ABC Blog

San Antonio Christmas Events, 2018 Edition

San Antonio Christmas

Cue the bells and dancing elves because the most wonderful time of the year here in San Antonio is just around the corner! This means it is the season for all things peppermint flavored, hot chocolate, holiday playlists on repeat, tacky sweaters, delicious holiday recipes and tons and tons of twinkling lights.

San Antonio is a city rich in history and traditions, and those qualities are showcased during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a fun family night out, a way to entertain friends and relatives or seasonal date night ideas, there is something for everyone! Create unforgettable memories with your loved ones this holiday season by looking through our list of San Antonio Christmas events for 2018 and putting some of these outings on your calendar now.

San Antonio Christmas Shows: Performances To Remember

Many holiday traditions revolve around stories, so it’s not surprising that many dance troupes, theater companies and other … Read Full Post »

Electrical Safety Tips To Protect Your Family At Home

Electrical Safety Tips

You’ve dealt with electricity in your home before. We all have. Say the power goes out and you need to flip the breakers. A much more common experience is the countless times you’ve had to change a light bulb. No big deal.

So, when you decided to put ceiling fans around your house, you opted to do it yourself. After all, you’re a smart person. How hard could it be?

Most homeowners soon discover that dealing with electrical tasks around the house isn’t as straightforward as we’d imagine. Using the example of installing ceiling fans, perhaps you flipped off the breakers in the places where you were putting the fans. You got the right tools. You hung the fans up, one by one. Boom. Done. Except that when you flipped the power back on, two of them didn’t work. Sigh.

So, you went back and forth, turning off the power, working on the fans, then turning the … Read Full Post »

Why Am I Running Out of Hot Water Faster Than Before?

Running Out Of Hot Water Faster Than Before

It started with a dinner party.

You had lots of dishes to wash, and when the water surprisingly turned cold you assumed it was probably because you’d taken so long.

Then your spouse yelled at you for using all the hot water, even though you took a shower the night before.

When you had your own unintentional cold shower—that is, one that turned frigid 10 minutes in—you knew something was up. Your shower water was not hot enough. The hot water just wasn’t lasting as long as usual, and you have no idea how to fix it.

As busy homeowners, we always want a quick, simple fix. Sometimes that’s possible, but in other instances, it isn’t.

Because there are all kinds of reasons why hot water in a house might be running out faster than normal: power supply problems, rusty pipes, a pilot light out, sediment, a broken dip tube—and that’s just to name a … Read Full Post »

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns: Experts Weigh In

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns

Homeowners lead busy lives, with a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done at any given time. Faced with the reality of juggling work, home and recreation, it’s easy for your lawn to become an afterthought.

As much as we wish this wasn’t the case, healthy and well-manicured lawns don’t take care of themselves. First, you need to make sure your grass is getting the amount of water and sunshine it needs—and not too much. Then, you need to make sure you are mowing your grass to the proper height. Although most homeowners stop here, to keep your lawn happy and looking great you’ll also want to have an understanding of your soil chemistry to determine what nutrients might be lacking.

What are some of the risks you run if you don’t care for your grass? Lawn diseases, weeds and a dead, yellow lawn, just to name a few.

Lawn … Read Full Post »

Does Cold Weather Kill Fleas? Your Questions Answered

You couldn’t help yourself. You saw the cutest dog and decided she needed to become part of your household.

Six months later it happened. You woke up scratching.

Oh no.

Immediately you checked out your pup. And it was just as you feared: fleas.

The next day you got flea shampoo, thinking that would be that.

But a few days later, you woke up scratching again.

The shampoo wasn’t enough. Maybe you hadn’t killed them all the first time. Or maybe your furry family member was re-infesting the house with fleas from outside.

When the weather began getting colder, you thought perhaps you’d just wait them out. After all, wasn’t the cold supposed to kill fleas?

Not exactly.

Homeowners tend to underestimate fleas because we’ve been taught that they’re no big deal. Most of us assume that we can just head to the store and buy something and it will solve our problems like snapping our fingers.

Sometimes, though, it doesn’t, … Read Full Post »

How To Stop Birds From Building Nests In Gutters

How To Stop Birds From Building Nests In Gutters

Most people understand the purpose of installing gutters around the roofline of their homes and garages: to divert rainwater from the roof and house to someplace safe, well away from any structures that could potentially sustain water damage. Pretty simple, right? Yet this standard home-maintenance task is one that many homeowners push to the back burner in favor of dealing with seemingly more pressing problems.

Part of the issue is the old saying about “out of sight, out of mind”. This is especially true with gutters, since they are located well above our line of sight. Most people can’t see the debris collecting in their gutters without going to some trouble to do so. Clogged gutters can lead to big problems down the road, however, including water damage, flooding issues, unwelcome visitors like birds and mosquitoes nesting or breeding in gutters, and more.

Following is the lowdown on how to … Read Full Post »

Fast Growing Trees: Which Types Best Fit Your Needs?

Fast growing trees

When you moved into your home, you realized that you had a lot of room to grow—quite literally—in the tree department. You probably expected that over time, your trees would provide you with much-needed shade on a hot summer day, a reduction in your utility bills and an improvement to your curb appeal.

So, what if that wasn’t the case? What if you now want to make up lost time so that you can enjoy the benefits of having trees on your property?

Below, we will explore which fast-growing trees tend to grow the best in southern states—USDA Zones 6-10—and divide them up by type. We’ll also provide you with important information about what conditions create optimal growth so that you can add these valuable plants to your landscape.

Fast-Growing Trees For Privacy

One of the biggest reasons people graduate from apartments to houses is to get more privacy. While a fence is nice, … Read Full Post »

Squash Vine Borer: Protecting Your Plants From This Pest

Squash vine borer

Squash is a very versatile vegetable. You can use it in salads and soups to up the nutrient profile. Some prefer it fried in copious amounts of butter for a delicious, yet simple side. Still others choose to turn it into a number of delicious and hearty casseroles.

Given all the ways you can use this plant, it’s no surprise that many homeowners add some summer squash to their garden. Say you decided to as well and followed all the best practices: planting after the last frost; choosing a well-drained, sunny area; using compost; adding a slow-release fertilizer; planting only a few seedlings per “hill”; keeping the hills three to four feet apart and watering early, so the leaves had plenty of time to dry.

Just as the plants started to grow, the wilting began. No matter what you did, you couldn’t seem to do anything to help the situation. Sadly, the … Read Full Post »

My Gas Stove Igniter Keeps Clicking: What Should I Do?

Gas Stove Igniter Keeps Clicking

You’re in a rush on a weeknight to get dinner on the table. This is a pretty common scenario.

You put a skillet on your favorite burner to get the process started. Yep, most of us also have one of those.

Then it happens. Ugh. When you move the switch to “Light”, your gas stove igniter keeps clicking, but doesn’t turn on.

If you’re like most homeowners, the last sound you want to hear coming from an object that uses gas and gets blazingly hot is ticking.

What’s going on? What should you do?

This is quite a common problem, primarily with stoves that have a spark ignition system. The most important thing to know is that a clicking stove isn’t dangerous, though you should deal with it promptly.

A normal igniter clicks up to three times before it sparks and lights your stove. Sometimes, however, the igniter will click continuously—even after the stove is lit. … Read Full Post »

Tree Crowning: Is It Good Idea Or A Mistake?

Tree crowning

One of the things that drew you to your home was the beautiful trees. Perhaps you’ve never really had much of a green thumb, so you left the trees to their own devices. So far, that hasn’t been a problem.

Recently, though, you’ve noticed that those gorgeous trees have gotten a bit out of control. Where once they were uniform and well-manicured, now there are random branches jutting out here and there, giving your trees a ragged, lop-sided appearance.

You’ve considered dragging yourself up on your ladder to cut the offending branches. You’ve heard there is a technique called “tree crowning”, but you’re not really sure exactly how to do it—or even whether it would be a good thing to do.

The most important thing we can convey is that tree crowning is very rarely recommended by reputable lawn care experts. Although it may achieve your aesthetic goals, tree crowning will often damage … Read Full Post »