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10 Uses for Coffee Grounds

Friday, Jul, 17 2015

Stash the leftovers from your morning pot of Joe for these clever household uses

1. Deodorize Your Fridge
Place a bowl of dry grounds in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize odors left by stale or spoiled food.

2. Clean Tools and Dishware
Place a few teaspoons of grounds on a thin cleaning rag and use to scour away grease and grime. Finish with a thorough rinsing.

3. Hide Furniture Scratches
Dip a cotton swab into steeped grounds and dab on scratches in dark wood furniture to minimize them. Just test in an inconspicuous area first.

4. Give Paper an Antique Look
Dip paper or sheets of stationery in a soupy mix of grounds and water; allow them to sit a minute or two, then let dry and brush off the grounds.

5. Repel Insects
Mound grounds into a ring to create a protective border around plants that will ward off ants and slugs.

6. Grow Blue Hydrangeas
Work grounds into the soil at the base of mophead hydrangeas to increase the acidity level. This helps the shrubs absorb aluminum, which you can add to the soil to keep the flowers a vibrant blue.

7. Contain Ashes
Sprinkle damp grounds on fireplace ashes to cut down on airborne dust as you sweep them up.

8. Scrub Hands
Rub a scoop of grounds between palms as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and help eliminate smells from foods like fish and garlic

9. Make a Cockroach Trap
Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened coffee grounds, then line the container's neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent will draw the roaches into the trap.

10. Fortify Plants
Give seedlings a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into soil or a watering can.

posted by: Kathy Keene 2 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Most Dangerous People Foods for Dogs and Cats

Thursday, Jul, 16 2015

Human Food and Pets
Watch your plates! According to the U.S. News and World Report, the following "people" foods are the most toxic for dogs and cats. They might look cute begging for human food, but it's best to resist

Chocolate contains theobromide, a chemical that can damage a dog's lungs, heart, kidneys and nervous system. Baking chocolate is the most toxic to canines, but owners should avoid feeding their pooch any kind of chocolate.

This is probably surprising to many, but adult cats are lactose intolerant. They can't break down milk sugar, and thus dairy products can cause dehydration and diarrhea in your felines.

Grapes and Raisins
It can take just four to five grapes or raisins for your dog to get extremely sick. Small amounts can lead to irreversible kidney damage in most dogs. Take your canine to the vet immediately if it eats grapes, and especially raisins, as the latter are more easy to gobble up quickly in large amounts.

Bones and Fat
Bones and fat usually cause upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting in cats. Bones are also dangerous for cats because they can lead to choking, or create obstructions and lacerations, in your feline's digestive tract.

Macadamia Nuts
Not usually fatal, macadamia nuts can still cause severe illness in your dog. A mere handful of these nuts can lead to vomiting, muscle and joint pain, swelling and lethargy.

Any form of onions (raw, cooked, powdered, etc.) is unsafe for your cat. A small amount of this root vegetable can easily cause onion poisoning. Onion poisoning breaks down a cat's red blood cells, causing anemia, weight loss, lethargy and more.

Similar to onions, a small amount of garlic can quickly cause internal problems in your cat. Feline stomachs are easily upset by garlic, and the ingredient can also cause red-blood-cell damage.

The sugar-free sweetener xylitol found in gum can stimulate a dog's pancreas to secrete insulin. This effect can lead to low blood sugar and severe liver damage.

A large dose of caffeine is usually fatal to cats. Small amounts of the substance can lead to restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations and tremors. For your cat's safety, all drinks with caffeine should be kept out of paw's reach.

Raw Eggs
Cats can get food poisoning from the salmonella or E. coli sometimes found in raw eggs. Additionally, the avidin found in egg whites can prevent your feline's absorption of vitamin B, leading to skin problems and fur loss.

Wine & Alcohol
The ethanol found in alcohol can cause rapid damage to your dog's respiratory and central nervous systems. Alcohol is absorbed by the body very quickly, so it is important to call the vet immediately if you believe your canine has imbibed any alcohol.

Just like in alcohol, yeast dough contains ethanol. Consumption of yeast dough by a dog can result in lethargy, weakness and low body temperature. Immediate medical attention should be sought if your dog ingests any yeast dough.

posted by: Kathy Keene 2 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

The top 10 landmarks in the U.S.A., according to Trip Advisor:

Wednesday, Jul, 15 2015

Here's something to add to your bucket list. Take a cross-country trip -- from D.C. to San Francisco -- and visit the top 10 landmarks in the U.S. as chosen by Trip Advisor. The number one landmark is Alcatraz, the former high-security prison located on an island in San Francisco Bay. Often called "The Rock," the island is only accessible by boat. The abandoned Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is a popular tourist site, but visitors to Alcatraz can also see the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast, early military fortifications and natural features, such as rock pools and a seabird colony of western gulls, cormorants and egrets. The tour of the penitentiary includes the prison's main cell house, dining hall, library, warden's house and officers' club, recreation yard and more. Alcatraz housed some 1,576 of America's most ruthless criminals including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the "Birdman of Alcatraz"), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, to name a few.

1. Alcatraz -- San Francisco
2. Golden Gate Bridge -- San Francisco
3. Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool -- Washington, DC
4. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum -- 
           New York City
5. USS Arizona Memorial -- Honolulu
6. Empire State Building -- New York City
7. Statue of Liberty -- New York City
8. Brooklyn Bridge -- Brooklyn, NY
9. Grand Central Terminal -- New York City
10. Gettysburg National Military Park -- Gettysburg, PA

posted by: Kathy Keene 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

9 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Tuesday, Jul, 14 2015

On a daily basis, we consume an array of foods that really do have an effect on the color of our teeth.  Sometimes, you can’t avoid these foods—and many of them are healthy choices, like fresh summer fruits and berries. But there are some things you can do to help fight stains. First, don’t let stain-causing foods and drinks stay in your mouth for long. Instead, chew and swallow them quickly to help protect your teeth. It’s also important to rinse and brush after eating.
Another tip is to use a straw, so that liquids are kept away from your teeth, which reduces the risk of staining. While iced coffee and tea are easy to drink through a straw, hot beverages and wine are more difficult. Be sure to rinse with a sip of water in between and after drinking.

Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic vinegar sticks to your teeth, which can cause discoloration. Stick to salads with balsamic vinegar because the lettuce can serve as a barrier to the dark pigments.

Soy sauce
The pigment in soy sauce adheres to your teeth, causing stains. If you’re eating sushi and soy sauce, drink some green tea or water in between bites.

Ice pops
This summertime treat is full of dyes that can stain your teeth. The sugars and cold temperatures make your teeth more susceptible to staining.

Tomato sauce
Deep red tomato sauce is full of flavor, but it’s also full of highly acidic tomatoes, which can cause unsightly stains. Before you dig into your pasta, eat a spinach salad first, which will form a protective layer on your teeth.

Tea has many great health benefits, but black teas and other dark-hued teas can stain. Try adding some milk into these dark teas or sticking to green, white or herbal teas.

Berries like blueberries, blackberries, cherries and other brightly colored fruits can stain teeth. The juices from berry pies or tarts can also cause discoloration. Opt for light-colored grapes instead, or just be sure to brush and floss because the acidic components can harm tooth enamel.

Red wine
Who can resist a glass of red wine with a nice dinner? Just make sure to drink water and swoosh it around in your mouth in between sips, because the acidic content of red wine can cause staining and wear away tooth enamel.

Hard candy
You know how candy sometimes turns your mouth and tongue a different color? Well, it does the same to your teeth. Eat these candies in moderation to avoid permanent staining.

Dark roast coffee is a known teeth-staining culprit. Add milk or cream to help dilute some of the pigment, and make sure to drink water afterwards.

posted by: Kathy Keene 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

When to Save and When to Throw Out During Power Outages

Monday, Jul, 13 2015

Adapted from Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency (USDA).
Is food in the refrigerator safe during a power outage? It should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
Never taste food to determine its safety! You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
Note: Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
You will have to evaluate each item separately. Use this chart as a guide.

Specific Foods Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours:
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes-Discard
Thawing meat or poultry- Discard

Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad-Discard
Gravy, stuffing, broth-Discard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef Discard
Pizza – with any topping-Discard
Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"-Discard
Canned meats and fish, opened-Discard
Casseroles, soups, stews-Discard
Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco-Discard
Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano-Safe
Processed Cheeses-Safe
Shredded Cheeses-Discard
Low-fat Cheeses-Discard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)- Safe
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk-Discard
Butter, margarine-Safe
Baby formula, opened-Discard
Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products- Discard
Custards and puddings, quiche-Discard
Fresh fruits, cut-Discard
Fruit juices, opened-Safe
Canned fruits, opened-Safe
Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates-Safe
Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish-Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.
Peanut butter-Safe
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles-Safe
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin sauces-Safe
Fish sauces, oyster sauce-Discard
Opened vinegar-based dressings-Safe
Opened creamy-based dressings-Discard
Spaghetti sauce, opened jar-Discard
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas-Safe
Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough-Discard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes-Discard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette-Discard
Fresh pasta-Discard
Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagels-Safe
Pastries, cream filled-Discard
Pies – custard, cheese filled, or chiffon; quiche-Discard
Pies, frui- Safe
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices-Safe
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged -Discard
Vegetables, raw-Safe
Vegetables, cooked; tofu-Discard
Vegetable juice, opened-Discard
Baked potatoes-Discard
Commercial garlic in oil-Discard
Potato salad-Discard
Casseroles, soups, stews-Discard

posted by: Kathy Keene 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

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