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Etiquette old and new

Feeling incorrect? Avoid a scolding from Miss Manners by picking up some pointers from Modern Etiquette: Always in Style, a booklet developed by Lenox, the china manufacturer, and Katie Brown, the TV personality whose new show debuts next month on the E! Style network. Among the tips: Answering cell phone calls during a meeting or social function is rude. (Hear, hear!) History lesson: In days gone by, when one person left a party, it was considered rude for others to hang around, so if one guest departed, the fun was over. Learn how to set a table, be a good guest and entertain. The booklet is free; call toll-free 1-800-635-3669.

Gel-Gloss your counter tops

How to clean and shine dull, dirty plastic laminate counter tops? Gene Austin of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports he's had good luck with Gel-Gloss (www.gel-gloss.com), available at home centers and hardware stores. It also cleans fiberglass, ceramic tiles and stainless steel, among other surfaces, he says. "Don't expect any cleaner to renew the surface of plastic laminate that is badly worn and scuffed," Austin cautions. "The appearance will be improved, but it will still look worn and scuffed."

Woodworkers' paradise

The Woodworking Show continues through Sunday at the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. The show offers demonstrations and sales of machinery, power and hand tools, and supplies by more than 100 manufacturers; free demonstrations and seminars. Local woodworking clubs will display their members' work, demonstrate skills and answer questions. The show is open today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $9, children 12 and younger free.

Recliner couture?

Seven fashion designers were invited by La-Z-Boy to create a "designer recliner." Check out these results: Tommy Hilfiger created the Tommy Flag Recliner. Todd Oldham designed a retro-chic chair in blue vinyl with steel legs reminiscent of a 1950s diner booth. You won't find these in the stores, but you can bid on them starting Monday through April 4 on eBay (www.ebay.com). The auction benefits Bailey House, a not-for-profit organization that provides housing for homeless men, women and children with AIDS.

_ Compiled by Homes Editor JUDY STARK

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