Rain, Weathervanes & Umbrellas ~ did you know?

raindrop

  • Every minute of every day, 1 billion tons of rain falls on the Earth
  • The amount of water held in the atmosphere at any time is sufficient to produce about 2.5cm (1 inch) of rain over the surface of the Earth
  • The technical name for rain is precipitation. As well as rain, precipitation includes snow, sleet & hail
  • There are 3 types of rainfall: convection, frontal & relief
  • The minimum altitude of rain clouds is 1,200 metres – and they can be found as high as 10,000 metres.
  • A droplet of water will stay in the Earth’s atmosphere for about 10 days
  • Rain drops do not fall in a tear drop shape, they originally fail in the shape of a flat oval
  • In Canada, the wettest places are: 1) Abottsford, BC 2) St. John’s, NFLD
  • Abottsford, BC also tops the list in Canada for the rainiest: 174 days annually. If we consider snow, St. John’s NFLD heads up the list with 212 days annually.

weathervaneWeathervanes

Weathervanes get their name from the Old English fane, which means flag or banner. Weathervanes have a simple design, but in order to function, they must be perfectly balances on their rotating axis. they also need an unequal area on each side that the wind can blow against. Additionally, weathervanes must be located on the highest point of a structure, and away from other tall buildings or structures that may affect wind direction.

As the weathervane spins to reduce the force of the wind on its surface, the end with the least surface area turns into the wind, and thus indicates the wind direction. The world’s largest weathervane is located on the shore of White Lake in Michigan. It stands 14 metres (48 feet) tall and sports 8 metre (26 foot) long arrow that points in the direction of the wind.

Ever wonder why so many weather vanes are in the shape of a rooster? In the ninth century, Pope Nicholas (I) ordered that weather vanes in the form of a cockerel be placed on all churches and abbeys as a symbol to remind Christians of Peter’s betrayal of Christ. While these cockerels were at first not intended as weathervanes, they were eventually combined with the weathervanes that already adorned many church steeples.

Umbrellasumbrella

Believe it or not, the umbrella was not invented to combat rainy weather. The word umbrella comes from the Latin root umbra, meaning shade or shadow. Umbrellas were first used for protection from the sun.

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

#listwithLU & #callLUtoView

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Getting your Home ready For Sale? Great First Impression!

Expect potential buyers to take 10-15 minutes (tops), to walk through your home and decide whether they like it or not – that’s how long you have for you home to make a favourable impression! Here are some pointers from the pros to help you prepare your home so that it shows to its best advantage.

house-for-sale

Keep in mind that getting your home ready forsale is not about interior design – nor is it about decorating. Getting your home ready for sale is about marketing your home – putting your home’s best features f
orward so that is appeals to potential buyers.

Make it sparkle! Clean, clean, clean. Shampoo the carpets, polish the floors, wash the walls, windows, blinds/drapes and light fixtures. If housecleaning is not your forte – hire a cleaning pro to do a complete job.

Declutter! You want all the rooms in your home to look as large as possible. Use the basketball rule – all items smaller than a basketball, pack away! You’ll be moving soon, so now is the time to pack up the collections, photos and knick-knacks. Tables, mantels, counters, dresser surfaces – should all be cleared. This holds true for kitchens too – clear all unnecessary objects from kitchen counters. Closets, shelves, cupboards and storage areas; garage, basement, attic etc should all be neat & tidy. Sort & pack overflow.

Less is more! Less furniture does make a room look spacious. You want potential buyers to easily walk through each room, you may consider re-arranging furniture, even removing & storing a few pieces.

Neutral appeals to buyers! Your home should present itself as a “blank canvas”, inviting prospective buyers’ interest, you want them to easily picture their furnishings, their decor, and their family – living in your home! Walls, trim & ceilinpuzzled housegs should be painted in a neutral, contemporary tones to create this neutral palette.

Repairs! Walk through your home from top to bottom and make a list of all the minor repairs needed: dripping faucets, sticking or creaking doors, floorboards, missing trim, loose doorknobs, stained switch plates ETC. Then, fix them! When potential buyers see areas of disrepair they begin to assume that there are other unseen problems as well.

First Impressions Count! Take a look at the exterior of your home with the critical eye of the buyer. Pay attention to the details. The exterior appearance of your home creates a strong impression with visitors – make sure it is appealing & inviting! Walkways, porches, decks should be in good repair, clutter-free, neat & tidy. A welcoming wreath or other seasonal display at the front door adds a nice homey touch.

Get Advice! Talk with your Realtor, LUanne Labreche, who can provide you with professional advice on the marketability of your home. Advise you as to which details to focus on, to get your home ready to sell. #listwithLU

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

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Kid “Stuff”

budgeting-for-kids3

With a new year just around the corner, I thought I would post a topic that could involve the family with a new, fresh start!

Good Ideas…

  • Toss the too-small laundry hamper and replace it with something that won’t overflow in a day or two. Corral dirties in a hamper large enough for a week’s worth of clothing, and line it with a drawstring bag that’s easy to tote to the laundry room.
  • Keep their hard-earned trophies and well-loved artwork…just not scattered around everywhere! Display them on a shelf mounted on little-used wall space (over a window or dresser).
  • Purge outgrown toys, books & clothes. But give your child a say in what stays, less you throw away a shirt he/she still adores. Encourage participation by explaining how their donations of clothing, book, toys, games etc can help those in need or a younger family member friend.
  • Now is a good time to check that you have a calendar posted in a convenient location for school notices, activities, holidays etc. Organize your “school papers” shelf, binder, basket or drawer. Let your children know where to leave any paperwork from school – that requires your attention or signature.

Kid’s Budget runneth over…budgeting-for-kids

Many parents find themselves wrestling with financial discipline when it comes to their children. Whether it’s lunch snacks, new skates, the latest gadget or an item that “everyone at school has” – it’s amazing how quickly saying “yes” can add up!

budgeting-for-kids2The Fix…

Rather than simply saying no to your kids’ endless wish lists – which can lead to wrenching battles – protect your budget & sanity by teaching your children “Money Management 101”. Saying “you don’t need that” doesn’t send kids a useful message. You want to focus them on the value of things & teach them that purchases are discussed, planned or budgeted for, and frequently “saved for” over time.

“Distract & Delay” tactics work, especially well for children age 6 & under. If your young child is jumping around for something they want in the store, try focusing their attention on something else. Or acknowledge what they want & say we can talk about it more later. You may have to endure a little complaining, but your child gets an important message about not buying things on a whim.

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

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Plump Pumpkins!

Small pumpkins with chrysanthemums and card

Want to grow a monster pumpkin? Here’s how…

Pumpkins take about 4 months or so to mature, so unfortunately our target date was June. Plan for next year:

  1. Purchase seeds developed to grow big pumpkins; most nurseries and mail-order sources have them.
  2. Dig a hole the size of a bushel basket, dump in compost or rotted manure. Then cover the area with a 4-6 inch layer of soil.
  3. Plant 3 seeds about 1 inch deep. After the seeds sprout a few leaves, thin to the single healthiest plant.pumpkins
  4. When 3 pumpkins begin to develop, remove any additional female flowers (ones with pumpkin shaped bulge behind them.)
  5. When the 3 pumpkins are softball-sized, thin to just one pumpkin.
  6. Keep the plant weeded, well watered & fertilized with a high-phosphorus fertilizer.
  7. Harvest your pumpkin before the first frost, leaving the stem attached. Place it in a warm room for a week. Then store it in a cool place, until you’re ready to carve it!

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

 

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Wanting to Sleep Better?

sleeping garfieldHere are a few hints to help you drop off quickly and slumber soundly until morning!

Try to turn in and wake up the same time every day. But, don’t worry if you like to sleep-in on weekends, new research shows that extra sleep does help to restore your body.

  • A cool bedroom lowers your core body temperature, which initiates sleepiness. Ideal thermostat setting is 18C (65F)
  • Carbs help your brain use tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness. Proteins help your body build tryptophan. Get the duo in a light besleeping familydtime snack of peanut butter on whole grain toast or low-fat cheese and crackers.
  • Frazzled people sleep less and sleep quality is compromised, both factors contribute to increased stress levels. Try a warm bath before bed. Raising your
    skin temperature will help you to fall asleep faster and then shift you into deeper sleep.
  • Cut off the coffee and other caffeinated beverages at 2pm. If you feel drowzy late afternoon or early evening, take a short walk instead of pumping caffeine.
  • Turn lights off – and away. Switch off the TV and computer, and face digital alarm clocks away from you.
  • Create a separate bedroom for Fido – Fluffy too. A Mayo Clinic suvey found that 53% of people who share beds or bedrooms with pets have disrupted rest. Don’t have the heart to shut pets our of your bedroom? … At least set them up with their own bed, on the floor.
  • Regular aerobic exercise – walking, biking, swimming, 30 to 40 minutes 4x/week, improves sleep quality. You can break it up into 2-20 minute sessions if that fits better into your life & schedule. But, do not schedule exercise in the 3 hours before bedtime, the stimulation that come from a workout may cancel the benefit.

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

 

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Get Growin’!

The benefits of gardening extend beyond your flower box or planting area. A garden can contribute to the overall landscaping and curb appeal of your home – resulting in the value of your house blossoming by as much as 7 -15%. So, whether you have an acre, a border or a patch, try some of these helpful tips for planning and planting your garden.garden growing

Steps for Planning your Garden – before you buy seeds or start digging, make a bloomin’ plan! Refer to “Elements of a Flower Garden” (below) and think about how these elements might work in your space. Find other gardens you like and see how they balance these elements. Ask you LU (your realtor!) what exciting new gardens I can suggest for ideas.

When you are ready, follow these steps:

  1. Sketch out your existing yard, including the intended planting areas, decks, trees, slopes, fences, walkways etc. Don’t worry if your drawing isn’t suitable for framing! Make sure you have actual dimensions and note them in the sketch.
  2. Plan trees first, as they provided focal points for your yard or garden. garden designYou may want shade trees that provide colourful foliage in fall, or elegant flowering trees, usually smaller, that bloom in spring or summer.
  3. Next come plants that give year-round structure to the garden, such as large bushes and shrubs. Garden art, pathways, and low walls or borders of brick, stone or wood, can also provide structure especially in a garden’s bare months.
  4. Now incorporate the decorating flowering shrubs & grasses. These might be used to screen plain garage walls or compost heaps, as dividers between garden segments, or as attractive accents to frame the path.
  5. Finish off with perennials, bulbs & annuals. In the typical border garden bed, perennials give the garden shape, with bulbs providing early spring colour and annuals the later spring & summer accents. Note varieties, colours and bloom times in your sketch.
  6. Finally, it’s time to scout nurseries! See packages and flats tell requirements for climate, soil, sun/shade, temperature & planting distance – as do seed catalogues.

Elements of a Flower Garden

  • DESIGN
    • Colour: Mass plantings of single hues create a swath of moving colour. Grouping by variety, with several colours mixed together is another good option. Cool colours such as blue, green & purple wash out in bright light; these colours work best in shaded areas.
    • Size: Plant tall flowers in the back of the bed (or centered, if the garden is viewed from both sides), and grade down to the front with medium and then short flowers. Buy seedlings for their mature, not current, height.
    • Bloom Span: Choose plants with a mix of blooming times and seasons to keep colour in the garden longer.
  • PLANT TYPES
    • Trees & Shurbs: These boldly outline a garden or provide accent in an expanse of lawn. Flowering trees blossom in spring or summer and may have bright fall foliage.gardening flower
    • Annuals: Must be planted yearly, although some annuals reseed themselves. Most bloom all summer, so plant them around perennials to keep colours going from spring to fall.
    • Perennials: Return yearly, making for easier garden care. Typically bloom for a month or two in spring or summer. Be patient, as they develop more slowly than annuals.
    • Bulbs: First to show in spring, but the blooms are relatively short lived. Bulbs can be kept in the ground with minimum protection or kept in pots for easy moving and arranging.
  • GROWING CONDITIONS
    • Sun & Shade: Most flowers need at least half a day of full sun, but if you a have shady areas, choose shade-tolerant varieties.
    • Climate: Make sure flowers are compatible with your zone and climate (check seed packets or catalogues or an online site such as: http://www.growit.com/zones).

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

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Family Day…

Family Day

This weekend is a holiday weekend for a few provinces, within Canada. This is a time to reflect, appreciate & enJOY each other. In recognizing this holiday, I thought I would share some quotes:

Parenting   family-day-2

The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable. Lane Olinhouse

Few things are as satisfying as seeing your own children having teenagers of their own.  Doug Larson

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?   Milton Berle

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back.      Bill Cosby

It is amazing how quickly kids learn to drive a care. Yet are unable to understand the lawnmower, snowblower or vacuum cleaner.     Ben Bergor

Grandparentsfamily-day-3

Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grand
mother.  Edward Dreschnack

Grandparents are there to help children get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet. Gene Perret

To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms, but absolutely terrified of the word “boo”.   Robert Brutal

When you are ready to sell or buy:  “List with LU…& call to VIEW!”

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