Renovation & Design

Warm lemons are easier to squeeze

Question: How can I get more juice out of a lemon? David

Answer: A warm lemon will extract more juice than a cold lemon. Heat the lemon in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Next roll the lemon on the counter for 20 seconds before cutting and squeezing out the juice.

Question: How do you keep cats out of the garden and flower beds? Thank you, Reg

Answer: The main reason that cats are attracted to gardens is because they look and feel like the perfect place to ‘relax’. Exposed soil is just like kitty litter, so putting in additional plants to cover soil and covering exposed areas with pebbles or a thick bed of prickly roses or some cacti or chunky mulch around the perimeter of your yard and in your gardens is your first step. Of course, all cats are not the same, and what works for one may not work for another. The most effective remedy against cats in the yard is a fence, but that is not always an option. Another tidbit to keep in mind is that cats loathe snakes. For years, gardeners have had great success when placing artificial snakes around plants. Check out your local dollar store or cut up an old garden hose the length of snakes and put them around the yard.

If you happen to catch a cat in your yard, spray them with a spray bottle or a garden hose and accompany that with a firm “NO!” Some cats love water, but most hate it. Cats have a sense of smell 14 times greater than humans. They can decipher odours that humans cannot even detect. Therefore, planting rue, lavender, lemon, thyme, and coleus are also options.

Question: How to remove lily stamen powder from clothes? I accidentally brushed against a stem. I scrubbed a bit off my skin. Any hope for my tank top? Mary Ann

Answer: If the powder residue is dry, vacuum it. Spray shaving cream onto the area and gently rub. Soak the fabric in cold water. Launder in cold water. Air dry to ensure the stain is gone. Avoid putting stained clothing into the dryer because the heat of the dryer will set the stain. Repeat if needed.

Voices of experience

I have used scrunched up newspaper and then stuffed it in my shoes or boots when not in use. Great results. Also helps the boots to keep their shape over the winter. — Diane

If you are planning to store apples for an extended period, wrap each unwashed apple individually with a piece of newspaper and store inside a box, in a cool dark place such as the basement, refrigerator or your pantry. The newspaper is intended to prevent apples from contacting one another thereby protecting each apple. — Derek

To clean oven racks, place a towel in the bathtub. Lay the racks on the towel. Drop in three dishwasher tablets and fill the tub with hot water. Scrub the racks with a non-scratching abrasive cloth. Rinse with water. — Linda

Note: Do not leave water unattended when children are nearby.

To stop sprinkles on cupcakes or cookies from dissolving or bleeding, brush the top of each cupcake/cookie with corn syrup before dropping the sprinkles on top. — Dianne

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email. Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


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