Our beloved dogs are family members for sure, and we like to share our summer activities with them, but there are many dangers for your pooches. Here are come precautions to take:
1. If you are going to the beach, don’t bring your dog along during the day because the sun and sand can be too hot.
2. If you are heading to a swimming pool or lake, you can bring your dog, but watch him/her closely, because many dogs are not good swimmers.
3. Also, don’t let your pooch drink any pool water because it does contain chemicals and bleach that are dangerous.
If you have an American flag on display in your yard, check it often to see how well it is holding up in the sun, rain and outdoor air. Check to make certain it is not ripped or torn. With summer holidays, you will want it to look good, so use these cleaning hints:
1. If you have a newer flag that is nylon, cotton or acetate, and you notice that it is dirty, hand wash it in very cool water and gently scrub with a mild detergent. Rinse off and then lay the flag flat to dry.
2. If you have an older flag or special valuable one, take it to the dry cleaners.
If you have stored these chairs over the winter, they may need a thorough cleaning to make them look nice on your patio or deck. Here’s what to do:
1. Hose them down to remove dirt or debris.
2. If you notice stains, make a solution with ¾ cup of household bleach and 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent with 1 gallon of water (be sure to test this mixture on a hidden spot to ensure that the plastic does not discolor).
3. Wear rubber gloves and rub the mixture over the stained areas. Let this remain on the chair for 5 to 15 minutes. Then rinse well and air dry.
When you are getting ready to go to a picnic and are packing a cooler,
use these hints to help keep food and drinks stay cold:
1. When you open the cooler, first add a layer of ice to the bottom. Then, put in the food, which is in sealed containers or plastic food bags. On top, add water bottles, juice packs that are 7/8th full and frozen. You can also put in frozen gel packs. They thaw, and in the process, keep the food cool.
2. Place the cooler inside the car, not in the trunk. When you arrive at your destination, put the cooler in a shady location, not in the sun. Make sure when everyone opens the cooler to get drinks, that they close it immediately.
If you are planning lots of backyard barbecues, parties or beach gatherings, you can save money by buying sturdy plastic plates, containers and silverware and reusing them over the summer. Here’s how to care for and make them last longer:
1. If the dishes are really sturdy, put them in the dishwasher. If not, wash by hand in hot, soapy water and dry completely.
2. If the containers stink or are stained, make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub really well. If they still smell, fill with newspaper that you have crumpled up, which will absorb the odors and the seal with the lids. Let it sit for several days. Wash again and the smell should be gone.
3. Stack and store safely, so they don’t get damaged or break.
Baking soda can be used for all kinds of cleaning tasks and odor removal. Keep several boxes handy for use during the busy summer. For more baking soda hints, you can find them at my website here.
These beautiful pans look so great when they are nice and shiny, but they do get discolored. Here’s how you can restore that shine:
1. Create a paste by mixing salt and vinegar together or by using ketchup, which has vinegar in it and is already thick.
2. Rub the paste/ketchup onto the copper with a sponge or paper towel.
3. When it’s shiny again, rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
When you make that delicious gravy that enhances so many dishes, it’s inevitable, it seems, that those unsightly, and definitely not tasty, lumps suddenly appear. Here’s how to prevent them:
1. Blend a bit of a thickening agents, like cornstarch or flour, with a bit of hot liquid, such as milk, bouillon or water, to create a paste and stir it into the rest of the hot liquid.
2. Add this to gravy, sauces or casseroles or soups.
When you receive chocolate as a gift, you may not, as unlikely as this seems, want to eat it all up at one time. Chocolate can be affected negatively by heat, light or other strong odors. Here’s what to do to extend the shelf life:
1. Wrap chocolate well and put into a sealed plastic bag. You should store it in a cool, dry place, not near the stove.
2. You can put chocolate into the refrigerator or freezer. It should last about a year. But if you notice a white coating or a texture change, it probably should be tossed out.
After checking in, when you first go into your room, take these steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay:
1. First, get out alcohol wipes or anti-germ gel and wipe down the TV remote, phone, door handles and other surfaces. Germs from previous guests can linger on surfaces for hours.
2. Put valuables and your wallet in the same place every time you re-enter the room. You will know exactly where they are and not leave them behind.
3. Request extra towels or pillows as you as you are in the room. You will be prepared for the evening.
4. Always put the chain on the door and keep it locked during the day and evening.
This cabinet gets so much daily use and consequently so much dirt, debris, grime and spilled liquids. Here’s how to clear out and reorganize:
1. First, lay down newspaper on the kitchen floor. Then remove everything and put onto the newspaper.
2. Toss all bottles that have just a tad of remaining liquid inside, about ¼ inch or so.
3. Examine all dated containers and get rid of anything that is a couple of years old or if the contents look bad.
4. Wipe down the whole inside, including pipes and remove all spills.
5. Put down peel-and-stick tiles on the bottom or line just with heavy-duty aluminum foil to contain spills.
6. Corral cleaning bottles in plastic bins.