Sunday, July 11, 2010

B & V, a Close Tie !!!

Baking soda vs. vinegar, two valuable household items you should already have in your cupboards, that can literally turn your life around and also be a life saving and savings device. Baking soda can cure septic tanks, extinguish fires, freshen up hall closets and stuffed animals, deodorize and clean dish washers, lunch boxes, sneakers, garbage disposals, drains and refrigerators, along with being a key ingredient for cakes and cookies. What would we do without baking soda; and what would we do without the next critical household article that 'you cannot (or should not) live without'?? .... VINEGAR!!!

Here are 23 out of a hundred uses for vinegar, thanks to the good folks at healthy & green living:

  1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won't leak out.

  2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.

  3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.

  4. When cooking vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans, making Mexican food a far more atractive option.

  5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.

  6. The steam from a boiling bowl of vinegar and water can loosen caked-on food and get ride of odors in the microwave, too.

  7. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it-the flies crawl into the trap, but can't get out.

  8. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.

  9. There's no need to use bleach on the grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.

  10. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth.

  11. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.

  12. If a child has an "accident" on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it's dry.

  13. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It's also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.

  14. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you laundry cleaner. Acetic acid won't harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.

  15. Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting.

  16. If your car still sports a bumper sticks from two electrons ago, remove it by spraying the decal with white vinegar to saturate the area, and the sticker will peel off in a few hours. (You might need to spray it a few times.)

  17. Wiping down your car windows and windshield with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture can keep them frost-free in the wintertime.

  18. Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can even kill garden slugs if it's sprayed directly onto them.

  19. To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.

  20. Wash out itchy ears with diluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.

  21. Cats avoid vinegar, so to keep them from scratching furniture or sitting on certain areas, spray a vinegar solution on the spot.

  22. For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden area to keep cats away. If kitty likes to mark his territory, spraying the area with vinegar can help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.

  23. Vinegar gets rid of skunk odor. Soak the dog or cat with a half-and-half vinger and water solution, and then rise them with fresh water.

Vinegar can disinfect, deodorize, and de-gunkify just about everything. From shower curtains to sofa cushions, there's not much that it can't do. As an alternative to expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals, vinegar is something you can feel good about keeping in your cupboards. White vinegar and baking soda can even remove product buildup from hair and leave it soft and manageable. A product that can clean you, the dog, your car, and your house is what I'd call a good, green buy.

by Divine Caroline

There you go! A vote and hand ups gesture for the all encompassing and magnificient, VINEGAR! Next month I will add some invaluable tidbits and interesting facts on brilliant ways we can be using our toothpaste!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Healing Field

Before Lynn and I moved to Illinois and before my dad died, Lynn and I took my father on a small trip to the Salt Lake Valley where a town had erected American flags for all the men, women and children who died violently and unexpectedly on September 11, 2001 in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. lovingly called, the 'Healing Field'. Another section of lawn was dedicated to the men and women in the armed forces who had given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq by the summer of 2003. I know the number of military deaths have quad-droupled from the summer of 2003.

We walked amongst rows and rows and rows of American Flags and flags from other countries who had family members perish on Sept. 11th and also from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as they fought shoulder to shoulder with our troops. The flags waved gently in the breeze. The bright red, white and blue were transcendent and beautiful amongst the blue sky. The scene caused a lump to come to my throat and I could feel the tears begin to flow. Here were the lives of thousands of individuals, each one represented by a flag. Some were at work in their office, others were visiting the Twin Towers on a tour, others were dug down deep in trenches of the heat and sand of Iraq and Afghanistan; and Poof! ..... They were gone!

As we approach the birthday of the United States of America tomorrow, I would like to pay tribute to those brave soldiers who every day fight for our freedom and the free agency of other countries. To the men and women who will not be coming home to the arms of their fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children, family and friends, but instead were doing, 'what they were suppose to be doing'. May each of us find a 'Healing Field' in our hearts as we celebrate the 4th of July and at the same time remember all those who have sacrificed THEIR ALL for this country!

We are indeed blessed to be living in such a fine land. As many statesmen and soldiers can attest, 'Freedom isn't free', there is always a high human sacrificial cost to maintain the freedom our country has had and we now enjoy in the year 2010.