passed by word of mouth. Later books and magazines offered helpful hints and then radio talk shows and television specials added to the availability of information. The Internet era dawned and “how-to” advice became only a YouTube search, Google query or Facebook post away. Now there is me. “What Works” by Teresa Hislop.
White vinegar and water works. For several years running summer has brought tiny ants to our bathroom. Regular cleaning, Clorox baths, commercial ant traps, smashing the little buggers one at a time as one sits on the toilet yelling “Take that you spineless invertebrate!”….nothing discouraged them….until now. Simply squirting them with vinegar and water (mixed in a 1:1 ratio, administered consistently for about a week) convinced them not to return. (No a recommended treatment for door-to-door vacuum salesmen!)
Garage sales work. Summer 2013 has not offered many uncommitted Saturday mornings so our garage sale shopping season has gotten off to an extremely slow start. Yesterday we freed a Saturday morning by skipping the ward pancake breakfast (still feeling a bit guilty about that) and went garage sale-ing. We found Christmas gifts for all four of our children and all five of Blaine and Cathy’s children (we have their names for Christmas). We may have found gifts for my parents, if we don’t decide to keep them for ourselves. We also found school shoes for Grace, two winter coats for Chick, a steam cleaner for Lance (his idea, I promise!!), and the skirt I will be wearing to Church today.
Rice does not work, at least not for me. This spring, on behalf of Ogden Preparatory Academy (OPA), I signed a contract with Ogden City adopting a section of the Ogden River. As a part of the agreement we committed to pick litter from the river and adjoining trail at least once a month. Tuesday fourteen of my former OPA students, two parents, and I spent an hour or so doing just that. The weather was pleasant, the students were even more pleasant, and the river was warm and lazy. Shod in my hiking sandals (happy toes!!), I was unable to resist the water’s lure. Before I knew it, I was diaphragm deep. My cell phone was in my pocket, at waist level. (For those of you whose anatomical knowledge is buried deep beneath more practical information like the importance of keeping cell phones dry, the diaphragm is above the waist.) The phone dripped
when I removed it from my pocket. My darling husband removed the battery (he learned how to do so by watching a YouTube video) and we encased the phone in rice for three days. No luck. I will be replacing my cell phone soon. In the meantime, I am cellularly out of touch. Please do NOT be offended when I fail to return your calls and texts.
Tanah works. Tanah has wanted to paint the basement for years. I have hated painting for years and years. Tuesday Tanah tackled the basement. She piled everything in the middle of the room (it was a big pile), taped the windows, doors, light fixtures, wood stove, and all edges, and puttied the holes in the walls and ceiling. Wednesday she puttied more and finished taping. Thursday she and Chick sanded and painted. Friday she finished painting everything but the ceiling. Saturday she worked on the ceiling. Our basement now has a green floor (the green floor was there when we bought it), one long white wall, one short bright yellow wall, a long and short lighter yellow wall, and a white ceiling. Miss Tanah
was very pleased with the sunny, sunflower look of the room…..until Miles pointed out that they were Green Bay colors……
Cream works. I picked one and a half gallons of raspberries Tuesday. Cream, with a titch of sugar, works to make fresh raspberries a heavenly treat.
Iodine works. Our sweet, docile, stupid Holstein steer somehow managed to knock the outer layer of his horn off. Cattle horns are made of an outer layer of keratin and other proteins covering an inner layer of live bone. I have now seen a live
bone. If you scroll down, you can see a live bone too. (It is pretty bloody, be warned!) We put the bloody-faced critter in the chute and tended to his wound. Bless his big, bovine heart---he stood quietly as I washed his face with a hose, pulled caked blood out of his eye lashes, and scrubbed behind his ears. I doused the horn’s remaining bloody stump with iodine and it seems to be healing nicely.
Iodine does not work for everything. When I was scrubbing his ear, I discovered a fist sized growth. It is black and pocked. It looks a bit like a huge piece of black pumice but it is definitely living tissue. I did not even try putting iodine on it. While he was in the chute, we also checked his sheath (the outer layer of hide that protects the penis) because it is five times the normal size. We discovered the swelling is not caused by infection (iodine may have helped that) but by a hernia. Oh dear! Our Holstein steer is a walking veterinary object lesson.
Sunscreen works….but only if you put it on. I walked under Mexico’s harsh sun for seven days without being burnedthanks to liberal sun screen applications. I stood under West Point’s gentler sun for about three hours, neglected to screen myself, and my face is fried. Fried face aside, we had a fabulous time in West Point on the 4th of July. In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much that I hesitate to publicize it for fear that word will get out, crowds will overwhelm West Point, and the city will be unable to continue its “small town” celebration. Let me just say that we listened to a great flag raising speech, enjoyed a short parade, and cheered for the six Syracuse Arts Academy cross country runners that entered the 5K race. Grace won a prize in frozen t-shirt contest, I won a pie in a game of musical chairs, and Miles won a mini-basketball as a door prize. Grace and Miles ascended the climbing wall multiple times; we ate a great breakfast for $2 each and an even better dinner for free; Grace danced without inhibition during the evening’s concert while I sang without talent in Tanah’s
ear; and my Mom ooh-ed and awed like a little girl during the fireworks display that exploded almost over our
heads. My favorite part of the day was listening to Mom enjoy the fireworks. Grace’s favorite part of the day was laughing at me when I got lost in a subdivision on the way home.
Theater works. We watched “Ragtime” at Hale Centre Theatre yesterday. The play has several powerful messages brought to the heart by some incredibly powerful music. Tanah did not like it because of an anti-America message she
perceived. I love that she is intensely loyal to our great country and that she saw how sometimes the greed and bigotry of our citizens compromise American ideals. Miles did not like it because one of the characters, a man seeking justice, is unjustly shot at the end. I love it that he hates injustice. I loved it for the integrity portrayed by several characters who did what was good and right, social pressures aside. Many messages, much food for thought. Theater works.
Christ’s gospel works. His message that through Him and His atonement we can have inner peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come is good news. Obedience to His teachings works. It really does. I have not yet experienced the life to come but I have complete confidence in His promises. I definitely have experienced this life and I know following Him brings
inner peace. Pray intently. Study the scriptures. Go to Church. Love. Serve. Follow Him. Peace comes. It works.