All posts by dlstewart

My books, Mist-Seer (fantasy) and Harriet's Horrible Hair Day (children's picture book), are available from Amazon.com and other bookstores. I enjoy a variety of interests: reading, computers, gardening, baking, quilting and have fun learning new things. I live in Massachusetts with an adorable (but very bossy) cat. I also create quilting clipart, which is free from my website. You can find my quilt block clipart at: http://dlstewart.com/clipart.htm Join me on Twitter. My name is DawnWrites, and the URL is http://twitter.com/DawnWrites Thank you for reading my reviews!

Low Profile and Accurate – Brecknell Digital Postal Scale

Brecknell Electronic Postal Scale – Model # 311


(5/5)


Pros: Tare, auto-off feature, comes with batteries, compact, lightweight, easy to operate

Cons: optional AC adapter not included

We needed a new postal scale at work.  All it had to do was accurately weigh items.  No fancy bells or whistles; I didn’t even need to know the amount of postage required.  I also wanted scale that didn’t hog desk space.  After some research, I bought the Brecknell Electronic Postal Scale – Model # 311.


Description

The Brecknell scale is termed “low profile” since it sits low on a flat surface.  Overall measurements are 9 1/2” x 7” x 1 1/2” high.  A round base measuring 5 3/4″ is the weighing area   Three push-button controls are to the right of the LCD display.  The LCD shows the weight in pounds and ounces or in kilograms and grams.  The scale will weigh items up to 11 pounds.  Four AA batteries are included.  Note that this scale does not come with an AC adapter, though there is a port for one.  It comes with a slim instruction pamphlet in multiple languages.  No calibration is needed at setup.

My Experiences


This Brecknell scale is simple to use and works well for us.  I placed it on my desk so that it is in a central location for anyone to use.  If needed, the scale is slim enough to fit in one of my desk drawers.  Since one of my job duties is to handle mailings and shipping, this scale comes in handy.  The scale is well constructed and sturdy.

The scale is also lightweight and easy to move if needed.  It is one piece with the battery compartment located on the bottom.  It was convenient that it came with four AA batteries.  I like that this scale has an off button to conserve battery power.  It also has an auto-off feature as a power-save backup.  When the batteries need replacement, the scale displays the letters LLLLL.  I’ve been using this scale for quite a while and have not had to change the batteries.

The three press-buttons include the off button, the On/Tare button, and a button to switch between pounds and kilograms.   For those who are not familiar with tare … the term refers to the weight of an empty container (ex: shipping box).  The scale weighs the empty container, and then the weight of the container with the goods being shipped inside it so that the actual weight of the goods can be determined.


I wasn’t sure how often we would use the tare feature, but several of our departments find it handy.  Place an empty container on the scale (such as a box).   Press the On/Tare button.  The scale then shows zero, eliminating the container weight.  Fill the container with the goods being shipped and place on the scale.  The net weight of the item is displayed on the LCD screen.  Remove everything from the scale, and the display shows a negative weight.  Press the On Tare button again to remove the tare weight and to return the scale to zero.

We find this scale accurate.  It was also one of the more affordable electronic scale options. The LCD numbers are large at 1-inch high.  The numbers are easiest to read when viewing them head-on; however, they are also easy to read if one is a bit to the left or right of the display.  Should you need an AC adapter, the instructions say it takes a 6-volt DC, 100 mA with center positive.

I’ve kept the scale clean by simply dusting it.  Should something spill on the scale, do not soak it, which can cause a short circuit.  The manufacturer recommends spraying a mild soap solution onto a cloth to wipe down the equipment.


Summary

This Brecknell Electronic Postal Scale was a great purchase.  Affordable, it is accurate and easy to use, plus the compact size fits on my desk.   I like that the design is slim, and the machine is lightweight.  Everyone who has used this scale is happy with it.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy the day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2016 Dawn L. Stewart

   

                                 

Best Mouse Pad I’ve Used – Fun Designs Too

NatureSmart Allsop Mouse Pad – Raindrop

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: excellent mouse movement, ultra-thin mouse pad, soft cloth surface, non-skid backing

Cons: some people might want more cushioning in their mouse pad

 

A coworker walking by my desk proclaimed my mouse pad needed replacing.  I noticed it was looking worn.  Since my desk is in a visible area, I decided I needed a mouse pad update.  That is how I came to discover and use the NatureSmart Allsop Mouse Pad in the raindrop design.  It was a tough decision deciding, too, since so many mouse pad designs are available.

Description

This NatureSmart Allsop mouse pad is very thin with a non-skid underside and a soft cloth surface.  The manufacturer states that its glue-fee assembly does not use or create harmful chemicals.  Plus, the non-skid base is constructed from 60-percent recycled materials.  The mouse pad is also made from all natural rubber.  Mouse pad dimension for 8” x 8.75”.

My Experiences

This is the best mouse pad I’ve used.  I love that the pad is ultra-thin.  The way the surface of my desk aligns with the computer chair, the thinness of the mouse pad does not lift my wrist from the desk.  No more uncomfortable angles from a foam mouse pad that sits too high.

There is no cushioning in this mouse pad.  The cloth surface is smooth and very soft, but it does not provide a cushioned wrist wrest if this is something you need.  The pad is very thin and flat.

The black non-skid backing grips the wooden desk surface very well.  To shift the mouse pad, I need to lift a corner of the mouse pad before I can move it.  I like that the pad doesn’t shift beneath my hand as I’m using the mouse.

I’m using a Logitech cordless mouse, and it easily glides along the pad surface.  There is no hesitation or “jumping” in cursor movement.

The raindrop design is well done.  It almost comes across as a 3D image.  The blue color is vivid, and the design of raindrops against the blue surface is eye-appealing.  If raindrops are not your thing, NatureSmart has a lot of designs to select from.  They also offer the mouse pads in a few different sizes.  This 8” x 8.75” size works great in my space.

This mouse pad is more environmentally friendly than some other options.  It is constructed from all natural rubber.  The product packaging is made with a minimum of 50-percent recycled material.  Even the non-skid backing on the mouse pad is made from 60-percent recycled material.  In addition, mouse pad  construction does not use glue or create harmful chemicals.

Summary

This NatureSmart Allsop Mouse Pad was inexpensive and a great buy.  I’m really pleased with the quality of the mouse pad and how well it works with my mouse.  I find that this flatter mouse pad is more comfortable than my last one, too.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Other NatureSmart Allsop Mouse Pad Designs
Click to view on Amazon

                                                   

Keeping this Woman Healthy — One-A-Day Petites Multivitamin

One-A-Day Women’s Petites Complete Multivitamin

(5/5)

Pros: small size for easier swallowing, calcium and Vitamin D fortified

Cons: serving size is two tablets a day (if this matters to you)

For a long time I was using a multivitamin that I really liked.  However, the vitamin became difficult to find in local stores and even hard to locate online.  Since I needed a new vitamin, I decided to select a smaller, easier to swallow multivitamin.  I chose One-A-Day Women’s Petites Complete Multivitamin.

Description

Each plastic bottle contains 160 tablets.  The package states these vitamins are formulated to support bone and heart health and immunity.  The manufacturer (Bayer) designed One-A-Day Women’s Petites Complete Multivitamin purposely as a smaller size pill for easier swallowing.  They do not add any gluten to their vitamin products; however, they cannot guarantee the raw materials are gluten-free.  It is recommended to take One-A-Day vitamins with food.

My Experiences

I started taking One-A-Day Petites Multivitamins last year, and they are working well enough that I keep purchasing them.

A great selling feature of the vitamin (for me) is its small size, which makes them easier to swallow than other multivitamins I’ve taken.  Each vitamin is an oval shape; a smidgeon larger than my pinkie fingernail.  The pale orange color is distinctive, so I don’t easily confuse it with another vitamin or pill.

My doctor emphasizes the value of calcium and Vitamin D to his patients. So I appreciate that these multivitamins are strong with calcium and Vitamin D.  The combination is important since Vitamin D helps the body better absorb calcium.

One thing people may not care for is that the package says to take two of these One-A-Day vitamins for a complete serving.  Rather ironic for a brand name “one a day” to require “two a day” of this vitamin.  Still, the smaller tablet size is easier to swallow, so I don’t mind taking two of these vitamins.  Also, I don’t notice any taste or aftertaste when I take these pills.

The vitamins do not have a hard-shell coating.  So once moistened, the tablets become a bit sticky.  I swallow the tablets just like I would aspirin, with a drink to wash each tablet down.  Once a tablet fell out of my mouth before I could swallow it (clumsy me!), and the tablet landed on my clothing.  Since the tablet was moist, it left a bit of residue on my clothes … but the residue washed out fine.

I’m assuming these vitamins are working well.  The doctor is pleased with my health, and I feel terrific.

Ingredients

These ingredients are from the manufacturer’s website:
Calcium Carbonate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Ascorbic Acid, Ferrous Fumarate; Less than 2% of: Beta-Carotene, Biotin, Cholecalciferol, Chromium Chloride, Croscarmellose Sodium, Cupric Oxide, Cyanocobalamin, DCalcium Pantothenate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, FD&C Blue #2 Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Lake, FD&C Yellow #6 Lake, Folic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Niacinamide, Phytonadione, Polyethylene Glycol, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Selenite, Stearic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Titanium Dioxide (color), Vitamin A Acetate, Zinc Oxide.

One-A-Day Women’s Petites Complete Multivitamins contain: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B6, B12, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium (elemental), Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium.

Summary

I will definitely buy more One-A-Day Women’s Petites Complete Multivitamin.  The size is easy to swallow, and the vitamins are working great for me.  If you have any questions about this product, please visit the manufacturer’s website for complete information.  They also have an application that helps pinpoint which One-A-Day vitamin best matches your needs.

Note that this review is to share my experiences; it is not meant as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your health.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Click image to view on Amazon.

Weekly Pill Organizer               Monthly Pill Organizer
                             

Ultra Pill Splitter                               Multiple Pill Splitter
                       

They Work! – Easy Install Monkey Hook Hangers

Monkey Hook Hangers – Heavy-Duty

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: no tools required, simple to install, creates small hole, each hook holds 50 pounds

Cons: not designed to anchor into wall studs (if this is important to you)

We had a large, very heavy whiteboard to mount on the wall.  I felt trapped in a joke …. How many engineers does it take to install a whiteboard?  Ideas, disputes, levels, measuring tapes, more discussion.  Finally someone said, “Monkey Hooks!”  That is how I became involved with using these Heavy Duty Monkey Hooks.

Description

Monkey Hooks are designed to hang wall-mounted items in drywall.  The hooks are constructed from steel and have a unique curve to them.  The tip of the hook, which enters the wall, has a sharp tip.  No tools are needed to use this product.  All you need is firm hand-pressure to insert the hook.  Each Monkey Hook is advertised to hold up to 50 pounds.

Our Experiences

We had been procrastinating the whiteboard project.  The board is huge and heavy, and no one wanted to tangle with the job of how best to hang it on the wall.  Our engineers pooled together for discussion during lunch, and one person mentioned how they had helped a relative hang heavy items using Monkey Hooks.  He had never seen the product in action before then, and he was impressed with the results.  He convinced us with this enthusiasm for the product, so we bought a package of Heavy Duty Monkey Hooks.

Since each hook is rated to hold 50 pounds, two hooks will hold 100 pounds.  We used two hooks for our wall-mounting project.  The most difficult part of the procedure was determining the board was level and where to place the hooks.  A measuring tape and level solved the problem.  Since the board was so heavy, we required several people to support the board while the best position for the hooks was determined.

The hooks are super easy to use.  The pointed end is pressed into the wall and twisted a bit, almost like drilling a pilot hole to ease the hook insertion.  Simply determine where you want the hook placed and use steady hand pressure, along with a twisting motion to slide the hook through the drywall.  When the hook is fully inserted, about a 1/2-inch upright metal piece is left extended from the wall.  This 1/2-inch hook is where the item is hung from.  No tools are necessary.  After all that discussion and dithering, we had the whiteboard hung in minutes.  The hooks are holding the weight with ease.

One thing to consider: These hooks are meant to slide directly into drywall.  They are not intended to be inserted into a wall stud.  Before inserting the Monkey Hooks, make sure a wall stud is not located where the hooks is being installed.

Suggested uses for these hooks are to hang wall-mounted items such as photographs, framed artwork, mirrors, home décor items.  We successfully hung a large whiteboard with ease.

Summary

I would definitely purchase these Heavy Duty Monkey Hooks again.  I like that no wall stud is needed since the hooks are designed to even distribute weight across the wall surface.  Just insert the Monkey Hook into the drywall by pressing and twisting.  The hooks hold a lot of weight and are incredibly simple to use.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Click on image to view product on Amazon.

Monkey & Gorilla Hook Combo Pack                   Monkey Hook 4-Pack
                                                           Monkey Hook — Home & Office              Cast Iron Monkey Tail Hook                                            

Protects and Moisturizes – Jason Aloe Vera Hand and Body Lotion

Jason Pure Natural Aloe Vera 84% Moisturizing Hand and Body Lotion

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: non-greasy moisturizer, rich botanical composition, light fragrance

Cons: don’t expect it to heal all skin conditions

I had never heard of the Jason brand of hand and body lotion until a relative gifted me with several tubes in different scents.  My favorite lotion is this Jason Pure Natural Aloe Vera 84% Moisturizing Hand and Body Lotion.

Description

Jason lotion comes in a squeezable 8-ounce tube.  The tube has a flip-top lid.  The lid is flat so that the tube can stand upright on a flat surface.  This product is advertised as having a concentrated, rich botanical, hydrating non-greasy formula.  It is promoted as a relief to newly shaven, dry, or irritated or sun-damaged skin.  Jason also never tests their products on animals.

The manufacturer suggests using the lotion on skin that is still slightly damp after a shower or bath.  Suggested daily use is recommended.

My Experiences

My sensitive nose is very happy with the scent of this Jason Aloe Vera lotion.  The fragrance is light and almost a non-fragrance.  I can’t compare it to any one thing.  It is not flowery and does not have a perfume smell.  The scent (light as it is) is pleasant and quickly dissipates after the lotion is applied.

The white lotion easy comes out of the tube without being too liquid.  I mainly use this lotion on my legs, which tend toward dry skin.  If I don’t use lotion, it doesn’t take long for my skin to develop a dry, irritated itching.  The Jason Aloe Vera lotion easily absorbs into the skin.  As advertised, it is not greasy, and it leaves no residue.

I definitely notice my skin is happier after applying this lotion.  I use it daily, sometimes twice a day (morning and evening).  It does a great job keeping my skin hydrated.  Don’t think this lotion is a miracle worker though.  I have a rough patch of flaking skin on my thumb, and my hands are smoothed with this lotion as it is worked into the legs … yet that rough patch of skin on my thumb is still there.  My skin feels soft on both hands and legs; even that rough spot.  So I know the lotion is working well.  It’s just not a miracle healer, but it isn’t advertised as one either.

Ingredients

The ingredients list is from the manufacturer’s website:

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (1), Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (1), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum) — (1) Certified Organic Ingredient

Summary

I enjoy using Jason Pure Natural Aloe Vera 84% Moisturizing Hand and Body Lotion.  The scent is mild, and the lotion is easy to apply.  It absorbs well into the skin, and my skin feels better after I use it.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Other products I enjoy using.  Click image to view on Amazon.

GNC Moisturizing Cream                      Aveeno Natural Sunscreen
                                                  

One-A-Day Petite Multivitamin                Os-cal Chewable Calcium 
                                                      

This Cat is Eating Fancy – Feasting on Salmon Primavera

Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: pleasing mix of fish, vegetables and greens for the cat – small pieces in a sauce

Cons: a bit more expensive than “bargain” cat foods

My cat insists on greens in his diet, and it seems his digestion does better when I incorporate greens into his meal plan.  One way to make him happy is feeding him Fancy Feast Wild Salmon Primavera from the Elegant Medleys line.  Sounds like he eats better than I do!

Description

Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera is packaged in a metal can with a pop-top lid.  The can has a distinctive green tint to it in keeping with their “can greens” advertising.  Each can contains three ounces of food.

Our Experiences

Our morning routine begins with the cat trampolining off my slumbering body.  If that doesn’t grab my attention, he persistently inserts his head beneath my sprawled arm: “Kitty wants pets now!”  And if that doesn’t roll me out of bed and onto my feet, I soon feel whiskers tickling my nose, and slanting an eye open reveals a feline face a quarter-inch from mine.  Since this completely freaks me out every time, I don’t know why he doesn’t start with that maneuver.

Once I’m mobile and have successfully been herded to the kitchen, the cat begins wrapping himself around my ankles.  I tell him that my landing in a heap on the floor won’t feed him faster.  Not that trying to talk commonsense to a determined feline wins me more floor space.  All these antics are his gambit to more quickly gain his wet food with greens.

One of his favorite wet foods is Fancy Feast Wild Salmon Primvaera.  I treat the wet food as a bonus addition to his main staple of dry food.  I divide the small can in half, giving him half the food and saving the other half for the next day.

I spoon the food onto a saucer.  For a small can, a half-can portion provides a generous serving for the cat.  He is an adult male cat who enjoys both his wet and dry foods.

The salmon primavera is packed in a sauce.  For the most part, the pieces are small and rarely need chopping into finer bits.  This meal is definitely not chunky.  The cat food ingredients with the fish, vegetables and greens are mixed well together.  Looking at the food, I can see bits of the greens and carrots.  There is no obvious odor to the food.

I leave the saucer of food on the floor near his dishes.  In the morning, he dives into eating the food but rarely finishes his half-can serving.  However , throughout the day, he returns to eat until the dish is clean.  He has no trouble eating this food since the pieces are small enough for easy consumption.  I keep the leftover can of food covered and on the counter at room temperature.  The cat is just as happy eating the food the second day.

Ingredients

These ingredients are from the manufacturer’s web site:

Fish Broth, Salmon, Wheat Gluten, Liver, Tomatoes, Carrots, Meat By-Products, Spinach, Corn Starch-Modified, Chicken, Artificial And Natural Flavors, Salt, Added Color (Red 3 And Other Color), Calcium Phosphate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Corn Oil, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity), Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide


Summary

Even though this Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera is more expensive than “bargain” cat foods, I know he will eat it and enjoy his special meal.  Sometimes I buy the food in bulk to save money.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Great pet products in our home.  Click image to view on Amazon.

Fancy Feast Florentine Variety Pack                 JW SoftGrip Cat Comb
                                                   

Fancy Feast Primavera Variety Pack         SmartyKat Organic Catnip
                                                     

A Green Treat – Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats

Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats – Deep Sea Tuna

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: nutritional formula, no soy – corn – artificial colors or flavors, re-sealable package

Cons: mild scent may bother some people

My cat is a huge fan of eating greens, whether the greens are cat grass, mixed in with cat food, or part of his treats.  When I saw these Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats, I had a feeling my cat would love them.

Description

These cat treats come in a re-sealable three-ounce packet.  Pet Greens Deep Sea Tuna flavor contains no corn, no wheat gluten, no soy, no artificial colors or flavors.  The product is advertised as a cat treat with healthy greens.  The treats are circular (a dark brown color) and contain wheat grass.   This product is made in the USA.

Recommended Serving:
8 Treats – cats at 10 pounds
up to 12 Treats – for cats 10-plus pounds

Our Experiences

My adult male cat loves his greens.  His favorite foods and treats have greens incorporated into them.  So when I saw these natural “green” treats on Amazon at a bargain price, I decided to buy some.

Most of the treats I buy the cat are of the hard variety in order to help scrape his teeth clean for dental hygiene.  These particular treats are semi-most.  If I place one of the small discs between my fingers, they are soft enough to squeeze flat with a bit of finger pressure.  The cat has no problem chewing or swallowing them.

In case you are wondering, there is a bit of odor to the Deep Sea Tuna flavored treats.  The scent reminds me of fish and an alfalfa mix.  The smell is not overpowering, and it certainly doesn’t stop me from opening the package to dispense the treats to one prancing feline.  He becomes over-excited at the prospect of goodies that contain greens, and he knows the treats I buy contain them.  He also doesn’t care if the treats are served on a dish or placed on the floor.

The cat loves these Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats.  He doesn’t hesitate to dive into chowing them down with gusto.  Not a single treat remains on the floor.  Speaking of treat quantity, I only place about a half-dozen (6) treats on the floor at a time.  The package lists a greater quantity as a serving size, but placing the six treats on the floor works well for us.  He receives something special to munch, and no treats are left uneaten.

Ingredients

Tuna, Rice Flour, Chicken, Barley Flour, Vegetable Glycerine, Maple Syrup, Whole Ground Potatoes, Ground Wheat Grass Powder, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Phosphoric Acid, Dried Cheddar Cheese, Tapioca Starch,  Natural Flavor, Salt, Fish Oil, (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, preserved with Sorbic Acid and Mixed Tocopherols.

Crude Protein: Min 10-percent / Crude Fat: Min 4-percent / Crude Fiber: Max 2-percent / Moisture: Max 34-percent.

Summary

I like that these Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats are free from soy, corn and wheat gluten, with no artificial colors or flavors.  It is a comfort knowing they are also made in the United States of America.  The cat loves the flavor of these treats and is delighted to do his part in eating them!

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Pet products we like.  Click image to view on Amazon.

Feline Greenies Dental Treats              Smarty Kat Organic Catnip

                                 

Friskies Cat Food with Greens                   Multi-Surface Cat Scratcher

                                 

Replacing Screen in a Window with Phifer Spline

Phifer Spline .160 x 25-feet

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: one bag finished two screen door windows, durable and flexible spline, how-to instructions on bag

Cons: a spline roller needs to be purchased separately to install the spline

Lesson One – Not every screen window uses the same size spline to hold the screen in the frame.  Pet Peeve – Why are there so many different sizes of spline!  Two of the three screens I needed to replace used one size of spline, while the other needed a different size.  That is how I came to buy Phifer Spline (.160 x 25-feet).

Description

The plastic bag holds 25-feet of this flexible spline.  The spline resembles a rubbery piping that fits into the channel (groove) of a window frame to hold the screen in place.  The .160 size is not the smallest diameter spline, nor is it the largest.  If you aren’t sure of the spline size, remove a piece of the old spline from the window frame and take it with you to a hardware store.  A nice thing about the Phifer spline is that the bag has an “actual size” graphic of the spline, so if you place the end of the spline you brought against the image, you can see if the spline will be the right size.  The back of the bag includes step-by-step instructions for re-screening.

My Experiences

Having re-screened a sliding door, I was pleased that replacing the screen in a window was easier.  Both the front and back door screens had holes in them.  At first I thought I could use the same size Phifer spline that I used in the door … but, no, the windows required a larger spline size.  The spline needs to fit snuggly into the groove in order to hold the screen in place.

The door screens are larger than my house window screens.  One bag of the .160 spline finished both windows with hardly any left over.  I had watched a YouTube video so that I could visualize the steps in the screening process.  Simple!

First I removed the old spline from the window frame.  I was then able to pull the old screen free. The aluminum door frame was dirty, so I cleaned it with some spray cleanser.  The old screen was metal, and I was replacing it with a fiberglass screen.  Using masking tape, I affixed the screen door (with the groove up) on the work table.  I rolled out the screen, and taped it to the frame before cutting the screen from the roll (make sure to leave a few inches of screen overlapping the window groove).

Next comes the Phifer spline.  I started at the bottom right of the screen, laying the spline along the groove.  You will need a spline roller to push the spline into the grooved channel.  The spline roller is plastic and looks like a rotary cutter.  It has a handle so that the wheel runs inside the groove to push the flexible spline in place.  I gently rounded the spline around each corner of the window frame, using the tool to push the spline in place as I worked around the frame.  When I neared my starting point, I laid the spline along the groove and cut it to size, and then used the roller to push the spline into position.  I used the edge of a flat-head screwdriver to gently press the spline into the four corners, since the roller couldn’t roll all the way to the frame edge.  The last step was to use a utility knife to slice the extra screen from the frame, being careful not to slice the screen now covering the window opening.

Summary

I liked using Phifer spline.  It is constructed from a durable material that was flexible and easy to work with.  One bag of spline finished both windows.  Note that the spline does not come with a roller, so you will have to separately purchase the spline roller.  Another project done!

Enjoy the day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Click to view product on Amazon:

Spline Roller                           Spline Roller                             Spline Roller
            Screen Kit with Roller                   Clear Advantage Replacement Kit
                               

Best Cat Grooming Tool – JW GripSoft Cat Comb

JW GripSoft Cat Comb

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: inexpensive, rubberized handle, effective tines comb hair and trap it until hair is removed

Cons: the cat insists on daily combings

A male cat rules this household.  He keeps me in line with early wake-up calls and general reminders throughout the day that keep his pampered life running smoothly.  One thing he is insistent about are his daily combings using the JW GripSoft Cat Comb.

Description

The JW GripSoft Cat Comb has a rounded rubberized handle with a comfortable non-slid grip.  The metal comb tines are spaced close together with 41 tines on the comb.  Overall, the JW GripSoft comb is 9” long.  The handle is tapered, and at its widest point is 1 3/8”.  This particular comb is for use on medium- and long-haired cats.  The manufacturer advertises that the comb reduces matted fur and hairball formation.

Our Experiences

My cat and I agree.  This is the best cat comb we have purchased and used.

The feline who runs this household has a medium-long coat.  He also sheds and is prone to hairballs.  To help combat those nasty hairballs, I help him manage his furry coat with daily combing.  This JW comb is excellent on several levels.

First, the comb tines are close together.  It is obvious to see the results of each combing, sine the tines capture and hold the cat hair until the hair is pulled off the comb.  I just grab the combed hair near the base of the comb and pull the entire hair-wad off.  Fast and easy.

The cat loves this comb too.  He meows at me in the morning if I get busy and don’t start the ritual combing on time.  He leads me into the living room where I keep the comb and happily waits for the comb tines to scoop through his fur.  The tines capture undercoat hair, too, and I think he enjoys the gentle massaging feel of the comb.  During the summer, I’m sure he appreciates removing all loose fur to keep cooler.

The comb also has a soft-grip rubberized handle, which fits well in my hand.  My hand firmly stays on the handle, no slipping.  The handle is wide enough to prevent discomfort, too.  Using this comb is a pleasure.

I’ve noticed that this comb does a more thorough job than other pet combs I’ve used.  Daily combing pulls out one or two full combs of hair.  The cat revels in the pampering, and I can tell he feels better with the loose hair removed.  I notice the cat isn’t choking or coughing up hairballs as often, which is a good thing!

Summary

I would buy the JW GripSoft Cat Comb again.  It is an affordable, excellent comb.  The comb is comfortable to hold, and the cat loves the feel of the tines against his skin.  He actually changes position to make sure I’m giving proper attention to all his fur.  And if I’m late grabbing the comb for his daily beautification, he comes to get me.  Daily combing also helps reduce hairball incidents and shedding.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

Other great pet products in our home.  Click to view on Amazon.

Dream Multi-Surface Cat Scratcher                    Organic Catnip
                                                    

Tunnel Tower Lookout                                     Greenies Dental Cat Treats

                                                    

Nutrients and Minerals – Keeping Betta Fish Healthy and Happy

Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential

[Rating: 5/5]

Pros: conditions water and adds nutrients, liquid easy to use, bottle dispenses well

Cons: some cautions from the manufacturer (noted in review)

I rescued two betta fish and am pleased to say they are much happier in their new environment.  One of the items in my betta-care toolkit is Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential.

Description

Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential serves two purposes.  It is designed to condition tap water in small bowls or aquariums for fish and plants.  The liquid neutralizes chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia, which can be harmful.  It also adds nutrients and minerals to the water.  The manufacturer says this product can be used for betta fish or other aquatic species.  The plastic bottle contains two fluid ounces.

My Experiences

For a while I had flirted with the idea of starting a small aquarium.  Years ago I raised an assortment of tropical fish in 5- and 10-gallon tanks.  My parents used to breed fish for sale in fish stores, and my brother has had all manner of tanks, including a large reef aquarium.

Two things tossed me toward betta fish.  1) My sister-in-law had a small aquarium with a betta, and the fish was gorgeous.  2) A coworker stopped by my desk to chat and casually mentioned that he was tempted to flush his two betta fish down the toilet because he no longer wanted them.  I immediately offered to adopt the fish and am an extremely happy betta owner.

One thing about betta fish is that they are fighting fish.  Ideally, betta fish need separation, each in its own tank or they will rip each other apart.  They are territorial, and as a rule, they do not co-mingle well with other fish.  So I needed two tanks, one for each betta.

When I received the fish, they were in a small half-gallon plastic tank with a divider down the middle to separate the male fish.  There was virtually no swimming room since each side also had tank ornaments taking up space.  The fish also came with a small packet of food and this Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential for purifying the water and adding nutrients.

I bought two Fluval two-gallon aquariums and placed them side-by-side.  That way the fish had their own space but could socialize when I lifted the plastic canvas barrier I placed between the tanks.  (If male betta fish continually square-off against each other without a break, it can cause them stress.)

One great thing about Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential is that it is promoted as instantly conditioning the water.  I use tap water, but I pour it into Brita water-purifying pitchers.  I let the water sit at least a day before adding it to the tank.  Every time I do a weekly water change, I add a few drops of Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential.  The manufacturer suggests shaking the bottle before adding the liquid to the tank.  One teaspoon of the liquid added to a quarter-gallon (one quart) of water is recommended.  Since I’m using water purified in a Brita pitcher, I only add a few drops of the liquid, and it works great.  The fish are healthy and happy.

The Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential bottle has a caution on it: “Product contains hydrosulfites and has characteristic sulfur odor that does not affect its use.  May stain or discolor carpets or materials.  Not for human consumption.  Do not taste, swallow or breathe.  Avoid contact with skin.” – I have never noticed an odor to this product.  My tanks sit atop a quilted table runner I made, plus the room is carpeted.  Some water has escaped me when making water changes, and the textiles have not stained.  The bottle is also designed so that my hands or skin do not come in contact with the liquid.

Summary

The betta fish have been with me for over eight months and are thriving.  The Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential must be doing its job since the fish are active and happily creating bubble nests (a sign of content betta fish).

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart

My review of the Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass 2-Gallon Aquarium:

http://veryhelpful.net/2015/06/deluxe-accommodations-for-my-betta-fish-fluval-spec-aquarium/

Click image to view product on Amazon:

Fluval SPEC Aquarium               Betta Fish Care Book

                      

Brita Water Pitcher                       Betta Bio-Gold Food