Not Lincoln logs

The producers of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters” are looking for locals who are kicking around building a log cabin addition to an existing home, a vacation property or business — or maybe just planning a super-fort for kids or canines.

Stiletto Television wants to take that idea and amp it up for the new docu-series “Log Home.”

The show is now casting. The log cabin curious should email with name and contact info, recent family photos, a description of the log cabin of your dreams and why you would be great for the show.

Lights, music, action in Superior

There are better ways to blast away Thanksgiving than shopping in a stampede that makes Pamplona look civil. Cruising by a house on East Third Street in Superior for a light show is one of them.
Rawlie Hart and his family, at 2830 E. Third St., Superior, have made it a mission of theirs to emulate some of the more elaborate lighting displays set to music that can be found on YouTube.
“That’s what got me going was the videos on YouTube,” Hart said. “I’ve always had a thing for Christmas lights.”

And while Hart readily admits there are more elaborate and impressive displays out there, his work is nothing to scoff at.

The Hart family has about 4,000 LED lights strung up on the roof, in the trees in the yard and festooning the bushes. Those lights are all connected to a 16-channel switch tied into a computer program that flickers and flashes along to music broadcast on a high-frequency radio channel, 106.5 FM.

The show features an assortment of music, from Christmas songs to Dubstep.
Hart said he wants to expand his light show, but it’s going to take some money. But, he’s not asking for any donations to view the show. All you have to do is drive by Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m., or Friday and Saturday from 5-10:30 p.m. and tune in to 106.5 FM to catch the action.

The display will run until New Year’s Day night.

Check the batteries

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety wants to remind everyone to check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms when turning back clocks one hour this weekend. The alarms should be checked often and batteries changed once a year.

Last year in Minnesota, only three fire deaths took place in homes where smoke alarms were known to be present and working.

“These devices save lives every day, and ignoring them can be a fatal mistake,” said State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl. “When fire strikes, working alarms and a good escape plan become life or death issues.”


Like the Wicked Witch of the West, this year’s Engwall’s Corn Maze in Hermantown is asking people to bring them a scarecrow.

Create a scarecrow for a chance to win cash prizes. And making a garden anti-pest device could yield tickets to the maze.

Scarecrows should be a minimum of 3 feet tall and a maximum of 6 feet. There will be prizes for entering and awards decided by customers, “People’s Choice,” and by an Engwall’s panel, “Best of Show.”

Engwall’s will host a free “scarecrow workshop” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Bring some clothes to stuff and your imagination.

Scarecrows have to be delivered to Engwall’s Garden Center, 4749 Hermantown Road, by Aug. 30.

Detectors need to be replaced, too

Batteries and babies aren’t the only things that need changing.

If you bought a carbon-monoxide detector when Minnesota’s law first required them to be installed in all homes within 10 feet of bedrooms, you probably need to replace it.

It has been six years since the law took effect — and most carbon-monoxide detectors last about that long, First Alert informed the Eh? desk. Many homeowners don’t realize detectors have expiration dates. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can sicken and kill people who breathe it.

A properly maintained CO alarm will last five to seven years, says Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert. “If you can’t think of the last time you installed a smoke or CO alarm, chances are, it’s time to replace your old ones,” Hanson said.

Rain garden workshop

The city of Duluth is working with Minnesota Sea Grant and the Regional Stormwater Protection Team to offer a two-night rain garden workshop to area residents this week.

Rain gardens are a lovely addition to a yard and provide a buffer to slow down and filter runoff from storms, slowing erosion and sedimentation in local streams, too.

The workshop is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Registration is $25. Contact Cristina Villella at (218) 726-8106 or for more info.

Peek in the neighbor’s garden

Local gardeners are offering the garden-curious a chance to sneak a peek. The Longview Garden Club’s annual self-guided garden tour, “A Peek at the Neighbors’ Spring Gardens,” is 4-6 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $7 (or $10 for two) and are available at Granitoid Garden, 25th Avenue East and Seventh Street, starting at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Proceeds go to Longview Garden and Neighborhood Night Out.

That’s a lot of quilts

Let’s hope we don’t need to cover up in them for a while, but there will be plenty of quilts in Duluth this week.

More than 300 quilts will be on display during the 35th annual Minnesota Quilters Inc. show and conference starting at 9 a.m. Thursday and running through Saturday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

This includes an exhibit of Mariners Compass quilts, curated by Claudia Clark Meyers of Duluth.

More than $25,000 in awards will be given to quilts entered for judging, and there will be vendors with sewing-related booths. Mayor Don Ness will select two quilts to receive $100 Harbor City Awards.

Minnesota Quilters has 700 members in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and other states.

Treasured junk

There’s junk.

And then there’s the kind of junk that’s used for shabby chic and other home and garden décor.

The third semi-annual Duluth Junk Hunt from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday will have plenty of the latter at the Encounter Building, 201 E. First St. in downtown Duluth.

The number of vendors has tripled since the last junk hunt in November. Vendors from Duluth, the Twin Cities and around the area will be offering all sorts of vintage, antique and repurposed items for sale. More than 1,300 people turned out last time.

Admission is $5 with part of the proceeds going to the Encounter Youth Center. The admission fee also will get you a complimentary photo in the “Junk Hunt” photo booth.

Books that deliver

Attention homebound lit lovers: The Duluth Public Library is offering Home Library Service, a free program that delivers up to 15 books or other library materials to Duluth residents.

People interested in receiving Home Library Service should call the library’s fiction/media desk at (218) 730-4200, option 6. An application and reading interest form will be mailed.