Q. My energy efficient light bulbs always burning out in one socket, any ideas?

I had one CFL burn out on me in weeks- there are a couple possible reasons
1. Bad product run - try another package or brand
2. Wrong wattage for the outlet - try a lower or higher one
3. Some outlets are older and don't work well with CFL's
Sometimes you just have to go with a regular light-bulb.
flickr/cc - saaby
Q. What is the best way to drain a small can of tuna?

Hmm... Interesting question. Here are some options
1. My mom would drain the tuna water/oil into an organics container for the garden or flowers around the house
2. I have not drained it and instead used it in tuna salad or whatever I'm making.
3. Down the drain or in the trash
I really can't think of other ways to drain tuna. Whatever suits you is what is best. 

Q. Does charcoal remove smells? 

The charcoal that you put on your bbq is not what you want to use, instead you would want to use "activated" charcoal. And you can buy it at pet stores and health stores
You can learn more about it here -http://science.howstuffworks.com/question209.htm

Q. How do I make my own pancake syrup since so many have HFCS?

Option 1 -
Boil together:
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
3 tbsp. molasses
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. maple extract.
After bringing it all to a boil, let it simmer for 1 minute.
Then turn the burner off and let it sit until it has cooled.
Pour onto pancakes and the rest into a glass jar. 

Option 2 - 
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. maple flavoring
Mix sugar and water in saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil; simmer for 15 minutes. (Don't let it boil again, or overcook.)
Add maple flavoring; chill.
Use more or less flavoring to your personal taste.

Q. I have a lot of old knives that are no longer useful. How can I dispose of them?
Before you toss them out into the trash, I would suggest you wrap the blade in cardboard and tape it so that it won't jab through the trash bag or into somebody digging in the trash (I have a large dumpster and people do go through them)
Otherwise, donate them to shelters, schools (home-ec class) or church. Also I have:
1. Taken steak knives to work to have in my drawer handy
2. Used as a letter/package openers
3. Scraping crud off of a grill
You could also try using them as a garden marker, though you may want to make them more dull just in case you trip over one.

Q. Should I put area rugs down on the regular carpet?

I would strongly suggest putting down rugs near the entry ways and major walk areas as that is the high traffic areas that 'crush' the carpet down and grind in the dirt that we bring in from outside.
But, if you are dead set against that, vacuuming and shampooing the carpet will also do a world of good if done weekly.


  1. Jill // Wednesday, August 18, 2010 8:47:00 AM  

    This are great tips!
    I think you'll find that you can also make pancake syrup by buying maple syrup. It can be expensive, but you don't need much as the flavor is quite strong. I also usually just put honey or jam on my pancakes. You can thin either with a little hot water if you want it more "syrup-y".

    And I had the same question about CFLs! We got bunches for free, but I don't like to have to dispose of them. I'll try new wattages or face the fact that a 36 year old trailer in the middle of noweheresville Idaho may not work with those bulbs.

  2. Deb // Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:36:00 AM  

    Wow these are great tips and I was just complaining about my energy efficient bulbs burning out. Time to investigate! And around here, they no longer sell a reg. light bulb, no store that I have went to.

    The maple syrup sounds great!

    Always inventive!

  3. Dawn // Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:39:00 AM  

    Reader Bob sent me this info via email:
    "I have started to write the date of installation on the cfl bulbs when I put them into use, and if they burn out quickly, I return them to the store and show them the date. So far...no problem with Lowes."

    Thanks Bob.

  4. Carrie // Wednesday, August 18, 2010 12:03:00 PM  

    my kitty loves to drink the tuna juice

  5. cnuland // Thursday, August 19, 2010 1:30:00 PM  

    Similar to Carrie, we pour the tuna "juice" over my dog's dry food. He loves it! We always buy the water-packed tuna; I don't think I'd give it to him if it were oil based (too rich).

  6. Anonymous // Friday, August 20, 2010 10:11:00 AM  

    Our cfls don't burn out with great regularity but I have found a very cheap source. In No. Calif the is an Asian market chain called 99 Ranch. I have bought cfl bulbs here at 5/$1.00. Invest a couple of bucks and I am good for a while.


  7. Gwen // Saturday, August 21, 2010 5:24:00 PM  

    Great ideas. My take on the tuna fish juice question is that the person is asking what is the best method to remove the tuna fish juice, not what does one do with it after it's out of the can. The best way I know if is to press the lid down into the tuna after you've can-opened it open, until all the juice drains into whatever you want to drain it into.