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Thompson: Freeze grapes for sweet snack
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Do your kids love sweets? Try this sweet snack instead of the usual junk food: frozen grapes. Just put the grapes in your freezer and leave them there. When you pull them out let them sit for about five minutes before serving. They’re delicious and healthy!

If you’re going to caulk around the top of a tub, remember this. Fill the tub halfway with water before caulking. Why? Because if you don’t, the new caulk you’ve put down will separate and gap when you do fill the tub with water. Use silicone caulk, which is flexible.

When you’re going on a long trip, remember to turn off your icemaker and dump the ice out. This is important. If the power goes off for an extended period of time and then comes back on, you’ll have a frozen mess in your freezer.

How would you like to get unlimited local and long distance calling for only $19.95 a YEAR? Well, now you can thanks to a little device called the magicJack. It plugs into a USB port on your computer, and then you plug your phone into it. The magicJack uses your high-speed internet access to make the calls. Voicemail, caller ID and directory assistance are free. PC Magazine gave it an Editors Choice award.

Is your dishwasher not getting your dishes clean? The problem might be that your water is not hot enough. Here’s how you can check. Put a glass in your kitchen sink and run hot water in it for several minutes. Take a candy thermometer and see how hot the water is. If it’s not between 140 and 160 degrees, you need to change the setting on your water heater.

Do you want to know how long you’re going to live? Check out the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator. Dr. Thomas Perls has created an on-line test you can take that uses the latest medical research to estimate your life expectancy. The Web site also gives you feedback on what you can do to extend your life. The average person who takes the test has a life expectancy in the late 80s. I came in at 84. (Too much red meat and too much time at the office are my downfalls).

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.

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