Don’t believe everything you read, Number 1

I get a lot of email from people who mean well. They find what looks like it would be useful to others, and they pass it on. Sometimes it’s household tips. Sometimes it’s a warning.

Some of those emails are true. Some are not. Usually a quick search will determine whether the email is valid.

Like this one I got recently:


1. Budweiser beer conditions the hair
Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish
Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes
Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair
Elmer’s Glue – paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any

6. Shiny Hair – use brewed Lipton Tea
7. Sunburn – empty a large jar of
Nestea into your bath water
8. Minor burn –
Colgate or Crest toothpaste
9. Burn your tongue? Put
sugar on it!
10. Arthritis?
WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too

11 Bee stings – meat tenderizer
12. Chigger bite – Preparation H
13. Puffy eyes – Preparation H
14. Paper cut – crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals)
15. Stinky feet –
Jello !

16. Athletes feet – cornstarch
17. Fungus on toenails or fingernails –
Vicks vapor rub
Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff)
Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won’t hurt them if they eat it!
Peanut butter – will get scratches out of CD’s! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper

21. Sticking bicycle chain – Pam no-stick cooking spray
Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby
Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls
24. When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with
corn starch and watch them slide on
25. Heavy dandruff – pour on the
vinegar !

26. Body paint – Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!
27 Tie Dye T-shirt – mix a solution of
Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak
28. Preserving a newspaper clipping – large bottle of
club soda and cup of milk of magnesia , soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!
29. A Slinky will hold toast and CD’s!
30. To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with
Colgate toothpaste

31. Wine stains, pour on the
Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt.
32. To remove wax – Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel.
33. Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with
Peanut butter!
34. Baked on food – fill container with water, get a
Bounce paper softener and the static from the Bounce towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight. Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets , soak overnight!
35. Crayon on the wall –
Colgate toothpaste and brush it!

36. Dirty grout – Listerine
37. Stains on clothes –
Colgate toothpaste
38. Grass stains – Karo Syrup
39. Grease Stains –
Coca Cola , it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries!
40. Fleas in your carpet?
20 Mule Team Borax– sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Maybe this will work if you get them back again.
41. To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little
Clorox , or 2 Bayer aspirin , or just use 7-up instead of water.

42. When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you ‘squeeze’ for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie.
They are:

Monday = Blue,
Tuesday = Green,
Thursday = Red
Friday = White
Saturday = Yellow.
So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green – Red – White – Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember. I thought this was interesting. I looked in the grocery store and the bread wrappers DO have different twist ties, and even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping.

Don’t forget Gatorade for Migraine Headaches. PowerAde won’t work. Pass this information on to friends so they can be informed.
I immediately focused on number 10: using WD-40 to treat arthritis or insect stings. Most of the others I read seemed relatively harmless, but this one struck me as something that could be dangerous. I was right.

This article from finds that the treatment is ineffective and potentially dangerous.

One dangerous item like this is enough to tell me to disregard the whole list. Besides, who wants to try to get peanut butter off of a CD?

And Prep-H for puffy eyes? If it works, I don’t care. I know where it’s supposed to go.

Got an email you want me to check out? Send it to And let me know if you’d prefer not to be identified in the blog!

My Christmas wreath is for the bird

As I went home the other night, I stuck my key in the lock and something moved in my Christmas wreath. A small bird had apparently decided my fake wreath looked like a good home, until some non-flying creature came along and opened the door.

The first time it happened, I was merely surprised. It happened again last night, and I won’t go into details about how much it startled me. The evidence of how much the bird was started, however, remains on my door.

I should really wash that off.

But while we’re on the subject, I have a word of warning for the health-conscious among you: don’t buy sugar-free peppermint, thinking you can have all you want, since it’s sugar-free.

Large amounts of sucralose (Splenda) apparently have a side effect. Without going into details, I’ll just say that I fully expected the Coast Guard to show up asking who was setting off the foghorn. I was setting records for decibel level and hang time.

You should also know that many sugar free cough drops contain Sorbitol, which can also cause the storm within.

Not Ready to give up good music

I stand by my earlier post that I don’t care what celebrities think about most issues.

I like Toby Keith and I like the Dixie Chicks. I like their music. I don’t care about their politics. Why would anyone get upset over their views? They’re entitled to their opinions. But their not experts in the fields of war and politics, so those opinions don’t mean any more than yours or mine. To get upset over statements by Keith or Natalie Maines grants them some type of authority they do not deserve.

If we’re deciding whether to go to war, we shouldn’t ask the Dixie Chicks. They’re not authorities. If the issue is music, you couldn’t ask for a better authority. I won’t allow their opinions to rob me of the pleasure of their music.

This weekend, I saw the video for Not Ready to Make Nice. Then I saw a CNN story about the song. It claimed you have to “read between the lines” to hear their response to the controversy over their comments about President Bush.

Whoever wrote that obviously did not listen to the song. What begins as a very good song becomes a spectacular song in the second verse. The lyrics and the music break from the structure of the rest of the song. It starts with well-chosen lyrics and powerful instrumentation. You may not agree with what Maines sings, but the way she sings it is moving.

“It’s a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her
daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world can the words that I said
send somebody so over the edge
that they’d write me a letter, say that I’d better
shut up and sing or my life will be over.”

The message is not between the lines. It’s very clear.

It’s also clear that this song joins a long list of songs you can appreciate without completely agreeing with the singer’s point of view. I don’t want to imagine there’s no heaven, but John Lennon’s Imagine is a beautiful song. I might have sung Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman in the car a time or two. It doesn’t mean I want to be a woman. I appreciate the songs purely for the sake of the music and the musicians without adopting their philosophy as part of my life.

Not Ready to Make Nice is a musical masterpiece.


I came home from work tonight with a sore throat. My intention was to go straight to bed. At 10:30 I grabbed a cherry honey throat drop to try to ease the pain long enough to get to sleep.

You know how if you’re not careful you can swallow the whole thing? Wish you’d warned me.

It didn’t really go down. I can feel it in there, slowly melting away. Making me burp.

My throat’s still sore, but my esophagus has no pain whatsoever.

The Abs Diet

A doctor recommended I read The Abs Diet.’s not the kind of diet we’re used to, where you give up all fat, or eat only meat. To oversimplify, the book recommends a dozen power foods. You eat a bunch of those, spread throughout the day. You get lots of healthy food and you don’t have the appetite (or the time) to eat a bunch of junk food.

The book also recommends workouts: alternating days of weights and cardio. But unlike most workout plans, this book does not suggest you pump iron for two hours, then run 27 laps around the airport. You can complete this workout in half an hour or less.

I’d like to tell you that in the eight weeks since I started the abs diet, I’ve followed it to the letter and I’ve dropped 45 pounds. I haven’t. But I have put on some muscle, which is slowly burning off the fat.

And I’ve found an eating and exercise plan that I can live with for the long term.

Things I Wonder About

Why do cars keep getting bigger, but parking places keep getting smaller?

I’ve never been quite sure whether my Honda Accord qualifies as a Compact car. I always use the spots, and I rarely have trouble getting in and out. At least they warned me that the space was small. In most parking lots, they don’t give me that courtesy. I find out, on my own, that it’s a compact space when I return to find an SUV on either side of me. There’s usually just enough room to squeeze my body into my car. Unless I ate a big lunch.

Why do PEOPLE keep getting bigger, but clothes keep getting smaller?

I noticed years ago that clothing manufacturers don’t seem to pay attention to the clothing sizes that people actually wear. I’d look at jeans and find them in two sizes: 28X38 and 48X28. Where do all of those unbought jeans go?

Who cares what celebrities think?

This really hit me a few years ago when Sean Penn went to Iraq to meet with Saddam Hussein and tell us all that going to war would be the biggest mistake since New Coke. The mainstream media gave it 20 seconds, but the conservative talk shows had a field day with it. I wondered why they cared?

Why do any of us care about the opinions of Penn or Sarandon or the Dixie Chicks? Or Charleton Heston or Toby Keith? They’re entitled to their opinions, but should they have any more influence on the rest of us than, say, they guy who bags your groceries? Do we rely on Harry Reid or John McCain for movie and music reviews?

69% of History

Edith Brown may have lived in more houses in Denison, Texas than anyone else.

On a drive through the town, she was the ultimate tour guide. She could tell you every corner that used to have a store, who lived upstairs and where they moved when the store closed.

She could ride across Main Street and tell a story about almost every storefront.

I only learned recently that her father used to have a barber shop on Main, and, for a while, they lived right upstairs. Is it a wonder that she never had to grasp the concept of “commute time?”

She moved many times over her lifetime. Most of those moves kept her within a few blocks of where she was born. All of them kept her inside the Denison city limits.

Like most other residents, she worked and raised a family. She cooked and cleaned, tended her garden and went to church. She survived the depression and World War II.

For 91 years, she watched the town change around her. Main Street changed from a straight road to a “serpentine” design and back. Highway 75 moved from Armstrong Avenue to Austin Avenue, then bypassed most of town altogether. Downtown thrived, then declined when the mall was built, declined even more when Wal-Mart came, then gradually started a comeback.

Her kids grew up and had kids of their own. One day someone said it would be nice to get together to take a picture with five generations of the family: Edith, her daughter, her granddaughter, her great-grandson and her great-great grandson.

That picture made the paper one year. So did the picture of Edith riding a motorcycle on her 88th birthday.

Edith was never the mayor or a member of the city council. No one would call her a “prominent” citizen of Denison. She played her own role. The town has been around for 132 years, and she was there for 91 of them. Who else can say they’ve witnessed 69% of a town’s history?

Of course, it seemed perfectly natural to her. Why would she leave Denison when her family and her work were there? What else did she need?

Some of Edith’s children and grandchildren eventually moved away. I was one of them. At one point, I lived nearly 1,000 miles away. But four years ago, I came back to Texas, and I made it a point to spend as much time with her as I could.

If I hadn’t, I never would have heard about the barber shop or the ice house, and I never would have seen the spot where Uncle Charlie used to go fishing every morning, or the house where her grandfather swore he buried a jar full of coins but couldn’t find it when they moved. I never would have heard how she and my granddad had to pay a toll to cross the Carpenter’s Bluff bridge to get married. I heard some of the stories two or three times, but that was okay. I learned to see Denison through her eyes.

She could tell those stories until November 22, 2004. That’s the night she had her second major stroke. Unlike the first major stroke and another relatively minor one, this one left her unable to walk or even move most of her body. It left her unable to eat or laugh and unable to tell us the stories of her family and her town. And it left her like that for over a week, merely existing until the night before Thanksgiving.

No one will write a novel or a movie based on the life of Edith Brown. Her stories were simply the typical, real-life tales of a woman who lived 91 years in a small town in Texas. Every family has similar stories.

It’s what I call the American Dream.