A.B.E. Doors & Windows Blog

30 December 2019
New Year's Resolutions For Your Home
New Year's Resolutions For Your Home

 

As the new year approaches, we all take the time to think about things we would like to improve or focus on for ourselves in the new year. How about making some resolutions for your home? It makes sense to enhance the area you spend much of your year in. Feel free to add some or all of these suggestions to your resolution list.

Be Energy Conscience

Take a good look around your home to see where energy can be saved. Perhaps it's not letting the faucet run when you brush your teeth or maybe you need to install that programmable thermostat you purchased two years ago. When was the last time you inspected your insulation? That leak you had repaired may have caused a section to get moldy. Other types of insulations settle over the years and you could find that area to be under-insulated. Maybe this is the year you commit to replacing inefficient windows or adding a storm door to maintain your homes temperatures. The beauty of these items is that you can do a few each month so you don't get overwhelmed. Plus, you may see a decrease in your utility bills.....saving money is always a great incentive to keep going!

Kitchen Overhaul

These next suggestions not only benefit your home, but compliments any resolutions you've made to eat healthier. Start by examining your pantry and fridge. Get rid of anything that has overstayed it's welcome. Organize and restock these areas with healthy choices that take center stage. Try and make your kitchen an area that's about connecting......instead of just a place where you cook. Vow to try a few new recipes a month and get the family involved in the making of them.

Safe Home, Sound Home

Looks aren't everything. Your home needs to be safe for the occupants in it. Invest in fire extinguishers for every floor of your home, if you don't already have them. Check the ones you do have to make sure they have not expired. You remember the battery you took out of the smoke alarm because it kept going off for no reason......get that replaced....TODAY! Have a floor that needs a smoke alarm? Put that on your to-do list for January. Consider purchasing alarms that detect carbon and radon gases.

Make an emergency evacuation plan and do a run through with the family.

Be a Clutter Buster

This is your year to let go and reclaim the space in your home and garage. Work from the top down, one room at a time. Space it out so you don't lose heart. Make a pile to throw and a pile to donate...give them away that day so you are not tempted to hang onto that trophy you won in middle school. Really evaluate items....if you have not used them in the last 5 years, it's time to move on. Research has proven an organized, tidy area equates to a calmer state of mind. After you have reclaimed your space, keep it neat by only bringing in the items you need.

Create Conversation

Many people vow to make more time for family and friends. So why not revamp your living-room to create an environment where conversation and quality time can happen? Turn furniture at angles that promote face time. A new area rug and pillows are an inexpensive way to freshen up a room and make it more inviting. Take a look at your guest room.....or better yet, sleep in there one night. Is the bedding comfy? Hows the room temperature? Is the way to the bathroom lit for safety? Does the room make people feel welcome? Take some steps to make your home inviting and then make a list of people you have not seen and give them a call!

 

Other Areas to Consider

 

Get your finances in order & create a budget that you can stick to.

 

Rework that landscaping by adding more perennials & plants that help sustain our bee population.

 

Post a cleaning schedule and assign tasks to every member in the household.

 

 

 

20 December 2019
Holiday Hang Ups
Holiday Hang Ups

 

Deck the halls with boughs of holly…! Tis the season to be—damaging your door with Christmas decorations! Well, it’s that time of year again when we all decorate our house to the nines and the winter weather blows in and makes a mess of all the pretty decorations. My personal nemesis is the wreath that I hang on my door. It seems that the wind is always making it crooked and twisting up the lights. Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas to try to minimize the frustration of hanging your wreath on the door.

Since wooden doors have gone extinct, most people no longer have a nail directly in the door to hang wreaths on. I’ve heard if you have a steel door, you could possibly use a magnet to hang your wreath. Mine is too heavy for that, but if you have a very light wreath, you might be in luck. Stunning fiberglass doors can be further accented with decorative wreath hangers. I line the back and hooked portion of mine with felt to minimize the scratches on my door. However, the over-the-door hooks can leave scratches on the jamb, too. It’s not my favorite, even if it is the most common.

This year, I plan to try out a Command Strip. In years prior, I used one on the outside of my door and the wind defeated it, but it came to my attention that you could put the Command Strip on the inside of the door, upside down. The idea is to run a pretty ribbon or invisible fishing line from the wreath, up over the top of the door, and hook it over the upside-down Command Strip on the inside of the door. Hopefully, the fact that the hanger is on the inside of the door will keep the wind from blowing it straight off.

If I can’t defeat the wreath this year, it might be time to add a storm door to my house. Having the ability to close it over the wreath would probably solve all my problems. If I’m good, maybe Santa will even bring me one!

16 December 2019
Origins of Jack Frost
Origins of Jack Frost

 

No matter where you hail from, there is a legend about the origins of winter weather. In Russia, it is represented in Father Frost, a blacksmith who binds water to earth with heavy chains. In Germany, she is an old woman who causes snow by shaking white feathers from her bed. In the United States and Britain, Old Man Winter is responsible for nipping the noses of lovers and the toes of young children. In Norse mythology, he is a minor demi-god called Jokul Frosti meaning “icicle frost.”

Jack Frost is traditionally held responsible for the frosty fern-like patterns found on windows on cold winter mornings. However, window frost has become much less prevalent since the modern introduction of double-glazed and insulated glass in windows and doors.

The first illustration of Jack Frost is largely thought to be, of all things, a political cartoon published in 1861 in Harper’s Weekly. Drawn by Thomas Nast, it depicted Jack Frost as a general freezing out the malaria that spread during the American Civil War. It was captioned—Our New Major-General! At the time, there had been outbreaks of Cholera hindering the war efforts and people were looking forward to the cold weather with the hopes that it would kill the infection. I knew there had to be some time in history that people wanted the cold!

With no real origin to speak of, it’s thought that Jack Frost doesn’t have any roots in mythology or marketing. His beginnings might actually come from something far more simple—spoken language. In England, from the 1500s onward, ‘Jack’ was a common slang for a man, usually a funny or clever fellow. Astute readers will recognize phrases such as ‘jackanape’ as a chap who is a cheeky monkey, ‘jack-o-lantern’ as a man with a light, or ‘jack tar’ as sailors. There are also countless ‘Jacks’ in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk tales.

While Jack Frost’s beginnings will most likely always be an enigma, an amalgamation of mythologies and folklores, a cheerful and mischievous presence in an otherwise bereft season, I’m pleased to have him with us.

 

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