How to Make Stepping Stones From a Kit

1.Pick up a kit at a garden shop or craft store.
2.Place a couple of layers of newspaper where you will be working.
3.Put 2 1/4 c. water in a bucket. Add 2 3/4 lbs. ready-mix cement to the bucket and mix thoroughly with a stirring stick.
4.Stir in another 2 3/4 lbs. cement. Add the final 2 1/2 lbs. and mix it in well.
5.Check the thickness of the cement. It should be thick but not chunky. If it's too thick, stir in 1 tbsp. water.
6.Set the mold on a flat surface. Pour the cement mix into the mold, filling it up to the rim.
7.Shake the mold gently to release any bubbles. Smooth the top of the cement with your stirring stick, then shake it again gently. This action will give the cement a smooth finish.
8.Wait 2 to 5 minutes before decorating the stepping stone with objects. Place flat stones or flat-bottomed marbles on the surface. Give the mold a couple of gentle shakes to help the cement settle around the objects.
9.Wait 10 to 30 minutes before you write or draw in the cement. If the writing fills in, wait a little longer. Use a pencil or other tool rather than your finger for cleaner lines.
10.Wait 15 to 25 minutes to make hand- or footprints.
11.Let the stepping stone set in the mold, undisturbed, for 48 hours.
12.Flex the mold as you would an ice cube tray and peel it away from your new stepping stone.
13.Paint the stone if you wish and finish it with a clear acrylic over-spray. 
Times are approximate. Humidity and temperature will affect setting times.
Design your stepping stone on paper before you pour the cement, so you can be sure that everything will fit.
Include the date somewhere on your stone.
Molds are reusable. A vinyl mold holds 8 lbs. of ready-mix cement (Portland cement and silica sand). 
Be stingy when adding water. If you use too much, your stone will take forever to cure - or may not cure at all.
Cement may cause skin and eye irritation. Try not to breathe cement dust, and always wash your hands after touching cement.   Steps:
1.Draw your pattern on paper before you start, to be sure everything fits.
2.Place a couple of layers of newspaper on your work surface.
3.Measure 2 1/2 c. water into a bucket. Stir in 5 lbs. gravel-free cement or mortar. Mix well with a paint-stirring stick.
4.Add another 5 lbs. cement and mix until it's the consistency of brownie mix: smooth and thick.
5.Add more water, 1 tbsp. at a time, if the mixture's too dry. Add more concrete, 1/4 c. at a time, if it's too runny.
6.Position your mold on a flat surface. You can use a store-bought vinyl mold or an aluminum baking or roasting pan.
7.Spray the mold lightly with WD40.
8.Fill the mold halfway.
9.Shake the mold gently to release any bubbles. Pour in the rest of the cement and repeat.
10.Wait 5 minutes before decorating the stepping stone with objects such as shells or mosaic tiles. Place them on the surface and give the mold a couple of gentle shakes to help the cement settle around the objects.
11.Wait 20 minutes before you write or draw in the cement. If the writing fills in with water, smooth it over with the stirring stick and wait a little longer.
12.Wait 30 minutes before making hand- or footprints.
13.Let the stepping stone cure undisturbed in the mold for at least 48 hours.
14.Turn the mold upside down over a thick towel and tap on the back until it releases the stone.
15.Paint the stone if you wish and finish it with a clear acrylic over-spray. 
Measurements may need to be adjusted, depending on the cement manufacturer. Read the directions for your cement or mortar for exact amounts of mix and water.
Times given are approximate. Humidity and temperature will affect setting times.
Press a child's hand into the cement (let the cement set for about 20 minutes first).
Add stone pigment to the cement for a colorful look. 
Be stingy when adding water. If you use too much, your stone will take forever to cure - or it may not cure at all.
Cement may cause skin and eye irritation. Remember not to breathe cement dust, and always wash your hands after touching cement.   Steps:
1.Choose your path. Look at your yard or garden and note where frequent travel or shortcutting has begun to wear a path: these are good areas for stepping-stones.
2.Mark your path, keeping in mind that stepping-stones should be spaced about as far apart as a normal stride. Walk alongside the envisioned path and with each step drop a little flour on the future path in a spot that is parallel to the arch of your foot - this will indicate where the center of each stone should go.
3.Figure out how many stones you will need, and get them.
4.Use a trowel, small shovel, or grub axe (depending on your soil type) to dig a hole for the first stone. Try to dig a flat-bottomed hole a bit bigger than the stone in diameter and not quite as deep.
5.Pack down the bottom, making it as flat and level as you can.
6.Spread a layer of sand, about 1/2-inch deep, in the bottom of the hole.
7.Place the stone on the sand and pack dirt loosely in around it. Stand on the stone and bounce a bit to set it firmly into place.
8.Stand on the stone again; adjust if necessary.
9.Firmly pack dirt around the stone.
10.Repeat steps 4 - 9 for each remaining stepping-stone. 
If your soil is very clayey and you're having trouble getting the stones to lie evenly, use a thicker layer of sand.
When you're doing your final packing down of the soil, don't forget to slip a few seedlings in - creeping plants like thyme look wonderful around stepping-stones.   

How to Download Files to Your Computer With an FTP Program

1.Install an FTP software program on your hard disk. Open the program.
2.Enter the host address in the text box provided.
3.Enter whatever passwords or IDs have been provided if this is an anonymous login. For example, you may have been asked to login as "guest" and use your e-mail address as the password.
4.Enter whatever password and ID you have arranged with the remote administrator if it is not an anonymous login.
5.Click Connect to establish a connection. When the connection is established, the window on the right side of the screen represents the remote site.
6.Move through the remote folders until you locate the file that you want to download, and select the file.
7.Move through your hard disk (the window on the left side of the screen) until you have opened the folder that is to receive your new file.
8.Select the remote file on the right window, and drag it to the window on the left. Most FTP programs allow you to download files this way. If your software does not allow this method, consult the help file to see how to start the download. When the download is complete, you will find your new file in the location that you specified. 
If the FTP administrator has set permissions, the public can download files using what is called Anonymous FTP. In this case, you will not require any specific login information, or you may be invited to log in as "guest" or by entering your e-mail address.
If permissions are not set to Anonymous FTP, then you will need a user ID and password to access the file or the site. 
Warnings: To avoid "losing" the file after it is downloaded, take note of its name and location on your hard disk. You can find it later using the Run command or by using the Find function.   

How to Write a Résumé for a Teaching Job

1.Summarize your job objectives, skills and qualifications. This is an optional step useful to readers.
2.List the following, most recent first: the schools you've attended from high school (optional) through college or graduate school, including dates and degrees or credit earned; certificates or licenses, including the state, field and grade level; the positions you've held in education or related fields, including student teaching and volunteer experience; and professional activities including memberships, workshops and publications.
3.Describe any special interests or abilities.
4.List any special honors or awards you've received since high school graduation.
5.List three to five professional references related to your teaching experience, including job title, complete address and phone number. Make sure that the people you list have agreed to serve as references.
6.Share your evolving document with people in the teaching field for feedback and proofreading assistance.
7.Keep the completed résumé between one and two pages (in a 12- or 10-point font) by editing out less relevant information.
8.Print copies of your completed, proofread résumé on high-quality bond paper; use a high-resolution laser or ink-jet printer. 
Tips: A copy shop can print high-quality copies of your résumé on the paper of your choice.   

How to Appreciate the New York City Marathon

1.Consider the numbers. More than 30,000 runners are chosen to participate from more than 60,000 applicants. Two million cheering spectators line the course.
2.Imagine the logistics. More than 365 intersections are closed to traffic, and more than 13,000 volunteers and 2,828 New York City police line the marathon route.
3.Work up an appetite. Among the food provided, runners consume 9,000 pounds of pasta at the pasta party, and 75,000 cups of coffee with stacks of other breakfast foods at the start.
4.Dance to the music. More than 40 musical bands play along the course.
5.Rest assured. At the start and the finish, and at 25 medical units along the course, 1,750 medical volunteers are available to the runners.
6.Believe it or not, about 80 psychiatrists and psychologists are on hand to alleviate any runners' fears or anxieties.
7.Check out the payday. The male and female winners of the race each receive $50,000, plus a new car. Prize money is awarded to the top six men and women, and to the top masters (those over age 40). Plus, a variety of other prizes and cash bonuses are awarded.
8.Consider the benefits to the city of New York. The economic impact on the city of spending during the race is calculated at $111,353,284.
9.Be inspired. In addition to the world's fastest runners being up front, about 20 entrants in the marathon each year are over age 80. 
Watch the race on television. WNBC Channel 4 will broadcast five hours of the event. NBC Sports will broadcast race highlights nationally at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Check your local listings.
Follow the race on the Internet at the New York City Marathon Web site (see Related Sites).
Take aim at running a marathon or another road race. If not New York, then get ready for one of the many other 26.2-mile events held worldwide.
Take advantage of free running or walking classes conducted by the New York Road Runners Club, which conducts the marathon. 

How to Plan a Honeymoon in Brazil

1.Fly into Manaus, a jumping-off point for the Amazon, by first stopping through Mexico City or Sao Paolo. Check out Varig, Brazil's major airline, or airlines such as Brazil Central and Trans-Brazil, which leave from Miami. U.S. carriers such as American and United also service most major Brazilian cities.
2.Stay home or go elsewhere if you can't handle heat, humidity, possible disease, and the bugs that come with the dense rain forest.
3.Come during the festive summer months of December through February if you want to party with vacationing Brazilians, but understand that prices are usually higher at that time. The northern portion of Brazil is comfortable (the term is relative here) throughout the year.
4.Hang glide in Rio, surf up and down the Brazilian coast, and sail in Buzios.
5.Raft or hike the river and jungle area through Amazon Nut Safaris or Grade IV Adventures. View parrots, crocs, snakes, monkeys, butterflies and everything in between.
6.Shack up in cheaper accommodations (U.S. $20 per day) or spring for a honeymoon package for three days and two nights at the Ariau Amazon Towers (U.S. $370) above the rain forest canopy. 
Consult your local county health department for a list of recommended vaccines and medications.
Credit cards are not accepted widely, so bring traveler's checks or guard your cash.
Time your visit to party in the streets of Rio for Carnival. 
Warnings: Watch out for pesky things like Chagas' disease, dengue fever, malaria, meningitis, rabies, yellow fever and tiny, spiny fish that swim up your urethra (no kidding).   

How to Understand Your Rights Under COBRA

1.Understand that COBRA is a federal law that allows an employee and his or her dependents to continue medical insurance coverage for up to 18 months after leaving a job. The law covers those who quit a job as well as those who are fired.
2.Realize that an employer with 20 or more employees must provide written notice offering COBRA coverage within 14 days of an employee's departure.
3.Be aware that the full cost of the insurance, plus up to a 2 percent administrative fee, must be paid by the employee. Although the insurance may be expensive, remember that coverage is purchased at a group rate and that an individual policy purchased independently would be much more expensive.
4.Know that COBRA coverage is available for up to 18 months after you leave a job. Many workers use COBRA during the waiting period before health insurance benefits begin at a new job.  
Tips: COBRA coverage is also available to family members after a divorce or when an employee dies. Different time periods apply in these situations. 

How to Publish a Web Page With FrontPage Extensions

1.First, contact your ISP and verify that its server supports Microsoft FrontPage extensions. If not, you'll need to use the Web Publishing wizard. (See "How to Publish a Web Page With the FrontPage Publishing Wizard" under Related Hows.)
2.Ask your ISP for any information you need to publish your Web page. Some ISPs use a different log-in name or special addresses to publish to. Ask for any passwords you might need.
3.Start the FrontPage program and open the web to be published.
4.Select the File menu and choose Publish FrontPage Web.
5.Type the address the Web page will be published to in the first box; for example,
6.Change the name of the web in the next box, if necessary. The name of the current web is the default name.
7.Check or uncheck the appropriate boxes (see Tips) and click OK. The Web pages will be copied to the destination listed.
8.When the page has been uploaded, visit the site using your regular Web browser and an alternate Web browser (for example, view the site in both Netscape and Internet Explorer). Double-check links, colors and images. 
Copy changed pages only: If you are making changes to a Web site and don't want to copy the entire site to your server, check this box.
Add to an existing FrontPage web: Checking this box will add new Web pages to an existing site.
Copy child webs (for Root Web only): This option is only available if you have a root web open (a main web with one or smaller webs inside it). You can copy any or all of the "child" webs.
Uncheck all of the boxes if you are publishing a site for the first time.   Steps:
1.Start the Web Publishing wizard and click on the Next button at the first screen.
2.Click on the Browse Folders button to locate the files to be uploaded. Make sure the Include Subfolders box is checked if you want to include all the folders in the Web page directory. Click Next.
3.Select a Web server to publish to from the list; click on the New button to add your own ISP to the list.
4.Type a name for your server, such as Smith Personal Web Site, in the first box.
5.Select Other Internet Provider from the second box if your ISP is not listed. Click Next.
6.Enter the Web site address, such as, in the box on the next page. Click Next.
7.Connect to the Internet using the Dial-Up Networking option. Click Next.
8.Click on the Finish button after the computer verifies your connection. When completed, the wizard will notify you that your Web site has been transferred.
9.After the page has been uploaded, visit the site using your regular Web browser and an alternate Web browser (for example, view the site in both Netscape and Internet Explorer). Double-check links, colors and images. 
When uploading, be sure to include any images, backgrounds or other files that are used in the Web site.
If your ISP does support FrontPage extensions, see "How to Publish a Web Page with the FrontPage Publishing Wizard" to upload your site.    

How to Make Rock Candy

1.Sterilize the glass jar and paper clip by boiling both in water for a few minutes.
2.Tie a short piece of kitchen string to the middle of a pencil or Popsicle stick.
3.Attach the paper clip to the end of string. (The clip will weigh the string down - this is important later.)
4.Moisten string lightly and roll in sugar (this helps the crystals form on the string).
5.Place the pencil or stick over top of a jar. Make sure clip is in the bottom of jar and the string hangs straight down into jar.
6.Heat 1 cup water to boil.
7.Dissolve 2 cups sugar in boiling water.
8.Add a few drops food coloring if you like.
9.Pour sugar syrup into jar and leave for 2 to 3 days or until crystals form on the string. 
Tips: Crystals should start to grow in 2 to 4 hours and continue to grow for a couple of days. For big crystals - fast - heat the sugar-water solution a second time and dissolve extra sugar in it. 
Warnings: The sugar mixture is very hot and children will need adult supervision.   

How to Buy Model Train Components

1.Visit your favorite hobby store.
2.Ask about electrical connections and power supplies.
3.Take your locomotive with you if you are not familiar with electronics.
4.Make sure your power source works on direct current (DC) if your locomotive does. (Most do.) If your train runs on alternating current (AC), make sure the controller matches that.
5.Ask the clerk which side of the track to attach the electrodes to. If you do it backwards, your train will run backwards.
6.Get a toggle switch to turn the train on and off. The switch should be large and impressive looking. A "knife-style" switch allows you to reverse the current if you want to back the train up or just feel more like Casey Jones while playing with your trains. 
Tips: If you are familiar with electronics, you may want to build these circuits yourself. It's less expensive, and some find it enjoyable. 
Warnings: If you aren't familiar with electronics, ask for help. You don't want to short out your train set.   

How to Edge a Gravel Driveway

1.Move all vehicles off the driveway.
2.Measure both sides of the driveway and get enough sturdy, pressure-treated wood to line both sides (2-by-12 is a good choice for this).
3.Rake the gravel from the edges toward the middle of the driveway, getting the edges as clean as you can. Ideally, you'd like a clean, 2-foot strip along the inside of each edge.
4.Dig a narrow, deep trench along both sides of the driveway with a grub ax to set the pressure-treated wood into. The trench needs to be fairly substantial, because a driveway gets a lot of use and pressure, and it should be fairly deep, because you don't want the edge of the wood to stick up too far. If you're using 2-by-12 wood, the trench should be about 3 inches wide and 9 inches deep (and as long as your driveway).
5.Scoop out the trench, making the bottom as smooth and flat as possible.
6.Fill with a 1-inch layer of sand.
7.Place the wood in the trench, making sure the boards are level and that their ends (if you need more than one board on each side) match closely.
8.Pack dirt tightly around the boards to hold them in place; take any remaining dirt to the garden.
9.Rake the gravel from the middle of the driveway back to the new edges. 
Warnings: Gloves are essential for this job - pressure-treated wood is full of chemicals and splinters are almost bound to get infected.