Bi-Monthly Almanac: Safe Toddler Swing, Swinging Pet Door, and Other Household Projects

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Make a swinging pet door by attaching coil springs to both sides of a small screen door. The springs will be strong enough to close the door, but your dog or cat will be strong enough to push it to get in or out.
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For a secure toddler swing that doesn't tip, thread the support rope through two holes in each side of a suitably sized box.
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To make a simple washcloth holder, attache several spring-type clothespins to a wood panel and then hang this assembly on your bathroom wall. Write the names your family on each clothespin.
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To make an auxiliary, non-slip sidewalk: cut small slits in two lengths of discarded garden hose, then drive nails through these into a series of evenly spaced boards.
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If you've lost the plug for a salt shaker or pepper shaker, use tape to block the fill hole.
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A U-shaped pipe with one end buried in the ground and the other hooked over the lid of a garbage can will prevent animals from knocking them over and foraging.

You’ve always got some household projects to do, right? Well, we’ve got a few suggestions to help
you get them done. Then have a little fun viewing the historically
significant events covered in our September/October Almanac.

Safe Toddler Swing

An ideal “no-tipping” swing for toddlers can be made from one end of a wooden box or put together, from scratch, using four pieces of scrap wood. The trick, however, is to thread the rope through two holes in each side of this box-type construction so your small-fry will have a particularly safe seat while swinging.

Swinging Pet Door

dog or cat can come and go at will if you hinge the lower part of a
screen door and install long coil springs on both sides. These should
exert equal tension .. which will keep the pet door closed, yet allow
the animal to push its way either in or out.

Washcloth Holder

Screw a number of spring-type clothespins to a wood panel and attach the assembly to the bathroom wall. This handy device can then hold washcloths so they’ll dry quickly .. . and–if you paint names on the pins–each family member can quickly identify his or her own cloth.

Bottle Deodorizer

Here is a method to deodorize a foul-smelling bottle: fill the container with cold water, add a pinch of dry mustard, let the solution stand for about one hour, then rinse well.

Slip-Proof Sidewalk

Here’s an autumn shop project that will eliminate the necessity of using salt or ashes on icy sidewalks this winter. Cut small slits in two lengths of discarded garden hose and drive nails through these into a series of evenly spaced boards. When the auxiliary walk isn’t needed, it can be rolled up and stored away.

Temporary Wheelchair

You can make a temporary wheelchair from most any straight-backed chair. All you have to do is drill holes in the ends of the chair legs and insert casters (large-sized, rubber-tired ones are best, but other types will work, too). Of course, the occupant will need an assistant to push him or her along.

Salt Shaker Plug

If you’ve misplaced any corks from your salt or pepper shakers–or if the stoppers have a habit of coming loose–seal the holes with a small strip of tape.

Animal-Proof Garbage Can

Drive a steel rod approximately two feet into the ground and cap the post with a U-shaped pipe, the other end of which fits through a neatly drilled hole in the can’s lid. Not even the biggest dog in the neighborhood (or the forest’s wiliest raccoon) will be able to tip your trash over again.

September/October Almanac


1 Edgar Rice Burroughs’ birthday, 1875

2 Mark Anthony defeated, 31 B.C.; Great fire in London begins, 1666

3 Revolutionary War officially ends, 1783

4 Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan, 1609; First self-service restaurant opens in
N.Y.C. 1885

5 Jesse James birthday, 1847; Raquel Welch’s birthday, 1942

6 Cat nights (as opposed to dog days) commence

7 Grandma Moses’ birthday, 1908

8 Peter Seller’s birthday, 1925

9 Leo Tolstoy’s birthday, 1828, Otis Redding’s birthday, 1941

10 Lincoln Highway–to the first coast-to-coast, paved road–opens, 1913

11 First recorded tickest scalping: Jenny Lind concert in N.Y.C., 1850

12 John and Jackle Kennedy marry, 1953

13 Libya hits record temperature of 136.4F

14 Dante dies, 1321

15 James Fenimore Cooper’s birthday, 1789; Agatha Christie’s birthday 1891

16 Oklahoma Land Rush, 1893

17 Ken Kesey’s birthday, 1935; Hank Williams’ birthday, 1923

18 First issue of the New York Times, 1851

19 Mickey Mouse makes acting debut, 1928

20 Equal Rights Party forms and nominated Belva Lockwood for President, 1884

21 U.S.’s first daily newspaper published in Pennsylvania, 1784

22 Last eight witches hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692

23 First Keystone comedy, 1912

24 First official U.S. autopsy (paid for with a “hogshead of tobacco”), 1657

25 Ford Motor Company established eight-hour day, five-day week, 1926

26 Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, 1774

28 Pilgrim’s Progress published, 1678; Brigitte Bardot’s birthday, 1934; Marcello
Mastrolani’s birthday, 1924

29 First course in radio advertising offered at New York City College, 1930

30 Safety pin invented, 1894


1 Alexander the Great defeats Persia, 331 B.C.

2 Mohandas Gandhi’s birthday, 1869

3 Lincoln proclaims Thanksgiving Day, 1863

4 St. Francis of Assisi’s birthday, 1182; Janis Joplin dies, 1970

5 Dalton gang killed in bank robbery, 1892

6 Thor Heyerdahl’s birthday, 1914; The Jazz Singer begins the era of
“talking” films, 1927

7 Edgar Allan Poe dies, 1849

8 Che Guevara killed in Bolivia, 1967

9 John Lennon’s birthday, 1940

10 The New York Times produces 972-page issue weighing 7-1/2 pounds, 1971

11 Eleonor Roosevelt’s birthday, 1884

12 Aleister Crowley’s birthday, 1875; Dick Gregory’s birthday, 1932

13 Vergil’s birthday, 70 B.C.; Lenny Bruce’s birthday, 1926

14 Normans conquer England, 1066; First faster-tha-sound flight, 1947

16 Oscar Wilde’s birthday, 1856; Eugene O’Neill’s birthday, 1888

17 Sterling Moss’s birthday, 1929

18 Chuck Berry’s birthday, 1926

19 Marlon Brando’ stage debut, 1944; Peter Max’s birthday, 1937

20 U.S. Navy seizes Monterrey, Mexico, 1842

21 U.S. Navy restores Monterrey Mexico with apologies (“We thought
we were at war!”), 1842

22 Mercury, Venus, and Uranus in conjunction with the moon.

23 Sarah Bernhardt’s birthday, 1844; Swallows leave Capistrano

25 Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854

27 Dylan Thomas’s birthday, 1914

28 Erasmus’s birthday, 1466; Return to Standard Time

29 Sir Walter Raleigh executed in London, 1618; Stock Market
collapses, 1929

30 Grace Slick’s birthday, 1939

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