Out and About – Week of January 4th

Welcome to 2016, the start of a new year and an opportunity to start everything out fresh. Let’s try to leave the negative things from last year in the history books and keep a positive attitude to what lies ahead of us.
We ended 2015 with a reminder that we are now in the winter season. Gone for a few months are the days when we can leave the house without a jacket or warm sweater. We should realize that the chances of receiving snow are great, so we must deal with that fact. For the “Snow Lovers” out there, your dreams are being fulfilled. I feel confident that I’ll be using my snow blower soon. I know we need the nitrogen that snow provides in order for our spring crops to flourish. We need the moisture, but I really don’t feel we need temperatures below twenty degrees. Mosquitoes and flies have difficulty with extremely low temperatures.
With the “true” winter weather, we should remember a few things in order for everyone to be safe and healthy. Here are just five things to remember:
If you have an outside dog, make sure the doghouse contains a bed of straw and the dog’s water dish contains fresh water. Water freezes sooner than you might think, so be aware of ice forming in the water dish.
Keep anti-freeze in sealed containers. Stray cats who find shelter in your garage get thirsty, and anti-freeze might taste good but is deadly.
Even if you keep your vehicle in the garage, check for small animals before moving your car. A car engine makes a comfortable heater.
If you keep your vehicle outside, start it and let it warm up while you clear the windows of ice and snow. Don’t forget the headlights and taillights.
When driving in snowy conditions, keep your headlights on so that other drivers can see you. Please drive slowly on ice and snow.
We still have plenty of time before the tax person cometh, but it’s not too early to start getting your paperwork in order. Take some time to review your checkbook register. You may have more items that are tax deductible than you think. I’m pretty sure you can still claim the expense of preparing your tax return for last year. Now would be the perfect time to schedule that appointment with your tax person and find that large shoebox.
Mailman Mike wanted me to remind everyone that cleared sidewalks and steps are greatly appreciated after a substantial snowfall. “No trail, no mail” stays in my mind whenever I clear the driveway.
With reference to the first paragraph of this column, remember to stay away from negative people, because they always seem to have a problem for every solution.
See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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