Plant A ‘Free’ Tree ♦
Fresh fruit is very much in season this time of year, and I was reminded of a hint from an old friend from years ago:
 
"Plant the seeds of peaches, plums, apples, nectarines, etc. in a protected spot.  Some of them will sprout and grow into small trees. Move the seedlings to the area where you want them to grow when they are about 24" tall.  About 5 years from now, you may have fruit and 90% of it will be edible – generally known as ‘common fruit’.

I haven’t planted peaches here where I live as it can get down to -30°, and not many fruit (peach) trees will survive that kind of a chill.

I didn’t plant the seeds, but some friendly birds planted apple trees for me years ago behind a grainery near the barn.  (We discovered the trees when the grainery blew away in a high wind.)  We left the trees alone and since they were over my head, didn’t try to separate them – so now we have a ‘cluster’ of apple trees.  Some of them produce the ‘lady apples’ and some of the others produce a wonderfully crisp and tasty fall apple that is just right for making apple pies and crisps. – free fruit!
 
About Buying Locally….
Earlier this spring, I needed a new refrigerator.  I called a couple of places in the big city 100 miles away and found out that they mostly just have ‘floor samples’ on hand and any appliances needed to be ordered, paid for and then picked up in two weeks.

So, I called my small town local hardware store. They had three models on the floor for me to choose from.  I chose one (sight unseen) and it was delivered to the house within one hour. The old one was carted outside and the new one brought in and hooked up. Service with a smile, I tell you!

I didn’t have to make the two-hundred mile trip to order and pay for something.  I didn’t have to spend the day away from home during calving. I saved a bunch on gas money and, I got what I wanted with no hassle!

And, best of all, my money went to pay friends of mine that work in the store and the money stayed in my community instead of going to some big city corporation or overseas.

Bulk Buy Storage Possibilities
We’ve had some questions as to how to store food items bought in bulk and stashed away for long-term use.  Many times, you can get the 5-gallon plastic pails with a seal around the lid from a restaurant (they are used for bulk dill pickles). Or, the clear 1-gallon glass jars used for pepper slices and sometimes pickled eggs or sausages.  These too will have the rubber seal around the rim.  Sometimes the owner will just give you the pails and jars just to get rid of them, or they may charge a little bit. You just have to ask.

Splinter/Sticker Removal
If one of the family gets a sticker or put an ice cube on the area for a couple of minutes before you pull it out to numb the area and the ‘stickee’ won’t jump when you pull the offending item out of the skin. – VA, NE

Flower Power
I was given a huge box of the old-fashioned clay flower pots recently.  They were ugly – stained with white lime deposits and pretty much unuseable as received. I put them in the bathtub with some hot soapy water and then got to work with a stiff bristled brush and scrubbed the daylights out of them, rinsed them off good and then I gave them another good scrubbing with an old towel dipped in white vinegar and let them dry.

They looked like new so I brushed on some acrylic sealer inside of the pots (I looked at the new ones in the stores and they are sealed on the inside now when you buy them).

Now, these ‘new to me’ pots are ready for new tenants and I can decorate the outsides with paint or decoupage something on the outside if I want to. – NA, OR

Ball Point Stain Remover

My son left a ball point pen in his shirt pocked, and it got washed and dried (cooked that ink right in to the fabric).
It’s an expensive shirt and I hated to have to toss it, so I tried using some plain rubbing alcohol to remove the stain. It soaked into the fabric and then it set for awhile. I then took an old toothbrush and scrubbed the spots.  It worked – the shirt is now wearable again. – MJ, IN

Pokey Warning
I have a glass bottle of antiseptic in my medicine cabinet.  To prevent someone from using it by mistake, I pushed a straight pin up through the cork from the inside.  The sharp end of the pin sticks out of the cork and if you grab it by mistake, you will know enough to ‘look before using!’ – AG, NE

Cheesy Treats

If you have left-over pie crust bits, make cheese sticks by rolling grated cheese into it until thoroughly mixed.  Cut into 1-inch wide strips and bake in a hot oven (400°) until light brown. Kids love these for after school snacking. – BE, MN
 
Quick Frosting
I needed a quick frosting for some cupcakes I was baking and my daughter came up with a ‘new to me’ idea.  She unwrapped some of those chocolate mint patties and as the cupcakes came out of the oven, she put a patty on the top of the hot cake. We waited just a little while, and then spread the chocolate mint frosting over the tops of the cakes. It was quick and easy and they tasted oh so good! – SF, IA

 Note from Pennywise:
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