Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back to the books...

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character. ~S.W. Straus

Well, after taking a long break from blogging, I'm back!

In the meantime, I've had lots of medical tests for little ailments, company in the home, summer fun and summer chores. How's everyone doing in taking your home skills higher?

Here's a no fail marinade sauce formula: about a third to a half of fat (butter, olive oil, etc.), a third to a half of some type of acid (vinegar, lemon juice, pineapple juice, etc.), and some salty liquid and/or seasonings -- such as soy sauce, mustard, garlic, etc. You can make this over and over again, using different ingredients for variety.

Check list:

When was the last time you washed brushes, combs, makeup brushes and sponges, etc.?
When was the last time you cleaned out your purse and any carryalls you might use?
When was the last time you eliminated outdated files from your computer and deleted any emails and email folders that are no longer applicable?
When was the last time you wrote notes or letters and mailed them?

Hot weather Home Keeping part I:

Hot weather brings its own home keeping joys and challenges. On the plus side, your house or apartment is probably at its loveliest. Likely, you are enjoying beautiful sunshine streaming in through windows, happy times in your yard and/or garden, and more fun time with neighbors and family. Perhaps, your family will even travel or have special guests. If your climate is mild enough, you may be enjoying open windows, with wonderful breezes floating in.

On the negative side, if you live in a damp and humid climate, you may be locked in a continual battle with such pests as silver fish, wood roaches or cockroaches, Mediterranean centipedes, fruit flies, or ants. Perhaps, you are experiencing more mildew of clothing, textiles, or showers. Or, if you live in a hot, dry climate, your challenges might be dust, dust, and more dust, as well as insects such as scorpions. Wherever you live, you might need to care for a few more skinned knees and bumps and bruises, as children will be happily playing outside. If you do not have adequate air conditioning, you and your children may be feeling tireder or be tempted to be irritable.

With a little care, summer problems can be cared for so that you can focus on summer joys.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1) Sugary drinks -- such as lemonade, iced tea, or fresh fruit juice -- can be delightful on summer days, and your family will appreciate it if you serve them a refreshing glass or two of these items. However, be aware that these do not meet all of your body's needs for liquid during the summer, and, if consumed to excess, they can actually work against your ability to stay hydrated. Be sure to offer your family fresh water along with these drinks.
2) Staying on the theme of adequate hydration, you may need to keep a watchful eye to make sure that you and your family drink enough water. Thirst is usually a good indicator of how much water you need. However, on busy summer days, it's easy for you and your family members to ignore the initial and subtle signs of thirst. There are lots of ways to counter this. Take a cue from traditional table setting, and provide your family with a water glass in addition to a glass for whatever other beverage you might be serving with the meal. Set out a pitcher of iced water in the morning to remind yourself to drink water and to offer water to your family members. Take along water with you when you go on picnics, to activities, or when traveling. Remember that air travel is especially drying, so be sure to drink enough water when taking plane trips.
3) Don't fall into the trap of thinking that exposing lots of skin is the way to stay cool yourself or to keep family members cool. Breathable fabrics -- such as cotton or linen -- with a bit of room for air to circulate will keep you quite comfortable, even in humid and hot climates.
4) Don't let damp items sit for long periods of time. Hang up damp towels in a way that lets the air dry them. Make sure children put damp, sweaty play clothes in a properly ventilated hamper and hang up wet bathing suits. Face the fact that you simply may have to do more laundry in the summer to make sure that damp items are properly cleaned and dried quickly. Whatever you do, don't let damp clothing sit in the washer for too long. In the winter, I often get away with putting a load of wash in right before bed and drying it the next day. In the summer, the clothes will sour more quickly.
5) Throw borax or baking soda in the wash to prevent mildew and sour smells. This is especially helpful for keeping towels fresh.

More tips in the next post...

Happy home keeping!

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