The winner: Instead of printing recipes I find online, I use my iPad. The problem is that I don’t want my tablet on the counter while I cook. My inexpensive fix is to use an inverted adjustable plate stand from a hardware store. Make sure to buy one that can be adjusted to many positions. I hang it on my cupboard knobs, suspending the tablet above the counter. This protects it from spills. The holders also work well in the normal position to stand a tablet on a tabletop.
The winner: Being a little taller that the average man, I needed to improve my wheelbarrow to keep from having back problems when hauling objects around the yard or to the road. Adding a couple of pieces of plastic pipe to the handles of the wheelbarrow and bolting them securely provided a wheelbarrow that was more user-friendly. The extra length also gave more leverage for moving heavier loads. Hope this helps those who may need to move heavier objects without overly straining their backs. Ken Remley, Charlotte
The winner: I recycle Yankee Candle class containers to light up our driveway for nighttime parties. After the original candle burns out, I place the cooled container in the freezer for a few hours, then pop out the spent wax. Once the container reaches room temperature I soak the container in warm water with Dawn. This makes it easy to remove all stickers and residual wax. I then place votives or recycle used pillar candles in the shiny glass container and line the path to our house.
The winner: I keep a basket near my recliner to hold items I may need while reading or watching TV, including pen, highlighter, pencil and sharpener, notepad, sticky notes, scissors, magnifier, and bookmarks. Patricia Covington, Charlotte
The winner: When I recently opened a can of shoe polish to take care of some shoes, the polish was cracked and brittle. I whipped out my heat gun (hair dryer could be used) and melted the polish right in the container. After cooling the container of polish looked brand new again and I was able to give my shoes a good shine. Ken Remley, Charlotte
The winner: After years of annoyingly wrinkled fitted sheets, I found my solution by carefully unfolding a newly purchased sheet for an example. Begin with two corners (narrow ends, perhaps) tucking one into the other, following with the other end. Now tuck one end of corners into the other, making sure that you keep smoothing edges together to end up with a nice, four-cornered pouch. Don’t try to put all four corners together at once. Fold down one side where elastic pulls together. Continue folding.
When it comes to surviving the holidays, most of us need all the help we can get. So the “You’re so clever” column asked readers to send in their best ideas. And, we made a contest out of it. Here we present the winners, along with other great ideas, and a few favorites from previous years. The prizes – first place: Oneida cookware gift set valued at more than $100; second place: $50 gift card; third place: Three Clever books, which make great stocking stuffers.