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The Home Front

By JUDY STARK, Times Homes Editor

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 15, 2002

Yard sales: They're a good thing

Yard sales: They're a good thing

Wouldn't we all love to go yard-saling with Martha Stewart? Accompany Her Highness to tag sales and flea markets and watch her make wonderful stuff out of other people's castoffs in Good Things from Tag Sales and Flea Markets (Clarkson Potter, $22). Some of these ideas are things normal people could actually do, like using odd cups and saucers to create small compotes from which to serve cheese, hors d'oeuvres or crackers; framing pretty vintage handkerchiefs; or hanging a collection of mismatched plates on the wall. Stewart offers suggestions on what to look for and how to buy, and the instructions on what to do with your swag once you get it all home are clear and simple.

Propane alert

This being the grillin' and chillin' season, listen up: The National Fire Protection Agency code now requires overfill protection devices on all propane tanks. The devices shut off the flow of gas into the cylinder at 80 percent of capacity, preventing overfilling, which can create a fire hazard. If your existing tank (manufactured before October 1998) lacks this device, it cannot be refilled. Obsolete tanks typically have round or star-shaped hand wheels. Those with an overflow protection device have triangular hand wheels and the letters OPD on the hand wheel and the side of the valve. Many refill stations will recycle obsolete tanks.

Lights with a twist

Aim the light where you need it with these swivel-top night lights. Direct the beam down to illuminate the stairs, up to light a doorway or hall. The lights swivel 360 degrees. The Swivel Night Lights from Intermatic come in packages of two for $7.95 at hardware stores and home centers.

A shopping list for Dad

Sunday is Father's Day, and if you still haven't figured out what to give Dad, here's a shopping list from Pat Simpson, host of HGTV's Before and After and Fix It Up! Cordless drill, drill-bit set with drivers, screwdriver set, 25-foot tape measure, tool pouch, socket set with ratchet, groove-joint pliers, locking pliers, fastener organizer (those plastic cabinets with lots of little drawers) and safety gear (gloves, goggles, dust mask).

- Compiled by Homes editor JUDY STARK from staff and wire reports

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