cover in sauce and no one will notice

Remember when I went to Hardys Bay? The house we stayed in contained some very odd items… like a small plastic bag of white powder hidden in a decorative box behind some books. Yes of course I tasted it. But it was only baking powder, probably put there as a joke by some bored teenager who had rented the house before us. Another interesting find was a selection of Handy Hints from a magazine published in 1979.

Irish Snow Blow found here

“You can make your own insulated picnic box by lining a biscuit tin with pieces of polystyrene. Pack the tin, leave it in the fridge until you are ready to leave, your food will be fabulously fresh when you arrive at your destination.

Polystyrene houses found here

Buy a cheap toothbrush. This you will find very handy for scraping celery clean. It gets the dirt off very quickly.

Toothbrush by Thomas Keeley

If the outside of your pudding is burnt, carefully cut away the burnt pieces, flame it then cover in sauce and no one will notice.

Germknoedel recipe here

When you are peeling onions, cut the end off a large transparent polythene bag and slip it over both hands like a muff. You can peel the onion inside it in no time, and without tears.

Muff Diver found here

Wash your stockings before you wear them and freeze while damp in a plastic bag. This makes them last longer, eliminates sagging and gives them more elasticity. Thaw and dry carefully before putting them on.


Make an attractive cover for your umbrella from a discarded tie. Cut the tie to the right length then stitch edges neatly.

umbrella-tie found here

A sheet of foam rubber, stuck to the back of the headboard on a bed, will save the wallpaper from being rubbed or marked during movement.


On wash day, clip clothes pegs all around an old belt and fasten this around your waist. It saves continually stooping into the peg bag whan you are hanging out the washing.

Clothes Peg sculpture found here

Cut bed making time by marking the centre of blanket with coloured wool.

Before going shopping, write your shopping list on a luggage label and tie it to the handle of your bag. Much easier than groping around in your handbag or pocket later.

label found here

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 8:05 am  Comments (43)  
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  1. Good Lord, some people just have too much time on their hands …

    btw, the baking powder was probably put there to stop damp from getting to the books. Just saying. *goes off to freeze pantyhose*

    • That’s an excellent hypothesis Cindy. But the powder was in a heat sealed plastic bag and store in a covered box. I think it would need to be open to the air to absorb damp wouldn’t it?

  2. Cover in sauce… Words to live by. Applicable to all areas.

    • Charles I don’t seem to be able to leave comments on your blog tonight 😦

      Any idea why that would be?

      • I am thunderstruck and bamboozled. Sorry! Glitchy thing?

  3. On the umbrella tie…from Wikipedia

    Chindōgu (珍道具) is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, chindōgu are sometimes described as “unuseless” – that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called “useful.”

    Apparently, there is much debate in Ohtaku (nerd) circles as to what precise degree of limited usefulness constitutes a Chindogu. A paradox of the kind much beloved in the Orient.

  4. Thanks for the helpful tips. Everyone an absolute gem which will transform my life, especially the fozen stocking one.

  5. The White Star Line were the owners of the Titanic. Liverpudlian till it went broke in the 1860’s it was bought by Thomas Ismay whose son survived the Titanic’s sinking. The company is now known as the Cunard Line.

    • I know a Cunard joke.

  6. So, will ol’ Muff Diving Diane be able to clean my house, do all of my grocery shopping and cooking, manage the laundry, clean my closets and garage and get my life organized?

    • Anyone can muff dive, but being a proper household slavey is difficult.

  7. Disposing of old skis is difficult – so reduce waste by keeping one back, strapping it across the shoulders before vigorous muff-divi………alright, I’ll get my coat!

  8. Great list of tips – it’s not a wonder that I never think of any of those. But I do adore the clothes pin sculpture. Now if only I can find a way to cover my meeting schedule in sauce today.

  9. I remember the freezing your stockings business from the time I was in junior-high school. It was one of the many moments that set me against girly stuff. You didn’t see guys fishing their attire out from behind the frozen cutlets.

    Those houses look like fungus.

  10. Oh, that’s what I was doing wrong. I tried to make a tie cover from a discarded umbrella.

  11. that clothes peg sculptor is awesome! i keep staring at it. following the swirls…

    • oops!! sculpture! too many numbers swirling around my head…

  12. *I’d* notice if someone covered me in sauce. But only if they licked it all off.

  13. In a summer heatwave, I always put on my stockings while still frozen. Blissfully cooling!

  14. I bet she’s old enough to have nicked the frozen frippery thing from Marilyn Monroe in “Seven Year Itch.”

  15. Bravo! I never thought I would ever see muffs and onions together in such a manner!

  16. When cutting onions I wrap a piece of cling film around my head to cover my eyes. It was a trick I learned while working at an Italian restaurant in high school. Sure, I look like an idiot, but I don’t cry.

  17. That was a pretty trippy post. I did like the houses though. That’s pretty cool. I wonder what it would be like to grow up in a neighborhood like that. You’d instantly know everyone’s floor plan.

  18. My recent failed effort to turn a bird cage into a “cat recreational facility” make me feel welcome amongst the nerd circles of Japan discussing ‘unuseless’ projects.

  19. Peel onions under water and you won’t tear up either.

  20. Oh, but I want everyone to see how very worn the wallpaper is behind the headboard of my bed. Gotta give the ladies fair warning of what’s to come.

    Also, I was expecting that Muff Diver cover to have shown up on your diving helmet post a while back, nursemyra. But muff diving happens when it happens, I guess.

    Oh, and thigh-high stockings… DAMN SEXY!

  21. Your like a hot Martha Stewart

  22. Those are terrific pieces of advice. When preparing food for company, if I make a mistake, I create a diversion right before they eat. I stab myself in the head, or try to eat my own liver with a fork. It works wonderfully. My guests rarely remember the meal was cooked poorly.

  23. Shall have to try out the hose tip.

    The headboards were pretty and inventive. The stained glass one makes my knees hurt just from looking at it. We recently got a head and footboard and I banged my shins and knees on it for 2 weeks before I adjusted to where the bed ended again. 🙂

    • Jim made us a headboard and footboard years ago, and the foot board was so much in the way that he finally cut it off .

  24. This really is a most remarkable blog. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

    I chop my onions on a cutting board on the stove top with the exhaust hood turned on low. Or I just cry and let my nose run. Either way the onions get chopped.

    Thanks for all your wisdom nursemyra. 😉

  25. Hope you’re sitting down, because I’m about to change your life for the better. Toothbrushes are useful for much more than just cleaning celery. Get this: They also clean teeth! You’re welcome.

  26. Personally, taping bubble wrap to the back of the bed makes more sense.

  27. “Cover it in sauce” and “Muff Diver” in the same post…genius, myra.

    BTW, it’s Friday here now…

  28. Well, I’m so glad to have a use for all those toothbrushes that the dentist gives me every time I have my teeth cleaned. We use a ultrasonic one, a Sonicare, so the hand held ones do service in my purse and as extras for guests who have forgotten theirs. Nothing better than having a spare toothbrush on hand for the benighted.

    Great tips, if I ever start wearing hose again I might try that freezing thing out. Unfortunately, I have a great facility for catching hose on protruding things, snagging them disastrously and ruining them — all usually within moments of donning them.

  29. Freeze my stockings?!!!!!
    Are you sure?

  30. I love you even more than I did yesterday for tasting the powder. I think we are soul mates or something!

    And you can cook… holy shit, I’m falling hard!

  31. Groping around in my pocket is the bestest bit of having to go out shopping.

  32. If my shopping list could fit on a luggage label it would hardly be worth writing down.

    Susan & I found a similar selection of helpful hints in an old Reader’s Digest the night we got stranded in Tangier and had to stay at a seedy port hotel. It was in their “library” and kept us entertained and in stitches for most of the evening.

    Oh, and I always run cold water over my wrists before slicing onions – works a treat.

  33. That’s one hell of a tooth brush. I like the idea of bubble wrap on the back of the bed too.

  34. clothes peg tip makes alot of sense. i normally just clip them onto my blouse when i hang clothes.

  35. Now Denny knows what a muff diver is.

    Always learning.

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