Archive for November 2011

Taking time to slow down and be grateful   Leave a comment

Well… it’s Thanksgiving time again, which is supposed to be a time when we relax, take stock of our lives and rejoice in all we have to be thankful for.  Relax?, with kid’s dance performances, sport activities, holiday parties and potlucks, everything seems busier than ever.  It’s going to be one long race until January 2nd when I can hopefully put my feet up and think about 2012.

Let’s try to remind ourselves to slow down, take a step back and use Thanksgiving as an opportunity for gratitude? Even when we are feeling stuffed from a great family get together or exhausted from driving all over the country visiting family and friends, let’s take a minute to express our gratitude for the good things that we have.

I can be thankful first and foremost for the fact that I am alive…walking, talking, laughing. That is one huge gift.

Then there is my family, including teenage twins. Sounds scary, but I just read comments on Facebook from another North Tahoe High School grad about her son graduating and leaving the nest.  She remembered when she left home her father told her, “Just when you got interesting you were gone.”

Then of course there is the place where we live. One minute it’s a raging snowstorm, the next it’s a peaceful blanket of white, lying below an impossibly blue sky. We have hiking, biking, skiing, and a ton of other things to enjoy, but we also have a great community of folks who moved here because they loved the place…and then they somehow found a way to make a living and stay here.

Besides my family and community activities, I get to work with challenging, enlightening, wonderful and heart warming people from all over the world.  I either find them their own little piece of mountain paradise, or I help them move into a different direction in life. It’s incredibly hard, but fulfilling work, especially in the current real estate economy, but when you see the expression on someone’s face when you hand them the keys to their new home, it’s worth it, and a blessing.

So thanks to everyone who contributed to making my life full and interesting this past year. May you find gratitude in your life as well.

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It’s getting colder!!!   1 comment

My last post was on the joys of fall colors in the Sierra. Well, with that joy we are beginning to see below freezing morning temperatures. Sure it makes us all begin to dream about the snow to come, but it also should be waking us up to the fact that there are some things you need to do prevent damage to your mountain home, or just to make life more enjoyable during the cold months.

Ten things to do:

1)    Have your furnace checked and make sure it is running smoothly, and be sure to change the filter if needed. Then turn it on and make sure the thermostat is set to at least 50 degrees to keep the pipes from freezing.

2) It is also recommended that if you are not using your home, shut the water off. If you do not have an easy to use stop and drain valve you should have one installed. Be sure the valve is located inside the house in a location that is easy to access.

3)    Look in your backyard and notice all the things that will be buried in the snow once it arrives. Will you need any of those things in the next six months? Could they be damaged if six feet of snow sat on them?

4)     Disconnect all of the hoses from the outside of the house. If left on during the winter they may cause the pipes to freeze.

5)    Woodstove or Fireplace: When was your chimney swept? Make sure the firewood you need is in a dry place that will be accessible in the snow.

6)    How’s the roof? Any leaks you saw last year that you forgot to fix this summer?

7)    Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors-Now might be a good time to check them and install new batteries.

8)    Have an emergency kit ready in case the power goes off and/or you are snowed in: Candles, flashlights, matches. Water bottles. Non-perishable food. And for sanity purposes: Books, games, a radio that will operate without power.

9)    Close up curtains and drapes to keep the warmth in, and the bears from noticing you have a freezer that they should come in and inspect for tasty morsels.

10) Snow removal: Is your snowblower maintained and do you have a can of gas ready to go? Shovels?

Need a plumber or heating contractor? Here are a few I have used:

Plumbers

Mitch Milner  530-448-1308

John Greenside  530-587-1354

Heating people

Joe Hennessey  530-386-2867

Heat Tech, Steve Davis  530-587-7061

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