Simple ideas that might come in handy

  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold! (Same thing for celery!)
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  • Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
  • For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
  • Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yum!
  • Reheat Pizza: Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
  • Easy Deviled Eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done – easy clean up.
  • Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
  • Reheating Refrigerated Bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
  • Newspaper Weeds Away: Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic but they will not get through wet newspapers.
  • Broken Glass: Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.
  • No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
  • Squirrel Away!: To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.
  • Flexible Vacuum: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge. add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
  • Reducing Static Cling: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and tada! Static is gone.
  • Measuring Cups: Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
  • Foggy Windshield: Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car.When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
  • Reopening Envelopes: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.
  • Conditioner: Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair.
  • Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
  • Get Rid of Ants: Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
  • INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS: The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like. Well …. the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free … that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box … well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I’d share!
  • Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it .. the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

(Taken from another email Mom sent me :)

Happy Holy Days!

With time we see through wiser eyes,
the greatest gifts God sends
aren’t power, fame or fortune
but our families and our friends.
We find that dreams aren’t just for kids,
that prayer can save the day.
that life’s a whole lot sweeter
when we laugh along the way…
We learn that simple caring
means the world when times are tough.
That hugs can sometimes say it all
when words are not enough.
We learn to keep a childlike faith
forever in our hearts,
for that’s where hope
and love are born,
where every good thing starts.
Have a blessed Christmas!
(Mom sent this to me in an email and I had to post it :)

Home for the Holidays

First of all, Happy Birthday to Jesus! and Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. I wish we could be up north right now with our friends and family in New Jersey and Philadelphia but we had to stay in North Carolina because of work, which is not a bad thing. Thank God we have jobs.

But this past week has been really tough for me. I’ve been so homesick, missing everyone and everything from our old home. I miss seeing the Atlantic City skyline and the smell of Absecon Creek down the street from mom’s house.

Atlantic City Skyline from Brigantine Wildlife Refuge Galloway, NJ

I miss seeing Grandmom and Grandpop and all my dad’s family at the annual Weisbecker Christmas get-together. I’m sad for Rocky because he’s missing the Christmas Eve fish dinner at his brother’s and hanging out with his family. I miss crossing over the Walt Whitman bridge to see my in-laws in Philly. I miss everything and everyone up north. Needless to say I haven’t been the most fun person to be around this week LOL.

Blue Ridge Mountains

We’ve only been living in North Carolina five months now and I know that’s not long at all. It takes time to get used to new surroundings and people. It seems to be so much easier for Rocky, but then he’s just such a happy-go-lucky kind of person. And what do I have to be so sad about? My new home is such a beautiful one, a beautiful house, property and surroundings with lots of animal friends.  Just down the street you can see the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance and Crowders Mountain and Kings Mountain are only a few miles down the road. The cost of living is lower here and is one of the main reasons we moved back down here. Most of my mother’s family lives around me and I have made a couple new friends. But it’s still not the same. If home is where the heart is, 1/2 of my heart is still in New Jersey.

This past week all I’ve thought about is my old home in South Jersey. Most of my friends on Facebook live up there and when I read their posts talking about things going on there it just makes me more sad. I kept thinking of the song by Hank Williams Sr. “I’m so lonesome I could cry” and in my mind changed the word “lonesome” for “homesick.”

But that’s enough feeling sorry for myself! Things change and life goes on. Me and Rocky are creating a new life together down here. And it’s not like we won’t ever see or talk to our friends and family again. It just can’t be any time we want. We have to plan it and save money for the trip. I guess we all have to sacrifice something… and time is the healer of all wounds.

Maybe one day all or most of my heart will be here in North Carolina. And when we say we’ll be “home for the holidays” that will mean staying here in good ol’ Dallas, North Carolina. :)