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moneyLast week I wrote about how slavery is still alive and is a sickness in the world today. (Here’s the Link) There is, however, a different kind that no one really calls slavery and it is much more prevalent today. This type of slavery is called living from paycheck to paycheck. The majority of Americans–8 out of 10–live paycheck to paycheck. There are basically two causes for this type of slavery and that is either not earning enough money or having so many financial obligations that individuals are unable to spend their income in the ways that they want.

Most families have no reserves for emergencies. Fortunately, my husband had the foresight to give us a cushion in case of emergencies. Back in October, my husband became ill and was out of work until January. Most families would have had it extremely rough, but we were fortunate that he had the forethought to have a full six months of his income in reserve for such an emergency.

The solution to the slavery of paycheck to paycheck is simple, but not always easy. You either must spend less or earn more or a combination of the two.

How to Save Money

The most important thing for anyone to do is to try to limit their discretionary spending habits. I am not going to give any specific details on how to do this. I will just say that the place to start is to write down everything that you spend your money on for a month. What spending habits can you change even if it is just temporarily? Write down your monthly bills. Look over your list. Are there any there that you can eliminate or reduce? Are there bills that you could pay using automatic payments that will reduce your rate? Are there payments that you could pay every quarter, every six months or even annually that would save you money as well? Plan your purchases. Don’t buy on credit unless absolutely necessary. The object is to spend less money than you bring in and avoid adding any credit card charges. A great goal that will help you getting out of the slavery of living from paycheck to paycheck is to pay off any credit card balances at the end of each month. Using credit cards isn’t the problem. Having credit is good when you need it.

Seven Ways to Earn More Money

Sometimes, just saving money isn’t enough. Sometimes what’s needed is more income. However, taking the step of getting more income without first getting control of your spending could lead to a being more of a slave than you were in when you made less money. So, once you get control of your bills and know what you have to spend, then you can determine how to make additional income.

Get a Raise

The first way to get additional income is to leverage the experience that you have in your current job. If you have worked hard and done a good job, then asking for a raise might be an option for you.

Get a New Higher Paying Job

Another thing that you could do is to get a promotion or go out and look for a higher paying job.

Get a Second Job

If getting a higher paying job is not possible or you like what you’re doing but it’s not paying the bills, getting a second job might be a better option. However, having two jobs is not always a sustainable option. Burning the candle at both ends can wear a body out, keep you from your family, and can turn you into even more of a slave to working for some else.

Sell Your Excess

Today, more than ever, there are ways to sell the things that you no longer use. Go through your closets and storage areas and garage and go through the stuff that you are just storing and haven’t used in a long time. If you have storage units that
Now find the best places to sell your stuff. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. For most clothes and household items you could have a yard sale and clear things out. You might also consider having a stall in a flea market. You can also sell some things to specialty shops. You can also sell on local Facebook selling sites or on eBay. For bigger things there’s Craig’s list.

Clearing out storage lockers that you are paying rental on not only pays you for what you sell out of them, but it frees up that money to invest.

Invest Wisely

One of the best pieces of financial advice is to invest in yourself. Once you have sold your Excess stuff and closed storage lockers that you no longer need, take the money that you saved and invest it in some way that will pay you back.

Start a Business

The final way to increase your earnings is by starting a business. There is a science and art to starting a business and it is the best way to get free of the slavery of living paycheck to pay check. With starting a business, you will use many of the principles already stated when developing personal finances. The difference between business expenses and personal expenses has to do with the art of utilizing credit. Credit in business should be used for moving your business forward.
Money guru Dave Ramsey has observed that “80 percent of personal finance is behavior” not education. Therefore, make positive financial behavioral changes on a regular basis. Replace bad habits with good ones and set yourself free.

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slave-sale-posting-POn January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln put the Emancipation Proclamation took effect where he freed the slaves forever. However, that day, no slaves were set free. It wasn’t until after the end of the Civil War that through Constitutional amendments, the practice of the slavery of African Americans was finally put into law. Though legally free, many of the struggles of freedom and equality continues to this day.
Unfortunately, slavery still exists to this day in one form or another. According to American professor Kevin Bales, co-founder and former president of Free the Slaves, modern slavery occurs “when a person is under control of another person, who applies violence and force to maintain that control, and the goal of that control is exploitation”. According to this definition, research from the Walk Free Foundation based on its Global Slavery Index 2016 estimated that there were about 45.8 million slaves around the world in 2016, with 58% of them live in India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. Of these 45.8 million, it is estimated that around 10 million of these contemporary slaves are children. Bales warned that, because slavery is officially abolished everywhere, the practice is illegal, and thus hidden from public authorities, making it impossible to obtain exact figures.
Modern slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually. The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry. According to Walk Free Foundation, there were 46 million people worldwide enslaved in 2016 in the form of “human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation”, with an estimated 18 million of those in India. China is second with 3.4 million, followed by Pakistan (2.1 million), Bangladesh (1.5 million), and Uzbekistan (1.2 million). By percentages of the population living in slavery Uzbekistan tops with 4% of its population living under slavery followed by Cambodia (1.6%), India, (1.4%) and Qatar (1.4%). 4.3% of the population of Mauritania remains enslaved.
Slavery also exists in advanced democratic nations, for example the UK suggested 10,000 to 13,000 victims in December 2015. This includes, forced work of various kinds, such as forced prostitution. The UK has recently made an attempt to combat modern slavery via the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Large commercial organizations are now required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement in regard to their supply chains for each financial year.

Causes

So why is there still slavery? Modern slavery is a by-product of poverty. Countries lacking sufficient public education, economic freedom, the rule of law, and societal structure create an environment that fosters the acceptance and propagation of slavery. Slave-owners only have to pay for sustenance and enforcement so slavery is an attractive investment because paid laborers demand more than just sustenance. Modern slavery can be quite profitable and corrupt governments tacitly allow it, despite it being outlawed by international treaties such as Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery and local laws. Total annual revenues of traffickers were estimated in 2004 to range from US $5 billion to US $9 billion. American slaves in 1809 were sold for around the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today, a slave can be bought for $90.

Slavery in contemporary Africa

Slavery in contemporary Africa is the form most often associated with the word “slavery”. It stems historically from either conquest, where a conquered person is enslaved, as in the Roman Empire, or from slave raiding, as in the Atlantic slave trade or Arab slave trade.

Debt bondage

Millions of people today work as bonded laborers. The cycle begins when people take extreme loans under the condition that they must work off the debt. The “loan” is designed so that it can never be paid off and is often passed down for generations. This form of slavery is prevalent in South Asia. People become trapped in this system working ostensibly towards repayment though they are often forced to work past the original amount they owe. They work under the force of threats and abuse. Their helplessness is reinforced due to the large power differential between the “creditor” and the “debtor”.

Forced migrant labor

Some people are enticed to migrate to a country with the promise of work, only to have their documents seized and are forced to work under the threat of violence to them or their families. Undocumented immigrants may also be taken advantage of. Without legal residency, they often have no recourse to the law. Along with sex slavery, this is the form of slavery most often encountered in wealthy countries such as the United States, in Western Europe, and in the Middle East.

Sex slavery

Along with migrant slavery, forced prostitution is the form of slavery most often encountered in wealthy regions such as the United States, in Western Europe, and in the Middle East. It is the primary form of slavery in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Many child sex slaves are trafficked from these areas to the West and the Middle East. An estimated 22% of slaves to date are active in the sex industry.

Early or forced marriage

In the culture in certain regions, early or forced marriage is a form of slavery that affects millions of women and girls all over the world. When families cannot support their children, the daughters are often married off to the males of wealthier, more powerful families. These men are often significantly older than the girls. The females are forced into lives whose main purpose is to serve their husbands. This fosters the environment for physical, verbal and sexual abuse.

Child labor

Children comprise about 26% of today’s slavery. Most are domestic workers or work in cocoa, cotton or fishing industries. Many are trafficked and sexually exploited. In war-torn countries, children have been kidnapped and sold to political parties to use as child soldiers. Forced child labor is the dominant form of slavery in Haiti.

Occupations

Modern slaves are often forced to work in certain occupations. Common occupations included construction, laying driveways, car washing, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, cosmetic bars, and teenagers are trafficked from Vietnam to work on illegal cannabis farms.

Signs that someone may have been forced into slavery include a lack of identity documents, lack of personal possessions, clothing that is unsuitable or has seen much wear, poor living conditions, a reluctance to make eye contact, unwillingness to talk, and unwillingness to seek help.

Governmental efforts against slavery

The governments credited with the strongest response to modern slavery are the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Norway.
In contrast, the governments accused of taking the least action against it are North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Hong Kong, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
What can we do about slavery around the world?
Start with this website: End Slavery Now http://www.endslaverynow.org/connect
Become a Modern-day Abolitionist: http://www.freedomcenter.org/get-involved


main streetDuring the last several weeks, I shared articles about why you as a business owner should consider writing a book. If you’re a business person, and writing a book sounds like a good idea, but you don’t want to write a whole book because you either don’t have time or you don’t think you have can afford someone who can ghost write one for you, perhaps you could convince your community into creating an anthology in which you include an article about your own business.

A Unique Type of Anthology

A lot of anthologies have been written by professional writers. These anthologies might be a collection of short stories written by local authors or even a collection of stories of history. One very well-known anthology series is the Chicken Soup of the Soul series of books that have come out.
Small business communities could easily benefit from an anthology that promotes their community. I believe that communities could easily produce anthologies of stories and tip articles in the form of a book that they can sell to local citizens, home-comers, and to new comers interested in their local. These same anthologies could also be given away as a PDF on the local chamber of commerce site.
Imagine a book that mingles the elements of storytelling and tips into a book that contains numerous articles written by numerous business people who are willing to share some basic information about what they do. In addition to contact information, the local fire department chief could write about home fire safety and how to keep a small grease fire from becoming a full-blown house fire. A local police officer could share information about bicycle safety. The school principle could share what a newcomer needs to know about how to get a child into a new school. Local historians and high school students could tell stories about how the town started, stories about local sites, and interesting people of the town’s present and past. In addition, the plumber could write an article about what a person should check before calling a plumber. An electrician could write about the dangers of not calling an electrician. People from the local farmer’s market could write about the advantages of buying produce locally. In addition to telling about the children’s reading circle and the availability of Wi-Fi at the library, the local librarian can share information about the local readers’ club and local writers’ group.

The Benefits of a Community Generated Anthology

An anthology like the one suggested would bring community members closer. It would be a win-win-win for in the community. It could be a benefit to everyone in the local community from the chamber of commerce to the small business owner to the newcomer. All that needs to be done is to get each person to write (or have written for them) a chapter in the book, get it published and share it with those in the community via events, at the local businesses, or through the local chamber of commerce. It could be a pride of the community.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

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If businesses in your community would like to look into writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

Available in print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


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Write a Book and Ignite Your Business!

 

This month we are going to discuss why you should write a book if you own a business. So why should you write a book? That is the question we are going to address today.

Become Your Industry’s Expert

First reason that you should write a book to promote your business is because you have expertise that the world needs to know about. If you have been in business for any length of time, you have expert advice that you can share with others about well, just being in business. You also have expert knowledge in the service or product your business provides as well. If you’re a farmer, you have knowledge of the type of crops or animals that you raise. If you’re a plumber, you have expertise in plumbing. Are you an electrician? Are you a real estate agent? Are you an accountant? Are you a public speaker? Are you a teacher? Are you a doctor? If you do any of these things (or are good at doing anything related to your business!), you have expertise that can benefit potential customers with knowledge about specific subjects that relate to your business.

In my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business, I show how you can share your expertise to your customers that will benefit you and the customer in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to share with them.

Promote Your Expertise While Encouraging DIY

You may ask “How, if I sell my business secrets, how will I make money with my clients? Won’t they just do it themselves?”

Sure, they might, but the truth is, they probably won’t. There might be a few things that they would do themselves. For instance, if your client bought your book about plumbing, they might be able to do a few things themselves like unclogging a drain or changing out a water strainer on the faucet, but when it comes to the difficult jobs like plumbing the whole house, your clients will be less likely to go to your competition because you wrote the book on the subject and since they have read your book, they know you much better than they do your competitor! When you have a book out about your business, you elevate your own self-worth as an expert above your competition.

In your book, make sure that you explain to any potential DIY customers when seeking expert advice is imperative. Show them what they can do on their own to save money and describe when it is necessary to get a professional. For instance, when someone is building a house, the DIY person might purchase the necessary materials (based on a chart in your book), help with the electrical work by drill the holes in the studs, running wires through the wall and then having you, if you’re the electrician, finish the wiring process and setting up the electrical inspection with the proper authorities.

Extend your Sphere of Influence Beyond the Local Economy

By writing a book about your business expertise, in addition to blowing away the local competition, you extend your expert advice beyond your normal sphere of influence. You can only be in one place at a time, but your book can spread your knowledge beyond your community. You bring income from other parts of the country into your town.
A book can create an income when you normally wouldn’t have one. I know that many people in the building profession have slow times during the winter months. If during that slow time you write a book and work at marketing that book, you can develop a following and an income during that time in the year.
A lot of self-help books are purchased during economic downtimes. In addition, many new businesses are started during these times as well. If your professional business takes a hit during these down times, marketing your book when your professional business isn’t doing as well can help you get through that economic slump. You could even license your book out to competitors outside of your own local business area and make even more! (contact me and I will explain how this works!)

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Read my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business available in print http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#

and on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP

 


kaleThis month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.

Not too Early to Think about Fall Garden

This week I am sharing my experience concerning fall gardening. I know that it is not yet fall, but my personal experience has shown that it is difficult to buy quality seeds in the autumn months, so I buy all my seeds, including late summer and autumn planted seeds in the spring along with the rest of the year’s seed purchases.
July and August are the usual time to plant a fall garden. These vegetables should usually mature 60-80 days. Leafy greens and root crops are good choices for extending your annual home vegetable harvest.

When Should You Plant Your Fall Vegetables?

The secret to having great fall garden vegetables is timing. That means thinking a little differently because you must plan backward.
Start with your area’s average first fall frost date. Then look at the number of days to harvest for planting fall vegetables. You should be able to find that number on the seed packet or in the catalog description. Use that number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks, because many fall vegetables grow more slowly as days shorten in fall.

How to Plant Fall Garden

Remove debris from your garden any varieties from your garden that are not performing or that have been harvested well to make room for your fresh fall crop. Pull all weeds so they don’t steal moisture and nutrients from your new young plants. Add any composted material that has matured since spring to get your new fall garden off to a good start.
Because it is hotter than in the spring, plant your crops twice as deep as you did in the spring. Keep your plants well-watered and provide shade when necessary.

Some vegetables that I recommend for the Fall Garden

Kale Hailed the Queen of Greens

https://hubpages.com/living/Kale-Hailed-the-Queen-of-Greens
Raise Healthy Collard Greens in Your Own Back Yard

https://hubpages.com/living/Raising-Collards-in-Raised-Beds
Plant Spinach All Year Round

https://hubpages.com/living/Sustaining-a-Spinach-Harvest
Plant Radishes Now to Add Color to Your Green Salad Year Round

https://hubpages.com/living/A-Continuous-supply-of-Radishes
Turnips, Parsnips and Rutabagas in the Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/Turnips-Parsnips-and-Rutabagas-in-the-Garden
Harvest Garlic from Your Own Home Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Garlic-in-the-Home-Garden

Simply Vegetable Gardening

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHV15G6

and in Print: http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

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red swiss chard

This month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.

 

This week I want to talk about another way to protect and nurture your plants.  I want to discuss companion planting.

 

What is Companion Planting?

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac defines companion planting as:

 

“Time-honored gardening wisdom says that certain plants, when grown together, improve each other’s health and yields. For instance, some plants attract beneficial insects that help to protect a companion, while other plants (particularly herbs) act as repellents. Additionally, plants that require a lot of the same nutrients as their neighbors may struggle to get enough for themselves, producing lackluster crops.”

Companion planting certainly makes sense when you think about it. Have you ever noticed that nature doesn’t grow just one type of plant in an area, but likes to throw numerous varieties together? It is not natural to grow a monocrop and a lot of the reason for that the variety supports the natural balance of nutrients in the soil.

 

The Benefits of Companion Planting

 

The benefits of companion planting include

 

1.       Shade Regulation where the taller plant shades a shorter more sun sensitive plant.

 

2.       Natural Supports where sturdy, fast growing taller plants provide natural support for vining plants.

 

3.       Improved plant health-one plant provides nutritional support for another plant species.

 

4.       Healthy soil-some plants have deeper taproots that prevent soil compaction.

 

5.       Weed suppression-planting sprawling plants around upright plants to suppress weeds.

 

Three sisters Gardening is the best-known form of companion planting.

 

Three Sisters Gardening Style

 

https://hubpages.com/living/A-Three-Sisters-Garden-Bed

 

Here are some related articles about the individual types of plants grown in a three sister’s garden.

 

Growing All Varieties of Winter Squash

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-All-Types-of-Winter-Squash

 

Extend Green Bean Harvest Upward with Pole Beans

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Gardening-with-Pole-Beans

 

For the Best Sweet Corn, Grow It in Your Own Backyard

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Raising-Your-Own-Sweet-Corn

 

Three sisters isn’t the only way we can use companion planting. Here are a few other articles that explain how other plants can be part of companion planting. 

Growing Beets in the Home Garden

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Beets-in-a-Garden-Bed

 

Sweet Peppers Companion with Sweet Basil

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Plant-Sweet-Peppers-with-Basil

 

The Hottest Tips for Growing Hot Peppers at Home

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Hot-Peppers-in-the-Garden

 

Growing and Saving Seed from Heirloom Tomatoes

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-and-Saving-Seed-from-Heirloom-Tomatoes

 

 Simply Vegetable Gardening

 

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHV15G6

and in Print:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

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greenbeans_galoreThis month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work.

 

 

In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.
I have been a fan of organic gardening since reading my first issue of Organic Gardening Magazine when I was twelve years old. The principles of organic gardening always made sense to me. The ideas put forth by organic gardening principles offer solutions to many problems of modern life.

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This week I am offering a 25% discount on digital copies of my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. From today through March 10, 2018 instead of the digital book being $2.99, it will be just $2.24 for a copy! Get Yours today before the promotion expires! Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/517230 to download your copy today!

Coupon Code  LY88C

Autumn Leaves are a Wonderful Resource You Should Never Burn

We often face problems in the autumn with the leaves that fall from the trees. In our hectic busy lives, we often don’t have time to deal with them until spring. When spring comes, we often pile them up and set a fire to them. This is a mistake. Here’s an article that I wrote on Hubpages.

Stop Environmental Pollution of Burning Autumn Leaves-Use Them Instead

https://hubpages.com/living/Autumn-Leaves-Dont-Burn-Them-Dont-Bag-Them-Use-Them

Compost

It is easy to make compost. Basically you need green materials (fresh green grass, manure, chopped kitchen garbage) brown material (leaves, shredded paper, chipped wood), soil, and water. In an area of your yard that is convenient to both the kitchen and the garden, layer a couple inches of each type of item listed above and let set several months, and turn the pile every couple of weeks. If you get more than an inch of rain every week, you won’t have to water the pile, but if you do, be sure to soak the pile well one time per week.

Kelp

I often question whether I have enough of the right trace minerals in my compost, so I often add kelp powder to the pile along with the other ingredients.
Kelp can be used in other ways in the garden as well. I like to use it directly as a planting nutrient. I simply sprinkle kelp to the bottom of the planting hole when planting both seeds and plants.
I also add kelp to goat and chicken feed for two reasons. The first one is to guarantee that the animals get the nutrients that they need. Many illnesses that animals get are related to nutritional deficiencies. The second reason is that the kelp in the animal manure will be passed on to plants.

help from kelp photo

Kelp is beneficial in other ways too and I have written about it in my book Help from Kelp. It is available

on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0QNN1O

and in print

http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/help-from-kelp/paperback/product-22518936.html

Wood Ashes

When we had a woodstove for heating, we put all our wood ashes in the garden. In addition to working the wood ashes into the soil to add the nutrients, if certain vegetables are attacked by plant eating insects, wood ashes can be sprinkled on the leaves. The wood ashes don’t taste good to the insects, so they avoid the leaves treated with the ashes. For some reason, one application is enough, but it can be reapplied after a rain.

Diatomaceous Earth

In the absence of wood ashes, DE can be used in the garden as an insect repellent. Just dust it on the plants. For more information on how to use diatomaceous earth, check out another article in Hubpages:

Why I use Diatomaceous Earth in My Home and Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/DEinhomeandgarden
Although wood ashes and diatomaceous earth do keep insects off your plants, you can over do it and as I wrote in my article, not all insects in the garden are bad, good insects do exist.

Not All Insects in the Garden are Bad

https://hubpages.com/living/Not-All-Insects-in-the-Garden-are-Bad

DE Photo

 

In addition to Help from Kelp I have another book Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard You can get this book for free in a digital format at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/617019

Or if you prefer a book in print go to http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/using-diatomaceous-earth-around-the-house-and-yard/paperback/product-22638910.html

 

 

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