Comfort comes in darkness, information in book

Holy cow, there’s a word for it, and I never knew.

Nyctophilia. Noun. Love of darkness or night. Finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.

Or, as my daughter says: vampire.

I have rotating pictures as background on my computer, and that definition recently popped up as one of those pictures. Can’t remember seeing it before, but there it was. And now I know what I am. A nyctophiliac.

And if they have a name for it, that means I cannot be the only person so afflicted. Even when I head for bed early, I look at the clock before tucking myself in, knowing I could call my sister in Illinois and not even wake her up.

Still, there can’t be good without attendant bad, and the bad in this case is my inexplicable inability to remember nyctophilia. Don’t even try to guess what words come out of my mouth as I search for the right one.

It’s just one of those things I didn’t know and can’t really remember.

A few weeks back I was waiting for my friend Marcia Lenning to finish with another person at her reflexology business in Humboldt. That’s such a wonderful thing, I sometimes forget how ticklish my feet are, and I feel good for weeks after, but that’s beside the point. She leaves books and magazines lying around to give you something to do other than eavesdrop on the conversation in her room. That doesn’t always work because I am, above all, a snoop, but last time I was there, she hooked me with a book called “Magic Brands: 1,185 brand-new uses for brand name products.”

Did you know a teaspoon of Jell-O dissolved in a cup of warm water makes an inexpensive setting lotion? Or use prepared Jell-O as you would any hair gel product.

Hey, don’t ask me if that’s true, but that’s what the book says. A bonus, your hair could smell like strawberries or oranges.

These people aren’t without humor. Did you know if you poured 2,347 boxes of Jell-O into an 8-foot square padded box, added boiling water and waited for two days, you could wrestle in Jell-O. Nope, I bet you didn’t know that.

OK, something useful. You can prevent cracked hard-boiled eggs by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water before boiling. The eggshells also will peel faster and easier.

Vinegar also can be used if you cough. Mix a half cup of cider vinegar with a half cup of water, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and four teaspoons of honey. Take one tablespoon when the cough acts up and another at bedtime.

No, don’t ask me, I don’t know. But the book says these things work.

A lot of us use Efferdent. Did you know you could drop several tablets into the toilet bowl, scrub and flush? I expect it has to bubble first. Then, you can drop one tablet in a glass of water and immerse diamonds in it for two minutes to shine them. Talk about disparity.

This book is a nyctophiliac’s dream.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at