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Thursday, March 13 , 2014

Keep Plant Seeds for Years

Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may be itching to get planting! Many gardeners like to start seedlings indoors four to six weeks before the final frost. Most seed packets have way more than you need. You can share with a neighbor, or do this...

Whenever you finish a bottle (opaque plastic or dark glass) of vitamins or other supplements, save it, along with that little, moisture-absorbing silica gel packet that came in it. They are good to use when storing seeds.

Put any leftover seeds in your selection of saved bottles along with the silica gel pack. Close it tightly, and keep it refrigerated until next year. Most seeds will stay viable for two to three years. If you want to test before planting, just remember that dud seeds will float in a small bowl of water.

Note: Be sure to label the jar clearly so your seeds don’t become a salad topping.

More help with your garden...


Wednesday, March 12 , 2014

Sweet Fix for Hiccups

You can't exactly remember that hiccup cure where you have to hold your breath and count to a specific number and sip water while closing your eyes tight. Here's a hiccup remedy that's quick and easy to remember.

Mix one-half teaspoon of sugar in one-half glass of tepid water (the sugar does not have to be completely dissolved), and drink it slowly— take about a good 10 seconds. Your hiccups should be history.

More quick fixes for daily annoyances...

Tags: hiccup, sugar
Tuesday, March 11 , 2014

Cold-Weather Clothesline

It's time to think spring, but it still feels like winter across lots of the country. And you can't wait to wear some fresh air! To prevent wet clothes from freezing when hung outside to dry, here's what you do...

Pour one-quarter cup of table salt into the last rinse cycle of your laundry. You'll be able to hang your clothes outside and get that great-smelling air-dried laundry experience starting today...and the salt will also help brighten your wash.

Drying laundry outside is good for your sheets and clothing…the environment...and your pocketbook. Do you do it? Let us know below.


Monday, March 10 , 2014

Homemade Poultice for Pinkeye

If your eye is red, watery and itchy, you may have allergies or just some dust in your eye. But if your eye is very irritated, you may have an infection commonly known as pinkeye or conjunctivitis (which is very contagious). Here's what to do so you don't have to look so awful for so many days...

Once every day, make a poultice of grated apple or potato. Peel a small apple or potato (any kind is fine), and grate using the small holes on a grater or a small food processor. Take a piece of cheesecloth (or a coffee filter), and wrap it around the apple (or potato) to create a package big enough to cover your infected eye. Place your poultice on your closed eye, and let it stay that way for a half-hour, then gently rinse or wipe off. Do this twice a day, and within two days, the irritated redness should dissipate.

Caution: If the redness and inflammation does not show signs of improvement within a day or two (or worsens), see a health professional.

More everyday healers...


Friday, March 07 , 2014

Homemade Furniture Polish

Some people love the lemony smell of store-bought furniture polish...and some people hate it. Here's a homemade furniture cleaner that's kind to your wood and doesn't smell like a chemical factory.

Mix one-third cup of white vinegar with one cup of olive oil. Rub a bit of this homemade polish on your furniture with a soft, lint-free cloth (such as an old bit of bedsheet or T-shirt) until your wood has a smooth, even shine. Refrigerate any unused portions...or use some on your salad at suppertime!

More help for around the house…


Thursday, March 06 , 2014

Ankle Trick Relieves Stress

We all go through periods of feeling stressed and blue. Work pressures, financial pressures, relationship pressures…it's enough to make a person explode! Here's an ancient way to relieve the stress...

You can “acupressure away” the pressure of the day by getting a firm grip on your ankle. Using your thumb and third finger, place your thumb just below the inside of your right anklebone, and the other finger on the indentation directly below your outer anklebone. Keep steady pressure on the spot as you count down from 60 to one slowly, breathing slowly as you count. You can switch to your left ankle and repeat the process, but you may not have to. You should feel yourself calming down in a matter of minutes.

More ways to get calm...


Wednesday, March 05 , 2014

New Use for Sour Milk

You wanted to have a fancy dinner party, but your best flatware is nothing but a fancy box full of tarnished forks and knives. Got sour milk? Probably not. No fear! Here's what to do...

Take one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, and add enough milk to equal one cup of liquid. You've just made sour milk! Pour the sour milk in a glass pan, and soak the tarnished silver pieces in it for 30 minutes. Then wash the silver with dish detergent, rinse and buff dry with a soft cloth. (And please throw out the rest of the sour milk so no one drinks it!)

More cleaning tricks...


Tuesday, March 04 , 2014

Procrastinator's Guide to Painting

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to lift your spirits and make it look like you live in a new home. But it's hard to find time to paint a whole room in one shot. Paint one wall at a time! Here's how to make it easy...

If you don't finish painting in a day, instead of cleaning the brush or the roller, just wrap it in aluminum foil, put it in a plastic bag that can be loosely closed with a twist tie, and put it in the freezer. The next day, thaw out the brush or the roller for at least one hour before you're ready to start painting again.

The best news: A wrapped paintbrush or roller can be stored in the freezer for days, weeks or even months, until the next time the painting bug hits you.

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Monday, March 03 , 2014

Hot Fix for Cold Coughs

The chills, body aches and profuse nose-blowing of your cold all are gone, but you still have an annoying cough! You may have to cough out the cold a little longer, but it would be nice if you could curb the noise slightly until your body naturally heals. Here's what to do...

Combine one-half cup of apple cider vinegar with one-half cup of water. Add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and sweeten to taste with honey.

Dose: Take one tablespoon whenever you cough (which may be quite frequently). The cayenne-vinegar combination is a strong flavor, but not as bad as you might think. Right away, it should halt your cough temporarily...and reduce the frequency of your hacking. Swallow one tablespoon at bedtime so you can sleep at night. Rest is the best medicine for a minor cough!

Caution: A persistent cough that lasts longer than seven days or is accompanied by fever or shortness of breath can be a sign of something serious. See your doctor.

More natural healers...


Friday, February 28 , 2014

Road Rage Defuser

Why is it that the nicest people often turn into Mad Maxes when they get behind the wheel of an automobile? If you hate when this happens to you, here's a remedy to keep you calm when that jerk cuts you off on the highway.

Did you know that certain scents reduce road rage? According to recent research,* drivers exposed to the smell of cinnamon and peppermint reported feeling less frustrated.

What to do: Add two drops of peppermint and cinnamon oil to each of two cotton balls. Wrap the cotton balls in a piece of cheesecloth, and put them under your car seat. The scent will last a week or two.

*Bryan Raudenbush, PhD, LPharm, associate professor of psychology, director of undergraduate research, psychology department, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia.

More ways to feel calm...