The days have grown shorter and winter’s chill is now upon us, and our focus has shifted from sunny vacations and backyard bbq’s to comfort food, a crackling fire, family and home. With the holidays just around the corner we are hoping you will enjoy the tips on winterizing your homes as well as the article on safety tips when leaving home, should you be traveling.
This season gives me pause to take an inventory of my own personal world and make my gratitude list. I am profoundly grateful for all of my loyal and ever supportive business associate, clients and friends. I am grateful for 39 years of successfully helping others to find alternatives for a better quality of life. I appreciate each and every one of you and how you bless my life. Thank you from the bottom of my full and grateful heart.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others — Marcus Tullius Cicero
Thank you to those of you who attended one of my recent Open Forums. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the ideas shared, and walked away with new knowledge about reverse mortgage opportunities. I enjoyed meeting you and answering your questions as well.
Would you like to know more? Is a Government Regulated Reverse Mortgage right for you?
Get the facts. Whether you joined me for an Open Forum or not, I welcome the chance to help you learn about the process and opportunities. Feel free to call me for your complimentary personal assessment.
Get Ready for Winter — Home Exterior Check List
Keeping Up Appearances
Hiring a holiday decorating service can spruce up your home with a custom look that will set it apart. It also saves you time and eliminates DIY risks, like ladder falls. Be sure you book early, though.
Clean Chimneys and Fireplaces
Have a pro clean your chimney at least once every two years to prevent buildup of creosote, which can lead to a chimney fire that can spread quickly. Average cost of a chimney sweep and inspection is $178.
Clean the Gutters
Now that the leaves have mostly dropped, clear your gutters to prevent clogs, which can send water pouring over the top and eroding the ground below.
Check the Roof
Make sure it’s structurally sound and isn’t missing shingles. Ensure your home’s attic is properly insulated from the rest of the house. Heat trapped in the attic can melt the now on the roof, which can lead to ice damming.
Feel a draft when you walk by the windows in your home? That extra chill can inflate energy bills. One way to keep money from whooshing out is to caulk around windows, typically done to address exterior issues. Mark Spencer, owner of Geacy Window & Door in Westfield, IN, recommends using silicone as a superior sealant to handle seasonal changes experienced in most homes. He says you can apply most high-quality silicone products in wet and cold weather. Still, he adds, look at surface recommendations and application restrictions before purchasing caulk.
More Tips Online: For more great tips like these, download the 12-page guide to winter maintencence.
— courtesy Angieslist.com
Leaving Town? Don’t let the bad guy’s know!
1. Guard the entry. Burglars target houses that appear to be a quick job. Old doors are considered easy to break. Look at your home from the perspective of a burglar, and reinforce weak areas.
2. Audit Valuables. Note where your key possessions are before you leave, so you’ll notice right away if they’re missing when you return.
3. Hold mail, paper. Place your mail on hold and put a temporary stop on the newspaper. That newsy stack on your driveway is a dead giveway.
4. Light it up. Install a timer that turns lights on and off during different times of the day. Burlars know it’s common to leave lights on, so they’ll be more wary of changing lights.
— courtesy Angieslist.com
Cranberry Muffins with Walnut Crumb Topping
—Grace Parisi, Food & Wine, 2001
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1. Make the Glaze: Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly grease the cups and top of a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan.
2. In a pie plate, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes, or until browned and fragrant; cool. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the granulated and light brown sugars, baking powder and salt. Stir in the butter, then add the walnuts and pinch the topping mixture into clumps.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix the yogurt with the egg and butter; stir in the dry ingredients. Toss the cranberries with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and fold into the muffin batter.
4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and cover with the crumb topping. Gently press the topping onto the muffins so it adheres. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet.
5. In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the water until smooth and barely runny. Drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins and let it set. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.
Thank you to client Marge T. for this recipe!