Writer’s block

Not often, but once in a while, I come up with no thoughts at all on what I should scribe for a coming deadline. This so happened to me just this past week, but low and behold, as I checked my e-mail the problem was immediately solved.

Old Bart (who is two years my senior), from up Markdale way, solved the problem for me. Through the magic of email he forwarded to me quite a long list of low cost problem solvers. Many of which the Little Lady and I were already familiar with. While riding the low tides of the economic climate I thought them well worthwhile to pass on to you. Though allotted space permits not all, here are the choices, some slightly adjusted, that I have selected.

If you have sealed an envelope, forgetting the insert, put it in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.

Use empty toilet paper rolls to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance they belong to.

For icy door steps in freezing temperature, get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze. It is much more environmentally friendly than salt.

To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.

For crayon marks on walls, try a damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort.

Bloodstains on clothes? Don’t worry. Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. It works, I’ve tried it (what you do with the body is your prerogative).

Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get windows really clean. Don’t wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

Place fabric softener sheets in your towel, linen and dresser drawers. Everything within will smell freshly washed for weeks to come.

To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt leaving your flowers looking like new. This worked for my Little Lady, it should work for you too.

To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the re­frigerator, it will keep for weeks. Those clear plastic bags work well for me.

Don’t throw out all that leftover wine:  freeze into ice cubes for future use in cas­seroles and sauces (who ever heard of leftover wine?).

To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and pull it off. It removes most splinters painlessly and easily. This has worked well, many times, for the Little Lady and I, when we lost the arguments while repot­ting cactus plants.

To clean a toilet, drop in a couple of Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.

Sorry folks. There is more on the list, but I’m running out of space and I want to remind you that this is the weekend that I’ll be at the Grand Valley fair signing my books, The Best of Bits & Pieces. Though I’m in my third printing of both book one and two, I still have a few left of the initial printing of book three.

If you are a book collector you will know what I’m talking about. See you all there.

 By the way, before I forget, The Colwyn Championship Poultry Show is also taking place on Sept. 26 at the Colwyn farm, County Road 29, just south of Fergus. That is one road over from the Fergus water tower. It’s one of the neatest and best shows in all of Canada.

Don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself. You won’t regret that you did.

Take care, ’cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins