I have to admit that my readers' comments -- the good, the grateful, the bad, ugly, glowing, hilarious and even puzzling -- are some of the best entertainment I get every day. You make me think and keep me on my toes. But mostly, you make me smile, and that's why I love to hear from you.
Though I am unable to personally acknowledge every ...Read more
These days, it's easy to fall into the muck and mire of worry and defeat. Personal crises like a financial emergency or the loss of a job -- or worse, your home -- punctuated by the daily news can ruin your perspective and dump you into a pit of despair.
What you need to know today is that even when things seem completely hopeless, there's ...Read more
For some people, pennies are so annoying they don't even bother picking them up on sidewalks and streets. Then there are those who are nearly fanatical about the copper coin, living up to the old phrase "A penny saved is a penny earned."
Today, I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few facts and practical uses for the coin of lowest ...Read more
In elementary school, I was one of the kids who would go nuts raising my hand and jumping up and down when the teacher asked a question and I was sure I knew the answer. Me, me, me! Pick me!
That may or may not be what I did when both of today's questions landed in my inbox on the same day, one right after the other. For links to everything ...Read more
So you planted a garden, lucked out when you bought a property that had fruit trees, stumbled upon a produce sale or joined a Community Supported Agriculture program. Good for you!
Now what? What will you do with all that bounty?
Your choices are: quickly consume your harvest before it spoils, give it away or preserve it to enjoy in the future...Read more
From cars that reek of stale cigarette smoke to tile grout to robot floor mops, I get questions of every kind from my awesome readers. I love the challenge! So, please, keep those cards and letters coming!
Dear Mary: I love my Eufy Robovac II. With an entire house of wood plank tile, it has changed my life! It has recently come to my attention ...Read more
The dishwasher in my house is a workhorse. It does a great job of doing all sorts of things. It cleans dishes, of course, but it also cleans baseball caps and wastebaskets, and it de-crystalizes honey* (yes, you read that right). Now I can add "cleaning refrigerator shelves" to the list.
SPARKLING CLEAN SHELVES. When I clean my refrigerator, I ...Read more
From time to time, my supermarket runs a special on a cut of beef it labels "London Broil." It's a lean piece of meat, about 1 1/2 inches thick and tough as shoe leather.
You may wonder why I load up my freezer when it goes on sale for $3.97 a pound. That's because I have a secret weapon that turns flank steak or any other tough cut of beef ...Read more
Pages in the WindSally Saylor De Smet
When young Emily Quinn, accused of the brutal murder of her father, sits down with an eccentric world-famous psychiatrist, she has no idea she is walking into a frightening and twisted world—her own.
Doctor and patient weave through family secrets, the unexplained death of a twin ...
I don't know how else to describe what happens to beautiful sheet pans once they take up residence in my kitchen. All I can say is that in no time, they begin to get this nasty buildup of what I call oven crud -- a burned on incrustation of oven filth.
It's not that I don't wash and scrub those pans. I do. But apparently not well enough. I'm ...Read more
I take every message that shows up in my inbox or on my desk, regardless of its contents, as proof someone out there is reading what I write. That's good, because I'm not fond of talking to myself.
Today, I am glad to share a selection of those letters in the hopes that one day soon I'll hear from you, too. For links to the columns mentioned, ...Read more
You're worried that the washing machine may be on its last spin cycle. It makes a horrible screeching sound and needs a lot of coaxing to make it all the way through a full cycle. It's not like it's still under warranty -- you've had it for a long time, and it wasn't new when you got it.
You get an estimate for repair and discover it will cost ...Read more
I've recently added two new gadgets to my kitchen that famed television chef Alton Brown would not be happy about if he knew. He'd call them "unitaskers," single-use kitchen gadgets; objects whose only real purpose is to create clutter.
I'd argue that while his theory that every tool in the kitchen should be able to perform multiple tasks is ...Read more
PLANT NANNY. When I go on vacation, I fill bottles and push them into my houseplants and outdoor plants upside down. The water keeps the plants moist for days! -- Sophia
LONG-LASTING CELERY. I don't use celery a lot, except during the holidays. So, come November, when I purchase a stalk of celery, I use what I need and wrap the rest tightly...Read more
I have a friend who lives alone and considers himself single. But nothing could be further from the truth. He has four cats, or as I call them, The Four Shedders. Max solved his cat hair problem by replacing all of the carpet in his house with laminate flooring and a robot vacuum. Fortunately for today's first questioner, who has her own kind of...Read more
Dealing with a child in pain can be a difficult experience for everyone regardless the child's age. That's why, as a parent and a grandparent, I so appreciate the hints and tips my readers send to me that help me to be even more resourceful.
ORAJEL NOT JUST FOR BABIES. Our teenage daughter badly stubbed her toe, and we needed to clip the nail. ...Read more
For some time, I've been toying with whether or not to write this column. You can see I've made my decision. Here's a little backstory to explain my conflict:
When it comes to bedding, I am particular about the way the sheets feel. They have to be smooth and wrinkle-free. They can't be slick, slippery, crunchy or noisy. The weave has to be ...Read more
It used to be that when I felt broke, I chased away the horrible feeling by leaning on my bevy of credit cards. As long as I could spend money, it felt like I had money. And the more I used my credit cards to prove to myself that I wasn't really broke, the more debt I accumulated. Finally, I couldn't fake it any longer.
It took me 13 years to ...Read more
It was a silly bedtime rhyme we said when we were kids -- a line that meant nothing to me other than it was funny: "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite!"
It would be many years before I came to understand that there are bedbugs and they are no laughing matter. Bedbugs are parasites of the cimicidae family that feed exclusively ...Read more
Dear Mary: I don't know where I first heard it, but I sure do believe it: "Teaching teaches the teacher!" I love your questions because they keep me on my toes and always learning.
Would I be able to use QuickBooks on the Asus Chromebook laptop computer you recommend as your best inexpensive pick?
Answer: If you use QuickBooks Online, you ...Read more
It was Christmas Eve. Company would be arriving in a matter of hours. I opened the refrigerator only to discover everything inside had reached a balmy 70 degrees F. This could not have happened at a worse time.
Away to my computer I flew like a flash -- straight to the RepairClinic website, where I entered the make and model of our refrigerator...Read more