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More Questions For Reena – for Nov. 4, 2010

DearReena,

Isthereanatural waytogetridofdandelions inmyyard nextseason? Patricia

Patricia,

Pulling dandelions by hand is not that easy but it is worth the effort! The key is to get the whole taproot out. If you don’t, the piece you’ve left in the ground will sprout new foliage.

Dandelions pop up either from a dandelion seed that germinates, or from a still-viable piece of taproot that’s under the surface. Attack dandelions without chemicals by picking the yellow heads off as soon as you see them. Repeatedly pick the leaves off a dandelion. Doing this will eventually starve the taproot and kill the weed.

Also, applying corn gluten meal every spring will eventually give you a weed-free lawn. Remember that corn gluten meal will suppress germination of grass seeds as well, so time your applications away from reseedings. The only other downside to corn gluten meal is that it will also kill the beneficial, nitrogen-fixing clover in your lawn, however, corn gluten meal in itself adds nitrogen to the soil.

Did you know?– Dandelion greens (never sprayed with chemicals) make a healthy and tasty addition to salads.

DearReena,

Doyouhaveanysecretsformaking really,reallygoodfriedchicken? Steven

Steven,

Next time you make fried chicken, marinate the chicken overnight in canned chicken stock (1 to 2 cans for 6 to 8 pieces of chicken). It really brings out the flavour. Make sure to choose oil that you really like the taste of. Preheat your electric skillet with oil and coat the chicken with flour. Fry chicken and then drain on towels for about 5 minutes before serving.

HelloReena,

Myproblemisthatmycatpoops underthebasementstairs.Mybasement stairsareopeninbetweenthe steps,andunderthebasementstairs isgravellysandstuff.Thecatthinks thatthisisalitterbox,thereforethe housesmellsandit’sembarrassing. HowdoIgetridofthesmell?

Myotherproblemisthatmy 15-month-oldbabykeepspickingup lice.Idon’tknowifyouhaveasolution forthis.Thespecialshampoos don’twork.We’vehadtoshavehis headtwice,changeourbedding,put allourstuffinplasticbagsforthree days,etc.Itwon’tgoaway.Mydaughter ishavingaveryhardtimedealing withthisbecauseshe’s13anddoesn’t wantbugsinherhair!SohowdoIget ridofthisonceandforall? Megan

Hi Megan,

You are right – lice are difficult to get rid of permanently. One product that is really effective for zapping those annoying critters is mayonnaise (or Neem shampoo or tea tree oil). This works best if you spread it over the scalp and leave it overnight, but this is not possible with a 15-month-old, because there is no way to keep the mayonnaise on his head without the baby scratching it into his eyes and you (of course) would never, ever put a plastic bag to cover a scalp anywhere near a young child (common sense but I just had to say it).

Head lice can be eliminated without using toxic chemicals, and without spending lots of money. The key is in the comb. A recent study in the British Medical Journalfound that finely combing wet hair with a comb specially designed for head lice was four times more effective in getting rid of head lice than Malathion-or Permethrin-based lice shampoos. The right comb is metal, has long teeth finely spaced, and the space between the handle and the teeth will be sealed, so that live lice can’t hide inside. Many combs sold with pesticide-based shampoos are not fine enough or strong enough to be effective in removing all lice and nits (the lice eggs) which attach to the hair shaft. This is one of the reasons that these products don’t work. Another reason is that many lice have become resistant to the most commonly used pesticides in lice shampoos. Put bed linens, pillows, stuffed animals and similar items in a dryer for 30 minutes on high heat to kill both live lice and nits. Vacuum carpets and padded furniture to remove any lice, which crawl off the infested person, or hairs, with attached nits.

In terms of the cat messing under the stairs, your cat may be acting out because of the new baby. You may consider taking the cat to the vet to rule out any health issues. Would it be possible to place a litter box under the stairs? To get rid of the smell (this is a tricky one), wash the area with dish soap and water. Rinse well. Next blot the area with 2 tbsp. ammonia combined with 1/2 cup three per cent hydrogen peroxide (bottle found in pharmacy department of grocery stores). Cover the area with plastic wrap and lay heavy books on top. Leave for 12 hours, remove plastic and books and blot with vinegar. Be sure to test treatment in an inconspicuous area before applying it to entire floor area.

Fabulous uses for leftover hair conditioner.

Work hair conditioner onto hands before changing the oil in your car. Makes cleanup easy and skin nice and soft.

Apply hair conditioner to garden tools to prevent rusting.

Use hair conditioner on dogs, horses’ manes or other pets for soft fur.

Use hair conditioner on skin to remove tight rings.

Before dyeing hair, smooth hair conditioner around hairline and ears to keep the colour from staining skin.

Use hair conditioner as makeup remover.

Rinse nylons with hair conditioner to zap static cling.

Soak feet in conditioner and warm water to soften nails, cuticles, corns and calluses.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my website: www.householdsolutions.org.

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national bestsellers, Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions, Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets and Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives. Corporate and Christmas workshops available by calling: 204-320-2757.

———

RENA NERBAS

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