Grammies Garlic Oil

Disclaimer:  The instructions I offer here in this post (and in all my posts about herbs and home remedies) are what I use personally at home. Of course the standard disclaimer goes: I am not a Dr and don’t prescribe medicines or herbs, this is just what we have done here for generations with great results.

garlic oil




I’ve got an ear ache today and since I was out and about I thought I’d stop and get some garlic oil capsules. Then I remembered: I have HOMEMADE Garlic Oil in the frig at home! Yay!

I made it about 2 months ago. Other than someone eating a few cloves, its still there waiting for someone to need it. I sure do today.

Here’s how I made it and how I used it.

Peel enough garlic cloves to fill a half pint glass jar. If you don’t want to peel each one individually, try this:

Real Simple – How To Peel Garlic Cloves Quickly

Your Mileage May Vary.

After you get your half pint jar filled with peeled garlic, heat some olive oil. You’ll need a little less than a cup, a half pint holds one cup and the garlic will displace some of that. Don’t heat the oil to a boil, just get it hot to touch.

Pour the hot oil over the garlic. Let the jar cool to room temperature, put a lid on it and store it in the frig. If you store it at room temperature it will grow mold and junk.

It will be ready to use almost immediately but the longer you let it sit the stronger it gets.

To use it, spoon out a small amount of the now-congealed oil.  Let it melt.  Put about 3 drops in the affected ear followed by a cotton ball.

spoon of oil





I don’t recommend using this on babies or little children unless you’re sure your child won’t be bothered by it. Garlic oil tends to be very warm in the ear. Not burning but if there is inflammation in the ear, it could burn pretty badly when you put it in.

The wonderful thing about Garlic Oil is that it will kill bacteria both in your ear and in the rest of your body. When you feel yourself coming down with something, try taking garlic oil capsules or your homemade oil, about three times a day til you feel better. Or til someone asks if you’ve been eating at an Italian restaurant.





Homekeeping 101

Everyone needs a little help now and then. If you need some information and a bit of instruction on basic homekeeping duties or if you know someone who is newly married or planning on setting up housekeeping, check out my eBook,

“Homekeeping 101″

When printed off, in color, the Homekeeping 101 eBook makes a great gift!

homekeeping 101 print







Often today, women begin homekeeping without the luxury of already having the knowledge they need. They have to learn as they go, a little here and a little there.

Thirty years ago, when I became a wife and started keeping my own home, I was already prepared and had trained for my new career. My Mother and Grandmother taught me with diligence and care all the homemaking skills that I would need for this new era in my life.

Since I can’t come and teach you in person, this eBook will teach you some basic homekeeping skills. –Sylvia

My 21-page ebook covers these topics (and more!):

  • Help with Creating Routines for Cleaning Rooms
  • Cleaning Methods for Rooms
  • Bed-Making Tips and Methods
  • Basic Household Schedules
  • Natural Cleaners
  • Essential Oils: A Primer
  • Deep Cleaning Routines
  • Laundry Primer and Tips
  • Special Laundry Needs: Wool Care & Ironing
  • Caring for Rugs
  • Household Tips
  • Washing Dishes
  • Recipes — Roasting Chicken, Making Stock, Boiling Eggs, Homemade Crackers and more!
  • Tips for Cleanliness


Click here to purchase Homekeeping 101

How To Wash Dishes By Hand

Not sure about how to wash dishes by hand? Here is an easy primer from the CHK Homekeeping 101 eBook to get your started. Almost everyone has washed dishes by hand, but did you know that there is a method you can follow to make it more efficient and easier?   Here’s the method, its what I do ….    dishes
• Scrape all food from the dishes into the trash or other receptacle.
• Rinse off excess food from the dishes.
• Stack the dishes according to kind: plates, glasses, silverware, cups, etc.
• Make two sinks of water–one with soap at the hottest temperature you can stand on your hands, the other with clear, clean water for rinsing. Add a couple of teaspoons of bleach to the rinse water if desired.
• Make a place on a counter for clean dishes, preferably at the opposite side of the sink from the stacks of dirty dishes.
You will wash the least dirty dishes first and then move on to the most soiled ones. This keeps your dish water cleaner as you go.

If you have burned-on food, you may want to soak those pans or dishes while you are washing the others. Even if you don’t have an automatic dishwasher, it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of automatic dishwasher liquid on hand. Pour a little of this detergent on burned on foods and allow to soak. The burned food and carbon comes off very easily. Depending on how burned the food is, you may have to soak it for several hours. At any rate, it beats standing and scrubbing for hours!

Begin by washing plastic ware. Wash well and rinse. Let it sit to dry or towel it dry (children are very handy for the latter!). Next wash the glassware. Use a scotch-brite pad or other small cloth to wash the dishes.

Rub the outside and then the inside of the glass. Be careful not to put your hand so far down in the glass that it breaks. Get most of the bubbles os off the glass before rinsing. Rinse the glass in the rinse water by immersing it several times.

Place the glass on the prepared area and allow it to air dry if you have used bleach. Air drying allows the bleach’s disinfectant properties to kill bacteria. If you have not used bleach, your dishes can be dried immediately.

You may also rinse dishes in hot running water. It’s not possible to disinfect them this way, but it does do a good job of getting rid of streaks and takes away the trouble of refilling the rinse water when it is too soapy.

Next move to the cups, saucers and silverware. Be sure to clean between the tines of the forks well using your scotch-brite or cloth. Rinse as directed above. Wash the plates and serving platters next. Then move to the pans and cooking pans. Ideally, the pots and pans you have cooked in are washed as you are cooking and moving food from them into serving platters. “Clean as you go” is a great way to manage your kitchen.

Having the pots and pans already washed before dinner also gives you a break when it’s time to wash the dishes and you are tired.
If you have cast-iron, be sure to dry them completely before storing them. I like to dry them with a clean towel and then place them on a hot burner on the stove for a few minutes. When they are dry and hot, I rub some shortening into the inside and handle of the pan and continue to heat it for a few minutes. This gives the pan a quick seasoning and keeps it non-stick for longer.

If you have air-dried your dishes, you can put them away whenever they are completely dry. Don’t allow moisture to remain on the dishes though, mold and bacteria can grow. If you are going to towel dry your dishes, use a clean, absorbent, dry towel. Thoroughly dry the dishes and put them in their storage places.

Now wipe down the counter tops and behind the faucet. Use the dish water to clean the sinks. Wash out the sinks after you

scotch brite

let the water out, scrubbing the inside of the sink with your scotch-brite or cloth.

Wash out your cloth or scotch-brite with some bleach and water and place it in a small dish or other receptacle to dry. Dry the counter tops with your dish-drying towel and hang it to dry

The Wisdom To Survive

If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees on a ruined place,
Renewing it, enriching it,
If we will make our seasons welcome here,
Asking not too much of earth or heaven.
Then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live here,
Their houses strongly placed upon the valley sides,
Fields and gardens rich in the windows.
The river will run clear,
as we will never know it,
And over it, birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be green meadows,
Stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down the old forest,
An old forest will stand,
Its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have opened.
Families will be singing in the fields.
In their voices they will hear a music risen out of the ground.
They will take nothing from the ground they will not return,
whatever the grief at parting.
Memory, native to this valley,
will spread over it like a grove,
and memory will grow into legend,
legend into song, song into sacrament.
The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling light.
This is no paradise or dream.
Its hardship is its possibility.
Wendell Berry

Harvest Homekeeping Decorating Idea ~ Votive Holders

This is an old post but I brought it out because these little votive holders are so cute and easy to make!

All you need are some of those little gourds that look like pumpkins, a small sharp knife and a votive candle.


First cut off the top of the gourd. Hold your knife at an angle and cut into the gourd. Its a little tough so be careful.


Once you have the top cut off and the seeds and pulp cleaned out, check to see if you need to trim the inside of the cut out hole so that a votive will fit.


Once you have the top cut off and the seeds and pulp cleaned out, check to see if you need to trim the inside of the cut out hole so that a votive will fit.


You can use a small ice cream or dough scoop to clean the seeds and pulp out of the gourd.


Put your votive in the carved out gourd……


And light the candle. Try grouping several of these little beauties for a warm, inviting harvest table decoration.

You Can Decorate Your Home For Fall – Inexpensively







Do you decorate for Fall?  I do on a small scale. Mostly I use natural items that I find outdoors and things I have on hand. The main idea for Fall decorating is to bring warmth and comfort into your home.  Decorating doesn’t need to be expensive or trendy. The way you decorate should brighten your home and make you smile.








I remember decorating for Fall when I was a new bride. We lived in an apartment and I brought in some pine cones and evergreen twigs I picked up on the sidewalk on my way home from work one day. I placed the  cones and greenery in a wooden bowl and I had instant happiness.








Bring out the afghans!  Fall is the time to bring out fuzzy blankets, afghans and throw rugs. Use deep colors like red, orange and brown, yellow and rust. Tuck a flower arrangement under a desk or table, a small grouping or candles on a bookshelf for some unexpected color and cheer.








Put away all the objects of summer and bring in dried flowers, pine cones, drift wood, dry leaves, apples, berries, dried corn and pumpkins. I love to decorate with natural materials but it can be a beautiful idea to invest in some great looking artificial items to decorate with. Save your decor from year to year and add to your treasures as you can.








Something as simple as red apples in a wooden bowl is a beautiful addition to your holiday decor.








Dollar stores and Thrift stores are good places to look to find leaf shaped dishes, deep red and orange colored plates and candle holders for using in the Autumn.








And speaking of candles, what a wonderful way of adding warmth and beauty to your home, place candles around singly or in groups.







A lovely little candle holder can be made by hollowing out the center of one of those small pumpkin-shaped gourds. Just pop in a votive and you have a sweet little light.








Find some plastic “stained glass window” treatment at your local home store.  Then put some of it on a window that doesn’t have a great view. It will allow light in and warm up the room. Best thing about it: It can be removed and reused!









Look around your home and pull together things that remind you of Autumn. Use those things to decorate and add warmth to your home.  Be cure to check out the yard too for tall grasses, pine cones, pieces of interesting wood and rocks that you can bring in and incorporate into your decor.  An Autumn colored tablecloth can really dress up your dining areas.  To make an inexpensive table cloth, measure your table and purchase the appropriate amount of Autumn themed fabric.  Trim the edges with pinking shears or hem.

Glass containers filled with interesting items make a great decorating element.  Use nuts like walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and acorns to fill different sized containers and then group them for a beautiful Fall arrangement.







This is one of my glass chickens surrounded by a berry wreath. It’s one of my most colorful and favorite Fall decorations.


Add a vine or a base of dried leaves to a pumpkin for an instant centerpiece or consider purchasing handpainted, manufactured pumpkins like these from Piper Classics


Have fun decorating your home for Fall!

Start Planning Now For An Easy Thanksgiving

Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving. Good food, family, friends, beautiful leaves, and crisp cool weather. We created this eBook to offer you ideas for preparing your heart and home for a blessed Thanksgiving. –Sylvia   tgplanner

Our 44-page Thanksgiving Planner includes:

  • Brief History of Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving Games
  • 4-Week Thanksgiving Planner and Devotionals
  • Article: “The Danger of Unmet Expectations”
  • Devotional: “Renew My Strength, Lord”
  • Devotional: “Holy Living”
  • Sylvia’s Turkey Tips
  • Instructions for Brining a Turkey
  • Recipes ~ both Family Favorite Recipes and Whole Food, Allergy-Friendly Recipes
  • Harvest Crafts and Home Decor Ideas

Get my Thanksgiving Ebook here

Fast And Furious Fall Cleaning ~ Master Bedroom

Today is the last day of Fast And Furious Fall Cleaning, I hope you’ve gotten some encouragement and motivation here at CHK. Today we’ll clean the ……

Master Bedroom

These are the essentials of a thorough cleaning and de-cluttered/organized bedroom. If your Master Bedroom doesn’t need a thorough decluttering, consider using the Bedroom Cleaning System included in this post.

First – Take down curtains and wash them if you are able. If you cannot wash them, hang them outside to air. Be sure not to hang them in full sun if you think they may fade.

Second – Strip the bed linens and put them in to wash or in the laundry room.
Turn the mattress if you are able….. but don’t hurt yourself for goodness sake!

Third – Hang up and put away all clothes or laundry. If there are clothes that need to be put in someone elses room, do it. If there are clothes that need to be stored, store them. If there are clothes that need to go to Good -Will, take them!

If you just don’t have any way to store those clothes, get rid of some of them! Why do you need all those clothes?

Fourth – Get yourself three baskets, boxes or bags. Label these containers:

Throw Away
Give Away
Put Away

Walk around your room and put everything that you don’t want in the room in one of these boxes.

When this is done…

Find a fourth box…. put all your trinkets, doo-dads and nicnacs that you are going to keep in this box (think about getting rid of some of these! ). Put your alarm clock, pictures, wall decor, everything that will stay in the room. Place this box in the dining room or kitchen. You can enlist a child to dust and clean these items or save this for yourself for later.

Fifth – Pull everything out of the closet. Oh yes, the closet. Pull it all OUT. All of it. Everything. Now go through it quickly and put each item in one of your four boxes. Hang up clothes and sort them into the boxes quickly. Don’t take too much time with this. If you have not worn the item in 2 years, toss it or give it away.

If an item you pull out of your closet does not belong in the closet, if the closet is not where you really should store it, then move it to its rightful place. If you don’t have anywhere else for this item, then its rightful place is the closet. Only you know…

Dust, sweep and clean the inside of the closet. Rehang the clothes. Arrange the contents of the closet that are going back in it, correctly and neatly.

Sixth – Clean out from under the bed. Pull it all out, divide the under-bed contents into your four boxes. Sweep and mop under the bed when everything is moved out from under it. Take this opportunity to go through any storage bins you have under the bed. Throw out what you don’t need, organize and label the rest.

There are lots of good ideas for under-bed storage. Those bed risers that I talk about every year are really a handy thing to have. Using bed risers can give you up to 10 inches of space to store things. They cost about $ 8.95 – $14.95 for four of them. This is one of the best investments for the household I have ever made. I bought mine at Linen’s and Things but these at Amazon are very similar. Plastic Bed Risers – Set of 4

Flat plastic boxes are great for under the bed too.

Seventh – We’re on the home stretch! Dust the ceilings, tops of windows and door frames, and walls. If you walls are dirty and you want to wash them, go for it! Use a mild detergent or soap and warm water if you have painted walls. If you have wallpaper, you will want to use a barely damp sponge and a drying towel. Work from the top of the wall down to the floor. If you have carpet, cover it!

Now to the Nitty Gritty Cleaning of the Room:

*Wash the windows. Use my homemade window cleaner or what ever you have on hand. Use newspaper to dry them for a streak free shine!
*Clean up the window frames now and dry them well.
*Clean the baseboards with a soapy solution of mild dish soap and warm water or your natural cleaner
*Dust all furniture. Use lemon oil or orange oil on all wood. Use a mild soap and warm water on other furniture according to what its made of. Wash doilies and table covers.
*If you haven’t yet cleaned the nicnacs and needful items that go in your room go do that now. When they are cleaned, replace them where they go in the room.
*Think about adding a doilie or a table skirt to soften the room. Think about what you use to make the room a pleasant place to be with your husband or just to go to relax.
*Press and rehang your curtains.
*Sweep, vacuum and mop the floor depending on what you need to do. If your floors are hard, use which ever chemicals you have success with. I use a wood soap on my hardwood and then a wood shiner product made by Glade. Sometimes I even use orange oil on the floors and rub them to a deep shine. You must rub the wood very vigorously so that it won’t be slick!
*Dress the bed. Its getting to be cooler here in the US so dress your bed in sheets and two quilts OR with one quilt and one blanket. Think about getting a skirt to hide the under bed contents. I found a white cotton one at Good Will for $3.49 !
*Replace rugs

Light a candle and enjoy! :)

fall_cupFor each room we have worked on this week, I have a Room Cleaning system. I often type up and print out these systems and hang them where they can be seen in each room for cleaning day. Its really helpful to have a system for cleaning each room if you’re new to homemaking or if you have older children helping you who need to be reminded of what to do in each room.  Feel free to add and take away specific cleaning duties in each room until you get a System that works for you. Here is an example of my Bathroom Cleaning System.

Bedroom Cleaning System

Take up rugs, shake and launder if needed.

Pick up clothes, put away.

Pick up everything that is out of place and put it away.

Dust furniture and nicnacs.

Organize dresser tops, table tops.

Sweep or vacuum.

Mop if needed.

Make bed.

Replace rugs.


Tidy Idies For the Master Bedroom:

Try not to begin the habit of using your Master Bedroom as a storage room with boxes of stuff everywhere and clothes thrown across the bed.

*Organize as you go. Pick up and deal with clutter daily.

*Check to see if any casters or rubber floor protectors are needed under the feet of the bed, dressers, etc. Metal frame beds can be especially harsh on wood floors.

*If you store items under the bed using a bed skirt/ruffle will usually hide them.
Make a storage list for items in storage bins that you store under the bed. Put the list in each bin. That way you know what’s under there and you don’t have to go on a digging expedition for anything.

*Are their items in your dresser that should be hung instead of folded?

*Closets. Everything should have a place, even if it’s in (well labeled) storage bins/containers.
Consider a “closet makeover”. Closets don’t have to look like a dumping ground. They can be painted or papered, organized and neat. The more time you take that first time to make your closets user friendly and attractive the better you’ll do at upkeep.

*The 20 Minute Tidy is a way to keep the Master Bedroom clean. Just a few minutes a day can add up to big changes.

Here are a few more tidbits you might find useful from Deborah Tukua’s book, Pearls of Country Wisdom: Hints from a Small Town on Keeping Garden and Home

~An upright trunk makes a great bedside table and provides an inside storage space of 3 feet deep.
~Dresser drawers stick? Rub a moist bar of soap across the runners to help it glide easier.
~Has the life gone out of your mattress? No money for a new one? Extend the life of your mattress by purchasing an egg crate foam mattress covering. It’s much cheaper than buying a new mattress, usually around $12.00, yet adds plush comfort to your bedding for at least another year.