Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you have a water line freeze in winter and have no way to use a torch or other means to thaw it, a reader said he used a detergent bottle filled with very hot water and just squirted the heated water on the pipe, starting at the top and working down. He said it worked pretty well; he had no way to get electricity to the waterer to use a heater of any kind to thaw that pipe.
My kids have a new puppy–a rather LARGE puppy–and asked me to get him a couple of ‘chew toys’ the next time I went to town. Well, I looked at the prices and decided I’d make my own. I got about three feet of good heavy rope at the hardware store, took it home and cut it into two pieces and tied knots in the ropes. I had one of the boys help me so the knots were good and tight. I smeared peanut butter on one and bacon grease on the other. By the time the dog had all the ‘goodie’ licked and chewed off the knots, his scent was on the ropes and he’s still chewing on them several months later. (Tip submitted by CA, SD)
Gingerbread Play Dough
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
spices (allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar and then add your choice of spices to get the color you like and the scents you want. Mix together 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon cooking oil and mix into the dry ingredients and stir well. Put the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium low heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and sort of clumps together. Knead the dough until it is soft, smooth and fairly pliable. Cool well and let the kids play with it. Store it in an airtight container, such as a refrigerator container or a freezer bag to keep from drying out. (Tip submitted by JK, IL)
Mark Those Tools
Nothing gets me more upset than not being able to easily spot a tool that was left outside. I’ve solved that problem since the companies came out with all that brightly colored wide-width plastic tape. I wrapped the handles of my shovels, rakes, hoes, hammers, etc. with several different colors of the stuff so I can easily see them. I have discovered that the wrapping helps me to hold on to the handles better because my hands don’t slip as much as normal. (Tip submitted by AG, MN)
Spoonin’ Tie Backs And Cupboard Handles
I was visiting a friend and noticed she had used the inexpensive ‘dollar store’ teaspoons as tie backs for her kitchen curtains. The handles were held out from the wall and the spoon head was bent back to hold the curtains open. I have also seen the handles drilled and screwed on to cupboard doors as handles. (Tip submitted by LB, PA)
I make ice cubes for the big drink pitchers by using a couple of metal non-stick cupcake tins–just fill them with water and freeze. The giant cubes pop out easily and keeps drinks cold for a long time. (Tip submitted by LB, PA)
You can eliminate ear mites in cats with a few drops of cooking oil massaged in well and then wiped clean with a cotton swab. Repeat daily for 3 days; the oil heals the skin and smothers the mites.
Put a few drops of blue dishwashing soap in the dog’s bath water and shampoo Fido really well to kill fleas on contact. Be sure to rinse the animal well.
Stinky puppy? Wipe the dog down with a couple of dryer sheets and the puppy smells good instantly. (Tips submitted by BT, WY)
Instead of buying those little individual bags of potato chips, cheese curls, corn chips, etc., consider buying the bigger bags and repackaging small amounts into sandwich bags for the kid’s lunches. Why pay $1 for a little bag of chips when you can buy a bigger bag for $3 and get 8 or 10 servings? Bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes at home and package in the same sandwich bags for the kids to take to school. Much cheaper, and you know how it was prepared. (Tip submitted by MM, ID)
To remove permanent marker ‘decorations’ from places where they don’t belong, give these ideas a try:
For clothing, use hand sanitizer straight from the bottle. Rub in really well, let set a while and then rinse in the sink, repeat if necessary.
On the walls of their newly repainted bedroom, try hairspray or toothpaste. Spray the wall and wipe away. The toothpaste will need to sit for a little while before washing off.
Woodwork or wooden furniture, try rubbing alcohol on a piece of terry cloth or old washrag.
On carpet, white vinegar will work most of the time. Sponge the vinegar on the stain and then blot to take out the color. (Tips submitted by DVN, ID)
Attention: If you have tips or ideas to share, send them to Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or email them to [email protected].