Tag Archives: Home Depot

Good Bugs vs Bad Bugs

I use minimal insecticides mainly because I’ve always had dogs and Murph is like a 4-legged mop because his legs are so short. I also don’t want to harm the good insects like bees, nor do I want to harm the birds. I prefer to let Nature take its course. Like the Assassin bug I found a couple years ago, I learned it killed the bad bugs, even though it was really ugly.


Praying Mantis

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Over the weekend I spotted another highly desirable bug, a Praying Mantis. They’re fun to watch as they do their jerky movement and turn their strange head. Eventually it “walked” down to the green plant below where it became nearly invisible with its color match. If you check articles on Google, you’ll find that these insects are killing machines, attacking much larger critters like frogs! Amazing!


Grubs under the lawn

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Also this past weekend I began cleaning up the brown spots I had in the yard. I thought they were due to the extreme dry weather we had. But as I began to use my thatching rake, I pulled up the sod … a sure sign of grubs. I was finding a grub for every 2 square inches. THAT’S A LOT!

I found this invasion over large parts of my back lawn. Given the time of year, I checked online for a specific insecticide that would kill them NOW. Many grub controls are preventative and must be put on in late spring. I found an article from Michigan State University that there are only 2 active ingredients that kill now. One of those took 3-4 weeks to work. The other kills in 24-hours. So I made a trip to Home Depot to buy the Bayer granules.

grub damaged lawn

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I tested the insecticide on one of the large damaged areas, soaked it with plenty of water, then watched the grubs squirm and try to bury themselves further down into the dirt. If it didn’t work, I wasn’t going to put it over other areas because of Murph. I checked the next day and the grubs were dead. I’ve since covered the area with topsoil to keep Murph from coming in contact with the granules. (The hose was circled around the spot to keep Murph off – he hates the hose!)

I’ll be repeating this process over all the other large areas where I spotted the nasty grubs. If there were just a few grubs, I wouldn’t bother with this, but if I don’t control them to some degree I’ll just have a bunch of June bugs next year with a repeat of the damaged lawn.

I now self-identify as a plumber

I’m sure I’m not alone in doing some minor “fix” which exponentially explodes into a full-blown project. That recently happened to me … AGAIN! The toilet in the half bath wasn’t doing a good job of flushing. It appeared that the fill valve was lower than it should be to allow the tank to fill with sufficient water. Several years ago my daughter had installed a Korky Quiet Fill in this toilet. It worked very well until recently. I suspected it had “slipped down”.

I turned off the water supply below the toilet then unscrewed the two attachments at the base of the tank. Then I pulled out the Korky unit and tried to extend the tube. It had ratchets that lock the tube in place once the right height is determined. Well as I was working with the height, the ratchets locked in place and I couldn’t get them to unlock.

I checked YouTube to see if there were any instruction videos. There are MANY! I picked this one from Korky itself. Notice that this video is 1.52 minutes long. In it the gal does the complete installation. Trust me … it takes longer than that! 🙂

Korky Quiet Fill ValveThe main thing I noticed from the video was that the ratchets on my old unit were different. I suspected there was a problem with the old design, so Korky revised the design. So off to Home Depot (my fav store) to buy a new unit. I put the new unit in with no problem being careful to position the height as instructed.

Then I reattached the solid chrome connector to the tank and the faucet bar. Once done, I turned the faucet back on. Water dripped from the tank and from the nut near the faucet knob. @#$%^&*!!! I won’t go thru the multiple steps I tried to fix the drips but let’s just say the toilet was out of commission for a few days.

toilet tank connectorBack to Home Depot where a terrific guy told me to use a flexible connector then throw the old solid one away. (The flexible connector has better washer system in it.) Voila! It worked great, easy to install AND it worked. No leaks!

I was so confident in my skills(?) that I bought another Korky and flexible extender for another toilet. Took me only 30 minutes this time and NO LEAKS! The extender I bought is a little longer than needed but I was afraid to buy too short cause I didn’t want to have to make another trip. I’m so proud of me!

NOTE: If any plumbers read this, you’re worth every penny! While I saved money on this project, there are a couple projects yet to do that I will need to hire a plumber because they’re beyond my ability. So there’s that!🙂

Hey, Manufacturers – women use tools, too!

Women buy houses. The last statistic I saw indicated that single women make up about 25% of the purchases. I’ve worked with quite a few single gals to buy their first home on their own. It’s exciting.

But this is not about “women buying houses”.

It’s about what women have to deal with AFTER they buy the home. Lowe’s and Home Depot have made an effort to be more “female friendly”. I’m thankful for that as Home Depot is one of my favorite stores. I always get the urge to begin a whole bunch of projects whenever I go there.

This is about manufacturers.

I don’t think manufacturers consider a woman’s size and strength when designing their products. It’s been a bone-of-contention for me since I bought my first home 23 years ago. I’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t pay to buy “small & lightweight” because I end up working harder than the tool does. Women need to be able to buy tools that do the job, but don’t require the strength of the Hulk to operate them.

Last weekend, I decided that leaf raking was becoming such a chore (my trees have grown – a lot) that it would be helpful to join the other obnoxious homeowners with a leaf blower.

Toro leaf blower & mulcherSo down to my favorite Home Depot store in Lewis Center. Toro® had one that is not only a leaf blower but it can also vacuum and chop up the leaves, then blow them into a bag. GREAT!

The machine works great … if you’re a 6 ft tall person. Notice the man in the top illustration. His hands are near his waist with the vacuum tube on the ground sucking up the leaves with the bag supported easily with the strap. It looks easy doesn’t it!

Well, I’m not a tall person, so in order to hold the tool as shown in the illustration, I had to have my hands up near my shoulders & chin. Doing that also positioned that bag too high for the shoulder strap on the bag to have much effect in carrying the bag’s weight.

After a period of time – as my arms were becoming numb – I lowered it to allow the bag to drag on the ground with the vacuum tube aimed outward like a gun. Not exactly the image in the illustration. I’m sure I looked more like a person in desperation.

I’m thinking that I need to drag out my trusty heavy-duty circular saw and cut off about 6″ of that sucker.