Nesting Instincts
Beware the Home Wrecker
My mother warned me about her — the woman who enters your life uninvited and wrecks your home. She just didn’t tell me the home wrecker would be me. It was bad enough when I used a manual chair — tell-tale marks alongside every kitchen cabinet, notches carved in door facings at axle level, smudges decorating every doorway. But that home wrecker was only distant competition for her successor who invaded decades later in a power chair. She knocked the bedroom door right off its hinges, busted a hole in the bathroom door big enough to have to replace. She even ripped the lower shelf right out of the refrigerator door.

I can’t undo all her damage, but a couple inexpensive remedies help. Now as I patch and repaint each corner, I tack up a clear hard plastic corner protector. A 5 foot length is available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Another quick, inexpensive fix is an acrylic pen. They come in various tones, one to match every type of cabinet wood. Even a brown crayon can work magic in many cases. You’ll have to retouch periodically, but it does help you establish some boundaries against the home wrecker.
 —Sharon Gardner

Outside Tracks
Grilling tips?
Max Woodbury, C6, Portland, Ore. “To carry items to my deck, I use a lap tray coated with Dycem, a tacky material that keeps things from sliding off. For thresholds, a carpenter made gently-angled transitions from decking material (for outside) and hardwood (for inside) that connect to the aluminum plate at the bottom of the door. Smooth rolling means no more spilling! And I use a simple fire poker with a curved hook for opening and closing the grill cover without burning my arms. Happy grilling!”

Send us your tips! Next: How have you improved your parking space, carport or garage? E-mail Doug Lathrop.

In the Kitchen
Have you noticed how new kitchens have the microwave shelf installed at eye-level — but not for my eyes. Hope you have accident insurance when you remove that TV dinner. Obviously you can put the microwave on a counter or small table, but how do you maximize the vacant built-in shelf? A big turntable is worth the investment here. Now with a light spin, I can reach all my glasses and goblets. Check out the pretty 20-inch wooden Lazy Susan at or the more affordable 20-inch polymer version for $29.97 from
— S.G.