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Kitchen

Cactus Sinks0

Cactus Designers, a group of French freelance designers based out of Lyon, recently combined efforts with Vaskéo to create some  extraordinary sinks.

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Tool Tip: His and Hers Oven Thermometers0

I got a new $10 gadget from the hardware store, all because I undercooked a chicken pot pie.

My husband (jack-of-all-trades and licensed electrician) confirmed that the oven wasn’t reaching the right temperatures after I complained for weeks about baking calamities and roasts that wouldn’t brown without the broiler.

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Tool Tip: Step On It Dustpan0

 Mr. Clean Step-on Dust Pan

My wife gave me a hard time about this one. And I’ll admit, it seems like a gimmick. But here’s the thing – after any messy job, I often find myself wishing the cleanup fairy would come along, so I just could go have a beer. She never does. So, I’m on my own to make cleanup easier.

The physics of it are simple – sometimes debris is heavy, and it doesn’t sweep easy with one hand on the dustpan and one on the broom. Being able to stand on the dustpan means two-handed sweeping – allowing you to sweep, for example, more chunks of drywall and dust into each dustpan load. You get to the couch and that beer that much sooner, and your back will thank you, too.

Step on It Dustpan

For ten bucks or so when I was at the hardware store, and even cheaper here,  I could stomach the “Step On It” name and the Mr. Clean guy’s condescending grin. Gimmick or not, it works.

by Steve MacDonald

Easy Compost Bucket0

 

I never expected to be a compost junky but I’ve become one. No banana peel or pear core or basket of coffee grounds goes uncomposted.

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Tomato Season – Bring It On!0

 

I can already taste them. Juicy and warm picked fresh from the vine. The hardest part is getting them to last the short trip from the garden to the kitchen.

Tomatoes are warm season lovers. They pout and throw fits if you plant them out too early with cool night temperatures and unexpected cold breezes from the north. We plan on no earlier than Memorial Day weekend but will postpone if the weekend’s overcast and cool. And it’s worth the wait to have those seedlings spring to life under the hot summer sun and bulk up quickly in preparation of yielding handfuls of fruits.

Location, location, location. Tomatoes need as much sun as they can get. South or southwest locations are best where they get about 7 hours of sun per day or more.

These sun worshippers also appreciate being well-fed. Some compost or aged manure plus a handful of low-nitrogen fertilizer mixed into the soil does the trick. The soil should be fertile and well-drained since tomatoes are big feeders and resent wet feet.

It’s also best to plant them in places where you’ve planted them in the previous three years or so to discourage problems from soil-borne diseases. Containers work well for the small space gardener where crop rotation just isn’t feasible. And you can locate these easily in the sunniest parts of your yard.

Cherries, Beefsteaks, Heirlooms, or Paste. They all top the list of my summertime favorites.

text and photos by Ann D. Travers

DIY: Home Brewing0

Home brewing has enjoyed a resurgence over the past ten years or so.  As a result, many beer lovers have found a new hobby with some cost savings benefit, too.

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Kindle™ Around the House0

I was given a Kindle 3G wireless reader as a gift and wasn’t sure how I’d like it. Well, I do. It’s slim, lightweight and easy to use. And I think it has great applications for do-it-yourself projects around the house.

At A Glance image

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Cast Iron Cookware0

  

I grew up on cast iron cooking. I can remember my parents picking up a great Dutch oven at a farm sale shortly after we moved to eastern Kansas in the mid-1960s. That Dutch oven cooked up the best spaghetti sauce and stews.

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Beadboard Paneling2

 

 

I love beadboard. We’ve used it in a number of room renovations around the house including the bathroom, master bedroom and upstairs hallway. It’s a relatively quick way to cover a multitude of evils. And the end result is a nicely finished wall.

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Handmade Cutting Boards0

Being married to a woodworker for nearly 25 years now has reaped me countless rewards around the house. But none is finer than my collection of cutting boards.

  

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