Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Finally Here!


The cards didn't get out and the snow we had is melting, but the baking is done, the presents are wrapped, our family is all together and healthy and, most importantly, this particular holiday can be celebrated anytime and anywhere if we keep in mind the real reason for it. How grateful I am for the star, the shepherds, the angels, and wise men and most especially the Baby that brought them all together so long ago. Hope you have a most wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Vinegar, a Link, and Merry Christmas!

This one's for me, but I thought I'd share a little. I follow a blog called "The Simple Dollar" and really enjoy it for the most part. It's a financial/frugality blog written by a guy named Trent and in general I agree with the stuff he writes. Sometimes I beg to differ, but, hey, different opinions are the spice of life. A couple of days ago Trent posted an article about 15 things you can do with vinegar. I've recently been introduced to all the great things vinegar can do and I wanted to put his list somewhere I can always find it (because heaven knows the last thing I need is another paper to keep track of!) So, here's his list and a link to his blog so you can check it out for yourself if you're interested. Merry Christmas! (At the rate things are going- only 4 hours of school time left and counting and a "to-do" list still too long- this is all you're likely to get from us. Enjoy!)

15 Uses for Incredibly Inexpensive White Vinegar
Posted: 16 Dec 2009 12:00 PM PST

One of the best bargains in your local grocery store is plain old white vinegar. You can get a 32 ounce jug of it (half a gallon) for about $1.50 and it has a multitude of uses beyond the edible ones (like pickles and salad dressings). Here are fifteen uses for white vinegar, most of which I use myself.

Toilet cleaner: Got a toilet bowl that’s difficult to clean? Before you go to bed, dump a cup of vinegar in the bowl, then close the lid. I usually spread the vinegar around the bowl a bit with a brush to coat the sides. In the morning, the whole bowl will be really easy to brush. I can’t remember the last time I bought actual toilet bowl cleaner.

Refrigerator cleaner :I take a gallon of warm water in a bowl, add about two cups of vinegar, bust out a rag, and use that solution to clean the inside of the refrigerator. It does a great job of cleaning things up without much effort at all. If something’s really bad, I’ll put a tablespoon or so of pure vinegar right on it, let it sit for a bit, then give it a scrub.

Sunburn: Is your skin a bit sunburnt? Just rub some vinegar on the affected area and it’ll feel much better really quickly. If it’s bad, you can reapply the vinegar a few times.

Kitchen drain odors: If your kitchen drain has an odd smell, pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, then don’t run any water for at least an hour. When you do run water, run quite a bit of it to flush out the drain. This usually takes care of any odors – if any still linger, repeat this a time or two.

Fabric softener: Instead of using fabric softener, use about half a cup of white vinegar. It has largely the same effect without coating your clothes in chemicals and costs a lot less.

Rusty tools: Just soak anything that’s rusty in vinegar overnight, then clean it thoroughly with a brush. The rust will wipe away nearly as well as it does with any expensive rust remover I’ve ever tried.

Vinyl flooring: If you have a vinyl floor that needs cleaned, mop using equal amounts of water and vinegar. This works really well for getting up stains, especially if you go over it twice. Don’t do this with wood or wood laminate, however, because vinegar can react with the wood.

Window cleaning: Forget Windex. Just put some vinegar in a spray bottle and get to work on any glass surfaces. It works really well and doesn’t seem to streak much at all.

Eyeglass cleaner: If you use eyeglass cleaner, just take an empty container and fill it with vinegar. It cuts through grease on your lenses really well, leaving them looking great!

Microwave cleaning: Put a cup of vinegar in the microwave, then run the microwave on high for three minutes. Let it sit undisturbed for half an hour, then remove the cup. The gunk in your microwave will be very easy to wipe down.

Carpet odors: Did your dog do something funky on the carpet (or your toddler, for that matter – yes, I have used this tip to clean up some early potty training accidents)? Pour half a cup of vinegar on the spot that smells and just let it dry. This will kill off the odor and it’ll also make it easier to clean any stains.

Garbage disposal odors: If your garbage disposal smells a bit odd, vinegar alone usually won’t do the trick because it doesn’t get into all of the cracks and crevasses in there. Instead, fill up an ice cube tray with vinegar and put it in the freezer until you have vinegar ice cubes. Toss those cubes into the disposal and run the disposal for five seconds or so (with water). Then let it sit for an hour or two, then run it again. This always works for us.

Air freshener: Got that spray bottle of vinegar from the window cleaning? Spritz it in the air a few times to kill general odors. It smells vaguely vinegary for the first minute, then it just smells clean.

Nasty air: Got a room that really reeks of smoke or paint fumes? Put a bowl of vinegar in there and just let it sit. If the room’s really bad, put out two or three bowls. The odor in the room will drastically improve in a few hours.

Whitening clothes :Put a cup of white vinegar in a load of whites along with a quarter of a cup of baking soda. This will whiten your whites as effectively as bleach without the harshness.

These uses just scratch the surface. Whenever there’s a cleaning mission in my home, I usually tackle it with vinegar and baking soda as the first line of defense.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thoughts on a Monday Evening

This is another one of those times I feel like writing, but don't really have anything to say. So, I'm going to ramble and see where it takes me.

1) It snowed today. Alot. Well, ok, Southern UT could get up to like 40 inches, so our 6 or 8 isn't really all that much in comparison. Try driving down our hill when it hasn't been plowed and has several inches of snow and your friend's house is at the bottom with the garage watching you head right at it and then it feels a little more impressive. I like that the school district doesn't cancel school for snow,just football. The kids seem much more excited to come home and head out to play in it than they do if they've had free time all day.

2) Greg finished his last paper for the semester and turned it in this afternoon! Woo Hoo! Christmas break has arrived, at least for one aspect of our lives. The kids are very jealous, though some seem to be struggling with the concept that he still has to go to work even though he's on a break. It doesn't help that he works at one school while attending another, so whose Christmas break are we talking about, anyway?!

3) I really enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf's talk at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night. I'm going to spend a little more time this Christmas season making sure I can still see the reason for the season and not just the season.

4) My mental calendar just reminded me that today is the day Pearl Harbor was bombed and entered the US into WWII. My grandparents were married in July of 1941 and then left almost immediately for Honolulu. They were there during the attack, so I always think of them. Grandpa was a weather forecaster for the entire South Pacific, so he didn't have to ship out, but they spent the rest of the war in Hawaii and Grandma has some intense stories to tell about being married 6 months and then not knowing if her husband was alive after the bombing, driving around with headlights blacked out except for quarter-sized navy blue circles in the middle, giving birth in a hospital by flashlight, having to seal off every window in the house in the middle of the night so no light could escape before warming a bottle, and torpedo watches every morning and evening on the ship sailing back to the mainland to visit her parents. They sure make me grateful for the sacrifices made by those who serve in the military and their families and for the life I live today.

5) I love white lights on Christmas trees. They look like little stars to me.

6) I bought Pillsbury brownie mixes last week for $.48 a piece. I thought it was a smoking deal until I made them tonight for FHE and they gave me heart burn. Guess I should make them a lot this month because they aren't tempting me at all. That might help the waistline.

7) The Christmas bins are still sitting in my living room. They're beginning to bug me because it's been 10 days since we started decorating and they are now becoming tables that everyone is putting stuff on. What are the odds that I'm ever going to finish getting the rest of the decorations out? I'm thinking that I'll enjoy this season a whole lot more if I stick with the tree, the stockings, and the one nativity that's already out on the piano and get the bins back downstairs.

8) Our mail carrier is also the Bishop in the ward next to ours. He told me today that one of the kids in their Primary saw him all bundled up (which means he's wearing a coat, hat and boots with his shorts. Must be related somehow to our boys!) and said he looked like a ninja snowman. Kids have the best imaginations!

Ok, I just had to go back and correct the spelling for almost every word in the last sentence. I think that means my brain has passed some limit, especially since they weren't really complicated words! Have a great night and enjoy your tomorrow!