Once again, August is upon us. Everyone who’s anyone has cleared out of Mo’town and is sucking down margaritas and summer shandy wherever the rest of us are not.
Those of us “left behind” are carrying on business as usual: paying to play, jaywalking and plunking pro-gun signage on our lawns.
(To the folks on Devon Avenue—no one is trying to take away your legally purchased, safely secured firearms, but you might ask Australians how they feel about one of their own, a 24-year-old, being shot and killed in Oklahoma, just for fun).
Way back in mid-July, I paid a visit to Dave and Lynn Schill. I was returning a vintage radio that Dave kindly lent MoorArts for their production of “Evita.” Unbeknownst to me, this visit set the tone for my summer, “The Summer of Home Remedies.”
Lynn and I got to talking about middle-aged heels. No, not Fifty-something men spouting lame pick-up lines at P.J. Whelihan's, but the cracked, corroded feet we all end up with after half a century of schlepping around.
Lynn’s eyes lit up as she told me about a cosmetic remedy another gal pal had passed along. She swore that it worked and held up one baby soft heel as proof.
Now, I’ve tried every heel cream, lotion and salve on the market. A library co-worker generously shared a prescription cream with me, but nothing worked because they all involved wearing socks to bed. I cannot wear socks to bed. Actually, I CAN wear them to bed, but as soon as I settle into unconsciousness, my inner evil self peels the socks off and I wake up with crackly heels.
As per Lynn, the initial outlay for “product” was about twenty bucks and in no way demanded that I don socks at night, so I figured I’d give it a go. Without naming names, I will tell you that this particular remedy really does work (shoot me an email and I’ll hit you with some names). I have no doubt that in a few more weeks, the Grand Canyon on the back of my right heel will be reduced to a charming dimple.
Complaining with old friends seems to happen more frequently these days, as we compare notes about strange maladies and joint pain. A couple from Florida shared a weird tip with me and, because I am starting to creak in every single joint, I decided to try this as well. Even Dr. Oz likes this one, and soon you’ll understand why.
Buy a bottle of gin—an inexpensive bottle of no-name will do. Buy a box of white raisins, also known as currants. In a shallow dish, cover the currants with gin and let the currants absorb the gin.
This usually takes about a week, unless you’re like me and you keep tilting the dish into your mouth. Once the gin has been totally absorbed, eat nine drunken currants every day to cure joint pain. If you find that this remedy doesn’t work, throw the raisins away and drink the gin.
After a visit with my doctor when the joint pain got a bit fierce, we discovered that I have high cholesterol. This had nothing to do with joint pain, but it scared me into several other home remedies, as I try to lower my bad cholesterol sans expensive prescription drugs. I am now eating oatmeal every day. Oh joy! Oh lumps of sticky love!
But wait! Mine is no ordinary oatmeal! Mine is laced with cinnamon and the latest health craze—chia seeds, both of which reduce bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
I am either really lowering my bad cholesterol or I am growing a chia pet in my intestines. Check back with me in six months and I’ll let you know how it’s working out. If you see me in a green fuzzy sweater, though, you’ll have your answer.
Around the house, there are some other strange remedies to get you through the doldrums of August.
One of the best cleaning tips involves orange Kool-Aid, and you don’t have to be in a cult to try it. Simply pour a packet of the delightful orange stuff in your toilet over night and watch those pesky stains disappear. Also, if your dog enjoys lapping from the commode, he’ll be grateful for a citrus-y change of pace.
If you have dirty grout, I can tell you one helpful hint that doesn’t work. I read that you could clean grout with white vinegar. So, armed with a toothbrush and straight vinegar, I tackled the laundry room.
Nothing happened, except that my sons asked me where the hoagies were. There is no remedy for dirty grout except to look the other way. And don’t bother using mayonnaise for anything other than a ham sandwich. It has been touted as a natural way to eliminate water rings from wooden tabletops, as a natural facial and as an aphrodisiac—but only if you are a side of bacon.
Another alcohol-related remedy has to do with odorous feet. It is said that vodka can wash away smelly feet. Simply buy a bottle of Stoli and drink it. You won’t care how your feet smell. Actually, you’re supposed to bathe your feet in a basin of vodka (again, no top shelf vodka necessary) and voila! Stink foot be gone! Still, wouldn’t rubbing alcohol do the same thing for a lot less money? I’m just saying…
The cure for motion sickness is a bit odd. It is said that if you’re feeling car sick, you should suck on an olive.
That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? You’re on your way to visit grandma and feeling a bit woozy in the back seat. Just before wooziness gives way to pukey-ness, mom pulls out an olive and commands you to suck on it.
Really? This is one I have no intention of trying because as much as I love them, it makes me ill just thinking about sucking olives in a car.
Food-related remedies are many. If you’re baking a cake and can’t find the cake tester, just insert a piece of spaghetti into the cake. If the spaghetti is clean when you pull it out, your cake is done.
A word of caution, however. Do not try this with a cooked strand of spaghetti.
In parting, I’d like to pass on what might be the most bizarre use of a natural substance for beauty. The Japanese recommend hummingbird droppings for a facial masque. How labor intensive must it be to locate those teeny, tiny bird-y leftovers?
I think I’ll stick with Noxzema!