Helpful tips for March 2022

Helpful tips for March 2022

In this issue:

General tips
Articles of the day

  • Bee Sting Treatment + A Quick Natural Home Remedy – Dr. Axe
    From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
  • Should I travel just in my country?

General tips
Courtesy of the research team at

Scams of the month:
Before giving you our scam tips of the month, here are some very valueable tips.
You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes! It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown callers.
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any revenue agency.
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of service package.
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details have been compromised online.

From Donna –
Some very useful tips on using Alexa:
Hey Alexa
A) Guess the prices of every day (or not quite every day) items from Earn extra points by playing classic mini games like Plinko, Showcase Showdown, and more. Just say, “Alexa, open the Price is Right.”
B) From sleep timers and alarms, to reminders, and calendar management, Alexa can take care of the details so you can focus on the holidays. Just say, “Alexa, remind me to take the dog out before bed.”
C) To keep you organized and your dishes ready on time, Alexa can help you with multiple cooking timers at once. Just say, “Alexa, set a rib roast timer for 20 minutes.”
D) Link your phone and ask Alexa to call it when it’s misplaced. Just say, “Alexa, find my phone.”

From Melanie with huge thanks:

1) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes
Dishwasher Film

  • Fill dishwasher with all your glasses and porcelain china. Never put any silver, aluminum or brass in the washer when this method is used or you will have a mess. Put a bowl in the bottom of the dishwasher. Pour 1 cup of household bleach into the bowl. Run through washing cycle but do not dry. This is important. Fill bowl again with 1 cup white vinegar and let the dishwasher go through the entire cycle. This will remove all film, not only from your glasses but from your dishwasher too.

2) About clogged drains

  • When a drain is clogged with grease, pour a cup of salt and a cup of baking soda in the drain followed by a kettle of boiling water. The grease will usually dissolve immediately and open the drain.

2) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes:
Electric Frying Pan

  • To rid the brown grease spots that form on the bottom of electric frying pan, place the pan in a large plastic bag containing a cloth saturated with ammonia. Close the bag with a rubber band, leaving the handle containing the electric element outside of the bag. In a few hours, remove the pan and you’ll be able to wipe the spots off with ease.

3) Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes
Garbage Disposals

  • Grind a half lemon into the disposal to remove any unpleasant odor.

4) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes

  • Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the dishwasher to make glasses sparkle.
  • Hot vinegar will help remove paint spots from glass.
  • To take off stubborn stains from the inside of glass vases, dampen the interior and sprinkle with any toilet bowl cleaner. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes and the stains or film will disappear.

5) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes

  • Use a pastry brush to brush lemon rind, cheese, onion or whatever out of the grater before washing it.

6) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes
Meat Grinder

  • Before washing, run a piece of bread through it.

7) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes:

  • Following a spill, sprinkle with salt immediately. When oven is cool, brush off burnt food and wipe with damp sponge.
  • Sprinkle bottom of oven with automatic-dishwasher soap and cover with wet paper towels. Let stand for a few hours.
  • A quick way to clean oven parts is to place a bath towel in the bathtub and pile all removable parts from the oven onto it. Draw enough hot water to just cover the racks, etc. and sprinkle a cup of dishwasher soap over it. When you are cleaning the inside of the oven, the rest will be cleaning itself.
  • Try cleaning the glass on your oven door by dipping a washcloth in baking soda. Use as you would scouring powder.

8) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes
Plastic Cups

  • Coffee or tea stains can be scoured out with baking soda.

9) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes
Aluminum Utensils

  • Minerals in foods and water may cause dark stains inside aluminum utensils. To remove stains, boil water to which you have added some white vinegar.

10) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes

  • A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminiate odors.
  • To prevent mildew from forming, wipe with vinegar. The acid effectively kills the mildew fungus.
  • Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of warm water. Wash inside and out.
  • Use a glycerin-soaked cloth to wipe sides and shelves. Future spills wipe up easier. And after the freezer has been defrosted, coat the inside and coils with glycerin. The next time you defrost, the ice will loosen quickly and drop off in sheets.
  • An open box of baking soda will absorb food odors for at least a month or two.

11) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes

  • For a sparkling white sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Let sit for 30 minutes or so.
  • Stains on porcelain can be easily removed with a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar.
  • Rub stainless steel sinks with lighter fluid if rust marks appear. After the rust disappears, wipe with your regular kitchen cleaner.
  • To remove streaks from stainless steel, rub with baby oil or olive oil.
  • Use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to remove water spots from stainless steel.
  • Spots on stainless steel can also be removed with white vinegar.
  • Carbonated water will shine up stainless steel in a jiffy.

12) Best Of Helpful Hints: The Kitchen
Cleanups/For The Drops And Disasters, Plus Some Of The Ordinary Dreary Messes:

  • To renew and freshen, soak overnight in salt water or baking soda.
  • Wash in dishwasher.

Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

Bee Sting Treatment + A Quick Natural Home Remedy – Dr. Axe
As the weather warms up and people spend more time outdoors, itís a very smart idea to have some bee sting treatment options on hand. As you probably already know, a bee sting
is a sting from any type of bee, while a wasp sting comes from a wasp. For most people, bee stings are an annoying and painful occurrence that can be treated without medical
According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program, ìOnly a very limited portion of the population ó one to two people out of 1,000 ó is allergic or
hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings.î (1 <

If you already know that you are allergic to bee stings or have been stung multiple times, then you should not use a natural bee sting treatment. Bee sting home remedies are
definitely not meant for anyone who experiences severe reactions to a bee sting. These reactions might include breathing difficulty or throat tightness and other indications
of a severe allergic response. However, according to National Capital Poison Control, the most common ìnormalî reaction to a sting from a bee, wasp, yellow jacket or hornet is
not too serious. It usually involves some pain, swelling and itching only at the area where you got stung. (2 )
I hope you wonít have to use any bee sting treatment Iím about to discuss.
But just in case you or a loved one do get stung by one of those buzzing honey makers, youíll know just what to do after reading this article.
Bee Sting Interesting Facts
There are around 20,000 different species of bees in the world
Only female bees can sting thanks to the venom they store in a sac
attached to their stinger, which is part of the female beeís reproductive system. (3 < ) Some kinds of bees, like Africanized honeybees, < are more likely than are other bees to swarm and sting in a group. You are more likely to get a bee sting if your work or hobbies involve spending time outdoors or if you live somewhere that bees are especially active or with beehives nearby. (4 )
Approximately 3% of people stung by bees and wasps experience an
allergic reaction. Up to 0.8% of bee sting victims experience the severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. (5
< ) Some kinds of bees actually die after stinging because their stingers (attached to their abdomen) have little hooks on them and when they go to fly away after stinging someone, part of their abdomens are torn away. (6 < ) Common Bee Sting Symptoms When a bee stings you, it leaves a behind a venomous toxin that can cause unpleasant symptoms. Itís not uncommon to be stung by a bee. Most of the time the sting will probably come from a honey bee. Yellow jackets, which are actually wasps, not bees, are the leading cause of insect sting allergic reactions in the United States. (7 < ) According to the The National Capital Poison Control: All symptoms of an ëordinaryí sting are at the sting site itself. Expected effects are pain, swelling, redness, and itching. All effects are at that specific spot. Even if the area is still red, swollen, itchy, and painful the next day ó itís an expected reaction, not an allergic reaction. (8 )
Most of the time, a bee or wasp sting causes minor symptoms at the sting site including: (9 )
Burning or itching
Bee Sting Treatment: 7 Bee Sting Remedies
For ordinary bee stings that do not cause an allergic reaction, experts agree that a home bee sting treatment is enough. If you do not have multiple bee stings or an allergic
reaction, home remedies for bee stings are all you need for an ordinary bee sting, according to sources like the Mayo Clinic.
Before using any natural bee sting remedy or wasp sting remedy, Poison Control advises that you do two things: (11 )

  1. Remove the stinger: When you get stung by a bee, the first thing you
    should do is determine if the stinger is still present in your skin (youíre looking for a small black dot at the sting site). If it is, then you should scrape it out with an
    object that is not sharp, like a finger nail or the edge of a credit card. If may seem like a good idea, but do not use tweezers or fingers to pull out a stinger because this
    only pushes more venom into the skin.
  2. Sanitize the area: Once the stinger is out, you should cleanse the
    sting site well with soap and water.
    At this point, conventional treatment of stings often includes applying a cortisone cream or an antihistamine cream. For severe itching many people also take diphenhydramine

(brand names like BenadrylÆ). If you would rather try a natural bee sting treatment, then here are some of the best and most effective options:

  1. Baking Soda + Water
    Baking soda uses and remedies < are pretty endless. In fact, baking soda is even part of a natural bees sting treatment. Rather than using a conventional steroid or antihistamine cream, Poison Control also instructs that you can apply a paste of good old baking soda and water. (12 ) You definitely donít want to forget this simplistic, yet highly
    effective, bee sting treatment, which also works as a wasp sting remedy.
  2. Ice
    One of the simplest, yet most effective, remedies for a bee or wasp sting is to apply an ice pack to the area where you got stung. The CDC also recommends ice as part of basic
    bee or wasp sting management. The ice will help with both inflammation as well as itching. It will also help draw blood to the sting site for optimal healing. (13
  3. Elevation
    The arms and legs can be common sting sites. If you are stung on your arm or leg, elevate that affected limb. Elevation will allow gravity to help fluid leave the swollen
    area where you were stung. (14
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar
    Another great home bee sting treatment that you likely already have on hand is apple cider vinegar < . By applying apple cider vinegar to the area where you got stung, it can help to neutralize bee venom and therefore calm unwanted bee sting symptoms. An easy way to apply apple cider vinegar to a bee sting is to saturate the non-sticky, absorbent pad of a bandage and put the bandage over the sting. This way, that padded area comes in contact with the area where the stinger went into your skin. You can also soak a clean bit of cloth in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. (15 )
  5. Honey
    So a honeybee may have been the insect behind your throbbing sting, but what a honeybee makes can also help to quell the inflammation and itch. It can also help to prevent
    infection. Iím talking about honey and I recommend raw honey <
    in particular for its higher anti-inflammatory enzyme
    content. Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. When honey is applied to a sting site or wound, the enzyme glucose oxidase actually produces
    hydrogen peroxide. This creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria. (16 <
    ) You can apply a small amount of high quality
    honey to the sting area, cover it with a loose bandage and leave it on for an hour or less. You can do this several times per day as needed.
  6. Activated Charcoal
    You can mix activated charcoal powder with water or oil to create a paste and apply it as a bee sting home remedy (also a wasp sting remedy). The activated charcoal
    helps to draw out any leftover venom and calm bee sting and wasp sting symptoms. (17 <
  7. Witch Hazel
    Pimples, mosquito bites, bee stings, wasp stings the list goes on and on when it comes to all the ways witch hazel < can calm inflammatory skin issues. Witch hazel is an astringent made from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel plant. Simply apply witch hazel directly to the sting site as needed. (18 )
    How to Make a Bee Sting Home Remedy
    1 capsule of activated charcoal
    Ω tablespoon of coconut oil
  8. Pour the contents of one activated charcoal capsule into a small bowl
    and add the coconut oil, mixing well.
  9. Dab the mixture onto the affected area.
  10. Reapply every 30 minutes until itching and discomfort subside.
    You may want to cover the sting area with a bandage after you apply the mixture since charcoal stains whatever it touches very easily. You can also try my DIY Healing Poultice
    Remedy < , which I remember my grandma using on my bee stings as a kid. Bee Sting Possible Side Effects and Caution A bee sting can cause a very severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis often initially reveals itself as severe itching of the eyes or face. Within minutes, more serious symptoms can develop including: (19 < ) Swelling, which can cause problems with swallowing and breathing Hives and swelling Chest tightness and a feeling of tightness in the throat Sudden weakness Increased heart rate Decrease in blood pressure Cramps Abdominal pain Vomiting Diarrhea If you show any symptoms of anaphylaxis, you must seek medical help immediately. Anaphylaxis can quickly cause shock, unconsciousness and even death if not treated fast enough. According to Mayo Clinic, most bee stings do not require a trip to the emergency room or a visit to your doctor. However, in more serious cases, you definitely need to seek immediate medical care. If youíre having a serious reaction to a bee sting and just one or two symptoms that suggest anaphylaxis, then call 911. If you have previously been prescribed an emergency epinephrine autoinjector (like an EpiPen), use it immediately as directed. People who experience a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting have a 30 to 60 percent chance of anaphylaxis the next time theyíre stung. Adults also tend to have more severe reactions than children. Adults are more likely to die of anaphylaxis than children are. (20 )
    Seek prompt medical care if bees have swarmed you and stung you multiple times. Multiple stings can be a medical emergency in children, older adults, and people who have heart
    or breathing problems. Wasp or bee stings in the mouth or nose, even in people not known to be allergic to bee stings, also require emergency medical care since stings in
    these areas can lead to swelling that can interfere with breathing.
    Bee stings can itch, but avoid scratching since that can cause infection. If your mild bee sting symptoms donít resolve within a few days or youíve begun to have other
    allergic response symptoms, then see your doctor right away.
    You can also call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 any time if you have questions about how to handle a sting and whether or not you or someone you know is having an allergic
    Final Thoughts
    Bee stings are certainly not pleasant and for some people they can even be life-threatening. As long as someone does not experience a serious allergic reaction, then doing a
    bee sting treatment in the comfort of your own home can be all that you need. Bee stings may not be fun, but at least a natural bee sting treatment is easy and cost effective.
    According to the CDC, there are also some ways you can prevent stings in the first place, including: (21 <
    Avoid spending time around flowering plants and definitely stay
    far away from known bee hives or wasp nests.
    Donít use perfumed soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and
    deodorants, especially ones with synthetic scents <
    If you know youíre going to spend extended time outdoors, itís
    also smart not to wear perfume or cologne.
    Wear smooth-finished, light colored clothing.
    Avoid consuming bananas
    outdoors since they can attract bees.
    Wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible (without
    overheating of course).
    If a single stinging insect is flying near you, itís very
    important to remain relaxed and still.
    Donít swat at a stinging insect since swatting may cause it to

From the pages of Donna’s diary
Should I travel just in my country?

There are definite advantages to traveling just within my country given all of the continued Covid restrictions. However and this is just a personal perspective, I intend to travel abroad in the near future.

Traveling within my country would eliminate the need to face challenges at the airport but if I were to fly domestically I am not sure what the differences would be re domestic and international air travel.

Traveling by train may be much less challenging and I know of several friends who have been quite happy with their train trips.

All this being said, I do not think that anyone should give up that easily when deciding to travel internationally. As long as the parameters are clearly defined re the covid restrictions; this will only help.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

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