Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Homeowner Tips

Part of the joys of home ownership is the regular maintenance one must do to keep the home happy and healthy. Below is a list taken from the DIY Network page on fall and winter preparations tips.

  • Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
  • Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it's time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
  • To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
  • Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing.
  • Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free.
  • If you use a hot water system for heating, drain the expansion tank, check the water pressure, and bleed your radiators.
  • Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape. To install attic insulation, unroll the insulation with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor. Be careful not to step between the joists.
Tips for preparing your home for winter.

The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.

     Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials. Annuals typically die when temperatures drop below freezing. But perennials often appear as though they too have bitten the bullet. That's because their top growth dies back, although in most cases the root ball is hardy enough to survive even extreme temperatures, especially if it's covered with a layer of mulch.
  • The best time to mulch perennials is after the first hard freeze. Just make sure you don't cover the crown or center of the plant, because that can lead to rot.
  • Clean garden tools before storing for the winter.
  • Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm.

Rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. So it's a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
  • Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Whatever you do, don't waste fallen leaves because they're an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.
  • Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. When you're done, spread fertilizer then grass seed.
  • This will be the ideal time to sow cool-season grasses such as fescue and rye - it will give them the opportunity to germinate and develop a good root system before freezing temperatures arrive. It's also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form of carbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.

. Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. With gable vents that lead into the attic it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out.
  • Even after closing off those entryways, pests can still find a way in. The first place to check for any unwanted guests is under the kitchen cupboards and appliances.
                      Each fall, check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.
  • Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless byproduct of burning oil or natural gas, and it can be deadly. For just a few dollars, a carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if the levels get too high.
  • Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer's instructions. Generally they should be installed near each potential source of carbon monoxide, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Estates and Exotic Autos Tour Sunday October 18th

Estates and Exotic Autos Tour sponsored by
William Pitt Sotheby's
Salisbury Bank
The Lime Rock Driver's Club

Honorary Chairperson Skip Barber

Sunday, October 18th
Admission at 10am
to Benefit: SOAR, VIM, and
Susan B Anthony Project

$50 per ticket
all proceeds to benefit local charities

Lime Rock Park
60 White Hollow Rd,
Salisbury, CT 06039 

 To buy tickets, please click here  http://estatesautostour2015.com/

Tour Three Fabulous Multi Million Dollar Homes and see Exotic Autos at each Estate.

Ticket Holders will arrive at Lime Rock Park at either 10AM, and be chaffeured to each Estate.

Have a gourmet bite to eat (and something to sip) at each estate...check out rare vintage cars and exotic autos all while touring the glamorous Litchfield Hills & The Berkshires.

The tour will end at a chalet at Lime Rock Park, where there will be desserts and coffee, with a silent auction.

This Event will be held rain or shine. Buy Tickets online using the "Buy Ticket" Link on the left hand side of this website. Tickets must be purchased in advance, 18 and over only.

All proceeds will be donated to the following Charities:

Susan B. Anthony Project
Susan B. Anthony Project offers crisis services and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault including counseling and a crisis hotline.

Standing for “Seek, Originate, Aspire, Reach,” SOAR is an educational enrichment program for Salisbury, Conn.’s Central School, providing extra-curricular learning opportunities to students through after-school workshops exposing them to subjects such as music, art, fitness, math, engineering, cooking and science, all taught by local experts. 


VIM, or “Volunteers in Medicine,” is a group of dedicated health care professionals, who provide services for eligible, uninsured residents of the Berkshire region. The nonprofit organization offers general medical care, as well as dental, optometry, psychiatry, nutritional counseling and more. 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Sampling of This Weeks Events

Early Morning Walk to Laurel Hill-7am-White Memorial CC

22nd Annual Fall Festival-9:30am-4pm-FCC of Litchfield

Autumn Tree Identification Walk-10am-White Memorial CC

Warren Annual Fall Festival-10am-5pm-Warren Woods

Fall Gathering of Artists-10am-6pm-Litchfield Firehouse

East Litchfield Hike-10am-East Litchfield Firehouse

Goshen Farmers Market-10am-1pm-Miranda Vineyard, Goshen

LH Farm-Fresh Outdoor Market-10am-1pm-Litchfield CS

Beirut Memorial Ceremony-1pm-All Wars Memorial, Bantam

Meet the Ghost Owl-2pm-White Memorial CC

BLPA Wine Fest-4-7pm-Litchfield Community Center


CJR Cars for Kids-10am-3pm-CJR Campus, Litchfield

Warren Annual Fall Festival-10am-5pm-Warren Woods

Fall Gathering of Artists-10am-6pm-Litchfield Firehouse

Goshen Land Trust Bus Tour-12:30-5pm-Goshen Town Hall

Canning Workshop-1-4pm-Goshen Church of Christ


Columbus Day

Fall Gathering of Artists-10am-5pm-Litchfield Firehouse


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Bethlehem Garlic Festival

Greetings fellow garlic fans!

We would like invite you to join us for the Eleventh Annual Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival. It will be held on October 10-11, 2015 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds on Route 61 in Bethlehem, Connecticut (just north of town). Visit our garlic cooking demonstrations, stay for a live band performance, and learn how to grow garlic at our informative lectures. Many garlic dips, spreads, cheeses, and oils will be available for purchase from our diverse garlic specialty food vendors – most offering FREE samples to try before you buy! Stop by our produce stands for fresh garlic and a variety of other fall produce. When you’re hungry, venture over to our food court.  Homemade roasted garlic sausage with peppers and onions, garlic marinated steak sandwiches, garlic roast pork sandwiches, deep fried garlic, and garlic ice cream are just some of the items you’ll find at our food court! Bring the kids for some fun with our rides and games! We hope that you will join us in 2015!

For more information, please go to  http://www.garlicfestct.com/