H-E-B Partners With Texas Parks and Wildlife to Conserve and Protect

As far as I can remember, H-E-B Food-Drugs, a San Antonio based company in Texas has consistently been a strong proponent and practitioner for the environment. I retired from this outstanding retailer in 2009 as head of their Facilities Management Division and saw first hand how they are regularly recognized for its commitment to environmental sustainability.

🔹In 2021, H-E-B recycled more than 636 million pounds of cardboard, plastics, office paper, food waste, metal, and truck tires.

🔹Among its endeavor to minimize waste in 2021, H-E-B recycled 54 million pounds of food into animal feed and compost and recycled 17.5 million pounds of plastic.

🔹That same year, H-E-B’s recycling efforts saved the equivalent of 11 million trees, 1.6 million barrels of oil, and enough energy to power more than 83,000 homes for an entire year.

As part of H-E-B’s Our Texas, Our Future mission, and with support from Field & Future by H-E-B brand products, the retailer is partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and their efforts to conserve wildlife, habitats, and natural resources in Texas.

 - H-E-B Newsroom

H-E-B is a longtime partner of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability along with Field & Future by H-E-B will support efforts such as:

🔹coastal conservation along the Texas Gulf Coast,

🔹Black Bear restoration in West Texas,

🔹the establishment of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in North Texas, the state’s newest state park expected to open in 2023.  

Field & Future by H-E-B, which the company launched last year, is an environmentally minded brand of household, personal care and baby products designed to be clean and green.

The brand is made with recycled or recyclable content, biodegradable formulas or plant-based ingredients, and without over 165 harsh chemicals. Currently, there are nearly 100 Field & Future by H-E-B products on shelf, including dish soap, body wash, bath tissue, baby diapers, as well as trash bags and bags for recyclables, which are made from up to 65 percent and 30 percent post-consumer recycled plastic from H-E-B facilities, respectively.

“H-E-B is an iconic Texas company, and this new partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, our official non-profit partner, is incredibly exciting,” said Texas Parks and & Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith. “It’s fitting that the Field & Future line of products will benefit conservation projects across Texas, and we’re deeply grateful for this new partnership.”

 - H-E-B Newsroom

With Earth Day around the corner, H-E-B Partners (employees) across the state are committed to taking their own steps to beautify Texas. Leading up to and following Earth Day, Partners will volunteer at outdoor events, tree plantings and community cleanups. Many H-E-B stores across the state also will host in-store events to celebrate Earth Day with their customers and communities.

Throughout the year, H-E-B works to champion sustainability initiatives throughout its own operations and across the Lone Star State.

In 2021, H-E-B became part of How2Recycle, a program that places clear, easy-to-read labels on products to let customers know if the packaging can be recycled, which parts are recyclable, and importantly, how to prepare material for recycling to reduce contamination.

The How2Recycle labels are already on more than 1,700 H-E-B branded items, which include H-E-B, Hill Country Fare, H-E-B Select Ingredients, H-E-B Organics, and Central Market.

Furthering its commitment to supporting sustainable efforts within the community, H-E-B gifted $135,000 to support the creation of a community recycling center in Ingleside. Slated to open in the summer, this will be the city’s first ever recycling center, which will service several communities near the Gulf Coast town.

“We know H-E-B and our customers have a shared commitment in protecting the land, water and air of Texas for generations to come,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. “As H-E-B works to reduce our packaging footprint and increase packaging recyclability, we also look for ways to support community access to recycling. We’re excited to partner with Keep Texas Beautiful and the City of Ingleside to make recycling available for the first time for 65,000 Texans.”  

H-E-B customers also can support sustainability efforts through its annual donation campaign that benefits EarthShare of Texas, a nonprofit that supports more than 70 respected conservation groups. From April 13 through May 24, customers can donate $1, $3 or $5 online at heb.com or in store at checkout, which will benefit the nonprofit organization. From the donation campaign, more than $1 million has gone to support the nonprofit.

Since 2012, H-E-B has contributed more than $20 million to over 500 environmental organizations in land and water conservation, habitat and coastal preservation, and community cleanups. This includes giving more than $2 million in grants to organizations such as Keep Texas BeautifulTexas Conservation Fund, and the Nature Conservancy in Texas.


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HEB FOOD DRUGS

Americans Seek More Wellness Opportunities as Pandemic Eases

For those who go beyond corporate news propaganda and pay close attention, the pandemic continues to teach many of us critical lessons.

One of the most valuable knowledge gains is realizing most of the media is corrupt and dishonest. Chances are, all of us have fallen guilty to seeing a new claim and not doing our own research to confirm if what they presented is true.

This article goes beyond the political, Big Pharma, Big Tech and Academia mistruths and indoctrination to zero in on our health, wellness and nutrition.

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From the moment consumers experienced the toilet paper shortages of 2020 to the most recent supply chain scarcities on store shelves (along with lockdowns, business closings, controversial vaccine and mask mandates), the one thing most people concentrated on improving was their health.

We personally made several significant changes. We moved from an urban area to a less expensive home far out in the Texas Hill Country, built contingencies for essentials (water, power, communication…), started a food garden, increased our exercise, and enhanced our nutrition/supplement intake.

A heightened—and understandable—focus on health, natural and wellness products by consumers is increasing. Today, “natural and wellness” products make up a $187 billion market that is growing at 12.5%. 

In fact, natural and wellness products are leading growth across consumer products in 2021.

As conventional positioned products grew 6.3% over 52 weeks in American grocery stores, specialty and wellness positioned products grew 14.1% and natural-positioned products grew 9.8%.  

Lessons Learned

Remember what we learned about the dishonesty in news media, Big Tech, Big Pharma and Academia. The same strategies can be used in other media. Be cautious of convincing advertisements alerting us to the latest foods that will help us live longer and be healthier that are plastered on billboards, appearing across our TV screens, and in-between our favorite songs on the radio.

“Pomegranates cheat death.”
“Dark chocolate lowers cholesterol.”
“Almonds boost your memory.”

If we are seeing these claims everywhere, they must be true, right? Think about the disinformation the CDC, FDA, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times dish out.

We count on nutrition science to help us make smart food choices, but when food companies paid for that research, can we trust the findings?

Beware Misleading News & Ads

In her latest book, Unsavory Truth, Marion Nestle exposes the unspoken agenda between nutrition researchers and the funding they receive from the food industry.

As Nestle so bluntly states in her books opening, “Unsavory Truth is about how food, beverage, and supplement companies fund nutrition researchers and practitioners and their professional associations, with the ultimate goal of promoting sales.”

When the experts of these scientific studies are merging with the marketing experts who emulate the results to the public, we get the uninformed and misled consumers we have today. Nestle remarks that this happens in all parts of the marketing industry, going back as far as the 1950’s tobacco campaigns. Even though industry executives were well aware of the connection to lung cancer, campaigns were still released casting doubt that cigarettes were harmful.

Current decisions we are making because of news media, government mandates and paid talking heads can be massively dangerous. Much propaganda and advertising is resulting in numerous public health issues, environmental concerns, and food insecurity.

Nestle states that, “Everyone eats. Food matters. All of us need and deserve sound nutrition advice aimed at promoting public health – not corporate commercial interests.”

It’s important to note that Nestle does make the distinction that “not all industry backed-research is biased” but, we must be cautious. Ultimately, Nestle is encouraging shoppers to vote with their fork and look at the contact information on food labels and have open conversations with the companies that make the food you’re consuming. Write letters, send emails, pick up the phone and ask to speak with someone. If we don’t do it, who will?

Like most health advocates, Marion Nestle concludes her book with recommendations for her readers to pursue. She motivates consumers to “eat your veggies, choose relatively unprocessed foods, keep junk foods to a minimum, and watch excessive calories.”

Future Survival

To survive and thrive this political and lifestyle turmoil, the wise will consider how wellness impacts our future. We really do have more choices and it’s smart to acknowledge opportunities.

One tactic to deal with product shortages is to consider alternatives and expand the breadth of products for our lifestyles. 

The move toward online shopping in all its forms accelerated last year. For instance, most of our supplements and health regime such as Green Pasture Products are conveniently acquired by mail. The book we are reading now, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, is very informative. Shoppers have more options. We can get our groceries delivered at home, put in the car curbside, or packed up for in-store pickup. That’s here to stay and shoppers aren’t going to accept a retail experience where these perks are taken away.  

Natural product shoppers now rely on internet ordering at nearly twice the rate of all customers and spend less at the biggest conventional outlets. That matters because it means that natural shoppers are tech-friendly, eager for convenience, and committed to spending their dollars at outlets that deliver a specialized experience they’re not getting at the Wal-Mart type big box stores.

Products with wellness attributes are performing in sales stronger than ever. Even keto branded products were up 31% over pre-2020 sales.

We are not taking it for granted that pre-pandemic times will be the future. Personally, for the most part we ignored lockdown restrictions and other government mandates. We traveled, ate in opened restaurants, turned off news, and improved our lifestyle.

During the pandemic, like so many others we have talked to, we rediscovered the joy of cooking at home–including the convenience and health benefits.

Many signs point to a different kind of workday for many office workers, which means more remote working and at-home meals. The economic situation for many workers has not fully recovered, and at-home dining is an affordable option. 

Our suggestion moving forward is to build out long-term strategies but don’t forget to identify immediate opportunities as well. As we look ahead, keep these ideas in mind: 

  • Educate ourselves about nutrient dense and functional foods 
  • Adopt maintainable diet and lifestyles 
  • Evaluate broader ideas and alternatives as we personalize efforts fight back and survive the turmoil.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Unearth the Mysteries of Those Who Lie Beneath the Oldest Graveyards in the Lone Star State

Texas, the second largest state, both in land mass and population, has more than 50,000 cemeteries, graveyards, and burial grounds. As the final resting places of those whose earthly journey has ended, they are also repositories of valuable cultural history. The pioneer cemeteries—those from the 19th century—provide a wealth of information on the people who settled Texas during its years as a Republic (1836-1845), and after it became the 28th state in 1845. In What Lies Beneath: Texas Pioneer Cemeteries and Graveyards, author Cynthia Leal Massey exhumes the stories of these pioneers, revealing the intriguing truth behind the earliest graveyards in the Lone Star State, including some of its most ancient. This guide also provides descriptions of headstone features and symbols, and demystifies the burial traditions of early Texas pioneers and settlers.

More titles by Cynthia Leal Massey.

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Rust, Paint, Garden, Grease & Other Great Tips

WiFi Signal Booster

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Depending on how old you are, you may remember using “rabbit ears” to get a better television signal. Sometimes the rabbit ears weren’t enough on their own, and you’d have to add some aluminum foil to the ends to boost the signal. The days of using foil to get a better TV picture may be over, but it’s not as obsolete as you might think. Today, you can use aluminum foil to boost the signal from your wireless router.

Adding aluminum foil to a Wi-Fi reflector can help the signal bounce around your home, reaching those otherwise spotty areas.

Greasy Easy Clean-Up

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Hopefully you’re aware that you shouldn’t pour grease down your kitchen drain — hot or otherwise. So, how are you supposed to get rid of your used cooking grease and oil? Pouring it into the garbage can seems like a terrible — and potentially messy — idea.

Luckily foil is here to save the day. Line the inside of a bowl with aluminum foil, and pour the hot grease into it. Once it cools and solidifies, ball up the soiled foil and toss it into your trash can.

Remove Rust, Really

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Tired of looking at rusty metal? If it’s chrome, there’s a quick fix. Just tear off a piece of foil, soak it in some water, and use it to start scrubbing the rusted chrome. The rust will disappear in no time!

No AA? No Problem

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The batteries have died and the only replacements you have in the house are AAA. What to do?

You can convert those AAA into AA by placing a bit of foil at the positive ends before inserting the batteries into your equipment.

Banana Trick

Bananas are such a delicious, easy-to-eat snack. Unfortunately, they also go bad really quickly. After a few days of lying out on your kitchen counter, your bananas will start to brown.

If you need to keep your bananas fresher longer, turn to aluminum foil.

Wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around the stem of your bananas. By breaking off part of the banana’s contact with the air, you can slow the decaying process that plagues these fruits. A little piece of aluminum foil can lead to longer days of ripe, yellow, ready-to-eat fruit.

Good Crust

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Getting the perfect pie crust can be a little tricky. You can account for flakiness and flavor with the recipe, but when it comes to just how golden brown your crust will get, you have to throw yourself at the mercy of the oven. Or will you?

Try out a little-known baking hack using, you guessed it, aluminum foil. Cover your crust in aluminum foil before popping the pie into the oven. This should help ensure that your crust doesn’t burn!

Messy Ice Cream Cone Prevention

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Use aluminum foil to keep an ice cream cone from spilling everywhere. Simply wrap some alluminum foil around the very bottom of the cone, that way any melting or spilled ice cream drips into the foil instead of the floor… or

Funneling

Wrap foil around paper cone.

Need a makeshift funnel? No worries. Grab your trusty roll of aluminum foil and fashion a funnel out of that. It’s surprisingly easy.

Foot Foil Relief

Wrap a foot in aluminum for one hour to see what happens. There are several benefits to wrapping your feet in foil. It can alleviate aching joints, it soothes pain caused by burns and it is a great solution against fatigue. Another fun trick is keeping your foil in the freezer before you use it on your body to not only help with fatigue but swelling as well.

Home Made Stylus

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Need a stylus in a pinch? Before you fork over $10 to $30 for one, try making your own. It’s quick and easy. Just wrap the tip of your favorite pen in foil, use a bit of tape to secure it, and voilá!

Garden Protection

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If you’re looking for a way to keep insects out of your vegetables, mix some aluminum foil strips in with your mulch. Seriously. Also, you get the bonus benefit of the foil reflecting light back into your plants.

Door Knob Paint Protectors

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When painting doors, be sure to wrap your doorknobs in aluminum foil. When painting a door, or even surrounding walls, paint drips are inevitable. By wrapping your knobs in foil, you can keep them clean and paint free

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Goettle HVAC and Plumbing services are located in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas areas as well as regions in Southern California.

16 Foods to Stock For Better Health

Nutritionally, variety helps ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. And psychologically, variety helps make mealtimes more enjoyable and healthy eating more fun. This translates to a better chance of sticking with healthy eating for the long haul.  

Dodie is a retired Registered Nurse who also taught prenatal and nutrition classes.

Here are 16 foods to keep on hand — including fridge, freezer, countertop, and cupboard items — to make sticking to a healthy diet a little easier. 

REFRIGERATOR 

Food to Stock #1: Carrots  

High in vitamin A and fiber — which can help fill you up and prevent blood sugar spikes — carrots are nutrient-dense, versatile, easy, and convenient. That’s everything you want in a food when you’re trying to eat healthier.  

Most people eat carrots in the form of raw sticks, maybe plunged into a bowl of hummus or as an alternative to chips alongside your lunchtime sandwich. Both are good options, but you can also enjoy roasted carrot “fries” (cooked in a little heart-healthy olive oil), ribboned carrot “noodles,” or pureed carrot soup. You can even buy shredded carrots and use them in place of potatoes in a breakfast hash. The healthy, high-fiber possibilities are endless.  

Food to Stock #2: Pre-Washed Salad Greens 

Salad greens are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and water. That makes them especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. Eliminate the hassle of washing and drying greens by opting for the pre-washed versions of spinach, kale, romaine, watercress, or arugula. They all provide vitamins A, K, C, and B9 (folate), and minerals such as iron and potassium. (FYI: Iceberg lettuce is a less nutrient-dense salad green, so it’s more nutritious mixed with other greens.) 

These and other “shortcut” items — such as pre-cut vegetables, shredded cabbage, and precooked, vacuum-packed beets — are great for making quick meals in a pinch or for bulking up a frozen entrée or any meal that’s light in the veggie department. 

Food to Stock #3: Cantaloupe 

High in water and low in calories, this melon offers a sweet and satisfying way to pack in essential vitamins. Just 1 cup of balled cantaloupe delivers more than 100 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin A and more than 75 percent of vitamin C — all for just 60 calories. 

In that same 1-cup serving, you’ll also get a decent dose of potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate the heart and blood pressure by counterbalancing sodium. 

Food to Stock #4: Eggs 

Protein is an important part of a balanced meal that helps us stay full for longer, and it’s also essential for maintaining lean muscle mass. The average egg delivers 6 grams, making eggs a protein powerhouse. 

Eggs are also a great source of vitamin B12. This nutrient keeps nerve and blood cells healthy and protects against a type of anemia that can make you feel exhausted. That’s especially valuable when you’re trying to stay motivated to maintain a regular exercise routine.   

And remember: Eggs aren’t just for breakfast. A hard-boiled egg adds heft to salads, while a fried egg is delectable atop roasted asparagus, sautéed kale, or a variety of other veggies.  

Food to Stock #5: Low-Fat Greek Yogurt 

A cup of low-fat Greek yogurt has about 22 grams of high-quality protein. That makes it an excellent ingredient for a satisfying meal or snack — especially if you’re a vegetarian. The tangy, creamy stuff also scores points for bone-building calcium and probiotics to support healthy digestion. 

Plain Greek yogurt can be a little bland, so try topping it with berries, nuts, and/or homemade granola. If store-bought granola is your only option, make sure it has fewer than 5 grams of sugar per serving.  

More ways to use Greek yogurt: 

  • Whip it up with chopped cucumber and dill for a delicious dip. 
  • Substitute it for mayo in chicken salad or for sour cream in a burrito bowl or on top of chili. 

FREEZER  

Food to Stock #6: Frozen Vegetables 

Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, riced cauliflower, green beans, spinach … the list goes on. Whatever you choose, a stash of frozen veggies is like an insurance policy for your healthy diet. 

They’re fast, easy, and don’t spoil quickly, so you can stock up on as much as you’d like. Then they’ll be there when you realize your supply of fresh produce is completely drained or when that red pepper languishing in the crisper drawer starts feeling, well, not so crisp.  

What’s more, frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, if not more so. That’s because vegetables that will be frozen are picked at peak ripeness, when they’re the most nutritious, and then packaged within hours. But fresh produce often travels far from the farm to the grocery store and can lose some of its nutritional value along the way.  

Food to Stock #7: Frozen Berries  

Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are excellent foods to keep on hand because they’re rich in antioxidants and fiber. But they go bad fast. A bag of frozen berries, on the other hand, can last for months.  

You can toss them into a smoothie or mix them into Greek yogurt or oatmeal for a sweet and simple nutrient boost. 

Food to Stock #8: Edamame 

These young soybeans are often served salted in their shells at Japanese restaurants, but you can also find them in the freezer aisle. One cup of cooked edamame has about 18 grams of protein along with 8 grams of fiber. 

Edamame is one of the few plant-protein sources that is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs but cannot produce.  

You can buy them fresh and steam, or pick up the precooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost before chowing down. You can also pop edamame out of the shell and add to soups or salads for an easy vegetarian protein boost.  

Food to Stock #9: Salmon 

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, known as healthy fats. 

Omega-3 fatty acids can help tame inflammation, arthritis, and high blood pressure. They’ve also been linked to healthy aging of the brain. Research suggests that people who eat fatty fish once a week are less likely to die of heart disease.  

Not a big fan of salmon? Any cold-water fish can provide a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, including herring, tuna, and sardines. 

Food to Stock #10: Ice Cream Bars (or Your Treat of Choice) 

Yes, you read that right. Keep lower-calorie frozen treats such as ice cream bars or greek yogurt Bars in your freezer for desserts or random sweet cravings. 

Experts agree that depriving yourself of the things you love is a surefire way to derail your healthy eating habits. Keeping pre-wrapped, single-serve options on hand will help satisfy your cravings without overdoing it.  

COUNTERTOP  

Food to Stock #11: Grape Tomatoes 

When you walk into the kitchen for a snack, you’re likely to eat the first thing you see. So keeping grab-and-eat fruits and vegetables on the counter is a no-brainer. 

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Generally, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it has.  

To maximize the protective benefits, pair your tomatoes with a healthy fat such as avocado or olive oil. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating salsa with avocado boosted the absorption of lycopene by nearly 4.5 times. 

Food to Stock #12: Avocado 

Beyond being an excellent complement to your tomatoes, avocado adds creamy texture and essential nutrients to any salad, sandwich, or bowl. They’re rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as fiber and potassium. Plus, the fat gives meals and snacks staying power to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Food to Stock #13: Clementines 

Citrus fruits are best known for their abundance of vitamin C. And for good reason: A single clementine — commonly known by the brand names Halos or Cuties —provides 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. What most people don’t realize is that clementines can also contribute to your daily fiber needs.  

While a clementine contains about 1 gram of fiber, keeping them on your countertop and snacking on a few throughout the day is an easy and delicious way to boost your fiber intake. They’re also sweet, easy to peel, and usually seedless, making them a perfect grab-and-go snack for all ages.  

CUPBOARD 

Food to Stock #14: Oatmeal 

When you need a quick, filling, and healthy breakfast, oatmeal is hard to beat. Oats are high in a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has numerous health benefits that include lowering cholesterol and improving digestion. 

For the biggest fiber boost per bite, opt for rolled oats (also called old-fashioned oats) instead of instant versions that are more processed. Rolled oats take only about five minutes to make on the stove, while steel-cut oats (an equally healthy choice) require about 30 minutes to cook.  

Oats not only make a tasty hot breakfast, but they can also make a great thickener for smoothies or an alternative to breadcrumbs when coating proteins for dinner. 

Food to Stock #15: Low-Sodium Canned Beans 

Beans make an excellent base for plant-protein-heavy meals. Whether it’s black beans, cannellini beans, or chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), keep some in stock. Many beans are also a good source of iron, which is great news for anyone cutting down on iron-rich meat.  

If you can’t find low-sodium or unsalted options, buy what’s available and rinse them in water before eating. This will help remove about a third of the excess sodium.  

Food to Stock #16: Nuts 

Nuts are a powerful part of a healthy diet, delivering fiber, healthy fats, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. In a review of 29 studies, researchers found that eating nuts — including walnuts, peanuts, and hazelnuts — was linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. 

All nuts have their strengths, but we especially like walnuts because they offer more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut.  

While nutritious, nuts are also high in calories, so be sure to watch your portions. Most adults should aim for four 1.5-ounce (about a handful) servings of unsalted nuts per week, according to the American Heart Association.  

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

A Favorite and Delicious Cool Weather Salad

This simple, tasty fall salad recipe can be whipped up in 20 minutes or less. It can be served by itself for a light lunch, or topped with grilled fish, roasted chicken, or grilled tofu for a more substantial meal.

White Bean and Arugula Salad: This quick and easy salad recipe is packed with protein and nutrients. Tossed in a zippy mustard dressing, it comes together in no time with the aid of canned beans. If you’re meal planning for the week ahead, the bean mixture can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for a few days.

Here’s how to make this quick and easy fall salad.

White Bean and Arugula Salad

Yield: 2-4 servings
Total cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, torn in half
  • 2 cups garlic croutons, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 cups packed arugula leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and zest, olive oil, brown mustard, sugar, and salt. Add beans, shallot, and olives, tossing to combine. Arrange arugula leaves on individual plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle with croutons. Spoon bean mixture over arugula; top with shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Herd It Through the Grapevine: Door Knobs & Lettuce

Tips, Hints, Trivia & Tidbits by Dodie Dennis

Dodie’s Herd it ‘Through the Grapevine’ #3

Placing A Rubber Band Around Both Door Knobs

Does any besides us have rubber bands in their junk drawer? Well, now you’ll actually have a use for them besides holding things together.

If you have young kids or ever did, then you know nothing is worse than waking them up by accident when they are sleeping. And one of the most common ways to wake them is by going into their room to check on them only to have the sound of the door opening wake them up.

To stop the loud noise the lock makes is very easy. Take a rubber band, wrap it around each doorknob, and over the lock/latch. This allows you to open and close the door without ANY noise, letting your sleeping baby stay asleep.

Wrapping a rubber band around the door is also a good way to stop a toddler/child from locking a door on purpose or accident.

Brass Doorknobs

No one really expected us to pay too much attention to door handles, but since “pandemic” year 2020, perhaps you’ve noticed that practically all doorknobs are made of brass. This is no accident.

Surfaces made of brass are more resistant to bacteria building up, helping to make doorknobs free of germs. Obviously, this is important since people will pick up germs on their hands in countless different ways and then touch doorknobs that are then touched by countless other people. But because we use brass doorknobs, germs don’t have a free for all.

Joanie’s Celery Tip

Joanie Flores Peterson and I went to McCollum High School in San Antonio, so it was wonderful to get her celery tip:

9 Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

by Loralyn Bailey Dennis

Here in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, over an hour northwest of San Antonio, we look forward to the spectacular wildflowers each Spring.

Ladybird Johnson

In the 1960s, First Lady Ladybird Johnson worked to improve the beautification of Washington, D.C. by having bulbs and trees planted along roadsides to call attention to the growing crisis of habitat and species loss. This led to the first major legislative campaign launched by a first lady: the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.

Her love for native wildflowers inspired her to create the National Wildflower Research Center in 1982, near Austin, Texas. It was renamed in her honor in 1998.

My husband Jack interviewed and met Mrs. Johnson several times in the 1970s. He found her to be very focused on the beautification of America.

“She lit up explaining how trees and parks, even architecture that meshes with nature, can help in both urban development, design and even fighting crime.”

When Jack was head of Facilities Management at H-E-B (major retailer in Texas and Mexico) he emphasized how the landscaping, appearance and quality of each store can uplift customers, employees and even a neighborhood.

“Good landscaping and a well lit environment is a strong deterient against crime, shoplifting and safety,” he would say.

One of his assigned attorneys at H-E-B was Lyndon Nugent, the grandson of President and First Lady Johnson. Jack would tease him during conversations by saying “I learned that from your grandmother way back in the 70s.”

Now that he is retired, besides writing, Jack has taken a keen interest in organic gardening. Knowing how much I like butterflies and birds, this Spring we are planning on expanding our gardening to include plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds.

We live in Zone 8 for gardening. Here are some plants and flowers we are considering for incorporating beginning this year.

  1. Delphinium

Also known as larkspur, delphinium is a vibrant perennial that can grow from 2 to 8 feet tall. This plant is winter hardy to USDA Zones 3 to 7 and not recommended for hot, humid climates. Butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible, and you’ll love them as cut flowers, too.

2. Foxglove

Recommended for zones 4 to 8, foxglove is easy to grow and can top out at 5 feet tall. While the tubular flowers are appealing to hummingbirds, keep them away from children and pets as they can be highly poisonous.

3. Pride of Madeira

This drought-tolerant evergreen is recommended for zones 9 to 11. It grows fast—up to 6 feet tall and can spread to 10 feet wide. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the showy flowers.

4. Cardinal Flower

This perennial (recommended for zones 3 to 9) has long tubular flowers difficult for some pollinators to navigate, but not hummingbirds! The flower needs full sun to partial shade and soil that is never dry.

5. Salvia

Salvia has the high nectar count that hummingbirds are looking for. It’s a perennial that is winter hardy for zones 8 to 10.

6. Red Hot Poker

This vibrant orange-and-yellow flower will add pizzazz to any garden. The flowers are packed with nectar, which attracts hummingbirds. Recommended for zones 5 to 9, it needs full sun and well-draining soil.

7. Trumpet Flower

Also known as hummingbird vine, it’s no surprise the birds love this flower. Plant in full sun for best flowering. This easy-to-grow vine does best in zones 4 to 9.

8. Petunias

Chances are this popular, inexpensive flower (a perennial in zones 10 to 11) is growing in your yard already. Choose brightly colored blooms and plant them in a hanging basket to attract hummingbirds.

9. Bleeding Heart

It’s easy to see where this plant got its name. Recommended for zones 3 to 9, this perennial likes partial shade and well-draining soil. The flowers are a rich source of nectar.

The Nation Garden Statue List Revealed in Trump’s Executive Order

President Donald J. Trump issued one of his last executive orders on January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, for the construction of 250 statues in The National Garden.

“The National Garden will feature a roll call of heroes who deserve honor, recognition, and lasting tribute because of the battles they won, the ideas they championed, the diseases they cured, the lives they saved, the heights they achieved, and the hope they passed down to all of us — that united as one American people trusting in God, there is no challenge that cannot be overcome and no dream that is beyond our reach.”

“In Executive Order 13934 of July 3, 2020 (Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes), I made it the policy of the United States to establish a statuary park named the National Garden of American Heroes (National Garden),” President Trump wrote.

“Across this Nation, belief in the greatness and goodness of America has come under attack in recent months and years by a dangerous anti-American extremism that seeks to dismantle our country’s history, institutions, and very identity,” President Trump stated.”

“The heroes of 1776 have been desecrated, with statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin vandalized and toppled.”

“The dead who gave their lives to end slavery and save the Union during the Civil War have been dishonored, with monuments to Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Heg, and the courageous 54th Regiment left damaged and disfigured. The brave warriors who saved freedom from Nazi fascism have been disgraced with a memorial to World War II veterans defaced with the hammer and sickle of Soviet communism.”

“The National Garden is America’s answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values, and entire way of life. On its grounds, the devastation and discord of the moment will be overcome with abiding love of country and lasting patriotism. This is the American way.”

“When the forces of anti-Americanism have sought to burn, tear down, and destroy, patriots have built, rebuilt, and lifted up. That is our history.”

“America responded to the razing of the White House by building it back in the same place with unbroken resolve, to the murders of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., with a national temple and the Stone of Hope, and to the terrorism of 9/11 with a new Freedom Tower.”

“In keeping with this tradition, America is responding to the tragic toppling of monuments to our founding generation and the giants of our past by commencing a new national project for their restoration, veneration, and celebration.”

Even prominent American musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin will be featured. Other musicians and singers include Woodie Guthrie, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

Photo by Jack Dennis

_________________________

The List of Statues

A-E

Ansel Adams, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Muhammad Ali, Luis Walter Alvarez, Susan B. Anthony, Hannah Arendt, Louis Armstrong, Neil Armstrong, Crispus Attucks, John James Audubon, Lauren Bacall, Clara Barton, Todd Beamer, Alexander Graham Bell, Roy Benavidez, Ingrid Bergman, Irving Berlin, Humphrey Bogart, Daniel Boone, Norman Borlaug, William Bradford, Herb Brooks, Kobe Bryant, William F. Buckley, Jr., Sitting Bull, Frank Capra, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Carroll, John Carroll, George Washington Carver, Johnny Cash, Joshua Chamberlain, Whittaker Chambers, Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, Ray Charles, Julia Child, Gordon Chung-Hoon, William Clark, Henry Clay, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Roberto Clemente, Grover Cleveland, Red Cloud, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Nat King Cole, Samuel Colt, Christopher Columbus, Calvin Coolidge, James Fenimore Cooper, Davy Crockett, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Miles Davis, Dorothy Day, Joseph H. De Castro, Emily Dickinson, Walt Disney, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Jimmy Doolittle, Desmond Doss, Frederick Douglass, Herbert Henry Dow, Katharine Drexel, Peter Drucker, Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Jonathan Edwards, Albert Einstein, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Duke Ellington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Medgar Evers.

F-I

David Farragut, the Marquis de La Fayette, Mary Fields, Henry Ford, George Fox, Aretha Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, Milton Friedman, Robert Frost, Gabby Gabreski, Bernardo de Gálvez, Lou Gehrig, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Cass Gilbert, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Glenn, Barry Goldwater, Samuel Gompers, Alexander Goode, Carl Gorman, Billy Graham, Ulysses S. Grant, Nellie Gray, Nathanael Greene, Woody Guthrie, Nathan Hale, William Frederick “Bull” Halsey, Jr., Alexander Hamilton, Ira Hayes, Hans Christian Heg, Ernest Hemingway, Patrick Henry, Charlton Heston, Alfred Hitchcock, Billie Holiday, Bob Hope, Johns Hopkins, Grace Hopper, Sam Houston, Whitney Houston, Julia Ward Howe, Edwin Hubble, Daniel Inouye.

J-L

Andrew Jackson, Robert H. Jackson, Mary Jackson, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, Katherine Johnson, Barbara Jordan, Chief Joseph, Elia Kazan, Helen Keller, John F. Kennedy, Francis Scott Key, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Jr., Russell Kirk, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Henry Knox, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Harper Lee, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Vince Lombardi, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Clare Boothe Luce.

M-P

Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, George Marshall, Thurgood Marshall, William Mayo, Christa McAuliffe, William McKinley, Louise McManus, Herman Melville, Thomas Merton, George P. Mitchell, Maria Mitchell, William “Billy” Mitchell, Samuel Morse, Lucretia Mott, John Muir, Audie Murphy, Edward Murrow, John Neumann, Annie Oakley, Jesse Owens, Rosa Parks, George S. Patton, Jr., Charles Willson Peale, William Penn, Oliver Hazard Perry, John J. Pershing, Edgar Allan Poe, Clark Poling, John Russell Pope, Elvis Presley.

R-S

Jeannette Rankin, Ronald Reagan, Walter Reed, William Rehnquist, Paul Revere, Henry Hobson Richardson, Hyman Rickover, Sally Ride, Matthew Ridgway, Jackie Robinson, Norman Rockwell, Caesar Rodney, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Betsy Ross, Babe Ruth, Sacagawea, Jonas Salk, John Singer Sargent, Antonin Scalia, Norman Schwarzkopf, Junípero Serra, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Robert Gould Shaw, Fulton Sheen, Alan Shepard, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Chase Smith, Bessie Smith, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jimmy Stewart, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gilbert Stuart, Anne Sullivan.

T-Z

William Howard Taft, Maria Tallchief, Maxwell Taylor, Tecumseh, Kateri Tekakwitha, Shirley Temple, Nikola Tesla, Jefferson Thomas, Henry David Thoreau, Jim Thorpe, Augustus Tolton, Alex Trebek, Harry S. Truman, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Dorothy Vaughan, C. T. Vivian, John von Neumann, Thomas Ustick Walter, Sam Walton, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, John Washington, John Wayne, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Roger Williams, John Winthrop, Frank Lloyd Wright, Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Alvin C. York, Cy Young, Lorenzo de Zavala.

____________________________

“To begin the process of building this new monument to our country’s greatness, I established the Interagency Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes (Task Force) and directed its members to plan for construction of the National Garden.”

“The Task Force has advised me it has completed the first phase of its work and is prepared to move forward. This order revises Executive Order 13934 and provides additional direction for the Task Force.”

“The chronicles of our history show that America is a land of heroes,” Trump penned. “As I announced during my address at Mount Rushmore, the gates of a beautiful new garden will soon open to the public where the legends of America’s past will be remembered.”

“The National Garden will be built to reflect the awesome splendor of our country’s timeless exceptionalism. It will be a place where citizens, young and old, can renew their vision of greatness and take up the challenge that I gave every American in my first address to Congress, to “[b]elieve in yourselves, believe in your future, and believe, once more, in America.”

“The National Garden will draw together and fix in the soil of a single place what Abraham Lincoln called “[t]he mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart.” In the peace and harmony of this vast outdoor park, visitors will come and learn the amazing stories of some of the greatest Americans who have ever lived.”

Photo by Jack Dennis

“In short, each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love. Astounding the world by the sheer power of their example, each one of them has contributed indispensably to America’s noble history, the best chapters of which are still to come.”

“The Secretary, in consultation with the Task Force, shall identify a site suitable for the establishment of the National Garden. The Secretary shall proceed with construction of the National Garden at that site, to the extent consistent with the Secretary’s existing authorities or authority later provided by the Congress.”

A Special Message From Jack and Dodie Dennis of CleverJourneys

Big Tech has launched a major assault on Americans’ right to free speech. In their most audacious attack, some of the most powerful big businesses in America joined together to force Parler off the Internet.

Parler, a social media site that rejects Twitter’s censorship policies, had millions of users until Google, Apple, and Amazon deplatformed the entire website, removing it from their app stores and web hosting service.

Americans must fight back against this blatant censorship. While Parler’s working through the courts to get back online, Big Tech continues to silence conservatives and trample our right to free expression.

Fortunately, independent bloggers such as CleverJourneys have found phenomenal growth in reporting what Big Tech try to censor and the “Mockingbird” Media dare not report.

_________________________________

We are migrating to Parler (@Jackdennistexas), Gab (Jackdennistexas), and more.

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To circumvent the censorship, please consider subscribing (totally free and we do not give or sell your information to any third party) to receive email notification when we post new articles.

Join our 837,000+ readers today.

Simply “Subscribe” at the bottom of any article at the “NOTIFY ME…” box.

Some of our most popular articles are JackNotes, executive summaries of books, articles, speeches and other useful information that may save you the expense and trouble of reading the entire publication….or it may spur you on to seek more information from the original source.

We are now rolling out another new feature, Accounts of the Old West as a tribute to Jack’s great, great uncle Charlie Bassett, the first marshall of Dodge City, Kansas…and James Allison Morgan–a cattle driver and cowboy, Jack’s great grandfather. (You thought TV’s ‘Marshal Matt Dillion’ was the first didn’t you?)

We also feature “Top 10 Buzz Trends of the Week” highlighting some of the best posts, memes, and photos on the web the prior week.

Another feature is T.R.A.S.H. (Trivial Relevations of A Sick Human-being), an updated version of Jack’s national and Texas award winning column from back in his Texas State University days.

Remember, we don’t just write news. You will enjoy travel, recipes, lifestyle, humor, motivation, wellness and health, how-to, history, reviews, military, crime, police, heroes entertainment, interviews, fun and so much more.

Dodie has over 38 years in the medical, health and wellness field being a registered nurse. She has trained hundreds in nutrition, prenatal and post natal care, pregnancy, parenting, nursing, and general health. Much of her time was also devoted to immunology and vaccines.

Jack is an award winning journalist, investigative reporter, and author. He was an executive for H-E-B FOOD-DRUGS for almost 30 years, a founder and first elected president of Professional Retail Store Management Association (now CONNEX), life coach and private investigator.

Thank you for your readership and kindly sharing our articles.

God Bless America.

.

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Click Here For Top 10 Most Popular Articles to date.

What is This Creature?

When pests invade your home or business, it’s helpful to know what you’re dealing with, the problems they cause, and how to get rid of them.

Here’s some information on a variety of the most common pests found throughout the United States, with some emphasis in and around Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and nearby regions.

AMERICAN COCKROACH


1 3/8″ – 2 1/8″
Mostly light brown in color, this pest is the largest of the cockroaches in the United States, and is found in restaurants, bakeries, and larger commercial buildings involved in food processing. In homes, the American cockroach enters in search of moisture and food. Therefore, it comes to no surprise they usually infest food storage and preparation areas. Like many pests, the American cockroach produces an unpleasant odor, especially as an infestation worsens.

GERMAN COCKROACHES



1/2″ – 5/8″
This is the most common of the cockroaches. Color is a light brown to tan except for two dark stripes on its upper back. It is not only a nuisance, it has been implicated in outbreaks of illnesses, and has caused allergenic reactions in many people.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH


1″ – 1 1/4″
Color is usually shiny black, but may vary to a dark, reddish brown. They typically enter buildings via door thresholds, utility pipes, and floor drains. Often found in crawl spaces, basements, and on 1st floors, they are despised for their strong, roachy odor.

HOUSE CRICKET


3/4″ – 7/8″
Found throughout the United States. Crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark, warm places during the day. The familiar chirping sound is created by the male rubbing his front wings together. This is his mating call. Crickets seek moisture and tend to damage clothing by eating out large areas of the fabrics.

GROUND BEETLE


1/16″ – 1 3/8″
Color is almost uniformly black and shiny. Often found under stone during the day, a few species even climb trees in search of food. They are a nuisance pest and give off a very unpleasant odor when handled or crushed.

BLACK CARPET BEETLE


1/8″ – 1/4″
Color is dull dark brown to black. Found throughout the United States but most commonly in the northeast. As named, they tend to attack carpeting, drapery, clothes, furs, fabric-covered furniture, and stored products, even food products such as flour and cereals.

EARWIG


1/4″ – 1″
The name comes from an old european superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. They exist worldwide. Color varies from pale brown with dark markings to uniformly reddish brown to black, but with paler legs. They have a repugnant odor which is released when they are crushed. They are a pest in flour mills, meat packing plants, homes, and nurseries.

BOX ELDER BUG


1/2″
As the name reflects, this is a major pest of box Elder trees. Color is black with reddish lines on the dorsum. They are a nuisance pest because they enter structures to live through the winter weather. They may leave a red stain behind on curtains, clothing, and drapes. They can also bite, producing a red welt.

DEER TICKS


1/16″ – 1/8″
Color is orang-ish brown except for the legs, which are typically dark. The adults attach themselves to passing deer, whence comes their name. They carry the Spirochaete for Lyme disease in humans in the northeast and Midwest.

BROWN DOG TICKS


1/8″
When engorged with blood, usually from dogs, these ticks increase in size up to 1/2\”. These pests are almost always associated with dogs but have been termed as vectors for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several other diseases.

HOUSE SPIDER


3/16″ – 5/16″
This is the spider most commonly encountered inside the house, the one that made all those webs. Their color is variable, running from a dirty white to brown, It randomly selects its web sites while looking for prey and, consequently, the webs can be found most anywhere.

REPRODUCTIVE TERMITE


3/8″
This is the \”swarmer\” of the Eastern Subterranean Termite colony. Their color is usually black but may be a slightly lighter brown. Note that it has four wings, all of the same length, which helps to distinguish it from a flying ant whose underwings are shorter than those on top. Their function is to find new sites, mate, and begin new colonies. They are essentially kings and queens.

WORKER TERMITE


1/8″
Color is almost uniformly white or cream. This is the damaging caste of the termite colony. They contain a microbe in their intestines that allows them to ingest cellulose (wood) as a nutrient. They must physically receive this attribute from the queen of the colony. They then feed on wood, and, being blind, they cannot tell your house from a tree.

SILVERFISH


1/2″ – 3/4″
Also known as a bristletail, their color is a silvery satin to gun-metal gray. They are often confused with firebrats which do not have the silvery sheen. They are mostly nocturnal and can be found in tight cracks and crevices. They are paper pests, but will also feed on any meaty protein.

CLOTHES MOTH


3/8″ – 1/3″
Body and wings are a buff to gold, with a brownish tinge. Wings are long and narrow. As the name says, the larvae of the clothes moths infest and feed mostly on woolen clothing and furs, creating holes and voids, leaving tubes and mats with fibers and feces in them. They have also been found infesting milk products. The adults do not feed.

ODOROUS HOUSE ANT


1/16″ – 1/8″
Their color can be brown to black. Their name is due to the rotten odor that emanated when this ant is crushed. They can usually be found around hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks, etc. They love high protein food such as meat and cheese.

CARPENTER ANT


1/8″ – 1/2″
Their color is usually black but occasionally appears in a reddish brown as shown above. Unlike the termite, the carpenter ant cannot digest wood, but it will chew out galleries and hollow places to create nests, resulting in structural damage. They are sometimes evidenced by the appearance of a sawdust-like material with debris in it, including body parts, known as frass.

FLEA


1/8″
Color is brownish black to black, but reddish black when full of blood. Fleas are known to be vectors of disease organisms causing both plague and muring typhus. They can also serve as the intermediary host for tapeworm. They are typically found where animals sleep or frequent.

HOUSE MOUSE


2 1/2″ – 3 1/2″
Smooth, dusty gray fur usually adorns these small rodents, although color can vary considerably from place to place. They often nest in various materials such as insulation, and usually use the same pathways along walls, stacked merchandise etc. Mice prefer seeds or cereals for food. They have been known to spread salmonella disease.

NORWAY RAT


7″ – 9 1/2″
The largest of the common rodents in the temperate regions of the world, it is usually a shaggy brown with scattered black hairs. The fur is coarse with the underside gray to yellowish white. It not only damages and destroys materials by gnawing, it eats and contaminates stored food, and is a carrier of many diseases.

BED BUG


1/4″
Color is brownish. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus 1758) is an ectoparisite insect (a parasite which lives on the outside of the body of the host) of the family Cimicidae. Bed bugs feed only on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Although they have a cryptic behavior and can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, bed bugs are often found in bed parts, such as mattresses and box springs, hence the common name.

STINK BUGS


3/4″
Brown, Gray of Dark Green in color. This insect, notorious for its “smelly” reputation, earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Many other insects have these same characteristics, including some species of ants, beetles and, other bugs. Most stink bugs are herbivorous and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant juices.

RACOON


2’-3’
Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that can live up to 12 years in the wild, and are usually found in wooded portions of the Eastern United States. These omnivorous animals nest in hollow trees, ground burrows, and rock crevices. Raccoons are a carrier of rabies, and pose a threat when they enter homes to den in attics and chimneys.

MOSQUITOES


1/8″-3/4″
Can range in color from a light brown to black. This insect is known for its ability to bite mammals which typically results in itchy light pink bumps on the body. The itch that humans get as a result of a bite is actually an allergic reaction that humans have to mosquito saliva. Since mosquitoes pass from host to host, many harmful infections may be transmitted through them including Malaria, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and Zika Virus. It is due to this that they are actually considered the deadliest animal family in the world.

SQUIRREL


5”-20”
More than 200 species of this commonly recognized rodent exist all over the world, and can be found in a variety of colors such as gray, brown, and black. Squirrels can run up to 20 mph and jump from elevations as high as 20 ft. These rodents become an issue when they seek shelter in homes, where they gnaw on walls, electrical wires, and breed.

POSSUM


2’
Possums are nocturnal mammals that favor secure, dark places, both below and above ground. Possums can reside in attics or under houses, porches, sheds, etc. They are usually found near homes to scavenge on garbage and other containers. Although possums are not aggressive, their large droppings can host various diseases and parasites that are dangerous to humans.

BAT


3/16” to 7 ½”
The most common species of bats found in the United States are the little brown bat, the big brown bat, and the Mexican free-tailed bat, which all feed on various insects. These nocturnal mammals usually live in colonies, taking shelter in dark, secluded areas such as caves and tree cavities. Bats can also be found inside buildings and houses during winter months. This poses serious health issues such as lung disease, due to fungi found in their droppings.

CENTIPEDE


1/8”-5 ½”
As the name implies, centipedes are known for having 100 legs. However, the number of legs can vary from 40 to well over 200. Centipedes are known to prey on other pests within the household; therefore, treatment of centipedes are essential to also address the other pests within the household

CAMEL CRICKETS


½”-2”
Brownish in color, and commonly referred to as “cave crickets” or “sprickets,” camel crickets are wingless, and rather humpbacked in appearance. In a home, they are known to eat clothes, curtains, rugs, wood, wallpaper, and wool.

YELLOW JACKETS


2/5”-3/5”
Yellow and black, having multiple species known for their aggressive nature, yellow jackets commonly nest in structure voids, behind siding, and even underground. Their diet primarily consists of items high in sugar and carbohydrates such as: fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap. Yellow jackets retain their stinger after use, and may sting their victim multiple times.

BALD-FACED HORNETS


½”-3/4”
Similar to yellow jackets, but distinguishable by their white and black coloring and “bald-faced” head, Bald-faced hornets construct basketball sized nests by collecting and chewing naturally occurring fibers. They then take these fibers, and mix it with their saliva, which enables the structure to hold in place. Like yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets retain use of their stinger, and can sting their victim multiple times.

PAPER WASP


¾”-1”
Mostly dark brown in color, with black wings, and yellow markings, the paper wasp obtains their name from the construction of their nests. Paper wasps prefer to feed on nectar and pollen, and even prey on caterpillars they use to feed their colonies’ larvae.

EUROPEAN HORNETS


1”-1 ½”
Brown with yellow stripes on the abdomen, the European Hornet gets its name from the fact it was brought to the United States from Europe. Social in nature, European hornets commonly make their nests in holes in trees, attics, or wall voids in homes. They feed on crickets, grasshoppers, large flies, caterpillars, and the workers of other yellow jacket species. European hornets are known to sting if provoked, and should certainly be avoided.

CARPENTER BEES


1/4”-1”
Black and yellow, or greenish black, with yellowish hairs, known for chewing a 3/8 inch tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery, the female carpenter bee takes advantage of outside wood to lay their eggs and protect their developing larvae. Although solitary in nature, carpenter bees typically nest very close to each other, and if left untreated, can cause a major problem.

CICADA KILLERS


1”-2”
Black, with yellow markings on three segments, cicada killers are solitary wasps that live underground. They commonly live within close proximity to one another, and the many holes can be devastating to a yard. Adult Cicada killers feed on flower nectar and plant sap. Females are often seen carrying a paralyzed cicada, which they take back to their burrow. The female cicada killer then lays an egg on the paralyzed cicada, which hatches and uses the cicada as a nourishment source.

MOLES / VOLES


5”-7” – 5”-7 ½”
Dark brown, brown-gray, tan, or even black in appearance, moles and voles are known for leaving many shallow tunnels and runways throughout a home’s yard. Both pests are quite troublesome. While moles damage your garden while looking for insects, voles actually eat your crops, plants, and flowers.

Best Indoor Plants for Clean Air, Allergies and Health

Indoor house plants can make a world of difference in your health.

From improving your indoor air quality to soothing your dry and irritated skin, you simply can’t go without some of these greenery items in your bedroom.

Choose one 10- to 12-inch potted plant per 100 square foot of your home for the most effective air purification.

Consider where you might place your plants and the amount of sun they will receive to ensure your plant will thrive in that area.

Make note of the water needed and write it on a calendar so that you can keep the watering schedules balanced.

Periodically dust the leaves of each plant with a damp cloth to ensure proper absorption of air particles and toxins.

Cross-reference several care guides to check for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Keep their soil replenished with rich compost or compost tea. Avoid non-organic or synthetic fertilizers.

If you’re leaving for a few days and concerned about houseplants, consider covering each one with a plastic bag with holes poked in them. Makes certain the plastic is not touching the leaves. Place the plants in shady spots. The plastic will retain moisture and recapture some of the plants’ natural transportation. It’s creating miniature water cycles for each one.

Here are some plants to consider:

Spider Plant:  Best Plant To Remove Airborne Toxins.

Spider plants are an air-purifying plant that has been proven to remove airborne toxins in any room it is placed in.  It works to remove formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air in your bedroom. 

Spider Lily

Formaldehyde is a toxic gas that can cause irritation of your throat, nose, and eyes. This colorless gas can be found in a number of household products including fabrics, paper products, and particleboard.

Peace Lily: Small but effective.

Peace Lilies tend to be on the smaller side, making them perfect accents for those corners of your home that need a little extra life — but they are big with improving air quality.

Peace Lily

They help remove chemicals including ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.  Note that they do have a noticeable floral scent. These flowers thrive indoors in medium sunlight, and only need to be watered once a week. 

English Ivy: Helps remove mold andpollutants.

English Ivy will look good pretty much anywhere you put it, and it can remove harmful pollutants, too.

English Ivy

They rid benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Studies have show English Ivy helps reduce mold. Like other types of ivy, it needs plenty of bright light, so put it in an especially sunny part of your home. 

Ficus/Weeping Fig:Low maintenance wonders.

Ficus Weeping Fig are low-maintenance, requiring little more than bright, indirect light. Beginner gardeners like them because you’re supposed to let the soil dry out between waterings. They are effective at filtering out common indoor air pollutants. 

Ficus Weeping Fig

Bamboo Palm: Occassional watering needed.

Bamboo Palm

Effective for removing chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air, bamboo palm makes a great houseplant, since it grows best in part sun or shade and requires only an occasional watering.

Boston Fern: Good under right conditions.

Boston Fern

Boston Fern likes to work under very specific conditions: in a cool, humid location with indirect light. Once those conditions are satisfied, they can put a significant dent in formaldehyde and xylene. 

Dracaena: Effective but be careful with pets.

Among the 40 variations of Dracaena plants out there — all of which are marked with long, wide leaves lined with white cream, or red — you’re bound to find one you like.

Dracaena

Caution: these plants are dangerous for dogs and cats. They also need even less water than other houseplants, and should do well with just a light mist any time the top soil dries out. 

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue/Snake Plant: A best option.

Theseare known as one of the very best options available for absorbing toxins like formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene.

Mother in Laws Tongue or Snake Tounge

Although these plants prefer to have plenty of bright light, they can survive for long periods of time in low light, so they’re a great starter plant. Keep away from pets.

Pot Mum: NASA proven.

According to NASA research, pot mums are effective at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air.

You can also re-plant these them outside for some color in the garden.

They require a little more TLC than other house plants, since you’ll need to water them regularly. Keep them where they can get plenty of air circulation, and in a low-humidity environment. 

Aloe Vera: Good for skin and air quality.

Aloe is a champion for health and skin care. When it’s not working to remove formaldehyde from the air, it can be a beneficial part of your natural wellness routine.

Aloe Vera

The leaves of an aloe vera plant contain a clear, vitamin-rich liquid that can heal wounds, counter inflammation, and help skin conditions like psoriasis.

Simply place these plants in indirect or artificial light, and water them deeply but infrequently, and you should be set to go. 

Needs well-drained soil with slight drying between waterings, full sun is best with protection from high heats.

Golden Pothos: Good for amateurs.

Golden Pothos are especially hardy, and provide plenty of clean air in your home. As long as they get light water, they’ll flourish — and they’ll survive in almost any environment in your house.

Golden Pathos

Lavender Plant:  Best Plant For Deeper Sleep & Air Purification

There’s no better place to grow this plant than in the bedroom because of its calming effects on the body. It’s a nerve soother.