Bake Cookies Day!

Always on December 18th, today is “Bake Cookies Day”!!!  And it couldn’t come at a better time!  Arriving amidst the major December holidays this day serves as a reminder to bake holiday cookies, if you haven’t done so already.

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Everyone, no matter your age, can and should celebrate this day by baking their favorite cookies. Make a party of it, and bake cookies in groups with family, friends, kids and grandkids. Don’t stop at baking just one kind of cookies.Plan to bake a number of cookies. Try a new recipe, or two, or three, or….

If you bake more than you can eat, good for you! Wrap up gift trays filled with cookies for friends and neighbors. Most cookies freeze well, too.

On another note, I couldn’t find a “Eat Cookies Day”, which in my opinion should be tomorrow…but maybe eating cookies is an everyday thing and so no one wanted to limit the eating of the cookies to just one day!

A Taste for Tomatoes!

Did you know ~ that in addition to many other national things ~ April is National Fresh Tomato Month.  I don’t think they contacted anyone in the Northeast to ask if this was an appropriate month for the fresh tomato, but here it is.  And while we are still a few ~ MANY ~ months away from our own garden fresh tomatoes, here are a few reason to buy some at the store…..

Tomatoes are the most concentrated food source of lycopene, and that is believed to play a role in prevention and treatment of some cancers.

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Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and that can assist the body in resisting infections and aid in healing (and there are still some pretty nasty colds and flu around my part of the world!)

Tomatoes are low in calories ~ a medium sized tomatoe has about 25 calories, good to know with shorts and bathing suit season (fast?) approaching!

Now for full disclosure time.  Tomatoes are not at all one of my favorite foods!  BUT I do love a nice fresh salsa, which is why when it’s time to get the garden planted, tomatoes, hot peppers and cilantro have 1st place in our garden.  So hurry up spring, let’s get to growing time and we can really enjoy local, fresh tomatoes!

Flood Awareness in Midcoast Maine

So I totally missed what has been designated as Flood Awareness Week. (3rd week in March.) But here in New England we have just now had the weather start to cooperate with us to really start the snow and ice melting, so it won’t be long before the flooding risk happens and while that week was designed to help promote flood preparedness to both home and business owners, it’s not too late to read on!
While rising stream and river banks can signify the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it’s important to remember that they can rise VERY fast and can be VERY dangerous.  The American Red Cross warns that floods can cause more damage than any other weather related disaster in the US.  They have a couple of really good safety tips to share:
  • Stay away from the floodwaters! (I know, this seems pretty obvious but we’ve all seen those daredevils on the news trying to get as close as possible to the edge right?!).  Even 6 inches of fast-moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around! (Again, common sense but not everyone has an abundance of it!). 2 feet of water can sweep a car away, so back off!
  • Keep pets and children out of the water! It maybe contaminated and while fun to splash in, it’s not fun (and potentially harmful) to be splashed with unclean/safe water.
The National Weather Service has tons more info at http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/ so go and check it out!  I’ll be happy when the flood danger time has passed ~ but honestly it will be more because that will mean the snow and ice are gone!

Cabin Fever

You can call it by other names but it all comes down to the same thing.  The days are getting shorter and shorter ~ it really is getting darker earlier and earlier ~ and before you know it the cold and snow will be keeping you inside more and more ~ and before you outdoor cold weather lovers  jump all over me ….we don’t ALL love snow…~ So if you’re looking for something productive to do to keep you sane until spring, here are a few home improvement ideas that will not only keep you busy but will help increase the value of your home if/when you decide to move!


~ Paint ~ For little cost and not a lot of your time, nothing can beat a fresh coat of paint on your walls and trim to brighten up and freshen up your home.  Choose colors that are warm and inviting but if you’re doing this for resale, remember that neutral colors are best for future home owners to picture their furniture in the home.
~ Flooring ~ This project may not be for the do – it – yourselfer unless you’ve had practice.  New carpet (remembering neutral colors) or refinishing wood floors can add value to your home and make it feel like new again.
~ Declutter ~ Also known as organizing!  A room a week is all you need to tackle. Start with 3 bags or boxes.  1 for the things you love and can’t do without, but don’t need to keep in the middle of the room.  1 for the things that you’ll never need or use again, but someone else could (Goodwill etc).  1 for the things that the world can live without (trash). 
 
My suggestion ~ if you’re going to do all three of these, start with the decluttering, and if you’re only going to be able to do one of them, start with the decluttering!