Water Bucket Holder for Calves
In autumn we usually have several smaller calves that are held back a few weeks before they are sold. I place 5-gallon plastic pails of water along the fence line for them but have had a problem with the calves knocking over the buckets and making a mess.
My 10-year-old daughter came up with the perfect solution of using stacked pairs of worn out pickup tires to hold the water buckets upright. No more muddy mess, no more ‘dry’ calves from the lack of water!
(tip submitted by SP, WY)
My houseplants live outdoors during the long days of summer under the shade trees in your yard. When fall comes, we re-pot as needed and then set them on the wide window sill in our sun room. Our grandkids play in that room and occasionally a pot gets knocked over as they chase each other around.
My husband found a solution for this by using one of those spring-loaded shower rods on the edge of the window sill about half-way up to protect the pots. No more spills and it’s easy to move to clean and take the pots down again for the summer season!
Fall and early winter seems to be the only time I have to play ‘catch-up’ with all of those little repair and maintenance jobs around the farmhouse and the outbuildings, like the barns.
Dragging several electric cords of varying lengths–some up to 100 feet–can be a real disaster. They get tangled up, people trip over them, the whole process can be miserable.
I finally wised-up and started coiling the cords in a big 5-gallon pail that I got from a friend. I try to pull the plug-in ends up near the top so I can ‘plug as I go’ and have the cord all neatly laid out where I need it. I can get about 400 feet of heavy-duty electric cord in my bucket, plop my drill on top and safely walk to where I’m going!
(tip submitted by CJ, WI)
If you raised a lot of carrots this year and want to keep them, put some damp dirt in a couple of 5 gallon pails. Make layers of carrots (tops removed) and then dirt, repeated to the top of the bucket. These can be stored in a cave or a cool basement for the most of the winter months.
(tip submitted by EB, SD)
Pie Crust Helper
Instead of cutting strips of foil to cover your pie crust edges, just cut away the already formed edge off of an old aluminum toss-away pan that has holes in it and can’t be used any more. It does the same thing and can be used over and over again.
(tip submitted by ER, NC)
(PENNYWISE: I just spotted some commercial pie crust edger ‘things’ in the hardware department of a big box store. They were not cheap and considering what they were, you can make your own and save your money!)
Save That Roll-Up Shade!
I was helping a neighbor clean out her mother’s home before it was to be sold. I took down the old roll–up window shades and set them aside to discard.
Another friend who was also helping said the shades could be recycled; she keeps one in the trunk of the car and rolls it out before she puts things in the trunk to transport. Everything arrives still clean, and the shade can be rolled up again. She also said that she once was having trouble with a noise under her car and discovered a wad of old wire was dragging under it. She used the shade rolled out on the ground to protect her clothing while she cut the wire loose to be discarded.
(tip submitted by MG, ND)
Potato Water Surprise
My neighbor taught me a way to get some ‘free fertilizer’ for my houseplants. She said to cool the water I boil potatoes and eggs in and use it to water my plants. I don’t know what is in it, but my plants really look better and should be much better prepared to move outdoors come springtime.
(tip submitted by SM, KS)
Christmas Tree Watering The Easy Way
If you have a live Christmas tree in your home and have trouble adding water to the holder without making a huge mess on the floor/carpet, just use ice cubes. Easy to put in and no mess!
(tip submitted by JM, WA)
Coffee And Tea Stain Remover
When your ceramic coffee cups get all brown and grungy inside from coffee or tea stains, the remedy is as close as your kitchen cupboard.
Get out a box of baking soda, put about a spoonful on a plate, dampen a dishcloth (I use old washrags), dip the wet part in the soda and use it to scrub the grunge out of the coffee or tea cups. It takes only a few seconds to polish all that crud off. Give a quick rinse and they look like new, and it’s really cheap too!
(tip submitted by JW, UT)
(PENNYWISE: this also works on the fronts of refrigerators and freezers to remove hand prints and spills of all kinds. Since the soda is nontoxic, it’s safe to use around kids and pets too.)
Sanity Saver For Moms
My husband and I have a rather large family–six children ranging in age from 5 to 16. My children have always helped with the laundry, especially when it came to sorting and folding clothes. My husband came up with what I considered a brilliant idea years ago. It’s worked well for us so, we decided to share it.
Six children adds up to a lot of underwear and socks. We decided after the second one to buy each child a different color of underwear and socks. When we do the laundry, each child sorts his or her own underclothes and socks, folds and puts them away. This has saved us a lot of time and aggravation over the years!
(tip submitted by MC, PA)