Category Archives: Vermont Living

2012 is a Brand New Year!

Happy New Year to you!  As most of us do at this time of year, we reflect on what has happened over the past year and what we want to have happen in the coming year.  I find that my own behavior contributes to the success that I enjoy, whether it is a personal success or a professional one. 

So I wanted to take a moment and outline some of the thoughts that I hope to keep close this year.  Consider these some great ideas to improve your life in 2012!

  • Wake up each day thankful for your life.  No matter how good or bad you have it, someone, somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you are missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing and be grateful.
  • Take Responsibility for your life.  The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  Blaming people or circumstances gives others power over that part of your life.
  • Don’t follow the path of least resistance.  Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary!
  • Face your problems head on.  It is much easier to run!  Know that there is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  It’s okay to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  The purpose of living is to face problems, learn, adapt and solve them over the course of time.  This will help mold you into the person you eventually become.
  • Be yourself.  One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone might always be prettier, smarter or younger – but they will never be YOU!  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  • It’s okay to make a mistake.  Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing!  Every success has a trail of failures behind it and every failure leads you toward success.  Don’t regret any of your life experiences.
  • Be ready for a challenge.  Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zone, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  But when you overcome that challenge – what a feeling!
  • Be sure to look at the beauty of small moments.  Enjoy the little things because one day you may look back and discover they were really the big things.  The best part of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

Here is wishing you the best year you can possibly have!

Until next time, Irene

Things to do in the Mountains

I love Vermont!  Even when the slopes are bare there are many activities to attend, from sporting events to outdoor music concerts.   We are fortunate in this area that so many opportunities exist.  Every weekend you can choose from Stratton’s Saturday under the Stars Concert Series or Killington’s Its Cooler in the Mountains Concert Series or Okemos’ Friday Night Jackson Gore Concert Series.  Pull up a chair, bring a blanket and get your groove on at these free events.

Looking for other interesting events?  Stratton is hosting a Motorcycle Rally on August 20th that has a host of activities beyond two wheels – BBQ, Gondola Rides, Vendors and Live Music!  If you feel like travelling a bit further, check out the 16th Annual Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival in Bennington on September 3rd.  Taste everything from Garlic Ice Cream to Garlic Margaritas! 

Trying to stay in shape for the coming ski season?  The 100 on 100 Relay on August 13th might be for you.  Runners from across the country converge on the Green Mountain state each August for this long distance relay along scenic Route 100 ending at Okemo Mountain.  Running races in New England are increasing in popularity and Vermont races put on by Heart of Vermont Productions are looking to lead the way.

Or check out the Eastern States Cup DH Race at Mount Snow on August 20.  The final downhill mountain bike race of the season, registration includes lift service for practice on Saturday and race day on Sunday.  Beginners to pro races welcome – and of course it’s free to spectate!

One of my favorite activities is to stroll through one of Vermont’s beautiful villages taking in the sights, shopping and visiting local restaurants.  Woodstock, Chester and Weston are three of my favorites and I encourage you to plan a visit.  This area is rich with diverse activities and you will be sure to find something for everyone. 

Until next time, Irene

In the Heart of Vermont ski Country

Right between Killington and Okemo ski resorts. Located just off VAST (Snowmobile Trails) there are possibilities for direct access to the trails the building features a heated garage which would be a perfect place to store and work on your sleds. It is also equidistant to echo lake and Woodard reservoir and just down the road from the Coolidge historical sites, Long Trail brewery, and the village of Woodstock this is the perfect location for year round vacation or daily life! There are 4 bedrooms, 4 large bathrooms, and an updated kitchen. Each room has individually controlled thermostat, and a propane fireplace. The building is very energy efficient! Owner financing available – this is not a drive-by – Priced to sell!  $229,900.00

Celebrating a South Central Vermont Thanksgiving

Ode to Thanksgiving

To our national birds
The American Eagle
The Thanksgiving Turkey
May one give us peace in all our states
And the other a piece for all our plates

What did the Pilgrims eat on Thanksgiving?

It is commonly believed that the first actual celebration of the harvest and blessings from God took place in Plymouth in 1621. The festivities lasted three days and included feasting, entertainment, and competitions. For more about the holiday’s history!

Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?

The first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in 1924. That first year, it was known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade. It was created to launch the holiday shopping season. Today, the parade is attended by an estimated three million people each year. Approximately 44 million people around the country watch the parade on television.

Other large parades which commemorate the holiday are the IKEA Thanksgiving Parade in Philly, McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, and the UBS Parade Spectacular in Stamford.

Find holiday-themed wallpaper or screensavers here!

Want some holiday music to enhance your gathering? Get free, fast downloads of 30+ songs.

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.”  …. Gerald Good

Thanksgiving Around the World

Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival. It celebrates communal harmony.

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October.

India also has a number of harvest related festivals in different regions.

Other Thanksgiving traditions around the world.

Money-saving tips for Thanksgiving–something we would all be thankful for!

1.      Have a BYOD (bring your own dish) celebration. Asking your guests to contribute to the meal is a great way to save on expenses–and on your own cooking time.

2.      Keep it simple. Cut down on the number of side dishes you have. A festive table doesn’t have to be extravagant.

3.      Serve boxed wine or large bottles of soda. Cans and individual bottles are far more expensive.

4.      Use natural items for decorations–leaves, fruit, squash, gourds, pumpkins, and dried flowers from your garden. A large candle and colorful fruit make a lovely centerpiece. Visit a dollar store for inexpensive holiday items.

5.      Check store ads for sales and coupons before you shop for Thanksgiving Day goodies.

6.      If time and your schedule allow, bake it yourself. Baking all your pies at one time will also save energy costs.
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Cost-saving Tips for Insuring Your South Central Vermont Home

As every South Central Vermont homeowner knows, property insurance is a necessity. The cost of adequate insurance may seem daunting initially, but there are certain steps you can take to reduce your costs to a reasonable level.

1. Shop around for the best value. Check online for quotes from at least three reputable agencies. Be aware that some companies offer a discount of 30% to 40% if you buy online. Other possible discounts can result from insuring both the home and the contents or by insuring your home and your car with the same firm.

Also know the replacement value of your home, taking into consideration any unique features that will be expensive to replace. Keep in mind probable inflation increases at renewal time. Does your insurer automatically adjust your coverage or do you have to request the change?

2. Make periodic updates to your South Central Vermont home or property. Ways to reduce insurance costs include the following:

A) replacing the existing heating system to one which is safer and more cost-efficient.

B) keep plumbing in good working order and protect it from freezing

C) replace fuses. Inspectors are looking for circuit breakers and a safe wiring system

D) install fire detectors or even a central alarm system. Be sure to keep a record of all repairs/replacements and inform your insurance company of each one.

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Celebrating Christmas In South Central Vermont

       “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
                                                                      ~ Burton Hillis

Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated festivals globally and is no longer viewed as a purely religious holy day. It is now a time enjoyed by people of many countries and faiths, and there are numerous universally recognized icons which we associate with the yuletide. In fact, these symbols have become so commonly associated with the celebration of Christmas that when we see Santa riding on a reindeer, a mantle hung with stockings, coniferous green trees decorated with tinsel and ornaments, or houses festooned with evergreen wreaths and mistletoe, we know that the magic spirit of the season is upon us.   

The tradition of the Christmas stocking dates back to approximately 250B.C. in Asia Minor. There Nicholas, rich man who became a very generous Christian priest and a saint, is said to have secretly filled the stockings of three poor sisters with gold, thus giving them a dowry and allowing them to marry. Legend has it that after that “miracle,” neighbors of the fortunate women followed suit with their stockings, and the tradition slowly spread across the globe. Children throughout the world now hang stockings–or even put out shoes–to be filled with small gifts and food by Santa (Saint) Claus (Nicholas). Many people create their own stockings, personalizing them for themselves or for others and often providing a family activity that is fun for all. Find instructions for making your own Christmas fireplace stockings.

Along with the Christmas holly, laurel, rosemary, yews, boxwood bushes, and, of course the Christmas tree, mistletoe is an evergreen displayed during the Christmas season and symbolic of the eventual rebirth of vegetation that will occur in spring. But perhaps more than any other of the Christmas evergreens, it is a plant of which we are conscious only during the holidays. One day we’re kissing under the mistletoe, and next day we’ve forgotten all about it (the plant, that is, not the kisses).

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Have a Merry–and Safe–South Central Vermont Holiday!

The Holiday season provides us with many opportunities for fun with our family, and decorating inside and outside your South Central Vermont home is one activity that can be enjoyed by both young and old. As always, however, the use of common sense and the taking of safety precautions are vital to ensuring happy holidays.

To that end, the Consumer Products Safety Commission strongly suggests you follow these timely tips when decorating your South Central Vermont home:

TREES:

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.   
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and, when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

LIGHTS:

  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards. Use only lights that have fused plugs.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights on the exterior of your South Central Vermont home, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. You can also run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.

DECORATIONS:

  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
  • Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.

FIREPLACES:

  • Be sure your chimney is clean and the flue is open before lighting a fire.
  • Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Remember, protecting your family and your South Central Vermont home is a present you give to yourself and to our loved ones. Enjoy the season!

How To Live In Small Spaces

Finding ways to deal with small spaces in your new South Central Vermont home can be tricky. Everyone likes the place they call home to be somewhere they can kick back and relax. However, it is hard to relax in areas that are cluttered and uncomfortable. Strategic interior design can make a big difference when dealing with small living spaces. Colors, lighting, organization, and décor can make spaces appear smaller or larger. Here are some solutions to make your South Central Vermont home look and feel cozier. 

people in houseOrganization is the first thing to be conquered when transforming a small living space. Getting rid of clutter and maximizing the use of storage space are the keys to success. Clutter will make any space appear smaller than it really is. Eliminating excessive knick-knacks is one way to reduce clutter. Multiple pieces of small, scattered furniture can also make a room look jumbled. Using a couple pieces of slightly larger furniture leads to a less cluttered look. Every inch of storage space should be taken advantage of in small living areas. Planning out storage space will allow for more walking room, functional closets, and more productive space. Use multipurpose furniture like ottomans, which can be used for storage and seating. Try installing an organizational system in the closets. These systems usually provide a perfect spot for everything. 

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Safety Tips For Your Rutland Home’s Pool

Everyone enjoys spending time relaxing poolside or splashing around in the refreshing cold water. For many kids it is a favorite summer pastime that seems harmless. Drowning is actually the second leading cause of death for children who are 14 years old or younger. Approximately 3,000 googleschildren in this age group make trips to the emergency room in need of treatment for near drowning incidents. People ages 60 and older are also at a higher risk for experiencing danger in the water. Death and other water related accidents can be completely prevented and avoided if the proper precautions are observed and enforced. Whether hanging out around your Rutland home’s backyard pool or enjoying the day at the community pool these tips will keep family and friends safe and smiling.

  • Supervise all children at all times, especially children ages 14 or younger.

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Energy Saving Tips For Rutland and South Central VT Home Owners

I found a great website, Energy Savers, with energy saving tips for Rutland and South Central VT  home owners. This site provides homeowners with tips for saving energy and money at home and on the road. 

eco-ideaBy following just a few of the simple tips found on this Energy Savers Web site, you can make your home more comfortable and easier to heat and cool—while you save money. The site also helps you beat the high cost of fuel, with driving and car maintenance tips to save you money on the road.

Some easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy include: 

  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The information on this Web site is also available in PDF format (PDF 2.7 MB). 

If you are a Rutland VT  home owner, I encourage you to check out Energy Savers. Following a few of their suggestions will not only put more money in your pocket, but make our planet healthier and greener. 

If you are thinking about buying a  Rutland or South Central VT  home, visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. It’s a great place to learn about Rutland and South Central VT  real estate and view Rutland and South Central VT homes for sale.