Small Garden Wrap-Up

We live in an outer borough of New York, so our backyard is small. So, in the small section of our yard, we took it upon ourselves to create a small vegetable garden back on Mother’s Day Weekend. We’ve tried to do this before, but the throw seeds in dirt and hope for the best approach didn’t work, so we actually looked into what to do this time.

Over the next several months, we tended to the garden, by weeding, watering and tying up plants to the support poles or cages. My daughter was very helpful, finding it incredibly fun to weed and water. It created a great sense of pride in being a part of growing the vegetables. Plus it was a great introduction to the life cycle of plants from seed, to plant, to fruit, to seed again.

Giant Tomato Plant, plus eggplant and cajun belle.

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95 Year Old Pipe – DIY PLUMBING

Remember that time that I spent several days, flushing chemicals and buying useless tools until I broke down and used a plumber? This is NOT going to be like that. This is how I tackled the biggest home repair project of my life, and it only took a day!


My family and I had gone out of town for a few days. Upon our return, we were faced with an awful smell. My first instinct was that it was a natural gas leak, even though it didn’t quite smell like it…I called 9-1-1 and they sent the fire department. The fire department entered, said they smelled gas and shut off our stove. They then proceeded to say that our stove was broken and to get a new one.

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To celebrate the release of Marvel’s Ant-Man ants have invaded houses all across the country. I’ve had an ant problem lingering on and off for the past year. I’ve used as many old wives tales as there are in the handbook that they give you when you become a Stay-At-Home Hero (written by Calvin’s dad of course). None of them have worked, although I was pretty sure that a mix of borax and sugar water would do the trick…of course it’s been a long time since I got my A in high school chemistry, so I just couldn’t get the proportions right.

Well, thanks to another blog that I read, I purchased a product and it worked! They’re gone!!

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$3 Chair – Garage Sale Upcycle Project

Our family loves garage sales. You can get really good deals on high quality items, if you know how to spot them. During our town’s giant neighborhood wide garage sale, we found a cool little wooden children’s chair that was perfect for my daughter. It was just a little beat up, with the original finish peeling. However, it’s made of solid wood, and it folds up. The seller had a $3 sticker on it. Sold!

Now that warm weather has finally arrived, my daughter and I fixed up the chair for her, making it not only a great DIY project but a father-daughter one to boot. Also, she was able to do most of it hands on, truly making it her own.

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Easy DIY Fix: Broken Light Switch

To my surprise the other day, I went to turn on my living room light switch, and it didn’t work. Well, it kind of worked. The light would turn on when tapped down and then turn off when tapped down again. It didn’t even click up and down anymore.

It was right before my daughter’s nap, so I was about to have a good window to fix it!

After nap commenced, I riffled through some of the old odds and ends in the basement (the treasure trove of abandoned tools), and I found a brand new light switch in the box. Score! I shut off the breaker and went to work.

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Everything In The Bathroom Sink – Clearing The Worst Clog I’ve Ever Seen (PART 2)

Last time on the Super Amazing Stay-At-Home Hero Adventure Hour, I talked about how I battled a mystery clog in the sink. This article is about how I single handedly defeated the enemy and proved victorious.


Except I didn’t.

I failed. Miserably. I also resorted to something that I’ve never done in my life as a homeowner.

Here’s what happened:

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Everything In The Bathroom Sink – Clearing The Worst Clog I’ve Ever Seen (PART 1)

Plumbing has been around since ancient Rome, and my house’s plumbing has been around for almost 100 years. It’s expected to be backed up from time to time. What I didn’t expect was the doozy I was handed over the last couple of days.

Two days ago, Sunday, we also had a fun date night where me and the wife were able to go see the ballet while grandma watched the little one. I hadn’t shaved since Easter, so when I finally shaved off my pre-lumberjack beard, a lot of hair was left behind in the basin.

After mutilating my face, I opened the drain…and…nothing. Oh, crap. It’s clogged. Oh well, I’ll fix it later. Off we went.

Sunday night, I went through my usual checklist of unclogging a sink.

  1. Boiling Water
  2. Baking Soda & Vinegar
  3. Wire Hanger
  4. Plunger
  5. Chemicals
  6. Taking The Darn Thing Apart


Boiling water did nothing. Neither did baking soda & vinegar. Sometimes the drain would ease out slowly, sometimes it was blocked completely, and I had to bail out the water. Regardless, it was still stuck, and I went to bed.

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Easy Clean Your Stove Top: FAST & FUME FREE!

Although I love to cook for my family, I cannot stand cleaning my caked on stove top. Luckily, through a bit of trial and error, I have devised a way to clean my stove top extremely easily and in under 25 minutes.


When cleaning up messes at home became a full time job requirement, I did not know how to handle this caked on stove. Because I didn’t know any better, my technique involved dousing the hard black, impenetrable mess with a blue non-stick safe sponge and massive amounts of all-purpose cleaner. I spent lots of time spreading this stench around my house. It didn’t make a dent in the mess, and that toxic smell is not something that I want lingering about with my daughter around. I wasted further time with having to place a fan near the window to blow that cloud of chemicals away.

There had to be a better solution.

Now I give my stove top a one-two punch that cleans it in a fraction of the time.

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