Mary Beth Bower
708 Ralston Road
Colon, MI 49040


Tom Smith

So, do you still have the last issue of the Grange News? You should, because therein is all of the many contests for the family activities department and others. Look around, see if you still have it or ask a fellow Granger to borrow theirs. It’s so important to hang onto that issue to know the contests, the rules and the deadlines so there is no last minute scrambling or confusion in getting your articles to the State Grange Session . Start now to avoid last minute rushing!

It seems like I’m always reading or clipping something for use sometime for a program or article.  I found this in a book about the Amish, and thought it had some innovating and unique ideas I had never heard of. Thought you might enjoy it.


  • A is for aluminum foil, a piece of it with a know of washing soda in a jar of water makes a silver cut cleaner.
  • B is for ball point ink, which you can remove from vinyl by rubbing it with a slice of raw potato.
  • C is for camphorated oil. Applied with a soft cloth it will take white marks off of furniture.
  • D is for drip dry. Shirts will dry faster and smoother over a plastic bag put over the hanger.
  • E is for egg slicer. Use it for slicing mushrooms, cheese and beets as well.
  • F is for foam rubber. Rub it over upholstery to pick up pet hairs.
  • G is for glycerin. Oil the mincer with it, it won’t flavor the food.
  • H is for herbs. Keep them on the shelf in alphabetical order, so they are easier to find.
  • I is for icing. Add just a pinch of baking soda to icing to keep moist and prevent cracking.
  • J is for jam. I takes less time to make if the sugar is warmed through in the oven.
  • K is for kneeling pad. Make one with an old hot water bottle stuffed with old nylons.
  • L is for lemon. A half dipped in salt cleans copper well.
  • M is for magnet. Keep one in the sewing box to pick up pins and needles easily.
  • N is for newspapers. They make excellent window polishers.
  • O is for onion. Pierce it lengthwise with a skewer and it won’t come to pieces when boiled.
  • P is for parsley. Seed, when watered with boiling water grows quicker.
  • Q is for quilt. Keep it from slipping by sewing matching material to one end and tuck it under the mattress.
  • R is for rubber gloves. When the right one wears out, hang on to the left ones. Turn inside out and you will have a pair again.
  • S is for soap. Rubbed on the bottom edges of a drawer, it will make it run smoother.
  • T is for tea leaves. Put them around lily of the valley for more flowers.
  • U is for Undies. Put the fragile ones in a pillowcase, tied around the top and wash with the rest of the wash in your machine.
  • V is for vinegar. Wiped over furniture before polishing gives extra shine.
  • W is for window box. Put a layer of gravel over the earth so the dirt does no splatter windows.
  • X is for Xmas cake. The icing won’t be ruined if the cake is put on the lid of the cake tin and the base over it.
  • Y is for yeast. It should not be kept in the fridge or a cold place, or it will die.
  • Z is for zipper. If it sticks, try running the lead of a pencil up and down the metal parts. It should then run
  • smoothly.​

10 Common Plants that are Poisonous & Their Effects:
  • Elderberry (shoots, leaves and bark) can cause nausea
  • Foxglove (leaves) can cause an irregular heartbeat.
  • Hemlock (all) can cause death
  • Hyacinth (bulbs) can cause nausea or death
  • Iris (underground stems) can cause indigestion
  • Larkspur (young plants/seeds) can cause indigestion or death
  • Lily of the Valley (leaves/flowers) can cause irregular heartbeat
  • Rhododendron (all) can cause death
  • Rhubarb (leaf blade) can cause death​​

Women’s Department
A few weeks ago, when we were trying to select ideas for the contests and activities in the Family ActivitiesDepartment, it go me thinking how much it has evolved.

​​Well over 100 years ago there was a Committee on Women’s work. You can just imagine what this entailed. Remember, women were just getting the vote, so I’m guessing this committee discussed sewing, cooking, child rearing and how to be a supportive farm wife. Then, it became the Home Economics Committee. Again it involved those things listed above, but also included national sewing and needlework contests. And how many new Grange Halls were built using the talents of Grange women for public dinners, bake sales, food at auctions, etc. And they started to think in broader terms, too. Support for the CARE programs brought many needed services to third world countries, and the basis was laid for Grange Deaf Activities.

And then it became the Women’s Activities Committee and Grange Women were encouraged to be more active in their communities. The Golden Quill project of the late 70’s –early 80’s urged women in the Grange to Get involved in legislation and community action issues. All this time the many contests continued.

Today, we call it Family Activities. I’ve always heard it said, “In the Grange, we are one big family”, so the emphasis of the program has shifted to finding activities and projects for all ages, all interests and all concerned. We’ve tried in the New Grange program to find some contests that will appeal to a broader range of interest. But this committee needs to do more in their Granges than just push for entries. We need to find projects and activities for all to participate in. Here are a few of my ideas to better involved our family and Grange family in making the Grange experience a good one.

  1. Put together a Grange family cookbook. Everyone loves potlucks and every Grange I have ever visited has special people, known for a special dish. Collect the recipes and let all share in the good taste. It could be used as a fundraiser, too.
  2. Plan a special outing. Visit a local museum, zoo or attraction as a group. More people make for more fun, and if enough can go, group rates might be secured.
  3. Do something this year you have never done before and let everyone help with the planning. It might be a community service project, a dinner, an awards night or whatever, but include as many as possible in the planning. This should help to get greater interest as well as attendance.

The big holidays are over (thank-you) but that doesn’t have to mean that the joy of giving has to stop. I found this years ago & clipped it for use sometime. Hope you enjoy it and practice it.

​​Eight Wonderful Gifts That don’t cost a cent.

The Gift of Listening
But you must really listen. No interrupting, no day dreaming, no planning your responses, no second- guessing. Just listen.

​​The Gift of Affection
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, and pats on the back. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for your family and close friends.

The Gift of Laughter
Clip and share cartoons and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

​The Gift of a Written Note
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a lift.

The Gift of a Compliment
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “Thant was wonderful,” can make someone’s day.

The Gift of a Favor
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

The Gift of Solitude
There are times when you want nothing more than to be left alone. Be sensitive to that same need in others and give the gift or solitude when it seems needed.

The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition
The easiest way to feel good is to offer a kind word to someone. Really, just a cheery “Hello” or “How are you?” can go along way.