Baby it's cold outside! Simple wintertime hacks

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Brrr! While I do mostly loathe Missouri’s hot, humid summers, I wasn’t quite ready for frigid temps and snow. The tiny taste of winter we got earlier in the week prompted me to start prepping for cold weather. The to-do list will ready you for the wintry days ahead. Best to be safe than sorry, my mom always said.

At home

• Now’s the time to sort through that stockpile of winter gear to check for missing items and outerwear that no longer fits. Donate what you can’t use to a charity of your choice or someone in need. Make any needed repairs to your items and put everything in a handy place the whole family can access.

• Old socks make great makeshift mittens and can also be pulled over shoes/boots for added traction on snow and ice.

In the car

• If you commute to school or work, it’s always a good idea to keep a change of clothes and extra essentials in your car for winter emergencies. Necessary medication, a little emergency cash and a flashlight are a good start. There are also many brands of inexpensive pre-packed auto emergency kits available and make great gifts for the drivers in your life. Toss in a couple bottles of water and some granola bars too.

• Those old socks you were going to toss can be slipped over your windshield wipers after you raise the blades during inclement weather. I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t use the socks on your wipers while driving, only while parked. The socks will prevent ice build up on the blades and save you some hassle later.

• Home improvement guru, Bob Vila has a quick and easy recipe for homemade de-icer (recipe below). I’ve used it and it does work, maybe not as efficiently as store-bought versions, but it does the trick. I find the homemade de-icer works best for me as a pre weather windshield spray. It creates a thin barrier which prevents some ice/snow from sticking too heartily. Give it a try. If nothing else, keep a bottle in your trunk just for emergencies.

At the office

• I keep a couple of bottles of de-icer and a scraper in my desk drawer just in case the weather turns icy while I’m at work. That bottle or can in your trunk will do no good if your trunk is frozen shut and you can’t get to it.

• A few shelf stable foods/snacks stashed in your desk will help tide you over if you get stuck at the office due to the weather. Don’t forget to throw in an extra cell phone charger too.

• Depending on the weather forecast, I will carry a pair of boots into the office with me just in case. If the snow and ice fall, I’m prepared.

Homemade de-icer

Fill a spray bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol to one part of water. Add 1/2 tsp. of liquid dish soap for every 2 cups. Shake well. Be sure to label the bottle so it won’t be mistaken for plain water.

Area events

• Saturday, 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Christmas Craft Bazaar, Broseley Senior Community Center. 7-10 a.m. breakfast served, biscuits, gravy and sausage; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. lunch, chili dogs and potato soup. Vendor booths open at 9 a.m. Handmade crafts, clothing, quilts, bake sale and so much more.

Whatever you choose, have some fun checking off your own to-do list this weekend.

Email suggestions for the to-do list to or write to me at Daily American Republic, c/o To-Do List, PO Box 7, Poplar Bluff MO 63902.

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