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Ready For Winter? Here’s a helpful checklist and a little smile.

Procrastination and the untimely inconvenience of “last minute” usually results in a loss of my interior peace and sometimes a few choice…words—if truth be told.

Don’t let the winter cold blindside you! Last weekend I was putting my back patio flowerpots in the garage for the winter. With all the sunshine we have been having, it might seem premature, but I found myself thanking God for the prompting to do so. The pots are heavy, and it is just way easier to move them now than on a freezing Saturday afternoon in January with ice and snow on the ground.

During this time of year, we are focused liturgically on the last things and the second coming of Christ.  The point is simple—be ready! Don’t wait until the last minute and then expect things to go smoothly when we must face the Lord. “Redding up” for winter is good practice for meeting Jesus. It also happens to put us in the right mindset for Advent when the Church encourages us to prepare for the coming of the Christ child. So, get at it before it’s too late.

12 things to prep your house for Winter (thanks Grace Construction):

  1. Run your heating system in the fall to make sure everything works. If not, you’ll have plenty of time to schedule service before the busy season. If your are not handy, schedule a yearly service for early fall for the same reason. Change your filter at the same time.
  2. Add fuel stabilizer to your gas powered equipment so they start in the spring. Make sure to run them after treating the fuel to coat and protect the entire fuel system.
  3. Make sure all exterior water faucets are winterized and hoses are disconnected.
  4. Stock up on furnace filters. Get 1 for each month of cold weather.
  5. Clean your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clear. Clogged gutters can cause basement leaks.
  6. Make sure your snow blower starts and any needed service is performed. Grab an extra shear pin, just in case.
  7. Replace the wiper blades on your vehicle, check your tire tread, tire pressure and the health of your batteries (ok, that’s auto).
  8. Check all smoke alarms and make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors near all combustion appliances.
  9. Have all chimneys and flues checked and cleaned by a professional.
  10. Check your trees and trim all limbs that overhang structures. Heavy snow can break limbs and damage your home.
  11. When hanging your Christmas lights, also check your roof for missing shingles and damaged roof panels. Get them repaired.
  12. Cover your delicate perennials and the base of your shrubs with chopped leaves so the roots don’t freeze.

Supply chain issues may challenge us in unique ways this year:
Fall and winter are a time of both secular and Christian feasts! Here are some 2021 specific reminders for you:

  1. You may need to stock up on food, gifts, or other seasonal items earlier than usual this year.
  2. Consider essentials you know you’ll use (medications, batteries, etc.)
  3. One more thing about your automobile: In addition to those tires, fluids, battery, extra warm clothing or a car phone charger on board would help in the event you get stuck for a bit.

Just for fun: Talk about “squirrelling things away for winter!”
Here are links to two stories that are “absolutely nuts!” We hope these little critters inspire you to “get cracking!”
Ah, we hope “dad joke’ level puns” make you smile a little?

1. Over a four day period just this month, an industrious squirrel loaded 175 pounds of walnuts into a man’s truck in Frago, SD!

2. Reminding us of the squirrel who loaded 200 walnuts under a car hood used daily in Pittsburgh in 2019!

Walnuts in car

Photo credit: Chris Persic

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