a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Barbecues and Bugs!

What do these have in common?

Barbecues come in many shapes and 
sizes and use different types of fuel---

Bugs come in many  shapes and sizes and use US for fuel!

Our small community publishes a newsy newsletter monthly. In preparation for spring and summer --- and all this includes --- two handy hints have been included in recent editions that I would like to share.

I haven't had the chance to personally try
them yet but the sources are usually reliable.


Original hint from an unknown source:   "I was at a deck party awhile back and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it!"

Our resident's comments: "I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works -- in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn't take much, and it is in a big bottle, so it is not as expensive to use as the can of bug-spray you buy that doesn't last 30 minutes ...this will last a couple of days...and is EARTH-FRIENDLY TOO!!! Do not spray directly on a wood door, but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house."

Simplify cleaning the grill of your charcoal barbecue: 

Mix 1/2 cup of a liquid cleaner with 1 gallon of water and pour it into a heavy duty plastic garbage gab. Immerse the grill in the a bag, secure the bag with a twist tie, and allow the grill to soak overnight. The next day, simply brush away the burnt on soil, rinse, and it is ready [for you to start "gunking" it up again!]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eleven Non-Traditional Uses for the Dishwasher

My last post introduced you to  less common uses for your microwave.

Since then, I’ve run across an article from an older issue of Real Simple —“Surprising Uses for Your Dishwasher” by Sarah Stebbins.

As is usually the case, comments ranged basically from “wonderful ideas” to “worthless article.” I found some that, in my opinion, fit both descriptions.

I am reprinting the article (including Sarah’s parenthetical comments.)

You may be enlightened. . .
You may be amused. . .
You may be appalled. . .

You be the judge!

Eleven Things you can put in the dishwasher

  • Baseball caps can get bent in the washing machine but hold their shape in the dishwasher, especially inside a contraption like the Ball Cap Washer ($7.50, amazon.com). Don’t wash them with dishes; food can get trapped in the cloth.

  • Action figures and other small toys can ride in a mesh lingerie bag on the top rack (but don’t wash Barbie or she’ll have a horrible hair day).

  • Rain boots should have the liners removed and lie horizontally. Hook flip-flops on tines in the top rack. (FYI, Crocs are not dishwasher-safe.)

  •  Tools with metal or plastic handles will be fine. Towel-dry afterward to prevent rusting.

  • Ceramic cabinet knobs do well in the silverware basket, so if you feel like embarking on the process (remove, wash, replace), go for it.

  • Hairbrushes and combs made of plastic can take a spin, but not wood or natural boar-bristle brushes. Be sure to remove all the hair first to protect the drain.

  •  Fan grilles, switch plates, and vent covers are in if they’re plastic, aluminum, or steel. Enameled, painted, or plated should stay out. 

  •  Shin guards, knee pads, and mouth guards―toss them all into the top rack.

  • Garden tools may have come in contact with pesticides or animals, so don’t mix them with a load of dishes. (And don’t wash those with wood handles.) 

  •  Light-fixture covers are fine in the top rack, as long as they’re not antique, enameled, or painted. 

  •  Potatoes can get nice and clean in the top rack with a rinse-only cycle (no detergent). Sound crazy? It makes mashed potatoes for 20 a lot quicker.

And ---Eleven Comments from readers:

  • You better make sure you don't have rinse aid in your dishwasher before you use it to wash potatoes.

  • Be advised...the water temperature will strip the color out of dark hats! I've learned the hard way...

  • How about putting your ref. shelves in the dishwasher,the glass ones that are a real pain to clean, most dish washer top basket comes out, then just stand the shelves on edge and give them a short wash, with your dishwasher detergent, works great and quite fast

  • My mother told me to put the filter for above my stove in the dishwasher (I didn't realize it was greasy and stained). It came out bright and like new!

  • This article really came in handy for me, as last week my toddler had a serious blow-out while sitting in his plastic booster seat. After I sprayed it down, I threw it in the dishwasher (by itself) on a heavy/sanitize cycle w/a standard scoop of detergent. The seat (and the nylon straps) came out squeaky clean!! And the best part was that it made the task much less painless for me, as I didn't have to hand-scrub it with bleach, etc. I never would have thought of that if I hadn't read this first. Thanks!

  • We put our son's football helmet, baseball batting helmet and catcher's mask in the dishwasher. Cleans all 3 up very nicely especially after they are muddy.

  • For years my late husband used to use the dishwasher to clean his tools and I thought he was a little crazy!

  • Not too sure about some of those things. I would not recommend putting garden tools in there. We did that once and it took us forever to get the little bits of potting soil out of the dishwasher.

  • Good article, but somewhat narrow. Think of a dishwasher, not as a machine for dishes, but as a self contained, fully enclosed, water spraying system. Many models are even designed to be able to easily remove the top rack, to allow taller items, including 5 gallon buckets and even small garbage cans.

  • I can't imagine writing such an idiotic article. Boots, garden tools in the dishwasher??? What can you be thinking about sanitation when you actually wash dishes?

  • I use my dishwasher as a filing cabinet to help keep my kitchen counters clear. I hand wash my dishes.

Do you remember what we do with our dishwasher?