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How to Make a Gasoline Can Caddy0

Gasoline cans are an unsightly nuisance.  Ugh!  Where’s the best place to put ‘em?

That space under the deck stairs is big enough, shaded from all but late afternoon sun, well ventilated, out of the way, and mostly hidden from sight . . .

Okay, so what’s my problem?

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Climbing Hydrangea0

Yes - the mophead varieties are lush and sexy, coveted by gardeners for centuries.  Their massive heads in rich pinks and violet blues (depending on the soil) are  irresistible to many.

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Internet Tools: How to Build an Arbor0

Arbors are a great way to add a level of sophistication to any household exterior.  A decorative arbor allows for vines, hanging plants, unique lighting schemes, and other festive arrangements that simply would not be available otherwise.

But how do you build one? 

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Remote Controlled Drink Float0

Have you ever been floating around in your pool, sipping on a nice cocktail, enjoying the calm flow of the water—and then noticed that your cocktail is empty?

If you’re lucky,  somebody out of the water will be available to refresh your beverage, thus allowing you to continue your soothing float uninterrupted.  But sometimes that luck just isn’t there.

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Backyard Pests0

Sometimes it’s tough to enjoy your own backyard amidst the wildlife that wanders into it. This includes everything from slugs and beetles to your neighbor’s exuberant mutt.

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Cool Houses: Werner Sobek0

If I happened to be driving along the coast and saw the object in the picture above, I would swear that an alien invasion had begun.  I’d be wrong, of course . . .

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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

Great Landscape Shrub0

: Pieris japonica (pronounced Pie-air-iss juh-pon-i-kuh)

Pieris japonica (also known as Japanese Pieris, Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub, or Andromeda) is a compact, evergreen shrub with much appeal as a landscape plant. It’s versatile and works well in the shrub border, as a foundation plant, or massed in the woodland garden. Its attractive leaves emerge bronze or red, and it bears snowy white pendulous blooms in late winter and early spring.

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Quirky Switch0

The Quirky Switch may very well be the ultimate multi-tool. 


Before I get into how to use it, I feel it necessary to list all of the attachments offered in this little gadget:

  • Standard Knife
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Nail File
  • Tweezers
  • Thin Flathead Screwdriver
  • Phillips-Head Screwdriver
  • Eyeglass Phillips-Head Screwdriver
  • Eyeglass Flathead Screwdriver
  • Wood Saw
  • Serrated Blade
  • Corkscrew
  • Combination Bottle Opener/Flathead Screwdriver
  • Combination Can Opener/Wire Stripper
  • Pen
  • Magnifying Glass
  • LED Flashlight
  • 1GB USB Memory Stick.

I mean… well… holy crap!  That’s a lot of stuff for one little tool!

But here’s what makes it really special: these attachments slide onto three inner axle assemblies, which are held in place by end caps that twist off.   Which means you can customize the tool with any or all of the attachments.  The more attachments you desire, the greater the width of the tool.  This modular approach makes the Quirky Switch stand out as one of the most versatile multi-tools ever made.

The Quirky Switch can be all yours for $79.00.

by John Barker

Life on the Compost Heap0

We’ve been composting vegetative kitchen scraps all winter long. And as a result we’ve got a great start on the next batch of compost.

Here’s how our system works.

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