Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday in the Country

Parking lots are collection spots for oil leaks – avoid walking through so that you don’t track into your home.

Store all of your brooms upside down to keep from ruining the bristles.

If your iron is sticking, run it over both sides of a piece of wax paper.

No time to polish your dark dress shoes?  Spray quickly and lightly with aerosol hair spray (keep a trial size on had just for this use).

As soon as you get home from your dry cleaners, remove clothing from the protector plastic as it tends to ‘set in’ wrinkles.

© 2014 Cat Brennan

Friday, April 11, 2014

From my friend in Colorado: As a house cleaner for years I believe that the best ‘glass’ cleaner is 50% alcohol plus a hint more, and 50% water in a spray bottle.  No vinegar, nothing else.  Cheap!  (Commercial glass cleaners are so toxic).

remix,unchecked,blue,stamp,air mail,airplane,postage,clip art,media,public domain,image,svg,pngPurchase greeting cards in advance.  Get them ready at the end of the month prior to the dates you are honoring with cards.  Once you have written in your sentiment, place in envelope and add the addressee and your return address. Do NOT STAMP (yet).  In the stamp area, write the date TO MAIL THE CARD.  Then, don't forget to stamp and mail.

When you purchase greeting cards, turn the cards over and obliterate the price. I even draw a smiley face next by the obliteration.

The gutters along the curb collect all kinds of traffic trash, including sharp object that will harm your tires. Stay out of them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday in the Country

Collecting acorns, pine cones and gum balls is fun, but be cautious when bringing them into the house as they may be home to creep, crawly vermin.  Put the pine cones in the top rack of the dishwasher and run though a regular cycle with your regular dirty dishes.  Bake the acorns and gumballs in a low oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  Both of these methods should serve as safe ways to debug your prizes. 

Pink Dress Hanger Clip ArtI have designated a space at the end of one of my clothes-rods as the 'home' for empty hangers. When removing a piece of clothing from the closet, I take the hanger off the rod and put it with the other 'empties'.  It will be easy to find later when returning the clothing to the closet.  Here's another plus, the empty hangers are easy to locate when doing the laundry.

Last evening, I made 'Christy's Chocolate Sheet Cake for a birthday celebration.  I wanted to use my near-antique cake stand to present the cake, but how to do this, was the question.  First, I froze the cake overnight then, I cut 3 or 4 pieces of parchment paper. (I had intended to cut rounds of parchment, then scallop the edges, but ran out of time). Using a pizza cutter, I cut the cake into serving size pieces, then I laid a piece of parchment paper on the cake stand.  I covered that with pieces of cake, then continued with paper then cake, paper then cake, ending with cake on top.  A few cake crumbs did stick to the parchment, but NOT the frosting. That was what I hoped would happen.

© 2014 Cat Brennan

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday in the Country

Keep fresh flowers longer by adding a wee pinch of sugar and an aspirin to the water.  Change every few days.

Treat both sides of your snow shovel with a generous spray of WD-40™. Hopefully, there won't be any more snow this year, but file this idea for next winter. It makes shoveling snow so much easier. Secondarily, the spray will aid against rust.

Bay leaves for weevils. I put bay leaves in everything and every container that holds a food stuff that attracts weevils: corn meal, flour, cereals, grains and mixes. Additionally, I scatter bay leaves on the shelves in the cabinets where I store these foods. It works!

Some of your favorite pinks fading?  Revive by washing them with your reds. (Just think of this as the reverse procedure for the day you turned your husbands tidy whities into blushing pinkies).

Get rid of odors, including fish AND burned popcorn with this neat trick.  Whole cloves are best, but ground cloves will work in a pinch. Place 6-9 whole cloves or sprinkle 1/4 tsp. ground cloves into a small, DRY skillet.  Heat to lightly smoking (I use my 6" cast iron skillet). "Wave" the skillet around the house, passing through all the rooms, especially in kitchen and entry ways.  Sometimes, if I'm in a hurry, I get the whole or powdered cloves lightly smoking and 'wave' near the intake for my heat pump (of course make sure the fan in blowing to spread). This gets the pleasant fragrance throughout your home.

Keep a book or box of matches in your bathrooms; the sulfur smell of a lit, burnt and blown-out match does wonders to mask the special "fragrances" in that room (wooden matches work best, but a book of matches in a pinch is better than nothing).

And a word of caution: NEVER-EVER toss a hot match stick into your waste basket unless you're prepared to call the fire department.

© 2014 Cat Brennan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday in the Country

Wrap sets of flatware in pretty napkins and tie with ribbon ready for a buffet meal.

To keep nylon or satin ribbon from fraying, carefully singe the ends with a flame.  Be sure that you have already cut on an angle.

Suffer short term memory loss?  Keep a pen and sticky notes in every room in your home and write down things when you think of them.

Save printer ink with a couple of simple things.  
A). Print in draft mode unless printing formal documents or letters.

B). Calibri and Times New Roman fonts use less ink than others.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Rubbing alcohol will cut through hairspray residue in your bathroom.

Easy border instead of wallpaper:  bring the outdoors in. Using double sided tape, stick various leaves high up along the ceiling on the wall.. spray paint the wall around the leaves .. you can reuse the leaves by moving around .. Large fallen fall leaves and airy fern leaves really pop.

Tie a home sewn gift with self fabric – a strip you've cut or torn away. The selvage makes a nice “ribbon”. Or make a fabric bag to hold your gift, from tiny to very large.

A quick napkin ring, any time of year: ribbon tied in a bow, silk flowers wrapped in a circle or brightly colored pipe cleaners.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday in the Country

paint brush pennello mauro olivo 01Make make your own watercolor paint with equal parts of water, clear or white liquid dish detergent and food coloring; start with 1 teaspoon each.

Fill 1 or 2, 2 liter or 2 quart plastic milk or soda containers with water and keep in the freezer. You’ll have fresh water in case of a natural disaster.  If your chest or upright freezer isn’t well stocked, fill in the empty space with additional containers of water to freeze. A well filled freezer operates more efficiently than an empty one. Remove as the space is needed for food.  THEN, after the ice has completely melted, water indoor or outdoor plants with that water instead of just dumping it down the drain. If you have a power outage, the containers of ice might keep your food safe. Do not open freezer during a power outage.

Yes, Cola beverages really do clean off the corrosion on battery posts on your car battery (buy .

Old drawers make great storage spaces under the bed. If handles are missing, drill sets of ¼” holes in the front of each drawer, thread clothesline rope through holes and knot on the inside. This is also a neat way to add “beach” d├ęcor to a room.

Keep a glass squeegee in your car to remove new-fallen snow from your windows – no scratching - clean swipe!