Focus: Interesting Solutions for Everyday Needs

Sometimes we face an issue with something that just seems impossible to solve.  Well today, I have some simple solutions with some unlikely items that will make your life easier.  I get excited when I find answers to some of the problems that I face around my house.  I always give credit to the source of the solutions and the idea behind this article comes from “First” magazine.  We all collect coins and most of us have several pennies around our homes.  Here are some really good uses for our pennies, which can save us money on more complicated and expensive ways we face these issues.


Did you know that you can patch a leak in a birdhouse roof with a penny?  Put glue on one side of the penny and press the penny over the hole in the roof.  Do you have slugs in your yard?  Place a circle of pennies that are dated prior to 1982 around the base of any plants that show damage.  The copper in the older coins gives the slugs a tiny shock as they contact with the pennies and they will avoid the area.  Do you have a wobbly chair on your porch or in the house?  You measure the unsteady leg by placing pennies under the leg that is not sitting flat. When the leg of the chair is still, glue the pennies together and place under the leg. Your chair should be steady. Fly-proof an outdoor meal by filling a resealable clear plastic bag with water then add a few pennies inside.  Attach a string to the bag and tie it to a nearby sun-kissed tree or porch railing where the sunlight will reflect on the pennies.  This confuses the flies so they fly off and your meal will be safe from the pesky flies.  Drop a penny dated prior to 1982 into a vase.  The copper in the older pennies will banish wilt-causing bacteria and help your flowers last longer and look healthier in the vase.  Do you have curtains or drapes that do not hang straight?  Pennies can be added to the hem of the curtains which makes the curtains or drapes hang straight.  Is your glass coffee pot accumulating a lot of hard-to-clean residue inside? Carefully drop a handful of copper coins and 2 T of vinegar in the pot.  Let it sit a few minutes then rinse the pot with boiling water.  The pot will shine and be ready to use. With apple butter time approaching here is a neat help. Wash and add several copper pennies to your apple butter kettle to keep the apple butter from sticking to the bottom. I have saved the best advice until the end. I have not eaten out of a jar of pickles since I tried to open a jar and messed up my hand and needed therapy to use it again.  I have all kinds of jar openers but never thought of this remedy.  Take a penny and hold it to an angle and carefully wedge it between the lid and the top of the glass jar.  Then, press up and out.  This trick will allow just enough air to get into the vacuum-sealed jar, so the lid is finally a cinch to remove.  We can spend our pennies.  However, it is interesting to know how helpful and simple they can be to solve some of our everyday problems.

Janine Boldrin shares these solutions for our furry friends.

  • When you need to remove cat hair from clothing, roll up the hair from the clothing with a damp sponge.
  • Brush your animals every week but be careful not to brush too hard.
  • When drying your clothes in the dryer use nylon net which can be purchased at a fabric store which will take the pet fuzz off the clothes.
  • Dogs and cats shed more when their skin is dry. Try adding a humidifier to your home which can be good for the animals and the owners.
  • 38 percent of Americans say they would get a pet if cleaning up after the pet were easier. I would have to say that all pets take time, patience, training and attention to their needs.  Pets are a wonderful comfort and companion and worth the time and energy you give them.
  • The humid weather produces more earwax in cats’ ears, which move irritants out of the ear canal. This leads to itchiness with the cats scratching or shaking their heads around the ears. Dab a little apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and gently rub your cat’s ears, clearing away the wax.  The vinegar also helps to restore pH balance to fend off fungal infections which can cause more itchiness – taken from Woman’s World

Have you ever gotten into a tizzy looking for something you think is lost? Most of us have misplaced car keys, glasses, phone, tv remote and other items that make us panic.  This article in “Woman’s World” tells us that memory experts share the easy ways to find misplaced objects and keep them from ever disappearing again.  Michael Solomon, author of “How to Find Lost Objects” says that being anxious will short-circuit memory and makes it harder to search systematically.  So, take a few deep breaths and relax.  You might even drink some hot tea.  After relaxing for 10 minutes, retrace your steps and you will usually recall where you remembered putting the item you are searching for. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that saying the name of the item you are looking for makes it much more likely to find it faster. Verbalizing the name of the object as you look for it triggers activity in your brain’s visual centers, helping you “see” where you left it.  Most items not in our vision are hiding under something we laid on top of what we are looking for.  Sometimes we cannot find what we are looking for because we are distracted by something else.  I remember reading the story of the car keys.  You have your car keys in your hand and the phone rings.  You lay your keys down to answer the phone and your mind is on the phone call, not where you laid your keys. In this day and age, it is easy to get distracted. 

Memory expert Harry Lorayne promises your road to perfect recall begins with two words: original awareness.  That means you simply need to be present-minded.  Where did you place your item in the first place? I like to use my car as an example.  When I park in a parking lot, I always make a special note and say to myself what isle number am I parked in and the direction my car is sitting.  I never have a problem.  It is when I am in a hurry and never make a mental note of where my car is as soon as I get out of it.  If you have more than one vehicle you drive, it is a good idea to remember which vehicle you are driving.  I searched all over the parking lot one time for my car and I had driven the truck that day.  Another way to remember where you put an item is to have a certain place in the house where you usually put the item and most likely you will find what you are looking for.  We usually misplace items when we are in a hurry, worried, upset or distracted. 

Do you have yardsticks or short rulers in the house but rarely use them?  Here are a few ideas for your rulers.  You can use the folding ruler as a holder on your wall for hanging your keys, jackets, hats, purses and whatever you want to put on the ruler.  Separate the sections of a folding yard stick.  Use sections to create triangle shapes attaching them at the corners with E6000 craft glue.  Drill a hole in each corner and insert a wood peg.  Trim length if needed and secure with wood glue. Hang on the wall and add whatever you want on your decorative ruler.  Add a ruler to the front of a shelf on your wall or cut rulers to fit the top of a wooden stool.  The different colors of the rulers or yardsticks can be placed by wood glue and you have a neat stool. — Information from “Country Living” magazine

If you have a rattan chair that has a bad seat, take the seat apart and make a new seat with men’s ties.  The ties must be the long ties that can be tied under the seat.  Weave different ties together and tie each one under the seat.  This is a good way to use the ties and the chair is unique.

I hope some of the ideas shared today can make your life a little easier and more interesting.  Now that many are staying at home, there are numerous projects we can do and when you begin looking through your stuff, just think of what you can create out of your own keepsakes and other stuff you have collected. 

I leave you with these thoughts for the day.

When I woke up this morning, I asked myself “What is life about?”  I found the answer in my room.  The fan said, “Be cool”.  The ceiling said, “Aim high.”  The window said, “See the world.” The clock said, “Every minute is precious.” The mirror said, “Reflect before you act.” The calendar said, “Be up to date.” The door said, “Push hard for your goals.”  The floor said, “Kneel Down and Pray.” — Healthybodywithjean





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