Low Cost Emergency Prep Training for Childcare Providers

Project Security Blanket is offering emergency preparation training for childcare providers in Maryland. The cost is only fifteen dollars and includes six hours of training, a workbook, a combination flashlight/siren/radio and a backpack to keep it all in. If you attend in person training you also get refreshments. Training is also available online, making it more accessible for people who can't show up in person.

Natural Enemies

The Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California has an interesting list of pest management options. Some of them concentrate on natural methods, such as using ladybugs to get rid of aphids. (You can buy them on Amazon or ask some neighborhood kids to round some up and put them in your garden.)

The topics covered include:

Types of natural enemies
Conservation: protect your natural enemies
Classical biological control or importation
What makes an effective natural enemy?

Get the details here:

Possible Bad Use for Borax

I'm a big fan of borax, inheriting my love of it from my grandmother. It doesn't cost much and it's great for laundry, scaring ants, getting bad smells out of things and more. A friend has been using it to get rid of fleas for about twenty years. She sprinkles it on the floor and it kills fleas and ants.

There are a lot of sites that say borax is good for keeping the odor down in litter boxes. But other sites say it's dangerous and not to do it, so if you are thinking about doing this, or you already are, maybe check with your vet and see what she says.

Free Men's Healthcare for Baltimore Residents

The Baltimore City Health Department has a terrific men's clinic, which offers free care of many types. They do more than offer an ample supply of medical services; they also help with things like help finding a job and a house. Their website says in part:


Primary care
Assistance in filling out applications for housing
Referrals for dental and specialty care
Pharmacy and medical assistance
Substance abuse treatment
Vision services
Employment assistance
Health screenings
Medication monitoring
Community health care outreach

Walk-ins are fine, but you also have the option of making an appointment. You can get vaccines and testing for HIV. STIs and diabetes while you are there.

Free Homeowners' Opportunities (Plus Free Pizza)

On May thirteenth you can go to a free seminar on the ins and outs of buying a residence in Baltimore.

Topics include:'

Incentives to Buying a House in Baltimore
Obtaining a Mortgage
Using a Realtor
The City’s Vacants to Value Program
Tax Benefits to Buying and Working in a Home
Benefits to living and working in one of the city’s 3 Arts and Entertainment Districts

Get all the info and register for the event here:

Free Castles and Cathedrals Tour

This Sunday, April 28, the Walters Museum in Baltimore is hosting a free tour called Castles and Cathedrals. It takes place at one pm and lasts for one hour. The focus will be on Medieval art. You can learn more about the Walters' Medieval art collection at this link:

More details about the tour can be found here:

Housing Help for Anne Arundel Medical Center Family Members and Patients

The Anne Arundel Medical Center has a new facility that gives patients and family members a place to stay that is a great price for the Annapolis area. Called the Hackerman-Patz House, the house is right on the Anne Arundel Medical Center campus. Their website states:

Guest accommodations at the Hackerman-Patz House include:
20 guest rooms equipped with a queen bed or two twin beds and sitting area
Mini refrigerator, telephone, internet, cable television and DVD player
Handicap accessible room options
Our common areas include:
Multi-purpose media room, playroom, and guest laundry
Great room, kitchen, and terrace
Wireless internet throughout the house

Free Victorian Festival

The Walters Art Museum (which has a mummy!) is hosting a free Victorian Festival on April 13th. You don't need to preregister, just pick up and go. There are plenty of things to do as per this list from their website:

Share your stories using a printing press and send a secret message using morse code. Create and play 19th century parlor games from the past, hop into our early childhood area to meet Peter Rabbit and enjoy captivating performances all day long. Strap on your suspenders as we create Victorian art together!

You can get the details here:

Seed Sales

It's time to start dreaming of warm weather and gardening. This could be the best time of the year, when our gardens are still imaginary, which also means they can be perfect in our heads.

If you're planning on growing peppers and tomatoes, as many of us are, it might be time to start your seeds indoors.

Once again Tomato Bobs is having their fifty cents sales, where seed packets are discounted to fifty cents. Each month there will be different seeds for sale. For February there are tomatoes, peas, carrots, lettuce seeds for fifty cents. There are also several vegetable seeds on sale for a dollar and many of the new peppers (which come in a big variety of choices) are marked down also.

Cutting Down on Your Energy Bills

Mike Holmes, of Holmes Makes it Right and Holmes on Homes on HGTV, has written an interesting piece on plugging the cold spots and drafts around your house.

He stresses that the usual suspects are often not really the problem. Case in point, window frames are often rotting and putting in all new double glazed fancy windows is going to be expensive and not do anything to solve the problem. He also talks about the attic, and has some facts that surprised me, like that the attic should be the same temperature as the outdoors.

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