RSS Feed

Category Archives: Helpful Hints on Everything

Ways to Refresh Your Blog

Posted on

Great Post from One Cool Site! A reminder for all bloggers to keep their blog fresh and interesting.  I am taking this advice and will be updating my own blog this week. Go check out One Cool Site’s blog for other great stuff!

10 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Posted on

Tea Tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infection oil. It comes from the Narrow leaved tea tree that is native to Australia. It can be used in a variety of applications to heal and cure many ailments.  Many pharmacies carry Tea Tree oil; ask your pharmacist. Below are the ten most popular uses of Tea Tree Oil.

1.   Athlete’s Foot:  The oil can be applied directly to the feet or put in a small spray bottle with water.  A few drops diluted with water can be spray on clean dry feet daily.

2.  Cold Sores: Reduce the healing time of cold sores by applying Tea Tree Oil. 

3.  Toe Nail Fungus: Apply Tea Tree Oil directly to the infected toes.  This can also be done by adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to a small spray bottle filled with water.  Be persistent!  Toe Nail Fungus is stubborn and will require daily treatment to remove.

4.  Insect Bites:  Apply a drop on the bite to make the itch go away.

5.  Warts: Apply a drop or two directly to the wart daily until the wart disappears.

6.  Disinfectant: Add 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a clean pint spray bottle, and then fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Shake and spray counters, toilets, etc.

7.  Laundry: Add a teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil to a smelly load of laundry and odors are gone!

8.  Acne: Dab a drop of Tea Tree Oil on a pimple to dry it up quickly. Many brands of face wash include Tea Tree Oil as a main ingredient, too.

9.  Ticks: Apply a drop or two directly on the tick site. Use tweezers to remove the tick.

10.  Bad Breath, Inflamed Gums, and Plaque: Add 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a cup of water. Use the solution as a mouthwash two to three times daily.  Always spit out the Tea Tree Oil mouthwash. Do not swallow it!  You may also add 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil to toothpaste when brushing.

 

More Great Places to Get Information:

An A-Z List of Tea Tree Oil Uses. (2012). Retrieved from Squidoo, LLC : http://www.squidoo.com/uses-for-tea-tree-oil

Home Remedies Web. (2006-2012). Retrieved from Home Remedies Web: http://www.homeremediesweb.com/tea_tree_oil_health_benefits.php

Tea Tree Oil and Its Uses. (1998-2012). Retrieved from The Herbs Place: http://www.theherbsplace.com/Tea_Tree_Oil_Uses_sp_153.html

“Bug Off: Making Homemade Insect Repellent is Really, Really Easy http://scottandjoanbailey.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/bug-off-making-homemade-insect-repellent-is-really-really-easy/

“20 Great Uses for Tea Tree Oil  – http://hazellcottrell.com/2012/05/31/20-great-uses-for-tea-tree-oil/

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Ideal Homemade Weed Killer

Posted on

Using store bought weed killer is not only bad for you and the environment, but it is expensive.  I have tried many homemade versions of weed killer; however, this one works the best.

Ingredients:

Vinegar

½ cup Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon Dawn Dish Detergent

Directions:

Dedicate a spray bottle just for the Weed Killer. You can find pint spray bottles at the Dollar Store.  Be sure to label the bottle!  

1.   Pour vinegar into bottle leave about 2 inches at the top. 

2.  Add the ½ cup of Kosher Salt. 

3.  Squirt 1 teaspoon of Dawn Dish Detergent into the bottle. 

4.  Screw sprayer on to bottle tightly.

5.  Shake to mix.

6.  Spray those weeds!

Hint: If the sprayer on your bottle has a stream adjustment, use it to keep the Weed Killer just where you want it to go.

WARNING:  This is strong stuff! Do not spray on vegetation you want to keep. Do not spray on a windy day. Keep out of reach from children and pets.

 

After using Homemade Weed Killer

I would love to know how it works for you.  Let me know your results.

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

How to Get Rid of Warts

Posted on
Common Warts can be pesky little things.  They can be found on any part of the body, but are generally seen on the hands, wrists, and feet.  Warts are caused by a virus called HPV or the Human Papillomavirus.  This virus is considered contagious and can lead to the spreading of warts to other parts of the body.
Below are some treatments suggested for the removal of Common Warts.  Since a virus causes warts, no treatment can be 100% effective if the virus returns.  Always see your doctor if a wart does not go away or seems to be getting worse.  It is also important to remember, that just because a remedy worked for someone else, it does not mean that it will also work for you.  However, with a wide variety of different treatments to choose from, you are sure to find at least one successful way to treat your wart.
TREATMENT

USE

TYPE EFFECTIVENESS
Salicylic Acid At home treatment.  Usually takes 2-3 weeks Gels, drops, pads, or plasters applied to wart. Will work on common warts on hands, wrists, legs, or feet.  Will also work on corns.
Aerosol  Freeze Sprays At home treatmentUsually takes 2 weeks Spray applied directly to wart. Will work on common warts on hands, wrists, legs, or feet.
Duct Tape At home treatmentMust leave on for 6-10 days. Duct Tape or  Electrical Tape to cover wart. Use just enough to only cover wart. Works best on fingers. Tape tends to fall off often and must be replaced.
Tea Tree Oil At home treatment Essential Oil of Tea TreeApply directly on the wart daily. Works to remove the virus. Very effective.
Essential Lemon Oil At home treatment Apply directly to the wart until gone. Some success seen with this method.
Liquid Nitrogen Doctor’s Office/Dermatologist Liquid applied directly to wart. Very effective. Works quickly. Good for stubborn warts.
Electric Needle Doctor’s Office/Dermatologist Needle with tiny bits of electricity burn the wart and its roots. Very effective.  Works quickly. Good for stubborn warts. May leave scarring.
imiquimod (Aldara), Doctor’s Office/Dermatologist Gel or cream applied to wart. Imiquimod belongs to a group of drugs called immune response modifiers. It is believed to work by helping to activate your immune system to fight these abnormal skin growths. Not recommended for children under 12.
Laser Treatment Doctor’s Office/Dermatologist Laser directed at wart Works effectively. May take 2or 3 treatments. Usually does not leave scars.
Surgical curettage Doctor’s Office/Dermatologist Removal of wart through surgery with local anesthesia Works immediately. May leave scars.

 

©Jamie Nowinski 5/20/2012

Article: Common Warts Treatment. (2012, May 15). Retrieved from Medicine Net. com: http://www.medicinenet.com/warts_common_warts/article.htm
Artman. (2007, 11 18). “Home Remedies for Removing Warts”. Retrieved from disabled-world.com: http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/removing-warts.shtml
British Medical Journal, August 31,2002. (2003, March). Treating Warts. Retrieved from Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0303d.shtml
Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

House Plants = Healthy Indoor Air

Posted on

Keeping our air clean and free from chemicals is a concern for us all, especially the air we breathe indoors. 

Today, buildings are better insulated and hold more toxic chemicals than at any time in history.  Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and petroleum-based materials reside in our homes creating a potentially harmful environment. Plants can help to eliminate some of these toxins and add ambiance to our residence.

According to research done by NASA, living green and flowering plants, clean pollutants in the air. We close up our houses in the winter due to the cold weather and breathe reconstituted air-filled with contaminants. These contaminants come from the furniture we sit on, the cabinets we open, and the carpeting we walk on. “Harmful indoor pollutants represent a serious health problem that is responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths each year”, according to a 2002 World Health Organization report. These impurities in our air has attributed to a rise in chronic and reoccurring sinus infections, chronic post-nasal drainage, asthma, bronchial infections, ear infections, and other illness cause by synthetic contaminants. Unfortunately, summertime does not alleviate the problem, due to climate controlled homes and office buildings where air conditioning is taking the place of heating systems when the weather turns hot.

The good news is that we can reduce the effects of the most common toxins by adding houseplants to our homes.  Plants produce oxygen, add moisture, and filter out toxins in the air neutralizing indoor pollution. By placing, a few houseplants around our homes and using specific types of houseplants our environment can be beautiful and healthy.

Below is a list of beneficial houseplants and the toxins they are best at filtering.

Plant Names

Toxin it Removes

Asparagus fern Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Aloe Vera: Eliminates emissions from most toxins 
Chrysanthemum: Reduces toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia 
Dieffenbachia: Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene
English Ivy: Eliminates petroleum-based products 
Gerber Daisy Adds oxygen to the air 
Peace Lily Removes chemicals from smoking 
Purple Waffle Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Schefflera Benzene, Formaldehyde, Toluene 
Spider Plants:                                Exceptional for reducing formaldehyde 
Variegated Wax Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride
   

 

©Jamie Nowinski 5/10/2012

Garden Gate Nursery. (2011). Retrieved from The Garden Gate Nursery and Floral: http://www.gardengatenursery.com/gardentips/gardendesign/58-healthbenefitsofhouseplants.html

Science, A. S. (2009, November 4). Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/11/091104140816.htm

Wolverton, B. C. (1997.). How To Grow Fresh Air. New York: Penguin Books.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Help! What do I do with these old paint cans?

Posted on

I came to this dilemma after cleaning out the garage this weekend.  I had 15 gallons of old paint sitting on the patio, and I had no idea how I should dispose of them.  I went to the website of my hometown and found a list of recyclables, times and pick-up dates; however, there were no instructions on ridding me of old paint. 

I then did a search on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website.  These are the suggestions they offered:

************************************************************************************************************

Disposal Alternatives

After your painting job is done, you may have some leftover paint. The question now is: “What should you do with it?” Here are some alternatives:

Keep Painting!

This may sound simple, and it is. What better place to put that last pint or so of paint but right up there on the wall where it blends in perfectly with all the other paint you just put up there. Sure, it’s a little extra work – and right when you thought you’re done for the day – but you’ll be rid of that extra paint for good. Simply let the can dry and then recycle or dispose of it.

Paint Something Else!

It doesn’t even have to need the paint. Use an old piece of cardboard, some scrap lumber, or the inside of your garage. Just about anywhere would probably work to use up that last bit of paint. Again, let the can dry and recycle or dispose of it.

Use an Absorbent like Kitty Litter!

Kitty litter, sawdust, shredded paper or just about anything else that will absorb moisture and let the paint dry out should work here. Depending on how full the can is, you can just add the absorbent to the can and mix it up. When the liquids are absorbed, dry the mixture out or dispose of it directly. You may be able to empty the can, dry it out, and recycle it.

Give it to Someone!

Look around and you may find somebody who needs to paint a small area. Some schools or local theatres will take some small amounts of paint for scenery.

Store it for Later!

Everyone has good intentions to use half-filled paint cans for “touch-ups” that never come. Also, many people have saved paint that becomes unusable over time before it’s called into action. If you do save your paint for later, follow some easy tips to make the paint last longer. Just cover the opening with plastic wrap, and make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Then turn the paint can upside down! This creates a tight seal, and keeps the paint fresh to use again.

***********************************************************************************************************

This is an interesting list of things to do with my old paint.  I already had a few cans that were dried up so those could go in the garbage.  The paint that was still wet, could be taken to an Ace Hardware a few miles away and they would dispose of it for $5.00 a can. What a racket!  Nevertheless, this was a list for latex paint that is water-soluble.  What about the oil based paint and stain?

I learned on the same Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website that oil based paint and stain had to be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.  After a little more research, I found out that my town was not scheduled to have one of these little events until June.  The only “event” I could find was in a town 50 miles west of me.  Hmmm…So, I set out to rid myself of this hazardous waste.  Luckily, gas was cheaper in this town’s county, so I guess it was a good thing I went 100 miles round trip to get rid of three cans of old paint.

All this work seems a bit excessive to me.  If paint is going to be sold, and disposal is an issue that must be dealt with, then why don’t the stores I purchase the paint from have a disposal service? Just asking.

The research I did was for waste disposal in Illinois.  Your state may have different rules for disposal.  I suggest you visit the Environmental Protection Agency from your individual state if you have any questions about paint disposal or any other hazardous material disposal.  By the way, do not even ask how to get rid of old tires, fluorescent bulbs, or electronic equipment.  We will leave that mess to another day.

Household Waste Disposal Solutions. (2012, May 07). Retrieved from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/hhw-disposal.html

Used Paint Disposal Alternatives. (2012, May 7). Retrieved from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/used-paint-disposal-alternatives.html

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to Clean Wood Floors

Posted on

My clean and waxed kitchen floor.

My recently new wood kitchen floor was beginning to look flat and dull.  I had been cleaning it with Murphy’s Oil soap, but it seemed to leave a residue.  This morning, I searched the Internet for “Homemade Wood Floor Cleaners” and I found a cool website I would like to share called Tipnut

The site has recipes for homemade products used to clean wood floors.  I used the recipe that called for ½ cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water to clean the floor.  When it was dry, I tried the homemade wax that consisted of 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar.  I stirred the mixture together and dipped an old T-shirt rag into the wax.  I rubbed the wax into the floor in a circular motion.  Wah-La! My floor was shining once more.  I only used ½ of the wax mixture for my 10×10 floor.

What is more amazing is that all of these products came from items I always have in the house, and it cost me nothing to make my floor look new again.  I highly recommend the website Tipnut. It has other cleaning tips as well as gardening, health & beauty, and DIY tips. Visit the website at http://tipnut.com/wood-floors/

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

How Long Should I Freeze my Food?

Posted on

What is the average storage life of foods stored in the freezer?  I did a little research on the Internet, and I found some nifty charts.  A good idea would be to hang a chart on an inside cabinet or on the fridge to refer to when I am wondering if the frozen fish is still safe to eat.

What I learned from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service site is that frozen food can remain safe indefinitely as long as it stays frozen.  If food is frozen too long, freezer burn or discoloring may occur affecting the taste and quality of the food.  Below is a chart that will help cooks to decide if the food they wish to eat is still of good quality.

Freezer Storage Chart (0 °F)
Note: Freezer storage is for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.

ITEM

MONTHS

Bacon and Sausage 1-2 months
Casseroles 2-3 months
Egg Whites or Egg Substitutes 12 months
Frozen Dinners or Entrees 3-4 months
Gravy, Meat, or Poultry 2-3 months
Ham, Hotdogs, or Lunchmeat 1-2 months
Meats, Uncooked Roasts 4-12 months
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops 4-12 months
Meat, uncooked ground 3-4 months
Meat, cooked 2-3 months
Poultry, uncooked whole 12 months
Poultry, uncooked parts 9 months
Poultry, uncooked giblets 3-4 months
Poultry, cooked 4 months
Soups, Chili, and Stews 2-3 months
Wild game, uncooked 12 months

You can check out more food safety facts at the USDA site http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

ROAD TRIP

Posted on

Most of my family lives out-of-state; consequently, I need to be able to pack up for weekend jaunts to visit them.  Often, I am in the car for 4-6 hours to reach my destination.  This takes up a lot of time in a short weekend, so to save myself headaches; I invented a few tricks to make my traveling easy and uneventful.

1).   I have designated a toiletry bag (purchased from LL Bean) to be ready to travel.  In the bag I keep small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash (much easier than bars of soap), and lotion.  I have a travel toothbrush that I keep in its travel case, and travel sized toothpaste.  Basically, all of the toiletries you would want away from home should be purchased in small sizes and stored in your toiletry bag.  When supplies run low, be sure to fill them up immediately.

2). Add a sewing kit to your bag. Wrap some white thread around a small piece of cardboard.  You can add any color thread you think you might need.  Stick a sewing needle in the cardboard with the thread.  Add a couple of shirt buttons and put it all in a plastic baggy.  Now you will be ready for a clothing emergency.

3). A first aid kit can be made in a similar way.  In a plastic zip baggy, at a few Band-Aids, a couple of alcohol wipes, a tube of triple antibiotic ointment, some aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen, and a couple of benaydrl tablets (for allergies, bee stings, or sleep aid).

4). I always pack a small bottle of Downey Wrinkle Releaser to help get the wrinkles out of my packed clothes.  It saves time and you do not need to ask your hosts for an iron. I put this in a zippered baggy in case it leaks.

5). Pack one or two 30 gallon garbage bags in your suitcase, the new scented bags work great!   Use them to put in your dirty clothes.  This way, when you return home you will not have to wash the clean clothes, too.

6). Throw a couple of dryer fabric sheets in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh.  If you are packing extra shoes, add the dryer fabric sheets to each shoe to keep them smelling good.

7). Pack a small tote or cooler with water, juice or soda so you do not have to stop while on the road.  Add a few snacks like grapes, or trail mix in case you get the munchies.  If you are traveling with children, this is necessary item.

8).  I keep a roll of duct tape, some change for vending machines,  and a flashlight in the car in case of emergencies.  I once needed the duct tape to hold my broken suitcase together so do not underestimate its uses.

9). A good map or GPS system is invaluable when traveling by car.  You never know when you will need a rest stop or a detour because of traffic.

10). Finally, the trip will go by quicker if you have some entertainment.  Be sure to pack a book on CD, or on your iPod/Zune, or download your favorite radio show or podcast.  Do not forget the music.

A little preparation and planning can make frequent road trips a breeze.  You may actually look forward to the trip if you make it easy and relaxing.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Easy Spot Remover

Posted on

If you’re like me and wear your meals on your shirt. I have a full-proof way of removing those stains to save your clothes.  This works really good on greasy stains or coffee stains.

    1.  Generously spray the spot with Fantastik All Purpose Cleaner.

    2. Sprinkle generous amounts of baby powder or baking soda, over the wet Fantastik .

    3. Let the baby powder soak up the Fantastik and the stain for about 20 minutes.

    4. Wash as usual.

    5. Spot should be gone!!

      Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
      Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

       

%d bloggers like this: