Beverly Raffaele

Tips For Artists, Gardening, Trivia, Blogging

Blog: Tips Trivia & Talk

I am domestic so I will be posting tips about cooking sewing and more. I like fascinating things about wildlife, trivia, family, pets, old Chevy's, good music in most genres, gardening, art, writing, song writing and much more. Stay tuned. 

view:  full / summary

An "Womans Day"article on how to clean house!

Posted on June 13, 2016 at 11:25 AM

The Starting Point: Upstairs bathroom

"I always start there," says Romero. "It's a good place to leave supplies."


The Plan of Attack: Top-to-bottom, left-to-right

For each task, start at the highest point in the room (if dusting, this might mean high shelves), and move from left to right across the room. This way, you don't miss anything, and you won't accidentally knock dust onto already-cleaned lower shelves.


Step 1: Dust

 Dust each room, including the topsides of all the furniture, undersides of shelves, and all handrails, as well as picture frames, TV screens and knickknacks. "When it's possible to dry-dust, I do—getting something wet makes it harder," says Romero. To get rid of fingerprints, dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water. Pro tip: Look up top. "People don't dust up on the very top of furniture, and that's where all the dust collects and then falls off," says Romero.


Step 2: Furniture Fabric

 Go through the house and strip and remake beds; neaten any pillows or furniture blankets. Brush furniture surfaces with a vacuum extension as needed.


Step 3: Mirrors and Glass

 Wipe down mirrors and windows throughout the house. Pro tip: Using one wet and one dry microfiber cloth won't leave streaks.


Step 4: Surface Cleaning

 Wipe down all surfaces and counters throughout the house, disinfecting as necessary. Pro tip: Be sure to wipe down all places that fingers touch, like door handles, light switches, TV remotes and phones. "Those are the places that people forget, and they really hold germs," says Payne.


Step 5: Kitchen and Bathroom

Walk through and spray cleaner on tubs, sinks and toilets. Return and scrub. Then, in the kitchen, wipe down the inside of the microwave, and cabinet and appliance doors. Step 6 floors Sweep, then mop or scrub the bathroom and kitchen floors, and any other floor that needs it. Pro tip: "I always do bathroom floors on my hands and knees with a microfiber cloth and cleanser," says Romero. "That's how I know that I got every corner, even behind toilets, and that they're 100% disinfected."


Step 7: Vacuum

 "I vacuum my way out the bedrooms, down the stairs, through the living room and out of the house," says Romero. Pro tip: It's not crucial to vacuum every single inch. Just keep moving. You'll get the spots you missed next week.


Overhaul Your Cleaning Kit


No pro cleaner likes to carry around too many supplies. Their five must-haves:


1. A 20-pack of microfiber towels (wash 'em as needed). "I've saved thousands of dollars on paper towels and window cleaner since I started using microfiber," says Romero. Make sure to buy good-quality cloths, usually around $1 per cloth from a janitorial supply store, and never wash with dryer sheets or fabric softener. Pro tip: Before using a cleaning product for dusting, try just warm water and the microfiber. "It usually works," says Romero.


2. A microfiber mop. On a tight budget, it's cheaper and less wasteful than disposable mops. Pro tip: Great for picking up dust in high and low corners.


3. A nylon-bristle broom. "It doesn't splatter walls or lose its bristles," says Payne. Pro tip: Sweep your rug. It often works better than a vacuum.


4. A Shammy. A synthetic version of the traditional chamois cloth, this rubbery, hyper-absorbent towel is great for soaking up water and quickly buffing counters and furniture. Pro tip: Run a dry Shammy over a couch or floor to pick up pet hair.


5. A backpack vacuum. Professional cleaners love backpack-style vacuums because they're gentle on back muscles and make it easy to move quickly from room to room. Pro tip: Look beyond the floor. It's easy to quickly vacuum shelf surfaces, mantels, railings and inside drawers if you use lightweight hand extensions.


Clean for Less

"Your home is just like your body—you don't need a lot of products," says Essie Powell, owner of A-1 Cleaning Extraordinaire in Fayetteville, Georgia (who has cleaned homes and commercial spaces for 37 years). She's got some great ways to revolutionize your cleaning cabinet.


Instead of...Air Fresheners

 You might want to try... "Essential oils," says Powell. "At my house, I like to use cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg. I just boil a little in water and let the aroma go through the house."


Instead of...All-Purpose Counter Cleaner

 You might want to try... "Warm water and basic dishwashing soap," says Powell. "It does the same thing." If you need to disinfect or wash off some serious grime, grab Butcher's Bath Mate.


Instead of...Carpet Cleaner

You might want to try..."Vacuuming regularly. You'll get 70% of the dirt and won't need a carpet cleaner."

 Instead of...Hardwood Floor Cleaner

 You might want to try... A damp cloth with warm water (a mop can get too wet). Get on your hands and knees!


Instead of...Just-Spray Shower Mists

 You might want to try... A microfiber cloth and white vinegar diluted 1:3 with water, followed by a disinfectant. "There's no easy way of removing soap scum and mold other than scrubbing."


Instead of...Window and Glass Cleaner

 You might want to try... Warm water and a microfiber cloth, which often does the trick. For serious cleaning, 1 part ammonia, 3 parts water and a dot of dishwashing soap work for a tenth of the price.


The Bleach Secret!

 For years, I cleaned with lots of bleach—only to find mold growing back days later. It turns out that straight bleach is less effective at killing mold spores and many bacteria than bleach diluted 1:10 with water, says Tim Ryan, PhD, a fungi researcher at Ohio University. Mix a small amount and use it right away, before it destabilizes.

How to write a sonnet

Posted on June 13, 2016 at 11:05 AM


Posted on May 28, 2016 at 1:35 PM


A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.




Blueberries are the fruits of a shrub that belong to the heath family, which includes the cranberry and bilberry as well as the azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Blueberries grow in clusters and range in size from that of a small pea to a marble. They are deep in color, ranging from blue to maroon to purple-black, and feature a white-gray waxy "bloom" that covers the surface serving as a protective coat. The skin surrounds a semi-transparent flesh that encases tiny seeds.



According to a study presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology conference, a diet rich in blueberries lowers blood cholesterol levels while improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of subsequent heart disease and diabetes.





Not only are blueberries yummy, they have some fantastic health benefits which include:



The highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit: Blue Berries, being very rich in anti oxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immunity is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox and all such nasty viral and bacterial communicable diseases.



Neutralizes free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body: Blue Berries bring you the brightest ray of hope, for they are laden with anti oxidants and rank number 1 in the world of anti oxidants. This is mainly due to presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blue berries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well.



Top 10 health benefits of Blueberries


Aid in reducing Belly Fat: A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. So far, we know that the fruit works on rats, which were the test subjects. A blueberry-enriched powder was mixed into the rats' diet, which was either low-fat or high-fat rat chow. After 90 days, the rats with the blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity. And their health was even better when combined with the low-fat diet. That group had lower body weight, lower total fat mass and reduced liver mass than the rats on the high-fat diet. An enlarged liver is linked to obesity and insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes. Although more research is needed to confirm these results in humans, a related study presented at the same conference showed that men with risk factors for heart disease who drank wild blueberry juice for three weeks seemed to experience slight improvements in glucose and insulin control.



Helps promote urinary tract health: The building of colonies of certain bacteria like b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of urinary tract is responsible for this infection, resulting in inflammation, burning sensation during in passage of urine and other complications. Here, Blue Berries can be surprisingly beneficial. It has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which inhibits the growth of such bacteria. It also has some anti biotic properties which adds to this effect. These heavy and big molecules almost wash-off these bacteria along the tract, thereby preventing the infection.



Been proved to preserve vision: Blueberry extract, high in compounds called anthocyanosides, has been found in clinical studies to slow down visual loss. They can prevent or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina, due to their anti-oxidant properties. Blue Berries contain a special group of anti oxidants called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.), Flavonoids (like rutin, resveritrol, quercetin etc.), in addition to others such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus, which are very beneficial and essential for the ocular health. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.



Top 10 health benefits of Blueberries

Brain Health: The anthocyanin, the selenium, the vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese etc., among others, can prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. It is hard to believe that these berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent. They even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues and keep your memory sharp for a long-long time. Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals, making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones.




Heart Disease: The high fiber content, those brilliant anti oxidants and the ability to dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol’ make the Blue Berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that a moderate drink (about 4 ounces) of white wine contained .47 mmol of free radical absorbing antioxidants, red wine provided 2.04 mmol, and a wine made from highbush blueberries delivered 2.42 mmol of these protective plant compounds.



Constipation & Digestion: While roughage (fiber) in Blue Berries keep away constipation (Of course, a single piece alone will not do. You need to eat a big handful of them), the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.


Top 10 health benefits of Blueberries


Cancer: Blue Berries can prove to be bliss for the cancer patients, for they contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, in harmony with Anthocyanin and other anti oxidants like vitamin-C and copper, can do miracles to prevent and cure cancer. Laboratory studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry show that phenolic compounds in blueberries can inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death). A significant 34% reduction in ovarian cancer risk was also seen in women with the highest intake of the flavone luteolin (found in citrus).



Other benefits & facts: They keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature and in a good mood, as they are very good anti depressants. You also need not spend a lot on medicines, neither are there any side effects. Remember, the deeper the color of the Blue Berries, the more they are rich in anti oxidants and other medicinal values.




How to Choose?


Choose blueberries that are firm and have a lively, uniform hue colored with a whitish bloom. Shake the container, noticing whether the berries have the tendency to move freely; if they do not, this may indicate that they are soft and damaged or moldy. Avoid berries that appear dull in color or are soft and watery in texture. They should be free from moisture since the presence of water will cause the berries to decay. When purchasing frozen berries, shake the bag gently to ensure that the berries move freely and are not clumped together, which may suggest that they have been thawed and refrozen.


Five foods to get at the store

Posted on May 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

This is a time of year when most of us vow to ‘be healthier’ in the next 365 days than we were in the last,” said Claire Siegel, registered dietitian with Snap Kitchen. “And while this is an admirable goal, it often falls by the wayside in the months to come. We forget, lose steam, or just get bored. When it comes to staying interested in new healthy habits, what we put on our plates at each meal can make or break our enthusiasm. Keep your taste buds and determination fired up with these fun, nutritious pieces of winter produce !” We spoke with Siegel about the five foods you should grab next time you are at the grocery store.



“Packed with folate, manganese, potassium, and antioxidants [6], the jewel-colored veggie is anti-inflammatory and detoxifying,” Siegel said. “Their buttery texture and slightly sweet flavor makes them the perfect addition to any main course or salad when served steamed or roasted.”



“With the flavor of licorice and the texture of celery, fennel [7] makes a lovely and unique addition to many salads and side dishes,” Siegel said. “It’s especially delicious when sautéed with onions or served raw with a savory dip. Full of vitamin C, fiber [8], and potassium, you’ll want to incorporate it into your 2016 diet.”


Kabocha Squash

“Like all winter squash, kabocha [9] is packed with carotenoids and vitamin A for eye health, plus vitamin C [10], fiber, and many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” Siegel said. “This little green pumpkin is unique in that you can eat the skin that covers the sweet orange flesh. Keep your eye out for kabocha at your local grocery, as they’re exclusively harvested in the winter months!”



“Once perfectly ripened, this fruit makes a deliciously sweet addition to your new year,” Siegel said. “The oblong, astringent hachiya variety should be eaten, perhaps sliced up like an apple as a snack, while still firm. The squat, non-astringent kaki type should be allowed to soften and can then be eaten like a custard with a spoon.”



“One of the oldest plants on earth, and a symbol of good luck in some cultures,” Siegel said. “The juicy arils, or seeds, inside this spherical fruit pack a ton of heart-healthy antioxidants and anti-inflammatory [11] compounds. For easy removal, try separating the seeds from the flesh in a bowl of cold water.”


 Olivia Giordano.



Make your own paint

Posted on May 26, 2016 at 7:15 PM

This is great anyone but especially for kids.

Growing Dahlias

Posted on May 12, 2016 at 3:05 PM

From "The Garden Helper" website 


The photo below is from my Driveway Garden

With a multitude of different colors, shapes and sizes, Dahlias bring life and beauty

back to your landscape in late summer and into the fall months.

The diversity of the Dahlia allow you to use them in many different aspects of your landscape design,

from low growing border plants to stately background plantings that may reach six feet in height!

Dahlias make excellent cut flowers, which will typically last about a week in the house.

Growing Requirements of Dahlia Plants


Dahlias are summer blooming tubers that are generally only hardy in USDA zones 7-11.

In the majority of the country, Dahlias must be planted each spring

and then cut back and dug each fall after the first killing frost.


Dahlia plants grow and bloom best in full sun.

Dahlias tolerate most soil types, but prefer a sandy,

well drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.2- 6.5.

If your soil is heavy or clay, adding sand and peat moss will help to lighten it.


Water established Dahlias thoroughly and deeply once a week.

Water more frequently if it's very hot.


Dahlias in bud or bloom are heavy feeders, so you should begin feeding them monthly, beginning a month

before they begin to set buds using a water soluble, 'bloom' type fertilizer .

Planting Your Dahlias


Dahlia tubers should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed,

and the soil temperature reaches 58°-60° F. Excessively wet soil may cause the tubers to rot, so if your weather

has been wet and stormy, you may want to wait for a drying trend.


Dig and prepare a 12 inch diameter by 12 inch deep planting hole.

Mix a shovel full of compost, a handful of bone meal, and a little Dolomite lime to the soil that was removed.


Fill the planting hole with the soil mixture until it is about six inches deep.

Then place the Dahlia tuber horizontally in the bottom of the hole

with the eye pointing upward.

Tall varieties of Dahlias will need staking, so this is a good time to set an appropriate size

stake into the ground next to the tuber, near the eye. This will prevent damage to the tuber

which can result if it is added after the tuber has begun to grow.

Cover the tuber with about two inches of your soil mixture and water thoroughly. When the sprout

begins to emerge from the soil, gradually add more soil mix until the hole is entirely filled.



The tender new growth of a Dahlia is one of the favorite entrees of slugs and snails. Take the necessary precautions to protect your plants from these evil lawn prawns.


If the identity of your Dahlia is important to you, be sure to add a tag to the stake at planting time. This will be an invaluable help when it is time to dig your tubers in the fall.



For the finest cut flowers, cut them early in the day, when they first open.

Place them in water which has set for 24 hours to allow any chlorine to dissipate

Change the water daily. Cut Dahlias will last from 5-7 days.

I like bloomers!

Posted on April 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Amelia Jenks Bloomer:

In 1851, New England temperance activist Elizabeth Smith Miller (aka Libby Miller) adopted what she considered a more rational costume: loose trousers gathered at the ankles, like women's trousers worn in the Middle East and Central Asia, topped by a short dress or skirt and vest. The costume was worn publicly by actress Fanny Kemble. Miller displayed her new clothing to Stanton, her cousin, who found it sensible and becoming, and adopted it immediately. In this garb Stanton visited Bloomer, who began to wear the costume and promote it enthusiastically in her magazine. Articles on the clothing trend were picked up in The New York Tribune. More women wore the fashion which was promptly dubbed The Bloomer Costume or "Bloomers". However, the Bloomers were subjected to ceaseless ridicule in the press and harassment on the street. Bloomer herself dropped the fashion in 1859, saying that a new invention, the crinoline, was a sufficient reform that she could return to conventional dress.


Posted on April 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM

A wonderful book by Bill McClain called "Do Fish Drink Water"  fascinates me. There are things in this book that I didn't think about, but Mr. McClain did and I love it!   Did you know that fish do drink water through osmosis. here are some quotes:

"The water seeps into their body through tiny holes in their skin."

" When a fish lives in salt water salt water, the ocean contains more salt than does the liquid in the fish. Thus, osmosis draws water out 0of the fish and the fish needs continually to drink water to replenish the liquid being drawn out of its body."

"When a fish lives in fresh water, the water has less salt than does the liquid in the fish and water is drawn through the fish's skin into its body. Therefore, freshwater fish do not need to drink water.However they swallow some water when they open their mouths to eat."

"Small reef fish live a few weeks or months but sturgeon can live more than 50 years. Rockfish can live to be 150 years old."

Order the book to learn more!

Gravity Defying

Posted on April 27, 2016 at 3:50 PM

Gravity defying mascara! Wow. There are "gravity defying" make-up and face creams... Really? Why are we spending all that money on N.A.S.A. when all we have to do is put on some mascara and then we just float away...That is how ludicrous advertising is. Think about some of the nonsense that advertisers are putting out there; such as, you can buy a car with no money down and bad credit! No problem, 33.33% interest or more and it is yours! Unfortunately, advertisers are banking on desperate, or gullible people to respond, and they do.

There’s no such thing as "truth in advertising." It's more like we are here to suck you in advertising. That said, we need advertising in order to see what's out there. Just do a little more analysis before believing everything you see and hear in the media folks. Common sense is not an archaic thought process... 


google-site-verification: googlecc2933e04a8c9899.html