Friday, June 1, 2018

Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME Newsletter - June 2018

Greetings Dear Friends! we are...half way through the new year and this is the first newsletter that I've managed to put out this year...and it really disturbs me! 😖

Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME Newsletter is what got this whole blog business started to begin with and now, somehow, like so many other things in my life, it seems to have just fallen along the wayside. BUT!!! I refuse to give up! 

There's no use crying over spilled milk...or unpublished blog posts! It's time to just jump right back on track and get on with it! we go! 

Welcome to Rebecca's June 2018 HEARTH AND HOME Newsletter


* Our daughter-in-law shared this recipe for ant killer with me many years ago and it really works! Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon of 20 Mule Team Borax together. Pour solution into old jar lids or other shallow containers and place where you've seen ants. At first they gather by the droves, but in just a few short days, no more ants! 

* To freeze individual servings of uncooked meat or chicken, place the food on waxed paper-lined baking sheets, making sure pieces are not touching one another. Freeze the items, uncovered, until firm. Wrap frozen pieces in freezer paper or heavy-duty foil or transfer to freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Label each package and include the date. Properly packaged, most meats can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

* To keep fresh herbs fresh longer wrap in slightly dampened paper towels and seal in a plastic bag. They should keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

* Keep lumps from forming in granulated sugar by putting a few unsalted crackers in the canister; they'll absorb any moisture.

* Keep your celery from going limp by wrapping it in aluminum foil before putting in the refrigerator. It will keep for weeks.

* To keep your outdoor garbage can smelling good, sprinkle a layer of fresh kitty litter in the bottom to absorb unpleasant odors.


* When cutting or pruning roses, use an old pair of barbecue tongs to grasp the branches and keep hands and clothes thorn free.

* Harvest homegrown herbs before the plants begin to flower. Picking leaves and pinching the tops back regularly encourages the plants to keep growing.

* To repel mosquitoes outdoors, tuck sprigs of mint under the rim of your garden hat.

* Nasturtiums, spearmint or radishes planted near squash plants will act as a natural insecticide.

* Old school backpacks make great garden helpers. Use one to hold gloves, trowels, shears, and other supplies. What you need will always be with you as you move through the garden. Plus, you'll always know where your tools are.

* Use masking or duct tape to quickly and easily remove ticks. Just tear off a piece and dab the sticky side onto the little critter. This method quickly captures them.

THINKING OF PAINTING THIS SUMMER? Before you do, check out the following tips...

Before you begin painting window frames, cut newspaper into strips, dip into water and press on the glass adjacent to the frame. Once the paint dries, moisten the newspaper strips with a damp sponge and peel them right off. You won't have messy windowpanes to scrape clean after the painting is done.
Try smearing petroleum jelly on windowpanes, doorknobs, hinges and other hardware before you begin your paint job. Drips, spatters, and misses will wipe off easily.
The area of wall hidden by a switch-plate cover is the perfect  place to record information about a paint job. Before replacing the switch-plate cover, write on the wall the name and color of the paint you used and how much of it you needed to paint the room. This takes all the guesswork out of how much paint you need to buy the next time, and the switch-plate will conceal your notes.
Before painting outdoor concrete steps, add a small amount of store-bought sand to the can of paint. When the steps are dry, they will be slightly rough in texture, better for nonskid footing.
Prevent drips on your hands when you're painting overhead by inserting the handle of the brush through the center of a small paper plate. The paint will drip onto the plate, not onto you.
Got a really big paint job that will take a few days to complete? Wrap the brush in a piece of aluminum foil to keep it wet at night. This way you clean up only once...when the job is done.
If you plan to take a break from painting for a week or so, wrap the roller or brush in aluminum foil, seal in a plastic bag and store in the freezer until you need it.

If you have a household tip to share please leave it in a comment below or 
send it to Rebecca Knox at: Be sure and 
put "HOUSEHOLD TIPS" on the subject line. Thank you!


This is a reprint of the DOLLARS AND SENSE section of Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME Newsletter - October 2002.

Our goal as Christians should be to obtain financial freedom. This has four characteristics:

1. Our assets exceed our liabilities.
2. We are able to pay our bills as they fall due
3. We have no unpaid bills. (We are repaying per our agreement.)
4. We are content with where we are.

Make a distinction between the things that you must have and the things that you simply desire. Before you buy something, always ask yourself if you need it or if you want it. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Instead, try putting the money that you might have used to buy it toward paying off your credit card balance or putting it away in savings.

Study where your money goes. Do you really need cable? Is it worth X number of dollars per month? What would you do with the time you spend in front of TV if you didn’t have it? Pay special attention to the monthly bills and add up everything you could comfortably do without. Then, experiment with making cuts. Keep in mind that you can always put things back into your budget that you’ve cut out.

Live below your means. If you come into a windfall, don’t spend it all. Put most of it away and live as you always did.

Your refrigerator/freezer is probably one of the biggest energy users in your home. Here are some ways to beat the cost of keeping things cool:

1. KEEP IT CLEAN. In a manual-defrost model more than half an inch of frost can build up and make the appliances work harder, so defrost regularly. Vacuum clean the condenser coils below or at the back of the refrigerator/freezer three or four times a year. Clean coils keep it running efficiently and help save energy.

2. KEEP IT CLOSED. The time for decisions is not when you have the door open. Get every thing you need for a sandwich or recipe in one trip.

3. KEEP IT FULL. Frozen food helps keep the air cool in your freezer. But don’t overpack food in either refrigerator or freezer, or the cold air won’t have space to circulate properly.

4. HEAT HAS NO BUSINESS IN THE REFRIGERATOR. Cool dishes before you store them so your appliance won’t have to work so hard.

5. INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU BUY. A frost-free refrigerator/freezer may use 30 percent more electricity than a manual-defrost unit. Also, be sure to choose the correct cubic footage for your family, since a too-full or too empty refrigerator/freezer wastes energy.

6. UNPLUG YOUR SECOND REFRIGERATOR. Refrigerators are big energy users, so if your second refrigerator is not being used to full capacity, unplug it. It could save you $15.00 a month or more, depending on it’s size.

So…it’s just you and hubby tonight…huh? How about some of these inexpensive date ideas?

*Go on a walk at sunset. It’s beautiful and relaxing.
*Go for a bike ride.
*Go rummage through a flea market.
*Visit a local art or natural history museum.
*Go to a local bookstore’s reading of poetry or just browse.
*Go stargazing. Many community colleges have free observatory nights.
*Take a picnic basket to a park (if it’s rainy, do it indoors and pretend).
*Go out for coffee and dessert instead of dinner.
*Go to matinees vs. nighttime shows.
*Go miniature golfing.
*Use two-for-one coupons for restaurants.
*Enjoy a candlelight dinner at home.

If you have a dollar stretching tip to share please leave it in a comment 
below or send it to Rebecca Knox at: Be sure 
and put "DOLLARS AND SENSE" on the subject line. Thank you!


I plan to do an upcoming post on ways to beat the summer heat and I'd like your input. This can be anything...maybe something you do to slash the summertime utility bills, a cool and refreshing summer recipe that your family enjoys, or creative things that you do to help your family make it through or enjoy the long, hot days of summer. 

If you don't mind me sharing your response, please answer the following question by either leaving a comment below or by emailing your response to me at If you email me, please put HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION on the subject line so I won't overlook it by accident. Thanks so much! 😊

The question is...

"What is your best tip to beat the heat in summer?"


Photo Credit

9 parts water
1 part Joy dish washing liquid
½ part glycerin

Mix all ingredients together and pour into containers.

(Note: The longer you store the bubble solution the better it works. You might want to prepare it weeks or even months in advance for a special event.)



This is my favorite way to enjoy burgers! They are not only tasty, but juicy! 😋

1 lb. 93/7 turkey burger
a handful of baby spinach leaves, chopped
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Put about a half- to three-fourths-of an inch of water in a large skillet and let heat while you mix all ingredients together. After mixing ingredients, divide and form into four 3/4-inch thick patties and gently place in water in skillet. Cook, turning once, over medium heat until done through and water is gone. 


1 cup soy sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1-teaspoon ground ginger
Meat of choice (chicken, beef, or pork) cut into 1-inch pieces
Assortment of vegetables (green pepper, red pepper, mushrooms, pearl onions, etc) cut into 1-inch pieces
wooden skewers that have been soaked in water

Cut up meat and put into a gallon zip-lock freezer bag. Cut up vegetables and put into a separate zip-lock freezer bag. Mix together first 4 ingredients. Pour half of the marinade over meat; pour the other half over vegetables. Seal freezer bags and refrigerate on sides for at least 4 hours, turning bags over occasionally. When ready to grill drain marinade, then thread meat and vegetables alternately on skewers. Grill on outdoor or indoor grill until meat is done and vegetables are tender.


1 small can frozen limeade (or, if you want lemon, you can use lemonade)
1 8-oz. carton Cool Whip
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk

Beat ingredients together and whip until fluffy. Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and freeze until ready to serve. You may refreeze leftovers.

Well, Ladies, that's it for now!

Until next time...

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  1. Enjoyed reading your newsletter! Why am I suddenly craving Key Lime Pie? Need to try the tip about the celery. I'm going to shoot you an e-mail about the summer idea later this afternoon. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks, Jean! That Key Lime Pie is DELICIOUS! Got our email and am looking forward to summertime adventure! You have a wonderful weekend, too! <3


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