Kathy Keene
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Fable of the Porcupine

Wednesday, Jan, 29 2014

It was the coldest winter ever – many animals died because of the cold.  The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.    After awhile they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.  So they had to make a choice:  either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  This way they leaned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others.  This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the Story:

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

posted by: Kathy Keene 17 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Signs You Need More Sleep

Monday, Jan, 27 2014

If eight hours of sleep a night is nothing more than a dream,  you may be sufferng from a sleep deficit.
Five signs you need more sleep, according to Prevention magazine:
1.  Simple decisions stump you.
You have trouble making the simplest decisions - such as what to make for dinner or which TV show to watch.
2.  You're still hungry after eating all day.
When  you don't get enough sleep, your body physicaly rebels.  Blood sugar levels can be disrupted, which also causes a disruption in  two appetite-controlling hormones:  leptin, a hormone that curbs  your appetite is decreaed, while ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates  your appetite, is increased.  Your body is seeking a quick pick-me-up so you will crave foods made of simpe carbohydrates and sugars.
3.  You keep coming down with colds.
People who are not sleeping enough are more vulnerable to infections and have a weaker immune system than those who are well rested.
4.  Weird things make  you cry.
If a song on  your iPod or a TV commercial can bring you to tears, it's probably not PMS.  Too little sleep can leave  you emotionally volatile and unable to temper your emotions.
5.  You've become a klutz.
Drop things?  Trip much?  There is scientific evidence that those who are sleep deprived have slower and less precise motor skills, because beng sleepy throws off your balance and depth perception.

posted by: Kathy Keene 17 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Places to Never Use Your Debit Card

Friday, Jan, 24 2014

In some situations, using a debit card can expose you to fraud or identity theft.  There are some places and times that using a debit card is actually a lousy proposition. 

1.  Rental or Security Deposits
If  you have to put money down to rent a car or home improvement equipment, try not to use a debit card.  A business will take the money out of yoru account in the form of a security deposit.   You'll ge the cash back when you return the car or equipment.  With a credit card, the money is just "frozen" but ot actually charge and you won't ever notice it's gone.
2.  Restaurants and Bars
Too many prying eyes around to trust using your debit card.  Restaurants are one of those rare places where someone actually walks away with your card and you don't see them for a few minutes.  Better to use cash when dining out.
3.  Regular Payments
Whether it's a gym or your insurance company, better off using a credit card.  If there's a dispute, the business won't take the cash right out of your checking account if they don't have your debit card number.
4.  Wi-Fi Hot Spots
Never use your debit card for an online purchase while at a coffee shop or other business that offers free Wi-Fi access.  Most businesses have unsecured wireless connections so it's much easier for hackers and scammers to log on and steal  your information.
5.  Any Retail Outlet Where you choose the "credit" Option
Debit cards allow  you to choose between a debit (having cash taken straight out of your account) and a credit transaction (where the money will be taken out but it could be a few days later). You may forget about the purchase and not account for the money that canlead to an overdraft situation.

Debit cards are great financial tools and easier to carry than cash.  But debit cards should't be used all the time.

posted by: Kathy Keene 17 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Cleaning Products You Should Never Be Without

Monday, Jan, 13 2014

Cleaning Products You Should Never Be Without

There are 5 cleaning products you should never be without and most of them are things you already have in your home.  They can  be used alone, together or in conjunction with other common household products.

Use to remove heavy soap scum and mineral deposits from showers, tubs and sinks.  Warm vinegar and put in spray bottle.  Spray on showers, tubs and sinks; let soak 10-15 minutes.  Then use a nylon scrubbing sponge to remove scum.  Respray if necessary.

Add 2-3 T. white vinegar to hot water along with dishwashing liquid to cut grease on dishes and crystal.

Add ¼ cup white vinegar to washing machine during final rinse to soften clothes and remove lint from dark clothes.

Clean stainless steel sinks with a paste of baking soda and vinegar.

Clean vinyl floors with ½ cup white vinegar to 1 gallon warm water.

Keep drains free-flowing with ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar poured down the drain on a monthly basis.

Spray vinegar on the underarms of clothes and let soak 15-30 minutes to deodorize and minimize underarm stains.

An excellent toilet cleaner with 1 cup borax and 1 cup vinegar.  Pour vinegar over stained area of the toilet, then sprinkle with borax.  Soak for 2 hours and then brush and flush.

Neutralize pet urine odor with diluted vinegar (25% vinegar to 75% water) sprayed on carpets.
Always test in an inconspicuous spot before treating a large area.

To remove soap sum and mildew from plastic shower curtains and liners, fill washing machine with warm water, 1 cup vinegar and regular laundry detergent. Add curtains, along with several old, light-colored towels.  Run through complete cycle and rehang curtain immediately.

Clean mirrors with a solution of half vinegar and half water.  Wet a sponge, soft cloth or paper towel, wash and  then buff dry.  Never spray water onto a mirror.  Moisture that gets into the edges and behind mirrors ruins the silvering on the mirror, resulting in dark spots.


Baking soda is a great deodorizer, cleaner and mild abrasive.

Keep food disposals fresh and free-flowing by putting the stopper in the disposal and adding 3 inches of warm water and a handful of baking soda.  Turn on the disposal and let water run out.

Clean smudges on wallpaper with baking soda and water.

Remove crayon from hard surface with baking soda on a damp rag.

To clean grout, mix 3 cups baking soda with 1 cup warm water.  Scrub with a brush and rinse.

Use baking soda on a damp cloth to polish silver.

To remove burnt food in casseroles, fill dish with hot water and add 1 T. baking soda and allow to soak.

Remove heel marks from hard floors with a damp cloth and baking soda.

Put in the bottom of cat litter boxes to help eliminate odor.  Put in a thin layer of baking soda and than add  the litter.  This works with clay or clumping varieties.

Mix 1 gallon of warm water and ¼ cup baking soda. Soak freshly washed socks in this for 30 minutes.  Spin out in the washer (Do not rinse out the solution),dry and you have odor-eater socks.


Apply to clothes, undiluted, to remove fruit-based stains.  Let soak 30 minutes and then launder.

Remove rust from clothes by applying undiluted lemon juice and laying the garment in the sun. 

Clean brass and copper with lemon juice and salt.

Apply lemon juice to chrome and buff to a shine.

Remove stains from hands with lemon juice.

Bleach wooden breadboards by applying lemon juice and letting it sit overnight.  Wash and rinse in the morning.

You can bleach spots off Formica counters by using straight lemon juice or mixing in a paste with baking soda.


Club soda is the best emergency spotter there is.

Keep club soda on hand to clean up spills on carpet and clothing.  Remember to react as soon as possible to a spill.  Club soda will remove red wine, coffee, tea, soda, Kool-Aid and any other spills you can think of.

Lift any solids off carpet or clothes and then pour on the club soda, blotting with an old rag until all the color from the spill is removed.

If you spill on your clothes in a restaurant, ask for a little club soda or seltzer and use your napkin to blot the stain until it is removed.


A good all-purpose carpet stain remover.  Skip the types that foam, dry and you vacuum up; they leave residue in the carpet that attracts dirt.

Spot Shot effectively removes water and oil-based stains.  Use it on pet stains, lipstick, makeup, hair dye, food spills, mystery spots – even old spots.  Follow  the label directions.  It’s inexpensive and available at grocery stores, hardware stores, Target and Wal-Mart.


Ink and Marker Marks – use hair spray, rubbing alcohol or for really tough spots, denatured alcohol from the hardware store.  Always spot carefully, trying to do just the spot.

Removing Hair Spray Residue – Mix a solution of 1/3 liquid fabric softener and 2/3 water in a spray bottle.  Spray on the surface to be cleaned and wipe.  Will remove hair spray residue from vanities, tile, floors, walls, etc.

posted by: Kathy Keene 17 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

General All Purpose Laundry Spotters

Monday, Jan, 13 2014

General All Purpose Laundry Spotter
Combine the following ingredients to make a generic spotter that works on a wide variety of stains:
1 part rubbing alcohol
2 parts water
Mix and spray on spots and spills, wait a few minutes and then launder as usual.

Beverage, Fruit and Grass Remover
Combine equal portions of:
White vinegar
Liquid dishwashing soap
Shake well and work the solution into the spot.  Let sit a few minutes; launder as usual.

Non-oily Stain Remover
Combine equal portions of:
Liquid dishwashing soap
Shake well and work into the spot.  Let stand a few minutes and flush with water.  This solution works well on stains such as milk, blood, perspiration and urine.  Do not use on washable wool, silk, spandex, acrylic or acetate.

Oily Stain Remover
Combine the following ingredients
1 T. glycerin
1 T. liquid dishwashing soap
8 T. water
Work the solution into grease and oil stains.  Let sit a few minutes, flush with water and then launder as usual.

Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap
This is an old-fashioned brown bar soap that  your grandmother used.  Wet the bar and simply rub the stain, working it in well.  Great for ring-around-the-collar and perspiration stains.

Ink Away
Made by the makers of Goo Gone.  Follow directions on package and be sure to read the list of things not to use it on.

Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover
It’s not just for carpets.  It’s a great laundry pre-wash spotter.  Safe for all colorfast washables and works in all wash temperatures.    Works on oily stains, ink, pet stains, cola, shoe polish, lipstick, blood and others.  Do not allow it to dry on the fabric and do not use it on silks, fabrics labeled “dry clean only” or non-colorfast fabrics.

Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover
Works great on Kool-Aid, grape juice, red soda, cranberry juice, orange soda, coffee, tea and red wine stains.  Works on tomato-based stains like ketchup, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and on barbecue sauce. Made from fruit and vegetable extracts and is totally non-toxic.

WD-40 Lubricant
Works great on grease stains and oil stains on clothes like salad dressings, grease splatters when cooking, crayon, lipstick, Chap Stick.  Spray on the WD-40, Wait 10 minutes then work in undiluted liquid dishwashing soap and launder as usual.

Zout laundry stain remover removes tough stains, even old set-in ones.

20 Mule Team Borax
Helps remove soils and stains, brighten clothes and freshen your laundry.

posted by: Kathy Keene 17 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

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