I wish everyone a Happy and Safe Fourth!!
Once again we get to enjoy a Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Most of us have plans of relaxing and barbecue with family and friends. But we really need to remember why we have this holiday.
Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War. The latest estimates of soldiers killed in this war is 750.000. This is more than all other American wars combined. This was just over 2 percent of the population! In terms of today’s population, it would be 6 to 7 million people lost.
Many towns claim to have started this holiday, but what really matters is that people across the country saw the need to reflect and remember–so the nation created it. I just learned that over half of the Civil War dead were never identified. There were no dog tags or any way of official notification of family. So we came to feel a shared sense of loss and the dead now belonged to everyone as so many could not belong to just anyone.
It became important to the nation’s process of mourning to bring dignity to these lost souls. Death without dignity was not acceptable to our countrymen. It helped to some way ratify now important the courage and sacrifice had been to now take a moment of reflection so the healing could begin for our country. Perhaps we all should take a moment to think what it meant to be an American back then, and what so many sacrificed for the good of the nation.
The Civil War has long passed, but wars have not. We continue to have every generation sacrifice some of its best to preserve our way of life. We must never forget those who have served and those who serve us now.
Freedom is not free.
Whenever I see the clocks change, I know that the season is changing soon. After this last storm, I know all of us, except for the skiers in our group, are ready for spring to finally arrive.
I thought it would be fun to pass along a few facts about Daylight Saving Time. Most of the United States begins DST at 2:00 AM on the second Sunday in March and returns to STD on the first Sunday in November. Notice I said most–DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Arizona. However, the Navajo Nation, due to its large size located in three states, does participate. You got that?
Another fun fact is that no daylight is saved–it is just shifted effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Perhaps we really should be saying Daylight Time Shifting–but it just doesn’t sound right after all these years.
In the United States, 2:00 AM was chosen for minimal impact. People are mostly at home at this hour, transportation is more limited if not running at all, and it stays the same day, which could add to our confusion! How many of us have forgotten at least once to change our clocks? It is not so easy now with our phones, cable TV, and other devices automatically adjusting for us. We still have to adjust the clock on our stove and microwave in my home. What do you have to do yourself? Your watch perhaps?
The U.S. Congress extended DST to 8 months in 1973. This was following the oil embargo of that year. The Dept. of Transporation realized that be observing DST in March and April we were able to save as a nation the equivalent of about 10,000 barrels of oil each day. Then in 1986 DST moved to the first Sunday in April, rather than the last. This addition time added even more to our savings, estimated at about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.
Many parents wanted to move DST to include Halloween as a safety concern for children. So in 2007. DST has been set to start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.
This is always a great reminder to check all safety devices in our homes. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged, your batteries new in your smoke detectors, and check your carbon monoxide detector too!
Safety first is a great motto and I encourage everyone to be smart and safe!
Let’s enjoy the changing in the season!
My friends Judy and John Rizzo are the owners of Rizzo Plumbing. They have an excellent website to refer to for a lot of useful information. The website is www.rizzoplumbingandheating.com
Here is part of a great article about frozen pipes that I wanted to share here with all of you.
Frozen pipes can be avoided, but if they happen damage can be minimized. Here is a handy checklist:
BEFORE IT GETS COLD:
1-insulate the pipes in the attic and crawlspaces
2-seal leaks that allow cold air inside ( where pipes are located)
3-make sure all household members know where the main shut off is located
WHEN THE MERCURY DROPS
1-open faucets and let water drip
2-don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame(water damage is better than burning your house down)
3-try using a blow dryer to thaw frozen pipes starting at the faucet and working your way back to the coldest section of pipe
4-call a plumber to avoid a burst pipe
IF YOUR PIPES BURST
1-shut water off at main
2-call a plumber
Many of us homeowners are ready to give our homes some new looks and features. As we spend time indoors this cold winter, it is a great time to start planning your projects. But do you know where to start? I asked my friend, Allison Guido, owner of Almar Building and Remodeling, for some sound advise to pass along.
First–ASK QUESTIONS! Ask about reputation, years of experience, referrals, and never take an estimate without examination and asking for clarification. Many of you will be looking at quotes from a few companies–make certain that you get detailed written estimates so that you can compare Apples to Apples. Don’t assume that something is included if it is not in writing.
QUALITY AND SERVICE: Do they truly provide quality craftsmanship and service? You do get what you pay for and you are trusting them with your home. How long have they been in business and can they show you examples of past projects with testimonials?
WARRANTY: What is their warranty on labor? And will they assist you with any manufacturer’s warranties? Do they work directly with many of these companies to make this process seamless?
INSURANCE & TAXES: Is everyone you are talking to operating a legal business? Do they have the correct licenses and insurance? Will you, your home & family be protected if something happens during the project? Did you know your homeowner’s policy does not protect you if a worker gets injured on your property of does damage to your home? The contractor MUST carry the proper insurance.
Remodeling your home can be a very smooth process when you have the right team on the job. To learn more about Allison and her company, you can go the their website www.almarbuilding.com