Deck the Halls

Imagine your yard the envy of your neighbors. You’ve spent hours decorating and you want everyone to enjoy the beauty that you have created. You want them to feel the Spirit of Christmas as they gaze upon your Winter Wonderland.

Spend some time looking at your yard and draw a sketch. You want to have a good plan to determine where your are going to string your lights.

If this is your first time decorating, start out small. Your door, windows, porch, a few trees or bushes make for a good focal points. Each year as you become more confident, branch out.

The week following Thanksgiving is a good time to put up your decorations. This allows for one holiday to end, and the next to begin. It also gives you time to wrap the gifts you bought on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, you will want them up at least a week before Christmas.

Here are some tips to make your decorating easier.

1) Stay safe. Make sure you are using outdoor lights. A sturdy ladder will help with the hard to reach places.

2) Hooks and clips save your exterior and make for easy installation and removal. You can purchase shingle tabs or parapet clips at any hardware store.

3) Don’t overload your sockets. Use extension cords with multiple plugs to help distribute the power usage.

4) Important —– Check the light strands to make sure they light up. Having to take down a

strand after you plug in, is sometimes difficult.

5) If you are decorating a tree, bush or pole, start from the bottom and work your way in a spiral motion up. For evergreens, start at the top and work your way down.

6) Get a timer. Set it to start at dusk and opt for the 6 hour shut off time.

Staying safe, using the proper equipment, making sure the lights work, and decorating to your abilities will make your holiday more enjoyable.

Here is one final tip, and probably the most important: HAVE FUN.

When everyone helping has fun, hopefully you will start a tradition that your family will continue for generations.Image,

Running Partner

I don’t keep track of my time anymore. I have run since I was 8, and after the accidents, I can’t really run like I use to. 

Nevertheless, my friends still ask me why I run if I don’t keep track of it. As I explained in my last blog about running, I do it for the health benefits.

During the summer, I was at a benefit for my towns Fire Department, and a friend said something to me about wanting to run. I told her that if she wanted she could join me. 

A few weeks later, I was walking to my starting point, when someone came up behind me. I listen to music when I run, well because who wouldn’t. Anyway, it was the girl that mentioned something to me about wanting to run. 

She asked if she could join me. I asked if she had everything she needed to run. She said yes. 

I told her O.K., but we are going to start with a jog. 

I asked her when the last time she ran a mile was. Grade school was the answer I got.

The first thing I told her, was we were going to have to build endurance. We were going to start with breathing and keeping the feet moving. 

My first 3 tips: in through the nose, out through the mouth. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, just so long as you keep moving. Lean slightly forward. 

She asked about coming off the toes or heals. I told her, it didn’t matter, whichever is comfortable. I am a toe runner, but thats from years of running. 

We got maybe a quarter of a mile and she was panting pretty hard. I told her if she needed to, we could walk. We started walking, but we kept moving. 

2 weeks later, and she was running 2 miles non-stop, while having a conversation with me. 2 months later, we entered our first 5K together. She made her goal. 6 months later and she is still able to keep up with me. 

We now run 4 to 5 miles together.

When she feels like she can’t run, her husband tells her to go. It will make her feel better and put her in a better mood. 

I remember the first time she didn’t want to go. She texted me and told me she was tired and didn’t feel like going. I told her running would make her feel better and make her sleep better. She agreed.

When I arrived at her house, she asked if I had talked with her husband. I said no, why? She told me he said the same thing I did. I told her maybe he notices the differences too. 

That earned me a punch in the shoulder.