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For those who live in a nice warm climate that doesn't shift for the seasons, the coming of winter brings significantly fewer chores. However, those who live in changing climates can save some money by completing a few pre-winter chores.
Get out the ladder and the washrag and clean your spot lights. If your home has outdoor lighting, it has dust and dirt on its light globes. Clean them off now before the winter weather comes and they'll burn brighter all winter long when the days are shorter and the nights seem darker.
While walking around your home, tighten outside faucets and remove hoses. These could burst if the water in the pipe freezes. If possible, turn off the water to the faucet and let it open. That will guarantee that any remaining water drips out before the cold sets in.
Plants are especially susceptible to the cold air that's anticipated. For newly planted shrubs, wrap them in burlap to protect them from the wind. If the wind really whips through a section of your property that has smaller plants, consider making a burlap windbreak by driving tall stakes into the ground and stapling burlap to each to make a "wall" in front of the plants.
When heavy ice, snow, or fallen branches come down, smaller plants are often crushed. Establish the location of these plants now and protect them from the onslaught. For a quick and efficient element of structural protection, try pushing a few tomato cages over tender plants. The cages will keep fallen branches off the plants, and they'll eliminate ice build up from pulling stems to dangerous angles. Use the cages that are coming off your tomatoes now and then redesignate them in the spring to their original use.
Growing up in Minnesota, if the ground was slippery and the tread was a bit worn on our shoes and boots, we would place several strips of regular masking tape on the soles. This gives great gripping power for your feet and your back side may not get such a beating from falls!
By Dawn from Junction City, KS
To make a snow boot dryer, use a pair of heavy wire paper towel holders from the Dollar Store. Make sure they have a nice wide base so the boots won't tip over easily. Put a boot over each holder and set the holder over your furnace vent. The boots will soon be dry.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
Hello from Canada! Living under the poverty line makes life difficult for me to say the least, but I have many tricks to help me survive. One of those tricks is basic in winter.
To ease the school rush in the morning, use plastic bread bags over your child's shoes and their boots will slide right on.
We are having below freezing temps with A LOT of snow. We have had to hand shovel it. We are building a home, and of course, it was to be complete before winter.
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Winter will be here before we know it and I need to figure out the best way to travel around the neighborhood with my almost-two-year-old son. We have to walk my older son to school every day and run errands and I know the stroller we have right now won't make it through the snow. My son is too big to carry, but he's not big enough to walk on his own, especially in the snow.
wonder if you could make or they sell chains for the stroller wheels? like car tires use. it would cut right through the snow and ice.
How about a wagon? If the child's weight is not enough to get it through the snow you could add some weight to it. Also, it would have some room for shopping purchases. I used one of the wooden ones through two Buffalo area winters before we were able to afford a car.
A child's sled would work very nicely through the snow. If you have any packages, you'd have to find some way of tying them on the sled and still have room for your little boy.
the wagon idea is such a good one.you could even make a 3 sided tent over it to keep him warm. by adding a frame to it made with 2x2 inch lumber and use a decorate shower curtain over it to keep wind out. and when summer comes just detach it from the outer sides from where it was connented with maybe L brackets.
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We had a jogging type stroller with bigger wheels than a standard stroller and it did just fine in the snow.
You could use a sled. My niece has one that was an old wagon that grandpa put skiis on the bottom of. Or you can buy them new if you must.
I didn't have this problem, since my son was raised in sunny CA, USA. But just thinking the problem through. We used our little red wagon a lot when he was that age. Zoos, fairs, etc. Couldn't you bundle him up and pull him in the wagon?
When my kids were young, I worked in a daycare about a block away from my house. They got a toboggan for Christmas (not a sled - it didn't have runners - it had a flat bottom) that was about 4 feet long, & it was not expensive - under $10.00. At first, I took them to work in it for fun, but I soon found that it was easier than wrestling a stroller or trying to get my little ones to buck drifts in an Idaho winter! Even though the snow had been removed from the streets, there was enough ice to pull it across the street. we used it every day for 2 winters before the bottom cracked. Not much money for maximum fun!
They sell a plastic kids sled/tobbagan that is tough and not too expensive. Try second hand places and keep your eye open for bargains. I think one of the companies, might be Tike Toys makes a wagon that converts to a sled/tobaggan. Try googling and see if I'm right. Toys R Us website would give you some idea what's out there at least and you could check for those things in second hand places.
many moons ago when my son was small and had to go to day care every morning we used one of those round plastic sleds, i lived in Edmonton so our winters were not the most pleasant!! to keep him warm i found an old fur coat that someone had discarded and wrapped him in that, he loved it and it made for a fast trip
if you are low income your community might have a bus that will take you around for a cheap fair or try freecycle.org and you might be able to get a free stroller or wagon, or post up a ride share at your sons school and maybe for a few dollars in gas money you might get some one that will give you a lift, and if you cant afford the money over a trade off, of some skill...
I was just thinking of that very same thing!! I have a 6, 4, and 1 /12 year old, and a new puppy that needs frequent walks. I've seen the toddler bundle me but can't bring myself to spend the $50 yet. I'm thinking of buying a sleeping bag and cutting slits in it to fit into the stroller straps. If anyone else tries it, I'm curious if it works.
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I am moving and things I want are "gally west and crooked" for now. It has been cold the last couple of days and even snowed some the night before last!
I was invited to a potluck as a good way to meet people of this small town which was good thinking on my neighbor's part! I decided to wear a sleeveless summer top under my winter clothes as added warmth! I realized that this item was going to be UNSEEN and plan on utilizing more of my sleeveless summer tops for added warmth on cold days!
I will get extra usage from the clothing which is a plus and if they are stained or a little bit raggedy, that also is a plus to get a little more wear out of them before they go into the ragbag! This would also go for socks which are mismatched or in bad shape - to wear them as a second pair under the better ones!
By melody_yesterday from Otterville MO
Thanks for your excellent idea! I have been enjoying the extra warmth of my old clothes under my good clothes each winter and so glad to know you think it is good as well!
Merry Christmas to you!
A great read: John 3: 16 (12/16/2008)
Over here in the Netherlands it can be cold too (as you can see on this picture) and I always let our children wear t-shirts (un ironed of course; no extra work that is not necessarily) underneath their hoodies and sweaters. My daughter even wears the ones with the long sleeves, she has to bike a long way to school.
As usually, these t-shirts are from the summer, a bit worn out and sometimes fadet, I am glad that they still can use them. And, you are so right, it gives a lovely warmth! I also wear long sleeve t-shirts underneath knitted gardians, vests or sweater. It stops the itching of the wool.
I am happy to read that you do the same and hope that you bring some people a good idea! Happy holidays to you all! (12/18/2008)
By Mama L.
I do this with my children. They get extra wear out of summer things, especially the things that are less than prime looking. If a little ragged or stained, who cares when it's worn under something else. I used to buy my son white undershirts but no more. I just take his summer tee's that are starting to show wear or getting a little short and they become his winter-time undershirts. My daughter wears summer tank tops as undershirts. (12/19/2008)