What to Do with Over-Ripe Bananas

Over-Ripe Bananas, about to Get a Make-over (photo copyright Elegant Survival)
Over-Ripe Bananas, about to Get a Make-over (photo copyright Elegant Survival)
Ripe Banana Sections,  Ready for Smoothies (Copyright Elegant Survival)
Ripe Banana Sections, Ready to Freeze for Smoothies. M-J's Gardening Tip: Bury the banana peels deep under your rosebush, or add to compost bin. (Copyright Elegant Survival)

Non-Electric Tool: the Lehman’s Foodmill

If the power goes out, or disappears altogether (with the ridiculous restrictions on energy-production in the U.S., you never know what may happen), there is an alternative to the food-processor and blender: the hand-operated foodmill. Lehman’s, a company of which I am fond and have featured here at Elegant Survival several times, has an affordable, efficient one.

Lehman's Foodmill
Lehman's Foodmill

Elegant Cupboard Update

Elegance Is Found in Simplicity
Elegance Is Found in Simplicity

Recycle your analogous jars, fill them with your staples, and label them yourself. This reduces the visual confusion in your kitchen cupboards or cabinets.

Elegant Kitchen Cupboard Update
, March 21st 2009

Elegant Kitchen Cabinet Organization Update, March 21st
Elegant Kitchen Cabinet Organization Update, March 21st

Advice from a Lawyer on Preventing Identity-Theft and Fraud

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:

1. The next time you order checks, have only your initials (instead of

first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook,

they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your

first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID


3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO

NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put

the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the

number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through

all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If

you have a P.O. Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not

have a P.O. Box, use your work address. Never have your Social Security

number printed on your checks (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary.

But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both

sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in

your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and

cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of

my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror

stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a name, address,
Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet
was stolen last month. Within a week, the thief ordered an
expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had

a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number
from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But
here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you
or someone you know:

1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately.

But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so

you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit

cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were

diligent, and this is a first step toward an Investigation (if there ever
is one).

But here’s what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought

to do this.)

3. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to
place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never

heard of doing that until advised by a bank which called to tell me an

application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert
means that any company who checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and
they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft,
all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks
initiated by the thief’s purchases, none of which I knew a bout before
placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and

the thief threw my wallet away. This weekend someone turned it in. It
seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet,
etc., has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680-7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

But if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really
help someone.

Wood Doesn’t Grow on Trees–or Something Like That…

…if your household consumes ice cream bars or frozen pops with sticks, throwing the “popsicle” sticks away is wasteful. If you’ve read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, it’s going to hit you that wood is not to be wasted.

Sticks are easily stored in a survival pack for emergency kindling.

If you have kids, encourage them to wash, dry and collect their frozen-pop sticks for possible future use.

Save these Sticks for Neat Emergency Kindling
Save these Sticks for Neat Emergency Kindling

If you really get into this idea, consider saving your used wooden matchsticks, as well. They also make good miniature kindling wood. ©M-J de Mesterton 2008