I’m Just Curious: Safe summer fun

by Debbie Walker

It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when children want to play in the water. It is always intended to be wrapped up in fun and hopefully some learning.

Children reach a certain skill level in the water. It is somewhat different with each child even if they attended the same classes.
Please remember that children are never completely safe. They still make the wrong choices sometimes, even your teens (even adults sometimes!)

Part of all this I know because I was mom and dad’s water rat child. I loved the water, still do. There was one day when my cousin and I decided to see how far we could swim, we could swim out and then come back. We had gotten to the lake, across the road from my home, without knowledge of either mother. (We were tweens at this point) We were lucky that day. We thought turtles were nipping at our toes and we headed back to shore. Had it not been for the turtles (?) we might have stroked till we went as far as we could and might have used up our strength, oh maybe, mid-lake. There was no raft, etc. to rest on, just the other half of the lake. It might not have turned out well for us.

Please parents, grandparents and friends, remember children of all ages need careful supervision. Don’t rely on them hollering for “Help.” Drowning is usually ‘silent’ despite what some folks think. Please don’t leave them even for a minute. It’s just not safe.

I’m just curious if you would be comfortable asking me any water safety questions. I’m here at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I would like to tell you that we will be starting a new column: “IN CASE YOU WONDERED.” The plan is for it to be about a favorite subject of mine and I hope you will enjoy it. I am doing it on ‘uses’ of ordinary products used for surprising results. Some of it will be me answering questions others ask about the uses, feel free to e-mail me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with any questions you may have or any odd-ball uses of things that you have found in the past. Lately one that surprised me was using “glow-in-the-dark” nail polish to mark a light switch that is difficult to find in the dark. It works! I found the nail polish on Amazon. I am going to paint my nails with it to show my little first graders tomorrow! (Some days I just have too much fun!)

I am hoping you will be looking for it every other week. Oh, and don’t forget we have an online version of The Town Line. You can read current copies and past columns in the archives.

Hope you enjoy the paper and your summer!

I’m Just Curious: History of a few clichés

by Debbie Walker

You know I have purchased some rather unique books. Tonight I dug out The Dictionary of Clichés because I wanted to look up an old saying.

A couple of times recently I have caught myself saying “Between you and me and the fence post …” I looked it up and found it! It does read “between you and me and the bedpost/gatepost/four walls/lamppost.” It is the long version of “in strictest confidence”. It’s usually followed up with gossip!

“Add insult to injury” means to make harm worse by adding humiliation. The saying is traced all the way back to a Greek fable.

“Ass in a sling” – to be in deep trouble. The saying was common about 1930. The ass referred to is not the animal but the term for buttocks.

“In one fell swoop” – A single operation. Goes all the way back to Shakespeare. Vultures attacked chickens in “one fell swoop.”

“At one’s beck and call” – Required to tend to someone’s wishes. The word “beck” only lives on in this cliché. It meant a mute signal or gesture of command (nod of the head or pointing your finger).

“At the drop of a hat” – at once without delay. It comes from the dropping or waving a hat as a starting signal for a race, prize fight or other event.

“Bad penny always turns up” – unwanted or worthless object or person is sure to return. It’s written in several languages. It’s dated back to when pennies were maybe made of inferior metal.

“Baker’s Dozen”– Thirteen. There was a law passed in England in 1266. It specified exactly how much a loaf of bread should weigh and put a penalty for shorted weight. Bakers protected themselves by giving their customers 13 loaves.

“Bane of one’s existence”- One’s ruin or misery. The earliest meaning of the noun bane was “murderer.” Sometime later the meaning was “poison.” Now, dating back to 1500s, it means an agent of ruin.

“Barefaced liar”- a shamelessly bold untruth. It means bold-faced or brazen but it is believed in the 16th century it meant “beardless.”

I wanted to leave a little room here to add a little info about nail polish:

Don’t shake it to mix, roll the bottle between your palms. Shaking puts in air bubbles that can muck up your job.

There is a way to dry the nails quicker. Spray aerosol cooking spray to coat nails from about six inches. Wait a few minutes and rinse. Sally Hanson also has top coat called Insta-Dri. It is wonderful, I love it!

Dab nail polish on screws in eyeglasses to keep them secure.

OK I used up my words for the night. Hope all is well with you. I’m just curious what we’ll learn next! Contact me with comments or ideas at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Next.

I’m Just Curious: Finger nail polish uses

by Debbie Walker

A monster has been created! I have some great books about “Amazing Uses” and I was not going to go with that info for another week. I was going to give you a break but… then I came across uses for Nail Polish.

First I have to tell you I have been introduced to “glow in the dark” nail polish. I have had nail polish that changed color in the sun and that was fun for a while, however it was a little limited in its uses.
One of the first things I came across in my “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things” (Published by Reader’s Digest). “Nail Polish Around the House.” In this chapter I was introduced to a new (to me) concept.

I did not know there was such a thing and I have always loved nail polish. How did I miss it! Oh yeah I’m excited now! I got on the computer to start my search. I do like Amazon (it’s where I get most of my books) and it didn’t let me down. I found it! As yet I have not received it but when I do I will let you know if it was worth the hunt!

Now let me tell you some of the uses for it:

Paint your remote volume button or any button you hit wrong in the dark.
Polish a mark on your keys and keyholes to find in the dark.
Polish a difficult to find in the dark light switch.

You can mark other things with regular polish:

I am going to mark my shower dial instead of using the trial and error for water temp.
Decorate and/or seal an envelope with nail polish. It doesn’t even melt with steam from boiling water!!
Turn rocks into pretty paper weights. My brother would have loved this!
You can tarnish proof costume jewelry with clear nail polish. I’ve been doing this for years because I love my junk jewelry!
Dip ends of shoe laces in polish to prevent fraying. Let dry overnight.
Oh yeah, fix the run in panty hose to keep it from traveling.
Get rid of warts. Cover with polish. Keep doing it until there is no more wart. I have seen this one work.
Polish thread on buttons to prevent fraying.
Mend holes in window screens.

All of these odd uses I have printed for three weeks don’t even put a dent in the other Amazing Uses. Are you tired of this info? Let me know please. It will help me to keep you reading!

I would like to be better late than never with my feelings of honoring veterans that have passed. They gave us the freedoms we have today. I also try to honor all veterans. If I can tell someone is a veteran I like to shake their hands and thank them for their service. I am always amazed when they say they would do it all again. I do feel bad that it is not easy to know who the female veterans are but I want you to know I honor you.

I’m just curious what subject I will find interesting next. Do you have any thoughts on what you might be interested in reading? Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Help.

I’m Just Curious: Amazing uses, Part 2

by Debbie Walker

I promised more uses for Lemons, I also found more of the salt, baking soda vinegar, olive oil and Lord only knows what else I have coming. I swear this stuff finds its way to me! True confession is that I haven’t used all these “uses”.

Keep lemons at room temp. it’ll give you more juice. Even better roll, with some strength, the lemon between your hands and counter top. Had not heard this one before but one teaspoon lemon juice, one teaspoon honey, one cup, it’s supposed to keep your digestion moving, drink every morning. Whiten teeth with half a teaspoon lemon juice, half a teaspoon salt, one cup warm water. Dissolve salt into water; add lemon juice, swish in mouth for one minute, then rinse.

Get rid of old bumper stickers, soak a rag in full strength white vinegar, saturate the sticker, let stand 10 minutes then scrub off. Wipe down windshields with full strength white vinegar. It will remove old bird droppings. Pour full strength white vinegar into spray bottle, spritz over exposed skin and clothing to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Discourage patio weeds from growing between pavers by pouring baking soda into spaces. Eliminate greasy stains in the garage by pouring baking soda on stain; dip brush in water and use it to scrub. Freshen up your car by sprinkling baking soda over seat and floor mats. Let stand overnight then vac it up.

I found this section of another book and I found it interesting:

Bottles for Boots: One liter and other sized plastic bottles are perfect for propping up leather boots. (I already bought things for my boots. Wish I had seen this before!)

Dryer lint: lint you have cleaned out of the dryer you can use as kindling for a fireplace or wood stove.

Guitar pick? Need one? Instead of buying, substitute the plastic fasteners on bread bags. Let me know if it works.

Tennis balls: throw a few old tennis balls into your pool; they will absorb oil from sweat and sunscreen.

Tire pool: You may not have to hunt for a pool. Instead of buying wading pool you can use a big truck tire. Just drape a shower curtain over the tire. Push it down in the center.

Packing peanuts: they last forever so use them in the bottoms of your plant pots for drainage and it makes the pot a lot lighter to handle than rocks.

Just a note: between two and five percent of what we throw away each day is potentially reusable.

Plant food: water from boiling potatoes and pasta. Even the water from a fish tank is reusable, has its own fertilizer!

Okay, I am running out of words so I will finish this by asking you if you would e-mail me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Uses. Let me know what you tried and how it worked out: Because you know I’M JUST CURIOUS!

see Part 1 here!

I’m Just Curious: Amazing uses

by Debbie Walker

I bought a book (yup another crazy book!) of 501 Amazing Uses for Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, Olive Oil & Lemons and wanted to share some of it with you.

SALT: Almost every food is improved with the addition of salt. Salt is also used to preserve food. Salt has also been used successfully as a cleaner; its slight abrasiveness without scratching makes it perfect for some cleaning. It also has a use as an antiseptic.

One of the uses I had not seen before is to prevent frost from developing on inside of windows. Wipe windows inside and out with one part salt to eight parts water applied with lint-free cloth.

Keep line-dried clothing from freezing. Add a small amount of salt to the final rinse cycle.

Lay out an ant barrier. Spread a 1/8-inch thick line of salt along window ledges and doorways where ants commonly enter.

VINEGAR: It has numerous uses as a preservative, a condiment, a healing agent and a cleanser.

A teaspoon of white vinegar might fix a recipe that you added too much salt to.

Reduce gassy effect from beans by adding one tablespoon white vinegar to water while cooking.

Degrease the stovetop. Equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray stovetop and wipe clean.

Remove stickers with full strength white vinegar to the sticker with a paint brush or cotton ball, let stand 60 minutes. Scrape off.

There are many more uses for these products, but I don’t have room to put them all here. I got my book through Amazon.

OLIVE OIL: Where in the world is Asia Minor, I don’t remember that from our geography class! But it’s one place where olives are grown. It can be used in foods, personal care, natural remedies, home maintenance and cleaning.

Store olive oil in a cool, dark place to last longer. Make sure to keep it in a container that won’t let light in. Both light and heat will cause it to deteriorate.

There are all kinds of food uses but one use I liked was to add a teaspoon to a pot of water to prevent it from boiling over! (I also know that a wooden spoon across top of pan somehow stops the water from boiling over.

BAKING SODA: Of course “baking” soda is used a great deal for cooking although it has many other uses. Useful in labs, medicine cabinets, an effective antacid, soothes irritated skin and insect bites. Around the house it can be a cleaning agent, deodorizer, stain lifter and a polishing agent. It can be used for brushing teeth, baths and even an aftershave (?).

The book didn’t list many hints other than in their description. But most of what I am aware of is using baking soda in a paste form.

LEMONS: uses in the kitchen for cooking and for cleaning. They have an antiseptic and preservative, deodorizer, bleach and disinfectant and the list goes on and on!!

Hate to do this but I have run out of space. Next week I will add to this. I hope that is OK with you.

I’m just curious if you like this stuff like I do! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Lemons next. Thank you for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Victorian America

by Debbie Walker

A while back I added a book to my collection of odd books. This one is Manners and Morals of Victorian America. I love reading this stuff and I enjoy sharing them with you.

In 1868 it was said that Americans were too grave a people. We make business the “be-all and end-all” of life. We laugh too little. Work is better when there has been some level of recreation.

I always wondered why men are expected to remove their hats when they enter a building but a woman is not. It has to do with the difficulty of rearranging the hat of a woman (info from 1889).

A man when visiting should keep his hat in his hand. This will show your host that you’re not there for a meal (1875).

Chaperones: They come in one of three age brackets – marriage, parental or doting age (maybe the proverbial old maid) (1906)

Chaperones are the shepherds. She must lead her charges, properly and safely. She’s to keep her eagle eye on her charge to prevent her from committing indiscretions at a debutants ball (1910). (And our kids complain about their freedoms!)

Children: Some people prefer children to dogs because a license is not required for children (1910). Women used to (1910) like to grow the hair of their sons, much like a female child. The mother is encouraged to cut the hair when the son is 6-8 years old so they can grow manly.

Driving: Hold your emotions in check. It is wrong for the motor passenger to express emotion of any kind, either by facial contortion or bodily wriggling (1910). Guess they wouldn’t approve of road rage!

In 1906 when you got a car you wouldn’t be stingy. You were to allow the neighbors a smell of it!

Weapons—If you are going to drive alone on the highways and byways it might be advisable to carry a small revolver (1909).

Story telling (1883) never make yourself the hero of your own story.

Never punish your child for a fault to which you are addicted yourself.

A lady’s first marriage refusal: It is not always necessary to take a lady’s first refusal as absolute. She may reconsider.

The offer of a man’s heart and hand, is the greatest compliment he can pay her, however undesirable to her these gifts may be (1838).

A man should not court a girl, nor ask her to become his fiancée unless he can support a wife. To marry on nothing at all is very foolish, and seldom results happily (1910).

Refusing an offer of marriage: In refusing, the lady ought to convey her full sense of the high honor intended her by the gentleman, and to add, seriously but not offensively, that it is not her wish at this time.

Okay, I hope you enjoyed Victorian America!! There is a lot more of it, however, I will finish now. I’m just curious how you would handle these situations.

Thanks for reading! Contact me with questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I’m Just Curious: “911” called

by Debbie Walker

I love it when things happen in daily life and it turns out to give me the next week’s column. That’s what happened on Thursday, April 27.

Ken and I were coming back to Burnham from Waterville; there was nothing unusual about that. I heard my cell phone making a noise, usually that wouldn’t be unusual but it wasn’t ringing and I heard someone talking. I picked it up and spoke into it. There was a voice saying it was the 911 operator.

My phone had called 911 all by itself. Oh, I felt so bad because I know how busy these people are with real emergencies; I didn’t want to waste their time.

I was ready to end the call so the woman could go on to help a real emergency. What I didn’t think of was this woman needed to make sure I wasn’t her next emergency. We verified where I was at the time, my name, my address and was anyone telling me to say I was “okay?” I was able to assure her that we were fine and I apologized again for my phone’s bad behavior.

We rode the rest of the way home without any more incidents. Things were normal for the rest of the afternoon and evening until… There was a knock on the door. It was after dark and neither of us had any idea who it might be. So Ken went to the door and opened it. He was quite surprised to see the smiling face of a Waldo county sheriff’s deputy looking back at him.

This was a follow-up visit to the afternoon’s phone call with the 911 operator. I was so surprised; I didn’t expect a follow-up visit. But I did understand the concern for safety.

Today this was a funny situation but I am sure that is not what these people deal with daily. Their caller could actually be in a life or death situation and desperately need help.

I was told that cell phones often call 911. From what I was told people usually just hang up without talking to the operator. When an operator calls back (part of the job) that number people very often will not answer the call. I don’t know if that is because of embarrassment or bother.

The job these operators have is very serious and I would imagine rather stressful. I certainly didn’t want to add to anyone’s stress. I know this would not be a job for me; I admire them.

I’m just curious if you ever had this experience? Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: 911

Thanks for reading.

I’m Just Curious: How about if… (part 2)

by Debbie Walker

Recently we printed “How About If”…. I didn’t realize it was going to be renamed “Part 1”. Dr. Suske (33 years Waterville Osteopathic/Inland Hospital) from China sent me an email with more “How About If…” and he gave me permission to share them with you. (ta da – part 2)

How About If…. we are a one language country. We have folks from all over the world. Why do we have to deal with the Spanish language? First I thought okay, our country does butt up to Mexico, Spanish speaking country; however we also butt up to French speaking Canada. Let’s not forget the people here who are Italian, German, etc. and let’s really not forget Native Americans. Again “How About If” we have two languages, English and Sign Language.

How About If…. we welcome and support “legal” immigrants. The people who can and want to work and they will become a strong part of our economy by also paying taxes to support their new home.

How About If….we review our priorities. Our educational system is always being hit to save tax monies. Where are the people we have to rely on for these decisions? We still need to cut down on their spending! (We have governors, senators, Congress and all in between and higher offices that I would like to get a look at their expense accounts).

How About If….. the health care system when presented to us already has from the president on down the government pay scales enrolled in such. The “power” people would then have a vested interest in having a system that may work for us all.

How About If….. all the people who have no problem with the “Pledge” and prayer in our schools spoke up and said, “What the heck,” who did that really hurt? Add a patriotic song and I believe you will be surprised to see the power rise. By using these simple tools we could bring back pride in our country from the little guys up to our elders, those who risked their lives to give us those rights.

Okay now this one is a really big one; How About If…. we start using Common Sense! Of all the “senses” known to man Common Sense is the least used! Encourage those you have influence with to rely and work on their common senses.

I admit that I am naïve about a lot of things; I write simply and often just leave a comment for you to think about. These things are my opinion that I share. With the responses I have received (especially Dr. Suske) I see that I am not alone.

I’m just curious what your thoughts are on some of these things. Thank you for reading and sharing your insights. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, sub: How about if….

Note: Thank you for sharing Doctor! Have a safe trip home.

I’m Just Curious: Remember to RELAX

by Debbie Walker

Do you know how to relax? Do you give yourself permission to relax? If you read the dictionary you will see definitions like: make less strict, or severe; to release from intense concentration; give rest to; to rest from effort, etc. and it continues. So did you relax this weekend? Can you do it? My Mom rags on me a bit because I am not very good at it. I do explain that I think when my mind goes into high gear there is no relaxing. Seems like if I even get close to relaxing that is what happens.

For some years I had trouble even going to sleep at night. Just as soon as my body started to kick back my mind would go into high gear. When some people were counting sheep to go to sleep I was writing more stories, designing clothes in my mind, coming up with different craft projects to work on, etc. On those nights I learned to get up and write till…….

When my grandson, Mark, was giving his mother and father fits about going to sleep at night I was able to help a little. Mark, since he could hold a pencil, has been an artist. He would explain to them he needed to get up and draw something before he forgot it. He really wasn’t trying to put one over on them; he needed to put it on paper while it was so strongly on his mind. So they started to let him, and it worked out fine. He was able to relax.

I found a little inspiration piece, I believe it had been in a Woman’s World magazine some years back. It is about relaxing:

“It’s okay to relax! Admit it: you work too hard, or worry too much, or both! Plus you tend to put yourself last. So taking it easy is probably not on your to-do list. But it should be! You’re long overdue for a break. So give yourself permission to spend time on you. You’ll feel so much better once you do!”

We all go through times where we are stressing about things in our life that we can’t fix right now. We really need to come up with something for each of us that works to help us relax. For some people that may be their faith. It may be music for you. Whatever works for you.

There is one thing about “taking care of yourself” that is very important. If you really want to be able to function and be at your best you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise there is nothing to help others with. I hope you have this all under control already; maybe this is just a little reminder.

Okay, I’m just curious as usual! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: How about if ..…

by Debbie Walker

I don’t usually spout off about the following things but every once in a while…

How about if ..… taxpayers’ money are no longer used to fund world catastrophes. If people in this country want to donate to those causes let them write out their own personal checks. If taxpayers’ money are going to be used for any catastrophes let it be the ones right here in the states like the recent tornados. There would be more money to help these people or more money for our kid’s schooling and elders’ medications.

How about if….. we stop putting out money for stupidity? As far as I know there is no way to predict a line of tornados hitting anywhere. However, when we have hurricanes come into the same areas time after time creating the same devastation why do insurance companies even consider paying for people to rebuild on the same land. New Orleans is a great example of that one. Most of New Orleans is below sea level. Does it make any sense whatsoever to rebuild on those properties “hoping” the new sea walls won’t weaken in another storm in years to come? Wanna bet on that one happening?

How about if….. we stop all the fuss and ta-do about “illegal” immigrants? The primary word, illegal, says it all. If they don’t come here legally, they get sent back to wherever they came from instead of taking them under a wing already over-burdened. I totally admire a man in Ohio, Sheriff Rick, of Hamilton, Ohio, Google him on the internet, it’s entertaining. Sheriff Rick is a fair man but if you’re illegal in his county you’ll be treated as such. He sends you back home.

How about if….. we stand up and say enough is enough. Who are we trying to make happy? We’ve taken God out of school and multiple facilities. Why? Who did it really hurt? So if there was a prayer time, pray to whoever is your higher power, if you’re atheist, read a book! If you are in our schools and don’t speak English go back to your home learn English and then come back. Our school budgets are being cut everyday. I heard there is a need for Spanish speaking teachers. In previous generations did we provide French, German, Italian, etc., speaking teachers. I don’t think so. Come on, some common sense.

I’m not a harsh person, but things are completely out of hand here. I may appear to have over simplified in this but I only am allowed so many words. Have you ever heard it said, “Some things are as clear as the nose on your face.” Sometimes the simplest things get over complicated. How about if…. We quit wasting money on things that just don’t make sense!

I’m just curious when the powers that be are going to start using common sense, at this point I am hoping President Trump will maybe shake things up for the better before he is done. I am willing to give him time.

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, subject line: How About. Thanks for reading!