I’M JUST CURIOUS: Mothers Day special to me this year

by Debbie Walker

By Mothers Day this year (May 10) I will be a great-grandmother. It’s funny but it seems like yesterday I was waiting to become a grandmother in this same time period. Deana was pregnant and upset because her baby wasn’t due until after Mothers Day, but her husband would be celebrating his first Fathers Day that year.

Guess what! Babies don’t care about “due dates,” they come when they are ready. You guessed it. Mothers Day Deana had been a mother for about 24 hours. Tristin was born on May 9 that year.

And now it’s another Mothers Day and my daughter will be a grandmother this time. Tristin and Chris will be celebrating their child, Addison Grace, who is due May 1.

In the meantime, I found another book. This one is Humor for a Woman’s Heart, compiled by Sheri MacDonald. It has the chapter titled You Know It’s a Mothers Day When….

  • A delivery man appears at your door with a dozen red roses and he’s not lost.
  • Your children tell you how wonderful you are, and they are not setting you up for an allowance increase.
  • You get served breakfast in bed (up ‘til now the only way for you to get breakfast in bed was to sleep with a Twinkie under your pillow).
  • You get thanked for all the little things Mom’s do throughout the year like cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, saving the universe ….
  • But most of all, you know it’s Mothers Day when your family tells you what a loving, kind, warm-hearted person you are, and no one brought home a new pet!

Another chapter I would like to share with you is 11 Tips to Surviving Swimsuit Shopping. It is fast approaching the time to bite the bullet and go buy a new bathing suit. Here are your tips:

  1. Begin fasting as soon as you set your shopping date.
  2. Select store based on dimness of their lighting.
  3. Get a pregnant friend to accompany you.
  4. Check for suits tagged with bust-enhancing, waist- nipping, thigh slimming features. Ask salesperson to point out section with “all of the above.”
  5. Tell yourself it’s your underwear that’s making the suit look so bulky.
  6. Tell yourself these are “trick mirrors.” You are really much slimmer in real life.
  7. Convince yourself that suits with built in shorts are not dorky. They are chic.
  8. Try on all 17 styles the store carries. head for a dimmer store.
  9. Remind yourself that round is the most aesthetically pleasing shape in nature.
  10. Practice sucking in your thighs.
  11. On your way home with the all-black, waist-nipping, thigh-trimming suit, celebrate by stopping at ye olde ice cream shoppe. Order the banana split. But skip the whipped cream. It is, after all bathing suit season.

Let me know what your thoughts or concerns are at DebbieWalker@townline.org.

You know me, I am just curious. Thanks for reading.

On a more serious note: We are all involved in this health concern, some more than others. Think of others and the help they might need. With people being asked to stay at home there will be more cases of depression. Again, think of others and how you can help.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: A little more cleaning

by Debbie Walker

Hi! For a few minutes let’s make believe you can’t get any of your cleaning products. Oh, my whatever will we do? If this really happened and all you had was kitchen supplies, your home would not be without hope. Think about all those years before we had Mr. Clean and the following generations of cleaners, “the best cleaner ever” can be replaced by vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, alcohol, etc.

I have not tried all these hints and would love it if you would let me know what your “go to’s” are. I remember Mom using some of the household products when I was a child. In fact, I remember her using ammonia and bleach together to strip wax off the old vinyl flooring. That didn’t work out very well, she was quite sick. You can check any one of these hints on the computer.

Streak free window cleaner: 1-1/2 cups water, 1-1/2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1-1/2 rubbing alcohol, three drops essential oil. Pour everything into a spray bottle.

Natural air freshener: You can put a drop of your favorite scent on a cold light bulb. When it is on and heats up, ta-da, air freshener! You could soak a cotton ball in vanilla and put in potted plants throughout your home. If you are into essential oils you can use them as well.

Lightening and whitening, naturally: Soak your whites in a bucket of hot water with lemon juice for a couple of hours then hang out to dry in sunlight.

Use pillowcase to clean ceiling fan: I will be trying this one this week. Use a pillowcase. Slip the pillowcase over the blade, then wipe the dust into the pillowcase. Hopefully this will make it relatively mess-free.

Toothpaste to clean silver: toothpaste, not gel. Rub it on, rinse and let it dry. I plan to try it out on some of my jewelry. I’ll let you know my results.

Remove sticky adhesives with a little oil: Put some olive oil on a cloth and rub the adhesive off.

Clean up for hardwater stains: For shower head, faucet, etc.: Use vinegar to lift stains right off. For extra tricky like shower head, if you can’t get it off just put vinegar in a baggy and seal around shower head. Next morning rinse it off.

Just for a little change:

Did you know you can use your crock pot for a humidifier? Wish I knew this before I bought my humidifier!

I read that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain. I haven’t tried this, but I hope it works.

Did you remember to get a bottle of 91 percent alcohol and a spray bottle this winter? I used it the last winter I was up there, and it worked like a charm on ice and snow, on windows and windshield. Spay on windshield, move around the car spraying windows, side and back windows. Get to your door again, your vision should be cleared.

I’m just curious about how many of these you remembered as your read through them. Happy cleaning! Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Bored? Not me!

by Debbie Walker

Whenever I hear adults or children say they are bored. I just cringe. Bored? I don’t have any idea what that feels like. I have seen Ken, on a rare occasion, when he says he’s bored. It usually means he’s between jobs around the outside of the house or in the garage. It’s probably too late in the afternoon to start a new job and he can’t find anything on TV he cares about. Watching him being bored, it appears to be a very uncomfortable feeling.

My grandkids had a period of time when they learned the word “bored.” The funny thing is I got the opportunity to teach them another new word, WORK. The first time the two of them came to me and said “we’re bored,” I told them I could fix that. I believe they were somewhat excited, thinking I was going to take them somewhere or entertain them somehow. Well, I did see to it that they were busy. I gave them a bucket, some cleaner, a couple of sponges and a broom. I then introduced them to my bathroom and explained that while they were cleaning they would no longer be bored!

As I remember it took two or three lessons. I know one of their jobs was to clean the windows in my van. Although it did take care of their boredom they were really too young and I wound up having to redo them. BUT they had been busy and that was the idea.

I believe the last time I heard the kids speak those horrid words we were in a restaurant. I’ll admit, it was a rather long wait but as I said I really can’t stand those two words. So…….I talked with the waitress in front of the kids and asked if the cooks in the kitchen had a pile of nasty dishes they needed washed and maybe the floor washed. She was gone for a few minutes and returned, all smiles. She told the kids the cook had a stack about three feet high and they would have to take chairs to stand on. They decided they’d just wait for their food.

A few years later I was out with my now 20+ year-old granddaughter and a few other women for dinner. Tristin’s little cousin was with us and she adores Tristin. After we’d been there a while I saw Tristin leave our area and come back with a spray bottle and a rag. She put her little cousin to work cleaning tables and booths. I asked “what’s up?” Her reply was, “Alesia said she was bored, nana, and look your old trick still works!”

I don’t believe my grandmother Bailey was ever bored, nor my mother and I seem to be following in their footsteps. I have mentioned before that I have a gazillion interests. Normally you will find I’m not without something to do (I HATE cleaning!) I have written letters on restaurant napkins and I’ll read just about anything. If I’m not the driver of our road trips I prepare for myself like you would for a child. I will take a pad of paper and pen, the latest couple of books I’m reading, a crossword puzzle book and, of course, I will pick up local newspapers along the way.

If you find yourself feeling bored, ask yourself “Just how bored am I?” Sit with it for a few minutes and see what you come up with for an answer. If you truly can’t figure out anything then get out a bucket, some cleaner, rags and a can of shaving cream. They say if you wash your bathroom mirror with shaving cream the mirror won’t fog up anymore. Enjoy!

I’m just curious what’s on your list of things to do when you think you’re bored(?).

Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Cleaning tips, etc.

by Debbie Walker

Let’s see what I can come up with tonight. This doesn’t mean I have tried them; I am seeing some of them for the first time myself. So let me know what you think?

Do you have any problems with pet hair? It is suggested you get out your hairspray. Spray it onto a clean cloth and run it over in an area of pet hair.

Did you ever get makeup like mascara on your clothes? You guessed it, hairspray to the rescue. Spritz it with hairspray and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse.

Need to remove an ink spot from fabric? Spritz hairspray onto the area. Rub away the stain with a clean cloth. (Tried it, it works!) One I haven’t tried is using hand sanitizer to remove ink.

Spraying a zipper with hairspray may help it to stay up. Let me know please.

Sticky labels or price sticker; spritz a layer of hairspray and wipe it away.

Runs in your pantyhose. Try spraying them with hairspray along the run. (or stop with clear nail polish).

Ever get a razor burn? Place a wet tea bag over the cuts. The tannic acid in the tea works on the inflammation.

Before potting a plant, place tea bags on the drainage holes. They will help retain water and add life to your plant.

Shine your mirror? Brew a pot of strong tea and let it cool. Then dip a cloth into the brew and clean your mirror and buff to a shine.

If you have cooked on food to remove, fill the pot with warm water and drop in a tea bag. The acids help break up the food.

Want to keep your skin soft? Place a few green tea bags under the running water next time you take a bath. The green tea will help with dehydrating your skin.

Ever get a coffee or tea stain on clothing? Wet the area with cold water, put a pea-sized amount of whitening toothpaste on it. Wait minutes then rinse with cold water.

Did you ever hear of soaking a stiff paint brush in a pan of hot vinegar? Do it for about 15 minutes, then wash with dish soap and warm water. Let me know how it works, please.

Fly proof a picnic. Yes, you will have the weather for another picnic eventually! Set out vases of mint and basil down the center of the table. Flies dislike the odor and keep on traveling.

After cooking or cleaning have you had strong smells from your hands? I love this one. Put a dime size drop of toothpaste in each hand, rub together and rinse!

Unscented, hypoallergenic baby wipes make great makeup removers.

Use the baby wipes in your gym bag to clean off exercise equipment.

Clean your keyboard with baby wipes.

Got a bleach spot on your black pants? Use a black permanent Sharpie and try your coloring skills. Now this one I have tried, and it works well. And those markers come in about 50 different colors.

I’m just curious how you do with these new thoughts. Contact me with any questions at DebbieWalker@townline.com. And as usual, thanks for reading. Have a great week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The $100 race

by Debbie Walker

My son-in-law shared a four-minute video with me this past week. The title of it is Life of Privilege Explained in a $100.00 Race. In fact, if you would like to view it on computer just type in the title in your search bar.

The premise behind this race appears to be someone invites (?) these college students to run a race for $100. There is a coach/facilitator who first has a few questions about their background. Before the actual race begins, he has them take a step or two forward depending on the answer about their backgrounds.

There are some who appear to get quite far ahead by stepping to: Take two steps forward if you grew up with both parents in the home. Take two steps if you didn’t get help getting financing school on a sport scholarship. As more questions are asked some stay where they are, and some get quite a head start. At the end of his questions he had the front runner participants turn around to view where the others are behind them. I quote the facilitator here: “We don’t want to recognize that we have….It’s only because you have this big of a head start that you’re possibly going to win this race called ‘Life’.”

As I am watching the video, I am thinking about my first impressions. The facilitator is asking question after question, the people who had what could also be called “advantages” are taking all the steps.

When he had the ‘forward’ steppers turn to look behind them, he also pointed out that the results at this point are only due to what their parents have been able to accomplish, nothing due to themselves.

He also made the comment that if this was a real foot race he believed,”some of those black guys in the back line could have still smoked you.” Also, the reference to a sports scholarship, I wasn’t crazy about either comment. I am not convinced it was necessary.

Giving credit to a past instructor I had in what was a class on critical thinking, there are a few questions I would have to ask. I would want to know who sponsored the race? How were the participants chosen? What were the ages and health of those that were chosen? I am not sure what was the reason for the ‘race’. I’m not nosey. I am just curious.

The short little video’s meaning can be just to point out the differences in students in a college program, to help them understand they are not there due to their own work of bringing in the grades needed to progress or to support some of the contestants in discovering their lack of parental support. I really don’t know for sure, but I know it certainly gave me things to think about and more questions.

Just because I like to point out that not all students are going to benefit in a college degree, I am adding this info that follows: Many people have begun to realize college isn’t for everyone. There are many careers that don’t require college but vocational school certificate. I believe there are still some careers that require apprenticeship training. Just saying….

I am just curious what your opinion of the video would be. Let me know. Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with your comments. Thanks for reading.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The silent abuser

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever been surprised when someone you know ends a relationship because of abuse and you had no idea? It’s hard to believe there was anything wrong because you ‘didn’t see or hear it’. This is the role of the silent abuser.

The silent abuser has had years to wear down the confidence of the abused. When we are told abusive, down grading, negative, and belittling words long enough it becomes real to the abused. That makes the abused weaker and easier to control.

After the surprise you begin to question a few things? Those questions are answered now. Now you know why she never questioned what he said. You understand her lack of confidence, why she had to miss group or couples activities. Many things become clear now.

The definition of ABUSE I chose for this column is: language that condemns unjustly or angrily.

The quiet abuser is always right. The partner’s opinions have no value. They may even be told repeatedly how stupid they are. Even though on the one hand, the abused know these things aren’t true but over time this eats away at their confidence.

I want to add here that his abuse also pertains to our children, maybe even our parents or co-workers. Quiet abuse is possibly in all their communications.

Sometimes this abuse is generations deep. A person may be verbally abused or physically abused as a child. When given the opportunity to get out of the home they jump at the chance. They may be making the next generation of quiet abuser.

One woman says a few people who witnessed the final couple of years of her life asked, “How much longer can you put up with this behavior?” Her answer was “for the duration, she owed him.” As his abusive behavior intensified beyond anything, she could foresee there came a day… The day came when she had to finalize their relationship. It had become a risk for her own health, bordering on breakdown. She found her voice and left.

Because it was a situation of ‘silent abuse’ some family and friends may not understand their separation. They hadn’t witnessed the behavior. Their disbelief may even cause the abused to wonder, “Was it really so bad?” Hell, yes it was!

I spoke to a few people about this and we came up with some of the categories for a quiet abuser: Yelling (is that ever necessary?), silent treatment, isolation (running your family and friends away), roller coaster of emotions (I promise I’ll never do it again) not being allowed to get medical assistance, destroying personal belongings, insults … Sadly, there are still more categories, but I am running out of space to continue.

One thing I did want to mention is the abused will often defend the abuser. Fear of the unknown is often stronger than fear of the known.

I’m just curious if anyone realizes this is the adult version of “Bully.” Please remember this is not a medical report, it is only my opinion. It is also not a reflection on this paper. If you would like to leave a comment or ask a question please contact me at my new email address: DebbieWalker@townline.org.

Thank you for reading. Have a great week.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: And now, equal time for cat information

by Debbie Walker

I promised information about Cats this week. The article I read in Reader’s Digest was just a reminder that I had never done a column on our pets. Okay, I did Dogs last week, cats this week and I’m done. There are so many pets to have in your home now I would never get all the pets included. I am sorry if you feel slighted, that is truly not intended.

I never realized that cats treat humans about the same way they do each other. If you have had cats you may have noticed it, I never noticed. Dogs do treat us differently than each other. One thing I noticed over the years was dogs seem to want to entertain you whereas cats seem like they ignore us much of the time.

The article titled What Pets Want You to Know… by Krista Carothers and Jen McCaffery, tells me Cats like spending time with us. It is said cats would rather spend time with us than other cats or with their toys. I have had one or two over the years that would make you question that comment.

My granddaughter’s cat is letting her know these days that he does not want to be ignored; he wants attention and has developed a special cry to let her know this. I can’t help but wonder if he knows something about her pregnancy that we don’t know. We laughed yesterday and said the cat and baby will know each other by the time ‘Addie’ is born with as much time as Mr. Kitty has been laying on the momma’s belly.

I was interested to read a small paragraph that stated feral cats rarely meow. We had barn cats that pretty much stayed clear of my family. We were just providing their “housing.”

I was interested to know that cats are not always purring to say, “I am happy and contented.” It may mean they are sick or injured. It may be healing for them. It’s no secret that for years we have known their purring can have a healing affect for us.

They say cats can recognize their name. Does she sometimes not come when called. Suck it up, Buttercup, your kitty is probably just ignoring you!

Cats can hold a grudge. They may know you feed them, so be nice to the human. However, they also will remember who sprayed them with the water! Cats can be very unforgiving.

They learn for life. If they have hunted their food as a kitten, they can remember regardless of having spent years inside the home and being supplied with their food.

Kitties can be like humans in the idea of seeking attention. Your kitty can learn “I have been cute and am not getting the attention I seek, here let me do …… I will get her attention one way or another.”

A cat will likely feel less stress if they have their cozy, small places in the home.

It happened again. I ran out of writing space. I hope you are curious enough to pay close attention to your kitty to see what you might learn from them. Enjoy your pets whatever your choice might be. Contact me with questions or comments at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Doggy information

by Debbie Walker

I don’t know how many columns I have written, and I just recently realized I have never written anything about our pets. So… here goes:

I came across the most recent Reader’s Digest and it has a great article about dogs and cats titled What Pets Want You to Know.

A professor from British Columbia stated that our average dogs have the mind equivalent to our 2 – 2-1/2 years old child. The average dog can understand about 165 words. They are better with words about things (ex: a favorite toy) as opposed to ‘emotion’ words (good dog).

Before your pup is six months old, they should have met 150 people and they suggest 50 different places (I don’t go to that many!). They should try out different environments, be familiar with different sounds and sights. Dogs that don’t, can grow up fearful and aggressive.

We all know our dogs have different barks. Our dog, in the middle of the night, alerts us to her concerns with the bark. There is no question that she is alerting us. There are also barks that tell you the dog is lonely. The barks may be a single string of barks with pauses.

Dogs also have their own version of body language; they provide you with clues as to what they want. (Ex: pawing at bottom of sofa to alert you there is something under the sofa that they want.)

Dogs are very aware of your stress or tension. Many dogs will feel that tension and can in fact react with aggression. Our energies affect the people around us, don’t think for a minute it doesn’t affect your pet.

Have you ever wondered why dogs chase their own tails? It can be itchy; they can be reverting to their predatory nature or they are just bored. It can also be a compulsive disorder.

When you come home and find your dog has made a mess and she tucks her tail and looks ashamed. She’s just afraid of your anger, guilt is not part of her makeup.

Dogs don’t feel guilt, but they do get jealous. If you have a dog, you know this.

If your dog has light colored or white fur, they have a higher chance of being deaf in at least one ear. The gene that causes the white coat is associated with deafness, just as is blue eyes.

Little dogs have shorter, more frequent dreams than the bigger breeds. This is proven by brain scanning just like with us.

There are studies that have shown some dogs can detect cancer just as there are some who know when a diabetic is going to have a problem.

For those who don’t know there are some wonderful websites of dogs and their antics as well as other animals. They can be very entertaining on these cold snow and ice filled days and evenings.

We have a dog in our house. She is a Walker Hound and Boxer mix. She has been a wonderful friend. She talks. If she wants something, she will carry on quite the conversation. I love it.

I’m just curious about your pal. I would love to hear your stories. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. Thank you for reading. Have a great, healthy, and happy week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: For my garden

by Debbie Walker

(Something a little different)

In the garden of my life there are many colored plants. I choose mine because of my attraction to their colors or combination of colors. I plant mostly perennials because they are always there, even when they are resting and waiting for the next blossoming period. Sometimes friendships are like that. You get to communicate regularly and then you don’t get to for a while but you still know your friend is there when you bloom again or when they do. Life gets in the way sometimes and we don’t always get to tend them as we should but when we can they will be right there where you knew they would be.

To grow a full and beautiful garden it takes a little gentle care, patience, love, attention and some understanding. You have to understand that things will happen and they will have to do their own thing from time to time. Sometimes no matter how closely you tend them a plant might look a little pale or tired no matter what you do to keep them tended and you may never really know why. But with patience they will usually return no worse for the wear and maybe sporting just a little different hue of color that will just add to the garden.

The perennial garden is the best because you don’t have to hover over the plants. You don’t have to worry about the weather affecting them, if it is rainy or dry they will still be there. Sometimes they fade off for a while but they will be back in full bloom when their sun shines and they are watered again. Sometimes you might get a little busy and you over look the garden for a little while but at soon as you check in on it and give a little care it will be back in full bloom.

Some friends are more like annuals, they seem to have a season and then they are gone. You plant them with the same care and you tend them the same as the perennials but for whatever reason in nature they only stay in your garden for a period of time. I guess with friends it is whatever time either you or they may have the need, sometimes you don’t even know whose need it really was. They come in beautiful colors but then after a while they just seem to slowly disappear, one by one. Sometimes maybe it is because we needed them in our life or they needed us in their life but either way it can be a beautiful thing if only for a season. Annuals have their purpose in the garden of life as well. And sometimes maybe it’s so you will know to appreciate your perennials more.

I’m just curious if you are tending the flowers in your garden. This was just to thank you for keeping me in your garden no matter what the weather or the season.

Questions or comments, just catch me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Simple home remedies

by Debbie Walker

I’ve been told before to “question what you read. Don’t just accept it as fact.” This column today would be one to question.

The information contained here was sent to me as an e-mail quite a while ago. I don’t remember who sent it to me nor do I have any idea where it originated. I got a kick out of it, and I thought maybe you might too. I’ve added a few comments of my own.

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop. (Unless you suffer from high blood pressure, then See #3.)

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat and not putting it back by using the sink. (Is this not a problem in most every home? Ladies I would use a strong cleaner in your sinks daily after this info passes to all male readers!)

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to set the timer. (As far as I’m concerned this beats the days of the leaches, that person who used to bleed people with leaches years ago. I’m sure it was easy to get leaches in the summer. Just stand in the lake or river. When you come out just remove them all from your body, do this as many times as needed – be careful of their own blood pressure. But I am curious what they did for leaches in the winter.)

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you’ll be afraid to cough. (Just to be on the safe side if you choose to use this remedy I’d suggest some adult diapers. But, just today, I read to put Vicks on the sole of your feet, not on your chest to get rid of a bad cough).

A mousetrap, placed on top of your alarm clock. This tip will prevent you from rolling over and going to sleep after you hit the snooze button. (You’ll have to get up and go ice your fingers. Not a great way to start your day. Might be a great way to get a teenager to get out of bed in the mornings. Child abuse, maybe?)

You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and Duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape. (Last summer my leg brace had a real squeak to it. Steve, our contractor, told me if I didn’t have WD-40 I could always use Pam cooking spray! He said it might dry out quicker but it would smell better!)

If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem (or maybe plumbing problem. Speaking of plumbing, did you know if you put the handle of a plunger in the ground and the plunger part is up you now have a drink holder? Oh and to decorate the handle, use cammy duct tape!).

Remember: everyone seems normal until you get to know him or her.

Okay those are a few simple (useless) solutions. But I have a couple of questions. Who and how did someone figure out to use Preparation H for puffy eyes in the morning? Who and how did someone discover you could clean your toilet with denture tablets or alka-seltzers? Those are only a couple of my questions. And people wonder why “I’m just curious!” There may be some things I’m just better off not knowing.

I’m just curious if you know there is more where all this stuff has come from!