Sunday, February 18, 2007

random but helpful hints

i've never been a big fan of unsolicited e-mail. people love to send what they think of as humorous or otherwise interesting items that, in my experience, are generally a waste of time. but once in a great while, in between warnings about the fcc forbidding all christian programming and offers of untold millions from christian converts overseas who need my bank account information for a short time, there's actually something worthwhile. here are some ideas from an e-mail i received recently; i haven't tried most of them yet, so you can let me know how (or if) they work:
  • storing bed sheets: put both sheets and one pillowcase in the other pillow case. fold neatly in a square. when you're ready to change them, just take the one pillow case and all the sheets and pillow case are inside; no need to look for matches.
  • cleaning shower glass: apply lemon juice to the glass with a sponge. then, take newspaper and wipe the lemon juice off the glass. it will be clean and sparkle with no scrubbing!
  • heating leftover pizza: put the pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low, and heat till warm. keeps the crust crispy.
  • easy deviled eggs: put cooked egg yolks in a ziploc bag. seal and mash until they are all broken up. add remainder of ingredients, reseal, and keep mashing to mix thoroughly. cut the tip of the bag, squeeze mixture into egg. throw bag away when done — easy clean up.
  • stretching the frosting: if you buy cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. you can double its volume, allowing you to frost more cupcakes and to use less sugar and calories per serving.
  • warming refrigerated bread: place cold muffins, biscuits, or pancakes in a microwave with a cup of water. the increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
  • keeping weeds away: start putting in your plants and work the nutrients in your soil. wet newspapers, then put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. cover with mulch. weeds will get through some gardening plastic, but they will not get through wet newspapers.
  • cleaning up broken glass: use a dry cotton ball to pick up the little broken pieces of glass — the fibers catch ones you can't see.
  • keeping mosquitoes away: put a dryer sheet in your pocket.
  • keeping squirrels from eating your plants: sprinkle the plants with cayenne pepper. cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it (guess they don't like spicy food...).
  • vacuuming in a narrow space: add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum hose. it can be bent or flattened to get into tight spots.
  • avoiding static cling: pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. likewise, place pin in seam of slacks and — voila — static is gone.
  • pouring sticky substances into a measuring cup: first, fill the cup with hot water; then dump it out, but don't dry the cup. add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and it will come out easily.
  • wiping fog from your windshield: keep a chalkboard eraser in the glove box of your car to wipe away the fog — works better than a cloth.
  • getting inside of a sealed envelope: place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two and it will unseal easily. (don't use this method to open other peoples' mail!)
  • shaving your legs: use hair conditioner to shave your legs. it's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. it's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair…
  • getting rid of fruit flies: take a small glass, add 2cm apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid. mix well. the flies will be drawn to the cup, then gone forever.
  • killing ants: put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. they eat it, take it "home," and can't digest it so it kills them. this may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works, and since it's non-toxic, it's safe for children and pets.
  • leaving the beach sand-free: when you're ready to leave the beach, sprinkle yourself and kids with baby powder and the sand will slide right off your skin.


Bora said...

please let me know if the safety pin on the slip works. I know how frustrated you get with static cling on your slip!

gr8god said...

glad to know that after that lengthy post i made on the tomb of Jesus and the importance of the resurrection, you're zeroing in on static cling.

fwiw, i've never had a slip with static cling. we use bounce... (-: