in Rim Country, White Mountains of Arizona & Beyond...



140 Delicious Superfood Recipes

By:  Dana Jacobi

Available through Amazon.com

The book we are reviewing this month was chosen because we hear so much about adding greens to our diets being so good for us but many of us don’t really know much about greens so…..

The first thing Ms. Jacobi recommends is that, while she has carefully researched this book for good nutrition recommendations, you should always consult with your doctor before making sustained or extensive changes to your diet.  Ashley Koff, RD who is a dietitian who has worked with patients for over a decade to use food to improve and maintain their health, wrote the Foreword.  She says she has often heard, “I know I should eat more greens but I don’t know how to cook them so they will taste good and still be healthy.”  Ms. Koff says it is the combined knowledge of the health power of greens and easy great-tasting ways to prepare them that provides true power.  She said she was thrilled when one of her favorite cookbook authors, Dana Jacobi, “created this book that does both beautifully and simply.”

She continued, “These fifteen leafy dark greens deliver nutrients that will actually improve the health of every part of your body.  At your core, greens improve digestion by helping to remove toxins from the body as well as helping promote a healthy PH level that in turn creates a more suitable environment for good bacteria (probiotics).  As we age, our bodies need nutrient support to protect all our cells and maintain the health of organs large (skin) and small (eyes).  Leafy Power Greens are one of the most important sources of different antioxidants---vitamins and minerals as well as plant nutrients (phytonutrients).  These antioxidants play a critical role as our body’s cleanup team.  They seek



By Carol Hardin

CAMPING RECIPES, Foil Packet Cooking by Bonnie Scott (available at Amazon) is the book I chose to review for this month.  It has 100 foil pocket recipes for campfires and grills (or just to make in your oven at home, if you like.)

First the author gives some good tips:

 Don’t be frugal with the amount of foil you use.  It is much better to have too much than to use too little and have your food running into the fire.  You can always fold over extra.

Spraying the foil with non-stick cooking spray (like Pam) works so well to keep your food from sticking!

The best foil to use…especially for outdoor cooking…is heavy duty aluminum foil.  If you only have standard aluminum foil, just use at least two thicknesses for each packet.

Always put meat on the bottom when adding ingredients because meat will take longer to cook.

Place your packets on hot coals or a campfire grill but never directly in the fire itself.  Charcoal will take about 30 minutes after lighting to be ready to use.

Rotate the packets ¼ turn a couple of times during cooking.  Open the packet and check the food when it should be finished, being very careful of the steam and of tearing the foil should it need further cooking.

Cut all vegetables about the same size so they will cook evenly and cut them keeping in mind the amount of time you estimate your meat will cook so it all comes out at the same time.

When food is cooked, open one end of the foil packet carefully or cut a large X across the top of each one to allow steam to escape; open top or fold back foil…CAREFULLY!

Remember that campfires and grills will vary in heat so it is best to check with a meat thermometer for safe cooking… The USDA recommends the following internal temperatures as a minimum for safe eating:  This is not necessarily the degree of doneness you want for your meat but the MINIMUM SAFE TEMPERATURE for eating the meat.



By Carol Hardin


By Mary Hunt - Available through Amazon

The author said she didn’t actually set out to be a tip aficionado but it began with her publishing her Debt-Proof Living newsletter (formerly Cheapskate Monthly) and invited readers to share their best money- and time-saving tips.  She said they arrive printed on napkins, on snippets torn from newspapers, phone, fax and email messages or buried in the middle of long letters.  There were so many!!  So, she published her first book, Tiptionary, in 1997, which was a big hit. Since 1997, the world has changed A LOT!  She worked with Revell Books to get out this new edition -- Cheaper, Better, Faster.

She is funny with her stories about how some tips were received.  I like the one she tells about the woman who was so excited that she no longer needed to scrub the toilet on Saturday as her husband had started dumping his denture-soaking liquid into the commode every morning.  (p.63)

She said the criteria for whether a tip made it into this collection were fairly simple: “If it didn’t insult my intelligence, included a reasonable expectation that it saved time or money and prompted a response close to “WOW! What a great idea!” --- it was in!”  So, she said, “I won’t be telling you how to floss your teeth as we’re smart and we already know how to do that, but floss a turkey (page 125) or floss that winter coat (page 69), you’ll be glad you knew that!

She says she doesn’t use every tip in this book, certainly not on a regular basis, because some of them don’t apply to her life but someone has tested them READ MORE...

Review by Carol Hardin



Sub title:  How to Eliminate Harmful Toxins from Your Water

By Colin Ingram   Available at Amazon

Editor’s Note:  This is an absolutely excellent book written on a very difficult subject.  While we cannot verify all this information, the author not only did a tremendous amount of research, he planned the book in a coherent and cohesive manner that allows the reader to get to the information in an organized way.  The book is well-edited and we recommend it as an unusually efficient and easily-used resource.

The author starts with some quick tips:

 Getting water from a tap, let the water run at full flow for ten seconds, then slow down to half flow or less to fill your container.  This will flush out pollutants that have attached (or grown) to the faucet.

If you want water for a hot drink, use cold water and heat it to avoid getting pollutants from your hot water heater.

If you use a portable or detachable filter, store it in the refrigerator when not in use to slow growth of microorganisms on the filter.

Once bottled water has been open for two days, store in refrigerator.

All water utilities are required to send customers an annual water quality report.  If you don’t receive one, ask for it.  It is free.  It should alert you to any contaminants detected above federal or state permitted levels.

If you use a well, have your water tested at least once a year.

Fluoridation:  Sound arguments for and against it.  The author recommends against.

Don’t drink chlorinated tap water on a regular basis.

Distilled water is fine but be careful of the containers you store it in.

Is bottled water safer than tap water from a public water supply?  It depends on the type and brand of bottled water…some are, some aren’t.



By:  Carol Hardin

This month, we are reviewing DIY SOLAR HEATER (Build and Use a Solar Air Heater For Less Than You Think) by Michael Smart, available at Amazon.com.

As I am writing this, we are experiencing a very real “deep freeze” so this book seems especially appropriate!  The author said he wrote the book because of his cold winter days in northern Indiana.  He called this “Snowmageddon.”  Because his neighbor had built a very makeshift Solar Heater and kept him and several of his neighbors warm during a power outage, he said he learned two important things:  1) the vulnerability of the grid and traditional utility heating and, 2) a way around that vulnerability: independent solar heating.

The first chapter is devoted to understanding solar power.  A very interesting fact he begins with: “The sun is powerful…..just to bring it into focus, just ONE second of the total energy output of the sun is enough to give energy to all 7 billion people on planet Earth for the next half a million years!”  So, we are only limited by the technical capabilities of modern technology and that is enough that a standard solar panel can easily absorb as much as 20% of the light that reaches its panels…enough to completely power a home with extra energy to spare.

The next section of the first chapter helps you with Understanding the Mechanics of Solar Panels and walks you through the materials used to build a solar panel and how that material “performs a kind of energy catabolism at the atomic level breaking down the photons from the sun that strike its surface into usable energy.”

Chapter Two gets you into Building Your Own Solar Air Heater Projects.  Placement of the unit is key and usually that is outside the southern-most wall of a home.  You start with a plywood box and then you decide which material to use to cover that box:  plastic is the cheapest; glass is more durable but more expensive and vinyl is stronger than plastic but cheaper than glass.  He advocates for vinyl.  He starts with a window box solar air heater and tells you how to make that.  Black paint is an important part of this method.

Next, he talks about “Thermo-siphoning Solar Air Panels.”  This method works through a series of polycarbonate corrugated panels attached to your base unit.  All panels require free flowing air in and out of the units.  He says that if the sun is out at all, even on a cold winter day, this type of READ MORE...

A Book Review of "The Bushcraft, Trapping, Foraging and Cooking in the Wild"

Available through Amazon.com

By Carol Hardin


This issue, we will be discussing the book:  THE BUSHCRAFT:  TRAPPING, FORAGING & COOKING IN THE WILD by Steven Wester  (available through Amazon).  The author starts the book by saying “The main thing that you need to know about bushcraft is the fact that, like any other craft, you get out of it what you put into it.  It takes time, practice and repetition to be able to succeed at survival in the bush.  While it may be true that everyone has their own unique way of doing things; even though there may be more than one way to get there; the end goal is the same:  survival.”

He also noted that in engaging in bushcraft, you will be going back to the rudimentary survivalist tactics of our ancestors so understanding fundamental concepts about nature and manipulating our environment for our benefit is crucial.

First up is setting up camp, a safe place on the ground for an extended stay and setting up a shelter to protect you from the elements.  He starts with the basic ridge tent, utilizing a cross pole that creates the ridge to prop up the roof of the tent.  These can range from huge group shelters to a simple pup tent for one.  He said you should always keep the ceiling of these tents very low as these are meant for a quick place to lay low in the rain and for sleeping.  Usually made of nylon and a couple of aluminum poles, they are very light.  If you need to have standing room, you can erect a dome tent using a flexible pole that creates the domed shape.  A TIPI (I guess taken from teepee?) is simply constructed of three wooden sticks placed in a tripod shape to provide strength.

A unique approach to shelter is what he calls a “Squirrel’s Nest.”  You just pile up as many dry pieces of plant material as you can, bark, leaves, pine cones, etcetera and then crawl into it.  This is an emergency shelter and presents its own problems, including bugs.  In the same manner, but a bit more utilitarian, is a simple thatched hut, made of a wide variety of bark strips vines, leaves, twigs, branches and other basic materials propped up with round sticks to serve as poles. READ MORE...



(Available through Amazon.com)

By Carol Hardin

Cross has written this book “to help beginners understand the basics of backpacking and the more complex aspects of outdoor travel.”  It serves well as a ‘brush up’ manual for more experienced hikers as well.  He says, “Safe and enjoyable backpacking not only requires basic skills but also the right equipment that enables your support on the trail.  Space in a backpack is limited so you need to choose well!”

Based on the author’s experience and knowledge about backpacking accumulated over several years of travelling around the world, it covers:

The best trails and destinations to choose as a beginner;

The essential equipment and gear you will need;

The right way to choose your backpacking essentials from your clothing and backpack to your shoes, tents, sleeping bags, water bottles, medicines and toiletries;

Food and meals you can eat during your trip…including shopping and storing;

Handling medical and weather emergencies and finding your way through unknown territories.

He starts with how to choose a backpack and what is the right way to pack a backpack?  Obviously, a lot will depend on your destination and the anticipated weather where you will be hiking.   He tells you how READ MORE...

Editor's Choice

Book review

By Carol Hardin

Editor, GYMOAZ


Panic in the Woods: By Stephen Young


    We are going to start running a column each month about a good book, story or article on the outdoors which we hope will be of interest and, especially, will be helpful to you in your outdoor pursuits.

Since this is Halloween month, the book this month is quite unusual but you may find it extremely interesting if you are into the occult, the mysterious, the ‘things that go bump in the night’ or just a good read to keep you awake!!  The name of the book is PANIC IN THE WOODS, true stories by Steph Young (Copyright 2016 by Steph Young, all rights reserved).

  It is quite a short book.  Following is a list of contents:  1.  Assassinations…mutilations, robberies…ghosts…and a baffling disappearance; 2. The Case of Arnold Archambeau; 3.  Whatever it was, it hitched a ride back to where I live; 4.  Ghost Abduction; 5.  True Detective or the movie Deliverance; 6.  Masks and Hoods; 7. The Wolf-Riders; 8.  Dimensional Disappearances; 9.  Gothic Macabre Disappearance; 10.  The Canyon Mystery and 11. “How can a woman just vanish?” These are all unexplained disappearances, deaths and other weird “happenings” all taking place in the WOODS or the most remote wildernesses.

The first story is about a New York advertising man’s disappearance from a desolate Wyoming highway and the mystery has never truly been solved although his body was found four years later.  The story encompasses elements of possible government conspiracy, unexplained deaths of anyone connected to it, UFO’s, séances, an assassination, ghosts and other things that are never explained!   The biggest unexplained factor was the fact that his body was found in pristine condition after four years…no predator damage, nothing had marred it.  Also, where his footprints stopped, there was no body and the body wasn’t seen during exhaustive searches of the area.  What happened to Donald Kemp?

And what happened to Arnold Archambeau and his girlfriend Ruby Bruguier, at a remote intersection on the outskirts of the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation in Lake Andes, South Dakota?  Why were their bodies in very different stages of decomposition when they were found in a ditch 75 feet from the scene of the accident….3 months later, after the area had been repeatedly searched?

And what hitched a ride back to where Chris Nash lived after his venture into Rendlesham Forest.  “Whatever it is, the malevolence is clear to see in its yellow eyes in an angular face.”  Read More...

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