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Published Feb. 4, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day! When Punxsutawney Phil stumbled out of his snug lair and squinted at the great outdoors, we hope he made the weather prognostication you were hoping for.

We doubt that many Florida groundhogs will be out on the lawns practicing meteorology today, but you may spot some PVC herons browsing there. To be frank, the staff was unfamiliar with this ornithological species until Debbie Schmidt wrote that she was looking for some to grace her lawn.

Although Debbie has spotted these birds in various locations, she cannot locate any that are unattached to an owner: Craft shows, bazaars, garden centers have been visited in vain.

If you have observed a strange bird with a PVC body attached to a long avian neck and head, please call (727) 559-7110. No, Debbie doesn't plan to poach any PVC herons, but she'd sure like to know where they flock together.

Laurinda Travers of St. Petersburg has some needleworking items she would like to donate to a church or community organization whose main emphasis is assisting people in need.

Among the items available are 12 to 15 skeins of yarn in many colors; approximately 20 sets of knitting needles in assorted sizes; eight to 10 crochet hooks in a variety of sizes; embroidery hoops large and small; a large bag filled with patterns for knitting and crocheting, and a large box of miscellaneous fabrics that may be useful for quilting.

Items may be picked up, or Laurinda can deliver locally in northern St. Petersburg. Please call (727) 525-8177.

Also looking for a new home with a charitable organization that can use them are the Lexmark printer/scanner/copier, model X83 and Daewoo VCR currently owned by Jim Jacobs of Brooksville. The Jacobses may be reached at (352) 540-9162.

Instructions alert! The owner's manual for the 1997 Lincoln Town Car, Signature Series, owned by Marianna Lubrano of Port Richey went missing when it took a trip to the dealership. If you have one Marianna may copy, please contact her at (727) 862-9694.

Nancy Boudrieau is looking for hard-coverNancy Drew books. The books brought many hours of enjoyment to Nancy when she was younger and she'd like to share this experience with her granddaughter. If you can help Nancy, give her a call at (727) 781-9897.

Bill Syms of Pinellas Park needs a Zapper, a device about 6 inches long and 11/2 inches wide that is plugged into the telephone line to discourage telemarketers. As Bill explains it, "When a telemarketer calls and you pick up the phone (the Zapper) emits a beep. That beep is a signal that's sent out to the telemarketer's computer, and erases your phone number."

The Zapper works well, Bill reports; it has whittled his unwanted calls to one or two a month. That's the good news. The bad news is that storms took out several of his Zappers when he forgot to disconnect them in advance. More bad news: He visited several electronics stores that were unable to help other than to tell him that Radio Shack sold Zappers long ago. If you can help, please call (727) 576-3524.

Gerry Lemnke needs historical material for an upcoming exhibit on his neighborhood, the Pinellas Point region of St. Petersburg. Items he would like to borrow include post cards, photos, newspaper articles, tickets, receipts, brochures, etc., for the Bee Line Ferry, the Pink streets, homes and commercial establishment. They must be at least 25 years old and unique to that neighborhood, which lies south of 54th Avenue S and east of 34th Street. The number to call: (727) 864-6118.

If you got a new laptop for Christmas and the gently used old one is just gathering dust, Frank Kelley hopes you'll call him at either (727) 631-9354 or (727) 781-8769. He can pick up in northern Pinellas County.

Thank-you notes

In her recent search for Rival Crockpot instructions, Caroline Murphy received eight calls, made some new friends, and had a great time chatting with readers. Oh, yes, in addition to the fun, Caroline found that manual she needed.

John Barrett of New Port Richey racked up three responses to his query about instructions in rug-braiding. He had already received one lesson in wool rug-lacing by the time he mailed his thank-you note.

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