Last year a neighbor told me about an app used by other neighbors. Her two dogs had escaped their fenced yard. They made their way to the deck of another neighbor several streets away. Eventually my neighbor retrieved the “escapees” thanks to the NEXT DOOR app. So I loaded the app on my phone.
It’s a very helpful app for subdivisions to stay in touch with neighbors to alert of happenings, HOA issues, lost cats & dogs, or in some cases crime or “suspicious” characters. During the Hurricane that hit Texas last year, I heard reporters mention that people used the NEXT DOOR app to alert others to those needing rescued.
So far in my neighborhood, it’s been a lot of roaming cats in other people’s yards. City rules say cats have the same rules as dogs – not out of the yard unless on lease – but cat owners often think it’s OK to let their cat roam, kill birds, and poop in our landscape beds. A couple weeks ago a neighbor alerted us that a young golden retriever had escaped and they couldn’t catch him. It was an extremely bitter cold night with substantial snow cover. Everyone knew there was a chance the dog couldn’t survive overnight so various people got in their cars and slowly drove the streets hoping to find the pup. Half the homes are on wooded, ravine lots making many places for the dog to escape notice. It was amazing the outpouring of support as people stayed in touch with the app. The dog finally returned home the next morning but offered no explanation of what he’d been up to. BTW, the dog’s name is appropriately CHASE!
Our small city posts informative items and the police post important notices. People can also post items for sale or FREE when they want to get rid of something. It’s a great place for “handymen” or “who knows a good plumber/electrician”. My subdivision has 366 homes so we have a decent sized group, however, we can expand our posts to other surrounding areas if we choose.
It’s a great little app and so handy. Best part is it’s a FREE app! Here’s the link to NextDoor website, but to put it on your phone, go to the app store.
I dislike winter. I dislike being cold. Sure the snow is pretty – it’s just too bad it has to be cold to produce snow. Since I’ve retired I tend to hibernate during January. I only go out if I have to. I don’t mind driving in snow since I have a Jeep, but I don’t like being cold until the heater starts blowing warm air.
This year I need to apologize to my neighbors. My Christmas lights are still up. I put them up in early December when we had some warmer days. I kind of overdid it since I had a new 8-ft stepladder. Except for a few days, we’ve had snow on the ground since Christmas. I’m not eager to put that ladder in 4-6″ of snow to undo the lights.
This Hawthorn tree is around 20ft tall – with THORNS! I got creative in putting the lights on it with my “new ladder”. I’m not looking forward to removing the lights when the temp is 15°. I did the same thing with a slightly smaller crab apple tree in the front. In the next week the weather is to be in the 30s so maybe some of the snow will melt so I can remove the lights.
On the plus side, I checked a few indoor projects off my to-do list. I cleaned out a bunch of files and took the sensitive papers to the UPS Store for shredding. I took some old non-working appliances to Sims Recycling where they paid me $2.38 for them. I did more planning for a major project that I’ve been working on. I’ll start it “soon” and that’ll keep me busy through February. Then there’s a couple storage closets that need to be sorted with outdated STUFF thrown out.
Hopefully by then it will be SPRING!
2017 was an interesting year. Mostly it was a good year, but there were a few ‘bad’ things. I’ll start with the bad first. Both my home and my Jeep are now 20 years old, so it’s been a year of rather costly maintenance on both. Water heater, large maple tree removed, fence repair, exterior trim painting, new fridge, some new faucets, etc. Typical homeowner expenses.
The good news is Murph is 13 yrs old and I’m grateful to still have him. He’s a little deaf and moves more slowly but he still has spirit and is unbelievably spoiled. Another granddaughter got married so my family increased by ONE. I still have great neighbors who sometimes help me with projects or scold me when they see me doing something they think I shouldn’t – like climbing ladders! And of course, I’m so thankful for my loving family!
I’m also glad we have a President who is working for the people and America. He’s eliminated many, many regulations that made it difficult and costly for businesses. He’s working to secure our borders and deporting illegals who commit crimes. ISIS has almost been decimated. He’s installed dozens of Constitutional Judges to rule based on law, not progressive activism. Starting in 2018 we’ll get tax cuts for Americans and Corporations which will infuse money into the economy to grow it. Anyone with a 401K or pension fund benefitted from the skyrocketing stock market. Best of all is a direction to consider America First rather than globalism and the New World Order concept. Now if Obama and Hillary would just go away, life would be good.
I’m excited about 2018 and what new exciting things it will bring.
The ants have been TERRIBLE this year. I’ve tried insecticide sprays and Diatomaceous Earth. However those treatments don’t kill the queen so the nest continues. Then someone recommended Terro Ant Baits. I’ve tried baits before without much success. Then a guy from North Carolina posted his photo on Twitter of using one style of Terro bait. So I checked YouTube for similar videos. Surprise! There’s a lot of such videos of ants going nuts over the sugary Borax mixture.
Home Depot only carried the flat indoor-style bait so I bought a box of that style and put them outside. I laid a rock on each to hold them in place. They worked very well as the liquid was depleted within a few days. I found the outdoor stake-style at another store and now have 8 of them in place around the outside of my home where I’ve seen ants. I made this short video of the last stake I put into place. The nest immediately attacked it! I installed the stake on Saturday. Today is Tuesday and I’m seeing only a few stragglers. This Terro bait really works!
I have a split-rail fence as required by my subdivision. It’s now 20 years old and was again in need of replacing some rotted fence posts and rails. When I’ve had this work done in years past, I had to live with a “new wood” look until it also aged over time. Because I had so many posts and rails replaced this time I went to Home Depot with the intent of finding a suitable “weathered” stain. One of the salesmen told me that stain wouldn’t really work well. Instead he showed me a YouTube video giving instructions on weathering using white vinegar and steel wood pads. Sounds odd but I found many such videos so apparently I’m the last to know this trick.
I bought a half-gallon of vinegar and used 4 steel wool pads. In one of the videos I watched, it was suggested that if a darker color was desired to make black tea and spray it on the wood first. I didn’t want to do that plus I had only regular tea so I put 7 tea bags in the vinegar mixture. I put a lid on the container then let it sit for 24 hrs. I poured the mix into an all-purpose spray bottle I had on hand then sprayed all the new wood. VOILA!
In the photo all the top rails are new and the post on the right is new. They look a little different than the 20-year old rails but look a whole lot less obvious than the new wood did. They turned this color within a few hours. The photo below shows another sprayed post as it compares to a leftover of a new wood post. Pretty amazing isn’t it!
I do have a couple cautions.
1) Wear gloves because the spray will stain your hands, nails & especially cuticles. It also can stain kitchen counters. Use Chlorox!
2) The fibers from the steel wool may periodically clog the spray bottle’s tube so you may need to check the bottom of the suction tube to remove the fibers.