How I Remove Cat Fur From Clothing

My cats love crawling into my bed and are paricularly fond of curling up to sleep on my pillows. My favorite fleece jacket is also their favorite – anytime I forget to put it out of their reach they hop right on it. As a result things around here are sometimes get a little hairy (pun intended.) If you’re like me, you’ve found cat hair isn’t the easiest thing to get rid of – that stuff can really cling. I’ve tried a lot of things – and while a lot of them do help, there is no surefire solution. I’ve found one thing that does a pretty good job, though – provided the item needing fur removal can be run through a clothes dryer.

BEFORE I wash a furry item, I toss it into the dryer with a fabric softener sheet. If you don’t have any, no problem, dampen a paper towel or washcloth and pour on a little liquid fabric softener. If you don’t have that either I suppose just something slightly damp will help. To be honest, I’m not sure the damp and or fabric softener is even necessary but it seems to me to work better. I run the dryer on timed setting for an average of ten minutes then check the filter. It should show quite a bit of fur/lint. Depending on how much cat hair is on the items, you may need to repeat that several times. If something is really nasty beyond cat fur, though, I’d go ahead and wash it, then do the multiple runs through the dryer part. Be sure to check your labels. If an item says do not machine dry it may still be possible to use this process only with no heat.

The sticky rollers you wash and reuse help, too, but I usually reserve that for quick emergency situations. In a pinch, take some sticky tape and pull fur off with that. Both of these are a lot
more time consuming that using the dryer but if you’re on your way out the door and notice a few cat hairs here and there it will help.

I hope this will help. Just remember it takes a little patience.

Inglehoffer Original Stone Ground Mustard – A Review

I never though a lot about mustard, being more of a ketchup fan – until I tried Inglehoffer’s Original Stone Ground Mustard. This stuff is GREAT. It’s a spicy mustard, but not too hot and the flavor is excellent. Instead of finely ground mustard seeds like some brown or spicy mustards have, Inglehoffer’s has whole seeds, which compliment anything you put it on. It’s thick, not runny at all like some mustards tend to be.

In my opinion this mustard compliments everything from corndogs, to burgers, roast beef to bologna. It does cost more than regular mustard but the delight it adds to foods is worth the difference. I haven’t tried it in things like potato salad yet, but I suspect it would be really good. The only “complaint” I have about it – and it’s not a complaint at all, really, is that I wish it came in bigger sizes. The largest I’ve found is a ten ounce squeeze bottle and around my house that goes in a hurry!

They do have other types of mustard and sauces as well but I haven’t tried them yet. Based on my experience with the Original Stone Ground Mustard I would expect them to be very good as well. Give it a try and I think you’ll have a hard time going back to plain old mustard!

Make Sure Your Chimney Is Safe To Use

oldchimneytop

I wanted to toss out a reminder to everyone about chimney care. Early 2014 and the visit to the US of the Polar Vortex left many people looking for ways to supplement their heating systems. If
you’re in the South as I am and have a heat pump, you know the auxilliary heat kicks in during extreme cold and that makes your power bill hurt more than it already does.

Before using my woodstove I wanted to have the chimney cleaned. The chimney is old – so some years back I had a stainless steel liner put in it for safety reasons. At the time, the liner was
put in, the space around it- between the liner and the bricks- was filled with insulation material. Today there are better ways to do it but at the time that was how it was done. Consider how
an old chimney is made – bricks with morter/cement between them. Over time that morter may become brittle and or crack, leaving crevices for heat, smoke and fire to potentially get outside of
the chimney and into your attic or walls. Continue reading ‘Make Sure Your Chimney Is Safe To Use’ »

212-575-7998 Is A Telemarketer

I’ve been on the do-not-call list for a long time and have an unpublished number as well. Without thinking, I went to the fcc website to report a call I just received – but of course they are unavailable because of the government shut down. That’s fine, one of these days they’ll be operational again and I will report it – all my incoming calls are logged. But for now, I’ll share the info with anyone searching the number.

The call came from, according to my caller id, Theatre, Develop 212-575-7998. It was a recorded call – also illegal in SC. The “person” introduced themselves as Heather and said there was nothing wrong with my credit card account but it was important I call them as soon as possible to lower my interest rates, rofl. Yeah, right. Who says I even have a credit card? How did they get my number? If I find that someone I do legit business with is selling my information I will be raising all kinds of hell. First telemarketing call I’ve gotten in a very long time, convenient it happened during the government shutdown. I see it like this, don’t tell me later it’s too late to report it. After all, if government employees will get back pay, taxpayers should get grace periods.

ANIMAL RESCUE GROUP IN DANGER OF SHUTTING DOWN DUE TO FINANCES

Debt At Pets Inc Could Force Shelter To Close Doors
Pets Inc Needs Help To Stay Open (has video)
I’m sharing these links in hopes that it will be seen and more people made aware of this wonderful animal non-profit group that is in danger of having to shut down. This place is amazing and would make a good model for animal rescue groups. Please consider helping them if you can.

Pets Inc was voted ‘best activist group’ and came in second place for ‘best charity’ in the area. Check out their web page. If you can’t shop with them locally they do have an online store.

Thanks to anyone who can pass the word about this around.

(I am not affiliated with this organization in any way other than as a customer and a person who tries to help what little I am able to.)

O-Cedar Fast ‘n Easy Roller Mop Review

I’ve used O-Cedar products over the years and until now I’ve been satisfied with them. No so with this mop. It will be going back to the store.

The first issue I had with it is that it doesn’t squeeze enough water out of the sponge. The “easy pump wringer WAS easy to operate – until it decided to not work at all, which ended my opportunity to try it a little longer in order to give a more informed review. One of the rubber rollers jumped out of the plastic holder, and although I slipped it back in, it would no longer wring at all. That ought not happen within ten minutes of starting to use the product.

I do not believe this is a case of someone messing with it in the store, either. It was well-packaged in plastic and impossible to try to wringer until that plastic was removed.

I will say that after using the wringer multiple times, I was still able to squeeze more water out with my hands than the wringer did in the first place. Even then, due to it being difficult to wring out this type of mop by hand, it was extremely wet. It might could be considered functional if one used no pressure at all when mopping, but that rather defeats the purpose of mopping, in my opinion.

On a scale of 1-5 I have to give this mop a 1. Would I recommend it to anyone? No.

My Zazzle and Cafepress Stores – Check Them Out!

Haunted House Mugs / Cups

Many of you know from my posts that several months ago I opened Zazzle and Cafepress stores. I really enjoy working with graphics and decided to put some of them out there instead of just leaving them sitting in computer folders never to be seen by anyone but myself. Honestly, I think some of the merchandise is a little pricey, especially in light of how little the designers make, but there is the unique factor and the ability to personalize items.

I’d love for you to visit my stores, check out my artwork, give me feedback and pass the word around. If you are looking for something specific, contact me and I’ll try to come up with a design for you. Cafepress gives the ability to design window and shower curtains, duvet covers, blankets, pillowcases and more! Both print on demand services are great for coming up with one of a kind personalized gift ideas.

I’ve also set up a Facebook page – please consider “liking” it. The hardest part of having these stores isn’t the design work – it’s getting the word out that you’re there! My Facebook Page


My Zazzle Store
My Cafepress Store

Please forgive the mess my Cafepress store is in. I still have a lot of organizing to do.

Thanks!

How To Maximize Your Zazzle Royalty Profits

Recently Zazzle made changes which will potentially lower the amount of money some designers, the people who actually create the graphics for them to print on their products, can earn. Until this change, designers who sold a lot of items were rewarded with a volume bonus in addition to their basic royalty. That has ended. You can read my earlier thoughts on this HERE

So how can the people who create the designs maximize the money they can still make? Play around with the royalty amounts before posting the item for sale. I’m not talking about huge profits here, but those extra cents can go into the designers pockets instead of to Zazzle if the designer pays attention. The goal would be to maximize the royalty amount earned while keeping the price lower for the customers. Below is a chart I made to show exactly what I mean. This chart is based of the product pictured above.

graphicchartofroyalties

At a 10% royalty rate, an item selling for $52.45 gives the designer $5.25. At 11% royalty, the price to the customer remains the same but the designer makes $5.77. Sure, there is ‘only’ a 52 cent difference, but that is 52 cents for the designers pocket instead of for Zazzle while keeping the price for the customer the same.

As you can see from the chart, at 11.1%, the cost to the customer jumps up by $1.00 but the royalty earned by the designer only increases by 16 cent. In my opinion, it’s better to look out for the customer by not increasing the product price by $1.00 to earn that extra 16 cents.

It’s business. In business everyone wants to make money, but in light of the fact that high volume sellers have lost part of theirs with the removal of the volme bonus it seems only fair they get a bigger share of the pie on regards to their royalty earnings, at least in my opinion.

Part 2
Currently Zazzle charges designers a 5% “transaction fee” if you set your royalty rate at 15% or above. Below is another chart of the same product shown above in that royalty rate range.

Another Zazzle Royalty Chart

Note that at 14.8% the cost to customer jumps by $1.00 but puts an extra 20 cents in your pocket. NOW look at what happens at 15%. That’s right, you make less profit due to the 5% “transaction fee” Zazzle charges you than you would at a lower royalty rate of 14.6% PLUS your customer is charged an extra dollar.

Speaking for myself, in this position I would set my royalty at 14.7%. It keeps the cost to my customer from going up by $1.00 and I would still make more profit than I would at 15% because of the “transaction fee.”

Just something to think about when you are setting your royalty rates. Hope you found this article helpful!

Visit My Zazzle Store.

How to Get Rid of Gnats

How to Get Rid of Gnats

How to Get Rid of Gnats

Introduction

Do you have a gnat problem?  If so, you’re in luck because you reached a good resource that can help you deal with these nasty little critters.  I have two suggestions that will help you get rid of gnats without endangering your loved ones, pets, or yourself.  I happen to live in a older farm house in a warm and humid climate down in the South that’s prime for gnats to become bothersome.  keep reading, my advice should help you with your problem.

Myth

Botanical products that boast of being safe to use around your family and pets have never worked for me.  Unless you spray enough of these chemicals on the gnats to drown them, they just dry off and fly away.  Maybe our gnats are just super gnats; we aren’t sure yet.  Regardless, some of the harsh chemicals and sprays do work pretty well but since they’re toxic I prefer not to use them.

Two Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

Trash Your Trash

The first step to getting rid of gnats is to make sure you keep your trash cans clean and your garbage emptied.  Gnats tend to love snacks from your trash cans and this is this number one cause of their reproduction.  If you look closely inside your trash cans, you might can even see where they have laid eggs.  The gnat eggs look like small grains of rice which are a brown color.  Make sure you have a tight fitting lid on your kitchen trash can.  I have personally sprayed the inside of my trash can with a commercial bug spray from the local hardware store that will usually kill off or run out any gnats who have managed to get in.

Gnats Love Vinegar!
In these few simple steps, I have managed to get rid of gnats within a day or two with items almost everyone has readily available in their household.

Step 1) Grab a cup, jar, or any kind of container.
Step 2) Add two or three drops of liquid dish-washing soap of your choice.
Step 3) Add a teaspoon or two of water.
Step 4) Add one-quarter to one-third of apple cider vinegar.
Step 5) Use a stirring utensil to blend all the ingredients together.
Step 6) Set it in the area the gnats are, and they will be gone in no time!

I found out the hard way that the soap is necessary.  I’m not exactly sure why, but something about the soap changes the water’s texture that forces them to drown instead of flying off.  In fact, I have a previous article on how to make a trap but it really doesn’t make a difference what the container is like.  Here’s the article if you care to check it out though.

I Sentence Them to Death By Glue

I’ve had great success with fly ribbons.  Fly ribbons are these little tubes of a sticky glue-like ribbon that unroll and hang from your ceiling.  Make sure these are out of reach from pets, children, and various forms of hair!  Here in the Southeast states, I’ve been able to find them at grocery stores, hardware stores, retail chains, and almost anywhere.  If you can’t find these exact fly ribbons, you may can order some.  They’re under two dollars for four, and they last a good while.  I’ve learned a few tricks to make these work better than even the manufacturer might not know.

Step 1) Put a few drops of vinegar into the tube.  This definitely helps attract them.
Step 2) Remove the thumb tack from the tube, and heat them for 8-15 seconds depending on the microwave wattage you use.  This helps them unroll easier.

By accident, I learned an invaluable technique of adding vinegar to the tube of these fly ribbons.  I had mopped my floor with a water and vingegar mix (which is an amazing cleaner by the way!) and had happened to put the bucket under one of the fly ribbons I had hanging.  I wondered why they were attracted to this one fly strip until I remembered that they liked vinegar.

Conclusion

Hopefully I have helped you on you way to get rid of gnats.  They are annoying little creatures that can make anyone’s house feel uncomfortable.  One last tip I forgot to mention above is that you should keep your fruits and veggies in the refrigerator because these items attract gnats crazily.

REVIEW: FOREVER FRAGRANT FRESH STICKS

forever-fragrant-fresh-sticks2

Recently I purchased a package of ‘forever fragrant freshSTICKS.” I’d looked at them in the store several times, thinking they sounded to good to be true. But, after one review I read where the person said they could only use a few sticks instead of the entire bag because they were so strong, I decided to give them a try and purchased the vanilla scent. I have multiple pets, smokers in the house and the room I bought them for is pretty big – probably 15×15 with 8 foot high ceilings. There is a ceiling fan kept on low to circulate the air in the room.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag the sticks were in was that while they smelled nice, they didn’t smell strongly at all. Coming from a sealed bag I expected a much stronger scent. The little vase that comes with them is cute and the sticks are by no means ugly. I set everything up as directed. Thinking they may need time to work, I allowed several days before writing this review.

Maybe they are absorbing some odors, I cannot tell. They are not, however, giving off enough scent to count. Even putting my nose almost to them, the smell is very faint. I’m pretty disappointed in the product. Maybe I got a bad batch . Maybe my room is too big – although they still should smell stronger up close, in my opinion if that were the case. Maybe they would work well in a tiny enclosed area. They are stamped with The Good Housekeeping Seal which says refund or replacement if defective. I wouldn’t say they are exactly defective – they simply don’t work as I expected.

This review is based entirely on my own experience with the product. Experiences of other customers may be entirely different. They did not work well for me.

If a friend asked me what I thought of them and should they buy them, I’d have to tell them I wasn’t impressed with them, but that their experience may be better.

My Post In Zazzle Forums About Upcoming Changes Has Disappeared !

Earlier today, after the Town Hall Meeting held about upcoming changes to Zazzle, I made the post below in the Feedback and Suggestions section of their forums. There were only two comments in the thread prior to me posting, neither sounding happy about the changes. Guess what? I don’t know if anyone else posted or not BECAUSE THE ENTIRE THREAD HAS DISAPPEARED! So, I’ll just repost my part of the thread here – it’s my blog, I can do that, and I think what I had to say is important. ***

“I just left the Town Hall Meeting about upcoming changes to Zazzle. I’d planned to spend the weekend hustling to get more items in my fairly new store, and work harder on getting traffic. Right now I’m not very encouraged to do it. The meeting seemed to include a lot of unhappy sounding sellers asking questions and from what I saw, no real answers about much of anything. They did say that the decisions had already been made and would be taking effect, so I’m not sure what the point of the meeting was for. Nothing sellers said was going to make any difference. Hopefully more clear answers will be made available really soon. Continue reading ‘My Post In Zazzle Forums About Upcoming Changes Has Disappeared !’ »

Original Graphics and Photos In My New Zazzle Store

I really enjoy photography and making graphics. I decided to open a Zazzle store instead of leaving all the different things I create stashed away in folders on my computer. I’d love to have my readers visit my store and pass the word around.

Here is one of my latest creations. Click the photo or link for more information.

This photo is also currently available as a mousepad, 14″x11″ poster, iPad Mini case, and a case for the Amazon Kindle. The neoprene laptop sleeve pictured is available in several sizes.

It costs nothing to window shop, so check it out! Thanks!

COMPROMISED IP LIST APRIL 5-20, 2013

In a previous article, http://www.carolinafinds.com/blog/list-of-possibly-compromised-ips, I spoke of an ongoing Brute Force Attack of ip’s trying to log in to this blog. I don’t know if the original attack is connected to the one currently hitting a massive number of WordPress sites.

Both sucuri.net and us-cert.gov (as well as a lot of other websites) have information about the ongoing attack as well as things people can do to make their websites more secure. Looks like someone is building a bot network for unknown reasons and it’s growing. Continue reading ‘COMPROMISED IP LIST APRIL 5-20, 2013’ »

HOW TO MAKE HOT PEPPER VINEGAR

hot pepper vinegar
Homemade hot pepper vinegar is simple to make and delicious over black-eyed peas, butterbeans, beef and much more. I prefer to use cayenne peppers, but other types would work as well. When possible, I use some ripe but unshriveled red peppers with the green for cosmetic reasons. Jars of pepper vinegar make a nice display in your kitchen.

WHAT YOU NEED AND HOW TO

hot peppers
vinegar
salt
sterilized jars and new lids Continue reading ‘HOW TO MAKE HOT PEPPER VINEGAR’ »

KUDZU BUGS – ANOTHER IMPORTED PEST

kudzu bug

Kudzu bugs, megacopta cribraria, are a relatively new pest to the United States. As their name hints, they like to eat kudzu. The problem is, they also love soybeans and other legumes. A relative of the well-known stink bug, these insects also smell bad when mashed. Hopefully these imported pests will be gotten under control and now take over as fire ants have done.

LAW WOULD REQUIRE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR SOME OVER-COUNTER COLD AND ALLERGY MEDICATIONS BEING USED TO MANUFACTURE METHAMPHETAMINE

Your have a cold, or maybe an allergy attack. Your eyes itch, you can’t breathe through your nose, you cough. You’re aren’t so ill as to need a doctor but you are miserable. You head to the store and pick up some over-the-counter cold medicine for a little relief of your symptoms. Your ability to purchase some of these products in South Carolina may be about to change.

A South Carolina senator has introduced S 447, “Stop Methamphetamine Production Act.” Among other things this would add products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine to the Schedule III controlled substance list. In other words, you would have to have a prescription from a doctor to purchase these products. Continue reading ‘LAW WOULD REQUIRE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR SOME OVER-COUNTER COLD AND ALLERGY MEDICATIONS BEING USED TO MANUFACTURE METHAMPHETAMINE’ »

Bad Burger King Experiences

Whopper with Heavy Onions?
I’ve always been a fan of some of the food Burger King has to offer, but I have given the store closest to me their last chance unless some major improvements are made.

Businesses can have bad days, I understand that, but when one has three bad experiences in a row – added to other bad experiences over time it’s time to strike them off your list as a place to eat. In my opinion, this particular Burger King has never seemed quite as tasty as other stores I’ve patronized anyway, but I kept going back, thinking things would improve. It hasn’t happened. Tonight was the final straw. Continue reading ‘Bad Burger King Experiences’ »

LIST OF POSSIBLY COMPROMISED IP’S OR WEBSITES

This list has been updated to cover the period of December 31, 2011 through January 30, 2013. During this period around 180 different ip numbers were involved for a total of 6069 login attempts. These numbers and ip’s only reflect activity I believe to be a part of this particular (what I believe to be) bot network. IN ADDITION, there were twelve days of no bot activity – I have reason to believe the hosting company responsible for the ip controlling the compromised websites may have stopped it on their end but now the hackers are back again.
**Please see note below the list of ip’s.

I suspect that these ip’s have been compromised and are being used as part of a bot network. Continue reading ‘LIST OF POSSIBLY COMPROMISED IP’S OR WEBSITES’ »

Got A New Dehydrator


I’m excited! I The new food dehydrator I ordered has arrived and have my first batch of apples and bananas drying.

I had a dehydrator in the 1980’s which got a lot of use. It didn’t have temperature control but did have ten trays. Unfortunately, after having it for around ten years, a recall was issued. The “replacement” I was sent was a joke. Had I known I would have kept the old one in spite of the recall. After all, I’d used the dang thing a lot for ten years with no problems. Continue reading ‘Got A New Dehydrator’ »