Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Forgotten and Unearthed

If you read my other relatively normal blog, 365 Days in the Moonshine Capitol of the World (yes that's where I live), you've heard about The Great Clean, Paint, Rearrange Project currently underway.

This is the "before" view of my office. When there's an "after" view, I'll post it. It'll be a bit.

BUT - part of cleaning is going through endless stacks of clippings I've saved - gardening ideas, genealogy notes, recipes, remodeling projects, hard copies of emails, the list is endless. It's lovely to have many areas of interest, but it's really hard to keep the areas organized. And I won't even mention the books. I'm a bookseller by trade, but probably less than a quarter of the books in my home will ever be offered for sale. I'm an unapologetic book addict.

One of those piles I sifted through yielded a couple winter tips I had forgotten about:

For those icy steps -throw baking soda down in place of ice-melt chemicals or kitty litter*. Baking soda will provide traction and help the ice to melt. If it gets tracked inside, it doesn't damage the carpet or floors (just helps deodorize them).

Still got icy steps or run out of baking soda? Mix a little Dawn detergent with warm water and pour it over the steps. They won't refreeze.

*Our household has been a member of the "kitty litter" club since our winter days in Minnesota. Every fall, each vehicle gets 40 lbs of basic clay kitty litter tossed in the truck. It provides extra weight on icy roads, and if the car gets stuck, the litter can be thrown under the wheels for instant traction. At the end of the winter driving season, whatever's left goes to the real kitty box, killing two birds with one stone. In Minnesota we kept a bag by the back and front door to throw on the walkways. It's much less damaging to the environment than the chemical melts and works just as well.

I'm saving the gardening and compost tips for this spring. I'm getting all organized so I don't lose them again. Really. I am.


  1. We use kitty litter to de-ice the drive too - if you mix it with dishwasher salt it works very well as it dissolves the ice & provides traction.


  2. Jayne -
    Is dishwasher salt the same as what we call dishwasher detergent/soap? What you put in it for every load of dishes? Or is it a particular once-in-a-while, clean-it out additive? Which reminds me - somewhere lately I've seen a tip that adding either Tang or powdered lemonade to your dishwaher, in place of detergent, running on empty, will clean out the scum and residue. Got the Tang to try it but haven't gotten to it yet.