Category Archives: Nothing To Do With Sewing

Does ebates really give you money back?

Combining ebates and Amazon Prime has been a match made in shopping heaven for me. If you shop online, you might buy from the same sites over and over like I do. My Amazon Prime account is my go to site, but, I don’t always take for granted that Amazon has the lowest prices. I absolutely do shop around. Other sites may have lower prices, but pay attention to their shipping charges.  What may be the lowest prices is negated after shipping is slapped on. The reason I signed up was because Christmas was coming up and I buy lots of present on Amazon anyway, but hate paying shipping. Amazon Prime has a free 30-day trial so I figured I’d get all my Christmas shipping done on their dime. When the 30-day trial was over, I remained a member. The membership price was completely worth the price of admission.

I bought my Singer serger from Amazon. Not only did I get free shipping, I also got a WAY better deal that a Joann’s sale could ever give me.

With Amazon Prime you don’t just get free 2-day shipping, you also get free Amazon Prime videos. I have a Netflix account, but Amazon also has movies that Netflix doesn’t. I also get free Amazon Prime Music. I can pick what I want to listen to, fast-forward or skip altogether. My Pandora account doesn’t allow that. I also get free Kindle books with Prime Reading.

Enter ebates

Now about ebates.  I thought ebates was something new, but it’s been around since 1998! Long story short, they are affiliated with over 2,000 stores and pay rebates when you purchase from those stores. For instance, I’m going to shop at Amazon regardless, so why not get some money back? With the ebates browser extension, it will let you know when you’re on one of their affiliated stores.  You just click the notification to enable the rebate. If you buy off-line at brick and mortar stores, you can also use the ebates app on your smartphone to get rebates. And yes, ebates really does pay you cash back. I’ve received two payments from them already. Oh, and the payment threshold is a low $10 so you don’t have to wait forever to accumulate enough to get paid.

In Summary

Sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial.
Sign up for a free ebates rebate account.

Homemade Sauerkraut How-To

I have to admit, I really suck in the kitchen.  However, my first attempt at making homemade sauerkraut was a hit, like a Pinterest worthy hit.  In fact, I’m going to make another batch today.


Large head of cabbage
Kosher or canning/pickling salt. NOT table salt.

  • Cut the cabbage into quarters. Remove the tough center core.
  • Shred the cabbage into thin slices using a mandolin slicer, food slicer or sharp butcher knife.
  • Set a kitchen scale to grams. Place a large bowl on the scale and tare it.
  • Weigh the shredded cabbage in the bowl.
  • Divide the weight by 50. The result is how many grams of salt to use.

Don’t struggle trying to fit the cabbage into narrow mouthed glass jars like you see in so many tutorials. Get a 2 gallon container. That’s big enough for 2-3 heads of cabbage.

I use a Black and Decker Food Processor with the slicing blade to prepare the cabbage.

Sauerkraut Fermentation Containers

Fancy Pants: 2 gallon ceramic crock with lid and weight
Economy: 2 gallon Anchor Hocking jar with glass lid (what I used)

I used the Anchor Hocking jar. Got it at my local Walmart for around $12.  I prefer it over the crock so I can see if there are problems during the fermentation process.  The glass jar also has a wider mouth.

Fermentation Weights

The cabbage needs to be submerged in its own juices to properly ferment and the most difficult part of this entire processing is figuring out what to use for a weight and then how to get it into the pot.

Fancy Pants:  Food-safe glass or ceramic half circle weights.

Economy:  The first time I used a bag of salt water for a weight.  However, I was trolling the isles at Michael’s some weeks ago and found a 5 lb tub of Crayola air clay on sale. Instant light bulb moment. I’ll make my own weights. I drew a template on paper of the radius of the jar. I made two half moon shapes from the template and notched out a hole in the center of each for a finger grip so they’ll be easy to remove from the jar. I let them dry for a good 3-4 weeks. I placed them in the jar for fitting. I had the grandson do that. Any excuse to get the Dremel out. However, it was much easier to sand them down and shape them just by rubbing them right on the concrete driveway. When they were the right size, I sealed them with my Black and Decker vacuum sealer.  If it turns out they are too thick, I can cut open the bag, grind them thinner and reseal them in a new bag.

Fermentation Plate

I needed a flat plate to place on top of the cabbage and then to place the weights on top of it. It helps to create a barrier between the cabbage and weights to keep pieces from wiggling up to the surface. I cut a circle out of heavy cardboard (Franzia wine box) slightly smaller than the diameter of the inside of the jar. I gave it a bend so I could fit it into the jar. Once I was happy with the shape, I sealed that up with the vacuum sealer, too.


I let the cabbage ferment for three weeks. It was awesome. Not at all salty. That’s why it’s important to do the simple math and weigh the cabbage and salt. The kraut was ever so slightly acidic, but not at all bad. This next time I will try 2-1/2 weeks to see if it’s milder. It’s just like making sourdough, the longer it ferments, the stronger it will be.

Here are the finished pieces.

Sauerkraut Making Video

This is the best video I found on how to make your own sauerkraut.

Additional Resource

National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Sauerkraut and Brats Recipe


All the sauerkraut I just made
2 packages of Johnsonville plain bratwurst
1 slivered medium yellow onion
1 t caraway seed
1/2 c pearl barely (or quick cooking, in a pinch)
1-1/2 c water


Slice the brats lengthwise and remove the casings. Make mini cheater meatballs by using the back of a knife to pinch off 1/2″ to 3/4″ sections of the brats. Lightly brown the mini meatballs in a non-stick dutch oven. Half way through cooking, toss in the slicked onions and continue cooking until onions are limp. Drain grease.

Dump in the sauerkraut, caraway, pearl barley and water. If you’re using quick cooking barely, put it in about half way through the cooking time. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.

I like to serve it over mashed potatoes, but if your lazy, smashed boiled potatoes work, too.

Cool any leftover kraut/brats and portion into, you guessed it, vacuum sealed bags and freeze. There’s nothing like coming home to a kraut dinner.


Sprint LG G2 Clock is Behind

LG G2 Phone

Every now and then, my Sprint LG G2 clock loses minutes. The alarm goes off and already I’m starting my day late. I finally figured out why it happens.

The other day my battery was dead. All the way dead. So dead the phone turned off. Luckily it happened right after the alarm went off.  Thank you for waiting! After I charged it, I noticed the clock lost five minutes.

Here’s how to reset it.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down to the System submenu.
  3. Tap Date & Time
  4. Check the box on Automatic date & time. If it’s already checked, uncheck and recheck it.

By using automatic date & time, it uses the carrier’s network to fetch the time. So if you’re having issues with your LG G2 clock, give that a try.

Android Alarm Clock Didn’t Go Off Again

Android alarm clock didn't go off

I have an LG G2 cellphone and I love it, however this morning was the second time my alarm didn’t go off.  I did some Googling about it and this time hit the jackpot.  Long story short, I had used the Advanced Task Killer app to kill a bunch of apps just before I went to bed.  It killed the alarm app, too.

Short story long, unless you’re running apps that are poorly coded, Android apps normally don’t eat up resources like apps on Windows computers so you end up killing apps that shouldn’t be killed.  I won’t try to paraphrase what the article I found on Lifehacker explained.  It does a very good and simple job on its own.

So if your “alarm clock is not working”, click here to find out why your Android alarm clock didn’t go off and why you should not use Android task killer apps.

UPDATE: Jan 23, 2015 – It went off 10 minutes late AGAIN, as if it had been snoozed.  I found another problem on the LG G2.  It relates to having “OK Google” enabled from any screen.  Go into Settings > Language & Input > Google Voice typing > Click the gear icon to its right > Click “Ok Google” Detection > Turn off “From any screen”.  Here’s more information about it.


State of CA Employees – Get Rid of Wells Fargo Now!

If you’re a State of CA employee and are fed up with waiting for Wells Fargo to post your direct deposit, you’re gonna love this.

Let me give you the summary of why I made the switch from Wells Fargo to Golden1 NON-PROFIT credit union.

  • I get paid once a month at the end of the month.
  • If payday is on a Friday, I “might” see the direct deposit in my account on Saturday, but maybe not. That means it won’t post until Monday. I had to change due dates on a number of my bills just to accommodate that schedule.
  • If Monday is a holiday, I don’t see the deposit in my account until Tuesday. It’s happened several times.
  • Prior to direct deposit, when I manually deposited my check, I was only allowed $100 of it until the deposit was verified.

So I asked people at work for direct deposit recommendations and who they were using for a bank. It was a resounding “Golden1 Credit Union”. So I signed up. And no, I don’t get rewarded in any way for saying this other than the pure satisfaction of seeing another unhappy customer kick Wells Fargo to the curb.

At Golden1

  1. I wake up on payday and I already have access to the money in my account. That, alone, is worth the switch.
  2. Interest rates on loans might as well be 0% because they are soooo stinking low.
  3. Credit card interest is very low, especially if you have good credit.

So yesterday I got a letter from them explaining why my paycheck gets posted so fast. Because I am a State of CA employee, I get what they call a direct deposit accommodation. They anticipate my check is going to be the same as last month so they front me the money. All of it, not just $100. Then when the real deposit posts, they subtract what they posted in good faith. All I know is that I’m not waiting to get paid.

I told Wells Fargo to close my account and gave them all the reasons why I’m leaving. As one final last stab at me, they sent me an email via their secure messaging thingy. To read it, I had to log into my account. Couldn’t do it because they closed it. It was bitter sweet only because they got the last laugh, but in the end I am FINALLY rid of them. The only reason I stayed with them way too long was because they were close to my house. Golden1 is on the direct path on my way home from work and one on the way to my grandson’s house.

Interest rates on loans? I’m not going to quote rates because they fluctuate, but they are soooo low, my jaw literally dropped open. I’m not car shopping, but never again will I use dealer financing.



DIY Dishwasher Tablets

homemade dishwasher tablets

I made these DIY dishwasher tablets from a recipe found on Pinterest. I have two words for it: EPIC FAIL It was the borax, Epsom salts, lemon juice recipe. This is the one I followed. I scooped the “dough” into level tablespoons and slid them onto plastic wrap with a silicone spatula. The held their shape amazingly well. PROS:

  1. Easy to make
  2. Set and molded up very nicely
  3. Dried hard as a rock


  1. They SUCK

Save your money and don’t do this project. I didn’t do anything different than what I normally do when I use a commercial brand of dishwasher liquid gel. After the wash, I opened the door and questioned whether or not I had forgotten to turn the machine on. The dishes felt greasy and all the stuck on food residue was still on the dishes. Even the silverware felt unwashed. RECOMMENDATION: I went back to my never-fail Target Up and Up lemon scented dishwasher gel. Leaves the dishes sparkling clean and removes food stuck-on residue.

Redneck Abs

You don’t need to do situps or crunches. No fad diets. No counting calories. No exercise. No waiting. In fact, you can eat all you want without any restrictions of any type. This is The #1 easiest way to get an INSTANT chiseled 8-pack.

If These guys can do it, so can you.

Redneck Abs

Removing Candle Wax from Containers

Easily remove candle wax

From time to time I come across something mind-blowing that has nothing to do with sewing that I’d like to share with others. So I created a new category on this blog called… Nothing To Do With Sewing!

I make my own candles and candle melts, but I use palm or soy wax. Both are natural, non-petroleum waxes and they clean up easily with hot water and soap. But every now and then I purchase a paraffin candle because I can’t resist the fragrance.

Paraffin wax doesn’t clean up with hot water and soap. If you’ve every tried scraping paraffin candle butts (my kids affectionately call the tail end of anything a butt), out of a glass container, you know how messy it is. I’ve even broken glass jars trying to do it.

Last night I wanted to remove a 1/2 burned votive candle from the glass votive holder. I got the knife and reached for the candle and said, “Self, you know how this is going to turn out. Don’t do it.” Instead, I stuck in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then took it out and slipped a steak knife between the wax and the glass and that bad boy completely POPPED RIGHT OUT! WooHoo! That’s a picture of it above.