OMG! WTF! With Update

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So I am binge watching Damages last night and happily coloring away while Danny slept. I heard some neighbors outside but didn’t think anything of it until I got a whiff of the air coming in from the open windows.It was bad but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I ran the gamut from natural gas to dead rat. I woke Danny up and made him sniff and he was overcome by the smell. He suggested it smelled like skunk. Well, I like the smell of skunk (I never said I wasn’t a wierdo) so I didn’t think that was it. Mind you we are new to mountain living.

I decided I should call the cats in because it was getting late and the odor outside was overpowering. I found Yodi below the wrap around porch with something in his mouth. He and Lyla are both mousers and being in the mountain region, there are plenty. Danny found many dead mice in the crawl space under the house. I get really grossed out by mice or rats so I shuddered and ordered Yodi to put it down hoping it wasn’t a hummingbird. He ran in the opposite direction, put it down and started playing with it. Even my flashlight wouldn’t tell me what it was.  I waited until Yodi came in on his own (we leave the door open so they can go in and out). He ate and spoke to me and I thought the smell might be coming from him and wondered if it was from rat killing. I picked him up and OMG, he smelled to high heaven.

I immediately tried to wash him in the kitchen sink and decided that wasn’t the wisest choice. Yodi has only had one bath that I know of and that was when he peed on himself in his carrier. That time he was grateful! I woke Danny up and we did our best to shower him which was not easy as he was scared. He tried to climb on me with his claws in my arm. Danny cuddled and dried him off but he still stunk. Danny said we had to bathe him again and we did to no avail. He was so traumatized that Danny wrapped him up in his quilt and cuddled him up so he would stop shivering. Yes, he slept with us, the things you do for your pets.

Our bedroom and bathroom stinks so sleeping wasn’t necessarily pleasant. Anyway, this morning Danny found a rat whose head had been eaten away and had a puncture in his stomach so we decided that was the smell though it would be unusual for a cat to actually eat a rat. Then I had coffee with our neighbor and she told me that they smelled a skunk last night. A skunk it was and it sprayed part of our deck and our cat. The good news is that my friend tells me the smell will go away in a couple of days! Oh goody…

UPDATE:

Yodi still stinks but we love him anyway. We have tried pretty much everything and that two day thing…yeah right! We are slowly getting the odor out of the house but then if Yodi lays somewhere…yep – all over again. It is what it is though and we will survive.🙀

Helpful Hints Not From Heloise #2

thumb.php     Non-cellulose sponges do not become stinky. I can’t really say “never” but I have had few instances where they began to have a offensive odor. I buy ones that are yellow with a green scrubber on one side at Dollar Tree in bulk packages for $1. Because they are so inexpensive, when they begin to look war-ravaged, I can just toss them and grab another. Sometimes when they are still usable but have an unappealing look from food stains, I will throw them in the dishwasher. If you use the fabric covered sponges or even cellulose, you can get rid of the odor by throwing them in the dishwasher. Don’t freak out on me but I clean my toilets by hand because that is the only way that I feel that they get really clean all over. These sponges are great for that type of job because when I’m finished cleaning, I just toss them in the trash.

Lawry's_Seasoned_SaltTry sprinkling Lowry’s Seasoned Salt on tomatoes and/or avocados for your sandwiches, it really brings out the flavor.

 

If you like spicy, try a quick dip made of nothing more than cream cheese and Rotel tomatoes. Just use 2 packages of softened cream cheese (can be softened in a dish in the microwave in a pinch) ad one can of Rotel tomatoes undrained and one can drained. Mix until blended, chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator and serve with Ruffles prod-main-5potato chips. Seems like you would use tortilla chips, doesn’t it? But actually potato chips taste best. Word of warning: If you use a mixer to blend the cream cheese and tomatoes, be sure to use a very large bowl and mix on a slow setting, splatters like crazy. I have found that hand mixing is best for me. This dip is so popular that I make an extra bowl for my neighbor when we have neighborhood get-togethers. She waits until we all leave her house then curls up in bed with her bowl of dip and a bag of chips.

odorBar_main_large     Have you ever seen that stainless steel bar they sell in kitchen shops for removing food odors (fish, onion, garlic)? It is called an odor bar and it works. I put dish washing detergent on mine and rub it over my hands thoroughly, rinse and the odors are gone. A friend told me that she  doesn’t even use soap. She just rubs it over her hands.

Dermatologist reading a 'Journal of Itchcraft'.     Did you know that simple itching can be spread? If you scratch over and over or for any period of time, the itch will spread from the original spot. For example: I have dry skin. Lets say a spot on my leg will itch and by conditioned response, I scratch it but that doesn’t make it go away. It itches again a few minutes later and it feels so good to scratch that I scratch repeatedly and for longer.  What results is that the itch will move further up and/or down my leg so that it covers a larger area. Every night my husband would catch me driving myself crazy scratching and because I bruise easily, my scratching would leave bruises.  He finally told me that itching will spread so to stop scratching. I looked at him like he was crazy. He told me to ignore it and it would go away in a few minutes. It is not easy to do but it works. He’s a smart guy.

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We use Melatonin for sleep and the brand we are using is 21st Century in 10mg strength. Natural remedy for sleeplessness. It is quick dissolve so you just put one or two (we use two) under your tongue and let them dissolve which makes it take affect faster. Its nice to be able to sleep and not have a drug hangover the next day.

 

25812489-white-vinegar-in-a-glass-bottle-white-background6119306-fresh-lemon-slice-with-water-drops-isolated-on-white     For cleaning your microwave, mix vinegar and water or lemon juice and water in a microwave safe cup and turn your microwave on high for about 5 minutes. The steam mixed with the vinegar or lemon makes for easy cleaning.

 

 

To clean your jet tub, put a cup of bleach into hot water up over the jets and turn them on. Let it run for about 30 minutes. It cleans out any mold or other unidentifiable grime and saves you the cost of having to call someone out to clean it.

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Pouring bleach down your air-conditioning drain once a month will prevent your air conditioning drain from clogging. If it clogs, it will cause the pan to overflow resulting in ceiling damage.

 

555x416xUltraLight-Kneeling-Cushion-Large_project_main_image.jpg.pagespeed.ic.7BQLrbxWPTIf you have to kneel on your ceramic or slate tile floor to clean or wrap gifts or whatever, use a garden kneeling pad. Saves your knees from pain and bruising.

 

 

When light bulbs go out often, you may be using too high a wattage. We reduced the wattage 21311745-smiling-red-light-bulb-cartoon-character-training-with-dumbbellsof our spotlight bulbs and it really slowed down burn outs.

 

 

30422770-gift-bagI love to buy gifts especially for my husband. So when money is tight, I don’t want to skip gift giving. I buy a medium to large gift bag for $1 at Dollar Tree and fill it with foods I know he likes or would like. For instance, for Father’s day I put in Gouda flavored chips, a special cheese I knew he would like, Brookstone dark chocolate covered mango and mangosteeno snacks, a premium blend of nuts and fruits etc. I also did the same thing for my Stepfather who is not very easy to shop for. One Christmas, I went to the Old World Market and bought a variety of foods from other countries. I kept each item under a set amount or sale items so that I didn’t over spend. My stepfather really enjoys this gift.

hydrogenperoxide

Peroxide is the best thing for cleaning ears. It bubbles and pops but as a weirdo, I like the bubbling though it does tickle sometimes.😄  Peroxide is peroxide so the brand or price doesn’t matter and it is much less expensive than the ear cleaning kits.

 

Images:  dollartree.com/, wikipedia.org, ro-tel.com, drugstore.com, 123rf.com,images.duckduckgo.com,Fiskars website

 

Helpful Hints not from Heloise

     Finding solutions to household problems is often a process for me but one I actually enjoy. I also like sharing those solutions with others so here goes:

     I have thrown away numerous shirts, some of which were favorites, because I could not find anything that actually took out cooking grease no matter what claims the products made. One day I came across a can of cigarette lighter fluid and something clicked. Sure enough, it takes out cooking grease with no damage to clothing. I found it at Walmart near the check-out stand. Just squirt it onto the grease stain before washing and no more stain. I have even missed a stain after washing and applied the lighter fluid, rewashed and no more stain.

     Hydrogen Peroxide takes out blood. My husband taught me this one as he is a chemical whiz.

     Vinegar is a natural fabric softener, no need for even dryer sheets. Learned this one on the “Peachskinsheets” website.

     If you are looking for awesome bed sheets at an affordable price, check out Peachskinsheets.com. My husband is very hard to please when it comes to sheets and I am touch sensitive. We couldn’t justify spending a small fortune for top of the line sheets. We have a Tempurpedic adjustable split king so it requires a special set of 2 extra long twin sheets and a king top sheet. I did a search on the internet for where to find the sheets and found a blog in which someone recommended Peachskinsheets. OMG, awesome. Super soft and smooth, no pilling, wick away moisture (Tempurpedic often equals sweat). Since we got these sheets, I love getting in bed at night for that “aah” moment.

     This one is a really personal but also really helpful. Pee before and after sex, even if it is just a drop. This helps prevent  Urinary Tract Infections.

     Most of you probably already know this but the only way to really clean  ceramic and/or slate tile floors and keep them clean longer is with a steam mop. I cannot tolerate the residue left by floor cleaners. Your floors are never really clean and they attract dirt. When you use a steam mop, you are just using water so there is no residue and they dry so much faster. You can actually walk over them in socks and your socks will still be clean.

     Consider having a “whole house vacuum system” by Honeywell installed. It’s easier and less expensive if it is installed when the house is built but it can be done any time. Ports are installed in strategic locations throughout your house so that you are not lugging a vacuum cleaner around. You just insert the really long hose into the ports and press the switch on the handle.  It also has hand attachments for dusting and detail work. You can get kick plates as well so that you can sweep dirt up to the kick plate, engage the switch and no more dirt though I use these very little. A word of warning, this vacuum system has very strong suction and will suck up everything.  It will suck up dish towels, underwear (yes I found my daughter’s underwear in the dust collection bin), pens, etc. Great for cleaning out fireplaces and pine needles from Christmas trees. It has a canister in the garage that collects the dust and dirt (plus any other little ole thing it has sucked up) which I empty about every six months into a trash bag and out it goes for trash collection. The canister has a connection site for the hose in the garage so that it can be used to clean out the car etc.

     To remove hardened food from pots and pans, fill them with soapy water and put them on the stove burner on the high setting and let it boil until you see the food loosening. This is especially good for cast iron skillets. I learned this from my mom and have noticed others picking it up from me.

418Pm9141-L._AA160_     To remove stuck on food from pots and pans or anything really, there is a plastic tool which is tapered to a thin edge. I found them at Bed, Bath and Beyond after the one I was given in a gift bag disappeared. It makes clean up soooo easy. Better than a credit card, easier to hold and doesn’t wear out. Its very inexpensive.

     The best thing for a stuffy nose is ibuprofen. When your nose stops up, it is because of swelling so the Ibuprofen reduces that swelling. Be sure to take it with food though because it can upset your stomach. If you are like me, the first sign of a problem is the feeling like you have something caught in your throat (sinus irritation) then mine goes into a sore throat and develops from there. If I take Ibuprofen, it will most often stop the cycle. Mucinex which I have to take it every day, twice a day, can get to be expensive but it also works for me.

450     If you have a dental bridge, the best flossing devices are Soft Picks. They are straight and thin enough to get through and have tiny bristles making flossing a breeze and massages your gums. I use them on all my teeth. My current dentist doesn’t like bridges because he says they are so difficult to floss that people don’t and it not only makes for bad breath but also promotes gum disease. The hygienist turned me on to these and I love them.

For ladies, Dollar Tree if you have one in your area, sells a box of 75 scented diaper bags for $1. I am telling you this not for your baby but for you or your menstruating daughters (though most use tampons these days). I, unfortunately, have to deal with leaky bladder so I have to use pads every day because I don’t want to have surgery. I keep the diaper bags in a wicker basket that has a flip up lid on the back of my toilet along with pads, making them handy. I hated having to wrap pads in toilet paper and put them into the community trash can for obvious reasons. So, I use these diaper bags for my used pads and toss them into a step-can that I keep next to the toilet.  It makes for easy disposal and alleviates odor issues. Sorry to gross you out, I tried to be as discreet as possible.

I was spending a small fortune on Starbucks Frappacinos. At $5+ a pop every day and sometimes more than once a day, it really added up. I got to where even the freebies didn’t justify the cost. I bought my husband a Magic Bullet blender for Christmas so he could make smoothies. Great investment! I learned how to make my own Frappacinos at quite a savings. I just fill the mixing cup 1/3 full of ice, add coffee to the same level, add milk, caramel and Splenda, place the mixing cup on the base and run it for about 1 minute or less and I have a Frappacino. I had to experiment with my recipe until I got it right for me. Here are some suggestions:

  • My husband drinks really strong coffee from ground beans. He combines Starbuck’s Espresso and French Market, both of     which are strong. He makes a pot for me which he pours into a container that we keep in the refrigerator. You can prepare any coffee you like but probably the stronger the better since it gets diluted out with ice and milk.
  • You can add as much ice as you like to make it the consistency you prefer. I have found that I like it more creamy than icy so I use less ice.
  • I use skim milk to cut back on calories but you can use any milk you like.
  • We both use Smucker’s Sugar Free Ice Cream Topping Caramel in our coffee, it is also fat free and I use Splenda for sweetener but you can use sugar or any type of sweetener you like.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. I’m sure I have more but I will save them for another time.

FLOSS-PICKS

The latest craze in parking lot trash is floss-picks. Almost very time I get out of my vehicle I see one on the ground. I suppose it is one way to maximize your time – some people listen to self-help CD’s while they drive and others floss-pick their teeth. My hubby is one of these people. However, he doesn’t throw his out in the parking lot, he stashes it someplace in the vehicle for re-use. Is this the ultimate in cheap? He saves them at home too. I had a conversation about it one time with my mother. I complained to her about finding them here and there. I was expecting her to commiserate with me but instead I got “I do it too.” I asked her “You do what too?” and she told me that she reuses her floss-picks. I frowned and told her how gross I found it that our grandkids had a tendency to pick up my husbands used floss-picks and put them in their mouths. She said totally deadpan, “That would be gross.” I can’t help but laugh now when I think about it. When I see floss-picks in parking lots, I can’t help but harass my husband by texting him that he left his floss-pick in the parking lot again and ask if he wants me to bring it home to him. I don’t know what I expect when I send these texts because he just responds, “Yeah, go ahead, I don’t want to run out.” Wouldn’t you think a pharmacist would be more germ-conscious?

According to Nina Tadros of Tadros Dental, a piece of floss is made for one-time use. If reused, it will begin to deteriorate and even worse — it can introduce old bacteria to your teeth and gums, undoing the work you just did! Reusing dental floss or a floss pick can also pick up new bacteria from wherever you happen to store it. It’s really not a good idea to reuse floss on your teeth and gums. Many people experience bleeding when they floss (caused by flossing too hard, not flossing often enough, or simply because you are dragging a thin wire-like string across delicate tissue). If there is bleeding, there is breakage somewhere in you gums where bacteria can get into your blood system. Besides, floss is very inexpensive, so it won’t save you a significant amount of money to keep using the same piece of floss or floss-pick over and over.

Oh well, you choose your battles.

Public Restroom Ettiquette

One of my biggest pet peeves is lack of consideration for others in women’s public restrooms.

There is nothing worse than sitting down on a toilet seat to find belatedly that someone has urinated all over it. Because our mothers told us never to sit on a toilet seat in a public restroom, women and children squat over the toilet and urinate all over the seat and floor. Then I come along, pull down my jeans, and sit in urine while trying to hold the legs of my jeans out of the urine on the floor (though there’s no help for my shoes). You can bet that I utter a few expletives when I feel that familiar dampness on my behind. Even if I’ve discovered the wet seat prior to sitting down, I have to wipe the seat with toilet paper, being careful not to get it on my hands. which is disgusting to say the least . So by trying to avoid germs on their behinds, these “spritzers” are exposing the next person to their germs. Go figure.

Now we come to those who refuse to flush because they don’t want to get germs on their hands from the flush handle. Really, really gross! However, they will unlock the stall and open the door with their hands so what about the germs on the lock and door? Aren’t the same hands that flush the toilet going to unlock and open the door? O.K., so they wash their hands, but they use their germy hands to turn the water on and then use their clean hands to turn the faucet off so don’t the germs jump back on their clean hands when they turn the water off?

Then there’s the purse. There is usually a hook on the inside of the door to hang your purse but then the germy hands are used to remove the purse off the door and after hands are washed, there go the clean hands on the germy purse.

And of course, there’s the door leading out of the restroom. The germ-a-phobes don’t want to touch the door because it just has to have germs on it, so they use a paper towel to open it but what to do with the paper towel?  Yep, throw it on the floor.

Web MD says restroom paranoia might be a bit overdone. They say simple hand washing should be enough to knockout familiar and unfamiliar suspects like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella bacteria, Hepatitis A virus, the common cold and various sexually transmitted organisms if one’s immune system is healthy. Also that many people consider the toilet seat to be the playground for organisms responsible for STDs like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. However, the toilet seat is not a common vehicle for transmitting infections to humans. Many disease-causing organisms can survive only a short time on the surface of the seat and for an infection to occur, the germs would have to be transferred from the toilet seat to your urethral or genital tract or through a cut or sore on the buttocks or thighs, which is possible but highly unlikely.

Abigail Salyers, PhD, President of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) says to her knowledge, no one has ever acquired an STD from the toilet seat – unless they were having sex on the toilet seat. Most viruses and/or bacteria would have to be contracted in amounts large enough to make you sick according to Judy Daly, PhD, Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The organisms that cause the Herpes virus or HIV don’t survive outside the human body especially not on a cold, hard toilet seat and to infect you, they need to enter through an open cut or sore or via a mucous membrane such as your mouth or rectum. We won’t go there.

“What about those paper seat covers?” you ask. Maybe if you fold them to increase the thickness so they don’t rip and fall apart or if you use double folded toilet paper it would at least make you feel safer, either of which will probably end up on the floor. In actuality, your skin is a very effective barrier to keep germs out if you don’t have a wound or lesion on your behind.

I did find out that germs in feces can be propelled into the air when the toilet is flushed. For that reason, it is advisable to leave the stall immediately after flushing to keep the microscopic airborne mist from landing on you. The greatest dispersal of the mist doesn’t occur during the flush but after most of the water has left the bowl says Philip Tierno, MD, Director of ClinicalMicrobiology and Diagnostic Immunology at New York University Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

The real danger in picking up and carrying around germs comes from your hands, warns Tierno. “The 10 dirtiest things are your fingers.” Germs left on your hands can be easily transferred to surfaces you touch or to your eyes, mouth or nose. The best way to scrub your hands is to rub your hands with soap lather for at least 20 seconds (the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) and be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. So you might want to use a paper towel to turn the faucet off. But please please dispose of the paper towel in the trash bin.

Now I am going to list 11 things more germy than toilet seats:

  1. Hotel/Motel Bedspread
  2. Purse Bottoms
  3. ATM Keypad
  4. Office Telephone
  5. Restaurant Menu
  6. Condiment Containers
  7. Grocery Carts
  8. Steering Wheel
  9. Kitchen Faucet Handle(s)
  10. Gym Equipment
  11. Swings and Monkey Bars

So even though my mother told me not to sit on a public restroom toilet seat, I refuse to squat in the air. I never have and never will. Nor do I use paper or my foot to flush or open, close or lock the door. I certainly don’t use my foot to turn on or off the faucet nor do I use paper (I do, however, wash my hands) and guess what – I have never gotten sick or caught infectious or sexual diseases from sitting on a toilet seat.