* If your dog likes a treat of moistened dry food from time to time, use the water from cooking vegetables. It has a bit of flavor and some vitamins, too!
* “A tip for banana peels: Dry until crispy and break into small pieces. Put in blender and blend to powder. Store in an airtight container to sprinkle around base of houseplants before watering. Orchids love them — it’s great free fertilizer.” — B.C. in New Hampshire
* “Unmatched socks are handy-dandy cleaners and have so many uses. Keep one by the dryer to get all the lint off the trap. Shake it out or pop it into the wash when needed.
* If you have lots of outdoor or feral cats in your area, here is some good advice, given to me by my grandmother: Start your car with a bang — on the hood, that is. When the overnight temperature dips, cats know to find someplace that is wind-shielded and off the ground, and sometimes that means they will climb up into your engine area to hunker down. If your car starts while they’re there, they can be hurt or even killed. Give the hood a good knock to let a cat know to get out quick. — JoAnn
* “After you’ve cleaned out the gliders of your sliding-glass door, run over the parts with a little paraffin wax. It will protect the moving parts and quiet the door.” — P.J. in Oregon
* If you have trouble threading a needle because the fibers seem to go in all directions, here’s a tip from T.I. in Illinois: Stiffen the end of thread with hairspray before threading a needle.
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