The winner: When heating up my hard taco shells they would close up then crack in half when I filled them. Solution: tin foil. Make a small ball of foil and place inside the shell and that will preserve a nice gap for easy filling.
Scott Wallace, Concord
Pill bottle keeps weathervane upright
I have a handmade copper weathervane on a mounted pole in the garden. It falls over as time goes on, especially after it rains and it gets loose in the soil. I took a used prescription plastic bottle that was a bit larger in circumference than the pole and knocked out the bottom with a hammer, then hammered the plastic tube into the soil and placed the pole back in. No more falling over.
Ginny Campany, Mooresville
Birds tweet about homemade treat
After a long overdue pantry purging, I found myself with an overstock of old nuts and nut butters, dried cherries, blueberries and raisins. Although these items no longer appealed to anyone at home, I wondered about the birds. I mixed the peanut and almond butters, all the dried fruit and a bit of Crisco to the mix in an attempt to make homemade suet. Heating everything in a pot on the stove on medium high, I stirred to reach a uniform consistency. After sprinkling in some bird seed, I dumped it into an 8-inch pan, let it cool and then cut it in fourths. The birds loved it! I had all kinds of birds flying in to get a bit of the mixture. And the size fit perfectly into my suet feeder.
Christy Crowder, Charlotte
Note: We checked in with Observer birding writer Taylor Piephoff, who said this was a fine thing to do.
Send us your tips
Send your clever tip, address and phone to firstname.lastname@example.org, Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” book.