12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays

Greetings to all
Thanks to all the wonderful buyers and sellers I had the good fortune of working with this year!
I hope everyone is looking forward to a fabulous New Year where your fondest wishes will all come true....

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

Snow Shoveling Tips

When buying a new snow shovel, common sense says that the larger the shovel scoop, the quicker the work. But that doesn’t mean you should automatically shop for the biggest bucket. Snow, particularly wet snow, is heavy, and the bigger the scoop, the more strain you’ll put on your neck, shoulders, and back.
Keep the dimensions moderate. A good size for most situations is 18-22 inches wide.
Material of choice
  • High-strength plastic shovels are strong, lightweight, and easy to use. Because they’re less prone to freezing, they release snow better than metal shovels. However, constant scraping against concrete walks and driveways can wear out the leading edge in a single season, and they’re not good for removing ice.
  • Steel shovels are hard to beat for durability — they’ll outlast all others. But they’re the heaviest models out there, and require more energy to use. They’re also the most expensive. Steel shovels are useful for removing both snow and ice.
  • Aluminum snow shovels are more durable than plastic, and lighter and less expensive than steel. However, aluminum may bend when it comes in contact with a stubborn ice chunk or a crack in a driveway. Once bent, they’re difficult to repair.
Getting the shaft
It doesn’t matter how strong a shovel blade is if the shaft twists, turns, and bows while you’re trying to use it. Look for shovels with a sturdy steel, aluminum, or wooden handles. With their high strength-to-weight ratio, fiberglass and resin handles are the premium choice, although you’ll pay up to 20% more than other types of handles.
What’ll you pay?
Prices for snow shovels range from as low as $15 for a flimsy plastic model on up to $125 for a solid steel shovel with wooden or fiberglass shaft. Most good-quality shovels, however, fall in the $30 to $50 range.
Ergonomic ease
The snow shovels with the funny-looking Z-shaped shafts are billed as “ergonomic.” They’re designed to ease the strain on your lower back by reducing the amount of bending you’ll do while scooping snow. Prices for well-built ergonomic shovels range from $25 to $75.
Another version includes a large wheel attached to the handle. The wheel supports all the weight of the snow and acts as a fulcrum for lifting snow and helping you move it out of the way. You’ll pay $130.
When push comes to shove
When it comes to physical exertion, it’s always better to push the snow rather than lift it. Push-type snow shovels or plows are great for driveways and walks where you can simply shove the snow off to the side.
Because snow pushers are large in size — anywhere from 24 to 36 inches wide — they aren’t great for when the snow is deep or has to be thrown over a snow bank. Make sure the width of the snow pusher isn’t wider than your narrowest walkways.
Snow pushers and plows usually have large, U-shaped handles. Expect to pay $25 for a plastic 24-inch plow and up to $80 for 30-inch heavy-duty aluminum models.
Safety first
It isn’t just a myth that many people get injured from the simple act of shoveling snow. In fact, according to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, there are more than 11,000 medical emergencies each year related to shoveling snow.
The study found that just two minutes of shoveling snow can stress your cardiovascular system and raise heart rates past recommended levels. Singled out for blame: the non-ergonomic design of many snow shovels.
To reduce the risk of injury, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests you do the following:
  • Check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to shovel.
  • Dress appropriately in layers of light, water-repellent clothing. Don’t forget the hat, gloves, and slip-resistant boots.
  • Clear snow early and often. It’s easier to remove large snowfalls in multiple phases than all at once.
  • Warm up before starting. Stretch or perform light exercise for 10 minutes before shoveling.
  • Pace yourself, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated by drinking water throughout.
  • Push, rather than lift, the snow whenever possible.
  • When lifting snow, bend at the knees with a straight back.
  • When moving snow, walk and dump it as opposed to throwing it.
Alternatives include safely using a snow blower or hiring a snow-removal contractor. When doing the latter, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends that you get multiple estimates, understand the difference between per-season and per-incident pricing, discuss what’s included (shoveling the front walk?), request references, and get it all in writing.

Douglas Trattner has covered home improvement for HGTV.com, DIYNetworks, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He lives in a 1925 Colonial.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/seasonal-maintenance/snow-shoveling-tools-techniques-safety/#ixzz2o40U7Iym

Monday, December 2, 2013

Portland Maine 2013 Holiday Events


Eco-Friendly Christmas

7 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

With a few conscious choices, your merry Christmas can also be an eco-friendly Christmas.

‘Tis the season to consume and decorate, which can leave your bank statement and the planet a little beat up. Celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas and nip your seasonal costs in the bud:
1. Light up with LEDs. LED lights use at least 75% less energy than conventional holiday decorations, according to Energy Star. That saves the average family about $50 on energy bills during the holiday, says Avital Binshtock of the Sierra Club in San Francisco. Or douse the lights and use soy-based or beeswax candles; their emissions are cleaner than those from paraffin candles.

2. Make your own decorations. Save money and keep your kids busy by hand-crafting eco-friendly decor—strings of popcorn or pine cones—instead of buying mass-produced holiday flare.
3. Wrap with stuff you already have. Get creative with reusable shopping bags, magazines, and newspapers instead of using wrapping paper. Even gift bags that recipients can pass on make for a more eco-friendly Christmas, says Brian Clark Howard of The Daily Green.

4. Buy a real tree. Real Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands are renewable and recyclable, Binshtock says. Real trees mean an annual cost, but that may be a wash if you tend to buy a faux tree several times a decade.

5. Say “no” to glossy paper decorations and wrapping. Shininess and color come from chemicals not easily recycled. Alternative: Decorations or wrapping papers that use soy inks or natural dyes.
6. Package it in cardboard. Plain, corrugated cardboard is good for packaging because it’s easy to recycle. If plastic factors into your holiday plans, look for No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, the easiest to recycle, says Ben Champion, director of sustainability for Kansas State University.
7. Create precious moments that don’t leave a trail of debris.
  • Do something experiential like taking the family to a museum.
  • Give a gift certificate or donation to an organization meaningful to the recipient in the receiver’s name. Happy holidays to you: No sales tax.
  • Buy fair-trade, organic, or locally made products, which are often one-of-a-kind and may not need as much packaging and shipping, Champion says.
G. M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer. A frequent contributor to publications including Bankrate, REALTOR Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, personal finance, and legal topics.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/green-living/eco-friendly-christmas/#ixzz2mLe6nhg7