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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tips from a Fridge Repairman

John Czerniak, a Sears pro with 42 years of experience, tells how to avoid fridge headaches (and costly visits):
  • Vacuum the condenser coils underneath the fridge every six months ‑- more often if you have pets. Be sure to unplug the unit first and snap off the grate covering the coils.
  • Wipe down the rubbery gasket around the door each month. Rub the hinge side with petroleum jelly.
  • Fill up your freezer to prevent it from overworking. If it's empty, stock it with plastic containers of water.
  • For a fresh-smelling fridge, unplug the unit and then wash it out thoroughly with a bleach solution.

Tide-to-Go Instant Stain Remover

Spilled soda or a leaky coffee cup won't spell disaster for your favorite shirt when you've packed the pocket-size Procter & Gamble's Tide-to-Go Instant Stain Remover ($2.99; available at mass retailers in May 2005). You apply the Tide-to-Go right on the stain without having to switch out of your clothes. Soda, fruit juices and coffee were completely removed in the Good Housekeeping Institute tests. The product is safe for colors and silk, and it left no discoloration or recognizable rings.

Pesky Household Problems Solved

Thanks to Good Housekeeping for testing nine, helpful gadgets. My favorites are above: the Charge 2 Go (a mini charger that uses a single AA battery to give you up to three hours of talk time) and the Kuhn Rikon Parrot 4-in-1 Universal Opener that pops can tops and saves your nails.

Commentary in Clerihew

Mrs. Happy Housewife
Thoroughly enjoys her life
And simply cannot see
The appeal of those Desperate women on ABC.

Choosing Home

Only one more week until the Choosing Home House-Warming Party. More info here.

The Road Taken - How I Chose Home

I was a Bicentennial baby and the only child of a feminist. My mother worked because she had to but also lamented not being able to attend college and pursue her career choice. In a way, she focused her lost dreams onto me. I took those dreams and ran with them. My plan was to go to college, get several degrees, have a glorious career, marry at thirty, have children at thirty-five, and drop the kids in a fabulous private (possibly boarding) school. Real life, however, got in the way.

I stumbled upon my high school sweetheart (after a year-long separation) when I got in line for his register in the university bookstore. It was like a scene from a movie: I saw him and my heart skipped a beat. I felt feverish and light-headed. We had ended our relationship on bad terms so I considered dashing out of the bookstore before he could spy me. In an instant, I chose to stay in his line and that choice sealed my fate. Within a year, we had reunited, were married, and were expecting a child.

I worked until a month before my due date. My midwife ordered me to bedrest so I quit my job. When our daughter was born, I realized that it would be impossible to leave her. God had given me the greatest gift ever and I just couldn't imagine how any job or career could possibly compare. So I chose home.

Ten years later, the change in me is pretty obvious. I still haven't finished my degree but I've learned more than I ever thought possible - due in part to becoming a homeschooling mom. The new mom who didn't know she needed to burp her baby after feedings now teaches that same child algebra and Newton's Laws of Motion. The nineteen year old girl who couldn't bake a potato without a microwave now creates her own recipes and bakes frequently to the delight of family and friends. The greatest change, though, is in my attitude. Ten years ago, I thought I was choosing home as an alternative to a job but now I know that homemaking is a profession in its own right. Every day, I thank God He led me down this road and in every moment and with every breath I continue to choose home.

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.