Farming Advice: Cutting Teeth, Livestock Houses from Wire Reels and Insect Repellent

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including babies cutting teeth, making livestock houses from wire reels and home-brewed insect repellent.

| July/August 1982

  • 076-042-01
    "We make our chicken and rabbit houses from old wire reels that we obtain from the local phone company."
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 076-042-01

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including babies cutting teeth pain, building chicken and rabbit houses from wire reels and a home-brewed insect repellent that works. 

Farming Advice: Cutting Teeth, Livestock Houses from Wire Reels and Insect Repellent

"Our toddler is cutting teeth, and she can be quite a terror when one's coming in," writes Jim McCloud of Cottage Grove, Oregon. "It seems the freezable teething rings are never in the freezer when she needs one . . . that child leaves them in the darndest places! Fortunately, my wife and I have discovered that frozen vegetables work as well as does any commercial device. The cold numbs her gums, and—while chewing on a piece of carrot or whatever—our little girl picks up some extra nutrition as well!"


Cynthia Burns of Puyallup, Washington offers this bit of country (or city!) lore: "One of the most frustrating lessons for a child to learn when helping around the house or homestead is, 'Which way do I turn it?' Well, your youngsters will always remember once they learn the phrase 'Right to tight and left to loose.' "


Twins are a double blessing, but they can also mean double trouble. In fact, Janet Ponder's "matched pair" of three-year-olds were ruining her living room carpet until the Penrose, North Carolinian began spreading old plastic tablecloths on the floor under their little play table. The "tarp" catches spills, is easily washed, and can be used over and over again.




When shopping for a secondhand car, Velma Sanders of Nelson, British Columbia takes a magnet along and rubs it over the surface of any prospective purchase. If there are spots to which the magnet won't stick, she notes, chances are the vehicle has at some time been patched with body putty.


Juliette Guth and her husband own a small vacation camper on two acres of land in the north woods of Wisconsin. The couple occasionally lease the retreat out to friends and acquaintances, but they don't do so for the money. Instead the Guths ask that each guest make some sort of improvement as their rental payment. The Plymouth, Wisconsin folks say that their system has worked well, too . . . in fact, so far they've "swapped" weekends for one new outhouse hole, a stack of split firewood, washed walls, a vegetable garden, and several bird feeders. Other temporary tenants have left such gifts as a kerosene lantern, a clothesline, a mattress, and even some back issues of MOTHER!






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