Top Five Ways to Winterize Pipes

Top Five Ways to Winterize Pipes Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Top Five Ways to Winterize Pipes Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Top Five Ways to Winterize Pipes

I do not want to with frozen pipes bursting during the winter.  Do you?

It can fall to below freezing where I live at times during our winter.  The damage it causes, the mess created, the money to repair and replace, plus the huge inconvenience to my family is just not worth it.

Part of being prepared is doing the little things which can prevent bigger issues.  Winterizing the pipes in your home (or business) is one of those little things.  Winterizing may sound expensive and time-consuming.  It is not.

As I am not an expert in plumbing, I consulted with Andy of Andy Jahn Plumbing & Rooter for his expert advice on this topic.  Thank you, Andy!

Here are Andy’s Top Five Ways to Winterize Pipes

  1. When getting ready for the winter, always make sure each outside hose has been disconnected from the hose faucet.  If forgotten, do it as soon as possible.  As the cold weather turns to freezing, it is especially important to already have completed this first step.  Do not wait until the weekend to take care of this if you can.  It may be too late.
  2. Be sure to cover your outside hose faucets to help prevent them from freezing.  Purchasing hard faucet covers for three or four dollars each is money well spent to avoid thousands in damage and repairs.
  3. Check to see if you have any water pipes which are located in non-heated areas.  These pipes could be in the garage, attic, or crawlspace.  If you find pipes in these spots, you will need to insulate them as best as you can.  When heading to the hardware store, remember there are different sizes for pipe insulation [1/2, 3/4, 1 CTS (Copper Tube Size) and IPS (Iron Pipe Size)].
  4. If there are vent holes to your crawlspace, do not block them during the winter.  When you find water pipes near the vent holes, be sure to put extra insulation around them.
  5. Do you have any plumbing on an outside wall?  Keep the cabinet doors open to allow the warm air from within the room to be nearer to the pipes.  This extra amount of heat may prevent the pipes from freezing.  Running a little bit of water (a small trickle) may also help the pipes.

Do You Have to Winterize Pipes Where You Live?

As I mentioned, the area I live does not always get below freezing. Therefore, we do not winterize our pipes until the temperature starts to drop.

The winter of 2016-2017 has proven to be “one of those winters” where we have had days of below-freezing temperatures, a couple feet of snow, and ice everywhere.  As I have been writing this, it has continued to snow…

I hope this helps you become better prepared for the winter months.

Please share your experiences.


Hosting Your Own Awards Viewing Party

Hosting Your Own Awards Viewing Party
Hosting Your Own Awards Viewing Party

Hosting Your Own Awards Viewing Party

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any products or compensation for my publishing of this post.  The ballot shown above was provided by SkinnyPop as a fun way to promote watching the Golden Globes with friends.

The 74th Golden Globe Awards Show is upon us.  Since Jimmy Fallon is the host for this year’s show, I may convince my husband to watch it with me.  You can watch it on NBC from 8pm-11pm EST on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

I do not always watch the Golden Globe Awards show.  When I do, I like to watch for my favorite actors, TV shows, and films to win.  (I usually forget to watch the awards show if a football game is on at the same time.)

Have you been paying attention to this year’s nominees?  Who do you want to win?  Which films and TV shows do you consider award worthy?

Ideas for Your Own Awards Viewing Party

Have you ever considered hosting a party to view the Golden Globes? What an interesting idea!

We have friends and family over to watch the football games.  Why not the Golden Globe Awards show?

When I saw SkinnyPop’s fun ballot for the Golden Globe Awards show, I considered hosting a viewing party of my own.

Get Ready for Hosting Your Own Awards Viewing Party

Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian shares fun (and healthy) recipes for your awards viewing party.  Read more about she plans to Host a Healthy Awards Show Party.

What from Brynn’s post will you be incorporating into your own awards show party?

Your Awards Show Viewing Party – The Final Countdown

First, are you ready to have fun with your friends and family?

In addition to handing out the ballots to your guests, who do you think will score the most points?   Do you know which of your friends pays the most attention to the happenings in Hollywood?

Finally, enjoy the company, refreshments, and the show!

After the Show and Party

So how did hosting your own awards viewing party go?  What was your favorite snack brought by a guest?  Did the guests have fun voting with the SkinnyPop ballots?

Did you enjoy hosting the party?  Are you already planning next year’s event?

Please share your hosting experiences in the comments.  I love hearing how other people entertain and what they choose to serve.


P.S. While this post is tailored to the 2017 Golden Globe Awards Show, the ideas and suggestions for food, activities, and decor can be applied to other award-themed parties or events.

Avoid these Seven Grains when Gluten Free

Avoid these Seven Grains when Gluten Free

Avoid these Seven Grains when Gluten Free Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

As a teenager living gluten free, I have learned about seven grains which will have negative effects on my body if I were to eat them. I did not know much about many of these grains before I started this post, as many people I meet do not.

While on a tour of Bob’s Red Mill with my mother and aunt, I was able to see all seven of these grains in person.

Learn How to Avoid these Seven Grains When Gluten Free

1. Wheat

Wheat is the most widely used (and I think the most widely known) of the seven grains. As a relative of grass, wheat is widely used in commercial markets from cereal and pastries to doors. (I admit I was surprised to learn doors can be made from wheat!) The berries from wheat (also known as wheat berries) can be cooked like Farro since wheat shares similarities with Farro grains.

2. Rye

Rye is a close relative of wheat and barley. It is used in making breads like pumpernickel. It is also used in alcoholic drinks including rye beer and whiskey.

3. Barley

Barley is found in many baked goods and commercially processed foods. It is what barley malt is made from. Barley malt is found in many cereals. It is also used in the making of many beers along with hops. It can also be used in many of the same ways as Farro (mentioned below).

4. Spelt

Spelt is a species of wheat which is considered – by some – to be a subspecies of the widely used common wheat. As one of three species of wheat, spelt is part of the Farro group. When in Germany and Switzerland, be sure to ask if spelt has been used in what you are ordering, as it is commonly used throughout both countries. It can sometimes be mistaken for barley due to the similar size of the grain.

5. Kamut™

Kamut™ refers to Khorasan wheat, which is an ancient species of wheat originally grown in Ancient Egypt. As a trademarked species here in the United States, there are strict growing and labeling requirements. Currently, it is only grown commercially in Montana. It is not a widespread grain, yet.  It is known best for its rich and nutty flavor.

6. Triticale

Triticale is a genetic hybrid of wheat and rye. Its name comes from wheat (Triticum), and rye (Secale). Currently, its main use is for feed and fodder.

7. Farro

Not actually a grain, but a group of three wheat species: Emmer, Einkorn, and Spelt. Emmer wheat, chiefly grown in the Garfagnana area of the Tuscany region, (in Italy) is called ‘true’ Farro. Emmer is used in making Tuscan dishes such as Farro soup or Farro salad. The other two Farro grains can be mistaken for barley.

How Many Grains Did You Recognize?

Until my tour of Bob’s Red Mill, I had only heard of four of these grains. It was an eye-opener for me. Learning about these seven grains has made me aware of other ingredients to avoid.

Read Labels and Ask Questions to Avoid these Seven Grains When Gluten Free

I hope that this guide has helped to explain how to avoid seven grains when gluten free. It does get tiresome reading the label on each product in the store when shopping. Reading the labels and asking questions reduces the possibility of being “glutened.”  (“Glutened” is what my father calls it when he gets gluten due to cross-contamination or by accident.)

Please share your experiences in the comments!
~Gluten Free Eagle~

Gluten Free Camping

Gluten Free Camping Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers
Gluten Free Camping Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers

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Gluten Free Camping 101

It can be challenging to live gluten free.  Some people may think gluten free camping to be an even bigger challenge.

Gluten free food is easy to take camping.  As a teenager living gluten free, I have some experience finding gluten free foods that can be taken on any camping trip.  I have been camping with my family several times.  I have been camping with my local Boy Scout Troop even more than with my family.


Before you leave for your gluten free camping experience, you might want to plan a menu.  I know how much a menu has helped my patrol in the troop.  My mother also plans a detailed menu before we go camping.  It helps her know what to buy before we leave and what she can buy locally when we get there.

Your menu should have what you want to eat for all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, plus snacks.  (Snacks can be super easy to take camping like string cheese and apples!)  Consider when planning your menu what meals you will be cooking at camp, any potlucks you may be attending, as well as if you plan to eat out for a meal or two.  If it is summer time, does the area you’re camping near have a farmer’s market open during your stay?  If so, you might be able to find local produce there for your meals thereby reducing the amount of food you need to purchase and pack before leaving home.

Say the food you plan to cook costs too much money or is not going to be tasty, you will not enjoy the food.  Why buy it and make it if you will not be happy with the outcome?  You will probably not look back fondly on the camping trip as a whole either.

What food do you want to eat while camping?  If you really want S’mores and you eat gluten free, you CAN have Gluten Free Smores!  I have had them.

Now that you are thinking about those yummy marshmallows getting golden brown over the fire…

Cornbread ready to go into Camp Oven Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers
Cornbread ready to go into Camp Oven Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers


How will you be cooking your meals?  Using a rack over the fire pit?  A propane camping stove?  A Dutch oven with charcoal coals?

When we have gone camping as a family, we have used our Coleman™ brand double-burner stove.  It serves as a heating source while set up, taken down it is a preparation table. We also have a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Camp-Chef™ brand double burner stove and oven, which we use to bake cornbread, brownies, and even cake!

When camping with my Boy Scout Troop, eating gluten free is harder, as not everyone understands exactly what I can and cannot eat. The main problem with this lack of understanding is cross-contamination.


Cross-contamination is when something gluten free comes into contact with something which contains or has touched gluten.  Yes, touched gluten.

As an example, my father was at a restaurant and ordered a salad.  It came with croutons (most commonly made of dried wheat bread), so he politely asked for a new salad without croutons.  They took the croutons off the salad instead of having the kitchen making him a new one.  He began reacting just as if he had eaten a slice of wheat pizza.

To avoid cross-contamination follow these three steps:

  1.  Use separate areas for cooking gluten free food.

This one is simple.  If the food without gluten does not come near the food with gluten, then you have nothing to worry about.  However, if this doesn’t work…

  1.  Prep and cook the gluten free food first.  Wash dishes being used for the gluten free food and eaters first.

This keeps the cooking surface free of crumbs that would have stuck to your gluten free food.  Washing your dishes first ensures that no crumbs end up on your clean dishes.

  1.  Serve the gluten free food with separate serving utensils and plates.

This one follows the same principle as the first, if the food with gluten doesn’t touch the food without gluten, then there is no problem.

I would love to hear about your gluten free camping experiences, recipe ideas, and other gluten free related stories.  I do hope that this post has helped you in some way.


~The Gluten Free Eagle~

Youth Preparedness is Important

Youth Preparedness is Important

Why is Youth Preparedness important?  What does being prepared have to do with kids?  Why should I be prepared?  These are all great questions that I hope to answer in this post.

I am a teenager living in Washington State.  As an Amateur Radio Operator and an Eagle Scout, it’s my duty to be prepared.  In fact, the Boy Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’, so why not be?  I have also completed the Safe Sitter course sponsored by the local fire department to become a better babysitter.

Youth Preparedness is Important - Can you pitch a tent if needed? Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers
Youth Preparedness is Important – Can you pitch a tent if needed? Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan of Gluten Free Preppers

Yes, Youth Can Learn How to “Be Prepared” for Emergencies!

Being prepared can be hard and takes some effort.  I believe it is always worth it in the end.  Many organizations offer a variety of courses in preparedness topics such as First Aid and CPR, C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team), and food storage.  Some of the courses and workshops are available for youth, not just the adults!  C.E.R.T. training is available for youth and adults.  C.E.R.T. teams are formed with adults and there are youth teams, too.

Youth Preparedness Helps Me in My Family

My family recently bought a duel-fuel generator which can be used to power certain appliances and other items in our home in the likely (especially in the Puget Sound area) and sadly unfortunate event there is a power outage.  We have bug out bags for all members of our family.  We have even purchased a bath liner for each of the bath tubs.  In an emergency event, like a volcanic eruption, we would put the bath liner into the tub and fill it up with water as soon as we could from the faucet.  This would give us <insert> number of gallons of water to use (after purifying for eating or bathing purposes) before our water supply becomes contaminated.

A big concern for us is ash fall contaminating our water supply from any one of the five volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest.  This area is also prone to earthquakes and floods, the latter being more common.

Natural Disasters Affect Youth Worldwide

In many places of the world, however, there are other things that can happen besides or in addition to a power outage, i.e. droughts, famine, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes.  Clean water and food storage are the most important items to already have stored and ready to use when needed.

As a youth, I help with organizing my family’s food and water storage.  I let my parents know what we need to stock up on and what is at goal level for our pantry.  Knowing what we have (and where it is stored) helps me be a part of my family’s emergency response plan.

Thousands of children suffer from disasters every year.  So preparing for them – and with them – is extremely important.  Admittedly it is sometimes tough to enlist the teenagers and toddlers in helping count food, stack cans, or prep food for canning.

Little Children Can Help the Family Become Better Prepared

Sure you may need to stock up on diapers often or buy new clothes every three months (for babies and those teenage boys), but it helps to have an extra set of hands (if they are old enough to help) to assist you in the aftermath of a disaster.  Have your child (assuming he or she is old enough) help with storage, buying food, and extra clothes. Have a bug out bag for each child and adult in your home (as age and ability allows).  Remember to store a bigger one for all of you in each vehicle.

Dare to Prepare Now!

I feel that youth everywhere have a need for Youth Preparedness so they are ready for themselves and their families for what may come in the future.  So they are better prepared when bad things happen.  When the world around them (as they know it) collapses they will wish they had been better prepared.

Dare to prepare now!  Be rewarded when disaster strikes by knowing that you were prepared for it before it even happened.

-The Gluten Free Eagle