• Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good products – good ideas   “Everyday Living Made Easier” is a mantra appropriate for all life’s stages – including retirement. It seems many of us are about as busy being retired as we were working. I’ve come up with a few of my favorite products which have made life simpler in both stages of my life. I’m not claiming these are all brand new – just new to me. When you’ve been married nearly 55 years you’ve got a lot of disreputable utensils. At least I do. Which is why I was delighted to discover Reynolds Wrap heavy duty non-stick foil. This product can cover up old baking pans and nobody needs to see how shabby they really look. It makes cleaning a breeze and lives up to its claim that “food lifts right off.” Do you have anyone in your extended family who loads the washing machine with the single focus of filling it up – regardless of what goes inside? I do. This person shall remain nameless (for the safety of the writer) but has been known to combine a week’s worth of white skivvies topped off with a brand new red knitted party skirt. The resultant fuchsia underwear and a skirt deeply embedded with pink lint caused a memorable newly-wed crisis. This tale remains a family favorite with everyone but said perpetrator.  Shout it Out now offers us Color Catcher. You put one or more of these sheets (depending on the newness of the garment and the depth of its color) into the washing machine. Then put in your favorite additives and load up any combo of colors and you come out with clean clothes, a happy spouse, and excess color caught on those added sheets. I’ve tried them a multitude of times with loads of different combinations (including the infamous red and white) and it’s worked perfectly every time. Shout it Out itself is used almost daily at our house as we seem to be spilling more food than we used to. Don’t know what I’d do without it. If arthritis in the hands and a crowded refrigerator are dual companions in your kitchen, you’ll appreciate two new Rubbermaid products. This first is a plastic carafe, ergonomically designed and dishwasher safe – on the bottom rack yet. It contains no unhealthy BPA, resists stains and smells and doesn’t impart any plastic taste on the liquids you put inside. I like it for House Wine of the South – iced tea – which I keep in the fridge all year. The two-quart capacity carafe is tall and slim, thus taking up less horizontal space on my usually crowded top shelf. Its quasi egg-timer shape is easy to handle with one hand. The other Rubbermaid product is a series of plastic bottles in 14, 20 and 32-ounce sizes, and three colors – red, blue and green – and called Refill Reuse. They have similar assets as the carafe, plus a secure snap lid and a really comfortable spout which melds seamlessly onto the lips. It also features a unique ring to slip over a finger or onto a belt for carrying. I find this latter especially useful when also trying to juggle an armload of packages as well as keys. If you’ve tried goodies you’d like to share, let me know at hill2227@bellsouth.net.  

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