Use vinegar to clean surfaces minus the stink


We're leaning more and more toward organic solutions at home. Two reasons. They're safer and they're cheaper. We've experimented a lot from vodka bathroom cleaner to a few other things that often involved vinegar.It's no news that vinegar is an effective household cleaner. I've used vinegar to clean the microwave and it worked wonderfully. Not too long ago, I tried … [Read more...]

Re-using glass jars: how to easily remove the sticky labels


This is a story that begins with mojito and ends with dulce de leche with a murder video in between. Yes, there is a direct and incontrovertible connection between them. The mojito story, I've shared with friends on Facebook before. But because it has spawned the dulce de leche story, I have to re-tell the mojito story here first for proper context.On Christmas Eve, … [Read more...]

Do you reuse empty jars? We do!


In the tripe, lettuce and tomato sandwich post, there is a photo of cooked tripe stored in an ice cream gallon. Reader Ken_L commented, "Is that a recycled ice cream container I see in the second picture? Thank you for reassuring me I am not totally kuripot for re-using plastic containers." And I replied that, yes, we re-use what we can, plastic and glass.It's true. … [Read more...]

Vinegar plus hot water equals clean microwave oven


Everyone wants to go green, and "green" formulas for everything are all over the internet. And I mean everything -- from underarm deodorant to toothpaste to tile and kitchen counter cleaners. Which works and which don't, we won't know until we try and find out.The most recent one I encountered was for cleaning the microwave oven. Very simple. Mix together vinegar and … [Read more...]

Are you prepared for the monsoon season?


There's probably no one more excited than I am for the arrival of the rainy season. "Excited" might sound mean for people who get nervous with the slightest drizzle after the disastrous floods brought by typhoons in the past, but I have no better word to use to describe my longing for the summer to end. It's been so hot and humid that I wake up every day wishing the sun … [Read more...]

Lime and kalamansi flowers, an illustration of genetics


Sam and Alex look like me. Sam looks like me and Speedy combined but more me than Speedy. Sam and Alex look alike although they both deny it vehemently. It's called genetics. It's not something peculiar to humans.Genetics applies to all living organisms. Take the kalamansi and lime, for instance. The kalamansi fruit looks like a miniature lime. But the pulp of the … [Read more...]

Getting rid of ants: boric acid or borax?


Oldies say the presence of ants in a house means luck. I never believed that crap. I understand that ants play an important role in ecology, that they hasten the decomposition of food and that they make the soil friendlier to plants when they bore and make holes.But in and around the house -- ants are pests. I don't need them to decompose anything inside the house. In … [Read more...]

We sweep dead leaves in the garden with coconut fronds


Most of the western world use rakes to gather leaves that have fallen from trees. We use brooms. Besoms, to be more precise, which are sold primarily as outdoor brooms. So, we don't rake fallen leaves; we sweep them.It's not like besoms are only found in the tropics. Of course, the western world has them too. We know that from Harry Potter, right? But while western … [Read more...]

Fruit flies that came and went with the wind


For two straight days, the wind howled. No, there's no storm nor typhoon. There was a watchamacallit tropical depression last week, it rained for a few days and, after the rains had gone, the wind came. Stronger than a breeze, definitely, because it was strong enough to make the heavy glass pendant lamps above the kitchen island sway and bump against each other. I'm not … [Read more...]