Around the house
* Create a valentine centerpiece. Make sugar cookie dough and use heart-shaped cutters to cut out cookies. Can also use small heart cookie cutters from toy play-oven sets. Pierce hole in top of hearts before baking. When cookies are cool, thread with red satin ribbon and hang on a sturdy plant or a small tree branch supported in plaster inside a flower pot.
* Whenever a freshly baked cheesecake cracks, don't despair. Simply fill openings with chocolate syrup and then pour more syrup over the top of the entire cake. Garnish edges of cake with mounds of whipped cream.
* Keep drains from clogging. Once a week, pour 1 cup baking soda into sink drain, followed by 1 cup of cider vinegar and 1 pint of boiling water.
* Remove spots from non-washable wall coverings by rubbing walls gently with art gum. The dough-type cleaner is available in hardware and art supply stores.
* Clean stove burners. Use a toothbrush dipped in ammonia and water to scrub till grease-free. A toothpick will free clogged holes.
* Remove water marks from wood furniture. Place a clean, thick blotter over stains and press with a warm iron until marks disappear. Rewax and polish area.
In the garden
* Keep cactus plants in a cool room. Do not water through February to allow for the formulation of flowers later in the season. A small amount of water may be needed to keep the tissues from shriveling.