Friday, August 18, 2017


After telling Mona Lisa about yesterday's article about the wonders of baking soda, she sent the following suggestions:

Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional "pain relievers"?

Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture set for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly even though the product was never been advertised for this use.

Honey remedy for skin blemishes: cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing; works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection: to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer: if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover: just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt's tomato paste boil cure: cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters: to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine which is a powerful antiseptic.

Vinegar to heal bruises: soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Kills fleas instantly: Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations; good-bye fleas.

Rainy day cure for dog odor: the next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

Eliminate ear mites: all it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear; massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief: it's not just for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and then apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.


Thursday, August 17, 2017


At the Bloomingburg Community Day celebration, there was a group of Girl Scouts set up close to my table.  I had an enjoyable time discussing recipes where I used Girl Scout cookies and told of activities I helped with when my sister-in-law was a Leader. The Leader asked if I would consider helping with their Troop.

Later, one of the girls suffered a bee sting.  I had a cooler with Coke and ice.  I said, "Here, pour the Coke on it;  it's cold and will help the pain."  The child was screaming in pain and the mother obviously did not care for my suggestion.  I said, "Go to the store and get some baking soda and a bottle of water;  that's what my mother always used."  After mixing the baking soda in a capful of water and applying it, the child quit crying.

I suggested they should have a "badge" for testing home remedies and to start with the wonders of baking soda.  I mentioned uses such as teeth whitening, refrigerator deodorant, heartburn relief, sunburn remedy, hand cleanser, and chafing relief..

On the internet, I found 60 USES!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


After writing yesterday's article about the face of hate, I was reminded about David Margolick's excellent book Elizabeth And Hazel:  Two Women Of Little Rock.   The book details the lives of Elizabeth Eckford, one of "The Little Rock Nine", who integrated  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Hazel Bryan, the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl shown in the famous photograph as she was spewing racial epithets at Elizabeth.

An acquaintance of mine, who is 90 years old, grew up in McGhee, Arkansas. He likes to discuss history and politics with me. He was planning a trip to visit his brother who lives in Little Rock. When I said that I would like to go there, he was surprised and said that I would be bored because there's little to do there. I was confident that there was more "to do" in Little Rock than there is in Washington Court House. I said, "I'd like to go to the museum at Central High School." He asked, incredulously, "What do you know about THAT?"  I responded, "Quite a lot;  that happened in 1957;  that was a big deal when I was a girl."  I told him about David Margolick's book.  He said he din't need to read a book because he "lived through it".

As he is a registered Republican, I was curious why he frequently stated that he disliked President Eisenhower. Interestingly, when pressed for examples, he could never give any substantive answers. As a Democrat, I must say that it galled me, but I would answer that I admired Eisenhower's dispatching the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to integrate Central High School.

Seeing his reaction to my knowledge about Central High School, Orval Faubus, and Eisenhower's intervention, I exclaimed, "NOW I know why you dislike Eisenhower so much!" As a person who is covertly racist, he denied that Eisenhower's upholding the law was his reason for disliking him.

He told me that his younger brother attended Central High School during that period and that his brother had told him that the trouble "only lasted a week" . I laughed in disbelief, and I answered, "Your brother must not have been around because the account by the black kids is totally different; the abuse went on the entire time they were in school." He said, "That's not what my brother said." I said, "The book details the many abuses, among which was being scalded in the locker room." He said, "Well, my brother was THERE and you weren't!" I asked, "And who do you think I believe; him or the students who actually suffered the abuse?"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


A Facebook friend posted the picture below, which had been taken at the Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally, and dubbed it THE FACE OF HATE.  I see no reason to tell his name or discuss what happened to him after the rally.

However, it reminded me of another famous photo (see below) of a fifteen-year-old girl named Hazel Bryan who was spewing racial epithets at Elizabeth Eckford, who was one of the nine children trying to enter school in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

My friend Cammy used that photograph to illustrate the cover of her 1960 Senior Paper about the Civil Rights Struggle.  She used the title THE FACE OF HATE.

Sadly, today I think, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Monday, August 14, 2017


Yes, today is NATIONAL CREAMSICLE DAY and I'm here to admit to a life-long love of the delicious treat.

As if it weren't enough for me just to enjoy a Creamsicle--oh, no--I must also bake a Creamsicle Cake.  There are many variations, but below is a simple 3-ingredient version:

1 box of white cake mix
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup orange juice

Mix ingredients together.  Put in a greased
 8 x 8 pan.
Bake at 350 for 30-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Can be topped with a favorite frosting or garnished with powdered sugar, orange peel, or orange zest.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Several years ago, I attended the Fayette County Historical Society Civil War Program at the Fayette County Museum. The Ulysses S. Grant Homestead Association from Georgetown, OH, which maintains the boyhood home of Grant, provided the program which celebrated the life, history, and legacy of Lieutenant General Grant during the Civil War and as the eighteenth President of the United States. The displays regarding the daily lives of soldiers, weapons, and photographs of Grant were very interesting to me, and the performers, attired in their woolen Civil War-style uniforms on a hot summer day, were especially impressive.

Lieutenant General Ulysses Simpson Grant was performed by Michael Miller of Georgetown, OH. Grant, born in Galena, OH, moved to Georgetown, OH, when he was 11 months old and resided in Georgetown, OH, until he went to West Point. It was good to see someone of the correct physical stature playing Grant: during the Civil War, Grant was 5' 7" and weighed between 135-150 pounds. Mr. Miller's portrayal was a fitting homage to Grant and when Miller completed his speech, he said, "If there are any questions, I would be glad to answer."

I stood and asked, "Yes, General Grant, I have a question: would you comment on your General Orders Number 11?" Mr. Miller looked surprised and replied, "I'm sorry, I don't know about that; could you tell me what it is?" I said, "Yes, it's your Orders where you expelled the Jews from your war zone and you expelled them as a class because of smuggling."

It was actually exhilarating to hear the shocked intake of breath from members of the audience and the titters as people looked to see the questioner.  I continued, telling that Grant had been upset by rampant smuggling, but that he had unfairly singled out Jews to punish, when his own father Jesse Grant was also known to be smuggling during that time.  I said, "You might want to read the new book on the subject." He asked the title and I said, "When General Grant Expelled The Jews."  Someone close by, but within my earshot, said sarcastically, "Did she write it?" A school classmate of mine, Alice, said to the person, "Oh, Phyllis knows what she is talking about; you can be sure of that!" [Thank you, Alice.] My nephew Michael was with me and he whispered, "She had to go to school with you since she called you Phyllis."

Within half an hour, the moderator of the program came to the microphone and commented about General Orders 11 [It was great to know that someone actually cared enough to go quickly to Google, to check my assertion.]. When the moderator said that President Lincoln had "overruled" Grant, I said, "Actually, the President RESCINDED the orders."

After the program, I went to speak to Mr. Miller and I complimented his "grace under pressure". His "significant other", who sometimes portrays Julia Dent Grant in performance, said, "That's the first time in 15 years that he's ever been stumped!" Mr. Miller asked how I became an expert on Grant. I said, "Oh, I'm not, I'm much more interested in Sherman."

Several people approached me and they are members of the Historical Society; all said that I should join the Historical Society. I said, "I'm already a Lifetime Member!" I guess I should attend more meetings to enable them to know me.