Cleaning grout is a nasty job which seems to take a shorter time to get grimy than it does to clean it. This is a home made solution to help get back to clean grout lines.

7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar – throw in a spray bottle and spray your floor, let it sit for a minute or two… then scrub.

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NEW EVENT: Starting Tuesday July 2, Charter House Interiors has a TRUE “Christmas in July” department. One of our suppliers accidentally shipped a Christmas order early. As we were pricing it we had the brilliant idea of doing a small Christmas corner on our second floor.

JUST A REMINDER: There is still a good selection of outdoor furniture, hammocks, Adirondacks and accessories. Summer is just starting and there is lots of relaxation time left.

HAPPY JUNE 30 BIRTHDAY TO: Michael Phelps 28, Mike Tyson 47, Cheryl Cole 30, Lena Horne (1917-2010), Susan Hayward (1917-1975), Lizzy Caplan 31, and Angela Sarafyan 30.

Primer comes before paint. Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.

Paint like a pro. Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around door frames, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation. Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition.

One gallon at a time. How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days. Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.

Put your sandwich bags to work. Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.

Out with the old. If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish. If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

Give the walls a sponge bath. Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

Don’t look back. Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface.

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors. Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.

Take away the shine. Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.

Turn in the brush. Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

Spare the wall plates. Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results.

Patience is a virtue. You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: NOTE TO SELF: Do not get on a trampoline without a bra.

Zip Lock Baggies………..who knew?
We went with friends to a restaurant on Sunday for lunch and sat in the patio section beside the store. We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut. Naturally we were curious!The owner told us that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there were no flies in the eating area! This morning I checked this out on Google.
Below are comments on this fly control idea. I’m now a believer!

Zip-lock water bags: #1 Says:I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer.The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!

#2 Says:Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.

#3 Says:I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store& have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection& won’t come around.

#4 Says:Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and thought these “hillbillies” were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn’t hang around long.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I woke up hungover to the sound of my neighbor mowing the lawn. I figure he’ll just have to mow around me…I’m not moving!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today!

HAPPY JUNE 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Kellie Pickler 27, Mel Brooks 87, Gilda Radner (1946-1989), Kathy Bates 65, John Elway 53, Jon Cusack 47, Pat Morita (1932-2005), and King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547).

Garbage and re-cycling bins are a necessity in our yards today but looking out at the Blue and black plastic bins from your kitchen window can tend to be an eye-sore. Creating a vertical garden is the perfect solution. If you are looking for a DIY project for the weekend this screen is made from packing pallets perfect.
You will need to first build a basic frame to mount the pallets then run a plane over any areas that look like they may splinter or pierce the plants. Install large strap hinges on the inside corners (or outside if you don’t mind the rustic look) and a wheel for ease of movement of the pallet ‘doors’. Use a good marine paint for a long lasting paint job. Create a base in the rungs to support the plants and paint. You can line the troughs with a weed mat liner, a small layer of moss and follow with potting mix. If you can find pots small enough to fit, it will be an even easier way to fill the wall with green. Succulents are very suitable as they don’t require a great deal of space for their root system and are low maintenance. Faux (resin) succulents like we sell at Charter House are a good ‘fill-in’ plant between the real succulents. A single pallet mounted on an ugly wall or large expanse of fence makes a gorgeous living wall as well.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

SAYING OF THE DAY: When a woman says “What?” It’s not because she didn’t here you. She’s giving you a chance to change what you said.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly. Remind them, there is some millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1985 U.S. Route 66 ceases to be an official U.S. highway

HAPPY JUNE 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Tobey Maguire 39, Helen Keller (1880-1968), Bob “Captain Kangaroo’ Keeshan (1927-2004), Sam Claflin 27, Matthew Lewis 24, Ross Perot 83, Vera Wang 64, and one of those dreadful Kardashians, Khloe 29.

This summer dessert has been done before but it never hurts to do it again. If you have volunteered a dessert at a function this summer and want something refreshing, not too filling and low-calorie; then this is the dessert to bring. It is welcome on its own or with a fruit dip. TIP: 1.) Choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size, then you can be (almost dead certain) that it is ripe, sweet and juicy. 2.) If the watermelon rocks because it is too round, slice a wee bit of rind off the bottom to make a flat base.

Wash the watermelon, then mark the rind with a Sharpie in as straight a line as possible less than 1/3 of the way down from the top. Cut the top off just below the Sharpie line so none of the ink is left on the rind. Score the pulp in about one and a half-inch slices and slide the knife around the perimeter, then remove the pulp in pieces as large and undamaged as possible. Scrape out the remainder of the pulp with a large spoon, then turn the melon upside down to drain any residual juice. Turn it back over and dry with a paper towel, then fill with ‘finger’ fruits such as pineapple, grapes, melons and strawberries. Refrigerate until time to eat. Have some fancy toothpicks on hand for serving. No dishes to bring to the party and none to take home.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: What do you call a fake noodle?    Answer: An impasta.   (I didn’t say it was a good joke).

JUST SHOOT ME NOW: That moment when you start singing along to a song you hate and a piece of your soul dies.

HAPPY JUNE 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Abner Doubleday, an army officer often credited with inventing baseball (1819-1893), Nick Offerman 43, Chris O’Donnell 43, Chris Isaak 57, Peter Lorre (1904-1964), Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), and Derek Jeter 39.

A Story back by popular demand

Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Cop pulls me over, says: “Your eyes look red…you been smokin’ weed. I replied: “Your eyes look glazed, have you been eating donuts?”

HAPPY JUNE 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Carley Simon 68, Jimmy Walker 66, George Michael 50, Ricky Gervais 52, June Lockhart 88, and Phyllis George 64.

We’ve all had our most favorite (or versatile) pair of pants ruined because the zipper slides down with every movement. And…we’ve all tried the big safety-pin trick with disastrous results. This trick is so head-slapper-simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought of this. Buy a split ring about the size of a penny from any key shop and run it through the hole at the top of the zipper, then hook it around the button on the waistband. Do up your jeans and the ring is hidden.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything retail, sells everything wholesale and pays the freight both ways. – JFK

JUNE 24th is: Take Your Dog To Work Day (we do that every day)

HAPPY JUNE 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Robert Downey Sr. 77, Joe Penny 57, Solange Knowles 27, Jeff Beck 69, Minka Kelly 33, Mindy Kaling 34, Mick Fleetwood 66, Michelle Lee 71, Sherry Stringfield 46, Petra Nemcova 34, Ian Glen 52, and Peter Weller 66.

Cucumbers are cooler than you think…

“1. Fat busting: Do you ever wonder why women put cucumbers on their eyes to relieve puffiness? The photochemical in cucumbers makes the collagen in your skin tighten, thus the lack of puffiness. Did you know that you can rub a cucumber on a problematic spot of cellulite anywhere on your body to lessen the visibility of it? Did you also know that it has the same effect on wrinkles? Wow, it makes purchasing those fifty dollar creams seem a little silly, doesn’t it? You can also rub a little bit under your kiddo’s eyes after a long bout of crying to avoid that puffy ‘I cried for an hour straight’ look.

2. Defogger: Do you get annoyed when you get out of the shower and you have to fight the fog on the mirror? Who has time for that when the kids will be awake at any moment? Try rubbing a slice of cucumber on the mirror before you hop in and not only will you get a fog-free mirror, but you’ll have a nice smell that will boost your mood.

3. Headaches: If you suffer from headaches from stress, or had a little too much wine with dinner and want to avoid a hangover, eat half of a cucumber before bed. Cucumbers are high in B vitamins, sugar, and electrolytes, and they replenish the nutrients missing in your body to help you avoid a hang over or to beat that headache that’s been threatening to take over.

4. WD-40 replacement: Did you know you can get rid of a squeak by rubbing a cucumber on the hinge? Wow, now you don’t have to tear your garage apart looking for that little can with the red straw.

5. Crayon on the walls: Take an unpeeled cucumber and rub the crayon off of the walls in the event that your kiddo left you some art. You can also use this technique to erase a pen mistake.

6. Halitosis killer: Take a slice of cucumber and put it on the roof of your mouth. Hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds. The photochemical that you love for cellulite and puff reduction will also kill the bacteria that is causing your bad breath.

7. Tarnish remover: If you’re finding tarnish on your stainless steel kitchen faucets and appliances? Rub it off with a cucumber slice. Not only will it remove years of tarnish, it will leave it streak free and your hands will thank you, and your kids won’t be put at risk from a dangerous chemical.

8. Energy booster: If you’re feeling tired in the afternoon, don’t give Starbucks your five bucks. Instead, grab a cucumber. There are just enough carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you a longer-lasting and healthier boost of energy than soda, coffee, or those health hazard energy drinks.

9. Munchy madness: Did you know that European trappers ate cucumbers for energy and to keep from starving to death? If those big burly manly men can eat a cucumber to keep from starving, you can eat one as a healthy choice when the munchies hit. Slice some up and take them in a small plastic container to the movies if your theater doesn’t offer healthy alternatives to munching on butter soaked popcorn.

10. Frugal facial: Slice up a cucumber and boil it in a pot of water. The chemicals inside of the cucumber will mix with the steam. Remove the pot from heat and lean over it, letting the steam hit you. Your skin will be more radiant and healthy, and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

11. Shoe polish: Cut a slice off of your cucumber and rub it on your shoe. It will not only shine it up, but it will repel water.

12. Pest control: Put three or four slices of cucumber in a small pie tin and place them in your garden. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate. You won’t smell it, but it will drive them from your garden all year long. Replace them periodically.

13. Sunburn: Sometimes sun block doesn’t always protect your little ones from sunburn. If you have burnt little kiddos you don’t have any aloe, rub some cucumber on them. Many doctors even use cucumber to treat patients with irritated skin and sunburns.

14. Blood pressure: Cucumber has been long used to treat high blood pressure. If you have it, add cucumbers to your daily diet. There is also ongoing research into the use of cucumbers for lowering cholesterol.

15. Constipation remedy: The seeds of a cucumber are a diuretic. If you’re constipated, try eating a cucumber. If you suffer from chronic constipation, add cucumber to your daily diet.”

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I got caught taking a pee in the local swimming pool yesterday. The lifeguard shouted at me so loud, I nearly fell in.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: If a man hasn’t discovered something he is willing to die for, he isn’t fit to live. – Martin Luther King 1963

HAPPY JUNE 23 BIRTHDAY TO: Selma Blair 41, June Carter Cash (1929-2003), Randy Jackson 57, Ted Shackleford 67, Melissa Rauch 33, and Zinedine Zidane 41.

1/2 gallon of Apple Cider Vinegar 1/4 c table salt 1/2 tsp Dawn liquid dish soap Mix above ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray weeds thoroughly. 1/2 gallon for around $6.40 Works better than Round Up – kills weeds on 1st application. The Dawn dish soap strips the weed of its protective oils so the vinegar can work with deadly force. Safe for use in yards used by children and pets!!

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Overheard in an FBI briefing room: “Once Jimmy Hoffa is found, we can move on to finding Jimmy Buffet’s lost shaker of salt.”

HAPPY JUNE 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Meryl Streep 64, Cyndi Lauper 60, Prunella Scales 81, Freddie Prinze (1954-1977), Kris Kristofferson 77, Carson Daly 40, Lindsay Wagner 64, Todd Rundgren 65, Donald Faison 35, John Dillinger (1903-1934), Peter Asher 69, and Tracey Pollan 53.

“Pass The Butter … Please”

This is disturbingly interesting…Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.

DO YOU KNOW…The difference between margarine and butter? Both have the same amount of calories. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine. Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study. Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added! Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods. Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine: Very High in Trans fatty acids.Triples risk of coronary heart disease. Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol). Increases the risk of cancers up to five times. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response.

And here’s the most disturbing fact… HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING! Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT. These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance). Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things: * no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) * it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

EXERCISE TIP OF THE DAY: My exercise routine consists of doing diddly squats.

GOOD ADVICE: I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and say, “Well, that’s not going to happen.”

HAPPY JUNE 21 BIRTHDAY TO: Tony Scott (1944-2012), Carrie Preston 46, Prince William 31, Jane Russell (1921-2011), Mariette Hartley 73, Michael Gross 66, Meredith Baxter 66, Juliette Lewis 40, and Doug Savant 49.