Nurse Dodie’s Other Uses for Aspirin You May Not Know

Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is one of the most consumed over-the-counter drugs in the world because of its powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-coagulant properties. 

Since ancient times, common aspirin uses have included pain relief, like relieving headaches, as well as muscle aches and some cold symptoms.

There are other uses for aspirin besides a headache or pain relief. We usually buy uncoated aspirin, and the following aspirin-hacks all use the uncoated tablets.

Caution! If you are allergic to aspirin, you should not take it internally or apply it externally.

🔹Insect bite or sting.

Aspirin is most often used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine. That’s because one of aspirin’s ingredients is salicylic acid. If you get a bee sting or an insect bite, you can wet an aspirin and hold it directly on the sting/bite. Alternatively, you can crush the tablet and add a drop or two of water to make a paste. Apply the aspirin paste to the irritation, and it will relieve the pain.

🔹Rejuvenate skin by eliminating blemishes and dead skin.

Although this is generally done with professional cosmetic products, it can also be made at home using aspirin.

Ingredients

  • 5 aspirin
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (20 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda (10 grams)

What to do

  • First, prepare a thick mixture from the aspirin and lemon juice.
  • Then, rub it over a clean face. Let it set for 20 minutes.
  • After that time, gently massage in a circle, then rinse with cold water.
  • Apply a bit of baking soda to neutralize the acid from the lemon, then rinse again.
  • Finish by moisturizing your skin.
  • Use once a week.

🔹Treat discolored hair. 

Too much chlorine in a swimming pool might make your blonde hair look green. This may be one of the weirdest uses for aspirin, but you can restore your hair color with aspirin.

Dissolve six or seven crushed aspirin in a glass of warm water. Apply the mixture to your hair and let it soak for fifteen minutes. Then wash your hair like you normally would. The greenish tint should disappear.

🔹Treat dandruff.

Crush two aspirin and add them to a capful of shampoo. Wash hair as you normally do. Repeat the treatment as needed.

🔹Remove rust. 

For rust stains (from razors, can of shaving cream, etc.) on a bath or sink, first dampen the stain with water. Then apply several crushed aspirin tablets directly to the stain marks. After ten minutes, simply wipe the rust away.

🔹Revive a dead car battery. 

Don’t despair! Aspirin can help. Drop two aspirin into the battery cell. The battery’s sulfuric acid will react with the aspirin to create a charge. It should be enough to jump-start the battery—and enable you to drive to the nearest gas station or auto parts store.

🔹Eliminate sweat stains.

Grab the aspirin. Crush three or four aspirin and mix with warm water to form a paste. Evenly rub the paste over the stains and allow it to soak for a couple of hours. Then launder as normal.

🔹Garden assistant. We grow vegetables in various sized potted containers. We love enjoying fresh tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and onion. By adding one crushed aspirin to one gallon of water, just spray the mixture on vegetables. The aspirin will improve growth, increase production, and combat fungal diseases.

🔹Fresh flowers extender.

A crushed aspirin mixed with water and added to a vase of cut flowers will keep them looking fresher longer

🔹Hangover treatment. 

Many scientific experts, like Dr. Michael L. Oshinsky from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, have studied various hangover treatments. One of the most effective solutions to combat the results of drinking too much is the combination of aspirin and caffeine (coffee or tea).

Take two aspirin with coffee a few hours after “too much partying,” and you should feel no ill effects the next day.

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Tips and Secrets for Better Internet in Rural Areas: RVers, Campers and Country Living

It’s no secret Bidenflation has forced millions to seek out ways to reduce food, travel and living expenses.

In 2020, we moved to a rural area in the Texas Hill Country away from congestion, traffic and rising crime. We have no regrets about living a far less expensive and peaceful life. It allows us to work and write from home or on occasional road trips.

Due to the high cost of just about everything, including rentals and housing, more Americans are:

🔹Living in RVs and Campers.

🔹Using tents instead of hotel rooms.

🔹Taking “staycations” and limiting travel closer to home.

🔹Working remotely on the internet from home instead of commuting to and from a work location.

🔹Becoming Digital Nomads, wandering the country taking miscellaneous work and temporary employment.

We loved Guadalupe River State Park in April 2022

In 2022, the United States should break records with over 305 million internet users within its borders, which accounts for this rise in numbers of digital nomads and remote workers all over the country. 

Unfortunately, as practical as this may sound, these remote workers and  digital nomads, along with over 25 million Americans, continue to struggle with slow internet speeds and lack access to high-speed internet facilities due to the rural locations they may find themselves in.

Slow internet speeds can affect work deliverables, hamper productivity, and even jeopardize employability, especially if the job requires high internet speeds for effectiveness. 

These tips may improve your internet connection if you are living in a rural area, are on the road, or just camping out.

Tips for Rural Residents 

Turn off your router for some time. Giving your router a break can help refresh your internet connection and improve your speed issues. Doing this daily stimulates your internet connection, especially when experiencing a lag.  This fix won’t take your speeds to NASA levels, but it should help.

What’s your Data Capacity? A data cap may be responsible for slowing your home speeds. Your ISP allocates the amount of data you can use every month. Once exceeded, your internet speed drops drastically. The cap limit is outlined in your bill.

Move your Router. Where is your router positioned? That may be why your internet speed sucks.  Moving the position of your router to a higher point or more central location in your home will ensure the Wifi signal from your router reaches every corner of your building. With most wireless modems, the closer you are, the higher your internet speed.

Get Wired. Ditch wireless connections and get wired to eliminate any lags in speed you may be experiencing. Many people don’t know this, but cabled connections like Ethernet are safer, more reliable, and faster than most wireless connections.

Ads are a Drag. Literally. Every time you are online, you see ads. It’s everywhere, on every website; you can’t escape it. Or can you? Ads slow down your internet speeds, especially those heavy, annoying auto-play videos. You can fix this by installing an ad blocker in your browsers.

Scan regularly for Viruses and Malware. Viruses and malware may also be responsible for your crawling internet speeds. Install software that scan your device and connections for viruses and malware, set it up to scan regularly, and you should be fine.

Tips for Campers

Stay centered. Or as close to the center of the camp as you possibly can. The range for RV parks and Campground Wifi signals, thanks to FCC regulations, is limited to just under 300 feet. The closer you are to the camp router, which is often set up in the center of the camp, the better your internet connection.

The less green, the better. Dense trees, foliage, and even high walls can reduce your internet connection quality. For the signal to get to you uninterrupted, you must ensure you are not being obstructed by greenery or other natural or artificial fixtures. Set up your camp in an open space to improve your connection quality.

Upgrade your receiver. A Wi-Fi reception booster or antenna can improve your internet connection and reduce lags. Both instruments can receive and upgrade your internet signals on all your devices. They are easy to install and set up, and you should get sorted out quickly.

Look before you Camp. Different RV parks and Camps use different ISPs for internet access. Do some research before you camp in that park or hotspot. Check reviews for internet speeds and plan accordingly.

Tips for RVers 

Choose your equipment carefully. The right equipment can mean the difference between consistent high internet speeds and slower speeds. Pick the right cellular equipment for your needs, the more powerful your router, the more powerful your internet connection will be.

X marks the Spot. Using a coverage map will help you navigate areas with spotty coverage and keep you informed about signal strength so you are never caught in the lurch.  These maps are not always accurate but are still great tools for planning your travels.

Avoid Congestions. Areas with many internet users can experience low internet speeds due to heavy data traffic. Congested areas like festivals, concerts, and even football games have tended to experience an overload on the internet infrastructure, resulting in slow connection speeds.

Less is good: The fewer devices connected to your network, the better. Make sure your devices are connected to the devices you are using at the moment. It is easy to lose track of background devices, leading to an increased lag in your internet speed as they update regularly.

Definitely not us. LOL.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

What to Know Before You Decide on Buying an Electric Vehicle

Can You Say “Range Anxiety?”

That is anxiety that comes from not knowing whether or not you will be able to make it to a charging station before the battery is depleted.

I talked with several Electric Vehicle (EV) owners and a mechanic to ask about the ins-and-outs of these cars and trucks.

“The first hard lesson I learned about owning an electric vehicle was the inconvenient charging,” Steve, who sold his 2018 model after just two years said.

Steve had to talk his employer into installing a charging unit at his place of work near downtown San Antonio, Texas to ensure he had enough power to make it home, 40 miles away in the Hill Country foothills near Boerne.

“Stop and start traffic on the highways made me nervous,” he explained. “I didn’t get home until close to midnight so I was constantly worried about power at night.”

“If I had it to do over again, I would have spent more time studying, but in retrospect, I can tell you as I experienced constant mechanical and electric maintenance and warranty issues, I changed my mind,” he continued. “When I began to read and hear about Biden’s Green Build Back Better policies, with impending demands imposed by the EPA and other governmental regulating bodies, I had enough. I took a $11,000 loss, but lessons learned, and now I’m relieved.”

“Charging ain’t free,” Ronald, another San Antonio EV owner announced. “I spent about $2,800 turnkey to install a high output (Level 2) charger in my garage. Before that, I had started by running an extension cord and trading the electrical socket back in forth for my kitchen stove and car battery. I couldn’t chance the possibility of needing to drive at night not knowing if I had enough charge in an emergency.”

“For long trips I had issues with ‘range anxiety for sure,” he said. “I’d plan to find a Wal-Mart or someplace to hangout while my car was charging.”

“I have a Mercedes-Benz EQS and get a bit over 400 miles on one charge,” Ronald added. “If I’m driving long distances it, of course, takes me quite a bit longer to get a full charge than those who just fill up with gas and move on.”

To get a real life estimate, using average KWh charging rates from Texas to California, CleverJourneys checked Tesla’s website calculator to compare cost and time between gas and electric charging.

It’s easy to understand why Joe Biden needed to get gasoline prices higher and availability more difficult. Two of his major campaign donors (over $200 million in contributions) profit considerably:

🔹George Soros bought heavily in Rivian EVs stock in Nov. 2021.

🔹Warren Buffet’s trains carry the oil that would have run through Keystone Pipeline that Biden cancelled on Day 1 of his White House term.

390 minutes (6.5 hrs.) charge time. $12 in charging fees + $128 in charge time = $140. At 34 mpg in our Honda Civic, it takes us 48 gallons of gas. At $2 per gallon (before Biden) = $96. At $3 per gallon = $144; 4 per gallon = $192; $5 per gallon = $240 (during Biden)
Charging stations availability. July 2022

Current prices for charging an electric car at Walmart range anywhere from 12 cents to 99 cents per kW across the U.S. Most charge somewhere close to 30 cents.

“It just really depends on which Walmart or place you go to and what type of electric car you have,” Gary, a newly certified service EV repairman, explained. “They usually charge a buck ($1 fee) per charging session.”

Although Walmart and other places have installed superchargers, “it is not good to use them every day or too often,” Gary warned. “Supercharging your car daily can damage your battery health, and wear out its lifespan.”

“There’s a fee if you stay parked after your car is charged. ChargePoint gives you a 5-minute grace period to move your car after it’s finished,” said Gary.. “After that, it charges you 14 cents per minute up to a maximum of $5 per session.”

🔹According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household pays nearly 14 cents per kWh.

“An electric car gets 3 to 4 miles per kWh,” Gary stated. “So divide the total miles you drive each month by 3 to get the kWh you would use monthly. Multiply that number by your cost per kWh. The dollar amount you get could be less than what you pay each month to buy gasoline. I think this is why Biden is causing gas prices to go up.”

🔹If someone drives about 1,183 miles per month (Americans drive an average of about 14,200 miles annually), an EV, will use about 394 kWh in that timeframe.

🔹Using the U.S. household average from June 2022 of nearly 14 cents per kWh, it would cost about $55 per month to charge an electric car.

🔹Figure an extra $38.50 per month to charge an electric car at home if you pay the average 14 cents. This is a 33% increase on the average electric bill, according to stats from the Energy Information Administration. 

Prepare to wait.
Truck stop & EV station food.

.

🔹Fully recharging the battery pack with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger can take up to 8 hours, and even fast charging stations take 30 minutes to charge to just 80 percent capacity.

LEVELS OF CHARGE

LEVEL 1 is the slowest and requires a regular 120-volt outlet, which you probably already have. Most EVs acquire roughly five miles per hour of charge when using Level 1 charging.

LEVEL 2 is a 240-volt electric circuit required for charging. This is commonly used for major appliances such as electric dryers, water heaters, and ovens. Installing one of these in a suitable location greatly increases charging capacity. With Level 2, most EVs can charge at a rate of about 35 miles per hour.

LEVEL 3 is the quickest charging station on the market, delivering massive amounts of power in a short amount of time. Modern EVs can charge up to 80% of their capacity in about 30 minutes. These should not be used often as it shortens battery life.

Not all DC fast chargers are created equal, as charger speed can vary from 24 kW to 350 kW, and not all cars are compatible with the fastest speeds or come close to their marketed capability in practice. 

CURRENT SAMPLE CHARGING COST (June 2022)

Georgia: EVgo network charges rates by state, and it varies for Level 2 charging. On its website, the pay-as-you-go approach costs 30 cents per minute in Georgia. However, if you’re an EVgo Plus member, the rate drops to 24 cents per minute.

Illinois: Electrify America bills 43 cents per kWh for guests and 31 cents per kWh for paid members; EVGo bills between 22 and 30 cents depending on membership status; those billing rates can change based on location.

Some studies show that you can save around $14,000 on fuel costs if you drive an electric car for about 15 years but sometimes this may not be enough to cover all the hidden costs that electric cars have. Some of these hidden costs that you may encounter could cost thousands of dollars, with a few costing over $10,000.

THE NOTORIOUS BATTERIES

At the heart of all-electric automobiles are batteries — literally, the entire car is designed around them, and they’re the most expensive part of the car.

🔹Currently, all EVs sold in the U.S. come with an eight-year/100k mile warranty. Keep in mind that the average age for a vehicle on the road in the U.S. is 12.1 years. EVs average age is unknown.

🔹At some point the cost to replace the battery is more than your vehicle might be worth — estimates range between $6,000 and $20,000 depending on the model.

“The most expensive repair made on an EV is most likely going to be the high-voltage battery,” Gary commented. “Not anyone can do this type of work and it’s something that should only be done by a trained specialist at a proper repair facility.”

“This is due to the very high-voltage danger as well as maintaining proper repair procedures,” he added. “These replacement parts will come directly from the dealer. There’s just not much competition among parts manufacturers to drive prices down.”

🔹These lithium batteries are benign when compared to Nickel-Cadmium cells or even other automotive compounds like brake fluid. This means it’s considered toxic in our waste stream, and no one is prepared for the volume of used batteries headed to scrap yards.

🔹The EPA reported in 2021 that at least 65 landfill fires were caused by lithium-ion battery waste.

🔹These batteries are extremely heavy with some weighing up to 1,400 lbs.

🔹EVs have a shorter range than gas-powered cars. Most models only range between 60 and 120 miles per charge and some luxury models might make it to 300 miles per charge.

For comparison, gas powered vehicles will average around 300 miles on a full tank of gas, and more fuel efficient vehicles getting much higher driving ranges. This can be an issue when looking at EVs if you take long trips. Availability of charging stations can make AEVs less suitable for activities like road trips.

HIGHER INSURANCE PREMIUMS

🔹According to bankrate.com, the average annual premium in the U.S. for a gas car is $1,655. The much higher EV premiums are mostly due to the high purchase price and the high cost of repairs. 

🔹Steve said he shopped around a paid $2,300 a year for insurance his last year of ownership before he sold his EV.

🔹Electric vehicles will generally cost 25%-40% more than a gas car in terms of the insurance. 

CHILD LABOR & ENVIRONMENT CONTROVERSIES

🔹Modern batteries require lithium, which can only be mined in a handful of countries.

🔹There is much controversy about young children being used to hand dig cobalt out of mines for long hours, 7 days each week.

🔹Once mined, this cobalt is used to produce thousands of small cylindrical cells, each of which must be carefully monitored—no trivial matter.

🔹You must add the cost of environmental and crash protection to prevent battery fires.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION

🔹Finding a vehicle inspection could be a challenge.

🔹A quick search across 12 states from California to Texas to Georgia to Michigan revealed EV registration fees to be between $50 to $250.

🔹This is primarily due to there being a tax on gas that is used to pay for new infrastructure. Many states want electric car owners to contribute to providing the services needed.

Random Notes

🔹Electric cars have a low center of gravity due to the placement of the battery pack, so tires can wear down more quickly than on gas-powered cars.

🔹Some EVs have a powertrain that needs to have its fluid replaced at periodic intervals, such as the Tesla Model S.

🔹EVs are especially at risk of battery issues in high and low temperatures. Cold weather can reduce your range in the short-term, while hot weather can reduce the overall battery life of your vehicle.

🔹Because the battery pack is located in the underbody of the vehicle, corrosion can be more damaging to EVs than to conventional cars. Wash off any road salt and other corrosive materials as soon as possible, and keep an eye out for corrosion on the charging port and other electrical components.

Thanks for supporting independent true journalism with a small tip. Dodie & Jack

.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

See below in comment section

A Novel Insect Repellent and More Aluminum Foil Tricks

Herd It Through the Grapevine #6

Insect Repellent

Take note campers and RVers!

Household insects like to hide in dark, creepy places. If you search long enough in your kitchen cabinets, you’ll probably find a few unwelcome visitors. While using shelf liners is a common practice to keep your cabinets clean, aluminum foil is the best shelf liner of all.

Aluminum foil reflects light, which in turn drives away all the creepy-crawly creatures. By lining your cabinets with aluminum foil, you’re creating an environment where no insect wants to live. You’ll keep your kitchen safe from scavenging critters and you’ll keep your cabinets tidy and dust-free.

Frying Eggs Trick


If you’ve always struggled to fry the perfect egg, aluminum foil might be the solution. We learned the value of this from camping. Before frying your egg, measure out a strip of aluminum foil over the pan you want to use. Then, line the inside of the pan with the aluminum foil, pressing down to make sure it conforms to the shape. Once that’s done, fill the aluminum foil with oil and heat the pan.

Cracking the eggs directly into aluminum foil will keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You’ll be able to easily flip and turn your eggs, ensuring they reach the right level of done-ness before taking them out of the pan. Plus, clean up is so much easier! When you’re done cooking, simply ball up the foil and throw it away—no soap needed!

Grease Catcher Trick

Greasy dishes are always a treat, especially if you make them yourself. But while cooking your feast, you’re always faced with the problem of what to do with the leftover grease after your dish is done.

If you toss it down the drain, it can create serious issues in your plumbing line. Instead of risking clogging your pipes, turn aluminum foil into an instant grease catcher.

When your dish is done, line a bowl with aluminum foil and pour the oil inside. Using aluminum foil allows you to quickly get rid of the grease, without forcing it to stick to your dining ware. When the grease cools, simply ball up the aluminum foil and throw it away. It’s that easy.

Stove Burner Protection

Cooking some things on the stove can end with a splash, spill or big disaster. Food gets in the burner and can even damage the stove when it gets on the inside.

To prevent that is, I cut out a piece of aluminum foil paper and line the burner with it. This prevents food from getting on the inside of the stove.

Remember, everyone should know this, aluminum foil cannot go in the microwave, so I always advise anyone that before you put something in the microwave check to see if it has aluminum foil in it. 

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How To Remove Sticky Residue or Stains From Almost Any Surface

Herd It Through the Grapevine #5

Tips, Hints, Secrets & Tidbits From Dodie Dennis

The products below will remove sticky residue.

1. WD-40

2. Peanut Butter

3. Pencil Erasers

4. Margarine

5. Vegetable or Olive Oil

6. Petroleum Jelly

7. Cooking Spray

8. Nail Polish Remover

9. Hand Lotion

10. Furniture Polish

11. Eucalyptus Oil

12. Rubbing Alcohol

13. Tea Tree Oil

14. Hair Spray

15. Baby/Mineral Oil

16. Vinegar

17. Window Cleaner

18. Baking Soda & Water Paste

19. Goo Gone

20. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Actions to Take to Protect Property Damage During Freezing Weather


CleverJourneys offers readers the following tips for preventing property damage during freezing weather:

Before Freezing Weather

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside faucets with Styrofoam cover, rags or paper.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
  • Know where your property owner’s cut-off valve is located and how to use it. Apply oil such as WD-40 to the cut-off valve before operating to prevent the valve from breaking. The valve is located adjacent to the water meter box under a 6″ metal lid.

In Sub-Freezing Weather

  • Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). This is not necessary unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours. (Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.)
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
  • In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines. Water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures.
  • In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets.
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.

If You Are Not Going To Be Home

  • Shut water off at the property owner’s cut-off valve.
  • Drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days (leave outside faucets open).
  • Or, leave home heating system on at a low setting.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

Renters and tenants may be responsible for their personal property damage caused by broken water pipes during severe weather conditions. Residents should contact property management/landlord or maintenance personnel to locate property owner’s cut-off valve and find ways to avoid pipe breakage during a freeze.

Jack Dennis directed Facilities Management for all H-E-B FOOD STORES in the 1980s-90s-2000s. In part, this included overseeing mitigation, prevention, maintenance and emergency operations for retail centers, manufacturing, warehouses, offices and real estate properties.

A Special Message From Jack and Dodie Dennis of CleverJourneys

Big Tech has launched a major assault on Americans’ right to free speech. In their most audacious attack, some of the most powerful big businesses in America joined together to force Parler off the Internet.

Parler, a social media site that rejects Twitter’s censorship policies, had millions of users until Google, Apple, and Amazon deplatformed the entire website, removing it from their app stores and web hosting service.

Americans must fight back against this blatant censorship. While Parler’s working through the courts to get back online, Big Tech continues to silence conservatives and trample our right to free expression.

Fortunately, independent bloggers such as CleverJourneys have found phenomenal growth in reporting what Big Tech try to censor and the “Mockingbird” Media dare not report.

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Join our 837,000+ readers today.

Simply “Subscribe” at the bottom of any article at the “NOTIFY ME…” box.

Some of our most popular articles are JackNotes, executive summaries of books, articles, speeches and other useful information that may save you the expense and trouble of reading the entire publication….or it may spur you on to seek more information from the original source.

We are now rolling out another new feature, Accounts of the Old West as a tribute to Jack’s great, great uncle Charlie Bassett, the first marshall of Dodge City, Kansas…and James Allison Morgan–a cattle driver and cowboy, Jack’s great grandfather. (You thought TV’s ‘Marshal Matt Dillion’ was the first didn’t you?)

We also feature “Top 10 Buzz Trends of the Week” highlighting some of the best posts, memes, and photos on the web the prior week.

Another feature is T.R.A.S.H. (Trivial Relevations of A Sick Human-being), an updated version of Jack’s national and Texas award winning column from back in his Texas State University days.

Remember, we don’t just write news. You will enjoy travel, recipes, lifestyle, humor, motivation, wellness and health, how-to, history, reviews, military, crime, police, heroes entertainment, interviews, fun and so much more.

Dodie has over 38 years in the medical, health and wellness field being a registered nurse. She has trained hundreds in nutrition, prenatal and post natal care, pregnancy, parenting, nursing, and general health. Much of her time was also devoted to immunology and vaccines.

Jack is an award winning journalist, investigative reporter, and author. He was an executive for H-E-B FOOD-DRUGS for almost 30 years, a founder and first elected president of Professional Retail Store Management Association (now CONNEX), life coach and private investigator.

Thank you for your readership and kindly sharing our articles.

God Bless America.

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What is This Creature?

When pests invade your home or business, it’s helpful to know what you’re dealing with, the problems they cause, and how to get rid of them.

Here’s some information on a variety of the most common pests found throughout the United States, with some emphasis in and around Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and nearby regions.

AMERICAN COCKROACH


1 3/8″ – 2 1/8″
Mostly light brown in color, this pest is the largest of the cockroaches in the United States, and is found in restaurants, bakeries, and larger commercial buildings involved in food processing. In homes, the American cockroach enters in search of moisture and food. Therefore, it comes to no surprise they usually infest food storage and preparation areas. Like many pests, the American cockroach produces an unpleasant odor, especially as an infestation worsens.

GERMAN COCKROACHES



1/2″ – 5/8″
This is the most common of the cockroaches. Color is a light brown to tan except for two dark stripes on its upper back. It is not only a nuisance, it has been implicated in outbreaks of illnesses, and has caused allergenic reactions in many people.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH


1″ – 1 1/4″
Color is usually shiny black, but may vary to a dark, reddish brown. They typically enter buildings via door thresholds, utility pipes, and floor drains. Often found in crawl spaces, basements, and on 1st floors, they are despised for their strong, roachy odor.

HOUSE CRICKET


3/4″ – 7/8″
Found throughout the United States. Crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark, warm places during the day. The familiar chirping sound is created by the male rubbing his front wings together. This is his mating call. Crickets seek moisture and tend to damage clothing by eating out large areas of the fabrics.

GROUND BEETLE


1/16″ – 1 3/8″
Color is almost uniformly black and shiny. Often found under stone during the day, a few species even climb trees in search of food. They are a nuisance pest and give off a very unpleasant odor when handled or crushed.

BLACK CARPET BEETLE


1/8″ – 1/4″
Color is dull dark brown to black. Found throughout the United States but most commonly in the northeast. As named, they tend to attack carpeting, drapery, clothes, furs, fabric-covered furniture, and stored products, even food products such as flour and cereals.

EARWIG


1/4″ – 1″
The name comes from an old european superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. They exist worldwide. Color varies from pale brown with dark markings to uniformly reddish brown to black, but with paler legs. They have a repugnant odor which is released when they are crushed. They are a pest in flour mills, meat packing plants, homes, and nurseries.

BOX ELDER BUG


1/2″
As the name reflects, this is a major pest of box Elder trees. Color is black with reddish lines on the dorsum. They are a nuisance pest because they enter structures to live through the winter weather. They may leave a red stain behind on curtains, clothing, and drapes. They can also bite, producing a red welt.

DEER TICKS


1/16″ – 1/8″
Color is orang-ish brown except for the legs, which are typically dark. The adults attach themselves to passing deer, whence comes their name. They carry the Spirochaete for Lyme disease in humans in the northeast and Midwest.

BROWN DOG TICKS


1/8″
When engorged with blood, usually from dogs, these ticks increase in size up to 1/2\”. These pests are almost always associated with dogs but have been termed as vectors for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several other diseases.

HOUSE SPIDER


3/16″ – 5/16″
This is the spider most commonly encountered inside the house, the one that made all those webs. Their color is variable, running from a dirty white to brown, It randomly selects its web sites while looking for prey and, consequently, the webs can be found most anywhere.

REPRODUCTIVE TERMITE


3/8″
This is the \”swarmer\” of the Eastern Subterranean Termite colony. Their color is usually black but may be a slightly lighter brown. Note that it has four wings, all of the same length, which helps to distinguish it from a flying ant whose underwings are shorter than those on top. Their function is to find new sites, mate, and begin new colonies. They are essentially kings and queens.

WORKER TERMITE


1/8″
Color is almost uniformly white or cream. This is the damaging caste of the termite colony. They contain a microbe in their intestines that allows them to ingest cellulose (wood) as a nutrient. They must physically receive this attribute from the queen of the colony. They then feed on wood, and, being blind, they cannot tell your house from a tree.

SILVERFISH


1/2″ – 3/4″
Also known as a bristletail, their color is a silvery satin to gun-metal gray. They are often confused with firebrats which do not have the silvery sheen. They are mostly nocturnal and can be found in tight cracks and crevices. They are paper pests, but will also feed on any meaty protein.

CLOTHES MOTH


3/8″ – 1/3″
Body and wings are a buff to gold, with a brownish tinge. Wings are long and narrow. As the name says, the larvae of the clothes moths infest and feed mostly on woolen clothing and furs, creating holes and voids, leaving tubes and mats with fibers and feces in them. They have also been found infesting milk products. The adults do not feed.

ODOROUS HOUSE ANT


1/16″ – 1/8″
Their color can be brown to black. Their name is due to the rotten odor that emanated when this ant is crushed. They can usually be found around hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks, etc. They love high protein food such as meat and cheese.

CARPENTER ANT


1/8″ – 1/2″
Their color is usually black but occasionally appears in a reddish brown as shown above. Unlike the termite, the carpenter ant cannot digest wood, but it will chew out galleries and hollow places to create nests, resulting in structural damage. They are sometimes evidenced by the appearance of a sawdust-like material with debris in it, including body parts, known as frass.

FLEA


1/8″
Color is brownish black to black, but reddish black when full of blood. Fleas are known to be vectors of disease organisms causing both plague and muring typhus. They can also serve as the intermediary host for tapeworm. They are typically found where animals sleep or frequent.

HOUSE MOUSE


2 1/2″ – 3 1/2″
Smooth, dusty gray fur usually adorns these small rodents, although color can vary considerably from place to place. They often nest in various materials such as insulation, and usually use the same pathways along walls, stacked merchandise etc. Mice prefer seeds or cereals for food. They have been known to spread salmonella disease.

NORWAY RAT


7″ – 9 1/2″
The largest of the common rodents in the temperate regions of the world, it is usually a shaggy brown with scattered black hairs. The fur is coarse with the underside gray to yellowish white. It not only damages and destroys materials by gnawing, it eats and contaminates stored food, and is a carrier of many diseases.

BED BUG


1/4″
Color is brownish. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus 1758) is an ectoparisite insect (a parasite which lives on the outside of the body of the host) of the family Cimicidae. Bed bugs feed only on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Although they have a cryptic behavior and can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, bed bugs are often found in bed parts, such as mattresses and box springs, hence the common name.

STINK BUGS


3/4″
Brown, Gray of Dark Green in color. This insect, notorious for its “smelly” reputation, earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Many other insects have these same characteristics, including some species of ants, beetles and, other bugs. Most stink bugs are herbivorous and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant juices.

RACOON


2’-3’
Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that can live up to 12 years in the wild, and are usually found in wooded portions of the Eastern United States. These omnivorous animals nest in hollow trees, ground burrows, and rock crevices. Raccoons are a carrier of rabies, and pose a threat when they enter homes to den in attics and chimneys.

MOSQUITOES


1/8″-3/4″
Can range in color from a light brown to black. This insect is known for its ability to bite mammals which typically results in itchy light pink bumps on the body. The itch that humans get as a result of a bite is actually an allergic reaction that humans have to mosquito saliva. Since mosquitoes pass from host to host, many harmful infections may be transmitted through them including Malaria, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and Zika Virus. It is due to this that they are actually considered the deadliest animal family in the world.

SQUIRREL


5”-20”
More than 200 species of this commonly recognized rodent exist all over the world, and can be found in a variety of colors such as gray, brown, and black. Squirrels can run up to 20 mph and jump from elevations as high as 20 ft. These rodents become an issue when they seek shelter in homes, where they gnaw on walls, electrical wires, and breed.

POSSUM


2’
Possums are nocturnal mammals that favor secure, dark places, both below and above ground. Possums can reside in attics or under houses, porches, sheds, etc. They are usually found near homes to scavenge on garbage and other containers. Although possums are not aggressive, their large droppings can host various diseases and parasites that are dangerous to humans.

BAT


3/16” to 7 ½”
The most common species of bats found in the United States are the little brown bat, the big brown bat, and the Mexican free-tailed bat, which all feed on various insects. These nocturnal mammals usually live in colonies, taking shelter in dark, secluded areas such as caves and tree cavities. Bats can also be found inside buildings and houses during winter months. This poses serious health issues such as lung disease, due to fungi found in their droppings.

CENTIPEDE


1/8”-5 ½”
As the name implies, centipedes are known for having 100 legs. However, the number of legs can vary from 40 to well over 200. Centipedes are known to prey on other pests within the household; therefore, treatment of centipedes are essential to also address the other pests within the household

CAMEL CRICKETS


½”-2”
Brownish in color, and commonly referred to as “cave crickets” or “sprickets,” camel crickets are wingless, and rather humpbacked in appearance. In a home, they are known to eat clothes, curtains, rugs, wood, wallpaper, and wool.

YELLOW JACKETS


2/5”-3/5”
Yellow and black, having multiple species known for their aggressive nature, yellow jackets commonly nest in structure voids, behind siding, and even underground. Their diet primarily consists of items high in sugar and carbohydrates such as: fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap. Yellow jackets retain their stinger after use, and may sting their victim multiple times.

BALD-FACED HORNETS


½”-3/4”
Similar to yellow jackets, but distinguishable by their white and black coloring and “bald-faced” head, Bald-faced hornets construct basketball sized nests by collecting and chewing naturally occurring fibers. They then take these fibers, and mix it with their saliva, which enables the structure to hold in place. Like yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets retain use of their stinger, and can sting their victim multiple times.

PAPER WASP


¾”-1”
Mostly dark brown in color, with black wings, and yellow markings, the paper wasp obtains their name from the construction of their nests. Paper wasps prefer to feed on nectar and pollen, and even prey on caterpillars they use to feed their colonies’ larvae.

EUROPEAN HORNETS


1”-1 ½”
Brown with yellow stripes on the abdomen, the European Hornet gets its name from the fact it was brought to the United States from Europe. Social in nature, European hornets commonly make their nests in holes in trees, attics, or wall voids in homes. They feed on crickets, grasshoppers, large flies, caterpillars, and the workers of other yellow jacket species. European hornets are known to sting if provoked, and should certainly be avoided.

CARPENTER BEES


1/4”-1”
Black and yellow, or greenish black, with yellowish hairs, known for chewing a 3/8 inch tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery, the female carpenter bee takes advantage of outside wood to lay their eggs and protect their developing larvae. Although solitary in nature, carpenter bees typically nest very close to each other, and if left untreated, can cause a major problem.

CICADA KILLERS


1”-2”
Black, with yellow markings on three segments, cicada killers are solitary wasps that live underground. They commonly live within close proximity to one another, and the many holes can be devastating to a yard. Adult Cicada killers feed on flower nectar and plant sap. Females are often seen carrying a paralyzed cicada, which they take back to their burrow. The female cicada killer then lays an egg on the paralyzed cicada, which hatches and uses the cicada as a nourishment source.

MOLES / VOLES


5”-7” – 5”-7 ½”
Dark brown, brown-gray, tan, or even black in appearance, moles and voles are known for leaving many shallow tunnels and runways throughout a home’s yard. Both pests are quite troublesome. While moles damage your garden while looking for insects, voles actually eat your crops, plants, and flowers.

How ‘Big Rocks’ Can Improve Your Home, RV, Work, Life Experiences

I’m grateful for over 30 years (on and off) of employment with H-E-B Food/Drugs for many reasons. Besides working with awesome Partners (employees throughout Texas and Mexico), I’m especially thankful for the learning and training opportunities that proved so beneficial in life.

Learning and teaching Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma was especially rewarding.

Even today, years after my early retirement, I use these powerful techniques at home, in the RV and with projects.

Eventually earning Six Sigma Black Belt accreditation, I gave presentations across the country at various professional conferences.

At H-E-B, all of my Facilities Management regional offices (for retail stores, gas stations, manufacturing, real estate properties and warehouses) and their field Partners were trained. Some became belt holders of various degrees.

The results in productivity and value were amazing, saving millions of dollars over the years. Efficiency was the name of the game, by destroying waste along the way.

As an introduction to many classes and seminars, I’d present the substantial visual lesson from Stephen Covey’s First Things First “rock parable.”

With a large jar on a table, surrounded by various sizes of rocks, gravel and sand, I’d begin.

“Your life and work has big rocks and little rocks. The size represents the importance and, essentially, what should be prioritized. They all have to fit into your jar.”

I’d pour the little rocks in first and could easily get them all in the jar.

Next, I tried the big rocks, they wouldn’t fit.

Scratching my head, I’d suddenly come up with another idea.  This time I put the big rocks in first. Guess what happened?

Big Rocks always first.

The little rocks naturally fell into the remaining space allotted. I’d follow up with small bits of gravel and sand, representing inconsequential things people worry about, dwell on or spend far too much time on.

The moral of the story: Always take care of the most important stuff first. Always the big rocks! You can fit nearly everything else (that might be valuable and needed) later.

There are many ways to make sure your big rocks stay front and center.

One popular method is the Eisenhower Box or Matrix. I believe in it so much, that my children, now adults, use it naturally in their own homes and careers.

To use it, mark a piece of paper into four equal boxes or quadrants. Write or separate what needs to be done into one of the four boxes. Quadrant 1 will be top left, Quadrant 2: top right. 3: bottom left.

Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important

Quadrant 3: Urgent, but not important

Quadrant 2: Important, but not urgent

Quadrant 1: Urgent and important


It becomes clear “urgent and important” items are your immediate priority.

We get into the most trouble when we confuse “urgent, but not important” with “urgent and important.” 

Live as much of your life as possible in Quadrant 2 activities: Studying, planning, vacationing, reading, exercising, taking your vitamins and medications properly, nutrition, mitigating, improving, resting, learning, organizing and getting rid of waste, etc.

The most successful and happiest people realize that things are always urgent, but if they only focus on the urgent (or what some may consider urgent but in reality, it’s not), the important will never get accomplished.

A common mistake people make in their planning, work and projects, is spending an inordinate amount of time on little rocks.

Imagine how much better your life, travels, and experiences could be if you weren’t so enamored with the bits of gravel. At a certain point–sooner than later–spending your time more on the little rocks, gravel and sand will give you significantly diminished returns.

That inordinate amount of time can have devastating effects on your “big rocks.”  Sometimes it’s better to attend to your true priorities, arrive safely on time or accomplish an important goal, than having a perfect little rock.

In future posts, I’ll present valuable Quadrant 2 type examples and information you can use at home, in your RV, workshop, or office to improve your life.

Follow me here to more tips, hacks and good information.

25 Clever Uses for Rubber Bands

The name “rubber” refers to the ability of the substance to rub off markings.

Here are 25 clever uses for rubber bands.

1. Open a jar. Tight lid? Place rubber band around the edge of it for extra grip.

2. Prevent lockouts. Hook a rubber band around a doorknob, then twist it and slip the other end over the opposite knob to keep the door from latching.

3. Skip paint drips. Secure a band across the opening of a paint can and use it to scrape off excess after dipping a brush into the paint.

4. Enjoy teatime. Place a band around your mug to hold the teabag string in place so the tag doesn’t slip in the water.

5. Perfect a French manicure. Stretch a rubber band across your palm from your thumb to your pinkie. Slip a finger under the band so only the nail tip shows. Paint the exposed part of the nail with polish.


6. Open a Stuck Bottle
Same as #1, but for a simple but effective grip, wrap a thick rubber band around the rim of a jar lid or bottle top and then twist. Plastic wrap and rubber kitchen gloves work well as grippers, too.

7. Prevent a Cutting Board from Sliding
A rubber band wrapped around the board will create enough resistance to stop any counter glide. Safer and easier!

8. Track Ingredient Levels
Have canisters or other kitchen containers that are difficult to see inside? Keep track of how much is left by securing a rubber band around the outside to mark the level of whatever’s inside. This little trick works well for paint containers, too.


9. Keep a Candle (and Wax!) in Place
Candle not quite fitting snugly into its holder? Wrap a rubber band around the candle’s base for a tighter fit. Secure a band a little higher up to stop any wax drips from moving past the candle onto your furniture.

10. ID Wineglasses
Having a party? Put rubber bands in different colors (or even shapes) to good use! These are perfect for slipping around the stems of wineglasses so your guests can tell whose glass is whose. Slip in a flower or other small charm or item as a decoration or party favor.

11. Better Flower Arranging
To help keep flowers where you put them, simply group with rubber bands around the stems.

12. Decorate a Jar or Tin
Wrap multicolored rubber bands around an old can or jar. Use it to hold flowers, pens, or even hardware—whatever you want to contain in a fun way. You can also space out some bands a bit and tuck in little touches such as dried flowers or cinnamon sticks.

13. Easy Curtain Pullbacks
Use a rubber band that matches the color of your curtains to keep them pulled aside.

14. Elevate Your Egg Decorating
If you enjoy dyeing Easter eggs, here’s a simple way to add patterns: Just wrap rubber bands around them before dipping into the dye. Wherever you place a rubber band will remain white. Try stripe and plaid patterns. This trick works for any kind of craft painting as well.

Save $20-$40 with a DIY French Manicure.

15. Hands-Free Phone Holder
Thread a rubber band through the top of your car’s AC vent, then pull it out through the bottom. Secure both ends around your phone at the top and bottom. The bands will hold the phone in place, ready to view for driving directions.

16. The Smartest Packing Technique
The secret frequent travelers use: To fit the most in your luggage without smashing and wrinkling, roll your clothing and secure with rubber bands.

17. DIY Tripod
Crisscrossed rubber bands can fasten your phone to a chair, bicycle handlebars, or wherever you’d like to enable fun photos or video.

18. Protect Books
Whether in your bag or your kids’ backpack, books can get damaged when pages fly open. Keep books closed by wrapping a rubber band around them.

19. Makeshift Splint
Use a rubber band to firmly secure an injured finger to a support you have on hand, such as a stick.

20. Create A Wrist Strap
Flashlight, camera, or other item missing a strap? Simply loop and tie a rubber band to make one.

21. Slow Pumpables for Kids
Pumps that dispense soap, shampoo, and lotion can make it too easy for kids to take too much. To reduce the amount, just wind a rubber band around the neck. This simple step will control how far the pump can move and how much it dispenses—and stop the sink mess.

22. No More Shower Drops
Shampoo bottles and bars of soap can get slippery to handle in the shower. Wrapping a rubber band or two around them will give you a better place to grip.

23. Eyeglasses Prone to Slipping?
Looping a rubber band around the end of each side can help them grip better and stay in place.

24. Hangers That Hold
Wrap rubber bands around the pointed ends to grip and keep tops from sliding off.

25. Get a Little More Give in Jeans
Make the waist of your jeans stretch a little farther by looping a rubber band through the buttonhole and over the button. It’s a great quick fix for early pregnancy months or even just after a big dinner.

Over 40 Uses for WD40

WD-40 Uses:

‘Water Displacement’ Compound.


1.      Protects silver from tarnishing.


2.      Removes road tar and grime from cars.


3.      Cleans and lubricates guitar strings. 🎸


4.      Gives floor that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.


5.      Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters.


6.      Restores and cleans chalkboards.


7.      Removes lipstick stains.💋


8.      Loosens stubborn zippers.


9.      Untangles jewellery chains.


10.    Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.


11.    Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.


12.    Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidising.


13.    Removes tomato stains from clothing.🍅


14.    Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.


15.    Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.


16.    Keeps scissors working smoothly.


17.    Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.


18.    It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen
flooring. It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to
scrub nearly as hard to get them off.  Just remember to open some
windows if you have a lot of marks.


19.    Remove those nasty bug guts that will eat away the finish
on your car if not removed quickly!🐛


20.    Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.


21.    Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on
riding mowers.


22.    Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.


23.    Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.


24.    Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.


25.    Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.


26.    Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.


27.    Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.


28.    Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for
easy handling. 🚲


29.    Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.


30.    Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.


31.    Removes grease splatters from stove-tops.


32.    Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.


33.    Lubricates prosthetic limbs.


34.    Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).


35.    Removes all traces of duct tape.


36.    Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve
arthritis pain.


37.    Florida ‘s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from
grills and  bumpers.’


38.    The favorite use in New York: it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.🗽


39.    WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you
will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than
the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.   Keep
in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing
are not allowed in some states.


40.    Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and
stops the itch. 🐜


41.    It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks
and wipe with a clean rag.


42.    Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed
and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the
lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!


43.    If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the
moisture, allowing the engine to start.


44. Ants don’t like it.🐜