Thursday, December 11, 2014

12 Practical Household Tips

This is a continuing list of practical household management tips, which can be followed easily, and shared with the members of the family, friends, in the school and community. Learn and perfect each tip through demonstration. Illustrate or photograph each tip. Compile these tips into a manual.   


Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday

1. Smudging of mango induces flowering early or out of season. This is of course advantageous to the grower, but it may do some physiological harm to the tree. This is likened to humans and animals that are induced to produce more progeny, or to change the normal life cycle of the organisms.  
Smudging may also drive away pest, but at the same time pollutes the air. Right, Smudging-induced  inflorescence of mango. (Acknowledgement: Internet)

2. Don't dispose used cooking oil in sink. It reacts with detergent and solidifies like soap - the same process called saponification, blocking drainage canal and sewer. 

3. Cut spent toothpaste tube and glean on remaining content. You can have as much as five brushing.  Use remaining paste as hand-wash to remove grease and fishy odor.

 4. Make your own hand wash detergent.  Scrape soap with knife, dissolve in water.  Presto! You can have all the hand wash you need. Use your formula to refill empty dispensers. Label with the soap you used and the dilution you made. Avoid commercial concentrated brands -  they are too strong, and dangerous to children.       

5. Protect tip of pencil with rolled paper.  This serves as cap to extend the life of the pencil, and prevent accident. Use gloss, colored  paper - the kind used as promo leaflets. Instead of refusing, or throwing it away, you can make a beautiful pencil cap.  You can also roll it as extender when the pencil becomes too short, thus maximizing its use.       

6. Garden pots from PET bottles (1- to 2-li).  It’s free, whereas commercial garden pots are expensive. Cut at midsection with a sharp knife or blade; puncture three equidistant holes on the side, an inch from the base, not at the bottom.  This is to keep reserve water for the plant. Plant one kind per pot: oregano, alugbati, kamotekangkong, ginger, onion, garlic, mustard, pechay, and the like.  Scrape some topsoil for your planting medium.  There’s no need of fertilizer and pesticide.  Keep a pot or two of growing garlic or onion, also ginger; they are insect repellants.


7. Rice weevil can be controlled by placing crushed bulb of garlic in the stored rice. Loosely wrap garlic with cloth or paper.  Cover the box. In a day or two, the weevils succumb to the garlic odor. Others simply escape. 

Rice Weevil (Sitiphilus oryza)

8. Sugar solution extends the life of cut flowers.
In horticulture, they call this pulsing, a technique of providing nourishment and extending the shelf life of cut flowers. This technique lengthens vase life twice as much. It allows buds to open and postpones stem collapse, while it enhances freshness of the opened flowers.


Pulsing for roses is done by immersing the stem ends for one to three hours in 10% sugar solution, and for gladiolus 12 to 24 hours in 20% sugar solution. Daisies, carnation, chrysanthemums, and the like are better handled if harvested and transported in their immature stage, then opened by pulsing. It is best to cut the stem at an angle, dipped 6 to 12 hours in 10% sugar solution compounded with 200 ppm of 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate, 100 ppm citric acid. Best results are obtained at cool temperature and low relative humidity.



10. Smoke therapy (suob) – old folks’ aroma therapy. smudging of mango to induce flowering photos 
Basang, my auntie who took care of me when I was a child, was sick and dying. Doctor Catalino, our rural physician, gave her injection but her condition did not improve, and now she was in a pit of convulsion. As a last ditch Cousin Bistra who knew something about herbal cure gathered leaves of kamias (Averrhoa balimbi) and roasted it on charcoal until a characteristic aroma began to fill the room. Fanning it over the patient face, with prayers chanted, Basang began to calm down, the color of her skin improved, and soon fell into deep sleep.

Ms. Precila Delima who is taking her doctorate in biology in UST related in class a practice among the Ibanag of Cagayan of using suob by mothers who have just given birth. Garlic and shallot onion (sibuyas tagalog) are roasted on charcoal, and packed with cloth. While still warm the patient sits on the pack for several minutes, with her whole body covered with blanket. She perspires profusely, eliminating wastes and toxins from her body. The whole procedure is closely attended to by the “olds” in the family with the direction of the village manghihilot or homegrown midwife (comadrona or partera Ilk.). Old folks believe that this practice is important because it drives out evil spirits or wards them off in order to prepare the way the mother faces the crucial responsibility of motherhood – after child bearing follows the bigger task - child rearing.

11. If the father or mother leaves the house, place the clothes he or she last worn beside the sleeping child so that he goes into deep sleep. This is pheromones in action. Pheromones are chemical signals for bonding in the animal world, and among humans. Like the queen bee that keeps its colony intact through pheromones, so we are attracted by a similar odor, although of a less specific one. People are compatible through smell. Pheromones are left in clothes and other belongings, so that a baby may remain fast asleep as if he were in his mother’s or father’s arms.

12. Don’t eat between meals, old folks advise.
Coffee break is a corporate invention, and snacks are the first version of fast food, thanks to capitalism. So why take heed of the old advice?

Well, let’s look at it this way. Our old folks take heavy meals, mainly rice or corn, depending on the region they live, and they do not eat anything in between meals. Yet they work for long hours, and are healthy. How is that?

Starch in cereals is polysaccharide, which means that it has to be broken down into simple sugar before it is “burned” by the body to release energy. Starch has to be hydrolyzed with the aid of enzyme (amylase) found in our digestive system. Glucose, the ultimate product is broken down through oxidation (respiration), providing the needed energy for various body functions. This transformation takes hours, releasing energy throughout the process, and by the time the fuel is exhausted, it is time for the next meal. This is a simple test. Have you experienced having a grain of rice unknowingly tucked between the gums and teeth? After an hour of so, the grain taste sweet. It means that the grain is undergoing hydrolysis – from starch to sugar.

White sugar (sucrose), on the other hand is directly burned, after it has been split into two monosaccharides. That is why too much white sugar leads to high blood sugar – if we do not burn it – and may in the long run become the cause of diabetes.

This eating regimen of old folks may apply to manual workers, principally in the field. Today we find this virtually impossible to follow. First, we need a lot of energy, mainly for the brain, and secondly, we are already accustomed to having snacks. In fact many of us never stop eating. A foreigner once commented, “Filipinos are always eating.” What with all the advertisements - from TV commercials to giant billboards - and the proliferation of food carts and stores. ~

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