I'm the guy you take to work with you every day, the Prime Minister of Twang Clay JD Walker! Catch me on The Wolf weekdays from 10-3, and check my blog often for my random musings about stuff going on!
So as the seasons change, I too explore the cornucopia of wonderful home improvement projects I've put off...well, since the initial purchase of my home over one year ago.
For example, there's a light that hangs over the sink in the kitchen that looked straight-up 1992.Â Back when Morgan and I began dating (10 months ago now, wow), I told her that I was going to replace it, so I straddled the sink, unbolted it from the ceiling and left the fixture dangle by two wires...for the last 10 months.Â In my defense, there simply wasn't anything at Lowes that really matched anything else in the kitchen.
Of course, at any given time, whilst washing dishes, that crappy light could have fallen on top of my head...so I'm real smart on that one.Â Luckily, I took the plunge and got a new light:
Next step was to figure out what in the devil was causing the front porch light and driveway lights not to light up...good 'ol Google told me to replace the bulbs (duh) then switches...of course, I now know that from now on, any task that requires me to remove a light switch cover, that I should first turn off the electricity to the house.Â Thankfully I only suffered a mild shock, enough to make me remember how stupid I was for not turning off the power, that's for sure.
The switch replacement fixed the porch light, but still no luck getting the driveway lights working.Â Dang, now I had to figure out how to climb that high (15 feet or so) to do the deed.Â Let me tell you, I hate heights.Â Jason, my killer cool neighbor came over with his giant extension ladder.Â So here I go, climbing my stairway to heaven (I say this, because the entire trip up I was so freaked out that my knees were knocking, and for certain I believed that I would plummet to my demise right there in front of the neighbor kids in High Point).
So I pulled off the defunct unit off of the house, still weak at the knees, and shuffled inside to test the bulbs, thinking "wow, this is going to take a very long time to do because I'm such a wuss".Â When I return, I see Jason at the top, nearly finished attaching the new fixture.
Cool...now, I feel like a jerk, simply because I cannot complete simple household tasks without bugging my cool neighbors.
Yes, to you, that ain't that high up in the air, but to your Prime Minister, simply forget it.Â Thank God for Jason and Julie...and Chad and Jenny...best neighbors ever!
Â Honest.Â All I need is an alley in my neighborhood, and I'd be a spittin' image of Hank Hill.Â I like propane, and propane accessories.Â I also really really love to mow my yard.Â The last couple of months have been full of nothing more than drama between me and my 22" push mower that Dad built for me when I bought my house.Â I was so sad to hear the news from him over the weekend back in West Virginia when he pulled the sheet over the deck and stated that 'there wasn't anything more he could do'.
There I sat, with the entire future of my lawn care life ahead of me, questioning how in the world I would continue to keep its height below city standards.Â I weighed every option, looking through Dad's mower 'bone yard' of spare parts, encouraging him to toss all of those parts together, then when that failed I scoured through Craigslist, Ebay and the like, hellbent not to pay full price on a new one.Â No luck.
Finally, when I thought my fate was stacked against me, I went to my neighborhood Lowes after work yesterday and explained to the mower guy my situation...that I was a tight wad.
He took me through the super-secret 'employees only' area of the store stating that he had a couple of units that were returned, and he'd be willing to cut me a deal.Â Sweet!Â So I bought a brand new mower for half the price that was on the shelf.Â
Life is so good, that I might just mow my yard again tonight after work...I tell ya whut.
It's amazing how we tend to forget about the simple things in life, such as a roof over our heads or shoes under our feet (thanks, Darius).Â For me, it was air conditioning.Â Now, in West Virginia where I grew up, we at the Walker household didn't have that luxury, just box and ceiling fans...that's all.Â Needless to say, I didn't think it would be such a big deal when my AC started blowing hot air on Monday morning.
"Heck, this ain't nothin'...I'll just cut the windows open and crank up the fans," I said to myself as I prepared for work Monday morning...that was, until I arrived back home Monday afternoon in the high-humid hot as haties NC summer weather.
Thankfully, I still have a month left on my home warranty, so I was able to just pay the deductible and get an AC guy out to the house...but let me tell you...trying to get a night's sleep in 88-92 degree indoor heat...unbearable.Â Now, everything's fixed, after $500 of warranty-covered parts and labor, I'm back in sweet air conditioned bliss, and this guy won't ever take for granted the little things in life!
Let me just tell you, your Prime Minister is all about saving money.Â What can I say...I'm a tightwad...or just frugal, take your pick.Â I've been contemplating how I can spruce up my front yard for almost the entire year I've living in my home in High Point.Â I knew that I wanted to put new mulch around the 'natural area' in my front yard, and around the flower beds, but there are so many that I didn't want to open my feable wallet up that much to buy $3 bags of prepackaged mulch.
I give all of the credit to my neighbor Chad.Â He and his wife both have degrees from NC State in Horticulture, so needless to say, both of their thumbs are more than green.Â He informed me that I could go to the City of High Point's Yard Waste Recycling Center and buy mulch by the ton.Â He said that at that particular plant (which, by the way, isn't very far at all from my house), the city takes all of the yard waste they pick up and convert it into either engineered soil (compost) or wood mulch.Â Sure, it isn't as pretty as the stuff you buy at Lowes, but it gets the job done...especially at the $17/ton price.
Yep...$17/ton.Â So, thanks to Howlin' Hottie Jill's husband Daniel, I took his trailer over to the recycling facility and got 1.25 tons of mulch to put in my flower beds.
Seriously, think about this: you save money in the first place by getting a ridiculously low price on mulch, and you help save the environment by finding a better use for otherwise wasted fallen limbs, trees, leaves and more.Â Plus, there's a greater impact on the environment.Â Because this mulch isn't packaged at all, there isn't more plastic and all of the hazardous chemicals relased back into the environment.Â And think about the positive impact there is by not having to have semitrucks trucks rolling across the country to ship this stuff.Â It's locally picked up within the city, then distributed again back into the city.
Now, I'm not an environmentalist by any means, but I do feel really good about the 1thing I did to spruce up my yard, simply because that 1thing turned into over a dozen positive environmental actions!
So a buddy asked me yesterday if I had ever played a game called "Redneck Golf"...me, of course, with redneck genes surging through my veins presumed that he was referring to the game my uncle Cletus and I used to play where we would take rotten tomatoes and wing 'em at each other with a hockey stick. Alas, I was far from being on point with the true method of this game. Apparently, Redneck Golf is similar to Cornhole, but instead of tossing bags of corn in holes, you take two golf balls, run clothesline between the two, and wiz them toward a PVC pipe ladder...there's video here that shows it a little better:
So, have you played, or would you be interested in playing Redneck Golf? I'm looking into making a set of my own to play with my neighbors over in High Point. Actually, I have a feeling that my dog will end up chasing the balls, then hiding them somewhere under the deck. I guess it beats the other way my uncle and I used to play, where the dog would just eat the rotten maters.
Well, I've been blessed being a homeowner.Â I've now owned the 'Casa de Walker' since August of '08, and as time passes, I find new and exciting (note the pun there) issues that tend to arise.Â The most important issue I'm working out is proper lawn care.Â I feel bombarded by yard work, even thoughÂ I do believe playing in the yard is the true American dream.Â Here's why:
My awesome neighbor and his wife graduated with a Horticulture degree at NC state, so therefore, the two of them have the nicest yard in the 'hood.Â Also, add in Morgan's dad, John, who has the true field of dreams (seriously, his yard looks like a lush wall-to-wall burbur), and you have one seriously anxious PMT.
I've weeded, seeded, watered, limed, and patched everything else you can imagine doing in order to get the green.Â
Yesterday, Lord Vador graciously dropped some sod blessings upon my and my feable yard for the sake of patching that rough spot on the corner of my little piece of land, and, as I began laying it down, I noticed fire.Â
No, not flames...fire...ants.
All over the yard, little tiny frustrations of fire ants roaming free as if they make the mortgage payment.
You know, this now means war...someone find me a magnifying glass.
Payback...this time, it's for real.