Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Thoughts, Tips and Tricks

 Happy Tuesday!  It sure is a perfect morning here.  In the 60's and sunny, nice breeze - YAY!  It won't last long, as it gets warmer again tomorrow.  Hey, I am grateful for those perfect days, even though they are far between during the summer!

Today is just a bit of this and that!

Keep honey at room temperature, not in the frig.  IF it crystallizes (normal) place the container is warm (not scalding) water until the crystals dissolve.  Never use boiling water - as you will kill all the wonderful goodies in the honey.  Honey is one food item that really never goes bad.  It has been found in ancient tombs and is still viable.

Fruit - it is always something we should have on hand.  Fresh is not always available - so think about canned in natural juices or frozen.  Try and keep some types of dried fruits on hand as well.  There are so many used for it.  Add to salads for color and flavor.  Add to cereals or to muffins and breads.  Good for just plain old snack eating!

Baking soda - works great as scrubs.   Helps dissolve dirt and grime, softens water, cleans drains, helps remove odors.  Shoot, you can even use to brush your teeth.
Liquid Soap - Can clean almost anything.  I love my blue Dawn!  Great for removing stains and grease
Vinegar or lemon juice - works to remove water deposits on glassware - cleans windows.  Helps remove tarnish and rust stains.  Great for a fabric softener.  Lemon juice can be used for help with whitening or to remove stains.
Club soda - Is good for cleaning glass surfaces.  Helps chrome shine.  A great stain remover on clothes on rugs and furniture
Peroxide - makes a great whitening agent (I use instead of bleach).  Is great to have on hand for minor abrasions, cuts, or bites.  I also mix with water and use as a mouth rinse for cold sores or a sore throat (never swallow).

Fix leaks at faucets - it is costing you money and wasting water
Turn off lights when not needed
Buy products with minimal or no packaging that must be thrown away
Use those re-usable grocery bags - no waste or trash
Buy local and from local vendors/famers when possible
Use and buy natural, non-toxic products whenever possible

14 crackers = about 1/2 cup finely crushed
Spaghetti - 8 oz. uncooked = about 4 cups cooked
Rice, quick cooking 1 cup uncooked = 2 cups cooked
Rice, long grained - 1 cup = about 3 cups cooked
Macaroni - 1 cup (3 1/2 oz.) uncooked = about 2 1/2 cups cooked
Cottage cheese, 1 lb. = about 2 cups
Shredded cheese - 4 oz. = 1 cup
Cream cheese - 8 oz. = 16 Tablespoons
Cream, whipping - 1 cup = 2 cups, whipped

Don't disregard old publications and cookbooks.  They have many, many great ideas and tips.  Many times you can get a bag of these at thrift stores or yard sales for pennies.  The ones in picture, were my moms, from the 50's and 60's.  There are a lot of older ideas that work wonderfully - so many people have forgotten a lot of the older ways - they can be the best.  They may be older - but the become new again, when you start using and sharing the tips within!!!!!

Goals are dreams and wishes that could come true!   Never stop having and setting goals - no matter what you age.

IF you want to be an effective manager of your life and finances - know where you are headed.  Know how you intend to get there.  And have a goal of when you might get there. 
We need to have plans when it comes to finances.  So many people just fly through life and have no goals - it always amazes me that they CAN survive.  Be mindful of you spending, your bills and your savings.  Plan ahead and hopefully, your future will be bright.  You should be able to get by in an emergency (emergency funds) and you should be able to live a little more comfortably.
ALWAYS be a good steward of what you have - money and things.

PLEASE remember - if you see your investments and gains are going down due to the stock market - DO NOT PANIC!  You DO lose when you withdraw funds.  If you make haste and start withdrawing funds (remember the great bank crash) - yes, you lose money.  If at all possible - leave things alone and wait for the market to rebound.  I have 'lost' and gained dozens and dozens of times.  Just DON'T panic!

The world today is somewhat chaotic.  Don't jump onboard with all the craziness.  Stay calm and keep going forward.  Slow and steady!!!!!   Sure, you can plan for the worst - but always hope for the best.  Keep saving and filling your pantries - for those days that may be harder than today.  Watch you purchases and try to get the best deals you can.  Save for emergencies and for the future.
Keep your hearts and minds kind and grateful.  Be spiritual in the best way you can - each person sees spiritual awareness differently.

Keep learning and growing.
LOVE one another!


  1. A great post chock full of useful information! I scrubbed the siding and skirting on the north side of the house last Thu (all 70 linear feet of it!) with blue Dawn, and the dirt and green gunk came right off. Doesn't hurt the plants underneath, either.
    I've bought a number of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks at yard sales and thrift shops. Useful to have around.
    So true about investments! It's all on paper until you sell. We're just hoping dividends don't get cut much further.
    And you saved the best advice 'til last: "LOVE one another!" Sure would solve a lot of the world's problems.

    1. Thanks. Good reminder - I need to go out today and so the front of the house (under awning). This is a perfect day for it. It gets so dusty under there and with just a little bit of labor, the house looks all fresh and clean.
      If Dawn is good enough for environmentalist with birds, it's good enough for me!
      Love the older books. They are very useful.
      The market fluctuates so much, it is hard to say. Mine hasn't been touched (by me) yet. Here's hoping.

      Yes, LOVE would solve so much. With love comes peace!

  2. Great advice! About once a week my Husband checks his 401K and gives me the number and it is lower every time but we will stay the course because it is the best option and we do not live on the money. I don't know how people live without a budget! It keeps spending on track and we always know where we are financially throughout the month. There is so little love out there in the world right now so let's all try to be a light in this dark, dark world. A smile means so much these days!

    Heading out to the salvage grocery today because the weather is nice and cool here too!

    1. Glen used to check our stuff ALL the time. I very seldom do - my financial guy calls when I need to know something and I only check now and then. Keeps me sane not knowing!!!! Don't like seeing downward movement.
      Some people just fly by the seat of their pants and I don't get it. I would be so flustered all the time not knowing how I was going to pay bills.
      Good luck at the salvage store. Look forward to hearing about your purchases.

      I agree - love seems to be lacking. I pray for love and peace every single day. THAT is why I tend to keep our little home here in blogland as upbeat as possible. You can get negative all over the place - I like the brighter side!

    2. I so appreciate your upbeat blog and the lack of political remarks. Keep up the good work!

    3. Thank you!!! Politics has it place and to me that isn't here!

  3. I have nothing to add. We're eating well from our CSA while the garden very slowly grows (I don't plant spring harvest, but support the CSA for that). We're buying our fruit, proteins, bulk grains, and my treat mocha coffee mix, dk chocolate and my crystal light. I'm grateful our $ isn't too tight for me to have my treats :-)

    A 44yo cousin decided to cash out her 401k a few weeks ago (SCREAM!)

    Happy Tuesday ya'll. We are headed to 101F today so I need to out for my walk!

    1. Friends cashed theirs out a few years ago and we felt like you about it and owed $22K in state taxes come tax time so tell her to put away a huge chunk for taxes.

    2. Elle, those little treats make it all happy and nice!!! Yes, we need to be grateful for the little things in life that give us joy as well.
      Oh my gosh - what was that woman thinking?? Not a good time and as young as she is there had to be penalties and then all the taxes. I SCREAM with you!!!!!!! That kind of thing just amazes me. Her money - but gosh that seems nits.
      Try and stay as cool as possible!!!!!

    3. Lana she had to have owed penalties too as young as she is. Sure would have to have a boatload of money in there, for that to have been profitable!!!!! Crazy stuff.

    4. Yikes! I did not think about her age!

    5. Penalty plus your tax rate. I've been doing rollover from IRA to Roth these past 2 years d/t being in a lower tax bracket than before I retired. It's worth it to me since I have no idea what will happen to taxes in the future. I'm just 61yo and am drawing allowance off these funds.

    6. I think many funds allow one to start receiving at 59 with no penalty. I have put off taking anything. Nope, we have no idea what might happen.
      Still think your cousin will be sorry at some point! YIKES

    7. Tax deferred accounts such as IRAs for my birth year are 67. I do have an old fashioned pension from my first employer and was eligible at 59 1/2. So I called them. 20% penalty plus 5% per year up until age 67 if I want to draw early. How's that for eligible at 59 1/2? Ridiculous!

    8. That is nuts! They get you coming and going!
      I know when G retired due to his disability - he wasn't old enough for retirement pay. He worked for Govt. and years of service and age had to add up to a certain amount. Once he got his disability from SS though, he got his retirement with no penalties at all. We lived on my pay until all that went through - it took a while, but was worth the wait. Then I left my job to stay home and do stuff here.

  4. Debby in Kansas USAJune 28, 2022 at 11:26 AM

    GM! I already told about my plumbing lesson on Sunday, if you have hard water or in a drought state "if it's yellow, let it mellow...". Anyone raised in Cali will remember that one!

    Lesson learned this week. Vinyl floors and rubber backed bath mats. We must've bought the worst ones ever made because they left rubber behind if I forgot to hang them to dry. It was white, but on the vinyl it was black and sticky. STRANGE! To remove it, hubs poured rubbing alcohol on it, let it sit a bit, and then used a plastic batter scraper (free prize at a Pampered chef party about 25 yrs. ago!!) and scraped it all off with no damage to the floor. He tried a small area to make sure. It looks like new!! And it's a cheaper solution than some chemical de-gooper!

    Other lesson - Keep a pitcher under your faucets when not in use in case a leak starts. Our kitchen faucet started in the middle of the night, but we had the dishpan under it. Nearly filled it, but the water was used in our outside pots so it wasn't wasted. New washer and it's good. We catch all water so we have containers at every faucet.

    Beautiful weather the last couple of days so the windows are open. However, you know what woke me up this morning?!
    Skunk odor!! The little stinker must've sprayed in our backyard!! It was awful! I suspect he was dive-bombed by the grackles. They've been nesting and they are dive-bombing the poor squirrels every time they go near the birch trees.
    We have bird baths and a low water source for bunnies. He might've gone for a drink and got a beak in his back!

    1. Good tips! I have had that happen with a leaky faucet before - it is amazing how much water would go down the drain!! Good fix on the flooring.
      Oh yuck on the skunk! Once in a while I get a whiff - it must not be close by - but close enough. Stinky varmints!

  5. Great post, and lots of handy tips as usual.
    I'm in England, so I had to google "Blue Dawn" to find out that it's what we call washing-up liquid. Yes, I use this for lots of cleaning jobs, and I buy the cheapest own-brand I can find, which is just as good.
    My husband constantly checks our savings and his 401k (it's not called that here but it's the equivalent) and delights in telling me it's gone down again. He gets himself really depressed about it, but I keep telling him to stop looking and and it will go up again in time.
    I try to avoid watching the news, which is just a load of negative scare-mongering. There is definitely a lot of craziness around at the moment, but I'm trying to keep cheerful x

    1. I forget that we have people from all over the world - and our lingo can sure be different. Sorry.
      Yes, it will go up again - no doubt about it. Turning off the news and not staying focused on bad is just such a mood changer. I don't mean you have to not know what is happening, we just need to slow it down. We control what we allow in our lives - and we need to focus on positive.

  6. Great tips Cheryl. I use baking soda and vinegar to clean my stainless steel sink. I drink tea and I find it stains the sink if I don't clean it regularly. The combination not only cleans but deodorizes.

    1. It is a super duper cleaner and deodorizer. Tea is so staining, imagine what it is doing to our teeth! Yet, we keep drinking and love it!

  7. Great post! One quick reminder, if you have granite countertops, do not use a cleaner that has vinegar in it. Vinegar can etch granite.

    Re: investments and the stock market, I've been having regular conversations with my financial advisor about another issue. But he's regularly reminded me that, although the stock market may be in decline, I have a balanced and diversified portfolio and am not invested in only those particular stocks. Yes, I may see a decline, but it may not be to the tune of what the numbers are that are reported on the news.

    1. Good point on the counters. I remember that from when I worked at the cabinet company. Thank you for the reminder.
      I have my funds invested - yet a somewhat safe investment. I never get below a certain percentage. If market drops below that - I still am guaranteed a certain amount of growth (not huge - but something). I like that. It makes me feel a little better.
      I think many things are over stated in the media - so we just need to know what we have ourselves.

  8. Really a treasure trove of useful info. Thx! I find I learn something from everyone I meet. Sometimes it is a new a quality to be emulated or a new and improved way to do something, etc. Other times, it is a lesson in not behaving the way they do. Life never stops having learning and amazing moments. We just have to take notice.
    I like to cut up old socks beyond repairing or keep old washcloths for small cleaning jobs. Doesn't add much to the laundry and gets small jobs done. I wash and hang up rinsed aluminum foil on my drying rack. The kids think I'm so scroogy but I see it as being frugal and using my resources wisely.i also like to secure an old terry dishtowel over a broom with a large rubber and. Then I can go around the ceiling and corners and clean any cobwebs. When done, into the laundry the towel goes until I need it next time.
    Hope everyone is having a beautiful day. So pleasant here. I finally got enough red raspberries this morning for jam. So, I did a batch this morning also. Made me smile and it will be part of my Xmas gifting.

    1. Indeed, there is always an opportunity to learn. Like you said it can even be learning what NOT to do!
      I like your tips. I do many of those. Been cleaning ceilings that way about all my life! If it is scroogy - then I am too. Sounds very frugal to me.
      Just love these glorious days we are gifted. How wonderful on the jam and nice having your Christmas gifts underway!!!!

  9. Good Tuesday to you, Cheryl. Can you believe it's almost July??!!

    So many great tips and suggestions today. Thank you! I collect old cookbooks, as I've mentioned, and they can be chock full of information NOT included in most modern ones.

    As for investments, it's best to talk to a trusted financial adviser to go over your specific goals and immediate needs before making any decision, one way or another. By March of this year, I'd lost all gains in my IRA from the year before and we had a move (with new home, contractors, etc.) coming up. It was better for us to roll it all into a Money Market account and take the tax hit so we could pay cash and not have to finance the expenses. Had I left the IRA alone, I would have lost an amount equal to the taxes by now... with nothing to show for it. A trusted financial advisor is key.

    To Linda... we use old, stretched out or holey socks as dust mitts. LOL! Old pillow case can be slit just a wee bit at the top and a string run through, then knotted at the end for a delicate laundry bag. Speaking of bags, plastic grocery bags make great small trash can liners, clumped, dirty kitty litter disposal, ditto meat bones & scraps (once broth is made!), wad them around items you're shipping out in a box, etc. --Elise

    1. Elise...I really like the dusting mitt idea. Thank you!

    2. You gals all have such good ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. I love how everyone likes to share.
      I like the laundry bag idea!!!
      You are right - a good financial advisor is very important. Each person needs to make decisions based on where they are in life and what their needs are. I am so thankful we found a very trusted advisor years ago. He is now training his son to take over for him someday.

  10. Baking soda is abrasive. It can wear away the enamel on teeth, says my dentist and specialist. Peroxide destroys good tissue if used on body. Judicious use is advised.

    1. I have used it for over twenty years and am always praised for my dental hygiene.

    2. Like Lana - I have used at least once or twice a week as a tooth whitener for years. My doctor started me on gargling peroxide and water combo for strep years ago. My doctor still says it is the best for resolving the blisters. Sometimes nothing cleans a wound like peroxide.
      Thanks for a word of caution.

  11. Great stuff as usual. Yes no panicking. When you panic you make bad decisions.

  12. Another great blog post, Cheryl. I just got finished balancing my checkbook. It’s important to stay on top of that and keep the bills paid. Calm, cool, and collective and not panicking is the best way to handle our finances.

    1. Yes it is. Late fees will eat away a ton of money on top on ruining your credit. I paid everything I had today as well. It is so very important to stay up on things.

  13. Nice tips and ones that I for the most part follow. Every once in awhile I do panic, and every time make a decision that probably is not the best.

    God bless.

    1. I think we all have at some point. Panic does not make for a good friend with most things. We act in haste and then regret it! Been there and done that!

  14. You always have good tips! I like the measurement chart.

    I appreciate the fact that you don't get into politics and fear mongering about the future. We get enough of that on the news and internet. Not hiding my head in the sand, just limiting negative things that may or may not come true.

    1. Thanks. Yep, that is me. I know what is going on all over - I just don't need to dwell on it. Nothing I can do to change it (at least at the moment). Life is short, and we need to make happy more!!!!!!