Heirloom Seed Library in Oklahoma?

You can  actually  check out purple carrots, freckled lettuces and a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes at the  Tulsa City-County Library  where Tulsans can share home-saved garden seeds.

The seed library  is a  public, circulating collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds. Check out seeds from the library, grow your garden and save seeds from your best plants to return to the library for others. You can select for hardiness, pest- or disease-resistance, drought-tolerance, flavor, even looks.

Why bother saving seeds at home, and why share what you save? Resilience is a buzzword you hear a lot these days—it’s the new “sustainable”— but in ecology it means something concrete: the ability to withstand and recover from damage. Ecosystems get this elasticity from inefficiency, redundancy and layers. The seed library fosters both ecological and community resilience by sharing access to seeds and the seeds themselves.

The seed library increases access to seeds, to gardening, to healthy food and healthy exercise. 38% of Tulsa is considered a food desert and, while home gardening is a very minor remedy, we should take every chance we get to dissolve barriers to health. Home seed-saving is hands-on science and a way to connect with your garden. It’s also a way to share and honor the growing cultures and traditions Tulsa is rich in.

By encouraging garden diversity, with open-pollinated varieties that are a little off the beaten path, the seed library encourages biological diversity, strengthening the layers and niches that make an ecosystem healthy. And whatever you think about climate change, Oklahoma weather is weird. We ask a lot of a plant to put up with our extremes, more than national seed companies can always promise.

By saving seeds where we live we can ensure plants that thrive where we live. Seed-savers can select for our particular climate, pests, diseases, gradually curating varieties uniquely suited for Tulsa. When we grow plants that are happy here, we can work less for better harvests: less watering, less spraying, less disappointment. That also means more water for us to drink, more butterflies and bees and more joy in the garden.
And most importantly, we can eat better food.

Why have seeds at the library? Because each seed is a tiny packet of information, the story of its breeding and its future, and sharing information is what libraries do.

How many can be checked out and where do we get them?
Check out up to five packets per season of vegetable, herb and flower seeds at Glenpool, Suburban Acres, Nathan Hale, Zarrow or the Bookmobile—or request seeds from the catalog and pick them up at your favorite branch.

Three simple steps

  • Choose from easy-to-save, medium or advanced-to-save, depending on your skills and commitment.
  • Grow your garden and let the best plants go to seed.
  • Collect the seed, dry, label and return some to the library.

Are there any fines or penalties if we have a bad year?
There are on fines on seeds. If a plant doesn’t thrive for you, the library does not want it back.

Can we donate seeds?
We welcome donations of open-pollinated seeds!

For more info, check out: Guides.TulsaLibrary.org/tulsaseedlibrary
There is a Facebook community of seed savers, Tulsa Seed Commons: Facebook.com/groups/tulsaseedcommons/


You can  purchase seeds from  a company right here in OK
Clear Creek Seed Company – High Quality, non-GMA Heirloom seeds right here in OK

Posted in Blessings, Cheaper and healthier than packaged, Farmers in Oklahoma, Finances, Hungry Elderly, Hungry elders, Hungry Seniors, Things to see and do in Tulsa, Tulsa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

39 year old billionaire sees value of 50-plus workers

Time magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year  Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, a UCLA dropout, will be hiring more older drivers for his ride-share company.

Uber doesn’t look at age. They look at ones passion for solving a problem.

  • 23 percent of Uber drivers are 50 and older.  Drivers are their  own boss. They turn on and off  work [with a smartphone app]  and  don’t have to ask for permission.  The flexiblity makes it an attractive way to work.
  • Folks over 50 often have extra optimism and passion for their communities and might know the city  better than anybody. That deep knowledge about their city is the cherry on top.
  • Working with older workers allows  younger managers  the opportunity to  tap into older workers expertise and knowledge. The younger manager can capture  the older workers infectious enthusiasm for solving challenges and problems  and passion  about the work and doing it well.
  • Today’s sharing economy starts with convenience, quality and affordability for the person who wants to get around the city. The ability to push a button on your phone for a car to pick you up immediately- the freedom and mobility that gives is remarkable.
  • Uber drivers world-class background checks, a good, clean record and customers  feedback, rating the driver  makes sure only the best drivers stay in the system. Uber has had great feedback from senior-citizen communities.To learn more about how you can participate to earn extra money, go to www.uber.com/aarplr.

Read it all here

Posted in Jobs, Senior Citizens | 2 Comments


WHERE DOES ALDI’S  FOOD COME FROM? Aldi contracts out their products to the SAME food manufacturers that supply national brands.   The product ingredients are usually identical or very similar as they work with manufacturers to create their own store-line products that tastes the same or better than the leading brand. This is why 90% of the brands featured at ALDI are their “private label”!  So, are you surprised to learn that you  pay higher prices for national brands that may have come off the very same assembly line as Aldi’s private label items? 

A tour of a food processing company revealed that there are  many different companies they can for,  and Aldis was one of them.  Although the brand names were different the packages look surprisingly familiar.  On  the production line, the line stops workers changes the brand labels in the machine, then  restarts the line so different labels go  on.   A manager confirmed that there was absolutely no other difference in the actual product.

Aldi is growing very rapidly because what they do, works! Are you aware that Aldi now offers:

  • FRESH ORGANIC PRODUCE, MEAT AND DAIRYno added antibiotics, free of artificial growth hormones , animal by-products and other additives.
  • NO CERTIFIED SYNTHETIC COLORS, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS (TRANS FATS) OR ADDED MSG  in their private-label products. Certified synthetic colors have been replaced with natural, plant-based ingredients such as beet juice or turmeric for coloring.
  • “HIGH END” FOODS such as artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, quinoa, and coconut oil, are available.
  • The CHOCOLATE at Aldi’s  Their great selection of  European chocolate is delicious AND relatively inexpensive. At Christmas time, wonderful prices and quality make it great gifts!   All of Aldi’s dark chocolate varieties are  excellent; smooth and tasty (no wax). Having lived in Austria for two years I know what a really good milk chocolate tastes like and I can once again enjoy that same quality with Aldi chocolates.
  •  GLUTEN FREE – SimplyNature products  are free of more than 125 artificial ingredients.   liveGfree,their gluten-free line is up to 50% less than items that have a national brand label! See some of them here: Aldi Carries Gluten Free & Organic Foods

Aldi became one of the world’s largest food retailers by offering low prices. Their prices on fresh produce and packaged goods are already around 30% lower than Walmart’s. The  organic and gluten free lines makes them better to compete with Whole Foods.

Aldi shoppers are the biggest advocates Aldi has. Word-of-mouth is the key to their success.  Comments from Aldi customers:

  • I used to be a real snob about where I shopped for groceries. However, when I kept seeing Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes,  etc. in the parking lot I decided to check it out. I learned that 90% of what Aldi offers are their private brand products. I have since noticed that those a bit more educated shop Aldi and the lesser educated tend to snark about it. LOL!
  • I live in Germany and everyone shops at Aldi no matter what their economic status.
  • Aldi’s demands quality  from their suppliers. Living and shopping in two different states over the past 19 years  I have found that the  products Aldi sells are equivalent and in most cases superior to big name grocery stores.


Aldi has the highest standards and review all products thoroughly before distribution.

A stickler for inspecting suppliers facilities without notice,  Aldi will reject whole shipments that don’t pass their quality control. In addition to 3rd party blind taste testing,  exclusive brands  are tested at their food testing lab, at corporate headquarters, for  freshness, taste, and quality for every product that they sell to make sure it meets  the national name brands.  Many of their products taste BETTER than name brand products.   One commented, “Years ago I worked at a facility that supplied Aldi’s and they frequently called out for higher grade ingredients than other vendors.”

Aldi  keeps it all fresh at the store level by ensuring that products are sold within a reasonable time before expiration, etc.

HOW DOES PRIVATE LABEL ALLOW ALDI TO SELL FOR LESS.    No coupons for the Aldi private brand means lower overhead costs.  Coupons would slow down employees who would have to look at each individual coupon, wasting time for customers waiting in line behind the couponer, so they would have to hire additional cashiers to get people through the lines while someone has a handful of 20 cent off coupons she wants to use. Then Aldi would have to hire employees to sort and mail in the coupons to each manufacturer.

Most of us have a life outside of grocery shopping.   Shopping at Aldi is a super simple way to save money without the hassle of clipping coupons, checking multiple grocery ads watching for just the right sale to try to match coupons to sales, then go price match.  You can’t beat the savings and quality you will find at ALDI even without messing with coupons!  Remember, too that coupons are for many brand names whose products are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors.

HOWEVER, CASH BACK/REBATE APPS  CAN BE USED AT ALDI! The one that gives you the most money back is: findnsave


WHAT IF YOU DON’T CARE FOR  SOMETHING YOU BOUGHT?   Aldi items are from the same suppliers as national brands. All divisions have the same core products  but the suppliers may vary from store to store. However, you might find that you do not like a  item from a particular Aldi store.    It may be a matter of personal preference because we all have differences in taste.     For example,  you might like Libby’s and say, for example that Aldi gets their canned from the same supplier as Del Monte uses and you still  prefer  the Libby’s. Well……

Quality is so important to Aldi that  they offer an awesome double back satisfaction guarantee. Go ahead and try a product to see if you like it. If you are not happy with the private label item, for any reason simply return the item with your receipt and Aldi will refund your money AND replace the item, with no hassle! What do you have to lose with a guarantee like that?  (*The Double Guarantee does not apply to non-food Special Buy items, alcohol or national brands.)

Small things that makes Aldi more efficient and thusn better for shoppers:


  • QUARTER DEPOSIT FOR THE SHOPPING CART.    No employee is paid to retrieve carts from the parking lot, yet carts are  always available because people will return the cart to get their deposit back. Vehicles aren’t dinged by a cart, you never get a  cart that got hit it in the parking lot that has a mangled wheel and you aren’t frustrated with a cart blocking an empty parking spot. That 25 cent cart deposit is an ingenious solution to keep overhead costs down in order to help keep prices low.
  •  NEED MORE THAN ONE CART? Some stores have yellow hooks on the front of the Aldi carts which allow you to attach a second cart or multiple carts together.
  • BEST DAY TO GO? Wednesday morning when they open is the day they offer a special “Fresh Meat Special Buy.” Some weeks it’s brisket, some weeks it’s chicken breasts (family packs of large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts @ $1.89/lb  but usually it’s top cuts of meat at really low prices  (which are AMAZING).  In fact, if you see something in the weekly ad that you want,  get there early as these specials are always sold out fast as the cuts often come in limited amounts and once the specials are gone, they’re gone.   They don’t get another shipment. Some have said they have gone the day the ad came out and been told, “We sold out in 20 minutes.” (It is also one of their fresh produce days when  the produce comes in and is at its freshest.)
  • AVOID SMASHED ITEMS AT CHECKOUT  Help the cashier by putting large items such as big packages of toilet paper, etc. on the belt first. Next,  put on things like a gallon of milk and larger or  indestructible stuff like the six cans of soup cans, bags of sugar and flour. Lastly, put on things that you don’t want crushed, such as eggs, bread, chips, bananas. It is just common sense to NEVER put eggs and bread up front as that would make them the first to be scanned and other things might get set on top of them.
  • CHECK OUT IS QUICK thanks to multiple bar codes on every product which allows the UPC to be read with a single swipe.  Even when it looks like there is a line at check out, it goes fast!  And nobody slows you down with their manufacturers coupons. One woman bragged that she and her husband once went in, filled their  cart and made it through checking in a timed 10 minutes as Aldi was nearing closing time. That would NEVER happen at Walmart!
  • DON’T FORGET TO TAKE YOUR OWN BAGS Of course you can use a box you find in there, or you can buy bags there but I prefer using my own reusable cotton ones.


Yahoo! Finance: “Why Aldi is the Grocery Store of the Future” 

By 2018, there will be 2000 Aldi stores, and many more discount stores.  LIDL is also coming 2018.


ONE MORE THING:  Do look at the packages as there are a few things from China, such as fruit cups and some fish. However, if the product does not state the country on the label , it was made in the USA.

Posted in Aldi, Bixby, Coupons, Gluten Free store, Great Deals, Groceries, Grocery stores in Tulsa with organic foods, organic food in Tulsa, Organic food store, Saving Money, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oklahoma 100 Mile Yard Sale May 6-7, 2016

6th Annual Oklahoma 100 Mile Yard Sale Tour

Towns having city wide yard sales include:
Cleveland, Hominy, Ralston, Pawnee, Yale, Oilton, Jennings, Hallett, Terlton, and Mannford.
That is over 100 miles of sales!



Rumor is that there is a Kan-Okla 100 Mile in Sept.

Posted in Garage Sales, Great Deals, Repurpose Sales in Oklahoma | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Want a tree to plant in your yard…for free?

Plant a tree in your yard

 Up With Trees will be giving away tree seedlings at EcoFest

 Saturday March 26

from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus

3727 E. Apache St.

Tulsa, OK

Come get your free seedling!


One year several in the neighborhood planted trees in memory of a loved one.  It was a nice way to honor someone. (It is important that when one does this they water it and take care of it as you certainly don’t want a memory tree to die.)

Posted in Blessings, Helping property values, Things to see and do in Tulsa, Tulsa Real Estate, Tulsa Realty, Up With Trees | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Hardest Working Man in Town

On one side of the street a young man  the picture of health, lean  and physically fit,   and who appeared to be capable of working, chooses to beg, by holding a sign asking for handouts.

On the other side of the street  a severely handicapped man has difficulty doing even the most simple everyday tasks. His head down, he struggles to push the entire convoy of lawnmowers and a cart loaded with weed trimmers, gasoline and other equipment all over town. Even on blazing hot days  he is always  out there working hard.









So who is he and what is his story?

The oldest of seven children,  Jose Angel (Chito) Martiarena was born with Muscular Dystrophy  in Del Rio, TX in 1964.  While he can’t talk Chito is very animated and does his best to convey what’s on his mind.  He has always dreamed of being able to drive a car and participate in the Special Olympics.

Chito loves his country, his family, his mom and siblings and is fiercely loyal and protective of them. He misses his late father very much.

Although handicapped since birth, Chito, who lives with his mom and helps take care of her, has a work ethic that would put a workaholic to shame.

Although it is the responsibility of the highway department to maintain the divided median in front of the mall  Chito does it for free. Why? Because people can’t see the cars at the dealership and Chito wants the dealership to be able to sell cars. He pulls weeds in the cracks of city sidewalks not because he’s getting paid but simply because they need pulling!

 He has been mowing yards for about ten years and while he has a few paying customers mostly he cuts yards for free. If he sees grass that needs cutting he cuts it. 

Nobody would blame Chito if he sat at home. His physical disabilities are obvious and profound. Yet he chooses to work  hard not for personal gain, accolades, wealth or any other selfish goal. An unselfish, hard working decent citizen that is doing the best he can every day when he wakes up. He doesn’t focus on himself, he’s focused on others and what they need. He wants to serve others and be a good citizen simply because he can!

Today our country and our world face problems on so many fronts and most we have brought upon ourselves. The erosion of our economy, education and freedom, embracing laziness, ignorance, narcissism and the list goes on. Service and sacrifice are exceedingly rare these days.

People whine because they don’t make enough money or it’s too hard or how they were wronged or mistreated or shortchanged and the list goes on and on and on.

Each of us should strive to be more like Chito who works hard to do his best at being a good citizen.

 “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”  ― Martin Luther King Jr.


After watching it you might wonder if there was any way to help Chito: gofundme.com/nubv7v44

UPDATE FROM RUSSELL STIDHAM who shared Chito’s story: I just received word that Chito’s story won the 2016 Barbara Jordan Award.Texas Governor Greg Abbot will present the award April 23rd.


Posted in Blessings, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Aldi Carries Gluten Free & Organic Foods

” I was an Aldi’s skeptic too but  we have been shopping at Aldi a lot lately and found the organic line to be amazing and the price savings are wonderful!    I LOVE Aldi.” (This comes from someone who claims to have formerly been a  Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods addict.)

The Aldi,  today,  with all their  organic & gluten free choices is much different from the Aldi of 10 years ago.  Concerned about partially hydrogenated oils, synthetic colors and added MSG?  They’ve removed all artificial ingredients from their products.  (ALDI’s Fresh Commitment: By the end of 2015, all ALDI store brand products  have NO MSG, NO SYNTHETIC COLORS, and NO TRANS FATS.)  Yet, Aldi still has low prices.


Aldi has added gluten free to their stores recently (their own  liveGfree brand ), and their prices seem very reasonable. Look for the items marked GLUTEN FREE such as these:

  • vanilla ice cream
  • frozen entrees -frozen Turkey Meatballs, chicken nuggets
  • Southwest Veggie stuffed sandwich
  • cereals such as corn “chex” and rice “chex”
  • breads, cookies, crackers, pretzels
  • pasta, such as spaghetti….brown rice pasta
  • chips (even Dill Pickle potato chips but they haven ‘t had them in her store, lately.)   Simply Nature Exotic Vegetable Chips are also preservative  free.
  • tortillas – good to make quesadillas or sandwich wraps
  • cornbread mix, cake mix , baking mix, flour, banana muffin mix
  • wraps
  •  pizza dough
  • gummies



Aldi offers a nice selection of USDA Certified Organic items which by definition are GMO free and  at very reasonable prices! To name a few:

  • grass fed  organic beef
  • organic milk-  hormone-free, no antibiotics or steroids; doesn’t contain artificial growth hormones.
  • organic almond milk
  • organic soymilk
  • organic granola
  • organic apples and carrots,  bananas,  and  tomatoes (not all produce is organic but many stores do carry some organic produce)
  • organic spaghetti sauce
  • organic apple juice
  • organic spring lettuce salad mix
  • organic and natural cereals (Their Shredded Wheat has just one ingredient)
  • unrefined Coconut Oil – for only $4.99, you can’t beat this price anywhere!
  • Almond Butter –  1/2 the price of the other found in health-food stores!
  • Frozen Organic Strawberries and Blueberries – perfect for smoothies! However, be sure to look that the ones at your store aren’t from China.
  • Chicken Legs – no antibiotics or additives
  • Organic chicken tenders
  • boxed soups
  • organic chicken stock/broth (in regular and low-sodium versions).
  • nitrate/nitrite free bacon
  • pasta sauces
  • whole grain pasta
  • Organic Salsa
  • organic Corn Chips
  • organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • organic yogurt
  •  organic cheese
  • tortilla organic chips and organic blue corn tortilla chips
  • Organic Greens- Pre-packaged organic kale and spinach,  organic mixed greens, arugula,  and baby spinach
  •  organic wildflower honey
  • organic agave
  • organic quinoa -at a great price
  • organic grape tomatoes
  • organic ketchup in some stores
  • organic “K-cup” coffee (even have a light blend)   Best price ever!
  • host of organic can goods, such as canned beans
  • organic lentils and split peas
  • WILD caught salmon
  • cheese is non-GMO (imported cheeses are from countries who have outlawed GMOs and do not use hormones on their cows or goats for milk production. By the USDA standards that would make them better than organic. Not so pricey when you realize that.)
  • SimplyNature  popular items include lettuce, spinach, frozen berries, milk, and grain-fed beef. These items are free of additives, most are organic, and they come in much lower prices than a health food store or Whole Foods.




NOTE:  We have been told that  true organic will not last as long as other produce before it goes bad.

“ALDI provides nearly 70 varieties of fresh produce, including several organic options. To provide the freshest produce possible, ALDI teams up with top growers throughout the United States, including local growers. ALDI will sell some produce that is grown locally in the region and also offers seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, ensuring that its produce is at the peak of freshness and at a great value. All ALDI food products – including fresh produce – are back by its Double Guarantee: If for any reason, a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, the retailer will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price.

Also, if you ever experience inferior produce, contact ALDI Customer Service (http://bit.ly/aldicustserv) ALDI appreciates hearing about shopper experiences so that they can take appropriate action.”

Posted in Cheaper and healthier than packaged, Finances, Foods for the heart, Gluten Free store, Great Deals, Groceries, Making Changes, Organic food store, Things to see and do in Tulsa, Tulsa Gluten Free foods, Tulsa organic foods | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments