Archives for September 2014

20 Alternative Uses for 7 Common Household Items By Deborah Long


Clark Kent. Peter Parker. They looked like ordinary guys, right? But underneath their day-to-day exteriors, they were superheroes! In the spirit of Superman and Spiderman, we’ve rounded up our favorite, unassuming household items – products you probably already have on hand – that have amazing versatility. They may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but they can move from kitchen to laundry to medicine cabinet, or even to the garden, with equal ease.
Read on for the hidden powers of some ordinary products that we think are just super!


You probably don’t think twice about the salt that graces your table, but at one time, salt was so highly prized that it was used as currency. The Roman army is said to have paid soldiers in salt; the word “salary” has its roots in this practice, and it’s why we say someone is “worth his salt.” Uses:
Remove a wine stain: Blot (don’t rub) the spill to remove as much as possible, then cover the stain liberally with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water, if possible, then repeat if necessary. If the spill is on a carpet, you can wait for the salt to dry and then vacuum it up.
Make drip-proof candles: Soak new candles in salt water for a few hours, then let them dry. They will burn drip-free.

Distilled White Vinegar

The Native Americans were right: Corn is our friend. Not only is it delicious on the cob or off, it’s the source of white distilled vinegar, which – as our grandmothers knew – can make a salad dressing or clean the walls with equal aplomb. Uses:
Revive wilted vegetables: Soak wilted greens or other vegetables in a bath of one tablespoon of white vinegar to two cups of water for 10 minutes.
Keep colors from running: Add one cup of white vinegar to the wash to help set the color of new towels or other items.
Prevent cheese from getting moldy: Dampen a paper towel in white vinegar and wrap it around hard cheese to prevent mold spores from forming.

Petroleum Jelly

Unless you’re swimming the English Channel, we don’t recommend slathering your body with petroleum jelly. As the name implies, it’s a by-product of oil refining, so a little dab will do you! That said, it’s been in use since 1870, and high-quality brands (like Vaseline, for example) are generally recognized as safe. Uses:
Keep car doors from freezing shut: We got this tip from an Air Force mechanic: Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the insulation of your car door, and you won’t have to worry about your car doors freezing shut when the next polar vortex hits.
Make an at-home mani/pedi look perfect: Use a cotton swab to outline your nails and nail polish won’t stick to your skin. Also, a thin layer of jelly around the tops of your nail polish bottles will keep them opening easily.
Keep ants out of the doggy bowl: Coat the outside of Fido or Fluffy’s food dish with a thin layer of jelly and ants will dine elsewhere.

Surviving Christmas Card Comparison: Dealing with Unmet Expectations and Learning to Hope in God By Marian Jordan Ellis

I found this article by accident that is from the book The List by Marian Jordan Ellis. This is excellent on hope. Where is our hope? What do we place our hope in?

It’s that time of year again. The time when our mailboxes fill with Christmas cards from friends and family telling how “little Johnny is now playing baseball and Sally is learning the violin.” On the cover is the beautiful family, dressed in khaki and white, with beaming bright smiles to match. Everything looks perfect!  I so love these cards and letters from friends, but I sooooo realize for many women, the temptation to compare is present with every visit from Mr. Postman. C.S. Lewis wisely said, “Comparrision is the thief of joy”  Often, when we compare our lives to our friend’s “picture perfect Christmas card” we feel disappointed because our “Christmas letter” doesn’t include all we hoped it would include by this stage in the game.  

For that reason, I am posting an exerpt from my book, The List.  This chapter focuses on our unmet expectations and trusting in God with our desires. May God encourage you and bless you this season. 

“You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales, that fantasy of what your life would be, white dress, prince charming who would carry you away to a castle on a hill. You would lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith.  Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming, they were so close you could taste them, but eventually you grow up, one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears…
But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely cause almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they will open their eyes and it will come true.”
Merideth Grey, Grey’s Anatomy  

I have an addiction.

 It is quite embarrassing actually. Please promise me you won’t judge. It takes a huge amount of trust for me to open up and confess this secret to you.  Okay, so here I go, “Hello, my name is Marian, and I am absolutely addicted to infomercials.”  There. I said it.  Some of you may be asking, what is an infomercial? OOOOOH…Let me explain. An infomercial is a half-hour-long commercial that hocks everything from body-sculpting workouts to age-reversal eye creams.  Yes, for a reason to be named later, watching those wretchedly annoying things is my new warped fixation.

Like I said, so very embarrassing.

Here’s how I usually get my fix. Flipping through the 900 channels looking for something completely mind-stimulating like The Bachelor or Lost, I happen upon a paid-for-product placement, otherwise known as the infomercial.  Like a fly into a high-speeding windshield, I am sucked into these commercials with such impressive velocity that I often find myself fixated, remote still pointed at the television, and unmoved for several minutes.

Don’t miss the rest of this article. You will be glad you read this one.