Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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November 25

two turtle doves, and a raaaat in a christmas tree

we live in the woods in northern california and want to decorate a large pine tree for christmas which currently lives about 15 feet from our front door. it will be staying where it is; we want to add some natural-ish decorations which could maybe feed the several species of birds that live around us. how festive. however, this being the country, we also have wood rats aplenty. the last thing i want to see on christmas morning is our tree filled with rats. is there a way to feed the birds without encouraging rats? or should we just dress the rats as soldiers and recreate the nutcracker suite in our front yard?
posted by andreapandrea at 2:31 PM - 8 answers

November 23

What's a basic toolkit to keep in an apartment?

I have more tools than I can store in my apartment. I have a storage unit in the basement (1 floor down) where I will keep most everything, but I'd like to keep a basic set of tools in my apartment so that I can fix minor things that pop up. What should I keep in my tool drawer? [more inside]
posted by bendy at 7:08 PM - 11 answers

Is there an effective unscented hard water remover?

We've had ongoing problems with hard water leaving a haze on our glassware, despite using rinse aid. I recently discovered products like Glisten and Lemishine. However, every product of this type that I've found has been lemon scented. Does an unscented version of this exist? [more inside]
posted by primethyme at 1:30 PM - 5 answers

Can I glue a coffee pot back together?

Can I crazy glue a coffee percolator back together? [more inside]
posted by archimago at 7:29 AM - 10 answers

November 22

How can I preserve a rotting old stump from rotting further?

There is a rotting old stump in my new yard which looks, from my office window, sort of like a natural castle, with turrets and windows and ledges. I would like to shape it a little more, and then put some of my plastic D&D miniatures on it to make a diorama. But the wood crumbles almost at a touch. Is there something I can pour onto the stump to freeze it in this shape? [more inside]
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:07 PM - 6 answers

Is there anything I can do about multiple late rent payment fines?

I made some late payments on my rent over the last year. I just re-signed a new lease starting in September. Now, my landlord is saying I owe $1,200 from previous late rent payments, which I was never informed about. Anything I can do about this? [more inside]
posted by davidstandaford at 5:10 PM - 12 answers

How do I hang....

....this lovely hanging lamp? My husband brought this back from the Middle East and it's been collecting dust for years because I don't know what kind of bracket to buy to hang it! Handypersons of AskMe, please point me in the right direction! Pics here.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 2:30 PM - 6 answers

Where can I get architecture/floorplan ideas for an apartment?

Where can I get architecture/floorplan ideas for an apartment? [more inside]
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 2:12 PM - 12 answers

Tabletop DIY tree?

I'm wondering if someone could point me in the direction of a DIY miniature christmas tree? Needs to fit in a carry-on bag. No bigger than a can of soup. Not real. [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 10:33 AM - 23 answers

best. reading. pillow. ever?

Mefites who work lying down - what do you recline on? [more inside]
posted by mirileh at 9:20 AM - 6 answers

How to make an artificial Christmas tree look okay?

Looking for a decent artificial Christmas tree on a bit of a budget. Do you have one that you really love? Tell me about it! I have been internet-searching these all morning but I can't really tell from the photos how they look, so I came to Metafilter for personal recommendations. (Alternately: tell me your tricks for making fake trees look less sad and fake!) [more inside]
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:16 AM - 28 answers

Have you worked with an architect to build a home from scratch?

We are considering buying property and building a house in southern California. Every part of the process appears daunting to us (the loans, trying to come up with a realistic budget, trying to come up with a realistic time frame for completion, choosing a architect, getting permits, choosing a general contractor). We are first time home buyers who know nothing about anything house related. We are also open to "this is a bad idea, don't do it" advice. [more inside]
posted by arnicae at 9:05 AM - 11 answers

household intercom options?

So we've moved to a two story house, and are finding that before, where we could hear each other throughout the house, that is now not the case. Are there any good intercom systems or apps out there that do not require being hardwired in? [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl at 8:06 AM - 6 answers

Is there such a thing as a washable, dog nail proof Duvet cover?

We have a down comforter that we'd like to use, but we need a cover for it that will endure dog toenails. Our lab invades us while we are sleeping and has ridiculously long nails. He is high maintenance when it comes to nail clipping, and we are poor, so clipping is not as frequent as it should be. [more inside]
posted by yoga at 6:14 AM - 9 answers

November 20

Do drill brushes really work for shower scum/mildew?

So, the shower grout is getting very mildewy despite my best attempts to clean, scrub, brush, etc. The bathroom is not ventilated particularly well, which only compounds the problem. I've seen these amazing "Drill Brushes, advertising effortless, "manly" cleaning. Do they actually work? Will it clean the grout without damaging the tiles? Has anyone tried one?
posted by greatgefilte at 9:30 AM - 7 answers

Tree roots, a stuck machine and $$

So my sewer has tree roots again. I've had my handyman clear them before but this time I had ****** Sewer Service do it. It was supposed to be a $250 job. Their machine is stuck 50 feet down the pipe. [more inside]
posted by BoscosMom at 8:14 AM - 6 answers

November 19

I've got the E-Lectric Throw... and it's dirty.

Does anyone have an electric blanket/throw? How do you wash it? [more inside]
posted by Weeping_angel at 3:42 PM - 7 answers

November 18

Is replacing the fan on a convection oven a DIY project?

Is replacing the fan on a convection oven a DIY project? The fan on my Viking electric oven made a bunch of noise then started smoking, so I'm guessing that's what failed. Is replacing it a doable project for someone with moderate electrical skills? And is it something I should try to tackle this weekend, before Thanksgiving? (I can cook w/o convection in the meanwhile.) [more inside]
posted by sixpack at 12:38 PM - 7 answers

Elegant pooping

Since I'm always struggling with plumbers here at my home, I realized that my home was just not built to have a water closet. And I have come to wonder how things worked back in the day. My apartment is clearly intended for the upper middle class. It is spacious and originally had a room for staff. But it was built without a toilet. There was a bath, but what is now the toilet was originally a storage space. Actually, the whole back part of my apartment was clearly not open for guests - the doors are lower and the decoration is more primitive. I can't bring in a normal fridge because the doors are too narrow. My question is: how did the people who visited my apartment during the early 20th century pee? There is a huge dining room and a den and generally the layout suggests tons of entertainment (very little space for private life). But these guests must have had bodily functions? Or what?
posted by mumimor at 11:56 AM - 19 answers

ID this discontinued IKEA lamp?

This is sort of silly but we have this old IKEA lamp that has stopped working and I'd love to scour eBay for another only 1) it doesn't have the made up Scandinaviesque name anywhere on it and 2) every one of the million search strings I have tried has turned up nøthing. [more inside]
posted by Smearcase at 8:01 AM - 4 answers

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