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Here's How an Ophthalmologist Recommends Getting Rid of a Chalazion (or Stye) at Home

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Styes & Chalazions are Stubborn! If you've ever had a stye or chalazion on your eyelid, you know how persistent one can be.  When you Google ways to get rid of them, you typically find the same home remedies repeated on various sites:  hot compresses, tea bags, cucumbers, and avoiding contacts and make-up.  What if you've tried all those methods and your stye or chalazion won't go away? Our daughter struggled with a chalazion, which we originally assumed was a stye, for several months until we consulted an optometrist and later an ophthalmologist for help.  To spare you the time, trouble, and expense of costly doctor visits, I will share the tips recommended by these medical professionals. What Is the Difference Between a Stye and a Chalazion? Styes typically begin at the base of your eyelash and are the result of an infection of the hair follicle.  A stye on the inside of your eyelid is caused by the infection of an oil gland.  A stye can become very painful and might

The Grinch's Best "Who Hash" Recipe

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A "Feast" Your Family Will Love No holiday season is complete without the annual viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas .  It's a delightful, transformative tale about finding and sharing in the Christmas spirit. Before the Grinch's heart grows three sizes, he hates that the Whos feast, feast, feast on Who-pudding and Who-roast beast--a feast he can't stand in the least!  As a result, he steals all the food in each house along with every vestige of Christmas. He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash. Why, that Grinch even took their last can of Who-hash! If your kids are picky eaters who hesitate to touch their plates with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole, you will have no trouble enticing them with this comforting and Christmas-y recipe.  Plus, it's much tastier than a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce! What Is "Hash?" Hash refers to a dish consisting of seasoned diced meat, potatoes, and vegetables that

Best Thanksgiving Meal for Small Families

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Thanksgiving Dinner for Smaller Gatherings As Thanksgiving approaches, various medias picture large families gathered around a table overflowing with festive foods, young kids at play, and grandpa sleeping in the living room recliner.  The incessant clamor of voices creates a beautiful kind of chaos. Everyone leaves with full bellies, a plate of leftovers, and the memory of another great Thanksgiving tucked away in their hearts. Maybe you're not from a large family, your kids can't make it home this year, or you're at a stage of life where too much commotion is unsettling.  You want a great Thanksgiving meal at home though and can't imagine going to a restaurant. Our family is small, too, and after years of experimenting, we have landed on a delicious menu that pleases everyone, doesn't create too many leftovers, and can be prepared in just a few hours.      Whether you're feeding your small family or inviting a few friends over to celebrate, here are recipes f

How to Dry Your Own Corn Stalks for Fall Decorating in 4 Easy Steps (with Pictures)

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Drying Corn Stalks Is Easier Than You Might Think Last year, I spied corn stalks for sale at our local Home Depot and Lowes stores and wanted to buy some for our Fall decorating, but sticker shock deterred me.  Each small bundle cost nearly $25!   Amazon, which typically offers better pricing, is selling bundles of 12 this year for $52.99.  Considering these bundles will either be composted or sent to the landfill at the end of the season, only people with money to burn would consider investing in such pricey lawn d├ęcor. The best solution is to dry your own corn stalks.  If you grew corn in your garden over the summer, it won't cost you a dime, and you'll be harvesting every bit of your crop. We tied our dried corn stalks to tomato stakes to help them stand in our display. Step One:  Harvest the Corn & Cut Each Stalk Once you have picked all the corn your garden has produced, waiting for stalks to dry out on their own will take too long.    You will need a tool to make a c

10 Ways to Reduce Stress During the Christmas Season

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Shouldn't be Stressful! The Christmas season is the coziest and most magical time of the year.  Lights are twinkling, merry melodies are playing, cookies are baking, and our homes smell like cinnamon, peppermint, and pine.  Hearts are lighter, generosity abounds, and we set aside extra time to spend with the ones we love.  If you live in a colder climate, you might even wake up to a white Christmas--the best kind! For some, Christmas can be a time of undue stress.  Since many prefer holding back the holiday cheer until after Thanksgiving, pulling everything together in a month's time can be challenging.  Organization is the key to accomplishing your goals while still maintaining your peace of heart and mind and finding time to bask in all the warmth, beauty, and majesty the season has to offer. You can be a jolly Santa this season even without the help of elves! Here are several simple ways you can reduce your holiday stress and still have ti

How to Build, Start, & Grow Your First Vegetable Garden in the Suburbs AND Keep Out the Pests

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Work with the Space You Have Growing up in a rural community, we never lacked space for an amazing garden.  Our one-acre plot was very fertile, boasting healthy soil beds that produced an abundant harvest of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.  Our garden spanned nearly the full length of our property, and I can still imagine the sight of my dad wrestling his tiller between the rows.     I loved running to the garden to snap cucumbers, squash, green peppers, and tomatoes from their vines so my mom could include them in her plans for dinner.  I especially loved when she turned our tender lettuces into mouth-watering wilted lettuce .  What we couldn't eat was frozen or canned to sustain us through the winter months.  That garden saved our blue-collar family a lot of money back in the 1980's. I've never fully adjusted to life in the suburbs.  Everything we need is within a 5-10 minute jaunt, but the convenience will never compensate for being confined to such a tiny parcel of lan