Welcome to your common sense refuge in a crazy world.

Hi, I’m Laurie. I believe in straight talk, hard work and a healthy dose of laughter. Being self-reliant isn’t about trying to tackle everything on your own; it’s about making common sense choices to improve your life. You can do it, we can help!


  1. I am sorry to bother you as you are so busy. I have looked for info but cannot find if thinner mylar bags can be doubled to equal 7.5MM for dry storage storage. Thank you for ALL your help and God bless you and family.


    1. Hi Rosemarie.

      Don’t worry about asking questions. That’s what we’re here for.

      While it’s possible to double layer the bags, it would be difficult. You’d be better off simply opting for at least 5mm thickness, and packing the Mylar packages into a sturdy sealed container, like a 5 gallon bucket with lid.

      For shorter storage (under a year), a sturdy sealed container alone will get the job done.

  2. Hi Laurie, Just want to say I appreciate reading your information. I’m not sure how I ended up subscribed to your site and I typically kick out emails I don’t know where they come from but I’m glad I chose to check it out. I saw today the article about the lotion bars. Does it really work we’ll, because nothing else seems to?


    1. Hi Mary. I checked subscriber records, and it looks like you signed up for the self-reliance e-book some time ago.

      I’ve found that the lotion bars last longer and are more soothing and penetrating than other topical options I’ve used for treating dry skin. That said, I’m a firm believer that health comes from the inside out. If the dry skin is chronic and a serious problem, then we need to look at the bigger picture.

      How’s overall health? How’s gut health? How are stress levels? Are there irritants in your environment that you are reacting to that contribute to the dryness?

      I share some basic things to consider in the article on home remedies for dry skin, specifically this section – https://commonsensehome.com/home-remedies-for-dry-skin/#Tips_for_Avoiding_Dry_Skin

  3. Good morning Laurie,
    I just wanted to say that after reading the really nasty passive-aggressive (haha) comment that woman left on your post I was mad for you! Totally insensitive and advice not solicited. Does she really feel it’s OK to basically insult you under the guise of being helpful? You keep being and doing you! You are a lovely lady with a family who loves you. You have the life you want and freely publish all sorts of info to help people. I enjoy your posts. Don’t change! Your classes-wearing, gray-headed 60-year old friend in North Carolina…Donna

  4. Good day Laurie:
    I read your news letter date 3/18/23 and felt compelled to write you a note. I appreciate the content you share, and look forward to reading your news letter when it arrives in my email. I have learned many new things and been reminded of even more useful information I’ve lost track of. Your message this week was a welcome one, and I would like to mention I find your appearance healthy, natural, and most importantly a refreshing departure from the dominant culture which focusses on how we appear instead of focusing on our actions, words, and character!

  5. Laurie,
    Shame on the person that was unkind. I bet she would not be able to pull off the clean, fresh country girl look. You look great !
    I have enjoyed your website for several years and have shared information with family and friends. Keep up the good work.

  6. I can only purchase the Pectic enzyme in powdered form locally. Any ideas on how much to use when removing the membranes/pith from mandarine oranges? Thank you!!


    1. Does it have directions for removing pectin from wine? If so, I’d probably double that, as odds are that the oranges will have significantly more pectin than wine. If not, try 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon of enzyme per gallon of soaking water. Extra enzyme won’t hurt anything.

  7. I grew up eating New England cooking then taught it to myself while living there, so when I moved south and married a southerner it was a whole new world of cooking. I have tried countless times to make biscuits but failed till I got your Never Buy Bread Again book and oh my gosh! I made the Basic Biscut recipe today and my husband thought I had bought them, but when I told him no I made them, his eyes got big and he said these are good! I can’t wait to try other breads from this book. Thank you!

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