Archive: Sep 2017

Flu Shot Season

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There are many reasons to get a flu shot. The number one reason is that it can save your life.  The flu is no joke. The flu can kill, and it can kill fast. It has killed millions over the years and will kill millions more.

People always argue that you can still get sick even if you have had a flu shot, so what’s the point? While they’re not wrong, it’s important to know that flu shots can help decrease the severity of the flu, often cutting your down time in half. If downtime from an illness doesn’t bother you, think about the people around you. The more people that are vaccinated against the flu, the less likely it is to spread to others.

The holiday season is right around the corner which means spending time with parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, nephews, and nieces, all of whom might be of various ages and health conditions. The flu mainly attacks the “extremes of age”, like the very young, (whose immune systems have yet to fully develop) and the very old, (whose immune systems are waning). Protecting yourself means protecting the people around you.

Something that people talk about is, “I’ve heard the flu has nasty side effects.” The side effects are actually very few. And if people do experience them, they are usually mild and can include a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and mild headache. Basically a mini-flu. The vaccination does cause a mild reaction in some people, but that’s just your immune system reacting to an invader, so when the real deal shows up, your body is ready to do battle and fight it off. It seems like a small price to pay when you look at the bigger picture.

Many people don’t understand why or even know they need a new vaccination every year. The flu shot pinpoints protection. It is specifically designed each year based on the projected strains of the virus that will most likely show up. Although the percentages are not exact, the flu shot usually reduces your risk of getting the flu by 60 to 70 percent. Get this year’s version early and your body will have a better chance of fighting off what comes your way.

 

Cleaning Tip – Disinfecting

The makers of home-cleaning products appear to be committed to making your house not only clean and sparkling, but also downright antiseptic. You really only need to disinfect occasionally and when you do, use products sparingly. In recent years, manufacturers have introduced hundreds of everyday cleaning agents labeled antibacterial or disinfectant. However some cleaners that contain ingredients like dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride may breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Disinfectant cleaners that contain chlorine bleach, quaternary ammonium compounds, pine oil, or ethyl alcohol as active ingredients all work against common disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Bleach and ethyl alcohol tend to act faster than ammonia products, and bleach works particularly well on food or dye stains. Ethyl alcohol is flammable until it dissipates.

When you want instant disinfecting because you need to prepare food on a surface that was just touched by raw meat or meat juices, use a disinfectant appropriate for the surface, preferably a product containing chlorine bleach. Be sure to read the product’s labeling carefully and follow any instructions about use on surfaces that touch food. Ado allow the product to “dwell” for the amount of time recommended in the directions. Or simply wash with soap and warm clean water, rinse, and sanitize using a mixture of one teaspoon of bleach per one gallon of clean water. Allow to air dry.

Normal cleaning is sufficient for walls, draperies, bedding, floors, and other dry surfaces where germs do not survive long. Ordinary cleaners can suffice even for toilet bowls. Unless mold or mildew is a problem, you generally don’t need disinfectants in your bathroom at all. Cleaning thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner or bathroom cleaner and hot water is usually sufficient.

 

 

 

 

 

White after Labor Day

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Wearing white in the summer makes sense. Desert peoples have known for thousands of years that white clothing seems to keep you a little bit cooler than other colors. But wearing white only during the summer? While no one is completely sure exactly when or why this fashion rule came into effect, our best guess is that it had to do with snobbery in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already “in” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Of course it could get extremely hot in September, and wearing white might make the most sense, but if you wanted to be appropriately attired you just did not do it. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

Not everyone followed this rule. Even some socialites continued to buck the trend, most famously Coco Chanel, who wore white year-round. But even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over the decades it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America: white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.

These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, but every year you will still hear people say that white after Labor Day is unacceptable, all thanks to some snobby millionaires over 100 years ago

 

Removing Fabric Stains Tips

Once again, the faster you treat a spill, the better your results.

Removing the stain: work from the outer edge of the stain toward the center. Apply a small amount of the cleaning agent to a white paper towel or cloth and gently work it in to the stain area. Problems can result from working with large amounts od cleaning materials, even water, so begin with a small amount and repeat the process as needed. Blot – do not rub or brush. Rubbing too harshly can cause unsightly distortion in your garment’s fabric. For fabrics, place the front face on a white paper towel or cloth and work the cleaning agent into the fabric from the back.

Be patient: Repeat the procedure with clean white paper towels or cloths until you can’t transfer any more stain to the towel or cloth. Do not proceed to the next recommended cleaning agent until this is done. Complete stain removal may require repeating the same step several times. In many cases it will not be necessary to use all of the recommended steps to remove the stain. When the stain is gone, flush with water to remove stain-removal products. Then blot.

If the label of the garment you’re cleaning says ” dry-clean only,” you may want to avoid using water-based cleaning agent. If you’re concerned that your attempt to remove a stain will cause damage, seek help from a dry cleaner who should evaluate the stain and material and inform you of ant potential risks. Tell the professional about any remedies you may have already tried.

Chocolate-covered laundry: Use your machine’s soak cycle and one of your higher-rated detergents that can be used in HE and conventional machines. Then wash. Don’t put them in the dryer until you’re satisfied with the stain removal. If the stained clothes have already been in the dryer, it will be even more difficult to remove stains, so you might have to repeat this process.

Ink and crayon marks: To tackle ballpoint-pen marks, place a clean white paper towel under the stain, then bot a small spot with rubbing alcohol and another piece of paper towel. Keep blotting the stain with a clean part of each paper towel over and under the stain until it is gone, then launder. For crayons, Crayola suggests scraping off as much as possible, then working liquid dish soap into the stain. Wait several minutes, then rub the fabric under warm water to remove the stain. Machine-wash using the heavy-soil setting, with the hottest water the care label recommends, and OxiClean. Air-dry the item and repeat is necessary.

Labor Day

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Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Cleaning Tips for Labor Day on Outdoor Furniture

Molded plastic: Use a mild detergent solution and scrub dirt off with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with a garden hose. Wipe dry with a soft cloth. If there is mildew on the furniture, apply a solution of 1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of water with a sponge. Do wear gloves. Allow the solution a few minutes to work then scrub the area again and rinse.

Cushions: These are commonly made of acrylic, polyester or olefin fabric that is resistant to water, stains and fading from the sun. However, theses can still get dirty. Use the same mild detergent solution and a soft-bristled brush to scrub the dirt off, and rinse with a hose. It’s better to prop the cushions up in the sun to thoroughly dry. If there is mold or mildew on the cushions, first test the bleach solution ( 1/2 cup in a gallon of water) in an inconspicuous place to make sure it doesn’t affect the color. Do wear gloves; apply the solution with a sponge. Allow the solution a few minutes to work, then scrub the area, rinse and dry in the sun.