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Well, I have come to believe it is never on more glorious display than when a housewife is learning to Take Responsibility and to Think Before Acting. For your education and perhaps enjoyment at my expense:

Many fantastically cheap and useful items at $1.99 each on sale (ending tomorrow!) can total as much as or greater than the figure representing your entire grocery budget.

On the other hand, it is not frugal to omit buying something, or enough of something, that you actually need. Magically, the bill will be lower, but so will household morale. :)

The best solutions are often not the first thing that “intuition” suggests; e.g, calling one’s husband at work when one finds a scorpion in one’s home. Yes, a scorpion, but what is he going to do about it?

Think the vacuum couldn’t possibly pick that up? Just move it anyway.

Fast work with knives is for experienced chefs. To rephrase a popular bumper sticker: “Don’t ‘quickly cut in the butter’ any more quickly than your own fingers can move.”

Toilets do overflow. You aren’t immune to it just because it’s always worked before to try flushing it one more time before resorting to . . . the plunger.

About other family members’ paper piles: three-quarters of the pile may appear quite obviously to be destined for the trash can, and one-half of it may indeed be headed there, but if it is not yours, it is far safer to Leave It Alone. Unless there are, like, bugs crawling around in it, and then you can safely throw out the bugs, I’m sure.

When you think you’ve rolled it thin enough, roll it some more. Particularly applicable to tortillas.

When you think you’ve cooked it enough, cook it some more. Applicable to dried beans and pancakes, separately.

Keep the meat thermometer safely in the drawer when attempting to cook a steak. Ask the people who will be eating it if they are comfortable, not with X degrees, but with it looking like *this*. (Exception: children or people who don’t have a good eye for “medium rare.” The E coli will not be their fault.)

When considering a complicated, multi-part mop whose packaging lacks any instructions on how to disassemble it for cleaning, don’t assume that you’ll “figure out it later.” It may not have been put together “intuitively,” and if you lack mechanical “intuition” in the first place, let’s just say that two negatives do not equal a positive here. Save yourself the likely frustration, time, gas, etc.

Despite being collected by the best microfiber cloth, some dust falls. Start at the top of the dusty object to avoid dusting the object twice as many times as necessary. Then vacuum. Easy.

It is basically impossible to use a Magic Eraser in one spot and then get on with what you were doing. Schedule a large chunk of time to use it up completely. It is addictive and there’s no use fighting it.

If your “intuition” enthusiastically suspects that a certain ingredient substitution would be wonderful for this or that dish, step back and ask yourself two questions: 1) Did Julia Child, Alton Brown, or anyone affiliated with Cook’s Illustrated write the recipe? If so, hands off, you arrogant dolt. Follow the recipe. 2) Consider the people who will have to eat the end result. Especially if you’re poor and they have no other option. Do you think they would rave about it, too?

Now let us briefly compare the wisdom of two great men on our subject:

The only real valuable thing is intuition.
— Einstein

Was this man married? Did he ever know a woman, for that matter?

A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.
— G.K. Chesterton

Therefore, when Intelligence is lacking, or on vacation, we must learn to abandon Intuition and live by Facts.

June 2017
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