I’M JUST CURIOUS: I’m back in Florida

by Debbie Walker

I am back in Florida and the weather is no better here than there. But I do miss that lake view.

While I was up there, I picked up a brochure for Sebasticook Region Land Trust to look at. It is what they called their Spring Newsletter 2022. It’s what they refer to as Speaker Series and Events. This one still has August and September events listed. August is named “Waterways & Connections”, Saturday, August 6, is Live Walk for Connor Mill. August 17 another Live Walk called Nature Immersion Walk. September is called Forest Revitalization with another Live Walk and a Zoom presentation called Coyotes, America’s Song Dog.

That’s only two months of activity but think of all the months you have been keeping any group activities at a distance. These are outside entertaining exercises and education at very low risk. With all the nastiness going on in the world right now wouldn’t it be nice to surround yourself with such beautiful land? These things show us a positive side of life. What better for healing us all.

While I was in Maine, I did spend some time with several “interesting” people. They made me realize my activities are quiet compared to theirs!

What do you say to someone who got out of bed, naked, grabbed a gun and headed out the door to the back 40, chasing after a fox trying to get to the proverbial hen house? No luck but at least she didn’t get chilled!

Then the next one pipes up to tell us about last November. It was after dark, and he was also naked (wife was laughing quite hard now). He claimed he heard someone by his hot tub outside, digging. He, too, took of running out around the house, naked, BB gun in hand. He was up against a muskrat headed back to his new winter home. The man got off three shots before the muskrat fell over right at his entrance of his almost new home.

Okay, that is the best I can do, there are one or two more “characters” I met. I do remember their being some interesting people as I was growing up in Maine. Not much has changed, I guess.

Recently, I fell in love with a new magazine called Mary Jane’s Farm. In it was an article written by Cindy about “Butter the Size of an Egg”. It is about old-time measurements for cooking. It wasn’t until late 1800s that we began standardized cooking measurements. I am going to share some of the older measurements. There may be more listed on a site called “Home Cooking” on About.com but here is what I have:

1 Jigger = 1.5 oz.
1 gill = ½ cup
1 teacup = a scant ¾ cup
1 coffee cup = a scant cup
1 peck = 2 gallons, dry
1 pinch/dash = picked up between fingers
½ pinch = picked up by thumb and finger.

I know you are aware that I find strange things interesting.

I’m just curious what stories you could tell! Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org. with any questions or comments especially if you want to share your story. Have a great week and thank you for reading.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: I’m back!

by Debbie Walker

I am back! This was the longest I have ever been sick with anything and it was NOT Covid. It was a really nasty flu that lasted weeks. What I didn’t realize, I was so making things worse. It was one of those deals you are too sick to even try to see a doctor and too stubborn to go when my daughter wanted to take me (I have learned a lesson). Just too sick to want to move.

What I wasn’t even thinking about, nor anyone else, was my prescription medications. That is how to “add insult to injury” of a situation. I really made myself much sicker for longer.

I learned not to be so stubborn (stupid) and realize the daughter very often is smarter than the mother. I also learned that someone else should always know your medication routine. I would suggest giving someone dependable a paper that has all your medication information. How you take each and when. Name of doctor and phone number for each one. These plans before any illness may save a life someday. You can consider this my latest PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

The day before I got sick, May 2, Twodles (Two doodles) birthday party for my great-granddaughter. What a “splash”, literally! There was a bounce house and water slides for all different skill levels! It was quite a day! I loved watching Addi learning what to do in a bounce house.

Twodle’s I learned is the second birthday Mickey and Mini Mouse style (her latest favorites). Mickey, Mini and the show is all very different from what I remember years ago. You have to watch to believe.

Miss Addison Grace is now two years old with an amazing vocabulary. You can have a real conversation. Amazing. Numbers, colors, animals, alphabet and loves books! (I hope to remember to put in a picture.)

As soon as I could fly I got a flight and came to Maine for recuperating at a good friend’s cottage on Unity Lake. It has been wonderful, the weather perfect I have been visited by many friends and family.

My sister and brother-in-law brought up everything necessary for a clam boil for lunch one day. He had dug the clams and he did all the cooking! What a way to get pampered!!

One Saturday morning, I read a children’s story to little ones at the library in Unity. I love to dress in some silly outfit for the reading. It is fun watching the kids, ages 3 -6 years old, reactions as I read them some funny story. I think they enjoyed as much as I did.

Fireworks! While everyone was hunting for fireworks to watch, I had my own private showing at the cottage. Cottages on the other side provided me with the entertainment! I had the best view, from inside and no fighting off mosquitoes. It was great!

It’s back to Florida this week for me. I have been up here for well over a month and I want to get back while Addi still remembers who I am. I hope you had and continue to have a wonderful summer. Here comes fall!

Thank you all for letting me know you missed me. Contact me with questions or comments at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: 12 things to always remember

by Debbie Walker

I believe I found this material on Facebook, a social website, and I really wanted to share it. I don’t know who the original author is but I liked the thought behind this. And, of course, I had to add a few of my own thoughts. Any thoughts or comments you have I would be glad to hear from you.

1. The past cannot be changed. If we were able to change the past, we would lose some of the lessons we needed. What we don’t think of is in our quest to redo the past we would also lose some of the things you weren’t considering.

2. Opinions don’t define your reality. I will listen to anyone’s opinion, if I agree then it is part of my reality already. If I don’t agree I just ignore it. We all make mistakes. From those mistakes we learn. These are what makes our realities.

3. Everyone’s journey is different. No one is in the exact same spot in their journey. Everyone’s journey is different, that’s what makes us who we are, makes us all special. We might be the same age, in the same income bracket and may even have similar goals in life. Fortunately, the way we accomplish it is what makes our journey different.

4. Things always get better with time. Most injuries get better with time, most illnesses get better with time, grief and losses get better with time. Usually even our children get better with time!

5. Judgments are a confession of character. You will only know the character of a person through three things. (a) When you live with that person. (b) When you do business/partnership/employer/employees/ or friends with that person. (c)Any reason to spend a lot of time together. Character says a lot about a person, and that character is being judged, often, before you meet someone.

6. Over thinking will lead to sadness. Overthinking is focused on the past, specially the bad things that have happened or unfortunate situations that a person wishes had gone differently. Sadly, it is not just something you can ‘shake off’. The sadness or depression usually requires a little help, not just wishing.

7. Happiness is found within. According to my dictionary True Happiness is enjoying your own company and living in peace and harmony with your body, mind, and soul. It’s for being truly happy you neither need other people nor materialistic things. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. I think we look for other people to make us happy rather than doing it for yourself. Such as: My husband doesn’t have a clue what I would love for Christmas. My suggestion is to purchase a couple of your most wanted items, buy them and put them in his hands to wrap. I doubt he will be unhappy and you will get what you wanted without disappointment.

8. Positive thoughts create positive things. Explains itself.

9. Smiles are contagious. I believe in smiling, especially when I have eye contact with anyone, strangers, and all.

10. Kindness is free.

11. You only fail if you quit. Or…If you don’t try all.

12. What goes around, comes around. A person’s actions or behavior will eventually have consequences for their behavior.

Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Just a lazy Sunday

by Debbie Walker

My mind has been interested in odds and ends again this week. I have only had time for quick reads, but I do enjoy these times. It’s a time I can do a little research on maybe just a word I have never heard before or a website new to me. I admit to being behind the times when it comes to YouTube and Roku, new TV channels to me and oh,my! Oh, what I have found there! More neat projects.

There are many things that are common to us so we don’t even think to wonder where they came from originally. My example today is one thing I think we have all enjoyed, the popsicle. Stephani Butler wrote a column for The Country Register titled The History of Popsicles for the July/August 2017 issue. I mean, what’s to think about? It’s just Kool-aide or juice, frozen on a couple of sticks or in a tube.

We got them thanks to an 11-year-old boy, but they actually go back as far as Ancient Rome. Can you imagine what a welcome treat they must have been to people just coming out of the Depression years. Cherry seems to be the favorite flavor (I say orange) however, I can’t imagine why you would want Avacado, Mango chili, or Mohito flavored. I don’t know if those will be available near-by. They are still a cheap treat on a hot day (and for babies cutting teeth).

Have you started cleaning up outside, getting ready for summer or is it too soon yet? People here are busy planting (86-degrees this afternoon). Not me, I am inside writing this afternoon.

When you are ready, I did read a few bits about that. Like bird baths: soak the bowl with 1/3 cup white vinegar to four cups of water. Cover for one hour, then dump and rinse. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and is non-toxic to birds.

For yellow and brown patches of grass pour 1 can of beer into one gallon of water and sprinkle on those areas. You can have your beer when you are all done.

For weeds and grass coming up around steps and along walk-ways, heat water to boiling and pour on these areas. Kills without harsh chemicals.

I wanted to remember to tell you and remind myself to get some extra dryer sheets. I read to put plant and hummingbird poles in the ground, throw a couple of dryer sheets, also under the feet of any picnic table. From what I read that will keep ants where they belong. You can bet I will be trying that one out.

Also, I have heard quite a few people complaining about flies. I just read to use geraniums to ward away the flies. I will be trying that, too. I want to use pretty, bright red plants.

To finish this off I would like to go back to the first paragraph. I spoke of YouTube and Roku but did not tell you what I find, and when I finish with this I am going to be going to the TV. I am hooked on the sections referred to as hacks for the Dollar Tree store goodies. I imagine you know they actually charge $1.25 now. But people are showing you all these neat things you can make for decorating or gifts. You can’t believe how much there is. Well, I hear it calling my name now.

I am just curious what other things we take for granted without questioning where it originated. Let me know what you come up with. Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with questions or comments. Have a great week!

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 rehydrating 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.org. And as usual, thanks for reading. Have a great week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Unusual names for U.S. communities

by Debbie Walker

Being from Maine we are accustomed to some hard to pronounce names of towns, rivers, etc., due to the Native American historical names as are many other states residents. Yesterday we came across some other ‘uncommon’ names. What follows are ones I found last night on the internet:

The name that started my search is the little town of Two Egg, Florida. It has about 1,100 two-person households. Two Egg had a store where folks would come and trade farm products for other foods such as “two eggs worth of sugar” could make the difference of surviving or not.

The history is on the computer as are the others you will see here.

How about Soda Springs, Idaho? The name comes from having many carbonated springs in the area. Just imagine, you get to go to the creek to get your soda fix for the day. Wonder if Pepsi or Coke ever investigated this.

Cut and Shoot, Texas – The name refers to a confrontation that took place in 1912 and almost came to violence.

Hooker, Oklahoma, was named for the man, a ranch foreman named John “Hooker” Threlkeld. Some residents like to say, “It is a location, not a vocation”.

Screamer, Alabama. One version of the name is they could have been referring to the sounds of the wood’s animals at night.

No Name, Colorado. It was meant to be a temporary solution but became a thing of pride. It’s population of about 200 people opted to keep the name. It is located near No Name tunnels, No Name Creek and the No Name hiking trail.

Corner Ketch, Delaware. It appears to have been named for a local rough and tumble bar. The drinkers were so quarrelsome that the residents would warn strangers, “They’ll ketch ye at the corner.”

Slickpoo, Idaho. It barely qualifies as a town but was once a bustling village. It was gifted to the folks by landowner Josiah Slickpoo.

Bugtussle, Kentucky. This one surprised me. I had heard of it but thought it was just someone’s funny idea of a name. Maybe it really was but there is a story. They say years ago when someone brought in workers for the harvest they would sleep in the barn – on hay that was infested with Doodlebugs. It is said the workers stayed so long that the bugs grew big enough to “tussle” for the prime napping spots.

Maine even has a spot in the long list of funny names. Burnt Porcupine is the name of a sister island to Bald Porcupine, Long Porcupine and Sheep Porcupine. They are near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Hell, Michigan. I had a client (my real estate years) once who came from there! Some rude woman didn’t want us on ‘HER’ road (it wasn’t hers). She hollered to tell us something about “When Hell Freezes Over”. He quietly told me that ‘Hell, does indeed freeze over but this is the wrong time of the year’.

I am just curious if you will search out some of the funny and bizarre names, there are many more. If you want to share a story with me or have comments just send them to me at DebbieWalker@townline.org Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The right place

by Debbie Walker

I read an amazing theory on Facebook, a computer social program, I have no idea who is the author, but I am impressed with the words of wisdom. If you already saw this, I hope you will enjoy the premise of the theory again.

A man was giving his daughter the gift of an old “seen better days” car. His instruction was for her to take it to a car dealer to see what they would offer to purchase the car. She came back and told her dad they offered $1,000.

Next, he told her to take it to a pawn shop to see what their offer is. Well, that price was only $100.

Lastly, he told her to take the car to a car club meeting to see if there was any interest. Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it was an iconic car and sought after by many.

I am quoting the story now: “The father said to his daughter, ‘The right place values you the right way. If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.’”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all raised to be aware of our personal value? Are you aware of your value in your daily life? Do you know your value to your childhood family, friends, and teachers? Do you know your value to the family you are raising? Do your spouse and family know their value to you?

I’ll bet you never thought much about it even after reading the story, but take a few minutes to think about this, what would your value be? What value do you give others?

None of this has anything to do with dollars and cents. Since I am retired the career/job aspect doesn’t fit my life’s value. I am looking back at my employment years and I believe I placed too much value in that part of my life. It had a great deal to do with what I saw as my value of myself.

Raising my daughter, I am not sure either of us truly understood “value”. I think she looked at me as “something to survive”. We argued quite a bit. I think we both looked at each other more with the word “tolerance”!

Unfortunately, in my married life my husband suffered from depression most all his life. I doubt either of us valued the other. After too many years I did realize I was in the wrong place.

These days I am very aware of my wonderful friendships and family and how much we value each other. If you doubt your value, are there grandkids around? The first time this little chubby toddler came running towards me with arms flying wildly hollering “Nana” hug! Value, oh yeah!

I’m just curious if any of this has you changing your perception of value. It did me.

Contact me with any comments or questions at DebbieWalker@townline.org.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Starting with downsizing

by Debbie Walker

Are you planning a downsizing or just want to clean up a little like maybe spring cleaning? Did you put away all your Christmas decorations? Come now, haven’t you found one or two things you forgot? In the Woman’s World magazine dated March March 28, 2022, there is an article Surprising Down Sizing Tricks. I am sharing some of it in this column.

So, let’s start with that. Before you put away anything. Are there any items you might be able to redecorate for another holiday? If there are it ought to be fun. There is the old trick of “three piles”, you use one for maybes (that’s the tricky one). Yes, there is one for you to keep the special things (this one can be tricky, too, but I’ll get back to this later) and there is one to definitely throw away or donate.

Come to think of it they are all tricky. This has to all be up to you, something you really want to do. Then remember that just because someone special gave this or that to you, does not mean you really have to keep it. If they ever have reason to know, they may have forgotten all about it.

In the magazines it is also mentioned about possibly taking pictures of things that you think you might want to make later. Just don’t clutter up your picture space but if you do you can clean that up later! Or, the idea I liked was things you really loved such as children’s art work, and other things and make a coffee table book of all these wonderful things.

Oh, and they suggested in this magazine that we could all take old jewelry and baubles to decorate some of our “art work” projects. However, unless you want to wind up with the kind of messes I presently have you might want to pass on this one. Maybe a better idea is to make a box of art project items for a nursing home perhaps. This is one of those “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of thing.

On to a different subject, that comes from First magazine also dated March 28, 2022. These come under the page on Smart Home Solutions, page 78.

This first one that caught my eye was a Do-it-yourself lazy-susan. You will need a handful of marbles and two pie plates. Place one pie plate on the counter, add the marbles in plate. Then place the second pie plate on top of the marbles. Top plate will now ride around on top of the marbles but better yet you place the spices you use very often on the top plate. Things won’t come sliding off and it will keep things handy for when you need it.

The final one for the night is “pesky spots on your glassware” remover. It is to: Add two to four tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to dish washer’s rinse compartment and run as usual. I haven’t tried it (no room for a dishwasher in my camper!)

Okay, that’s my last piece of educational material for this issue.

I am just curious if you will try any of these. Let me know at DebbieWalker@townline.org. In the meantime have a great week and thanks for reading.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Old time remedies continued

by Debbie Walker

This week I want to thank Tom for sending me another remedy for getting rid of warts. It went something like this: “Take two pennies (one for each hand) and go to a place out of doors such as a field. Take a penny and rub it on the warts of the opposite hand and then throw it over that shoulder (left hand rubbed, throw over that shoulder.” Tom says after a couple of weeks, the warts turned black and fell off, never to return. Me, I just like the results without the fancy reason.

I have a friend whose mother taught him something a little different. If you get cut and it doesn’t want to quit bleeding, you pour black pepper in it. I did see that work. Don’t forget if you have question you might want to talk to your nurse, or maybe your pharmacist.

Banish Headaches:

Strong coffee may lesson the severity of a sick headache (sometimes called a migraine).

Soaking the hands in very in very hot water will ease pain in the head.

The distinctive fragrance of fresh green apples is very useful for relieving the pain of a migraine headache.

Coughs, Congestion and Sore Throats:

Chew honeycomb every day to relieve breathing tract problems. It will make you immune to allergy producing germs; honeycomb is most effective when it when it comes from bees in local hives.

Ease a sore throat and stop sinus drainage with one teaspoon vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle once an hour until cured.

Toast thinly sliced bread and then spread butter on both sides. Cover with scalded milk and spoon feed it to those suffering with a fever or the aches of flu.

I have a few things completely off topic that I would like to share with you while you are still in your winter months:

Outsmart Common Winter Stains:

Erase hot chocolate spills with salt: Simply blot the stain with water, cover with salt, then buff with a damp sponge dipped in laundry detergent.

Lift candle wax with this hot and cold trick: To easily get rid of wax stains, first rub the spots with an ice cube (this hardens the wax) scrape off with a butter knife. Then place folded paper towels on the area and press with a warm (not hot) dry iron to remelt and absorb any excess wax and voila!

Eliminate lotion marks with dishwashing liquid: greasy lotion is great for dry skin, but it leaves stains on your clothes! To remove them stir 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent ( it breaks down and lifts grease) into three teaspoons of water and pour onto stain, Pat liquid into the stain with a clean toothbrush then let sit for two minutes before rinsing with cool water,

I’m just curious what you will be doing with your time this week. Take time to relax whenever you can. It’s important. Contact me at DebbieWalker@yahoo.com.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Different answers

by Debbie Walker

Today, I am going to pass on some ‘different answers’ of questions you may not even know to ask yet. Use of coconut oil is all new to me. It had never been in my house, say nothing about my kitchen. But… I found a few situations that it is useful. I am including a few things I read about Coconut oil and a few other things:

Coconut oil uses: Ladies – Run out of shaving gel ? Use coconut oil.

Use it to lift crayon marks the little ones are bound to leave.

Use it to remove a price tag. It works.

Use it to soak some cotton balls and throw them on a few sparks for a quicker way to get a campfire growing.

Use it to calm a sunburn. Take a shower, apply coconut oil, it will soothe the burn. It will also moisturize the dehydrated skin.

Use to soothe insect bites. Rub the oil over the bites. It will reduce swelling and ease discomfort.

Mineral oil uses: I don’t ever remember seeing this in my parents or my home, and I never had any. I am not even sure what its original purpose was.

Use it to recondition leather footwear. A few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub in.

Use it to remove a bandage. A few drops, a minute and bandages peel off.

Use it to preserve your wooden cutting board.

Whitening toothpaste (not gel): This will clean the nasty grout while you sleep! In the morning wipe the area with a damp towel.

Distilled white vinegar: Use it to clean your bathroom. Half a cup of white vinegar in your toilet bowl overnight will do the trick.

Use white vinegar in your bathroom sink. Put the stopper in and fill it with hot water and a half cup of vinegar, let it sit overnight. Drain and wipe clean.

Sponge and vinegar: Use them to clean your microwave. I have done this, works like a charm. Soak your sponge in equal parts of water and white vinegar. Microwave for 30 seconds. Don’t open your nuker ‘til the next morning and then just wipe clean.

Baking soda and water: Erase oven grime with baking soda, In a bowl mix 1/2 cup baking soda and enough water to make paste. Apply to interior walls, let sit overnight. In the A.M. just wipe clean.

Borax laundry soap: Use to deodorize your carpet (plus a surprise.). Mix a half cup and a half cup baking soda, sprinkle on rugs and upholstery, let sit all night. Vac in the morning. Okay, that is good, but, if you have pets who might have fleas that Borax is a miracle worker! Sprinkle Borax on your carpets, anywhere you might find fleas. Leave overnight. Vac in morning. In two days do this again and your fleas should be gone. (The second sprinkle kills fleas that were in eggs). It was amazing when I needed it.

These are the points I found for packing:

Lay down or roll pants and tops. Place heavy items at base of suitcase. Shoes, books, heavy things. End with what you will wear first. Don’t under pack is part of the description I found but I am over packed! And I put my night gown on top because I will get in just in time for bed.

I’m just curious what other tidbits you could share in “different answers”. I’ll be waiting! Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with any questions or comments. Thank you for reading and have a great week!