The Daily Bug

Home Remedies, Beauty Tips and Unusual Uses for Usual Things

By: palmettobug53, 2:08 AM GMT on September 25, 2006

Do you remember Grandma dipping water out of the rain barrel to rinse her hair? What about conditioning your hair with mayonnaise? Using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to clean your teeth?

Modern cosmetics, hygiene products and medicines are fairly recent additions to our lives. Even as little as 50 years ago, most of these items were made at home, from common ingredients. Some of them were effective. Some were not. And some may have even done more harm than good.

As the price of a lot of these items has risen, it makes sense to look to the past and use some of the tried and true home beauty aids and health remedies. A stoll down the aisle at your local drug store, Walmart or department stores in the mall is an eye-opener, to say the least!

I remember my mother giving me a cough mixture made from whiskey, honey (or Karo syrup) and lemon juice. AT the suggestion of my pediatrician, which would definitely no longer happen today! The thing is..... it works. I guess you could still use it for adults, with no problem. Just don't drink the whole bottle of whiskey!

I still use the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda past on my teeth every couple of weeks or so. It does clean them well and helps get rid of those pesky tea and coffee stains.

One of the best things I've found for mosquito bites, is good old fashioned witch hazel. One of my friends, years ago, asked me at work if I had any alcohol, as something had bitten her while she was out getting lunch. All I had was some witch hazel in a small bottle (I don't recall now why I had it at work) and passed it to her. About 30 minutes later, she returned, all agog. "This stuff works! You know, I have some in my medicine cabinet at home but I never knew what to use it for. I have it because my mother always had it in her medicine cabinet."

If you've ever been outside, tromping through fields or woods, you've probably run into those microscopic little devils, red bugs (or chiggers). How many of you have dabbed clear nail polish on the spots to cut off their air supply and suffocate the little rascals?

Some of the recipes, on the links below, for facials call for egg whites or egg yolks. I would hesitate to recommend that you use raw eggs, due to the risk of avian flu or salmonella, no matter how small the risk might be. I believe I've seen pasteurized egg whites in containers at the grocery store and I imagine that Eggbeaters may be a good substitute for the egg yolks.

So, share any homemade recipes or cures that you may remember, or still use, that can help the rest of us save money, feel better and look good!

Facials This link is from The Dollar Stretcher, which is a GREAT newsletter with all kinds of tips for saving money.

All Natural Beauty: Hair, Skin and Body

Health Recipes

Kitchen Cosmetics

My Beauty Recipes

Natural Vinegar Hair Rinses

Cough and Cold Remedies

Activia Though this is not homemade, it is a probiotic and it really works to improve your intestinal health.

Old Fashioned Home Remedies

New link:
Through The Looking Glass America's Beauty Culture


By: palmettobug53, 11:11 PM GMT on September 14, 2006

About time I put up a new blog, I guess. The last one was a real gas! (Bug cackles insanely...)

Whilst looking for a limerick for YP's blog, I found one that rather fits two categories. Limericks and tongue twisters. So, I figured, what the hey... Go ahead and put up a blog on tongue twisters and have a little fun over the weekend, until I can come up with another blog topic.

A flea and a fly in a flue

Were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly, "Let us flee."

"Let us fly," said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


So post your favorite tongue twisters and let's see how many we can come up with!

Outhouses, Necessaries, Privies and Chamber Pots

By: palmettobug53, 12:57 AM GMT on September 08, 2006

Lewis Grizzard told one of the funniest stories I ever heard about an outhouse. An elderly relative visiting from Between, Georgia, had gone "to visit Eleanor" and got stung by a wasp.

"Great-Aunt Rowena," my father explained, "come out of that outhouse like a turnip truck coming down a mountain with no brakes. Unfortunately, she still had on her pink step-ins, which she had dropped to her ankles.
"When she came out of the outhouse a heartbeat after getting stung, she was doing about forty-five, even though she had to take little-bitty steps due to her pink step-ins being around her ankles.
"She came out of that outhouse screaming, 'Lord God, I've been bit by a sh** snake," my father said. "She made it about fifty yards before her pink step-ins around her ankles tripped her up. She rolled the rest of the way to the back porch.
"Great-Aunt Rowena was a stout girl, and it took us thirty minutes to convince her she wasn't suffering a snakebite, but had been stung by a wasp."
Great-Aunt Rowena, my father explained, never visited again, and as soon as she returned to Between, she convinced her husband, Mason, to build an indoor toilet, thus becoming the first member of my father's family to have such a convenience. Rumor had it, however, that even with indoor plumbing, Great-Aunt Rowena never went to the toilet again without a snakebite kit.

From Lewis Grizzard's I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962 and Other Nekkid Truths

I remember going to visit my widowed great-grandmother in the late 50's. She lived on a farm near Orangeburg, SC. She had no indoor plumbing, other than in the kitchen. She and my grandfather had had one son and six daughters. The need was there so, they had a four holer out back. There were chamber pots under each bed for nighttime emergencies and inclement weather.

Her outhouse was rough built, with grey, weathered wood. No paint. A long wooden bench down one side, with four holes cut at intervals for seating. No fancy modern toilet seats were attached. You took your chances with the splinters. No lighting, either. There were cracks between the boards, which necessitated a guard patrol, any time the girl cousins had to go, to keep the boy cousins from peeping. I doubt seriously if there was any voyeurism to the peeping. They just knew that the resulting chorus of screeches and hollers from the girl cousins was highly entertaining. There would be a lot of "Mama! George and David are peeking at us!" and George and David would get a swat or two on the backside, a stern talking to and then be forced to apologize. And everything would be fine. Until the next time.

By the I came along, Great-Grandma's outhouse was stocked with regular toilet paper. So, we weren't forced to use corn cobs or old Sears Roebuck catalog pages.

Sometime in the mid-60's, my great-uncle put in indoor plumbing, as an inducement to get a local woman to accept his marriage proposal. Sadly, it didn't work. He died, an elderly bachelor, in the late 70's. I'm sure the indoor plumbing made his last years much more comfortable.

Today, chamber pots are considered collectibles. Those humble containers that were hidden under beds and not mentioned in polite society, can now fetch some very good prices. WPA outhouses are considered historical and are being preserved, though maybe not for their original use. Other outhouses are still around and you can find them, if you take the time. Some are even still in use.

A Matter of Convenience

Chamber Pots, from Wikipedia

Musings of a Privy Digger

Monticello's Privies

WPA Privies

Chamber Pots and Privies

You can buy Roger Welsch's book, Outhouses and there is an Outhouses calendar.

Outhouses of the American West

Outhouse from Wikipedia

You can even go to the Outhouse Races in Trenary, MI, if you really get a kick out of outhouses!

For some reason, that first link is not working... Will try it again:
A Matter of Convenience

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.