The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

My Soon-To-Be Husband, the Electrical Engineer May 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 11:01 pm

I’m so proud of him. Phil graduated from the University of Tennessee as an electrical engineer on May 11, 2011!


Cicadas are singing loudly in the South

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 10:42 pm
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You may have heard them by now. Thirteen-year cicadas have emerged from the ground and they are sounding their loud mating call.

I found a news article at that describes this red-eyed bug.

The cicadas are swarming mostly in the South and Midwest. In Tennessee the largest concentrations are in Middle Tennessee, but some have made their way into East Tennessee.

The cicada mating call is a sound like no other. It is loud, shrill, and can even seem deafening at times.

Experts at the University of Tennessee say the male cicadas are the noise makers, but the females cause damage.

The females cut slits into tree limbs and lay their eggs. They can lay as many as 400 to 600 eggs at a time.

After six to seven weeks the eggs hatch. Then the nymphs drop to the ground and burrow in the soil, where they remain feeding on roots for 13 to 17 years.

The cicada shells are left behind stuck to trees and litter the ground. The shells may stick around for awhile.

As for the shrill singing, experts say it disappears in about five weeks.

Experts say the good news is that cicadas don’t bite or sting, though they often bump into you and everything else while flying around.

They won’t destroy your flowers, but they can cause damage to the small flowering and fruit trees where they lay their eggs.

I’m just hoping that they are not around for the wedding in 3 weeks.


Car Shopping, Bitter Sweet May 12, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 11:17 pm
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From this  to that  

Since I no longer have my beautiful Toyota Solara due to it being totaled by insurance company in the recent hail storm, I must find something new 😦 My 2 door car was being impracticably with my lifestyle now.  With the dogs and traveling I need something bigger. I want an SUV. I think I am the only person wanting to go bigger and not smaller.

The car I have been looking at is the Honda Element. It seems like the prefect car for me.  It’s a very unique looking vehicle due to its square shape and it definitely stands out on the streets. states the Pro’s and Con’s


Impressively versatile interior, optional all-wheel drive, smooth four-cylinder engine, styled as if out of a Japanese animation movie.


Only seats four, clamshell doors hinder entry/exit for rear-seat passengers.


Go Ask Alice May 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 2:15 am
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Go Ask Alice: I was told by my librarian in high school I should read this book but I never had a chance back then. Now that I am older and have just finished this book, it makes me wonder why he wanted me to read it so bad? Did he think I was doing drugs! Wow! Or maybe he was just trying to make me read it where I wouldn’t want to do drugs? Doesn’t matter now I guess.

This book isn’t a  fairytale story. The book provides an empathetic description of one 15-year-old girl’s descent into a life of drugs that still resonates in today’s teen culture. The book starts out with Alice moving to another town and starting a diary. She starts a new high school alone and scared. The kids at her school are not what they seem. She is invited to a party by one of her new friends, and is tricked into taking LSD. This is the beginning of Alice’s drug addiction. Soon she runs away, is living on the streets in California where she is rapped and taken advantage of. She is homeless and scared.

She calls her parents and returns to her hometown. While at home she is trying to recover from her addiction and lifestyle but her past ‘friends’ have no intention of letting her go. When she goes to babysit a neighbor’s child she finds that someone left nuts laced in LSD. Upon eating them Alice goes into a bad trip and flips out, a neighbor finds her and locks her in a closet where she hurts herself trying to claw out. After this she is placed in a mental institution where she somehow keeps entries to her diary still.

Alice is finally released from the institution and is starting out her new life. She even meets a guy from college and thinks that she is in love with him. Soon after this she decides to quit writing in her journal and the book ends. However there is a note after her last entry stating that Alice was found 2 weeks later died. It didn’t say how she died but it leads you to believe it is from a drug overdose. Was it suicide or murder?

When I finished this book I did some research on the real “Alice”. Since this book is written by Anonymous I didn’t have much to go on.  I found an article that said the


Bake Me a Cake May 3, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 10:31 pm
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I have been thinking of some side jobs I would like to start in my free time and after watching too much TLC I think I want to learn how to make wedding cakes. After watching some You Tube videos and reading around on Goggle I thought I would give it a shot.

Me and my BFF Maria, 2 weekends ago, thought we would give it a go. First, let me say it now, you can not make a cake in 1 hour. It took us FOREVER, but this was our first time and we really didn’t know what we were doing. The Cake Boss makes it look like a piece of cake 😉

The task: We wanted to see if we make two 3 layer cakes. After shopping around town all week we finally had our supplies and all our baking essentials. *Please excuse my “under construction” kitchen. *

Our goal was 2 cakes. One, 3 tier wedding cake make of almond white cake (bottom), chocolate (middle), and strawberry (top). It was Easter themed and had a chocolate bunny on the top, next was my furture sister in laws birthday cake, this was a single layer 3 tier cake made with almond white cake covered in white fondant. I think it turned out the best of the group.

We made everything from starch even the fondant. We started at 5:00 pm and ended around 1:30 am. I think we took on too much in one night, but we aren’t backing down yet. We have plans for a lot more cakes soon just not at the same time. The final result:

Then the next day was my dad’s birthday and I thought I would make him a small sugar-free cake. It looks good but didn’t taste all that great.

All-in-all I would say it want pretty well. Hopefully more cake pictures to come.