How much is too much HGTV

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

By Jan Penton Miller

may have been watching a little too much HGTV. Somehow, after a few doses of Hometown my limited skill set in the home improvement arena grows exponentially. There is always something to do around a house, and my hubby is rarely home. This combination leads me to spending a good bit of money trying to keep up with everything.

With my newfound confidence I decided that I would take over some of the yard work. How hard could it be to trim and shape a few shrubs? I know how to cut hair. I’ll bet I can do a really good job and save a little money at the same time.

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The cool morning called me outdoors early. Delicate, lacey webs hung heavy with dew as curious spiders inspected their nightly catch. My orange black and decker hedge trimmer felt light in my hands. I donned large sunglasses in lieu of the safety glasses hiding somewhere in our overstuffed storage closet.

The scraggly azaleas needed serious attention so I tackled them first. After the initial tentative cut I realized that hedge trimming was indeed like cutting hair. I used my original cut to guide me in maintaining uniformity.

Soon the trimmer’s hum filled the air, and the pile of debris at my feet grew quite large. Wow! This is only the beginning. I know I can take over a lot of the home maintenance projects on my list.

Suddenly, and without warning the trimmer quit working. I pulled the trigger and nothing. Puzzled, I reinserted the electric cord into the trimmer…still nothing. Wondering if I had somehow pulled the cord out of the electric socket I looked toward the outlet. A chill ran over my body when I noticed the heavy duty orange cord was indeed plugged in, but I had cut completely through it.

Then I noticed the fountain had stopped running also. Thank God the breaker had tripped shutting down the power when I cut the electric cord! Sheepishly, I rolled up the ruined cord and put away my tools. To realize I had come very close to a serious accident left me a little shaken.

My eldest son, Robby, stopped by and soon had my fountain running again.

“Mom, you had better be careful. Passerbys could have found you on the lawn and thought you were part of a fright filled scene- fried grandma,” he half kidded.
After Robby left I decided not to accept defeat, and thankfully I had another cord. But this time I was extremely careful not to cut it.

I trimmed all the azaleas and gardenias, hopefully leaving enough new growth for next year’s blooms.

It felt good to master a new skill, but would I do it again?  I wondered how much it would cost to replace my ruined electrical cord. Next, I thought about missing church because of my allergy flare up. Then, I remembered the nest of yellow jackets that I had barely escaped from. I might just leave the power tools to the experts.