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Archive for December, 2011

Happy 2012!

Mythical King Janus, depicted with two heads on ancient Roman calendars, could look forward and backward and therefore became the symbol of resolutions. It’s no coincidence that January was named for King Janus.

If you’re anything like me, your New Year’s resolutions are usually the same thing – lose weight, spend more quality time with the family, blah blah. In fact, here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, according to USA.gov:

Quirckology.com  says that only 12% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them.  Forbes.com has these suggestions to help keep your resolutions:
  1. Choose resolutions that will make you happier – fix something negative or add something positive.
  2. Choose concrete, measurable actions to bring change.
  3. Start small. Be realistic about how much you can achieve in a small period of time and then make small consistent steps.
  4. Hold yourself accountable.  Keep a food, budget, or fitness diary if those are your goals. Join with others and help keep each other accountable. The Happiness Project is one way to connect with people traveling your same path.
And so, we wish you a joyous, prosperous, and healthy New Year and we look forward to continuing our conversations with you in 2012!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, 
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside….How to Keep it Warm Inside

If last winter is any indication, this winter will be cold. I can already imagine the heating bills coming in just a few weeks after the holiday bills.

Here are some great ways to keep your heating bills manageable.

  •  Check around your windows or doors for gaps. Likewise, check around exterior faucets, dryer vents, exterior electrical outlets and light fixtures, holes for phones, cable wires, and air conditioning lines. , close them up with a bead of caulk – you can buy clear caulk or paintable latex caulk. Larger gaps can be filled with expanding spray foam. Cost – about $5.00.
  • Dryer, range hood, and bath fan vents will have louvered covers on the outside of the house. These louvers should open when the vent is in use and should close smoothly and completely when the vent is not in use. You can adjust the spring tension to hold them more tightly closed. Cost – Free! You can add weather stripping tape around the vent. Cost – $10.00. For really worn out vents, you can replace the entire vent cap. Cost $40.00 and up.
  • Fireplace dampers should be kept closed except when the fireplace is being used or else your heat will go right up your chimney.
  • Most fireplaces are horribly inefficient, converting only about 15% of the wood’s energy to useful heat. Fireplace inserts are sealed metal boxes that fit inside your existing fireplace and are designed to circulate room air around the firebox and extract as much heat as possible. Cost – about $200-$500.
  • Doors to attics, crawl spaces, and other interior unheated spaces need to be weather stripped and insulated. Cost – $40.00 per door.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat can help you manage your heating and cooling more efficiently. Cost $70-$200.

I’d love to hear what your plans are to lower your bills this winter!

Winter Gardening

ImageWhat you do in the garden this winter can have big payoffs in the spring. Here are the top 6 tips for maintaining your winter garden:

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1. Remove any weeds, being sure to pull the roots. Weeds are easier to spot in the winter when other plants have died back, and pulling the weeds now will prevent them from taking foothold in the spring.

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2. Cut your lawn short. Not only does this make last minute leaf removal easier, but it also keeps the grass healthier.

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3. Plant and fertilize bulbs. Tulips provide a bright splash in the spring and now’s the time to plant them!

4. Prune any damaged branches.

 

 

5. Remove and store tender tubers like dahlias and canna lilies.

6.Empty rain barrels and any other device that might store water which might expand when frozen, damaging the container.

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A Local Hero

A 21 year old Marine from Cranford performed heroically to save lives while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Click here to read the article.

70th Anniversary of the Day of Infamy

Lest we forget….Castle Films Newsreel on the attacks at Pearl Harbor remind us of the pivotal events that led the United States to join the War.

This photo was taken from a Japanese plane during the attacks.

The USS Arizona, shown before and after the attacks, is remembered at the National Monument in Hawaii.

The USS West Virginia

The USS California

The USS Shaw

Ceremonies at Pearl Harbor today mark the 70th anniversary of the attacks.

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