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December 08, 2011

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Hey FMF

Have you ever used the plastic film around your windows? We do that in certain rooms and it helps to keep the cold out and heat in.

Some think it's a waste, but we can tell the difference.

Duct Tape makes the insulating film that we use.

Tim --

Yes, we've done that in past years and have seen a difference.

I know that my household takes the tip about insulating water pipes very seriously. My Dad is neurotic about making sure that the water pipes wont freeze ever since a disaster of '08 went down in the basement of my nearly 200 year old house. This is a major concern for my family because we've seen the immense damage it can cause. I'd make sure the pipes in your basement arent at risk of freezing and bursting, leaving you with one heck of a Christmas mess to clean up.

I agree about the ceiling fans. There was one time I ran them all for a day (in reverse) and the house seemed colder than usual. Now, the fans just sit and accumulate dust all winter so we have to remember to dust off the blades in the spring otherwise there's quite the dust storm :)

We just moved into a new house this summer... so we'll see how it handles this winter! It's an old, old house (1886), and we can already tell we need to do something about the windows. They're drafty! Fortunately, I don't think we'll have to worry about water pipes in the basement... because the furnace and ducts leak so much heat down there that it's staying fairly warm.

I've never heard of insulators for outside faucets. I'll have to look into that. And thanks for the reminder to get more windshield washer fluid!

FMF, care to share your rose bush methodology? I just put in landscaping this year, and have no idea how to prep for winter!

jonmyers --

I will tomorrow -- leaving now to head home.

A couple questions:

1. What area of the country do you live in?

2. Are your roses located near your house (up against the house or out in the yard unprotected)?

There are may things that need attention in the transitional months to winter and it depends on your location. There is your house,car,gas powered toys (motorcycles,atv,boats,etc) I guess that is why this list is so vague. If you have a sprinkler system and could suffer freezing then that is an issue.

Personally I have changed the furnace filter, turned on the furnace humidifier,gased up and tuned up the snow blower. winterized the lawn mower,had the fireplace chiminey cleaned and made sure I have full tanks of propane for the gas grill and some gas for the generator. If I loose power I can cook my food outside and run basic appliances witht eh generator. I need to run the generator to make sure it is ready for any ice storms. Put a shovel in the car for when it snows too much and you get stuck, along with some salt, make sure all fluids are topped off in the car and extra on hand. I need to check food store on hand incase of emergency like canned soups, water and peanut butter, crackers, etc.

Scout motto: Be prepared

I agree with FMF. Winter is not my most favorite time of year but at least it gives me a break from mowing the lawn.

Reverse ceiling fan rotation...after reading this article, I cleaned the fan, set the rotation on low, and made sure the direction was downward.
Inspect your furnace...got this done in October. Also replaced the filter.
Insulate water pipes...I am hoping they are already insulated. Sometime soon, I'd like to get more insulation for the attic.
Seal cracks in windows, doors, and ducts...I am not very good at this but it should be done one of these years.
Store summer tools and prep winter ones...this is complete. I was hoping to buy a snow blower this year. This one looks good: Cub Cadet (21") 208cc Electric Start Single Stage Snow Blower. However, we do have the usual snow shovels ready in the garage.
Stock up on supplies...we have canned food on the shelves, meat in the freezer.

My husband and I had a new steel insulated roof put on our 47 y/o double wide 5 years ago. Later we put in all insulated windows, a new furnace/air and later I had the entire trailer covered with new insulated siding. It has worked wonders.

As to water pipes, I have no worry. Whoever made this trailer put the water pipes down the heat ducts. In winter I must run my cold water for almost 2 minutes to get cold water. The same, in reverse, in summer when the air is on.

I don't use my ceiling fan much, even in the summer. In the winter I also have a small electric heater that keeps me comfy when I keep the heat at 60-65.

I finally bought a very small grill and a bag of fuel (?). I keep a full pantry so I can donate whenever needed. A lot of it could be used when electric and gas are off. But, I usually don't have to worry. We had 2 small tornados go thru our town this summer. The electric was off for most of the town for 5 days. Mine was off for only about 10-12 hours. I had neighbors who kept me informed as I was out of state. Our town has backup generators and it all went out. But, they worked on the generator for my section of town immediately, as it is near the water plant and sewer plant. Another reason I live in a good location.

FMF, regarding roses:

1. Holland, MI. :)
2. Up against the house.

jonmyers --

So we have almost an identical set up. ;-)

Here's what I do (my roses are up next to the house too, which provides some good protection from the wind):

1. In the third or fourth week in November (so you're a bit behind), I cut the roses down to about 12 - 18 inches high. I also cut out some of the center branches I don't want/like.

2. I buy bags of dirt (I use potting soil since I want the dirt in my garden to be decent) at Menard's and cover the base of the rose (all around where it meets the ground) with 3 inches or so of dirt.

3. I then pile 3-4 inches of mulch on top of that. So what I end up with is a mound of mulch (the dirt is covered) with some rose branches/stems sticking out.

4. In the spring, I wash away the dirt and mulch with a hose (much easier on the hands than moving by hand) from the center of the rose (it gets spread around the garden area, which is all mulch anyway.) I also cut off the dead parts of the stems (they'll be black).

I have done this for years and have never lost a rose due to the cold, so it must work. ;-)

Thanks!
Lucky for me, the weather is also a few weeks behind this year. :) I may get a chance yet this week. I'll try it on the grape vines I planted this year as well...

jonmyers

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