May 26, 2010

Recipes for Homemade Toothpaste - It's Good for You

Why use homemade toothpaste?  Some do so because it's cheaper.  Some, because they want to avoid the flouride that's in most commercial toothpastes.  Others, because it's been shown to work extremely well (in combination with proper diet) in resolving gum disease (gingivitis, peridonteal disease). 

I did find one site where a dentist reports that using baking soda is bad and recommends Crest Original Toothpaste.  You decide, Dear Reader.

Here are some sites with several interesting recipes on how to make homemade toothpaste and tooth powder:

Tammy's Recipes - Toothpaste
(including cool flavors like cinnamon and peppermint)

Passionate Homemaking - Toothpaste 
(using Castile soap in several versions)

The Organic Sister - Toothpaste
(she includes aloe vera in her recipe)

Idea Queen - Toothpaste and Tooth Powder
(orange rind, sage, even powdered chalk are ingredients here)

Green Eco Services - Toothpaste and Tooth Powder
(hydrogen peroxide, salt, goldenseal, and lots of other interesting stuff in these recipes)

May 25, 2010

WalMart Cuts Price of Apple iPhone to $97

Apple 16GB 3 GS iPhone
image from
If you're absolutely in need of a SmartPhone and the pay-as-you-go phones just won't do the trick, then good news for you:  WalMart just slashed the price of the iPhone to $97.00 -- but it's coming along with a two year contract commitment to AT&T for your phone service. 

Specifically, the model that is being sold at this new low price is the Apple 16GB 3GS iPhone.  And, if you go to BestBuy, the Apple store, or anywhere else, you'll still pay $199 for the same exact gizmo. 

What's the catch, you're wondering?  Well, there's speculation that these phones are being rapidly sold to get rid of the current inventory, making room for the upgrade that Apple is preparing to launch.  Seems Apple and Google are busy duking it out for market share of the smart phone market

As for your options, remember:  you've got pay-as-you-go plans that aren't going to commit you to a contract, if you can live without all the fun stuff that the smart phone brings with it. 

Related Posts:

No Contract Cell Phones Rise in Popularity: Sprint Enters the Pre-Paid Market
Good Phone Deals - Pay As You Go Plans
CellPhone Spies - 5 Sinister Uses for Your Cellphone


May 19, 2010

No Contract Cell Phones Rise In Popularity: Sprint Enters the Pre-Paid Market

Sagem cell phone,
Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Four years ago, I wrote about the advantages of a pre-paid cell phone over entering into a long-term contract with a phone company.  As the economy has declined, it appears that the market for these pay-as-you-go plans has skyrocketed.

This month, Sprint has entered the marketplace with a package that offers seven (7) cents a minute and seven (7) cents per text message.  The gimmick to get you to pick Sprint?  Their phone minutes round down, and not up.  Talk for 1'34" and you'll get billed for 1', while other providers will charge you for 2'. 

As for the phones themselves, there's not any contract, of course.  Cheapest version is right at $20.00, and Sprint is offering a range of phones with the highest gizmo costing around 100 bucks.  Not exactly an IPhone, but it'll getter done.

Marketing under the name "Common Cents," Sprint Nextel has partnered with WalMart as it rolls out this new entry into the telephone service provider marketplace.  You'll only be able to buy the Common Cents products and services at a WalMart store (or presumably, as well as the CommonCentsMobile site. 

Related posts of interest:

Skype - Is It 4 U?
CellPhone Spies: Five Sinister Uses for Your Cellphone

May 17, 2010

The Great Depression 2010 - Are We There Yet?

Image: "Migrant Mother" by D. Lange,
(colorized version)
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
In London's TimesOnline yesterday, columnist Minette Martin warned that England must prepare to live once again as it did during the years surrounding World War Two - she labels it as "austerity chic." Her column, "Waste Not, Want Not: here comes the new austerity chic," is worth the read.

Ms. Martin discusses how those of the 1930s and 1940s kept their frugal habits through the remainder of their lives, and how the realities of debt and unemployment in Great Britian today will be forcing its citizens into a new area of "austerity."  She encourages her readers to "embrace the new thrift," and how this can actually be a good thing. 

But here's the clincher:  this well-respected journalist in an internationally renowned publication actually uses the word "poor" -- which is, of course, the terror striking the hearts of so many right now. 

The Great Depression - Is It Here Already?

There's actually a website that is devoted to "The Great Depression 2010."  It describes itself as a "chronicle" of those events that mark the United States' descent into another Great Depresssion.  In 2008, experts were already discussing another Great Depression by 2011.  Heck, Wikipedia has an article entitled, "the Financial Crisis of 2007-2010," and it's pretty detailed and worth your time, if you're into the economic aspects of this thing.

However, in answer to my question, it the depression here already, I am looking not at discussions of the evil that is Goldman Sachs, or bubbles, or the impact of Japan or China or India or Mexico upon our country.

Are We Doomed to be (gasp) Poor?

Instead, I'm looking around me at what I see in my world - as I've done before.  And, I don't think we're there yet, at least in San Antonio, Texas.  Depressed, maybe, but it's not "Great" -- yet.  But I think we're gonna see it, and maybe that means within the next 6 months. 

It's bad here, don't get me wrong.  Lotsa empty store fronts and hungry people.  However, this weekend as I drove past the North Star Mall, its parking lot was still full to the brim.  People are still buying designer labels and fine jewelry (just watch HSN or QVC), and this morning I got an email from a new Mustang Island condo development telling me to get in now, before prices go up as the economy continues to recover! 

Frogs in a Pot

Reminds me of that story of how to kill frogs.  If you try to put them in a pot of boiling water, they'll fight you and try to avoid the plunge.  However, if you put them in a pot of tepid water and then let the heat slowly rise, those frogs won't be smart enough to jump out of the pot.  They'll literally sit there and get boiled alive.

What To Do About It

Living simply isn't stupid or lazy or crazy, although I've been called all three.  It's smart.  It's wise. And, it's fun and peaceful and really quite nice. 

Which means that I agree with the conclusions of Minette Martin yesterday -- the New Poor may discover that they will be much happier living without all that Stuff  though they're not willing it to consider just yet.  Right now, Denial remains something that is much more than a river in Egypt.

May 16, 2010

The Lord's Prayer Sung by a Two Year Old

Thanks to ZoeiToh for sharing this video with all of us on YouTube.

Then [Jesus] said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven."

-Matthew 18:3 NIV

May 15, 2010

ChefsBest is a Fun Site to Check Out Award Winning Food Items

Making out the grocery list and planning the menu for next week usually means that I'm surfing the web at some point, trying to get hints on new recipes or figuring out cost-cutting measures - like how to use some of the stuff that's in the pantry.

Chef's Best Food Awards

Today, while in this process (I think I have everything for a great pasta salad, but I need to skim thru several different recipes just to make sure), I stumbled upon ChefsBest.

At their Award Winner's page, there's a huge list of food items (from Gummi Vitamins to ReddiWip - the winner of the "aerosol topping" category) which independent food experts have decided are the best on the market.

Professional Chefs Give You Their Opinion on the Best Food Products

According to the site, the awards are given not just by pro chefs, but chefs that are "sensory certified as Master Tasters(R)." What's a Master Taster? Not sure, but I discovered that there were Master Tasters for coffee, as well as ice cream, in a quick search on the web. Sounds sorta like a dream job, doesn't it?

Pro Chefs Also Tell You How To Pick the Best Fresh Foods

Even better is their page with a long list of fresh fruits and veggies, herbs, spices, and nuts, with pro advice on how to pick the best fresh stuff: Almonds, rice, shallots, and oodles more.

Oh! And the site also gives you lotsa recipes, nutritional info, cool facts on the origins of the food, and really handy for me today, substitutions that can be made for the food item.

Thanks to ChefsBest, I got confirmation that there just isn't a good substitute for a green bell pepper. Since I love these in my pasta salad, looks like I don't have everything here after all - and bell peppers are now on the Grocery List.

Can't tell you how much I love reading thru this site. Great find, hope you like it too, Dear Reader.

Image:  Yellow and green Bell peppers, North End market, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

May 13, 2010

Google Editions - Google Selling Digital Books Without the Need for Kindle

It's being reported that Google Editions will be up and running this summer - as soon as next month (June 2010). This means that you should be able to buy a book over the web, just like you can now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Except you won't need the Kindle, Nook, or IPad. Or any other special gizmo.

No Gizmo Required

Here's the plan. You go to Google Book Search. You find a book you want to buy. You buy it. If you've got a gizmo, you can buy a gizmo-version. If you don't, no biggie.

And, on other sites, you should be able to buy "Google Editions" too. Retailers and independents can expand their base of buyers with this option of a digital version of their product - although there's still something to be worked out here on pricing. As in, does Google set the price here or does the retailer? (Guess who I'm betting wins here?)

Two things to consider here:

1. what is the impact of the pending Author's Guild - Google Settlement? It's in limbo right now. Maybe Google Editions aren't going to be out as fast as we've been told.

2. boy, am I glad I didn't buy that Kindle.

May 11, 2010

Growing Plants to Clean The Air Inside Your Home

Dr. Garrett Wdowin has written a great article for where he not only discusses the impact of air quality on your health, but he provides a simple solution to combating the high levels of toxic fumes permeating our dwellings: houseplants.

That's right: a number of plants, grown indoors, act as automatic air purifiers.  Wow. 

In his article, Dr. Wdowin references studies done by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) on the impact of growing plants upon chemicals, and has included the NASA list of plants proven to remove toxic chemicals (formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene) from the air. 

The NASA List of House Plants That Purify the Air: Natural Air Filters

To read the NASA research report, check out the pdf version available for download. According to the NASA report, the scientists studied the following plants - most of which are easy enough to find in your local nursery.

Their Common Names:

Bamboo palm
Chinese evergreen
English ivy
Gerbera daisy
Janet Craig
Mass cane/Corn cane
Mother-in-law's tongue
Peace lily
Pot mum

Their Scientific Names:
Chamaedorea seifritzii
Aglaonema modestum
Hedera helix
Ficus benjamina
Gerbera jamesonii
Dracaena deremensis "'Janet Craig"
Dracaena marginata
Dracaena massangeana
Sansevieria laurentii
Spathiphyllum "'Mauna Loa'"
Chrysanthemum morifolium
Dracaena deremensis "'Warneckei'"

If you're really interested in this - and want a longer list of air-cleaning house plants, check out B.C. Wolverton's book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants That Purify Your Home.

May 10, 2010

NetFlix ROI - How Much Is NetFlix Saving (or Costing) You?

FeedFliks is a free online service that reviews your past NetFlix use and breaks the information down for you quickly, and in a way that's easy to understand. 

How much do you pay per movie, when you average things out? 
How much money could you save if you took more advantage of the NetFlix free online movies?
How much time do you usually keep the movie?

Things like that.  Definitely worth your time to check out, if you've got a NetFlix account.

May 9, 2010

Sunday Drive - Why Not Take One This Week?

I can remember weekends when I was very little: my Dad would unfold his long, stork-like legs from the white formica kitchen table, stand and stretch, then announce to my mother and I that he thought it was "time for a little drive." This was always great, great news for me.

We'd rush (at least, I remember that I rushed) to get ready for this Big Adventure. Always on a Sunday afternoon (in lieu of the Sunday Nap). Hair brushed, shoes on, I always had to bring my doll with me - and sometimes, I got to bring along Sammy, our little dog, too. So exciting!!!

The three of us would pile into the car - a big, big 1960s Chevy - and since this was the time before car seats, I was free to play in the huge back seat - leaning over into the front to talk to my parents, sliding from one side to the other to look out the windows. Dancing with the dog when he wasn't claiming a window of his own, drool ribbons forming in the wind, on the outside of the car door ....

And we'd go to such fascinating places. Seguin. Floresville. New Braunfels. At some point, my dad would drive us through a Dairy Queen for ice cream, and I still think of him every time I drive past a DQ. He would've loved a Blizzard, I'm sure.

We'd bring back treats for dinner, too. Sausage from New Braunfels. In season, there would be watermelons from Luling or strawberries from Poteet. Pecans from somewhere.  My mother would chat about the different ways she could prepare these treats that evening, as we rode along the Farm to Market roads.

She was happy. So was my dad. So was I. We were a family on a Sunday Drive. 

It was the best of family times for us. It didn't cost much money, which may have been one of my dad's goals - though I never knew that.  My dad was suffering from terminal cancer during many of those rides, and I never knew that either - though I did notice that he was losing his hair (chemo) and that we stopped getting ice cream (he couldn't tolerate dairy) after awhile.

Today, gas prices are high and schedules are tight.  Still, there's so much to be said for the family piling into the car and driving down roads you've never seen before: talking and laughing and listening to music on the radio.  Stopping at roadside stands to buy farmer's produce.  Stopping to read those historical markers. 

It's a simple thing, the Sunday Drive.  Take one this week. 

May 8, 2010

Today is Stamp Out Hunger Day for Letter Carriers Union

Today is the day to leave non-perishable food items in that paper sack your mail carrier has already provided to you. Just put it near your mailbox, and if you don't have their bag then use one of you own, labelled "Stamp Out Hunger Donation."

The National Association of Letter Carriers has been doing this for 18 years - and this year, they hope to break their past records, with a goal to bring in 1 billion pounds of food.

Me? I'm so amazed that my mail carrier - a nice man who promptly brings my mail every afternoon, so dependable you could set a clock by this guy - will be adding all this weight to his already impressive workload.

Think about it. These mail carriers are voluntarily carting bags and bags and bags of canned goods as they walk mile after mile with that heavy mail bag on their shoulder. Wow.

May 7, 2010

Betty White Hosting SNL Tomorrow Night

This may not be topical for simplifying life, but I gotta do this. I'm a big fan of Betty White -- have been for years. So much so, that I'm very hopeful and somewhat protective of her as she's sorta been drafted to appear live on SNL ... but from the sound of things, it's gonna be great.

Watch Betty White talk about her upcoming appearance as host of SNL tomorrow night:

May 6, 2010

Flip Flops Can Seriously Injure Your Feet - Beware!!!

Flip flops are fun, and right now they're so popular.  Creative spins on how to make a pair of very basic sandals unique abound - buy them, make them - and they're a great choice of summer foot wear for the whole family. 

Except flip flops can seriously, seriously injure your feet and cause you major pain. 

Dear Reader, it happened to me.  I had a beloved and growing collection of flip flops.  Different colors, shiny, sequined, bowed!  Here in San Antonio, it's perfect flip flop weather -- for almost the entire year, these shoes are a footwear option.  Heck, all year long when you're indoors. 

And, they're so simple.  Not expensive (tho you can pay a high price for some, if you choose to do so).  Unique, creative.  Fun.  And, your pretty toenail polish gets to show itself off, to boot. 

Until last year, when my excessive Flip Flop Fashion resulted in foot pain so intense that I had trouble standing - my mother would have diagnosed "fallen arches."  You may recognize the condition as "plantar fascitis." I had torn ligaments in my right foot by walking for so long in poor footwear.

Choosing Summer Sandals - You Can Have Flip Flops, But You Must Be Picky

Recognizing the greatness of the Flip Flop, the American Podiatric Medical Association hasn't prescribed an outright ban of this type of shoe.  Instead, they've issued a Tip Sheet on which Flip Flops to buy, and they even recommend a brand or two:  SOLE and Orthaheel

When I was in such pain (and I'm talking PAIN here, folks - Plantar Fascitis isn't for sillies), Birkenstocks were recommended to me.  I was sold on them the minute I walked - make that hobbled - into the local Birki store, and tried on a pair.  I could feel the support immediately.  Amazing difference. 

I've been sold on Birkenstocks ever since, just from the store experience, but I've gone on to learn much more about the brand.  They originated in Germany back in the 1700s, and they've been around ever since.

Sure, some Birkenstocks are ... well ... ugly.  I love them, but that Arizona model is just Not Cute.  Have horrific foot pain, you don't care.  Get to feeling better, and you miss those Glow-in-the-Dark Floral Flip Flops of old....

Luckily, Birkenstock has come out with a lot of variety, and I'm pleased with the newer versions.  And, I found an online store where I can get Birkis for a great price --    Such great deals that I almost stopped from sharing this link with you Dear Reader -- but that would be wrong.  Right?

Image:  Oasis Flip Flops, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

May 4, 2010

Pepper - Is It Really Better to Grind Peppercorns Instead of Using Ground Pepper?

Last week, I was watching a rerun of the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and I heard Ina Garten explain that she grinds her peppercorns in a spice mill and then keeps them in a little bowl next to the salt on her counter.  As she spoke, she took pinches of both salt and pepper from cute little white dishes and tossed them into whatever she was cooking. 

Switch to last night.  I had insomnia and pulled an old Josephine Tey off the shelf.  There, toward the end, the detective is thwarted by his captive tossing the contents of an entire pepper pot into Inspector Grant's face, and making his getaway.  Pepper pot? 

English Pepper Pots

So, this morning I went and searched for pepper pots and discovered an adorable antique pepper pot on sale for $51.00, made of sterling silver, over at  I also found antique condiment sets, where salt and pepper were joined by dry mustard on tables of the past. 

Pepper Grinders

Of course, today we see grinders everywhere.  They're even selling pepper in little throw-away plastic grinders at the grocery store.  But is this better than having your pepper ground before you use it?

Grinding Peppercorns versus Buying Ground Pepper

I've done some web surfing on the subject of pepper this morning, and here's what I've learned.  First, ground peppercorns are better than buying pepper that's already been ground for you.  Freeze a peppercorn, and it'll last almost indefinitely.  Ground pepper, just like any other spice, has a shelf life.

However, grinding peppercorns as you need better may not be the best thing, either.  A stiff grinder doesn't produce that much pepper - and you may stop grinding before you've obtained all the spice that you need (or that the recipe calls for).  Watch for this -- I know this is true for me.  Grind onto a white cloth, and see how little is coming out despite all your elbow grease.

So, the Barefoot Contessa does it again. 

Grinding peppercorns in a spice mill (me, I use a $20 coffee bean grinder with a handmade "Spices" label on the side) for a couple of weeks worht of ground pepper at a time, keeping the rest of the peppercorns frozen, is the best option. 

Plus you get to go find yourself a really cool pepper pot. 

May 3, 2010

Strokes Are Preventable Reports MainStream Medicine

Yesterday, there was an article in USA Today that gathered information from several different sources to report that strokes are preventable, for the most part - and by the way, people living in 8 states have a 12% higher chance of getting a stroke than the rest of the country.

Those Southern states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Not much to report on why the populace of these select states are at higher risk.  You'd think they'd be checking into diet, shared vegetation, and the like - but nothing was said (er, written) about that, and this struck me as interesting. Or suspect.  Why not Kentucky or Florida here?  Where's Texas, if you've got Arkansas and Louisiana? 

The article goes on to give various tips to avoid a stroke.  You've heard them.  Don't smoke.  Don't drink.  Don't eat salt.  Walk regularly.  Don't get fat and lose it if you are. 

There's lots more information regarding strokes over at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Stroke Association

 Diet and Exercise Keys to Preventing Stroke, Heart Disease, and all Degenerative Diseases

However, just a couple of months ago ABC News reported that following the Mediterranean Diet could prevent strokes - and dementia.  This, from researchers at Columbia University - where they admit there's just not that much mainstream research into this sort of thing. 

Meanwhile, on the alternative medicine front, Dr. Mercola has been telling folk for a long while that the key to preventing strokes (and all degenerative disease, including dementia) is to get physically fit and stay that way -- and to eat the right chemicals for your body.   

Interestingly, Dr. Mercola also points to studies that show one of the biggest stroke factors is STRESS.  The higher the stress level, the more at risk you are for a "brain attack." 

Food is just a bunch of chemicals that you ingest in order to keep your body going, after all.  And everything that you imbibe as well as put on your skin (think make-up and deodorant) impacts your health. 

So, to prevent stroke:

Follow a good diet.
Get fit.
Walk every day.
Keep your stress level down.

In other words, follow the lifestyle that we talk about here!!!!  Have a great week, Dear Reader!

Image:  Edward Arthur Walton's A Morning Walk (1886), Wikimedia Commons public domain

May 2, 2010

Seeking Wisdom? Read a Chapter of Proverbs Every Day

Reading a chapter from the book of Proverbs every day is an old-time tradition -- the fact that there are 32 chapters is such a nice overlap with the monthly calendar, after all.  And, it's not hard to do -- the chapters are short (though there's a lot in them to ponder).  In fact, BiblePlan.Org will email you a Proverbs chapter every day (whichever version you prefer) if you subscribe for free to their online service

Today's chapter (May 2nd, so Proverbs 2) is a great example. I've cut and pasted a version of the chapter below (from the Bible Gateway), and I've also taken out the standard margins and individual verse references. 

Why?  Not only does it read easier this way, but it's closer to how the author wrote it.  Those verse references throughout the Holy Bible are great for organization, but I find that they can be a stumbling block to me when I'm reading ... so I will often cut and paste portions into a document and take the numbers out.  It's interesting to see what comes through when I do this, and I thought I'd share this learning tool with you, too, Dear Reader. 

Reading Proverbs and Voluntary Simplicity

How does this help in living a simple life?  Live a life of voluntary simplicity means going against the flow of today's modern American culture - and sad to say, there's a lot of foolishness out there.  Probably not new, right? 

For me, starting the day out with Proverbs helps keep me grounded.  It helps me to remember that as I make choices during the day, that I need to ask myself "is this wise?"  and to monitor what's influencing me.  As dedicated to this lifestyle as I am -- and I walk this talk -- I'm only human and I can be influenced into purchasing stuff I don't need, or buying some fast food because I'm running late and there's so much left on the task list. 

Reading Proverbs is a practical tool that really helps me.  As amazing as that is, as I sit here on May 2, 2010, reading words written by King Solomon, son of David, ancestor of Jesus, around 2500 years ago


What I find interesting as I write this is how I have come to take for granted how practical it is to live as a follower of Christ -- something that I think gets lost a lot, at least by me.  Living a simple life is living a Christian life from my perspective.  More on this pondering in another post, on another day.....

Here is Proverbs 2 (New Living Translation):

The Benefits of Wisdom

My child, listen to what I say,and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.

Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.

These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths.
They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong.

Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God.
Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave.
The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.

Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous.
For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.
But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.

Image:  The Wisdom of Solomon by James Joseph Tissot (1836-2902), public domain, Wikimedia Commons.

May 1, 2010

RECALL: Lots of Popular Children's Liquid Cold, Allergy Medicine Recalled Yesterday

Stop what you're doing and go throw this stuff out of your medicine cabinet - there's been another recall.

The children's versions of Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl have all been recalled by the manufacturer.

You can read the press release for details on particular products and the identification number shown on their container (the NDC number). For more questions, call McNeil Consumer HealthCare at 1-888-222-6036 or learn more at the company website,

Lots of Opinion That This Stuff Doesn't Work - So Maybe This Recall Isn't a Big Deal, After All

Of course, there's lots of talk that this stuff isn't effective anyway.  For over three years now, the FDA (among other product researchers and children's health care professionals) has been warning that this stuff doesn't do much good.  Still, if you're giving this stuff to your kids or grandkids, better stop and check on this recall information. 

What To Do Instead?

There's a long article discussing alternative remedies for sick kids at WebMD - one that has been written apparently in response to the growing view that the OTC children's cold remedies are worthless. has a nice bit of advice on alternatives, too. 
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