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6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

If you think the green recycling movement is a recent invention, then you’ve never met a redneck!

  • REDNECK RECYCLING: Consists of recycling, reforming and reusing of everything they get their hands on.
  • Redneck Recycling is not: Separating glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.
  • Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in Redneck terms = Recoup, Rig, Repurpose

Since most rednecks love nothing more than sitting outside after a long day relaxing with a beer next to the fire, it’s no wonder that making DIY recycled fire pits from repurposed scrap materials has practically become an art form in redneck culture. As Jeff Foxworthy might say, you know you’re a redneck when your backyard barbecue is made from an abandoned shopping cart . . . or an old tractor tire rim, barrel, or washing machine tub!

Looking for an inexpensive way to create the perfect DIY backyard fire pit? Learn the redneck secrets for turning junk into one of these backyard gems.

The Barrel Pit

This fire pit is made from an old barrel and old horseshoes. If you have these two redneck staple pieces lying around your yard (or know of a scrapyard where you can pick them up for next to nothing), you’re well on your way to making a portable outdoor fire pit to light up your nights. Find an old grill top in your rummaging? Then get ready for some redneck barbecue!

Materials

Steel barrel

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4 old horse shoes

Salvaged grill top (optional)

Metal saw and welding tools

Basic cleaning solution

How to Make

Once you’ve found the perfect barrel, clean it out before proceeding. Since steel barrels are generally used to carry oil or other gunky stuff, you want to make sure all residue is removed first before lighting a fire in it. Use the cleaner for this and rinse thoroughly.

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  1. Measure 18 – 24 inches from the bottom of the barrel and mark this height at several points around the outside of the barrel.
  2. Cut the barrel using a metal saw and then weld around the rim of the barrel so edges are not sharp. Don’t know a thing about cutting and welding metal, or don’t have the tools? You may want to use the services of a metal welder, hopefully in the form of a redneck friend willing to work for free or for just the cost of materials. A professional welder’s services for this type of project can range anywhere from $20 to $80.
  3. If you’re the one doing the work, next, cut vent openings around the bottom section of the barrel (see image) about 7-8 inches apart. Vent openings release excess heat and help prevent wood pieces from overheating and shooting out too much spark.
  4. Weld around the cuts to soften the edges.
  5. Position horseshoes in parallel pairs around the rim of the barrel and weld each into place to create an imaginary cross.
  6. Fill with wood and kindling and enjoy! If you have an old grill top laying around, once the flames have died down to hot coals, place it on top of the horseshoes for an instant barbecue.

Ah, the simple life!

Source Credit – http://www.fireplacemall.com

The Repurposed Grill Fire Pit

If lounging in a lawn chair under the stars with your feet stretched out before a roaring fire sounds like a little slice of heaven, here’s how to turn this redneck fantasy into redneck reality! Got an old grill tucked away in the back of the shed? Then you’re all set.

Materials

  • Grill bottom
  • Metal Saw

How to Make

  1. Remove grill lid and other attached parts, including handles and legs.
  2. Reattach handles and legs, using each as a leg for the refashioned fire pit. Reattach only end of the handles and turn the other end down to act as a leg.
  3. The fire pit should sit at least 6 inches off the ground. If needed, cut old grill legs to size.
  4. Add kindling and fire starter.

Now, the fun part: Stretch out those tired dogs and relax!

The Wheelbarrow Fire Pit

Got an old wheelbarrow? Then you’ve got yourself a fire pit! Simply add wood and light. If the wheels still work, you can move the fire pit around the yard to keep you warm wherever you go. You can also keep it stationary by blocking the wheels.

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Materials

Old Wheelbarrow

Working wheels (If you want it to be portable)

Cement Bricks

How to Make

  1. Clean your wheelbarrow of any old debris
  2. Check the wheels. If you don’t want your wheelbarrow to be moved around, wheel to desired location and block in place using the cement bricks. A big old rock will do in a pinch, too!
  3. Fill with kindling and scrap wood.

Get ready for a barrow full of redneck fun!

The Shopping Cart Pit

Well lookie here, an abandoned shopping cart with no identifying store name on it whatsoever. Bring it to the dump? Not if you’re a redneck! If you can get your hands on some wire mesh, a little scrap metal, and you have some basic know-how of metal welding, the ultimate conversation fire pit could be yours!

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Materials

  • Discarded shopping cart with chrome finish
  • 27″ x 8′ steel lath (wire mesh) to line all of the four sides of the cart and basket
  • Steel drip edge flashing
  • Steel corner bead
  • 3 cookie sheets or flat scrap sheet metal
  • Hinges (To connect the spark screen to the shopping cart)
  • Handle
  • 1 pr Steel hurricane ties
  • Nuts and bolts

How to Make

  1. Remove all rubber and plastics parts from the cart, including the rubber bumpers on the corners of the basket. This is redneck must!
  2. Using the Steel drip edge flashing, build a snug frame for the bottom of the basket. This will help to keep embers from rolling out of the basket.
  3. Cut the edges off two cookie sheets (or use scrap sheet metal). Measure and cut so they fit inside the frame as a pan on the bottom of the cart.
  4. Line the cart with steel lath (wire mesh). Use large washers and bolts to attach the lath to the sides. For less than $10, a 27” x 8’ sheet will be enough for all 4 sides plus one piece left over to spark screen cover.
  5. To make the spark screen cover, cut to match the top of the cart (as a lid). Frame with steel corner bead, using nuts and bolts on all four sides to keep everything in place.
  6. Attach a handle to the far end of the lid; attaches hinges on the end closest to the basket.
  7. Use hurricane ties to secure the hinges in place.
  8. Pretty cool, huh? Now lift the lid and load your cart with kindling.

If the wheels are still working, this is a completely mobile redneck work of fire pit art. You can even use the undercarriage to store extra wood!

The Old Pot Pit

Grandma’s old cast iron or copper pot not getting much use anymore? Put your inner redneck to work and turn that unused cauldron into a fire pit with lots of charm.

Materials

  • Grandma’s old, large cast iron or copper cauldron or pot
  • Bricks or stones

How to Make

  1. Place the pot on a non-flammable surface. Concrete, gravel or dirt works fine.
  2. Surround the pot with large stones or bricks to prevent the pot from moving around or tipping over.
  3. Load with kindling and light.

If Grandma’s got an old grill grate she’s willing to part with, you’re in business! No more stew, though–get ready to barbecue!

The Steel Roofing Fire Ring

Have some strips of roofing metal left over from your last repair job? Well, don’tcha ya know it, you are in luck. It’s finally time to build that backyard fire ring!

Materials

  • Left over corrugated steel or pole barn roofing
  • Bricks, stone, etc.
  • Metal roofing screws (bolt style with washer)

How to Make

  1. Choose the location in your yard where the fire ring will be permanently installed.
  2. Clear grass from the area to leave level dirt.
  3. Create a loop with the roofing metal in the desired size of the ring.
  4. Fasten with roofing screws and washers.
  5. Stack bricks or rocks around ring high enough to cover the width of the ring.

That’s pretty darn elegant, if we do say so ourselves. If you like the redneck ethos for recycling wherever you can, but don’t necessarily like the redneck “look,” this project may be you!

Use these simple steps to bring out your inner redneck and throw an outdoor party that will wow your friends. Cold beer, warm fire… Ah, the simple joys of the redneck life!

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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