Monday, July 22, 2013

How to clean old glass

Here's a spooky little household tip for you.  I have some decanters that I use on the breakfast table and they were beginning to look a little cloudy despite vigorous attacks with bottle brushes, baking soda, detergent and vinegar.  So I went to my best friend Google and was told that the foolproof way to solve my problem is with denture cleaners.  So off to the supermarket I go only to be confronted with the same overwhelming choices that make purchasing toothpaste an activity requiring a stiff drink at its completion.  Do I want protection from cavities, gum disease or plaque? Do I want my teeth to blind onlookers with their creepy whiteness or do I want to be refreshed?  It would appear our dentally challenged friends face the same questions which required me to stand longer than I found comfortable in the 'she's got false teeth' aisle.  When a neighbour approached to chat I felt her gaze linger longer than was absolutely necessary on my (by now) clenched teeth.  I wasn't so craven as to announce in a loud voice that I was buying denture cleaning effervescent tablets to clean my antique decanters , much as I wanted to.  I did however pretend that I had found myself in the wrong aisle and left the store with toothpaste for smokers.  I don't smoke.  So.  Cloudy decanters it will have to be.  Next morning I poured some cranberry juice into the worst of them, served it up and hoped that no one would notice.  Imagine my surprise when the empty decanter came back to the kitchen at the end of breakfast service sparkling and clear!  I repeated the exercise on all of my glass.  It works.  But I now feel myself disinclined to drink cranberry juice. 
Speaking of spooky, a guest informed me yesterday that she had had a late night chat with the builder of my house.  My house was built in 1774.  Was this, I found myself wondering, the result of too much cranberry juice or has old Abijah Waterman returned to give me a hand running the inn? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Japanese Beetles

I'm battling Japanese Beetles who each year munch the Rosa Rugosas by the front door.  I've developed a system which works well enough.  I keep a little jug of water secreted behind the jen-you-wine antique concrete Grecian urn which sits nearby and whenever I pass by I knock a few bugs into it and manage to keep ahead of the devastation.  The problem is that the bugs don't die.  For days.  Now, much as I loathe them, I'm not a psycho weirdo about it and I'm not really into torturing anybody. So this year I refined my approach.  I added multi-purpose detergent to the mix and in addition to being instantly lethal, adds an  aroma of cleanliness to my doorstep.  Yesterday during a pleasantly murderous half hour my attention wandered to the bumble bees covering the shrubs.  They rumbled up in the usual bumble bee way but when they reached the yolky yellow center of the roses they upped the pitch of their buzz and as they rolled about emitted a high bzzzzzz that was an hilarious bee squeal of ecstasy.  And it was then that my new guests appeared. I was forced to explain that their room was not quite ready mainly because I had been watching bumble bees.  As I said this I was frantically trying to push the jug of dead beetles back into their hiding place with my foot.  My guests seemed of a mind to accept my lack of professionalism and chalk it up to charming eccentricity and  I didn't want to jeopardize their good will by showing myself to be the slaughterer of innocents.  Sadly, I miscalculated with the last push of the jug and it fell over, engulfing their New York City shoes, which probably cost more than my car,  in a virulent bright blue Lysol liquid studded with the corpses of countless beetle bugs.  Apologies and explanations are pointless in a situation like this, don't you find?  "Welcome to Blue Skye" I said brightly.