Did you know your grass can go through an autumn growth spurt? The best times to plant cool-season grasses are fall and spring, when temperatures are lower.

According to certified lawn care technician and House Grail consultant Emilly Barbosa Fernandes, some lawns actually need more water in the fall than they do in the summer. The source of that water and when to stop watering lawns will depend on the weather in your area.

Fall Lawn Watering: How and Why

Fall lawn care is more than just watering. It’s also a good time to aerate, fertilize, reseed and treat for weeds and pests.

“This window of seasonal change represents that last and best opportunity for recovery before winter,” says Dr. Frank Rossi, chief science officer at Sunday. “The best natural defense for spring weeds and other lawn problems is to patch and seed a healthier lawn today.”

Grass seed and fertilizer need water to work. Rossi recommends the Sunday Smart Lawn Plan for getting the right fall nutrients.

Besides its importance in lawn care tasks like fertilizing, water helps your lawn recover from the summer. And even if your turf grass growth slows in the fall, it will grow some. It needs water to do that. “Typically, the lawn requires one to 1.5 inches of water per week,” says Fernandes.

Adjust your watering based on rainfall. If it tends to rain more in the fall in your area, you’ll likely water less. So if you get 1/2-in. of rain per week in your area, Fernandes suggests resetting your irrigation system to water only 1/2-in. to one inch.

Temperature is another consideration for fall irrigation. Grass dries out much more quickly in the summer heat. “As temperatures cool during the fall, your lawn will need less and less water,” Rossi says. Gradually reduce your watering as temperatures drop to match your lawn’s need.

When To Stop Watering the Lawn in Fall

You might be surprised by how late you can mow and water your lawn. Fernandes says to continue watering until the ground freezes, but take care not to overwater. Gradually reduce watering until the average nighttime temperatures are in the low 30s, then stop. Water won’t penetrate once the ground freezes.

“Watering in colder climates can lead to disease, so it is critical to reduce how often and how long you water your lawn,” Rossi says. Overwatering is one of the most common grass problems homeowners face. It can lead to yellow grass and fungus issues, such as mushrooms.

Do You Need to Water in Winter?

Like fall watering, winter watering depends on your location and weather. “You should stop watering completely in colder climates,” says Rossi. “In warmer climates, that means greatly cutting down your water use.”

If your ground never freezes and your grass grows all year, some winter watering may be necessary to keep your lawn looking fresh. But if you’re getting some rain, that might be enough. Ask your neighbors or local garden center to find out what works in your area.

What About Sprinkler Systems?

Unless temperatures never dip below freezing in your area, you’ll need to winterize your sprinkler system before the first freeze. Water left in the pipes can freeze, and frozen pipes will burst. You can hire a professional to winterize your system or do it yourself with an air compressor.

Did you know your grass can go through an autumn growth spurt? The best times to plant cool-season grasses are fall and spring, when temperatures are lower.

According to certified lawn care technician and House Grail consultant Emilly Barbosa Fernandes, some lawns actually need more water in the fall than they do in the summer. The source of that water and when to stop watering lawns will depend on the weather in your area.

Fall Lawn Watering: How and Why

Fall lawn care is more than just watering. It’s also a good time to aerate, fertilize, reseed and treat for weeds and pests.

“This window of seasonal change represents that last and best opportunity for recovery before winter,” says Dr. Frank Rossi, chief science officer at Sunday. “The best natural defense for spring weeds and other lawn problems is to patch and seed a healthier lawn today.”

Grass seed and fertilizer need water to work. Rossi recommends the Sunday Smart Lawn Plan for getting the right fall nutrients.

Besides its importance in lawn care tasks like fertilizing, water helps your lawn recover from the summer. And even if your turf grass growth slows in the fall, it will grow some. It needs water to do that. “Typically, the lawn requires one to 1.5 inches of water per week,” says Fernandes.

Adjust your watering based on rainfall. If it tends to rain more in the fall in your area, you’ll likely water less. So if you get 1/2-in. of rain per week in your area, Fernandes suggests resetting your irrigation system to water only 1/2-in. to one inch.

Temperature is another consideration for fall irrigation. Grass dries out much more quickly in the summer heat. “As temperatures cool during the fall, your lawn will need less and less water,” Rossi says. Gradually reduce your watering as temperatures drop to match your lawn’s need.

When To Stop Watering the Lawn in Fall

You might be surprised by how late you can mow and water your lawn. Fernandes says to continue watering until the ground freezes, but take care not to overwater. Gradually reduce watering until the average nighttime temperatures are in the low 30s, then stop. Water won’t penetrate once the ground freezes.

“Watering in colder climates can lead to disease, so it is critical to reduce how often and how long you water your lawn,” Rossi says. Overwatering is one of the most common grass problems homeowners face. It can lead to yellow grass and fungus issues, such as mushrooms.

Do You Need to Water in Winter?

Like fall watering, winter watering depends on your location and weather. “You should stop watering completely in colder climates,” says Rossi. “In warmer climates, that means greatly cutting down your water use.”

If your ground never freezes and your grass grows all year, some winter watering may be necessary to keep your lawn looking fresh. But if you’re getting some rain, that might be enough. Ask your neighbors or local garden center to find out what works in your area.

What About Sprinkler Systems?

Unless temperatures never dip below freezing in your area, you’ll need to winterize your sprinkler system before the first freeze. Water left in the pipes can freeze, and frozen pipes will burst. You can hire a professional to winterize your system or do it yourself with an air compressor.

Did you know your grass can go through an autumn growth spurt? The best times to plant cool-season grasses are fall and spring, when temperatures are lower.

According to certified lawn care technician and House Grail consultant Emilly Barbosa Fernandes, some lawns actually need more water in the fall than they do in the summer. The source of that water and when to stop watering lawns will depend on the weather in your area.

Fall Lawn Watering: How and Why

Fall lawn care is more than just watering. It’s also a good time to aerate, fertilize, reseed and treat for weeds and pests.

“This window of seasonal change represents that last and best opportunity for recovery before winter,” says Dr. Frank Rossi, chief science officer at Sunday. “The best natural defense for spring weeds and other lawn problems is to patch and seed a healthier lawn today.”

Grass seed and fertilizer need water to work. Rossi recommends the Sunday Smart Lawn Plan for getting the right fall nutrients.

Besides its importance in lawn care tasks like fertilizing, water helps your lawn recover from the summer. And even if your turf grass growth slows in the fall, it will grow some. It needs water to do that. “Typically, the lawn requires one to 1.5 inches of water per week,” says Fernandes.

Adjust your watering based on rainfall. If it tends to rain more in the fall in your area, you’ll likely water less. So if you get 1/2-in. of rain per week in your area, Fernandes suggests resetting your irrigation system to water only 1/2-in. to one inch.

Temperature is another consideration for fall irrigation. Grass dries out much more quickly in the summer heat. “As temperatures cool during the fall, your lawn will need less and less water,” Rossi says. Gradually reduce your watering as temperatures drop to match your lawn’s need.

When To Stop Watering the Lawn in Fall

You might be surprised by how late you can mow and water your lawn. Fernandes says to continue watering until the ground freezes, but take care not to overwater. Gradually reduce watering until the average nighttime temperatures are in the low 30s, then stop. Water won’t penetrate once the ground freezes.

“Watering in colder climates can lead to disease, so it is critical to reduce how often and how long you water your lawn,” Rossi says. Overwatering is one of the most common grass problems homeowners face. It can lead to yellow grass and fungus issues, such as mushrooms.

Do You Need to Water in Winter?

Like fall watering, winter watering depends on your location and weather. “You should stop watering completely in colder climates,” says Rossi. “In warmer climates, that means greatly cutting down your water use.”

If your ground never freezes and your grass grows all year, some winter watering may be necessary to keep your lawn looking fresh. But if you’re getting some rain, that might be enough. Ask your neighbors or local garden center to find out what works in your area.

What About Sprinkler Systems?

Unless temperatures never dip below freezing in your area, you’ll need to winterize your sprinkler system before the first freeze. Water left in the pipes can freeze, and frozen pipes will burst. You can hire a professional to winterize your system or do it yourself with an air compressor.

It’s certainly not the highlight of cat ownership, but it comes with the territory: Dealing with cat urine stains and smells on clothing and other fabrics. It’s not easy to get them out, but it can be done. Try these expert methods to get cat pee out of clothes — and eliminate that cat pee smell, too.

How To Get Cat Pee Out of Clothes

Don’t throw the soiled clothing into the washing machine with other clothes! It could spread the smell to everything else in the load. Follow this method instead.

Step One: Blot the cat pee

  • If the stain is still wet, start blotting ASAP to prevent it from setting. Do not scrub, which would drive the smell into the fabric. Press down with a paper towel or a clean white cloth, soaking up the pee until the spot is no longer wet. You’re trying to remove as much of the urine as possible before moving to the cleaning process.
  • If the stain has dried, go to Step Two or straight to the instructions for combating cat pee smell, below.

Step Two: Pretreat the cat pee

You have two options here: pantry or purchased.

Pro tip: Never use bleach on cat urine. Bleach plus the ammonia in cat urine can create dangerous gases. Also, never use ammonia to pretreat cat urine stains. Ammonia is one component of cat urine, so if cats smell that on clothing, they may try to go on it again. And chemical cleaners containing ammonia can set the stain.

Step Three: Launder

cat sitting in laundry basket

How To Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothes

Don’t be discouraged if you found the stain too late, if the smell remains after one or two washes, or if the smell comes back. Uric acid is a tough odor to beat! Try these steps to lift even set-in cat pee smell.

Step One: Soak

Vance recommends two great pantry presoaking options and one that’s store-bought to get rid of cat pee smell in clothes. (Always test fabric for colorfastness first.)

  • Vinegar: Though cat urine comes out as an acid, it oxidizes into an alkaline salt. So Vance recommends soaking the fabric in an acid bath — AKA white vinegar or cleaning vinegar (as long as it has no color) — to dissolve the alkaline salts. Straight vinegar should be safe for most fabrics, but it can be diluted 1-to-1 if preferred. Pretest on rayon and acetate, which may be damaged by acid.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Drug store strength is weak at three percent, but it’s safe and inexpensive. Place the fabric in sunlight to make it work faster. If it’s a hot day, cover it with clear plastic wrap, too, to prevent drying out.
  • Urine Rescue: Use as a presoak on water-cleanable colorfast fabrics to neutralize smell for good. Follow the container directions.

Step Two: Wash

  • Launder as in Step Three above, in cold water with an enzymatic laundry detergent or booster.
  • Allow to air dry. Lingering urine will set in if you run it through the dryer.
  • Repeat as needed until the odor disappears.

Pro tip: Use an ultraviolet light to help find any stains that still linger. Urine will glow in the dark!

Home decor wishes do come true! Finding an affordable, washable and designer rug is finally an option, thanks to the Ruggable and Jonathan Adler collection. This stunning new washable rug collection just launched at prices you’ll love. High design that delivers utility on a practical real-world budget? Yes, please. And, we spoke with an interior decorator to help you choose the best rug from the line.

What is the Ruggable and Jonathan Adler washable rug collection?

Whether you have a high-traffic home or own oodles of adorable pets, the idea of a washable rug is obviously appealing. It’s even more appealing when a world-famous designer creates the patterns and prints at affordable prices. And that’s exactly what the Ruggable and Jonathan Adler collection is all about. The lineup includes a total of 16 indoor chenille rug designs in 10 different sizes— all of which proudly display Adler’s signature modern American style.

They bring bright, cheerful vibes to any room, and are easily detached from their base layers to throw in the washing machine. The best part? Washable rugs mean anyone with kids or pets (or both) can continue to live stylish lives without fear of ruining their favorite designs. Ruggable also makes some of the best outdoor rugs you can throw in the wash, too.

What does an interior decorator think?

“I have had many clients with young children and pets who would love to invest in designer rugs with wonderful patterns and color. Sometimes they are afraid of designer rugs though because they’re concerned over their kids and animals making messes on the rugs,” explains interior design expert Amy Studebaker. ” Now, with Jonathan Adler creating statement pieces with Ruggable, there is no more worry over ruining a rug. You can make a mess and just throw it in the wash— simple as that!”

There are a lot of shapes, colors and designs to pick from. Everything from a bold emerald green rug with a snake motif to a more classic ivory geometric design. If you’re unsure where to start or how to buy a rug online that’s actually right for your space, Studebaker suggests going blue. “One of my favorite rugs is Inkdrop in Lapis Blue. It’s a classic deep blue. The simple geometry of this rug will not only mix wonderfully into a traditional setting but a modern aesthetic as well.”

Where to buy Ruggable and Jonathan Adler washable rugs

The new Jonathan Adler and Ruggable collection is a limited edition run, with all 16 designs being released on Ruggable this week. Add them to your cart quickly, because when these sell out across the USA and Canada, there’s no telling if the same prints and patterns will ever return. These washable works of art range in price from $90 to $719 and bring bright, bold joyfulness to any space. For now, they’re only available through Ruggable directly.

Jonathan Adler X Ruggable website

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Amy Studebaker, Interior Design expert at amystudebakerdesign.com

Some DIYers aren’t satisfied with doing their landscaping, painting and routine car maintenance. Some want to weld, too! Welding utilizes high heat and cooling to fuse metal parts together. If you’re interested in giving welding a try, check out this list of the best places to buy DIY welding tools online.

YesWelder

YesWelder offers the DIY welder tools and equipment for projects — things like welding helmets, guns and torches, and a range of welders and cutters. It’s hard to beat YesWelder’s combination of good quality and reasonable prices.

Its lineup includes welders and plasma cutters for two kinds of arc welding:  Metal inert gas welding, also known as gas metal arc welding; and tungsten inert gas welding, AKA gas tungsten arc welding. These range from $300 to $700,

Harbor Freight Tools

Harbor Freight Tools offers an online store plus physical locations throughout the U.S. It stocks welders, welding accessories, welding supplies and soldering and plastic welding. You’re likely to find what you’re looking for at Harbor Freight.

Welders Supply

Besides tools and supplies, Welders Supply also sells apparel — welding jackets, gloves, pants and more. Shop at brick-and-mortar stores in Wisconsin and Illinois or their robust online store. The homepage highlights sales, deals, best sellers and their top collections. You’ll also get free shipping on orders of more than $300.

Welding Mart

Welding Mart is one of two companies on this list that offers used or reconditioned welding equipment, such as MIG/flux-cored, TIG, stick and engine driven welders. If you’re stocking your first welding workshop, preowned tools are a good way to go. Equipment searches can be sorted according to generator output (watts), brand and price to help narrow down the options.

Grainger Industrial Supply

On Grainger Industrial Supply’s website, you can search by categories such as price, brand, clearance items, on sale or new item. Another handy webpage features welding equipment replacement parts. Under its Custom Product Center heading, you’ll find categories like productivity and industries to help you learn more about welding equipment.

Weldfabulous

With categories such as safety, welding helmets, welding supplies and metal working, Weldfabulous makes its welding supplies fast and easy to find. This company offers the safety items such as auto-darkening welding helmets, as well as lots of carts, stands, clamps, industrial magnets and just about every other accessory you can imagine.

American Welding Supply

Describing itself as the “global provider of welding, safety and industrial supplies for the oil, gas and construction sector,” American Welding Supply offers lots of DIY welding tools. On their site you’ll find specials and sales with free shipping on selected items. Along with Welding Mart, American Welding Supply offers used welders, found under the Products tab.

CyberWeld

CyberWeld offers lots of equipment in lots of categories. On each tab, you’ll find top brands of welders and cutters, helmets and safety equipment, gas cylinders and regulators, welding carts and tables, wire and more.

Have you ever been outside on a hot summer day and seen flashes of light bounce along the horizon without hearing any rumbles of thunder? Many people believe these flashes are a phenomenon known as “heat lightning,” where heat in the upper atmosphere creates sparks of light that silently illuminate the sky.

But what actually is “heat lightning?” And is it dangerous?

What is Heat Lightning?

Turns out, what some people call heat lightning is just lightning from a far-off storm.

According to the Weather Channel, the human eye can see lightning up to 100 miles away, but the human ear can only hear thunder if it’s within 10 to 15 miles of the storm. Because people can’t hear the thunder, they see the distant lightning and assume it’s some sort of rare natural phenomenon.

And because summer storms tend to hit on notably hot days, some draw a false correlation between this “special” kind of lightning and the heat. Thus, the common myth of “heat lightning.” In reality, lightning and heat lightning are exactly the same thing. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Is Heat Lightning Dangerous?

Heat lightning is actually much less dangerous than regular lightning, simply because it is so far away. According to Weather.gov, lightning can travel up to 12 miles from the thunderstorm generating it. That means that if you can hear thunder, it’s possible that you could get hit by lightning.

But the inverse is also true. If a lightning storm is far enough away that it looks like “heat lightning” and you can’t hear its thunder, you and your surrounding area should be safe from any wayward lightning strikes. So go ahead and spend some time watching your next “heat lightning” storm. Even if it might not be technically real, it’s still pretty cool to look at.

Portable pressure washers are fantastic tools, as anyone who owns one will tell you. Used properly, a good pressure washer can drastically reduce the work and time involved in washing decks, cars, siding, farm equipment and more.

Gas-powered washers accomplish this with an internal combustion engine that powers a pump, creating highly pressurized water that shoots out of a handheld wand attached to the tool by a hose.

Like all machines, pressure washers sometimes break down. These malfunctions take several forms, but in general, they fall into two categories: engine issues and pump or wand issues. If you own a pressure washer or are thinking about purchasing one, keep reading to learn the most common ways these machines fail, and how to fix and maintain them.

Note: The engine-related problems below only apply to gas-powered pressure washers. All other issues apply to gas and electric.

Engine Won’t Run

If the engine won’t run after sitting for a long time and you know it’s sparking and has enough oil, there’s an excellent chance the carburetor is gummed up with old fuel. Try opening the carburetor drain plug and letting a little old fuel dribble out.

If it still won’t start after buttoning things back up, and you’ve checked oil, choke, etc., chances are you’ve got a partial blockage in a carburetor passages. Clearing it involves removing and disassembling the carburetor, then cleaning it with some carburetor cleaner. Don’t attempt this alone if you’re not confident taking apart and reassembling small, important parts.

Little Or No Water Pressure

If your pressure washer starts and runs fine, but there’s no pressure or no water coming from the pump, it could be a clogged wand, hose or inlet filter.

Begin isolating the problem by hooking a water hose to the washer’s inlet and turning it on. If water flows out the outlet, you know water is cycling through. If not, chances are your inlet filter is clogged. Remove and clean it, and you should be good to go.

Assuming water is flowing through the pump properly, start the engine, hook up the hose and wand and see if it works. If not, you have a collapsed or kinked hose or a clogged wand. Both problems can most likely be fixed quickly without professional help.

leaking hose connection

Water Leaking From Pump

Compressed air must be purged from the pressure washer pump before use. Pump the handle before running the engine until water flows from the wand. If this isn’t done, the unpurged air can damage check valves. On some pressure washers you can replace these individually; on others you need an entire pump replacement.

A defective thermal release valve can also cause leaks from the pump. This valve lets heated, pressurized water exit the pump if the washer is left running for too long without the trigger being squeezed. If the thermal release valve lets water leak constantly, it’s defective and needs replacement.

Water Leaking From Wand

The bottom end of the wand where it attaches to the hose is another common spot for leaks. Leaks there not only cause pressure to drop, they leave your arm and sleeve soaking wet, too.

Undo the screws holding the wand assembly together, making sure to place them somewhere safe. Carefully examine the inner workings of the assembly under a bright light. If you spot any cracks, you’ll need to replace the entire wand.

If not, check the state of all rubber O-rings within the wand assembly. If any of them have cracked or become brittle, that’s probably the cause of your leak. Replace them with identical rings (same size and thickness) as explained in your owner’s manual.

Strange Noises From Pump and No Water Flowing

If you fire up your pressure washer and it runs fine, but there’s no water flowing and you hear strange noises from the pump, you may have made a critical and common error last season.

In cold winter climates your pressure washer needs to be completely drained of water, and ideally filled with antifreeze, before winter storage. Forget to do this, and you’ll almost certainly leave water sitting in your machine’s pump. Come winter, that water will freeze, expand and critically damage the pump’s inner workings.

If this happens, your only option is buying a replacement pump. You can find a video online to guide you through the replacement installation, or call a professional.

Rain Gutters Pressure Cleaning

Soap Not Dispensing From Reservoir

Some higher end pressure washers come with a built-in reservoir for special pressure washer liquid soap. The idea is that mixing soap with the pressurized water you’re spraying will help clean things better and faster. My own pressure washer has this feature, and I can attest that it makes a big difference when you’ve got lots of caked-on dirt to deal with.

Trouble is, often the soap doesn’t flow properly from the reservoir even when it’s filled to the top. Nine times out of 10, the reason is simple: Too much back pressure in the pump prevents the soap from being sucked into the nozzle.

Most pressure washers can’t draw the thick liquid soap up from the reservoir if you have any nozzle on the wand other than the weakest, least-pressurizing one that comes with your machine. No nozzle at all works even better. More aggressive nozzles reduce overall flow rate a lot, and your washer needs sufficient flow rate of water to draw up the soap.

So if you’ve got a soap-enabled pressure washer that won’t draw up the soap up properly, try removing the nozzle.

Nearly invisible to the naked eye, mites are a category of scavenger or parasitic arachnids (related to spiders and ticks) that attach themselves to a living host — plants, insects, pets and people. They feed off sloughing skin cells, animal dander and blood.

Not every adverse reaction from exposure to mites is due to biting; rashes and itching are also by-products of contact. The Mayo Clinic defines the resulting allergic skin irritation as contact dermatitis.

Although not considered life-threatening to humans, mites are known to provoke hay fever, spark asthma attacks or exacerbate eczema in people who suffer from these conditions.

Do Mites Bite People?

Some do. Some don’t.

Among the hundreds of species living in North America, only a handful will actually sink their “teeth” into human and animal flesh. If one does bite you, mites are so small you probably won’t even know you’ve been bitten unless a rash appears.

Which Types of Mites Bite?

The types of mites that bite:

  • Scabies. These mites infest and burrow into the top layer of skin to lay their eggs. In dogs, scabies can cause mange.
  • Straw itch mites. Humans are usually bitten when they come into contact with straw, hay, grasses, leaves or seeds.
  • Demodex mites. Primarily found around hair follicle glands of the face.
  • Rodent and bird mites. When a domestic animal or avian host dies or abandons its nest, these mites turn to feed on humans.
  • Chiggers. The most common biting mite. Chigger larvae use their jaws to cut the skin, then inject skin-digesting saliva that, once liquified, is sucked up.

Among the non-biting mites (like dust and clover mites), contact can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion.

What Do Mite Bites Look Like?

Bites from mites generally appear as itchy, hard bumps or raised red patches of skin that can also be accompanied by blistering.

  • Scabies bites look like pink pimples. (See below.)
  • Straw itch mites usually leave red marks on the shoulders or around the neck.
  • Demodex mites create dry, red patches, typically on the face.
  • Rodent and bird mite bites create a red, swollen rash that can appear anywhere on the body, along with extreme itching.
  • Chiggers usually make tiny holes in clusters around the waist or lower legs.

If you suspect scabies, seek medical attention right away. Scabies are highly contagious and mites can live under the skin for several months.

How To Treat Mite Bites

Some mite bites remain localized and don’t spread. Others, like scabies, are highly contagious.

For a scabies infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following:

  • Treat infected skin with a doctor-prescribed scabicide lotion or cream;
  • Examine and treat any member of the household at the same time;
  • Wash and dry bedding, clothing and towels at hot temperatures;
  • Seal non-washable items in plastic bags for at least 72 hours;
  • If skin sores appear infected, treat with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor.

How To Prevent Mite Bites

To get rid of mites, you must eliminate the host or hosts. In a lot of cases, that can be difficult. Toxic pesticides only work temporarily and aren’t recommended if you have children and pets. Still, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of getting a mite bite indoors:

  • Vacuum regularly;
  • Wash linens and clothing in hot water (130 to 140 F);
  • Wrap mattresses, pillows and cushions with anti-allergy covers;
  • Seal food containers tightly;
  • Use home dehumidifiers (mites prefer moist environments).

To reduce the chances outdoors:

  • Avoid walking in long tall grasses
  • Apply insect repellent
  • Wash clothing and take a hot shower after leaving an infested area

If you get a mite bite, don’t scratch it! This could lead to an infection. Instead, head to your local pharmacy to pick up an over-the-counter oral antihistamine and/or a topical cream to help control the itching.

The Family Handyman editor, Elisa Bernick will show you an easy and inexpensive DIY project to store wine glasses out of the way and easy to access.