Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Great Stuff of Life!

During my 58 years on this earth I have amassed some great memories. Some are great memories, some are memories of not so great things. The totality of all those experiences is what makes living on this earth so awesome. The good memories and the fun memories are the great stuff of life! 

I was in Home Depot the other day and noticed something on the shelf that brought back a funny memory and one that gets brought up every now and then. Many years ago, my wife and I decided to build a small pond in the backyard of our new home. The back lawn was a pretty bare landscape with no plants or features other than grass laid by the homebuilder. We planted a few trees and shrubs and added a flower bed or two. Our grand plan was to put a nice pond in the middle of the yard with a nice rock waterfall on one end that would produce a relaxing, running water sound. 

We purchased a solid plastic pond form and dug a big hole in the hard clay soil. We piled the dirt from the hole up on one end so we could lay our rocks and make a waterfall. I researched the size of pump needed and purchased and set it in place. We had researched different ways to set the rocks for the waterfall and the best way to fill in the cracks in between the rocks so the water would flow correctly. A more involved process involved mortar and an easy process involved the spray foam Great Stuff. We chose the easier way and bought a can or two of Great Stuff. 

I filled in the cracks as best I could with the Great Stuff. It takes some practice to judge how much the foam expands so you don't get too little or too much. My plan was to let the foam dry and then trim any areas with a knife or razor blade. 

My wife decided she was going to smooth out the spray foam with her fingers while it was wet. Not a great idea!!  I was in the house cleaning up or doing something else when she walked in with sticky spray foam all over her hands. I laughed and made some comment about that not being a great idea. She laughed too and was determined to clean this stuff off her hands. The sticky foam does not come off easy. You need a solvent of some kind to get it off. It is as sticky as getting Super Glue all over your hands. Her next great idea was to grab some paper towels to wipe off the sticky spray foam. You can guess how that went. Now she had bits and pieces of paper towels stuck to the Great Stuff that was stuck to her hands. It was the biggest mess ever! We were both laughing so hard as the situation continued to get worse. I wish we had a video to send off to America's Funniest Videos or to put on the internet to go viral. 

My only solution was to grab some gasoline. It took a lot of scrubbing with gasoline to get the mess off her hands. To this day, we laugh about that experience and she has never touched Great Stuff again! Our pond turned out great but never looked very natural in the middle of our yard. We later had trouble with algae growing down the waterfall and into the pond. It never did look like a Better Homes & Garden backyard pond. But, we have one great memory from that pond building experience!

What great stuff memory do you have from your life experience? Any of you had similar experiences with the actual Great Stuff, Super Glue or something similar?


  1. At least you coulfdlaugh about this issue. It looks like it's provided you with a laugh for many years.

  2. I'm glad the gasoline didn't soak into the Stuff and a spark start a fire in her hands. Linda in Kansas

    1. Yes, it could have gotten worse. And, my wife hates the smell of gasoline.

  3. My first experience with Great Stuff was to seal up cracks around a door I was installing. After it has expanded, I thought, how much easier it would be to just take a wide putty knife and scrape it off while it was still soft and wet. I did just that and ended up with it all over the putty knife, my clothes, the floor and my hands. It took a long time to clean all that up and I learned an important lesson. If I recall, I used some paint thinner to clean my skin but through away the clothes, putty knife and the remainder of the can of Great Stuff.

  4. I've never used Great Stuff, and after reading your post I don't think I want to.