Category: Guest Columnists

  • Tempests and Tides

    Tempests and Tides

    By Amanda Painter, Planet Waves Whether they know it or not, people all over the world are witnessing an event that perfectly illustrates our current high-pressure, confrontational astrology: the slowly growing beat of war drums as Saudi Arabia joins the U.S., Israel and the U.K. in blaming Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Kitchen Helpers

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Kitchen Helpers

    By Reena Nerbas Threading a Needle Dear Reena, I have never had difficulty threading a needle before; however, recently I started having trouble seeing the eye of the needle. Do you have any simple tricks for this? Kennedy Dear Kennedy, A magnifying glass can help with this challenge. Here is a hack that works like […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keeping Rabbits out of your Garden

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keeping Rabbits out of your Garden

    By Reena Nerbas Stain on White Denim Dear Reena, About 10 days ago I purchased a bouquet of flowers from a market. The clerk wrapped them in heavy black poster-type paper. The stems were quite wet and seeped through the paper resulting in stains on my white denim jacket. As soon as I got home […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Fresh Fruit Hints

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Fresh Fruit Hints

    By Reena Nerbas Cleaning Acrylic Tub Dear Reena, We replaced our bathtub and surround with a molded unit made of vinyl. It was purchased about 3 years ago. The cleaning instructions said not to use any substance or material that would scratch the surface and we should just wipe out after each use. This is […]

  • The Merits of Going Slow

    The Merits of Going Slow

    By Marika d’Ailly I love the rain when it comes down in sheets, especially in our climate with its long sunny dry spells. As a child in Holland I would listen to the rain when I was lying in bed – this felt comforting, peaceful, just me snug under the bed-covers with my Mam’s nursery […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Interesting Grocery Shopping Observations

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Interesting Grocery Shopping Observations

    By Reena Nerbas Reaching Vacuum Under Fridge Dear Reena, I would like to vacuum under the fridge without having to move it. Any ideas as to what I can use to get under there? Verna Dear Verna, Slip an empty paper towel roll inside the end of the vacuum nozzle (make sure that the roll […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Peppermint for Spiders and Cornmeal for Weeds

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Peppermint for Spiders and Cornmeal for Weeds

    By Reena Nerbas Sour Cream Substitute Dear Reena, Do you have any ideas of a good substitute for sour cream? Helene Dear Helene, Combine 4 drops of lemon juice with one cup whipped cream. Let sit for 30 mins. Or use plain or vanilla yogurt, depending on what you are making. Salty Gravy Mix Hi […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Getting the Yellow Out of Clothes

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Getting the Yellow Out of Clothes

    By Reena Nerbas Tarnished Silver Dear Reena, I found an old silver necklace in a box in the basement of my house. It is very tarnished, almost completely black. Is there a way that I can clean it without taking it to a jeweler? Thanks, Hank Dear Hank, The following tip is unbelievably easy, quick, […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Easy Solutions for Everyday Problems

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Easy Solutions for Everyday Problems

    By Reena Nerbas Diesel Fuel Odour Dear Reena, How can I get diesel fuel odor out of upholstered boat cushions that have foam inside of the material? Mike Dear Mike, Begin by cleaning the cushions with dish soap and water. Blot the entire cushion and lay on the grass to air dry. When the cushions […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Burn Smells Linger in Microwave

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Burn Smells Linger in Microwave

    By Reena Nerbas Built-up Hairspray Dear Reena, Can you please tell me how to remove built-up hairspray from my hair? Thanks, Ingrid Dear Ingrid, Typically, shampoo is the best solution for removing hairspray from hair. For a deep cleaning treatment, add 2 tbsp. baking soda to the amount of shampoo that you are using. Scrub […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Strawberries

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Strawberries

    By Reena Nerbas Greasy Stove Dear Reena, I like to cook my steaks on a skillet on the stove top. I use a splatter screen but the grease comes through and makes a terrible mess on the stove. I bet you have a solution. Thanks, Bells Dear Bells, While the splatter screen is the best […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Carpet Stains

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Carpet Stains

    By Reena Nerbas Sea Salt or Kosher Salt Dear Reena, Can you please tell me the difference between sea and kosher salt? Several recipes call for kosher salt, but I never have any on hand. Thanks, Beth Dear Beth, The greatest difference is that kosher salt has larger crystals that take longer to dissolve. However, […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Eyeglass Cleaner and Scratched Windows

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Eyeglass Cleaner and Scratched Windows

    By Reena Nerbas Eyeglass Cleaner Dear Reena, Can you recommend an eyeglass cleaner and type of cloth to use? Thanks, Arnie Dear Arnie, Here is a wonderful eyeglass cleaner recommended to me by an Optician: Fill a spray bottle three quarter full of rubbing alcohol and one quarter with water. Add a few drops of […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Oil Spill and Cellphone

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Oil Spill and Cellphone

    By Reena Nerbas Oil Spill on iPhone Dear Reena, I left my iPhone on the kitchen counter and spilled a bottle of olive oil nearby. The phone was drenched with oil. The phone still works except for the sound; the speakers are very quiet. Any advice? Len Dear Len, I am not a technology expert; […]

  • Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Fitted Sheets

    Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Fitted Sheets

    By Reena Nerbas Fitted Sheets Hello Reena, There’s a large, ongoing conversation about how to manage fitted bed sheets that are too large for “regular” sized mattresses. We’ve tried the elastic tricks which are cumbersome and don’t work. Is there an easy way to sew a permanent and viable solution? Thanks for any help you […]