By Anita Sands Hernandezastrology @

Want Life to be terrific?Want wealth, luck, friends and health to come your way? Where there’s ORDER, there’s MONEY, a great philosopher told me. (It was Rosa, my ancient Mexican maid who kind of spat at me contemptuously when she said it.) 

Do as I did (in the wake of meeting this snarly old dame). Vow Now Brown Cow to clean up the house. And vow it every morn, after coffee, and clean for an hour while energy is fresh And why spend money on a gym? This is all the work out you’ll ever need and it makes the house ready for partying? EH? FITNESS and partying and spiffy house saying anything to ya? The concept is, no 60$ a day maid, 4x a month, no 60$ a month GYM. GO WITHOUT THEM, and put 300$ a month into ASIAN STOCKS!

To inspire you to start this labor of getting spiffy, go out to the 99c store, buy:

1.) Rubber dishwashing gloves, grit backed and plain sponges both. BIG square scrub brush.

I the BRUSH am the Secret of the WHOLE EVENT.

2.) Jug of ammonia, 64 oz bottle of cheap, white vinegar.These cost 99c at dollar stores.

3.) LIQUID DETERGENT. I do not find that detergent powder rinses clean enough! NOT out of clothes or anywhere else, certainly not dishes. I CAN ONLY get it out of my clothing if I use a quarter cup LEMON JUICE in my rinse water, which I do now as I collect rinds for jam making! But that’s a seasonal affair. (I find the lemons littering the ground of entire valley where I live,) WHEN you buy the LIQUID DETERGENT, I stay away from BIO-CIDAL kinds, gad knows what kind of poison that is. Instead I get a big jug of bleach each 99c at the 99c store.AND THE MIRACLE STAIN REMOVER, “SPRAY’NWASH STICK!” WOW! POMEGRANATE JUICE (*REAL FRESH,) all over a white cotton bathrobe, NO HOPE> Rub it on both sides, throw it in ordinary washing machine, cheap detergent, all stains gone! AND FOR THE TOILETS, CLR, the only thing that will take off caked uric acids, politely called LIME.

4.) Can of scouring powder, 2 for 99c.Dollar store again. For use on bathroom surfaces other than toilets

5.) Flat sponge mop on a stick. You’ll use it to push rags around although with my rag collection I just rhumba on rags, so I personally become the big huge mop on a stick!

6.) Pick up some big, cardboard BOX (produce or wine, liquor) Big boxes are free from the grocery store, to carry trash around in. Then when you take it outside to big trash can, you can just deposit it there.

7.) a huge pile of rags. I use old towels, any clothing that is beyond the beyond, cannot be retrieved, I save every piece of cotton and have for years. I wash them regularly. If I’ve used a few and they’re dirty I don’t do a special load of wash on rags until I have a washer full. I hang them out in sun, dirty, until I have enough dirties to do a load. Always use bleach on them when I wash them. NO matter what I was using them for, cat grime on floors, they get so clean you can wipe your nose in them. I use CLOTHES LINES out in sun, have four long lines out there!

8.) Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs Adapted from the "Care2 Ask Annie" newsletter.Vinegar is a mainstay of the old folk recipes for cleaning, and with good reason. The vim of the vinegar is that it kills bacteria, mold, and germs. Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar - such as you can buy in the supermarket - kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can't claim on  their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show 48 Hours had a special last December with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this. Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics. 

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don't even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.



FIRST, early that morn or nite before, do the grocery shopping and hit the 99c store while you’re out on the street as it’s cheaper to use the car / gas when you have a few reasons to go out, accomplishing multiple errands on one ¼ gallon of that pricey gas stuff. I look at circulars to see if cleaning agents are on sale at supers, or the Vallarta Mercado chain. Frequently loss leaders beat 99c store. And hey, Get yourself a pint of real ice cream to celebrate with, (when you finish the day’s work). It’s how the brain bribes the body to be its slave!  No fair nibbling 'til you've done hours of work!

Save old bleach bottles. If you live in quake country, fill w. water, put under the pingpong tables you cut in quarters to use as OUTSIDE TABLES. I put extra legs on these quarter tables, which become tables for outside storage like PLANT FLATS, baby lettuce, tomatoes are in the sun on these tables, or mops, etc/ buckets sit there or UNDER them. I can also put beds for cats on rainy days, but you need risers with blankets or pillows. Also store these multiple bottles of water out there. These will be useful for flushing toilets when quake destroys city water pipes. I live in L.A. so I HAVE to do this! OR, say you need a jug when you make a new batch of homemade cleaner, you may want to store that batch of cleaner in the second bottle, diluted. ALWAYS mark WELL, mark it with permanent marker pen so in a quake nobody drinks vinegar/ ammonia, detergent mix!

It’s easy to clean a house.
1.) First, 
take a big cardboard box, walk around picking up all objects that look ‘extra.’ Later you’ll know where to find them, outside on pingpong table, in a box. (Unless it’s raining.)
2.) You throw in a load of laundry at a time, set it to go, and walk around filling the cardboard boxes with excess junk. WHEN your kids have to go outside to find their balls and gloves and wash off the cat pee, they will learn!
3.) If wash is doing ok, spinning around, get out the Vacuum and plug it in. NOTE: First you sweep all carpets and floors to get the big pieces off, cuz we don’t want to fill the costly vac bags with semi big stuff that you really don’t need a machine for. Plus some of those things can blow the motor or the belt. 

4.) Turn on radio and listen to PUBLIC RADIO talk shows, (*that is an URL, click on it) NOT A.M. right wing propaganda talk shows cuz you’ll start screaming at those bozo jocks, -- but a nice smooth PACIFICA CHAIN radio show while you wash dishes is so thoughtful, mind expanding. It keeps you from hating doing dishesAIR or or any Pacifica chain. Leave PC on and blaring!

5.) don’t ever bother making beds. NEVER seal a warm bed after you slept in it. ALWAYS open beds wide open in a.m. let them breathe all day. Stops mites from breeding. So encourage all family members to open them fully. Wide open. (Boy are they gonna thank you!) When bed breathes it exhales your aroma and heat and dampness. Let beds breathe themselves fresh. Lock bedroom door or the dog may add a new aroma that’s real surprising when you go to sleep there, as well as a few fleas. As for looks? Who looks at a bedroom anyway?
6.) Take a broom, drape it with rag, clean cobwebs above, in ceiling corners. Take all junk out of windows to dust and de-web the space. THEN run a damp cloth over every bit of it catching fly carcasses in its folds. 

7.) Pour slightly used dishwater in the sink on to kitchen floor, broom it out the backdoor. Then use the rag to rhumba across floor ‘til it’s dry. If linoleum, use that gloss waxy stuff that makes people break their coccyx, knees etc. You need to throw money down the drain.

8.) When a rag gets really dirty, or filled with fly carcasses, shake it outside, hang outside in sun. When you have two dozen, you’ll run them thru washer by themselves with a half cup of bleach and detergent soap.

9.) Spray entire house with anything aromatic. Febreze fabric spray, cologne, incense. Room fresheners. I save old spray bottles and use a ¼ tsp of really fine bath oils – shaking before spraying. LIGHT spray from a foot away on lightbulbs or they explode! Once knew the people from SUNSHINE aromatic oils. I could pick up a few empty ten gallon cans of jasmine, rose, violet oil. There were always a few oz left at bottom. Throw some water in there, shake it around, put in rinse water for floors, in spray bottles, bath water.

10) Dust rag all shelves, books. Wax furniture with old, rancid handcreams. No need to buy pricey wax.

11) On hands and knees, de-spot carpet with a heavy grade brush. Detergent/water/ammonia/vinegar. Then use a dry rag to scrub up the water and soil. 

12.) Take screens off windows, clean the outside glass, then inside.



Shopping the 99c store, it’s not costly to clean with ammonia, dish soap, (detergent liquids), powdered detergent, scouring powder, liquid bleach or huge bottles of white vinegar as nothing costs more than 99c! 


Here is a list of homemade cleaners...just for FYI! A bit cheaper than buying... so there’s money left for the important stuff: Garage sales and new furniture. NEW TO YOU! These formulas come from

Window cleaner
In a plastic jug, 
mix: ½ c. ammonia, 2 Tbsp baking soda, 1/3 c. white vinegar, water to fill jug. Save your old jugs. They abound in trashcans. 

All purpose cleaner
½ c. rubbing alcohol and ½ c. ammonia. 
This is a favorite. Spray it on and use a soft vegetable brush to brush the sinks, then rinse. 

Ceramic tile and grout cleaner

1 cup baking soda, ½ c, vinegar, 1 c. ammonia, 7 cups warm water. This, obviously, can be divided by half. Spray on and wipe with a scrubbing pad. This is the equivalent of Tilex. At the time I write this, Tilex was 2.99 for 24 oz. I get CALIFORNIA RED WINE for that price! JEEZ LOUISE!This recipe cost .56 for the same amount!!

Window Cleaner Spray

Mix 3 c water & stir in 2 TBsp ethylene glycol (antifreeze). Put in spray bottle.

Ammonia Wall AND CARPET Cleaner 

½ c household ammonia, ¼ c washing soda, ¼ c white vinegar, 1 gal. Warm water. Measure ammonia, washing soda, and vinegar into water in a bucket. Mix. Store in clean bottle.
1 cup isopropyl alcohol, 1 cup ammonia, 1 Tbsp. Soft soap, 13 cups warm water. 
ANOTHER GLASS CLEANER. If you find an old bottle of windshield wiper solution in somebody’s garage, discarded, put it in a spray bottle for glass cleaning.

Toilet Bowl CleanerHomeDepot has a pumice stone that works on calcium deposits. It really works, no chemical takes them down as fast or easily. Brushes are wimpy. Costly squeeze chem. Useless.

Mix ¼ c sodium bicarbonate & ¾ c caustic soda. Store in airtight can/jar. To use, sprinkle in toilet bowl, let stand ½ hr. Then brush and flush with clean water.  I PREFER CLR.Melts LIME DEPOSITS RIGHT OFF.They say. Try it with PUMICE STONE.

Scouring Powders ¼ c soap flakes, 2 tsp borax, 1 ½ c boiling water, 1/3 c whiting 

Dissolve soap flakes & borax in boiling water by stirring mixture. Allow to cool to room temp. Add whiting & stir well. Store in sealed plastic or glass container in dry, cool place.

Jet Dry for the dishwasher
Mix in a jar, 1 cup borax and ½ c. baking soda. Add I Tbsp of this mixture to the dishwasher soap for each load. 

FURNITURE RUBS. I never buy furniture wax. On wood, I use old rancid face creams and body creams not costly cleaners and waxes. I have gal pals who give me all their half used hand creams as they think it’s gone rancid. MY FURNITURE glows! LINSEED OIL WORKS WELL, TOO but it’s costly. So I use old salad oil. CANOLA oil shouldn’t be eaten by humans. Use it as furniture wax.

MAKING FRUGAL SOAPQUESTION: What can one do with those little slivers of melted soap that are saved? You know, Used soap, all kinds ---from all stores too. For handmade soaps,  one can put the soap in a crock pot with a little milk and rebatch it and pour it into molds with some Essential oils.Another form of recycling for soap bits and pieces is make scrub sacks with them. Into a piece [nice big square say 5x5] of cheesecloth I lay my scraps, add a very generous handful [maybe 2 handfuls, I have small hands] of oatmeal [regular not quick oats] then a tablespoon or so of lavender or chamomile flowers. Gather the ends and tie off. That oatmeal feels divine. You can recycle your cheesecloth for later scrub sacks too. 

Rebatching may not work with corporate soaps, because those are petroleum product based. However, scraps of homemade soaps can DEFINITELY be rebatched this way. Use 9 oz of cold milk to 24-32 oz of grated soap. yes, you should grate those slivers, or at least, break them into smaller pieces before attempting to melt them. Use leftover juice cans or tuna/cat food type cans to remold the soap in. Always allow rebatched soap to dry for three weeks before using it, or the soap will just dissolve in the shower.  Or, save all fat off top of chicken boil (cool, scrape into old 32 oz yogurt containers,MAKE YOUR OWN SOAP from scratch.

FOR CORPORATE SOAPS -Save the old slivers from your house (and others, if people will part with them) and put them into a small canning or jelly jar. when the jar is filled nearly to the top and the soap is crammed in there pretty well, cover the soap pieces with water. Let sit on the counter for a day or so. Every day or so, smash the pieces together and gently stir the mass until it becomes one glob of soap. Use a braun handblender to whir it up, then pour into molds, make soapballs OR put it into decorative molds. Allow to dry to firmness. Takes weeks. 

CLEANING CARPETS- We’ve probably washed every kind of carpet, area carpets you can hang on the fence or line, wall to wall. I love those rented shampooers that you empty every five minutes. I never buy the l0$ shampoo they sell you. I mix ammonia, vinegar, dish soap with water and it works fine for a hundredth of the cost. The carpet absorbs the soap, then you suck up all the grungy, black, muddy water which goes back into the machine and you carry it over to bathroom and it goes down the toilet. Then go back and do that a hundred times. I’m always astonished at the amount of filth that carpets collect! 

Those shampooing machines do pull a lot of water from the floor, but if you have nice wood floors and own the property don’t do it cuz some water goes down onto the fine wood, destroying it. The wet shampooer could be the revenge-on-the landlord invention of all time. Landlords should make you sign a lease saying you won’t ever use them. If you own the house, at least do this wood warping torture when it’s exceedingly dry outside. Dry and hot. 

SUNLIGHT SHAMPOO FOR CARPETSDo huge 8 x 10 area rugs outdoors. I either lay it on the cement driveway soaking wet. I like the slope of the driveway for draining. Or I hang it on the fence. How to get the dirt out? Ingeniousness to the rescue. For the horizontal carpet on driveway slop, I took a one by four scrap piece of board, a lumber piece a foot long, wrapped it in heavy plastic, like for green house walls, 6 mil? so it was slidey. Then when I got on knees, it slid over the surface of the carpet, squeegee-ing the water in its path, out of the carpet. 

As I didn’t have a deck, I used a concrete driveway that had a slanted pitch, down to the street. On hands and knees, I squee-jeed and water ran down the carpet to the street. Many times, hosed it, soaped it, squeegeed it. Let it dry on the slant. Dirt and water were squeezed/ drained out, down to the street. Didn’t drive car up the driveway, that’s for sure. Parked it in street for a day. 

My driveway gatewas ten feet wide, wrought iron, so for medium carpets, I’d lay carpet over the top of gate, hose it, couldn’t squeejee very well there, just hose and soap action. Then I’d lay heavy, wet rug (after draining it an hour.) on driveway which slanted toward street. Squeejed water out, sun dried it. THE RECIPE is VINEGAR, AMMONIA, WATER and LIQUID DISH DETERGENT.  A foamer is good for small areas. DIPPING YOUR big fat BRUSH is a great way to cover larger areas. If you're outside on driveway, you can wash out any chemicals and dirt cuz the slope carries it away. JUST BLOCADE it so hubby doesn't come home, pull in all the way and wheel on to the rug!



Organization 101 ( written by Julie Morgenstern, the New York author of Organizing From the Inside Outand Time Management From the Inside Out, ) recommends a three step approach to getting the most out of the space in your home: analyze,strategize and attack.

Analyze. Decide what three to five functions are normally done in the space. Ask everyone what's really essential in the room, and what worksand doesn't work about the space.

Strategize. Lay out a "zone" for each function. Make one spot the computer area, another the TV area. Maybe you'll have a reading corner.Now figure out what you'll need in each.A chair and a bookshelf for the reading area, perhaps - and that box with your scissors, stickynotes and reading glasses.

Attack. Only after you have a plan should you start to do the work.

Making SPACE :Now, says Morgenstern, it is time to work out your SPACE - meaning to Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Equalize.Sort out similar items and group them. Don't, for example, have the book shelf across the room from your reading chair, or your bound to end up with a stack of books on the floor next your chair. Consider placing a bookshelf perpendicular to the wall to help block off your readingarea.Now Purge what doesn't belong. Ask yourself, for example, if thosepencils rally have a reason to be in the reading corner .Then Assign everything a home. Things should be put away in the same place every time so everyone knows where they are- and where they go .It's a lot like kindergarten: Everything had a place, and the items were easily put away in about five minutes during clean-up time. 

Next Containerize items, Morgenstern says. Figure out what needs to be in what container, determine what size the container should be, and thengo shopping. That might mean looking for basket and drawer units, or itmight mean buying a few extras of things you already have in your house. 

Finally, Equalize: Have a rule that everyday at a certain time, the roomgets cleaned up. And then once a year, give it an over-haul, checking tosee what you should keep an what you should throw away. This isespecially important if there are kids at home because their interestschange as they get older. 

Organizing the room may seem like a big task. But by planning before you act, it should be easy 

SPACE concepts were created by Julie Morgenstern, has more on this. Plus offers the books for sale.



DÉCOR FOR DUMMIES, or HOW TO SPIFF THE HOUSE UP GORJUSS! Buy really awful, amateur night in Dixie stretched canvases/ paintings at garage sales. If the art is awful enough, the Thrift Store will be in agreement with you it’s worth nothing, they should pay you to take it away. Don’t tell them you’re going to use the canvas part which even at the cheapest art store, is very costly. Next,  buy some oil or acrylic paints and paint portraits and landscapes and then re use the frames you bought them in. Remember this. IF the paint is OIL already, you cannot cover it with acrylics. If the paint is acrylics, you CAN cover it with oil. That means to be safe? USE OIL PAINTS.

THEME: Your own garden, as a landscape, with a family member sitting there, so a portrait, landscape mix. You will be happy with that theme no matter how primitive your style is!


THE TRICK WITH FURNISHINGS, ART TROUVEAU! IS that anything like ART NOVEAU? NO! NOT HARDLY, the word is TROUVEAU!!! That means “FOUND!” in French. Where do we FIND the pillows, furniture, art, accessories? Can’t hit the Salvation Army, as today that joint is not cheap. One mebbe can hit the thrift stores, (cheaper) but cheapest of all, the village garage sales. Look for bookcases, ashtrays, lamps, overstuffed furniture you can cover with fresh cottons. Buy textiles and for that, printed sheets work bigtime. You get ten yards of fabric for nothing. If you find a stack of printed sheets with nice flowery fabric, buy them all, pillow cases included as you can turn them into SOFA pillows! Or LANAI swagged curtains. No LANAI? Get a half dozen POLES at HOME DEPOT. Sink them in concrete set inside PIPES, big terra cotta pipes. Slope top of concrete like sugarloaf so rain water drains off and doesn’t collect at intersection of wood pole and concrete cuz you’ll rot the neck off and topple your lovely lanai! Build cross rafters with discarded lumber and do slanted braces on every single pole! Or wind can topple everything! I tried to do a special coating, and used OIL PAINT on bamboo reed fences to stiffen it, strength-ify it, then when all the rafters are up, laid the bamboo fencing on top of beams. But painted or Unpainted, my cats walk on them, bow the roofing. PAINTED, they support cat’s weight and rain can’t hurt ‘em. Use a ROLLER to paint themMy neighbors throw away pillows with great stuffing. I am a PILLOW MAKER from way back. (click on that, read the tricks of that art form!)

BRING HOME your garage sale finds, Get them into the driveway first. NOW, vacuum the upholstered things, Vacuum out under cushions. Then, suds them down and use a stiff bristle scrub brush all over the upholstered furniture then HOSE THEM OFF well. Even your own, old sofa, chairs. Do it in full SUN, detergent clean spots.(ALL PETS must be housed for the duration or they will climb all over these and give you the worst case of muddy paws in history. ) Add some bleach to the water. Now, when dry, pin the sheets over the thing, being careful not to snag the sofa cuz you are going to LIFT OFF this slipcover and stitch it on a sewing machine. Only then, when it’s away from the sofa, whip stitch the pieces into a coverlet hand basting in parts, stitching long areas on sewing machine. You get those sheets tailored to the sofa or chair. Now, take this coverlet you made, turn outside in so seams are hidden. IRON the seams so they lay flat, then throw back onto the sofa or chair. The piece looks fresh as a daisy. It holds up brilliantly (if kids and dogs don’t bounce on it,) at least ‘til your ship comes in and you can afford professional reupholstering. 

DRAPING THE FURNITURESecond best to the total wash and dry is draping furniture with Mexican rugs, fabrics, sheets. Fresh looking if the furniture is ratty Prettiest find for me was this week, Huge oil cloth tablecloth sunflowers on bright blue BG, tear in it made no diff. I cut it to fit different garden tables. ANOTHER FIND: 20 yds of upholstery fabric at a garage sale. Have done that many times. Then you go to the smallest, Mexican upholstery shop in the barrio.”Senor, My sofa seats three, (four,) I have the fabric, what will you charge me for labor?’ 

OUTSIDE OF HOME GETS SPIFFED. Walk perimeter of bldg. Do you like the color? Is it ‘you?’ If not, you are going to acquire a few gallons of marked down OOPS paint (5$ each,) at the OOPS shelf at HOME DEPOT. Gallons won’t match but you’ll blend them so that three gallons are the same shade. You yourself can change the color of your house and freshen it up immensely. That takes two people with two brushes, two rollers, two roller pans, a brief, pair of short days --- to paint the average size house exterior. ( THE PAINT REQUIRED must be Exterior paint, not INTERIOR. Roughly three gallons of it. Next, as the paint store has many different brands, colors on the OOPS shelf, pick two or three that (when mixed) will make a great color. Be cautious not to get oil and water. Pick ALL OIL or all water. You don’t mix types. ACRYLIC paint only goes with ACRYLIC PAINT. Ask the paint salesman. I usually get a blue, a white, a pale blue, a dark blue, those colors are in my range. Periwinkle, cobalt, ultramarine… when I add the white or near white, I get some great celestial colors. I may get some white OIL enamel for my shutters and trim and a separate brush if I use oil. 

The OOPS shelf costs you ONLY 5$ for that fine, retail-at-25$ a gallon paint! YOU can paint a whole home exterior, four bedroom house for 15$, I know cuz I did it. Four room house, all exteriors! Not too shabby. You will need a big bucket for mixing and a stick! You will be putting all the paint in the bucket, stirring, then RE-filling the three separate gallon containers with the new shade! And to paint a house always puts your rollers on poles.The landlord’s mozo, Pablo (age 70,) and I did a 4 bedroom house exterior in less than 2 short days --NOT EVEN FULL DAYS!Get creative inside with frottage textures.

FIX ALL BROKEN CORNERS OF THE HOUSE WITH CHEAP, HOME MADE CEMENTThat sounds neat, but how do we do that? Saw this in a chatroom. “I am curious as to how the newly laid block will hold up to the elements if it takes a few days to construct, seal, and roof the building. If I were doing this, it would be over several weekends, and I’m wondering if I could safely leave the partial walls etc.?? Maybe after your experimental brick has cured you can check its water resistance in that state, I’d try a batch myself, but my wife doesn’t let me near her kitchen stuff. 

ANSWER: go to a Home Depot, Lowes, Builder’s Square or similar building supply house, after you find the OOPS shelf of mismixed paints and get two or three gallons depending on house size, that are compatible, you will go back in the section which has pails of bedding mud for drywall joints, mortar mix etc. and look at the various tools. Among them will generally be two brands of mixers for insertion in a half-inch drill for mixing small quantities of mortar and paint. 

If you soak paper strips overnight it pulps easier and more quickly. With 10% Portland in the mix, though cellulose brick will shed water it will be very absorptive if rained upon. That won’t cause any deterioration in the cellulose/cement brick, but until the excess water is re-evaporated the compressive strength would be reduced somewhat, sand and cement don’t compress but the cellulose component can (like sawdust-cement heavy on the sawdust)---not too important if there is no load on the wall.. After the walls are erected or after a roof-panel is made of the stuff and raised, a water-shedding paint should be applied. Take your choice of cement-paint (read the label) or acrylic latex-based paint.. Note that each has advantages and accompanying disadvantages. You can patch small joints, cracks or damage to a cement-paint wall with a little cheap Portland and water cement paste. You have to use epoxy to repair a wall painted with acrylic latex. Embed roofing fiber-tape for larger repairs (comes in four-inch rolls) 

Making and testing samples is always advisable before plunging ahead. This stuff works fine. It was the subject of an article in Countryside four or five years back for someone who built himself a quickie, small dome, and Jack Bays (don’t know if he is still alive), an eccentric in Cedaredge, (sic) Colorado, (PROB is CEDAR RIDGE) used to sell a king-size malted-milk mixer you dropped in a fifty-five gallon barrel to mix this and other good stuff of his devising.

Since it was then more available and of even less value (stores paid you to haul it off), he used pulped cardboard boxes, in which the fibers are a little stronger than those in paper. 

There have been some recent developments along these lines, and one patent Tridex which used junk materials like this to make an extremely strong building panel with good insulation characteristics. 

Now, take those marked down two or three gallons of exterior paint, mix them together, and paint the entire house. Two people can do that in two very short days. I myself have done it with Pablo my landlord’s helper man, and Pablo is 70 plus years old. A ladder is required for eave area. FAB ARTICLE on subject of faux finishes no one ever thought of at READ THE FAUX WALLS ARTICLE. But if you want to become an expert and get yourself a second profession, go to ABE BOOKS and buy every single book, I mean everything that Miss JOCASTA INNES ever wrote. Mostly a buck, up to six bucks, used at ABE BOOKS! Be certain to get the ones with illustrations. “PAINT MAGIC”, etc. 

So, now the place is fantastically spiffed & clean? Now, There are TWO WAYS TO KEEP THE SPIFF GOING: ONE way is to NEVER MAKE A TRIP EMPTY HANDED! (And I don’t mean from the alleys of your neighborhood. I mean inside the home! Fulltime, yes, not just on cleaning day but do the carrying of migrant stuff every moment of the day by following the dictum of MILDRED PIERCE when Joan Crawford played her. She told her waitresses, never make a trip to or from the kitchen empty handed. I expand that to never make a trip from one room to the next, without taking all that I see that does not belong there, back to the area where I am going. I am morally obliged to pick something up, whether Shoes, trash, clothes, newspapers or those onerous constant PAPER COLLECTIONS, NOTES, articles that are clipped (stick them in cook books, get them off the street! CLUTTER is deadly and bad luck besides). SECOND RULE: Pick flowers a few times a week. Go outside, cut branches from flowering trees,  flowers if you can find any, (if not, turn to the EASY BREEZY GARDENING ARCHIVE. Bring potted plants inside in baskets, with a plate set inside the basket so you won’t rot the straw or stain furniture. Fill the vases, mayo jars whatever with blooms, branches, green leafy stems. THREE: Spray with pleasant things. Thrift stores have cologne for a quarter. Buy a few, spray on light bulb. 

The way your house feels when thusly fixed will inspire you to decorate a little more, perhaps brake for garage sales and pick up old vases for a quarter. It is VERY IMPORTANT for good home decor, or feng shui to have lots of flowers and plants in the house. LIVE plants are best. I keep a plant indoors for a month, then shoot it outside in a lanai roofed with bamboo fencing….semi shade….and it can do six months out there in filtered sunlight. Our California valley is so hot in summer, no house plant could live there were it not for shade cloth or bamboo fencing roof on top of six of those POLES from HOME DEPOT. I sunk them in cement inside some terra cotta pipes the CITY had left as their stubs, doing underground pipes.  Do some cross pieces on the bias up near top of poles or the thing can fall over in a wind! I have enough plants out there to keep pulling something green and frondy inside when req’d .  GARDENING IS THE LAST WAY TO MAKE A HOUSE GORGEOUS and ORGANIC PRODUCE the best way to make YOU gorgeous. And never forget, digging and watering is  cheaper than a gym for keeping a figure.


Tomorrow I will do the housework, NO EXCUSES!!! (unless they're good ones like Dodger game on)

1. It is time to clean out the refrigerator when something is growing like a cabbage when you didn’t plant one.

2. If it walks out of your refrigerator, let it go! It is not a viable life form.

3. The best mini-vac for an after meal clean up is the possum.

4. Keep fridge clean enough for healthy, dirty enough for happy.

5. As ZsaZsa said, ‘I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.

6. When writing your name in the dust on the table, omit the date.

7. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

8. If guys were supposed to hang clothes up, door knobs would be bigger.

9. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance as I enter in my new silk frock.

10. If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist that "THIS is where

Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes..." 

11. I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on. “Phyllis Diller.