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posted: 9/22/2012 7:46 PM

Trying to resurrect your lawn? Hit the gym first

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  • Despite occasional recent rain, many suburban lawns are still suffering from the summer drought.

       Despite occasional recent rain, many suburban lawns are still suffering from the summer drought.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Do you think those big brown patches on your lawn from this summer's drought will make a comeback? Some lawn experts say they will, others say they won't.

Based on how ragged our lawn was looking, we figured a boost was in order. We rented an "over-seeder," a large contraption that lays down seed and then tills it into the soil.

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Before you run out to try one of these lawn savers, especially these large over-seeders, here's a bit of advice: It helps a bit to be at least a second cousin to Hercules. I certainly do not qualify for that status with my 5-foot-6-inch, 155-pound frame. So muscling this thing around my yard was a laborious adventure.

Because our yard slopes quite a bit in a few spots, pushing this seeder up a hill quickly cast me in an episode of "The Biggest Loser" -- undertaking an intense physical test, but without toting around the extra weight.

These seeders do not power themselves like lawn mowers. They call for good, old-fashioned country farm work.

Thankfully, my wife, who loves yard work, gave it the old college try on a few passes on the lawn. I had to help her turn it around a couple of times, but otherwise she fared pretty well on the flat surfaces.

And my neighbor, seeing that I was a hurting cowboy, pitched in as well.

To add insult to injury, when we took the machine back to the rental facility, the employee assigned to help customers get units out of their cars sort of stood around while I attempted to muscle this thing partly out of the vehicle. This fellow, built like a Rocky Balboa nemesis, finally decided to help.

If the lawn comes back to significant life, I suppose the effort will have been worth it. Otherwise, we'll cross our fingers for no more droughts or pay the extra $150 or so to have someone do this for us.

Long time coming: When I first began writing this weekly column for the Daily Herald in August of 2003, one of the first things I wrote about was the need for a stoplight at the corner of Route 64 and Oak Street near the new St. Charles Post Office. That light was supposed to be a sure thing once the city built up that area.

For reasons I'll never quite grasp, the state kept putting it off, probably because its traffic studies didn't show a need.

Anyone driving by there may think otherwise.

I'm hearing it shouldn't be more than a couple of weeks before a stoplight is up and running at that location. OK, so it's almost 10 years late. But as someone once said, something is better than nothing.

A doomed academy: It's been a couple of years since I mentioned the closed La Petite Academy child-care center on Fargo Boulevard in Geneva had a bit of a haunting look to it -- with kids' toys still laying around on the property, making it appear as if the place was hit by nuclear fallout.

Things certainly haven't changed for the better at the site, considering it has large weeds, overgrown bushes, dead trees, and just a dirtier overall look.

I have heard that La Petite leased the building and didn't re-up a few years ago because of issues with the building. A glance inside indicates a pipe must have burst during a winter after the place was cleared out, and the drywall has been stripped out.

If the city is able to apply some pressure on whoever owns this building, maybe the place can be fixed and put to good use for another business rather than staying in its current undesirable state -- an empty-shell eyesore.

One letter missing: In last week's item about jazz singer Tammy McCann performing at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the new Charlie's Center for the Arts at Charlestowne Mall, I left a key letter out of the email address for more information. I wrote Art instead of Arts for the info@StCharlesArtsCouncil.org address.

Tickets are $10 each for this event, which also features St. Charles school district singers in the opening act. They'll be performing fresh off a master class taught by McCann earlier in the day.

Voting advice: At the risk of being labeled an uneducated voter, I suggest that voters follow a strategy I am seriously considering: Any candidate who hits me with a robocall when I am watching "Dancing with the Stars," "The Middle" or an NFL football game automatically loses my vote.

I also hate unqualified political hounds who send out tons of material of questionable accuracy via email or social media in an attempt to convince me how I should vote. So, in that spirit, feel free to spread my idea for putting a stop to political robocalls -- whether or not you like "Dancing with the Stars."

Missed this goal: Some may consider it an odd goal, but with this past summer being so dry I was hoping I could get through it without a single mosquito bite. It seemed like an achievable goal, until I got caught chatting with a neighbor as dusk settled in a few days before summer ended. That's when mosquitoes attacked like dive-bombers. And, as if to make up for lost time, I ended up with welts on my arm the size of quarters. So my goal changed. Now it's all about hoping not to contract the West Nile virus.

Isn't that special: From the time I first watched Frank Gorshin perform on the "Ed Sullivan Show," to the time I saw Rich Little in a live show, I have always been fond of great impersonators.

These comedians always seem to generate a lot of fans.

Which means there should be lots of laughs for those who go see Dana Carvey Oct. 13 at the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles.

dheun@sbcglobal.net

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