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We are continually receiving queries and questions from all over the world on a variety of subjects, some of which I am able to respond to immediately, others are not so easy.

I know from the amount of feedback I am getting that there is a lot of untapped expertise out there so I thought I would start this page to see if we can get the answers to some of the more difficult questions.

I recently asked for help with a couple of problems I had received and am delighted to say we had a tremendous success, so let's try again -

Questions recently received - can anyone help?


3rd July, 2008     Cheryl Pasquarosa advises as follows -

"Today I contacted the manufacturer (Reckitt Benckiser in Parsippany NY - tel 800-228-4722).  They have discontinued Snowy Bleach as of November 2007 due to poor sales.  No place to buy it anymore.  Maybe if enough people complain they will bring it back, although sales volume does the talking. "

I wonder if it ever occurred to them that poor sales maybe due to lack of availability!!!!!


17th June, 2008 - This is an ongoing problem - just as we look as if we have cracked it another supply problem arises.  

Amazon used to feature it, however, I note even they no longer have supplies available and do not appear to know whether or not it will return.

I have just received the following from Diana Tope -

I'm still searching for Snowy Bleach. Vermont Country Store does NOT have it, but they advise me that many customer calls for a product MAY get results. I have been unable to find it in Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or grocery stores in Georgia or Florida (in my intermittent rambles) in the places I've looked for it. Does anyone know if there is a comparable product for getting the stains out of very old linens? I have boxes of handmade linens from my great- and great-great grandmothers that I am trying to clean.

Previous postings on this subject -

Several sites on the web (including this one) mention using a product called "Snowy" bleach, however, this does appear to be an elusive product.  After extensive research I have been advised by Kym at www.needleworkguildmn.org that it can be obtained from Cub Food Stores and by Janet Brendel that it can be bought in the laundry detergent section of any US grocery stores.   Does anyone else have any information regarding this product?

I am advised it is made by Reckitt & Colman Inc. in New Jersey but there is no mention of this brand on their website.  Perhaps it has changed its name - any information would be greatly appreciated.

I have been contacted again by Kym Duea who advises Snowy Bleach can be found in powder and liquid form at K-Mart, WallMart and Target stores.  I still have no idea if this product is available in the U.K. (perhaps under a different name).  If you have any information please let us know.

Camilla W. von Bergen has kindly provided the following information -

The company making this is Reckitt Benckiser, Inc., PO Box 224, Parsippany NJ  07054-0224.  If you cannot find the product (powder is what most of the "recipes" refer to, although maybe the liquid would work??) locally, they have a mail order list which they will send you.    In New York State, and New England, the powdered product is available at Stop and Shop

Paula Tartaglia has just advised me that she has purchased Snowy Bleach from the Vermont Country store.  Apparently they are very good at locating anything needed.  They can be found at www.vermontcountrystore.com, however, I could not see any mention of Snowy bleach on their site as yet.  They did have Borax, which is another product people find hard to find.

I have been advised by Stanley Hazen that Snowy Bleach is now available from the Vermont Country Store (in the Laundry section).

I have been approached by a young person in Singapore who is researching an article "English in Other Cultures.  Do your have any anecdotes or examples of English words having different meanings in various countries.

e.g. As I have mentioned on another page on this site, I once said to an American colleague on the telephone that my boss was abroad and could not understand the laughter at the other of the line.  After a little thought I realised he had thought I was referring to my male superior as "a broad".

If you know of any other examples, please send them in (june@hintsandthings.co.uk)   - if we can enough not only will it help our friend in Singapore but we could also start yet another page!!!

Here are some very interesting responses to this plea!

"When I lived in Korea many years ago, we told our maid to put away the 10 cans of vegetables.  She did, into the trash.  When asked why she threw them away she said number 10 means bad, no good!!!"

This anecdote has been sent in by Lynni Maldonado - thanks.

"My brother owned a cleaning business in Palm Springs, California.  He had an employee from Mexico who was his best employee and a real sweetie.  A very hard worker and all his clients loved her.  One day when they were cleaning a client's house, he asked her to mop the kitchen floor, but first to take a broom and sweep it.  So, she said she was going to "broom" the floor first then mop it.  My brother replied "No, use a broom to "sweep" the floor and a mop to "mop" the floor.  Well, this was very confusing to her. "If I use a mop to mop the floor, why don't I use a broom to "broom" the floor?????"

Unfortunately, there is a very sad end to this tale, this lady and her precious 10 year old daughter were murdered by her husband in March, 2001 in Palm Springs.  She made such a wonderful impression on all those she touched."

This touching story was sent to us by Kathleen Hooker of Toledo - thank you for sharing it with us.

"One word that always confuses me in the US tongue is GAS.  In the US you fill your car up with gas and other appliances run on gas, too.  In Australia we fill cars with PETROL and we don't have a gas pedal, but rather an accelerator.  GAS is what comes in gas bottles to connect to your house for hot water, heating and cooking.  Or a smaller gas bottle is attached to a barbecue (for cooking your steaks and other food).

Also the UK term for Horse Box and the ads in horse magazines that say "this horse is good to box".  Makes me wonder who makes the boxing gloves.  In Australia we would say "float"."

Thanks to Kim Hedrich for these examples.

This response, sent in by Deborah Magallanes, deals with with words that are spelt the same but have very different meanings and, in some instances, sounds -

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there was no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen on how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
  • He sure "got my goat" = "He sure made me angry"

Teacher:  "In most languages a sentence with a double negative makes a positive statement.  In no language does a double positive make a negative."

Student:  "Yeah, right!"


Has anyone any ideas for decorations etc. to help a student arranging a Mexican evening?

In past Mexican parties and fundraisers we have used a pinata (that we made or purchased at a party supply store) as the main attraction.  Brightly colored crepe paper streamers (orange, yellow, bright pink, red etc.,) in various ways add color and interest.  Our local travel bureau has kindly given us travel posters (this works for any nationality) that they no longer need as additional decorations.  Have Mexican/Spanish music playing in the background.   Another good source of decorations is from other parents, teachers. etc.   Alert everyone that you need to borrow items with a Mexican theme and you'll probably be surprised what you come up with!  Once we had a Mexican dinner, I borrowed a ceramic planter in the shape of a donkey pulling a cart from my Gran.   Colorful stoneware for serving dishes works well.  Candles in colors to coordinate with the crepe paper add another bright touch.

These ideas were received from Tekla Israelson - thanks.

Burritos are wonderful and so easy.  Purchase large tortillas, take any kind of meat you like and cook it until it is tender, then grind (mince) it up.  You could also use leftover meat which has been ground/minced.  Brown meat, mixing in any variety of seasonings.   Cumin is a mainstay in this type of food.  When the meat is all finished (and I usually add a little wine or water and cook it down), add in refried beans.  Warm the tortilla, either in the microwave or on a skillet.  Place a dollop of meat mixture to one edge of the tortilla, add sour cream, grated cheese, salsa, whatever topping you want and roll away. mmmmmmmmmmm !!!!!!

Thanks for this mouthwatering offering Pam

Does anyone know of a recipe for home made waffles made with seltzer?

I found the answer to this quite by accident, apparently you just substitute half the liquid with seltzer! The only problem is I cannot get back to the person who posed the question as they appear to have changed their email address. 

Well I think that is enough to start with - I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

email me on june@hintsandthings.co.uk





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