I am known for several things – a relatively sharp wit, quick with a bon mot or two, the ability to be on vacation 24/7, 365 and all that. Delicacy of speech or actions? Not so much.

So it was with a good deal of tittering that I received an email from a friend this week, giving me some “useful house hints.” Kezza obviously knows me oh so well, and she just knew it would elicit a not too dainty snort from me.

First up – and I’d seen this before – there is the art of slicing a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes with Samurai precision. Now the chance of my being remotely desirous of slicing something Sir would not eat if his life depended on it are slim to none – and as Sir would say, Slim left town.

You place your tomatoes on a plate, upend another plate on top, and then using your knife in one hand, and holding the top plate down, happily saw your way through dozens at a time. If I tried to do it, I can give you my warm personal assurance that 1. The top plate wouldn’t stay in place; 2. Unless I was using a knife with the sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel, I would, if I was lucky, create the base stock for an instant tomato soup; and 3) so swift would I be with my less than precise blade that I would indeed slice off the fleshy part of my left palm, which as you know (see 1. above), has already lost control of the upper plate.

In order to keep shoes “safely off the floor,” you can install a coat rack low down on the wall, and then take the time, and again the precision, to hang your shoes upside down on the hooks. Now I know when you’re out in the Australian bush it is quite important to keep your boots upside down so snakes and spiders – and possibly a small crocodile – don’t want to take up residence in the toe – but in Missouri, I wouldn’t have thought the burning need would be there.

I can create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle. I suspect “thrifty” there was a kindness by the editor, when he really meant “Scrooge-like.” My watering can cost me a whopping $5, and it has seen years of good service. So avoid self-puncturing, and go to Lowe’s dear hearts.

Oh, there’s more: you can remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee. How about the self-evident solution? Remove the pet, dear. I can flip a toaster on its side to make grilled cheese – but who has ever made grilled cheese and not have it drip seductively and messily over the side, I ask you?

My favorite though is to drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to “clean off stubborn stains.”

Please do not follow with your teeth.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com .