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Home front

Briefs and news of note.

Published May 20, 2006

All entries on deck

Time to declare your affection for the deck that is the apple of your eye. Thompson's Water Seal invites you to explain, in 300 words or less, why your deck is No. 1. (You married there. It was the sole survivor of a hurricane. You sleep out there and watch the stars.) Include a photo, and you could win the $5,000 grand prize; the $1,000 first prize; or one of eight packages of deck products valued at more than $100. Find details and submit your entry at Deadline is Sept. 15.

Constructing fun

School's out (or nearly out), so maybe kids and parents are looking for something to do this summer. Turn to Do-It-Yourself Family: Fun and Useful Home Projects the Whole Family Can Make Together (Bantam, $20), by Eric Stromer, the carpenter from Clean Sweep and Three Wishes. Here are 20-plus simple, quick projects, things the kids will enjoy creating and using: a sandbox, a tepee, an under-bed trolley, a pet food caddy. There are materials and tool lists, cutting diagrams and painstakingly simple step-by-step directions. Even if the adults are do-it-yourself novices, these should be easy.

Easiest path from A to B

Moving tip: Make a motel reservation for the first night at the new place. You'll have a bed, a shower, maybe even a pool, all of which will be very welcome after that awful day. No need to struggle setting up the beds and finding linens when you're exhausted. This tip comes from the EaseUrMove Kit ($19.99 at, which offers a detailed five-week plan to make your move smoother and easier. A spiral-bound book includes checklists, timetables, peel-and-stick box labels, 72 to-dos and sage advice from multiple mover Kathy Capodice.

The prudent griller

Firing up the grill this weekend? Pay attention to these safety tips from grillmeister Steven Raichlen and the Propane Education & Research Council: When you refill your tank, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks. Store cylinders upright and away from high temperatures (i.e., not near the grill). Use a leak detection solution to check connections for tightness. Don't use a lighter or a match to check; don't smoke while you handle a cylinder; and don't use an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline - or you run the risk of explosion.

- Compiled by Homes editor JUDY STARK


Residents of St. Petersburg may water lawns and gardens with reclaimed water only three days a week, between 5 and 9 a.m. or 7 and 11 p.m. A chart on May 13 contained outdated watering restrictions. Details on watering restrictions are at

[Last modified May 19, 2006, 09:12:36]

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