Wasp Deterrent, Toothbrush Case, Pothole Filler, and Other Country Lore

Non-aerosol hairspray as wasp deterrent, a film canister repurposed into a toothbrush case, and scavenged asphalt used for pothole filler were some of the ideas readers submitted to the regular country lore feature.

| March/April 1981

The following tips and assorted country lore were submitted by readers.    

Wasp Deterrent

A Duluth, Minnesota woman has discovered an easy way to keep hornets, bees, and bothersome wasps from attending her family's picnics. Mrs. Robert Spicer packs a bottle of non aerosol hair spray along with the other outing supplies. One small squirt stops them in their tracks, she writes. "Sure takes the sting out of outdoor activities."

Toothbrush Case

Here's some travel lore for backpackers, cycle tourers, globetrotters, or anyone else interested in a convenient, lightweight toothbrush case. Philomath, Oregonian Julie Summers devised her own travel container from a discarded 35mm film canister (available — usually free — from any photographer). She merely cut a slot in the container's lid to accommodate the brush's handle, then punched a few holes in the plastic body to aid ventilation. Finally, she attached a cord to both the toothbrush and the bottom of the canister. This "retainer" keeps case, lid, and protected brush together.

Pothole Filler

When the last cold winds of winter blow away and the ice and snow finally melt into springtime pools, you'll frequently see that your asphalt driveway is pitted with potholes. Well, Ansonia, Connecticut's George Feltovic has found an inexpensive way to patch those souvenirs of winter. He discovered that highway traffic crews often discard little piles of asphalt alongside the road at the end of their working day. By breaking up the hardened heaps with an axe or crowbar, George can bring that surplus asphalt home and soften it over an outdoor blaze. (Place the material in a large pan, of course, and be sure not to set it on fire.) Soon it'll flow like brand new, says George, and do a beautiful job of filling your driveway's cavities.

Pourable Bread Dough

For those readers who are interested in baking their own fresh bread, but who can't spare an entire afternoon to do so, Susie Fisher of Dolores, Colorado has an idea that could mean the difference between having a homemade loaf and settling for store-bought.

Next time, she suggests, use a little less flour than the recipe calls for, mix the dough well, and just pour it directly into the baking pan. The nonkneaded loaves may look a little lumpy, but — according to Susie — they'll always taste great.

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