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Winter brings a bumper crop of freebies

One of the pleasures of living in Florida is that in the dead of winter (usually calculated here by the date on the calendar, not the reading on the thermometer), while Northern neighbors are busy digging out of snowbanks, we are gathering the harvest.

Floridians with even a single citrus tree, for example, currently find themselves in a fever of juicing, canning, preserving and poring over cookbooks in an attempt to put the flow of fruit to use. Margie Hooge of Dunedin, facing a surfeit of grapefruit, has decided to invite our readers to glean from her tree. Feel free to pick all you wish; just call Margie first at (727) 736-3771, and she'll tell you where to locate the cache.

Edward McSheehy would like to donate a printer and a scanner in excellent working condition to a senior center, school or similar worthy organization. The dot matrix printer is a Panasonic KX-P1124; the Microtek ScanMaker E3 flatbed scanner is compatible with all Windows OS versions except XP, and it includes a SCSI board. If your organization, or one you care to suggest, can use these items, please e-mail Edward at

Know a good horologist? Joyce Nauheimer longs to have that clock expert's name. Her special mantel clock has been in the family for three generations, and it's time for a tuneup. Exchangers, Joyce describes herself as "desperate," so call (727) 526-1711 and lose no time doing it, please.

Joyce, in turn, offers some items you may find useful. She has quite a few of the plastic bags in which the newspaper arrives, containers which have a thousand uses, one of which is much appreciated by dog walkers, as Joyce points out. A set of sliding glass doors with a bronze frame, each panel approximately 79 by 36, is also free to a good home.

Olive Dubreuil of New Port Richey needs two recent issues, July/August and September/October, of Country Woman magazine. Olive wants to try her hand at making the patchwork Quilt-a-Block. If you can't spare a magazine, just the pages on the Quilt-a-Block will do. Olive may be reached at (727) 845-4255.

Bonnie Sherburn is about to move and needs to find a new home for her needlework books. She has a selection of knitting and crochet books, many in hard cover, and some odds and ends of yarn suitable for lap robes. Her number is (727) 541-1053.

Barbara Waller of Hudson is also getting ready to move and needs to relocate an abundance of trophies from car shows. Please call (727) 862-3448.

Donna Herrick of Port Richey needs a quick infusion of help. She is in desperate (there's that word again) need of infant clothes hangers for a craft project due on Feb. 28. These hangers are about 10 inches wide and 15 inches long, with a few bars running along the bottom. Rescue Donna: Call (727) 819-8417.

Sometime in the '50s, a knitted Christmas stocking pattern caught the attention of Bette Kosatko of Weeki Wachee. A name was knitted across the stocking's top, while a Santa graced the calf and a candy cane marked the ankle. Red, green and white yarn were used. Bette knitted the stockings first for her children, then later her grandchildren. Now she'd like to make them for her great-grandchildren, but she needs our help to locate the pattern. If you have it, please call (352) 596-4858.

Judy Nelson of Dunedin is looking for a restaurant in the Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard area that has a private room/area suitable for a weekday lunch meeting of about 15 people once a month. The bill of fare should reflect family-restaurant prices. If you have suggestions, please pass them along to Judy at (727) 771-1999.

Adeline Grieco of Spring Hill has a reminder for those still enjoying their Christmas cards before they recycle them: She is still collecting cards that feature the Madonna, should you have received any.

She also is interested in borrowing a reader's rock polisher. When her husband was living, he and Adeline collected stones from places they visited during their travels. Polishing the stones will bring Adeline many memories of happy times. To get in touch with Adeline, please write to her in care of this column.

A reader has a user's guide, no longer needed, looking for a computer software program, First Choice, version 3.0. Please e-mail

Send requests to Reader Exchange, Newsfeatures, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail Requests will be accepted only by mail or e-mail. This is an exchange column, so we will not run items that are for sale. Readers must agree to publication of phone numbers, including area code.