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Pipe insulation protects fingers from pinchy chain swings

I'm So Clever
What a smart stocking stuffer! More than 450 thrifty tips from readers are compiled in our 'I'm So Clever' book that is on sale now.

I'm So Clever
I'm So Clever is compiled by Observer assistant features editor Roland Wilkerson. Send your tip, name, address and phone by email or mail to Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, N.C. 28230.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/17/02/130OY4.Em.138.jpeg|423
    - Tricia Robertson
    I freeze water or diluted chicken or beef broth in a muffin tin for a fun treat for my dog, Bailey. These hot days she enjoys having an ice muffin to lick and chew on outdoors. Easily stores in freezer. Fun alternative for a cool treat. Tega Cay.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/17/02/ww2hc.Em.138.jpeg|421
    - Jean Hoke, Mooresville
    Chains on swings can pinch fingers and pull hair. Use foam pipe insulation to cover the chain. It’s split up the side to go on pipe and slides on to the chain perfectly.

The winner: Chains on swings can pinch fingers and pull hair. Use foam pipe insulation to cover the chain. It’s split up the side to go on pipe and slides onto the chain perfectly.

Jean Hoke, Mooresville

‘Broth-cicles‘ make tasty dog treats

I freeze water or diluted chicken or beef broth in a muffin tin for a fun treat for my dog, Bailey. These hot days she enjoys having an ice muffin to lick and chew on outdoors. It easily stores in the freezer and it’s a fun alternative for a cool treat.

Tricia Robertson, Tega Cay, S.C.

Note: We checked with Dr. Korinn Saker, an associate professor of clinical nutrition at N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine, to make sure this was OK. She said it was fine, but added that low-sodium broth diluted with water was best to avoid the possibility of dehydration.

Self-cleaning oven works on grill grates

The summer means lots of grilling, and that means lots of food and residue buildup on your grill grates. The wire brush does a good job, but after a while buildup remains. I have found the best way to get rid of that is to run the grates in a cycle of the self-cleaning oven. Just make sure to wipe them off with a damp cloth before reuse. Kevin Weaver, Concord

Win an ‘I’m So Clever’ book

Send your clever tip, address and phone to clever@charlotteobserver.com or Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” book. You can order a copy at www.charlotteobserver.com/clever for just $5.99, plus shipping. Also available at Park Road Books and Blackhawk Hardware.

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