Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lepage Ultra Gel - Final Tests

I'm running out of time, so I'll combine these latest two tests of Lepage Ultra Gel into this one post. 

The wire had come out of my bra cage.  For those who don't know what that is, it's a mesh bag with wires in the bottom and in the lid, to help it hold other laundry away from delicates so that things like under wire bras don't get bent out of shape if you throw them in the washing machine.  Okay, so I know they are meant to be hand washed, but really, who does that?

First I had to thread the wire back into the lid. Then I would normally just stick one end of the wire back into the tubing on the other end, but I've done that numerous times and it just comes back out.  This time I decided to try gluing it in place.  The tricky part came when I had to try and get the newly glue covered end of the wire into the tubing at the other end, without it sticking to the mesh bag in the process.  Without the glue it's not too difficult to insert one end into the other, but since this glue catches so quickly, I sure didn't need to get my fingers in the way. I am a klutz, remember, and I had no wish to glue my fingers together, or to anything else, so I found it a little awkward, to manipulate the wire with my fingers moved so far back into a safer position.  But I did it, and it looks as good as new.  It still has to go through the laundry a few times before I declare it a success though.  I expect it will hold at least as long as the original glue did, and I'll happily repair it again if the need arises.  In the meantime, this lovely sample of glue has just saved me $10.

Next I fixed something that I've wanted to fix for a couple of years now.  We have this old pedestal table that my hubby's grandfather made by hand. When I say by hand, I mean he used hand tools, like a chisel to shape the grooves. I doubt he had anything fancy to work with. Things may not be symmetrical, but that just adds character to this family heirloom.  The problem was that every time I moved the table, to vacuum under it, or for whatever reason, the legs of the pedestal would loosen off to the point where you could easily see almost an inch of all the pegs that held them on.  I always had to get down and shove the legs back in place before trusting that table to hold my lamp and plants again.

I turned the table upside down and took a look.  Each leg had three pegs holding it to the centre post.  The pegs were round and any other glue would likely have run and dripped off one or two before you got the third one done.  I was able to squeeze the glue in place around each peg, and shove the legs back on.  I left the table in its upside down position for several minutes while I went off to do something else, but when I turned it over, the legs stayed where they were supposed to, and I do not anticipate any further problems.  In this case, I saved my hubby some work, as he had promised to fix the table and I was able to do it for him.

Now that the time for experimenting is just about over, I have finally found a friend with several things that need fixing.  I likely won't have time to do any of that before the reporting time is over but I certainly enjoyed doing these experiments and telling you about them for The Insiders.  I hope I was able to satisfy them so I can get in on another campaign soon.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Advertising Teasers

Sometimes you are offered a product or service at a price you can't resist.  Then you might even go out of your way to get it.  That's happened to me twice last week.  I went out of my way, but I didn't get it.
The first time it was because of an ad in the Walmart flyer. They were offering fresh cooked rotisserie chickens for only $8.47.  It would normally cost me more than that for a small chicken even in an uncooked state, so I thought that would be a great buy and planned to get one for supper. We discovered, when we went to the Walmart in the town the flyer came from, that they don't have a hot food section in that store.  Admittedly, I don't shop Walmart often, so I didn't realize that until we arrived. It turns out the flyer did say "at participating locations" but I told the clerk it wasn't fair of them to tease me like that.
The second incident involved a coupon that was only good for one day.  I put off my shopping trip until that day just so I could use the coupon.  General Mills was introducing a new product, Honey Nut Cheerios Healthy Oat Crunch. The coupon was for a free 430g box. There was an alternate from the Fibre 1 line, but it contained almonds, and I have an allergy to them.  I shop at a major line of grocer stores, and they did not carry the new product. I was very disappointed because, as you all know, I love free stuff.

This week, I had another one of these free product coupons that was also good for just one day.  Once again it was meant to introduce a new line of products. Like last week,  I put off my shopping trip until the appropriate day.  This time the coupon offered four choices instead of just two.  The store did not carry either of my first two choices, Nature Valley Protein (I was hoping there was one without almonds), or Fibre 1 with 7g of Protein, but I was at least able to bring something home this time.  I got a free box of Golden Graham Treats.  Not quite what I had in mind, but I'm sure my grandsons will enjoy them.... if they last that long.

While I do think coupons are a great way to get people to try a new product, perhaps manufacturers who wish to get us hooked on their new merchandise should wait a little longer to offer these incentives to us. That might give us a better chance of actually finding the products in the stores.  I'm more likely to buy something I'm not sure about if I can get it at a bargain price the first time.  An offer of a free product will attract me every time, and several of the things I now buy on a regular basis, were originally introduced to me in sample form. It is certainly in both the manufacturer's and the consumer's best interest if the new product is available at the time that it is being offered.

I thought maybe I just lived too far out in the boonies, and that the products were likely more easily found in the big city stores.  I did see several other people complaining that they couldn't find the products in their stores though, when I looked online at their Facebook page. One person, who I know lives in a city, went to more than one supermarket before he found one of these products though.

 I have now also found an offer there that might work for me yet. In the meantime, I picked up a box of regular Honey Nut Cheerios, and it has a PIN code in it that will allow me to get one of these free products yet.  Maybe in a couple of weeks, they will arrive at my stores and I'll finally get to taste something new.  Wish me luck.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lepage Ultra Gel - Test Three

When I joined The Insiders I had no idea that they would send me such an interesting product to test and share with the rest of you.  The Lepage Ultra Gel is capable of things I would never have dreamed of using it for.  As part of the testing, The Insiders sent along a piece of stretch tubing.....the kind you exercise with like you would with those stretchy bands.  The instructions said to cut it in half, and then glue it back together.  Well, I did that, and figured I'd screwed up the experiment because I didn't line the tubing up properly to start with, but as this glue catches hold within five seconds, I quickly pulled the pieces apart and stuck them back repositioning the ends of the tube correctly.  So, it's my fault if this is repair is a little messier than necessary, but at the same time, it might help you see where the tubing was glued together.  Once the glue was set I challenged a number of people to pull on both ends to see if the glue would hold.  The tubing is stretchy, remember, so they could pull it as if they were having a tug o war with themselves or each other.. The glue held and everyone is totally impressed with this product now. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lepage Ultra Gel - Test Two

My hubby likes to weld, and has been making little garden bugs for a year or so now.  He uses washers for eyes, but I had some green glass decorator pieces that I thought would make great eyes. While the rest of the critter is welded together, the eyes have to be glued on.  One of the bugs spent the winter in the car, and I guess the glue didn't like expansion and contraction caused by the temperature changes. The eyes fell off.  So we decided to put them back on with the Lepage Ultra Gel Control Super Glue.  It's easy to use because it says where you put it. There was no need to turn the
bug to a position where the eyes would have to lay on a horizontal surface while the eyes were put in place.  They went on easily and stayed where they were put.

This gave my hubby another idea.  What if he decided to make a lizard instead.  He wanted to put scales down it's back, but the little  metal pieces would have been difficult to weld in place.  He decided to try gluing them instead.  I think he's going to be pretty cute. I just wonder what colour he'll decide to paint him.

Meanwhile he decided to just glue 4 nails together, just to see if he could. That worked pretty well too.  I don't know if he has something in mind for that, but if he doesn't, it may still spark some new ideas as well.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spot On

I woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning with an itchy spot.  It felt a bit strange in the dark but it didn't take long before I went back to sleep. When I got up in the morning I remembered, and went and looked in the mirror.  I had a bright red circle, about the size of a quarter, with 4 spots in it.  I also had another one the size of a dime, with two spots in it, and a third one that was just the size of a regular mosquito bite.  I remembered a swarm of little bugs when I was checking out the garden the day before, and figured they had had a good feed on me.

Strangely the spots didn't itch all day, but the quarter sized one woke me up again the next night.  By Sunday morning, the single spot that looked like a regular bug bite had 4 more around it, and I had not been back out to the garden.  It didn't look like the other two areas though, as here were spaces between the red spots. Once again, it didn't seem to itch during the day.

That is when I started googling rashes online and looking at pictures. The closest I could find to what I had was shingles, but I had the shot within the last year as I wanted to make sure I never had that problem.  I asked my Facebook friends if you could get shingles even if you have had a shot.  I don't think I ever got a real answer, but I was not in pain, and I had always heard shingles were painful. Several of them did urge me to seek medical help.

By Monday morning the spot that was multiplying had done it again.  Where there had once been just one small spot, there were nine or ten. Only the newest ones were even mildly itchy and if they had not been spreading, I likely would have ignored it.  I had to go to the medical centre about my orthotics that day anyway, so I phoned over and asked if I could see someone while I was there.  The receptionist told me there was no way I could see a doctor that day. I said even a nurse would do, and that I only needed about 30 seconds so she could identify what was going on.  She said that if I waited until the afternoon, she might be able to find someone to take a peek.

I had my lunch then packed a book and went over there, expecting to sit for quite a while, but within 20 minutes a nurse called me in and was ready to see my spots.  Her instantaneous choice was shingles, but then she changed her mind and went to seek a colleague for a second opinion.  The one she was looking for was busy so she came back with another one, who quickly did the same thing.....thought it was shingles and then changed her mind. By this time the third nurse had arrived, and her opinion was the same as the other two.  None of them knew what was causing my rash, but they decided it was perhaps a staph infection and suggested I mix some Polysporin and cortisone together and apply it to the areas.  I did that, but found the areas were sensitive. There were, by now, lots of little blisters there that didn't like me touching them.

Tuesday things did not look any worse, but the area was a little more sensitive. Still, I figured, since it was not spreading, we were on the right track.  I caught myself going to look to see if there was something new in between two of the areas though, more than once, as that area just did not feel comfortable.  Nothing there.

On Wednesday, morning I found new spots.  It was spreading again. The area that started as a single spot was now two and a half inches long, by one inch wide.  I got back on the phone and wanted to see an actual doctor.  Mine is away and the replacement is only here two days a week.  I was told they could book me in next Thursday.  That's more than a week away, and as I told the receptionist, I hoped that the rash would be gone by then. I'm thinking our medical system is not working if the only place you can get someone to look at you is by going to the ER with a non emergency condition.  I told her it was spreading and I needed to know what it was.  She said she would call me back in an hour and in the meantime she would see if she could fit me in with someone else.  She did both.

The doctor took one look and said it was definitely shingles. I told him, like I told the nurses, that I'd had the shot, and that the rash was sensitive, but there wasn't actual pain.  He said that the shot's effectiveness varies by age and that it cuts the risk by about half when you are in your 60's.  Lovely.  It cost me $179 to prevent this and I get it anyway.  He did say, if I had not had the shot, it would be a lot worse than what it is, so I can be thankful for that.  He could not give me the antiviral though as it was too late for that. I told him I'd been in on Monday, when it would have been effective, but the nurses had not identified the problem. The doctor asked if I minded if he showed the nurse what to look for in someone who has had the shot.  Of course I didn't mind. She had already seen me anyway.  So he pointed out the blisters and the way everything was on just one side of my body.  The fact that I had mentioned that the area between the spots was tender now had also alerted him to the fact that I had shingles. Of course I didn't have that problem on Monday.  The nurse thanked me for letting the doctor point out things to look for in the future, and said it was nice to meet me.  I agreed, but suggested it would be even nicer if next time it was somewhere on the street instead of at the medical centre.

I have now looked up more about the shingles vaccine as I thought it would prevent shingles, not just reduce the chances and severity.  I'm also sure I was told when I got the shot that this was a one time thing.  Now I learn that apparently the shot may only last for four or five years, and as I could get shingles again in the future, it may not be effective at an age when I'd really need it.  So, was I right to get it when I did?  Well, if it prevents debilitating pain now, I guess so, but  since the efficacy of protection has not been assessed beyond four years and it is not known whether booster doses of vaccine are beneficial, I'm back to worrying about getting shingles at an age when I'm less able to cope.  Meanwhile someone made $179 off my fear.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Farmer, I'm Not

Last year a friend gave me a heritage tomato called a Bulls Heart. It's long like a Roma tomato but it's big and juicy and I really liked it.  He had indicated that I could save the seeds and grow my own this year. I looked on line and found out how to do that.  It's quite the procedure really, since tomato seeds have a gel coating on them that has to be dissolved first.

I followed the instructions and saved some seed, and this spring I planted them, half expecting they wouldn't germinate. But they did.  As far as I know they all did. The problem is, I put off planting them as I was waiting for a chance to get some soil. Then I found out it's better to plant them in a soil less mix, and I have pots full of that from previous plants I've brought home.  I dumped some of that into a lined basket and planted the seed in there. By then it was about a month later than they should have been growing.

Then I kept thinking I must transplant them into individual containers so they would have more room to grow. Once again, I wasn't doing the job when I should have been. They were growing long and leggy, but at least they were growing.  You can bury tomato plants part way up their stems if you like, and I did that when I finally got around to transplanting at least some of them. Oh yes, there are others still in the basket. I don't have room for them in the garden anyway, so if you have a spot for one, without a guarantee that there is even time to grow the thing to maturity, just say so.  First come, first served. Bring your own pot.

I still don't have the transplanted ones in my garden yet.  But at least they grew since I transplanted them, so they must be happy in their new environment.  At this point, I'm afraid that the very day I put one out in the garden some big rain storm will come and flatten the wee things down.  I would like a plant or two to actually produce at least one new tomato for me this year, so that I can try this again for next year. Hopefully I'll get my act in gear and do the planting and transplanting chores on time if given that second chance.

My store bought tomato plants in the garden, on the other hand, tripled in size this week with all the heat and rain.  Good thing they liked the weather as I have not been out to water them at all since the day I planted them. I'm no farmer, that's for sure.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rideau Lakes Studio and Garden Tour

Sunday's weather was perfect to go gallivanting so we took in the Rideau Lakes Studio and Garden Tour.  We started in Portland, at the studio of Michael Doxey.  I found his pieces interesting and not at all like everyone else makes. It was a good way to start the tour.

Next we visited, a woodworker, John Cochrane who had a wide variety of products on display. We got his card as he might just be the man to build me a coffee table that actually fits in the room someday.

Next door to John, Lorna an Dennis Hutton  displayed some lovely paintings. She does acrylics and watercolour, while he paints in acrylics and oil.  There is lots to see, and well worth the stop.

At a large brick farm house we found the functional pottery of Sherry Rogers and fine arts and quilts by Margaret Kelk.  The was another attraction there too.  Barn swallows had built a nest above the light on the front porch.  The mother was guarding the nest. People were directed to the side door. 

The next stop was at the studio of sculptor Doug MacDonald in Phillipsville.  I bought some little cement balls that held tea lights from him years ago.  I didn't see any of those on display this time, but when I mentioned them, someone brought a couple out. Today's version is much smoother than what I have, and not nearly as interesting to me, but if you are looking for a sculpted piece to hang on a wall, this is the place to stop.

John Shea is also on this tour, and is by far one of my favourite artists. We didn't go to his place as I've seen his work so many times and it was off the beaten track. We wanted to make sure we had time to get the rest of the stops in before closing time. Actually, I'm thinking we should have gone as I've never seen him in his home setting.  Oh well, maybe next time.
The garden at Barb and Jim Rowat's place is worth a visit, even if you are not into art. I remembered this was where we learned to put pieces of Irish Spring on garden stakes years ago, to ward off the deer. Apparently theirs have gotten used to the soap after 10 years, and it no longer works for them. There was actually a painting here that I was very tempted to take home with me.  Beautiful daisies, all in blue and white. Honestly, I simply don't have the wall space, or they would have sold that one to me!

Shaun Seaman's studio is also worth exploring.  It's a true cottage on Indian Lake.  His grounds are totally fascinating and a work of art on their own with various cement pathways leading down from the road to the cottage..

There was a jeweler there too, but she's not listed on the brochure, so I don't know who she was. She had some very interesting pieces there, and some of them were quite reasonably priced.

We stopped in at Eleanor Pinsonneault's Cedar's Art Studio at Chaffey's Locks.  The usual Chaffey's deer was grazing under the apple tree and a lady with a camera was in hot pursuit.

Our last stop of the day was at Roberta McKinney's weaving studio. She has several looms set up and gives classes.  The looms were currently set up to make tea towels, each one with a different pattern. The students make a towel, and then rotate to the next loom. By the end of the class season, they have all made 9 towels, each with a different pattern.  Her studio is located on the same piece of property occupied by the Loonie Sports Club.  This is quite an amazing facility to be found so far out in the boonies.  On this particular day painter Margaret Martin also had her work on display there.

It was a lovely day for a drive, and there was lots of exploring to do, so we really enjoyed our day.  The tour continues on Canada Day, so if you want to do something different, perhaps this will fit the bill.  Go have a great day.

Happy Canada Day everyone!