Sometimes you just have to go way off of your normal trail to find an answer. I was recently on vacation and stayed at a beautiful hotel over-looking a gorgeous ocean. I went to open the sliding glass door and saw something that I have been searching to find for a long time. When I bought my house the previous owner had broken the sliding glass door lock. So for keeping the door closed- I had to use a security bar. And to me it’s a hassle to reach down to pull it up and then lay it down carefully to put it back in place to secure the door. At the hotel there was a sliding door latch that looks like an upside down “L”. You install one part to the frame of the door and the other part to the door itself and when you lock it in place – that door is not going to open. I texted my associate at my San Antonio store and asked him to check on whether we could purchase something like that. He texted me back a picture of the exact lock on our national hardware aisle. There it was, right in the store. I laughed – see sometimes you just have to get away for a while. If you are having problems with a broken sliding glass door lock- get a National Sliding Door Latch. It retails for under $10 and comes in brass and satin nickel finish. I needed Oil Rubbed Bronze, so I just painted it.

Now to the email…..

Question: I have birds that attack the front window at my house. I know you talk about Bye Bye Birdie and I know it’s a caulking. I don’t want caulking on my windows so what do I do?

Answer: The Bye Bye Birdie (or Bird Be Gone) is for birds that are lighting in the same area and making a mess on the ground underneath. It is not for aggressive birds that think they see another bird in the glass of the window. Holographic tape( Scare Tape) is a good deterrent because the reflective qualities of the tape confuse the birds and they don’t know if what they see is a threat or not so they stay away. This Scare Tape can be used on bushes, shrubs, fruit trees, gutters and patios. It is a chemical free way to keep birds away. Scare Tape retails for under $8.00 and comes in a 100 ft. roll.

Question: I have a tiny chip in my white ceramic tile floor. I want to fix it before it gets any bigger. The brown spot is very noticeable.

Answer: Porc A Fix is an easy way to take care of that chip while it is still small. Clean the area and remove any grease or dirt. Apply the Porc A Fix with the brush in a thin coat. Better to apply several thin coats, letting it dry completely before applying another coat. This product is great because it will cover up that dark brown that is exposed on your tile.

Question: Trudy, some of my lamps have a switch down farther on the cord than I can comfortably reach. In fact most of my lamps are tough for me to switch on and off. It would be nice to have a remote to turn all the lamps on in the den and then use the remote to turn them off. Is that possible?

Answer: There is a Wireless Remote made by Woods that can operate up to 3 different home appliances (lamps). Control lamps, lights, holiday lights, fans all with one remote. Space saving grounded outlet at the bottom of each receiver and the remote has a 66 foot rang, retails for under $25.

Question: I know your Dad always talked about Shoo Fly Ant Roach and Spider, but I want a concentrate that I can mix and spray around the house. Preferably something that doesn’t have a bad smell because it affects my respiratory system. Do you recommend something?

Answer: Ortho Home Defense Max comes in a gallon that you could put in a sprayer and use around the house. It retails for under $12.