Household Tips

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Tie wraps for Christmas lights:

Since you may have some tie wraps for lawn and leaf bags left around when it is time to put up Christmas lights you can use a light duty staple gun to easily attach these to the eves then attach the lights with the tie wraps. This goes really fast and avoids the possibility of putting a staple through a wire.

Cook rice in microwave:

Don't make another pot to clean when you cook rice. Just put the rice in a microwavable serving bowl without a lid, in the usual proportions, and cook for 12 minutes on high. Serve it in the same bowl. For brown rice I use 2 stages : first cook on " High" for 7 minutes to bring water to a boil then on "Simmer/Stew" for 35 minutes. I use 2 cups of brown rice and 4.5 cups of water.

Put a magnet on soldering iron:

Where to lay your soldering iron is a critical problem if you don't have a conventional holder. I glue a magnet to my soldering iron and click it to any iron or steel surface.

Soak pecans overnight:

The pecans I find in most grocery stores are too dried out to enjoy eating straight from the shell so I soak them in a bowl overnight and the next day they are plump and fresh as though they just fell from the tree.

All day pot of tea:

Use a coffee maker dedicated just to making tea. Put four teabags in the pot and run 12 cups of water through the reservoir into the pot with the teabags. Let it steep for about 10 minutes and take the first two cups to drink. Thereafter add a cup of cold water to the pot whenever you pour one cup of tea. Theoretically it should last as long as the bags can flavor the water however evaporation will cause it to run out by the end of the day.

Herbal Ant Reppelant :

We had some carpenter ants roaming around the kitchen counter and I didn't want to spray any poison where our food might come in contact with it. I remembered that we had heard that rosemary tea was a good flea repellent to bathe your dog with so I decided to try it on the countertop and see if it made the ants go away and sure enough it did. I have a bunch of rosemary growing around the back yard and I just boiled it in water for about 10 minutes, then washed the counter top with a sponge dipped in the tea. The first day the ants acted like they were avoiding the areas I washed with the tea and the second day they didn't show up at all. I would be willing to bet it might work on other insects as well.

Understanding Electricity:

If terms like volts, amps, or ohms give you a hard time remember that they are almost exactly comparable to your garden hose. The pressure of the water coming out of the hose is equivalent to volts or voltage. The amount or quantity of water coming out of the hose is the same as the current or amps. The resistance your hose gives to the flow of water is just like resistance in electricity or ohms.

Use for Horse Apples:

Horse apples are the fruit of the Osage tree. The wood of this tree is used for carving nowadays and the native Americans used them for making bows. Lewis and Clark are responsible for bringing them back on their expedition and now they have spread everywhere. These trees are common around Dallas. They have a big green fruit with a pimply surface. This fruit is not edible by humans and probably doesn't do horses much good either however I discovered a use for them. In pioneer days people used them around the house to repel insects. I tried it and it works very well. I cut them in half and put them in the corners of rooms. I have heard that the juice from these fruit irritate some people's skin so be judicious in handling them.