Saturday, May 18, 2013

Household Products that May or May Not Work

Don't we all see products in magazines, on television and in stores and we wonder if they work?  I often see products I would love to try but don't want to buy them if they are just gimmicks.  Sometimes it's nice to hear a recommendation from someone you really know. 

I decided I would try several items I've found recently and see if they work.  Are they going to make my life easier or are they just wasted money?

The first product I tried was one I didn't think would really work.  It was a sponge type thing that was supposed to be a hair lifter called coincidentally Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter.  It would be great if it worked because I am always covered in cat hair.  (as is my furniture)   I decided to try to clean Senora's perch because it was difficult to clean being covered in carpet.  (Not pictured because I'm sure you'd rather not see it.)  Did it work?  Surprisingly the answer was yes.  It has a very odd texture, not really sticky but similar.  It was able to get in the corners and around edges.  The hair kind of just rolled up in a ball and you could throw it away.  It actually worked much better than my vacuum.  This one I would endorse.  You can rinse it and reuse.  It doesn't leave any chemicals behind.  You can find it at Amazon, the Container store and some pet stores.

The next item I tried was one for cleaning silver called Hagerty Silversmiths' Gloves.  I know most people don't have silver anymore but I love old spoons and I still have some silver pieces from my wedding.  I don't clean them often but I like something that is easy and does a good job.  These are gloves covered in a cleaner right when you get them.  They say they can be washed and sprayed with the original cleaner to be reused.  You can find these at Amazon, The Container Store or even Home Depot. 
Although the pictures aren't great you can see they did work.  They were surprisingly fast and much less messy than traditional cleaner.  They are supposed to stay untarnished longer but the jury is still out on that one. 
I know most of you know that I love vintage items but once in a while they are not in the best condition.  Reusing items is something I think more people are interested in so it's nice to find a way to make them look new again.  My neighbor, a lady in the antique business, told me about the next item.  It's called Kramer's Best Antique improver.  I would be very careful trying something like this on a fine antique but for my small picture frame it really couldn't ruin it. 
You can see by the following photos that this is another item that actually works to make the scratches not stand out on the wood.  The scratch is still there when you look at it from the side but to outward appearances it does work.  It also seems to renew the wood making it shine.  If you try this I would put it on an inconspicuous spot first, maybe the back.  I think it would work best if you stripped the wood but I actually didn't in this case.  You never know how it's going to react with old finishes.   You can find this in a lot of antique stores and on Amazon. 

The last item I tried because of my infatuation with acrylic boxes.  I use a lot of them for organization but they do get scratched.  I found a product saying it could help those scratches.  The Novus Fine Scratch Remover. 
The scratch starts out pretty strong and it does seem to minimize the scratch but it is still there.  The smaller scratches are quite diminished.  There is also a deep scratch remover and perhaps later I will try that one.  For might work on small scratches but not on really deep scratches.

Now if you are ever tempted to purchase these items you have some idea whether they work.  If you have any questions I didn't answer leave a comment and I will try to let you know.   
I really hope, dear friends, that you are having a great week, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why do I blog?

Everyone has a blog lately and I am only one of many.  Why did I start this blog?  It's an honest question -- one I hear when I tell people about Unaccompanied Jaunt.

Anyway, as long as I remember I have wanted to be a writer.  When I was little I would staple mini blank pieces of paper together and start a story.  Mom always said I was so into the dedication I didn't get much further at that time.  Later in 7th grade I won a writer's contest for a children's story I wrote.  S is for Sally.  Not very imaginative but for some reason very well received.  I moved on to a fanfic story where I was the heroine in the Star Wars universe.  (The foreshadowing of how important that knowledge was going to be once I had my son was unknown at the time.)  Somewhere in my teens I became very embarrassed about my stories and unfortunately I destroyed them all.  Just think of the entertainment they would have been after all these years. 

Ever since then, I've written off and on for years, bits and pieces of started novels, some short stories and even a couple of children's stories but I just didn't seem to be able to find my process.  Last year I started another novel but this time I took some online classes and read a few books on outlining.  Somehow I began to stumble on a process that worked for me.  I finished my first draft of my novel in 3 months.  I co-wrote a novel with my husband a few years ago but this one was my baby.  My husband, Geo and I went through 3 more rewrites before we decided to try to find an agent and get it published.

The process of finding an agent is a daunting task.  I've been sending it off but thus far the story hasn't found a home.  I am hopeful that I will see the story published someday. 

Now, I am 40,000 words into my next novel and am truly enjoying every moment of bringing my new world and friends to life.  Although I do write in several genres most of the same themes run through my stories.  Redemption and forgiveness are some of the themes I feel to be important in life because we could all use to have both given to us.  Another theme is women finding their own strength, something that took me many years to find for myself. 

Publishers and agents like to see an author start the process of getting a readership.  This brings me to my blog.  Blogs are one of an author's platforms to interest readers in their work.  In the future I hope to feature some of the stories I have written as well as lighter articles about organizing, travel or just the latest topic to come into my life. 

So to all who stop by my blog, I hope you enjoy the articles.   Thank you for your support in this endeavor!   If you feel compelled to leave a comment or message, I would love to hear from you!.