There are those moments in life when we need to fix, open, wear or use something, and some type of circumstance is hindering our progress. Most Kentuckians are hillbillies at heart, and we often come up with ingenious ways of fixing things. Not all of them will be pretty, but they usually work… at least for a while.
11. Black Pepper as stop leak
Back in the late 80s, I was shown to add a little pepper in the radiator, if there was a small leak. The pepper would seal it up for a while. This doesn’t mean dump a whole pepper shaker in, just a small amount. This saved me a few times over the years till I could get things fixed. Today’s cars might be too sensitive for such simple tricks though.
10. Carwax the windshield
Being in the middle of nowhere with broken windshield wipers in the rain can be devastating. For those that know to find shelter, dry the windshield, then apply and remove car wax, but not too much. The wax makes the rain roll right off the window, making driving much safer than without it. Mind you, this is only in a worst case scenario.
9. Bourbon medicine
Bourbon is good for things other than sipping. When warmed and combined with honey and lemon, it becomes an excellent tincture to sip during cold winter months. My husband swears by this one and we call it his “medicine”.
8. Seal it with Super Glue
Got a boo boo and need to seal it up quick so you can get to a doctor? Use a little Super Glue and that will seal it up long enough to make the trip. It might burn a little though.
7. Homemade cough and cold syrup
There are a few versions of this. One is fresh grated ginger, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, ground red pepper, honey and a little water. This is the one we use and find very helpful for coughs, colds and a sore throat.
6. Light is warmth
An old farm trick my Dad used over the decades to keep outside animals warm was a simple work light and light bulb. He affixes the work light a safe distance above their sleeping area using a low watt bulb and it adds warmth. He does the same thing over the water. Mind you his animals had a medium size shed with power filled with straw for shelter. They basically have their own house.
5. Leftover Burgoo
When you have leftovers and you are not sure what to do, create a burgoo. That is the beauty of the stew, as it can be made from anything. Fish, chicken, beef, other meats or just vegetables can be mixed with a hearty sauce and become an entirely new meal. Burgoo is something you don’t get tired of because it can constantly change. Cornbread and burgoo make a wholesome meal. The above burgoo is made was made at Moonlite B-B-Q Inn in Owensboro.
4. Duct tape repairs
Duct tape is our friend and can be used for a quick fix on an auto hose, to hold something in place, and often times basic household repairs. It can hold things together better than glue in most cases. Duct tape is one of those things you always want to keep in the home and vehicle.
3. Shave a sweater.
A razor is a wonderful tool to have around for something other than skincare. They come in handy for shaving fuzzies off sweaters, flannel sheets and blankets too.
2. Red Pepper for warmth
If you don’t have overly sensitive skin, an old hunter and railroad worker trick is to put a little red pepper in the finger tips and toe tips of socks and gloves. It produces a warming effect. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip this one.
1. The sun tells time.
If you happen to be caught out without a way to tell time digitally, but you have somewhere to go, look to the sun. Some people never wear a watch, and just look at the position of the sun to know the general time. This won’t work on a cloudy day, unless the sun peeks through. It is a good knowledge to have, as the sun doesn’t run on batteries and people told time this way for centuries. It is the reason farmers would rise and work with the sun. The same concept is used with the moon.
These life hacks may not be just in Kentucky, but rest assured, most Kentuckians have heard of at least a few of them. I’m sure tricks of getting by vary according to location, but each one is useful. What kinds of life hacks have you learned over the years?