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Updated 2:34pm - Jul 29, 2016

Home arrow Opinion arrow Columnists arrow Gopher Gulch arrow Gopher Gulch: All the world’s a stage; don’t knock it over


Gopher Gulch: All the world’s a stage; don’t knock it over

Shakespeare was right; all the world’s a stage and all the men and women are players upon that stage. We’re also the writer, the producer and director of our own little comedies and dramas, and we all play lots of different roles.

I began playing the role of object lesson early in life by habitually running full tilt under the kitchen table — and then grew.

Mom said I knocked myself out three times demonstrating how not to get safely from one side of the kitchen to the other. I’m too darned old to play the part of object lesson any longer. At this age, we’re all one bad fall from losing our independence, and having spent last winter holding still and healing, I have no intention of reprising my role as invalid.

And that’s where the baking soda comes in. Ancient Egyptians used sodium bicarbonate as soap, but it was less than 200 years ago a couple of New York bakers developed a method for combining that substance with carbon dioxide to create what we know today as baking soda. Currently, over 100,000 tons of the stuff are produced annually, so we must be using it for something other than baking.

It’s right up there with duct tape, WD 40, bungee cords and vinegar in the list of things I can’t live without. As WD 40 is to duct tape, baking soda is to vinegar. Soda raises the pH of whatever it touches, being alkaline rather than acidic. I’ve slipped on a suspiciously green top step and gained altitude before touching down in the back yard. I try not to do that these days, and last winter gave me marvelous training in moving mindfully, paying attention to where I put my feet. That green tinge is moss or algae, highly acidic and slippery but easily killed by sprinkling baking soda on it, making it unnecessary to file a flight plan.

You’re likely to see that green tinge on most anything here, since our water, soil and air are acidic, and soda is always the appropriate response. When the inside of the gallon jug I use to fill the birdbath gets green, I dump in a bit of baking soda and a bit of kitty litter and shake it up with some water. Instead of expensive chemical agents, I regulate the pH balance of Rubber Tubby with baking soda. Soda goes in the washer on cleaning rags and balances the vinegar that does the same.

Soda is the primary ingredient of toothpaste, removing stains from your pearly whites, and a bit sprinkled on your fingers and rubbed inside the mug removes the coffee stains. A spoonful in a half glass of warm water will bring on a veritable explosion of belches, relieving an upset tummy. Just remember that many of us should not consume large quantities of sodium.

Yep, I’m all through being an object lesson, for this incarnation, and baking soda is a big help.

Reach Inez Castor, a longtime Triplicate columnist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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