Ask The Expert For All Your Household Needs


Click on comments and ask a question in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box. No problem too large or small for Clancy to solve.


About Mitzi McColley Sorensen

Mitzi McColley Sorensen grew up surrounded by the Black Hills in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Her father was a second generation funeral director. Death was as much a part of her everyday life as breathing. She attributes her quirky sense of humor, viewing life as a gift, and placing family first to her upbringing. After attending Northern State College in South Dakota, she headed west with her husband to live with her beloved grandmother who was suffering with Alzheimer’s. They stayed in California where they raised three daughters and a son. For the past twenty-eight years, Petaluma, California has been her home where rolling vineyards replaced the majestic views of Mt. Rushmore. Working her way up the ranks in a pharmacy, Mitzi learned that the customer was always right, the benefits of most drugs outweighed the possible side effects, and that her male clients mellowed with age. Mitzi befriended an individual that experienced synesthesia in her everyday life. Although the main character in THE TASTE OF ORANGE is fictional, her symptoms mirror that of her friend’s. Retired after twenty plus years, Mitzi enjoys writing novels, traveling, reading, welding, and golfing with her husband, Mark, even though she yells fore more often than scoring a par four. She keeps in shape by catching lizards and snakes with her nine grandsons and three granddaughters.

26 responses »

  1. Rub ordinary cold cream into the hair. Pull down on the strands of hair several times with a dry towel. No cold cream? Freeze gum with an ice cube and peel from hair. No time to do either, place a stocking cap over their head while teaching the little darling to chew gum with their mouth closed.

    • Yes, but only if the wine is expensive and the people attending the party are mere acquaintances. Otherwise, run hot water on the neck of the bottle. This expands the glass and causes the cork to pop out. Avoid this problem in the future by taking boxed wine.

    • No, this isn’t normal. When did you last clean your oven? You need to prioritze your daily activities before you burn down your house! In the meantime, put a cup of water in the bottom of your broiler pan. It’ll attract the smoke and grease.

  2. I’m so happy you asked this question. We have too many appliances in our landfills. You sound like a smart and frugal young lady. Your mother taught you well! Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. This holds in the heat. Take the money you saved from buying a new iron and put it into a 401k.

  3. I like to bury my useless items in my neighbors yard. Should I re-seed the area or put one of those small orange flags alerting the neighbor not to dig in that spot?

  4. Orange is my least favorite color so I advise against the flags. The color is unsightly and may anger your neighbor. January is not a good month to reseed the lawn. Rope off the area with police tape. Don’t forget to draw the chalk outline of the victim inside the roped off area. Oddly, your name fits you.

    • Dear Clancy, I live in a northern climate that has a high crime rate. Not only will the chalk blend in with the snow but the police tape just gets lost along with all the other police tape areas. Blends, so to speak… Please help as good neighbors are important to me.

  5. I have four methods for you to try. #1: Stretch the stained area over a bowl and pour boiling water from the height of several feet through the stain. My grandmother used this trick to remove stains after a day of canning sliced fruit and jams. It may not work on a banana stain. #2: Mix two parts warm water to one part isopropyl rubbing alcohol and dab (don’t rub) into stain. Pretest on small part of fabric. Alcohol will fade some dyes. #3: Place stained fabric in warm water with a generous amount of salt and soak for several hours. #4: Prevention is always the best solution. Remove your littles ones shirt the next time you feed your son a banana and don’t have a bib.

  6. I plan on making my Grandpa chocolate chip cookies for his birthday. I have to mail these cookies to him. How can I package them so they don’t arrive in bits and pieces?

  7. What a sweet gift. Wrap 2 cookies back to back in plastic wrap. Repeat this process until you’ve wrapped all the cookies. This step takes time, but it’s well worth it. Old Christmas tins or plastic buckets with lids make suitable cookie containers. Pretend you’re assembling lasagna by placing a sheet of bubble wrap between each layer of wrapped cookies. Make sure the first and last layer is a sheet of bubble wrap. Pack cookies tightly so there is no movement inside container. If the lid isn’t a tight fit, secure with tape. Place cookie container in a box slightly larger than the tin or bucket and stuff the extra space with newspaper. Tape box while singing Happy Birthday, Grandpa. Place this box inside the shipping box and stuff the sides with newspaper.(Putting a box inside the shipping box adds extra cushioning.) Happy Packing!

    • The natural methods of removing ants in your home are messy and work for a week. Unless you want an anteater as a pet, pound Grant Ant Stakes around the perimeter of the house. In the meantime, use this all natural remedy. Place orange peels from two oranges in a blender. Add two cups of water. Puree orange peels and water into a solution. Pour the solution in a spray container. Spritz counters, doorways, cracks, etc. This causes the ants to lose their scent along the trails and they stop invading your house. (Spraying antiseptic mouthwash works in the same fashion) Use the flesh of the orange and make yourself a refreshing beverage while you watch the marching ants scurry out of line formation in confusion. Orange Smoothie: 2-oranges peeled, 1/4 C. plain yogurt, 1/4 t. vanilla extract, four ice cubes. Combine ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  8. Dear Clancy:

    I have taken your advice and moved to another community. However, I find my new neighbors to be more troubling than the last. They must have jobs as they seem to be up very early starting their cars and shuffling about making quite a bit of racket. My part time job is as a sacramental wine quality assurance specialist with over 400 churches as clients. I take my job very seriously and on occasion, need to sleep in due to my “work load.” I have placed a threatening note along with a dead fish on the neighbor’s garage door asking for their understanding. Perhaps they could park down the street or walk to work. Was I too harsh or is this a good first step for me? Again, having a good relationship with my neighbor is important to me.


  9. Dear Clancy:

    I like to organize (dig up) my neighbor’s shrubbery and re-position it in a fashion that provides a better wind screen for my property. Since I do this at night or when they are at work, I feel that I am being a good neighbor. My issue is with their selection of plants. There are much better choices of plants for my needs. Should I write a friendly note with suggestions to my neighbors or take this matter to the subdivision board members?

    Having good relationships with my neighbors is important to me.


    • Share your love of horticulture with your neighbors. They might appreciate your knowledge and agree with your choice of trees and bushes for a windbreaker. I’m sure my blog followers would appreiciate some information, too. Please reply to this post with the types of trees that make the best windbreakers and why.

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