Meet Colleen C.’s beautiful Rough Collie, her pride and joy, her sweetest boy, Bouchal (pronounced boo-kul). The word is Gaelic and it means “boy” (the word “bucko” is a derivative).
Meet Border Collie Lexi. Jennifer M. and her family in Pittsburgh, PA adopted Lexi this year, and Lexi’s smiling; she’s pretty happy about her new family!
Beth B. in Freeport, PA sent a picture of her Pittie girls sleeping together, Pearl on top of Minnie!
Meet Skyler. She’s a five-year-old Cairn Terrier that Jack and Diane adopted a year and a half ago. She is smart and loves training; they adore her!
Cheryl G. In San Antonio adopted Melania, a four-month-old, five-pound half Piebald and half Chihuahua from a Rescue Group.
Grandma W. Sent a picture of Soupy, short for Marsupial. She’d raised him from a baby after the veterinarian advised Soupy couldn’t survive on his own.
Meet Cooper, Karen’s Maltese, fresh from the groomer. He looks quite handsome with his new tie. Five months old, and he RULES the house. That’s the way it is for the “only child” pet in her family!
After a flood, your family must be cautious of any and all items the floodwaters swept over. You will want to begin to clean up immediately, but your safety comes first. The experts at www.floodsmart.gov recommend that you wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect.
Wet items need to be cleaned with a disinfectant and allowed to dry out. Look for mold or mildew. Sometimes vinegar will clean items and kill mildew. It just depends on how damaged the item is.
You want to remove as much moisture in your home as you can to prevent mold. All items that got soaked and are still damp, such as carpets, bedding, and furniture must be removed and taken outside to dry out, if possible. Pull up the carpet, the padding and put it outside. All surfaces, such as walls, floors, doors, etc., must be dried and disinfected.
If there is mold on a large area of the carpet, you are better off tossing it. If it’s a small area, less then 10-feet square, you can spray it with vinegar, let dry to see if that takes care of the problem. If you still notice mold or smell it, it must be cleaned and disinfected.
Check your home owner’s policy to find out if renting or buying dehumidifiers is covered. If your electricity is up and running, turn the air conditioning (not the heat) to pull humidity from the air and help speed up the drying time. Also, portable box fans will help circulate the air and turn on any overhead fans.
If the walls are damaged, depending on how high the water came into your home, remove the baseboards if you can, and poke some holes into the wall (I’ve used a screw driver) at the bottom to help get fresh air in there. For more information on after flood care and cleanup, visit: www.ready.gov/floods. Stay informed and stay safe.
PRODUCTS TO HELP CLEAN UP AFTER A FLOOD
Here is a list of must-have products to help you clean up. Keep this mind also, if you have a water leak in your house. There are good all-around cleaning agents to use. If you are trying to clean up yourself, do yourself a favor and buy the largest size or get two of each to have on hand.
(Sodium hypochlorite) – Also disinfects. Be sure to follow label directions. More or a stronger solution is not better! According to the EPA, do NOT use chlorine bleach to remove mold as a general guideline.
(Sodium perborate/Sodium percarbonate) – May sometimes be combined with bleach. Use this to wash colored clothing or linens that have come in contact with floodwaters. Or use your regular detergent and add oxygen bleach.
A colorless liquid that has strong oxidizing properties. It can be diluted and added to bleaches and other disinfectants. It kills many molds and mildew. For example, it will kill mildew on grout and cement steps.
SUDSY AMMONIA VERSUS NON-SUDSY AMMONIA
The major difference between the clear (non-sudsy) and sudsy ammonia is simply the added detergent. While both are suitable for the same cleaning tasks, one might be recommended over the other.
WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR
Made from the fermentation of diluted, distilled alcohol.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Created from apples.
In the U.S., this is typically diluted to 5% acidity, but vinegars with higher acidity levels (9%) can sometimes be found. The higher the acidity level, the stronger the vinegar. I use the 9%, also called pickling vinegar, for dealing with musty smelling drains, killing mildew on the driveway (pour it on full strength and scrub with a broom) and even soaking plastic hair brushes and combs to get them clean.
A must-have for every household. Use to scrub surfaces without scratching, deodorize carpets, furniture and beds. Sprinkle on, let sit for 30 minutes or so, and just vacuum up. Pour ½ cup down a stinky drain, add 1 cup cheap vinegar and watch it foam up! Let set or 10-15 minutes then run about 30 seconds of hot water to flush it through the pipes.
CLEANING SOLUTIONS YOU CAN MAKE: HOW TO MIX
Combine the solutions in a clean jug or bottle with a pump nozzle for easy spritzing and spraying (MUST label the bottle clearly). For larger solutions, mix in a clean bucket.
WHAT NOT TO MIX
Always check the ingredients before combining them. Never mix products containing ammonia with those containing bleach. The result could be deadly. Remember, even mild ingredients when combined together can be toxic, so follow these formulas exactly and that includes ALWAYS checking the label before combining ingredients!
Combine ½ cup of non-sudsing ammonia, ½ cup rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with enough water to make 1 gallon of cleaner.
Put hydrogen peroxide (3%) in an opaque spray bottle. Spray on areas with mold. If there’s mold or mildew on the floor of the shower or tub, pour the mixture directly from the bottle, let it dry. See note below about storage*
Mix the juice from ½ lemon, 1 tablespoon household bleach and a cup of water. Carefully pour it into a spray bottle and spray the solution on the mildewed area. Let the solution stand until dry.
Hydrogen peroxide and chlorine bleaches are heat and light-sensitive. Formulas made with these ingredients should be used within a day. Both formulas should be stored in clearly marked, opaque containers.
SIMPLE SANITIZING SPRAY
Some of the sanitizing sprays you buy are basically a little bleach and water. Use the following formula to make: Mix 1 tablespoon of household bleach with 1 quart of water (.01 bleach to 99.9% water). NOTE: This mixture isn’t shelf-stable, meaning it’ll lose its cleaning power when exposed to light or heat for too long, so mix just enough to use for the cleaning tasks at hand each day or so.
Sponges (and cleaning towels) can harbor all sorts of yucky stuff, so wash them well each time you use them. Sanitize sponges by soaking them in a gallon of hot water and ¾ bleach for about 5 minutes. Remember, the sponges are cheap! Replace them every few months or more often.
If you have special items (books, paperwork, etc.) that have gotten wet, try this hint that I have used many times. Put the item in a large plastic bag (leave open), and place in the freezer. This will STOP mold and mildew from growing any more and will dry the paper out. It may take a week or longer, but it’s sure worth trying.
Heloise has been a vegetarian since the 1970s
| By Jessica Belasco updated 10:20 pm CST, Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | Photos: Helen L. Montoya | MySanAntonio.com
When I asked Heloise to talk with me about her vegetarian lifestyle, I assume she’ll want to meet at one of San Antonio’s few vegetarian restaurants or at least at a veggie-friendly place.
Instead, she suggests lunch at a downtown steakhouse.
There she could share hints about eating meat-free in the center of the barbecue and Tex-Mex universe.
“People say, ‘You live in Texas, what do you eat?’” she tells me. “I say, ‘Do I look like I’m starving?’”
Before carving meat from her diet in 1973 — not long before she took over her mother’s “Hints From Heloise” column, providing creative uses for baking soda and vinegar — Heloise would have dived into the meaty entrées on the menu at the Bar at Bohanan’s on Houston Street.
“I was a Texas girl,” says Heloise, 60, who was born in Waco and has lived in San Antonio since 1966. “Give me a 16-ounce steak, a baked potato with sour cream and forget the salad.”
Now, Heloise, whose full name is Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans, bypasses the Frito pie and short ribs on the menu. Instead, she chooses a salad and half a Caprese sandwich made with Roma tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and extra-virgin olive oil. She adds an order of fries to share.
I figure the Reuben and BLT are off-limits, but she points out she could order them without the meat.
Making the change
While she was attending Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos, she and her father took a trip to several communist bloc countries, where she encountered her share of mystery meat.
“I’m sure I ate horse,” she says.
Trying to avoid that sort of thing, she ended up subsisting on cucumbers, potatoes, bread, cheese, cabbage, and caviar.
When she got back home, she found herself gradually eating less meat.
“It wasn’t intentional at the beginning,” she says. “I didn’t order the steak. I ate a few hamburgers and it just didn’t sit right.”
She began reading about vegetarianism in Frances Moore Lappé’s 1971 bestseller “Diet for a Small Planet.”
“My mother was Heloise,” she says. “If you’re going to do something, you do the research.”
Truly her mother’s daughter, she found creative ways to problem-solve.
“I can eat anywhere and eat healthily,” she says.
She began ordering the famous burger at the now-defunct Little Hipps sans burger. At first, she was greeted with raised eyebrows, but over time the staff got used to it.
She learned to quiz waiters on possible substitutions and swaps: Can I get charro beans instead of refried? Can I get this entrée with that side?
“If it’s a good restaurant, they don’t blink an eye,” she says. “Most restaurants will do their best to make the customer happy.”
She also orders two or three appetizers or sides instead of an entrée.
“Many times appetizers alone are delicious and, depending on your diet, they’re enough, portion-wise,” she says.
Another hint: Don’t be afraid to go off-menu. Many Chinese restaurants often have tofu available even if it’s not listed.
It’s easier to be a vegetarian now than it was 30 years ago, Heloise says. Restaurants offer more options for non-carnivores. Many burger places serve veggie patties. Vegetarian meals are available on airplanes. Even airports have more varied options.
For someone who travels as extensively as Heloise, that’s a big deal.
“Twenty years ago, getting food in an airport was like going on a safari,” she says. “There basically was no healthy food. Now in almost every major airport, you can get a fresh salad, you can get a veggie sandwich, they have fruit cups, portable food you can take with you.”
She sticks to a mostly vegetarian diet — she’ll eat some seafood — partly out of habit, partly to keep her weight down and partly for health reasons: Her mother died at 58 of heart disease.
A lover of Mexican food, Heloise indulges in cheese enchiladas and nachos occasionally, but in general, she finds ways to keep calories and fat down without sacrificing taste. At Mexican restaurants, she suggests, ask for corn tortillas to tear up and eat with salsa instead of chips.
At home, she likes to make a snack she learned about in Mexico: a plate of chilled raw cucumber, carrots, celery, and jicama sprinkled with fresh lime juice and pico de gallo con límon.
She also likes seasoning cucumbers with salt, lots of pepper and — you guessed it — vinegar, either red wine or malt.
Heloise’s hints for fruits and vegetables
Store potatoes in a cool, dry place, not in the refrigerator. Keep out of the light as it causes green discoloration. Plastic perforated or paper bags are best for storage.
Freeze avocados if you have too many. Puree them before freezing. Frozen avocados can be stored for up to six months.
Purchase fruit in various stages of ripeness, to always have fresh fruit on hand. For example, purchase a few bananas that are ready to eat and a few green bananas that will ripen in a few days.
Don’t store peaches in the refrigerator until they are completely ripened, because refrigeration stops the ripening process. Once ripened, store them away from vegetables in the fridge. Store them in a bowl lined with paper towels or on the counter with stems up.
Don’t store tomatoes in the fridge, which can change the texture and taste and stop the ripening process. Keep tomatoes out of direct sunlight unless you want them to ripen quickly.
Don’t wash fruits or vegetables with soap or bleach. They can absorb any “washing” solution. Wash with only cool water while gently rubbing with your hands or gently scrubbing with a veggie brush as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.
Try these hints for using them around the house.
To help make cleaning easier, manufacturers have introduced wonderful new cleaning products and equipment. I love microfiber cloths because they are so handy and do a great cleaning job. Try these hints for using them around the house:
Keep several microfiber cloths underneath the front seat of your vehicle. Use them to dust off the dashboard, radio and steering wheel.
BATHROOM & KITCHEN
Store a couple of microfiber cloths in these locations because they will clean and shine the chrome, spiff up mirrors and are great for wiping off the sink. When the cloths become dirty, toss them into the washing machine.
Freshen up your dog by lightly dampening a microfiber cloth with water and wiping over its fur. If your cat or dog needs to get the gunk out of its eyes, a microfiber cloth will do the job nicely. And if your pet, like Cabbie, my miniature schnauzer, gets a dirty beard after eating, the cloth will remove that food crud.
To take the dust off live or artificial leaves, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe over the leaves. This will also add a bit of moisture to the real plants too.
Pet hair, dust, ashes from smoking can migrate into your computer and clog the open holes. Use the hose attachment of your vacuum to remove pet hair and dust from the back of your computer. Clean the monitor case with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Be sure to also dust the power cords, floor, and the area around the computer, printer and fax machine too.
Wipe the handset surface with a dampened microfiber cloth to eliminate fingerprints and dust. But if it’s still sticky, mix one cup of water with one drop of mild detergent to wipe off and then rinse area (not the screen) with a clean dampened cloth. Don’t spray anything into the handset or keys.
To remove dust, grime and fingerprints, wipe the outside with a microfiber cloth and then carefully swipe over the lens. For a thorough cleaning, take to a professional or use commercial wipes.
Wipe the outside with a slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean, but don’t let moisture seep into openings. Do not use alcohol or solvents on this equipment.
First, unplug the power cord. Lift off fingerprints or dust by wiping the screen with a microfiber cloth. Use it to clean the remote control too. NEVER apply any solvent on the screen. Lightly vacuum the vents on the rear panel occasionally.