In summer, also, come those occasional nights of abnormal heat when no breeze stirs. Bedrooms stay hot and sleep is difficult. For this, set an electric fan on the floor of each room, pointed toward the ceiling, with a chair before it to serve as a barricade. The current of air so produced dislodges the hot air in the room that is above the level of the window openings and also provides a mild breeze that does not blow directly on a sleeper. By actual tests with an accurate thermometer, the temperature of a bedroom can be lowered a full five degrees. It is this difference between 80 and 85 degrees that can make an otherwise stifling night bearable enough for refreshing sleep.
Also at the time you want it most, usually with the house full of week-end guests, the hot water supply turns tepid. The means of heating the water is functioning properly but the storage tank is cold. When this happens, unless all water piping is of copper or brass, the chances are better than even that your tank is clogged with rusty sediment. This does not mean a new tank. It is just a matter of draining and flushing until most, if not all, of the sediment is washed out. Turn off the pipe that supplies heater and tank. Then with garden hose attached to the faucet at the base of the tank, drain out all the water that will come. For a thorough job unscrew this faucet and the piece of pipe connecting it to the tank. Then turn on the water supply quickly for two or three minutes at a time so that a sudden flow of clean water disturbs the sediment. At first it may be almost as thick as a heavy soup but gradually the water will become clearer. When it is normal you can replace pipe and faucet, relight the water heater, and forget your hot water supply for at least a year. Of course, it is better to undertake this chore when you are without company, but one must have hot water and, at that, the operation should not take over an hour. Perhaps some of the guests will be big hearted and offer to help.
A plaster ceiling appears to fall without warning. Actually, if you are observant, weak spots can be detected before they reach the falling stage. A slight bulge that gives if you press it upward gently with the fingers is an unfailing indication that the plaster has begun to loosen and that possibly the laths beneath are also loose. The best method of correcting this is, of course, to engage a plasterer. He will remove what is loose and probably much more. Then, having replaced the defective or old lath, he will re-plaster and a properly finished job will result.
There is, however, another course of action. It is neither permanent nor as good but it will bridge a gap when the family exchequer can ill afford the luxury of a plasterer and his helper. This is an old farm method of economical stop-gap repair. Take some new coarse muslin. Make a strong solution of glue sizing; wash the calcimine or whitewash from the ceiling where it is weak; paint with a coat of