Friday, August 17, 2007

Any travel tips for a bad back?

Yes! I have been struggling with this myself lately. Beyond the obvious suggestions (back-friendly pillows and pads, gentle stretches, heat and ice, etc.), I have also come up with one more idea: When you check into a hotel, set up the ironing board out of the way, along a wall, and think of it as a table. This gives you a surface that is likely higher than the counters and other tables in the room. Use it for any sort of "standing" activity such as sorting your purse, writing a quick note, picking out your jewelry, or whatever. Some of my worst back problems come when I'm doing a quick, mindless task on a tabletop, bending just a little farther than my body would like for me to. The ironing-board-as-table idea helps prevent this from happening.

Monday, August 6, 2007

How do I clean an artificial tree?

Q - What is the best (and easiest way) to dust my fake tree, none of my methods have worked so far.
Barking up the Wrong Tree

A – Dear Barking,

Go at it with a blow drier on the Cool setting and blow that dust away. (For some reason, blowing works better than vacuuming.) If the plant is really dusty, you might want to do this outside!

If that doesn't work, you need to include water in the process, as shown:

- For a sturdy artificial tree, try rinsing the leaves with the hose (or inside with a handheld shower attachment)

- For a more fragile artificial tree, fill the tub with cool water, mix in a few drops of dish detergent, and then carefully immerse the plant into the water several times and gently swish it around. When it seems clean, drain the tub and refill with water. Immerse and swish again, to get out all of the soap.

It's messy but worth it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's the best way to clean miniblinds?

I like the "two sock" method: Get two clean athetic socks and put one on each hand. Bring along a bucket of warm water with a drop of dishwashing liquid mixed in. Dip your left hand in the water and run it across the top slat. Run your right hand, still dry, across the same slot, in the opposite direction. Work your way down the slats, wetting and then drying, until you have gotten them all.

It's tedious, but it works--and you shouldn't have to do it very often unless you live in a particularly dusty area.