January 24th… that leaves ten, eleven, twelve… WAY too many weeks left for winter! If you are anxiously anticipating summer, as I am, check out this link to give you ideas on how to add some Island Style to your home.
Our Favorite Coastal Homes of 2010 by Coastal Living
Here in the Northeast, natives are fully prepared with wool sweaters, long johns, ski pants, coats, hats, mittens, and scarves for the cold temps we experience during the winter months. But we are not the only ones that brave the cold on a daily basis. Our cats and dogs enjoy frolicking in the snow but are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia as well as other cold weather related conditions.
Did you know that dogs and cats lose the majority of their body heat through their feet, followed by their respiratory tract, then their ears? These are three areas pet owners should pay special attention.
Feet: Be sure to check the pads of pets feet and between their toes for packed snow/ice. Snow and ice can be removed with a warm wash cloth. Also, if your pets walk on surfaces treated with ice melt compounds, sand or salt, their feet should be washed daily to prevent drying and cracking from the harshness of these mixtures.
Respiratory tract: on extremely cold days, try to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside. Even if outfitted with a sweater and pet booties, each breath they take is literally chilling them from the inside out.
Ears: a dog’s sense of smell tells it more about their environment than what they can see or hear combined. When the landscape is covered in a blanket of snow, scents are smothered and buried. This makes them work harder to pick up those scents. Dogs will walk with their heads down, sticking them in snow piles and bankings. If you have a hound, spaniel, retriever or any variety with long ears, they will be wearing snowball ear rings in minutes. BRRR! Bring them in and let them thaw out or use a warm wash cloth to thaw the snow.
Our pets depend on us to take care of them. Please take extra care during this coldest time of the year.
Bioplastic has been used in manufacturing for decades. However, since about 2008 it has become one of the leading green products. Everything from golf balls to chip bags to building products are now available in bioplastic. You can even YouTube how to make the stuff!
So what is bioplastic? Bioplastic is plastic derived from a plant based source, such as vegetable oil or corn starch. Because it is derived from organic sources, most (but not all) bioplastics are biodegradable. On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer solution to our landfill problem and our petroleum dependency… but maybe not. Bioplastics must be disposed of properly to breakdown. Another drawback is that bioplastics are more expensive than their fossil fuel plastic counterparts.
Even with its drawbacks bioplastic is being touted by some people as “the green product” that will push the green movement into the next decade. Here are some links to help you form an informed opinion about this possible green solution to many of our environmental challenges.
For many of us, winter is an endured evil we wait out so we can enjoy the beauty of spring, summer and autumn. Winter is spent rushing from warm vehicles to warm homes wishing for the warmth of spring to invite us back outdoors. Then we spend spring and summer in a flurry of landscaping projects, gardening and manicuring our outdoor space. Well, the winter months don’t need to be wasted. Spend this time planning your spring and summer projects.
After spending about 15 minutes researching landscaping programs on the internet, I found the Realtime Landscaping Plus 5 program. The reviews on this program are great. “Easy to use, great images & details.” The detail that caught my eye was that a user can use Google 3D Warehouse to download images for Free to use in your projects. This is of particular interest to me because in the past I’ve notice that programs don’t have a good selection of plants that grow in our colder climate & shorter growing season. With this program you have a virtually unlimited selection of plants, décor, furniture, etc.
There are many landscaping programs available starting around $12.00. Realtime Landscaping Plus 5 is on the higher end of the scale at approximately $80. Start planning now and by spring, you will have your shopping list ready and know what your “After” photo will look like!