I'm So Clever

Foil ball solves taco shell cracking

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.

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