Out and About – Week of January 22nd

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

~ Plato

Soap has more uses than cleaning our bodies and removing bad words from a child’s mouth. Soap can be an effective pest deterrent in our gardens as well. Soft bodied pests like aphids and mites are especially repelled by soap. One can create a DIY pest-repellent spray by grating a soap bar and mixing with water. This concoction is cost-effective and eco-friendly compared to commercially available pesticides. These sprays work best when applied in the early morning or late evening.

Here are five other uses for hand soap:

Loosening tight zippers. Gently rub a bar of soap along the teeth of the zipper, then move the zipper up and down to work the soap into the mechanism. The soap acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and allowing the zipper to move more freely.
Prevents foggy bathroom mirrors. Rub a dry soap bar onto the mirror’s surface and then buff it with a clean cloth until the streaks disappear. The soap creates a thin film that prevents condensation from forming on the mirror’s surface, keeping it fog-free.
Squeaky doors and drawers. Rub the soap bar along the hinges or runners, and the noise should diminish. The soap works as a dry lubricant, easing the friction between metal parts without attracting dust.
Marking hemlines. If you’re into sewing, you’ll appreciate this practical use for a bar of soap. Simply use the edge of the bar of soap to draw your line on the fabric. It will not permanently stain the fabric. Once you’re finished, the soap marks can be easily removed with water.
Better than a mouse trap. When storing your riding mower for the winter, cut a bar of soap into slices and put around the base of your mower. I use this for my ATV when putting it in storage. Mice and other critters love to chew on rubber-coated wires and seat fabric. Adds value to their winter nest. They don’t much care for the scent of Irish Spring.

I’ve been very lucky when it comes to my overall health. I’m diabetic, but am keeping it under control with proper medication and diet. I probably have some form of cancer in my body just waiting for the proper time to become active. I also have a tumor on my pituitary gland. I am taking medication for it, so it is shrinking, but will not disappear during my lifetime. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, brain tumors are rare and only affect about 30 out of 100,000 American adults. It has been recommended to check with a doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

A seizure or muscle spasms, new or unusual headache, numbness, weakness or tingling on one side, confusion or loss of awareness, unexplained speech, vision or hearing problems, or a personality change.
Probably the best advice I’ve heard, is to schedule annual doctor visits as you continue to age.

I would like to express my gratitude to the St. Joe County Highway Department. You folks have done a remarkable job of keeping the county roads clear of snow. I get a warm feeling whenever I see fresh sand spread on the many curves of Coon Hollow Road. Kudos to you all.


Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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