Thanks, Mom, for forwarding these tips!


Coffee filters .. Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing, even the large ones.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome…Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect china by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc. on them. It soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great “razor nick fixers.”
15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.
16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.
18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.
19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.
20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.
21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.
23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.
24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.
25. Use as a disposable “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.



Why are people upset that Obama criticized the Supreme Court?

I say that the President had every right to express his opinion.  He is upset about the repeal of campaign reforms that have limited the amount a corporation can give a candidate.  I am, too.

The Justices at the State of the Union speech - 1/27/10

An Informal Review of Kushiel’s Dart

Jacqueline Carey‘s novel, Kushiel’s Dart, is a highly entertaining, ambitious, and complex novel. She creates a culture that branches off from our own western civilization, requiring her to create all aspects of the civilization, from the religion to the ethnic groups to the geography. Much of the mundane aspects of life are carried over from our own history. These mundane aspects are not important to the story, however.

The novel is told from the point of view of Phédre, a grown woman recounting her life from earliest memories of childhood through to early womanhood. Phédre’s earliest memories involve finding out that she is flawed. In the world Carey created, to be flawed physically is to be quite limited in one’s options. When her parents can no longer afford to keep her, they sell her into indentured servitude to Cereus House. Cereus House is one of a number of houses of pleasure in Terre D’Ange, where the story takes place. Unlike the other children being raised in Cereus House, however, Phédre is never supposed to know what it is like to become an apprentice in the House, an adept, and to make her “marque,” which will lead to being a free woman. This is because she is flawed; she has a tiny red mote in her eye that precludes her from ever serving the patrons of Cereus House. For many years, she lives under the assumption that she is somehow not as good as other people.

When she meets Anafiel Delauney, she finds out that she is special. He identifies her gift readily, with one look in her eyes. She has been struck by Kushiel’s Dart, meaning that she has been chosen to serve him. She also learns that she is an anguisette, a person who feels pleasure and pain simultaneously. Anafiel decides to take her into his household. She joins him and a boy named Alcuin, who is around her age. Anafiel provides them an education, not only in what it is to serve Naamah (provide pleasure to patrons, basically), but to be observant, to think critically, to remember things in detail, to speak numerous languages, and to appreciate history. Anafiel does this for reasons that the children are not privy to; his agenda is dangerous and he intentionally leaves them in the dark. What they do not know will not hurt them, as the saying goes.

Rather than give away the rest of the story, I will stop there. It is about at that point that the story picks up ferociously and we start to understand the need for all of the reader-preparation in the previous pages.

The weave of relationships is tightly bound in Carey’s story. Relationship is probably the most important aspect of the story, but it is not until near the end that we discover all the connections, which makes the story to us like a painting that has been rehabilitated after years of dirt and dust. Although parts of the story might be disturbing to those who are more prudish than others, the rest of the story is so worth the read that those parts can be overlooked, in my opinion.

Phédre is a strong woman who doesn’t know just how strong she is until she is tested. That is a lesson we can all learn. If you have a chance, read the book. You will like it.

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