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What’s new

SunCalc takes the guesswork out of locating plants where they’ll get the right amount of sunlight.

The gadget measures the accumulated light that falls on a specific spot over 12 hours. At the end of the day, an LED lights to indicate whether the site gets full sun, partial sun, partial shade or full shade — designations that are also found on plant labels.

The device is available for about $29 to $35 from mail-order retailers Lee Valley, Burpee, Gardener’s Supply Co., Whatever Works, Gardeners Edge, Taylor Gifts, Gempler’s and Brookstone. It is expected to be in Smith & Hawken stores in the fall.

Information is at



On the shelf

When you’re building a house, it’s hard to think of everything. So Susan Lang has done it for you.

Lang wrote "Designing Your Dream Home" to guide readers through the process, right down to suggesting the kinds of binders they should use to organize their paperwork. The book covers every detail from how to interview an architect to where to hang the dining room chandelier, so you don’t end up wishing you’d done things differently.

It’s filled with forms, checklists and suggestions, all intended to help homeowners end up with a house that fits both their needs and their dreams.

"Designing Your Dream Home" is published by Thomas Nelson. It’s priced at $24.99 in softcover.




Q: Is there any way to remove the cloudy stain in the interior of my clear glass vases? I have tried soaking in vinegar water, Efferdent and Alka-Seltzer, and I’ve used scrub brushes to no avail.

A: The stain is probably mineral buildup. Following are some removal methods suggested by Reyne Haines, a Cincinnati glass dealer who founded the online auction Just Glass and has appeared as an appraiser on the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow." They’re listed from least harsh to most.

• Fill the vase with ammonia and water and let it sit a few hours.

• Apply petroleum jelly and let it sit for four or five days before removing.

• Dab a little Pearl Drops tooth polish on your index finger and rub lightly. Wash with water.

• Spray on Scrubbing Bubbles aerosol bathroom cleaner. Let it sit and then rinse.

• Use a Krazy Kloth, a stain remover cloth that’s available at some stores and from Jensco Inc. ( or 800-270-4202). Follow the directions on the package, and finish by washing with lukewarm water.

• Apply Lime-A-Way. Rub it lightly and in small circles.


If the cloudiness persists, and if the vases are valuable enough to warrant it, you might want to look into having them professionally restored.

— McClatchy Newspapers

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