Helpful tips for September 2019

Helpful tips for September 2019

In this issue:

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

Now you can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource
for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.


General tips
Courtesy of the research team at

Scams of the month:
This scam continues.
If you receive an email from an unknown sender telling you that they know
your password but you notice that they are only giving you a portion of your
password; then please read on.
This is a scam and simply ignore their threats.
Do not respond to their demands for payment in return for them not taking
further action.

An email telling you that your product has been shipped and that you need to
download the attached.
If you do not recognize the sender then please delete this email and do not
even think of downloading the attached.
If you make the mistake to download it then you have just given away free
access to your system to a hacker.

Now, here is a way to rid your home of those bothersome flies!
Fill transparent bottles with water and place in positions where they can
receive light.
Presto! The flies will be scared off by their own reflections!
Or do the same with plastic bags.
Fill them with water and place in positions where the light can shine on
This should scare off those bothersome buzzing flies!

Some interesting facts about lizards:
They live in dark cupboards and behind furniture and appliances.
They jump from spot to spot.
If you are scared of them then best to spray behind furniture, appliances,
and the interior of your cupboards.

If you are seeking to minimize paint smells then try this:
Place containers of water close to where the painting has been carried out.
Add a dash of vinigar to the water.

Okay, something useful to know when weighing yourself the next time:
How you place your feet on your bathroom scale will determine your weight.
In other words; be sure to position your feet correctly on your bathroom
scale before you weigh yourself.

About crabs:
They normally live in holes on beaches or on grassy patches located close to
They defend themselves with their pinchers and they rase said pinchers when
preparing to engage a perceived enemy.

About dogs:
You can cause them much pain if you tug at their tails.
Their noses are usually cool to the touch but if their noses are warm then
they may be suffering from a fever.
They would normally suck at their paws or lick the floor if they are bored.

A tip when staying at a hotel:
If you wish to have the cleaning staff change your towels, sheets, and clean
your room, then remember to place the sign with the side that says service
on the knob or handle on the outside of the door to your room.

A tip about planes:
Here is where most of us often catch flu bugs or colds.
Yes, while traveling on planes.

A tip on clogged ears:
If you find yourself losing your hearing while traveling on an aircraft then
chew some gum to unclog your air passages.
This helps.

Removing bangles or bracelets from your hands:
Rub a gob of hand lotion or hand cream starting from your fingers and
reaching to where your bangle or bracelet is.
Then start sliding your bangle or bracelet towards your wrist.
Continue on until the bangle or bracelet has been removed.

When cutting or clipping your nails:
Make it easier on yourself by soaking your nails in some warm water before
starting off.

When contemplating becoming a blood donor:
Remember the if you are under 110 pounds you are unable to donate.
Ditto for if you are on medication.
Finally, if you have been the recipient of an organ.


Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

A Dan Thompson contribution

nontoxic ways to keep mice out of your house or apartment
* Help! A Non-Toxic and Humane Way To Get Rid of Mice …
Q: A mouse just crawled over our houseguest’s foot when she was sitting at
the desk in the guest room. Coincidentally (?) I heard something that I’m
now realizing had to have been mice in the walls in the kitchen yesterday.
we have a problem. I’m so horrified. We rent but the landlord is very
hands-off. She’ll just want us to fix it and send her the bill. Who do I
call or what do I do that won’t be super toxic for us or the environment?
1. All rodents are allergic to real peppermint oil (the imitation stuff
won’t work). Just put some on cotton balls and leave them in the mouse’s
favorite hiding places, and near their nest (if you know where it is).
They’ll vacate the area
2. ultrasonic pest repellers that plug into a standard electrical socket.
These have proven quite useful and can be found at hardware stores, Wal-mart
etc. It is suggested to move these every few months so the unwanted
visitors don’t get use to the sound.
3. A RatZapper will get rid of rodents humanely and without a mess.
It works really well, and the rodents die instantly.
4. Snap traps and rat zappers are effective and will (usually) kill the
mouse instantly.
If you’re squeamish about actually killing the mice, you can rig up a trap
with a paper towel roll, some peanut butter, and an empty trash can l.
Here is a link to a page with many more Q&A.
* 5 Ways to Get Rid of Mice Naturally
1. Creating barriers
Block up holes in interior and exterior walls. Start with the interior
it’s best to leave a way out for the mice. They may leave your home or
apartment for easier pickings elsewhere. If trapped within the walls they
chew new holes. Find the places the mice are using. Sometimes there will
be greasy stains, and there will almost always be faeces near an entryway.
There is also a characteristic odor. Mark the holes with chalk and clean
the area.
Seal the entryways with scouring pads. The usual recommendation is steel
wool. Unfortunately, steel wool rusts and is not a permanent solution.
Instead, use green kitchen
pads (those used for cleaning pans and such) cut to the right size, or
copper scouring pads. The pads must be secured to the sides of the hole or
the mice will eventually pull
them out. Large holes will need to be repaired.
After a couple of days, look for evidence of continuing mouse activity.
there is any, check the holes that you sealed, and look for more holes.
Seal as needed.
Once you are sure that the interior walls are secure, seal any holes on
the exterior of your building. You may use plastic scouring pads, but in
some cases walls may need
tuck-pointing or other repairs.
2. Deterring mice
Keep your home clean. If there is nothing to eat, they will be less likely
to stay. Keep all food stored properly in airtight containers and in places
that are safe from
mouse attack.
Put your trash cans as far away as possible from your home. Mice smell it
and get attracted to your house.
3. Repelling mice
a. As mentioned earlier in this document, try peppermint oil. Peppermint
oil is a natural deterrent. The smell is simply
too intense for rodents and they will not try to go near it. It also helps
to mask the scent of any tasty morsels that have been missed when cleaning.
You can get peppermint
oil in most health food stores and even some major grocery stores. Place a
drop or two on a cotton ball.
Place the cotton balls in areas where mice are likely to enter your
house, by doorways or heat vents, etc.
b. Another helpful deterrent is to grow peppermint plants near the
You can use the mint in cooking as well as it serving a deterrent
c. Place tubs of used kitty litter around entrances of the house. The
mice will sniff the smell of cat urine and clear off in a jiffy.
d. Use dried snake poo. Visit a local reptile center, zoo, or pet store
and ask for some dried snake poo. Place near entrances and in places where
mice seem to go. Keep
out of the reach of children and pets. mi
e. Zap with beeps. There are electronic units that emits an ultrasonic
beeping sound that rodents hate. These work only on a line of sight basis
and only for a short time
until the mice become used to them.
f. Use a mixture of organic solutions. Companies that specialize in
organic solutions can make large solutions of organic pesticides or
repellents that might not otherwise
be cost effective if you were to try and apply it to a large area. Do an
online search.[1]
4. Trapping Mice
a. Don’t kill trapped mice. Killing rodents won’t keep mice gone for long
(when animals are killed, more will move in to use available resources) and
can actually result in
a temporary spike in the food supply, causing remaining
rodents to breed. This creates a vicious killing cycle in which many animals
will suffer and die needlessly. There are various traps that you might like
to try using, all of
which allow you to set the mouse free, as explained in this
b. Try a humane trap. There are traps that catch the mouse in a box. The
mouse can get in but not out. This can be a humane way to catch mice, once
you catch them; you will
need to release them at least 1 mile (1.6 km) from your home,
perhaps a heavily wooded area to give them somewhere else to go.
c. Throw a towel over the mouse. It will stay under the towel for a short
time. Put an inverted waste-paper basket over the towel. Tuck the exposed
bits of towel under the
basket so it is in contact with the ground. Slide an LP record
, or large piece of cardboard under the basket and towel. Carefully turn
up the right way. Take outside and walk (or run!) the basket, mouse, and
towel as far from your home
as possible; once you’re at least 200 feet (61.0 m) from your home, release
the mouse.
d. Use a glass bowl and a coin. Invert a large glass bowl with some
chocolate stuck up inside it, on a tray. Balance the bowl at an angle with a
50 cent piece or other
large coin on the edge, edge to edge. Place it where you know the mouse is
Leave it. The mouse will enter under bowl and reach up for chocolate
upsetting balance, bowl will fall and trap mouse underneath on tray.
Remove the mouse and place it well away from the house.
e. Set up a 10 gallon (37.9 L) aquarium with food in it. Put the aquarium
in a spot that the mice travel in a way that blocks the mouse’s usual path.
Check it frequently.
Put a top on the aquarium if you find a mouse in there. Release the mouse
well away from the house.
5. Pets and mice
a. Let the cat do what comes naturally. A house cat can also take care of
the problem, especially if you have an outdoor/indoor cat, as they are used
to hunting to find
their own food and may track down that mouse. Just beware, not all cats have
enough energy or self-desire to hunt mice and well-food indoor kitties might
just see the mouse as
a toy, and grow quickly bored of it after scaring it half witless.
b. Get rid of mice quickly if you have dogs. Dogs have different immune
systems than cats and therefore may not be able to handle the possible
diseases that mice carry; it’s
best to put up mice repellents rather than traps inside your home. Wouldn’t
you rather keep the mice outside in the first place rather than deal with
them in your home?
c. Cultivate birds of prey to nest in your yard. A barn owl is the best. A
family of barn owls can eat 15 mice a night! Build a shelter box in your
garden to attract some
onto your property, but make sure the shelter box has no nails or safety
hazards; some types of owls are endangered, and you might attract other
types of owls than barn owls
(if they are hurt, you could be charged a fine
and you will be needing to pay the vet bill for the owl)
Below is the source link to the “5 Ways to Get Rid of Mice Naturally”
Here is a google search with many more ideas.


Contributed by Dan Thompson
home improvement money-saving secrets
a. If you’ve been putting off updating or sprucing up your home because of
the high cost of home improvements, today’s readers
are sure to inspire you to do those projects yourself, for less!
HARDWOOD FLOORING. My husband and I wanted a hardwood floor but the estimate
of more than $3,000 (which worked out to
more than $7 per square foot) was out of our budget. We decided to try
4-foot by 8-foot
sheets of veneer plywood
at less than $45
a sheet, or about $1.40 per square foot. We installed the plywood and
sealed it with two gallons of
. The floor is
beautiful and cost about $675 total.
b. SHOWER CURTAIN RESCUE. In a house full of boys who don’t know their own
strength I frequently find the shower curtain
torn away from the hooks. To fix this I use clear packaging tape to cover
the hole, punch a new hole, replace the shower ring and
its good as new. Double the tape and it lasts twice as long.
c. VERTICAL BLIND RENEW. Do not throw away your old, faded, cloth verticals
blinds. I didn’t want to pay for new ones, so I
painted them with the same off-white paint I was using in another part of
the house. Any color latex paint will work. Just allow a
couple of days for them to dry. I discovered that with the extra weight of
the paint, they hang more beautifully than ever.
d. OUTLET COVER RE-DO. We recently painted the inside of our house a
lighter color. Suddenly the almond-color light switch
and outlet covers stuck out with their darker dated color. Instead of
replacing all of the outlet plugs and light switches from almond
color to white, we made a cardboard template to go around the plugs and
switches and sprayed them white with an epoxy spray
paint (must be epoxy to adhere to plastic). We bought the epoxy spray pain
at the local hardware store and chose a nice white
color. This saved an enormous amount of time and money and it looks really
e. REFINISH FORMICA. We bought an older house that had old, outdated
Formica countertops in the bathroom and kitchen.
Instead of replacing it we very successfully painted it. We used a product
found at at this link:
to prime the Formica, then the color paint we wanted in semi-gloss finish
followed by three thick coats of
Crystal Clear Top Coat
like the product by Krylon, to seal it and protect it from the water. For
over a year now it has held up against the toughest of tests—
two little boys. It looks beautiful and all for under $100. Check
this tutorial
for specific directions.


From the pages of Donna’s diary
Protecting yourself at the airport

Believe it or not, one always needs to protect one’s self when at an airport
and here are some hints and tips that I have developed over the years. As a
regular traveler, I have had to learn by trial and error and I am happy to
share these.

1. Always keep your passport and credit cards closest to your chest. Never
leave them for a moment lying around on the surface at the check in counter
or on a table in a lounge.

2. The same for your keys; car, house, or any other type of key.

3. When labelling your luggage tags, never put your phone number on the tag
as this is one way for scammers to seize on this and use it to try and hack
your info.

4. Pay very close attention when using those unsecured wi-fis at the
airport. Just remember, scammers love to lurk on these and are only waiting
to pounce if you do not take your precautions.

5. Do not for one second leave your i device or your computer unattended.
Make this mistake and guess what? You have just given an unknown person
carte blanch to your data.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit

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