Helpful tips for January 2018

Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
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Helpful tips for January 2018

In this issue:

General tips
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary

General tips
Courtesy of the research team at

And here is a great tip to help you through the month of January; probably
the coldest month of January on record:
How do you know that you may be either approaching frost bite or in the
midst of it?
1. You are having chest pains.
2. You are breathing more quickly than normal.
3. Your fingers and toes are turning color!

Okay, with winter still upon us we have a home grown remedy for dealing with
a bad cold.
Mix equal parts of lemon juice and honey.
Let’s say about 2 teaspoons each.
Great about a table spoon to two table spoons of ginger depending on your
tolerance for it into the mixture.
Then boil water and pour about two cups of water over this.
Let cool, shake well, and pour into a clean bottle then refridgerate.
When you wish to use, pour into a cup, about half cup, then heat for about 1
and a half minutes in your microwave.
Sip slowly.
Drink this just before bedtime.

If you suffer from digestive problems then are two tips to consider:
1. Drink a cup of hot water right after your meal.
2. Eat a few orange sections after your meal.

A word about antibiotics:
Did you know that they can cause you to have constipation?

Protection about your privacy when it comes to paying?
It is best to pay with a credit card versus your bank debit card.
Why? Because with your debit card you can easily expose your banking

An interesting bit of info about Italians at Christmas time:
They cook more fish than meat.

Right then and another tip for Christmas 2018:
If you decide to buy a live Christmas tree, then you can avoid potential
fires to it by always ensuring that its branches are kept damp.
Here is where the artificial tree may have an advantage.

An interesting fact to know before you decide to declaw your cat:
This process entails the removal of the first joint of your cat’s footeg.
It is very painful and should be carefully considered before putting your
cat through this painful process.

Some important info to know when you take your next flight:
No seat belts are to be fastened while the plane is being refuelled.
Cell phones cannot be used after the doors to the aircraft have been closed,
during the flight, and during landing.
They along with other electronic devices can only be used after the engines
have been switched off.


Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

Cheap, Money-Saving Winterizing Moves Worth the Hassle
That aisle at Home Depot with all the winterizing gear? It’s jam-packed with
overly-expensive stuff that might not do your home any good. Here’s a few
relatively cheap and easy moves you can make to cut
your heating bills.
Lock down your windows
In every home, there’s a trade-off between visibility and insulation
happening around each window. If you’re stuck in an apartment with windows
older than your parents, we’ll suggest a few options,
depending on what you’re hoping for in looks and permanence.
The quickest, cheapest, yet still effective solution for windows you don’t
need to look beautiful is a
bubblewrap application, as detailed by Build It Solar
You’ll only need water and some tape to affix the fun-to-pop stuff to a
window, it still lets light through, and it’s surprisingly good at putting
hundreds of little pockets of air between your warm room and the cold
window surface. Thanks
for the tip!
Affordable and Non-Permanent Winterizing for Apartments
You might have a hunch that your apartment will be all kinds of drafty this
winter, but you’re
You might have a hunch that your apartment will be all kinds of drafty this
winter, but you’re not in a position to start replacing insulation. A
valuable Ask MetaFilter thread offers many temporary heat fixes and
DIY draft fixes.
The question comes from a couple in Nova Scotia who spent a winter packed in
outdoor clothes in a ground floor apartment, yet still felt the chill.
They’ve pulled off the basics that a tenant can get away
with—plastic window covers, caulking, draft dodgers, and the like—but needed
a few more ideas. Some of the more novel answers are easily do-able: pick up
insulated curtains, move big furniture pieces
to outside-facing walls, and using temporary ceiling covers in rooms where
the heat truly seems to escape.
Other tactics, like installing a precise electronic thermostat, might
require some landlord approval or subsidizing, but can probably be
rationalized vis-a-vis energy savings when there’s no tenants present.
Don’t like your windows looking like they were just shipped from NewEgg?
Besides the self-sticking foam insulation you’ll find in every hardware
store (that you should never buy too thick) and weather-
sealing, packing-like tape, they recommend this particularly effective
My favorite (draft blocker) is Mortite caulking cord. Caulking cord is sorta
like that clay you played with in kindergarten that never dried. You can
peel strips of it off the roll and shmoosh it into any gaps
in your window.
Dodge the draft (under your door)
The space under a door is kind of necessary if you want to open it, but it’s
a fairly obvious way for heat to escape one room and float into unheated
areas where it isn’t necessary.
Draft dodgers are the slightly pun-ish name for cloth or insulation stoppers
that fit the space under a door, but still allow the door to open with
relative ease.
The Cool Tools blog points to a neat “Twin Draft
that runs about $10, is easily adjustable for most any door, and is
machine-washable, to boot.
Twin Draft Stopper | Cool Tools
Don’t dig the somewhat utilitarian look of retail draft dodgers? The Not
Martha blog has a picture-packed guide to a
fashionable DIY door draft stopper
full Flickr set
shows how you can pack however much insulating foam you need, cut to size,
and seems to fit a bit more snugly than its commercial brethren.
drafty door | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
Below are 7 additional DIY Tips to Winterize Your Home for Cheap
Spircelink is below
1. Clean Out Your Gutters
Gutters that are dammed up with leaves can result in ice dams, which can
lead to all kinds of costly outdoor repairs — damaged shingles, roof leaks,
broken gutters, etc. Additionally, if your gutters are clogged up, water
could be falling right
next to your foundation and leads to possible flooding in the basement.
Estimated Cost: Free, as long as you don’t fall off the roof and end up with
a medical bill.
2. Drain Your External Faucets
Water that is sitting in pipes that lead to outside faucets can freeze and
burst, ultimately flooding your basement and leading to possible water
damage and mold problems. Simply close off the interior faucet valves by
turning them clockwise all
the way to the right. Then go outside and make sure that every last drop has
come out of the faucet.
Estimated Cost: Free
3. Caulk
Search for drafts around windows and doors on a cold windy day. Place a
tissue paper over the suspected draft area. If the paper flutters, you’ve
probably located the draft. For drafts under doors, you may have to buy a
rubber draft stopper to
place at the bottom of the door.
Estimated Cost: $3/tube (One tube should be more than enough.)
4. Repair Your Shingles
If you have cracked, missing, or otherwise damaged shingles, have them
replaced immediately so that you don’t get roof leaks. Strong winds, falling
tree limbs, and sun weathering can all lead to damaged shingles. You might
as well check
them out while you’re up on your roof cleaning out your gutters.
Estimated Cost: $1/shingle
5. You can Flush Your Hot Water Heater
Any time of the year. Read very detailed directions and view visual
directions at the link below.
How to Flush a Water Heater: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
You can
flush a hot water heater
any time of year, but you might as well throw it in with the other
maintenance work you’ll be doing since you really only need to do it about
once a year. If you don’t, sediment can build up at the bottom of your
water heater and cause it to lose efficiency or even leak.
Simply take one of your water hoses and fasten it to the water faucet at the
bottom of your water heater. Turn off the water heater so that you don’t get
burned by hot water accidentally. Run the hose outdoors, preferably, but if
you can’t do that,
then a laundry tub should be sufficient. Open the valve and let the water
drain out completely, rinsing out the sediment with it.
Estimated Cost: $0.001 for the water
6. Replace Your Furnace Filter
Furnace filters, in a clean basement, can lead to a more efficient furnace
when replaced about every six months. I usually replace mine when I first
turn on the heat and then when I switch over to air conditioning in the
Estimated Cost: $5-$15, depending on the furnace
7. Programmable Thermostat
Most programmable thermostats can be purchased for $30-$70. In a cold
climate, you might be able to save that much in a month alone if you set one
up to be cooler while you are out of the house and at night, and warmer when
you are at
home. And they are easier to install than you may think (half-hour job,
Estimated Cost: $30-70


Contributed by Dan Thompson
how to clean and care for a smoothtop electric cooktop
when it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a
beautiful new electric smoothtop ceramic or glass cooktop.
while a smooth top beats a coil element type cooktop in the style
department, it requires a different kind of proactive care to keep it
looking good while at the same time
preventing discoloration and scratching.
what not to do. with smoothtop cooktops, it’s all about prevention. if you
think of your cooktop as a delicate possession that requires your utmost
protection, you’ll be way
ahead of the game.
1. do not use cast iron or stone cookware on a smoothtop cooktop or range.
period. the bottom of these types of cookware can be rough, even gritty like
sandpaper. any
movement on that cooktop can leave permanent scratches.
2. do not drag heavy pots on the cooktop. always lift to another area of
the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.
3. never allow abrasive cleaners, scotch-brite sponges or metal pads near
the cooktop.
4. do not allow spills to sit. clean up such spills and boil overs quickly
when cooking
5. sugary substances, take care not to spill these on a smooth top cooktop.
a sugar substance can discolor the cooktop, leaving yellowish areas that are
impossible to remove.
clean up such spills quickly.
do not stand on top of the co
6. oktop to reach something high up or place anything
heavy on a smoothtop cooktop, even for a few minutes.
7. do not place stirring utensils on a warm cooktop while you cook. food on
these utensils can mark or burn the cooktop, leaving a mess that will
require a lot of time and
effort to clean.
8. do not place bakeware like casseroles, cookies sheets (from the oven) to
cool on a smoothtop cooktop. place these items on a counter to cool.
9. how to clean. here’s the rule: if you wouldn’t use it to clean your
eyeglasses, don’t use it on your smoothtop. always reach for a soft sponge
or cloth and a cream
cleaning solution.
commercial cream cleaners. bar keepers friend now makes a cooktop
cleaner (about $6 for a 13-ounce bottle) that gets rave reviews from
and smooth top owners as well. another highly recommended option is cerama
bryte cooktop cleaner (about $10 for 28 ounces).
10. homemade cream cleaner. make a paste of 50/50 baking soda and blue dawn
dishwashing liquid. stir until smooth. using a sponge to work this cream in
circles over the
entire cooktop. when you’re done, rinse with a wet towel followed by a
microfiber cloth to polish the glass surface.
11/homemade heavy-duty smoothtop cleaner. this is for tough spots and any
stuck on food that spilled while cooking. combine one cup water and one cup
white vinegar in a spray bottle. add 10 drops of lemon essential oil. shake
once the cooktop has cooled, sprinkle baking soda directly on the tough
spray the baking soda with the vinegar mixture. wait until the baking soda
stops fizzing and wipe clean with a very soft cloth or sponge, using the
texture of the powder to
scour off the grease. this will not scratch the surface. repeat as needed
until you’ve taken care of any tough spots.
12. remove discoloration. the natural oils and acids in food cooked on the
stovetop can leave behind dark or light stains on the surface. restoring
discoloration from a
ceramic cooktop involves proper cleaning.
follow these steps
to get your cooktop back to looking new.
a. apply a cream ceramic cooktop cleaner (see above)
b. once the area cools. rub using a soft scrubbing pad made for this
purpose (the cerama bryte ceramic cooktop cleaner kit comes with 5 cleaning
pads), rubbing deep into the
stain. the
abrasive nature of a scrubbing pad that has been designed specifically for a
glass cooktop helps release the stain to remove stubborn discoloration.
c. wipe the area with a wet paper towel or microfiber cloth.
13. remove scratches. it’s best to never allow your cooktop to get
scratched. still, if you have scratches that are visible and visually
annoying, you may be ready to bring
out the big guns. an automotive scratch remover (you won’t find anything
better than meguiar’s ultimate compound) is designed to remove scratches and
leave a clear-coat,
glasslike finish. apply the automotive scratch removing
compound with a soft cloth, and buff the scratch gently. allow the scratch
remover to dry, and then wipe off the compound with a dry cloth.
by mary hunt on 01/21/16


From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
Traveling down town on the subway

There was a time when I used to really travel down town on the subway but
with more and more folks using said means to get to where they need to go;
it has become a real challenge for me. This is not to say that as a blind
person one cannot find ways to keeping enjoying traveling on the subway.

I’d like to offer some tips to help make things easier for those of us with
vision loss.

First off; let’s make sure that others around us are aware that we are
blind. Accordingly, we need to ensure that we travel with our canes and
that they are made visible to those around us.

Next, if we are traveling with guide dogs that our dogs are outfitted with
the relevant tags that say that they are indeed guide dogs.

We should come prepared to ask questions if we feel the need to and we need
to be able to negotiate our way through crowds and throngs.

There are of course other tips that we can benefit from but this is a good

So, enjoy your subway travel.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit
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