Florida Living Hot Tubs Hurricanes Uncategorized

Hurricanes and Hot Tubs

No Current storms! Yay! 


Aug 28 Cone: Erika

Is Your Hot Tub in the Path of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm?

If’ the storm is heading your way, you are going to be busy preparing your home for the high winds and rain that accompany a hurricane. While you are picking up the yard, stowing all things that can blow and trying to alleviate hazards that could exist when the wind picks up, how should you prepare your hot tub for a hurricane? 

Electrical Tasks To Perform Before the Storm StrikesLightning_bolt

Electrical hazards  can be created by your hot tub’s equipment area flooding.  Also power surges and transformers exploding can  damage your sensitive electronics.   The easiest and quickest way to eliminate electrical hazards in your hot tub area is to turn off the breaker that controls the hot tub.  

If you are evacuating you are probably already shutting off your main breaker to the house. Be sure to include the hot tub breaker at the main panel as well.  (In fact, a good practice is to turn all individual circuit breakers off.)   Even if you are not evacuating, always, turn off the breaker to your hot tub.  If you loose power completely, when it is restored, you do not want your hot tub to come on without your observation.  There are often intermittent power outages and surges during a storm.  You really don’t want to put your hot tub through those electrical surges and voltage drops.  Turning off the breaker is the thing to do prior to high winds and rain.

Don't Drain, It can Float
Don’t Drain, It can Float

Do NOT Drain Your Hot Tub

If wind and water is coming for you.. do not drain your hot tub!  In fact,  leave it full.  You want the weight of it.  It may overflow but that’s better than it blowing over, or floating away (yes.. that can happen!)

Keep Your Spa Cover From Becoming a flying missile

You may have to rely on more than your locking straps to keep your cover on your hot tub.  Reinforce the locking straps on the spa cover with additional  ratcheting straps to hold it in place. These straps should be placed length and width and possibly doubled up. You want to try and keep wind from getting under the spa cover.  If you are using a  tarp or an over cover, be sure it is tightly strapped down around the outside edge.  Hot tub covers easily become giant flying objects that can damage your home or your neighbors home.  Tie it down tight!  If for any reason you can not secure your hot tub cover, Your best bet would be to bring it inside so it does not become a hazard if it blows off.  If you are concerned about the cover being damaged you can put a piece plywood down on top of the cover and use your ratcheting locking straps to secure it tightly to the spa.  Don’t even think about using bungee cords or anything less than multiple strong ratcheting straps for this.

Hot Tub Water Chemistry Before the storm

It can’t hurt to add a little chlorine bleach or granular sodium dichlor to the tub before the storm. This is not critical, the tub will probably need to be drained after the storm but it is a supply of water that you may be grateful to have as a water source for flushing toilets etc if you lose water supply.

Protecting Your Hot Tub From Windblown Debris

The standard practice of picking up all objects from your yard is important when trying to protect your hot tub.  Obviously, in the worst case scenarios there will be flying debris in the air no

matter what you do to prepare at your own property.  But even though a hurricane may threaten you, you never really know where exactly it’s going to come ashore.  The Hurricane Flags can be flying for your area and you may fear a direct hit,  but 10 miles can make huge difference in the severity of a hurricane over your house!  You always want to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. There is nothing you can do about the 100 year old oak tree that succumbs to the hurricane forces and lands on your hot tub.  But, you can keep your trash cans, lawn furniture potted plants etc from battering your house or hot tub in a more minor storm event.

Your Hot Tub After the Hurricane

Before the hot tub is energized after a storm you will want to  inspect it for damage, and signs of flooding before you energize. Let it dry out for a few days too.   You also will want to observe it’s start up procedures.  If you believe your hot tub  equipment area has been flooded,  Do not energize the hot tub circuit at all.  You can usually tell this by the debris line or water line in the equipment area.  If there are signs that pump motors or control systems have been underwater DO NOT ENERGIZE.  The equipment is most likely ruined and will have to be replaced.

Don’t energize your hot tub If the area around the hot tub still has standing water. You want to be sure that the area is dry before attempting a start up. Electrical shock can occur if there are problems with the hot tub equipment.   Again, check for water levels at the equipment area before attempting a start up.

Prayers and Best Wishes to all Readers!

I know you wouldn’t be here at all, if you weren’t being threatened by a hurricane.  My best wishes to you.  Please let me know your experiences of  the storm.. As a Florida native,  I’ve prepared for 12 storms in my life, and never experienced a direct hit.  I’ve had power outages, wind and rain,  trees down but never serious damage.  I pray your experience is the same!

If you have a hot tub and are looking for a cover,  you can learn how to order spa and hot tub covers here


Gardening Tools

What’s Your Favorite Leatherman Tool?

You Gotta Love Leatherman!

Leatherman has millions of fans for their legendary “multi purpose tools.” As a connoisseur of Leatherman products I know there is a good reason for that: They are quite simply the best. My personal favorite, the multi-tool I truly cannot live without, is the “Micra.”

My favorite Leatherman Tool

This is a pocket sized power house with a usefulness quotient that cant be beat. Since it is so small and lightweight, you are going to have it in your pocket and the uses you will find for it, just because its there, are astounding. Gardening: Need to dead head a few flowering plants? Cut back to stimulate growth? Trim some dead growth? Your needs are met! Fishing: Cuts the limpest braided line, trims mono with ease, cuts bait, rinse it off and its good as new! Home repairs: See a loose screw?  Tighten it as you are walking by, Need a knife? of course there is a razor sharp knife blade as well as a nail file.

Great Pocket Garden Tool
Great Pocket Garden Tool

I don’t think that any other company comes close to the design perfections of Team Leatherman. Other companies may have strong, good looking functional tools with sharp blades and other useful accessories, but Leatherman always excels with comfort during use, as well as strength and great looks.

The Micra has some true innovation in its design.

Flat Phillips Tool
Flat Phillips Tool

One feature is a “flat” phllips screwdriver. This is brilliant on Leatherman’s behalf. Since the tool is so small a regular phillips head would have to be too small to be usable on a lot of screw heads. The solution? Flatten it! It works on many sizes of phillips screws, and despite the Micra’s small size, its tough stainless steel build can handle an impressive amount of torque. The Flat head screw driver tool has the added benefit of a bevel which makes it usefull for small scraping and even chiseling chores. The bottle opener also has a sharp awl end for hole punching. The tweezers are attached and have cutting ends as well for an embedded splinter.

Combo Bottle Opener and Awl
Combo Bottle Opener and Awl

Need to measure something? A metric and standard rule is stamped on the outside edge. and last but not least, a view of the tool in it’s “pocket” state. All Together there are are 10 suprisingly rugged tools contained in this 2 1/2 inch package.  Its one of leatherman’s most popular tools.   It also comes in colors now too!  I’ve bought many Micras because like i said, I cant live without one in my pocket and I’ve lost a few at airports to the security people,  a couple fell overboard when fishing,


Micra All Ready for Your Pocket or Purse
Micra All Ready for Your Pocket or Purse


You can check out all the Leatherman tools at Photon Light.  I realize that for some, the Micra might not be enough of a tool. Which ever Leatherman you choose, you know you will be getting an excellent quality, balanced, comfortable Multi tool. Photon light also has some really neat flashlights.  At least stop by and visit them and see if you see anything you like.  I am an affiliate for them, I might make buck fifty if you buy a Micra or other leatherman from them, but i actually shopped around a lot before I chose Photon light to work with on this. They’ve got great pricing and are cool people who like cool stuff.. like us!

Leatherman Multi-Tools



Gardening Green Products

Quick Hydroponic Sustainable Garden

Don’t rule out hydroponics when seeking a year round system for sustainable home gardening.   With produce prices high at the grocery store, many folks are starting home gardens for vegetables.   In many areas spring and summer is the only growing season for traditional gardens.  Hydroponics can change all of that.

Grow hydroponics veggies year round with the HydromaticBut wait, you say,  isn’t hydroponic gardening complicated and require lots of apparatus?  Pumps? Blowers?  Lights and electricity?  It doesn’t have to be.!  There are several effective hydroponic systems that require no additional equipment. Just the box, Nutrients, Perlite and seeds or seedlings.  One popular hydroponic gardening system is the Hydromatc growing box.

Invented by Robert Ferguson and designed with simplicity in mind, the Hydromatic requires no pumps.  Just perlite, nutrients, and a weekly tip to drain and add new nutrient solution.   With the unit placed outside, weather permitting, no lights are necessary.  If winter forces your growing inside, you might want to consider a small grow light to be sure your veggies, herbs, etc have the light necessary to thrive.

Inside hydroponic growing is very friendly  for all greens.  Lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, herbs and more.  Even in the winter in cold climates, you can have a salad selections growing in your Hydromatic year round!  Your greens will grow FAST too.  With a few Hydromatic hydroponic units, you can have your salads growing in several different stages so you Hydromatic hydroponic tomatoes always have produce iin several growth stages: sprouting, growing and ready to eat!  Many greens germinate in only 3 days.  by day 20, you can harvest!  While fruited vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber and squash can grow inside,  you have to “be the bee” and perform pollination duties.  A Q-tip works well for this.

During your traditional growing season, just pick up your light weight compact Hydromatic system and move it outside.   Now, plant your tomatoes squash and cukes and whatever motivates you!

I’m loving experimenting with my own Hydromatic units.  Learning what works best in terms of nutrient solution and pH.  PH is one of the most important aspects to a successful hydroponic garden no matter what method you use.  Most plants need a Lower pH than tap water so  nutrient solutions must be balanced to the proper pH for the plants to absorb the nutrients you are feeding them.  Robert has a great pH guide on his website:

The Hydromatic is affordable too.  If you’ve looked at other hydroponic systems, it’s hard to find units under 50 bucks.  The Hydromatic is only 29 each.  OR order 4 for 27 each.  Can’t beat that.  They measure 24 inches long by 5X5 inches.  Compact for inside or outside.  You can also order (or build) the trellis which will help support heavier yeilding plants.  It can also be used as a net support for cucumbers, or a light support for inside growing.  Each Hydromatic unit is predrilled for the trellis installation.  Funny, its also handy as a carrying handle if you want to move it around your yard.

Go on over to for more info.  Bob will even sell you plans for 10 bucks so that you can build your own if you want to!



Family Health Uncategorized

Alzheimer’s Disease Visits Again

Losing my mom to Alzheimer’s happened in 2007.  It was a 5 year road of gradual decline, leading to the end.  Now, it’s my aunt’s turn I guess.  To the family, the signs have been unmistakable for some time, but accepting it and actually bringing it up to her was just too hard.   My aunt,  is an independent, never married, 85 year old lady of the south who insists “there is nothing wrong with me, my memory is fine!”  But the truth is, there is something very wrong.  It was very difficult to reason with her why she needed to go to the doctor.  ” I’m not sick, I’m fine, and I’m not going.”  Nevertheless, the appointment was made and we convinced her to go.

Family Health Hot Tubs

Hot Tub Safety

Sometimes We Forget About Safety Around Hot Tubs

Hot tubs and spas are a popular retreat for many and why not?  There is nothing in the world like the sensations one receives while enjoying a hot tub:  Soothing heat, hydrotherapy massage, that “melting away” sensation that allows one’s mind to relax no matter what kind of a day you’ve had.

For many, a hot tub can be a respite from the pain of arthritis or sports injuries.  For others a social centerpiece for their home, and for still others, a private escape and maybe all of the above.

It’s sometimes hard to even think about the safety aspects of your hot tub because so many good feelings are enjoyed there.  But sometimes it’s the good feelings that might let us forget about certain safety issues.   If you own a hot tub now or are considering buying a hot tub, this list of hot tub safety items can help us all be aware and reminded that safety is important around hot tubs.