Published On: October 31, 2022728 words3.7 min read

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM FLORIDA

Question- This blog is wearing its Halloween disguise. Can you guess what it is? To find out, keep reading!

HOORAY! Humidity has been side-lined for excessive physical contact. Weather friendly, October has been sent to sub for September.  Number #10 on its team’s chart, October hasn’t played for a while. Seems bigger sweatier months like June, July, August and September took the top rankings.

We feel October jog onto the field in its usual pattern–in spite of a major hurricane. Leaves drop from trees, pools beg for penalties against those leaves, and cooler mornings call for a halt to the wilting summer heat.

It’s time for long bike rides, the smell of carved pumpkins, the sound of crunching leaves, steamy cups of cocoa, costumes, preparations in case electricity is lost in a hurricane and putting away things outside that could become flying missels. Moving umbrellas, porch furniture, pots of plants, toys, and small tables can be taxing physically and mentally. Whatever gets put away will have to be dragged in and out again and again and again, with each bad weather warning. Thoreau said “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” Perhaps he went through a hurricane.

As my father said, as long as the basics are covered, “You don’t miss what you don’t have.” A few years ago, I was in Mexico. In one of the airport shops, a fiery opal pendant caught my desire. That opal would compliment every color of outfit in my closet and a good choice of jewelry as well as a way to spend the pesos in my purse before I returned to America-a good choice until the opal pendant was pushed out of bounds by the hardly worn, already sidelined necklaces in my jewelry box. Ahhh, a coaching moment about aquiring “stuff”. With only a few minutes left on the clock, I boarded the plane, pesos in hand, pragmatic and pleased with my decision. Today, aside from its intense colors, I can barely remember what the opal charm looked like. Dad was right. Tip one: less is more when it comes to outdoor equipment in a hurricane zone.

The feeling of finding new helpful ways to do things is too good to keep to myself. Continue reading to see what other good ideas (hacks) I’ve acquired this month.

  • From the Hurricane Guide- Dump ice in the washing machine to keep things cold. From experience I can say the washing machine is more practical than coolers.
  • My buddy Craig informed me he put a penny on the top of a glass of ice and when he returned from evacuating his home during a hurricane. The penny was still on top of the ice. If it had sunk to the bottom, it meant that the electricity had been off long enough for the ice to melt signifying certain food needed was not safely edible.
  • Two hacks from From Real Simple Magazine include adding a touch of cinnamon to the top of the cut jack-o-lantern lid. This makes the pumpkin smell like cinnamon spice when lit up. Blot off excess cinnamon as it is a fire hazard.
  • Can’t find your nail file? No worries. Use fine sand paper on calluses caused by carving pumpkins.
  • When making coffee, for a change of pace, place a stick of cinnamon or a piece of vanilla bean in ground coffee beans before brewing. My friend Roger did this before serving coffee and it was a treat.
  • Traveling this season? While visiting my sister in Boston, she showed me how to keep sheet sets together to keep pillow cases from wandering: just fold the sheets and one pillow case and stuff them into the second pillow case. Not only is this convenient it makes storage neater.
  • Pack clothing in packing bags. I have different colored bags for different types of clothing. For example: a blue bag holds pants, green holds tops, red is for underwear, jammies, workout clothes. It makes finding what to wear almost effortless, saves room in luggage, and for a slightly OCD person when it comes to organization, wonderful.

October’s game is almost over, disguised as an un-timely monthly blog, it’s ready to clear the field. As I shut the door to this month of surprises, I hold onto the tips and tricks its handed out.

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