Snow Traction, Pine Cone Bird Feeder, and Other Country Lore

A method of using roof tiles for snow traction and a pine cone as a bird feeder are among the tips submitted by readers in this ongoing feature.

| November/December 1981

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Snow Traction

Now's the time to place four asphalt roof shingles in your car's trunk, says Don Carroll. Then, if you get stuck in the snow someplace, you can simply put one shingle under each tire (rough side up) and drive right on out. The Tulsa, Oklahoma resident reports that the roofing material works just as well as sand but doesn't make nearly as much mess or take up as much space in the trunk, and it's reusable.

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Pine cones make excellent bird feeders, says Winston-Salem, North Carolina reader James Salmons. Just dip a large cone in melted suet, roll it in wild bird seed, and hang it outside for your feathered winter friends to enjoy.

Wood Gunk Remover

When Les Hall's saw blade gets all gummed up from cutting green wood, he removes the gunk with oven cleaner. "It works better than turpentine," the Atlanta, Michigan resident writes.

Insulation Handling Method

One of the easiest ways to make your house more energy efficient (and to help balance your budget) this winter is to put another layer of insulation in your attic. Robert Field, Jr. of Riverdale, Maryland wrote to tell us about a method his father devised to keep the Itchy material away from tender skin during the application process: He used a ski pole to place the fiberglass fluff between the boards, eliminating the need to tuck the insulation in by hand.

Turkey Blindfold

If you're planning to dress your own turkey as part of a truly homegrown Thanksgiving feast, you may want to take a tip from Bemidji, Minnesota's Bill Thiessen. During the night before butchering day, Bill takes a flashlight and an old sock (a dark, densely woven one works best) and heads for the roost. Being careful not to shine the light in the bird's eyes or create any unnecessary disturbance, he quietly pulls the sock over the sleeping turkey's head, holding it in place with a rubber band if it fits loosely.

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