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Summer has come and gone for most of us, and now it’s time to wrap it up, here are a few tips for getting ready for fall:

One reader from California wrote: “I recently bought a nice crystal vase at a yard sale for just a few dollars. I brought it home and cut some of the flowers in my yard for the dining room table since I now had something nice to showcase them!

I put the flower in, added the water and then discovered the dang thing had a crack and the water was leaking all over the counter. Thankfully I didn’t have them on the antique dining room table yet!

I called a friend of mine to see if she had some kind of a quick fix and she did. She said to put the flowers in something else for right now and then dump out all the water and make sure the vase is as dry as can be. Then, take some of the paraffin used to coat the tops of jelly jars and melt it. Put a fairly heavy layer of the wax all over the inside of the new vase. She recommended using several coats just to make sure everything was sealed up.

This will waterproof my new vase and I won’t have to worry about it for a long time.”

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As the weather turns cooler in the next few weeks, some folks will be sorting through their closest and storing their summer clothing and getting out the winter things.

A reader from North Dakota found that the perfect storage place for either winter or summer clothing is to use those old suitcases and old trunks that are stacked in the basement. The reader said they can put all the children’s summer clothes in one large trunk.

“I put my husband’s things in a big suitcase and mine in a couple more and we are done. My kids call it ‘switchin time,’” they wrote.

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Most of the summer clothing items are now “on sale” for 50% off and sometimes even 60%. It’s a good time to shop ahead for the summer!

A reader from Nevada wrote that they buy T-shirts and shorts one or two sizes bigger than her kids and in plain colors that will go with anything they wear.

They said they also hunt the yard sales for gently used blue jeans, heavier coats and shirts.

All in all, they said they don’t spend over $200 a year for new clothes for the three little ones. They don’t even mind wearing big brother’s shirts from two years ago and sometimes even can’t wait to share the items.

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The last bit of tidying up comes in the kitchen where a South Dakota reader gave the perfect recipe for an oven cleaner.

They said to mix 2 ounces of blue dish soup, a half a cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup plus 2 ounces of water. Then spray the mixture on a cold oven and wipe with wet clothes.

“This really works great and is easy,” they said.

If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

Paula edits the monthly newsletter, “PennyWise,” from her family’s diversified farm and ranch operation on the edge of South Dakota’s Badlands. If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

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