Posts by Lenie

Gardening for Seniors – Adjusting to Limitations

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Gardening, Green Living, Health, Herbs | 10 comments

Gardening for Seniors – Adjusting to Limitations

  Adapting to limitations has to be the gardening senior’s biggest annoyance in addition to being an ongoing challenge.  Just when you’ve adjusted to accommodate one problem another one pops up and you have to try something else again.  Seniors come with a bunch of different physical or mobility problems so for them to continue to garden safely means adjustments geared to each individual. I’ve had to adjust many times the older I get. I started with “in the field” gardens, moved on to raised beds set on the ground and next moved up to the current garden beds raised to table height.  My gardens have also become smaller each year. This year I won’t grow any vegetables as I did in the past but concentrate solely on my salad and herb gardens.    Garden size becomes another limitation.  Seniors often downsize and move into smaller townhouses, apartments or condos where they feel they no longer have the room to garden, so they quit. Gardening is such a healthy activity with both physical and psychological benefits that seniors should be encouraged to carry on. Putting one of the methods shown below in place allows the small size gardener to continue. When my parents moved from their country home to a city apartment you could tell where they lived from a mile away – mom’s balcony was a blaze of colour, flowers of every kind growing in pots and placed everywhere, even hanging from the balcony rail. The smaller area certainly didn’t stop her from enjoying her flowers. Gardening for Seniors – Adjustments: Most seniors find bending over difficult which makes the garden beds raised to table height ideal. The beds can be built any size, even as small as 1 or 2 feet wide by 3 or 4 feet long. For details about raised bed gardens, click here. The senior should be able to reach the centre of the garden without leaning on the soil to prevent compacting the soil. My gardens are 4 feet wide but that is because I can walk all around them and easily reach the centre from both sides. For anyone able to access only one side or for those less mobile, 2 or 3 feet wide will be the better choice. All walkways should be kept clear to prevent falls and to never obstruct safe movement, whether walking, using a walker or in a wheel chair.  Gardens should be placed in the most convenient locations – especially salad and herb gardens which should be close to the kitchen door for easy harvest. If space is limited any of the gardens shown in picture 2 are an attractive alternative. A previous post “vegetable gardens for small space gardeners” details how easy it is to adopt the alternative methods. When large patio pots are used they should first be placed on wheeled platforms. We seniors are a determined lot and if we don’t like where a planter is situated we’ll do what we can to move it. Having the wheeled platform will help avoid muscle strains, damaged backs or worse. A super idea is to wrap the handles of garden hand tools with bright coloured duct tape. This serves two purposes – it makes it easier to keep track of the tools and also provides a better grip for arthritic hands. Electric tools shouldn’t be used. Older hands can’t always be counted on to do what’s required and they may let go at the most critical times which could lead to serious injury. Instead use manual tools – not necessarily specific garden tools either. A couple of...

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Add Beauty To Your Yard With Shade Loving Herbs

Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Frugal For Everyone, Gardening, Green Living, Herbs | 26 comments

Add Beauty To Your Yard With Shade Loving Herbs

In Ontario, where I live in garden zone 5, the gardening season kicks off on the Victoria Day weekend (this year May 20-22). At that time all the garden centres and nurseries will be offering huge deals on plants of all kinds, including vegetables and herbs. When I was asked to share this infographic  about shade loving herbs I was delighted to accept – it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m sure this information will help many decide which plants to choose during the sales, making this infographic not only informative and fun to read but even help the bottom line. Hard to beat that combination, enjoy………Lenie “In our infographic below, find out which herbs and plants will do best with limited sunlight, including roots like ginger and ginseng. Our guide has a comprehensive list of which herbs thrive in the shade, including their grow zones, size, planting characteristics, and uses. Herbs that make good cooking ingredients such as cilantro, dill, and rosemary tend to thrive in the shade, as well as herbs used to brew teas such as lemon balm and even catnip, which isn’t just for cats! We also have tips for making sure your shade-loving herbs flourish. Shady herbs tend to grow tall, so be sure to give them adequate growing space and support. Keep in mind that herbs that grow in the shade tend to prefer moist, humus-rich soil. Read the rest of our tips and then get ready to start planting!” Source:...

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Avon Bubble Bath, A Multi-Tasker

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 85 comments

Avon Bubble Bath, A Multi-Tasker

Don’t you just love those products meant for one purpose then discover they are multi-taskers? Avon Bubble Bath is like that. Naturally the original use for Avon Bubble Bath was as a bubble bath. It provided lots of bubbles and left no bathtub ring behind. But then people’s creativity kicked in resulting in many more uses for this simple product. So here we go: 40 Ways to Use Avon Bubble Bath: NOTE: Compared to many other cleaners or detergents Avon Bubble Bath not only costs less you also use less. For instance, one capful to half a pail of water does a great job cleaning the car or camper. Avon Bubble Bath In the Bathroom: Use to wash down the tub surround, shower walls and doors; Leaves bathroom fixtures and mirrors shining; Cleans the vanity top, cabinets, and ceramic tiles; Can replace your body wash; Works as a shampoo; Good refill for liquid soap – it’s mild on hands (even nicer after adding a few drops of Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil); Cleans combs and brushes – leaves no residue.   Avon Bubble Bath in the Kitchen: Wash your appliances with it and leave them sparkling; Can be used to hand wash dishes (not in the dishwasher); Mild enough to clean your painted or wood kitchen cabinets; Cleans the fridge inside and out, even removes odours.     Avon Bubble Bath in the Laundry Room: Use as a laundry detergent and you no longer need a fabric softener. 1 or 2 capfuls are all that’s needed to do a great job and to remove stains; Great for hand-washing delicate items; Pre-soak heavily soiled laundry, such as greasy work clothes. Easily does away with ring around the collar; Removes butter or grease from clothes. Pour bubble bath directly on the spot, leave a few minutes, then wash and the spot will be gone; Cheaper than Woolite –gentle on lingerie.   Avon Bubble Bath in the Living/Dining Room: Can be used to shampoo carpets, either the whole carpet or just spot cleaning; Upholstery stains are removed by rubbing with a damp cloth dipped in full strength bubble bath; Cleans chandeliers and light fixtures; Use to hand wash the good dinnerware, glassware and silverware.     Avon Bubble Bath Everywhere Else: Leaves windows shining; Washes venetian blinds – leaves no streaks behind; Polishes all chrome household fixtures; Cleans the TV screen, computer monitor, etc.  Wipe with a damp cloth dipped in bubble bath and dry with a soft lint free cloth; Can be used to wash no-wax floors – use 1 capful with ½ pail of warm water; Removes wax buildup – use straight from the bottle with a scrub sponge, wipe with a dry cloth; Does a superior job cleaning ceilings, walls and paneling; Wash your plant leaves to make them shine. Mix a small amount of the Avon bubble bath with some tepid water. When finished pour the leftover water onto soil as a fertilizer; Will clean your jewelry (even costume jewelry); Leaves a fresh, clean smell from room to room . There are a lot of different fragrances – might be fun to try different ones. Use to clean your eyeglasses; Mix some bubble bath with an equal amount of water to put it in your potpourri burner; Adds fun to the children’s wading pool while keeping the pool and children clean; Shake up, then use the bubbles only on a sponge to clean and freshen vehicle interiors; Add to cleaning water for cars, aluminum or vinyl siding, campers or trailers – repels dust; Leaves a protective wax-like...

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Tis the Season for…CHARITY SCAMS

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in A frugal Life, Frugal For Everyone | 53 comments

Tis the Season for…CHARITY SCAMS

Before retiring I managed a local branch of an international Charity. This of course means I know very well how legitimate charities operate. On the flip side it also means I’m very aware of charity scams. To many people donating so others can also enjoy a good Christmas is simply part of the Christmas season. Scammers take full advantage of this generosity by pretending to be collecting for Charities at Christmas, often successfully. Think twice before giving . Very few Charities have the resources to go door-to-door or make telephone calls. If approached this way there is a strong possibility it’s a scam. Let’s stop supporting their fraudulent activities. Knowing how to identify legitimate Charities and having a fail-proof way to make donations will go a long way to ensuring your donated funds go where you want them to. Scammers often target the elderly, which I find particularly disturbing. If you know an elderly person, especially someone who lives on their own and who could be taken in, please discuss this with them.   Charity Scams Popular Causes: Charity scams often use the following causes simply because we find it hard to say no to causes that benefit: Families at Christmas Children Veterans The homeless Animals Current catastrophes like earthquakes, health epidemics, refugees etc.   The simplest way to make sure you do not get caught by scammers is to check out the Charity: Get the name of the Charity along with the charitable registration number – if this can’t be provided there should never be a donation; Obtain address and phone number from the Charity’s website. If you have any questions, call the Charity and ask. Legitimate charities know all about donor concerns and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. NEVER use a number provided by the solicitor but always check the Charity’s website for mailing address and phone number.  Things to watch for: Being asked for the donation in cash. Legitimate charities actually prefer cheques or online donations because both leave a paper trail which is important. Being thanked for making a pledge you don’t remember making and being presented with a bill for the so-called pledged amount. Don’t pay it!!  Instead take the bill to the nearest police station and let them deal with it. Scammers may use names that are similar to legitimate Charities. If something doesn’t sound or feel right, place a direct call to the Charity to ask if they are soliciting in your neighbourhood. Fail-proof way to make donations: Mail your cheque directly to the Charity along with a cover letter; If the Charity has a local branch you wish to support, mail the check directly to the branch, again with a cover letter; OR go to the Charity’s Website to make an online donation.   Click on the links below to find out more about the legitimacy and accountability of any Charity: In Canada contact: Canada Revenue Agency-Charities and Giving   or  Charity Intelligence In the USA, contact:  Charity Navigator  or  BBB Wise Giving Alliance  or  Charity Watch Or google the Name and Address of the Charity adding the word ‘scams’, ‘fraud’ or ‘complaints and see what comes up.   Saying NO during this season really doesn’t hurt legitimate charities, after all they need funds all year round. Your donation will be just as welcome in February as in December. The exception of course would be Christmas requests, such as the Salvation Army Christmas Fund or the Emergency Services Toy/Food Drives.   No doubt there will always be scammers looking for an easy dollar. However, by being alert...

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Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never Forgotten

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in A frugal Life, Frugal For Everyone | 14 comments

Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never Forgotten

In honour of Remembrance Day I’m sharing a poem by local poet, Floyd Zurbrigg. Although the poem is called “In Canadian Fields” it applies equally to all countries whose men and women sacrificed all for our freedom. Floyd wrote this description: “My poem ‘In Canadian Fields’ developed from my admiration for Col. John McRae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” and my long held belief that there was another poem needed. This one would relay the heartaches and hardships endured by those left at home. Without their hard work and sacrifice, we would not enjoy our many freedoms today.”   IN CANADIAN FIELDS   “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow” When I hear that famous poem I know That our soldiers went to a far off shore And gave their lives in an awful war I’m aware of the hardships they endured So our peace would be assured But the poem that I cannot find Tells the stories of those left behind Of wives and sweethearts, kissed at the train That never saw their men again Of parents, brothers and sisters too Who worried, because they never knew If their soldier was alive or dead Many tearful, heartfelt prayers were said To the ones at home, we owe a debt They suffered too, Lets not forget While in Flanders Fields the poppies blew The folks at home were heroes too ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  “In Canadian Fields” is copied with permission from ‘Seasons of the Elm’, a Book of Poems by Floyd Zurbrigg. On this Remembrance Day let us remember not only those who fought but also the brave ones left behind. Talk to you again soon, Lenie If you liked this post, others will too. Please share. Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save...

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