How to Fix Sticking Drawers

A stubborn drawer which won’t open or close the right way is simply annoying; but something can be done to fix a sticky drawer. Sometimes, this happens during a damp weather conditon. Too much moisture in the air causes temporary swelling of the wood. This can often be fixed by simple lubrication. A type of silicone spray which can be bought at hardware stores, paraffin, or a wax candle can do the job. Remove the drawer from its place and vacuum or wipe off all the dust from its edges and from the guide strips on which the drawer rides, then apply the lubricant or rub candle wax to the edges of the drawer and to these guides.
South Shore Libra Collection 3-Drawer Chest, Black
When lubrication alone does not work, planing or sanding may have to be done to shave off the drawer edges. Carefully observe the sides of the drawer and its receptacle, then try to locate the areas that are rubbing. The stress points where the contact occurs are usualy the areas that look polished.

Using a medium grade sand paper wrapped around a sharp plane or a wood block, trim down these problem spots. Keep testing the drawer to make sure that only the necessary amount of wood is removed. If the sides of the drawer appears to be too high, plane the top edge instead of the bottom edge.
Badger Basket Company Three Drawer Hamper/Storage Unit in Cherry
If the drawer glides in smoothly until about the last inch or a bit more, but would not close totally unless it is slightly lifted, then most likely, the bottoms edges are already excessively worn down. This can generally be fixed by inserting some smooth-headed thumbtacks into the wooden tracks inside the drawer chest to make the bottom edge of the drawer ride on top of them slightly raising the drawer making the front panel clear easier. This will also help make a drawer that is loaded heavily to slide better.

Sometimes, the poor functioning of drawers may be caused by the uneven standing of the whole cabinet on the floor. You can easily check this by using a carpenter’s level. Check if the top of the chest is leveled with the floor. This is necessary to keep the drawer working smoothly. If you discover that the whole cabinet’s level is not good, adjust the legs by wedging folded cardboard or a thin strip of wood under the affected corner or side. Continue adjusting the cabinet in this manner until the drawer chest sits absolutely level from all sides.
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Repair and Maintenance of Garden Tools

Garden tools are among the most used and abuse tools around, thus, they also need regular maintenance and repair. Keep your tools in good condition will not only considerably extend their life but it will also lighten your gardening tasks.
Bond 6930 Pink 5 Piece Garden Tool Bag Gift Set
One part of good maintenance is to clean all the garden tools right after each use, before storing them. Shovels, hoes, rakes and similar metal tools are extremely susceptible to rust especially after being used on damp soil, so clean the metal parts and thoroughly dry them before storage. You may also wipe the blades with an oil-soaked rag, or keep a pail or sand moistened with oil in your garage. Work your blades, shovels, or hoe up and down in it a couple of times just before hanging it up. The sand scrapes the dirt off and also polishes the metal at the same time. The oil, on the other hand, coats the metal parts lightly to protect against rust. Replace the batch of oily sand each spring time.

Garden tools with moving parts such as pruning shears and hedge clippers need regular lubrication particularly on pivot points and hinged segments. Lightly oil these tools and wipe off any excess to avoid the greasy build up that will attract dirt.
Fiskars 9424 Garden Bucket Caddy
Protect and preserve garden tool handles by rubbing the rough spots with medium grade sandpaper or steel-wool, or by wrapping it with waterproof plastic tape. At least once a year, buff the handles with fine steel wool, then wipe on two coats of boiled linseed oil. Allow the oil to soak well before wiping off the excess with a dry fabric. Protecting and maintaining these tools handles will avoid causing blisters and injury to you hands due to cracked, splintered, or rough metal parts. Damaged tool handles can be replaced by buying replacement parts at your local hardware or garden supply shop. If you are inexperienced with replacing tool handles, it would be better to bring the damaged tool to the shop, too. Perhaps you can ask someone to give you an added service of replacing the handle with a new one right after buying the needed parts.

To make you garden chores easier and more efficient, shovel blades, clippers, hoes, scissors, and similar tools should be periodically sharpened using a file or carborundum. As much as possible, try to keep the original shape of the blade by applying light strokes across the cutting edge. Garden scissors and clippers must only be sharpened from one side - the one that has a bevel, with the file traveling from the heel to the blade point at every stroke.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Home Brewing Your Beer Complete With Its Carbonation Process

Beer has been brewed at home, roughly for the past several thousand years. There is not much said regarding the practice prior to the nineteenth century. At some point though, men found out that CO2 (carbon dioxide) was necessary for brewing beer at home. This most probably reinforced the fascination with home brewing. Larger breweries weren’t quite so thrilled with the home-based competition.

The Inland Revenue Act of 1880 in the United Kingdom required private citizens to pay for a license in order to engage their pastime. The same types of adversities were felt by home brewers in the United States. A law passed in 1920 banned anybody, private or company to produce alcohol. Organized crime figured a boost in activity during the famous “Prohibition” period.
Times have already changed now and home brewing is delighted by many, with interest in the process growing as more time elapses. It can be a really relaxing and enjoyable hobby. There’s some work that gets into making beer at home, but they’re minimal and the result is something truly great that you will be able to share with friends and family.

What CO2 Is To Brewing Beer At Home
Brewing beer at home is not at all hard as long as you are able to and will follow directions. There are 4 basic ingredients needed for every batch you make:
Malted Grain

There’s a fifth ingredient, but it comes a little late to the party: carbon dioxide, or CO2. You can’t brew beer at home without it. In reality, no one can brew beer anyplace without carbon dioxide. How do you acquire it? It is brought out by the yeast and hops in the beer. There is a crucial process of aging that’s necessary if you desire really good beer.

When bottled, leave it be for no less than 2 weeks. It is during this time that the CO2 is produced and your beer is carbonated. There are a couple of other ways to add CO2 to your home brewed beer, but the aging is still something to permit.

The fast way to possibly add CO2 to beer brewed at home is to pump it into your keg or container straightaway. This accelerates the aging process and gets you to your brew a lot quicker.
The more traditional method for home brewing beer with CO2 is by putting wort to the finished product just before sealing it. Wort is just unfermented beer; adding that for the yeast brings out carbon dioxide.

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How Neighborhoods Can Be Transformed Into Retirement Communities

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Some people find the thought of moving to another home once they retire attractive, but the majority would choose to keep living in their familiar neighborhood amongst people they have come to know. If you and a number of your neighbors are nearing retirement, then you might be able to convert your area into a retirement village, avoiding the need to move to assisted living or retirement communities.

Isolation may lead to undesirable decisions.
Aging is a frightening prospect for anyone, no matter what their financial or social situation. Many retirees find themselves virtually forced into moving out of beloved homes that they have spent decades in, particularly if they are single or have no family living close by. The reason a lot of seniors give for moving out is that they’ll be unable to do the daily errands called for to maintain their household.

Growing old connotes a loss of independence, and this generates a resistance to asking for help. No one wants to weigh down younger family members and friends with obligation for their daily existence. An attractive choice would be to hire somebody to perform all these essential errands for you like somebody who can take you to the doctor or hospital, who buys your groceries, does simple household repairs, and helps you with bank transactions.

Regrettably not everyone can afford to employ a personal assistant. But consider a different option, one that several communities across the United States have took on. What if you can create an infrastructure that pools the resources of a group of retirees and hire an assistant to provide to all their needs?
Facing the Challenges Together
Communities like Beacon Hill Village in Boston have revealed the way. By pooling the energies of a group of resourceful people, they have created a model for transforming a neighborhood into an ideal place to grow old in. The creation of such surroundings is not a haphazard affair, and must be sustainable to ensure continuing support for member as long as they require it.

The initial step is to produce a core group or board of directors. Somebody must be responsible for running the organization and managing day to day activities. Creating this foundation isn’t really as hard as it seems, but it is significant to get the correct information about how to start. The first steps must be getting information on how this was executed in other areas, and asking about local governmental regulations which could help or hinder your efforts.

The financial aspect of the organization should be solid if they’re to last. The most fundamental funding will of course come from membership fees. If you’re starting from a small group, then you’ll need to identify service providers in the area that you are able to partner with. Marketing will be crucial in order to attract more members and encourage more commercial partners. Turning up additional funding, from both private and government entities may as well be an option.

Keeping the Family Together
Of key importance to this action is the network of relationships that it builds upon. A burden for one can be lighter if shared out among many. Volunteer assistance from younger family or neighbors must be encouraged, but foundation should never be entirely dependent on them. Retirement communities home grown from neighborhoods are no longer an impossibility, with the proper planning and direction, you can stay in the place you love without giving up your dignity or sense of security.
 Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Retirement Community Design and Layout Considerations

A significant trend in residential and community design is the rising interest in age confined projects. Retirement communities are specifically targeted to individuals over the age of 65 who prefer to relocate to surroundings which center on convenience and quality of life. The special needs of this age bracket demand decisive thinking when planning the layout of the facilities as well as the design of single housing units and common spaces.

A lot of clients would be keenly concerned in the available facilities of your project. Medical support is of chief importance, so if you don’t plan to have a tertiary care medical facility inside your compound, consider having at the least secondary or primary care promptly available. In these cases a well-equipped tertiary care hospital shouldn’t be too far away.

Commercial areas where residents can buy necessities such as food, prescriptions, and more common household items should be integrated. Residents will welcome easily accessible restaurants and cafes to break the monotony of home cookery. As an alternative, a system which allows easy contact with delivery from external establishments should be in place.

Age-specific Design Considerations
Both common and private areas must be designed with the special needs of older people in mind. Wider access paths are requisite when they need to be negotiated with walkers, wheelchairs, or human aid. Warning and directional signs should be big and easy to read. Pathways must be configured with gentle slopes, non-slip surfaces, and frequent rest areas.

Older people typically prefer one-story housing, even so, well maintained elevators of a good size are an accepted alternative. Focused group discussions uncover that most people want wide airy spaces, with decent lighting. Numerous rails and handholds must be in place. Doorknobs, windows, drawers and cabinet handles must all be easy to grasp for arthritic hands.

Social Design
The social aspect is a significant consideration in these projects. Gerontologic health is intimately linked to social integration, so there must be ample opportunities for occupants to socialize. This mandates not only such 1st level social areas such as clubhouse or common recreational and sports locations. Thought must be put into planning common areas to encourage socialization.

The major dilemma is how to balance suitably interspersed social areas while keeping a sense of spaciousness and privacy. Housing that is overly close together feels safer, but may be agoraphobic. Domiciles that are too far apart make social calls hard as they discourage ambulation. A balance must be struck between the need for solitary time and the need for interaction.

This is still a significant consideration, but must take a back seat to other concerns. This doesn’t mean that you must take the lazy route and go for institutionalized or ultraconservative design. Remember that this industry is extremely competitive and if all other matters are equal, then the way your project looks would factor greatly in the success of the endeavor.

A beautiful location is constantly a great starting point. Most seniors desire retirement communities to be somewhere warm, ideally in proximity to lakes or the ocean. That being said, a beautiful mountainous region might also hold some charm. Though a somewhat conservative total feel may keep from alienating people of an earlier generation, there is something to be said about the excitement that can be yielded by a modern design.

Remember that good taste exceeds age and upbringing.

 Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Plants That Can Be Dangerous to Children and Pets

Aside from its aesthetic value, plants give us fresh supply of oxygen. There are some plants, however, that can make children and pets ill if accidentally chewed.

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We know for a fact that plants are beneficial inside and outside the house. Aside from its aesthetic value, plants give us fresh supply of oxygen. There are some plants, however, that can make children and pets ill if accidentally chewed. The plants, left by themselves are not dangerous as long as these are not ingested. The more common variety of houseplants that can be dangerous if taken internally are dieffenbachia, philodendron, pothos, shamrock, and the sap of poinsettia. Dieffenbachia image source
Philodendron image source
Pothos image source
Shamrock image source
Poinsettia image source

Out in the garden, laburnum, daphne, autumn crocus, and the leaves of the rhubarb plant, can be poisonous. When preparing rhubarb stalks, always discard the leaves. They, as well as philodendron, dieffenbachia, and shamrocks contain oxalic acid, which, if ingested, can lead to severe kidney damage. The poinsettia has been overly maligned lately. It is actually not as dangerous as many believe. There is a sap that can be found on broken leaves and stems of the poinsettias, which can cause minor skin irritation, but its effects are relatively mild. For more information on dangerous plants, contact your local poison control center. They have extensive information. It would also help to ask botanists and horticulturists about a plant you intend to acquire or have already acquired in your home.

If you already have these in your house, place these plants out of your children’s or pet’s reach.

Copyright © 2009 Athena Goodlight 11/05/2009 Healthmad
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Natural Ingredients to Help Ward off Ants From Your Home

Ants are among the unwelcome creatures in your home. Seeing a trail of ants can be irritating, but not impossible to get rid of. If you are not comfortable using chemical insecticides in your home, particularly in your kitchen, here are some natural ingredients that can also help you get rid of ant invasion.
The most basic thing to remember is to keep your area free from food crumbs. Immediately clean the dining table and the floor after eating so ants will have no food particles to pick up after you have eaten your meal or snack.

Here are other natural ingredients that can ward off ants.

You may love the scent of cinnamon, but ants hate it. Sprinkle cinnamon powder where ants are visible and they will avoid the area.

Ants hate the smell of vinegar. During seasons when ants are seen all over, splash some vinegar where you see ants marching- particularly on your window and door frames, or just about any part of your house to deter ant invasion.

Aside from cooking purposes and keeping your kitchen smelling clean and fresh, lemons can also keep your kitchen ant-proof. Simply squeeze lemon juice into the cracks or holes where you see ants getting in. Place some small pieces of lemon peel around the entrance holes, too. The ants will soon catch on that they are not welcome.

Dump a layer of salt along the path where ants crawl and they will turn their back in defeat.

Baby oil
Apply some baby oil to areas where ants frequently march on and they will have a hard time making their way across the slippery surface. After several repeats of this baby oil trick, the ants will eventually give up and retreat.

Spicy trap
Set up a spicy trap for black ants by sprinkling some ground red pepper or curry powder near their entry point. There’s a big chance they won’t be back anytime soon.

Peppermint smells stinky to ants. Place some peppermint tea bags near areas where you see ants enter. You may also do the same outside your house and ants will get the message that they are unwelcome.

Cloves and Bay Leaves
To ant-proof your kitchen for the whole year, place bay leaves or whole cloves in the corners of cupboard shelves and window sills. These spices have long lasting effects against ant invasions. Ants can’t stand the smell of bay leaves therefore they will avoid these at all costs. Place some crumpled bay leaves on your window sills to keep ants out.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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How to Control Your Cat's Scratching Habits

Your cat loves to scratch. In order to understand how to modify her behavior, you must understand why she does it. Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, on of which is plain enjoyment. Scratching also provides an outlet for your cat to mark her territory. There are glands in her paws that leave her scent behind when she scratches. Scratching also keeps her claws in shape. Overgrown, neglected claws can get snagged in carpet and cause pain or injury.

So, instead of trying to make her stop, redirect your cat toward more suitable scratching outlets. You’ll save your furniture and keep your cat happy.
SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
Punishment is not a solution. A cat’s urge to scratch is too strong. If you punish your cat, she will most likely wait to claw your furniture until you are not around. And there is a good chance that she will be afraid of you. Instead, provide your cat her own scratching furniture. Congratulate her each time she sharpens her claws on it. She will quickly learn that the couch belongs to you , but that nice block of wood or carpeted scratching post is one hundred percent her property to shred.

Scratching Solutions

Scratching is a wonderful form of exercise for a cat. It works and stretches her front legs and manicures her claws. If your cat goes outside and likes to climb, a good scratching post inside can help her get ready for the big tree hunt. If she is an indoor cat, it is recommended to put up a cat gym to facilitate appropriate climbing as well. It will very likely save your furniture for being treated like trees.
SmartCat Perch for the Ultimate Scratching Post
Indoor cats should have at least one acceptable outlet for her scratching desires. Scratching posts are sold in pet and department stores and can be relatively inexpensive. Be sure to pick one that is secure. it should have a sturdy base or be heavy enough so that it won’t tip over. If it topples or sways under her pull, she won’t use it again. The post should be tall enough to allow her to fully extend, so that she can stretch. Its surface should not be substantially different in texture from the fabric of your furniture or living room rug. Many cats enjoy posts covered in sisal which is a thick natural fiber rope. Sisal shreds into a fine mess, which means you’ll have to do some sweeping up, but your cat will be very happy.

You can make your own scratching post or surface by wrapping sisal around a block of wood and attaching it to a base or wall. You can also duct tape or staple an old piece of carpet to the wall or a door frame. if the cat has already started destroying a section of the wall, you can cover the space with a nice rectangle of carpeting and she will most likely love the addition.

Many cats will recognize a scratching post without any help from you. Other cats may need a little coaxing. To teach your cat to use the scratching post, you can:
  • Spend your playtime by the post and attach toys to it. Play chase the string up and around it so her claws dig in and she can experience it by accident.
  • Rub some catnip onto the new post.
  • Place the post near her sleeping area. When she wakes up, she has a suitable spot for her full body scratching stretches.
  • Send your scent to the post by mock scratching it yourself that will show her interest in the new structure. Do not pick up her paws and show her what to do. She will find that quite insulting.
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Tips on Building a Bat House

Two Chamber Bat HouseBat Conservatory House-helps reduce mosquitos naturallyBird houses and bird feeders are common; but have you considered being a good neighbor to bats as well? If you have taken interest in the life of bats but you live in the city, you may simply put up a bat house in your backyard. But remember that they will not work just anyplace. Here are a couple of basic rules about making a successful bat house:

• Bats drink plenty of water, so bat houses inside a quarter of a mile from rivers, streams or ponds have a better opportunity of drawing in bats than those without any nearby water sources. Swimming pools also make excellent bat watering holes. Bats get their share of their drink by swooping down and seizing a mouthful of water on the wing.

• Do not hang your bat house in a tree just like a birdhouse; secure it to the trunk so it will not swing around. Bats want their houses high above the ground, mounted up on the side of your own house up under the eaves or on a pole. 10 feet or higher is fine.

Temperature is the most crucial single element in bat house living. Houses that get more than four hours of direct sun every day appear to be the busiest. If your bat house is not going batty, it may not be getting enough sunlight. Place it to a warmer spot and see if that does not help. Painting the bat house black will help absorb more heat. Ordering a catalog from Bat Conservation International will supply you with a map of the United States highlighted to indicate what color a bat house must be in your area.

Hotter climates should evidently get lighter-colored houses to prevent them from getting excessively hot. Individuals who live in the country appear to pull in more bats than city residents. This maybe the after effects of the massive use of pesticides in suburban and urban yards. We are doing our fiendish best to wipe out all the insects in our yards. What we forget is that whether they’re "good" bugs or "bad" they’re an integral connection in the eternal food chain that nurtures the other creatures that alive.

Did you know that more toxic chemicals are ditched in our yards each year than in the commercial agriculture areas in the state put together? When you visit your local hardware or garden store to purchase something, go down the pesticide aisle, take a big whiff. Then read a few labels and check what you’ve been breathing in. Pay special attention where it says "warning." At this point, you may want to wear a HazMat suit when you get out to smell the flowers in your garden, doesn’t it?

The absence of all those flying insects has a definite negative impact on a flying mammal that must eat its own weight in insects each night. Bat species all over the world are in trouble due to this indiscriminate pesiticide usage.


Building Bat Houses by Dale Evva Gelfand, 1996

America’s Neighborhood Bats by Merlin D. Tuttle, 2005

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Toothpaste as a Versatile Cleaning Product

Toothpaste is great for cleaning a lot of stains. The same cleaning agents and compounds that do such a good job of cleaning, whitening, and polishing your teeth have hundreds of other applications in taking the bite out of stains all around your home.

Here are some ways on how toothpaste can help clean different stuff:

Grass stains are some of the most stubborn of water-soluble stains, and kids love to grind grass stains into their trouser knees. You’ll also find grass stains on your kitchen floor, on the carpet, and on running shoes. To clean these, dampen the grass-stained fabric and use your fingers to work a dollop of toothpaste right into the stain. Work up a good lather then rinse with cold water. Repeat the procedure several times if necessary. Bear in mind that toothpaste also contains a bleaching whitener, and it can cause colored garments to fade. Other cloth stains that can be removed by the toothpaste are chocolate syrup, ballpoint ink pen, and soy sauce.

Use it with an old toothbrush for getting into those hard-to-reach places like the blades of your blender, between the grooves of your golf clubs, or removing grass stains from white leather shoes. You can also remove tobacco stains from ashtrays using toothpaste.

On the kitchen range, that heavy, greasy buildup that accompanies sautéing, broiling, frying, or whatever can be cleaned by using an old toothbrush and toothpaste. It also works for other metal appliances.

It’s ideal for cleaning jewelry, fine filigreed silverware, metal watchbands, countertops, around the bathroom sink taps, china cups and plates, even dusty figurines.

For those who have children and have seen crayon markings on the wall, you can clean these markings by rubbing a damp cloth with some toothpaste on the soiled area. Same can be done to clean soiled carpets, tile and vinyl floors.

You can even use toothpaste to clean the corners of your fingernails and toenails. Try it and watch the stubborn dirt go leaving your nails shiny and squeaky clean.

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Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

Advantages of Using Steam Cleaners

Haan Deluxe Total Home Steam Cleaning System, Includes FS-20+ Upright Vapor Steam Floor Sanitizer, & HS-20 Lightweight Handheld Personal SteamerFirst of all, when carpet cleaning comes into mind, most individuals will often think of vacuum cleaners. Besides, this cleaning machine is what most people got accustomed to when it concerns cleaning carpets. Even so, did you know that vacuums do not truly clean as thoroughly as you might think? It could leave behind deeply planted dirt and contaminants that can be hazardous to your health. This is why several people today now employ steam cleaners for cleaning up their carpet.

There are a number of advantages that steam cleaners possess over your conventional vacuum. The following are the distinguished advantages of steam cleaners and also the chief reasons why you must get a steam cleaner rather than a vacuum.
 Dirt Devil PD20005 Hand Held Steamer
• Zero risk of chemical contamination – This is essentially the primary advantage of using a steam cleaner. You have to keep in mind that steam cleaners utilize only water to fight dirt and other contaminants. It does not use cleaning chemicals that let loose toxic fumes that can be very harmful when breathed in.

• Extremely high temperatures and high pressure will guarantee deep cleansing – Steam cleaners give off steam that is at about 240 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Mixed with the high pressure, it will effectively strip off even the most deep seated dirt from your carpet. Another benefit of high temperature is that it will kill microbes and even harmful bacteria that cause serious health problems. It can even kill mildew, mould as well as dust mites. So, you will be getting rid of dirt with steam cleaners, and you will likewise disinfect the area in doing so.
 Electric Steam Cleaner
These are the benefits of using steam cleaners. There are quite a lot of reasons why you must start doing away with your old vacuum as your basic cleaning device and change over to steam cleaners. With steam cleaners, you'll enjoy a lot more benefits than just leaving your house and carpet clean.

By Tip Writer