Soon the weather will warm and your pets who wander out of doors will again be attacked by fleas. Here is a homemade flea shampoo you can use on them that will leave them sweet smelling and make the fleas very unhappy.
1 cup castille liquid soap 1/8 ounce of essential oil of pine 1/8 ounce of essential rose oil
Place all of the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake to mix. Add this mixture to your pet's bath and watch the fleas make their escape.
Keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as you can! Fresh produce is costly, as we know, so here is a tip to help keep those fruits and vegetables fresh longer in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Simply place a new sponge or two on the bottom of your vegetable drawer to absorb the excess moisture and your produce will last longer. Don't forget to check the sponges regularly and wring them out when needed.
Have you ever accidently placed to much laundry detergent in your washer only to have the bubbles seem to take over? Placing to much soap in your washing machine can cause problems. If this happens, here's a tip to neutralize some of the soap. Pour 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or a capful of fabric softener into the machine and it will tame those bubbles.
Today will find me in the kitchen baking breads for tea with a friend this evening. I was hoping I could fit in time to make this conserve but it will have to wait for another day.
This old fashioned spicy treat is wonderful spread on scones and toast or used as a tart filling. A conserve is a jam made of fruit stewed in sugar. In some cook books, such as the Chutneys Handbook, conserves are sometimes referred to as whole fruit jam.
Grate the peel from the oranges, reserving the peel (about 1/3 cup). Peel off and discard white membrane; section the oranges. In a large saucepan, combine the orange sections and peel, plums, raisins, pears, sugar, allspice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 1 hour or until thickened, stirring frequently. Pour hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Yield: 9 half-pints.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
It's time to plan the spring cleaning of our cottage, and there is so much to do. While I know some hire out this work, I prefer to do my own. I like to make my own non toxic cleaners as well, and while most spots will be easily cleaned from walls, some repainting may be in order in a couple of the rooms. If you are readying your home for spring and like to use "green cleaners," here are a few recipes that I use.
To Remove Grease Spots: Use: 2 oz. fresh white talcum powder and a new powder puff. Place the powder puff into the powder and gently rub over the grease spot. Continue with additional applications until the spot is completely gone. This is great for the kitchen if you have splatters around the stove wall.
Wall Cleaner With Ammonia: Use: 1/4 cup washing soda 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/2 cup ammonia 1 gallon of warm water
In a bucket add all of the ingredients and mix well. Store in a well sealed container and store in a cool location. This will work well on enamel and surfaces that are painted with a flat oil or water based paint.
To Clean The Baseboards: Dissolve 1 tbsp. cornstarch in a spray bottle in 2 cups of hot water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Mix and spray. This works great!
Who doesn't love commercial cleaning wipes? They're wickedly convenient but also expensive and often contain harsh chemicals. I like to avoid chemicals as much as possible in Our Scented Cottage, so the solution is to make my own!
Homemade cleaning wipes are easy to make, economical, and contain only those cleaning agents you select. You can use a large plastic container without a hole in the top to pull through the wipes, but if you want the pull through here are the instructions:
Materials and Equipment Needed: Plastic container,10-cup capacity (large plastic coffee container works well) Extra-large roll of paper towels Cleaning agents of your choice (recipes follow) Electric drill with 1/2-inch drill bit (or a sharp knife to cut an x in top) Electric knife Liquid measuring cups Instructions:
In the garage or workshop area, place a small block of wood beneath the plastic food storage container lid. Use electric drill to drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole in the center of the container lid. (Or you can just cut a large X in the top with a sharp knife if you do not have access to a drill)
For best results, select an extra-large roll of good quality paper towels for this project. Less-expensive towels fray or shred when pulled through the holder; thicker quilted towels have greater cleaning strength and withstand more scrubbing. Even at $1.39 per roll, cost for homemade wipes will be less than 75 cents, not including the storage container (recycle those plastic coffee containers).
Without removing the paper towel wrapper, use the electric knife to cut the paper towel roll into two shorter rolls. Save the second roll for a refill later. Be patient! It may take up to two minutes to cut through the towel roll and cardboard tube inside.
Remove the wrapper, and place one short paper towel roll inside plastic food storage container. Using a liquid measuring cup, gently pour one of the following cleaning solution recipes over the top of the paper towel roll.
You will need between 2 and 4 cups of cleaning solution, depending on the size and absorbency of the paper towel product selected. These recipes make about three cups of solution; increase or decrease amounts if needed.
General Surface Cleaning: 1 1/2 cups white vinegar 1 1/2 cups water
Disinfectant Cleaning: 1/4 to 1/2 cup pine cleaning solution such as Pine-Sol brand 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cup water
Window and Glass Cleaning: 1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol 2 1/2 cups water 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Place the lid on the plastic food storage container, and allow paper towels to absorb cleaning solution for 4 hours to overnight.
Open the food storage container. Gently pull the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and discard. Carefully pull the end of the paper towels from the inside, where the cardboard roll had been. Thread the end of the towels through the hole in the lid, and replace the lid.
Pull gently on the exposed end to separate the cleaning wipe.
As you use the wipes, they will begin to dry out, so add more water and/or cleaning solution as necessary. Allow wipes to stand overnight before continuing to use them after adding more solution.
You may vary the strength of the cleaning solutions as necessary for your household, using more cleaning agents for a stronger wipe, less solution and more water for a milder product.
I always use non latex gloves when I clean. You can purchase them for a low price in the pharmacy area of your local markets.
That you can get your candles to last longer by chilling them? This is an old trick that is used by frugal people and the candle companies themselves. Chilling the candles before you use them makes the wax burn more slowly and evenly. Some say that the best way to do this is to freeze the candles for 24 hours before burning them. Others say that just storing them in the refrigerator for eight hours before you burn them is enough to do the trick. If you like to splurge and treat yourself to scented candles, it's nice to know you can get them to last a bit longer.
I read that those are the flower colors bees find most appealing. Flat or shallow blossoms, such as daisies, zinnias, asters and Queen Anne's lace, will attract the largest variety of bees. Long tongued bees will be attracted to plants in the mint family, such as nepeta, salvia, oregano, mint and lavender. Long tongued bumblebees are attracted to flowers with hidden nectar spurs, such as larkspur, monkshood, monarda, columbine and snapdragons.
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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