New Year’s tips

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

Let me begin frankly by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. With these abbreviated holiday schedules we’ve had, it’s been hard to keep up with the day of the week, yet alone what needs to be done around the office and at home.

I know a lot of you can agree with that. You ask yourself what day of the week it is and try and decide when to take the Christmas tree and decorations down. If you’re like my sister, you took them down the day after Christmas.

There are just so many things you have to do and so little time to do them all. Then, of course, there has to be some &uot;me&uot; time. I have to have time to myself to reflect and to gather my thoughts for the coming year.

No, I’m not one to make resolutions anymore. I decided that resolutions didn’t work for me and that the best thing to do was to &uot;live life to the fullest&uot;, &uot;help those in need of help&uot; and to &uot;be the best person you can be&uot;. That resolution thing got to the point it was getting out of hand and I would go approximately two to three months before I decided I really couldn’t do it.

With that in mind, I don’t have to worry about keeping resolutions that I won’t fulfill and I can just keep moving on with whatever else I want to do. I’m not expecting anything special for the year 2004, but it will take a lot to beat 2003 for me. 2003 was a mighty good year and with continued good health, good friends and fun, I can’t ask for anything better.

Instead of my traditional column about resolutions for the year and how you can and should help your neighbors and friends, I thought I’d give it a twist and offer some helpful household tips for our readers.

To be completely honest with my readers, I ran across this and thought, how many other people know this or have used some of these tips, so I decided this was the way to go with the column and I hope you enjoy these tips as much as I have. Here’s some tips just for you.

– To keep cakes from sticking, sprinkle the tins with equal parts of flour and fine sugar.

– When bread is baking, a small dish of water in the oven will help to keep the crust from getting too hard.

– Never beat egg-whites in an aluminum pan as it is sure to darken them

– Always allow plenty of space around the refrigerator for free air circulation so that the condenser coils will be properly cooled and work well.

– Foods in most refrigerators should be covered; cold dry air evaporates the moisture from foods and deposits it as frost on the evaporator coils.

– If an egg breaks on one end, crack the other end and you can boil it without the contents coming out of the shell.

– Heat lemons well before using; there will be twice the quantity of juice.

– Don’t leave a spoon or other metal in a pot that you want to come a boil quickly. The metal deflects the heat lengthening the time to reach the boiling point.

– Lemon juice or vinegar in the water cauliflower is cooked in makes it keep its snowy-white color.

– A tablespoon of black pepper added to the first suds in which you are washing cottons will keep the colors from running.

– When you are washing and rinsing colored materials, a teaspoon of Epsom Salts added to each gallon of water will prevent even the most delicate shades from fading or running.

– Dampened clothes will not mildew for several days if you put them into the lower part of the refrigerator.

– When washing or ironing, put a thick rug under your feet and you will find you do not tire as easily.

– Wet ink stains may be removed by washing in milk or better still, buttermilk. Wash, changing the milk frequently.

– Grease spots generally may be removed with hot water and soap. If stains have become fixed by long standing, they may be removed by chloroform, ether or naphtha. If any of these chemicals are used, keep them at a safe distance from fire or artificial light.

– Table Salt and cream of tartar, equal parts, will remove rust stains. Wet the spot and spread the mixture on thickly then place the material in the sun.

– To remove chewing gum from fabrics rub with ice and the gum will roll off and leave no marks.

I do hope that some of these helpful tips may come in handy in the weeks and months to come. I know I was a little surprised with a few of them and know you probably were too. Enjoy yourselves and have a happy and safe New Year.