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Briefs: Take the handwriting off the wall — with baking soda

A HUGE home to tour for a good cause

Put this on the calendar: Villa Terranova, an 18,000-square-foot home at 2040 Brightwaters Blvd. NE in the Snell Isle neighborhood in St. Petersburg, will be open as Windstar's Home of Dreams to benefit All Children's Hospital. The house, built by Windstar Homes of Tampa, has six bedrooms, eight baths, 380 feet of water frontage, an Olympic-size pool and a wine cellar. The house will be open Sept. 27-28, Oct. 2-5 and Oct. 9-12. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 at the door. Information: (813) 349-2755;

Understand and care for your pool

Pool care professional Ken Christensen of Indialantic reveals the tricks of the trade and shows you how to clean and care for your pool in five simple steps. Learn the secrets of pool chemistry; make the acquaintance of motors, pumps and hoses; and feel much more confident about taking care of your pool yourself. He even includes chapters on poolside dining and romance: What a guy! I Love My Pool! (Romantic America, $19.95) is available at

Take handwriting off the wall

Have small persons been scribbling with crayons on the wall? Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge to gently scrub the crayon off. This also works for ink and pencil on painted surfaces, Real Simple says.

Eight weeks of Halloween ideas

Starting Monday, you can sign up at for an eight-week Halloween Workshop. Each week you'll get costume ideas, jack-o'-lantern templates, decorating ideas, recipes and party ideas, and lots more. At that same site, be inspired by images of the best of 2007's pumpkin-carving contest.

Hideous sofa? This contest is for you

You have until Sept. 30 to enter your eyesore of a sofa in the annual Ugly Couch Contest sponsored by Sure Fit, make of slipcovers. Details are at Kim Myles, host of HGTV's Myles of Style, will give the winner's living room a $5,000 makeover. Celebrity judges will choose 20 semifinalists, and all Americans can vote online starting Oct. 13. The ugly of uglies will be announced Nov. 15. The Tampa Bay area has produced a number of finalists over the years, so we've got bragging rights at stake here.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Briefs: Take the handwriting off the wall — with baking soda 09/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:50pm]
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