  I needed a few blood tests to figure out what the sweating issue was and I wanted to try acupuncture for my shoulder.  I found out acupuncture was not covered under my (and many) insurance plans.  I got the blood tests and paid the deductible out of pocket.  When my results came back my Doctor suggested I get more blood tests to further investigate the cause.  Unfortunately, this all took place at the end of the year so I was responsible for the deductible once again.  I decided to wait and try to save that money before scheduling the tests.  Before I was able to save the money my deductible was raised to $1000!

I felt so helpless!  I was paying a minimum of 10% of my paycheck on health insurance but wasn’t able to use it for what I wanted (acupuncture) or needed (blood tests).  After much deliberation and number crunching I canceled my health insurance.  It was the scariest thing I’d done in a while; I still had 6 months until open enrollment, 6 months to stay safe and healthy.

I’m happy to say that I have been living without insurance for just about 2 years and I couldn’t be happier!  I got my blood tests done again, however because now I was an “indigent patient” I was given a form from my Doctor saying I was entitled to a 50% discount making my tests cost $120 this time around.  (Even better, the results came back perfect now that I had been off a certain medication for 12 months!)  As for the pain in my shoulder, I tried a couple of routes which I will explain over these next couple of articles.

I’ll start with Chiropractic because
most insurance companies now cover the treatments.

In each of my experiences (once when I was 16, again at 23 and once more at the age of 30) the first visit consisted of basic range-of-motion tests and x-rays followed by a consultation describing the course of treatment.  Each time it was requested that I return 3 times a week over the course of many months (upwards of 4).  The treatments I received from the first two doctors were different from the last one so I will describe them both.

The first two chiropractors would lay me on my stomach on a flat table (similar to a massage table), they’d ask me to take a deep breath in and then as I exhaled they would press down on my spine, which would crack each vertebra in the area – this would be repeated for my lower and upper back.  Then, laying on my side with my knees tucked, they would rotate my body slightly, breath in, pressure on the exhale causing the cracking along the length of my spine – repeated on both sides.  Lastly I would sit up and while cradling my head in their hands, breath in, and on the exhale they would twist my neck in a manner similar to what you see people doing in the movies to break someone’s neck – CRACK!  And again on the other side.

None of this would hurt, it actually felt rather nice, imagine cracking your tight knuckles.  After the adjustment I would be taken in to another room where I would lay face down with my shirt pulled up exposing my bare flesh.  Electrodes were attached and small waves of electricity were sent to correct my muscles’ problematic movement compensation.  You can read more about ARP treatments here.

During my visit to the 3rd doctor, I did not receive the ARP treatments, nor did I ask why.  It had been almost 10 years since the last time I was in a chiropractor’s office and I noted how things changed.  Other than the lack of ARP, the table had been replaced with what is called a “drop table”, basically the Dr. positions a part of the table up a little higher and going through the same breath in and pressure on the exhale, the table would drop back down to it’s original position and he’d start over with another area.  He didn’t lay me on my side and he took about 3 visits before he cracked my neck.  (But I was there for different pain than in my younger years.)

All in all, chiropractic therapy helped with my immediate pain but I never completed the entire course of treatments so I cannot comment on it’s effectiveness.

 

My rundown of my experiences with chiropractic treatment
and my personal conclusions:

[list type=”arrow”]

  • As a child I was excited for a non-traditional route however I quickly came to regard it as a money-making scheme due to the excessive amount of recommended treatments and the lack of immediate results.
  • As a young adult I was receiving treatments for free (I was working as the nanny for the Doctor’s children), even still, after lack of expected results I stopped receiving treatment within the first 10.
  • As an adult I went for 5 adjustments before I ran out of money and stopped once again.
  • Although my immediate pain had subsided, I didn’t trust that chiropractic was the cure I was seeking.
  • I know it was my responsibility to remain to the end if I wanted to see results, but I was not convinced it was worth the money. I went on to research other holistic remedies for chronic pain which lead me to acupuncture.[/list]

 

[button color=”#eeeddc” background=”#315e62″ size=”large” src=” http://lifebyyourownrules.com/acupuncture/”%5DComing Soon: Acupuncture[/button]

 

New Series: How To Heal – Mind, Body, and Spirit

I get upset when I hear people talk about debating surgery, or being anxious or depressed, I often find people’s energy to be negative and draining.

I am passionate about finding alternative ways to deal with our pain and stresses and I want to share it with the world!  Unfortunately, I seem to have trouble finding compassionate words when face to face with someone who is telling me their woes.  Because I am so strongly opposed to how medicine has become a business and I truly believe that “finding a cure” is far from anyone’s goal, I have been turning my back on our modern medicinal world.  Due to me having such a strong opinion on the matter, I tend to come across as unsympathetic and that turns people off.  I don’t mean to be rude or sound as if I know everything, but I am excited and admittedly, I have a hard time understanding why someone wouldn’t want to try the natural route first.

That’s the beauty of this blog, I can tell you everything I have to say and if you don’t want to listen anymore, you can stop reading – but you shouldn’t because I have some wonderful things to share with you!

Over the next few articles I will share with you holistic ways to heal yourself.  These are ancient forms of healing and many would argue that they have much more success than traditional medicine.  It is important that you keep in mind, holistic healing is a way of life; unlike how a Doctor would give you a prescription for your pain, anxiety, or sadness, the holistic approach to healing is much more encompassing, considering the whole body, and it takes a little more effort than swallowing a pill.

 

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Holistic:
Characterized by the view that a whole system of beliefs must be analyzed rather than simply its individual components. Taking into account all of somebody’s physical, mental, and social conditions in the treatment of illness[/quote]

 

[button color=”#eeeddc” background=”#315e62″ size=”medium” src=”http://lifebyyourownrules.com/chiropractic/ ‎”]Coming Soon: Part 1: Body; Chiropractic[/button]

 

 *Disclaimer:
I am just a human being taking responsibility for my health by listening to my body and questioning my Doctor – I encourage you to do the same. 

Recipe: Chicken n Apples

As promised, here is another apple based recipe!
Recipe: Chicken n Apples

Ingredients
  • 6 skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup sliced Onion
  • 1 ½ cup Apple Juice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 cups sliced Apples
  • ½ tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place Chicken in small pan.
  3. Sauté Onions in oil until tender.
  4. Add Apples and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Pour over Chicken
  6. Melt Butter in small saucepan.
  7. Combine apple Juice, Honey and Salt; add to butter.
  8. Pour over chicken.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes ∞ Serve over rice

Free-for-Me Friday: Budgeting Software

Ever since I took Home Economics my Junior year in high school I’ve been obsessed with managing my finances.  “Managing my finances”, that sounds so formal, like I have this great grasp on my finances.  I have always lived paycheck to paycheck, matter of fact, I didn’t stop until I decided to travel.  Once I had the plan to leave, all of a sudden I had all this money!  Now I didn’t win the lottery or anything, I didn’t even get a second job – I just stopped consuming.  Once I realized my truth, the $10 mascara or $25 face cream no longer gave me a rush of happiness, matter of fact it was opposite – every time I didn’t buy something and added the money to my Freedom Fund, I had a much stronger and longer lasting rush of happiness; I knew I was working towards my life’s truth.

Anyway, it really helps to see where your money is going.  Using this website I have been able to totally regain control of my money, even before I decided to travel.  When I switched to organic food I was able to pull up proof that it didn’t cost any more than conventional eating (you’re just redirecting your money, instead of on fast food and restaurants you’re spending that money at the grocery store or farmer’s markets, or even better – free from your own garden!)

On the home page you get to see your net worth; cash, debts, property, investments.  Scary for some.  I’ve been using this for a full 3 years now and I never thought that I’d see my net worth come to a respectable number.                                                                                (Amazingly it has grown $18k in those 3 years!)

You also can set up budgets to give you a visual of where your money should be going.  I always hated this because I’d always have a negative number after I put in my income and expenses – but I still did it and it really helped.

My favorite is the Trends option where you can really see, in a nice pie chart, where you spent money.  This week, month or year, even compare it with last week, month, whatever!  I love it!

So it takes some work to get your accounts set up and to enter all your cash purchases – but it is so totally worth it in the end when you realize you control your money and not the other way around.  Then you can get on living your life!

 

[button color=”#eeeddc” background=”#7d7d7d” size=”large” src=”http://www.mint.com”%5DMint.com%5B/button%5D

Recipe: Apple Pancake

Tasty Tuesdays in October are going to be dedicated to apple recipes as that’s what’s popping in nature so let’s cook with the seasons!

Today’s recipe is for a wonderfully special breakfast.
I measure out the dry ingredients the night before to simplify the morning work.

Recipe: Apple Pancake

Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Butter, divided … or more!
  • 4 large Apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Milk (or half & half or cream!)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Sugar … or more!
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon… or more!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°
  2. Grease two 8″ round cake pans
  3. Place 2 Tbsp Butter in each pan
  4. Put pans in oven ~ bake until butter melts; remove from oven
  5. In a bowl, beat Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt, Milk and Eggs until smooth
  6. Let stand for 30 minutes
  7. Arrange the Apple slices in the buttered pans
  8. Re-whisk batter and pour over apples, evenly between pans
  9. Mix the Sugar and Cinnamon; sprinkle over each pan
  10. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.[url attid=”1249″ href=”https://lifebyyourownrules.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/dscf4809.jpg”%5D%5Bimg src=”https://lifebyyourownrules.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/dscf4809.jpg?w=300&h=225″ alt=”” title=”dscf4809″ width=”300″ height=”225″ class=”aligncenter size-medium wp-image-1249″][/url]