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Paige Bass Posts

Where do I start? by Moxie Gusto

September 17, 2012 • Paige

A fairly common goal in our rag-tag community is to inspire others to help those in need and generally do more good in the world.  We all have our own methods of drawing attention, but what do you do once you’ve got it?

More often than not, the response we get from people is very positive and often a person will ask how they can help.  Usually this isn’t a person who is looking to dress up like a ninja or go on patrol.  In my recent experience, those most interested in getting out and doing something good are older people or mothers who want to teach their children about helping others.

When this happens – and it will – have a well thought-out answer ready for the non-ninjas. Even better, print up a few business cards with contact information for outreach organizations in your area. There is a much better chance a person will follow through if you can put the information directly in their hands.

There is no reason not to do this. A pack of break-apart business cards can be had for about $3.00. You can find free software similar to Microsoft Word at , and free business card templates to get you started here:

If YOU are wondering where you can start:

It doesn’t matter what you do, or how you help. Just pick something that appeals to you and get started.

Chicken Spaghetti

September 9, 2012 • Paige

This recipe was born out of “use what you have”.  I had chicken, whole wheat pasta, and some canned tomato paste & sauce.

Chicken Spaghetti


2 chicken breast
3 cups (approx.) broth from boiling chicken
1 ½ cup diced celery
1 ½ cup diced onion
1 small can tomato paste
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2+ TBSP minced garlic
a big handful of crushed basil, or pesto
dried oregano (I used a bunch)
handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cube chicken boullion
Pepper or Cavendar’s Greek Seasoning
Tiny bit of Tony Cachere’s (green can)
liquid smoke


Boil the chicken breasts, keep simmering until ready to use.

In a large pot, sauté onion and celery on high.
Add “some” of the chicken-broth and turn heat down.
Add tomato paste and tomato sauce and simmer gently.

Dice or shred chicken breasts, then add to the sauce.
Add as much of the chicken-water as is needed.
Simmer gently while adding everything else.
Serve over whole wheat pasta.

The Shepherd and the Two Travelers, a simple story.

July 24, 2012 • Paige

This blog article is technically written by me, but the story below is not mine.  I never knew where it came from, and after some research, I still don’t know.  I found some variations out there, but this is the version that I heard when I was young, and have been re-telling for all of my adult life.   The interesting thing about this story is that different people take different lessons from it.  Those are my favorite kinds of stories.  

The Shepherd and the Two Travelers  (as retold by Moxie)

A shepherd tending to his flock meets a traveler passing by the outskirts of his village. The traveler calls to the shepherd, “Hello, my friend! I have traveled far looking for a new home. What are the people like in your village?”

The shepherd replies,” “How were the people in the village you came from?”

The traveler explains, “The people where I come from are selfish, petty, and corrupt, the worst sort of people you could know”

The shepherd shakes his head sadly and says “Well my friend, you will find the people in my village are just the same.”

Sometime later, another traveler passing through called out to the shepherd. He too asked about the people in the village.  Again, the shepherd asked, “How were the people in your village?”

The new traveler replied, “The people in my village are kind, generous, and good people.”

The shepherd smiled and said, “Well my friend, you will find the people in my town are just the same.”

Simple Gestures

June 11, 2012 • Paige

Sometimes all you need to do to really help someone is to listen. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a simple and heart-felt “How are you doing today?”

If you find out someone is really struggling, take the time to listen, no matter what.  Be late to work.  Be late getting home.  You never know what kind of affect you may have by simply listening to someone who needs a few minutes of your time.

You might give a stressed out person a chance to vent, get something off of their chest and have a much better day than they were having.  You might instill a little bit of hope in someone who has just about lost it.  You could even save a life.

I don’t have answers for the really tough problems, and I don’t always know what to say when someone is hurting.  Having the answer is NOT what it is all about. What is important is making eye contact, and really and truly listening and letting that person be heard.

In an Emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

How to Cook Brown Rice by Moxie Gusto

May 28, 2012 • Paige

The myth that eating healthy is expensive – is false!

Simple, nutritious and low-fat food is actually some of the cheapest food out there. Brown Rice and dry beans are about $1.50 per pound.  A pound of dry beans cooks up about six cups of beans, equal to five cans.

Brown rice is packed with nutrition, and cheap. It goes well with practically anything and I think brown rice tastes a lot better than white rice.  I make big batches and keep it in the fridge for quick meals.

Learning to cook brown rice is easy.  You just need the patience to leave it alone and resist temptation to lift the lid and stir it.  For me, this was not easy!

Cooking Brown Rice

Brown Rice Method one:

  • Pour 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pan, heat to boiling.
  • Measure and rinse 1 cup of uncooked brown rice, add it to the water.
  • Stir and cover with a lid.
  • Turn heat down to low, and set a timer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, uncover.
  • Drain off any excess liquid and fluff with a fork.

Do not lift the lid, not even once until 45 Minutes are up!

Brown Rice Method two:

Pre-soaking brown rice cuts the cooking time in half!

  • Measure and thoroughly rinse 1 cup of uncooked brown rice.
  • Soak the rice in a bowl of cool water for two hours, then drain.
  • Pour 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pan and heat to boiling
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water.
  • Stir and cover with a lid.
  • Turn the heat down to low, set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, uncover.
  • Drain any excess liquid and fluff with a fork.

Do not lift the lid, not even once until 20 minutes are up!

If you’re not sure how to use brown rice, here are some recipes to get you started:

Southern Brown Rice Recipes @

Recipe: Lentils, Brown Rice, and Carmelized Onions

Here is an explanation of some of the benefits of  brown rice.

This article also appears on

Blissfully Simple Laundry. Yes…. Laundry. by Moxie Gusto

May 14, 2012 • Paige

The next time you do laundry, don’t use any detergent.  When the washer agitates, you will see suds.  Wash without detergent again, and you will still see suds. Your clothes are full of detergent, and every interior surface of your washing machine is coated with detergent, too.

I haven’t used any detergent in about a year and I’m never going back.  The benefits are pretty amazing.

If you’re not up for going detergent-free, try cutting the amount of product you use in half. I promise: you’re not going to notice a difference except that you buy a lot less detergent.

You don’t need fabric softener, either.  Add a quarter cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of softener. Vinegar aids in rinsing out the detergent and reduces static quite a lot.  It kills odors really well.  I used a ‘Downy ball’ for the vinegar so I wouldn’t have to catch the rinse cycle. Easy and efficient!

Now, all I use in my laundry is white vinegar.  I add ½ to 1 full cup of white vinegar at the beginning in place of detergent.   My clothes are clean and soft, and smell like clean clothes.  Vinegar even does the job on my athlete teenager’s sports uniform.  I was really skeptical there, but I swear by “just vinegar” now.

After ditching laundry products and other perfumed products,  I discovered an unexpected benefit:

Now, when I go out in public I can smell everything.  The perfumes and chemicals in detergents and other products hang around a person like a cloud of fumes. I didn’t realize I had such dulled senses until I quit all that stuff!   As far as I’m concerned, white vinegar is the holy grail of household chores.

Family vs. Total Strangers – Who Gets You At Your Best? by Moxie Gusto

April 16, 2012 • Paige

I’ve read too many times that some RLSH feel like they’re a much better person in their RLSH persona, than they are in every-day life.  Some have said they’re not proud of the person they are in civilian life.

That doesn’t make any sense at all.  If you aren’t living up to the core of your RLSH persona in your every day life – WHY NOT?

Don’t your friends and family deserve all the best things within you?  Is a little integrity too much to ask?

This quote drove it home for me a couple years back:

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”  – Maya Angelou

I saw myself in that statement, and I began to consciously change this.  I’m not a perfect wife, mother, or sister but my family – the core of my life deserves all of my best.

You can’t be a rotten person at home (or at work) and later put on a mask and try to “make up for it” out on the street.  Be who you are, every minute of the day.

Why So Simple? by Moxie Gusto

March 12, 2012 • Paige

What does all of this ‘Simple Living’ stuff have to do with being a “super hero”, “extreme altruist” or whatever the current catch-phrase?  NothingEverything.

Thoreau said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

Generally speaking, Americans’ lives are cluttered with distractions and centered on “wants”.  Simplicity helps us gain a very fine understanding of what our “needs” really are. It is not so much about having fewer possessions; it is an approach to life and an attitude that guides our actions with clarity and purpose.

Simplicity is about separating “needs” from the “wants”, focusing on things that really matter and eliminating everything else. I can tell you from experience that this process involves a lot of letting go. When you live with simplicity in mind, you are less likely to get caught up in distractions and drama; it becomes easier to see the heart of a situation, conversation, or problem.

For me, living simply is a daily effort that touches every part of my life.  My kitchen has very few gadgets, yet I cook quite a lot.  It’s amazing how many gadgets can be replaced with a fork and a little muscle power.  The gear I use is fairly simple, as well. I’ve got a sturdy pair of boots, a very bright flashlight, a cell phone, and a first aid kit. The basics are covered and I can focus on using my eyes-and-ears.

Choosing to live simply can take almost any form, yet the intent is often the same: a pursuit of finer understanding and sharper focus, better efficiency in all actions.

Honey, You’re Beautiful by Moxie Gusto

January 30, 2012 • Paige

In addition to being useful as medicine, honey is also a wonderful natural moisturizer for your skin. It is a humectant, which means it attracts and holds moisture. Honey is a common ingredient in cosmetics and beauty products for this, and many other reasons.

I make my own all-purpose moisturizer from coconut oil and honey. I use plain, refined coconut oil from the baking aisle of the grocery store (LouAnn brand), but you could spend more on unrefined, virgin, and organic varieties in the health food stores. I am happy with the cheaper stuff that I can also use to make really good popcorn and baked goods.

My moisturizer is about 90% coconut oil, 10% honey, and sometimes a few drops of olive oil.  You’ll have to experiment to find what you like.  It’s great on your face and hands, and even softens elbows and feet. Since it’s entirely edible, it’s also really good on dry, cracked lips.  I love it because it’s  simple, earthy, inexpensive, and my bathroom is not cluttered with bottle after bottle of ‘product’ – just one little jar!

Honey never spoils, and coconut oil is slow to oxidize, which makes it resistant to rancidity.  No more throwing away expensive products that have gone rancid!  Note: if your beauty products smell like old crayons, they are rancid and you need to toss them out.  Coconut oil has a melting point of 76F, so it will be solid in the winter and liquid in the summer. Just be aware of that so you don’t slosh it everywhere when you open the container in warm months. I know this and still make a mess every now and then.

Well, that stinks!!

January 24, 2012 • Paige