Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mean is mean. What To Do When A Bully Bullies.

Mean is mean. Period. Bullies are basically unhappy people. Bullies want to make themselves feel superior, so they put others down to feel better about themselves. Coy remarks to you in front of others. Coded comments to you on Facebook. Smart remarks on the telephone. Laughing behind your back. Laughing with another person in front of your face. Outright insults to your face. What to do....what to do?
My wise husband always says, the first person who talks, looses. Other than on "Talk TV News," where one has to yell over the other person or you "loose" the interview, this is so true. Remember, it is harder to be the bully than to be yourself.
So, my best advise is:
  1. Stick to the facts if you must talk, answer politely only in monosyllables, and just do your best to stay away from the bully.
  2. Remove yourself from the situation figuratively or literally. Be aways busy. Be self-directed and find projects to work on. Be engrossed in a book or newspaper, rather than fiddling with your cell phone if in the same lunch room or social situation, because people feel less intimidated to interrupt someone fiddling with e-mail or twittering on computers or phones. Or, if you can, leave the room. Be busy somewhere else.
  3. If in a restaurant on a bad date, go to the restroom, go outside to make an "important" phone call, go outside for a smoke even if you don't smoke. Excuse yourself to the restroom and leave the restaurant/club. Call for a cab home. Say you have a headache, or don't feel well. Anything to get away from the bad situation and bully.
  4. If the bully is your boss at work, may as well just start looking for a department transfer or a new job. Nothing worse than a bully for a boss, and it will never get any better, because the bully is, after all, your boss. In this case, the boss will always have the last word. Nothing to do about it. Be always polite, keep your nose to the grindstone, look for a new job and tell NO ONE, then leave your current job with the bully boss for your new job. Too much of your life is spent at work to allow your bully boss to tear you up, the spit you out anyway.
  5. If the bully is a co-worker, do your best to stay away from the bully and the main rule applies. Do not let them draw you into a conversation. Be busy around them. Try never to be alone with the bully.
  6. Always be polite to the bully. If they say something mean, do not reply. Let the mean comment hang out there in the air, especially if in a room with others. Just let the mean comment lay.
  7. If the bully is a social bully, say on a committee or in a book club with you, sit far away from the bully. Look for another book club. Get on another committee. No sense spending your valuable leisure time miserable.
  8. There is no sense fighting with a bully because it is what they want. If you engage wit them, they will drag you down into their world with them. Not where you want to be.

Do not be a victim. Stand up for yourself and empower yourself by removing yourself from the situation.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Homespun Homeopathic Recipes For Your Epithelium

How much of your hard earned money do you spend per year on skin care products? Do you buy specific products at the grocery store or spend your lunch money on those fancy cosmetic counter products?

Everyone knows, Epithelial cells, or the skin, referred to as the Integumentary System, is the largest organ in your body! While a diet of many fresh fruits and vegetables keep your skin glowing from the dermis down, here are some tips to keep your skin glowing on the top layers! Pamper yourself instead with the following common products easily found in any home:
  • Smash 2 bananas and mix in 1 pat of butter in a bowl. Add a ripe avocado and mix. Smear on your face as a mask and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Spritzing a bit of baby oil in a warm bath and soaking for 15 minutes will soften your dry skin anytime.
  • Be careful with bath salts. Their aroma is appealing, but they tend to dry one's skin.
  • To exfoliate your skin, place a mixture of lemon and sugar on your skin and rub into your skin.
  • Another exfoliation remedy is mixing Cheerios, honey and lemon on your skin.
  • A whipped egg white placed on your face for 10 minutes will act as a mask and revitalize your skin.
  • Chop a cucumber and place into an ice tray (no water needed) and freeze into cubes. Place cubes below eyes and let the cubes melt.
  • A fantastic eye makeup remover is plain old petroleum jelly! Try it!

These homespun recipes work well, so pamper yourself frugally and save your lunch money for lunch!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tell Us Your Favorite Spring Break Travel Tip

Dear Readers,
Spring Break is upon us. Where and how are you traveling? Do you have a favorite travel tip to share? Please leave a travel tip and any comments below in the comment box.

Travel safely and enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Etiquette Tips and Tid-bits

The following are some of the most popular tips and tid-bits from my many speeches. Just goes to show, one never knows which tid-bit is going to be a hit in a speech.

Regarding Dishwashers and Your Tableware:
I wash my 18th Century Rose Medallion and great-grandmothers' crystal and sterling flatware in the dishwasher by following these simple, few rules:
  • Load your dishes and crystal evenly and unload slowly. Lay the crystal or glass stemware down flat on the rack, however it fits nicely. Do not thrash around dishes, crowd and cram the dishwasher filled with pots and pans next to the crystal and flat silver with plastic items on top. Wash the pots and pans separately from the sterling.
  • DO NOT use lemon detergent on china, crystal or flatware. Use plain detergent. China and crystal, in particular, have a glaze over them and the acidity from the lemon eats away at this glaze, and can eat away at the gold rims, gold accents and all colors on the china and crystal. Lemon detergent IS ONLY for removing the grease on pots and pans. For some reason, the brand Cascade leaves a residue over time.
  • DO NOT use the heat button in your dishwasher, all that heat is not necessary. Have you ever opened the door during the heat cycle?! Always use the "Gentle Wash" and "Air Dry" features. The dishwasher's does not sterilize dishes anyway and you are wasting energy, spending money and weakening your dishes and crystal in the meantime. The "Air Dry" feature is plenty warm enough and will not melt the gold on your crystal or china.
  • Never mix metals (stainless pots and pans or stainless flatware) with sterling silver. It's a metallurgy thing. The metal will pit out your sterling, those hard to clean black spots, then you'll have to clean your sterling.
  • If you wash your good sterling silver in the dishwasher, you will not need to clean your sterling but once a year. After a year, it will develop a white filmy tint. An easy polish will bring its natural luster back.
  • Before washing your sterling knives in the dishwasher, always test one first. Some knife handles made between the 1880's and the First World War were filled with plaster and will explode in the dishwasher.
  • Sterling silver will develop a patina naturally. The patina is what gives sterling its third dimension, its character. Do not buff it out. Leave the old hand monogramming too.
  • Finding a craftsman to hand monogram any metal is difficult these days. If you have or purchase at auction any sterling silver flatware and other sterling pieces (trays, vases, etc.) DO NOT have the old hand monogramming buffed out. The pieces will loose their patina, charm and conversation potential. You will also be removing valuable microns of silver in the buffing process and if the buffing process is done unevenly, your piece will come out with visible waves and bumps.

Enjoy your next dinner party!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Addendum to Boiling Antique Linens in Milk and Soap Mixture

From my book: Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Never, Remember The Fun We Had Together.

Dear Carrie,
I wish I were a tea-cup,
So when you drink tea,
At every little mouthful,
You will sometimes think of me.

Your Classmate,
Beulah W. Kennedy
June 21, 1906

Lots of y'all with yellowed antique linens out there! As an addition to the milk and soap method listed on our last post (#1, 3-3-2010), y'all may want to try a few alternative methods.

I used to wash my horses with a product called Orvus, found at Southern States. It is what Curators use on all antique textiles.

Also, some experts suggest using Clorox 2, rinsing immediately with warm water as the Clorox will break down the proteins and tannins in the linen, but this is not my favorite method. Twenty-five years ago, I soaked my great-grandmother's tablecloth in Clorox and cold water overnight in the bathtub. It is a French linen and lace tablecloth and it had not been touched in 40 years and was severely discolored brown. It cleaned up beautifully, but now, after many uses and gentile washings, the tablecloth is sprouting small holes and disintegrating a bit, which I regret, but I have used it quite a few times a year for the past 25 years.

Then again, I use my linens lots. I suppose it depends on how often you use your linens and how long you want to keep them or if you have a desire to pass them down to future generations.

Never, never use Woolite. It contains formaldehyde, among many other chemicals and oils. As shocking as it may sound, Woolite is the first product in Fashion School the professors tell you to avoid on ALL fabrics.

When you think about it, linen is nothing but flax. Wild grasses. So be gentile. As always, NEVER try a new method on your favorite, most treasured, great-grandmother's heirloom. PLEASE, test each new method on a small, "NOT your favorite", item.

Be careful, be gentile and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Household Tips To Save Money & Time

The most popular post I run.....for good reason! Save cash and time with one quick read. Enjoy!

A few tips from the book: Labour-Saving Hints and Ideas for the Home, 1924
  1. If your antique white linen tablecloths or napkins have turned yellow from not being used, cut up 1 lb. of plain, unscented, white soap into 1 gallon of milk. Boil the mixture and when the soap is melted, add the linen and boil all for 1/2 hour. Then, take the linen out and wash it in a lather of soapy water. Rinse well twice in two batches of cold water. Gently wring out. Lay out, fold and roll linen into a size about 10" long, that will fit into a large plastic bag. Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for 2 days to dry out and get cold.

  2. To press the crispest, most professional linen you have ever seen, take the rolled linen in the plastic bags out of the fridge the next morning (or a day later) and spread the linen out on an ironing board. Put the iron on its hottest setting. Simply iron the line. The iron will sputter and steam will rise. Don't be alarmed, but do be amazed at how nice the linen will press out!

  3. Sweeten the stale sell of smoke from a fireplace overnight with a bucket of water in the room and shut the door. The next morning the air will be cleared and clean. Or, just sprinkle some dried coffee grounds directly onto the red hot cinders and the smell will vanish.
  4. To keep apples for Winter use after picking in the Fall: layer the apples into bins and cover them completely with dry sand. Each layer should be covered. This preserves them from air, moisture and from frost.
  5. To clean an antique flask: put some crushed egg shells and vinegar in the bottom of the flask. Shake well. Fill half the flask with water. Let it stand for a while. Shake again, empty, then rinse thoroughly. Turn the flask upside down and let dry. When bone dry, put away, but do not replace the cork as this may make the flask musty.
  6. To keep vegetables fresher for longer, wash and clean them well in warm water.The warm water will rid the vegetables of any bugs. Dry them on paper towels. Place each separate type of vegetable in a zip lock bag surrounded in fresh paper towels. Stack and roll the lettuce. Replace the paper towels every few days or after each use. In the vegetable bin, your vegetables should keep for one week or longer.
  7. Want to know the secret for telling if an egg is rotten before you crack it? Hold it up to the light. If it is fresh, it will be quite clear. If the egg is cloudy, it is stale.
  8. To make fresh apple juice for the summer: Put one tart apple well baked and mashed into one pint of boiling water. One apple per one pint. Beat well, cool and strain. Add a little sugar. It is a nice cooling drink.
  9. To clean paint brushes: wash in turpentine, followed by soda water. Rinse in clear water and shape with the fingers. Dry with the bristles standing up.
  10. When trying to dye a bridal veil to look antique, soak the veil in a bathtub filled with cold water and cold coffee. Using coffee rather than tea will dye the veil evenly. Tea tends to dye unevenly.