Wasp Removal, Garden Hose Hanger, and Other Country Lore

This installment of an ongoing homesteading and country lore feature includes stories about a man who uses a flaming torch for wasp removal and a method of reusing old umbrella handles as a garden hose hanger.

| January/February 1979

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    Chicken eggs filled with salt took care of a kind snake that had been raiding the family goose's nest.
  • 055 country lore - bathtub clothes washer.jpg
    If you washing machine breaks down, try filling your bathtub with soap and water, submerging your laundry, and letting your children jump around on it.
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    A torch made from an oil-soaked rag will help with wasp removal; set it up at night, knock down the wasp nest, and wait for the pests to fly right into the flame.
  • 055 country lore - bandana uses.jpg
    A bandana can have many uses, among them as a head covering, a sling if you injure your arm, or as a potholder. 

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  • 055 country lore - wasp removal.jpg
  • 055 country lore - bandana uses.jpg

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Wasp Removal

Wasps can be a nuisance when they decide to build their nests too near the house, especially if you (or a member of your family) are allergic to their stings. But Stillman Valley, Illinois resident Joe B. Russian has found a way to got rid of the pests without getting "bit." Joe just ties an oil-soaked rag to a stick, and then embeds the base of the homemade "torch" In the ground about 10 to 20 feet from the nest. Then, on a dark night, he lights the rag and-with another stick-knocks the nest down. The Insects will see the flickering flame when they come buzzin' out, fly Into it, and "go up In smoke"!

Garden Hose Hanger

Gary Anderson of Portland, Oregon come up with an Ingenious "recycled" use for old umbrella handles. He just attaches two of 'am (hooks down) to a foot-long scrap of two-by- four, paints the rig black, and has a dandy hanger for his garden hose!

Volkswagen Chicken Coop

Cheryl Matthews of Sandy Hollow, Pennsylvania writes that her family was gettin' pretty tired of the stripped-down Volkswagen that sat on blocks In their back yard ... until the Matthews family got a good deal on 20 chickens! After the addition of low roosting poles, several nest boxes, and an "access" ladder, the chickens settled right Into the beat-up bootie. Not only that, but Cheryl's birds seem to like their two-door coop. And at night, the car's windows rolled most of the way up, the "poult's wagon" is water- and varmint-proof!

Hair Shiner

Television regularly advertises cures for every cosmetic problem imaginable (and some that are a little hard to imagine), but these "beauty aids" are expensive, sometimes ineffective, and occasionally even harmful to skin and hair. So, the next time your flowing locks look "dry and lifeless,"take a tip from Pamela More of Bridgeport, West Virginia and go to the grocery store for your solution. Pam says that a small application of olive oil (just enough to make a little oily spot on your hand) will make drab or dull hair shiny and easier to style. Simply rub the liquid in well, either after or between shampoos. Not too much, though, or you might be mistaken for a salad bar!

Jumper Cable Extension

When your car, tractor, or truck has a dead battery and—or one reason or another—the jumper cables won't reach to another car, you'll want to thank Patrick Burgess of Carbondale, Illinois for this tip: Just clip your two cables together, and use this "extension" as the "positive" hookup. But, before attaching the jumper, move the running car so that its bumper is touching, metal to metal, the bumper of the dead car. This will successfully complete the "negative" connection (you might have to wedge a screwdriver or something between the two bumpers to get a good contact). With that done, connect the double-length "positive" cable and start 'er up!

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