March 17, 2014 · 12:24 am
I have a cold. Now when I get a cold it’s not a “discreet” cold. By my definition, “discreet” colds are when a person announces she has a cold and I look at her and she looks fine to me. When I get a cold anybody who looks at me knows I have a cold–cherry-red nose, watery eyes–a typical, old-fashioned cold that specializes in making me feel miserable.
I don’t let the cold get the upper hand in making me miserable too long. I combat it with humor.
I announce to co-workers, “I’ve got a cold. Do you want it? It’s free!” The result is a giggle or laugh and an emphatic, “No! I don’t want it! You can keep it!” Then I pretend to have a hard time figuring out why no one wants my cold. After all, it’s free and people usually want something that’s free, right?
Ridiculous? Of course it is. But this approach serves two purposes. It pokes fun at the cold that is annoying and is causing a degree of stress, and it gives co-workers something to laugh at. It eases stress on two counts, and that makes the day better for everyone.
Another weapon in my arsenal against colds is my supply of funny videos and DVDs. Recently I watched “Night at the Museum–Battle of the Smithsonian” featuring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and other human and computer-animated actors. Sure, it’s a kid’s movie. But the wildly improbable plot, humorous dialogue, and numerous action scenes kept me laughing and kept my mind off my cold, at least for a couple hours. The movie did what I wanted it to do.
I’m wondering–How do you use humor to fight stress in your life???
March 9, 2014 · 1:09 am
vinegar kills poison ivy
Last spring and summer I “declared war” on the poison ivy growing in various places around the house. Since I didn’t want to use expensive chemicals for the job, I chose white vinegar. I put undiluted white vinegar on the ivy and waited a couple days. The combination of vinegar and hot sun turns the ivy leaves black or brown and withers them. You can douse stems and any visible roots with vinegar as well.
In some cases, especially after a heavy rain, it’s necessary to put more vinegar on. But unlike some toxic chemicals formulated especially to kill plants, vinegar can be applied without regard to whether a day is windy or not, and people sensitive to chemicals can use it without concern. Another benefit is that vinegar will not harm children or animals.
One caution: vinegar will also kill any grass or other plants it happens to get on, so keep this in mind when applying it.
I first discovered this use for vinegar when I took some “well-aged” barbeque sauce out of the refrigerator and rather than throwing it in the garbage (it had been sitting in the ‘fridge about a year) doused it on some poison ivy. The next day the poison ivy leaves were black. One of the major ingredients in barbeque sauce is vinegar. Voila! I had a new use for vinegar!
March 9, 2014 · 12:55 am
to Save on Groceries
Part of this blog’s purpose is to share tips to save money.
One way may seem contrary to that purpose. It’s spending money –yes—deliberately spending money. But the aim is to stock up on items on sale—foods, for example—and then use those items already in your freezer or pantry when you want something to eat, instead of running out to the store at the last minute to get exactly what you want.
As an illustration: one day my mother had some spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator left over from the day before. I was hungry for pizza. We didn’t have pizza dough, pizza sauce, or any of those normal makings for pizza. Nor did we want to go to the store and buy them. We agreed to use only what we had on hand.
So, we took out a package of store-brand hamburg buns from the freezer ($1.09 for a package of 8), arranged the buns on the pizza sheet, applied the left-over spaghetti sauce (from a can that was sale for $1.00) to the buns, sprinkled mozzarella cheese on the top of the spaghetti sauce and put the buns in the oven to bake until the cheese melted.
Voila—pizzas that satisfied my desire, used what we had and didn’t require more expense!
This suggestion may seem simplistic. But when you consider that people running out to the store for one item usually pick up other items on the way to the checkout counter, you can see the money saved when you decide to use only what you have on hand for a meal.
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