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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR DECEMBER

Fair and cool (1,2,3) turning windy and colder, lake-effect snow (4,5). Nor’easter, snow heavy in the northern part of the region (6,7,8,9)returning to fair and cold weather with periods of more lake-effect snow (10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17). Fair and cold (18,19) with more snow, some rain in the south (20,21); fair and cold again (22,23,24,25,26) with heavy snow (27,28) ending the month with fair but very cold temperatures 29,30,31). 

GARDENING ACTIVITIES

FOR DECEMBER 



A THOUGHT 
FOR TODAY'S LIVING 

     "The thought that goes into the giving 
       of a gift to a friend or loved one is so 
       much more important than the value 
       of the gift"                      
                        John Gruber (1768--1857)


HINTS FOR THE HANDYMAN

To fill cracks in plaster mix plaster of Paris with vinegar instead of water, and it will not "set" for 20 or 30 minutes. Push it into cracks and smooth off evenly with a table knife.

Reprinted from The Almanack of 1914

Wax metal wastebaskets to keep them from rusting on the inside. The wax also keeps dust from clinging.

From The Almanack of 1964

No matter what your next painting project is, be it a room, a fence or the entire house, Think Green! Choose products that are water –soluble and improve air quality when used indoors. Look for products with Low or Zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are less harmful and still cost-effective. Natural paints are less toxic when made with ingredients such as minerals, clay, and bees’ wax. If refinishing is your project, use organic or natural wood finishes and citrus oil base strippers.

One simple method for clearing small clogs is to use a tried-and-true combination of baking soda and vinegar. Empty one-half cup baking soda down the drain, followed by one-half cup white vinegar. Cover the drain and let stand for a few minutes. Then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda and vinegar dissolve fatty acids, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.

MORE USES FOR COFFEE FILTERS

Take a coffee filter and ball it up. Use it to apply shoe polish smoothly and evenly, with absolutely no lint. Keeps your hands and fingernails clean, too!

CHIMNEY SAFETY

Before building your first fire of the season, check to see that the damper opens properly and closes tightly. If the "fire clay" used as mortar for the bricks inside the fireplace has fallen out, replace it.

Inspect the flue with a flashlight for heavy soot residue.

If you have a brick or clay tile flue (not a metal flue), an occasional handful of salt tossed on the fire will help remove soot.

When the soot deposit gets too thick, have the flue professionally cleaned.

Keep the damper closed when fireplace is not in use.

Salt stains on leather boots can be removed easily with a solution of one part water to one part vinegar. Dab it on a cotton rag or a nylon-bristled brush if boots are suede. Rub gentle over the entire boot – not just the stained area. Let dry.  Repeat if necessary.

If a tire blows out at high speeds, hold the steering wheel firmly and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator. If possible, allow the vehicle to decelerate on its own to less then 30 miles per hour before applying the brakes.  Look for somewhere to safely pull off the road.