DEAR SUN SPOTS: In that wonderful Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston there is a name on one of the pillars that has “RW” after it. The key to the memorial designates “AR” for the American Revolution so I wonder in this case if the RW also means Revolutionary War. How could I find out?

Thank you for your wonderful column. I read and enjoy it every day. — No name, no town

ANSWER: The park is such a fabulous addition to the city and those in charge do such a good job with it all. Your assumption about what RW means sounds right, but perhaps you should contact those in the know at 786-2305. Bert Duval or Normand Cote can answer any questions you may have about the project.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you know of any use for ground coffee that has passed the “best by” date? I’d like to find another use for it instead of throwing it out. — No name, no town

ANSWER: Unless it’s really old or the flavor is off, I’d just use it to make coffee anyway. The “best buy” date is just a recommendation and nothing bad is going to happen if you drink it.

If you feel that you must not ingest that coffee, there are many uses for it. Both unused and brewed grounds compost well or can be used as is for garden fertilizer or in the soil of your house plants to repel insects and other pests, including fruit flies, fleas, mosquitoes, beetles, ants, slugs and snails, to name a few. Coffee grounds make great fertilizer because they contain several key nutrients required for plant growth. They can also help attract worms and decrease the concentrations of heavy metals in the soil.

Coffee grounds are used to neutralize odors so you can place a bowl of them in your refrigerator or fill a sock or piece of pantyhose with the grounds and place it in your gym bag, in your shoes, or use them to scrub your hands after you’ve been handling onions and garlic.

They can be used as an abrasive household cleaner because they help sanitize and remove buildup in sinks and on pots and pans, outdoor grills and other surfaces around the house.

Have you ever added coffee grounds to a rub for tenderizing meat? Just add a tablespoon or two to your favorite rub recipe. Meat can also be marinated in brewed coffee to tenderize it.

Coffee grounds can even be used to reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body and as an exfoliant for your skin and lips. Mix with a bit of coconut oil or honey for this. Massaging your scalp with coffee grounds before a weekly shampooing also removes dead skin cells and can promote hair growth. Rinsing your hair with coffee and/or the grounds gives more depth of color to brown or black hair as well.

Coffee or grounds can also be used as a natural dye for cloth, yarn, paper products, and even Easter eggs.

After cataloging all these uses of coffee grounds for you, I’ve decided I’m never going to just throw the dregs from my morning coffee away in the compost heap ever again!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

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