Paula Vogelgesang

New baby gift wrap: When you welcome a new “little” into the family, here’s an idea for wrapping the gift. Instead of fancy paper which gets ripped and tossed away, use a small baby blanket or even a burp towel to wrap the gift in. Use a few big pins to hold a couple of rattles on—right where the blanket comes together.

Clean washing machine hoses: To clean the hoses on your washing machine (really important if you have hard water that leaves “white stuff” on the faucets), add a full quart of vinegar to the full cycle and run it through. The vinegar will take out any water deposits that may be slowing the filling or the emptying of the machine.

Make it yourself kitty toys: My cat loves any toy with a bell in it, but they can be expensive over time. So, I took some of those plastic colored eggs that folks use at Easter time and put some of the tiny Christmas bells you can purchase by the bag full this time of year and I put a bell in half of an egg, and then used my trusty glue gun to glue the 2 halves together with the bell safely enclosed. The cats love them!

And, the best part is that they can go outside too. Mine were all kinds of bright colors so that in snow or green grass—you can see them!

I think I paid $1.50 for a bag of 24 plastic Easter eggs and $1 for the bag of little bells. It took all of 20 minutes or so to put them together and I can’t imagine how much 24 cat toys would cost if purchased individually.

Winter window wash: A reader writes, I have small children that love to stand on a stool or a chair near a window and look outside to see what there is to see but, most of the time they seem to have “sticky” hands and I end up with hand prints all over the windows and when it’s cold that makes it hard to wipe them down.

A friend told me to try either rubbing alcohol or peroxide on the windows to see if that would help. The first thing I tried was the rubbing alcohol and it’s been amazing how well it works and it doesn’t freeze to the windows either.

I haven’t tried the peroxide as of yet as long as the alcohol works, I’m sticking with it. Beside it was only 79 cents a bottle. She also said to use crumpled up newspapers to dry them with. That saves me buying paper towels as well.

If you have hints or ideas to share, send them to PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, South Dakota 57543; or email them to If you send me your name and address, I’ll send you a free copy of the PennyWise Newsletter. Please mention High Plains Journal when you write.

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