Category: Home & Garden

Garage Door Openers in a Power Outage

garage door openers

If you have an electric garage door opener it’s important to read the instructions. If there’s a power outage you may have to lift the garage door manually. Most systems have a pull cord to disconnect the door from the opener. Make sure you know where it is and how use it. I learned the hard way one day when there was an outage and it was my turn to drive the soccer carpool. When I went to get the car I couldn’t open the garage door. Another mom came to my rescue, but I wish I’d known about the pull cord. It’s a good idea to try it before you need it. After you disconnect the door make sure you’re physically able to lift it. Garage doors can weigh 600 pounds or more! If the opener doesn’t have battery backup consider replacing it. Many of the new electronic garage door openers come with backup batteries. A new California law, effective July 1, 2019, requires homeowners installing new electronically operated garage doors to have openers with battery backup technology. Whether it’s the law or not, openers with battery backup are a good idea. Make sure all the adults in your […]

Read More +

Decluttering, A Simple Plan

Decluttering, A Simple Plan

Decluttering. Most of us have good intentions, but for many the job seems overwhelming. Decluttering ends up at the bottom of the “to do” list, right under cleaning the oven! Even more discouraging, if you search online for “decluttering plan” you get 9,500,000 suggestions! No wonder it’s hard to know where to begin. Decluttering expert Marie Condo devised the KonMari Method. It involves “tidying up” your entire living space at once by pulling out everything by category. You keep the items that “spark joy” and “thank” the rest for their service before discarding them. The KonMari Method isn’t practical for most people. If you live in a studio apartment it might work, but if you have an entire house and only a weekend to declutter, it won’t. Also, the “spark joy” method of deciding what to keep is problematical. The toilet plunger doesn’t “spark joy” but it would certainly spark despair if I didn’t have it when needed. Here’s my favorite decluttering plan The plan I like recommends doing it room by room. You separate items in five categories: “Put away,” “Recycle,” “Fix or mend,”  “Trash” and “Donate.” That’s really all you need to know to get started. For more […]

Read More +

Is Your Water Heater an Accident Waiting to Happen?

hot water heater

Your hot water heater may need attention. If you’re like most people, you don’t think much about your water heater. As long as it works, no problem, right? Not necessarily. The first sign it’s on the blink might be a cold shower, or worse yet, a flooded home or apartment. Check the warranty. Most warranties are 6-12 years. If yours is expired, think about replacing it. If you rent, ask your landlord about the warranty, especially if the heater is in your unit. At my previous apartment the water heater was in my unit. It started leaking at 3:30 AM. Fortunately, I was able to call the landlord and he took care of it. If I had been away the leak could have gone on for days, flooding my unit and possibly the one below. If needed, turn the temperature setting down to avoid scalding. Turn the shower on to the hottest setting. If you can’t hold your hand under the water, the water heater temperature setting is probably too high. Check the manual to see how to turn it down. Most people find that 120 degrees is enough. Bonus: Turning the temperature down will save a little on your […]

Read More +

Plant an Herb Garden. Put a Little Spice in Your Life!

herbs, herb garden, herb growing

I planted an herb garden in April Actually, the herb garden is in pots. I’m a city dweller and don’t have a garden, only a small deck. I’ve tried growing herbs before without much luck. It turns out herbs have different sun/shade, fertilizer, soil and watering requirements. I hadn’t done the research! HabiLinks to the rescue! I love my work. Whenever I want help or information on a lifestyle topic, I search the web. When I find the most useful resource, I add it to HabiLinks, my web guide. I find the information I need and create a new resource for HabiLinks’ users at the same time. Here’s the herb growing guide I found to get my little garden off to a good start. Now I have fresh basil for bruschetta and sage to garnish my pasta. I planted oregano, thyme, parsley, tarragon and chives to spice things up even more. Pots make growing herbs easy You can move the plants to control the amount of sun or shade they get. You can easily spot weeds and pluck them out. Some things I learned the hard way (by mistake!) If you’re using containers, most herbs do best in their own […]

Read More +