Household Helpful TipsWritten by Mrs. Party... Gail Leino
~ Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hair spray and they will take a quick dive. ~ Sealed envelope - Put in freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under flap. The envelope can then be resealed. ~ Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on roll what appliance it belongs to. ~ For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over steps. They won't refreeze. ~ Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes of with little effort (elbow grease that is!). ~ Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel. ~ Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S. pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that scissors get sharpened this way! ~ Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I simply reach into drawer and pull out handy nutcracker. It adjusts to size of jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops lid! ~ Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time! ~ Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak. ~ Spray a bit of perfume on light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when light is turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen. ~ Candles will last a lot longer if placed in freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning. ~ To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add flowers. Shake vigorously as salt will absorb all dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
Closing Up Your Container GardenWritten by Debbie Rodgers
All good things eventually come to an end and so summer is waning, even as autumn gives most of us a fresh start. I'll bet your summer container plantings aren't really benefiting, though, from "back to school-oh I love a clean notebook" boost and aren't dying as gracefully as summer itself is. You're going to have to help them through this!
Saving Summer I understand if you just can't bear thought of waving good-bye to your wave petunias just yet. That's okay - you can bring some of your tropical annuals indoors for winter, to ease pain of parting with them.
If you have space, a sunny window and enough moisture, you can save palms, ferns and other tropicals. Likely though, you'll have more success with taking cuttings and helping your plants clone themselves. (It's kind of like Day of Triffids without evil.)
Pick a healthy plant with no nasty bugs or blights. With a sharp knife, cut off non-flowering stems 3-4 inches (8-11 cm) long, and strip leaves off lower two-thirds of stem. Dip cut edges in rooting hormone, available at your local nursery, and stick them in dampened sand or peat moss, or a glass of tap water. Place pot, tray or glass in a sunny spot and wait 3-4 weeks. If cuttings are in sand or peat, don't forget to water to keep them damp throughout that time.
When roots are at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, you can plant them in potting soil in attractive containers and winter them on a sunny windowsill or table. This method works well with annuals such as geraniums (pelargonium), coleus, and some ivies. You can also try propagating impatiens this way.