• If you have outdoor light bulbs, the next time you change them, coat the threads with a little petroleum jelly. Just a dab rubbed all over will do. It will keep moisture from making the bulb rusty and hard to replace. — I.B. in Rhode Island
• “When I cook steaks on the grill, I use colored toothpicks to identify the ‘doneness’ of the meat. I like mine rare, my wife likes well-done and the kids are in between. So, mine has a blue toothpick, the kids’ are green, etc. The steaks can go right to the table, and we know whose is whose.” — E.R. in New Mexico
• Shower curtains need to be replaced every so often, but they can still live out a full life in the garden. Try using one as a table protector when repotting plants. Or, use one to drag a pile of soil or mulch around the yard. They can even be draped to create a greenhouse type of effect if you are expecting an unseasonably cold night.
• “If your broom or mop has a hole in the top of the handle, you can thread a shower curtain ring through that hole to hang it up better. Some of the loops are too small to hang, in my opinion, but if you get a nice-size shower curtain ring, you will have plenty of room.” — M.G. in Illinois
• “We installed a swing in the back yard. My wife suggested we add sections of garden hose slit up the side and clipped over the chain where the kids hang on. We did short sections, and it has worked well. No chain-pinched fingers.” — T.R. via email
(c) 2010 King Features Synd.