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Sunday, June 22, 2008

10 Things To Try For Itch Relief

I've always been itch prone, so I have some experience in this area. Here are some things to try (and good luck :-)

1) ice (my personal favourite - it's immediate, completely free of side effects, and free ;-)
2) baking soda (make a paste with water and apply, or add some to a bath)
3) vinegar (either full strength or mix with water - caution: although it stops itch in its tracks, it stings cut skin, so only use it full strength if you haven't started scratching yet)
4) aloe vera
5) Benadryl (taken orally; liquid works faster)
6) garlic clove (rubbed on ...haven't tried it myself, but I keep hearing about it)
7) calamine lotion
8) Vicks vapo rub (another one I haven't tried yet but keep hearing about)
9) witch hazel
10) chamomile essential Oil

Saturday, June 14, 2008

10 Things To Know About Getting Rid Of Spiders

1) Get a cat. Our Manx is the fiercest spider hunter in the land. I'm constantly finding her stretched out on the carpet looking smug and satisfied, with a balled up wolf spider corpse nearby.

2) Put chestnuts around the room. I have NO idea why this works, but the rooms that I have the chestnuts in never have the spiders (our Manx has a peeing problem, so there are certain rooms she's not allowed into. These are the rooms that I save the chestnuts for).

3) Supposedly kerosene on your windows and frames (wiped on with newspaper) leaves a film that repels insects. I haven't tried this one myself yet.

4) Leave the Daddy Long Leg spiders alone. They compete for food and territory with the other types of spiders, and drive them away. They're harmless to us (and not as scary ;-)

5) Try the "dog whistle" approach - apparently you can buy plug in devices that emit a high pitched sound that bugs HATE.

6) Ooh! I've heard of this one but never tried it - Lemon Pledge. They hate that too.

7) Clear away vegetation from the base of your house - this can attract lots of bugs. I've noticed a big improvement in my basement office since doing this (or maybe it's the chestnuts! In any case, I never see spiders in that room).

8) Clear away clutter inside your house (i.e. stacks of paper, clothes on the floor). Clutter gives spiders places to hide, and makes it harder for the cat to get 'em.

9) Hedge apples from the Osage-Orange tree supposedly work as well, although that's another one I haven't tried myself yet.

10) Get rid of their food source. They eat other insects. I've noticed that keeping my food in sealed plastic containers that keep the bugs away has reduced the number of spiders in my kitchen. I even go as far as re-sealing (with packing tape) large pet food bags once I've filled the smaller pet food bins (which have lids).

Good luck!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

10 Alternative Names for Hidden Sugar in Food

I'm reading a great article about hidden sugar in food. Below is a list of alternative sugar names that can appear on labels:

1. sucrose
2. fructose
3. maple syrup
4. molasses
5. dextrose
6. turbinado
7. amazake
8. sorbitol
9. carob powder
10. glucose

Because this is such important info (and it's right at my fingertips!) here's more:

invert sugar
raw sugar
brown sugar
confectioner's sugar
granulated sugar
corn syrup
high-fructose corn syrup

What amazes me more are the foods that contain so much sugar that don't even seem sweet, like white bread. It's literally everywhere....

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