Farming Advice and Folklore: Hairball Butter Remedy, Blizzard Blankets, and Premixed Antifreeze

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including using butter as a natural cat hairball remedy, cleaning blankets by hanging them in a blizzard, premixed antifreeze and more.

| January/February 1987

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including hairball butter remedy, clean blizzard blankets, and premixing antifreeze for your car. 

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

A Timely Squirt

As a part-time watch and clock repairman, I've seen my share of wind-up alarm clocks that are no longer dependable. Most of them I can restore without even removing the backs. I simply aim a few squirts of a lubricant like WD-40 into the openings behind the regulator and the wind-up keys, shake and rotate the clock to distribute the spray evenly, and wipe off any excess. I've been using this method for two years, and nearly all the clocks I've tested are still keeping accurate time.

—Howie I Gruen, Beaumont, California 

Lick and a Promise

Do all cat owners know this secret to eliminating fur balls? Just put some butter on your longhaired pet's front paws about once a month. The cat will lick its paws clean, thus coating its stomach and preventing the formation of those bothersome clumps of hair.

—Patricia Carrick, Ridgetown, Ontario 

Siphoning Skill

For times when you need to siphon gas from your car—perhaps to help someone stranded with an empty tank—I have a system that works better than sucking on a hose and ending up with a mouthful of gasoline. I use two hoses, one short and one long. I take the longer one, insert it in the tank, and shove it to the bottom (I can tell it's there by blowing on the hose and listening for a bub bling sound). Then I put the short hose into the top of the tank and wrap both hoses with a rag to make the tank airtight. After putting the free end of the long hose into a container, I blow on the short hose. In a little while the pressure builds up in the tank and forces the gasoline out.

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