Housekeeping | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ Category

Upkeep of Wood Floors

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

We have talked to several people who use the Walnut Oil on their floors and in response to your question – here is what they do:

Once a week – if you are the absolute-on-top-of-it type – use a soft cotton rag, which has a bit of Walnut Oil on the rag.  You can either pour oil on the rag for this, or you can keep Walnut Oil in a spray bottle and spray a bit on the rag.  This is only a little bit of oil for this job.

A couple people we talked to keep such a rag saturated in Walnut Oil, which they use for upkeep in a number of ways and have a special metal container with a top – in which they keep the rag – like last years’ fruit cake tin.  They use that rag and wipe up the floor so it has all the dust removed and a thin coating of oil on it.  The oil should dry in short order.  They keep such a saturated rag for a month and then toss it.  If they need to wipe fingerprints off furniture within that month, that rag does the job.  Or, if they need to wipe their dining room or other table with a bit of oil, in-between their yearly going over with the 0000 steel wool, they use that rag.

A couple people we talked to will do this once a month because they want to keep up their floors, keep them looking great, but do not worry themselves if a little dust shows.  Our observation – unless you have lots of traffic in and out of the house you only need to do this once a month and then it is a light wipe of the floor.

One person – ostracized after she told this story – uses a cotton mop onto which she sprays a bit of walnut oil in a spray bottle she keeps and then wipes the floor with the mop.  Since most of the people we talked to about this upkeep are – on your knees to do your floors kind of people – there were gasps when she said – others do this with a cotton mop with a bit of oil sprayed on the mop.  Our question was, is there a difference in results?  Of course, everyone thought their way was the best and absolutely the only way to get good results.

In defense of the “on your knees people”, they use that time for exercise while wiping the floor.  There are several exercises that can be done in the process – which most exercise books, or a search online will show you.

Those who do this upkeep once a month are the ones who hang drapes on all of their windows – who close their windows on top of air stops so outside air/dust doesn’t get in and they look constantly for other ways to keep dust from coming into the house including having people visiting leave their shoes at the door.

Hope this answers your question.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to                           bettina-network@comcast.net

 

Walnut Oil on Wood Floors

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

I have just finished following your instructions and redoing my wood floors.

I am exhausted.  It was an incredible job, but worth every minute because the floors are beautiful.

Having used the OOOO Steel Wool and Spectrum Walnut Oil – tried for the best, no cheap oil on my floors –  and even taking the most expensive oil route it cost less than what I spent on these floors the last time I cleaned and waxed them.

I went over the floor with a damp rag to get off the top dust.  Then, I used the OOOO steel wool, pouring walnut oil on the floor and rubbing it in with the steel wool until all of the dirt and everything else was up.  I then wiped that up with old towels (which I threw away when finished, although my neighbor is trying the same thing and she washed her old towels after using them).  I then poured more Walnut Oil on the floor and wiped it up with a clean towel – and let the floor dry.

My neighbor tried to cut corners and didn’t do this last pouring on of oil and wiping it up with a clean towel so she had a bit of a mess on her hands, because her floor dried sticky and kind of gooey so she had to start over again.  I think that probably had to do with the steel particles from the steel wool still on the floor.

I did not put the furniture and rugs back, but let the floor sit overnight.  The next day, my floor was sort of dry, but still with parts looking wet from the oil so I had to re-wipe the floor with a clean towel.   I did not use more oil, the floor just looked a bit wet and in need of something, so another wiping with a dry, clean towel to help the oil either come up or soak into the floor – and 2 days later the floor is fabulous.  The down side was having to wait two days for the floor to dry – meaning, I could only do one room at a time.  That was fine because the smell from the oil and essential oil of gardenias will be in the house forever as I go from room to room cleaning my floors.  I am exhausted so I won’t try another room for a month or two anyway.

I should note here that my neighbor did it your way by doing a small area of the room at a time.  Which means, when she messed up with the oil and it was sticky she didn’t have her entire room to redo.  She moved the furniture and rugs from only a part of the room and moved the rest of the furniture over while the floor dried.  She was also not exhausted when she finished.  It was just part of her general cleaning – which she does without fail from 10-12 daily five days a week.  I wait for the woman who cleans for me to do all of that work – but she drew the line at kneeling on the floor to do this oiling.

My neighbor is continuing a small part of a room at a time using the same walnut oil to clean and oil her furniture in that part of the room.  I don’t have the methodology and discipline to do that.  I want it all done at once.  But then her house is a lot cleaner than mine.  Don’t know how she does it, but her house is immaculate anytime of the day or night you go over there.  Mine – not so much.  I have to clean before visitors come.  Maybe one day.  And with this new way of cleaning and oiling the floors – I suspect that kind of discipline will come because my biggie was not wanting to touch or be around the normal kind of cleaning stuff that has to be bad for your health.  I was sure they made my family sick with respiratory ailments.  Could be wrong, but the mind works in strange ways.  Even being exhausted after I finished the floor in one room, I was not ‘I’ll never so this again kind of exhausted.’  The smell and feel of the entire house changed with just this one room having its floor oiled and it was exhilarating.

My question – how to I keep these floor looking good?  They look great now, but things do get dusty and dirty over time.  I can’t go through this effort many times a year.  What do you suggest?

Your original suggestion was that this happen once a year.  What do I do in the meantime?

Thanks,

By the way – I love the smell of gardenia’s so I bought essential oil of gardenia and poured a bit into the Walnut Oil bottle when I opened it and my house smells unbelievable.  You were right about the benefit of adding essential oil to the Walnut Oil.  What I especially liked was that even though it took a lot of effort crawling around on hands and knees to do this cleaning because I couldn’t think of any other way to use the OOOO steel wool and even though it took all of the wiping up and around with old towels, the smell and off gases of what I normally used on my floors is not present.  That alone was worth the effort.  I can breathe!

I didn’t look into what was in the cleaners and waxes I used on my floors and couldn’t believe I have been using something with a kerosene base.  Looking around at the stores, most of the products sold – in the cleaning and waxing line are all mostly kerosene based.  This is what I have been exposing my family to all these years.  I knew the smell was foul – I just got used to it and waited for the smells to dissipate.  Now, I don’t want these smells to dissipate, I want to enjoy the gardenia and walnut smell as long as possible.

What I really love is the way my hands looked and felt after I finished.  I didn’t have to wear rubber gloves because Walnut Oil is good for the skin.  I hadn’t thought of that as a side benefit, but I love it.

Another BTW – the woman who cleans for me has been converted.  Her mother spent her adult life cleaning for others and is now in a wheel chair.  They blame the products her mother used and she, unbeknownst to me, was looking around for something else.  After watching me and standing in the room with its new feel and smell, she decided it was better to clean the floor on hands and knees than to use what we had been using – so she has taken over the floor cleaning and oiling job – and thank goodness.  Not having to wear rubber gloves and seeing my wrinkled hands smooth out after this bit of hard work instead of drying out and feeling awful even with the rubber gloves, convinced her.

Anxiously awaiting your response!

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to:

bettina-network@comcast.net

Care for Wood Floors

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

I read a Bettina Blog quite some time ago which talked about caring for wood floors without using the petroleum derivative products and others, which are harmful to humans.  I don’t remember its title, but it made a lot of sense to me and I used its suggestions and have added a few of my own.

The one I found sensational is caring for wood floors with coconut oil – organic, expeller pressed, coconut oil and nothing else – except a soft rag and 0000 steel wood if the floor is really dirty with stuff crusted into the wood.

The first time I cleaned my floor with coconut oil I had to use the 0000 steel wool and it took a long time because I could only do a section at a time.  My energy didn’t last for the entire floor, but that worked in my favor because I could move furniture over in a small section of the room – go over the floor, pouring a bit of coconut oil onto the floor and wiping back and forth with the 0000 steel wool.  I then went over it again with a soft rag pouring the coconut oil sparingly onto the rag to wipe up the remains of the steel wool, dirt and whatever else this process got off the floor.

I let the floor dry for a day or two and then wiped it with a soft dry rag.  There was a soft film over the floor and the dry, soft rag wiped it off quickly leaving the floor unbelievably beautiful.  It looked like the real mahogany wood I loved so much when it was first installed.  It did not have that look of a plastic covering, only being able to see the real wood through that thick coating – it had the look of well taken care of mahogany wood.

That was a couple years ago.  I first tried olive oil on the floors, but after a couple cleanings, that left a sticky surface.  And I tried a few other oils, but the one I am sticking with is coconut oil.  I put the glass jar of coconut oil on top of the stove before cleaning so it will be liquid.  I now clean my floors once a year with the coconut oil and after only about three years, the floors are now easy to clean – I rarely need the 0000 steel wool anymore and each time I clean the floors with the coconut oil, the floors look better than they did the time before.

What a fantastic and simple way to keep your house clean.

A bonus comes from the really nice odor the coconut oil leaves.  No one can put their hands on exactly what is the smell, but people now notice and comment when they come in the house.

I now put a bit of essential oil of lavender in the coconut oil before using it and that has enhanced the really great feeling of the house – and its odor.

A friend of mine has taken up the habit after she saw my floors.  She puts essential oil of roses – which she calls rose otto – in her coconut oil and her house smells great.  That is her preference – wouldn’t be mine, but I still enjoy the odor when I go to visit.

Thanks for that!

Keep those suggestions for this organic kind of house keeping coming.  I feel as though I have added a few years onto my life and the lives of my family.  No off-gases from those other kind of cleaning ingredients, which I think are dangerous to your health.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 

A Sample of Bettina Network’s Lessons and Requirements!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Bettina Network, inc. has guidelines and lessons for those who join the Network with a talent, body of knowledge, wisdom, art, craft, etc that they want to share.

To give you an idea as to what these small lessons and requirements are, we share the following:

“We understand all of the marketing behind stainless steel and other kinds of utensils for eating.  However —-

In Bettina Network, inc. as a Host Family and Hedge School Facilitator we require that you use silver utensils when serving any kind of food.  If you are using  stainless steel and/or other materials for your knives, forks, spoons and other utensils which go in the mouth, please change to silver as soon as possible.  They are a bit more expensive so you can take six weeks into joining the Network to change the utensils you use.  To be efficient in the use of your resources, you might want to sell your current utensils at an estate sale, or yard sale, etc. to find the money to replace them with silver, if necessary.

Why?  Because silver has anti-bacterial properties and we want to make sure guests and those coming to learn are as protected as possible.

Silver plate or sterling silver are equally fine.”

Some of our homes have moved even further and adopted the old German habit of using silver pots and pans for cooking.  That is the ultimate, but instead – if you can’t afford or don’t understand how to use these silver pots and pans and are a bit squeamish – you might try converting to a combination of iron and glass pots and pans.  Give the idea of silver pots and pans a bit of time and you won’t want to use anything else.  Corning used to make a fantastic set of pots with the blue cornflower on the side which is great either for cooking on top of the stove or for using in the oven for baking.  Cast iron – which you will need to  oil (season) after each use, is excellent also.  Please don’t oil these iron pots with Olive Oil.  It goes rancid quickly and defeats the purpose.  You might try Peanut Oil – Coconut Oil – or etc.  Stable oils which you use to cook foods when the temperature is higher than ‘slightly warm’.

If you have questions or comments, call or send us an email.  If you want your email published as a blog, please so indicate.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Your 2016 Clothes Regimen

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2016 – Marceline Donaldson

With your beauty regimen taken care of – unless someone else has another version – it is time to tackle your clothes.

Advice is coming from all over, at this time of year, on what to do in your closet – New Year’s resolutions to make – and more, all around your clothes closet.

We have very strong advice – ignore all of it.

The worst advice being given out is for you to go into your closet and ‘clean it out’ of all those things you don’t wear.  Some say throw out clothes you haven’t worn for a year.  Others have guidelines for throwing away your clothes which are just as ridiculous.

We are a throw away society, but somehow our clothes have not come into the discussion.  Our advice is – whatever clothes you buy look at them as having to last a lifetime and then some, because you want to keep your clothes in such condition that you can pass them along to your children and grandchildren.

Clothes are not to be thrown away anymore than all those other things that we use and toss should be throw aways.

I have clothes from my childhood and in my closets are clothes that belonged to my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother and I wear them all.  It is a glorious time getting dressed because I put on the armor of the ages – my history on my back.  It is amazing how that helps when you get into something that is not quite pleasant or into controversy of some kind or into a very pleasant time which adds to the memories and becomes entwined in the threads which make up your outfit.

That used to be easy to do because the materials used for clothes were long lasting.  The silks wore like iron.  The cottons lent themselves to many transformations as the generations passed.  All you have to do is to be aware and take care of your clothes.  That means not throwing them on the floor, but being disciplined enough to take care of them when you take them off.  Put them in a dryer on ‘air only’ to make sure you don’t take little animals into your closets and use things like organic essential oil of lavender to keep the moths away from your woolens and other kinds of materials on which they like to feast.

Clothes don’t go out of style.  With a little skill with the needle, thread and scissors you can transform and re-create your clothes into something the material never dreamed it would become.  Hems go up and hems come down – your widen and then you shrink and then you widen again.  You don’t have to wear everything within the same year for it to be relevant and/or something you need to toss.

Those who recommend you ‘clean your closet’ are really cleaning out your pocketbook.  Making sure you are ready to be marketed to with this seasons’ styles – just make sure when you do buy clothes you buy timeless items and not the trendy kind.  The trend is not your friend.  It is what keeps many women broke trying to keep up and look like this year’s models – spending tons of money to look like those 13 and 14 year olds.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a model.  I wound up on a few billboards and in a couple places, but what I could do was limited.  Why?  Because to really model the top clothes you had to be at least 35 years old or older.  Why?  Because it was deemed you had not lived long enough and didn’t look mature enough to be able to elegantly carry off the clothes being designed.  Today, if you are 18 years old you are practically over-the-hill as a model.  Those 13 and 14 year olds are who we look to as our style icons.  Now there is a sick society.  How have we let this happen?  Why would I want to wear clothes that look great on my grandchildren?  And it is people my age that have the money to spend.  My grandchildren have what they are given by their parents and grandparents or what they work to earn at less than minimum wage – so what is gained by using this age group to market the latest fashion trends?

If you keep your clothes in good shape and wear them every few years, they will keep you looking good for as long as you want to look good.  I am amazed at how up-to-date and forward looking are some of the clothes made for me as a very young person.

Today, I am searching the estate sales for coats, furs, shawls, scarves, matching hats, etc.  No one wants them and they are being tossed out of closets at break-neck speed.  I bought a beautiful green sheared beaver long coat for $50.  It is so in style that the comments I get are – ‘where did you get that coat’ – ‘I want one of those’ – ‘that looks fantastic’.  And I will have it for many years to come.  Where did I get that coat?  From someone cleaning out their closet who didn’t want that old thing because she didn’t wear it more than once every two or three years and all the advice put into her was that those items are items you toss.

I have a gorgeous pair of gold and black satin dress shoes which belonged to my grandmother.  She looked fantastic when she wore them because her legs were her best feature and those shoes showed off her legs beautifully.  I didn’t inherit those legs – that part of the gene pool went to someone else, but every time I wear those shoes I remember the times I saw her in them and she becomes closer to me.  I inherited many of her values and for that I am grateful.  Wearing those shoes or just playing with them in my closets renews many of the things she taught me growing up.  Not the least was – ‘waste not, want not” – a saying this society finds foreign.  A concept we need to re-discover and to use it in every part of our lives.

My grandmother was a modiste.  She designed and made clothes and in her teen years apprenticed to a Parisian designer by the name of Mrs. Wolf.  I wish I knew more about Mrs. Wolf or Wolfe, but I don’t.  Maybe someone will recognize the name and give me some history of this woman who set my grandmother’s life on the path it took until she died.  I also wish I paid more attention to and learned some of her sewing and design techniques.  What I learned was through osmosis, mainly, but my head does turn at a well made outfit.  I do tend to look at the seams and the way something is made before I take it into my wardrobe and I can wield a needle with a little proficiency. Can’t say the same about my daughters, but I can brag about my granddaughters proficiency at design and sewing.  So that talent will carry on – not as their main vocation, but it will run, skip and hop alongside whatever else they do.  Hopefully, they will also ignore the marketing and advertising which encourages them to throw away and clean out their closets on a yearly basis so they will have room to add more.

One article advised that you clean out your closet with a well disciplined friend who will not let you ‘get away with’ keeping those things you don’t currently wear.  How awful to so mislead the public into an activity which hurts all of us.  I just turned a wedding gown into a beautiful ‘dress-up’ outfit.  The gown was lace – and the kind you can’t get today.  Not the synthetic lace, but the real thing.  It was white so I dumped it into a large pot of tea and now it is a beautiful color.  Since I didn’t know what I was doing, the color came out blotched and uneven.  That only added to the elegance of the newly evolved dress.  I saved the scraps remaining.  Who knows what they will become, maybe even years from now.  The lace will certainly last.

My suggested New Years’ Resolution for you is to avoid those who are telling you to ‘clean out your closet’ and think about the environment, the sacrifices made by those who created the outfit, made the materials, and in some cases the animals whose lives were taken for what you are wearing.  Protect your clothes, take care of them and gradually you will come to see a new outfit from an older one, a refresher turn in the dryer, and learn to clean your own clothes so the materials which destroy us and what we wear will not take hold in your household or in your family.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

A Response to “Dogs = Emotional Slavery”

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Thank you for your blog on dogs.  I didn’t think anyone would have the guts to say what many of us are thinking and afraid to say because all around us are people who are so totally into their dogs it is pathetic, while the rest of the world just shakes its head in disbelief.

My pet peeve is the filth that dogs bring.  We are afraid of rats and talk about the diseases they bring.  It takes over 500 rats to make the kind of ‘shit’ that dogs make with one bowel movement and the smell is awful.  Does the real difference in the way we think about these mammals comes from the fact that we control dogs, but can’t control rats?  It is clearly not cleanliness or the spread of disease.  Dogs are, hands down, able to spread disease much faster and more lethally than can rats.

I’ve also noticed how dogs walk all over the place and when they get home they walk into the house bringing whatever is on their feet and the first thing they do is to shake themselves to get rid of all the ‘stuff’ their hair has collected during their walk.  Dogs themselves aren’t so filthy, they know what to do to keep themselves clean, it is their interaction with owners who either don’t know or don’t care about the negative reaction of their dogs with the rest of society.  What comes off when they shake is amazing.  Check it out and see if some of your diseases haven’t come from your home collecting all of this stuff.

I am so tired to taking other people’s dog shit out of my garden that I would like to outlaw dogs in my neighborhood.

What is most amazing to me is the fact that dog owners take their dogs for a ‘walk’ twice a day – at least.  Actually, they are taking their dogs to the bathroom to pee and shit in another area – at least several blocks away from their own homes and gardens because they don’t want that mess, germs, bacteria and smell close to them.

I’ve seen dog owners take their dogs to other peoples gardens and hold the dogs to pee on the flowers and recent plantings that others have paid for and are taking care of to beautify their homes and neighborhoods. Why do the dog owners do this?  So they don’t have to pick up the filthy shit.  I’ve seen people walking their dogs with bags in their hands to pick up the dog excrement.  Do they use the bags?  Many don’t.  It is mostly for show.  If the dogs have a bowel movement in your garden, the owners can walk away from it and leave it there.  The same thing with the small garden areas around trees, especially if there are plantings around the trees which cover the dogs shit so it isn’t found until they have moved away from what they have turned from a lovely garden into a dog toilet which does not flush.

It is time for this to stop.

I love dogs – but the dog owners are making life impossible.  I read your blog when I had just come in from picking up dog shit off my lawn.

How do we get this to stop?  It is time to stop romanticizing dogs and look at the reality of their lives amongst us.  Particularly,  their owners need to be trained and to understand this is not playtime or snuggle time, but reality time.  The reality here is its not the dogs who are the problem, but their owners.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Bettina’s Fried Chicken – the Ultimate Recipe

Friday, August 28th, 2015

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2015

This is fried chicken the way Grandmother made it.  And remember – taste happened in Grandmother’s recipes.  Todays’ processed food and processed food recipes have to use lots of salt and sugar to make their food taste.  Grandmother used very little sugar in anything and even less salt and the sugar she used was not the over-processed, over-refined sugar which delivers nothing but a sweet taste that gets old and ugly when you begin to wake up your taste buds with real food.

  1. Pour enough organic milk in a bowl to cover the chicken you are going to fry.
  2. Add organic apple cider vinegar.  Use your judgment for how much – you really do have taste and really do need to stop slavishly following recipes without using your judgment on the ingredients, etc.  Each recipe you use should become your own.
  3. Let the milk and vinegar sit for several minutes while it bubbles and becomes like buttermilk.
  4. Instead of the organic apple cider vinegar – or if you want a change, squeeze a couple lemons into the milk and let sit until you get buttermilk.
  5. Put organic chicken pieces into the milk and let sit for a couple hours or preferably overnight.
  6. When you are ready to fry the chicken – the oil you use is crucial because it adds to the taste and health benefits of this dish. We use a couple.  Half organic butter and half organic coconut oil in a skillet to about 1/3 the way to the top of the skillet.  Or, if you want a change and a very different taste try organic peanut oil.
  7. NO! Don’t use olive oil.  That is used beautifully in a salad or some other dish which you do not cook.  You don’t want rancid oil as the basic taste of what you are cooking.  It becomes a taste you recognize and like if you use if often, but it is not a good one.
  8. After heating the oil, rinse the milk mixture off the chicken under cool running water
  9. Put the chicken in organic flour and coat the chicken.  Let sit a few minutes for the flour to sort of harden before putting chicken in the skillet.
  10. Sprinkle himalayan salt, cayenne pepper, thyme over the chicken before putting the chicken in the skillet.  And of course, those are all organically grown spices.  If you are Italian or have those taste buds, you can add organic oregano to the spices you use on this chicken.  We think the combination of these four spices gives the ultimate taste, but it is your judgment call.
  11. Cook, turning when the skin turns the color brown you best like in chicken.
  12. There are two ways to finish this chicken.  You can continue frying the chicken in the iron skillet until it is done or when the chicken has browned you can put it on a baking pan in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until done.
  13. Enjoy a powerfully great fried chicken.
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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

A Thanksgiving Gift

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013

We thought carefully over all the breakfast conversations lately and the one that seemed to be ideal for Thanksgiving was the one about how important it was to sterilize your forks, knives, etc. – especially since we all cook and eat with great gusto on this Thursday –

That has been a growing conversation and it is becoming louder when we all assume the utensils which we use to eat -most, -if not all of our meals, must be sterilized if we are not to come down with diseases from the germs, bacteria, viruses they carry from one person to another.

This particular breakfast conversation had a different twist.  Lacking interest at several breakfasts about the great issues of the day and our opinions of them we asked why is the din growing so loud about sterilizing eating utensils?  Could it have something to do with the metal, alloys, other materials, being used to make these utensils?  Is something being covered up which is important for us to know?  After all, our ancestors used utensils for eating and cooking for generations without sterilizing them so why the fuss now?

What was pointed out to all of us was the anti-bacterial properties of some utensils and the lack of such with others;  the mythology of the marketing and advertising being pushed out to us with its half-truths, hidden information, unpublished research which could damage what is being advertised, etc.;  and the changes that have taken place and foisted on a very ignorant public for the benefit of the manufacturers, inventors, retailers and more.

For many generations silver was used for pots for cooking and for knives, forks, spoons, etc. There was no need to sterilize because silver has anti-bacterial properties.

Today, we use stainless steel, aluminum and other metal, other alloys and plastics for eating utensils and for cooking.  That has totally changed how we have to clean and store these utensils after use.

Since we were not paying attention to our grandparents wisdom, most of that good and simple home keeping information has been lost.  Add to that  this past generation which has been so busy with other things they succumbed to the marketing and advertising mythology being spread around for the benefit of the processors and inventors of these new and different things  Those simpler tried and true methods of the past  are being lost at a fiercely aggressive rate.

This little bit of wisdom is given to you this Thanksgiving in the hope that you will cherish it, use it and pass it down to your children.  Please move away from the technology for a minute.  Please step away from all the ads and marketing thrown at you for your use to incorporate in your and your family’s lifestyle and please, please pay attention!!!!!  Just a few seconds of your time!!!!!

After all, isn’t that how Martha Stewart became so famous so quickly? She was passing on to us things we were never taught.  She was passing along the basics of living in a reasonably cultured society and we were all eyes and ears.  Our parents were too busy trying to cope with a very fast changing society.  They raised their children as best they could in places where historical role models were taken down and new ones put up to benefit the manufacturers of really questionable items.  Our eating utensils are just one group that has suffered from this newness of information.  Information – sometimes really questionable in what it says and purposely leaves out – with ads created in song, dance and sex –  to get you to buy.  Reject that and look for  information which passes along truthful nuggets of how to best live a long and healthy life making choices to promote that lifestyle.  How do you develop an antenna to tell the difference?  Cultivate discernment – a powerful ally throughout your life as it changes and you grow in knowledge with expanding wisdom.

Check out your kitchen.  Are the knives, forks and spoons therein silver or some other strange material, previously unknown and which should be banned for eating utensils because they can be dangerous to your health?  If so, replace them immediately with silver plate or sterling silver place settings – serving utensils – and more.

Are your pots aluminum? Or perhaps an unknown and untested alloy – and we mean untested over generations of family use?  If they are, step away from the stove and seriously consider replacing them.  Aluminum became popular as quickly as it did because we were accustomed to silver pots and aluminum looked like silver, but cost much less.  Now there are rumors it may play a part in the Alzheimers epidemic and we discover it is used in everything from pots to deodorant and no one really knows its longterm affect on your body.  You put aside money for other things – think of your health and start putting aside money for silver pots, forks, knives, spoons, and more.

Estate sales have wonderful forks, knives, spoons and other service pieces at prices much less than the prices for new stainless and other fancy looking eating utensils – at very reasonable prices.  Sometimes you can even get a set of sterling in a silver box or in a piece of furniture designed to hold such lined with silver felt to keep them tarnish free for a very long time.  They are worth the investment.

You don’t have to sterilize silver because it has anti-bacterial properties which are much better at killing the germs and bacteria and other such things which get on our utensils. Other materials might still have problems even after sterilization.

Go the way which has been tried and true for our ancestors, we feel you won’t regret the extra effort.  In fact, your health will improve and you will certainly then send blessings our way.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and keep tuned in to breakfast at Bettina Homes to continue the conversation.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

 

How to Live Elegantly Spending Less

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

copyright 2013  Bettina Network, inc.

Estate Sales – Yard Sales – Home Liquidations – and many more names which describe a family or individual or group of people selling what they can’t use, don’t want, need money so they sell the things they own, etc.

These sales provide you with an opportunity to really buy what you need and what you can’t find elsewhere because it is probably not sold anymore.  It is also your opportunity to buy something “real” instead of the pressed paper furniture, plastic made to look like glass, really expensive clothes which don’t last the season, etc.  Try the book sections in estate sales instead of the library.  For $1 or $2 you can snag really great books and sometimes first editions.  Although the first editions may cost as much as $5.  And then pass them along for others to read.

How do you live like this?

Instead of shopping at the mall – make a list during the week of what you need and would shop for-  at the mall, the big box stores, the discount houses, the really upscale designer original shops, the one of a kind furniture stores – to continue to live well and comfortably.

Look up the sales – usually over the weekend – map them out so you can easily go from one to the other without doubling back – and off you go to this new lifestyle.

Many sales by professional estate sale people take credit cards and some even take checks.  When you hit one by owner you probably will need to have cash, although some private sales also take checks.

A real find is the liquidation of an estate which includes all the things the person used in life and now must be ‘scattered’ to others.  All the basics you need for your home you will probably find at these sales.  It is like shopping all the different departments at the stores you may now frequent and which max out  your credit card and ruin your credit.  The estate sales will let you live in the same or better style and you will find your credit card bill much reduced and very manageable at the end of the month.

I wanted a bread baking machine, but didn’t want to spend the $100 plus dollars it cost to buy one – and I tend to have very high end taste.  I will sniff and look down my nose at anything not well made with less than top quality materials.  Especially those items copied from their beautiful, elegant forebears.  But I also have a very low end budget so I shopped for three week-ends until I found my bread baking machine.  It was brand new, still in the box, still sold at the Bloomingdale’s of the world and I paid $20.

My neighbor was going to a very elegant birthday party and wanted something with lots of bling to wear.  She found a beautiful Valentino dress – in her size and with the sales slip and price tag still hanging on the dress.  It was beautiful.  Not as much bling as she wanted, but it screamed luxury and fit her perfectly.  Because she found this at the end of that particular estate sale she paid $18 for a dress with a price tag over $500.  She bought shoes to match, at the same sale, which didn’t fit her 9 1/2 feet, but fit my 7 1/2 feet very comfortably.  She bought them for me for $5 as a ‘thank you’ for turning her on to the estate sales.  She went off to her birthday party beautifully dressed with her old shoes, which still looked great with her new dress.

That goes for every part of your life.  You have to be patient, but in the end patience is rewarded as you find that what you want always turns up at one or another sale.

My kitchen is total testimony to this lifestyle.  It is fully stocked with every gadget around, none of which cost me over $1 or $2.  I profited from our American penchant to buy what we think is really great and will make our lives easier, put it in the drawer or closet and never use it – content with the fact that we have it  ‘just in case.’  I imagine what the person who owned the gadgets I bought was thinking when they went to the store to buy these items – which at the time they couldn’t live without.

I just foolishly bought two shelving units for my attic – to store an ever increasing stash of clothes (my weakness – probably coming from my modiste grandmother).  I bought them brand new from a very upscale hardware store.  They cost $120 each for the component parts I needed to put together the kind of shelving that would help me store these clothes carefully so I could reach whatever I needed in seconds.  At the very next estate sale I went to, there were several shelving units just like the ones I had just bought.  I bought two more at this sale – took them apart – washed them because they were in the basement of the home where I was shopping – put them together the way I wanted them to be and WOW – I had two more units for which I paid $10 each.  What a difference.  My impatience cost me $220 which would have been much better spent on something else, or given to someone who needed a little lift in life.  Having to wash the units didn’t bother me.  I took them apart so I could re-assemble them into my storage needs and carefully washed each piece.  Since they were very good quality stainless steel and beautifully made – not the flimsy kind one finds in the stores these days – they looked like new when I re-assembled them into closets for the attic.

Now I am looking for glass containers for flour, sugar, rice – all the things that need storage in the kitchen, but elegant storage.  I am looking for antique glass or porcelain or any other kind of container which is easily cleaned and looks very elegant to add to what I already have in the kitchen.  I don’t expect to pay more than $2 or $3 per container – for a really great one I will go up to $5 so when I get home from the grocery store I can ‘decant’ my primary cooking ingredients into them and have them within reach.  Because they are going to be very beautiful they will look just fine on the counters in the kitchen.  They will also be home to  the organic teas and spices that I love – and it will keep them fresh and constantly used because I won’t have to reach around and behind other stuff  only to  find them moth infested because they are still in their paper and other kind of containers.

That goes for every part of your life.  You have to be patient, but in the end patience is rewarded as you find that what you want always turns up at one or another estate sale.

I think you get the message.  Happy hunting – maybe one of our blogs will suggest a way for you to use all of the money you are going to save with this new way of life.  It certainly brings ‘recycle’ to new heights.

Ed Note:  For the purposes of full disclosure, Bettina Network, inc. manages estate sales across the country.   The sales will soon be a benefit to those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

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{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

To Sara – Vinegar Pumps

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013

Hi Sara,

Thank you for your telephone call.  It has taken a while for us to research your question, but your question opened other doors and presented information to us we weren’t looking for – so thank you and we enjoyed the research and hope this helps.

You wanted to know about finding “pumps” for your Organic Apple Cider Vinegar bottle as talked about in our blog on “More on Apple Cider Vinegar” published Monday, July 23rd, 2012.

It said “I put the second bottle in the bathroom after I found a pump which fit the top and which made my Apple Cider Vinegar bottle ‘pumpable’ for cosmetic purposes.”

We went back to the person who wrote the blog and found the following:

Such pumps are common.  We found them all over the place.  The person who wrote the blog used to buy lotion which came with a pump.  Since she saves everything she had a supply of the pumps which had been in her lotion bottles which she cleaned, stored and saved.  She told us how excited she was to find a use for the pumps she thought might languish on the shelf for years.  (A true hoarder in the making).  You might look around to see if you have such bottles to use their pumps when they are empty.

Lacking that we went looking other places:

Frontier Co-op has pumps in their catalog – try www.frontiercoop.com

Home Depot has pumps which can be used for all kinds of bottles.

The vinegar we use – Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with mother, quart size – is 2 centimeters around the top and most pumps will fit  for whichever size vinegar you buy.  We buy the quart size, which is the 2 centimeters (We called Bragg’s to make sure of the size of the mouth of the bottle).

Sometimes you can find a pump which fits the top of the bottle, but which you need to cut because it is too long to fit.  We would suggest you cut the bottom stem on the diagonal.

We also found pumps in CVS, Walgreens and more.  All of them were really inexpensive.

Hope all of the above helps.  If we come across a very elegant pump we will let you know!

In our quest for your pumps we came up with some interesting information.

We found one person, who bought her pumps from Frontier Co-op, who puts a quart-size bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar in her bathroom with a pump, but she also uses a pump on the olive oil mixture we suggested in another blog.  She pumps it out onto her rag to clean her floors.  In addition, she uses the same mixture as a lotion and since she doesn’t get what is in the bottle contaminated because of the pump, she uses the same mixture after her bath and to clean her wood floors.

That sounded a bit much for us, but we pass it along if you want to try this.

The Olive Oil mixture for cleaning floors is – one quart bottle Olive Oil (or whichever size you want to buy); add the juice from one or two organic lemons, depending upon the size of the bottle of Olive Oil; and to this add several drops of essential oil of whatever you like best.  We recommended organic essential oil of lavender because in a house that is a really soothing smell to come home to – you can almost become addicted to the smell.

If you want to also use that recipe for your body lotion, you might want to change the oil – roses, gardenia’s, every kind of flower or mix a couple essential oils as you put in a few drops of each into the bottle.

You can also use this on your hair for a little oil treatment or a bit on your hands after you wash your hair.  However, we prefer sticking to coconut oil for the hair because that seems to help control the curl.  If you have straight hair you might want to change that to the olive oil because it gives some curl – some people would say frizz.

Enjoy!

Call again if you can’t find the pumps.

All of us at Bettina’s

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A Great New Year’s Resolution

Monday, January 7th, 2013

copyright 2013 Bettina Network, inc.

We encourage you to follow our example.

OUR RESOLUTION FOR 2013:  we will no longer buy at retail stores, shopping malls, etc. – except on that very rare occasion when we can’t stop ourselves – but as time goes on we hope our faith in the system sustains us and we can make it through with this new way of life.

In 2013, we are only going to buy from Estate Sales, House Sales, Yard Sales, etc.:)  Fantastic.  It is about time someone tried that.

While this may sound a bit self-serving, since a part of the Bettina Network is about managing public and private sales, this idea has been hanging around far longer then our business.

Society looks at people who try this as those who do it out of desperation and can only afford to buy at “used goods” sales.  Even those who can only buy this way feel sorry for themselves and pine for the day when they can shop the malls and all the other retail places to shop.  They have been pitied by most of us for having to live on such merchandise. Those who are wealthier tend to buy at “antique sales” – showing their upward mobility and class status change, especially if they are buying at antique auctions of the New York and California variety.

We used to go to such sales to buy the choice pieces which couldn’t be found anyplace else.  And then one day we noticed there was a screw driver – practically new for only $1.00.  The exact same item was much more expensive in the Hardware Stores because I had been looking and pricing them trying to figure out average, better and best –  so – hey – why not buy it here, especially since the one I was looking at was one deemed the “best”.

And then we began to notice other things and began to really enjoy the sales.  We buy all of our clothes at estate sales now and we dress beautifully – mink coats, rabbit jackets, racoon long coats practically dragging the floor (because they were made for someone taller, but it looks much more lush on us), fake fur capes, leather gloves and more.  We even buy our stockings and undies at sales.  AND – before you make ugly comments, they are all brand new with the price tags still attached and with the stockings, they are still in the sealed plastic wraps.  Most people seem to buy more than they need so they won’t run out – and they don’t – death catches them before they run out of stockings or other such things.  We even find an enormous amount of clothes – brand new – with price tags still attached – and some are more than 30 years old.  They have been in someone’s closet forever and never worn.

I love to find houses where the people who lived there for years had their everyday items, which they used all the time – and their “good” items, which were never used.  I can go through those houses and come out needing help to carry stuff to the car and have spent about $70 to $90 instead of the four figures such things would cost at the retail and luxury stores.  The luxury stores are where most of  the “good stuff” comes from.  The everyday heavily used items have come from the discount stores and aren’t good for much except discard.  The “good stuff” has generally been purchased at great personal cost because it shows an upward movement and is not used because the people buying it and using their everyday stuff while saving the “good stuff” know they can only afford to buy such once in a lifetime so it can’t be used.  A dilemma which has shown up some interesting new habits throughout this consuming society.  The “good furniture” in a middle-class home was traditionally covered in plastic.  That habit has come in for many jokes and for much poking of fun, but think about it.  If you can only afford to buy a beautiful sofa once in your lifetime and know you can’t afford to have it recovered and it can be cleaned only with great difficulty and high expense you have to do something to preserve it.  The alternative is to live with a lesser item and that doesn’t work in this upwardly mobile, consumer ridden society.  We always aspire for more then we can afford – and generally overlook real gems under our noses which would give us a better and more elegant lifestyle.

We also began to notice we could buy all of our cleaning needs at these sales for $1.00 and sometimes even as little as $.50.  We found Gel Gloss – new and unopened, which costs much more than the fifty cents we paid for it. And on and on and on.

And then we started picking up all other kinds of things we hadn’t thought about buying at house sales.   – Last week at a sale there was a new piece of heavily quilted and tufted aluminum foil.  We didn’t know what it was for,  but it looked ideal to be cut into pieces to put behind the radiators to keep the heat reflecting back into the room – thereby saving energy.  It cost us $2.00.  As we were leaving the woman who organized the sale said – “hi, are you going to insulate your hot water heater”?  Wow – we realized that is what it was for,  so instead of cutting it up, we went home and wrapped the hot water heater so it would be insulated and reduce our gas and electricity bill.  Wouldn’t have known that – and before arriving at that particular sale, I was thinking about calling a plumber to get our hot water heater wrapped.  As we were leaving the sale, an elderly gentleman, realizing we knew nothing about wrapping hot water heaters, and was observing when we discovered I didn’t even know what it was that I was about to buy, gave us a lesson on how to do wrap the hot water heater when we arrived home.

So now, we are really on the look out for EVERYTHING and realized – if we went to the sales with a list of what we need – we might not find it at the first sale, but shortly thereafter we will turn up what we need at a fraction of the cost.  All of my Christmas presents came from house sales.  That was fun and I didn’t have to break the bank to celebrate Christmas – and my love is giving handcrafted, unusual items as gifts.  The sales let me do all of that.

History buffs should love this way of buying.  I have learned so much history in the process, that I can’t believe  I have come so late to this way of being a consumer.  And the real treat is to be able to look around other peoples houses to see how they live.  I have picked up decorating ideas, organizing ideas, – have seen lifestyles I didn’t dream existed and more from traveling around to house, garage, yard and estate sales.

I guess you might say we are becoming estate sale addicts.  Can’t go the week without finding a sale.  And you know you are addicted when you buy a size 9 boot when you actually wear a size 7 because it was $5.00 and you saw the same boot at Neiman Marcus for over $300.

There is – surprisingly – a community that forms around these sales.  You get to know other people at the sales because you travel around shopping this way and they are far friendlier than the people I see at Bloomingdale’s.  Even the store clerks at Bloomies treat me arrogantly and I bathe every single morning.  When they talk down to me I almost want to say – ‘I have more money than you do – so there’.  But I am far too old to let my inner urgings take over.

The people selling at estate sales are quite a different crowd then the retail clerks at the Macy’s of the world.  They know more – for one thing.  They generally can tell you all about the merchandise they are selling because they are collectors of antiques and other items and have to love and know history to do that.  I have learned so much about life at these sales.  There is always an anecdote that has to be told.  The sales conducted by the family are just as interesting because you get to know when and where particular items were collected and how grandmother loved that vase and you hear the story of the clock grandpa bought or the piano where they had to have soup for years thereafter because they spent so much money on it, but they wanted their children to have a piano and the best they could buy – and now were selling it because the grandchildren weren’t interested in it – they wanted a new piano, much more poorly made, with a lesser sound, but which looked “new and modern”.  A little olive oil rubbed into that ‘old’ piano for a few months would make it look beyond ‘new and modern’, it would look old, treasured and exquisite.

One of my grandchildren expressed the appallness of her parents about my buying shoes someone else had worn.  So I have developed a recipe for all of you to use when buying used shoes, boots, clothes, etc. and it goes like this:

For shoes, take cotton – or old newspapers – and sprinkle it liberally with essential oil of lavendar – preferably organic essential oil of lavendar.  Stuff the shoes with the cotton or whatever you are using.  Drop them into a plastic bag, of which you have many from the store – don’t go out and buy new bags – and let them sit on the side of a storage room or other out of the way place for a couple weeks.  Anything in that shoe will have vanished when you take it out of the lavendar-scented bag and your shoes will smell heavenly.

For used clothes – we buy “dryel” or “woolite”.  We buy “dryel if it is something we think needs to be cleaned in a plastic bag or “woolite” if we just need to purify the items.  Put the clothes or afghans, draperies, or whatever you have purchased that needs cleaning,  in the “dryel” bag and put it in the dryer for a turn on the “normal” setting.  When the dryer stops, immediately take them out of the bag or the dryer and let them hang until the odor of the dry cleaning substance begins to fade.  Then you can either send them to the dry cleaners if they need spots and such removed or they are ready to be put in your closet without fear of whatever contamination by another human being worries you.

Essential oil of lavender, which you use in the shoes,  is a disinfectant and can be used in many other ways.

I needed a stand for my television set and nothing I found seemed to fit.  Everything I liked was over $100 – way over – and made of pressed paper.  However, browsing an estate sale I found a beautiful Oriental cabinet, just the right height – with bamboo trim, beautifully lacquered and painted with semi-precious stones worked into the painting for $45.  That was my final sign that this was the way to go.  I was thrilled – brought the cabinet home and it was perfect.  It had drawers in the front so I was able to put all of the things I stored in the present tv stand I was using, in the drawers and the look dressed up the room unbelievably!  The old tv stand that I needed to retire was made of pressed paper (that imitation wood) and was beginning to just fall apart – as such things do after only a few years.

I could go on for pages.  We have converted several Bettina Network host families to stop shopping in retail stores – so we will tell you the stories of their adventures or misadventure as they happen and will also try to introduce the topic at breakfast to see if any of our guests find this a great lifestyle or if they find us crazy.

Hopefully, we will come up with tips to help you as you take up this new passion.

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Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

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Walnut Oil on Furniture?

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

copyright 2012 Bettina Network, inc.

From a guest and blog reader:

Thanks for your blog on using Walnut Oil on wood furniture.  I tried it and it works phenomenally!  I used the Olive Oil and Walnut Oil – half and half.  A friend of mine used Walnut Oil straight from the Spectrum bottle.  She loves her way, I love mine.

She uses hers on her wood chopping block and wood bowls she uses for mixing salads.  The Walnut oil dries hard – but you have to let it sit a couple days – and it lasts awhile.  She used to use Mineral Oil and I gave her a hard time about that because Mineral Oil is a petroleum derivative (ed note: from Wikipedia “mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude oil.”)and I don’t think it should come in contact with food.  Although with all the medicines made from petroleum derivatives and other things we use coming from distillates of petroleum we should be immune – still, I tried her straight Walnut Oil on my chopping block and it was great.

I used the mixture of Olive and Walnut Oils on my antique wood furniture and the shine is unbelievable.  It also looks as though nothing will penetrate or cause the furniture harm.  I even used it on my grand piano.  I did take an additional step.  After I oiled the furniture – which was rubbing in a half and half mixture with a few drops of an essential oil – I let it sit for a couple  days and then rubbed it again with just Olive Oil.

I did this by accident trying to undo what I thought was a great mistake.  The furniture was very sticky and yukky after oiling it and days later it was still sticky and yukky.  I didn’t know what to do and thought I had ruined my furniture.  I went back to the Olive Oil, rubbed the furniture with Olive Oil on a soft rag and couldn’t believe the results.  The furniture is beautiful.  The shine is incredible and old looking furniture now looks soft and with a beautiful sheen.

I put essential oil in the mixture because I would like my house to have a faint smell of lemon oil and essential oil of lemon does the trick.  I might try organic rose oil next time – even though it is wickedly expensive.  The smell of roses through the house should be great.

What fun to experiment like this.  I lost interest in cleaning and caring for my house.  I have now regained that because it has become a creative endeavor and with the products you are talking about I am not worried about giving myself a serious disease from my cleaning products.  I wouldn’t even let the woman who helps me clean use products she has been using for years.  She thought I was being silly, but has since changed her mind and won’t use anything else.  I am sure the other people she works for are happy with the change.

I don’t know where you get his stuff from but wherever, keep those great tips coming.  I am guessing, from breakfast conversations.

When I stayed at XXXXXXXXXXXX in the Bettina Network we talked about recipes for making banana bread.  I expected to talk about solving the huge problems in the world.  Maybe next time.  My banana bread, however, is great!  Your guests were right about the ingredients making the difference.  I used the same ingredients that I used before that conversation, in the same amounts, but they are now organic and the best I can find and the difference is astounding.  Worth the few extra quarters.  I eat less of it because the taste satisfies and doesn’t leave me craving white sugar, lard and flour.  We didn’t solve the worlds’ problems at the breakfasts I had in the Bettina Network, but the new discoveries around banana bread is a start.  And – my now using Walnut Oil instead of XXXXXXXXXXXXX means a minute amount of petroleum is no longer being used and maybe that is also a different kind of start to solving some of the world’s problem.  Who said to the flower “bloom where you are planted.”

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Cleaning Wood Furniture

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012

I read and followed your blog on Cleaning Wood furniture from February, 2010.  If you want to refresh your memory the address is http://bettina-network.com/blog/?m=201002 or check on the left side of this page and click on February 2010.  I would like to make a suggestion for change.  We started using your method and got great results.  Recently, we talked to friends of ours who suggested we substitute Walnut Oil for the Olive Oil or add half and half – half Olive Oil to half Walnut Oil and then add the lemongrass oil.

We tried this with a soft cloth on a piece of wood furniture and it worked really great.  We also tried plain Walnut Oil instead of Olive Oil and that worked just as well.

Because I like Walnut Oil better than Olive Oil I think I will continue to use the Walnut Oil for cleaning and polishing wood furniture.  My friend cautioned me against using Walnut Oil because she said it ‘stinks.”  Nothing could stink as badly as the petroleum derivative oils that most use on their wood furniture.  It is amazing what we humans can become accustomed to as normal and refuse to change or find the change inferior.

I tried using lemon juice and that was phenomenal, but I don’t always feel up to squezing a lemon and mixing it with the oils.  Using just a few drops of essential lemongrass oil was simpler.  The essential oil was one addition that I thought was super.

Thanks for your blog.  It causes me to experiment and I have found several new possibilities which are healthier than what I was doing.  This Walnut Oil – Olive Oil – Essential Lemongrass Oil is one of the best I’ve found.  Its quick, easy, much cheaper than the commercial preparations – which I believe are harmful to your health and certainly ruin your hands.  What makes me angry is that I have to pay much money to have my hands and health ruined while they spend my money on marketing to get me to buy an inferior product.  This made my hands soft and beautiful as a result of oiling my furniture – who knew!  It might even mitigate my getting a manicure so often!

If your readers have a hard time finding essential lemongrass oil they might try Frontier Co-op.  Aura Cacia, whose products are offered through Frontier, sells essential lemongrass oil.  Instead of the .5 bottles, you might contact them for 4 ounces, which makes more sense with this use for the essential oil.  I love essential oil of lavendar and maybe one day I will try that when I oil my wood furniture, but for today I will stick with essential lemongrass oil.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Upholstering Walls – 1st Installment!

Friday, September 7th, 2012

copyright 2012 Bettina Network, inc. 2012

This is an ongoing project – one of several we hope will end with a video which you can access showing the entire process.

The process will be blogged in installments since it is difficult to write for a long time on such a topic!

We talked to many guests, host families, friends, to decide what we could do to get ready for the fall season which would result in our utility bills being reduced over the winter of 2012-2013.

We came up with the upholstering of walls.  We’ve started small with one bedroom and the results are beginning to look spectacular.  Not only will our utility bills be reduced but  the upscaling of the room has been substantial.  We have only put up padding on two walls and already our air conditioning is practically non-essential.  In spite of very warm weather – over 80 degrees – we turn the air conditioners on in the mornings for about two hours and the room stays cool all day and into the evening.  Hopefully, that presages a wonderful savings on the heating bills this winter – AND we haven’t even added the material yet. So lets see what change that makes!!

I was raised in a house where the walls were covered ceiling to floor with draperies – brocade, double lined – to keep out the heat and the cold.  I didn’t think much of what that meant until recently when I came across an entry in one of my diaries which described our living room.

Floating the possibility around to everyone who would listen – it started out as weird and ‘historical’, but not for todays home.  Since all the conversations started, those we talked to first are coming back to say – ‘hey, that might not be such a bad idea – try it and let us know what happens.’

Well, like everything in this world, it started out as a simple project and now has become all encompassing, consuming and we are looking everywhere to find out ‘how to’.

Lots of people have ideas and some have actually upholstered walls, but that isn’t the way we want it done.  Our original purpose was to save on utility bills and secondarily to add to the elegance of our lifestyle.  So looking around for the original purpose we found a padding which we have stapled to the walls.  No, we didn’t use furring strips.  We stapled the padding directly to the walls, stapling around the windows, right below the moulding and right above the floor moulding.  Seems there was enough wood or something to hold the padding – dacron.

Our biggest problem was which stapler to use.  Almost no one knew anything about an upholstery stapler that we could use for this project.

We searched the internet, old magazines, saved articles, and we drove friends crazy for ‘how to’ possibilities.  Stay tuned for what we used!

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

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An Estate Sale Buying Tip!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

copyright 2012 Bettina Network, inc.

A QUESTION FROM AN ESTATE SALE SHOPPER:

“I wanted to buy a pocket book, which I loved and it looked in very good condition, even on the inside.  I was a little troubled, however, because we have been so programmed by those marketing to make us afraid of one another, that I found I had succumbed to that marketing and wondered what kind of unseen germs were on the inside of the pocketbook, which afterall had been used by someone I didn’t know.  Do you have any help for me?”

OUR ANSWER:

We have been shopping estate sales for decades and have found a wonderful way to handle this!  Don’t know if it will work for you because you are facing, basically, a psychological issue – which we believe, as apparently you do too – that this fear of another human being and their ‘things’ has been caused by the marketing people looking for ways to sell their products.

We put crumpled-up newspaper in the pocket book to help it either keep or to restore its shape and then we hang the pocket book wherever we want it to live.  We do that even for brand new pocket books, which you also have to worry about because some of the material being used today to make and line pocket books have off gases – think of that getting all over the items you put in the bags.  The older bags were lined with real silk or other organic materials, not the mixes and creations of today, which are basically some form of a petroleum derivative.

After we have crumpled the newspaper and before we put it in the pocket book we put a few drops of organic essential oil of lavender on the newspaper and then stuff it into the pocket book, taking care to make sure the shape is what we want the pocket book to take.  Essential oil of Lavender is an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and stress reducer oil.

Once you’ve done that – when you use the bag, the smell of the oil of lavender remains, so when you are having a frantic moment just stop, open your pocket book, pretend to look around in it for something and smell the lavender.  It works like a charm for us and we become calmer and less stressed in just a few moments.  Then, when you can’t find what you were looking for because you really weren’t looking for anything, and you feel a lot calmer,  close your bag and continue with whatever you were doing.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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More on Apple Cider Vinegar

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012

“Thanks for your information on Apple Cider Vinegar.  I remember it being around a lot when I was growing up and then it disappeared.  In fact, white vinegar, which I believe is a petroleum derivative, has replaced a few of the uses for vinegar which are still around – mainly as an ingredient in salad dressings.

I remember being afraid to have anything with white vinegar in it because of the stories which circulated in my community about of how it was made.

I was so happy to read about Apple Cider Vinegar in your blog that I decided to go back to it, do some research and see if I couldn’t bring it back as one of the staples in my eating and cosmetic life. I remember a weight-loss diet that was popular several years ago which was Vinegar, Vitamin B6 and something else – or maybe it was B12.  It was hugely popular, but I didn’t lose weight on it because I couldn’t keep it up.  Friends of mine lost quite a bit of weight on this diet and one developed the habit of having a tablespoon or two of Apple Cider Vinegar in water when she woke up instead of coffee.  I don’t know what its done for her because we haven’t talked in years.

Taking your suggestion about putting a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar in the bathroom for those who think the tub isn’t clean enough led to my putting two bottles in the bathroom.  One with a rag on a small plate to be used to clean the bathtub and/or other places in the bathroom.   – if its good for the bathtub, what about the toilet?  I put the second bottle in the bathroom after I found a pump which fit the top and which made my Apple Cider Vinegar bottle ‘pumpable’ for cosmetic purposes.

I use this second bottle to rinse my hair; after I’ve used vitamin A, dried milk and vitamin E on my face and before going out I put a little Apple Cider Vinegar in my cupped hands and wipe my face with it being careful to avoid my eyes.  My skin has a glow which makes me look years younger.  On the days I don’t want that shiny look, I use dried milk as a powder to tone down the oily look left from the vitamins and it looks great.  I got all of that from your blog under the ‘health and beauty section.’

You were right about being able to keep my face looking fantastic all during the day by simply splashing on cool water periodically when I wanted to refresh and that looks better than any foundation because you can’t refresh it – foundations just begin to make you look tired and old after a few hours, and if you try to refresh the foundation with more powder, you begin to get that ‘caked’ look, which isn’t healthy because your pores are very clogged by that time and your looks take a direct hit.

I wish more places would keep that cosmetic bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar in their bathrooms – food quality Apple Cider Vinegar.  When I travel, I can’t carry it because the airlines would take it away from me. – Probably to take home and use it themselves.

I found when I first started to use it I would get this little burning sensation in places on my face.  When I checked in my magnifying mirror, it was in places where I had ‘sitz’ or had been picking my face.  Now, that’s all gone because whatever sensation made me scratch or pick my face is gone.

Thanks for the information.  It led me to another place, with which I am delighted.  I especially love it when I have guests and they come downstairs to breakfast asking about the Apple Cider Vinegar in the bathroom and I am able to spout my new found knowledge.  What is great about that – they usually have a few things from their youthful remembrances or current readings to add so I am pulling myself up out of a great pit – and the money saved is amazing.  I used to spend $300 plus per month on cosmetics, which weren’t doing anything for me except I felt as though I was doing something when I bought them.  The ambiance of the cosmetic areas, the way the sales people treated me when I went in to buy my cosmetics – all made me feel great, but when I got my big purchases home, they made no difference whatsoever in how I looked nor did they stop aging nor my penchant to pick my face.

So once again, thanks.  Keep up the good work and seek out all of these things so I can benefit.”

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012

In response to a guest request for uses for Apple Cider Vinegar:

There are thousands of ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar – both for health and cleaning purposes.  We have zeroed in on only a few because we need to test everything before we put it out on the blog.  Needless to say, we use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

If you search Bettina Network’s Blog under the category ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’ you will find uses we have previously published in this blog.  You can also find other uses for Apple Cider Vinegar if you search the internet.  There are several really good books – some out of print, but discoverable in estate sales – written decades ago, which are fantastic.

The huge use, – the one we find that has infinite health benefits is the use of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as a deodorant/anti perspirant.  (No, you can’t substitute White Vinegar – not even Organic White Vinegar).

I believe we have a blog on this and we have had ongoing trials with different people using it.  Now that the weather has turned really warm, we have found that using a little Apple Cider Vinegar splashed under your arms after a shower will keep you feeling cool and odor free.  We have also found that when your energy starts to flatten, another splash of apple cider vinegar under the arms and a little rubbed on the face will bring your energy up in dramatic ways.

It is amazing how something so cheap and so totally effective would not be used by millions.  Are we so detached from the ways of our grandparents that instead of following their lead, which they acquired from following their parents and grandparents, we are the generation which follows those whose job it has been to market the latest to us.  The latest things to pad the pockets of the few at the expense of the health, well-being and financial resources of the many?

We all are using one of the many Deodorants and Anti-Perspirants on the market.  That says a lot for the success of the marketing campaigns which have been aimed at making us think if we didn’t use the products they are currently marketing we would smell bad, be considered amoral and the ‘good’ people of the world would not want us around.

In fact, if we use the products being promoted for our use with beautiful women, flowery scenes, romantic music, comedy and/or cutesiness there are serious possible health problems involved.  We worked hardest in trying to discover some way to live in public around other people and not smell nor cause ourselves health problems into the future.  When we heard the way anti-perspirants work is to clog your pores with aluminum, we threw out the anti-perspirants and deodorants – no matter how good the marketing and advertising.  Apparently,  you don’t smell because the perspiration and bacteria which eats the perspiration causing the odor can’t get started because you can’t perspire.  We always thought that perspiration was a natural bodily function with a reason to preserve your health and well being.

That freaked us out.  Especially since we have heard the stories about Aluminum being one of the contributors to starting Alzheimer’s, plus a long line of other health problem possibilities.

We have had feed back from a few people in the Bettina Network about using Apple Cider Vinegar first thing in the morning – a little in a glass of water and drink it down – but we haved no way to know if and how this is effective, so we will stick with the use of Apple Cider Vinegar as a very effective deodorant.

We also find it good to use cleaning house.  We use it with Olive Oil.  The Olive Oil poured on OOOO steel wool will clean and wax the furniture and Apple Cider Vinegar does an excellent job at washing  walls and etc.

In a Bettina Network home you will find a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar in the bathrooms with a rag for you to use to clean the bathtub.  The homes have clean bathrooms, but many guests, when they travel, don’t take a bath, in spite of wanting to take a bath and being accustomed to baths instead of showers.  They are afraid of the tub and assume the hotel and/or the bed & breakfast and/or the inn, etc. could possibly not have cleaned the tub the way they would like it clean.  Since the Apple Cider Vinegar is a disinfectant, we came upon the idea of putting a bottle in the bathrooms so guests can use it anyway they see fit.

Another use we have for Apple Cider Vinegar is in the clothes washer.  We put in the detergent and fill the softener container with Apple Cider Vinegar to help clean and disinfect the wash – the sheets, towels, etc.

Doing just those few things will dramatically reduce your cleaning budget and increase the cleanliness and germ-freeness of your home.  It will be pleasant smelling – no off-gases – nothing to hurt your hands or get into your blood stream and wreck havoc producing illnesses you become baffled by because you can’t figure out their genesis.

We have heard about using it to rinse your hair and do all kind of other things, but the above is what we are trying and getting feed back from so it is all we can talk about at the moment.

Hope this helps.  Let us know if you find other uses, we love the feeback and try all suggestions (within reason).  It helps us and others and will probably wind up in a blog.  If it does, we will give you credit or post it anonymously, if you don’t want your name used.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

 

Need to know more about Apple Cider Vinegar?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012

I read your blog on a regular basis and have tried many of the things you’ve talked about.  I am today on a quest to know more about Apple Cider Vinegar.

We stayed in one of your Bettina homes and they had a bottle of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in the bathroom with a rag next to it.  I wasn’t sure what that was for and I kept meaning to ask the family and kept forgetting because I had too much on my plate at the time.

Did I miss something really good?  That is the first time I’ve seen vinegar in the bathroom. What I would like to know is why was it in the bathroom?

What is the difference between it and white vinegar?  I’ve switched to Apple Cider Vinegar from the anti-perspirant I used to use, thanks to you, and it is great.  I feel so clean when I splash a little of it under my arms before going out.

When I first started reading your blog, I have to say I was a bit skeptical with some of what you talked about.  I haven’t yet tried Vitamin A on my face, although I bought a bottle and want to try it when I am not going anyplace that day because I am a little worried about smelling ‘fishy’.  I’ve seen in other places where that is considered one of the gold standards for wrinkles so you know I am going to try that soon also.  But today, please write more about Apple Cider Vinegar – and does it have to be organic? and there are several brands on the market which say different things.  One says it has the “mother”.  Another is distilled – another pasteurized, etc.

Thanks!  Hope I am not going to far asking for too much, but if you start with why I encountered the vinegar in the bathroom I would much appreciate it.

Ed Note:  Thanks for your questions.  We put your note to us in the blog because others may have the same questions and we would like you to know we have asked for an answer and hope it will be published soonest.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Washing Linens, Towels and everything else

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012

We have been trying for several years to come up with the best way to wash bed linens and bathroom towels – because that is important in bed & breakfast.

We were especially concerned about having soft towels and the smell which we sometimes could not get out of the sheets without several washings.

We tried every fabric softener on the market.  They all do the same thing and none really great.  -They give the towels, particularly, a slimy feel rather than a clean fluffy feel.  The towels, after they have been through the wash with fabric softener, are too soft and too greasy to think that is a good solution.  Having done a bit of research on this, I find that is because the fibers are coated with chemicals – that can’t be good!  Especially when the results we were trying to achieve were not happening.  And, what happens to the chemicals which coat the towel fabric?  Do they go on your face when you wipe with the towels?  Or on other parts of the body?

Trying to wash towels and bed linens without a fabric softener left the towels really scratchy and uncomfortable to use.  You wouldn’t want to wrap up in the very large bath towels because that would not meet the ‘feel good warm and cozy’ test.

We received many suggestions about putting White Vinegar into the rinse water.  However, after having worked with White Vinegar and knowing from whence it has come, we discarded that idea.

We put organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’,  in the washing machine in the small box which asks for fabric softener.

We fully expected to ruin all of the clothes in the machine because we expected there would be residue from the organic apple cider vinegar, especially since we were using the ‘mother’ so we couldn’t think beyond = ‘there goes the wash’.

We couldn’t use a lot of the apple cider vinegar because the container of our LG Washing machine would only hold what seemed to be less than 1/4 cup, so while we tried it anyway, our hopes were not high for success.

The results, however,  were spectacular.

With bed & breakfast guests, some  are exceptionally clean and their bedding doesn’t have an odor when they leave.  Some people, even though they wash, leave behind an odor in the sheets which doesn’t always leave after the sheets have been through the wash,  so we have been super concerned to get the odors out.  Basically, we assumed if there was an odor there was bacteria still in the sheets and towels.

Putting organic apple cider vinegar in the fabric softener container of the washing machine solved the problem.  And weren’t we surprised!!  We found organic apple cider vinegar worked wonders as an anti-perspirant, but we couldn’t make the leap to the washing machine.

When the clothes came out of the washer, there was no odor left in any of the sheets, towels or clothes.  The towels were softened to perfection.  They had no slimy feel, which happened when we used commercial fabric softeners.  We don’t have to worry about people being allergic to the linens or towels because of how and with what they were washed and the towels were neither too soft nor too hard and scratchy.  The towels were sturdy enough to allow one to dry one’s face when you wanted a little roughness to get the blood circulating, but not much.  And they were soft and nice enough to please those who wanted soft towels.  The same thing happened to the bathrobes.  They are perfect after coming out of the organic apple cider vinegar rinse.

My great-grandmother used to put her clothes through a vinegar rinse – I should have had more respect and given her the credit she deserved for the things she knew and did.  Is this how sexism works? – hand and glove with the marketing and advertising machine?  If young people don’t learn the lessons from their families, but from what used to be called “Madison Avenue” we are all doomed to destruction- a slow excruciatingly painful destruction via cancer, and all the other degenerative diseases.

How fantastic is it to find something your great-grandmother used on a daily basis with no bells and whistles.  That was just how she did things.  It can make you feel kind of foolish to know what you have looked all over creation for was right under your nose from the time you were a child.  I have the marketing and advertising people to thank for that, along with the forces in society which made me turn to my peers rather than my family to learn these kinds of lessons.  Now I understand why Martha Stewart became such a phenom.  All the lessons we didn’t learn and when we turned around to try to back track to learn them we could not break through the veil. The silence from our families could not be bridged.

I used to think my grandmother and great-grandmother were really out of touch with today’s society and here I find if I turn back to try to remember what they did, it is safer, purer and better for all of us.  Now, not everything they did is so relevant, but I will be going over their lifestyle as I remember it to see what else I can salvage.  I am sure many of you have or are experiencing the same thing.  Give your mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers credit, gratitude and thanks.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Olive Oil and Windows

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

copyright 2011 Bettina Network, inc.

Ed. Note:  We had three letters from people who use the Bettina Network about the Olive Oil blog.  I have tried to combine them into one blog taking the different points made by each one so all the information from all three letters is contained herein.  Hopefully, I have been true to each persons points in their letter. They were responding to the blog we wrote on using Olive Oil to clean and polish your wood furniture.

 

“Thank you for your information on olive oil.  I have been using it for sometime now and have found it works beautifully on my windows.  I clean them once a year and when they’ve been cleaned, I rub all around the inside and outside of the windows with olive oil.  Thank goodness I found this in time because otherwise I was looking at replacing my windows, but I would only have gained about 20 years and either me or the next person would have had to change windows again.  That’s great for this throw away society, but not great for our middle-class pocket books.  I don’t mean to get political here, that is simply my observation and experience, please don’t take it out of context.”

 

Thank you for the blog on olive oil.  That is not the first one you have put in your Bettina Blog.  I followed through and started to clean my furniture with olive oil.  That worked so well I have been using olive oil on everything.  I splurge and use organic first cold pressed oilive oil.  I know that is kind of ridiculous and probably also extravagant, but it makes me feel better.  I hope you will write something about cleaning your windows with olive oil.  I have a hard time during the winter opening and closing my windows.  They worked very nicely when they were first installed about 12 years ago.  They are now very hard to deal with, so after reading the furniture blog and realizing windows are made of wood just like furniture, I cleaned my windows (with the help of the young man who cleans for me) and I was awed by the results.

 

He didn’t want to use the olive oil.  He thought it was going to make a mess whicdh he didn’t want to have to clean up.  So I gave him a choice – use olive oil and only olive oil or don’t work for me anymore.  Its my house and I call the shots here.

 

I have noticed the smell in the house has changed.  I’ve begun smelling my friends’ houses.  We are all clean freaks and have our houses cleaned once a week thoroughly.  What I thought was a great clean smell when you walked in the door is really the smell left behind by petroleum.  I didn’t recognize it as such because I had connected that with a clean house.  My mother used every new product that came on the market and I have followed her using more expensive products thinking I was really getting my house clean.  I wonder how much illness I have caused in my family by using those petroleum based products.

 

I firtst washed my windows all around with Mrs Meyers – I like her essential oils added to her all around household cleaner.  I especially like the smell of the geranium oil.  After I’ve washed the windows I use a rag with olive oil and go all over the windows again, especially using the olive oil rag on the inside of the windows and the grooves on the sides of the windows where the windows and storm windows go up and down.  I make sure those two “weep” holes at the bottom of the storm windows are open so water or condensed water vapor can drain to the outside.
When I finished with the olive oil treatment on the windows I closed them and had a cup of coffee wondering what had I just done and why!  It began to seem rather foolish to have done all of that wiping of olive oil into the wood.  I even used “OOOO Steel Wool” in a few places where the wood looked a bit dirty and then wiped the residue from the steel wool off with my olive oil rag.

 

The guy who works for me came to get me in the kitchen.  He was kind of excited and wanted me to see what happened.  I was amazed and so was he. He was delighted not to have to use rubber gloves to clean and what he was so excited about was the fact that the windows went up and down the way they did when they were new.  He didn’t expect that result and quite frankly, neither did I.  It is a side discovery that has solved a number of irritations about my windows.  When I saw how the inside and sides of the windows looked the next morning I was thrilled.  I was especially happy about the new smell in the house.  It was not a petroleum smell, but a nice, non-existent odor that would not hurt anyone.

 

I don’t know if you will use this or not, but even if you don’t I wanted you to know how grateful I am to have been pushed over the edge to giving up my harmful chemicals for something as simple and natural as olive oil.  Who would have thought it would produce a better result and solve more than one problem.  If I had cleaned my windows the way I normally do, the sticking and hard to move them up and down would have continued and worsened until I replaced them.  Now I have beautifully working windows, smooth hands and a good conscience.  Thanks Bettina!”

 

“I love the blog you wrote about using Olive Oil to clean.  I started with my furniture and have been cleaning everything with my olive oil.  I have two bottles – the organic, cold pressed which I keep in the kitchen for cooking and for salads and the bad kind which I keep in the basement for cleaning.  I used it most recently on my windows getting ready for winter and it worked so well I had to write and tell you about it. Thank you for the suggestion.

 

I especially like what it has done to my hands – working with no rubber gloves and my hands are truly beautiful and soft.  I think I am going to start a movement to seek out and get rid of every cleaning substance in my house which is petroleum based and then move on to my family, then my friends, then to just anybody who will listen to me.  I might even start my own blog on “cleaning with olive oil”.  I might not succeed since there are also petroleum derivative products which are hard to know about, but give me a year and I will be expert at it.  Hope you will publish my writings as I discover more and better ways to clean with substances which are good for me and thee health-wise.”

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.


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